Title: Old Friends Author: Anedon @Adalia-Durron Timeframe: Around 44 ABY Genre: Friendship, Adventure Characters: Ilona Malek, Adalia Tehanis Durron, Alec Fenton Summary: Ilona, Adalia and Alec meet at a donation event, but as always, trouble is ahead. Ilona looked around and was relieved, relieved by both the number of people attending and the fact that no one gave her too much attention. Having been a tomboy most of her life wearing a dress was still a bit unusual to her even if she did it more and more. Tonight she had chosen an elegant black dress Tobin had gotten for her. She suspected her husband had asked his elder sister for advice on it but that advice had payed off. But she was also relieved at the number of people here, more than she and Alec had feared. She gave her godfather a smile as he approached, now into his sixties Alec´s blonde hair began to slowly bald more and more, but he still had a certain elegance to him. "Going better than I feared," Alec told her quietly and she nodded. The occasion was quite controversial, or at least more controversial as the opening of an donation gala for an orphanage usually was. "It should have never taken so long," Ilona said with some bitterness in her voice. "When a war is over, people will always look to their loved ones first, not those of the enemy." Alec said solemnly. The parents of many of these children had fought for Jacen Solo during the war, and had eventually died for him. And now they were left not only without a home, without anyone to care for them, but also burdened by their parents actions. Adalia knew the cause was worth it, Jacen had left a chasm of pain in his wake and as she had her own orphanage back home that she'd supported since her teens, she knew she had to attend and at least attempt to buy something in the silent auction. She glanced at her chrono absently wondering how her husband was coping with a rambunctious two year old with Force abilities. She had days where she'd happily drug the boy, but Jesse was her pride and joy, so it was only fair his father suffer with him for a few days. Looking around she recognized a few faces, rich people she'd seen at other events, few military ones, but that didn't surprise her. She decided a drink of lemon bubbles would be nice and smoothed her deep green velvet gown down before crossing the room in search of a drink. Alec noticed the red haired woman in the crowd and for a moment he thought back to Amber Tehanis and his time in the Black Sheep Squadron. Was it her? She looked similar and he hadn't seem Amber for years, but no, this woman looked differently, if still similar to Amber. Ilona followed Alec's gaze and was surprised as she recognized who he was looking at. "Adalia?" she raised and eyebrow and made her way towards her while Alec silently followed her. Having gotten her drink she was grateful for the sweet sugary taste of the non alcoholic beverage as she'd had a few sleepless nights with Jesse, the sugar was a blessing. She heard her name called and turned to see Adrian's sister Ilona heading her way, dressed in an elegant yet simple black dress, matched with her hair it made her blue eyes stunning. "Ilona? Fancy seeing you here! How are you?" "I‘m good,“ Ilona said with a smile. "Now that I‘m normal size again.“ They had last meet during her pregnancy and she already prepared herself for the questions that would come. "Left the guys home, three generations of Maleks'." Alec approached them but kept a polite distance for now. Adalia laughed, "your father as well? That is a recipe for disaster, so you expect an emergency call any minute?" "Blocking any calls from that direction,“ Ilona said smiling. "Tonight it's other children I‘m here for." Adalia gave a sage nod, "well I do expect all hell to break lose, I left a Jedi Master with a two year old Force user, and he had no idea of what his boy is capable of. I hope the deep end will show him." She smirked, "should be a steep learning curve. Did you have a part in organizing this? It's quite beautiful, I have put my name down on a few silent auction items." "I did," Ilona said and her cheeks flushed, glad it was appreciated. "Though I'm not the organizer," she turned to Alec with a grand gesture. "Adalia Tehanis Durron, meet Alec Fenton. The Governor of Gus Talon." Alec's smile was sad, "former Governor. The new Correllian goverment has little love for me." He made a pause, before turning directly to Adalia. "Do you know an Amber Tehanis?" This wasn't the first time she'd been asked that question and she knew it wouldn't be the last. "Amber is my cousin, about 6 years older than me, why? You've met her?" She looked around, "and Governor or not, you've done a bang up job." "Alec was dads mechanic in the rebellion,“ Ilona explained. Alec nodded, "met Amber there. Had a little crush on her back then.“ He smiled as he shook his head. "And thanks, I‘m currently trying to keep myself out of the spotlight but I felt these kids need the help." Adalia gave a nod, "from what I heard, you wouldn't have been alone in that one back then, and as for the children. I was orphaned at 14, I know how it feels to make it alone without a mother or father to guide me, so it's very close to my heart." "Sorry to hear,“ Alec said carefully. Then he took a step back. "If you two ladies excuse me. So much to do as a host." "By all means, thank you and don't forget to enjoy your efforts." Adalia said raising her drink. She watched him walk away, "he's genuine, but I sense a bitterness about him." She said thoughtfully to Ilona. Ilona nodded sadly. "He kept Gus Talon neutral during the war. Criticized both sides, but especially Corellia's new government. They... a few months after the war Alec‘s bodyguard was killed in a speeder accident. Or so it seemed. They told him to resign his post or more such 'accidents‘ would happen." After that Alec had lived for a time with her and her father on Eriadu, fearful. But now it seemed he had regained some of his spirit. Adalia narrowed her eyes, "next time tell him to come to me, I have connections on Corellia and can protect him. That's not good enough." She muttered before sharply turning to look off to the right, something felt....off, but she kept her mouth closed. "Thanks for the offer, maybe you two can discuss it later tonight?" Ilona said, Adalia's offer gave her some hope but... she knew how powerfull Alec's enemies where. Then, wanting lighten up the mood she asked, "so did you ever expect Adrian and Marie to end up the way they did?" "No, but I sensed it pretty fast, and speaking of such, and I felt that, have a little faith in my friends, keeping in mind the circles I move in." She winked at Ilona. "I... you know its creepy when you do that," Ilona said and shivered a little. Adalia chucked, "sorry, it's gotten stronger since Jesse arrived, I have to be on the ball with that one!" Once again something made her turn and look vaguely into the crowd, she felt tension and anxiety and wasn't sure where from. "Promise I'll try not too......do it again." She added absently. "Did you notice something else?" Ilona now had enough experience with force users to see that Adalia had been kept on her toes by something else, not just her feelings. She gave her head a slight shake, causing the cascading curls from her updo hair to bounce. "Something feels..........off." "Are we in danger?“ Ilona asked, worried. She continued to scan the room, her green eyes ever so slightly narrowed as she tried to pinpoint what was niggling at her. "I don't know, could be just something outside this place. I'm no Jedi, not even a pretend one. Better at close quarters." She turned to Ilona and smiled, "no need to worry." "Then I won't," Ilona said an relaxed herself. "So how is your son doing?" She looked back. "Oh, he's a handful, learns a new 'trick' and experiments with it. Pretty hard to tell a two year old not to float his food around, its not polite!" She chuckled, "he's his fathers' problem tonight and I really hope he tries it all for Kyp." That though amused her. "How about your new one?" "Taking quite a bit of my sleep, well ours. Though due how busy my parents where around Adrian's birth I learned a lot then. Had to be a mother not just a big sister to him.“ Ilona explained. Adrian had been an unexpected child, both her parents had believed Tanya was well past fertility. And so her pregnancy had surprised them greatly. "Ah the joys of a sibling, never had one so I am learning as I go, I do contact my cousin from time to time, she has three now." She turned, there is was, that feeling again, but stronger. "That is quite a lot, not planning on that many, in a way Ion already has a sister,“ not too long after his birth Kat and Liz had adopted a little girl and now the two families often visited each other and took care of them together. She once again noticed the look on Adalia's face, something was definitely wrong here. "Tell me, is there another function or event going on nearby?" Adalia asked. "Not that I know.“ Ilona said slowly. But this was Coruscant, there was always something going on... The sound of blasterfire erupted in the room and Ilona saw several bright shoots cross the hall. Instinctively she grabbed Adalia and pulled her into cover. Adalia felt it before she heard it and reached for Ilona, Adrian would never forgive her if she'd let his sister get hurt. Ironically Ilona had grabbed her and they both fell to the ground. "Live show?" She asked as she tried to assess the situation, "Or do I need to find a blaster?" "We certainly didn't plan for that," Ilona said, as she raised her head a bit. Trying to get a good look at the attackers she saw that their shots where mostly aimed at the security guards. "Whoever these people are, they seem to be professionals." Other guests had taken cover between the tables or lay wounded on the ground. Adalia scanned, "wounding, not killing, good start." She muttered before looking to the food table, people were still scrambling and this was their chance. "Follow me." She began to scramble to the tables and rolled under one with a large skirt around it. Ilona quickly followed Adalia in seeking better cover. Her heart was racing. The shots began to lessen, it seemed the attackers had reached their goal and taken control, for now. Curling her hand up over the table she began to search for a weapon, anything and an almost wicked smile spread as she found the carving knife for the meat. "Find a weapon." She hissed as she pulled it down. "Will do,“ she slipped out from und the table and looked around, seeing one of the wounded security guards nearby. Grabbing the mans hand she slowly began pulling them under their desk, and with him the blaster he had in his holster. While she did that a voice echoed through the hall. "Where is Alec Fenton?“ Adalia saw her gutsy move. "Nice, and he's got stuncuffs." She checked the man's wound, it was a flesh wound, he'd live. "You're gonna be fine, just relax and stay quiet." She took his cuffs as Ilona got his blaster. Then she had a thought and reached down to his boot smiling as she pulled out his hold out blaster, small but effective. They were armed. She turned to Ilona, "your friend, why do they want him?" She asked in the softest whisper. "I don‘t know,“ Ilona whispered back. „Alec made many enemies with his writing. Or maybe because he is the host? Did you see where he went?“ A shake of her head indicated to Ilona that Adalia hadn't seen where Alec went. Edging to the corner of the table she peeked out of a crack in the tablecloth. She could see the guests were now on the floor, the older ones sitting but the younger ones laying down. She looked the table cloth and thankfully it was a thick fabric so would not ripple at her movements. Pushing back she checked on the guard who non verbally assured her he was fine to which she gave him the thumbs up. She leaned close to Ilona, "I can't see them, not yet, but all guests are down on the floor." She whispered softly. Ilona decided to risk a look again. The attackers wore facemasks but their clothing formal jackets and dresses told her they had originally been disguised as attendees of the gala. "Count about a dozen, all armed.“ Armed how? Adalia wondered, surely there were scanners as they came in? She took the hold out blaster and large carving knife and lay as flat as she could to watch feet moving in the 2cm gap at the bottom of the cloth. They were looking for their quarry, and she watched carefully as they moved through the crowd forcing them to look up so they could see their faces. At that moment and young man looked over as he lay on the ground and saw her, she instantly put her finger to her lips and showed him the knife not bothering with the blaster, he'd not get that. He blinked twice then closed his eyes, clearly he didn't want to know. She looked to Ilona and mouthed the question, "plan?" "We can‘t fight all of them. Unless you know a force trick that could help us.“ Ilona whispered back. Her mind was filled with another worry. "Did you see Alec?“ she quietly asked the security guard. "He left for one of the restrooms shortly before the attack,“ the man replied. So the target wasn't even in the room. She passed the blaster over to Ilona, "do what you can." With that she slipped out to behind the table and slithered along the ground till she was in a gap before standing up, her hands up. "Um, I think he's left the event." She said raising her hands higher. 10, ok Ilona was out a bit but 10 is still a good number. Several blasters quickly turned into Adalias direction. "Keep your hands up. What are you saying? Gone?" Ilona began moving beneath the tables as quietly as she could, maybe she could get behind their enemies. She raised her hands as high as she could in the gown, "this gown doesn't let me get them much higher! I was speaking to him less than five minutes ago an he said he didn't feel well, and was going, like leaving here." She lied, hoping they had no idea who she was. At least three of them were very unsure about this, even scared, only two were reading as determined to achieve their goal. "He left? Nice, try but he organized this whole thing! He wouldn‘t leave even if you tried to drag him out," the voice shouted back. Alec watched the situation from the shadows of the restroom entrance. He had activated the silent alarm after he had realized what was going on but now felt afraid and unsure on how to proceed. Adalia shook her head, "no, he was about to puke, said he'd eaten something bad and left. Better than puking all over his guests." She explained. Around her a couple people agreed with her, going so far as to say they'd seen him leave. One of the attackers stepped closer to her, his face concealed by a mask. "And who are you that you are acting as his replacement?“ Adalia shifted her weight slightly as she felt a sense of urgency surrounding the place, help was close, but not close enough. She could push them, well some of them, the ones who seemed to be in charge. There was no way she could tell Ilona but she hoped she'd figure it out. "Me?" She stepped forward and lowered her hands pulling them into her chest. "I and Adalia Tehanis Durron, and your worst nightmare." Pushing her hands forward she directed her Force abilities toward the three in charge who stood on a nearby stage. Ilona spun from her hiding position a blaster in each hand and opened fire. Intend on driving the attackers into cover. Meanwhile Alec stepped outside of the shadows and threw himself at the nearest attacker. "You want me? Here am I?“ His heart was racing but he would allow anyone to suffer instead of him. Adalia's push had sent all three she'd aimed at into the wall behind them, and she watched with satisfaction as they slid down the wall unconscious. Turning she lifted her hands to three more of them as they raised their weapons to fire at Ilona. "Don't do it, I will squash you!" She yelled. One of the young men pointed his weapon at her. "You're Jedi, they don't squash anyone!" She didn't give him time pull the trigger, simply sweeping her arms to the side and watching as all three were lifted and thrown across the entire hall out a nearby transparisteel window, glass smashing and cascading to the ground as they landed on the terrace outside. "I'm no Jedi, big mistake." She smiled, "don't live by their rules." She turned to Alec who'd managed to distract them long enough for Ilona to get several shots off, and smiled at his courage. The woman Alec fought with was fast, and strong, landing several hits to his face which eventually caused him to let go of her. But as he was thrown off and he managed to grab her blaster and pointed it at her. "Stay down," he said trying to keep his voice as calm as possible. In his heart he knew he didn‘t have it in him to pull the trigger. Ilona swung her blasters through the room as she yelled. "Get your hands up or you‘re dead.“ Hoping to convince them to end the fight. Adalia smiled at the aggression Ilona was displaying, 'oh to be younger' she mused. "What she said, or I can teach you to fly the hard way." She continued to smile. Several of the attackers remained on the ground. clutching wounds, some did as Ilona said while other tried to reach the exit of the building. "We need to secure them, make sure they aren"t hiding any weapons." Ilona called to Adalia. "In a bit!" Adalia called as he she turned to the two who were making a run for it. She held her hands up and then suddenly pulled the back past her body, her eyes on the two as they flew back through the air and landed hard on the dance floor, causing a few guests to squeal and move, and just as suddenly a few of the guests jumped on them. Once that had started around the room other guests helped by holding the others down, removing weapons. Adalia grinned. "They forgot, 'Charity starts at home' and they invaded our home." Even Alec allowed himself a smile as he approached them. "Yet again, I‘m not dead.“ He muttered more to himself. Then more loudly he said. "The authorities will soon be here.“ "Any idea who send them?“ Ilona asked looking around? The doors opened and Galactic Security Forces began to spill in, weapons drawn and yelling. Adalia sighed and put her hands up. "Get them up Ilona, Alec before they shoot you first and ask questions later." Alec and Ilona followed her command. "Best you explain it," Ilona told Adalia. "You are the colonel." "Was, was a colonel, been retired over over two standard years." She eyed the security. "But, eh, I have name with weight behind it, leave it to me." She said as she started to walk toward them, her hand still up. This was going to be fun. A few hours later Alec sat next to Ilona in the empty hall as they waited for Adalia to return. "Could be several people," he told his god daughter. "Phennir hates me, for a long time now." Ilona thought about this, "this fundraiser was for the orphans of GA soldiers, wouldn´t be surprised if some hardcore confeds saw it as a target because of that." "Well that's all sorted, and was a bit of fun as well. Nothing like threatening junior troops with what I can do and who I'm married too." She grinned, "you two all good?" Alec nodded, but then a shadow crossed his face. "It keeps happening. First Varren, now all these people here. I‘m a threat to everyone around me.“ Adalia sat down opposite him. "You serious? Try having a Sith Lord after you, naw, just bad luck. Don't stop doing what you do and don't stop being who you are, you do, they win." She winked. "Well there is a place you could go to, were they can't reach you.“ Ilona offered with a smile. "After you asked her so many questions when you met her, the new matriarch of the Misty Falls Tribe might be willing to offer you a place to stay, at least for a while." "I... you mean Marie?" Alec had talked quite lengthy with her about Dathomir and the tribes, even thinking about one day writing a book about them. "I mean if she would be okay with that. I don't need much." Adalia narrowed her eyes slightly. "Be careful there, some of your novels have been considered, controversial, and you do that to Marie, you will make waves that cannot be ridden out. You may even find more enemies." She warned, Marie and Adrian were very different on Dathomir and if they were to be seen in a bad light, it could bode badly for many who respect them or doubt them. Ilona chuckled, "you haven‘t read any of his books haven‘t you?“ Alec‘s face turned red and he looked aside. "Alec tells the truth. And that something Dathomir could use,“ Ilona continued. „It has been demonized quite a bit in the last few decades. The witches are presented as cruel babarians or well sexualized..." Adalia looked down for a moment and knew what she was about to say sounded more like her husband than herself. "The truth is only the truth from a certain point of view. How we see might not be how someone else sees it, its.......subjective. Yes, yes, I know I sound like a Jedi, but I have learned a few things over the years." "You are right with that, my wife often tells me similar things,“ Alec said as he stood up. "But you can be assured. I certainly don‘t intend to say anything bad about Adrian or Marie. I think people like them are exactly what Dathomir needs." Adalia smiled as she watched him. "Women on Dathomir can read, keep that in mind." "Yes, which makes it a good thing Marie is allowing men to learn it as well," Alec agreed. "Seems you‘ve made your decision,“ Ilona said as she stood up. "I can travel there with you, owe my sibling another visit I guess. Would leave the guys together at home for a while longer.“ Adalia smirked, "while longer? It's at least 3 days in hyper from here." She smiled, "that should be fun for them." "Then why don't you come along as well?" Ilona offered with a grin. "I'm sure Marie would be delighted." Adalia held up her hands. "Oh hell no, I can't keep a Jedi Master busy baby sitting in the current climate. I'd be in divorce court!! Naw, I'm going to head home now, well our temporary home. Time to play tag team and give him a bit of a break." She stood, "glad this all worked out and that the cause got the attention it needed. Good to meet you too Alec, enjoy Dathomir, I always do."