"Oh, no problem!" Jerella answered. "It will be nice to see him earlier than I'd expected." She noticed a young man and woman seated nearby and smiled politely at them as her gaze encountered their faces. They smiled back, but she continued to turn her head toward the doors to the staterooms, as if trying to determine where Luke was. Daringly, she reached out with the Force and tried to contact him...something she'd never done in the months she'd been on Yavin, her previous experiences having drilled caution into her.
Her gentle Force probe brushed the edges of Octavia's presence, but, politely, Jerella didn't pry. She smiled suddenly as her figurative "tap on the shoulder" attracted Master Skywalker's attention.
*Hello, Jerella! I didn't expect to find you on board.*
Octavia watched Jerella, puzzled as the other woman's face stilled in concentration, but said nothing to disturb her. Jerella gave him a quick, telepathic rundown of why she was going to travel on the ship back to Yavin and let him know that she was talking with Octavia. Still smiling, Jerella disengaged the contact and turned back toward her new acquaintance. "Sorry about that. I expect he'll be out in a few minutes."
Before Syn-Jinn could respond, there was a "bleep, bleep" and the public address speaker announced, "We're sealing the ship...ready to launch. All passengers secure for lift." The voice was that of the female copilot Jerella had seen as she had approached the vessel to board.
Octavia glanced up. "Sounds like we're finally ready to go." Signs lit up and tones beeped throughout the cabin as ships systems moved into high gear for take off.
Captain Marvin's voice came over the intercom. "Lifting in fifteen seconds. Everyone secure."
Jerella stuffed the last of her snack bar into her mouth and fumbled for the safety straps on the chair she occupied as Octavia secured herself to her seat.
On the other side of the lounge, Benedict and Soul quietly leaned back in their own chairs. Soul grumbled something about flying and buckled his safety belt. One of the stateroom doors opened and a black clad Luke Skywalker strode out and took a vacant seat not too far from Jerella and Octavia, buckling himself in. Around them the other passengers were doing likewise as the pitch of the idling engines increased in volume and intensity.
Marvin's voice sounded once more. "Lifting---now!" Despite the grav generators and the safety straps, the passengers felt half squashed into their acceleration seats, shaken by ship's effort to escape the gravity well of Urslin's primary world. The pressure eased up, as did the shaking once they'd cleared the atmosphere, and more signal tones and lights changed as the pilot and co-pilot sent the ship on the jump run for hyperspace flight to their final destination of the Yavin system. Several long minutes later, there was a final lurch. The warning signs went off one by one, and the passengers were free to unbuckle themselves and resume their cabin activities.
Shortly after the break into hyperspace, Captain Marvin came into the lounge, followed by his generously built co-pilot. He smiled at his human cargo. "We're safely in hyperspace, running on autopilot. We're another 36 hours until we reach Yavin. Relax and enjoy your flight." He and his Junoesque partner disappeared through a door labeled "Authorized personnel only." A quick glimpse before the door closed showed it was their private cabin.
Benedict helped Soul up from his seat. "Go get something for your stomach. I'll be in here." With that, Soul exited with a moan, and she walked over to Octavia and Jerella. "Pardon me...I couldn't help overhearing that you go to the Jedi Academy, is that correct?"
Jerella looked up at the speaker, seeing a woman of middle height with long, layered brown hair, greenish brown eyes and a full, friendly mouth. She nodded politely. "Yes."
Octavia looked up then glanced at Jerella and echoed her answer with a nod.
Benedict smiled at her and glanced at Luke and Octavia. "Well, it runs on his side of the family, but it skips a generation. That means our children should be Force sensitive too." She looked over Octavia's shoulder and spotted Soul. "We only want the best for them." Soul nodded at her with a smile as he passed behind the two Force sensitives and slipped into a sleeping chamber.
Octavia nodded in unknowing counter point. "I can understand that, a parent should only want the best for their children."
Jerella noded in agreement. "I don't have any kids yet, but I'd certainly want them to learn how to use the Force responsibly as early as possible." Putting an eager note into her voice, Benedict asked, "Can you tell me anything about it? What it's like? I know I'll see it in another day, but I'm so excited."
Octavia sat back "Jerella would know more than I do, this will be my first time there."
"Well, the Academy is mostly housed in the old Massassai temple complex the Alliance used as a base about 20 years ago, but we've got a lot of prefab buildings too because we're growing so fast we can't adapt the stonework fast enough.
"Oh, so it's not a private facility?" Benedict leaned forward, a slightly puzzled expression on her face.
Jerella shook her head. "Well, it's not controlled by the New Republic. Master Skywalker has autonomy in running the place, from what I've seen, but the NR funds for our supplies and infrastructure... at least until we develop a way to earn credits with our abilities. There's dormitories for the students, segregated by age and ability for the most part."
"Oh, Master Skywalker." Jerella nodded toward Luke who was answering a question from one of the other passengers, a prospective homesteader from all appearances.
Benedict raised her eyebrows and followed Jerella's gaze. "Oh! I should definitely speak to him then."
"Yes, I'm still new enough to not have everything at my fingertips, so to speak."
"Thank you I shall."
Jerella, ready to offer an introduction, realized that she didn't get the woman's name. Before she could ask, the woman turned to Octavia and smiled. "So what about you?"
"I will hopefully be admitted to the Academy once we get there. I'm sorry, I didn't get your name. I'm Octavia."
"I'm Bernadette. My friends call me Ben for short. Nice to meet you." She offered her hand to the taller woman.
Octavia shook the proffered hand. "Same here."