Oh Brother, Who Art Thou  

Armand Banooni and Dana Terry

Alidar entered the cantina, his robes swinging against his legs gently. Imari was perched on his shoulder, looking about the room as he passed Alida. She glanced up as he walked by, taking note of the stranger with the eagle.

She watched surreptitiously as he went to the bar and ordered a drink. She was fairly certain he was a Force sensitive. Almost as if he sensed her looking at him, he glanced up. She nodded at him by way of greeting, then sipped her drink. Interesting.

Alidar absentmindedly stroked the eagle's head, but continued to watch her. Once she finished her meal, Alida rose to her feet and crossed the room to stand next to him at the bar. She set her drink down. "Good evening."

"And a good evening to you."

She looks at him. His Force signature was hard to read, practically non-existent. She couldn't 'get' anything from him. After a few moments, hints of his signature began to slip through.

"An interesting companion," she said with a nod to Imari.

"Yes, Imari is quite a companion at that."

"You are a Jedi?" she asked.

"I am. I sense you are."

She nodded. "I am Alida D'med."

"I am..." He stopped mid-sentence. "Did you say D'med?"

She looked at him. "Yes, I did."

"Very interesting. My name is Alidar."

"A pleasure to meet you, Alidar, and Imari as well, of course." After a sip of her drink, she turned a look to him. "My last name gave you pause?"

"Yes since my last name is D'med also."

"Unusual," she admitted.

"You are from Coruscant?"

She nodded again.

"And you studied at the temple?"

She frowned. "Yes, I did. Where did you receive your training?"

"The same."

"Then you are older than you look."

"I have been told that before."

Alida leaned forward. "If you trained at the Temple, you are at least as old as I am."

"I have been around a fair number of years."

"I see." Alida rose. "Master D'med, is it?"

"I was knighted, yes. And I sense you are also well trained in the force."

"My braid was cut many years ago."

Alida set her glass down. "Your Force signature is. . . familiar."

"I could not help think the same when I noticed you."

"Perhaps from the same extended family?" she questioned.

"I get that sense. A...closeness."

"Very interesting," Alida noted. "Considering the Temple has not existed for many decades now."

"I have seen eighty-five summers. As you say at least as old as you?"

"If you are gauging each summer as a year, then yes. I am seventy-six."

Imari looked at Alida, dipping her head low

Alida tilted her head slightly to look at the eagle. "What of your companion?"

"What of her?"

"How did you come by her, if I might ask?"

"When I came across her she was injured. I came to find out she had lost her fledglings to a malicious act. We identified with each other on a deep level. You might say we adopted one another.

"She has stayed with me ever since and is free to go if she ever choses to."

Alida nodded and he could feel her approval. Had he said he had captured the eagle, she would have been greatly disappointed.

"You have no Padawan?" she asked, looking around.

"I do not."

She frowned. "You do not pass on what you have learned?"

"Not to any single person, no. I practice what I have learned to help those in need."

"I see," she said.

He continued to maintain eye contact.

"I should know you," she says, more to herself than to him.

"Please forgive my forwardness, but I feel a connection to you I have felt with but a few. And in your case it is different than with any other."

"Jedi from the same family, close to the same time, were rare at the Temple," she noted.

"That is just it. I feel as if I should know you too."

"The similarities cannot be dismissed."

He took off his glove and extended his hand, which she took with her own.

Alidar opened up his memories of himself and his training at the temple Alida responded in kind and they shared memories of Jedi long since dead, in a place long gone.

She showed him her Master, Aaro Koya, a tall human male with a shock of white hair and bright green eyes.

Alidar also shared memories of his master and time there, even a prank he pulled when he was still young.

Alida chuckled at the image. "I don't know I would have tried something like that."

He was not holding her hand tightly, she was free to pull away any time she wished. He half-smiled. "I got in my share of trouble."

She obviously enjoyed the connection. She had not felt connected with anyone but her Padawans and this was. . . different, even, than that.

"You must have kept your Master busy."

"I had a patient Master, he taught me by doing and by example."

"Those days are gone," she said, a hint of wistfulness in her voice. "I've given my Padawans what I can of that time, but things are much different now."


"Have you been to Yavin?"

"Yes, I have been there in the past."

"And you agree with Master Skywalker's training and the Jedi's stand with the Alliance?"

"I have not involved myself with the politics of the Order in quite some time."

She nodded slowly, it was not quite the answer she was hoping for.

"And what are your feelings on the matter?"

"Skywalker has done what he could with very little training," Alida said, looking at him. "And the Jedi's stand is more against the Empire than with the Alliance."

"What are your thoughts then?"

"We are where we should be for now," she said. "How I train my Padawan is different than what many of Skywalker's Masters will do, but we are working toward a common goal, and all are students of the Light Side of the Force."

He smiled for the first time Alida had seen. "Somehow I could not see you without a Padawan."

"It was many years before I took one," she said, a hint of sorrow in her voice..

"I sense an inner strength from you. A strength that stands you in good stead with your Padawans."

She smiled slightly and then became quiet for a few moments. Finally, she looked at him. "How did you survive the Purge?" Her voice was low and soft.

“The best way to avoid being seen as a threat, is not to be seen as one."

She nodded slowly, becoming quiet.

"You may have noticed you did not detect my force signature at first. I learned to mask it. I was able to elude or eliminate those that sought to destroy me."

"Eliminate?" she repeated with a frown.

"A Jedi values life and seeks to avoid violence. In nature sometimes it is kill or be killed."

"Sadly, that is true. We've all killed more often than we would have wanted to."

Alidar finished the last of his drink as he noticed the sadness in Alida. "So where is your Padawan now?"

"Medenna is with an old friend. Kaliandra, my former Padawan, is here, but is ill."

"Of what is she suffering?"

"She's been poisoned." Alida was blunt. "Unless a cure is found within the next few days, she will die."

"I suspect all that can be done is, or you would not be here."

"She asked for some time to herself, to meditate. Yes, all than can currently be done for her has been done."

"Do you know who is responsible for this poison?"

"I have my suspicions, but nothing firm," she said.

“And who is it you suspect?"

"The woman who had us imprisoned prior to our arrival here. Mira Lexor."

"For what were you imprisoned?"

"It is a long story," she said. "Lexor seemed to be doing testing of some kind. I believe she is here on the station."

"I shall keep aware for her."

"She has something against the Jedi," Alida said. "Be on your guard."

"I like to think that I always am."

"Of course." Alida finished her drink and placed the empty glass on the bar for the bartender to pick up. "I do need to see to Kaliandra."

"Is there anything I may assist you with?"

"I don't know that anyone can help right now, but thank you for the offer." She sighed. "She may rebuff my help, as well."

"Why would she refuse your aid?"

"She does not wish to 'worry' me."

"Perhaps an outsider might help. Someone not close to the situation."

Alida thought about it, then nodded. "I would be honored if you would help."

"It is my honor to help you and your Padawan in any way my modest ability allows."

The bartender whisked away their glasses and Alida rose to her feet. "Our rooms are not far."

Alidar rose and Imari perked her head up, looking alert.

Alida moved silently through the crowded cantina toward the exit.

Alidar followed. Once again, his Force signature disappeared. Alida was impressed with the ease with which he hid it so completely.

As Alidar walked confidently behind her, Alida pulled the Force around her, but not as tightly, as she led the way to the small suite of rooms where her former Padawan waited.

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