A Child's Heritage
by Csillag

Just because Hobbie and Sela finally ended up together at the end of A Second Chance, doesn't mean that their story has come to an end. In this story, a visit from an old friend brings an interesting revelation which will have a great impact on their lives.

Thank you Shanon and Diana for reading the story in progress, and thank you, Diana, for helping me come up with a better title than it originally had.

The story begins when Hobbie and Sela's baby daughter is eighteen months old.



Hobbie went to answer the door chime and smiled. "Hello Luke. It's good to see you." He shook hands with his friend and former commander, Luke Skywalker. "Come in. Sela's been looking forward to meeting you."

They moved into the living room and were just about to sit down when Sela came out from the back part of the apartment. She smiled as she came over to them and Hobbie made the formal introductions.

"Sela, this is Luke Skywalker. Luke this is my beautiful bride, Sela." He smiled with pride at being able to introduce her.

Luke extended his hand and grinned at Hobbie before returning his attention to Sela. "I can see that she is as lovely as you described. I'm very happy to meet you at last. Hobbie has spoken of you in glowing terms for years. I always hoped that he would find someone who would fill the void in his heart and I see that he has."

Sela blushed. "Thank you, Master Skywalker."

"Please, call me Luke."

They sat down, but Hobbie noticed a look of distraction on Sela's face. "Sela, what is it?"

"Oh, it's nothing. Nia is restless. She wasn't interested in going down for her nap. I want to see if she'll drop off in a few minutes. If not, I'll bring her out here to meet Luke as well and we'll just put her to bed early tonight."

Luke smiled at Hobbie. "You named your daughter Nia?"

He was completely aware of Hobbie's long and painful journey from one love to another. He had known Nia Ponsed, Hobbie's first love, when all of them had been with the Alliance fleet after Hoth. And Luke was one of the people Hobbie talked to when he was learning to cope with his grief after Nia was killed at Endor. The three of them had formed an unusually strong bond that had lasted beyond Nia's death and eventually brought him and Sela back together to fall in love and complete each other.

He looked at Luke and saw perfect understanding in his eyes. Then glancing at Sela he answered, "Yes. Neither of us had any question that we should name her anything else, but what made the choice inevitable was that when she opened her eyes, somehow it was Nia who looked back at us."

Sela nodded in agreement. "You know that most babies are born with blue eyes that change color later. Hers were the same green as Nia's from the moment she was born. Once we saw that ... well, Nia meant so much to both of us, we had to name our little girl for her."

Luke began to sense that there was more to his coming to visit his friend than just meeting his wife and daughter. "I'd like to meet this special little girl."

All three grown ups turned at the sound of a soft, insistent cooing coming from the baby's room.

Sela smiled. "It sounds like she wants to meet you too."

"You'll get your chance right now Luke," Hobbie said standing up. "You stay here, Sela. I'll get her."

Hobbie returned a few moments later carrying their little eighteen month old daughter. She was smiling and giggling as he tickled her tummy, but she stopped as soon as she caught sight of Luke. Her eyes widened for a moment and then she reached toward him with both little arms.

Hobbie and Sela were both surprised. "That's interesting," Hobbie said, the surprise evident in his voice. "She's generally pretty friendly with the other Rogues because she knows them, but it still takes her a little while to warm up to them. She's very shy around people she doesn't know."

Whatever Luke had sensed grew stronger when Hobbie came back into the room with the little girl. "May I hold her?" he asked.

Hobbie leaned down trying not to drop her as she kept stretching toward Luke. As soon as he held her in his arms, he knew that there was something special about her. Her eyes were wide as she looked at him quietly for a few moments, then she smiled and started playing with the folds of his cloak.

Luke looked from the child to Sela and Hobbie, who were staring at what they had just seen. "Hobbie, Sela. I'm sensing something very unusual about her. I think she may have the potential to become a Jedi."

They looked at each other in complete and total shock. "But how?..." Sela asked softly.

When Hobbie finally found his voice, it was still raw with shock. "Luke, you tested all of us years ago. When it comes to the Force, I'm an impermeable rock."

Sela reached over and took Nia from Luke's lap holding her tightly to herself for a moment until she squirmed loose and started playing with the bracelet Sela wore.

Luke understood how shocked they were and began to explain. "When the Emperor finally took power and ordered the anihilation of the Jedi, most were captured and killed, but some managed to hide to protect themselves and their families. If the children were too young to have begun their training, often the knowledge of their heritage was not passed on to them and they grew up with the potential, but not the training. That is what happened with Corran Horn. I think that must be what happened somewhere in your background too, Sela."

He let them absorb that for a moment and then continued. "Forgive me, but I have to ask. There is a simple test I can do to confirm what I sense in Nia. It's completely harmless to her. May I?"

Hobbie and Sela looked at each other and then at their baby daughter seeing her in a completely new light. They looked back at Luke and nodded slowly. "What does she have to do?" Hobbie asked.

Luke smiled sensing their unease. "Nothing. Sela, just hold her. All I'm going to do is touch her head and try to touch a particular place inside her mind."

He reached out and put his hand on the little girl's head. She immediately went still and stared at him wide-eyed. All of a sudden, an invisible hand seemed to shove Luke back into the couch, hard.

Sela let out a small frightened cry and hugged Nia tightly again. After confirming that Sela and the baby were alright, Hobbie leaned forward in his chair. "Luke, are you okay?"

The Jedi Knight was smiling broadly. "I'm fine, Hobbie. Your daughter is very strong. That is exactly the reaction I expected."

Hobbie looked at his wife and daughter again. "This is incredible..." Then he looked back at Luke as another thought struck him. "You don't want to take her away from us to start training her, do you?" That was something he was not going to allow no matter how much potential she had.

"No Hobbie, no. Absolutely not. She's much too young. It is absolutely vital to identify potential Jedi as soon as possible, but I also feel it is very important for her to be in a warm, loving family environment. You needed to know this because at some point, her talent will manifest itself and you need to be prepared. When the time comes, she will need formal training, but that won't be for some time. In the meantime, just love her and raise her as you have been. If you have questions, Leia will be able to answer them. She's had plenty of practice raising Force talented children. I'll tell her before I leave about Nia. She'll be very happy about it."

Sela had been listening to their conversation, but staring at Nia. "Luke, how do you know she got this from me? I haven't shown any Force potential. I'm sure I would have remembered it."

Luke could tell that Sela was very disconcerted. It was one thing to know about the Force. It was something else to discover that it was about to become a part of their lives. "Sela, there is still a lot about the Force that I don't know. Part of the reason I am so anxious to find people with Force potential is that it manifests itself in so many different ways. There will be things that other Jedi can do that I can't. The galaxy needs the Jedi and I hope that your little Nia will be one of us someday."

Then another thought occurred to him. He looked at Hobbie. "Hob, you told me long ago about the bond that you and Nia Ponsed and Sela formed at Atrivis. You said that Sela knew before she got your letter that Nia had died."

Sela took a quick breath. "That's right. I did," she said softly.

Luke looked back at her. "Sela, may I do the same test on you that I did on little Nia?"

She looked at Hobbie, then nodded apprehensively. He took the baby from her and watched, almost frightened at what the result would be.

Luke put his hand on Sela's head and closed his eyes in concentration. Sela had closed hers as well, although her breathing was faster than normal due to her nervousness.

"Relax, Sela. Nothing will hurt you."

For several moments, she felt nothing, then a slight sensation of pressure and then nothing again. She opened her eyes. "What did you sense?" she asked nervously.

Luke smiled to put her at ease. "The Force potential your daughter has is not there, but I did sense something. In your case, I believe you have a sensitivity to the Force, but you can't manipulate it. I think things like sensing Nia's death, but not recognizing it or sensing the feelings of people around you are the manifestations of that sensitivity. It will be a great help as you are helping your little Nia to grow into her potential."

He turned to his old friend. "Hobbie, I envy you. You have a beautiful family."

Hobbie looked back at Luke with more than a little apprehension. "I just hope we're up to the task of raising a future Jedi."

***********

<Seven and a half years later>

 

"Mom, Serren is in his room playing with his fighters." A very pretty blonde haired, green eyed girl came into the kitchen and hugged her mother around the waist. "Can I help you with dinner?"

Sela Klivian smiled down at her daughter. "You sure can, Sweetheart." She finished taking down the plates from the upper cabinet. "You take these and finish setting the table and I'll finish cooking. Dad will be home soon, and..."

She stopped as she heard a loud crash and a heavy thud. Mother and daughter raced down the hall to the source of the sound: Serren's room. Sela opened the door and screamed. "Serren!" She ran to the little boy who was trapped beneath a heavy shelf unit that had fallen on top of him spilling the six year old's ship models and other treasures all over the floor. "Serren!" She threw herself down next to him. His eyes were closed tightly and she saw blood coming from a gash on his head.

"Nia! Get Pardin next door, now! Tell him what happened. I have to get this thing off!"

Nia ran to the apartment next door and banged on the door. When the door opened she grabbed the man's hand and started pulling him toward her home and breathlessly trying to explain what had happened. "Master Kennet! Come quick. There's been an accident. My brother's hurt."

He hurried into the apartment and saw the young boy trapped. "Sithspit! How did this happen, Sela?" He raised the shelf unit enough for Sela to pull Serren out and then lowered it back to the floor.

"I don't know, Pardin, but we've got to get him to the Medcenter." She turned to Nia. "Get my comlink and call Dad. Tell him what happened and tell him to meet us at the Medcenter emergency department."

Nia ran to comply.

Pardin had gently lifted Serren in his arms. "I'll take you to the Medcenter. Come on. Let's go."

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

Nia sat in the front seat of Pardin's speeder as they rushed to the Medcenter, but she turned to the back to stare at her mother and injured little brother. Sela was cradling him in her arms and holding a cloth over the bleeding gash on his forehead. Her mother's fear and anguish beat against her like a gale force wind, and she felt a buzzing in her own mind begin to build. She knew that Serren was very seriously hurt and felt a compulsion to help him, but she just didn't know how she could.

They reached the Medcenter and the doctors and medtechs took charge of Serren, whisking him away to the treatment area of the Emergency Department. Pardin stayed with Sela and Nia just as a comforting presence while they clasped each other tightly in fear.

Hobbie arrived a few minutes later, terror-stricken. He embraced Sela and Nia tightly and said nothing for a few moments. Then the questions burst out of him in a flood. "What happened? How did the shelf fall on him? Is he going to be alright? Have the doctors spoken to you yet ...?"

Sela just shook her head and couldn't speak and Nia wasn't any better. In desperation, Hobbie turned to Pardin. "What happened ...?"

Their neighbor, Pardin Kennet, was a retired flight instructor and a long-time friend. "I didn't see what happened, Hob. But the shelf fell on top of him and had him trapped. Nia came to get me and I lifted it off him so Sela could pull him free. I saw a gash on his head, but he probably has internal injuries as well. We came straight here and we've been waiting for word on his condition."

Just then, Dr. Marran Telsan came into the waiting area. He was also a long-time family friend and was the Director of Emergency Medicine at the Medcenter. There was a standing order that if any members of Rogue Squadron or their families were brought in, he was to be notified immediately. "Derek, Sela. What happened? I was told that Serren was just brought in."

Hobbie looked up surprised to see him, but relieved as well. "Doc! There was an accident at home. A heavy shelf fell on him, but that's all I know..." He looked beseechingly at the man. "Can you find out about Serren, please...?"

Telsan gave Hobbie's arm a reassuring squeeze. "Of course. I'll be back as soon as I can." He moved off toward the treatment area and disappeared into a room.

Several minutes later Telsan returned with a very grave look on his face. Hobbie and Sela both stood anxiously. "Is he alright? Can we see him?"

"He needs surgery immediately. There is internal bleeding that has to be stopped, but they don't know exactly where it is coming from. They are afraid that his spleen is ruptured. If that has to be removed, it will be very difficult for him to fight off infections in the future. And after the surgery, he will need to spend several days in a bacta tank."

Sela buried her face in Hobbie's shoulder in tears, and Hobbie was devastated as well. He looked into Telsan's eyes silently asking, Is he going to make it? but out loud, he asked, "Can we see him?"

Telsan nodded his understanding of the silent question, but could not offer the reassurance they sought. "Yes, but only for a couple of minutes. They will take him up to surgery as soon as the OR is ready."

Hobbie had had his arm around Nia who had listened to everything quietly. He looked down at her. "Sweetheart, would you stay here with Pardin while Mom and I go and see your brother?"

The compulsion she had felt in Pardin's speeder had continued to grow stronger while they waited for word of Serren's condition. She looked back up at Hobbie. "Daddy, please let me see him too. I ... I have to. Please?"

There was something in her eyes that made him relent. "Alright."

Telsan led them to the treatment room and ushered them in. The medtechs were monitoring all of the instrumentation the tow-headed little boy was hooked up to and sight and sounds were almost too much for Sela and Hobbie. Sela moved over to the table where her son was laying and gently kissed his bandaged forehead as her tears fell. Hobbie couldn't help but think how small he looked and how fragile surrounded by all of the medical miracles that weren't helping him. He went over and held his son's small hand, wondering if he would be able to cope with losing him; and then felt horrified that he could even contemplate that possibility. He had to believe that Serren would pull through.

Nia stood next to Dr. Telsan for a few moments while her parents tried to reconcile this tiny, fragile, injured child with the image of their healthy, happy son. Then a voice in her head spoke. "Go to him." She looked up at Dr. Telsan, but his eyes were focussed on the scene in front of him -- and it had been a woman's voice. "Go to him," the voice said again.

The voice and the compulsion moved Nia toward the table and her injured little brother. Tentatively, she placed her right hand gently on his abdomen, which was covered in surgical drapes. She closed her eyes and felt a warmth move down her arm, through her hand and into her little brother.

"Nia! What are you doing?" Hobbie's voice sounded in her ear, but it was a distant, muffled sound.

"No, Derek. Leave her. I've seen this before. Look at the monitors. The spleen is repairing itself. Let her do what she can." Doctor Telsan's voice was surprised, but confident.

Nia continued to hold her hand on Serren's abdomen for another minute or so, then it fell to her side as she almost collapsed to the floor before Hobbie caught her. "Sweetheart. Are you alright? What did you do?" He hugged her tightly to himself and then asked her again. "What did you do?"

Sela had come around the table and knelt down beside them. She took Nia in her arms and hugged her too. "She healed him, didn't she Marran? She healed him."

Nia opened her eyes slowly and looked into her parents' faces. "He needed my help," she whispered. "I don't know what I did, but he needed my help..."

Dr. Telsan had been checking the monitors and then examined Serren again. His color was better and the instruments indicated that his spleen was no longer ruptured. "I have no idea how she did this, but she did at least partially heal him. His spleen is no longer damaged. He still has other injuries, but those are not nearly as critical." He kneeled down in front of the little girl. "You saved your brother's life, Nia."

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

Nia was curled up asleep under Hobbie's jacket on the couch in Telsan's office, and Sela, Hobbie and Telsan sat quietly discussing what had happened. After reevaluating Serren's condition, the surgery was cancelled and it was decided to place him in a bacta tank for two days. The bacta was enough to heal the injuries that had remained after Nia had somehow miraculously healed the little boy's most serious injury.

"Doc, you said that you had seen this before. What did you mean?" Hobbie asked. The adrenaline that had kept him functional during the earlier part of the evening was fast abandoning him, but he and Sela found themselves compelled to find out what they could about what Nia had done.

Telsan rested his elbows on his desk and steepled his fingers in front of his face. "Sometimes, on very rare occasions, Nia Ponsed was able to do the same kind of thing." He knew that that statement would get a strong reaction from both Hobbie and Sela.

"Nia P...?" Hobbie sat bolt upright in his chair.

Sela also sat up straighter. "What do you mean, Marran? What did she do?"

Telsan sat back in his chair and his memory ranged back to when he had worked closely with Nia Ponsed when they were both in the Rebel Alliance's medical corps. "She was one of the best nurses I ever worked with. If there was ever anyone who had a calling to be a nurse, it was her. She put everything she had into caring for and healing the sick and injured. You know that, Derek."

Hobbie's memory had gone back in time as well. "Yes, I know. She was the one who helped me recover after Hoth."

"That is more true than you realize."

"What?! What do you mean, Doc?"

"It wasn't the medical staff on the Redemption or the bacta that saved your life after Hoth. It was Nia."

Hobbie stared at him, dumbfounded. "What do you mean? What are you talking about?"

Telsan looked at Hobbie. "You were brought aboard the Redemption in a stasis box. There was no other way you could have survived long enough to reach the fleet. Nia and I were working Triage after Hoth and you came in with the most severe injuries we saw that day. I did everything I could think of to save your life, but I was certain that we were going to lose you. Nia never gave up. She did exactly what your daughter did. She put her hands on you and all of a sudden, things started repairing themselves. She didn't completely heal you, but you were only in the bacta tank for two days after that. You were all but dead, and she brought you back."

Both Hobbie and Sela were stunned. Sela began to cry softly. Hobbie felt like that himself, but with effort managed to control the urge. "Oh ... my ..." Then the tears did start streaming down his face. "Nia," he whispered. He looked back up at Telsan. "How come you never told me this before?"

"Because I knew this was how you would react -- especially after she was killed at Endor. She saved your life, but there was nothing you or any of us could do to save hers." Telsan's normally very controlled manner was far from under control as he struggled with his own emotions. "Whatever healing gift Nia had, we should all be grateful that your daughter seems to have it as well. I honestly don't know if we would have been able to save Serren without it."

He looked past Hobbie and Sela to the little girl asleep on the couch under her father's jacket. "This has been a very difficult evening for all of you, but Serren is going to be fine now. I suggest you go home and try to get some rest. You will have some more perspective on all this tomorrow."

Sela had finally stopped crying to herself. "Thank you, Marran. I think you're right," she said her voice ragged. She went and knelt beside the couch to kiss Nia on the forehead.

Hobbie sat for a moment longer still trying to get over the shock of what they had just been told. Then with a visible effort, he pulled himself back together and stood to go and pick Nia up. "Thanks Doc. Thank you for telling me," he said quietly. "You'll call us if there is any change in Serren's condition?"

"Of course."

***********

Hobbie and Sela had taken Nia home and put her to bed almost in a daze. They were emotionally and physically exhausted from the trauma of nearly losing their son; of discovering that their daughter had some sort of a healing gift; and from Telsan's revelation that Nia Ponsed had literally brought Hobbie back from the brink of death from his injuries at Hoth. They both desparately needed to sleep, but neither of them could.

Sela had made them some hot chocolate and sat huddled on the couch in their living room. She was enormously relieved that their son was alive and would recover completely, and at the same time, unnerved at the revelations the evening had brought. Hobbie was equally disturbed. They needed to talk, and they needed to do it now.

He sat beside Sela and felt her shaking as he held her. "Sela, Sweetheart?"

"Derek, I'm frightened. Why? Why am I frightened?"

He kissed her forehead and then rested his cheek on the top of her head. "I don't know, but I'm kind of scared by all this too." He said nothing for a few moments, but that didn't stop his mind from ruminating on what had happened. "I think I need to send Luke a message. Maybe he can tell us what Nia did ... What both of them did..."

Hobbie was well aware of how often he had been seriously injured over the years, but he was still trying to come to grips with the fact that he had really almost died after Hoth, and that Nia Ponsed had healed him enough to be able to recover.

"Oh Derek." Sela started to cry again softly, but took a couple of deep breaths and pulled herself back together. "Do you think she used the Force to heal you?" she asked, her voice catching.

"I don't know, but you heard Telsan. He had done everything he could and thought I was gone. In any case, Luke needs to know about this. He told us that our Nia's Force abilities would start showing eventually. I can't imagine what else this would be."

"Will he try to take her away from us to start training her to be a Jedi? She's only just going to be nine years old next week." Sela's inarticulate fear had just become concrete. She was afraid to lose Nia after having come so close to losing Serren.

Hobbie's eyes widened as he realized what Sela's fear was. "No. She is too young to leave home. I won't let that happen, but we have to tell Luke. He has to know, and we need help." He could not bear the thought of his little girl leaving home any more than Sela could, even if she did have the potential to become a Jedi. "Wait. Luke said to call on Leia if we had questions. Let me call her. She can help us decide what to do."

Sela wiped the tears from her eyes. "All right."

***********

Hobbie, Sela, and Nia sat in the comfortable family room of the Solos' apartment, but they were all very nervous. Han had actually volunteered to keep Serren occupied and took him down to inspect the Millennium Falcon while Leia spoke with the rest of the family. Hobbie had called her and she had suggested that they come over for this meeting.

"Nia, you're almost nine years old, right?"

"Yes Ma'am," she whispered.

She smiled. "Please, call me Leia. It took me a long time to break your dad and his friends of the habit of calling me by titles. They're so pompous. I don't want to get a swelled head hearing them all the time."

Hobbie and Sela smiled and Nia giggled.

"That's better." Leia sat on the table in front of Nia and looked at the little girl. "Your dad tells me that you did something unusual the other day. Would you tell me what happened?"

Nia looked at her parents for permission and when they nodded their encouragement she told her story. "I went into the kitchen to help Mom make dinner and all of a sudden we heard this big crash. We ran into Serren's room and he was on the floor trapped under the shelf. Mom sent me to get our next door neighbor and they got it off him and we took him to the Medcenter."

Leia nodded. "And what happened at the Medcenter?"

"They said that he was hurt really badly. They had to do an operation to stop the bleeding inside." She bit her lip. "They sounded like they weren't sure the operation would make him better. Mom and Dad wanted to see him before he was taken away for the operation. They wanted me to stay with the neighbor who had brought us to the Medcenter, but ... I had to see Serren too."

"What do you mean, 'you had to see him'?"

She looked at her parents, then back at Leia before staring down at her hands in her lap. "As soon as I saw him on the floor, I started feeling this weird buzzing in my head. I knew I had to help him, but I didn't know how. When Dr. Telsan took us in to see him, I heard a voice tell me to go to him."

"A voice?"

"Yes. It was a lady's voice, but it wasn't Mom and the nurses were busy. They weren't the ones talking to me. Then I heard the voice in my head again. I went toward Serren and put my hand on him. Then I don't remember anything else till Daddy was holding me on the floor." She looked back up at Leia, her eyes wide. "Do you know what happened, Leia? Do you know how I made my brother better?"

Leia smiled at the little girl. "Well, I have some ideas. Tell me, do you know who and what the Jedi Knights are?"

Nia nodded. "We're learning about the Jedi Knights in school."

"My brother, Luke, is a Jedi teacher. He taught me to be a Jedi and he is teaching my children to be Jedi. But he can only teach them to be Jedi because there is something already inside them that makes it possible. They have a special gift to be able to touch the Force. Do you know what that is?"

Nia's eyes were wide and she shook her head.

"That's alright. Right now, you don't need to know exactly what it is. When you were very little, Luke found out that you have this special gift to be able to touch the Force. But knowing that you can touch the Force and learning how to use this gift for the benefit of all people are two different things. You are still very young and no one wants to take you away from your family, even to begin learning to become a Jedi."

She looked up and smiled at Hobbie and Sela because she had easily sensed their relief when she said that. "But..." and she saw their smiles fade. "We can't just leave you foundering around on your own. Now that your gift has begun to show itself, we need to keep closer track of how it is developing." She reached over to squeeze Nia's hand. "Let me talk to your parents for a little while, and then I'll tell you what I have in mind."

She pulled her comlink out of her pocket and summoned C3PO, the golden protocol droid that had served her since almost the beginning of her involvement in the Rebellion. "Threepio, take Nia down to the hangar and tell Han to give me about half an hour and then you can all come back."

"Yes, Mistress Leia. Come Miss Nia," the droid nattered at the little girl and they disappeared out the door.

"Leia?" Hobbie asked. "Luke told us that she could become a Jedi Knight, but I think you're seeing something else. What is it?" He had reached over toward Sela and she clasped his hand tightly, nervously.

"Hobbie, Sela. It's alright. I spoke to Dr. Telsan after you called me. He told me about how severe Serren's injuries were. Your daughter is definitely going to be a Jedi someday, but she has an even more precious gift than just to be able to touch the Force. She healed Serren from a very serious internal injury. I think that she has the gift of being able to heal others. It's very rare according to the records Luke has been able to find. He can do it, but I can't and neither can my children. We can only do self-healing for relatively minor injuries . For Nia to be able to heal such a serious injury on someone other than herself with no training ... There are some things no amount of bacta can cure, but a Jedi healer might be able to. Of all the Jedi we've found over the years, only one has had the healing gift. You know the Mon Cal ambassador, Cilghal? She has this gift. I would like her to meet Nia."

Hobbie and Sela looked at each other and then back at Leia. "She's not going to take Nia away from us, is she?" Sela asked. "Nia is much too young to leave home."

The look on Hobbie's face confirmed that that was what they both feared.

"Oh no. I can see that you're worried because my children went to Luke's academy when they were still very young, especially Anakin. But they were still with family. Luke is their uncle. I have no intention of tearing Nia away from you. But her gift is so special, we need to begin her training. That is why it is so fortunate that Cilghal is here on Coruscant. Her ambassadorial duties keep her here, but she is also a fully trained Jedi Healer who can begin to guide and teach Nia, and she can still stay with you where she needs to be."

Hobbie and Sela breathed another sigh of relief. "Alright Leia. Go ahead and make the arrangements with Ambassador Cilghal."

Leia reached over to squeeze Hobbie's hand. "Dr. Telsan also told me about the discussion you had in his office after Serren was settled. I don't have any way of knowing if it would have made a difference to have recognized Nia Ponsed as a Jedi Healer or not back then, Hobbie. We were reeling from the blow the Empire had dealt us. But I do know that so many of us have reason to be so grateful to her for saving your life."

"Thanks Leia."

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

Nia was laying in her bed very tired, but unable to go to sleep. The last several days had been unbelievable. A few days before her birthday, Serren had been badly hurt when the shelf unit fell on him and she had somehow done something that had saved his life. Then Mom and Dad had taken her to meet Princess Leia and tell her about what had happened with Serren. .

Then today, she had met the Mon Calamari ambassador, Cilghal, who was also a Jedi Knight and a Jedi Healer. Ambassador Cilghal had asked her what she wanted to do when she grew up. She didn't even think about it; she just blurted out that she wanted to be a nurse.

She was as surprised as her parents had been when she heard herself say it. I never knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. But when she thought about it, she realized that that was exactly what she wanted to do.

"Nia? ... Nia?"

The little girl sat up in her bed thinking at first that it was her mother's voice she'd heard, but then sucked in a frightened breath when she saw a glimmering apparition coalesce in front of her.

"Don't be frightened. I won't hurt you. Do you know who I am?"

Young Nia looked at her closely and saw a ghostly glowing apparition of a beautiful woman, and couldn't make herself say anything.

"I've been looking forward to talking to you."

"You have?" The young girl was surprised into speaking, finally. "Why?"

"There are so many things I want to tell your parents, but I can't. They can't see me like you can, although sometimes they have felt me nearby."

The friendly spirit, for lack of a better term, moved closer to the bed, and the little girl shrank back.

"I won't hurt you. I want to help you, but first I would like to talk to you. Is that all right?"

The little girl nodded and the specter came and sat on the bed. "Are - are you a - a ghost?"

"I'm not really sure about that, but I'm here because I want to help you. First of all, I want you to know that I have been watching over your parents and you and your brother. The other night when your parents told you about me, they said they thought I had become like a guiding and protecting spirit. I've tried. I was so sad that they were in pain because of my death. Even though they could never see me like you can now, I tried very hard to reach them and sometimes I did."

Nia recalled clearly what her parents had told her about a woman named Nia, and suddenly, she still had questions she wanted to ask. "Why did I start dreaming about you? Why are you talking to me now? Why not before?"

"I did speak to you. When your brotherwas badly hurt, I knew it was time for you to begin to come into your heritage."

"What do you mean 'it's time for me to come into my heritage'?"

"I didn't want to frighten you, but he desperately needed your help. I told you to go to him. After that, I thought that if you saw images of me in your dreams, you would ask your parents to explain and they did. You aren't frightened of me, are you?"

"No."

"When Ambassador Cilghal asked you today what you wanted to do when you grew up, what did you tell her?"

"I said I wanted to be a nurse..." Her eyes widened. "Did you make me say that?"

"No, Little One. I can't make you do anything, but you were born to be a healer. I was too, but I never knew it when I was alive. Somewhere in my background, I also had a Jedi heritage, but it was lost when the Jedi were purged. I was never trained to be a healer, but I found my calling as a nurse. I did whatever was in my power, untrained as I was, to relieve suffering and pain. You can and will be able to do so much more."

Nia's eye were wide as she absorbed what the apparition told her. "Can I tell Mom and Dad that I've seen you and talked to you?"

"You can tell them, but they may not believe you." The apparition smiled.

"Will you come and talk with me again?" the young girl asked her namesake.

"I hope so. You will be a Jedi and a Healer, Little One, I promise. May the Force be with you." And she faded into the darkness.

Nia sat there in her bed motionless for a few moments and then got out of bed and bolted for her door. "Mom? Dad?..."

The End (?)



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