Falling Down (mid feb 2003

Dana Terry and Ginna Wilcoxen

Tor adjusted his tunic. "I should be home a little late tonight, but it shouldn't be too bad."

Octavia nodded. "That should work out fine, I was going to head into the main area to see if I can help stabilize the ground from shifting, if I can do there what I've help do here then the rebuilding should be able to move a little faster."

He nodded. "Just be careful," he said, leaning in to kiss her.

She nodded. "Of course, it's nothing more than walking. Though I think I will move toward the outer part of town before I have to leave."

"Which is still really unstable," he reminded her. Tor glanced at the chrono. "I have to go or I'll be late."

"Go. I'll see you later." Octavia shook her head as she prepared to head out.

"I still think it is a bad idea for the lady of the house to go out and get dirty like a commoner," Recin, complained.

"There's nothing wrong in helping and as for getting dirty, it washes off." Octavia shook her head as she left the house.

"You should stay here, especially in your condition." Marta said.

"I'm fine, and it's healthy to walk and continue in my normal routine." Octavia smiled. "I will be careful, I promise. I'm only checking on some of the shelters and makeshift homes."

The ground was stabilizing and the mud that had been left was replacing what had been washed away. Perhaps in a few months it would almost be hard to tell where the damage was. In the two weeks she had been here Octavia had made sure to keep herself available to help Karon if she had any questions in dealing with Lord Du'Cruet. Still she wasn't used to sitting around, though she was getting the impression that is what Tor's servants expected.

Octavia stepped out and walked over to the speeder and headed into town. She knew that Marta and Recin weren't too pleased with her going into Arridor City. She only hoped she would be able to get it across to them that she wasn't the type to just sit around and do nothing.

She didn't want to admit that it was Recin's displeasure at her being there that helped her keep motivated. She always told herself it was for a couple of hours, but she usually spent all the day in town sometimes waiting for Tor to get off duty.

She moved though the debris of Tor's house, when she was visiting the orphanages and make shift shelters, she spent her time here helping clean it out. Using the Force to move the mud back and slowly unearthing holo grams of the family that once lived here. She hoped above all hope that someone the ones she couldn't' place in this house were somewhere else, that they survived somehow.

Watching her step, Octavia walked through the soft mud, as she left Tor's house. There was so much debris and she was still surprised at the volume of it all. Nothing, not the pictures, or the reports nothing had prepare her for this.

Sounds of disorder caught Octavia's attention moving toward it she could sense the fear coming from that area. The shelters would wait.

"It's gonna fall!" someone shouted. "Get out! Get out!"

She moved quickly. Seeing one of the beams of the house ready to fall on the workers, she used the Force to toss it to the side and watched as the worker slid to safety. Sounds of the house collapsing caused her to look at the structure. Taking hold of one of the worker's arms, she asked, "Is everyone out?"

"No, there are two other inside, they're buried alive." Moving, Octavia headed toward the doomed structure. "You can't go in there!"

One of the others tried to block her way. "It's coming down, you'll get killed in there!"

"I'm not leaving men in there to die." Octavia used the Force to push the men away clearing herself a path.

The interior was dark, exposed beams threatening to fall at any moment. Water dripped somewhere as sparks flashed, briefly illuminating the scene. Bracing for what she would feel Octavia reached out with the Force and moved to where the trapped men were.


Octavia focused on the Force and moved toward the voice. "Stay calm. I'm coming." She called out

At the far corner of the building, she could just make out where an interior wall had collapsed. Most likely, it had suffered too much damage to hold weight any longer. Somewhere under that, two men lay. If she couldn't reach them... Octavia looked up to see the ceiling bulging, threatening to fall at any moment. If she couldn't reach them, all three of them could die in here.

"Help..." the voice repeated, one that sounded vaguely familiar. She moved toward the voice as the room lit up again with a spark. Seeing a man pinned, she used the Force to free him, "Can you walk?" she used the lightsaber to cut the other man free.

"Yeah, I - you?!" Iz Pardee stared up at her as he climbed painfully to his feet. "Where's my brother?"

"I don't know, but I'll find him. Go on, get out of here. Take him with you. " She ordered as she rehooked her saber and continue to search blocking out the creaking sounds the building was making.

He shook his head, but the ceiling over them creaked ominously. "I'll get help, Jedi," he called out after her.

Octavia smiled. "Go on." she moved to continue her search, reaching out with the Force to find anyone else left in the building.

Octavia heard faint moaning coming from the back wall, carefully watching her step as to make sure not to dislodge anymore debris than was necessary. Again she would have to use her saber to free the man as well as the Force to keep everything just right so it wouldn't fall. Upon reaching him she knelt next to him checking to see if he was still alive and would be able to walk out.

He sat up dazedly. "What -- what happened?" He tried to get to his feet, crying out as his leg buckled under him. He fell against Octavia knocking them both off balance.

Catching him, Octavia wrapped her arm around him. "Come on, we need to get you out of here, this building isn't going to stand much longer."

As if in response to her words, the ceiling cracked and started to fall. Pulling the Force around both of them, she tried to move as the debris fell, hoping they had enough time to get out before they both became buried alive.

"We're gonna die!" Pardee's brother shouted as debris rained on them.

"No, we're not." Octavia kept her voice calm. "Keep moving and don't panic." She used the Force to keep the man somewhat calm.

He pulled away from her, staggering toward the entrance. Octavia heard signs of the ceiling collapsing, using the Force she pushed the man out as the ceiling rained down upon her knocking her to the floor hitting her head against a beam she didn't feel as the debris covered her like a blanket and cutting into her skin.


Izien waited, breathing a sigh of relief as Anzul staggered out of the house. "She didn't get out!" Maric called to him, falling to the ground.

"What? That's impossible!" He'd seen her before. She could stop blaster bolts, how could she... He turned. "Someone find Captain Kyrsk!"

"I'll go." One of the workers yelled heading off toward the direction of where the Governor would be today. The sound of the building collapsing urging him to move fast. He doubted when he returned they would find her alive.


Tor grimaced, hearing yet another building come crashing to the ground. "That's three today," he said to Governor Zelek.

"Less than yesterday," the governor said. He sighed. "At least no one has been in any of them recently."

"Governor! Governor!" the worker came running in. He stopped when he saw Tor. "Captain ..." he shook his head. "The building ... your .... wife she's trapped."

Tor jerked. "What?"

"Go," the Governor urged. "Marcos is here. Go."

Tor ran, his heart in his throat as he followed the worker. In the distance he could see a plume of smoke curling lazily into the early afternoon sky.

"She was inside when it fell," the worker said. "She got everyone out but herself."


Octavia slowly became aware of her surroundings, pushing the pain away she tried to sense her situation. She was surrounded by a mountain of rubble. Plasticrete teetered over her, tilting dangerously forward. Incongruously, a holopic continued to play, it's loop showing a happy family running toward each other, over and over again. Spitting the mud out of her mouth she used the Force and took the chance of pushing the debris back, she could feel the mud on her legs attempting to keep them buried.

"'Tavia! Octavia!" Tor's voice bordered on panic, echoing in the ruined home. "Octavia, answer me!"

*Stay away, it's not safe.,* she sent to him, while she tried to free herself from the wreckage.

"Where are you?" he called. She could hear him moving toward her.

"Captain, you can't, it's not stable." one of the workers said, trying to hold him back.

"My wife is in there!" Tor shrugged him off.

"There's movement over there." One of the workers yelled.

"Captain, let me help," Iz offered.

Tor nodded and picked his way through the rubble. "Octavia, we're almost to you." He looked at Pardee. "Call for a doctor."

Octavia fought to stay awake. She could sense Tor's presence "Captain, I see a hand."

"I see her!"

Octavia could hear plasticrete being thrown to the side. "We're almost there, Octavia. Talk to me, sweetheart."

*I can hear you.* Octavia sent, she did hear Tor's voice.

His relief was palpable. "How bad is it?" he asked. A chunk of the wall shifted, teetering. Everyone froze

*Can't move my legs, too much debris too much mud.*

"We're moving it," Tor said. "Just hang in there. There's a doctor on the way. We'll get you out."

Octavia took a breath as she reached out with the Force, attempting to stabilize the land.

Pressure suddenly eased on her legs. "We've got her!" she heard someone yell as she felt her body being pulled from the wreckage. The sudden light made her close her eyes.

"What kept you?" Octavia asked as she closed her eyes.

"Stay awake, Octavia," Tor pleaded. "We need to move you." he said moving her hair back exposing the cut on her temple. "Stay awake."

She opened her eyes. "Everyone out?" she asked

He nodded. "Yeah, you got them out." Tor's face was streaked with dirt, plasticrete in his hair. "I have to move you away from the structure. The doctor won't come any closer."

"I'm ... understand ... not safe here."

He lifted her carefully, his features tight. "Bajka's waiting."

"I can't believe I lost sight of the danger." She rested her head against his shoulder, closing her eyes "I'm tired."

"You got them out," he said. "You did good. Rest. Dr. Bajka is going to take care of you."

"Good ... Safe." Octavia drifted to sleep


Tor carried his wife carefully through the rubble, finally reaching the safety of the walkway where Bajka waited with an anti-grav stretcher.

"Is she ..." the worker stopped

"She's fine. She's going to be fine," Tor snapped as Octavia was bundled off.

"We couldn't stop her Captain, she wouldn't listen."

"She's stubborn," he said. "She'll be okay."


Marta stood on the porch of the country house and watched as Octavia was brought in. "What happened?"

"She..." Tor took a deep breath, calming himself. "She was inside one of the buildings, making sure others were out, when the ceiling collapsed. He carried her up to their room and laid her down on the bed brushing the drying mud from her face.

"You should sit, captain."

Bajka turned. "Sit, Tor. You're making everyone nervous."

Tor sat down heavily. "She will be okay, won't she?"

The doctor nodded. "Let me check her out."

"Can I get you something to drink sir?" Marta asked

Tor shook his head, getting to his feet again. "Bajka, how is she?"

"She's fine, Tor," Bajka assured him. "Badly bruised, and cut up, a good laceration on her temple, but we can -- what's this?"

Tor started. "What? What is it?"

Bajka shook his head. "She's pregnant."

Tor nodded impatiently. "I know." He looked at his wife, lying so still. "Is she -- are they going to be all right?"

Bajka nodded, a frown on his face. "Yes, they'll be fine. I need to treat the lacerations on her back and legs, but she'll be all right." He Looked at Tor. "I'll need help in removing her blouse to reach her back."

"Where,?" She looked up at the doctor. "Where's Tor? Is he safe?" Octavia asked

"Octavia?" He hurried to her side.

She looked up at him. "You're safe and worried."

He huffed and tried to give her a smile. "Yeah, I am. My wife got herself into some trouble, you see... Stuff like that makes me worry."

"Told you she's trouble." She looked at the doctor "You aren't happy, Doctor. Why?"

Bajka harumphed. "Your... your husband knows." The doctor shook his head. "Disgraceful," he muttered.

Tor frowned. "Enough, Bajka. Do what you have to and get out of my home."

The doctor completed his task, cleaning what injuries he could reach.

Octavia watched the doctor, sensing his feelings. "You never did like me, Doctor. I still can't figure out why." She turned the Force inward to check her injuries, then looked at Tor.

"Yes, I am," he said. "I've taken care of this family since Tor was young. Now..." He shook his head. "There were better choices, Tor."

Tor stiffened. "Out. Now."

"Tor, he's entitled to his opinion. I'm sure there are many who agree with him."

"He's entitled to his opinion, but he's not entitled to it in our home."

"Don't alienate yourself, Tor ..." Octavia stated softly.

"I know what I'm doing," he said, shaking his head.

Octavia shook her head, but remained silent this was for Tor to decide and to rule on, this was his house and she wouldn't overrule his decisions.

"Get out, Doctor," Tor said evenly. "Thank you for your years of service, but we won't be needing your assistance in the future."

Octavia watched the exchange between Tor and the doctor he had known for so long.

Bajka snapped his case closed and glared at Tor. "Think about what your father would say."

Tor made an effort to remain calm. "My father would have been proud," he said slowly. "And he would have thrown you out of here before now."

With that, the doctor stormed from the house, servants scattering.

Tor sighed and sank down to sit next to Octavia. "Sorry about that," he said, shaking his head. He leaned over her to hug her, but stopped.

She tilted her head, looking at him. "What is it?"

"I'm afraid of hurting you," he admitted.

"I'm fine. I won't break."

He hugged her. "I thought I was going to lose you."

"For a moment there I thought you were, too. Everyone did get out, right? I think I remember you telling me that."

"They did," he said. "Izien and his brother, Maric. That was their family's house you went into."

"I remember seeing Izien," Octavia stated. "His brother has a broken leg. I didn't think I'd get him out in time."

"He made it out. You must have pushed him or something." Tor pulled back, brushing a hand through her hair. "You saved them both."

"I felt the building shift ... I ... I didn't mean to worry you."

"As long as you're all right." He looked down at her. "We need to get you cleaned up."

"Your servants were complaining of that this morning. Recin said I shouldn't be going around and getting dirty like a commoner." Octavia looked at her hands. "I look like a child that's been playing in the mud."

Tor took her hands in his. "You saved lives today. They'll get used to the idea that you're a lot more than just the lady of the house."

"Time will change everything?" she asked rising to a sitting position.

He moved to help her. "Slowly," he cautioned. "Yeah. Give them some time."

"Well, time we have."

He smiled. "A shower, we have, too," he said, looking down at her. "Do you think you can handle that?"

"Yeah, I think I can. I like nature and all, but I don't want to bring it indoors."

He laughed. "That might get a few people talking. We'll have enough messes to worry about once the baby comes."

"You .... you don't have any regrets do you? I mean you are happy aren't you?"

"Happy's not the word for it," he said, a smile splitting his features. "You're going to be a terrific mother, Octavia."

"So you keep saying. What makes you so sure?" she asked with a grin.

"I just know it," he said.

"I hope you're right. I really do." Octavia turned the water on and slowly removed her clothing, taking in a breath when she moved her muscles the wrong way.

"I know I'll be right," he said, taking her clothes. "Go slowly. You did a lot of damage."

"Good thing is, I'll heal."

"You will." He ran a hand over his face as he looked at the marks on her back and legs. "Blast. You're going to need a doctor. We'll find another one."

"If nothing else I can force heal until I return to Telos." Octavia answered.

"No. There are other doctors. And I want you to take care of yourself... and our baby."

"I'll be fine." she turned to look at him. "I don't plan on getting buried in anymore houses."

"Get in the shower," he said, shaking his head.

He stopped frowning. "What's this?" Tor put Octavia's lightsabre on the counter and took something from her clothes. "Where did you get this?"

She turned and looked at him. "I unearthed it, I thought you would want it."

He swallowed, looking down at the holopic. "You went back?"

"I've split my time in the city Tor, I work clearing the house as well as some other of the houses, then the shelters." she watched him. "I ..."

He stared down at the holopic of the little girl with big brown eyes and a huge smile. Tor looked up at her. "You shouldn't be in the house, Octavia. It's too dangerous alone."

"The foundation is firm, the chance of a shift is very rare." She answered softly.

"Octavia, everyone else I love died there," he said, his eyes searching her face. "I could have lost you today."

"I've been careful and I was trying to help." she looked at him. She couldn't bring herself to tell him she was search for ghosts ... "I don't want to worry you Tor."

He chuckled. "You might not want to, but I think you're going to. Over and over." He smiled at her. "It's part of why I love you. It's part of who you are."

"I'm going to worry you?" she raised an eyebrow at him

"Of course," he said. "You're going to keep rushing into collapsing buildings and doing what you have to."

Octavia walked over to him. "I was training to be a Jedi, I can't change that part of me Tor. Jedi are to help. to serve to protect." she reached upward to caress his face. "I don't want to worry you."

He turned to kiss the palm of her hand. "And I'm a guard. We'll worry each other for the rest of our lives."

"Then you're not upset with me?"

He shook his head. "No, sweetheart, I'm not upset. I'm too relieved you're still alive to be upset."

She nodded as she turned toward the shower. "I will be more careful in the future."

He smiled at her as she got into the shower. "I'm sure your Master Fer'rer will be glad to hear that, too. He's the one that stresses caution, isn't he?"

"Yes, he does."

"Get in the shower," he said, shaking his head. "Take your time."

Octavia relaxed as the water hit her skin enjoying the heat.

A warm towel and thick robe were waiting for her when she was done.

She dried off and wrapped the robe around her before she headed back to their room to curl up on the bed.

Tor covered her with a blanket. "I'll be out in a minute," he said, kissing her gently. "How are you feeling?"

"Comfortable. Going back to work?"

"I'm going to shower, get dressed, make sure someone is here for you and then I'll go back to work."

She looked over at him. "Someone here for me?" she questioned.

"Octavia, you just had a house fall on you," he said, reasonably. "I don't want you to be alone."

She nodded, curling around one of the pillows. "Okay, but I'm not ... going anywhere... I just want to rest ... for a bit."

"I know," he said. "You rest. I think Marta is here."

"Marta didn't want ... me to go to begin with." Octavia said, half-awake.

"Marta's overprotective," he said. "I know Recin can be annoying, but Marta will want to 'mother' you. Let her."

"Mmm, mother ... Master Fer'rer wouldn't approve."

"Master Fer'rer isn't here and you need to heal."

Octavia nodded as she fell asleep.

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