A Lost Ally - 20

By Ginna Wilcoxen, Dana Terry

Date: Monday, May 13, 2002 10:29 PM

Octavia rose early and entered the living area, just as the sun began to rise 
over the horizon.  She stood at the window, watching the golden orb as it 
rose ever higher, painting the city in light.

As she watched, Alida came into the room.  The older woman stopped to make 
sure that Master Zuren was still fast asleep before she joined Octavia by the 
window.  "You are awake early after our ordeal, Octavia."

"I couldn't sleep any longer," Octavia replied softly. "I did not wake you I 

"No, it is my custom to rise early," the other woman said. "You are 

Octavia crossed her arms in silence. "So much has happened. I.... I'm not 
troubled in the sense that I fear to walk outside or what the future may 
hold." She let her hand run through her now shortened hair. "Rather, I'm 
concerned with what is required of me."

"You were blessed with a great gift, Octavia," Alida told her. "One passed on 
by your grandfather and by those who went before him. All that is required of 
you is that you use that to the best of your ability."

"Great gift?" Octavia turned to face Alida. "The Force, you mean?"

"Yes," she said. "Your ability to touch the Force in a way that so many in 
the galaxy are unable to."

Octavia shifted her position to take some strain off her injured leg. "I see 
concern in your eyes, Alida.  Is it about what happened last night?"

"Sit." Alida motioned toward a chair. "If you are referring to your visitor, 
yes. The situation is not something I am familiar with, but her Force 
presence is very dark, Octavia, which I'm sure you're aware of. Yet, there 
was an odd familiarity between the two of you that I found somewhat 

Octavia walked over and sat down, stretching her leg out in front of her. 
"Last night was only the second time I've talked with Tara Alderson 
Palpatine," Octavia explained. "The first time was last year at Port 

"How is it that she has custody of your niece?"

"Because I gave it to her." Octavia closed her eyes. "I chose training over 
Victoria a little over two years ago."

"A difficult choice to make," Alida said quietly. "But why someone who is so 
dark, Octavia?"

Octavia held the pain of her failure out of her voice, even if she didn't 
hide it in her features. Maybe that was why she could understand how her 
grandfather felt with Xanatos. "Victoria left me and Port Lansing two years 
ago. I didn't believe she was my niece, I never knew I had a brother. When 
she left, I went to the Academy to learn about the Force and how to control 
it ... I felt drawn to learn. Then last year I received a communiqué from 
Tara Alderson mentioning that she and Victoria wanted me to have lunch with 
them." Octavia leaned forward and clasped her hands in front her. 

"I accepted the invitation against Master Skywalker's advice."

"Something happened there that affected you greatly," Alida said. She shook 
her head. "Your brother's death?"

Octavia nodded. "I discovered that Victoria had returned to Telos and had 
attempted to pickpocket Tara. Instead of turning her over to Telos 
authorities, she took her in and offered to train her. Except I and my 
brother stood in the way as legal guardians.  Family."

Alida sat down, waiting for Octavia to finish in her own time.

"He murdered his wife and fully admitted he would have killed Victoria if he 
thought she was a threat to his ability to help the Alliance." Octavia looked 
at Alida. "I attempted to explain the dangers of killing her father; everyone 
there said it was her right to administer justice. Tara was so calm so..... 
diplomatic in her statements."

"And so she is taught that violence answering violence is the way to solve 
problems?" Alida questioned. 

"It would appear to be so." Octavia paused. "I backed down Alida, I didn't 
fight, I didn't argue for her. Victoria stated she wanted to remain with Tara 
and, as her only living relative, I signed over all rights."

"Master Yoda often said, 'Make one decision, make another,'" Alida said. "You 
cannot question whether what you did in leaving Victoria with her was the 
right path, now you must question what your path must be from this point on. 
Does it lead you back to the girl?"

"Victoria is happy with Alderson and regardless of her Force signature, there 
is more to her than meets the eye. She will die to protect Victoria. I feel 
that for now, Victoria's place is with her ...Yet I know our paths will cross 

"Have you discussed this with your Master?"

"I've informed Master Skywalker of all that had transpired. He, like you, 
believes I have to listen to the Force and cannot hold myself accountable for 
any decisions that Victoria has made."

Alida nodded. It was wise counsel.  "Once we are assured that the people have 
control of the labs, we should leave this planet," she said.

Octavia nodded. "I agree. You know that regardless if the people are in 
control, it will still be an extension of his arm."

"Then we must cut off that arm."

Octavia stood walking over to pour some juice. "That might be more difficult 
than it sounds.  Can I get you some?"

"No, thank you," Alida said, getting to her feet. "I find that kaff is a 
refreshing, but mild, stimulant at this hour." She went to prepare a pot of 
kaff as she spoke. "Besides needing to stop Xanatos, I want my lightsaber 
back." She gave Octavia a small smile.  "And very few things are as simple as 
they sound.  We know that to be true. 

"Unless he took it with him. I'm sure it's till in the labs," Octavia said 
quietly. "It is strange how mine seems never to stray far from me."

"That is as it should be," Alida said. 

Octavia looked at the holo station. News about Xanatos labs and the tragic 
loss there had shaken the people's faith in outsiders.

"And Jedi will be included among those not trusted," Alida said with a sad 
sigh as the newscaster went on. She poured a cup of kaff and offered it to 

Octavia took it.  "Thank you. Many will think we are still guilty of the 
crimes we were charged, regardless that the security tapes must have shown 

Alida poured another mug and sipped at it thoughtfully. "For many beings, 
once their mind is made up, not even physical evidence to the contrary can 
change it for them."

"True, and when Medenna wakes I must have a talk with her."

"Might I ask what you'll be discussing with the child?"

"Regardless of her feelings or what she believes, she must not call me 
Master." Octavia stated calmly. "Those days are long gone."

"Some still cling to the old ways, Octavia," she said, "and many may yet 
return to them. True, you have not finished your training, nor have you 
trained a Padawan to Knighthood, but the possibility of that title does 

"Perhaps," Octavia stated calmly. "Yet the fact remains she needs to stop. I 
feel the Force has brought us together, and it almost seems natural when she 
addresses me as such.... yet..."

Alida nodded, pleased that Octavia has realized this on her own. "Perhaps in 

Octavia turned the news off. She couldn't stomach hearing how injured Xanatos 
labs' reputation had suffered.

"Octavia?" Alida questioned, nodding toward the now quiet vidscreen.

Octavia knew the uncanniness of Medenna's ability to sense the future, and 
knew their lives were intertwined. Hearing Alida calling her name, she looked 
at the viewscreen. "I'm sorry.  I grew tired of hearing what personal damage 
had been done to them. The people have no idea what type of dangerous man 
Xanatos DuCruet is."

"He is very good at manipulating the opinions of those around him," she 
noted. "You were not in this galaxy, however. Your thoughts were elsewhere."

"I have to admit my thoughts were on Medenna, and her future."

"The girl is strong in the Force," came a groggy voice from the couch on the 
other side of the room. "As are you. Trust the Force, Octavia."

Octavia looked over in Zuren's direction. "She is strong in the Force yes, 
but I'm more attuned to the Living Force  ...where she is ..." Octavia 
stopped hearing a soft chuckle. She looked back at Alida, then realized that 
it did not come from her.

The older Jedi was calmly sipping at her kaff. She smiled at Octavia and 
moved past her to check on Master Zuren.

"Medenna is rooted in the here and now, as well as what will affect the 
future." Octavia continued, dismissing what she heard as her mind playing 
tricks on her.

"Medenna sounds rather balanced," Alida said from where she knelt next to her 

"True, Alida, but one can be balanced in the Living Force as well."

She smiled. "Yes, but I am referring to being balanced between the Living and 
Unifying Force."

Octavia smiled, listening to the old friends talk.

A knock on the door caused Octavia to jump a bit too quickly from her chair.

Alida stood. "Expecting someone, Octavia?"

"No." Moving toward the door Octavia didn't sense any danger. Opening the 
door, she stared at Lt.Kyrsk.

He gave her a lopsided smile. "Hello, Octavia."

"Won't you come in?" Octavia stepped back, noticing that he was carrying a 
small bundle under his arms.

"Lieutenant," Alida greeted. "You are up and about early."

"We were going through the offices of the Commander and the director."

"Of course.  Standard procedure, I believe."

He walked in and nodded to Zuren.  "We found these and I thought they might 
belong to you." He handed Alida the package. "How are you feeling, Sir?"

"Better," Zuren said, a smile lighting his face as he watched Alida unwrap 
the bundle. "Much better," he said as Alida uncovered their lightsabers and 

"I'm glad to hear that, Sir." Tor stated crisply.

Alida hooked her lightsaber to her belt. "Thank you, Lieutenant."

"When I saw them, I thought of you."  He turned to look at Octavia. "I'm 
sorry to day we only found the two."

"I have mine, Lieutenant.  Thank you," Octavia replied.

*Octavia, take the lieutenant into the other room. He may be more comfortable 
with just you.*

Octavia gave Alida a look then turned to the lieutenant. "Would you care to 
come into the living room?"

He nodded.  Alida smiled and turned her attention back to Zuren as Octavia 
and Tor passed by.

"You could have sent anyone with the bundle, why come yourself?" Octavia 

"I wanted to see you," he admitted.

"To see me?"

He looked almost. . . shy? "I wanted to apologize again."

"Can I get you something to drink, Tor?" Octavia asked.  "There is no need 
for you to apologize, you did what you were ordered to."

"Yes, please," he said. He looked at her. "I wasn't ordered to take you out, 

Octavia handed him a cup of kaff, then sat down across from him. "I'm sure it 
was an easy way to get my blood."

He sighed. "I'd hoped you weren't Force sensitive."

"I'm sorry I was a disappointment."

"No, you weren't!" he said quickly. "There's something special about you," 
Tor said, looking down at his mug.

Octavia was stunned. "I feel honored." she said at last, not knowing what to 

The man blushed. "I should go," he said. "I just wanted to drop those things 
off and make sure you were okay."

"Tor, what will you do now?" Octavia questioned.  "I mean, I haven't seen the 
security tapes.  Did they clear you as well?"

"Go back to work," he said. He shrugged. "I've been cleared and may even get 
a promotion out of all this."

Octavia smiled. "You know that the labs are a danger as long as they are 

"And I'll be in a better position to keep an eye on them."

"That would not be a bad thing," Octavia stated. "Tell me Tor, where do 
Arriodor's loyalties lie? Do the majority support the Empire or the 

"The Empire holds the edge here."

"Then you will never be safe here. Then there's Commander Lexor."

"I have no loyalties but to Arridor," he said. 

"That will still make you a target."

"Are you suggesting I leave?"

Octavia looked into her cup. "I am suggesting you be careful and ....."

"I'll be as careful as I can," he said, "but Arridor is my home. I won't 
leave it to people like Xanatos or Lexor."

"You are a brave man, Tor." Octavia rose. "I thank you for the package. You 
went searching for them for us didn't you?"

He nodded. "I am surprised, though. I hadn't actually expected to find more 
than your robes. I would have thought they would have wanted the weapons."

Octavia shook her head. "Why, when he could make his own? It was a way to 
demoralize us and to use them against us, that was all that he wanted."

"Exactly," he said. "Demoralization. I always thought a Jedi was very 
attached to their lightsaber," he said. He shrugged. 

"We are." Octavia smiled. "I know I would be lost without mine. Luckily, 
Medenna had it."

"That's what I mean," he said. "From what I've overheard you and the others 
say, it just seemed like something Xanatos would do to try to do what he 
could to hurt you."

Octavia nodded. "He's not done with us, he will be back. I just hope I can do 
what my grandfather was not able to."

Tor got to his feet, handing her the mug. "Thank you for the kaff, Octavia." 
He reached out to squeeze her hand. "Be careful going after him."

Octavia nodded covering his hand with hers. "We will meet again, I'm sure."

He smiled suddenly, releasing her hand. "I'm sure we will." Tor turned on his 
heel and was soon gone.

Octavia went back and joined Alida and Zuren. "Is there anything I can get 
for you?"

They shook their heads. 

"Gather your things, Octavia," Alida said. "We should leave this afternoon. 
Zuren believes he is up to travel. Do you?"

Octavia nodded. "I will go and check the transport. Who knows what Xanatos 
might have left there."  

She turned to go wake Medenna. "As soon as Medenna is alerted I will leave."

Silent communication passed between the older Jedi. "I will accompany you," 
Alida said.

Octavia bowed.  "I would welcome the company Alida."

Alida stood and shook out a robe. "This is yours, I believe."

Octavia smiled. "Yes, it is.  Thank you."

Handing it to Octavia, Alida shook out her own and shrugged into it.  

Octavia went to wake Medenna, to let her know what was happening.  Once that 
done she rejoined Alida. "Shall we go?"

"Keep in mind that many will not appreciate our presence here."

"Then many will be glad to know we are trying to leave."

Alida smiled and led the way from the room.

The streets were starting to come to life. The Jedi could feel eyes upon 
them, but no one made a move to talk or to confront them.

They reached the transport. Alida activated the ramp and they made their way 
inside, wary for anything that Xanatos might have left for them.

Octavia stood there for a moment then headed toward the front of the ship. 
"Something isn't right."

"I would have been surprised if everything was as it should be," Alida noted. 
"Tell me, what do you feel?"

"His presence." Octavia knelt where the engine was held. "It's going to take 
some time, but I can fix it."

"I'm sure you will."

Octavia stood and removed her cloak "If we tried to take off, the ship would 
have exploded."

"Unless Xanatos plans on having the Empire after him, he may not have planned 
on you being here for that," Alida said thoughtfully. "Be wary, Octavia. He 
may still make an attempt to get to you before we leave Arridor."

"That thought has crossed my mind." she buried the upper half of her body 
into the small crawlspace looking. "You should go back and get Zuren and 
Medenna. I should have this ready by the time you're back."

Alida had to smile at how in her element Octavia appeared to be at the 
moment. "A good idea. Be safe, Octavia. I will return shortly."

"Yes, Master. I will," Octavia answered her voice muffled.

Gathering her robe around her, Alida swept out of the transport and back 
toward the hotel, leaving the transport in Octavia's hands.

Zuren looked up at Alida as she entered. "Where is Octavia?"

"Working on the transport," she answered. "Are you and Medenna ready to go?"

Zuren nodded.

"Can you put any weight on your leg at all?" she asked. "Medenna, we need to 

"I can put some weight on it." Zuren answered as Medenna came out of her 

Alida slung the single bag remaining over her shoulder and went to help Zuren 
to his feet. "Lean on me."

"Master D'med, I can take the bag, so you will be free to help Master Zuren," 
Medenna offered.

"Thank you, Medenna," she said, removing the bag and giving it to the girl.

"I'll get the door." Medenna moved ahead, making sure there was nothing to 
cause an obstacle for the older Jedi.

Alida slid under Zuren's arm. "Be careful, Medenna," she cautioned. "We are 
not out of danger yet."

Medenna nodded, letting her senses alert her to any danger.

"What's wrong?" Zuren asked.

"The transport was tampered with," she explained. "That is what Octavia is 
working on."

Medenna stopped, turning toward the two Jedi. "The transport, was our way to 
get off Arridor, no one would question an alliance transport would they?"

"What do you mean?" Zuren asked.

"No one would question its departure, would they? If ....." Medenna paused. 
"What if Xanatos and Lexor didn't leave ... they just needed time to get off 

"Are you suggesting that they may still be on Arridor? Perhaps even onboard 
the transport?" Alida questioned.

"There have been no reports in the news about any ship taking off. No word 
that OWPR's people have left the labs. If they didn't leave the planet, then 
where would they go?" Medenna questioned.

Oh, Force. What if Xanatos had been muting his presence earlier? "We have to 
hurry," Alida said. "Octavia may be in danger."

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