Nyssa stared at the hawk on the window sill then finally turned to face Alida. "Why are you here?"
"Because I am concerned for you." Alida answered.
"Is that why you brought up my connection to the hawk at dinner? The minimal usage of the Force?"
Alida sighed. "You're going to harm yourself, Lady C'rman. Why are you insisting on utilizing the Force when you know what it may very well do to you at this time?"
"There's no guarantee that it won't happen anyway." Nyssa turned to face the window again. "I made the wrong choice and as far as Lady Alderson is concerned that's all I ever will do."
Alida shook her head. "Why do you say that?"
"You were here, you heard. She was displeased when Lord Alderson claimed my life, she would have preferred that I was executed."
"Please enlighten me. I do not recall her saying any such thing."
"You weren't there to see her displeasure when he announced it." Nyssa rose and walked to the window. "I don't blame her she is ... protective of her son and her people."
"When he announced it has nothing to do with how she feels now, now does it? What I heard was that she considers you an important member of his protection team, as his aide."
Nyssa nodded, "And that is where I will be, he has others to oversee his protection."
"That does not mean you are to step completely out of the way, child," Alida said. "The Lady said you needed training, did she not?"
"I have been receiving that training, Ms. D'med, and it has served no function in aiding in my protection, therefore it will not aide in Lord Alderson's."
"You did not listen at all to what Lady Alderson said. I believe she made note of the fact that the training you will require is rather different from the training you already receive."
Nyssa remained silent, her stance quite still. "Perhaps, but I will not seek it."
"Because if I continue this way I will get him and his family killed. I need to learn my place and I had to no right to speak to the queen as I did."
"So you would rather continue to be unprepared?" Alida came up next to her. "I'm not following your logic in this. If the training is offered and it would benefit you and Lord Alderson for you to be trained, why would you refuse?"
"I ... cannot speak of it, Ms. D'med ... I will seek to be nothing more than Lord Alderson's aide. In that capacity I will serve."
"I see," Alida said. She turned to go.
"You are disappointed?"
She looked back. "I had not thought you would be one to accept defeat so easily."
Nyssa turned and looked at her. "If I thought I was defeated, Ms. D'med, you would soon be witnessing my execution."
Alida frowned. "Please, explain?"
"I followed Lady Alderson when she left the grounds, through my friend on the sill." Nyssa turned and looked at Alida. "Surely you understand, Ms. D'med. Like you, I have a way out if I wish it. An attack on the queen would not go unanswered ... it is considered treason."
"Suicide, in that case," Alida said, shaking her head.
Nyssa shook her head. "No, suicide could be overlooked, could be explained ..."
"No, Nyssa," Alida said. "What you just said... that would be the same as suicide, attempting something with the express purpose of having your life forfeited." She stepped back. "That you could even suggest such a thing..." Alida huffed. "I can't even begin to imagine what would possess you to consider harming Lord Alderson in such a way?"
"That is why I have not acted, him and my nephew."
"It is good to know you have some concept of what that would do to others. But you've actually given this thought, child?" After what she had seen of Nyssa and her interaction with the Alderson clan, Alida had a hard time believing the woman would be capable of such action, even after Tara Alderson's... emotional display.
"I have had plenty of time to sit here and think, Ms. D'med, and now I have even more time." She opened the window and watched as the hawk flew in and perched on the arm of her chair. "He is almost like the one ..." Nyssa frowned as she tried to remember something that seemed to elude her.
"Like what one, Nyssa?" Alida's voice was gentle. She was genuinely concerned for Nyssa's state of mental well-being.
Nyssa shook her head. "I ... can't remember. It's part of those memories I will never have again."
Alida nodded, looking at the hawk. "The doctors should be here soon," she noted.
"Of course." Nyssa sat down. "I'm sure they will come prepared. Lady Woven-Alderson has ordered the drug that will keep me force null with orders to sedate me if I resist. She like you thinks I'm a danger to myself."
"Aren't you?" Alida asked softly. "You must let yourself heal."
"I will have plenty of time to heal, Ms. D'med. Lord Alderson will see to that."
Alida put a hand on Nyssa's shoulder. "Can't you accept that everyone is concerned about you?"
"Then why do you seem as if you resent it?"
"I don't resent it."
"Then what is it?" Alida asked.
Nyssa shook her head.
"You don't want to talk about it or you can't?"
"That's why you're sitting here brooding. Over nothing?" Nyssa didn't answer and Alida gave Nyssa's shoulder a gentle squeeze. "If you do wish to talk, you know where I am."
"I know." Nyssa stood with her eyes, closed enjoying the breeze as it touched her skin. She didn't acknowledge when Alida left nor did she see the former Jedi Master shake her head.
Alida walked down the hallway and noticed Tara entering her rooms. The woman's dark mood still was flowing off her yet it wasn't as turbulent as before. Alida went to Tara's door, took in a breath and knocked.
Tara dropped her head as she heard a knock at her door. Setting the plate down she called out, "Enter," wondering who it was now.
Alida stepped inside and gave Tara a bow. "My Lady."
"Alida. What is it?" She looked at Alida concerned.
The other woman gave her a small smile. "I just wanted to see how you were doing."
Tara took a deep breath, slightly on edge, "Thank you for your concern. Was there anything else?"
"No." Alida answered, but she did not move.
Tara nodded and sat at the table she had been standing near, glancing ever so quickly at the unmoving female refusing to be dismissed.
Alida laced her hands together in front of her. "How are you doing?"
Tara raised an eyebrow, "I am fine." She replied rather matter-of-factly; just now realized what she must have allowed to accompany Xanatos to the marketplace, whether he wanted to or not.
"I see," Alida said archly with a nod to Tara. "Very well. I bid you goodnight, then."
A smile replaced Tara's arched eyebrow, "Yes goodnight. I will be meeting with Octavia and Lord Du'Cruet shortly, you may wish to save your concern for her afterwards, Ms. D'med." The smiled faded as she spoke.
Alida stopped and turned to face Tara. "I see... and is it that you plan on taking out your anger and frustration on Octavia for something she had little to no control over?"
Tara rose, angered, "How dare you accuse me of such a thing...leave me before I do something we both might regret later."
"I accuse you of nothing," Alida said, looking up at Tara. "I asked a question, I did not level an accusation."
Her eyes snapped as she worked to relax her jaw, "Questions are easily accusations, Alida D'med. As for Octavia, we will see what she has to say for herself."
"If you choose to hear them that way," Alida said calmly as she stepped back. "I am certain that, as in all things, you will be fair when it comes to dealing with Lady Kyrsk."
Tara took two steps towards Alida, her eyes narrowed, "Such a quick retake of your perfectly innocent question, Alida."
Alida raised an eyebrow. "Retake? No, Lady Alderson, not at all. However, consider your own words... how else am I to hear them but as a possible threat against Octavia?"
Tara advanced right up to Alida. "The very fact you think I would do such a thing regardless of how poorly my words were chosen leads me to believe you think I would, then to in your next breath..." She paused, her voice holding a very sharp edge as she continued, "Attempting to reassure me that you believe me to be fair...WHAT GAME do you play at?"
The older woman did not back away. Instead, she kept her eyes trained on Tara's, meeting the Sith's sharp glare with dark, placid eyes, her own gaze never wavering.
"I play at no game. I am concerned," Alida said, her voice still holding that same irritating note of calm. "Perhaps I've chosen my own words poorly, it would not be the first time. But I am well aware that the Shardakourian version of 'fair' can be far more painful than most cultures."
"Your concern has an odd way of being shown, JEDI," Tara snarled.
"It is the only way I know," Alida said quietly.
"But it is not the way Octavia Kyrsk has chosen of her own free will to follow," she growled, still meeting Alida's gaze, "She was WELL aware of the risks she took when swearing her loyalty to Telos and Lord Du'Cruet so you have NO RIGHT to question our fairness regardless of your personal feelings.....keep to your place." She snapped the last out bitterly.
Alida's jaw tightened slightly and she looked at Tara. "Forgive me for forgetting my place, Lady Alderson. I will endeavor to keep such a thing from happening again." Finally, she stepped back.
"Good." she remarked, noting the tightness of Alida's jaw with some small amount of satisfaction. "Now go before I decide to have YOU lashed for insubordination."
Alida gave her a formal bow and then turned, her bearing stiff.
Tara watched, silent, as Alida left the room. After the door closed, Tara glanced back at the table and her untouched sandwich. Ignoring it, she turned instead and walked over to collapse on the bed, tears streaking down her cheeks.
Xanatos' eyes narrowed, listening as Christine explained that Tara had decided Alida was to be present while they dealt with Octavia, but was not to intervene at all.
"Trust me, my love...and if the Jedi nature in her attempts to intervene, be more concerned for what our cousin will do to her," Christine assured him.
"That is what concerns me." Xanatos shook his head. "Jedi are... troublesome."
"Yes they are, but these two are not Jedi and simply need retraining." She smiled brightly at Xanatos and kissed his cheek. "Which tasks our patience more than we might care."
"The problem my love is they think like Jedi." He smiled at her. "You have a way to curb my anger, which might keep Jinn alive a little longer."
She chuckled, "Well they currently think like Jedi, the task is ours to make sure they don't...at least Octavia is ...well was? trying to expand her own horizons...I have faith you will learn her intent in this instance."
Xanatos reached for her hand. "I will learn the truth, yes. She will hide nothing from me."
Christine smiled at him as he took her hand, "I know....you will do well by her and us."
"I will do what is best for us and for our people." He took in a breath. "They've landed I should let our cousin know."
She nodded, bringing his hand up to kiss it. "All will be well."
He nodded. *My Lady, they have landed and will be here shortly,* he sent to Tara.
*Good. I will meet you in your office. I must collect Alida.* Tara said the last in a much darker irritated tone, clearly not pleased with Alida.
*I await you both,* he sent to her, keeping his tone even. He turned to Christine. "You're right, my love, our cousin isn't pleased with Alida at all."
Christine nodded, "No she isn't. Tara is...well let's just say Alida tread very thin ground unknowingly."