Octavia surveyed her surroundings, a garden lay before her in many ways it reminded her of the garden that her grandmother had on Telos, but she knew this wasn't Telos. Octavia was pretty sure that she hadn't seen this place before. Pulling her cloak around her Octavia relished the feel of the wind and the way it blew her loose hair. Glancing down at her bellowing cloak Octavia stared at the deep blue color and texture when was the last time she wore this outfit? And why did it feel so strange to be wearing it now. Memories of the Electra came to mind and her former Captain. That was a lifetime ago, she had left the Electra over a two years ago now. Glancing around the garden Octavia searched for the others she knew that should be here as well. Medenna, Master D'med, and her padawan, did they find a way out of this world? Or was this another avenue to trick them into believing all of this was real? Octavia turned her attention back to the garden, she hadn't seen anything like it and the beauty of it was captivating. Walking along the path she was certain she would find her other companions, her fellow prisoners? After all wasn't that what they really were prisoners? A yellow color flower caught her attention moving bending down to view it Octavia smiles as warm memories came back of her father and her grandmother. Her grandmother had flowers like these in her garden on Telos. Octavia remembered the waterfall as well as the healing springs that Telos had to offer. Palpatine watched at how Octavia reacted to his garden, she was on her guard, but her thoughts were so easy to read. Octavia rose to her feet and looked around she thought she heard a waterfall, moving closer toward the sound, Octavia found that it was indeed a waterfall. 'Too perfect' she told herself glancing around she tried to see if there was another else in the area, anyone watching. 'Not real' she told herself. Palpatine couldn't help but smile to himself as he watched her so naïve, so trusting. Octavia walked closer to the waterfall and watched as it flowed over the embankment sending a fine mist upward spraying those who stood too close to the edge. 'So peaceful' Octavia thought 'How I wish it was real, wish you were here grandmother I'm so confused.' Octavia sat down by the edge and crossed her legs and just watched the water, the effects and beauty that nature had to offer. What was it Kali said meditate by not mediating? Looking around one more time Octavia's gaze froze on an image of a woman. Standing to her feet Octavia watched as the woman waved at her and began to walk toward her. The closer she came Octavia couldn't help but smile. Jedi Knight Tahl stopped a few feet from Octavia and opened her arms. "My child …" was all she said. Octavia resisted the evidence that this was just another trap another way to get information and allowed herself to be wrapped in the arms of her grandmother, enjoying the warmth she felt. It reminded her of when she was eight and her world was still a safe one. "Grandmother?" Octavia questioned. "How can this be?" "All things are possible with the Force, Octavia..." The Image of Tahl replied holding Octavia close brushing the hair away from her face. "Am I dreaming?" Tahl released Octavia her sightless green orange stripped eyes seem to sparkle. "Come. Let us sit on a bench and talk. Tell your grandmother what's on your mind..." Octavia led her over the bench just out of the spray of the falls. "I'm confused about so many things. Father's death, the Empire. What I'm going through now." "Do not be so concerned for the past.... as your grandfather was so fond of saying -- concentrate on the here and now." Tahl studied Octavia before she spoke. "You look strained, child. What is happening to you?" "Too much too quickly I guess." Octavia smiled slightly. "Somehow I don't think Grandfather would be too pleased with me right now." Tahl touched Octavia's shoulder and smiled. "I think Qui-Gon would understand. He often dealt with the dilemma of choice, for he broke many Jedi codes and faced the dark side, as you are now..." Palpatine smiled at the honesty that Octavia expressed, and at her confusion. Octavia shook her head. "But it's winning, I can feel it winning. I just feel so tired of it all. I feel my control slipping away I should have never taken this path." "Yes...yes," the Grandmother replied. "One path is what the Jedi always say .... still - it's my experience that you needn't stay on a singular path until you're sure it's the right one. If Qui-Gon had utilized his darker, aggressive side...he might have survived his encounter with Darth Maul..." "I do not wish to disagree with you, the darker side of the force should not be touched... Maul .... It seems my destiny is wrapped up with that name as well." "Yes...there is another seed from the past beside yourself..." "I can't harm her. She's done nothing wrong. I've seen the turmoil inside her." Octavia crosses her arms almost in Qui-Gon fashion. "There has to be another way." "No, I do agree...you should not harm her, child. But she is darker than the night -- the Sith do not defend ... they attack and so you should prepare yourself for this. She must have a master -- he will surely condition her mind for murder. You cannot prevent that .... only decide how you are going to save your life." "Save your life ... Save your life ..." Another voice seemed to surround the garden. Octavia lurched to feet her face flushed with anger. "First arena games and now this. IS that all I have to look forward to Is death and murder? Is that what a Jedi is? Is that what I'm suppose to become?" Octavia watched as a figured appeared under a tree ahead of her. The Emperor's solitary robed stood there, Octavia turned to where her grandmother was sitting and saw that she was gone. Slowly she turned to face the robed figure. "Greetings, Octavia. We meet again." Octavia took a seat back on the bench again reality had shifted. "It would seem so your Majesty." Octavia's voice was soft and tired. Looking around her at the garden. "Your making?" she questioned. "For you, my dear. It seems to me that you needed it." The Emperor paused. "You suspected. I'm sure you must have." "I should have." Octavia admitted. "Seems there is no waking from this nightmare." Octavia looked around remembering the last time she had dreamed … had met the Emperor Medenna was with her. "Where's Medenna?" "I assure you...the nightmare will end, Jedi Jinn." Palpatine sauntered over toward the bench and sat down next to her. "You need to know -- I *want* you alive, and well-trained - be it Jedi or Sith. We will meet again, but not in a dream....no....the next time I see you, you will be a fully trained Jedi Knight, Octavia Syn Jinn...and of course, I will turn you to the *dark side*...or you will die dueling my apprentice in the throne room. It is unavoidable, my dear --- and it will be my finest hour." Octavia stares at him in disbelief. "Is that all you live for is to cause pain and death?" The darkness was overwhelming and she was too tired to move away from him. "I live for power." Palpatine answered. "I am the darkness and the darkness is me." "Yet you have no peace, no one you can trust." Octavia shook her head. "When I die be it by your hand or your apprentices or your daughters' at least I will be part of the force death is not the end." Reaching up he gripped her chin. "Octavia," he smirks, "You are already acting like a Jedi -- they always used death as an escape. I have seen it for several decades." He laughed. "If death is your choice, I won't keep you from it. But it won't stop me. No Jedi can...." He enjoyed the shiver he felt from her the uncertainty and the fear. "Even in this dream, you can run, but you can't hide...." Octavia pulled away from him. "You will be stopped. Your evil can't last forever." Her gaze fixed upon his robed figure. "Why are you so interested in my training?" "You are a Jinn. Need I say more?" Octavia let out a small hiss of air. "WHAT was so special about Qui-Gon Jinn?" she knew her tone was harsh, but she was tired of lies, frustrated by each situation seeming to be hopeless. "He was just a man. Just a JEDI MASTER." The Emperor squinted at her and smiled. "You are indeed correct, my dear -- he was "just a Jedi Master" but most revered by many...he was famous for his strength of will...much like your own. And if the timing had been right, I would have liked to have made him my apprentice before Maul. But there was more light than dark in him. I'd like to take the challenge and turn his granddaughter." Palpatine gritted his teeth and hissed..."Yes...and I will ... One day in *your* future...I will." Octavia studied him then shook her head. His self-confidence, his arrogance was unbelievable. "I have seen what the dark side can do. I will never turn to it, if my will is as you say it is then you know he would never have turned either." "If you say you'll never turn to the dark side, then you will have to prepare for death under the hand of my own apprentice - the seed of the man who killed your grandfather. That would please me as well - history repeating itself." He casts her a malevolent smile. Octavia looks around the scenery then at the Emperor. "If that is the will of the Force then so be it. But I do not plan to die for you or your families amusement." Her thoughts returned to the Arena games, the waste of life for the amusement of others. Shaking her head Octavia heard the voice of Qui-Gon ring in her head. 'Her powers cannot come to be, You have to make sure, you have to stop her.' The Emperor's lips pursed into a frown. "You cannot prevent my amusement. But for now...I will leave you to your nightmares, Jedi Jinn. You will seek escape from this virtual "tomb" of captivity and eventually return to Skywalker for further instruction at his precious academy. I will be at your knighting, if in spirit. And I will rejoice with you for I have much to gain from it..." "You HAVE gained too much!" Octavia spat. "HOW many children have you left homeless, fatherless because of your greed? How many innocent Jedi did you destroy and bring down?" Octavia vented her frustration this man was responsible for her father's death, her grandmothers and grandfathers. "Master Skywalker is a kind man, and is trying to bring light into a world of darkness. A darkness you created!" "I protected my power, as you will need to protect yourself. The Jedi Way is certainly not an easy one -- isn't that what they told you, Octavia? Yes .... I'm sure they did. I heard it from many Jedi ...before they died standing up for their feeble creed." Octavia had heard that phrase, her father had told her that, as well as her grandmother. She herself had seen that it wasn't easy, for she had left friends and family to pursue what the force led her to believe was her destiny. And here she stood throwing a temper tantrum like a child. She could only nod at the Emperor. "Yes, it is not an easy path. Anymore than yours is." "I find you intelligent, despite your pitiful choices...and somehow it seems to me that you have figured out the sources behind these strange dreams and experiences in this virtual cell my daughter has put you in. Why don't you use your wits and find an escape hatch? I'm watching and waiting...I'll help you myself if I have to. You MUST become a Jedi." The Emperor's laughter echoed across the 'garden'. "You MUST become a Jedi, You must become a Jedi..." Octavia watched as the Emperor vanished. Only the sound of the waterfall was behind her. An escape hatch? So Alida was right there was a way out. Only question was how to find it. Rising from the bench Octavia walked over to the edge of the water and stared down the long cliff. She ran her hands threw her hair it was damp from the mist, damp from the nervous tension of being close to the Emperor yet again. It had been another trick another game on her captures part. Was Medenna really with her or a memory, and what of Alida and Kali? She needed to get out of this world before she grew quiet insane. Glancing up to the top of the waterfall the sun giving the illusion that it was sparkling. "Where are your words of wisdom now Master Skywalker, or your father?" she spoke softly not caring if they heard her or not. They knew enough about her already, knew too much. The Emperor wanted her to succeed at being a Jedi, he wanted his spies to inform him when she was knighted all for his enjoyment. Searching deep down Octavia knew she wanted that as well, but not for his enjoyment, not for his game of power struggle, but for herself and the knowledge that the Jedi were the only ones holding off the dark from consuming the galaxy forever. "It's not an easy life." Qui-Gon's voice came to her. Octavia nodded and turned away from the falls. No it wasn't an easy life, but it was the only one for her.
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