Jerella saw Luke stand up beyond Ben, moving toward them. She smiled as he paused between Ben's seat and her own, his hand resting easily on her shoulder.
"Apprentice Jerella has been on Yavin since last Life Day," he answered for her, courteously inclining his head toward Ben.
Jerella glanced up at him. "Bernadette is coming to Yavin to learn about the Academy."
Ben looked up at the Jedi Master and blushed. "Nice to meet you. Are all these people students of yours?" She waved vaguely at the other passengers in the lounge.
Luke shook his head. "No, those over there," he indicated the person he'd been speaking to before and two others near them, "are coming to settle in the homestead area."
Ben nodded and stood up. "Thank you all for your help. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to get something to eat and catch up with my husband. I'll talk to you all later, okay?" She waved and left to get herself a drink.
"Sure." Octavia stated.
Jerella nodded in farewell then turned to Luke. "How's--your sister--doing?"
Luke dropped into the seat that Ben had abandoned and grinned.
"She and Han are expecting!"
Jerella's smile widened and she clasped his hands with hers. "That's fantastic! I bet it was a surprise though!"
"Han was--flabbergasted--to put it mildly." Luke sobered. "They asked if you wanted to come visit them at home, to get to see the other kids."
Jerella pulled back into herself. Shaking her head, she replied, "No, I'm--not ready for that--not yet. Not at their home..." She took a deep breath and then turned to smile brightly at Octavia. "So, are you excited about starting a new life?"
Octavia watched the conversation with interest, but she felt as if she was missing the point, as if there were something more under the surface. She nodded. "Excited and a bit weary, I've been told for a majority of my life that the Force and the Jedi were myths."
Luke nodded. "Most of a generation were told that. The Emperor was very thorough in destroying the Jedi and their culture, removing even the basic knowledge of them from the people; but he wasn't thorough enough, thankfully, and so we now have the Academy."
Jerella glanced down to where Octavia's cloak gaped as the silver of her lightsaber glinted in the light. "Kind of hard for the Jedi to be myths, when you've got a lightsaber though..."
Her hand unconsciously patted the bulging pocket on her thigh. Octavia smiled and looked down. "It belonged to my grandfather. I took it merely as a tool and a way to defend myself when I had to. Until lately, I had blocked out everything my father had told me before he left." She forced the bitterness to the back of her mind.
Luke shot Octavia a quick glance and cocked one eyebrow. Jerella's eyes widened. She'd never met anyone other than Luke who had actually inherited a lightsaber. The ones she knew of had been built by the student or Master in the years since the Jedi had returned. Then we will help you to refresh your abilities in using it wisely, Luke said, smiling at Octavia warmly. He was as curious as Jerella about her grandfather's light saber, but for the moment he chose to hold back his questions.
At the other end of the room, Benedict glanced back at the group to make sure they were engaged in their own conversation before slipping into the room marked "Authorized Personel Only." She found her husband waiting patiently for her inside, holding a 9mm blaster a good two feet from the pilot and his co-pilot's head. She smiled. "Nice work. You could have done this without me."
"I do my best," he replied with a half smirk.
Benedict turned to the pilots, pulling out another large blaster from under her robe. "Okay, Captain, let's set a course for Dantooine and be swift about it."
Marvin glared at her. "What if I say no?"
Benedict flipped a switch on her gun to set it to silent blast. "Hey Soul, how many pilots does it take to fly a ship?" she asked.
She lowered the gun to the co-pilot's skull and fired. The woman didn't even have time to be surprised as she collapsed in a heap on the cabin floor with a neat black circle of charred flesh at her temple.
"Let's go, nice and quiet."
"Gabrielle!" Marvin clenched his fists, staring in horror at his co-pilot's still body.
Soul slapped him across the mouth. Marvin nearly swung back, but froze as Soul's weapon shoved into his ribs. The hijacker then lifted him to his feet and pulled him toward the door. "Now you and I are going to have a few laughs. Ha ha ha!"
Benedict opened the door of the private cabin and stepped back to let them precede her. Soul smiled at Marvin and moved him forward skirting the edge of the lounge. The three came to the cockpit hatchway and Marvin opened it. Benedict followed behind them, taking a moment to glance at the group she had talked to earlier. Their attention was on each other, not the rest of the room.
As the doors to the cockpit closed behind them, Soul pushed Marvin toward the keypad lock. "Lock it." Marvin stared at the pad for a moment then entered in a few numbers. Soul frowned and pushed him again. "Don't try to trick me, pal. I know how these systems work, now lock it!" Marvin didn't take his eyes off the pad as he entered in a second code. A light changed from green to red, and Soul relaxed.
Benedict grabbed Marvin next and sat him down in the pilot's seat. "Set a course for Dantooine. I want to be outta here and in hyperspace in three minutes."
As the words passed her lips, Soul pressed a button on a remote control attached to his belt. A muted hissing sound emitted from the vents in the lounge and sleeping areas.
"How long have you" Luke paused mid-sentence for a moment, a frown appearing as he seemed to look inside himself, as if seeing a vision or feeling an odd sensation.
Octavia looked at Luke. "Master Skywalker, is something wrong?" She had a strange sensation that something was awry, but she couldn't' put her finger on it. The engines sounded all right, so it had to be something else.
Suddenly, Jerella collapsed to the floor, her expression, confused and somehow anxious. Syn-Jinn jumped to her feet, momentarily staring at the other woman, then, passed out as well as the colorless, odorless gas took effect.
Around them, one by one, the passengers collapsed, motionless, to the floor. Luke barely had time to hold his breath and draw the Force about him, then collapsed himself, slumped in his chair--not from the gas, but from a self-induced Force trance, suspending all but the most minimal of life signs. He did it with the intent to rouse, aware of his surroundings and fully alert, when the contamination was gone.