Title: *Day Is the Illusion* Author(s): RogueSquadronFlygirl, Cantador, DarthIshtar, darksideyesplease Timeframe: 4 yrs. pre-TPM Characters: Obi-wan, Qui-Gon, various Jedi, and OCs Summary: A Jedi Master is dead, and his Padawan is missing. Master Jinn and Obi-wan are in a race against time and a mysterious enemy to return the padawan to the Order, before the Lost Twenty becomes the Lost Twenty-one... Notes:This is my first RR and my first Before the Saga piece, and my first fanfic piece on these boards, so PLEASE be nice. Also, thanks a hundred times over to my wonderful co-conspirators! _*_ The twilight deepened. Marina had always thought the onset of night beautiful. Now she wasn?t sure she could ever feel that way again. Try as she might, the seventeen-year-old could not turn her eyes from the flames. There before her, so close she could nearly touch it, burned the funeral pyre of Jedi Master Fyor Bendal. Her Master. For Marina Ilesar, there was no Jedi calm, no detachment to dull the pain. Guilt and rage burned in her heart like a furnace. It took so much of her strength to bury it, that Marina felt faint as she stood there, stock-still among the mourners. Marina felt herself drifting. No, not drifting, being pulled against her will, back to the events that led her here. It was all brief flashes, like a holodrama with a glitch, consecutive images flashing almost too fast to make sense. Two scintillating columns of light, one sky-blue, the other blood-red, clashing together in a shower of sparks. Two figures, silhouetted by the binary sunset in the grand view port beyond. Human blood trailing across a pale stone floor. Eyes, sulfur yellow, malevolent, merciless. Always now, when she closed her eyes, that gaze haunted her. The figure that possessed them pursued her in her dreams, black-cloaked and featureless, save for those eyes. Even now, as Marina stared into the fire, she thought she saw them there, among the dancing flames, mocking her. Mastering herself at last, Marina dragged her eyes from the flames. ?I can?t bear it anymore.? The diminutive Jedi Master at her side acknowledged the statement. ?Know not, will you, what you can bear, till you have borne it, Padawan.? Marina opened her mouth, meaning to object, but words failed her. Instead she merely nodded. ?Yes, Master.? Yoda answered the unspoken question for her. ?My leave you have, young Padawan. Told the Council what you know, borne enough of your burden today you have.? Thankful to retire, Marina bowed to the Jedi Master and fled the Temple courtyard.