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An Ordinary Day

- - - - - Aela Talith Jacen Voidstalker GA Fall Wroosti Evacuation

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#1
Aela Talith

Aela Talith

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Wroosti - Aela's Apartment

Jacen Voidstalker

 

Aela slowly pulled her braid back behind her head, pinning her hair in place with a small metal clip and inspecting herself in the mirror for a moment. After a few seconds the young woman gave a pleased smile, turning and walking out of her bathroom without a second thought.

 

Five or so years ago she wouldn't have even given herself a glance in the mirror, she wouldn't have cared what she looked like, how her clothes sat, any of that. Yet so much had changed, about herself and everything around her. The fact that she had this apartment was a testament to that. In the back of her mind Aela knew it too, knew that Jamie, Adder, and even Jacen had turned her into an entirely different person.

 

She was happier for it.

 

It was something she had realized after the incident on Kraysis, the time recovering with Jacen. She felt better about herself, more secure. Aela no longer had that zealotry, that burning passion to stamp out the darkside, but she had a life.

 

In a way, perhaps she had earned a right to that.

 

Casting one last glance in the mirror and shifting her jacket slightly Aela cut a short path into the kitchen. She quickly grabbed her the communicator from the counter, slipping the device into her pocket before she headed towards the door.

 

Jacen was supposedly visiting today, and while the Academy was only two miles from where her apartment was she wanted to get there early. The younglings would likely already be up and about, the other Masters setting them to one task or another. Aela smiled as she hopped out the door, knowing the day would be a good one.


Edited by Aela Talith, 02 June 2018 - 06:31 PM.


#2
Jacen Voidstalker

Jacen Voidstalker

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Aela Talith

Jacen had already been disavowed of that notion. Yet there was something oddly calming about the near silence of being in a vacuum. There was always the sound of his breathing, the friction between suit and clothes. Then come the muffled burst of a thruster to push him out until the tether snapped taught.

"Are you okay out there?" Came a child's voice right in his ear. They were worried, every last one. No amount of training could keep the group calm through what they had just experienced.

"I'm fine, just keep an eye on those sensors for me."

It took a few seconds for his eyes to see the sleek, black probe. Jacen hung in near silence as it came closer, meter by slow meter. Despite that it still knocked the wind out of him when they collided. His suit's thrusters slowed them both to a stop relative to their shuttle.

The next minute had to be done with extreme care.

"Kids, only call me for the next minute if any ship shows up, okay?"

"Understood Master Voidstalker."

He undid four bolts in the correct order and let a panel float away from the probe. Through his heavy gloves he had to open a pocket on his hip. He drew out a slender key card. Jacen found the slot and with exceptional care slid the card until it clicked into place.

A panel slid open. Jacen looked at the size of the keys and the cumbersome glove. He tapped in the code very, very carefully. If he got it wrong twice the probe would probably drag him along in an emergency hyperspace jump.

He didn't get it wrong. The probe opened up and his helmet was bathed in a blue glow.

"It's done. Send that message to Aela Talith and pull me back in."

She would be told to expect more visitors. Jacen made sure the holocrons were secured before they jumped back to hyperspace. The empty probe left to drift in deep space. The Order had been compromised from within. The library network Jorus Merrill had worked on was no more.

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It is the courage to continue that counts

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#3
Aela Talith

Aela Talith

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Jacen Voidstalker

 

Aela glanced at her communicator, frowning slightly.

 

She would have thought that Jacen would send a message by now. A quick update on when he would be here, a snippet or just an ETA, but she'd gotten nothing from him since he'd told her that he would be stopping by. Her head shook slightly and she muttered to herself, shrugging as she slipped the small device back into her pocket and cut through the small park on the outskirts of the Temple on Wroosti. As soon as she passed the tree-line the small pyramidal shaped building came into view.

 

Outside she could already see three of the sixteen students practicing. Two of them were sparring with one another using bright yellow training sabers, and the third was sitting with crossed legs at the side of the small sand pit. One of them inside of the circle spotted her, offering her a wave. The other student quickly took advantage of the opening, smacking his training partner with his saber and sending a surge of paralytic energy into his friend.

 

Aela cringed slightly, though smiled when she heard the laughter from the three students echo out. "Pay attention to whats in front of you!"

 

The Jedi Master shouted as she headed down the path and into the Temple inside. 

 

Once she got there she was surprised to find no small amount of panic. Two of the Temples Knights stood within the central hall, their heads close together discussing something. Both of them looked up at Aela when she arrived. She looked at them with some surprise as they rushed towards her, their stance almost aggressive though when she looked closer...fearful. Her lips thinned as they began to speak.

 

"Master Talith, there's something wrong. We can't get through to the Alliance, Communications across Wroosti are down, somethings...wrong."

 

Almost immediately Aela's alarm bells began to quietly ring.

 

"I need to talk to Master Sylva." She said, the Knights nodding and quickly leading her towards the old Neti.



#4
Jacen Voidstalker

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The shuttle thumped back into realspace. Jacen felt no relief in arriving here. This was just the first of several actions that needed to be taken. Trextan was apparently being shipped out towards the rim. It put him out of harm's way and Jacen couldn't prioritise him over the younglings.

It might have been a risk using commercial channels, but he made sure an the message was encrypted.

Aela. We're in orbit. Be with you in twenty minutes. I have around twenty guests with me. Please have some food around at the training grounds.

They hadn't had time to pack food. In hindsight Jacen would have personally taken on an entire pack of sith lords to get some if it hadn't meant being asked for snacks every three minutes on the trips. Kids had their own priorities. They were frightened, but they were also hungry.



The shuttle was commercial, not Alliance. Registered to a Coruscant Corp and technically stolen, but he had taken the risk that it would have taken days for the transponder to be registered as such.

It touched down slowly. Perhaps the first real clue that Jacen was currently at the helm.

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#5
Aela Talith

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Jacen Voidstalker

 

Aela wasn't at the landing platform, in fact, Jacen would be greeted with the three faces that the young Jedi Master had passed on her way into the academy. It was clear that the trio of Teenagers were more than a little eager to see who was coming to visit. All of them were holding training sabers, though the girl of the group had hers behind the small of her back. They all stood up straight, though their curiosity and eagerness were more than a little clear as the ship touched down in an almost timid fashion.

 

The young Talith herself had found her way through the small Temple and was now speaking with Jedi Master Sylva, an ancient Neti who spoke as slowly as she moved.

 

"Yes....Master.....Talith...This...is...troubling."

 

Aela tried not to tap her foot. Speaking with Master Sylva was always an exercise in patience, and in truth more than once she had found herself somewhat frustrated with the old Neti. She knew that it was a bit childish, and oddly enough it was uncharacteristic of her to grow agitated with something so small. It was really only in emergencies that it happened though, so at the very least she didn't feel too bad. The Neti opened her mouth to speak more but Aela quickly cut her off. "We need to find out whats going on, Let m-"

 

She found herself cut off as one of the other students ran into the room.

 

"Masters! A ship landed outside the Temple."

 

"Alliance?" Aela asked, the boy furiously shaking his head. "Stay here with Master Sylva."

 

The Jedi Master said as she turned on her heel and stalked off towards the landing pad. She had no idea what was going on. They didn't get many outside visitors, and most of those came on Alliance shuttles. She would have thought Jacen would come on a New Jedi Order marked transport so this was...suspicious. For some reason the force was singing to her quietly, a warning of something about to go wrong. Aela frowned slightly, glancing down at her apparel and realizing that she wasn't at all dressed for a fight.

 

Hopefully that wouldn't happen.



#6
Jacen Voidstalker

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Aela Talith

"No, just bring a few essentials," Jacen explained. "I don't know if we're staying or passing through yet."

Unfortunately he didn't have time to explain what essentials meant to the younglings. What was in the small packs they all emerged with probably varied a great deal by age.

Jacen's eyes adjusted to the light as he stepped down the ramp. Using an arm to shield himself he looked to the skies. He didn't expect to see Star Destroyers yet, but he didn't know how long that would last for. Could be days, weeks or years. The Sith Empire couldn't expand down every front that quickly.

Exiled from his own home again. He had been kept away for years last time. How would Trextan cope? He had never been away from Coruscant from very long at a time and had just started making contact with his extended family again.

The younglings trailing behind him were dressed in whatever they had been in at the time. The shuttle had been too small to change into the clothes Jacen had made them pack. Some wore robes, others casual clothes, a young boy was in pajamas.

"Is Aela here?"

He didn't even bother with formalities.

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#7
Aela Talith

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Jacen Voidstalker

 

The three teenagers looked rather curiously at Jacen and the gaggle of children that were strewn out behind him. The two boys frowned slightly, not quite understand what was going on, though the girl of the group stepped forward. She would be familiar to Jacen, she was the young girl that he and Aela had found at the desert Temple just a few weeks ago. After that little incident the children had all been brought to the Jedi Order, but Aela had ensured that she would be transferred here to the Wroosti Academy.

 

Aela had done so mostly because Wroosti was supposed to be a more 'attentive' version of the standard Jedi Temples, with only sixteen students here total. Each of them were gifted in some special way, particularly talented in some ability within the force. 

 

"Master Voidstalker, It's a pleasure to see you again. Master Talith just went into the Temple."

 

She glanced behind Jacen, looking at the Kids.

 

"Is There something wrong?"

 

The girl was no stranger to turbulence. She knew exactly what panicked children looked like, and the boys and girls that Jacen had brought along with him were exactly that. Concern dotted the young womans face, but it was clear she was attempting to put up that same stoic demeanor that she had exuded in the Temple where they had found her. It was a calming presence, one that far outstripped her years. 

 

Before Jacen could answer her however Aela strode out of the Temple, bright orange eyes flicking to the landing pad as she rushed down the steps. "Jacen."

 

She called out, surprise coloring her features.

 

"So nice that you brought company." The young Master didn't seem displeased, but certainly surprised. "Allara, take them inside please."

 

She paused for a second. "Get them something to eat."



#8
Jacen Voidstalker

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Aela Talith

He almost explained that they had already eaten. But with a group of children this large eating seemed to be a perpetual event spread across the group rather than some discrete, scheduled meals.

He didn't want to do this. He didn't want to stand at the doors to someone's temple and explain that they had been undone. Omai Rhen had come to them each last time and explained his plans to reform. Was that their duty now? Jacen couldn't face that. It shamed him but all he wanted to do was get the children to safety and then go and stash the holocrons out of harm's way.

"We've been undone Aela," he said when the children were out of earshot. He barely managed to keep his voice level. "The Sith wormed their way in. All the way to the top once Omai was gone." He couldn't even say her name right now.

"The Coruscant Temple has fallen."

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It is the courage to continue that counts

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#9
Aela Talith

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Jacen Voidstalker

 

Aela stayed quiet for a moment. "I see."

 

Her fingers tightened into a fist, rage boiled within her, but somehow she managed to keep her expression even. She had been within the New Jedi Order since it's inception. She had helped liberate Coruscant, she had been at the forefront of the Alliances expansion, and now...now it was for naught. Her lips thinned for just the briefest moment, and she took a deep breath as her eyes closed. The force washed over her, a calming wave lapping gently against an undisturbed beach.

 

"We'll need to get the children out of here." She said, slowly opening her eyes. Jacen would know enough about her to see that she was keeping wrath hidden beneath a thin veneer. Anger would do her no good here. Perhaps in time, but not here. "If the Temple on Coruscant has fallen they will know about Wroosti and the children here."

 

She glanced back towards those Jacen had brought, it made sense now.

 

"The Temples will all be compromised." A frown settled on her lips. There were a few places that they could go, stations, planets that were friendly to her. There was always the Sparrow's Nest that she and the others had built so long ago...but that was hardly friendly towards children. 

 

Nor would it have the supplies. She frowned for a moment.

 

"My parents." Aela commented finally. "We can go to Borleias."



#10
Jacen Voidstalker

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Aela Talith

Jacen left her to process all the implications of his words. He was a straightforward man, sticking to the facts that mattered. That didn't mean he was calm beneath the surface. If he spent too long thinking about it he would manage to drown himself in his own thoughts.

Atrocities would come. The kind that had led to him abusing his newfound powers. Up until Aela leapt on him and bound his hands. He watched it all play out through her expression and body language.

When she reached the end of her internal journey he felt pride. He was proud of who she had become through the years he had known her.

"All I have is the kids and a pair of holocrons. the holocrons. How quickly can we gather yours?'

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It is the courage to continue that counts

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#11
Aela Talith

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Jacen Voidstalker

She considered for just a few seconds, tilting her head slightly. ”An hour. Maybe less.”

They would no doubt have to hurry. The Sith would come for these children sooner rather than later. Despite what many though force users weren't exactly common within the galaxy, and these sixteen were especially gifted. If what Jacen said was true and the Sith had infiltrated the Jedi then surely they would come for them. It was really only a matter of time.

”We have a larger ship.” She motioned towards the one he brought. ”I'll let the others know.”

She paused for a second. ”The Children won't like this.”

Many of them had come go think of this place as their home, and truth be told so had Aela. She had quite literally built a life for herself here. She had her students, an apartment, clothes, furniture...everything that she'd never actually thought she would own herself. Her lips thinned as she thought about leaving it all behind. It was just things, she knew that, but they were her things. For some reason that stung more.

Without another word she motioned for Jacen to follow, heading into the Temple to organize their evacuation.

#12
Jacen Voidstalker

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Aela Talith

He fell into line, matching her long strides. Right now he wasn't even sure if the Alliance was still holding the Sith in the core. The last he had heard was that the attack from the First Order had been fragmented. The last thing they needed was being cut into small segments and having travel restricted.

"I'm sorry to put this on you. I didn't have many options." It was said in a matter of fact way. They both knew the truth of the situation. It was just polite.

"I'll have to take a different path soon. I don't want them following the holocrons to the children. I'll leave a bit of a trail for them to follow."

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It is the courage to continue that counts

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#13
Aela Talith

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Jacen Voidstalker

”We'll all be safe with my parents.” They were the words of a naive little girl, but for Aela they happened to be true. Most children would always assume that their parents would and could offer them sanctuary, protect them from whatever harm could come to them. It was just that for Aela that assumption was an absolute fact.

The island on which her parents made their home was well defended and kept safe. Multiple shields, turbolaser emplacements, and even a cloaking device had made sure that her home would never be breached by anyone who was not invited.

Couple that with her father reputation and her mother's own skill, Aela knew they would be safe on borleias.

”You can rest there a few days and figure out where to go with the Holocrons.” It was clear that there was no option for Jacen in what she had just said. ”First We have to get there though.”

The comment came as they passed into the central room of the Temple where Master Sylva still stood.

The ancient Jedi master nodded her head when Aela spoke and informed her of what had happened. Within minutes the Neti ordered the evacuation of the temple, and suddenly the small academy exploded into a flurry of action as belongings were gathered and secret information was destroyed

#14
Jacen Voidstalker

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Aela Talith

Jacen was feeling as if he had gone full cycle. Back to how powerless he had been when his entire platoon had been struck down on Prakith. That event had led to him rediscovering his connection to the Force. He had gone on to stand beside the Grandmaster when they had started and finished the fight against the One Sith. His friends had been with him when they had rescued Trextan against his will.

And he was still one man. He couldn't stem the tide alone. The Sith had never gone away. It was just as they had discussed when they were in a dark mood together. They had just hidden closer to home than he had thought possible.

"Aela..." There was a pause as he focused his thoughts. She had enough to deal with already without him struggling.

"...don't tell all the children where we are going. Not yet." He didn't sense the dark side on any of them. But if the Order had been infiltrated he couldn't rule out the possibility of them trying to influence the younglings. Perhaps Aela knew all the trainees here well, but he couldn't say the same for the Coruscant collection.

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It is the courage to continue that counts

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#15
Aela Talith

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Jacen Voidstalker

 

She perked an eyebrow at that. "They're Children, Jacen."

 

Aela sounded almost offended at the suggestion of his demand, though she could see where he was coming from. She knew the sixteen here well enough, but the others? If the New Jedi Order had been infiltrated there was no telling just who had gotten to them. The force was a dangerous thing when used incorrectly, and more than once she had seen the mind of a being twisted and broken through the darkside. She frowned for a moment, lingering for a second.

 

After a moment she nodded, finally acceding. Aela didn't like it, but she would do as he asked for now. Later they could check the children for any lingering taint of the darkside of the force, but right now they didn't have the time for that.

 

"How is Trextan?" She asked. "I heard he'd been injured recently."

 

Her time with the boy had been brief, but he was Jacen's son. Better to make sure everything was okay.



#16
Jacen Voidstalker

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Aela Talith

They were young, but the mention of his name had reminded Jacen of a particular moment with Trextan. Despite everything he has tried there had been nothing but rage in the boy's eyes when he had tried to kill his father. Rage that had been cultivated by the sith.

"He was on an Alliance medical ship. They went to hyperspace away from the core but I'm not going to be able to get the details now. I sent him a message to his personal holonet account."

Jacen had been a few hours from packing up to go and meet him when he would have been transferred to a Coruscant hospital post operation. Perhaps the memory of what they had done to Trextan was what spurred him to move so quickly to get the children out of their reach.

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#17
Aela Talith

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Jacen Voidstalker

She nodded slowly. ”We'll Get the children to Borleias.”

That was priority number one. These kids, including the ones that Jacen had brought with him, would be sought after by the Sith. Getting them out of Alliance territory would be important. Her family’s home would keep them safe, and her mother would be able to use her contacts to find them a new home to stay. One where the Sith wouldn't be able to get to them.

”Then we'll find your son.” Aela stopped walking for a moment and turned to Jacen. ”There's more important things than the holocrons.”

It was obvious what she meant by that.

Trextan was likely safe. The alliance ship would have jumped away to some sort of haven when news of the Sith attack hit, but it would be best to double check. Aela was just going to let Jacen disappear without telling his son what was going on. The boy was still just a kid, and although their relationship was rocky, he deserved to hear it all from his father.

#18
Jacen Voidstalker

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Aela Talith

Jacen stopped and turned to face Aela. He studied her for a moment. She was barely an inch shorter than him. Having met her father he knew where she got it from.

She had been a force of nature when he had first met her. A veritable wall of determination. But the depth of character he saw there now and the understanding in her eyes gave leant her words far more weight.

"I'll find out where he is."

Shebhad never seen the most physically affectionate but she was going to have to live with this gesture from a man trying not to break again.

Wrapping her in his arms he let out a sharp sigh.

"I'm glad you were here."

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It is the courage to continue that counts

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#19
Aela Talith

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Jacen Voidstalker

Aela returned the embrace, her arms wrapping around the man as she let out a soft exasperated sigh. These last few months had been difficult for her, near enough impossible. Jacen had helped her get to a good place, though it had been the children that had ultimately set her right. They had had an effect on her that was hard to describe, perhaps personal growth, or perhaps just new way of focusing that supreme amount of drive that she had been so well known for.

”You never got to see my apartment.” Aela sounded genuinely sad about that.

The place didn't hold anything of real value, not to anyone but her anyway, yet leaving it behind seemed almost painful. She doubted the Sith or the First Order would take dominion of Wroosti, but undoubtedly they would come to this Temple eventually. Once they got here it was only a matter of time before they went to her apartment, and then they would either destroy it or leave some sort of trap behind.

That was how they worked. They could not build or create, only destroy.

There was no going back to her first home now. Not if she wanted to keep the children safe. ”Come on, let's make sure the children are packing their things.”

Aela sighed as she pulled away from Jacen, her disappointment clear.

#20
Jacen Voidstalker

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Aela Talith

Jacen looked at her once more. With one deep breath he put the mask back on. The children didn't need to say how deep this cut. They didn't need to know that he was struggling to keep thoughts of revenge against those who had torn them apart from the inside from pushing to the fore.

"We'll get back here before long," he said. It was a hollow promise, built on shaky foundations. There was still more of a chance of it coming true than getting back to Coruscant any time soon.

 

"Don't worry, we've got an actual pilot," Jacen assured them as they loaded up. He recognised some of the children from the ruins they had stumbled across. They still had yet to go back and work out just how that nexus gave a Jedi a particular reach across time. Both were hesitant that they would end up like the Jedi master they had been forced to kill.

"Yeah you don't want Master Talith at the controls any more than me," he added at a quizzical look from one of the students. He tried to smile.

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It is the courage to continue that counts

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