GLIMMER OF LIGHT:The Interview, pt. 1

By John Medkeff and Bernadette Crumb

Note: The capture took place on June 1. This story is June 4.

Darien Lell slowly became aware of the world again. At first his mind
was misty, but it soon cleared up. The double bed in which he lay had silk
sheets. The sun was shining on him from a window beyond the foot of the bed.

He had little, if any, memory of what had actually happened to him
after the girl on Gaisheeda had drawn her lightsaber. And none at all of
how he had come to be here, wherever here was. He sat up slowly and began
to take stock of his condition. He still wore his clothes, but his
lightsaber was gone.

Darien was in a large bedroom, decorated in shades of green. There
were brocaded drapes and sheer curtains on the two large windows opposite
him, and a deep carpet on the floor. The nightstand by the bed was made of
some kind of real wood, not the usual imitation. A table and three chairs
were scattered around the room. To his left was a single door.

He tried to scan beyond the windows, but the Force did not come. He
must be in a damper. Whoever had brought him here could afford an expensive

"Tea, m'lord?"

Darien turned toward the voice. A four-foot tall, monkey-like alien
was standing to his right. The alien was dressed in a maid's uniform and
held a silver tray with cup, saucer and teapot.

He pushed the bedding aside and stood up, cautiously taking the cup,
"Thank you."

The maid placed the tray on the table and left though the door by
right side of the bed.

He swallowed the tea, then tried the door through which she had
departed. It was locked. Then he walked to one of the windows.

The scene outside was peaceful. He appeared to be on an upper floor of
a large mansion. The window overlooked an extensive garden. Beyond that lay
a large open field with clumps of trees, a stable, and a small stream. He
was surprised to see a half-dozen children were playing in the garden.

There appeared to be other large houses on either side of this one,
but they were obscured by lush trees bordering a high wall and what looked
to be the shimmer of a force field overlaying the entire compound. At the
far end of the field was what appeared to be a small private spaceport. Two
shuttles and a small yacht sat on the tarmac.

As he looked to his left, in the distance, he could see the tall spires
of a city.

Behind him the door suddenly opened, interrupting his exploration. He
turned and saw the maid return, pushing a small cart with covered plates on
it. These she placed on the table along with silverware and napkin. She
turned to him and said, "Breakfast, m'lord," before turning to leave.

"Where am I?" Darien interrupted her.

"Her ladyship will answer your questions, m'lord. It is not my place
to do so." The fem answered respectfully. Then she turned and was gone.

He lifted the cover off the plate. Eggs over, cooked just right, with
his favorite accompaniments. He sat down and started to eat. The eggs were
excellent, and cooked too precisely to his tastes. Someone knew way too
much about him. It was an unnerving realization.

Some time later the door opened and a footman of the same alien race
as the maid entered. "If you will come with me, m'lord, her ladyship wishes
to speak with you."

*I don't like the sound of all these m'lord's,* he thought.

He followed the footman out of the bedroom. As he crossed the
threshold he staggered for an instant as the Force came rushing back to
him. He was outside the damper. For a moment he just stood there and felt
the Force around him. Then he stepped back into blankness of the
Force-damped room. The Force outside was full of Darkness.

After a moment's thought, he steeled himself and stepped out again,
and scanned the area. A dozen Dark Force traces swirled eagerly about him.
Then another, stronger one pushed them gently away. Somewhere, in the
background, he thought he felt a trace of Light.

The footman led him down a wide thickly carpeted hall. The walls were
expensively trimmed in wood. There were paintings on the walls. They passed
four doors similar to the one he had come out of, two on each side, and a
table with a com unit and a vase with blue roses in it. A maid was dusting
the table.

They came to the top of a grand staircase, which descended three
floors to what appeared to be the front door of the house. The hall
continued beyond the stairs. He could hear music coming from somewhere down
below. The short footman headed down the stairs; Darien followed him,
absorbing impressions of his surroundings.

The house gave him an overwhelming impression of vast wealth with
antique furniture, and precious objects displayed almost casually, as if
they were ordinary instead of worth thousands of credits.

As he moved after the footman, he could feel the Dark traces dancing
about him, watching. But they seemed curious, keeping their distance, not
hostile. They crossed the entrance hall into a large, ornately furnished
living room. In one corner was a door, apparently leading to a chamber

The footman opened the door and ushered him in. Darien stepped though
the doorway and found himself in a large, yet somehow cozy, sitting room.
In the middle of the chamber were a coffee table and two chairs. A silver
tray rested on the table with two crystal glasses and a decanter of blue
wine. One of the glasses was half full.

A tall, elegantly dressed, black-haired woman in early middle age sat
in the chair facing him.

"Good morning. My name is Cassandra; welcome to Zoron. Do sit down."
Cassandra poured a glass of wine. "Here, this will calm you a bit."

Everything he could see about Cassandra looked innocent enough, but to
his Force senses, the Darkside surrounded her. He was sure Cassandra was
the strongest Darksider he had ever personally met.

He took the glass and nervously sat down, his robes swirling about his
feet. "This place is full of Darkness--and you?"

"Yes, I am a Sith," Cassandra answered serenely. "I must apologize for
the manner of your arrival. I have need of the services of a Jedi and the
political situation being what it is I had to be a little
bit--creative--about how I got you here." She sipped some of her wine. "I
trust all of your belongings made it all right."

"The services of a Jedi?" he repeated, puzzled and wary.

Cassandra smiled reassuringly. "Don't worry, I won't ask you to
violate any of your Jedi principles."

"Why should I trust you?"

"In general, you probably shouldn't. But in this case, it would defeat
my purpose to demand Darkness of you."

For the next hour they debated the Force, politics and Darien himself.
He answered truthfully and firmly. Surprisingly, this seemed to please her.
Overall, the experience felt unexpectedly like a job interview. She seemed
well informed about the Jedi and the Alliance.

Cassandra rang the bell she picked up from the tray. A maid appeared
in very short order.

"Yes, m'ilady?"

"Would you ask Kieren to come see me?"

"Right away, m'lady."

The maid curtsied and left the room.

Shortly thereafter, a matter of ten or fifteen minutes, Darien heard
the door open behind him and turned to see who it was. A small boy entered,
holding an exotic blossom of fiery orange-gold in one hand, and walked
around her to stand in front of Cassandra. He gave all the appearance of a
hasty scrub up, but that wasn't what demanded Darien's attention. The boy
glowed brightly with the Lightside.

He looked at Cassandra and said, "You sent for me, Mother?"

"Yes, Kieren, pull up a chair and sit down."

He solemnly handed her the flower, then smiled briefly as she took it.
"Yes, Mother."

"Thank you, Kieren." Cassandra looked at the blossom, and sniffed it,
then a small hair clip floated across the room from a cabinet by the wall
and into her hand. She used the clip to attach the flower to her hair.
"That was very thoughtful of you."

Kieren took a chair from near the wall, placed it next to Cassandra's
and sat down facing the Jedi guest.

"Kieren, dear, this is Darien Lell,"Cassandra said.

"Hello." Kieren smiled shyly at him.

"Hello, Kieren."

Darien smiled tentatively back at the boy fidgeting in the chair next
to his mother. Kieren liked that. It was a real smile, even if hesitant.
Most of mother's visitors dismissed him as unimportant.

Then Cassandra spoke again, patting Kieren's hand where it rested in
his lap. "Jedi Darien, I need you to train Kieren in the Lightside aspects
of the Force."

The boy suddenly tensed, sitting up straighter, staring right into
Darien's eyes. The Jedi found the child's mind open and couldn't help but
read the thoughts that raced there.

*_That_ was what his precognition had been about. A new teacher. One
who wouldn't dismiss his concerns about the things he was being trained to
do. One who had the same bright center that he had recently realized he
possessed and his siblings had not.*

Kieren bit his lower lip, his eyes pleading with Darien to agree to
stay to teach him. But the boy didn't say anything. Somehow he knew that it
had to be Darien's decision, not his.

(to be continued)

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