"I am never coming home. You are on your own now," he answered firmly. "Alone with strangers!" Octavia yelled. "Why?" "I am dead. I was one of those Jedi that did not survive. I was a coward and they took my life...." "You were never a coward? What of grandmother Tahl?" "Oh yes...I was a coward. Your grandmother was in the wrong place at the wrong time. You should pay mind to this lesson, child -- it may be to your advantage to study some of the dark arts ... they will help you survive. You cannot hide under the shadow of this Jedi Skywalker and his little academy forever." Octavia shook her head, "The Dark corrupts ... damages you ... YOU told me that for as long as I can remember. WHY change your mind now?" "I will repeat myself, Octavia. Because of past mistakes I made as a Jedi, I am dead...you should LEARN from this and remember..." Her father paused. "Did I not teach you the saber arts?" "Yes, you taught me all I know. You gave me your father's saber." Octavia studied her father's face. "You also taught me to sense the truth, to seek out truth." "Truth? What truth?" "Truth in the world, justice ... to defend people ..." Octavia paused. "Who ... who are you?" Octavia questioned. "You .... My father believed in his way of life." She watched in silent horror as her father's face began to change; his smile became nasty; the lips changed to become thin, and pulled back to show his teeth. The face of her father slowly gave way to that of the Emperor Palpatine. His yellow eyes glowed into her soul. "What NOW my little padawan-in-training" The Emperor began to laugh; his ackle was enough to wake Octavia up. Octavia opened her eyes and stared around the room she now called hers. Sitting up and placing her head in her hands, she noticed her hands were shaking. She searched the room, expecting the Emperor to materialize out of the shadows. Octavia rose and changed her clothing It had felt so real. She decided that a walk would do her good; it would clear her mind, and she refused to go back to sleep. Suddenly her room felt very stuffy and confining in too many ways. Octavia walked around the academy. There were a few students that were up. She barely remembered nodding to them as she thought about her dream. Why did she dream about the Emperor? Did it have a meaning? Perhaps if she discussed this with Luke... She found Luke sitting by a little babbling brook under a willow tree in the temple garden. Octavia watched him sitting there and wondered if she should disturb him: after all it was just a silly dream, wasn't it? She took a step forward then stopped; it was silly to bother him. Yet she still approached him. She felt the need to talk to someone. After all, her father had told her to speak to someone if something bothered you, no matter how silly you thought it was. Her mother was the only one who disagreed with that point of view. Luke opened his eyes and looked at her, wondering what was going on. Her thoughts were very loud and chaotic in his mind. "I...I didn't mean to disturb you but... Octavia took a breath and walked closer. "I had the most disturbing dream. At least I hope it was a dream." Luke breathed slowly. "Dreams can take many forms and say many things at times. Are you willing to share it with me?" Octavia took a deep breath, feeling quite childish at being scared by a dream, but so much had changed since she had left the Electra. "Yes." She gathered her thoughts. "It started out as a strange mixture of pictures, from the Electra to the time at Port Lansing. It then changed to the dream that started all this the fight between two men in a desert. Then the arena and the gladiatorial games." Octavia fought to keep her composure. She turned and looked around the garden. "I saw my father's face and I talked to him, he said 'I am watching you, young one. I am watching you very carefully'. I asked him questions and it really seemed like he was answering me, but after a while but after a while his advice his face it changed to that of the Emperor. He stated he was watching me his eyes seemed to look right through me Why?" Octavia turned back to look at Luke. "Why would I dream that?" Luke listened quietly as dread began to rise in him. When he heard the last few words that were spoken to her in her dreams, he looked down and shook his head. "Octavia, I'd like for you to reach out with the Force into your dream-memory. What do you sense? Specifically?" Octavia held back her first response of 'What can you sense from a memory?' Slowly she let out a sigh and closed her eyes, thinking about the dream, feeling the Force slightly. She shivered. "Malice anger but there's something else enjoyment?" She paused. "I sense enjoyment." Her face showed her confusion. Luke frowned gently. "Whose malice, anger and enjoyment is it? Your own? Or someone else's?" Octavia matched Luke's frown as she thought on what she was feeling. "Someone else's," she answered at last. "Does it seem to have a sort of color about it?" Luke gently pressed. "Color?" Octavia asked. Luke nodded. "Dark, like a cloud before a storm. Who would be happy about this?" Luke sighed patiently, knowing exactly who it was. "It is most likely the Emperor toying with your mind. And since you have no defense against this kind of activity, you need to learn how to protect yourself against this sort of thing. Today." "Why would the Emperor want to toy with my mind?" Octavia questioned. "I only met him once briefly." Octavia paused. "There is a way to protect yourself from people invading your dreams?" "Octavia, the Emperor is consumed with gaining his power over everyone who shows Force potential. He wants to rule over them all and have them do as he wishes. Yes, there is a way to both deflect and to protect yourself whether awake or sleeping. I will teach you today. First we must meditate and then eat something, though. We've both had a busy week." Octavia nodded it just didn't make sense to her. "The Emperor, he's done this to everyone? I mean One man has that much power?" "Not necessarily." Luke began. "But he does seem to be quite interested in you, probably due to your lineage." "There's something about the Jinn family? Especially this Qui-Gon Jinn?" Octavia questioned. "What would make him stand out from any other Jedi?" Luke smiled at her. "You have the potential for strength in the Light side of the Force, like he did. But power or strength to the Emperor is all the same to him. He wants to convert others to the Dark Side for his own uses." "From what you've told me of the Dark Side and from what I felt in the arena. I refuse to convert; I'd die first." Luke smiled admiringly at her. "That's a good mind-set to have. Now, let's get to our meditating." Octavia listened to Luke's coaching and advice as he guided her in the art of meditation, helping her find peace and casting the fear from the dream away from her. Luke was patient in helping her achieve the actual feeling of safety and peace at least for a time. Even though Octavia listened to him, it was hard to ignore that laughter that smile. Luke felt her confusion trying to take hold, he slowly taught her how to take the fear and drive it out of her mind with the Light side of the Force's power, and keeping it inside her like a corked bottle. After a while Luke stood and motioned for Octavia to follow. Octavia followed Luke to where they could get breakfast. "I never had the chance to thank you for helping me survive the arena." Octavia stated slowly after she took a sip from the juice. Luke didn't look at her when he answered. "I wanted very much for you to survive." Luke waited, letting his words sink in before he looked at her Octavia could see that he was very serious. "I am so sorry you had to face something like that so early in your training." "I'm sure you care that way about all the students here." Octavia took a bite of the fruit that was before her. "So what do I learn today?" Nodding, Luke took another bite of his food. He chewed carefully before he answered. "Today, we will have you learn how to protect your mind from others." Luke paused. "It is an act of defense though, never for any other means." "You always stress for defense. It can be used otherwise?" Octavia questioned. She felt as if she knew the answer, but it was like reaching for something in a dream and never being able to grasp it. "Yes, in the way of the Dark, you use all power any way you choose, especially for evil and selfish purposes." Luke could sense her thoughts as they raced through Octavia's mind. "You can see the difference. Jedi are trained to be disciplined people who care for the welfare of others. Sith are those who would gain power for themselves." Octavia finished her fruit then spoke. "Can't the Sith give the impression that they care? I mean, to trick people?" "Yes, for their own purposes, you see. Once again, that would not be the best use of the Force." Luke pushed back his bowl leaving a few bites. "Sith can choose to care for some and then might not care for others." "To suit their ends or reach their goals," Octavia stated, wondering if that was what happened to her father once he left her and her mother on My'kr. But if he did, what had happened to her grandmother? "But, let us concentrate on the Light as much as possible, unless you need to know the differences between the Light and the Dark." Octavia nodded her head slowly. "I think I'm starting to see the differences. It also feels different, too, doesn't it?" Octavia paused. "I mean, the Force; there's a different feeling between the the two sides, isn't there?"
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