Xanatos paced in his office. He knew that they had arrived at the spaceport. Soon he would have answers. He turned as his door opened, Tara and Alida entered. "Lady Alderson." He greeted. He watched as Alida walked over and knelt in the corner
"Lord Du'Cruet." Tara returned the greeting and sat in the chair she had claimed as hers. "How much longer?"
Xanatos watched as Tara ignored Alida and he wondered what the woman had done. Focusing his mind on Damien he inquired their ETA.
*Come straight to my office, we're waiting,* he informed Damien, then turned to face Tara. "They are at the gates now, My Lady."
Tara nodded. "I will be glad when this is over with."
"So will I. This has gone on long enough." Xanatos stated
Tara nodded in agreement. "And Darth Aingidh arrives tomorrow?"
Xanatos turned toward the door. "Yes, I will go over security functions with Damien before then the guards have already been alerted. Patrols have been increased."
"We can not afford an incident with him here, related to him or not." She glanced at the door as she felt Damien and his party approach.
Xanatos noted the deep calming breath his aide had taken as she entered then bowed and greeted both himself and the Lady Alderson. He also noted the brief flash of surprise upon seeing Alida kneeling in the comer. To her credit, Octavia managed to quell it and focus on the meeting at hand.
Behind Octavia, Damien Alderson followed suit, also bowing and greeting Xanatos and his mother and then giving a sideways glance at Alida.
"Lord Alderson." Xanatos acknowledged as Damien took his place by the door. Setting aside distracting thoughts, the angry Lord turned to the reason for the visit, " Statesman Kyrsk, explain to me what happened?"
"I am not sure Lord Du'Cruet." Octavia answered slowly, the anger and hatred rolling off Xanatos was worse than she had imagined on her way here.
"NOT sure?" Xanatos hissed lashing out bringing Octavia to her knees with a cry of pain. "You were there as my representative, my voice how could you not KNOW?" he asked bringing more pressure on her.
*Alida...are you alright?* Damien sent to her as he stood near the door, he would remain here until he was dismissed or called upon. Damien kept his eyes looking straight ahead. He gave no sign of his surprise at Alida's silence and held back a frown, wondering what had happened.
"My ... Lord. I have only suspicions why Arridor was attacked." Octavia answered slowly, trying to counter the pressure she was feeling to keep her thoughts straight.
"Then you have an idea," Xanatos pressed.
Tara watched, dropping into a forced calm emotionless state herself.
"I believe it has to do with the transmissions between myself and the Jedi."
"You placed everything that I have at risk the safety of my allies at risk." Xanatos hissed, moving to stand in front of Octavia resisting the urge to slowly strangle her the way he did Governor Brimmer when he first returned to Telos.
"I was only thinking of helping Arridor." Octavia thought her head was going to explode from the pressure Xanatos continued to apply.
"How by having it occupied by the Empire?" Xanatos asked. "One Jedi ... you informed me of you contacting Skywalker, how does one Jedi turn into forty?"
"It was to be 200 Lord Du'Cruet." Octavia answered sharply. "I ... talked them down to 40."
"Talked them down, you negotiated with them?" Xanatos accused. "Why? Why not ask for help in turning them away?"
"I trusted in Master Skywalker’s understanding of the situation," Octavia answered slowly controlling the sob of pain that threatened to escape. She looked up at Xanatos. "I … was wrong." She stretched out her hand to the floor, steadying herself.
Xanatos pulled his anger under control, resisting the urge to lash out. He could feel Tara watching them and was thankful that she wasn't intervening.
”You trusted him ... a Jedi." Xanatos stated. "No trust in me, in Lady Alderson in our ability to provide the help the protection that Arridor needed."
"I take full responsibility Lord Du'Cruet in my actions as well as my decisions," Octavia stated.
Tara's eyes narrowed.
"You betrayed me, betrayed Telos, your oath." Xanatos' voice dropped.
"Lord Du'Cruet, no one but the Governor knew they were coming. I took every precaution possible, each one was encrypted."
"You haven't told her?" Tara inquired of Xanatos, her voice cold.
"The transmissions were intercepted by Cairnfell." Xanatos hissed. "She was waiting on them to arrive."
Octavia glanced at Tara then to Xanatos. "Then I am responsible ..." her mind filled with the citizens of Arridor scared and unsure as the injured began to arrive as word of a space battle reached them. They had all thought invasion.
Tara raised an eyebrow, looking between Du'Cruet and Octavia.
"I should have never sent you to Arridor without proper training." Xanatos' tone still held an edge
"I agreed to keep you informed. My transmissions were not informative enough to give you a clear picture. I took your warning of using my judgment as authority to proceed."
Tara sat back and nodded.
"For that I should take your life." Xanatos hissed.
Damien remained prepared for any reaction out of Octavia or Alida; one didn't threaten someone's life with out being prepared for defensive actions from the person being threatened.
Octavia glanced at Damien then back to Xanatos, her father's word from her dream came back to her 'run' she remained kneeling as she looked up at Xanatos. "I knew of that possibility when I agreed to come with Lord Alderson." Octavia stated evenly.
"The Jinn calm." Xanatos stated.
"It's an inbred Jedi thing." Tara quipped. Glancing at Alida, she noticed that the former Jedi Master remained calm and unmoving. As her eyes drifted back to Xanatos, she noted her son was suppressing a look of surprise of her statement.
"Yes, one that needs to be removed." Xanatos agreed smiling as Tara nodded in agreement.
"Their faith in us and trusting us with their emotions is limited."
"Tell me your reasons for contacting the JEDI Octavia." Xanatos ordered.
"I stated my reasons to you, to set their minds at ease."
"Their minds?" Xanatos accused. "Or your MASTER'S?" Xanatos hissed bringing the force down upon Octavia forcing her to fall forward letting out a groan of pain as she fought to pull the force around her countering Xanatos' attack.
Alida tensed, sensing Octavia's resistance but she did not make a move.
"You will tell me what I require." He brought more pressure on her, feeling her countering with the Force. "Your transmissions never mentioned forty Jedi, let alone 200."
Tara raised an eyebrow, "It was sent," she looked at Octavia, also focusing on the woman's reaction to Lord Du'Cruet's words.
"The one mentioning ... 40 was sent ... I meant no deceit." Octavia's breath was short, memories of Arridor and the battle for her life in the labs urging her to defend herself … her unborn child.
Damien frowned, suppressing the urge to tell Octavia to relax and not resist.
"Lower your shields Octavia," Xanatos. "Give me the information I require. Show me what happened while you were on Arridor." His tone strong.
Octavia closed her eyes in concentration. "No … I will ... not leave myself open to your attack."
"You refuse me?" he looked at Tara. He didn't really want to kill Octavia, but she was leaving him no choice.
Damien stepped forward, "My Lord ... if I may?" he asked ignoring his mother's raised eyebrows. Getting the nod from Xanatos he knelt next to Octavia. "Ms. Kyrsk, you understand that your actions have assisted in placing Telos at risk?"
"Yes, I know they did ... It was not my intention."
"You have come to Telos without argument and have sworn your loyalty here ... what is done now is to clear up potential misunderstandings. Open your shields and let your Lord know what you have seen, thought and felt, there is no attack only the search for the truth here ... Lord Du'Cruet's anger is justified, but allow him the respect and opportunity to place his anger justly."
Octavia looked at Damien, he sounded sincere and his words held the ring of truth. She had given up her right to oppose Xanatos when she swore loyalty to him. She wasn't a Jedi student any longer … she was Du'Cruet's statesman, the wife of Captain Kyrsk. She turned her glance to Xanatos.
"Forgive me Lord Du'Cruet ..." Octavia spoke softly. "I misunderstood your intentions."
Damien rose and bowed to Xanatos before he stepped back to his place by the door. Xanatos watched Damien briefly then turned back to Octavia. He felt her shields lowered, and moved swiftly into her mind taking the memories and events that led up to this event. Once gaining what he desired he made sure that he established a link with her, he would find her, know what she thought whenever he deemed it.
"She took as much precaution as she could." He informed Tara, releasing the Force pressure on Octavia, smiling as she fought to keep her balance.
"And the transmission you did not receive what she sent?" Tara inquired.
"She sent a transmission asking for advice, she was concerned about the effects of so many Jedi on Arridor." Xanatos looked back at Octavia briefly. "She didn't wish their presence to cause us difficulty, she imposed her will on the press to delay their reports in case of problems."
Tara nodded, "So she did try."
"Yes, I cannot fault her for transmission that do not reach me, though tha is not a question since we now share a link, that excuse will never be usable again." He paused slightly. "Mrs. Kyrsk did assure Governor Zelek that both Telos and Shardakour would do what they could to protect Arridor. She took full responsibility of her actions at all times." The Lord of Telos moved and retook his seat noticing that Tara nodded in agreement with him. Giving Octavia hard look he continued. "Your citizenship is now Telosian you hold an office of authority, and you have married one of the Governor's personal guardsman ... you cannot view the Jedi as you did before, you are very visible by all to see."
"I understand Lord Du'Cruet ... I only thought of the here and now not the long range effects ... as Lady Alderson pointed out I did not fully trust either you or her regardless of my words to the Governor and those on Arridor. My actions here also prove that I still hold some mistrust."
Xanatos nodded. "The past is hard to let go," he mused softly.
Tara looked at Octavia in mild surprise, but then as Xanatos said the past is hard to let go, she decided to remain silent.
"I am aware my actions and lack of long term vision cost you both dearly an has jeopardized he relations with Arridor." Octavia stated looking at both Tara then Du'Cruet. "I am prepared to accept without question or resistance whatever action you desire to take." she kept her tone as even as she could through the link she now shared she could feel the anger and hatred that burned in Xanatos.
Tara watched Xanatos closely. His reaction would reflect upon Tara, even in Alida's eyes.
"That is something that should not be made in haste." Xanatos answered looking at Tara forcing himself into a state of calm. "I need to talk to Lady Alderson about your future, her world was placed in danger as well. There are facts that need to be weighed and considered. Such as this missing transmission."
Tara nodded to her cousin, "Yes I have the council to answer and explain why this whole thing occurred and to reassure them they are not next."
Du'Cruet nodded. "For now your room is prepared and I'm sure your husband will want to know you arrived safely without incident. Lord Alderson may I impose upon you to see Mrs. Kyrsk to medical then to her room."
Damien blinked in surprise at the request of medical. "Yes, My Lord." He stepped forward and offered his hand to help Octavia up.
Octavia took it. "I'm not injured, My Lord."
Tara looked at Xanatos questioningly.
Xanatos nodded. "You will do as I instruct, in your time away from us you've had a house fall on you, as well as lack of sleep and tension over this affair with the Jedi and the attack. I wish to make sure you as well as the child you carry are safe. No more assumptions."
Alida started in surprise at the news of Octavia's pregnancy.
Damien smiled at Octavia as she rose to her feet.
"Congratulations Octavia." Tara stated with a smile.
"Yes, My Lord, no more assumptions. Thank you, Lady Alderson." Bowing to them both, she turned to leave glancing at Alida briefly.
Damien held the door for her and waited until she left before he shut the door behind them, leaving his mother, Lord Du'Cruet and Alida D'med behind in the office.
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