Pain and Images

Part One

  Darana fell to the floor with a thud, pain shooting throughout her body. 
  Keeping her eyes closed, she began tracing the source of the pain through an 
  already open link. She let out a scream as as someone forced her arm behind 
  her and wrenched down on a set of chains. There were others present, but 
  Darana's vision was limited to Serris' view. She did notice that her captors 
  were all dressed in Alliance uniforms and the man now standing directly in 
  front of her wore the insignia of the 33rd Rogor Slashers, Mechanized
  regiment. The unit commanded by Major Rose.  
  The connection began to fade as the man fastened a collar around her neck. 
  Darana tried to call out to Serris but couldn't the contact was gone and 
  everything was black. Darana doubled her efforts and found that there was 
  another present. Rachel had also felt Serris' pain. Together they tried to 
  locate Serris and failed. 
  Darana came back to herself, realizing that someone in the household had 
  moved her from the practice gym to the medical bay. She tried to sit up but 
  thought better of it when pain once again shot though her body, this time her 
  "I wouldn't if I were you." It was Rook. "You had a nasty fall from about 20 
  feet resulting in..." he consulted the medical reports,"a couple of broken 
  ribs, a broken arm, and a broken vertebrae. You aren't going anywhere for a 
  "We know," Rook cut her off. "Rachel filled us in. You need to stay here."
  "My body may need to stay here," she replied stubbornly, "but I don't."
  Rook understood her intent perfectly. It had been some time since Darana had 
  been in one of the other bodies. He wondered if transferring now, 
  with the effort it would take, was a wise thing for her to do. 
  "We'll see about that," was all he said.
  Rachel heads unerringly for the medical bay. She moves blindly, threading her 
  way through the corridors by practice and instinct alone. Her Force senses 
  enable her to easily evade anyone in her path. All she can see is Serris' 
  body in chains, bloody and battered, arm twisted behind her back...Serris' 
  face, jaw clenched in agony, as the man in the uniform of the 33rd closes 
  the COLLAR around her slender neck.
  She does not stop for anything or anyone, driven by the need to be as close 
  as possible to Darana--physically as well as psychically. Since the moment 
  the vision hit, Darana and Rachel had been united in mind and intent. Now, 
  Rachel reaches out along the link, using her own strength to cushion Darana 
  from the shock as well as to support her single minded purpose. 
  She is aware that making the shift to one of her clone bodies could be 
  dangerous for Darana so soon after the reintegration of her soul. But there 
  is not a thought in Rachel's mind of treachery. With utter disregard for 
  herself, she fiercely suppresses her own terrible, echoing memories of 
  slavery: the choke of the spiked collar, the mindlessness of the pursuit, the 
  chill emptiness in her own mind... Instead, she channels the horror of those 
  memories into strength: strength for Serris, for Darana, and for herself. All 
  she wants in the world is to help Darana find and free Serris, whose pain 
  sings as shrilly in Rachel's own soul as it does in the soul of Serris' 
  *We should have killed Rose when we had the chance,* Rachel thinks furiously. 
  *That mockery of a trial should have made Rebel Intel the laughingstock of 
  the galaxy. Now their failure has cost Serris her freedom. I do NOT think 
  much of this marvelous new Head of Intelligence who General Branwyn 
  hand-selected, if _this_ is her legacy!
  *Before, I was a Jedi student, shackled by the niceties of Alliance law and 
  tradition. Not anymore. In my Darkness, I am free as a bird, limited only by 
  the loyalties which I have freely chosen. At Darana's word, the full forces 
  of Dark Order will be brought to bear against these charlatans and traitors. 
  I will die before I see Serris locked up like a rabid dog again, choked off 
  from the very life-force of the universe. We will make them pay for the 
  torment they have caused my former mentor, Serris, foster-mother of 
  Darana...and soul-sister to my own beloved foster-mother, dead these four 
  long years.*
  Shade, feeling Darana awaken, reaches out with a feather-light Force touch. 
  Confusion reigns in Darana's mind as Shade feels the memories of Serris' pain 
  mingled with her own. Feeling her intent to transfer through the link, Shade 
  begins to move toward the body storage. "I will bring it, since you will not 
  be deterred."
  *Good,* thinks Darana.
  "Now rest while I prepare the clone body. We will get her back safely, or 
  avenge her."
  Darana mentally smiled, satisfied that Shade is supporting her and not tyring 
  to pull his usual recent 'for the good of the household' litany. It hurt too 
  much to talk; so she reached out to Rook through the link, informing him of 
  Shade's actions.  
  Rook kept tight control over himself as he tried to shield himself from the 
  residual pain flowing through Darana's link. It had happened quite a few 
  times in recent memory (though he wouldn't admit that to her) and he had some 
  practice, just as he had practice at being head of the household. As far as 
  he was concerned, since Darana was incapcitated things fell to him...and they 
  would just wait and see if Darana was jumping anywhere.
  Rook spoke into the watch he had rigged to act as a communications device 
  within the household. Well...that and a high yield explosive. You could never 
  be too careful.  
  "Shade. When you have finished preparations, you are to hold before 
  attempting anything further in the process. Darana is not to try 'jumping' 
  until she has been given the okay by the medical staff."
  "Do you truly think you can stop her?" Shade asked Rook. "She can and will 
  jump from where she is. It is safer and less traumatic for her to be in 
  contact with the body. You will not be able to stop it and you know it. I 
  suggest you get her to agree before I get there. You have about ten minutes." 
  Shade began to warm the body. To himself he thought, shielding the thoughts 
  from his link to Rook, *Do not make me choose, brother. It really is no 
  choice. And while it would feed my anger even more to have to fight you, she 
  will be as safe as I can make her. Even if she's being foolish and impulsive. 
  She has accepted Serris into the house and the house has been attacked. I 
  WILL defend it. Using EVERY asset available.*
  Darana was furious. Nothing and no one was going to stand in her way. 
  Instinctively, Darana opened the link between her and Rook completely. There 
  were no shields to stand in the way. Her energy gathered; and she was about 
  to jump into _him_ when she felt a stinging in her right arm. The room began 
  to spin and every muscle in her body began to relax. She looked up to see 
  Rook looking down at her. 
  "Fast-acting sedative." He held up the syringe. "I figured you would try 
  something like that. You're going to wait for the medical staff to clear you."
  Rook stood by her until the sedative had taken effect completely, then gave 
  the order for the room to be Force-damped. He wasn't taking any chances with 
  her safety.  
  Takara is just finishing up some droid repairs when the sick feeling hits, 
  followed by a short burst of pain in her head that makes her vision blur.  It 
  is not unlike the effect of staring at Tattooine's twin suns without 
  protecton. She knows that since there was no coherent message attached to the 
  link from Darana, she assumes the worst and calls Rook on the comm to find 
  out the bad news...after her head stops pounding.
  "Rook. It's me. What's going on?"
  "A lot. Darana's in the Medical Bay right now.  Where are you?"
  "Droid shop. I was just finishing up, since you've got me scheduled to start 
  working in your office this week."
  "Good. Head up there now. I'll fill you in on the details when I get a 
  "Understood. She okay?" There is a pause. "Hello? Rook?"
  "She's fine for now."
  Takara can hear the distraction in Rook's voice, and decides to let the 
  matter be. After all, there are other ways of finding out what's going on... 
  "Okay, I'll be there in a few minutes."
  After she shuts the comm off, she activates a screen that locates all the 
  service droids in the house, then transmits the same message to each one.  
  "Locate Shade. Locate Rachel. Locate Rook. Locate Darana." 
  The answers come back in moments:
  Darana - Medical Bay - secure area
  Rook - Medical Bay
  Rachel - In transit - to Medical Bay
  Shade - In transit - to lower levels
  *I love this place, never a dull moment,* she thinks to herself, then shuts 
  everything down before heading for the office.
  Kylie had needed a break.  Not surprisingly, she hadn't gotten it.
  Not that this unofficial "ambassador" situation wasn't much better than she'd 
  expected.  Thus far, Darana had been true to her word, allowing her people 
  free access to the Jedi's Light-side instruction, and making no attempt to 
  persuade her guest to alter her views. And although their agreement 
  stipulated that Kylie likewise refrain from actively trying to convert the 
  Sith students, she was surprised and a bit confounded by two exceptions: Avon 
  and Rachel, it seemed, disturbed even the manipulative Dark Lady, who felt 
  that the two women's current Dark Side mindset was unnatural for them.
  Kylie had had little contact with Avon thus far, but she certainly agreed in 
  the case of Rachel, whom she knew as Jedi student Rachel Summers. It wasn't 
  just the name that had changed; even the woman's Force-signature, though 
  recognizable, had altered. She commanded far greater power now than she had 
  evidenced in what Kylie presumed to be her proper persona--greater power than 
  Darana could comfortably control. Little wonder she wanted a Jedi to put 
  Rachel back the way she had been.
  There was a great break in Rachel's mind that desperately needed healing, 
 something outside the scope of the Sith teachings that dominated the 
  Cairnfell household. Kylie's mother had specialized in such things, but 
  healing was her own weakest area. That had to change; the need was too great.
  So fate found her meditating on the problem, seeking the source of the break, 
  when pain hammered down on her...and, she realized a moment later, anyone 
  else nearby who had been at all open to it. It took fractions of a second to 
  identify Darana as the source. Then a wave of power, pain and fear swept 
  through in its wake: Rachel, sprinting down the corridor past Kylie's guest 
  quarters. Her specific mission was unclear, but the iron-willed determination 
  with which she was pursuing it was unmistakable.
  Kylie was on her feet and following before she had consciously decided to do 

On to Part 2