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Yan Kai
27 February 2007, 05:16 AM
I know I promised several people that I would have this story done earlier, however writer's block kept me from typing it for about a month. It is the sequel to a story I had on here last November and is closely related to it. Before reading this story I would highly suggest reading that first. It will bring a lot more meaning to the story.

I'm not sure how to post a link. But if you go back to the last 100 days in (the default is 30) it will be there near the bottom.

As always, positive or negative critique is greatly appreciated!

Yan Kai
27 February 2007, 05:21 AM
Redemptions




Time of Her Life

Five years ago Eriea left on a mission from the Jedi Knight Clairinian Dray. Captain Jam’mes Leire was a man that she had admired, a man that she would follow anywhere in the galaxy. Her friends, a Kulven name Gavrith, a quiet veteran name Svake Faladar, and the ever-cheerful Gek Rysar were her fellow crew-members. Dray sabotaged their ship, forcing them to crash land on the surface of Yavin IV. Originally their job was to take the Jedi there so that he could search for a Dark Jedi known as Sihiris. However Dray was obsessed with killing Sihiris and planned to disobey the Jedi Council and engage him, using Eriea and her friends as foot soldiers. His plan ultimately failed when he was injured in the crash, and shortly after Faladar, their primary combatant, lost his to the wild animals of the planet.

Eriea met Sihiris deep within the thick forest after she had fled from a monstrous beast. Despite her expectations he proved to be a kind, polite, and gentle young man who appeared in no way to have fallen to the Dark Side as Dray had claimed. After Sihiris led her back to the others she did her best to convince them that the one that they were searching for wasn’t what they thought he was, and she pleaded with them to leave him alone. Dray ignored her wishes and continued to scheme on how he would destroy his enemy. Eriea found herself falling in love with Sihiris, and they met again on several occasions.

The six hid in the remains of a smuggling camp near where they had crashed. They did their best to protect themselves, however their efforts failed to save the life of Gavrith, who died in an attack by ferocious creatures. As time passed Eriea and the remainder of the crew grew to hate Dray more and more.

In the end, eleven members of the Jedi Council arrived. They had come to put an end to Sihiris because of the threat he posed with the reappearance of the Sith on Naboo. Sihiris had proved himself in the past to be among the most formidable duelists in the galaxy, and was more than a match for many of the strongest Jedi. However Sihiris met his fate after receiving a blaster bolt in his back from Jam’mes Leire, who sought to protect Eriea by preventing the fight.
Dray had gotten what he had wanted at Eriea’s expense, and left triumphant. Leire sympathized with her, but left her crying over Sihiris’s body. Only Gek Rysar remained at her side, weeping with her.
The three survivors split up, and went their separate ways. None of them interacted with another for five years. But not even their best attempts could keep them apart forever...








Five years following the events that take place in ‘The Time of Her Life’




“I thought I told you that I never wanted to see you again,” Eriea set down the smoking death stick as she spun her chair around to face the silhouette standing in the doorway.


“You did,” Jam’mes Leire nodded.
“I thought I told you that I never even wanted to be on the same planet as you.”

“You did,” Leire answered again.

“So what the Sith are you doing here?” Eriea asked her former captain. “I told you I was done on your ship and that was that.” She stood up from her chair and approached him. “Did you think I wasn’t serious?”

Leire stared at the smoke billowing from her death stick as it curled slowly to the ceiling of the dim, musty, and disheveled apartment. “I know what you said Eriea,” Leire said. “And I’m not here to ask you to rejoin my crew.” He looked to the ground, not meeting her eye as she came closer. “In fact, I don’t have a crew anymore.”

Eriea tried to catch a glimpse of her former friend’ face, but the shadow cast by his long and matted hair hid it from her sight. “Then what are you here for?” she asked him.

“I want to hire you,” Leire replied hesitantly. “Not to be a member my crew, but simply as a mercenary.”

“Now, why would I accept?” Eriea asked doubtfully. That last thing that she wanted was to go back to her old life, even if by a little. Even flying with Leire would bring back memories, painful memories, memories that she had done everything she could think of to forget.

“Because, Eriea,” Leire exhaled slowly. “Because the job pays a quarter million credits.”

Eriea’s heart skipped a beat. She nearly blurted out an affirmative to Leire’s offer, but remembered that after two death sticks, her discernment wasn’t at its best. Instead she swallowed and regained her composure. “Who’s the employer?”

“Are you interested?” Leire asked her.

“Who’s the employer?” Eriea repeated.

“Don’t judge too quickly-,” Leire stammered.

“Who’s the employer?” Eriea shouted.
“Clairinian Dray,” Leire responded reluctantly and turned away.

Eriea threw up her hands and walked back to the chair. She picked up the death stick and bit into the end. “You’re kidding me!” She shook her head in disbelief. How could he ask such a question? How could dare to speak that hated name in her house to her face? Dray was where it all started, the destruction of her life. If he had never come to them, those years ago, she would still be serving contentedly aboard Leire’s ship, along with Svake Faladar, Gek Rysar, and Gavrith. But Faladar and Gavrith were both dead and Gek had disappeared into the universe.

“Do you think that you were the only one that was devastated by that Jedi’s treachery? Do you think you’re the only one whose life was destroyed?” Leire stepped into the dim light of the shabby room and raised his face. “Look at me, Eriea! I’m not what I used to be.”

Eriea was shocked to see the face of her former captain. It was apparent that these last five years had not been easy on him. While he still possessed the large stature and muscular frame, his face had twisted into a constant expression of despair. Not only had he allowed his short light-colored hair to grow out long and hang down his face, but now a scraggly unkempt beard hung from his chin. His eyes were dark, and surrounded by thick black circles, showing a lack of sleep as well as some possible unhealthy addictions. His once cleaned and well-kept clothing had turned into filthy rags that resembled those of a drunkard or street bum. His entire face shone with perspiration and dried blood. In no way was he the honorable and brave captain that she once knew. “What happened?” she murmured, stunned at his appearance.

“After you left Gek lost any sort of motivation that used to set him apart. I even heard the fool cry himself to sleep every night. He was just as devastated as you were, Eriea. He just lasted a little longer. Once he left, I was a Captain without a crew. I was in debt for the repairs I had to pay for our ship and suddenly I had no way to make money. I sold the ship and tried to make a living has a blaster for hire. But I couldn’t, I was above that and I knew it. It burned me inside that I had descended to that level so I quit. I even resorted to gambling as an alternative. It pulled me down to where I am now. A jobless, friendless, wreck of a man,” Leire paused as he thought over the past few years. “I despised him too, Eriea. You don’t think that I could bring myself to ever forgive the man who ruined my life do you?”

“My thoughts exactly, Jam’mes,” Eriea agreed. She extinguished the death stick and tossed it, still smoldering, onto the debris-covered ground. “So why are you trying to get me to join up with him?”

“Because Eriea,” Leire began. “I am at the absolute lowest point of my entire life and I don’t believe that anything could ever bring me lower. It isn’t a question of honor anymore. It’s a question of survival. Either I take this job or I starve. Sooner or later I’m going to wind up as another body on the street. I don’t want that.”

“And I don’t care,” Eriea said. “Now get the Sith out of my house.”

Leire didn’t budge. Instead he looked around the cluttered inside of her apartment. Eriea was ashamed at what she had allowed herself to descend to. Old worn furniture was scattered about, and medical supplies covered a nearby table and the floor around it. A thick mantle of dust enshrouded the entire room, and everything smelled of smoke. Suddenly Eriea wanted Leire gone, not because of what he had to say, and what memories he brought back to her mind. But rather because she didn’t want him to see into her life, and see exactly what she had become.

“You call this your house?” Leire asked with a slight smile, a smile that did nothing to enlighten his face. “Looks like our lives aren’t too different, Eriea”

“You’re probably right,” Eriea agreed impatiently with a nod. “I’ve given you my final answer, Jam’mes. You can go now.”

Leire ignored her. “I suppose that living on Nar Shaddaa speaks lengths for itself. But I never pictured you to be the type.”

Eriea shrugged her shoulders. “I’m a street medic. Gang fights happen every day here, someone needs to patch all those thugs up. It’s a living, not a good living, but a living nonetheless.”

“I suppose,” Leire said. “But you’re at a higher level than this! Or at least you should be. I can help you get your life back as well as mine.”

“How much is he paying you?” Eriea asked.

“It’s two million split four ways,” Leire told her.

Eriea frowned. “Four?”

“Dray insisted that we enlist Gek, and he says that he’s bringing someone else along as well,” Leire said. “I don’t know who.”

“Why would he want Gek?” Eriea asked him. “He’s not even a very good mechanic.”

“Good question, but it might have something to do with him buying our old ship back.”

Eriea raised her eyebrows. “I don’t understand.”

Leire sighed. “Dray was diagnosed with some sort of heart disease. They believe that he picked it up on one of his missions to the Outer Rim. No body knows exactly what it is, and not even the Jedi can help him. He’s got about a month to live. He says he wants to see the galaxy, he had been a Jedi all of his life and never did he get to truly experience life. He said that’s what he wanted to do with his last month alive.”

Eriea was struck speechless. She had indeed grown cold over the years, and Dray was most hateful being alive to her, yet she never actually wanted somebody to die. It was justice, she decided. “He had in coming,” she voiced her thoughts to Leire.

“You’re right,” Leire nodded thoughtfully. “He did.”

Eriea detected a ghost of an expression of sadness on his face. “You don’t seem to be too content with this justice.”

Leire looked at her. “I saw him, Eriea. He’s a tortured man. He’s not who he was on Yavin IV. He’s changed, just like us.”

“So it’s out of pity that you want to help him?”

“I wouldn’t say that.”

“But you did.”

Leire ran his hand through his hair. “His credits can save me and they can save you. Are you in or not?”

Eriea did her best to scrutinize the unfamiliar face, trying to discern an expression. He wanted her to go. Eriea felt a desire to go as well, but couldn’t understand why. It wasn’t for the credits, and it certainly wasn’t out of pity for her enemy, yet she felt like she had to. She felt some sort of inner compulsion to go. A grim smile spread across her face. “Captain, you’re a hard man to say no to.”

Leire returned the smile.

Yan Kai
3 March 2007, 04:50 AM
Two days later the pair arrived at one of the many bustling space ports on galactic capital Coruscant. Eriea followed Leire down the ramp of the ship onto the landing platform. “We’re here, so where’s Dray?” she asked him. “Let’s just pick him and fly around until he dies. Then we can get payed and carry on our lives.”

“That’s the plan,” Leire replied. “Though I wouldn’t have put it so morbidly.”

“I would have.”

“Apparently,” Leire rolled his eyes. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a comlink. “I’ve got to let him know we’re coming.” Eriea nodded and looked away toward the spectacular skyscrapers that covered Coruscant. It had been years since she last set foot on this planet, and its view was as breathtaking as ever. Leire waited for a few moments as his comlink contacted the Jedi’s. In a moment an eerily familiar voice came through.

“Are you ready?”

“We’ll be there in half an hour,” Leire told him.

“So will I.”

Leire shut off the comlink. He looked over at Eriea. “Last chance to back out,” he warned.

Eriea took a deep breath. “I know, but I’m going to go through with this,” she assured him. “At least I can watch him die if nothing else.”

Leire nodded solemnly. “All right then, let’s get going.”


After a short trip to space port S-309 in an overcrowded airbus Eriea and Leire found themselves staring at their old ship.

“Wow, it really isn’t any different at all,” Leire murmured under his breath. It was true, down to the last scratch on the hull their old ship hadn’t changed at all. It was identical to the ship that they departed to Yavin IV on.

“That’s odd,” Leire frowned as he slowly approached the ship.

“What?” Eriea asked.

Leire lightly rapped the side of the ship with his knuckle, making a dull sound. The location where he had hit was in the center of a large crater made by a blaster cannon. “I remember when we got that,” Eriea said. “We were running from pirates,” she smiled. “They had mistaken us for spice smugglers.”

“It was the only time our ship was ever hit,” Leire said. “And it was repaired when I had the mechanics fix it up. Dray put it back on.”

“Why?” Eriea asked him. It didn’t make any sense.
“He wants to relive Yavin IV,” Leire said flatly. “That’s why he brought us all together.”
Eriea shook her head. “What?”

“I’m not sure, but it’s obvious Dray’s planning something,” Leire bit his lower lip.

“What would he have to gain by it?” Eriea asked Leire. “He didn’t strike me as the type to cause pain for pains sake.”

Their conversation was interrupted as two figures entered the hanger. Eriea turned to see a brown cloaked man striding toward them, followed by a large man wearing a red uni-suit. “Well, well, well, you know what they say,” Dray said as he lifted his hood. “Speak of the devil, and the devil, he shall appear.”

Eriea choked back emotions of rage and anger upon seeing the wry grin that was upon Dray’s face. How was he able to so carelessly approach her after what he had done? She squeezed her hands into fists. “And so he has,” she forced through clenched teeth, not trying to hide the hatred in her voice.

“Dunix, get on board,” Dray said with a wave of his hand. The man immediately complied. “I have to exchange a few words with our crew.”

Eriea could see Leire set his jaw as Dray walked toward them. “I thank you for coming,” the Jedi said. “I can understand that we may not be on the best of terms right now. However I can assure you that I shall do everything in my power to prevent us from ‘accidentally’ slipping into trouble again.”

Eriea stared at Dray, Leire was indeed telling the truth, she was looking at a different man than she had seen five years ago... different man, at least, on the outside. He still wore his jet-black hair short, however it had grown greasy and unkempt. The eyes that had previously been full of pride and self-esteem now appeared to be hollow and empty of life. His skin had paled beyond the light complexion he had previously to an almost ghastly white, clearly revealing the veins that ran through his face. His lips were thin and pale, it was almost as if he was suffering from lack of nourishment as well as from his heart disease. Despite having gained a little weight around the middle, he seemed to her smaller and weaker than before.

“It’s been a long time Captain Leire,” he said with a false smile. “How have you fared?”

“I stand before you as a healthy man,” came Leire’s reply.

“Excellent,” Dray said. He then turned his pale blue eyes to Eriea. “And how about you? Have you been doing well?”

“No,” Eriea spat. “I haven’t.”

Dray’s eyes twinkled. “None of my doing I hope.”
Eriea resisted the urge to strike out at him. Instead she turned and briskly strode up the ramp. As she walked, she heard Dray continue with his shallow pleasantries. Eriea rounded the corner and headed toward the cockpit. Though she spent less than a year aboard she knew the ship by heart, and could walk about it in the dark. She tapped the control panel, and when she stepped in through the opening door she almost collided with yet another familiar face.

“Hey, Eriea!” Gek beamed in his usual enthusiastic voice. “How’s it going with you lately?”

Gek hadn’t changed a bit. Unfortunately that meant that the stench that surrounded him hadn’t gone away either. Eriea took a few steps back, “I’ve been fine Gek, good to see you too.” She managed a smile. “Dray and his friend are here so I’m going to prep the ship for takeoff.”

Gek held up his hands. “Don’t worry about it, Eriea. I got it covered,” he said proudly. “We’re all ready to leave!”

“Great,” Eriea muttered. She had wanted to do something to take her mind off of Dray, but it didn’t look like that was going to happen. She nodded and smiled again, “Well if you’ve got everything handled then I’ll see you around Gek.” She turned to leave.

“No wait!” Gek called after her. Reluctantly Eriea stopped.

“What?”

Gek thrust his hands into his pockets and nervously took a few steps toward her. “Well it’s been awhile and I figured we could catch up or something.”

Eriea winced. Gek had always been kind to her and she didn’t want to shut him down. But talking to him wasn’t something that she wanted to do at the moment. “Sorry, not right now,” she told him. “We’ll have plenty of time to talk later.” Without giving time for Gek to respond she hurried on, away from her old friend.

Eriea reached into her pocket, hoping to find her death sticks. With a curse she remembered that she had left them in her bag, which was still sitting by the cargo bay outside of the ship. She hoped that Leire would remember to bring them on. She decided against retrieving them herself, in order to avoid contact with Dray. She knew that she would be stuck on the same ships as the man for a month, but she planned to put off meeting with him for as long as she possible could. He could go ahead and die without her forgiveness for all she cared, and she doubted that he wanted it anyway.

She heard the ramp closing and quickly headed to her old quarters. When she reached the door she tried to open it, then remembered that she had a pass code. She rolled her eyes as she typed in 'JammesLeire'. Surprisingly the door slid open. “I’ll have to change that later,” she muttered to herself as she walked into her room. It hadn’t changed at all. It was just like the way it was before their crash, just like everything else on the ship.

Eriea collapsed on her bed and thought back to the pleasant times that she had spent on the ship. One of the reasons why she had joined in the first place was her admiration for Jam’mes Leire. Back when he was the smart, brave, strong, and imposing leader she had a crush on him. But a simple crush it was and nothing more. She had found out that Gek had truly loved her during their time on Yavin IV. She had realized that he had felt that way since she had joined, and later she had found out that he was instrumental in her getting the job in the first place. However, despite Gek kindness, Eriea felt that she could never truly love him back. She was-or at least used to be- a well-educated medic from Naboo. Gek, on the other hand, was a sweaty, unattractive mechanic from some backwater planet. Eriea attempted to clear her head of her thoughts; emotions like love were complex things, despite what holovids told her. She was better off not dwelling on them. Instead she rolled over and attempted to fall asleep.

Yan Kai
6 March 2007, 01:54 PM
Comments are welcome!


After lying on her bed for an hour Eriea discovered that, with a strong need for a death stick, sleep would be impossible. The ship was undoubtedly in hyperspace by now, and Leire probably had tossed her bag in the cargo bay. She stood up and brushed her blonde hair out of her eyes. She took a deep breath and opened her door.

As Eriea walked through the hallways, she desperately hoped that she wouldn’t encounter any of her crew mates, or especially, either of the passengers. She was certain that she had never seen Dunix before. She had entertained the thought that he was possibly Dray’s Padawan learner. But she dismissed the thought quickly, there was no way the council would see Dray fit to become a Jedi Master. Perhaps Leire knew him. Leire had been around the galaxy and seemed to know a lot of people, it wouldn’t be impossible for him to have some sort of idea who this Dunix was.

She arrived at the cargo bay and opened the door. It was pitch black inside the room. Eriea stood outside, waiting. Usually the lights would have turned on by now, as they were triggered to work with the door. Must be a busted fuse, Eriea thought. She sighed and walked into the darkness. The only sound was her footsteps as she made her way to the power box on the far side of the large room. She fumbled around, feeling her way across the room. Occasionally she bumped into one of the many metal crates that were scattered about, making a dull ‘thud.’

Finally she placed her hands on the cold steel lid of the power box. Just as she was lifting it up she heard a noise. She stopped suddenly and spun around, though because of the darkness it did her no good. The noise had sounded like the rustle of clothes, but it could have been her jostling another crate by accident. She doubted it.

“Who’s there?” she called.

There was no answer. Eriea backed up against the wall, it was Dray. He was here to finish off the rest of the crew, starting with her. She swallowed and reached for the power box. She gave a short cry as a frigid, clammy, and strong hand gripped her outstretched arm. Glowing yellow eyes flickered brightly in the darkness. She froze, he mind going blank with fear.

Her assailant made a low hiss and let go. Eriea came back to her senses and screamed as loud as she could. Her shrill voice bounced off the wall and came back to her in eerie echoes. She continued to scream until the lights flashed on and the door flew open. She was relieved to see Leire dash in, blaster in hand.

“What is it?” he asked urgently.

“I don’t know, I was trying to turn on the lights when something grabbed me,” Eriea’s words spilled out into some ununderstandable ramble.

“Slow down, what happened,” Leire said, as he looked around the room.

Eriea took several deep breaths, exhaling slowly. When she had calmed down somewhat she started again. “The lights were out. I went over to turn them on manually because some fuse must have been blown, right?”

Leire nodded.

“Why does the power box have to be so far away from the door?” she moaned.

“Go on,” Leire answered impatiently.

“While I was trying to turn it back on something attacked me.”

“Attacked you?” Leire said incredulously.

“Grabbed my wrist,” Eriea corrected herself. “Someone grabbed my wrist. His skin was cold and he had yellow eyes.”

Leire’s icy blue eyes continued to dart back and forth. “Eriea, you’ve got to get a hold of yourself. We’re the only ones in here.”

Eriea glanced around and saw that he was right.

“Besides,” Leire continued. “The lights worked for me.”

Eriea’s mind raced. Who had it been? “Where’s Dray and Dunix?” she asked suddenly.

“In their quarters,” Leire responded slowly. “But I was in-between their quarters and here, there was no way either of them could have gotten out without me seeing them.”

“Precisely,” came a smooth voice from behind him. Dray casually walked into the room. “Additionally there is no motivation for either of us to attack you.”

Eriea narrowed her eyes at the Jedi. “There isn’t?” she asked suspiciously.

“Indeed not!” Dray responded with a laugh. “In fact, my friend and I were just enjoying a pleasant game of Cubes. At no time have I been in here, or has he.”

Leire turned to Eriea, “There, he just came in, he wasn’t in here with you.”

“How long were you listening?” Eriea asked, ignoring Leire.

“Actually I followed the good Captain here,” Dray asked, picking at his fingernails. “I am quite adept at the art of stealth you know.” He raised his eyes to her.

Eriea cursed under her breath and pushed past Leire. He deliberately avoided eye contact with Dray as she stormed out of the room. It wasn’t Dray. He was saying what he did merely to spite her. To make her suspect him. It was all part of that game he played, controlling other peoples emotions for his amusement. He could take any situation and use it to make her hate him all the more.

Gek wasn’t that strong, Leire and Dray both entered the room after the attack, which left two possibilities: either they had a stowaway, or it was Dunix.

She slammed her fist down on the control panel and Dunix’s door slid open. He was sitting cross-legged on the floor, a serene look on his face. He did not look at her as she entered. He was still wearing the solid red uni-suit. Though he couldn’t be more than forty he had stark white hair cut short to the point where he appeared bald from a distance. He had broad shoulders that framed a large and muscular body.

“Dunix,” she spoke. “Who are you?”

The man didn’t answer, and continued to stare blankly at the wall.

“Dunix,” she repeated. She couldn’t tell whether or not he had heard her, or even acknowledged her presence.

Eriea felt frustration boiling up within her. The man utterly ignored her, he didn’t care. There were too many questions...too much going on. She had been thrust back into her darkest memory, and didn’t know what was going on.

Too much...

Suddenly she found a blaster pistol in her hand, she wasn’t sure how it had gotten there. No thought passed through her mind as she raised the gun, just blind rage. No thought passed through her mind as she pulled the trigger, just burning, reckless, and disoriented anger.

There was the sound of a sudden discharge of energy.

Eriea opened her eyes to see a sizzling crater in the ground at Dunix’s feet. She raised her head to see the man towering over her. His eyes were closed and the peaceful expression still remained on his face. She didn’t move as he calmly took the blaster from her hand, and clenched his fist tightly.

The metal shrieked as it was contorted into a useless ball of parts. Dunix muttered something which Eriea couldn’t understand. Eriea stepped back in surprise. She wasn’t sure why she had fired at the man, nor was she certain how he got to his feet so quickly. She began to cautiously back out of the room.

Dunix mumbled another string of senseless sounds and sat back down on the ground, slowly rocking side to side. Repeatedly he opened and clenched his fist around the blaster pistol, bits of metal dropped from in between his fingers. Eriea stepped back into the hallway, Dunix paid no attention to her.

Once she felt she was a safe distance away she spoke again, “Dunix, who are you?”

He continued to mumble to himself, apparently oblivious to her. Eriea realized that he had some sort of mental disorder. The mystery of why Dray brought him aboard grew more confusing than before. She doubted that this troubled man was her assailant, they had a stowaway.

Yan Kai
8 March 2007, 11:56 AM
The next uneventful hours passed slowly. Eriea managed to avoid the others on board. But when she felt the ship suddenly pull out of hyperspace she realized that she had no idea of their destination. She headed from her room towards the cockpit, passing Gek as she went. The mechanic nodded and smiled, but didn’t meet her eyes.

Eriea opened the door and stepped into the small room. Leire was at the controls as always, Dray was sitting next to him in her spot, the co-pilot’s chair. Through the viewport a magnificent emerald-green planet sat alone in the black.

“Where’s this?” she asked.

Leire opened up him mouth to answer but Dray cut him off. “The planet is Ryshia,” he said. “Home to the Rydans. A very technologically advanced reptilian species.”

“Why here, Dray?” Eriea asked him suspiciously.

“Unfinished business I’m afraid,” the Jedi sighed. “Now Leire, if you please, could you dock in the capital. I shall only be gone for a few hours.”

Leire was silent, he simply nodded, and veered the ship downwards towards the planet.

“What are you going to be doing?” Eriea asked him. She wasn’t about to allow him to get off with giving them so little information about his activities.

“As I said,” Dray stated as he got to his feet. “I am going to take care of a few things.”

“What things?”
Dray raised his eyebrows at her as he stepped back.

“Secret things. And I’m sorry but I can’t tell you my dear.” he said dramatically. Eriea followed him with her eyes as he walked out the doorway. “I’m afraid that if I did, I would have to kill you,” he tossed back without turning around.

The door hissed shut behind him.

Eriea turned back to Leire. “What a little Nerf,” she muttered. Leire shrugged his shoulders.

“Don’t bother him,” he told her. “His reasons are his own.”

“Except when they cause people to get killed,” Eriea retorted. She started to walk towards the door bu Leire stopped her.

“Don’t,” he said. Eriea looked back at him, ready to shout, but she saw a solemn look in Leire’s eyes that caused her to keep her mouth shut. “Leave him be,” he said quietly.

Eriea slouched down in the co-pilot’s seat. “Do you know what he’s doing?” she asked Leire.

“Possibly,” he answered as he brought the ship down through the atmosphere.

“Why did he tell you?” she asked.

“Because I don’t curse his very existence,” Leire responded.

“You’re right,” Eriea replied, suddenly getting angry. “That’s because he didn’t steal anything from you!”

“You’re wrong,” Leire answered. “However I’ve forgiven him for it.”

“You’re not one to be handing out forgiveness, Leire,” Eriea spat at him. “After all, you’re the one the fired the shot, remember?”

“How could I forget?” Leire said regretfully. “You wouldn’t leave his side. There was going to be a battle, Eriea, and you would have been right in the middle of it. Whether or not I fired wouldn’t have changed the fact that Sihiris was going to die. I doesn’t matter how good you are, no man can stand against eleven members of the Jedi Council. I was trying to protect you. And I did that.”

“You shouldn’t have,” Eriea said quietly, yet vehemently. “The point is, all that happened on Yavin IV was Dray’s f
ault. All that has become of our lives is his fault.”

“Stop it,” Leire said. “Quit blaming your problems on others! Sure you were devastated, I lost two members of my crew, one of them a long time friend! Yet we allowed our grief to get the best of us and in our self-pity we went and became the worthless scum that we are. I know this may sound cliche, but running away from our sadness, like we did, is only going to hurt you more in the end. Facing the source of our grief, Dray, is the only way we’re going to ever get over it. I’m not showing kindness to him out of pity for his heart problem. I’m doing it so I can get the Sith out of the rut I’ve dug myself into!”

Eriea had no words with which to answer him. She sat in stone silence, staring out the viewport at the dense jungle that they were soaring over. Ryshia was truly a planet of beauty. In the distance she spotted gleaming silver structures rising up from within the jungle and towering over even the tallest of trees. Leire guided the ship towards them. As they grew nearer Eriea saw that these building had no windows or any openings in them, in fact they appeared more to be silos than anything else. As they neared she saw a section of the wall begin to slide away, slowly revealing an entrance.

The intercom crackled. An scratchy alien voice came though. “State your business,” it said.

“I am Jam’mes Leire,” her captain responded. “I am transporting a Jedi Knight named Clairinian Dray into your city as he wishes to speak to you king about private matters.”

There was a long silence. Finally the Rydan answered. “Clairinian Dray?” he said slowly.

“Yes,” Leire confirmed..

A low growl came through the intercom, followed by the Rydan’s voice, it was considerably more hostile this time. “Permission granted.” Then there was silence.

Leire and Eriea looked at each other hesitantly. Then Leire cautiously flew the ship threw the small opening and into the wide hangar.

“That was a strange landing procedure,” Eriea remarked as Leire set the ship on the ground.

“They don’t follow the same customs as we do,” Leire told her. “Ryshia isn’t a part of the Republic, and because of religious reasons they refuse to join. Too much corruption they say.”

“How do you know about them?” Eriea inquired. She didn’t recall ever meeting with them before, or ever hearing Leire speak about them.

“Though they aren’t part of the Republic they still participate in galactic affairs. They make ship weaponry and artillery for different planets’ private militaries,” Leire said. “In fact, I do believe that they were responsible for components of the weapons on this ship, but I’m not sure.”

“Interesting,” Eriea said. The inside of the hangar wasn’t really different that the inside of any other hangar, just dimmer. She saw Dray walking briskly away from the ship towards a set of large metal doors. The opened and six small, hunched-over creatures quickly stepped out, blocking Dray’s way. They had long prehensile tails that slithered back and forth, and bright red tongues that flickered in and out. They spoke to Dray but it seemed that the Jedi ignored them and walked right between them through the door.

“Don’t go,” Leire told Eriea when she stood up to leave. “He wants us to stay with the ship.

“Fine,” she replied. She had to know what Dray was doing, and she already knew how to find out. “I’ll go see Gek at the mechanic’s bay,” she told him.

“This might be a bad time,” Leire started, “but I want you to know not to bother going to get your death sticks, I left those detestable things in the hangar.

Eriea swore under her breath. “Great. Thanks Leire.”

Leire turned back to look out the viewport; Eriea stalked out of the room.

She was feeling anxious and frustrated, emotions that a death stick could abate. She knew that it was a foul addiction, and she wasn’t sure why she had started in the first place. But it did make her feel in control of her life, something she wanted. Also they had allowed her to relax in the wake of the tragedy.

Soon she found that sneaking off the ship would be impossible. Standing a the ramp of the ship was the Dunix, who clearly showed that he would not move. He did not look at her, he did not speak to her, yet it was obvious that Dray had placed him there to keep her from doing what she had planned to do.

Eriea gritted her teeth and walked on to the mechanic’s bay. It was apparent that it would be her destination after all.


It was a long time before Dray walked through the doors. His gait was confident and he and we walked towards the ship in triumph. Eriea wondered what he had done. He nodded at her through the viewport as he ascended the ramp. Leire had left to rest a few hours ago and had left Eriea in the cockpit. She had gone to the cargo bay to check for her death sticks after the had left Gek in the mechanic’s bay, in spite of what Leire had told her, and they were indeed missing. One thing she knew for sure was that Leire didn’t have the right to decide what she could and could not do.

Dray strode into the cockpit, and sat down in the co-pilot’s chair. He leaned back and placed his booted feet upon the control board. “Well that went well,” he mused.

“Get your feet off the controls before you break something,” Eriea said, annoyed.

“My apologies,” Dray said, sitting up straight. For a moment Eriea didn’t think he’d listen to her, but hid did indeed take his feet off the board and placed them on the ground. “Head to Tranich.”

“Tranich?” she asked. She noticed the commanding voice that Dray spoke to her in and was about to say something, but decided against it. It wouldn’t change anything anyway. “Isn’t that in the Outer Rim?”

“Indeed it is, Eriea,” Dray said. “Is there a problem?”

“No,” Eriea huffed. Leire had trusted enough to fly this ship before and she knew that he would have no objections to her flying it now. So she took off and backed the ship out of the hangar. She typed in the coordinates for Tranich as the ship soared up through the sky and into space. Within minutes they had entered hyperspace once again.

A few minutes of silence passed before Dray spoke. “As I’m sure you understand I am a private man who prefers not to share his matters with others.”

Eriea rolled her eyes and nodded. She told her self that she didn’t really care about what Dray had to say, but in truth, she did.

“And I want you to know, before you gain any assumptions, that I’m not about to go against my preferences,” Dray finished. “But I do want you to tell your captain to stop addressing me as a Jedi, as he did when the Rydans contacted you.”

“Why,” Eriea asked, although the answer was obvious to her.

“Because I officially left the Order prior to departing for the spaceport,” he said in his usual matter-of-fact tone. “I am no longer a Jedi.”

Eriea had assumed that he had been expelled from the Jedi Order, and didn’t leave on his own. It wasn’t something that she had thought he would do on his own. It had seemed to her that Dray had enjoyed the power and authority granted to him by being a Jedi, and that he wasn’t the type to give it up on his own accord.

“Why would you do that?” she asked, voicing her thoughts.

“Because, Eriea, I desired to be free from the responsibility of Jedi Knighthood while I traversed the galaxy,” he said. “I didn’t want to have to be compelled to help a being in need when I saw one that needed it, seeing how I have my own issues to deal with at the moment.”

“Not that you ever helped anyone anyway,” Eriea muttered, desperate to get one shot in on him.

“On the contrary,” Dray replied. “That was what I was trained as a Jedi to do, was it not?”

“You tell me.”

“Indeed I was trained to be a guardian of peace and justice in the galaxy,” he said. “And that is what I was until I left the Order. I know what you think of me, but I want you to know, that was always my goal.”

Eriea didn’t respond.

“However that is a topic for another time,” Dray said, standing up. She noticed out of the corner of her eye that he winced briefly and clutched his chest. He coughed and took several deep breaths. “I came in here to tell you where we would be headed next and to correct your captain, nothing more.” He slowly, unsteadily, walked out of the cockpit.

Eriea sat there, thinking about the short conversation. Dray had indeed told her a secret, several actually. The obvious one was that he told her that he had left the Order, and he could have said what he had wanted to without doing that. The other secrets she wasn’t so sure about...there was nothing solid to go on... but they were there.

Yan Kai
11 March 2007, 10:44 AM
The ship arrived at Tranich two days later. In that time Eriea had spent much of her time in her room, or in the cockpit. She was alone nearly all the time but that was fine with her, she preferred not to speak with the others anyway. Gek had spent close to the entire trip in the mechanic’s bay, fixing things that weren’t broken, and checking on things that he had checked on twice or three times before. Dunix hadn’t emerged from his quarters since they took off, so Eriea was surprised to see him at her door.

The ship rattled slightly as it entered Tranich’s atmosphere, Eriea clutched the doorframe to keep her balance, Dunix didn’t rock in the slightest. “Clairinian says bad stuff is on board and he-we-needs your...help...” he said. His speech was strange, it was as if he needed to force the words out like he was hardly able to speak them. The words that did come were slurred and barely understandable.

“What kind of ‘bad stuff,’” Eriea asked as she turned back towards her room. He spare pistol and holster was lying on her bed under her pillow.

“Me,” came the reply. Before Eriea fully comprehended what the other had said, and far before she had time to react, a durasteel-hard fist shot out and struck her on the back of her head. The force of the hit sent Eriea sailing over her bed and she hit the wall hard on the other side of the room. Her vision went black and she lost all sense of direction. Dizzy, she dropped to the floor. Fear washed over her like a wave as she heard the heavy booted feet of Dunix approach her steadily. She reached up onto her bed and groped for her blaster. For a moment the tips of her fingers brushed the cold metal but before she was able to grab it strong arms lifted her into the air.

As her vision cleared she managed to make out the face of Dunix below her. She suddenly realized that he was holding her by her collar above his head with one arm, so high her head nearly touched the ceiling. She struggled and failed her arms and legs helplessly, but they bounced off her assailant’s body harmlessly. His eyes suddenly flickered yellow and she knew that it was he who attacked her in the cargo bay.

“Help!” she screamed. Instantly Dray dashed through the doorway into her room.

“Dunix!” he shouted igniting his lightsaber. The green bar energy hummed to life. The large man turned his head to face the Dray, and the cruel expression on his face slowly melted away. Replacing it was the serene and slightly confused face that Eriea had seen before.

“Drop her,” Dray ordered.

Obediently Dunix let go of her collar and let her fall to the ground in a heap. Dray breathed a sigh of relief and deactivated his lightsaber. He walked over to Eriea and offered his hand to her. She ignored it and unsteadily stood to her feet.

“What the Sith was that?” she demanded. “I though you had some mental patient following you around, not a blasted killer!”

“Calm down if you could,” Dray told her softly. “He is not what he appears to be and I assure you that was nothing but a small accident that shall be avoided in the future.”

“You call that a small accident?” she said, not calmed down in the least. “He almost crushed my neck!”

Dray placed his lightsaber back onto his belt, “No, he didn’t.” He turned to Dunix, who was standing patiently to the side, but breathing heavily. “You may go back to your room.” The man nodded and stumbled out of Eriea’s quarters. Dray turned back to Eriea, a smile on his face. “There,” he said. “No harm done.”

“What the frelling Sith are you talking about?” Eriea asked in amazement. How could Dray treat this situation with such indifference. “Get out of my room! I’m going to go to Leire and get you and your ‘friend’ dumped the Sith off my ship!”

She pushed Dray aside and stormed out of the room. Enough was enough, she wasn’t going to tolerate Dray any longer. Once again he was almost the death of her and she wasn’t going to take that chance again. They had to go.

“Eriea, wait,” she heard Dray call out from behind her. “Please.”

Eriea kept walking. He wasn’t going to say anything to her that was going to change her mind so there was no point in wasting time talking to him.

‘I said wait!’ a sharp voice suddenly sounded in her head. Eriea stopped in her tracks and turned around. Dray was standing there, his arms crossed and a cold look in his eyes. “Will you let me explain?” he told rather than asked.

Eriea nodded.

“Thank you,” he said in mock gratitude. “Dunix was once known as Kaither Xeln.”

“What’s that mean to me?” she asked.

“Nothing, most likely,” Dray answered. “However you must listen and things will become clear.” He waited for Eriea to respond, when she didn’t he continued. “Kaither Xeln was once a powerful dark Jedi who had an obsession with hunting down and killing the former Padawan’s that he had known before he left the Order.”

“You’re saying that Dunix was once a Jedi Knight?” Eriea asked, bewildered.

“Apparently,” he said. “However he was not a Knight, but simply an apprentice. There is a difference. I was ordered, by the Council, to track him down and send his location back to a Master more experienced in the art of killing a Dark Jedi.”

Eriea shivered at his choice of words.

“However the mission went on in a manner not unlike our little escapade with Sihiris,” Dray continued. “I was quite determined to take him down myself. However I am not a duelist, and I never did excel with wielding my lightsaber in combat. The Force was by far my most powerful ally, and that is what weapon I employed against him. I struck his brain with the Force, permanently damaging it. Once he was down I proceeded to reshape it the way I needed to ensure that he would never harm a Jedi again. It took a great deal of time and much precision, but I managed to re-wire his brain so that he would be entirely obedient to anyone wielding a lightsaber.” he there paused and shrugged. “I would have preferred to make his obedient to those with a high midicholorian count. But as you may know, every being in the galaxy possesses a number of midicholorians and I accidentally damaged his sight when attempting to set his mind to be only susceptible to beyond the appropriate number.”

“Eriea was shocked. She stood there, stunned at what she heard. “You did this to him?” she asked in disbelief.

“I cured him of his evil,” Dray stated flatly. “It was what I had set out to do.”

“Not completely,” Eriea said, rubbing her neck.

“It would appear so,” Dray agreed solemnly, his eyes dropping to the floor. Eriea once again saw the dejected, weak Dray that Leire had spoken of. The confidence and pride and fallen from his saddened face. Though he was in his early thirties he appeared to be older, perhaps it was the sadness. He found her eyes again. “I failed,” he said simply. “I am- I was- a Jedi Knight, I thought I could take everything into my own hands and deal out justice as I saw fit, by whatever means necessary. I thought I could fix Kaither, I thought that I would be able to destroy the threat. I could give him a new name and tell him how to behave and as far as anyone knew, Kaither Xeln was gone.

“It didn’t work out as I first believed it would.”

“No,” Eriea agreed. “No, it didn’t.”

“That is the reason you cannot take him off of this ship. Kaither-Dunix-is my responsibility. I’ll deal with him myself.”

“What is with you?” Eriea cried. “You just stated your faults, yet you’re about to make the same mistake over again? Don’t are if you’re a Jedi, I don’t care if you’re the most powerful being in the galaxy, you are still a human. That means you’re fallible and will never be perfect! Dray, you can’t solve every problem the way you want to by yourself! It doesn’t work that way. Can’t you see that yet? It was because of this same mistake that Gavrith and Faladar are dead right now! If you had waited for the Council as you were ordered thing would have gone differently.”

“Of course they would have gone differently!” Dray replied in an unfamiliar raised voice. “But that was then. This is now. Back then I would agree with you, but now, I just can’t. I’m a man dying without honor. Without anything good in his life. I need that back, Eriea, don’t you see? I need to prove myself by fixing Dunix.”

“What are you doing?” Eriea asked him. “We’ve landed by now. When you walk down that ramp where are you headed. What are you going to do.”

“Nothing that concerns you,” Dray replied. She noticed that he was attempting to regain his usual nonchalant composure. He straitened his brown Jedi robe and smoothed the wide sleeves. “And you are correct, we have landed.” He walked past her. “And I believe that it is time to go.”

“Stop right now and talk, Dray!” Eriea shouted after him. “Or I’m going to get Dunix kicked off this ship!”

“No you won’t,” Dray replied casually, not turning around or even slowing his stride for an instant.

“I will!” Eriea threatened. But even to herself she sounded insincere.

Dray walked down the ramp and out of sight.

“Sith,” Eriea muttered.

Yan Kai
18 April 2007, 03:55 PM
Sorry I haven't posted in such a long time. I have been unable to access this site in well over a month. I'm not sure what had happened and I don't know if it just affected computers in my area or what. I was just able to get back on now so here is another section of Redemptions.

Enyjoy and Comment!




A full twenty-hour day passed and Dray had not returned. Tranich was an infamous hive of wretched thugs and villainy of all kind. It was a Tatooine of sorts, except with trees and water. Eriea, Leire, and Gek were all more than eager to get their ship off planet as quickly as possible. The three were sitting impatiently in the main room of the ship. Everything was prepped and ready to go, they only needed Dray to arrive.

Dunix stood at the entrance of the ramp as before. Eriea had not mentioned the incident that had taken place the previous day to Leire. If they did kick the two off of the ship there was then they probably wouldn’t get paid in full. Dray had also convinced her not to, and they both knew it. After the story he had told her she knew that she wouldn’t be able to turn Dunix in. She would just have to wait, and hope that she survived the rest of the month.

After a day of waiting Eriea began to doubt that Dray would ever return. With his typical personality it wouldn’t surprise her if he had offended the wrong people. Eriea remembered that she had taken the Jedi down herself with a blaster carbine, and there were many individuals on Tranch who were far more formidable combatants than she had been at that time.

After a few minutes Leire stood to his feet. “I’m going out,” he stated in a voice that let the other two know that there would be no objections. “Some one needs to check on him.”

Eriea was just about to nod in agreement when Dray suddenly entered the room, taking them all by surprise. His robe was slightly ruffled, and an exhausted look was on his face. He held a black carrying-case at his side.

“There will be no need of that, my good captain,” Dray breathed as he stepped in. The ramp began to close behind him. “I have done what I had come to do. It simply proved to be a greater challenge than I had previously anticipated.” He tossed the case in Eriea’s lap. She caught it and looked up at him, not sure what to do.

“Your payment,” Dray told her, as if he had read her thoughts. “It was one of my objectives upon this forsaken world.”

He hadn’t had the credits when he had hired them? Eriea sincerely hoped that the two-million credits were legally his. Eriea opened her mouth to say something.

Dray tossed his cloak onto an empty chair as he walked by them. “No need to thank me yet,” he said as he left the room. “And by the way, the next stop is Chandrila.”

“He so demanding,” Eriea muttered.

“He is on a tight schedule,” Leire said. Then, turning his attention to the case on Eriea’s lap he nodded. “Open it.”

Eriea pressed the two buttons on either side and the lid lifted. Inside the case were rows of credit chits.

“Two million?”

“Two million,” Eriea told him.

“What are you going to spend your quarter on?” Leire inquired.

“Drugs,” Eriea said. “Enough to make up for this month-long recall.”

Leire sighed. “Tell me you’re not serious.”

“Or course not,” Eriea reassured him.

“Good.”

“Actually I have no idea,” Eriea said. “Probably I’ll get an actual house and set myself up for at least a semi-reputable job.”

“Sounds like a pretty good idea,” Gek commented.

“I”ll hire a crew for my ship,” Leire said. “And see if I can’t start that over.”

Gek thought for a moment. “I’ll probably buy myself goggles.”

“Goggles?” Eriea asked him in mock disbelief. “Vertex rimmed?”

“No,” Gek laughed. “Just normal goggles. Mine are scratched, see?”He took off his dirty worn goggles and held them out to her.

Eriea held up her hands. “No, that’s fine,” she said.

“I want to kill Jedi,” Dunix suddenly spoke up in a deep voice. Everyone jumped, they had forgotten that he was still in the room.

“What now?” Leire asked.

“I need a new lightsaber,” Dunix said, to no one in particular.

Eriea swallowed and stood to her feet. She had to go get Dray; Dunix would only listen to somebody with a lightsaber. Dunix rocked back and forth. Leire and Gek watched him, not sure what to think. Dunix began to swing his arms around, as if he was holding a lightsaber, slashing at air.

“Guys?” Gek said slowly.

“I want to kill Jedi,” Dunix repeated softly.

Leire stood to his feet, slowly drawing his pistol.

Gek cowered in the corner.

Eriea backed towards the door.

“I want to kill Jedi!” Dunix suddenly screamed. His veins bulged outward and his eyes shone yellow. His whole face contorted into one of pure evil. Eriea could see that even his teeth were sharpened.

Leire let a stun bolt fly. The blue blast didn’t faze the large man as he began to slam himself up against the wall.

“Clairinian stole my life!” He continued to scream. “He destroyed my mind!”

Dray dashed into the room, his green lightsaber activated. “Stop it, Dunix,” he said calmly, despite the situation.

“No!” The other yelled and struck out at Dray. The blow sent his flailing backwards until he hit the ground. Dunix charged him before he had the chance to regain his footing. Leire fired twice more, but the stun bolts had no affect. Dray attempted to roll out of the way, but Dunix grabbed his ankle. He picked him up and swung him around, bashing him into the metal wall. The lightsaber fell from the Jedi’s hand and slid across the metal floor. Dunix tossed him easily across the room.

Dunix stopped for a moment, seemingly confused. His eyes darted between the spectators, as if wondering who they were. Dray took the break in the combat to stand up. “This isn’t supposed to be happening!” he shouted at Dunix. “I fixed you!”

At the sound of Dray’s voice Dunix snapped back to reality. It took him a moment to spot his target, then he charged.

“Your mind was healed!” Dray continued. “I purged the evil from it. You shouldn’t be doing this!”

Dunix began to swing wildly, even before he reached him. His fists may have made contact with the smaller man had not a laser suddenly sizzled through his shoulder. Knocked off track Dunix collided with the wall and fell to the ground. Eriea looked to see that Leire and flicked his blaster off of stun, and was now going for the kill.

Dunix stood back up and whirled around. His wild eyes found Leire, still holding the blaster. He shrieked and sprinted towards Leire. He fired twice more, striking the man once in the chest, and once in the face. Despite the grievous wounds Dunix didn’t slow down. Right as he was about to come down upon him there was a streak of green, and Dunix howled and dropped to the floor.

Eriea hadn’t noticed Dray call his lightsaber to him with the Force or move to cut off the fierce attacker before he reached Leire. Now he stood over Dunix’s body, trembling violently. He had removed both of the Dark Jedi’s arms in one fell swipe. Dunix was lying on the ground, the blaster mark on his face had scorched it beyond recognition. He rolled back and forth, flailing his bleeding stubs in all directions, moaning the whole time.

Dray deactivated his lightsaber, and placed it on his belt. It was clear that he had been shaken by the man violent assault. “Why, Kaither?” he asked softly, shaking his head. “I healed you, why did you have to find your way back to the Dark Side? You were my greatest success.” Dray dropped to his knees. “I failed...”

Eriea didn’t move. She hadn’t moved through the entire fight. She had stood her ground, desperately hoping that Dunix didn’t decide to attack her as he did Dray, or Leire. Now that the threat had been safely incapacitated she ran over to them. It was obvious that Dunix was fading fast, and if he didn’t receive medical attention soon he was going to die.

“Gek!” she cried over her shoulder to the mechanic. “Run and grab my med-kit!” Although it was now obvious that Dray hadn’t removed the Dark Side from Kaither’s brain, and although he had just tried to kill them Eriea couldn’t ignore all of her medical training. She didn’t desire to watch any one die.

Dray was rambling to himself, Eriea couldn’t tell exactly what he was saying. But as Gek began to hurry toward the door the former Jedi stood to his feet. “Wait,” he said. Gek looked over to Eriea, as if awaiting further instructions. “We can’t heal him, he is beyond your help, Eriea. The safest course of action to take would be to kill him, or let him bleed to death.”

“I won’t do that,” Eriea insisted. “Just yesterday you convinced me to let you keep him on the ship. Now we need to kill him?”

“Such is the way of our galaxy,” Dray lamented.

“You can’t do this! Killing a defenseless man is inhuman! And it’s against the Jedi Code!”

“Watch me then, with your eyes full of horror,” Dray whispered. His green lightsaber ignited and before anyone could move he plunged it into the Dark Jedi’s heart. Kaither surged forward as fiery hate filled his eyes. Then, slowly, he lowered himself back down, life leaving him. He jerked violently several times, and then died.

Eriea indeed watched with horror as Dray ruthlessly killed him. She tried to speak but was too stunned for words. “It was the safest thing to do, Eriea,” she heard Leire speak up.

“That is it then,” Dray said, placing his lightsaber on his belt. “Let us be on our way.”

Gek was pressed firmly against the wall, his face as white as death. “Shouldn’t we do something with the body?” he stammered.

“Dump it once we reach space,” Dray said as he left the room.

One by one everyone else trudged out of the room, Leire hoisted up the body and was the last to go, leaving Eriea standing there. She realized that killing Kaither might have been the safest choice. She hadn’t known him before as Dray had, she didn’t know what he was capable of. An insane being of power could be just as dangerous as one who was in full possession of his faculties, perhaps more so. He was indeed a Dark Jedi, and the price to pay for that was inherently capital punishment. Sometimes the hard way was the only way to go.

No.

It was never the only way to go. There is always other options, but perhaps waiting is not one of those other options. Eriea would never know if handing out death was the right choice in that situation, but she also would never know if it was the wrong one.

Or was it, in that situation, there was no right answer. The thought chilled Eriea.

Ubiqtorate
18 April 2007, 06:07 PM
Nobody's been able to access this site in well over a month, Yan Kai, so don't worry, it's not just you.

Good to have you back, though. Good to have all of us back.

Yan Kai
18 April 2007, 06:09 PM
It's not just me...ok, that's good.

Thanks. It is good to be back. I've missed hanging around on this site. Do you know what happened?:?

Iain Kysler, Jedi Apprentice
19 April 2007, 08:13 AM
No, it wasn't just you.

This is well done. Interesting story. So where are they going now?

Yan Kai
20 April 2007, 01:23 PM
Thanks for the imput, it is much appreciated.:)

I'll get the next section up in a few minutes.

Yan Kai
20 April 2007, 01:25 PM
It was late in the morning when they arrived at Evorenda, a small mountainous village on Chandrila. As with before Dray left the moment the ramp touched the ground, and was gone without explaining anything. Unlike before, however, there was no guard at the exit.

The instant Dray was gone from the hangar Eriea covertly snuck down the ramp. Leire was still in the cockpit, and Gek was in his quarters. There was no one to stop her. She followed Dray through the sparsely populated spaceport. Despite the lack of cover Dray failed to notice her, Eriea could tell that he was focused on a mission of some sort.

As he walked out of the spaceport and along the streets he did not hesitate for a moment. Briskly he strode toward his destination, as if he had already memorized the correct way. Evorenda consisted of a mixture of tall thin spires and low but wide living complexes. There were dozens of pathways leading off in all directions between the building, and Eriea could imagine that it was easy for one to get lost. She realized that if she did fall off of Dray’s trail she would have a great amount of difficulty finding her way back to the ship.

After a series of winding turns Dray finally stopped in front of a door. This door was exactly the same was every other door that lined the living complex, but somehow, Dray must have known that this door was the one that he had sought after. Now the man hesitated, he swallowed several times and adjusted his tunic. He turned and faced the door, as if he was at last ready to knock, then he would look away and it would begin again.

Eriea watched silently from around the corner thirty-some meters away, curious on what could make him so nervous. Dray seemed to be more confident in himself than any other being alive, but now, he appeared weak and unsure of himself.

Several minutes passed before Dray took a deep breath and solemnly approached the door. He raised his hand and rapped his knuckles gently on the metal then stepped back. In a moment the door opened, but Eriea was unable to see who had answered it. She saw Dray’s lips move, then he proceeded to step in, and out of sight.

Eriea knew that it was unsafe, Dray was a dangerous and untrustworthy man. Yet her overwhelming curiosity got the best of her, and as quietly as she could, she crept closer to the house. Once she reached the doorway she could make out the voices inside. She could hear a women weeping quietly, and she could also hear Dray speaking in a soft voice to her. It was a voice that Eriea wasn’t used to hearing coming from Dray. It was compassionate, empathetic, and full of regret and emotion.

“I have come here, though no words can express the sorrow and pain I feel,” Dray told the women. “Your husband was a brave man, and I did evil in taking advantage of that bravery. I sent him to his death while I took all the glory for accomplishing the mission. I am a deplorable man and unworthy to stand before you now. I thank you for accepting me into your house so I could attempt and apology.”

“I forgive you, Dray,” the woman’s quiet voice came after a long pause.

Eriea heard Dray let out a sigh of relief. “I thank you, you could not know how much your kindness means to me.” Dray’s voice choked. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I just don’t understand how you can do that. How you can forgive the man that allowed your husband to be killed.”

Eriea strained to hear the words spoken, yet she was unable to make out the women’s whispers.

“I fear the time has come for me to depart,” Dray told her. “I shall never forget the kindness that you have showed me in forgiving my horrible deed.”

“Go, Clairinian,” the woman told him through tears. “And may the Force be with you.”

“I wish it was,” Dray murmured in a voice so quiet Eriea could hardly hear him. “I wish it was.”

Eriea heard slow, deliberate footsteps trudging towards the door. She realized that when Dray stepped out he would instantly see her. She lept to her feet and dashed down the sidewalk. Barely had she rounded the corner when Dray stepped out of the house. She had to get back to the ship before he did, or else he would know that she had been spying on him, something she didn’t want to be caught doing.

She was out of breath when she reached the hangar at last. Thoughts piled up in her head. Had that been all that Dray was doing? Going from planet to planet apologizing for his past wrongs? She shook her head in amazement. It had seemed to her that Dray was far to prideful to admit his mistakes, much less apologize him. When she had first learned that Dray had the heart condition she had thought that it was what he deserved. She may have felt a slight amount of sympathy, but not much. Now she saw that it had truly reformed him. Before she couldn’t tell whether what he did was an act or not; she couldn’t tell when he was being honest. But now, after seeing what he did while he was alone, and his repentant actions were done by his own choice, she saw that he had truly become a better person. Asking forgiveness for such an offense not only took courage, but it took humility. He had somehow- perhaps inadvertently, perhaps not- caused the death of that woman’s husband. Nothing had forced him to do what he did, yet he had done it. Eriea, for the first time, truly began to respect Dray.

Another thing was on her mind. His last words as he left the woman haunted her. What did he mean by the Force was no longer with him? It was something she simply couldn’t understand.

Yan Kai
24 April 2007, 07:02 PM
It was close to an hour later when Dray arrived at the ship. He walked with his usual prideful swagger up the ramp into the main room. “Time to go,” he told Eriea who was waiting in the room. She had been contemplating whether or not to tell him what she had seen and heard. She had come to the realization that Dray was a broken and distraught man who put on the over-confident mask to merely reassure himself. Eriea no longer hated him with the fierce and bitter hatred as before, slowly that hate was diminishing into pity. Why would a man strive to be hated? Because he thinks he deserves it.

“Eriea?” Dray asked, a questioning look in his face. “I told you that it was time to go thirteen seconds ago, and you haven’t budged. I am still on a tight schedule here.”

Eriea took a deep breath. “Dray, sit down. I want to talk to you.”

“Do you now?” Dray said with an exaggerated sigh of annoyance. “What could you possible want to-.”

He was cut off as he suddenly dropped to his knees. He coughed, and swayed slightly. Eriea jumped to her feet and caught his collar to prevent him from falling. “Jam’mes!” she screamed.

In seconds Jam’mes Leire dashed into the room. “What?” When he saw Dray he ran over and grabbed the other man’s wrist. “His heart’s still beating.”

Dray weakly stood to his feet. “I-I’m fine. Please.” He pulled his arm away from Leire and stepped back away from Eriea.

“Dray, you’ve got to sit down,” Eriea warned. “You’re not in good shape.”

“Thank you for the new, doctor,” he said with a sarcastic smile. “I know you’re all eager to be rid of me, however I would be much appreciated if we could carry on. We’re going to Gymar.”
“No, we’re not,” Leire told him. “Sit down.”

Gek stepped into the room. “What’s wrong?” he asked, a confused look on his face. His eyes darted from Dray, to Leire, and finally on Eriea. “What’s happening?”

“Dray is experiencing a heart failure,” Eriea told him. Turning her attention back to Dray she took a step towards him. “I know how to deal with this. Work with me.”

Dray straightened. “I am doing wonderful now, as you can see. I have simply experienced another slight shot of pain in the heart. I’ve been having those for a week now, nothing to worry about really.”

“Nothing to worry about?” Eriea asked incredulously. “Sit down, I’m going to get my med pack.”

“You all need to relax,” Dray told them. “I was given a month to live, and still have a way to go yet.”

Suddenly he winced and staggered backwards, falling into a chair. He clenched his teeth as he grabbed his chest. “Apparently the doctors were mistaken.” He began to breath rapidly, his skin growing white. “I have something to tell you, and then ask you.”

Eriea could see that the man was in great pain, possibly dying. She didn’t know what to do. “Let me get my med supplies.”

“Don’t bother,” Dray told her. “If the Force can’t deal with then nothing you can have is going to do anything.”

He managed to sit up straight; everyone was silent.

Dray took several deep breaths and closed his eyes. “I realize that you all must hate me, and it is rightly so. I have committed a great act of evil against you all. I destroyed not only your friends, but everything that you called life in a single act of unbounded selfishness. I can never properly repay you for what I have done, nor do I have the time to try.” He coughed into his hand and leaned his head back up against the wall. His eyes opened and his pale blue eyes seemed to stare right into Eriea’s. “There is nothing I can do save to humbly beg for your forgiveness. Could you possibly find it within yourselves to do that?”

Eriea could see a look of surprise on her crew member’s faces. Apparently they were as surprised as she was when she had first heard Dray ask the widow the same question.

“I can,” Gek was the first to say. The mechanic had an expression of grief that Eriea had not seen before. Gek had been nearly killed by this man, yet he forgave him so quickly. How?

“Thank you,” Dray said. Eriea could see his eyes beginning to glisten. “Thank you very much.” He swallowed and winced again. The pain was increasing.

“As can I,” Leire told Dray. “I forgive you my friend.”

Dray’s face broke into a smile and a tear streamed down his cheek. “Thank you.”

How were they doing this? Eriea thought. How could they? Forgiveness seemed to be such a simple matter to them! They did so readily, how was it so much harder for her?

Dray turned his head to face her. He held her in an unblinking gaze. “Eriea, would-could you forgive me as well?”

Eriea’s mind raced. It would be disloyal to Sihiris, Gav, and Faladar if she did. There deaths would go on un-avenged. Refusing forgiveness was the only way she could retaliate against him now. Yet, somehow, she felt that she had to. She knew that this torturous burden in her own heart would never leave until she was at peace with Dray. Eriea had to.

“Dray, I-.” she began.

Dray suddenly leaned forward in his seat, his face contorted with pain. Both hands clutched his chest. He some what stood up from his seat, only to collapse to his knees. He slowly looked up at Eriea as Leire and Gek went to support him. Eriea couldn’t tell if there was an overwhelming sense of happiness in the man’s face, or a sense of sadness.

“I...” he coughed.

Tears streamed down Eriea’s face as Dray’s eyes rolled back into his head, and then he tipped over onto the ground.

Clairinian Dray was dead.



Epilogue




For the next few days on their trip to Coruscant Eriea was in a daze. She had never told Dray that she had indeed forgiven him. She had hesitated, and caused a man to die in sadness and despair. Because of her selfishness Dray believed on his dying breath that he was still unforgiven. Eriea was so horrified at herself and her cruelty that she pondered on it every day. She wouldn’t eat nor would she sleep, she felt that she was unworthy to walk in the presence of her two friends.

However, as the days wore on new thoughts came to her. She was a changed person. A little more than a week before she was awaiting Dray’s death in a manner that now made her quiver. A week ago she would have hardly blinked an eye as Dray had collapsed before her. Yet when he had, she had cried bitterly for hours. Dray’s life, redemption, and death had scourged away the dross. Unintentionally he had removed what had been destroying her over the past five years, and had instead created an almost entirely new person.

Eriea found herself thanking him.


Eriea wasn’t sure what to do with her life now. She knew that she couldn’t fly back to Nar Shaddaa and pick up her old life again, that was impossible. Leire offered to let her remain on the ship until she found her place in the galaxy once again.

Perhaps on the ship was where she belonged.

Yan Kai
24 April 2007, 07:07 PM
That is the end of that two-part series. If I ever do go any farther with those characters it will basically be an entirely different storyline.

Thank you all who read my story, I very much appreciate it. Any feedback would be awesome, it let's me know how I did. What I did right and what I should work on. I don't mind if the comments are critical and people hate the story. Well, actually I do mind if people hate the story but go ahead and tell me, it will be good to know. Any comments, good or bad, are quite welcomed.

Thanks for reading!

;)

-Peter

Crymoon
5 May 2007, 11:54 AM
I don't believe y\taht people can hate that story (though the are different people in the world) :)

I like it. It was quiet long as far the fan fics go and I manage to read it all in one session which means it kept me captivated. I did wonder sometimes about the choices the character made but as I wrote people are different and someties act in ways we would not think of.
What I do like about stories is their rythm - do they speed up in right moments and slow down in others as they should and here is my only problem with this story. Although it wasn't tedious or boring at all it got me a bit tired - maybe it's the length, maybe the time I was reading it (nearly 10pm) I don't know.
When I find some time I'll read your other story and maybe then I'll be able to discern the reasons.

But to sum it up. It's a really good sotry and you should keep on the good work. I will read your next story for sure.

Yan Kai
5 May 2007, 05:27 PM
Thanks alot Crymoon! I'm glad that you read it and enjoyed it! Yeah, the choices the characters made will make alot more sense if you know what happened in the first one, "Time of Her Life." I will warn you though, the first one is a little longer so reading it in one sitting might not be the way to go.;)

Thanks again for your support and critizism! It means alot!:)