Pain and Images

Part Two

  Records, records, and more records floated in front of Erics eyes. He
  paused from his search to enjoy a bite of an Ewok Steak sandwich, rare of
  course. He was dining alone in an attempt to follow thorugh with the most 
  recent task Darana had given him. Impossible as it may be, he was supposed to 
  find Sidra's son; if he was still alive.  
 His thoughts were interrupted by a disturbance in the force. He felt a rush
 of pain coming over him. Eric embraced the pain momentarily, savoring it's 
 intensity ... and remembering times past.  Eric pushed the pain reluctantly
 to the back of his mind and made his way to the medical bay, he knew he would
 find it's source there, and he needed to see what was going on to cause Darana
 such pain.
  Rachel stalks into the medical bay. She stops for a moment, startled, as the 
  Force-damper hits her. As she stands there, she sees Avon sitting beside 
  Darana's bed, her expression contemplative. The tableau is a powerful one. 
  Rachel walks slowly around to the other side of the bed. Kneeling, she gently 
  takes Darana's bruised hand in her own. 
  "Isn't this a bit redundant?" she asks Rook tartly, gesturing to the 
  dampening switch. "She's already unconscious. She can hardly use the Force in 
  her sleep."
   Rook returns Rachel's hot look with a level stare of his own. "You may not 
  have learned this of me yet, but you will. I do not believe in taking 
  chances, especially when it comes to the well being of anyone in the 
  household. Darana is one of the most capable, driven, and dangerous people I 
  know. I put very little past her. I do not disagree that it would be a good 
  idea for her to 'jump' into another body. It will save her much pain and 
  suffering while this one can be healed. I will not however allow her to 
  attempt it if she is not able. When the medical personnel have finished 
  looking her over, and have cleared her, I will support her decision only 
  then. Not before. I note your objection and some others'. However, until 
  Darana is able to assume command, I am in charge and you will take orders 
  from me. Now see that you don't get in the doctors' way."  Rook continues to 
  look at Rachel, waiting for her response.
  Rachel stares at him. "Whoa!" she says, leaning back a bit. Her expression is 
  one of some small annoyance, but mostly honest surprise. "Who ever said 
  anything about taking chances?! If you think I'd take a chance with Darana's 
  safety, you're nuts! I don't know about these 'others,' but *I* haven't made 
  any objection to having Medical clear her before she makes the jump." She 
  takes a deep breath, visibly trying to calm herself down. 
  "Frankly," she continues, "I think having the doctors look her over is a 
  damned good idea, after that fall of hers--and it will ease our minds, which 
  is no small benefit, either. She's going to need us all to be at our 
  strongest. I'm just not too concerned about Medical; because the jump 
  involves her mind, not her long as she can concentrate, she should 
  be able to jump. And--" her expression hardens-- "I don't think she's going 
  to have any trouble concentrating, given what we have to do." 
  Eric enters the room quietly. Seeing Rachel and Rook's heated conversation he
  smiles quirkily  to himslef and heads over to the nearest med-tech; checking 
  on Darana's status for himself.  
  Rachel shrugs. "But as for your being in charge, why should I have a 
  problem with that? You're Darana's second. I've always taken your orders 
  before. And I certainly don't intend to get in the doctors' way! The second 
  they get here, I'm over there." She nods at a point some distance from the 
  bed where Darana lies. It's near enough to get a good view, but far away 
  enough to provide more than enough space for several people to mill around 
  the bed. "I just don't like being Force-damped, especially after what 
  I--we--just saw." Rachel scowls. "And if I'm a little...tense," she says, 
  baring her teeth like a wolf, "I assure you it isn't because of anything 
  _you've_ done." Her eyes unfocus slightly as she looks beyond him to a 
  distant enemy whose face she cannot see...yet.
  Satisfied that the tart tone in Rachel's voice was not directed at him or his 
  actions as acting head of the Houshold, Rook nodded.  "Understood.  I am a 
  bit tense as well."  With that, he went back to studying a clip board and 
  watching Darana vigilently.
  Klaw bounded into the room as soon as he arrived back at the household. He 
  had been out roaming, watching the local townspeople in an effort to learn 
  how they interact with one another. He frequently had questions for Darana 
  when he returned from these trips which she seemed to answer patiently. It 
  was on his way back to the household that he had felt her pain through the 
  link, and had gotten back as quickly as he could. 
  He skidded through the doorway to the medical bay in his full tiger form and 
  quickly changed to his in-between form. Seeing Rachel in the room, he asked 
  in an excited voice, "What happened? Is she okay? Who did this? Did you see 
  them?" Not pausing for an answer, he looked around the room and sniffed the 
  air. When he found nothing, he ran to where she lay and pushed past one of 
  the doctors to sniff at Darana's face.  
  "Easy, big fella," Rachel said, hauling her felinoid friend away from the 
  frozen doctor. "Darana's going to be just fine--_if_ you let the doctors do 
  their job," she added pointedly. Klaw's ears lowered a bit; but he quickly 
  recovered from the minor scolding. Tail twitching anxiously, Klaw listened 
  intently as Rachel quietly explained the situation. 
  Just after Rachel began, Kylie entered the medical bay cautiously, curiosity 
  plain on her face. Nodding to her distractedly, Rachel did not otherwise 
  react as Kylie drew near to listen.
  Katrina woke from her mid-day nap to the feeling of pain. She felt through 
  her minimal Force ability that something had happened to Darana. Not knowing 
  enough about speaking though the Force, she sniffed her way to the medical 
  Cautiously and slowly, Katrina walked in. Not wanting to get too close, not 
  wanting to be noticed just yet, she stayed behind the others and listened to 
  Rachel telling them what had happened.  
  Katrina wondered to herself if Darana would be all right. She didn't speak to 
  anyone. No one seemed to notice her there, so she sat on the floor next to 
  the door.
  Klaw tilted his head up slightly as he scented Katrina's arrival, but said 
  nothing as he paid attention to the more important task at hand.

 Meanwhile, back in Rook's office..
 Takara sat down at her computer terminal ready to start working. She glanced 
 at the time, and realized that Rook hadn't followed up to her on the news to 
 Darana's condition. In moments, she had cued up the monitors to the Medical 
 Bay.  At first, she couldn't see anything and then realized what the problem 
 There were too many people on screen.
 "What the... ?" She started counting heads and came up with eight, including 
 Darana herself who still lay on the table while everyone else crowded around 
 *Great,* she mused, *we could have three platoons of Alliance troops heading 
 right for the compound at this moment and every important head of the 
 household is cooling their heels in the medical bay.*  
 Sure, Darana was the head of the household and it was good for everyone to 
 be concerned about her well-being; but Takara was more than willing to bet 
 that she could take care of herself with a minimal amount of help from Rook 
 and Shade.   
 Rachel was a whole other matter.  
 Yes, she had gone through Hell, which meant Takara trusted her enough as a 
 member of the house.  But actually LIKE her...well, that was different. 
 Things had happened since her arrival, and not all of them good in Takara's 
 The image of Rachel pulling the trigger that killed Arcturus was still there 
 in here mind--irreguardless that Arcturus' behavior had warranted such 
 action.  Takara had known Arcturus several years before she'd even heard of 
 Darana, and if there was one thing she had learned about the former Merc was 
 that he was one of the most  cunning,  secretive , and yet strangely enough, 
 loyal people to any cause he chose. He also had more ulterior motives and 
 back up plans  than a bantha had fleas.  There were many days after his 
 execution, in fact, that she had half expected to see him stroll through the 
 door alive and kicking and not a scratch on him...
 But it never happened. 
 Rachel's entrance to the house, in contrast, was mostly based on believing 
 that she had permanantly turned from Light Side Force user to Dark. Takara 
 personally never put much stock in the whole concept of force users "turning", 
 mostly based on past experience. She'd had some early (and high paying) 
 assignments for the Imperials as a Merc that involved hunting down Dark Side 
 students who had turned Light,  or, on occasion, Jedi students who had begun 
 experimenting with the Dark Side and then changed their minds once they 
 realised what they were getting themselves into.  No matter what the reason, 
 no matter what the cause, it always ended the same way.  Takara would be left 
 standing in the distance as Imperials dragged the target away...
 The most recent had been Leia Solo's stay at the house when she had 
 supposedly Turned to the Dark Side.  Takara remembered those days, and 
 remembered too the order Darana had given her as they watched Leia stroll 
 across the compund: "Watch her." 
 Takara would indeed be watching this time, even without being given the 
 order, especially while Darana was recovering from her latest difficulty. 
 Because  Rachel was a Force user who had Turned; and it always ended the same 

  Rook read through the medical reports the doctors provided. Not satisfied, he 
  cornered the doctor in his office. "You have had ample time to observe her, 
  doctor; and I don't have any time to waste. Is she or is she not able to jump 
  to another body without damaging herself?" He had almost growled the 
  question, but managed to grind it out in a tone so artificially calm that any 
  who knew him would have cause for concern.  
  The doctor watched Rook warily, momentarily concerned for his own safety. 
  "The body is weak, but she is a very strong-willed person. In the matters of 
  the Force, I have seen dying Sith leap successfully out of seriously battered 
  bodies and survive." He paused, watching Rook's reactions-or trying to. Rook 
  sat expressionless with his gaze fixed on the doctor's face. "Her body will 
  heal without her in it," the doctor finished. "I do not know of a reason she 
  should not be able to successfully complete the transfer. Especially if it is 
  one which she has used before."
  With purposeful quick strides, Rook went back into the med lab to deliver the 
  news to all of Darana's well-wishers and to allow them to effect the transfer 
  (whatever that entailed) as soon as possible.  There was no need for her to 
  suffer any longer.

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