Chasing A Dream, Pt.9 by MioraaNyte ()
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"Xin!", Dara exclaimed as she saw her friend suddenly buckle and plummet to the deck.
Observing what was occurring, Jeldark swiftly moved to catch the young woman before she landed. "Xin," the Sith called out, "Xin, wake up! Are you injured, speak to me!" Looking up into the worried face of the Captain, he asked, "what happened, did you see anything?"
Replying to the man, Dara said, "I don't know. One moment she was showing me where to go, the next, she collapsed." Still with a concerned tone in her voice, "can you see anything wrong?"
Carefully examining the Jedi, Jeldark came back, "I can't find any visible wounds or outward signs of trauma, and her life signs seem normal, but..."
"But what?", Dara frantically questioned the man, "but what do you see?"
"It is not what I see, Captain, it's what I sense," then once again turning to the woman, "it's as if she was overwhelmed by something and her mind shut down to protect her." Scooping Xin up into his arms, Jeldark began carrying her toward the exit, "I'm taking her to your quarters to lie down, hopefully she'll recover soon and can explain what happened." Then as a thought, he addressed the Captain once more, "perhaps we should delay going to where she told you. If you know of a safe haven we can go, set a course for there."
"I know a place and it's just a slight detour from where we were headed. We'll be safe there," Dara replied. As the pair left the cockpit, Dara called D9 over the ship's intercom. "D9," the woman barked, "have you got that cargo secured, yet? I need you up here."
Over the speaker came the mechanical voice of the droid in reply, "I have to move a few more items , Mistress, to be able to get the lift and its cargo into a position where I can close and secure the hatches. I will endeavor to quicken the task and be there momentarily... D9 out."
Good to his word, within a few moments, D9 gave the all clear and headed to the cockpit. Deciding to not wait for the droid, Dara took off immediately and quickly climbed in the sky to be able to jump into hyperspace as soon as they were clear of the planet's gravitational influences. Arriving at the cockpit just as the ship broke atmosphere, Dara turned to her droid and said, "find the quickest way to get clear and set a course for Haven One. As soon as we go hyper, the ship's yours. Keep me informed of any signals we might receive, I need to go check on Xin."
In an uncharacteristic tone when concerning the condition of 'meatbags' , D9 inquired, "is there something wrong with Mistress Xin that may require my medical programming?"
"Not sure right now, buddy," Dara replied with a smile, "but we'll keep that option open if needed. Thanks for your offer, D9," then added, "Xin will be pleased to know you were worried."
"It is not worry, Mistress," the droid testily responded, "it is my duty to fix you meatbags when you're broken."
"OK, D9," Dara chuckled, "whatever you say."
Returning to consciousness, Xin called out to Jeldark who was nervously pacing beside the bed. "How long was I out?", she asked the man.
"About ten minutes," he replied then asked, "how are you feeling, what happened?"
"It was unexpected," Xin answered, "for the briefest of moments, our minds connected... as we suspected, she is a Sith."
"So we now know it's a female," Jeldark returned, "and a Sith. Is there anything else you remember?"
"Yes," came the reply, "and it frightened her when we connected, actually, it terrified her!"
"That would make sense," the man said as he pondered the new information, "you see Xin, the average Sith lives in constant fear of an enemy that will strike when least expected. Obviously that is what she thought you were and sent out an overload of emotions to stop you."
"How can you people live like that," Xin began to question, "the constant fear and paranoia?"
"You become used to it," Jeldark shrugged in response, "I ceased concerning myself with the thought, it will happen if it was fated. There's nothing I could do to stop it even if I wanted." Then paused and added, "had I not stopped, I would have been driven to madness long ago." Walking over to the intercom panel, the man called Dara over the system, "Captain, she's awake now and is doing fine. Meet us in the lounge area when you can, Xin can tell you what happened. I'm sure you'll want to know." Receiving confirmation from Dara, Jeldark turned to Xin and offered his arm for support after noticing she still seemed somewhat off balance by the encounter. "Come along," he instructed the woman, "I'll get you something to drink while you relax, the Captain said she would meet us there shortly."
Entering the lounge, Dara wasted no time checking on her friend. As she stood there absorbing what she heard, she asked warily, "could this happen again?"
Interrupting, Jeldark responded, "we discussed that, and think there is a way to open communications without it occurring again." Taking a breath, he went on, "if Xin were to reach out through the Force and convince this Sith we mean no harm, then perhaps she'll be less likely to respond in the same manner as she did this time." Looking toward Xin he added, "at least this time, you'll know what you might encounter and be able to prevent it. If we are to succeed in our mission, it's the only way we have available right now."
"I don't like it," Dara retorted, "but then again, I know squat about how the Force works and as long as we can prevent any mishaps, I'll have to go along with it."
Reaching into her blouse, Dara pulled out a shiny bar of brightly shining metal and waved it toward the Sith. "You want to tell me how in hell you were able to get ahold of a case of case of aurodium ingots? There must be at least a couple of hundred in there," she stated bluntly.
"Actually Captain," the man replied, "it's four hundred... per case. I thought it would come in handy for barter if we were to go where neither Republic or Imperial credits have any value."
Surprised to hear the total number of the precious metal bars, Dara stammered, "twenty-four hundred? Now I really want to know how you came into possession of that kind of loot.."
Responding to the woman's question with a devious smile, Jeldark said, "it's quite amazing what a person can acquire in three and a half centuries, wouldn't you agree?"
"Ah," Dara replied nonchalantly, then realized what the man had actually told her. "Wait a second, did you say three hundred and fifty years? C'mon now, I'm not exactly the paragon of fair trade, give me a break!" Looking again at the man she stated, "I know your species have a longer lifespan than humans, but you guys only reach 150, maybe even 175 if you're lucky."
Suddenly Xin's laughter broke in to ease the tension as she gazed at Jeldark, "I told you she wouldn't believe you, you owe me twenty credits, sir."
Turning to his new antagonist, "come now, to be fair, you didn't either at first. I had figured with the Captain being a bit more space savvy, she might just open to the idea."
Still standing there waving the ingot around, Dara once again took control of the conversation, "alright, enough crap, both of you. Jeldark, you can't be more than mid-thirties, forty tops... so cut the bantha dung and tell me the truth."
With a sigh, the Sith responded, "as you wish Captain," then motioning to the seat behind her, went on, "you may wish to have a seat and get comfortable, this is going to take awhile."
Doing as asked, Dara again queried the man, "well. let's hear it, I'm all ears."
"You're going to love this," Xin told her friend as she sat down.
Taking a seat across from the Captain, Jeldark began his tale, "I was born on Korriban three hundred and eighty-six years ago within the walls of the Sith Academy where my parents were instructors... ... ..."
Thanks for dropping by, hope you enjoyed your visit.
Comments are always welcome and appreciated.
Image Comments (10)
CoyoteSeven () 7:51PM | Wed, 27 January 2021
Though a bit longer than most of your previous chapters, it was very well written and supported the images perfectly.
A very enjoyable read, thank you.
daggerwilldo () 12:24AM | Thu, 28 January 2021
You are a very talented writer of grand tales. ...and then you provide a really well done visual narrative to go along with the story. You are a joy to follow.
JoeJarrah () 3:27AM | Thu, 28 January 2021
Great visual storytelling with nicely realised characters... takes me back to my SWTOR playing days :)