Waylaid 2

by Phaedra Whitlock, Dana Terry and R.J. Miller

"That smells good," Kali commented as she stood.  "This is a beautiful 
place."  She took a moment to inhale deeply, the aroma of the stew mingling 
with the scent of the grasses and flowers they were surrounded by. 

"I'm glad you approve," her Master said with a small smile.  She handed 
Kaliandra a bowl and motioned for her to sit down.  "The Meditation Gardens 
at the Temple were a lot like this," Master Alida commented as she sat down 
across from Kali.  "There were fountains scattered throughout the Gardens, as 

Master Alida's eyes took on a faraway look for a moment, one Kaliandra knew 
well.  The woman was remembering things and people from long before Kali had 
even been born.  Things that would never be again.  Even if the Alliance did 
manage to defeat the Empire, the Jedi Order that Master Alida remembered had 
been decimated. 

Her Master's eyes refocused and she smiled again.  "Well, we shall see what 
Yavin holds for us, Padawan." 

"We're not going to stay there, are we?" Kaliandra asked somewhat anxiously.   
The memory of the turmoil she had felt in so many of those at Port Lansing 
was still strong and it had made her uncomfortable. 

"As in everything, it is as the Force leads."  Master Alida set down her bowl 
of stew and picked up a mug.  Steam wafted from the hot liquid inside as she 
lifted it to her lips.  Putting it down again, she continued.  "Your 
shielding skills could use some work, Kali.  You have done well, but there 
was little chance for practical application of those skills on Almas.  On 
Yavin, you will be surrounded by Jedi.  Port Lansing was harder because of 
the number of those there who were agents of Darkness.  Even then, you did 

She smiled quickly.  "Thank you, Master," she acknowledged the praise as she 
picked up her own mug.  The tea it held was beginning to cool as the 
temperature on the planet's surface dropped.  She sipped at the somewhat 
spicy liquid, savoring the flavor as it danced over her tongue.   

"Finish your meal and then get some sleep.  Tomorrow, we will begin working 
through our katas early," Master Alida said.  She motioned toward the small 
shelter she had set up next to their ship.  "If we do not hear from Yavin, we 
will spend most of tomorrow exploring." 

"Exploring?"  Kali knew her eyes lit up at that.  To be able to just explore 
this green, fascinating world would be amazing.  "I'm looking forward to 

Master Alida chuckled.  "I thought you might."  The older woman stood and 
stretched.  "I am turning in.  Do not be long, Padawan.  You will need your 
rest if we are to explore as much as I think you want to." 

Kaliandra grinned.  "Yes, Master."  She watched as her Master ducked into the 
shelter, then Kali settled back to listen to the sounds of the insects and 
small creatures that made this park their home.  She would go to bed soon, 
but for now, this was nice. 


The shelter rocked violently, startling Alida awake.  She shot up, her hand 
dropping to her lightsaber.  Next to her, Kaliandra mimicked her actions.   
Her Padawan's golden eyes had gone wide, full of confusion, but there was no 
fear there. 

"We're under attack," Alida said softly, gathering up the packs she had 
placed inside the shelter.  "I want you to take this and run.  Get to the 
city and get onto a shuttle to Yavin." 

"But, Master!"   

Alida spoke rapidly, hearing troops approach, "Remember your training and 
trust the Force."  She shoved the girl forward.  "Go!"  They broke from the 
shelter, each in an opposite direction as blaster bolts lit the night. 

Her red blade drew colorful arcs through the darkness as she blocked one bolt 
after another.  Alida shot a look over her shoulder.  Kaliandra's amethyst 
blade flashed as the girl deflected the blaster bolts aimed at her.  Alida 
frowned.  In the darkness, their lightsabers were simply beacons, drawing 
troops toward them, even as they tried to repel the attack.   

She continued to fight, trying to make her way towards the trees surrounding 
the clearing where they had located their camp.  Another glance over her 
shoulder showed no indication of her Padawan within the clearing.  There!  A 
bright spot of color gleamed in the trees, moving away from the camp.  Good.   
The girl would make it.  She had to.  Force protect her. 


Kaliandra paused, breathing heavily.  She eyed the scorch mark along her 
sleeve.  That last one had been much too close.  She reached out, touching 
her Master's presence in the Force.  Master Alida was still fighting, still 
running.  The Padawan took a moment to center herself, calming herself.  She 
would not fight well if she allowed her emotions to take over.  There would 
be time for that later, once they were safe.   

Something crashed through the bushes.  Animals of some sort?  Wonderful.  Not 
only did they have to deal with bipedal attackers, they had the four legged 
varieties after them, as well.  Kaliandra suppressed a shudder.  Their 
attackers were strong with the Dark Side; evil lay over the area, as thick 
and heavy as a blanket.   


Kali whirled around.  The man standing behind her wore a smug smirk of 
superiority.  She frowned.  He'd sneaked up on her?  Somehow he must have 
managed to mask his presence in the Force.  How many others like him were 
there?  She brought her blade to bear, the blade casting a violet light over 
the surrounding vegetation. 

"You're ours now, Jedi," he hissed, making a small motion with his hand.   
Four of the meanest looking creatures Kali had ever seen approached, 
surrounding her.  She swallowed, but the lightsaber in her hand never 
wavered.  She eyed the creatures warily, waiting for the attack she knew was 

The first attacked and she rolled out of its way.  Too late, she realized 
that was exactly what it had wanted her to do.  Another of the creatures was 
waiting for her.  She twisted, trying to avoid the claws that raked out at 
her.  Kali failed in the attempt and she hit the ground, her lightsaber 
extinguishing briefly, then re-igniting as she rolled to her feet once more.   
She ignored the pain in her arm and shoulder as she came back up ready to 

The man laughed.  "A nice move, Jedi, but that won't help you.  Give up while 
you still can." 

She tuned him out, focusing on the creatures.  So much for a nice, peaceful 
planet.  The inane thought crossed her mind just as the four attacked at 
once.  She scored a few hits with her weapon, but it wasn't enough.  There 
were too many of them for her to deal with at once.  One of them swatted the 
lightsaber from her hand as it knocked her onto her back in the dirt.   
Breathing heavily, she looked up at the jaws and teeth looming over her and 
she prepared for death. 


Alida continued to deflect blast bolts back at her attackers.  She hit at 
least two of them fatally, the rest she thought might live.  But she was 
tiring.  There were so many and they just kept coming.  All she had to do was 
keep as many of them occupied as she could while her Padawan affected an 
escape.  Suddenly, the attack stopped. 

"Put down your lightsaber or the girl dies!"  The voice echoed across the 
clearing, sending Alida's heart into her throat.  No.  They couldn't have 
Kaliandra.  Invectives in a dozen languages flowed through her mind as she 
turned slowly to face the voice. 

Her Padawan was being held by two humans and they were surrounded by four 
creatures Alida had only heard of.  Forvalaka.  Kali's tunic was torn and 
bloody and the girl's eyes were glassy, probably from the pain.  Alida 
frowned.  She had no choice.  She couldn't let them hurt Kaliandra any 
further.  Powering down her lightsaber, Alida reached out toward her Padawan, 
using the Force to try to ease the girl's pain.  She placed the weapon on the 
ground in front of her, glaring at their attackers.  "Let her go," she said 
quietly.  "She's only a girl, she has nothing you want." 

They laughed.  She couldn't blame them, but it had been worth the try.  She 
didn't move as a woman approached, her eyes battle-hardened and angry.  Alida 
felt the cold prick of a hypospray against her neck and then she felt nothing 
at all. 


Kali woke up gradually, her entire body aching fiercely.  She glanced down at 
herself as she tried to push herself into a seated position.  The last thing 
she could remember was her Master dropping to the dirt on the other side of 
the clearing.  Their attackers must have drugged them.  She reached out with 
the Force and felt…nothing.  Nothing at all.  Kali took a deep breath, trying 
to corral the panic she felt building inside.  She'd never before been unable 
to reach the Force.  It had always been there for her, an ever-present 
comfort.  Slowly, she got her emotions back under control, allowing her to 
look around rationally.  The clothes she had worn had been replaced by an 
institutional looking jumpsuit.  Not surprisingly, her lightsaber was 

She did a quick assessment of her own physical well-being.  Her wounds had 
been given some basic treatment, so they wouldn't fester, thank the Force for 
small favors.  It still hurt, however.   

The room she was in was probably equipped with some kind of Force-dampeners, 
she realized.  Oh, this day was just getting better and better.  She sighed 
and dropped to her knees.  Meditation without the Force would be difficult, 
but not impossible. 


Jumpsuit.  Force-dampening cell.  Missing weapon.  Alida sighed.  Some things 
never changed.  She'd been in this position once before, as a young Knight.   
However, at that time she'd been alone.  This time, she was missing 
something.  Someone.  Her Padawan.  The girl had been injured and in great 
pain the last time Alida had seen her.  Not knowing Kaliandra's location left 
the Master unsettled. 

She passed the day in meditation.  As much as it pained her, there was little 
else Alida could do.  She only hoped her apprentice was able to find similar 


"Get up." 

Alida complied slowly, eyeing the young man giving the order as she rose from 
the floor. 

"Turn around." 

Reluctantly, she followed his direction, uncomfortable with turning her back 
on him.  Rough hands grabbed her arms, securing her hands behind her back.   
Another hypospray bit into her neck.  "What was that?" she asked. 

"Force inhibitor," he said with a touch of glee.  "Short term, but it serves 
our purpose.  This," he chuckled as he produced another spray.  "Makes you a 
lot easier for me to handle." 

She frowned as the contents of the hypospray were emptied into her and her 
vision began to darken.  Not again. 


Kaliandra's eyes snapped open.  Darkness surrounded her.  She couldn't move, 
but she couldn't feel anything either.  A tiny curl of panic started in her 
belly, but it dissipated quickly.  Okay, she could handle this, whatever this 

There was still no Force.  There was also no light, no sound, no sensation 
other than that of immobility.  She inhaled, at least she wasn't having any 
trouble breathing.  These people were real big on knocking you out, she 
mused.  The guard had come into her cell, given her two quick hyposprays and 
then she'd awakened here.  If she even was awake. 


It had been years since Alida had been inside a sensory deprivation tank.   
She was fairly certain that was where she was.  Why?  What possible reason 
could there be for this?   

She heaved a mental sigh.  Well, she had told Kaliandra that excitement 
sought out the Jedi often enough.  She just hadn't thought it would find them 
so quickly. 

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