Freedom in Death (quasi-JA)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction Stories--Classic JC Board (Reply-Only)' started by Maelisaandii, Feb 29, 2000.

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  1. Maelisaandii Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2000
    star 2
    I've been doing the lurking/exclaiming-at-the-considerable-talent thing for a couple weeks now, and I've been loving it! You guys are REALLY good here!
    Anyways, this is a story I've had kicking around in my head for quite some time now... a few months ago I decided I should put it down on paper before I forget it. I post it here because, hey, someone might find it has entertainment value!
    This being my first fanfic, I would very much appreciate critique. Am I too descriptive? Is my language too flowery? Etc etc.
    I call it "quasi-JA" because it is about Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice. Only the apprentice isn't Obi-Wan (sorry!) This takes place way before Obi-Wan... possibly Qui-Gon's first Padawan, but I'm not going to be concrete about that. Let's just say its before Xanatos.

    Ok, that being said (*deep breath*) here goes.

    [This message has been edited by Maelisaandii (edited 02-29-2000).]

    [This message has been edited by Maelisaandii (edited 02-29-2000).]
  2. Maelisaandii Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2000
    star 2
    An insistent thumping interrupted the Jedi Master?s meditation. He sighed, his strong voice echoing about the small, dark chamber. Slightly annoyed, he reached out and found the source of interruption. A familiar consciousness... it was his Padawan apprentice. But an unfamiliar feeling. She was upset about something. Very upset. His annoyance melted into concern as he felt the confusion emanating from her.

    ~Come in, Maelisaandii~, Qui-Gon Jinn thought, projecting his thoughts to her with the Force. A small gesture, and the door swung open. His student stepped into the room, her face a study in apprehension and
    nervousness.

    Maelisaandii was not a tall woman, Master Qui-Gon towered head and shoulders over her. She possessed an almost dazzling prettiness, but it was of a hardened sort, as though her beauty had been carved from solid obsidian. Her royal blue eyes dominated her face, mysterious and veiled. It seemed to many that there was a legacy behind them that only she knew about. Her black hair hung to her waist, but now it was twisted into a tight, utilitarian style. She wore the traditional garb of a Padawan learner.

    Appearances were deceiving in this case, for this student was very different from any others in the Temple. Something set her apart. She had an exceptional talent for the Force, and she learned very fast. In a mere eight years, she had reached a level of achievement usually only gained after twelve years of careful study. There were other things as well, things that made her a very difficult, and even dangerous student. A darkness clouded her spirit, almost intangible, sort of a scarring from some past experience which made her extremely given to anger. Also, there was a hardness to her, a lack of compassion that distressed many of the Jedi Masters. This probably came from the fact that she had not come to the temple at the normal time.

    A story in itself, that, Qui-Gon thought.
    Maelisaandii had ?appeared? on the Temple?s doorstep eight years ago; twelve years old, tight-lipped, scarred, hardened- and half-trained in the ways of the Jedi.

    A problem, she poses, Yoda had said. What to do with her? Train her? Certainly not! She was far too old!
    But, once again, Qui-Gon Jinn had questioned the ruling of the council. What if she should use her talents for evil?
    The council had heaved a collective sigh, arguments had been exchanged. But in the end, Qui-Gon had taken her on as a Padawan learner.

    There was much experience behind those eyes of hers, and much anger. Qui-Gon had dismissed it as a normal consequence of her life. Now, however, the anger present in her mind was definitely not normal. Her consciousness was a roiling cacophony of fear, anger, frustration, and all the negative emotions that the Jedi tried so hard to extinguish in themselves. Qui-Gon sensed this right away, and his brow creased in concern.

    ?What is it, my young Padawan?? he asked her.

    Maelisaandii shifted restlessly from one foot to the other, as if trying to find a place to begin.

    ?Master, I am sorry for interrupting you?? she began, but Qui-Gon waved a hand.

    ?Don?t worry. I sense it is important. You seem restless, and this chamber is only made for one occupant.
    Why don?t we walk in the Temple courtyard??

    The young woman nodded tersely, and the two of them left the chamber and walked out into the bright Corescant sun. The teacher?s mind was calm and serene, the student?s agitated and restless.
  3. Alli-Wan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 1999
    star 3
    Very good. Nice descriptions. Awaiting more!
  4. jedi_master_gimpy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 4
    I like it a lot!! Write more, Please!
  5. Maelisaandii Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2000
    star 2
    Thanks! I'm way to tired to be coherent right now... been rehersing and performing a play this week. Can I say "zombie"? <g>
    Anyways... I'll post the next part soon.
  6. Maelisaandii Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2000
    star 2
    The Temple courtyard and gardens were designed to promote serenity in study, and to provide a calm place for students to meditate. The décor suggested unity, peace, and concentration. Plants from many different worlds filled the gardens. Normally, it was the most relaxing place in the Temple. However, Maelisaandii?s mental turmoil sent a chord of tension into the air which caused many passing students to do a double-take.

    Qui-Gon steered his apprentice to a secluded bench in the garden, in the shade of a tree.
    ?Now,? he said, taking a seat next to her, ?What is troubling you, Padawan??

    ?I received a message from my mother this morning in a hyperspace message buoy.? She reached into a fold in her tunic and brought out a holographic message cube. She touched a corner and a three-dimensional picture appeared. It was a woman on an ornate throne. She was wearing very rich clothes and jewels and had a look of imperious authority about her. Her face bore a striking resemblance to the young Jedi student sitting beside Master Qui-Gon.

    ?That is your mother?? he asked, ?Who is she??

    Maelisaandii sighed. ?My mother is the Ta?a Chume, the Queen Mother of the Hapes Consortium.?

    Qui-Gon?s eyebrows flew to the hairline. For the first time in a great many years, he was completely caught off-guard. He had heard many stories about the Hapes Cluster over the course of his lifetime. Many were too incredible to be true. The Hapes Cluster was a group of planets- remote, but not quite on the Outer Rim. They were allied together under one woman, the Queen Mother, or Ta?a Chume. The Consortium was notorious for its treatment of visitors, many of whom never returned to their home worlds. The ones who did told of an enormous military, beautiful planets, even lovelier natives, and rich cultures. That his Jedi Padawan was of Hapan royal blood was astonishing, to but it mildly.

    Maelisaandii noted her Master?s amazement. She touched another corner and the message began to play.
    The royal woman began to speak in a melodious language, and Maelisaandii translated.

    ?Maeli?Saandii. Your sister, Kylra?Saandii, heiress to the throne, is dead. Your duty is clear. Come home immediately.?

    The image flickered and disappeared.

    ?That is all?? Master Qui-Gon asked, suspicious.

    ?My mother is not in the habit of giving details to an,? the young woman paused, the corners of her mouth turned down, ?an exile.?

    Qui-Gon raised his eyebrows again. This was a day of many surprises, he thought. He turned his head to look at his student. She was staring at her hands. The Jedi Master waited for her to continue.

    ?A self-imposed exile,? the student added. ?I left the Cluster at an early age. Perhaps I should start at the beginning??

    Qui-Gon nodded silently. This would be most interesting.

    ?I was the second-born to the royal family of Hapes. My mother, as you know, is the Ta?a Chume. My father was a noble of the high-tech world of Charubah. The union was a summer whim for my mother, and a method for political advancement for my father. I never knew either of them well. The culture I was born into had a place and a typecast for every member. This especially applied to the second-born daughter. She is always depicted as a traitor, a liar, and a jealous cheat envious of her older sister?s fortune as heiress. I was never interested in politics. Indeed, I spent as much time as I could away from the palace. The atmosphere there oppressed me. It was as if a dark cloud hung over the building. I was the only one that seemed to notice.?

    ?It sounds like the dark side,? Qui-Gon interrupted, his hand stroking his beard.

    ?Yes, I suppose it does,? Maelisaandii reflected. ?My younger sister, Pallak?Saandii, was my only friend in court. She was not interested in the cutthroat politics of Hapes, and we found common ground. She is the only Hapan I have fond memories of.?

    Qui-Gon interrupted her again. ?You refer to your sisters with the suffix ?Saandii?, and your mother separated your name into ?Maeli?Saandii?. Yet you run t
  7. Maelisaandii Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2000
    star 2
    I can?t do this.

    Qui-Gon would have been ashamed to hear her say that, which is why she didn?t say it out loud. Even without him there, she felt as though he already knew her thoughts, her words, everything. Usually it comforted her. Not now. She didn?t want him to know about this part of her. Not this.

    This was the ugly Maelisaandii. This was the Maelisaandii that was afraid of the future, that was full of hate and anger. The Maelisaandii that she had tried so hard not to become. The Maelisaandii that she had thought long dead and buried, as far away from her as the Escape was now.

    Farther, even.

    The Escape.

    My ship. Mine.

    She was Maelisaandii?s sanctuary, her freedom. All hers, she was the envy of any bounty hunter. Maelisaandii grinned. The Escape was why she had never gotten into playing sabaac. She comforted her. She knew ever curve of her, every sound, every little quirk that made the Escape the beauty it was. She loved the ship like she had never loved any person.

    People- Maelisaandii did not like people. They were greedy, fickle, back-biting, unkind. Not like her ship. The Escape was truly that- escape. Together, they roamed the stars, free from social inhibitions or customs. Free from beings that would abuse them. Maelisaandii treated her ship better than she treated most sentient beings.

    But it was a Hapan ship. Hapan. How she hated that word. And everything it stood for. So beautiful, the Hapans, so rich and powerful. It sickened her, the opinions people had of the Hapans. So sophisticated, so lovely, so dignified and fashionable and...

    I?m going to throw up.

    She clenched her teeth, her fists, and every muscle in her lithe body. Damn them. Getting up from the hard sleeping mat, she began to pace the small apartment like a caged animal. Which was what she would become, if she went back. Caged.

    I can?t do that again.

    Again she saw Qui-Gon?s face. How he would tell her she must rise to the occasion, conquer her fear.

    How he would look at her with those soft blue eyes of his and tell her that ?I can?t? should not even be in her vocabulary.

    Sighing, she thought about Qui-Gon. She wanted so much to please him, to make him proud. He was her teacher, her mentor, her Master... her... yes, even her father. She?d never had one. Qui-Gon had been the only person ever to come close, and she liked that. Liked having a father, even if he didn?t consider himself her father. She wondered if he even realized how much she idolized him. Probably not. It wasn?t something one mentions in passing.

    Oh, by the way, Master, you?re my surrogate dad. Riiight.

    Dad. No, that wasn?t the right word. A dad was someone who was fun, who played with you, who was your ?buddy?. A father was not like that. A father taught you, guided you, showed you the right way, and, yes, even punished you. Maelisaandii needed that.

    Single-handedly, Qui-Gon had revised her opinion of sapient beings. He was nothing like a Hapan.

    Hapan.

    That word again.

    I hate them.

    Tears threatened to form in her eyes. She was not supposed to hate. Jedi did not hate. Jedi were calm, resigned. Try as she might, she couldn?t resign herself to being the Queen Mother of a race she had always despised.

    Damn them.

    Her anger flared up again. Stopping her pacing, she sat once more on her bed and buried her face in her hands. It wasn?t fair. She wanted to break something. There was a full length mirror on the door to the ?fresher station. How lovely it would feel to throw a chair against it, and watch it cascade to the floor in millions of tiny pieces, each reflecting its own idea of the universe. But a Jedi didn?t do that.

    And she was still a Jedi, even though her whole being was seething with anger, so much that it bewildered her. Where did it all
    come from?

    Her fists clenched and unclenched, trying to release the tension. That never worked. She reached into her desk and pulled out a small picture. A very small picture, only a little more than a couple centimeters square. It had b
  8. HealerLeona Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 18, 2000
    star 4
    HealerLeona cheers loudly
    Another thread to follow and quite intriguing at that.
    Maelisaandii- thanks for feeding my addiction.
  9. Maelisaandii Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2000
    star 2
    Thanks, HealerLeona!
    BTW, I love your "As Strangers We Meet".. did I get the title right?
    More soon...
  10. Maelisaandii Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2000
    star 2
    ?Is she coming?? The sharp question cut through the darkness, its owner shrouded away from the glow lamp held by her companion. The voice was full of contempt, loathing, and jealousy.

    ?She is.? The other?s absent reply suggested a multitude of thoughts. Her flaming red hair caught the light, shining like coppery sunbeams.

    She is coming.

    The red-haired woman did not want this, but
    for different reasons that of her companion.

    ?Stay there, Maeli,? she whispered, ?Stay at the Temple. Don?t come here.?

    ?Stop it! I won?t have you keeping things from me.?

    A sigh. ?You are not in authority here,? she said, ?Follow what I tell you, and you will live. This is not your skill.?

    The shrouded woman?s jaw snapped shut. The imperious quality to her stance conveyed that she was not used to such treatment. Yet the other was not inclined to indulge her. Her thoughts were elsewhere, resting on the Hapan princess coming.

    Coming to her death.

    Things in the palace were not as they seemed. The Queen Mother was different, perhaps due to the brush with death she?d had years ago. She almost died of a terrible wasting disease. Somehow, though, she?d managed to heal. No one knew exactly how. The doctors were stumped, even suspicious, until the Ta?a Chume had them all executed as incompetents. At least, that was what she said. No one could be sure. Her behavior had altered since then, and only one person knew why. And this person, now holding a glow lamp for the benefit of one she had no desire to save, was only going to tell one person. If she came. Perhaps she would not.

    Then I could leave here forever. Perhaps I could join her.

    Among these hopeful wonderings, one thought sliced its way through, screaming to the skies.

    She can?t come here. Please don?t come here! You will die!
  11. jedi_master_gimpy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 4
    Wow!! this is really interesting!! Keep it coming!
  12. Maelisaandii Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2000
    star 2
    Your wish is my command. <bow>

    *******************************************

    The Jedi Council was in session. Jedi Masters sat quietly in their chairs, minds at peace. Yoda sat in front of a large window that revealed the Coruscant skyline. His wide, sleepy eyes regarded Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, who stood in the center of the circle. Mace Windu, one of the oldest and most experienced Masters sat to Yoda?s left. To his right sat Ki-Adi-Mundi, whose elevated forehead and curling, white beard lent him an air of soft, strange wisdom.

    Other Jedi Masters, representatives of many other worlds, sat in the Council as well. Eeth Koth, strange and horn-headed; Yaddle, of the same species as Yoda, but decades younger; and one of the strangest, Yarael Poof, his long neck swaying like kelp in the seas of Tad: these and others all regarded Qui-Gon Jinn with calm interest.

    Qui-Gon himself looked back at the Council members, remembering the last time he had come before them on his student?s behalf.


    ?To old, she is,? Yoda stated, signaling that the matter was closed. But Qui-Gon was not going to give up that easily.

    ?She is half trained,? he said, using what leverage he could. ?She could be induced to use what she knows for evil if we do not train her fully.? He was reluctant to use this method. If only Yoda and the other Masters could see the good intentions and conviction to fulfil those intentions he could see in Maelisaandii. Not to mention her prowess in the Force, which was extraordinary. Even Yoda admitted to that.

    ?She already has too much experience, too much anger,? Mace Windu said, his tone speaking his irritation.

    ?Much anger in her,? Yoda agreed.

    ?But she can overcome that!? Qui-Gon protested. ?She has a great talent for the Force, it is her right to have the chance to be a Jedi.? The Council?s rigidity frustrated him. Why couldn?t they see what he saw in Maelisaandii? According to ancient Jedi writings, the great Nomi Sunrider had not started her training until her husband died.

    ?The Temple tests are in two weeks. She is trained enough to pass them??

    ?Take her as your Padawan, you would?? Yoda interrupted him.

    ?Yes,? Qui-Gon said firmly.

    ?Know nothing of her, you do,? Yoda warned.

    ?I can see her intentions.?

    ?Enough, good intentions are not.?

    ? I believe she will succeed.?

    Yoda shook his head. Once again, the headstrong Jedi Master had defied them. He sighed.

    ?Very well,? he said, ?Take the tests, she will. Determine her future after that, we will.?


    This recollection took only seconds, but Yoda had noticed Qui-Gon?s distraction. His ears perked up with slight amusement.

    ?Distracted with the past, you were, Qui-Gon,? he said, ?Mindful of the moment, you must be.? He quoted one of Qui-Gon?s favorite Jedi sayings, sleepy eyes twinkling a little.

    ?I apologize, Master Yoda,? Qui-Gon said, his mouth quirking up in sheepish amusement. ?Something has come up with my Padawan.?

    Yoda?s ears pricked up in what Qui-Gon recognized as alert interest. He indicated that Qui-Gon should continue.

    ?She has received word that she must return home immediately.?

    ?And where is that?? Master Windu inquired, somewhat sarcastically. He had never approved of Qui-Gon?s choice of a Padawan, and still predicted dire consequences of Qui-Gon?s stubbornness.

    ?The Hapes Cluster. Her mother is the Queen Mother of Hapes,? Qui-Gon stated simply.
    The entire Jedi Council was taken aback, just as Qui-Gon himself was. All except Yoda. He merely looked at Qui-Gon with his intelligent eyes.

    ?Why did she not tell us before?? Yoda asked in his raspy voice.

    ?She is ashamed of her heritage, Master. However, it her older sister is dead, and she has been called back to take her place as heir.?

    ?A Jedi must not ally herself with any government,? Yoda reminded Qui-Gon, ?Continue her training, she cannot.?

    ?She realizes that. Her honor demands that she relinquish her training to rule Hapes.?

    Qui-Gon stopped, not speaking his full intent.

    Sensing that Qui-Gon was holding back, Yoda spoke again.
  13. Maelisaandii Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2000
    star 2
    Minutes later, Qui-Gon walked down the corridor of the Jedi Temple, lost again in his reverie. Maelisaandii had passed the Temple tests, he reflected, and with extraordinary success. She had surpassed every other student in the Temple in all areas ? Control, Sense, and Alter. Even Yoda had been amazed at her quick progress and amount of control. Many of the more self-important students had tried to goad her to anger, but she had not let any succeed. Those students protested when Maelisaandii was allowed to take the tests, using the same arguments as the Council.
    They had quieted down when Maelisaandii had surpassed them all. Qui-Gon sensed their envious thoughts when his choice of a Padawan was made known. No doubt Maelisaandii could too, but she had been unfazed. Qui-Gon knew that he was a good teacher, a valued Master, and that many students wished to be his Padawan. He acknowledged this without pride, registering it simply as a fact, nothing more. He was not given to vanity, his own Jedi training putting such feelings into perspective.

    Still lost in thought, Qui-Gon made his way to his quarters. He didn?t have much time before Maelisaandii?s ship would leave for the Hapes Cluster. Reaching the simple room, he began to pack some extra clothes into a small satchel.

    Qui-Gon?s quarters reflected himself to a degree. The room was comfortable but not sumptuous, practical in its furnishings. It was sparsely decorated, a Jedi had no use for excessive décor. Impeccably clean and organized, it was just like the Jedi Master in that respect.

    Qui-Gon finished his packing in a matter of minutes. He never carried much with him, and never put anything in his satchel that could not be replaced. Just in case Jedi and bag were separated. Satisfied with his preparations, Qui-Gon left his quarters, walking down the corridor with unhurried alacrity.

    ?Master Qui-Gon,? came a young voice from behind him, ?Where are you going??

    Turning, Qui-Gon addressed the owner of the voice. A boy of seven years, tall for his age, with black hair and intelligent eyes. An eager young boy, eager to show his worth. Wanting to be the best. Proud, and sometimes arrogant. Qui-Gon gazed at him fondly.

    ?I will be going away for a while, Xanatos,? he said. ?My Padawan is going home.?

    ?Will she stay there?? The ambition in the question was obvious, but it was tempered by the boy?s innocence. He did not wish Maelisaandii ill, Qui-Gon knew. But, still, his eyes narrowed slightly. Sometimes this boy could forget his place.

    ?Yes.?

    ?I?m sorry, Master,? the boy said, dropping his eyes to the floor contritely, sensing the elder's rebuke, ?I didn?t mean it like that.?

    Qui-Gon?s gaze softened once more. He could never stay angry at Xanatos for long. Not since he had brought the boy to the Temple.

    ?It is all right,? he said, ?Just try to be a little more tactful.?

    ?Yes, sir.? The boy?s manner grew eager once more. ?Where is she from??

    ?Hapes.?

    ?Hapes?!? Xanatos? eyes widened. ?Wow! I mean, nobody goes to Hapes!?

    He, too, was caught in the romanticism of the place. He was also a small boy, and as such...

    ?Will you bring me something??

    The Jedi Master chuckled indulgently. ?Perhaps, young one. Now, shouldn?t you be in class??

    The boy?s face colored. ?Yes, Master,? he said again and skipped off with the abandon one only possesses at that age.

    Qui-Gon shook his head as he continued on his way. Xanatos was one of the brightest boys at the Temple. He would be a Jedi... a great Jedi. Qui-Gon could feel it. Perhaps, in time he would take the boy on as his next Padawan.

    His next Padawan.

    Suddenly, the full impact of that thought hit him. His current Padawan should have at least five years more of study before her. But she would not, leaving him free to take on Xanatos. The workings of the Force were strange. But, he had faith they would work out for the good eventually.

    Sighing, still contemplating the Force, he stepped out into the Corescant sunlight.
  14. HealerLeona Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 18, 2000
    star 4
    I love the early characterization of Xanatos. Imperinent enough even at seven to get a sense of the bad boy in him.

    Over all an incredibly fine post. Keep 'em coming.
  15. Maelisaandii Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2000
    star 2
    Just a little filler...

    *******************************************

    The Jedi Temple was a place of peace, whereas the outside world was one of bustling activity. Chaotic sometimes, loud always, often overwhelming ? Qui-Gon found it rather distasteful as he caught an air taxi to the hangar where Maelisaandii?s ship was docked.

    It was a small, two-man fighter. There was no name on it, only a registration number. Utilitarian in design, it reflected the practicality of Maelisaandii?s personality.

    Its curving lines lent it an air of stark beauty, also like the Jedi student.

    She stood there as he approached, straight and tall like always. The hangar dwarfed Maelisaandii, its sterile gray walls contrasting with her sandy-colored tunic and chocolate brown robe. The hood of the robe shrouded her face.

    ?Greetings, Master,? she said when he was within speaking distance. She raised her head to reveal a calm face, a model of Jedi calm within her robe. Only her eyes betrayed her, showing Qui-Gon her inner turmoil. He was silent on this subject, biding his time.

    ?Shall we go?? he asked, his deep voice soft and calm.

    ?A moment, Master.? Maelisaandii pulled a small control from a fold in her robe, pushing a button and speaking into it. The language was Hapan, Qui-Gon realized, probably a security code.

    A force field flickered around the ship for a moment, then disappeared, confirming his thoughts.

    ?This has been sitting here for eight years?? he asked.

    ?Not really,? his student replied, ?I brought it here from my ship. The Escape is parked in orbit around a dead moon a few light years from here.? She held up the control. ?This is a long range beckon call.?

    The small device, was from Hapes, obviously. Qui-Gon couldn?t recall such a long range device that was available in the Republic.

    Maelisaandii approached the fighter and leapt into the cockpit with ease. Qui-Gon followed, situating himself in the back seat. He stowed his satchel under the seat.
    A few minutes later, after all the pre-flight checks were complete, the small fighter rose above the hangar floor and turned towards the sky. It flew proudly under Maelisaandii?s capable hands, maneuvering out of the hangar, past the Coruscant traffic, and out into space. It hovered for a second, establishing a vector, then disappeared into hyperspace to rendezvous with the Blissful Escape.


    [This message has been edited by Maelisaandii (edited 03-10-2000).]
  16. Maelisaandii Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2000
    star 2
    She should have gotten used the Other-self by now. But, truth be told, she was tired of maintaining her anger for its benefit.

    Without it, though, she would die. It had seen to that. Or rather, fate had seen to it. She could not live without the Other now. May as well accept that.

    Soon... soon.

    Its anticipated filled her, and she shared it to a degree. But she was growing tired of this. Tired of the Other, tired of anger, tired of hating, tired of... well... living in general. She wanted out. But that was also impossible. As if it would let her kill herself. It only allowed her enough freedom to continue in this tormented train of thought, all the time. Not wanting to be so filled with anger didn?t help, she was too deeply entrenched in it. She did not know how to get rid of it.

    Soon it would be gone. It would leave her, and she would die. It would enter the more powerful one.

    She is coming to me... I can feel her already. So strong.

    The ancient spirit stirred within her. Or rather, she stirred within it. She?d given up control of her own body long ago, left only with a small corner of her mind to contemplate her existence. Her miserable existence. That was soon to be at an end.

    At the expense of her own blood.

    And you can do nothing. You don?t even care.

    The voices taunted her. Of course she cared... she wouldn?t wish this existence on anyone. But she couldn?t drum up enough strength to prevent it. Who could? She didn?t care that much. She?d never cared that much... if she couldn?t be happy, why should anyone else. Not that it mattered anyway. Not that anything mattered. Once, she had thought that power mattered.

    Bah.

    And if she didn?t accept the Other, she would die.

    I will kill her. We will kill her.

    She won?t resist. She won?t be able to.

    As if it mattered.
  17. Maelisaandii Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2000
    star 2
    The Escape slid through the purple-blue swirls of hyperspace, knifing though the tranquility with liquid ease. Aboard her, the Jedi Knight and his student spent the days in training and meditation. Even though she did not plan to continue her training, Qui-Gon Jinn knew that she would need every ounce of it she could get, especially in the area of emotional control. Qui-Gon used much of the time to perfect his student?s skill with the lightsaber, teach her new skills, and improve her healing skills.

    The majority of the time, however, Qui-Gon tried to penetrate the anger that hovered over Maelisaandii?s spirit. He tried to dissipate it, calm it, tame it, but nothing seemed to work. They spent hours in meditation, but not even she could really penetrate it. She was deeply scarred by her childhood experiences.

    Scarred past repair? Qui-Gon thought worriedly.

    On the third day of their journey, Maelisaandii hit a wall. She was training with her lightsaber, Qui-Gon watching with sharp, perceptive eyes. A small remote darted around the spacious room that was the common area, spraying stinging lasers in her direction. She was on a roll, deflecting bolt after bolt. Qui-Gon used a small control to raise the difficulty every few minutes. After a while, he brought in another remote, and another. As the difficulty rose, so did his student?s agitation. She gritted her teeth, focusing on the remotes with hard determination.

    Despite her best efforts, some bolts slipped through her defense and stung her on the leg, shoulder, arms. These small annoyances angered her further, but Qui-Gon just watched. He raised the difficulty again. He could feel Maelisaandii?s anger growing, and knew what would follow. The remotes continued to worry her, striking endlessly. Now many bolts were getting past her defenses. Her anger grew to a boiling point, and she exploded. A sharp cry of rage rang through the ship, and the Jedi student struck at the remotes with a ferocity born of frustration. Seconds later, the three remotes were nothing more than smoking piles of gray rubble. Power surged through her as she regained her breath, and Qui-Gon simply watched.

    Maelisaandii breathed in and out, her chest heaving, her mind a cacophony of different thoughts. Qui-Gon watched as the realization that she had destroyed those remotes in anger dawned on her. That was of the dark side. A look of horror crossed her face. Eyes wide, she turned to look at her teacher.

    ?Wha - what have I done?? she gasped.

    Her master didn?t answer at first, staring at her complacently with his dark blue eyes. His gaze discomfited her.

    ?Come, sit down, Maelisaandii,? Qui-Gon said quietly. He had expected this outburst, had engineered it to some degree, and his face showed no surprise. He waited as his student sat down beside him.

    ?You acted in anger, Maelisaandii,? he began, echoing her own thoughts, ?And, in some ways, I drove you to it. I wanted you to realize something. If you had come to the Jedi Temple at the normal time, when you were very young, this would not be a problem for you. As it is, you have experienced much of the galaxy, you have seen many injustices. I felt this anger from you when you first came, but I didn?t realize that you had kept it inside you for so long, or that it was so strong. You are at a disadvantage, for no other Padawan has the temptations to anger that you will have. I can feel that much of what you feel is righteous indignation, but a lot of it is hatred. Can you tell me why you have so much hate??

    Maelisaandii sat, perplexed. So much hatred was inside her, and she was so used to its presence that she could no longer pin down the reason behind it. Possibilities flew through her mind, things that made her angry. There were so many things... but two people at the core of them all. ?Sabine... my first mentor. She betrayed me. My mother,? she breathed, ?I hate her... but I don?t know exactly why. I mean, she left me for the public to castigate, but I hate her more than that merits, I think. Maybe I
  18. Maelisaandii Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2000
    star 2
    Forgive.

    Forgive?

    FORGIVE?!

    I can?t forgive! Not her, not them? not Sabine. Not Mother. No. NO!

    She shook her head involuntarily.

    After what they did to me? I was only a child!

    I am afraid...

    Qui-Gon had said that.

    Afraid for you.

    For you.

    Me?

    He?s afraid because I might... I might...

    She couldn?t finish the thought. Too horrible. No... she wouldn?t do that. She would not get angry again. Anger is the path to the dark side. But...

    Her actions earlier had shown her that the part of her she never wanted to see again was still alive.

    So, what if she did? What if she needed Qui-Gon with her? What if she could not stay away from the dark side without him?

    What if I let him down?

    That thought frightened her more than anything. She wanted to make her Master proud. She had thought she could. Now, she wasn?t so sure. If something like that could happen... with only remotes! What would she do if faced with a real problem? What would happen?
  19. Maelisaandii Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2000
    star 2
    Some more in hopes this thing'll get moved with the rest...
    Comments are still appreciated, but I understand if you're just speechless with awe. j/k

    ******************************************

    Hapes was a world of beauty. From space, it was a delicate marbled mass of deep blue oceans and green land, swirled with the purest white clouds. Two starfightes emerged from hyperspace above the world, setting themselves into twin approach vectors. It sliced through the clouds, disappearing in the lovely whiteness. Its approach to the planet revealed cities matching their surroundings for beauty. The architecture was elegant and smooth, with towers and spires that seemed to swirl through the sky. Gardens dotted the landscapes, nestles inside spacious villas. Fountains were common. Qui-Gon saw it all with appreciative eyes, for it was beautiful.

    ?Escape Leader to One,? came her voice over the comm. ?Are you set??

    ?Affirmative, lead,? he replied, checking his controls. It was a standard fighter, and Qui-Gon had learned to pilot many different types of ships over the years. Even if he had never owned one.

    The beauty of the world did not seem to affect his student. She was suspicious of her people, which is why they were traveling separately. Just in case one should need to leave before the other. And why she had not entered the hyperspace coordinates into either of the computers, keeping them instead in her memory.

    Qui-Gon could not see his Padawan, but from the troubled state of her Living Force, he guessed she was staring at their destination, deep in thought. The sprawling palace lay before them, representing their separation.

    A voice on their synchronized comm systems interrupted both their reveries. To Qui-Gon, it was a musical jumble. To the onboard translator, it was only a series of patterns, which it translated into Basic.

    ?This is Hapes security. State your name and intentions.?

    ?Maeli?Saandii. We intend to land.? Maelisaandii said this in the most acid of tones. The voice that came back was less authoritative.

    ?Your voiceprint checks out. Welcome home, Your Highness.?

    The connections was cut, and they were allowed to continue on their way. Qui-Gon sent a mental probe across the atmosphere to his Padawan. Her anger was building, and he warned her silently of the danger she was in.

    ~Control your anger, Maelisaandii. Don?t let it rule you.~
  20. HealerLeona Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 18, 2000
    star 4
    Wonderful story, Maelisaandii-I'm really enjoying this thread.
  21. Maelisaandii Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2000
    star 2
    LOL... thanks, my ego is now resting contentedly.

    *******************************************

    Flanked by two armed guards, the Jedi Master and his student approached the huge doors the Ta?a Chume?s audience chamber. The austere Jedi attire of Qui-Gon and Maelisaandii contrasted starkly with the colorful attire of the guards, the sumptuous décor of the palace. The doors swung open silently on a command from a guard and the Jedi were lead into the main foyer.

    It was a huge room, furnished with soft chairs in expensive-looking material. A large, white marble desk stood near the door to the throne room. The walls were draped in tapestries depicting, as Qui-Gon guessed, ancient myths and legends. Heroic men chasing enormous creatures was a popular motif, as was the occasional damsel in distress. One, however, did not depict the happy, valiant epics, but a frightening woman pulling a dark cloak over the planet of Hapes. The cloak was dotted with horrific images, and Qui-Gon wondered what such a work was doing in a public hall.

    It is a good thing children do not often come here, he thought.

    ?It is a legend from ancient times,? came the voice of his student, who had noticed his interest, ?Before the first Queen Mother. The tale is that a Force-user came to the Cluster. Not a Jedi, at least not a full Knight. She had fallen to the dark side. Legend has it that she took over the planet and became the first Ta?a Chume. It is said that the evil spirit of the Ka?a Daman roams the halls of the palace, giving its power to any Queen Mother who is strong enough.?

    Several heads turned at Maelisaandii?s flippant use of the spirit?s name.

    ?Do you think to bring the Other?s wrath upon?? one woman hissed.

    Qui-Gon shuddered in spite of himself. The Force was a frightening thing, indeed, if used by untrained minds. He wondered exactly how much of this legend was based in fact. Quickly, he turned his thoughts elsewhere.

    The political scene was not unknown to Qui-Gon, and he knew what it was he saw. The foyer was filled with people. Men and women, old and young, of all sizes and colors. All of them seeking political favors, and all of them breathtakingly beautiful.

    The Hapans were a lovely race, and Qui-Gon at last understood what Maelisaandii had meant when she said she was ?rather plain looking, actually?.

    His survey of the room finished, he turned to his student. As her long-time mentor, he had learned to read her emotions, and now they were telling him that she was afraid. Afraid and angry because she was so. He sighed. All he could do was send his own comfort and reassurance through the Force.

    All fear was carefully hidden behind a mask of imperial haughtiness. Maelisaandii strode up to the weary man behind the desk.

    ?I will see the Ta?a Chume,? she said without preamble.

    The man didn?t even look up. ?There are proper channels. I must put you on the waiting list. A lot of people ?will see the Ta?a Chume.??

    ?How long is the waiting list?? The question was rhetorical. Qui-Gon could see his student had no intention of being put on a list.

    ?A year. If you?ll just sign your name here, I will contact you when your turn comes.?

    A feral smile appeared on Maelisaandii?s face. She scrawled Maeli?Saandii on the paper in huge letters, obscuring all other print. Then she crumpled the paper in her hand and marched to the door. Opening it, she stepped in before the clerk could protest. Qui-Gon followed, his brow furrowed.

    ?Control your anger, my Padawan,? he said, catching her attention, his face grave.

    An expression of sorrow crossed her face, disappearing quickly behind her mask of uncaring.

    Crossing the room quickly, she announced herself loudly enough to interrupt the Queen Mother?s current audience.

    ?I have come, Mother. My duty is done,? she said with almost sardonic ease.

    The Queen of Hapes looked up, her face impenetrable beneath the veils that covered her face. No Hapan alive had yet been allowed to see her face uncovered.

    ?There are proper channels, Maeli?Saandii,? she said, repea
  22. Maelisaandii Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2000
    star 2
    Qui-Gon gazed at the door with growing frustration. It had been three hours since he was shown here, and he had tried numerous times to go and have a look around. Numerous times also, a small steward had blocked his path and inquired, ?Do you require anything, sir??

    Do you require anything. Sir. Bah.

    There were guards, too. Not close enough to be excruciatingly obvious, only painfully so. So much for Hapan subtlety. He was a prisoner of a man two-thirds his size. It was infuriating, even for a Jedi. If there was one thing Qui-Gon couldn?t stand, it was inaction, being helpless. But he didn?t want to cause an incident by forcing his way out, so there he stayed.

    Damn.

    He folded his arms and glared at the door, worried about his student.
    A minute or so passed. He was still glaring at the door when it opened, revealing Maelisaandii. Her face matched his mood perfectly.

    She was dressed like Qui-Gon had never seen her. Abandoning her sandy Padawan garb and Jedi robe, she was now clothed in a long, flowing gown of silver and blue. It shimmered and shifted as she moved, catching the light and throwing it off in tiny rainbows. With her hair cascading down her shoulders in dark waves, she could have eclipsed the Hapan sun.

    But it wasn?t her beauty that struck Qui-Gon. She was a Hapan again, no longer his student. No longer a Jedi. In her hand, she clasped her lightsaber, which she held out to him.

    ?I am going to the ceremony now, to be formally declared heiress.? In the hours they had been separated, her accent had gotten much thicker.

    She even sounds Hapan now.

    The anger melted away from her face, leaving only an aching sadness.

    ?Our time together is over. I am no longer a Jedi.? Her voice showed no emotion as she held out the lightsaber. ?I no longer have a right to carry this.?

    Qui-Gon took the weapon solemnly, his eyes locking on hers.

    ?I understand what this will cost you, Maelisaandii. You people are fortunate to have you for their Queen Mother.?

    She nodded quickly. ?I will conduct you back to Corescant tomorrow,? she said, ?My mother could not convince me otherwise.?

    He reached out and took her hand, giving it a squeeze. It was a small gesture, such as a parent might give a child.

    ?You will do well, Padawan,? he said, ?I am so very proud of you.?

    Tears formed in her eyes, threatening to spill over.

    ?I don?t want to go,? she whispered, eyes on the floor. She hesitated, the threw her arms around Qui-Gon, hugging him tightly.

    ?I am so afraid, Master.?

    Her held her for a moment. ?You will do well,? he repeated, ?You will be a fine ruler, the best these people have known.?

    Pulling her away from him, he held her at arms length and brushed a fugitive tear from her cheek.

    ?Go now,? he said, a note of pride and encouragement in his tone, ?Remember what I taught you. There is no emotion, there is peace.?

    ?There is no ignorance, there is knowledge,? she recited the Jedi Code, her voice steadying.

    ?There is no passion, there is serenity.?

    ?There is no death, there is the Force.? She finished with finality, all trace of weakness gone.

    Then she left him to his thoughts, her back straight and step confident.
  23. Maelisaandii Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2000
    star 2
    It was over. The past eight years, gone like they had never occurred. Qui-Gon would go back to the Temple, perhaps take on another apprentice. He would not see Maelisaandii again.

    How unfair the galaxy was!

    He knew he would never forget his student. No, there was too much emotionally invested in the Master-student relationship for that. Most masters had a sense of fulfillment, when their Padawan attained the rank of Jedi Knight. A few had to go through their deaths. But not many Masters had their students leave in the middle of their training, and against their will at that. No, it wasn?t fair. The look in Maelisaandii?s eyes as she left tore Qui-Gon?s heart.

    Resignation

    Sadness.

    She would be the best Ta?a Chume that she could, but he knew she would never be happy.
    It took all of Qui-Gon?s training not to be furious at the Ta?a Chume for tearing Maelisaandii away from him.

    It won?t help to brood about it.

    He sighed. Tomorrow he would be back at the temple. Life would go on.

    Who am I fooling?

    Life would not go on, not the way he wanted. There would be a long time before he would be ready to take on another Padawan.

    Damn.

    Meditate. He should meditate, but his mind would not settle down enough for that. So he sat once again, staring at the closed door.

    Seconds ran into minutes, which gave way to hours, until he had been sitting for two hours. The room was silent except for the Jedi?s breathing, he could have heard a dust mite sneeze.

    Abruptly, he whirled around, disturbed by an unfamiliar presence in the Force.

    His lightsaber blazed to life, shattering the silence and piercing the air with the smell of ozone.

    ?Who are you?!? he demanded of the figure entering the room. Entering the room through the wall. No, not through the wall, but through a door in the wall. A secret door. That had to mean there were tunnels leading to his room. For late night assassinations, probably. But Qui-Gon didn?t dwell on the tunnels long, instead focusing his attention of the young woman who had entered his room. She looked to be about eighteen or nineteen, but considering Hapan development, might have been as young as fourteen. Her hair was a flaming red and her eyes were such a dark brown that he could barely make out the pupils. Those eyes darted about the room furiously, glowing with worry and anger.

    ?Maeli?Saandii!? she cried in Basic. ?Where is she??

    ?Gone,? the Jedi Master replied warily, his lightsaber still held at ready. The newcomer didn?t seem to notice it. ?Who are you?? he repeated.

    ?I am her sister.? Her voice displayed her despair, as her shoulders sagged, defeated. ?Please, I must find her. She is in danger!?

    ?Pallak??

    ?Yes... please, you must...?

    ?Why?? the Jedi interrupted her.

    ?The Ta?a Chume. She has taken the spirit of the Other. She will make Maeli accept it as well.?

    Qui-Gon?s heart fell to his knees. The Other. The Kaa?Daman, the demon queen. The woman with the dark cloak he had seen on the tapestry. So it wasn?t just legend.

    Oh, my Force.

    He kicked himself mentally. I knew there was something wrong here! Why didn?t I sense it right off? How could I let it elude me?

    The full meaning of what Yoda had once told him fell heavily on his shoulders. ?Hard to see, the dark side is,? the wizened old master had said. Hard to see. Yoda would have seen it right away!

    He couldn?t think about that now. Later, there would be plenty of time for him to berate himself, but now he needed to help his Padawan. The secret door Pallak had entered through could be a whole network of tunnels. They could use them to get the throne room!

    Apparently, the young princess had been forming the same plan.

    ?There is a series of passages through here,? she said, pointing to the door, ?We can use them to get to the throne room.?

    ?Lets go, then.?

    Pallak disappeared into the tunnel, Qui-Gon close at her heels. It was slightly more difficult for him to maneuver his broad frame into the door. Apparently, Hapan assassins were generally small people. Still, Qui-Gon mov
  24. HealerLeona Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 18, 2000
    star 4
    Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I'm really loving this story. Qui-Gon's my man.
  25. Maelisaandii Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2000
    star 2
    Sorry I haven't been able to do anything this week. My ISP says my password is bogus for some reason. I had to sign up for a freebie just to get on.
    Anyways. Enough of my complaints. Thanks for your posts! I'm glad to know that somebody likes my writing.
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