It was a lovely night in Philadelphia. The windows were dark and the streets empty. If it weren't for a lone candle flickering in the windowsill one walking into a town would've mistaken it for abandoned. A silhouette of a young girl no older than the age of sixteen sat at a desk writing a letter addressed to her mother. The girl's hair was a fiery shade of red, held back by only a purple hair tie. Her moss green eyes sparkled as she recalled the day's events. Her letter read along the lines of this:
15 November 1778,
Dearest mother, I write to you this early autumn evening with a heavy heart and a worried mind. The British occupation of Philadelphia has only gotten worse. More and more troops enter the city, making it near impossible to leave or enter the city. The rebels have pushed back even further, suffering more losses from disease and desertion. General Washington has appealed to France for military support but so far France has declined. Doctor Franklin is currently in Massachusetts attempting to rally Congress to help the rag tag band of rebels but that also has failed.
James and Moses have had to close the print shop due to lack of stories to print and been idle the past two weeks. And as you know idle hands are the devil's playgrounds. OH! I almost forgot. The night before last there was a meteor shower that lasted throughout the night and only stopped an hour before dawn. It was lovely but also quite spooky. Nearly all of Philadelphia's strays vanished! They all left simultaneously like they would due to a flood. Then a strange wind came by blowing out all candles and lampposts.
Do not worry about me mother. I am quite alright and will continue to keep safe in this time of chaos and anarchy. I remain your steadfast and loyal daughter. Signed Sarah Philips.
The girl reread her letter several times before folding it and sealing it with wax. Sarah stretched her arms wide above her head, sighing when she heard satisfying pop. Treading over to her trunk Sarah removed her lavender-and-white dress slipping into her nightdress. It had been a long day for the young British girl. As soon as the candle was out and the room plunged into darkness Sarah was sound asleep.
Not much could be said for James Hiller and Henri Leferve. The blonde journalist paced his room anxious for no apparent reason. He assumed the reason for his anxiety was because of the quietness. Nothing news worthy was happening at the moment and usually when that happened a metaphorical storm was brewing on the horizon. Henri sat James's bed scowling at the book he was currently trying to read. The words seemed to fly off the page before mixing themselves up. The small French boy grew frustrated at himself and threw the book across the room. Where it hit the bookstand. James stopped his pacing when he heard something hit his bookstand. He turned around to see Henri, head down and tears glittering in his light brown eyes.
Picking up the book, James walked over to Henri and sat down next to him. The younger boy seemed irritated with himself every since he came back earlier that day.
"Henri what's wrong?" James asked quietly.
The young boy blinked furiously before speaking, "I can't do it! It's too hard!"
"Don't say that! You're doing a great job!" James patted the boy's shoulder comfortingly. "Remember when you read Common Sense? You did it with hardly any mistakes!"
"Oui, I remember," Henri sighed. "But that was only a pamphlet. There's no way I'll be able to read big stuff. I am just an idiot."
"Now who gave you that crazy idea?" James demanded turning the boy so that he faced him. Henri kept his eyes fixed on his hands folded in his lap.
"The other boys," he muttered.
James scowled at that answer. Henri always had trouble with bullies. Something on his desk caught his eye and he got an idea. He grabbed the pouch and pulled out a seed he found up in the Green Mountains.
"Henri what's this?" James asked. The young French boy looked at him like he had gone crazy as he held up a tiny seed.
"Uh a seed."
"That's right. But it's not just any seed. It's an oak tree seed."
"So?" Henri cocked an eyebrow.
"So, what does this tiny seed need to grow into a giant oak?"
"I don't know."
"It needs attention and love. If it gets enough of it then it grows into a giant oak unable to be knocked down."
Henri smiled at what his friend said. He was grateful for James, Sarah, Franklin, and Moses. They helped encourage him and keep him motivated to learn. And for that he thanked his stars.
The French boy smiled as he launched himself at the older boy. The two laughed as they fell on the floor with a thump. Henri yawned before crawling into James bed, snuggling under the warm covers. Before long Henri was fast asleep leaving James to sleep in the chair. Both were sound asleep with smiles on their faces. Fate allowed them and the Continental Army a few days of rest as well as two Jedi.
They were going to need it.
Jedi Temple, Tython…
Ada Gillian sat at the controls of her master's freighter. She quickly wiped away the tears that were streaming down her face and blurring her vision. Sobs started to choke her. So much so she didn't hear the door open, nor did she hear the Nautolan sneaking up behind her. The humanoid's oval black eyes narrowed in suspicion then concern when he saw his young Padawan crying. Jedi Master Klai Dioddai recently acquired the young Padawan after the death of her master in battle. Ada was very skilled but she was hesitant in her decisions. And now seeing her bawl, Dioddai decided now the time to see what was bothering her.
Ada gasped as a hand was placed on her shoulder. She swiveled around to come face-to-face with her new master. Her previous master, Mirialan, died at the hands of a Sith warrior. Ada waited three standard weeks before the council handed her off to a young new master. Then the other Padawans teased her causing Ada's confidence to crumble like a rock overtaken by time. She was going to run away.
"Where do you think you're going?" Master Klai asked raising an eyebrow ridge.
"Nowhere," Ada replied crisply. The Nautolan smirked as the eyebrow ride rose higher.
"Really? Those coordinates look like they are heading to the Unexplored Region. Not nowhere."
Ada just scowled as Master Klai chuckled. The young Master sat down across from Ada after he turned to the Padawan to face him.
"Tell me what is bothering you Padawan." Ada looked away as Klai's eyes bore into her. "I have see your tear stained eyes already. And I also sense great distress from you through the force. Something troubles you. Please tell me."
Ada's eyes watered. "I-" She choked on her words. "I am an unworthy Padawan and a failure as a Jedi."
"Now who gave you that crazy idea?" Klai asked.
A tear slipped. "The other Padawans. They say that it was my fault for Master Brishen's death."
"Hm. I fought in that battle alongside your master. The battle was a blood bath with death on both sides. I was there when Master Brishen fell. Though I don't recall seeing you there."
"Master Brishen and the Council didn't see it wise to send a youngling."
"So you weren't there." Klai summed up. "So the fault wasn't yours."
"I guess not."
"Then do not dwell on what others say or do." Klai said. Ada was still looking at her hands. The Jedi Master then had an idea. He removed a cloth from his robe. Unwrapping it, Klai held up a large seed about half the size of an English shilling.
Ada gasped. "A Wroshyr seed? How did you come by it?"
"It was given to me by Wookies I helped on their home planet of Kashyyyk. They gave me this seed so that I might always remember."
"What might this seed need to grow into a giant strong tree?"
Ada answered immediately. "Water and sunlight."
"It needs more than that." Klai placed a hand on top of hers. "It needs attention and love. Without these things this tree would never make it past a seedling."
Ada allowed a small smile as she let tears flow. The other Padawans could kiss her arse. "Thank you master."
Dioddai bowed his head before turning to he controls. The ship came to life as the young human became confused. The coordinates to the Unexplored Region were still typed in, but he Nautolan had yet to change them. Still, Ada remained silent, hesitantly strapping in as the freighter flew into the atmosphere and into the void of space.
About a standard hour into the unexpected voyage and Ada hadn't spoken a word. Dioddai sensed her hesitant curiosity through the force and waited patiently for her to ask. Another thirty minutes past and she still hadn't asked her question.
"If you're waiting for permission to speak then there will times where you will lack the courage to do so," Master Klai stated sagely.
"Apologizes master. It was just how I was instructed." Ada bowed her head deeply. The Nautolan laughed at her causing her face to explode in embarrassment.
"Do not be sorry Padawan," Klai informed wiping a tear. "I once was under the apprenticeship of Master Brishen before. I understand that the old goat was as strict as a general. You are permitted to speak freely as long as you remember your limits. Okay?" Ada nodded.
"I was wondering where we were going?"
"We are headed towards a planet in the Unexplored Region." Klai explained. His voice was serious. "Several Jedi were assigned to a planet and to report back. Master Khan, who was assigned to a planet called Earth, has yet to report back. The Council wants us to investigate."
"Has the planet been colonized?" Ada asked.
"Many different colonies have been created," Klai answered. "The last reports from Master Khan said two of them were heading towards the path of war."
"How advanced are they?"
"Not very." Klai flashed her a crooked smile. "They still live in wooden huts and use candles. They haven't even heard of the Jedi."
Ada felt her mouth for an 'oh'. Those who haven't heard of the Jedi haven't even been past their own system. Heck if they lived in wooden huts they probably haven't even started to build that kind of technology.
The pair was plunged into silence as they pasted a dust planet, which the natives called Tatooine. Ada never really understood why anyone wanted to live on a hot sandy planet. It had only recently been discovered and already towns and villages were popping up. But since most of the settlers were wanted criminals then if they wanted it they could have it. There was a crime family for force sake!
"Tatooine. A planet where evil goes to cultivate and grow." Master Dioddai's voice held distain. "Nothing good could ever come from that place."
"I feel sorry for those enslaved there," Ada lamented. Recently the Jedi had declared war on the Zygerian Slaver Guild, a species who built their empire on the backs of slavery. It appalled her to think that someone could prosper from selling another being like livestock.
"And I do as well." Klai said before gunning the engine. The ship flew past the planet and entered the Unknown Region. Ada went to the back of the freighter to the bunks and started to nod off.
When she awake the engine was still running yet she wasn't moving. Or she wasn't feeling the sensation of moving. Rubbing sleep from her eyes, Ada made her way towards the cockpit. In the pilot's chair sat Master Klai. He was dozing slightly, letting the freighter drift to save on fuel. Ada gasped slightly when her gaze flittered to the bay window. There was a beautiful planet with blue waters and green land. Cloud formations could be seen, even a hurricane forming over an ocean.
Slowly, the young human sat down in her chair and drank in the sight in front of her. A lone, crater filled moon slowly orbited the planet. Ada tried to think about what other planet had this type of beauty from above. The only planet that came to mind was Tython, the home world of the Jedi.
Master Klai roused a minute later. He smiled a little when he saw his new Padawan gaze at the planet before him.
"Beautiful is it not?" He asked quietly.
"Very," Ada answered, her eyes still on the orb in front of them. "It reminds me of Tython."
"Yes." Klai stretched and yawned loudly. "Except minus the aliens species, exotic planets and animals that could kill you."
He stood and walked to the back of the cockpit opening a closet. Klai pulled out two sleeveless cloaks, handing the smaller one to Ada. The young human looked at her master questioningly.
"The only sentient species is human," Klai explained fastening his cloak. "And since they haven't been working been on space travel it can be safely assumed they haven't been in contact with anyone from another planet."
"Oh," was all Ada could say. "That's going to make it difficult for us isn't?"
"Extremely." Klai simply answered. "We need to avoid interaction at all costs and only for emergencies and supplies. We also will need disguises."
"How will we get down there?"
"We will have to go there tonight under the cover of darkness."
The two sat there until the scanner read that it was nightfall. Master Klai silenced the engines as he carefully guided the freighter past the atmosphere. It was pretty uneventful until a meteor hit the back engine. Ada and Klai started to work on getting the ship landed perfectly. Another meteor hit the side of the ship, sending sparks.
"Life support is down as well as the main engine." Ada quickly informed.
"We're going to have to set down in water," Klai said, grabbing the controls. "Go grab the supplies quickly!"
Ada nodded and made her way to the back. Grand Master Shen had made it standard to carry three things: light saber, breathing apparatus and an airtight bag. She quickly stuffed the supplies in a bag before grabbing her light saber and apparatus before heading back to the cockpit. Only to be pushed back by Klai.
"We're going to have to jump," he explained.
"What about the ship?"
"It's over water. We won't be able to save it." Klai ripped the safe door off its hinges. They were over a large body of water…and it was coming in hot.
"On the count of three," Klai shouted over the wind. "One…two…three!"
The two jumped and hit the water with a splash. The first thing that Ada felt was the cold. It was such a shock that all she could was float there until her lungs burned, reminding her of air. With a single kick her head broke the surface, gasping the chilly air.
"Master…" her eyes scanned the surface. Klai Dioddai may have been able to breath under water but he was cold blooded. The freeing cold water could put him in hibernation.
"Master Klai!" she shouted. Something wrapped itself around her and ankle and started to pull her under. Ada started to panic, trying to stay on top of the water. "Master! Please!"
Her head went under. Ada struggled against the string that continued to pull her under. The only thing she was aware of was her darkening vision and her slowing heart rate thumping in her ears. Suddenly, two almost shaped black eyes appeared and the next thing she knew she was coughing up water on snowy grass with a shirtless Nautolan next to her.
" Take it easy Ada," he advised. "Take deep breaths."
Ada did as told and soon enough she caught her breath enough for her mind to catch up with her. She was soaking wet, her hair plastered against her face. Her clothes were dripping wet, the cold air nipping at her exposed skin like dogs. The sky was a brilliant baby blue with nary a cloud in the sky. The ground was covered in crisp white snow that glittered in the waning light of day like crystals.
The two Jedi were sitting on the bank of a sea, which had chucks of ice floating on top of the water. It would've been peaceful had the ship not crashed into it. Ada watched their only way off the primitive world sink slowly to the bottom of the sea.
"Well there goes our ride,' Ada muttered. Her breath billowed in front of her as she shivered. "What now Master?"
"Now we must find shelter and warmth, lest we freeze to death," he answered. The Nautolan wrapped himself in his wet robe and started to walk over a medium sized hill. "Lucky for the both of us fate has decided to help us. Look!"
Ada climbed the hill quickly, stopping beside the amphibian that was pointing to something in the distance. It looked like a farmhouse with a barn next to it.
"It looks abandoned," Ada commented. Klai stretched out his hand and closed his eyes in concentration. Through the Force he searched the home 'looking' for any signs of life.
"I sense no life forms." He reported still using the force. His eye ridges scrunched as if he smelled something strange. "The place…the house, it's clouded by fear and…. sadness. So much sadness. I say we move on. There has to be somewhere else we can spend the night."
He started to walk off but Ada stood where she was. Klai turned around when he realized his Padawan wasn't following. She was staring at the house with furrowed in concentration, her eyes darting around the property.
Suddenly she took off towards the house with Klai right on her heels. The human Padawan stopped at the slightly ajar door. With shaking hands, Ada opened the door. The moment, however, her hands grazed the wooden doors; she was engulfed in emotions ranging from pure joy to crippling fear. Ada heard a blood curdling scream, shouting and something crashing.
Please don't do this! Ada heard a woman beg.
I apologize Madame, a pompous voice said not sounding sorry at all, but this is a necessity if we are to sniff out and destroy the rebels. Take him away.
"Ada…" A faint voice called but it was too distant.
Run Lida! Don't let them take you!
"Ada! What's wrong?" Klai's voice cut through the vision like a light saber. "Come on Padawan! Talk to me!"
Her hand was wretched from the door, the vision fading. Her legs gave out on her, but luckily Klai was there to catch her.
"Come on let's get inside." Though he was reluctant, Klai dragged Ada into the home, sat her on a chair and lit the fireplace. Klai sighed as he stood. It was then Ada registered that Klai was shirtless, revealing his rock hard chest and abs. She gulped and adverted her eyes. Jedi weren't supposed to form attachments.
"I'm heading upstairs," Klai announced. "I'm going to see if these people have clothes that might fit me. While I am doing that why don't you go and see if there is any food? If the people left in a hurry, then maybe they left something behind."
Ada nodded as they split up, Klai heading upstairs and Ada heading to the kitchen. She took small steps to avoid running into things. Ada cursed her poor eyesight when she ran into a chair. Finally she found the pantry door. Smiling victoriously she opened it wide, only to sqeak when she caught sight of vermin.
"Shoo!" she waved them off. "Get out of here all of you! Get! Shoo!"
` Once they were all gone, Ada sighed dejectedly at the sight of ruined food. With a wrinkled nose, Ada searched the pantry for anything…unruined. She found none. Her stomach growled leaving her slightly nauseated. She slammed the door to the pantry in frustration. If only Ada didn't drop the supply bag!
"They were right," Ada muttered as she plopped down in a chair. She opened the locket that rested around her neck at all times. Inside was a portrait of her parents who were rulers of a star system but were killed in an accident. She gave up her position and crown to the chief adviser. Even though Ada wasn't old enough to remember them, the young human sometimes swore she heard them when she dreamed. "I am so sorry; mother and father. I failed you."
"Ada?" Klai's voice startled her causing her to jump. She turned to see the pale green Nautolan wearing the strangest get-up she had ever laid eyes on. He wore a white billowy shirt, brown vest, brown trousers, a blue waistcoat and his brown boots. Around his neck was an…. ascot!
"Oh…my…force!" Ada had to place a hand over her mouth to stop the laugh was bubbling up.
"What?" Klai asked, obviously confused by her reaction.
"Nothing it's just," Ada searched her mind for an explanation. "I never thought you would be wearing an ascot."
The Nautolan crossed his arms and scowled as he watched the Padawan he pulled out of the river dissolve into a laugh fit. His head tails were tied back except for two, which hung over his shoulders.
"Quit it!" Klai demanded. He pouted a little as Ada continued to laugh. Finally the young Padawan controlled her laughter to stand up and face her master. "Go up to the bedroom. Get changed and get some sleep. We leave at dawn."
Ada nodded as she left the room, leaving the Nautolan to search. After ascending the stairs, Ada went into the first bedroom she found. Obviously the master bedroom with a queen sized bed a fireplace and two lounge chairs in front of said fireplace. Ada lit the still dried logs before peeling her frozen robes off and placing them on the chair to dry.
All right, she thought, now for some clothes.
With a towel wrapped tightly around her, Ada shuffled towards the closet. All she saw were dresses, some with high neckline, others puffy sleeves…. all of them with large skirts. Ada pulled a crème and brown dress out to examine it. The skirt would make maneuvering difficult…
A plan formed in her mind. She picked up a pair of shears that were lying on the desk and got to work.
It took the Padawan all of fifteen minutes to get the ensemble ready. It included a billowy white shirt (minus the ascot) and brown vest. On the outside it appeared that she wore a billowy brown shirt, the same shade of brown as her vest. But the skirt was detachable. Once off, the observer saw tan trousers and her brown boots underneath. Smiling at her ingenuity Ada flopped down on the bed immediately snuggling under the covers. They were going to find Master Khan, get outta here and be back to the temple before the Celebration of the Three.
Ada sighed in content as her eyes drifted shut and she fell asleep. Klai Dioddai, on the other hand, wasn't having such luck. He was still in the kitchen looking for food when he felt Ada fall asleep through the force. Giving up on the search, Klai sat down in front of the fireplace watching the flames.
He didn't realize he was dozing until an uneasy feeling of being watched stirred him. At first Klai suspected it was Ada. The young human had trouble with nightmares since her previous master's passing.
"Ada?" No response. Klai walked to the base of the stairs and peered into the gloom. Thanks to his evolution, Klai could see easily in darkness. There was nothing.
He turned his head when he heard whispering voices outside. Quickly, Dioddai grabbed a half full pitcher of water and dumped it on the fire. The flames sizzled before being snuffed out. As soon as it was out two shadow figures walked in front of the window.
"Are you sure there's someone here?" a male asked.
"Positive," confirmed a much older male. "I saw a saw a light and smoke. Could be rebels."
One of the figures pressed against the glass as if looking through it. Klai made sure to stay pressed against the shadows as the figure scanned the room.
"Or it just could be looters." The searcher said. "Come on."
The older one gave an audible sight before walking off. Klai had to calm his heart and send waves of peace through the force so Ada wouldn't wake. After the adrenaline had passed, Klai sat down in the chair and closed his eyes, though his body was tense.
Next morning, Philadelphia
November 16th, 1778
Sarah Philips woke refreshed yet something weighted on her like an anvil. Outside the sun was shining over the groggy city of Philadelphia the snow glittering as more fluttered gently down. Sarah sighed as she washed her face and dressed in her usual white-and-lavender dress. The young girl dutifully made her way down the stairs into the kitchen where Moses, a former slave, was cooking breakfast.
"Good morning Sarah," the African American greeted.
"Good morning Moses," the British girl parroted. She took a deep breath as the morning aroma hit her. "My, breakfast smells delicious."
"Thank you." As Moses finished up Sarah got to work setting the table. When they finished, James and Henri had joined them and the four were engaged in lively conversation. When Moses asked what their plans for the day were James spoke first.
"I'm going to see if I can find a story."
"Why not write about the occupation?"
"I've already written about the occupation." James complained, poking at his food. "I wanna write about something exciting."
"Well write about the strange lights we saw," Henri suggested between bites. Sarah glared at him for lack of manners but he French boy ignored it and continued to chew loudly. A knock at the door interrupted the rest of the conversation. Moses excused himself as he stood and went to get the door. Sarah, James and Henri just sat there uncomfortably the only noise in the room being the clanking of the silverware on the plates. They all heard muffled parts of the conversation but not enough to make it out fully. James looked like he was fighting to restrain from bolting down the stairs, while Sarah just blocked out the conversation entirely. She still was an Englishwoman. And Henri-bless him- was completely oblivious as he munched on another helping.
Finally after what seemed like an eternity, the trio of children heard the door shut and Moses emerged from the stairs, holding two letters in his hands.
"The mail's here!" James proclaimed happily. He jumped up from his chair and made a grab for one of the letters. However Moses quickly jerked the letter out of James's reach.
"One for Miss Philips," he said handing an envelope to Sarah. The red head graciously took it expressing her thanks. It was from her mother. "And one for Mr. Hiller."
He handed the second one to the blonde haired patriot. Before reading whom it was from he opened it, scanning the page quickly. It was from…."General Washington?"
"No way…" James muttered as he re-read the letter. The rebel General wished James and Sarah to meet and write about a new general he was taking on to his personal staff. A William S. Kham.
"What is it James?" Sarah asked after reading her letter. Everything was fine with her mother in England but she still felt uneasy.
"Sarah you won't believe this!" James exclaimed. "General Washington has asked us to interview a new general in the Continental Army!"
"Really?" the young Loyalist smiled slightly at the notion of getting out of the print shop.
"Can I come?" Henri asked innocently.
"Of course," James ruffled Henri's ebony locks as the young boy giggled. "Pack your bags! We leave for Camp Howston at dawn!"
After the breakfast dishes were washed, dried and put away, Sarah headed to the market to pick up some things they may need for the trip. Clutched in her hand was a list of items and tucked safely out of sight was a moneybag. The market was near deserted. Probably some people were too afraid to venture out even in daylight.
Trying to ignore the looks some British soldiers were giving her Sarah glanced to the first item on the list: meat. With a quick glance around Sarah made her way to where the meats were being sold.
When she neared the butcher's there was a woman sitting outside the door, her feet wrapped in clothes. She held out her hand to those passing by pleading with them to have mercy and to give her some coin. Her porcelain skin was smudged with dirt, her mint green eyes pleading and glittering with pain and exhaustion. Sarah couldn't see any other feature due to her being covered from head to toe in a filthy and torn brown hood.
Sarah glanced at her money bang and frowned. She only had enough for the supplies and none to spare. They red head Brit sighed as she plucked three coins, clutching them tightly and made her way over to the woman. As Sarah got closer and closer to the woman, she began to feel at ease.
"Please spare a coin or two," The woman begged when she caught Sarah's eye. Sarah gently tossed the coins into the empty cup, a satisfying clang echoed. The woman's eyes went large in disbelief before watering with gratitude. "Thank you miss."
"Not a problem," the young woman insisted as she started to walk away.
"Wait!" the woman grasped Sarah's wrist with surprising strength. "Let me read your fortune. Please? It's the least I can do."
"I don't know…." Sarah muttered.
"It will be quick," the woman assured.
After a few more moments of hesitation Sarah finally agreed only if it was quick. Sarah helped the woman up and together the two made their way into an alley between two buildings.
"Here," the woman pointed to a ratty curtain. Sarah quickly walked over to it and waited patiently as the woman drew back the curtains.
Inside the building looked like an abandoned home. In a corner lay a ratty cot and a potted plant near the window.
"This way please." The woman directed, hobbling on a crutch. Sarah hesitantly flowed her to a chair, which was seated next to a puddle that had yet to freeze over. The woman knelt in front of the chair, gesturing for Sarah to sit on the chair. Hesitantly, the red head sat down.
"Let me see your palm," the woman didn't wait. Instead she grabbed Sarah's wrist and opened it up palm up. The still cloaked woman traced her filthy finger along Sarah's palm. Sarah felt electricity run up her arm, causing it to numb slightly.
"You have traveled a great distance," the woman serenely spoke. "And you have forged many a friendship with many people. Although you consider one of them more than a friend. Am I correct?"
Sarah couldn't help but blush at the woman's correct statement. She was starting to see James in a new light.
"Now for your future," the woman stood with great difficulty and hobbled over to the corner where a white porcelain bowl sat. As the woman filled it with water from the puddle Sarah caught a glimpse of hair, which was strangely a light mint green color.
"What's your name if I may ask?" Sarah heard herself ask. She gasped and covered her mouth when she realized how rude she sounded. "Please forgive my rudeness ma'am."
The woman chuckled softly as she poured a powder into the water. "It is fine young lady. I go by many names but the one I am most known for is the Daughter."
Sarah stored that information in the back of her mind for later. After the Daughter finished mixing different substances into the bowl she held out slightly asking for Sarah's hand. Without warning she pricked Sarah's finger, letting the blood drop into the water. While the Daughter stirred the mixture Sarah nursed the finger only to find…. nothing. Not even a scar.
Before she could examine it more the Daughter spoke up, "Here we go. Now remember dear, even though our future changes constantly there are things simply meant to be. Do you understand?"
Sarah nodded though in reality she had no idea what prompted the woman to say this. The woman peered through the swirling water.
"I see…suffering and joy," Daughter said. "I see white contrasting with bright red. I see hair pulled from gold and eyes chipped from a spring sky, with a burning passion."
Sarah instantly knew that she was talking about a wedding…her wedding. With James no less! It wasn't like she hated or despised him. Far from it! It was his love and passion for his job as a journalist that drew her to him.
"What else do you see?" Sarah asked completely entranced. The Daughter's brows knitted and her face paled. She hummed as she tilted the bowl, her eyes widening. There was something in her expression that startled and spooked Sarah.
"Strange," Daughter muttered.
"I see a dark cloud over the near future," the Daughter muttered. She took a finger and stirred the water slowly. "Hmmm. I cannot see beyond that. I apologize for keeping you. May the Force be with you Miss Sarah Philips."
Sarah nodded her goodbye as she made her way quickly towards the meat market. It was already noon judging by the position of the sun.
The Daughter watched as the young woman left before returning to cleaning the porcelain bowl. Halfway through her chores the invalid felt something dark and evil sneak up her spine. Her hands stopped scrubbing for a millisecond.
"If you are going to sneak up on me then you will be well advised to disguise yourself." She said absently. The woman examined the bowl, glaring at the person who literally materialized behind her. In the ceramic surface two beady yellow eyes and paler skin than hers started back.
"You put yourself at risk sister," the Son commented moving over to her right. "Letting your essence seep through the barrier can get you in trouble with Father."
The woman stood up without the aid of her crutch. She glowed brightly letting the filthy robe fall away, revealing a glowing deity with mint green hair. She turned to face her brother, the embodiment of the Dark Side and smiled.
"You are one to talk brother," She commented. The Son walked over to the potted plants. His face twisted into a sadistic smirk as the flowers wilted as soon as his essence reached them.
"I only came to get you," he said. He plucked a wilted rose from the pot. "Father is sealing Mortis. Besides I don't understand why you even bother with this…. primitive planet."
"It's none of your concern." The Daughter replied snarky.
The two Force Deities glowed slightly before vanishing, only to reappearing on the roof of the building. Of course they were invisible to everyone. They watched the red head by her things carefully.
"What did you see in her future?" The Son asked.
The Daughter replied simply, "Something that can change the course of this fledgling country."
With that the embodiment of the Light Side of the Force vanished with a flash, leaving melted snow and flower buds. The Son growled subconsciously destroying the flower buds his sister created. He too was gone in a flash, leaving only a blanket feeling of foreboding.
Early afternoon, twenty-five miles outside Philadelphia….
Ada plopped down on a snow bank with a thump. She hiked up her skirt and pulled off a boot, letting her feet air out. The two-stranded Jedi had been walking all day in an attempt to find a town. Klai sat down next to her nose wrinkling in disgust.
"Whoa," Klai waved a hand in front of his face like he smelled something bad. "And I though my feet smelled bad."
Ada scowled as she playfully shoved the Nautolan. Her master was chuckling as he righted himself and pulled out a canteen he "borrowed" from the house.
"Here, we need to stay hydrated," he handed it to Ada who took a swig before handing it back. The two sat there in silence as they rested their body and mind. If that farmer they encountered several miles back was anything to go on, then they would reach a town, Philadelphia, in the next two hours. Which means they had approximately twenty-five miles left to walk! Ada groaned mentally as her stomach growled. Both human and Nautolan had been walking on near empty stomachs all day and Ada was starting to feel dizzy. Ada's stomach growled again but this time her stomach cramped, as it protested not being fed.
"So hungry…" Ada muttered.
"Don't worry young one," Klai assured her. In the distance there were sounds of horses approaching. "It sounds like our ride has arrived."
Klai crouched in the snow, Ada following his example. Five minutes later two humans riding the strangest and most beautiful creatures Ada had ever seen appeared. The two humans wore bright red uniforms with strange looking hats sitting atop power white hair.
They were just about to pass when Klai thrust out his hand and used the Force to spook the creatures. The creatures halted suddenly throwing their riders off their backs. Before they could be seriously injured Ada used the Force and gently placed them on the road.
"Now! Quickly!" Klai whispered before bolting towards the creatures. He mounted it with east towards the creatures. He mounted it with ease, Ada not far behind him. Together, ignoring the protest of the previous riders, they took off in the direction they were already heading in. The winter sun moved until it was almost setting, the sky turning beautiful shade of oranges, pinks and reds. By the time they reached what looked like a mile marker the two slowed down, giving Ada plenty of time to examine her new beast.
The creature was big and broad with four legs and hooves. It was covered in a fine crème colored fur (while Master Klai's was a dark brown) and had a darker crème colored mane and tall. Its face was long with a white stripe running from the top of its forehead between its eyes to the end of its snout. Its almond shape eyes were a beautifully deep brown color. Its ears, which were ovals shape, swiveled here and there as if it was listening or something. Many ropes and reins were attached to the creature.
When the duo came to a sign the creatures huffed and pawed at the ground. The sign was made out of wood and chipping paint, written in a strange language. It took Ada a few tries but she eventually made out the words.
"Philadelphia,' She sounded out. The young human smiled happily when she realized that they had made it, despite the trials they had face through the day. Master Klai wasted no time in pulling his hood over his head tails, Ada following suite. They had discussed a plan before they hijacked the creatures. Since Ada was human she would easily blend in with the mass populace but since she was traveling with a Nautolan, it would make her standout more. So Ada would do any talking they needed down while Klai would act like he didn't speak a lick of Basic.
It was dark by the time the two hit the streets of Philadelphia and it was spooky. Not a single soul outside, the abandoned streets lit only by lampposts that lined the cobblestoned streets. The two Jedi urged their creatures forward, their hooves echoing through the streets. They dismounted the creatures in a smooth movement before tying the reins to a post. The two made their way through the emptied streets their shoes clicking on the brick street.
"We need to find shelter," Master Klai whispered. Up ahead was a barn which the two gratefully took advantage of. While Klai fell asleep almost immediately Ada had trouble falling asleep despite the long day. She figured the thing that kept her up the most was the uncertainty of the mission.
Why would anyone, especially a master renowned for his diplomatic and tactical skills, want to explore such a primitive planet? Sure, Master Khan was a very knowledgeable and sure they all wanted the new planets to join the newly formed Galactic Republic…. but why Earth? Even though the Force was extremely abundant here, swirling around like a controlled hurricane it just didn't make sense.
Ada sighed as she gave up on sleep. Getting up Ada moved to the loft window, careful not to wake a snoring Klai. She glanced up at the twinkling stars that hung up in the wintery night sky. Ada missed Tython, missed her room in the temple, missed her friends and most of all she missed Master Brishen. That was the one thing that Ada would never see again, despite praying, wishing or bargaining she could shell out. Her eyes closed for a moment before Ada forced them open. It didn't last long as immediately after her eyes started to close again. Soon her eyes had shut completely and she was enveloped in sleep.
The Daughter smiled as she carried the Padawan away from the window and placed her next to her master. The small Padawan curled up before sighting in content as sleep pulled her deeper. The Force Guardian twirled her hands, creating two letters written in the planet's language. There may have been a rule about interfering directly but there wasn't a rule about gibing things a little push…