Japor — Chapter 6 Rating: PG-13

Jysella did not want to come out of the healing trance. Not that I could blame her, for her parents were dead. Her brother was dead. They were dead at the hands of whoever was doing these things.

I had began to suspect that whoever did this was attacking my family or me. After all, they turned Jysella's life into a living nightmare, and she was my best friend. They killed Zekk, and he was one of my cousin's closest friends. I had to wonder if whoever was doing this was doing it all to cause me pain, through my friends and family.

I felt like I was to blame.

My feelings of guilt were not helped that for the first time since this all started, I was actually afraid. I had been feeling the fear in the Force every time I opened up ever since Valin was found, but I was not afraid. My thoughts were "I am a Jedi trainee, son of the Jedi Grand Master, and apprentice to one of the most powerful knights. I can handle anything." Yet whoever was doing this, had now killed two Jedi Knights, a Jedi Council Member and his wife, who happens to be a smuggler, with all the rough and tumble fighting skills that entails. In fact I remember a class in 'dirty fighting' that had both her and Uncle Han as guest instructors.

Guilt and fear. They found purchase in my heart, where the rage and frustration would not.

I spent most of the next week either at Jysella's bedside, or sitting in a chair watching her float in bacta. I had a birthday, and missed all my classes, yet I stayed there. I ignored my parents and Master as they tried to get me to give up my vigil, and even threatened her grandfather with my lightsaber when he suggested something similar. In hindsight, that was a funny scene, here I was a 14-year-old apprentice, with the tip of my lightsaber inches from the tip of the nose of Booster Terrik, a smuggler, who spent five years on Kessel, and happens to be the captain of a Star Destroyer, screaming at him, "I am not leaving here until she is awake, and I don't care if you try to drag me out of here with the Errant Venture. I. Am. Not. Going. Anywhere." Maybe you just had to be there.

Even though I was in the medical center almost the entire time, I did hear some things. Corrran's body was found, and he had been killed by a lightsaber, in the room where I saw the lightsaber fight. As I noticed when getting Jysella, Mirax was dead as well.

I remembered the seemingly easy, yet in actuality hard, lessons and anecdotes that Master Horn would tell. I remembered the ryshcate that Mirax would make when she was in a good mood over something. Don't tell Uncle Han or Aunt Iella, but hers were even better than either of theirs. I remembered the trip to Agumar on the Pulsar Skate that Mirax took Jysella and me on when I was 8. I remembered all those little things that they had done for me and for others, all those little things they would never be able to do again.

Jys did not want to awake, and I ever so desperately did.

Unfortunately, neither of us got our wish. I was there when Jysella opened her eyes. She looked at me, and asked, "Where's Mom and Dad?" With sorrow in my eyes, I slowly shook my head, side to side and told her that they did not get out of the fire in time.

Her grief and sorrow pounded into me, and for the first time that I could remember, I did not retreat into the Force and myself when presented with such raw, negative emotions within the Force. Rather than running from those feelings in the Force, I reached out to Jys, both physically and with the Force, wrapping my arms around her, as she clung to me crying. I climbed onto the bed beside her, holding her tight as she cried, while she laid her bandaged head against my chest, her tears running down her face. She had already lost everything. I refused to turn from her as well.

I wrapped her in the Force, granting her strength, support and acceptance. I did not, could not, take her pain away, but I shared my strength with her. I could not take her loneliness away, but I offered my friendship.

For the first time in my life that I could remember, I offered my soul up through the Force to another. I used the Force, not as a tool to accomplish a mission, but as a way to ease someone's pain, to share their pain. For the first time, I finally began to understand what my parents and Master had been talking about. Why the Force was a good thing.

For the second time in my life, I was actually happy to be a Force Sensitive.

Comforting Jysella helped me heal the final scars I still carried due to the Vong War.

Cilghal came into the room at point, ushered me out of the bed, and gave me what passes for an angry scowl for Mon Calamari. Whether the scowl was for not paging her as soon as Jys awoke or being in the bed with her, I did not know and did not care. I decided at that point, I would do it again and again if Jys needed me to.

From across the room, I could not hear what Cilghal was saying, but I felt the grief and morbid curiosity from Jysella as she hurried to remove the bandages from her forehead. Both Jys and I gasped as she looked into the mirror provided by Cilghal, and I saw her forehead for the first time since she was taken out of the Bacta Tank.

There in the white of scar tissue, was the Japor icon, branded onto her forehead. Before I realized I was going to speak, I heard myself asking Cilghal why the Bacta did not heal it.

Cilghal turned slightly towards me, but was addressing Jysella more as she replied "Whoever branded Jysella did so with the Force. Short of reconstructive surgery, we cannot remove it."

She turned back to Jys and suggested that Jys get some rest, and then looked towards me and suggested the same to me.

I of course paid no attention to her.

Sitting down in my chair next to her bed, I kept Jysella company until she fell asleep again. Then I continued to keep her company, speaking softly about nonsense as I had been doing for days. I did not want her to feel alone, or maybe I just did not want to be alone.

Finally I dozed, and was awakened by Jysella thrashing around on the bed, in the fits of a nightmare.

So I did want any self-respecting Jedi trainee would do. I climbed into bed with her, and held her until she calmed down and continued to hold her as sleep claimed me.

Ok, so hindsight tells me that this is not what any self-respecting Jedi trainee would do, but it's what I did.

My mistake was made apparent to me the next morning when Booster arrived. In the heated discussion Booster and I had afterwards, I made the decision that I would do it again, just to make Booster turn that interesting color of purple. Another mistake that was made apparent was me telling Booster that decision.

After my discussion with Booster, I took up my vigil next to Jysella again. While watching her sleep, I decided that I would do it again, just because Jysella needed someone. In making that decision I ignored the fact that I really liked it.

As I sat there pondering my discussion with Booster, I thought, "It's those Skywalker genes. They make you play the hero, and what is a hero without a damsel in distress." As I thought this, I realized that in my concern and worry over Jysella, I had not thought of Tahiri since I awoke in the medical center. So I commed my dad and asked about any word on Tahiri, and felt my worry grow as it turned out she still had not been found.

To Part Five | To Part Seven

Disclaimer: All content is made up, and no profit or lucre is expected, solicited, advocated or paid. This is all just for fun. Any comments, please e-mail the author or WOOKIEEhut directly. Flames will be ignored. Characters and situations are based on those which are the property of LucasFilms Ltd., Bantam Publishing, Random House, etc. and their respective original owners, publishers, agents, and developers. The rest is this story's author's own fault. This story may not be posted anywhere without the author's knowledge, consent, and permission. This story is presented by Wookieehut.com.