By Dora Furlong, Ginna and Amanda Wilcoxen

[End of April/early May]

After her second talk with Victoria, Nyssa headed for her room, not
feeling too alert from her earlier lunch with Victoria. A thought
occurred to her, so she changed directions from her room to find Tara,
who was in her office. She knocked on the queen's door.

"Enter," Tara called out as she glanced over at the door.

Nyssa opened the door. "My ... Lady do you have a moment?"

"Lady C'rman...come in^of course."

Nyssa entered, trying to focus her thoughts. "Is there something I've
done wrong?"

Tara blinked and frowned. "Why would you think that?"

"Can ... I sit?" she asked of Tara.

"Of course...sit down...tell me what is wrong?"

Nyssa took a seat and focused to clear her thoughts. "I've just left your
daughter ... why am I being given the will reducing drug?"

"The will reducing?" She frowned. "Who has given it to you? What does
this have to do with my daughter?"

"Twice now after I've left her I've felt the effects. The first time I
thought I was...mistaken, this time it cannot be a mistake."

Tara rose and walked around the desk as she sunk her mind into Nyssa's
body, locating the drug. She found it with Nyssa fighting it every step
of the way, and Tara helped her to counter it. Afterwards, she shook her
head and reached out through the link she'd established with Victoria and
looked for where she was. Victoria was traveling into town.


*What's up?* she replied.

*Where are you?*

*In town ... why?* Victoria's tone was curious, carefree.

*Return to the palace at once...there are some details we must go over.*

*Such as? Details...is somethin' wrong?*

*Return to the palace and we will speak more...I expect you in fifteen
minutes daughter.*

Victoria winced a little at the don't-disagree-or-argue-with-me tone Tara
passed off.

*I'll be there soon.*

*Fifteen minutes! Do not be late.*

*I'll be there,* she replied, again her tone carefree.

Nyssa looked up at Tara. "My Lady, is everything all right?"

"My daughter is her usual self...she should be here in fifteen
minutes..." She kept an eye on Victoria through the force; making sure
she was really heading back to the palace.

Fifteen minutes later, Victoria skipped in. "Yesm?" She looked at Nyssa
sitting down in a chair and nodded to her. Nyssa nodded back and looked
over at Tara.

Tara nodded as Victoria entered and sat down. "Tell me what you were
doing giving the Telosian will reducing drug to Lady C'rman?"

"Me?" Victoria asked, going to sit down, but paused. "Huh?" Her brow
furrowed. "Drug?"

Victoria radiated off more alertness and her carefree mood had ceased.

Tara raised an eyebrow. "Tell me how you got your hands on the drug my

"I know of no drug," Victoria told her, sitting down and crossing one leg
over the other and spared Nyssa a blank look. "Did she say something
about it?" Victoria then smiled slyly. "Perhaps....you are overreacting?
I'm sure the servants could've done something, knowing your...past."

"What does my past have to do with this?" Nyssa asked, sounding confused.

Tara frowned. "The Lady C'rman's past is dealt with all here know
it tell me Victoria, under truth monitoring...did you or did you not
drug the lady C'rman?"

She truth read Victoria.

"Depends on what kind of drugging you are speaking of..." Victoria
glanced down at the floor.

Tara reached out to her with tk, pulling her onto the floor, onto her
knees. "I am in no mood for games...answer my question!"

"Ow!" Victoria grumbled to herself as she hit the floor. Nyssa's eyes
went wide as Victoria looked up at Tara. "Why, mother, I would
*never* dream of playing games with you."

Tara's eyes narrowed. "Answer me...yes or no."

"Yes or no of what? That Nyssa drugged herself with something? Then,
yes, I'm sure of it afterall, the only reason she's still around
is...because Damien claimed her."

Tara frowned. "Why did you do this?" She reached out, putting pressure on
Victoria's mind.

"I didn't do anything! SHE LIES! The SLAVE lies!"

Nyssa coughed softly in shock.

Tara increased the pressure on Victoria's mind, overcoming Victoria's
shields as she ignored her words. Victoria grabbed either side of her

"Stop it!" she screamed, trying to force Tara out.

Tara frowned. "Victoria, lower your shields...now."

"No! Get outta my mind! NOW!"

Tara glanced at Nyssa, then back to Victoria, she used her link to blast
it wide open, not allowing Victoria an opportunity to resist as she
looked for the reason of her lying.

"My queen..." Nyssa whispered, seeing the girl in pain.

"GAHHHHHHHHHHH!" Victoria screamed.

Tara focused on Victoria, ignoring Nyssa's pleas for her. As she did so,
Victoria started having flashbacks to a few months ago when she was
kidnapped. Her shoulders slumped as she flashed the memories to Tara of
faceless men standing around her in a cement cell. It was cold and dark.
A manacle attached to a chain encircled her ankle. Victoria started to

Tara worked to make it easier for Victoria by reaching out to Nyssa to
draw from her, having her stabilize Victoria. Nyssa reached out to
stabilize and help her focus.

Tara followed the memories and what was done to Victoria. Nyssa felt
Tara grew cooler and more remote as she worked and watched. Victoria
closed her eyes tightly as she remembered more than one bowl of food
that had been laced with the drugs.

She looked at where Vic got the drugs and what she was supposed to do
with them, as well as if she had any more or if she were to use them
on anyone else and who they were. Tara was shown that Victoria had
gone to certain points to pick up one crate, no one would be around
as she picked them up. Her room had been filled with it in its purest
form. Tara also saw Victoria had a few guards, about five, on the
drugs. She saw that Victoria was not only planning to put Nyssa
under, but also Octavia and Xanatos, and even Alida, to get into the
Jedi and overtake the Jedi.

Tara looked for her contacts and how she made contact with them. Not
surprisingly, it was through transmissions that were passed to her along
with places to meet around Shardakour. In fact, the reason she had gone
into town was to report to one of Kiefer'r's friends, Maverik, that Nyssa
was a threat to be removed.

The last bit of information Tara got out her daughter was talk of an
underground connection, with one on the moon of Shardakour.  Tara sunk
her mind into Victoria's system and look for remnants of drugs. She found
the drug to be in her system deeply.  Tara exhaled and put Victoria to

Tara withdrew from Vic's mind and looked sad. "I apologize Lady
C'rman...thank you for bringing this to my attention."

"I should have brought it to your attention the first time." She paused.
"Isn't there a way to entrap these ... people?"

"Yes...there is...it will not be easy...first I must alert lord
DuCruet of her plans and have the guards pick up those already under
her control...Medical circles will rid her system of this drug and
the conditioning."

"Is there anything I can do to help?" Nyssa asked. "Especially with
court so close."

"Yes...take this list of names to the Captain of the guards...he will be
quite discreet...inform him he is to search her quarters and place a
guard at medical for her security and protection."

"At once. I'm sorry you were attacked this way." She turned to go. "I
thought all the drug was recovered from Emmaus and his allies."

"So did Lord Du'Cruet," Tara replied softly, kneeling next to Victoria.

"I will get this list to the guards my queen. Again I am sorry for her
and your pain."

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