To Start a New Life part 2 (august 2002)

Heather Melville, Dora Furlong, Ginna Wilcoxen

Mira stood in front of the window, sleep had eluded her for the past couple of days. She could count the hours on her hand, four hours maybe five if she was lucky, maybe that many meals as well. What was wrong with her? She heard the knock on the door. "Come in." her voice was low.

Lilandra entered "How are you?"

"Do you wish honestly Lilandra?" Mira asked not turning around not turning around

"Of course." Her voice was soft and gentle, still somewhat musical.

Mira turned around. "Horrible." her eyes were red from crying and hallow from lack of sleep.

"What is it?" Lilandra sat down and indicated for her to sit near her.

Mira walked over and sat down. "I've not been sleeping well, my appetite is next to nothing ... to be honest, Lilandra, I'm scared."

"What are you scared of?"

Mira looked down at her hands she hated when they shook. "Being discovered. " She looked up at Lilandra. "Funny isn't it, I once dreamed of being found and returned to my way of life. To go back to the Heresiarch, to the Empire."

Lilandra smiled at Mira reasurringly, "It is natural to be concerned."

"I keep dreaming of being found out. At times I swear I see the Emperor's face, hear his voice."

Lilandra nodded, "It is always a risk...but you will be safe here."

Mira nodded. "I'm safe, but what of the others out there?" she questioned. "What of the innocent by-standers?"

"Mira you yourself can not solve the problems of the Galaxy....look to your own life first."

"My life?" she questioned. "I should have died along time ago. Why not return me to the Empire, and save yourselves?"

Lila exhaled slowly as she handed her the data padd. "This is what I found out about the attack on your labs by the Alliance."

Mira looked at it then slowly took it. "The attack, you mean they claim to have a reason?" Her voice was bitter.

"Look at it Mira. It will answer your questions."

Mira stared at the padd then began to read. Liliandra watched her. Mira's face became hard as she read. She rose to her feet after reading and walked over to the window her hands were clutched into tight balls. Lilandra was concerned but watched her in silence. Mira let the padd fall from her hand as she turned her attention to the scenery outside her window. The trees, the sun that filtered through them. Mira slowly released her hands and placed one on the wall next to the window. She rested her head against it for a few moments. "We were set up." her voice was harsh and deadly,

"By whom? how?" Lilandra asked.

"Surely you read the report." Mira answered. "I ... we considered him our friend." She raised her head to once again look out the window.

"And he betrayed you...he did know you were there?"

Mira nodded. "We ... we were running behind in finding out why the hot springs were contaminated. Elrod had mentioned his project ... it was voted down by the directors."

Lilandra nodded letting Mira talk. She was still concerned about her tone and how this would effect her.

"I sat on that board when the decision was made." Mira chuckled. "I still hold a seat there." she watched as the limb of the tree swayed in the breeze.

"Well did.." Lilandra said with a small smile.

Mira turned and looked at her keeper, her contact. "Yes, but in my absence the ... seat goes to Elrod."

Lilandra paled looking at Mira. "Not good. Is he seeking power of his own?"

"I've held him off in the past." Mira stated. "The labs on Arridor was there to help Arridor believe it or not. He will change it to nothing but a weapons factory."

Lilandra nods, "I will inform my superiors."

"I left research at my home, if searched it will be found." Mira looked back out the window.

"On Telos? It is possible we could get it before they do."

"My husband ... my child, it wasn't a random attack, it wasn't a meaningless attack as I thought." Mira turned and leaned against the wall, the urge to throw herself out the window was strong, she had been a fool... a tool.

" couldn't have known ... you were upset and grieving."

Mira nodded and closed her eyes. "My house has a security system, if entered wrong everything will be destroyed. The research is on DNA as well as cloning."

Lilandra nods and begins to take notes. "Where is it located?"

Mira opened her eyes. "I allowed myself to be used, I walked openly and willingly to be nothing more than a tool." she sat down across from Lilandra, she needed to get away from the window, killing herself would not help anyone. "I have a picture of my parents on my desk. the data is encoded into the picture."

"We will get the information."

Mira looked at her. "The password is Magellan. Anyone good with decryption will be able to access the information. Xanatos was very interested in the cloning, .. and if the force could be transferred or cloned as well."

Lil blanched, "I could see how that would be of interest to him." Her voice was dry as she noted the password.

"He wanted it for other reasons ... he wanted to use it on someone." Mira stated. "Lilandra, back when I was in my cell I made a comment that I wanted to help, " Mira looked down. "I lied then."

"And now?"

"Now I make that offer in truth. If they will allow me to help." Mira placed her hands behind her neck. "I know they won't, and I wouldn't blame them."

Lil nods, "I will reiterate your offer. What do you wish to do? You should relax...see to your own health and needs."

Mira shook her head. "My health is fine, I should be dead, but my health is fine. I'm a scientist Lilandra, I can begin making some antidotes for the poisons that I know that are out there, but other than that I don't know what I can do."

Lil shook her head, "I can get you supplies if you wish. The lab here is modest, but will work if you like." She offered.

Mira nodded "That is a start, yes." Mira paused. "thank you."

"Thank you." She stood, "I will get this information out now ...we will act quickly."

"Lilandra, one more favor."

She smiles, "Yes?"

Mira stood. "Since I'm dead. Then Lexor should be dead as well. If I have to be called by a last name, is it possible to use my married name ... Magellan?"

"I think that can easily be arranged."

"Let your superiors know that my actions are partly because of guilt, but also because I've realized I was betrayed and duped. I should have thought of it before, but I ... I trusted Elrod."

Lil nodded.

"Let me give you a list of the supplies I'll need, some of them are specific, and I will be honest if used wrong I could kill you or anyone here with it. So I will understand if your superiors say no."

Lil nodded "I will put it through"

Mira handed a data padd to Lil. "Again, I know the risk I'm asking you and others to take ... I mean to trust a murderer."

"Your assistance is appreciated."

Mira nodded. "I need to get some notes in order in case anyway. " Mira walked back over to the desk. "Thank you for listening, and for not being judgmental ... at least while you're here." She wasn't sure if Lilandra was being polite or not but she wasn't questioning it.

"Mira, I'm not judgmental. We all make mistakes."

Mira nodded, "Yes, we do. At least I have time to correct some of mine. " She turned her attention back to the data padd before her.

"Then I will leave you to it and be back with you soon."

"I will be here." Mira stated not looking up.

Lilandra nodded as she smiled.


Mira just sat down with a cup of hot tea when Lilandra showed up with supplies. She looked in the box and smiled. "All of them were approved?"

"Yes," Lilandra helped Mira carry them to the lab.

"Thank you, there were no problems or questions?" Mira asked as she began to put the supplies in order.


"Good," Mira whispered. "I've tried to piece as much together as I can remember on the DNA research I was working on."

Lilandra nodded.

"Lilandra, how is my health?" Mira questioned.

"Your health? You need to eat, stop being guilt ridden and sleep more."

Mira shook her head and leaned against the lab table. "I can't sleep, I'm plagued by dreams .... dreams of people I don't know."

"I'm there anything I can do?" Her concern is genuine.

Mira shook her head, "There's something locked inside my mind Lilandra and I can't reach it. Regardless of what has been done to help me, the traps that have been defused. I can feel it like a rotting piece of meat. I have to find it, I can't rest until I find it." Mira shook her head. "Am I going insane Lilandra?"

Lilandra frowned "Locked inside?"

Mira shook her head. "I don't know how else to explain it." Mira sat down on one of the stools. "He has something hidden somewhere, something that will hurt or kill someone .. .and I can't remember it."

"I will get one of our doctors to look if you like, perhaps one of our force sensitives can see if there was anything further ... I thought Lt ... Ms. Matthews removed everything he had done."

"Conditioning, was removed, this is something else.... something totally different." Mira stood and looked at one of the chemicals. "Maybe it's my imagination, brought on by guilt."

"Better to check it out" Lilandra cautioned.

Mira nodded. "I am probably just imagining it?"

"Well I am glad you said something...we will have you checked out immediately."

Mira nodded her head slowly, "It probably will mean having my mind searched." she shivered at that thought, it was bad enough to have Talia go through it once ..twice?"

"Yes it will...I can understand your reluctance to that." Lil thinks of how close Mira was to being asked to have her mind erased of Talia. She shook her head free of the memory. "I will see what we can do for you."

Mira let out a sigh. "If it will stop Xanatos from hurting someone, then who am I to protest?" Mira smiled. "The worse that happens is that the information is ... booby trapped and I die." she gives out a dry laugh. "For a second time."

Lil frowned, "I don't want to see you harmed."

Mira nodded. "Neither do I, but it is a small price to pay don't you think?"

" be looked at and healed is not the same as being tampered with." She replied.

"I don't know. I've tried to study the force, to understand it,, but I don't." Mira confessed.

"Neither do I. There is little to understanding it if you do not possess it..." Lilandra shook her head, "And I'm more than happy to let them to it." Mira nodded. Lil smiled, "Thank you for saying something." She patted Mira's hand. "We will look into this."

"I just hope it's something and not just a ghost of my own making."

Lil smiled sympathetically, "We will know soon."


The knock on Mira's door was normal before it was opened. Mira glanced up from her desk. "Come in." Mira recognized Lilandra and studied the woman who was with her. She was dressed in dark brown robes, her hair was black and her eyes were hazel.

Lilandra smiled, "Hello Mira, I would like to introduce Shevrin Matalla, Jedi Healer." It was clear to Lilandra that Mira had spent another night without sleep.

"Lilandra," Mira turned and looked at the other woman, Shevrin Matalla. "A Jedi?"

Shevrin smiled. "Yes. A healer first, but also a Jedi."

"It's alright Mira." Lilandra assured her.

Mira nodded. "How ironic, first I try to kill them now I relay on one to see if I'm sane ... I've really become despirate. I meant no disrespect Shevrin, can I call you that?"

Lil smiled.

Shevrin sat down, radiating calm. "Of course, please do. I understand that you have concerns?..." Shevrin attempted to read Mira and frowned when she couldn't.

Mira rose and began to pace. "I can't sleep, I can't eat. I know most of it is from guilt." she looked at Lilandra. "But it goes deeper ... I feel as if I know something or should remember something but I can't." Mira was nervous, and scared and the idea of someone running around in her mind wasn't something she looked forward to.

Lilandra noticed Shevrin's frown, then realized she was being blocked by the chip that was inside Mira. "Oh ... just a moment." She rose and left the room for a few minutes then came back in.

*I apologize. I have grown somewhat dependent on my use of the Force with patients. A bad habit and one that I shall have to remedy.* Shevrin sent to Lilandra.

Lil blinked jumping at Shevrin's voice, she couldn't stop from giving her a glare.

"My apologies. No discourtesy intended." Shevrin blinks.

"Mira, would you be willing to allow me to create a healer's rapport, so that I can sense if something was done to you?"

Mira stood frozen as a statue for a few moments before she nodded slowly. "I must be honest, I'm scared of having someone in my mind, but yes I'm ... willing."

"I give you my word that I am here only as a healer."

Mira finally took a seat. "Very well, then I will ... tr ... tr ... trust you."

Shevrin noticed that it was very hard for Mira to say trust, and noticed that Mira was shaking.

Lilandra smiled encouragingly at Mira.

"Is there somewhere you might be more comfortable?" Shevrin made sure she put Mira under her own shields to do what the chip was suppose to do.

"Thirty Years Ago." Mira whispered. "No, I'm fine here."

Lil chuckled it was the first time she heard Mira try to joke.

Shevrin nodded, understanding. She lifted a brow at Lil. Taking one of Mira's hands, she closed her eyes, concentrating. She noticed the woman's skin was cold to the touch.

Lil watched, wishing she knew what was going on. Though she relaxed when she noticed Mira was starting to.

Shevrin worked with Mira, getting her to calm herself before they began. She was met with resistance, but soon Mira allowed herself to listen to Shevrin's coaching. Slowly Shevrin began with a light, easy rapport. She looked for traps set off by Force probe. Upon finding none continued, to look for constructs not natural to the mind, things that didn't belong. Everything looked fine until she came across something that looked unnatural, it was as if it was blocked off. Shevrin began to slowly look at that, she was expecting traps. She was ready to hold Mira in mental stasis if she had to prevent any damage from a reaction.

Mira's heart rate increase along with her breathing, Shevrin isolated the patch and helped Mira control her fear which was causing her heart to race. She slowed it back to meditative normal.

Mira saw herself as a third person standing with Xanatos. There were cryro freeze tubes before her, Mira pulled back slightly not wanting Xanatos to see her. Shevrin's assurance allowed her to look forward.

"Cyro tubes." Mira whispered. "He showed me cryro tubes."

Lilandra frowned.

*What did he say when he showed them to you?* Shevrin sent to Mira.

"His weapon, .... a surprise." Mira answers slowly. "I...I told him ... NO the Pain." Mira cried out as she remembers Xani invading her mind, the brutality of it.

Shevrin eased the pain. She helped Mira distance the memory, so that the sensory impressions are far away. Mira could see them at a removed distance.

Mira closed her eyes. "I can't bring them back to life Xanatos," she stated slowly as if talking to him.

Shevrin sent reassurance and support. "Mira he's not there now." *Xanatos is imprisoned. You have no reason fear him* Shevrin looked at how this information was affecting the rest of Mira's mind.

Mira seemed to calm "He wants me to ... NO .. he wants me to clone them." Mira shook her head. "I ... can't."

*Clone whom?* Shevrin asked

"Jedi." Mira whispered. "Oh Gods, I gave him ... I gave him the means to do it." Mira's voice fell flat.

*Where?* Shevrin asked Underlying that is the knowledge that Mira didn't let Xanatos do this, that he coerced her. She is not to blame for having been overpowered.

"A .... a ship." Mira stammered. "He knows one of them .. He knows one of them ..."

*Which one does he know?* Shevrin asked.

Lilandra sat nearby, listening closely as Mira spoke aloud.

"The ... woman ..." Mira whispereds. "Jinn. he said Jinn."

*Do you know where the ship is or might be?* Shevrin asked gently.

"No ... it ... roams.... He's going to reprogram them .... he's going to use them."

*How many?* Shevrin asked. *being reprogrammed.*

"I ... don't know ... I only know of the ones he told me..." Mira shook her head, "I can't stop him .... he's in my mind ... pulling knowledge...."

Shevrin cushioned Mira she was prepared to end this if the distress grew too great. Shevrin looked to see what knowledge was being pulled, looking for details to help them find the ship. She saw experiments, and notes, talk of DNA replications as well as information on her husband, the labs and hatred of the Alliance. Shevrin could feel the happiness that Xanatos felt at Mira's discomfort.

"OffWorld." Mira whispers. "The ship is Off Worlds'" Mira shrunk from the memory...."Matthews....Matthews is in control of the ship." she begins to show signs of distress. "WHAT have I done?"

Shevrin calmed her again. *You did not do this. You were used, Mira. Overpowered. This is not your fault.*

"I didn't fight it, I didn't try." Mira countered. "I allowed it, welcomed it."

Lil looked very concerned for Mira, she wasn't sure what she was referring to, but it couldn't be good to put Mira in this state.

Mira pulled back. "I should have died, what kind of monster am I?"

*No, Mira, this was not your doing. You were overpowered by someone using skills you do not have. You are not a monster.* Shevrin made sure the last was weighted with the Force.

Mira slowly nodded. "He has everything." Mira whispered. "everything."

*No, Mira, he does not. he has not won, not yet. And with your help he might never win.*

Mira looks at her, "He took everything."

*Everything?* Shevrin questioned.

"My memories, my research ... " Mira's voice trails off. "My life." she whispered

Lilandra looked between Mira and Shevrin, wondering what the Jedi was saying to get Mira to answer the way she was.

Mira looked at Shevrin, "The Jedi have to be warned ..."

"They will be." Shevrin stated evenly. *Mira, you still belong to yourself. He did not take that. He never truly could.*

"I wish I could believe that ... I really do."

*Believe it.* There was no doubt in Shevrin's mind or her statement to Mira and watched as the woman nodded slowly.

Lil was very concerned about the woman's mental state. "Are you alright Mira?"

Mira didn't answer, she only sat there.

*He does not own you Mira*

Mira shook her head. "He ... controled me ..."

*For a time only.* Shevrin said gently.

"She's freed right there is absolutely nothing else there in any form by *anyone*?" Lil inquired of Shevrin.

"There is a small section of her mind that is not natural to it. I have isolated that section and am beginning to read it, to break it down." Shevrin said. "She is not under Xanatos' control."

Mira nodded, slowly pulling herself together. "I don't ... want that ... will not allow ... to happen again."

Shevrin recognized how unstable this woman had now become from all the reports more than she ever was while in Alliance custody.

Lil looked at Shevrin who rose. "Mira, I think it's time you get some rest." Lil said softly helping Mira to her feet leading her into her room.

"Never ... again ... won't ... never." Mira repeated.

"I have my schedule cleared for a while, I will remain here with her." Shevrin said.

"I will be staying here as well. Will she be okay?"

"In time."

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