Octavia woke to find herself in a cell, she was in a panic to be without the force, it reminded her of Myrkyr where she grew up not feeling the force after her father died. Her mother made sure that she was shielded from that and led to believe that her father was full of lies and tricks. Octavia glanced around once more before she reached out for the Force only to be met with emptiness. Pushing her panic down once, Octavia closed her eyes only to hear a rustling in the next cell. "Are you ok?" A female voice called out softly. Opening her eyes, Octavia rose to pace the small cell. "I believe so." she paused. "What about you? Do you know where we are?" "It looks like a cell on Port Lansing Station." "Unfortunately." Octavia replies. "Why are you here?" More rustling could be heard as the other girl sat against Octavia's wall. "Bad luck and a high midichlorian count. You?" Octavia leaned against the wall and smiles. "About the same I think. My name is Octavia .. yours?" "Celesta." Octavia thought of the conflict and wondered how the Alliance was fairing. She should have been more careful and not worrying about Victoria. "How long have you been here?" "I'm not sure. Time slips away after awhile." "You've not been questioned?" Octavia questioned. "A few times." Octavia sat down as she forced the fear away. She had thought she was dead last night being surrounded by Tara Alderson and her supporters. "I see. What are they looking for from you?" "Surrender. I don't want to be a Sith. At least, I don't think so." A slight pause. "My mother was a Jedi." "Then hang on to that. That will give you strength." "It gets hard, in this place." Octavia nodded understanding Celesta's feelings. "Keep your focus on the here and now and on pleasant thoughts.. Don't let them wear you down. Trust the Force." Celesta looked around the barren metal cell hopelessly. "Help me." "I will do what I can." Octavia answered slowly looking around her own cell. What could she do to help anyone, she couldn't even help herself Celesta nodded, then realized Octavia couldn't see it. "Thank you." "My father always stated that dispair is the way to defeat yourself. Even though we can't feel the Force here, it's still there. Keep your focus on that and not what might come." "Your father sounds wise." Octavia smiled at his memory his voice. "I thought he was. I miss him." "Where is he?" "He's dead. He left to get his mother to a safe place, and never came back." "Oh." Octavia shut her eyes letting her head hit the wall. "Where is your mother?" "Dead. She died a few years ago with my... my dad." "I'm sorry to hear that." "Your mother?" "I have no idea, she left me on Myrkyr when I was eight." "Myrkyr? " "It's a planet that blocks the Force, my father thought it would keep us safe from the Empire." "Oh. Did it?" "It seemed to keep me safe for a while." "What happened?" "I made a mistake in fixing a piece of equipment and I hired on to a ship called the Electria." Octavia left out the part that she had almost been sold into slavery and that the captain of the Electra had saved her taken her on and gave her a home "That doesn't sound too bad." Octavia smiled. "No it wasn't, but one can't outrun their destiny. I found out mine wasn't to hide on a ship and be safe." "Oh. Destiny is hard thing to have. Are you certain?" "I know that my place is to help fight the Empire's oppression. Other than that I trust to learn the rest." "How do you know your place in it?" "By trusting the Force, and letting it guide you. Don't you know your place in opposing the Empire?" "It feels like I've been fighting forever, and it doesn't change. I'm still here." "That proves that you are doing the right thing, if you weren't here then they would have won." Octavia rose and began to pace once again. How long could one hold out? "Have you been to the Academy?" "No..." Celesta's tone was wistful. "My teacher died too." "When you get out of here, you should go to Yavin. You will find help there." "Would they accept me?" Octavia chuckled at hearing her own words echoed by this woman. "I'm sure they will, they accepted *me*." Octavia stared out to see anyone was coming. "You will have to meet with the Jedi Masters that are there." "Why wouldn't they accept you?" "At first, I believed I was too old. I discovered you are never too old to learn, though it is more difficult to understand some things." Celestra paused "How old are you?" "27" "What things are hard to understand?" "The Force is a difficult concept at first, especially when you're not use to it .... or you put the memory of it out of your mind." "So just the mechanics of it? Not philosophy?" Octavia let out a breath. "A mixture of both." she thought back to hearing that Luke had died in the gladiatorial games, only to find out it was a lie. That he had tricked his opponent. "It's a whole New World to experience." "Tell me about it?" Octavia let out a chuckle. "You are experiencing it - by standing up for your beliefs. Just like I will when the time comes. Learning to trust your instincts and knowing that you need to do what is write and that justice is needed in this world." There was a longer silence "I like justice." Octavia nodded. "Yes, I agree. But we have to be on guard not to mistake justice for vengeance. Master Skywalker says that a Jedi have emotions, but we don't let them control us." "Never?" Before Octavia could answer guards came and dragged her out of her cell. "Be strong Celestra, I'll be back." Octavia called over her shoulder. All she could see was a small figure in robes but that was it. ~*~ Octavia was led down the corridor only to see Medenna join her. As happy as Octavia was in seeing the young Jedi student she was also concerned. It was uncertain what they would face. Red guards escorted both Medenna and Octavia to the throne room. Octavia smiled at Medenna hoping to give some kind of encouragement to the young girl. Before them was an oversized holo projection of the Emperor's head. It hovered over the empty throne. Octavia noticed the Royal Guards faded back into the shadowy corners of the room and shivered slightly as she looked at the Emperor's head. His face was half-hidden in the shadows of his hood. The only thing she could be sure of was he was frowning. "Greetings....Octavia Syn Jinn. I had hoped we would not meet again, but I'm afraid that it was inevitable..." "Apparently so." Octavia replied softly. His attention turned to Medenna. "And who do we have *here*?..." She heard Medenna swallow hard and felt her move closer to her side. "SHE is of no importance to you." Octavia answered. The thin lips form a subtle smile. "Come forward little Jedi. Give me your name." Medenna stayed as close to Octavia as possible she looked up at her, not moving. She had heard of the Emperor and didn't want to know if what she had heard was true or not. "Why do you wnat to know my name?" she asked at last, her voice shaky. The Emperor's thin lips formed a subtle smile. "Because I want to know *every* Jedi before I deal with them..." The Emperor's voice deepened. "Now … give me your name." "Med--Medenna." she answers slowly. "That's a new one...." He pauses and his hollow eyes blink. "I sense... a *bonding* between the two of you. But I also sense you are not fully trained...You have *much* to learn. Unfortunately, you'll be brainwashed to believe that the DARK SIDE has no place in you..." The Emperor paused. "It's such a disgusting *waste* of talent." "That isn't brainwashing, it's the *truth*." Octavia replied. "She will learn the truth." The Emperor's lips pressed together to form a scowl. "Ah yes...that so-called sense of Jedi *truth*. It does grate on my nerves." "It IS the truth! Octavia wouldn't lie to me nor would any of the Jedi." Medenna yells, then grew quiet. The Emperor glared at Medenna and then gaves her a sardonic smile. "I appreciate your boldness, little Jedi apprentice...but it will do you no good.." He let his words sink in. "Let me ask you. What do you think you see?" Octavia looked at Medenna and nodded. Medenna stepped out from behind Octavia and looked up at the Emperor. "I see a room with guards in the back and you in front." Medenna looked down at the floor, then back up. "And no way of escape." "Hm. Interesting. But...am I really here?" "Of course you are, though you are using a projection of your head only." Medenna answered. //Father, they do not know. They think this IS real.// Raven informed Palpatine. The Emperor nodded mentally, knowing this virtual reality program was still underway...and the Jedi, being completely Force-damped, were unaware of the game. "Seems that you never listened to that lesson about how things are not always what they seem... little Jedi Medenna." Palpatine smirked. "Medenna, don't let him confuse you. Keep your center." Octavia reminded her softly. "I know Jedi Octavia is studying under Skywalker...who is *your* Master?" "I have various teachers, as we all do. Master Skywalker helps us all." Medenna answers slowly "Too many teachers are a bit confusing...are they not?" "Not confusing to me." Medenna replied. Octavia tried to will her heart to slow, she knew she heard it beating - was it echoing in the room? Medenna was in danger here. What would her father do? What would her grandfather Qui-Gon do? "Well then....my young *Jedi*...allow me to test you on your perception. Let us see how well you have progressed in your studies from *all* your teachers..." The Emperor paused after hearing Octavia's thoughts. "Oh...and Jedi Jinn...just so you know - your father and grandfather are *quite* capable of taking care of themselves!" Octavia's eyes narrowed as her heart jumped up in her throat. Once again he had read her thoughts... "I'm sure they are. For they are with the Force. What test do you speak of?" The throne room began to slowly darken. "Come *Jedis*....see if you can feel my presence..." He waited. "Am I a threat to you or not?" "YOU are a threat for what we stand for." Octavia glanced around the throne room uncomfortably. Medenna tried to sense him in the force but could sense only darkness. The yellow pupils glowed within the hollow of the Emperor's eyes. "Oh *please*...none of this proverbial Jedi "what we stand for"..." "Why do you fear the light your Majesty?" Octavia asked pulling Medenna closer to her. "I fear not the light. I simply choose to avoid it." "As we chose to avoid the dark." "Choices, my young Jedi - *that* is the lesson here....I have chosen to come in this form but I can take MANY forms..!!" Suddenly the room is pitch black, and the Emperor's head disappears. 'Keep calm' Octavia tells herself. 'do not give into fear' Medenna let out a cry of surprise, grabbing onto Octavia's robe. In the place of the head, now stood a full bodied form of the Emperor ... the dark robes spilled out under their feet. "Keep calm Medenna, do not give into fear." Octavia whispered, "Watch the form that is there as well as the robes." The Emperor's giant hand suddenlyy reached down and swiftly grabbed Octavia up by her long hair... "OCTAVIA!" Medenna yelled. Octavia found herself shivering against her will as she was lifted up to be eye level with the Emperor. He peered at her through slitted pupils and laughed at her. "Your *calmness*...it will not protect you now..." Medenna reaches for Octavia. "Let her GO!" "I have seen your anger, Jedi Jinn. Indeed, I saw it at Port Lansing. It will serve you well...Why not show me what you are made of?" He squeezed harder as he began to shake her like a tiny doll. Octavia could see his teeth grinding together. She thought her head would separate from her shoulders. She struggled to free herself, to stop her heart from beating so fast. "I will … I cannot …give into my anger." Octavia spat. "STOP IT YOU'RE HURTING HER!" Medenna yelled. "That's the idea, little Jedi" Octavia felt her control slipping felt her fear starting to take over. "RELEASE ME!" she hissed. "How do you think Lammashta managed to carry herself so gracefully in the games?" Palpatine questioned. "Anger. The Jedi so often turn their noses up to the Sith ...but if they looked closer they would see emotions inside that are not unlike their own - very real...very powerful." Octavia struggled against the Emperor's hold. "Anger didn't save them all." Octavia answered. "It's a dangerous power, one that consumes." "Does the *Light* not consume you, little Jedi?" Palpatine questioned, enjoying Octavia's confusion and fear. "My point here is to TRY and mix them. The darkness exists. The Sith choose to use it... but you choose to turn away from it." Octavia closed her eyes. "NO!" "The Jedi uses the Force to protect not to control!" Medenna yelled. "There is no mixture...the darkness consumes one beyond the point of knowing." Octavia remembered the warning her father had given her. "How weak...how very *weak* you are..." The Emperor laughed contemptuously, and his image flickered. His pale fingers loosened around Octavia's hair and dropped her to the steel floor below.
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