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MC: AOTE: Brothers in Arms

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Jeez just shook his head. All too predictable, Jeez thought to himself. Taking a bite out of the food set in front of him, Jeez waited as he chewed the food. Careful to notice all the particulars of every taste, Jeez calmed himself as he connected to the Force. Concentrating, Jeez felt a slight shudder in the Force as Beryl flung the hydrospanner into a bulkhead. Pausing with food still in his mouth, Jeez pondered what needed to be said.


"Don't worry. I'm sure you'll think of something," Cloud stated reassuringly inside of Jeez's head.


"Did you just tell me that I'm worried?" Jeez asked as he glanced over at Cloud who was also eating.


"Sure did," Cloud replied. "Hey, its not that hard to feel that since that's just about the only thing I've felt from you since she came back."


"You senses serve you well," Jeez stated with a slight grin. Noticing that Conn had been down there for a while, Jeez then wiped his mouth with a napkin. "I guess its my turn, then."


Getting up, Jeez then made his way down to the small hangar. Catching sight of Jeez coming down the ladder, Beryl instantly felt uncomfortable and turned away from him. Heading over to Beryl, Jeez sat down next to her on the other side. Shifting uncomfortably betweein Conn and Jeez, Beryl just looked dead ahead with a scowl on her face.


"I wish I could tell you that I knew how you felt, but then again, I've never had a real brother," Jeez stated as the silence was shattered.


"Lucky you," Beryl commented dryly.


Jeez just smiled at the comment. Turning his head to his left, he caught sight of the crumpled barrel. Using the Force, Jeez levitated it in front of the small group. Closing his eyes in concentration, Jeez began to straighten the barrel out. After a minute or so, the barrel was for the most part back to its normal shape. Opening his eyes, Jeez let the barrel sit down on the deck.


"You know, that barrel is never going to be as in good condition as it was," Jeez commented. "Its always going to have bends and odd creases in it; little flecks of paint will chip away where the metal bent too far. It will never be as perfect as it had originally been formed."


Pausing for a moment, Jeez then continued, "Even with all the bends and imperfections, though, that barrel is still a good barrel. Yeah, its different from the other barrels, but this one, well, this one is special now. It has a bit of character where all the other ones seem to look the same. Hehe, now whenever someone sees that barrel, they'll know that it was the one that Beryl crushed and was restored."


"What's your point? I'm supposed to be the barrel, right?" Beryl commented as she was apparently not into the allusion.


"Well, yes, but that barrel isn't just you. That barrel is like me, too. I've been crushed before. Misshapen to the point that I was never quite the same. I looked the same, and heck, I even acted the same to some extent. One thing, though, that kept me from being like all the others around me was simply me. I was crushed and restored, but I had bends and creases and chipping paint, too. Even now, I still carry my bends and creases," Jeez stated. Looking over at Beryl, he then said, "We went through different experiences, but one thing is the same about us: we'll never be the same because of what we went through.


Don't try to go back to what you were; you're old self can't come back. You've got to find out what you're new shape is going to be so that you can understand your bends and creases. I'm not going to tell you what's right and wrong any more; I think you understand enough now about that to make you're own decisions. You simply have to decide what to do with yourself, and then you can focus on everybody else. Do that, and you come find me. We'll take care of that lightsaber together."


Giving a soft but reassuring pat on Beryl's shoulder, Jeez got up and headed back up to the common area to finish his meal.

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As soon as Conn had injected her with his cocktail of meds, Beryl immediately began to feel better. Not any less angry, but more controlled. More able to keep her rage inside rather than let it flood out unchecked.


She watched Jeez leave, and for the next few minutes, she sat in silence with Conn. After a long while, she looked up at him and said, “Thanks. I feel better now. A bit tired, but….” She let out a faint snort. “I always felt tired after they gave me my meds at the Academy. Suppose they made me more receptive for ‘Imperial Theory’ class.”


“Imperial Theory?”


“Philosophy, protocols, and the Emperor’s grand plan for the Galaxy.” She frowned slightly. “Strange…. You know, I can’t really remember a specific class now, but I can remember the material from all of them.” She shook her head. “Anyway, let’s get back to the dinner table. I need to apologise to Teser and… I need to get focused on what to do next. I refuse to be small, uncontrolled, and twisted into something I’m not. And we’ve got work to do.”


She and Conn returned to the common room. Beryl apologised to the group as a whole for leaving in such an abrupt manner, and then apologised to her brother Teser for transposing her anger at Berasumus onto him. He in turn said sorry for his goading, but added that he was glad that it had sparked some recognisable feelings in her.


“Okay,” she addressed the group as a whole. “Since Nic has put me in charge of this mission, here’s what I’d like each of you to do.” She started off with their pilot, Jack.


“Jack, I’ve asked my brother Rayne to send a transport big enough to hide the Echo inside so that we won’t have any problems getting through any Chandrilan security. He runs a regular transport route from Corellia so there shouldn’t be any problems with us landing. Teser’s put the co-ordinates to meet up with Rayne’s ship into the navicomputer. The Imperials don’t use that route too often, but be careful. There’s some type of fluctuating gravity anomaly in that area that could yank us out of hyperspace too soon and possibly cause some damage to the engines.


“And we’ll probably need some explosives. If we do happen to find a secret facility, we’ll need to blow it up. Not sure what you’ve got hanging around here, Jack, but see if you can rig up something along the lines of a few TB-47 timebombs. Oh, and see if you can come up with some concealed weapons for all of us, too. I don’t want us to attract unwanted attention."


She turned to Sam next. “Sam, you seem to have an unnatural knack with all things mechanical as well as computers. See if you can work with Cloud to make up some counterfeit code cylinders with the algorithm that Lana/Lena gave to us. We’ll need at least one for everybody, but make up a few spares as well, just in case Imperial security catches on.


“Conn, you said you used to work for…what was it? Chandrilan MediPlex?”


Conn nodded. “Yeah. Years ago though.”


“See if you can use the Holonet to see if you still have any contacts there. It’ll be very helpful if we could have access to laboratory facilities so that we can analyse any evidence we may happen to come across at ChandraMed."


Beryl looked across the table at Jana and then Reibe. With Jana’s latest display of her ‘Force Sensitive’ powers, it was clear to Beryl that they were teacher and student now. No sense in splitting them up, and besides that, Beryl wasn’t sure if Reibe would listen to her anyway. “Jana, see if you and Reibe can get a hold of a facility plan for ChandraMed. It’s been around for a while, so there must be some sort of registered building plan from Republic times. They might have done some remodelling, but I bet the basic floor plan is still pretty much the same. Companies usually add-on, but they don’t like tearing down facilities unless they absolutely have to. Oh, and see if their facility is close to any water treatment plants or water supply mains. I think we might be looking for something happening underground, so be on the lookout for tunnels and the like.


“Nic, I know you probably don’t want to do this, but…” Beryl hesitated a beat. “If would really be helpful if you could find out exactly where both our brothers might be. The documents I took tell me that they’ll be in the area, so I’m sure they’ll be some sub-space chatter between the Reaper and the Eliminator that we’re bound to be able to pick up. And that security algorithm should also help us decipher some of the lower level secure transmissions. Maybe then Jack, or even Sam or Cloud, can help you triangulate their exact positions. If we know where they are, then the advantage is ours. Especially if we have to leave in a hurry.


“Teser, get on the comm and tell Rayne to look us up some of his ‘pirate’ connections. I know they’re not all ‘rebels’, but none of them like the Empire. We’ll need accommodation for the time we’re on Chandrila. See if you can negotiate an apartment for all of us for a few days. Someplace off the beaten path, but still in the city. We can use it as a base of operations while we’re down there doing our investigation.


“Jeez?” Beryl let out a small resigned sigh. “I’d like you to help Conn and I go through that inventory list I swiped. Maybe there’s some stuff on there that looks familiar to you, being as you were at that prison medical facility for a long while. Perhaps between the three of us, we can come up with some viable hypothesis as to what exactly is going on at ChandraMed.


“And there’s something else.” She gave a quick glance at Reibe, but then looked Jeez in the eye. “I’m tired of being manipulated and twisted into something I’m not. I need to learn more control. And I'm ready to learn, if you’ll teach me, that is.”


She looked at the rest of the crew. “That’s about all I can think of to do as far as preparation goes. When we’ve got as much information as we can gather, we’ll have a better idea of what we’ll be up against.” Her gaze then lingered on Jana, and then Nic. “But, whatever happens, I want us all to stay together.”

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Nic finished eating his food and then stood up from the table. “I’ll get right on it


“Hey can we reverse this thing back a bit.” Cloud stated raising his hand. “You have a brother Nic… and he’s an Imperial.”


“Yeah.” Nic replied. “Remember that Captain on the Dreadnought… that was him.”


“But his name was Raikellii.” Cloud argued.


“OK I suppose as most of the people on this table know anyway I may as well tell you all.” Nic stated. “Up until about ten years ago my name was Simon Raikellii, I won’t go in to the details of why I changed my name but all you need to know is I’m Nic White, the same guy you’ve known all these years.”


“Well you think you know a guy.” Cloud exclaimed leaning back in his chair.


Nic shook his head. “I’ll be in my cabin if anyone needs me.”

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"We'll get right on that," Reibe said. She and Jana stood and left the table.


"Reibe, I don't even know where to begin," Jana sighed. Reibe smirked and shook her head in slight amusement.


"Before we met up with Beryl and her crew at Ruusan, where were we?" she asked teasingly. "Oh, that's right... only in the central hub of the galaxy's greatest and most secret information network."


Jana shot her mentor an incredulous look. "You'd have a floorplan of ChandraMed?"


"Of course," Reibe retorted, rolling her eyes. "The only question is how recent... could be as little as a week... or as much as six months."


"Not sure as how it'd make a difference," Jana said. "I mean, how much could they have changed the place in six months?"


"You'd be impressed at some of the construction crew efficiency levels I've seen in the past," Reibe chuckled. "Come on... we'll get this pretty quick."


And Reibe led the way into her room.

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Nic walked into his cabin and went straight to the desk with a console on it, as well as the console were two Holographs on the desks. The first was the one taken when Nic had just won the Echo, it was him and Jana standing in front of the ship both with smiles across their faces. They probably wouldn’t be smiling if they knew the trip they were about to take that involved parts of the ship exploding while they made their way to Alderaan, although that did lead to them meeting Cloud.


The second was the image of Nic’s Family, His mother, father and brother, the image also had a portion that had been disrupted and purposely distorted. Behind all this distortion was Nic as a child, when he was happy as Simon Raikellii. Although he left his life behind this holograph was one of only three things he had kept from his old life and something couldn’t get rid of.


He took the picture of his family and held it in his hand as he looked at his brothers image. “Where are you?”

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((OOC: Sorry for the charry control, Niner, but I'm just trying to move the thread forward.


Also, I'm assuming that Jack is piloting us along to the rendevous point with Rayne's supply ship. Hopefully, he'll let the crew know when he makes contact with it.))



Now that dinner was finished and everyone had their assigned tasks to do (and Jack had hopefully set the course to meet up with the transport ship that would take the Echo through any Chandrilan or Imperial security,) it was time to do some research.


In the med bay, Beryl had assembled all the information that she had collected from the library, and with Conn and Jeez’s help, they determined that the only logical explanation for all the equipment requisitions and strange supply orders, especially the drugs at the ChandraMed facility, was that the Empire was formulating a covert plan for a chemical attack on the people of Chandrila. Not to kill them, oh no. Chandrila was one of the core worlds and they needed their support. No, they were working on some kind of ‘pacification’ drug—something similar to what they had been giving Beryl at the Carida Academy.


“So, this… whatever they’re making, could be leaked into the water supply of the planet’s major cities,” Conn surmised, “and consumed by the general population undetected.” He looked at Beryl. “And I have no doubt that you, my dear, were on the receiving end of one of their first test batches. Your blood test results indicate residual amounts of all of these drugs, especially the narcotic Lesai.”


“That would make sense,” Beryl said. “The others in my training group were all classified as ‘resistant’ to traditional training methods. They gave us the daily injections to make us more ‘receptive.’”


“Very receptive, it seems.” Conn gave her a look. “Even with your Force Sensitivity, you still got yourself indoctrinated with Imperial dogma.”


Beryl let out a long sigh, then quietly nodded in agreement.


“So, we can assume that their drug cocktail works,” Conn said. “But, I’m still confused as to why they would choose Chandrila as a place to test it. Why not choose some backwater planet that’s not very well known or so highly populated?”


It suddenly occurred to Beryl why. “Because Mon Mothma’s always the most vocal when it comes to opposing Imperial policy.” She looked at Conn. “There’s an election coming up next month,” Beryl said to Jeez and Conn. “HoloNet news has been covering the candidate that is challenging Senator Mon Mothma. Apparently,” she added, “Grel Preva’s an ardent supporter of the Emperor, but the general population is less than impressed with him. In the latest polls, he was running very far behind.” She paused a moment. “But, let’s say, for instance, that the Chandrilans were somehow persuaded to vote for Grel Preva instead of Mon Mothma. He becomes Senator instead, and then the Empire would have the full support of Chandrila and all of its people. And it wouldn’t be a puppet government either, but a duly elected one. Hard to refute that fact if you’re a rebel touting for support.”


“And so the Empire could put a damper on any potential rebellion without having to lift a finger,” Conn surmised.


“Or waste any resources,” Beryl added. “So, now all we have to decide is how we are going to infiltrate ChandraMed and how we are going to stop this project.” She thought a moment. “We need to make sure that their project fails. If we just blow up the facility, they’ll just chalk it up to insurgents, move someplace else, and start again. But if it’s proved a failure, they’ll abandon it.”


Conn grinned. “Well, I suppose you could just show up as a shining example at the next ChandraMed board meeting, stick out your tongue, dance an Alderaanian jig and say, “Ta da! I escaped, I’m free, and your drugs didn’t work!”


Beryl stared at him. “I don’t know any Alderaanian jigs,” she said in all seriousness.


“Yeah, but what I’m saying is….” Conn’s grin faded as he eyed her over. “What am I saying? Their drugs are still working. Even out of your system they’re still working to some extent by having altered the way you think. I can ease your withdrawl symptoms, but I can’t fix the way you think.”


Beryl’s brow lifted slightly, almost hopefully. “An antidote. You need to develop an antidote.”


“An antidote?”


Beryl nodded. “There must be one. You just have to find it.” She looked at Jeez. “I’m useless at chemistry, so… you can help him.” She turned to leave the med bay. “I’m going to see Nic and then see what Jana and Reibe’s come up with. Before we plan our invasion of ChandraMed, we’ll need to know what we’re up against.”


She headed out the door and towards the common room, stopping two doors down in front of Nic’s door. She took a deep breath and knocked twice.


“Nic? It’s me. Beryl. I need to talk to you.”


((OOC: I figure that Conn and Jeez might not have what they need on board to develop an antidote and might have to get some supplies/help on Chandrila. But they'll need to decide what they might need.


And when Jana collates all her info on the floorplan for ChandraMed, Beryl will need to know where the checkpoints and security stations are.))

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((Jointy posty with Jasra Lantilly))


Nic looked up from the Holograph and sighed, pushing a small button on the projector the image flashed a few times before it disappeared. “It’s open.” He called as he placed the deactivated projector back on the desk.


Beryl opened the door and stood at the threshold. Nic was sitting at his desk and she stared at him for a moment before asking, “Are you busy, sir?” For some reason, it felt strange to just walk into her captain’s quarters without being specifically invited to. Probably part of her Imperial conditioning, she thought, but still she didn’t move.


"Beryl if you're going to call me Sir you may as well add a Salute just to round it off." Nic replied obviously joking.


Beryl automatically felt her posture stiffen, and she started to raise her hand…

And then her lips pressed together and she quickly shut her eyes, embarrassed that she hadn’t immediately realized that Nic had been joking. “Sorry, s--…” She took a breath. “Sorry, Nic. Can I come in?”


"Unless the forcefields Cloud installed in the doorways are malfunctioning there shouldn’t be anything stopping you"” Nic replied smiling at Beryl still trying to ease the tension the only way he know how, humor.


“I’m sorry for the way I acted at dinner. I didn’t mean to lose my temper. Or destroy a storage barrel. Or impale a micro-spanner into a bulkhead support. Or… or let the others know about…” She paused a beat. “Simon.”


She looked around his room, noticing the empty rack where he normally kept Betsy, his most trusted weapon. “You’ll be getting her back, by the way,” she said, as she gently ran a finger over the notches that supported the gun. “And your knife.” She turned to him. “I sent them to Rayne. Part of my ‘deal’ with Kriss when I was on the Reaper.” She frowned at the distasteful memory.


“Do you hate your brother?” she asked.


"Why do you want to know?" Nic asked rhetorically. "You want to know if it's normal to want your brother dead or are you just curious?"


Beryl thought a moment. “Both, I guess. So… do you?”


“My brother tortured me for two weeks, used you to get to me and then sent me to Die in an imperial training facility.” Nic paused for a moment. “But I don’t hate him, I can’t, he does these things because he lost heart, his soul, his everything… because of me, What I did. I’m the one blame for all the things he has done. I hate myself, not him.”


Beryl nodded. “Makes sense.” She pressed her lips together. “Wish I had an excuse for what Nuss did. But he did what he did because… it’s his job. Not for any warped sense of revenge, or anything like that. Just because it’s ‘his job’.” Her gaze hardened. “What kind of kriffin’ pathetic reason is that to torture someone until they break?”


“Beryl, I can’t Justify what Your brother did to you.” Nic said standing up and looking Beryl in the eye. “But you have to make a choice her, Revenge or Justice, you can’t have both. One will take you to places that you may not be able to escape and the other would mean sacrifice, either way you have to be ready and you have to be sure ‘cos there’ll be no turning back.”


Beryl nodded. “Yeah. Hard choices ahead, I know. Jeez said as much. So has Conn.” She shook her head. “But my head’s all messed up, Nic. I don’t know if I can….” She paused to take a breath. “I need someone to help me. Someone to make sure I don’t do something stupid, or rash, or… you know. I need someone I trust, and while I do trust Conn for advice and medical attention, I certainly don’t trust his marksmanship.” She shifted uncomfortably. “There are things happening to me that I don’t understand, Nic. That barrel I crushed down in the hold—it could have been Teser if I hadn’t left the dinner table in time. I don’t know what’s been done to me, but I need you to make the hard choice if it comes to it.” Her eyes searched his for understanding. “Can I trust you to do that?”



Nic reached his arms around beryl and pulled her forward in a tight but comforting embrace, he raised one hand to cradle her head and lightly rested his chin on her head. “I will do anything for you beryl, I’ll die for you and kill for you… and if you need me to make that choice…” Nic paused for a second as a tear formed in his eye as he contemplated what she was asking him to do. “I’ll do what you ask… I’ll…”


“Thank you, sir,” she whispered, preventing him from saying the words.


“I feel better knowing that you’re there for me.” Her gaze lingered on his face for a long moment, and then she slowly pulled away. “I’ve got to go check on how Sam and Cloud are getting on. They might need help.”


“It won’t come to that.” Nic reassured holding Beryl for a few more moments. “You’re strong, intelligent and a better person than I can hope to be, I trust you, I have faith you’ll make the right choice.”


“Wish I could say the same,” she answered. She kissed him lightly on the lips. “But thank you.” She started to pull away once more, but then paused and leaned in closer to him, wrapping a hand over his shoulder while she kissed him again.


Nic began to return the kiss and pulled Beryl's body closer as the kiss grew more passionate, then Nic's eyes widened as he realized what he was doing and pushed Beryl away holding her at arms length. "We can't do this… I mean you and the Doc... This isn't right."


Beryl licked her lips. “Yeah.” She cleared her throat. “Yeah, you’re right.” She suddenly looked over her shoulder, thinking for a moment that someone was there. But there was no one. “I’ve… I’ve got to go,” she said to Nic. She backed away, clasping his hand until the very last moment. Then she turned and headed out the door towards engineering, whispering, “Damn,” under her breath.

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Conn sat at his desk, hunched over a datapad with the cargo manifests that Beryl had stolen. They'd been able to make headway and come up with a hypothesis of why the Imperials would need all these materials, but it still didn't help that he was now tasked with finding an antidote for something he didn't have on hand. He wasn't even sure of the exact chemical composition of the substance, relying on the manifests and Beryl's blood samples. It was going to be a long road ahead, and one that didn't look to be too clear at all.


A knock broke him out of his reverie. He looked up to see Sam standing in the doorway, a small stack of datapads in her hand. Just behind her, Jeez sat at the computer console, studying different chemical compositions. Conn looked back up at the tall, enigmatic woman. "Hey Sam," he said. "What can I do for you?"


She had an odd expression on her face. "Doc, can I see you in my room for a few minutes?"


Conn arched an eyebrow. "Uh, sure." He stood up and came round to the doorway. "Be right back, Jeez," he called to the Jedi, who waved. Conn followed Sam a few meters down to her room and entered, standing next to the doorway just inside. "What's this about, Sam?"


Sam put the datapads down on her desk, then faced Conn. "You like Beryl, right?"


Conn paused, a little taken aback by Sam's bluntness. "You could say that," he said.


"Mmm." Sam pursed her lips, as if deciding carefully what to say next. "Do you think she likes you?"


Again, Conn had to pause. "That I don't know, Sam," he replied truthfully. "The Imps have screwed her up so much, she isn't the same person she was before. She's different. Really different. And I don't know if she's ever going to be the person she was again." He rubbed his temple. "You've seen how she is. Almost robotic, 'yes sir' this, 'yes sir' that. It's like she's become a drone! And the only time she shows any hint of emotion is when she's angry or frustrated."


"I don't think that's the only time, Doc..." Sam started, scratching the back of her head.


"Eh?" Conn asked, a little confused as to where Sam was going with this.


"Well, I came up from engineering to grab these datapads in the Common Room. On my way back, I passed by the Captain's room..."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nic was alone in his cabin and not concentrating on the work he was suppose to be doing, his console was active and he was currently checking some files a contact had sent him concerning imperial ship deployment but his mind was on other things. His thoughts kept going back to the events of the last six weeks he had spent under imperial arrest, six weeks he spent being tortured or fighting for survival.


These thoughts were still not the main thing on his mind although related to them, Beryl, his thoughts of her were all that drove him those weeks to survive, keep fighting and escape. Now all he could think of is what she had asked him to do and the kiss they shouldn’t have shared. She was the women he loved but could not have, on more sacrifice his life had to live with.


The thing Beryl had asked him to do was a something he still was not sure he could follow through with, he told her he could but he had lied. The truth was that if it came to it, he didn’t know if he could go all the way, he didn’t know if he could pull the trigger when it came it.


Life was so much simpler when Nic had nothing to fight and live for, it was so simple when he only wished for death to come to him. Now he had cause to carry on, reason to do everything he could to ensure those he cared for would live. He had friends and family, people to protect from harm and lead away from it.


Nic snapped him self from these thoughts and began his search for the location of both his and Beryl’s brothers. At first it all seemed normal and what he had expected to see, both assigned to oversee all operations in the Chandrila System. However on closer examination Nic discovered an oddity in the number of officers assigned to his brother’s command, way more than would be expected to be on a dreadnought. Further investigation quickly showed him the reason for this, the Reaper was no longer a dreadnought, the name had been given to an Imperial Class Star Destroyer and Kriss Raikellii was it’s commanding officer. You got a promotion Nic thought.


With all the information he wanted Nic decided to switch on the holo-net, on activation Nic was surprised to see his own face displayed on it. Thinking he had switched the wrong thing on he pushed a few button realising their was no mistake. Quickly checking the channel and programme that was gunning Nic gulped as he realised it was showing ‘The Empires most wanted’.


“This can’t be good.” Nic stated out loud to himself.

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((Joint post with Jasra))


As Beryl left Nic’s room, she thought she heard Sam’s voice just before the door to Conn’s quarters slid shut. She paused, wondering if Sam might be hitting up Conn for stims, then shrugged and continued on to Reibe’s door. She tapped on it and waited. Her mind was still reeling from her conversation with Nic, and the guilt that came with the lingering feeling of his lips on hers. She should have been thinking more about the mission, of course, for when the door finally opened, Beryl found herself lost for words.


Jana were laughing of all things. As Reibe turned and waved for Beryl to enter, she sobered a little, but her eyes were still sparkling. Jana reduced her laughter to giggles.


"Ah!" Reibe exclaimed. "Just the person we were talking about. Jana was just telling me about some of your antics early in your career aboard the Echo."


Beryl stared at the two women in turn. “Erm…. antics?” she asked, looking askance at Jana. “Good or bad ones?”


Jana laughed. "Don't worry, Beryl. You're like family! Bad antics are secrets shared only among family and bestest of friends."


Beryl nodded. She hoped what Jana said was true, because she had done some very bad things of late. Things that she didn’t even want to remember, let alone tell anyone about. “I’m glad we’re friends, Jana,” Beryl said, her eyes glancing around Reibe’s room. “I didn’t have any at the Academy.” She gave Jana a look. “Better that way,” she said somewhat sadly.


Mission… said a tiny voice in Beryl’s head. “So… maps. Plans. Have you found any information on… on…” It took a moment for the name to come to her. “ChandraMed. Any floor plans or building layouts?”


"Am I to understand you do not believe friendships are valuable?" Reibe demanded. She shook her head. "Remember this, Beryl Quitaan. I cannot count the number of times my good friends saved my life. Do not ever underestimate the value of a good friend."


Beryl met Reibe’s eyes. “Friends are extremely important,” she said matter-of-factly. “I wouldn’t be here now if it weren’t for friends like Jana. I’d still be at the Academy.” She looked at her chrono and then thought a moment. “Listening to the Emperor’s weekly ‘inspirational speech’.” She gave a quick, but sardonic grin. “So, floor plans?”


Reibe tossed a datapad to Beryl. "Up to date as of six weeks ago," she said.


"And it's got everything," Jana piped in. "Entrances, exits, security stations, guard routes, etc. Literally, everything we could ask for."


Beryl looked at the datapad’s display, nodding as her eyes verified what Jana had just told her. “And, just as we thought….” She tapped the display. “It’s less than two kilometres away from a water treatment plant.” She pressed her lips together grimly and shook her head. “That would explain all the tunneling equipment. One tunnel from here to there and they could transport whatever they need out of sight from anyone. Good work. So, I guess all we need now is a plan to infiltrate it. I’ll talk to Sam and see how she’s getting on with those code cylinders.” She looked up at Jana. “So, what antics were you two laughing about when I came in?” Beryl wasn’t upset that they had been laughing. On the contrary, the sound had been pleasing to her.


Jana giggled again. "Remember the time you attempted a reprogramming of the sim units? To add the latest fighter models, as I recall..." Reibe laughed.


"As Jana tells it, you ended up flying an 'Imperial Stormtrooper' into a 'Nest of Gundarks'... because you refused to determine where his controls were..."


They both laughed again.


"And I flew my Darth Vader in after you!" Jana exclaimed through her laughter. She shook her head in amusement. "You know, for as many 'controls' as that machine of a man has on him, you'd think I'd have been able to have better success."


Beryl had had the faintest beginnings of a smile on her lips as Jana guided her recall of the memory—until, that is, Jana mentioned Lord Vader. What little color she had in her face suddenly vanished and she immediately looked down at the floor, shifting uncomfortably. “Erm… I should go and find Sam now….” Beryl’s voice trailed off as she turned to leave.


"You can't back down from memories forever, Beryl," Reibe called after her. She sighed and glanced over at Jana, who stared after her friend in mild confusion.


"What just happened?" she asked quietly.


"Mention of Vader struck a chord in Beryl," Reibe replied. "She's uncomfortable... though I think even she's not sure why."


Jana's smile faded and was replaced by a look of sadness. "I wish there was something I could do."


"Help her remember the good times," Reibe suggested. "And avoid any mention of the Empire. I think that's as much as you can do." She stood and moved over to Jana.


"But take control of your own mood now," she instructed. "Be happy. Tell me another story."


Jana sighed and stood. "Sorry, Reibe. I'm not in the mood anymore."


She left, going back to her own room and collapsed to her bed. What was going on here? Jana thought that everything would look brighter when they got Nic and Beryl back... but the additions of Jeez and Conn seemed rather to accent the absence of Oliver and Ryshana in her mind. Furthermore, Beryl was so different, it felt like talking to someone else.


"I hate it," Jana whispered aloud. "I hate this blasted galaxy and all it's done to us." She closed her eyes and fell into an unexpected and restless sleep.

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((More joint postiness! :) By me and Steven this time. Thx, Steven. ;) ))


Beryl left Reibe’s room and was about to go into the engineering section to look for Sam, when she heard someone clear their throat. She turned around to see her brother Teser approaching her from the other end of the corridor.


“Hey, glad I caught you,” Teser started. “Just wanted you to know that we just got a message from the Endurance. She’s waiting at the specified co-ordin….”


“The Endurance?” Beryl cut him off. An Kuat Drive Yards Supertransport IV, Rayne had only ever used it for transport within the Core regions. It was very large, very slow, and very, very old. “That thing’s still flying?”


“Apparently, so.”


“So, who’s piloting her?” Beryl wanted to know, as she didn’t know any reputable pilot that would be willing to take on such an old ship.


Teser merely grinned. “Oh,” he said trying to sound casual, “someone quite competent. And familiar,” he added, with a grin.


Beryl stared at him. “Who?”


“You’ll see,” Teser said with a secretive grin, as he toddled off in the direction of Reibe’s room.


Beryl shook her head at her brother’s antics, and headed for the bridge.


“Hey, Jack,” she said, coming up to stand behind him. “I’m assuming Teser gave you the message from my brother as to where to meet his transport?”


"Yep," Jack replied as he fiddled around with the various knobs and levers in front of him. "Good location too, easy to navigate, no Imperial ships to shoot at us. This should be a nice drop out of hyperspace. Ahh, it is nice going out of hyperspace and not having to leave because of Imperials, don't you agree?"


“Yeah.” Beryl shifted her weight. Jack seemed to be in an incredibly, and uncharacteristically, good mood for some reason. “Imperials seem to like to make things difficult.” She leaned over his shoulder. “Erm… not that I’m doubting your abilities, but… have you ever ‘docked’ inside a moving cargo container before?”


Jack chuckled "Have I docked inside a moving cargo container?" He gave a short pause. "Ewwww no. But how hard can it be? I mean I've docked inside a moving cruiser, and I've docked inside a cargo container, I guess it's a matter of combining the two experiences together."


Beryl nodded. “Yeah, guess so. Just….” She paused a second, unsure for a moment if Jack would take any friendly advice from her. Deciding that he probably would, she continued. “Remember not to come in at an angle. I did that once, and dented the container and then couldn’t back out.” She sighed, remembering the experience, but not fondly. “I can still hear my brother shouting at me. Ended up someone had to cut us out with a fractional welder.”


"Gotcha," Jack replied as he continued to fiddle around. "Just wondering, but what are we going to do with the facility, 'cause if we're going to blow it to high heavens, then you know I'm your man to ask. Much like yourself, I spent a small fraction of time at an Imperial correctional facility, during which I learned a lot of stuff concerning explosives, as I was originally meant to be a demolitions expert when I came out. During my time there, I was put in a simulation about how to fight rebels if they over took an Imperial base, so I know where a well designed bomb can create an entrance for our comrades if need be," Jack offered.


“Well, that’s sort of why I came to see you.” Beryl showed him the datapad with the facility plans on it. “I don’t think we’ll have any problems getting in, but we may have a problem getting out.” She pointed out the laser turrets and double hulled security doors at the entrances. “I’ll leave this with you then?”


Jack looked over the datapad for a few minutes before saying "Give me an hour and I'll work out the best way for us to blow our way out."


Beryl nodded. “Thanks. Just let me know when we’re ready to dock aboard the Endurance. I want to know who’s piloting her first.” She left the bridge then, and went to seek out Sam. She had last seen Sam go into Conn’s quarters, so, naturally, that was her first stop.

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Beryl stopped outside the door to Conn’s quarters. She listened, first with her ears, and then felt through the door with the Force. No one was in there. Beryl frowned for a second, then turned her head toward the med bay. She felt Jeez’s presence there, but no Conn and more importantly, no Sam.


“Huh?” Beryl sighed and then closed her eyes. Even though she didn’t like to use the Force much these days, she extended her senses to search for Sam’s presence. She sensed Sam, and Conn for that matter, in the spare room at the end of the corridor. Beryl walked across and tapped on the entrance chime.


There was a few moments' pause, then Sam called out, "Come in."


Beryl did. She saw Conn and Sam standing near each other and both gave her an odd sort of look as she came in. Beryl didn’t have to use the Force to sense that there was an uncomfortable atmosphere in the room. “Sorry, sir," she said, looking at Conn, "am I interrupting something?”


Sam opened her mouth to speak, but it was Conn who acted first. "No, you're not," he said quietly, moving towards the door. He turned to Sam as he neared the doorway. "You two probably have a lot to discuss."


Beryl’s brow wrinkled with confusion, and she caught Conn’s arm as he approached the threshold. But somewhere in the back of her mind, a voice screamed at her that touching a superior officer was not allowed, and she let go just as quickly. “Is something wrong, sir?”


Conn's eyes flashed. "Nothing," he replied. "Sam and I were discussing something, but we're done." He smoothed out his sleeve where Beryl had grabbed him, then pressed door panel. "I'm heading back to the medbay. I have work to do."


Beryl watched him leave, and then turned to Sam. “What was that?”


Sam shrugged. “What was what?”


Beryl pointed at the open door. “That.


Sam raised her brow. “That was Dr. Conway Harlowe,” she said slowly, as if she were speaking to a non-Basic speaker.


Beryl’s eyes narrowed. Knowing that she wasn’t going to get a straight answer from Sam, she hurried after Conn. “Hey!” she called after him.


Conn stopped short. He was in front of the door to his room, which was next to the medbay. He turned and looked at Beryl as she walked up to him. "Yes?" he said, his voice neutral.


“You just blew me off. Why? Sir,” she added rather tartly. For some unknown reason, she was starting to feel angry, and that in and of itself, started to scare her. But she still wanted to know the answer to her question and so she remained steadfast.


Conn arched an eyebrow. He could feel anger slowly start to pulse off of Beryl. "I didn't 'blow you off'," he replied evenly. "You came into Sam's room. I was finishing up a conversation with her, so I left to let you discuss whatever it was you were intending to with her."


“No, sir,” she answered back, “you gave me a look like you couldn’t stand the sight of me before you brushed past me. Why?” she repeated her question.


"Oh, so you can read minds now?" Conn asked, blurting out the question before he could stop himself. "Right, the Force, I forgot," he continued, answering his own question as he slapped at the keypad to his room. He stepped into the doorway, then turned back to look at Beryl. "And before you ask me 'why', you would do well to ask yourself the same question first."


What had started out as just a flush of anger was now turning into a flame. “I am not reading your kriffin’ mind!” Beryl growled, as she followed him into his room without asking and closed the door behind her. “Although I could try,” she threatened. “Why won’t you answer my question?”


Conn looked at Beryl as she stood in front of his door. The heat from her anger was almost palpable and normally, Conn would know how to soothe her down. He wasn't in a state of mind to do so, however. For all his calm and collected demeanor, Conway Harlowe was still part Zeltron and as such, there was still part of him that was ruled by his emotions. He crossed his arms as he stared the angry Corellian pilot down. "Oh, so you want to try?" he asked, mockingly. "Go ahead, extract you answer."


Her anger uncontrolled by the drug cocktails the Imperials had been giving her, and the Dark Side of the Force so close to the surface, Beryl felt unable to resist Conn’s challenge. Without saying a word, she suddenly pressed her palm against Conn’s forehead, concentrating on the thoughts in his mind, ripping past those she deemed irrelevant to those that she wanted.


Conn had been expecting Beryl to try and invade his mind, but even being on guard for it did not prepare him for her full assault. She used the Force like a scalpel, cutting through his thoughts with reckless abandon and completely disorienting him. He staggered, the pain of her intrusion into his mind almost too much to bear.

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From the medbay, Jeez was deep in a meditation. He would've preferred to get some sparring practice in with Cloud or Beryl for the sake of excercise, but for some reason, Jeez felt that he needed to concentrate on the meditations. Besides, he had been there to sort through the various medications to see if he could remember any of them.


With this meditation, Jeez decided to rest on the past for once. More specifically, he decided that he needed to remember the other doctors Twerna had employed back at the Facility. It was a more precise method of gathering his own thoughts and memories than even something like hypnosis. Through meditation, Jeez could practically lay his memories out on a table as he recalled them, and in very deep meditation, Jeez could even relive them.


The memories all seemed to come like a flood at one time, but Jeez carefully began to pick through them and separate them in his mind. Images, voices, and even smells stimulated his senses in a flurry of activity as Jeez rushed to sort through them all. Concentrating on faces, Jeez quickly began to sort through them more efficiently as he placed memories with the same or similar people in their own category.


It was rough, and more specifically, it was tense. Jeez had done this few times in the past, and as such, he had little experience with it. Still, he was doing a fairly adequate job. Before long, he had gathered his results together, and now he just needed to sort through him.


Just before he could begin, Jeez could feel a wave of heat pass over him through the Force. Sensing that something was stirring, Jeez opened his eyes and exited the meditation. Re-focusing on the Force, Jeez then felt another wave, but this time, Jeez could feel the touch of darkness along with it which sent a slight shiver up the back of his neck.


Quickly focusing, Jeez instantly rested his right hand on his lightsaber out of instinct. Heading over to the door of the medbay, Jeez could make out muffled voices coming through the walls of the medbay. Opening the door, Jeez turned towards the disturbance just in time to see the door to Conn's room close and lock. Heading over to the door, Jeez focused on the Force in such a way that he could almost see through the door.


Seeing Beryl there, Jeez could feel anger flowing through her, and he could sense the Darkside pulsing from her. Then, Beryl rushed forward and began to extract Conn's recent memories.


Acting out of instinct, Jeez activated his lightsaber instantly and stabbed the blade through the lock on the door. Using the Force, Jeez then shoved the door back into its recess. Seeing Beryl attacking Conn, Jeez quickly reached out with the Force and pulled her backwards.


Stepping aside, Jeez allowed Beryl to land roughly on her back beside him, and he instantly brought the tip of his blade down. Placing it so close to Beryl's neck that she could feel some of the energy arcing from the blade to her neck, she tried to shrink away from the blade. "So, what's the excuse this time, Miss Quitaan? Too much to drink, or do you find that giving into your emotions is too easy?" Jeez asked somewhat cynically.

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Though she had a lightsaber just centimeters away from her neck, Beryl knew Jeez wouldn't kill her. Even so, her primal instincts told her she was under threat and she struggled to resist the urge to strike at him in defense. In lieu of his blade, Jeez's stinging words hit her instead and caused a further wave of anger to wash over her. It was all she could do to will herself to stay still.


Her eyes broke Jeez's gaze and darted through the open doorway into Conn's room. Conn was on the floor, clutching his head, grimacing in pain as he was starting to rise. And at that instant, she recalled what she had recovered from his mind.


She had come away with more of a jumble of loosely-joined sensory thoughts from him rather than a specific recounting of a particular event. It began with a flurry of chemical drug names, coming at her so fast and furious that the names bled together. Obviously, it was Conn's attempt at trying to ward off her intrusion, but she had cut through and past them as if they were minor distractions. Then came a muddle of images--places, people, events--some that she was familiar with, some that she was not, but none of them what she was looking for. She ripped through them, delving ever deeper, until she came across a warm feeling and then an image of herself and Conn entwined in a secure, passionate embrace. But then Conn's essence abruptly morphed into a cold, bland colorless image of Nic. In the background, Sam's disembodied voice began to echo plaintive words of Beryl's recent betrayal in the captain's quarters, while flashes of dark red, then bright orange, and finally sickly green started to contort the image of the kissing couple. Then the image contracted, swirling in upon itself forming a spiral which flashed a montage of quick moments that Beryl herself recalled sharing with Conn. A bitter taste followed, and then a heaviness of heart, confusion and yet, buried in the middle of it all, a sense of tenderness so pure that it brought a tear to Beryl's eye. Then Jeez had wrenched her away.


She recounted all of this in less time than it took her to blink and spill out the single tear onto her cheek. A sharp pang of regret impaled her heart as she suddenly grasped the gravity of the current situation and understood exactly what it was she had just done. She had violated Conn, a man that she loved, and she was absolutely mortified by her actions. She wondered if any tender spots of feeling remained in him for her now.


Her eyes were widening as her gaze flicked back to Jeez, not in fear of him or his weapon, but in fear of herself and the power she could wield. Reibe had been right. If Beryl could not control her emotions, especially her anger and fear, people she cared about would get hurt.


"Oh, Jeez, what have I done?" Her voice was barely a whisper,and her eyes flicked back over to Conn. He seemed to be recovering from the ordeal, but was obviously still in some pain. "Conn, I'm so sorry! I didn't mean it! It just happened. I don't... I can't... I...." Her thoughts could not readily connect themselves to words. "Conn? Conn! Are you alri...?" She made a move to go to him, but Jeez's lightsaber kept her in place. The Jedi's gaze was steely, and Beryl felt as if his eyes were penetrating straight into her heart. "Please," she pleaded. "I didn't mean to hurt him. Let me go to him."

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"So, family first, and now close friends? You're recklessness is proving to be quite a boon to your relationships, isn't it?" Jeez asked rhetorically. His lightsaber then deactivated with a hiss, and Jeez knelt down next to Beryl and said, "Just bear in mind that there may not be a next time. Your anger is murderous."


At the word 'murderous' Beryl heard a whispery voice in her ear. Murderer…, it said.


Had she been outside on a planet surface, she would have just put it down to the wind and a trick of the mind. But she was not outside and there was not even the slightest hint of any air hissing through the ventilation ducts. Obviously, she was losing her mind, and she dared not mention it. “I know,” she answered Jeez softly. “I need help.”


"I know," Jeez stated softly as his demeanor changed. As Jeez held out his hand, Beryl looked up at him and realized that he was offering her another chance. Taking his hand, he helped her to her feet.

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Feeling very much as if someone had stuck a vibroblade right in between his eyes, Conn staggered, clutching the edge of his desk as he attempted to right himself. Beryl's intrusion into his mind had been far more painful than he had anticipated. The pain had intensified with each passing second and had only stopped when Jeez had yanked Beryl away from him. Squinting through one eye, he saw Jeez holding his lit lightsaber to Beryl's neck. Conn attempted to say something, but his voice stuck in his throat. Fortunately, the Jedi extinguished his blade, then helped Beryl up.


Using the edge of his desk as leverage, Conn stood, a little wobbly. He focused his eyes on Beryl, who was standing next to Jeez just outside his door.


“Conn?” Beryl approached him cautiously, Jeez following behind her. “You alright?”


"Not really," Conn said, his voice strained. "It's not everyday I get my mind torn to ribbons."


Beryl glanced over her shoulder at Jeez for some reassurance that she hadn’t caused Conn permanent damage, then focused on Conn once again. “I’m sorry,” she said, sounding rather sheepish as she came closer to him. “I… I didn’t mean to hurt you.” She bit her lower lip. “I lost control. I thought I was getting better, but....” Again a quick look at Jeez. “I’m still a right mess, Conn.” She was just a few inches away from him now and was reaching out to lay a hand on his shoulder when….


“Everything alright?” Nic had heard the commotion and had popped his head in through the open door, but a quick look at the strained faces in the room told him that not everything was.


Beryl froze, hand outstretched in front of her. She couldn’t find a voice to speak. “Everything’s fine now, Nic,” Jeez answered instead, while Beryl could only stare at their captain.


Nic nodded. “Okay.” He locked eyes with Beryl, and then he looked at Conn, specifically his unsteady legs. “She didn’t shoot you in the leg, did she?”


Conn grimaced. "No, not quite," he responded, looking at Nic. "I'm fine, Captain. Everything's fine."


“’K.” Nic glanced between the two of them. “I’ll be in my quarters, if anyone needs me.” As he was leaving, Beryl finally laid her hand gently on Conn’s shoulder. “Will you forgive me?” she asked. She wasn’t talking about her mind reading. She was talking about what Sam had told him about her and Nic, and she hoped that he understood that.


Conn looked into Beryl's eyes, noting their moistness. Now, instead of anger, he felt a pang of remorse roll off of her. The hand on his shoulder was also trembling slightly. Heaving a sigh, he felt behind him for his bedpost, then sat heavily down onto his bed. He was silent for a few moments, then turned to look back up at Beryl. "So this is what it took for you to finally realize what you've become, huh?" he rasped quietly.


“I’m still not quite sure what I am, but I didn’t want to hurt you.” She pressed her lips together for a pensive moment. “I’m sorry, Conn. I violated you, and I’m sorry, and...” She paused. “And I understand if you’re angry with me and don’t want to see me for a while. I’ll try to stay out of your way.”


Despite what had just happened, Conn couldn't help but chuckle lightly at Beryl's statement. "I turn the galaxy upside down to find you, and now you want to stay away?" He shook his head. "That's rich." He squeezed the bridge of his nose, trying to alleviate the lingering ache in his head. "'Spose you found the answer to your question then?"


Beryl nodded. “Yeah, I suppose I did do that,” she reflected. She reached out to gently stroke the side of his temple with the back of her index finger. “Sorry,” she apologised again. “Does it hurt a lot?”


“Sleep will help his headache,” Jeez advised. “Come, Beryl. Let him get some rest.”


Before Beryl could move off, Conn caught her finger in his hand. "Hang on," he said. "I still have to answer her other question, and I would rather do that on my own terms, as opposed to the alternative." He glanced over at Jeez. "Thanks," he told the Jedi sincerely. "For helping the both of us."


Jeez looked as if he was about to say something, but thought the better of it and simply nodded before turning and heading back to the medbay.


Conn's broken door squeaked closed, the hole from Jeez's lightsaber quite evident. "Though, I wish he'd used the keypad," Conn sighed, leaning back on his bed.


"Cloud'll have that fixed right up," Beryl said.


"If only fixing some things were as easy as replacing a lock, eh Beryl?" Conn said, looking into the Corellian pilot's blue eyes.

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After the commotion in the hall involving Beryl, Conn and Jeez, Nic finished up his work and then decided now was the time to let off some steam. He went down to the Cargo hold and set up the sparing map and punching bag in the middle of the large room.


Nic had always needed to release his anger out on something so one of the first things he had installed on to the ship was a punching bag. Although he was good at hiding these feelings and not letting them get in the way when he was in a bad situation, he always put them in the back of his mind where they would stay until he let his emotions go wild.


He began to hit the bag calmly at first slowly letting it out like oxygen would be released from a gas canister, as he did he slowly let himself remember the things that caused him pain and to get angry which caused each punch against the bag to be harder and less controlled. Everything begun to flood his mind until all his thoughts were dark with hate, fear and anger.


This was his meditation, the only thing that would make him serene, well as serene as Nic could get. The only way to lose all these negative feelings was to let them out in this controlled situation or let them explode out when he really doesn’t want them to. He needed to vent these feeling, releasing them or he would not be able to do the tasks he needed, protect those he cared for or lead as a Captain should.


Only a few moments passed before Nic let out a loud warcry like scream and struck the bag with one final furious blow. His expression quickly changed from one of pure anger to his usual calm and almost emotionless one.


He breathed heavily from the exertion and walked over to a stray crate where he had placed a towel to wipe the sweat from his brow. As he reached for it he suddenly felt a sharp and agonising pain in the back of his head like someone had just pieced his skull with a plasma torch. Nic screamed in pain his he reached his hands to the back of his head and collapsed on to the mat he had placed on the floor earlier. As he fell his body shut off and he fell out of consciousness landing on the floor with a loud thud like he had fallen into a deep sleep where he could not be woken.


As he impacted the floor there was nothing, the pain had gone but so did everything else, light had been removed from his eyes so now he only saw darkness, the Noise of the engines and power generators where replaced with the absence of all sound, still conscious let without any of his senses or feelings. There was nothing around him.


Then a voice in the distance began to speak one he had not heard in almost five years. “Five prophecy you will face an then your path of destiny will begin.” The Voice said as clear as if it was being spoken directly into both ears, the same words I had spoken all those years ago.


“You will face a demon from your past one you will wish to forget.” As these words were spoken Nic could see an image of his brothers face appear in the darkness then fade away as if it was never there.


“Someone you trust will betray you and then die in one final act of redemption.” These words were accompanied by the image of Oliver that came and went just as his brothers before.


“Another will die, one you have sworn to protect.” Like before an image appeared this time of Ryshana.


”You will find love again.” Beryl’s face, sweet and happy appeared this time it seemed to linger longer than the other but eventually faded.


A third will die, A friend who values your life greater than their own and will sacrifice themselves so you can live.” This time there was no image, this prophecy had not happened let and was still of what was to come. Something Nic did not want to pass, something he would try to stop.

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Reibe and Jana were still talking and laughing in Reibe's room when Jana suddenly winced and fell out of the chair she'd been sitting in. Reibe's smile faded, but she didn't move.


"What was that?" she gasped.


"That was the Dark Side," Reibe replied. "It only hurt because you were unprepared for it. Beryl has quite the temper lately... no, no. Stay here. Jeez has things well in hand."


Jana settled back into her chair, uneasy. "I wish there was something I could do to help," she murmured.


"But there is not," Reibe said shortly. "I have a half-wondering thought... she will never be the same, that we can be sure of. Be patient, Jana. Time will tell what Beryl will be when this is all over."


"I just hope it's over soon," Jana murmured, not thoroughly convinced.

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"If only fixing some things were as easy as replacing a lock, eh Beryl?" Conn said, looking into the Corellian pilot's blue eyes.


Beryl nodded. After a pensive pause, Beryl asked, “Can we fix this? Us?”


"I dunno," Conn answered. "I'm not sure if there even is an 'us' anymore. You're so different from when we last met at the facility." He absentmindedly rubbed his forehead. "And then there's what just happened a few moments ago."


Beryl’s brow furrowed and she looked away. “I am sorry about what I did to you. It was horrible, I know. I lost control and….” Her brow furrowed deeper. “It’s like, I when I feel something, if I feel something,” she corrected, “it’s so intense--like I’ve got a short circuit in my head that bypasses everything else. I need help, and not just medical help. I need a friend.” She looked up. “I need you. Help me. Help me get back to what I was.”


Conn frowned. Seeing Beryl plead plaintively like this was not how he remembered her from all those years ago, and it bothered him. "Beryl, I've done nothing but try to help you," he said, folding his arms across his chest. "I don't know if you see that, but it's true. And I'll continue to try and help you, but I just don't know..." He paused. "And what about the Captain? Where does he stand in all this?"


“What happened between me and Nic was just… circumstance. But what was between me and you… that was choice.” She frowned then with uncertainty, as though she wasn’t completely convinced of that herself. She suddenly felt very remorseful for violating his mind, and even more so for violating his trust. “I should go now. Let you rest.”


He wasn't quite ready to accept her explanation as he could feel quite a bit of uncertainty coming off her, but he decided not press the issue. He leaned forward and looked at Beryl closely. "You need rest too," he stated. "You're running ragged and that's just not going to cut it, especially with what we have to do. Get some sleep. That's an order." Just as Beryl was about to respond, he put his hand to her mouth. "And for the Force's sake, don't call me 'sir'. I have a name, okay?"


Beryl nodded as Conn’s fingers brushed over her lips, but she didn’t answer him right away. For some reason, it took her a lot of conscious effort on her part to finally say, “Okay, Conn,” instead of her automatic response of ‘yes, sir.’


She turned to leave, but paused at the door. She turned, looking as if she was about to say something more, when the door opened and Sam appeared.


“Ok, sweetie, time for bed.”


Beryl’s brow raised and she blinked twice. “Excuse me?”


“Jeez said, it’s time for you to sleep,” Sam repeated. “And as he recently appointed me as your ‘minder’…” She hiked her thumb over her shoulder, motioning towards Beryl’s room. “It’s bedtime. Move it.”

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"I'll get right on it," Cloud commented. "They're easy enough to replace. Hopefully you just penetrated the lock casing and not the door itself."


"Why? Is the lock difficult to mount or something?" Jeez asked as they headed into the common room.


"Well, sort of. Its a tight fit, you see, and its the tight fit that helps hold it in place," Cloud replied. "And, no, it doesn't make it less secure. The lock casing has to be frozen down before you can mount it. Once it gets up to normal temps, you have to pretty much cut it out."


"Which is what I seemed to have accomplished," Jeez added.


"Exactly. So, all we need now is a new lock. Fortunately, we have a couple of spares," Cloud stated.


"Spares?? Why keep spare locks around?" Jeez asked as they started heading down the ladder into the cargo hold.


"I don't know. You'll have to talk to the Captain about that one," Cloud replied just before a weird sensation passed over him. "Hmm, that was odd."


Just as Jeez reached the bottom, Jeez felt what Cloud had felt as well. Something had just rippled in the Force. Reaching outwards, Jeez felt for the source, and he quickly found it. In the open space of the cargo hold, Jeez spotted the punching bag Nic had put out in addition to Nic sprawled out on the floor. Running over to him, Jeez quickly scanned him over to figure out what was wrong.


Following Jeez, Cloud knelt down beside both of them and help Jeez turn Nic over so that he was on his back. "Captain?" Cloud yelled out.

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The Vision had repeated the prophecy over and over again his head as if to do nothing else but remind him of the Destiny he was told he had. They eventually stopped but then Nic found himself in his own body, or more accurately the body of Simon Raikellii ten years ago on a day he could not forget. This day was special, it was the day he was sent on the mission to Assinate the dark Jedi, the day he knew he was the Jedi’s dirty little Secret in the Clone Wars.


Although he was in his own body he had no control and could only do the things he did that day. He was at the point halfway through the mission, he found he couldn’t snipe the dark Jedi as he never left the confides of his meditation chamber so Simon made the decision to complete the mission at any costs.


Nic could only watch in through Simons eyes as he stalked the Dark Jedi like a Preditor would its prey. Simon had broken into the chamber quietly and unnoticed managing to position himself out of the way where he could target the dark Jedi with his pistol. Nic felt what Simon felt all those years ago, he had the shot almost perfect with no way he could miss, so he took the shot.


The Jedi obviously had over ideas and sensed the oncoming fire leaping from his meditation and drawing his Lightaber from it’s sheath. The Jedi deflected the bolts off to the side and quickly retaliated using the force to pull Simon towards him. Simon dropped his pistol as he flew into the middle of the room.


The Jedi wasted no time and flew up into the air intent on bringing his blade down in to Simons body. Out of pure instinct Simon reached into his boot and pulled out his knife slashing it upwards into the Blade of light. As intelligence began to take over from instinct Simon watched knowing the Lightsaber would cut through the blade. However instead of the Knife being cut through the energy blade began to dissipate and dissolve into thin air.


The Jedi only looked at the blade in shock as did Simon but in realising the jedi being defenceless Simon pushed the Blade into the Dark Jedis Gut…



Nic’s eyes widened to find himself looking up at the Jeez and Cloud. “Why is it whenever I get knocked unconscious, I never wake up to attractive women?” He joked.

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As Nic righted himself he dusted off his shirt. “I don’t know what happened, I was working out then if felt like I was stabbed in the back of the head with one of those.” He informed pointing at Jeez’s lightsaber.


Nic began to think about the vision he had while he was unconscious and looked up at Jeez. “So being a Jedi, you know a lot about prophecies, right?”

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Nic looked around the cargo bay realising this wasn’t the place for a conversation he would rather keep discrete. “Not here.” He said as he walked off towards the Ladder and waving his hand to signal them to follow.


“That means follow him.” Cloud stated. “He does that alot.”


The three men walked up the ladder and entered Nic’s room, he closed the door behind them, he offered Cloud and Jeez a seat. Before Nic began to speak he went to a box full of Oliver’s old stuff from when he cleared the room earlier so Conn would have a place to sleep. In the box were mostly cloths some datapads and a few bottles of Corellian Ale that the medic must have been storing. Taking out three of the bottles he offered two to his guests and opened the third for himself.


“I suppose this all started about 5 years back, just after I Cloud actually.” Nic stated to Jeez then taking a seat on his bunk and sipping his drink before turning to Cloud. “Remember the last time we came to Chandrillia?”


“Remember! It was the first time someone held a gun to my head and threated to blow my brains out.” Cloud informed.


“Remember the guys who were holding the guns?” Nic asked.


“Sure they were Humanoid, pale skin and Bright orange eyes with no pupils… oh and they had those small bone spikes breaching their skin on their cheek bones.” Cloud remembered.


“Yeah.” Nic agreed. “They were Kaldo.”


The Kaldo were a species that Inhabited the World Kaldokai on the outer Rim and were independent from the republic from it’s creation up to it eventual Collapse. The People had virtually no contact with any other Government or Group beyond their own solar systems and created an Iron Curtain around the planet. The own time it is known they interacted with an outside force was in the early days of the Mandalorian Wars when the Mandalorians attempted to invade the planet, but the Kaldo repelled them.


Like many Species there culture to knew of the Force and had those sensitive to it so they could manipulate the world around them. These people became known as Cleric and were the Political, military and religious leader of the whole society. Unlike Jedi or Sith that pick the Light or Dark side of the force, the Kaldo Clerics tended to take a path in between the two but would often lean to light.


They remained out of Galactic affairs throughout the clone wars but a little over two years after the Empire took control of the Galaxy the Imperial Navy blockaded and bombarded the planet. That day it was believed that all Kaldo had been wiped from the Galaxy and became instinct.


Nic remained silent for a few moments feeling that this news of Kaldo being alive three years after there apparent extinction would probably cause some shook.


“Anyway, I was brought before one of their Clerics, A seer of some kind.” Nic explained. “He told me that I had a destiny, one of importance.” Nic took another Sip of his drink. “I didn’t believe him… He said he knew I wouldn’t. So he told me that to prove it five things will happen and then I’ll be ready to return to him and hear of what I am to do. Four have happened already and I can’t help but notice the coincidence that we are returning to the world where I was first told of them.”

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