Welcome Home - parts 2 and 3

By Angel Grewe (June 2002)

Date: Sunday, June 09, 2002 8:46 PM

Lilith crossed through the main entryway, sensing the status of the
household through all this turmoil.  She passed through the long corridors,
guards blocking admittance to some sectors such as the interior garden.  Her
ultimate goal was the medical treatment ward, but the wash of anxiety and
anger from nearby needed addressing first.

She softened her voice to a shadowy whisper, "Your anger now is futile,
Klaw. Have you learned no better in your time here?"  She felt the inquiring
touch of his mind to hers with an additional tinge of quiet, prideful anger.
"Did you learn nothing from your trials?"  Lilith's steps finally took her
into view of the imposing white tiger lounging in one of the dark common
rooms, his twitching tail giving physical outlet for the agitation she felt
within him.

"Who are you to question what I have learned?"  A low growl accompanied the
words to her mind.

"A fellow student and teacher returning home."

"The home is no longer."

"We are no longer to live in the same house, but we will always be family,
unless you allow this trial to separate you from those you are tied to."

"I will cease to draw breath before that happens. Yet I may be too late."
The anger within him flared again against the impotence he felt.

"You sit here alone in your anger. You are allowing chaos to reign. Darana
would not be pleased."  Lilith paused for a moment to let that sink in.
"Seek out your brothers and sisters who need you, Klaw, as you need them."

"My anger is not useful. I am not able to help anyone right now until I can
master it. Even myself."

"Think of a storm ripping through a forest. The trees that survive are the
ones that bend. Be confident in yourself, save your anger to strike when
there is an enemy.  But now, it is time to bend."  She continued,
"Shattered, you will do no good for anyone."

"And from where do you draw your strength?"

Lilith took quick stock of her housemate and knew that although he would not
completely understand, nothing short of the truth would do right now.  "From
the eternal darkness. From the devourer of suns. From my knowledge of
myself, and of those whom I consider close to me."

Klaw pondered in silence, the pace of his swishing tail gradually slowing as
he regained control of his anger and anxiety.  His brow seemed to furrow as
he sniffed the air pointedly in Lilith's direction.

"Yes, I am injured.  I am on my way to the medical ward now.  Everything
will be taken care of shortly."  She answered his unvoiced question.

"Who is it that needs me?"

Lilith cast her senses again through the compound.  Most of those awake were
guards, shielded in their armor from her casual scan, but there was one
house member awake and suffering in depression despite her Jedi training.
"Seek out the young Jedi."  She included an image of the one known as Sam,
currently suspended from the exercise rings in one of the gyms.

"Perhaps I will find you again."  Klaw sent in assurance as he padded off
toward the gym.

"You will."  She continued the thought to herself, '.someday.'

She returned to the corridor and saw the two, red-cloaked guards by the
entrance to the medical bay ahead of her.  She approached them and stopped
when they barred her way.

She stated simply, "I require medical attention."

The guard to her left replied.  "What is the nature of your injury or

Without a word, Lilith closed her eyes and pushed back the deep hood of her
cloak.  The fluid-soaked gauze covering most of her face was revealed to the
dim light.  Knowing a bandage could be easily faked, Lilith unwrapped the
strips to reveal the 2nd and 3rd degree burns upon her face.  Additional
bandages could be seen extending down her neck but further view was covered
by the layered, black robes she wore.  She heard the sharp intake of breath
from the guard on her right as he took an involuntary step back.  The other
guard was already summoning the duty medic.

"Wait here.  You are not allowed unsupervised access to the bay.  The duty
medic will be here shortly."

She replaced the bandages and pulled her hood forward, not opening her eyes
until she was certain they were masked from both guards' view.

It wasn't long before she heard the sound of approaching steps.  Someone,
light on their feet, was coming at a fast jog.  Lilith scanned the mind of
the approaching doctor.  She needed to know whom she was dealing with before
submitting to any treatment.  Lilith was satisfied with what she found;
advanced knowledge, field-tested ability, integrity, and familiarity with
force-users, not to mention a stubborn streak that certainly has gotten the
good doctor into trouble before and undoubtedly will again.

Both guards snapped to attention as the young woman came into view.  She
opened the door and went through into the medical bay with hardly a pause.
"Well?  Aren't you coming?  I thought you were in need of treatment."  She
called back over her shoulder as the bay came to mechanical life around her.

Lilith couldn't help but to smile to herself as she strode through the open
doorway.  The doctor quickly shooed the guards back out as they attempted to
follow inside to the treatment ward.  "If I need your help, you'll know!
Let me work."

The guard attempted to argue, "Orders."

"Sterile environment.  Open wounds.  If you stay, you have to get out of
that armor, scrub and assist."  The doctor was adamant.

The guard saluted the doctor and returned to his post outside the door with
the other on his heels.

"Now then.  You.  Strip."  She directed Lilith as she began gathering the
tools she knew she would need.  "And the next time you want to know about my
abilities, just ask."  She glanced back over her shoulder with a reproaching
lift of her eyebrow.  "Do I make myself clear?"

"Certainly, Doctor."  Lilith answered as she was removing the several light
layers of her cloak and robes.  The last layer she removed delicately as the
open weave of the material had become attached to the gauze bandages across
her shoulders.

Seeing the bandages across her patient's face, Kirsten snatched up her scope
to test Lilith's eyes.  She was concerned they were injured, as Lilith had
not opened them yet.  "Open your eyes."  She instructed.

"My eyes are not injured, Doc."

"Open your eyes, now.  If they are not injured, then open them."  Kirsten
let loose a small sigh of exasperation.

Lilith turned her head to directly face the doctor and opened her eyes as
instructed.  Kirsten was not prepared for what she saw, but she did not show
any distress beyond an extended blink of her own eyes.  According to the
medical records, Lilith should have normal, human eyes.  Blue irises, black
pupil, white sclera, which is what she was expecting to see, perhaps with
some scratches or burns, but somehow they had been replaced with black orbs
like twin spheres of obsidian.  She triggered the light on her scope and
gazed through the magnification lens.  She was unable to discern a pupil
opening or the muscles of an iris, nothing but darkness.  As Kirsten pulled
back, she did see the reactive tears pooled on the edge of the lower eyelid.

"Are you through with shining bright lights into my eyes, Doctor?"  Lilith
blinked repeatedly from the obvious discomfort of the light.  "I am here for
you to assist me in healing these burns.  Investigating my eyes will have to
wait until later."

Kirsten frowned as she scribbled notes frantically into her datapad.  She
looked up as Lilith was removing the field-treatments from her neck.  "What
happened to you?"
The doctor inquired in a somewhat softer tone as she put down the datapad to
assist in the removal of the bandages that covered her patient's shoulders,
chest, arms, and hands.  Once removed, she realized the pattern of burns was
highly unusual for their severity.  Sharp lines of contrast showed where
exposed skin had been burned, but the pale flesh hidden beneath a simple
tank-top shirt had not.  Even Lilith's scalp had been burned, yet her hair
was untouched.

"Consider it a sunburn."  Lilith answered and then continued, "We both know
I don't have the time to sit in a tank of bacta.  Through the force, I am
able to sculpt flesh, but not heal it.  For that I need your expertise.
Working together, I should be able to walk out of here burn and scar-free in
a relatively short amount of time."

The doctor was already shaking her head.  "I'm afraid I cannot allow you to
use that measure of force ability here.  Your life is not in jeopardy at
this point, and as a household member, it is forbidden."  She answered as
she was probing the burned flesh and cutting away the tissue too damaged to
repair.  She stopped what she was doing and looked up into Lilith's face.
"How are you coping with the pain?"

"I have temporarily severed the transmitting nerve clusters from the damaged
areas of my body.  Please, no sedatives or pain relievers.  I need to remain

The communications unit on the medical console hissed to life as Captain
Lamont's voice boomed in the quiet confines of the bay.  "Doctor Pride, the
Emperor wishes to see your patient as soon as she is through with you

"Captain, if you wish the Lady Lilith to be able to see the Emperor this
week, you will need to allow her to use the force to assist in healing."
There was a long pause of silence from the console as Lamont was more than
likely checking over Lilith's personal record.

"Approved; however, the situation is being monitored and any unusual
activity will cause the force-dampers to be put online in the bay.

"Yes, Captain."  They answered in unison.

"Prepare yourself.  I know what to do."  Kirsten pre-empted Lilith before
she could say a word.  She pointed toward the examination table as she
pulled open the cabinets gathering the compounds and tools she required as
well as the amino acids, glucose, and saline she knew Lilith's body would
devour during this process.

Lilith carefully watched what chemicals the doctor was pulling from the
cabinets.  If they wanted her dead, incapacitated or in chains, they would
have already made their move.  She had already decided to trust Dr. Pride
for this meeting so she sat upon the table and began to focus within.  Of
course, that didn't mean that she trusted anyone else here.  She staged
internal defenses and traps within her mind before focusing on her damaged
physical body.

It seemed as though an eternity had passed as she finally reconnected the
neural transmitters she had previously severed to stop the intense pain.
The dull ache of her muscles and skin newly reformed confirmed the proper
connections were re-established.  "Well done, Doctor.  Thank you."  Lilith
opened her eyes and rooted herself with her current location through the
dark tides of the force as she has become accustomed.

"You really should be resting."  Kirsten glanced with agitation at the
dormant droids in the corner as she set to cleaning up the considerable mess
that had accumulated over the last three hours.

Lilith slowly made it to her feet, then to the stand that held her clothing
and began to dress.  "Well, "rest" right now will consist of a shower and
fresh clothing.  I mustn't keep the Emperor waiting much longer."

Kirsten went to one of the locked medicine cabinets and after a brief search
pulled out an ointment tube.  "Take this, for your skin.  It will be very
sensitive for the next few days."

Lilith nodded as she accepted the prescription.  "I hope to work with you
again, Dr. Pride, though not under the same conditions."  She inclined her
head toward Kirsten, her face again obscured by the folds of her robes.

Kirsten furrowed her brow for a moment.  "Under the circumstances, I take
that as a compliment.  You're not like any of the rest of the Sith I have
worked with before, are you."

Though the question was rhetorical, Lilith answered as she left the room,
"No, I'm not."

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