Epilogue: Ten years after the War
May 1, 1792….
Jedi Master Ada Gillian stared at the blue and green planet in front of her in amazement. No matter what, the sight of this primitive planet always sparked something inside her. Her Padawan, a brilliant blue Twi'lek named Meeko, didn't share in her master's excitement as she was too deep into a protocol manual. Ada chuckled quietly and shook her head.
It had been ten years since she had been to this primitive planet. During that time, many changes had occurred. The Jedi had moved from Tython to Coruscant so they could better protect the still growing Galactic Republic and keep a watchful eye on the Sith. The Sith had been almost eradicated within three standard planetary years thanks to the help of Darth Bane and his Padawan (who now was the highest ranking Sith) Darth Zannah. Ada's Master and Grand Councilwoman Satele Shan had passed from this world into the cosmic force. And Ada had been the youngest Jedi to be given the rank of Jedi Master.
Too many things in so little time. After Klai had peacefully left this world, Ada spent the majority of her time honing her growing skills as a Jedi and her foresight, which would've drive her mad if she didn't seek help. Thankfully there were several masters who had helped with that over the course of the years.
Ada was pulled from her trip down memory lane when she felt her ship jerk.
Blasted thing, She thought as she slammed her hand down on the controls. The ship stabilized, letting Master Gillian relax. Ten years hadn't washed away her memories. She recalled how her master and her had been caught in a meteor shower, destroying their only ride and way of communications (so they thought that the time). That one little incident forced their mission to be that much harder. Though the current Grand Master knew that Ada had an important destiny, he still ordered her to report back as soon as she found suitable grounds to build the first Temple of Earth.
The two Jedi made it past the atmosphere before their ship started to fall apart. Thankfully they didn't have to abandon ship as Ada and Klai had to do. All the young Master had to do was set it down far enough from civilization so no one could investigate.
A further inspection of the engine informed the young Master that it had finally passed from this world.
"Looks like we'll have to continue on foot." Ada muttered as she slammed the hood down. Meeko glanced up from her protocol with wide eyes.
"Wh-what do you mean 'we'll have to continue on foot'?"
"I mean what I said," Ada answered. She grabbed some bags and loaded them with the necessary supplies and com units. Ada found a map in the very back and grabbed it just in case.
Once the human master had everything, she made her way back outside where her apprentice was pacing. However the Twi'lek female topped when her master none too gently handed her a sack for her to carry. The two Jedi made their way towards the road in silence, following it in case it might've lead to a town. It did.
They stepped foot in Philadelphia around midday when the town was bustling with activity. Ada didn't recognize the town but what was to be expected since she barely spent five hours in it last time. But there were things that she remembered.
The new looking barn that her and her master slept in their second night they were here.
The now busy streets that were empty as a ghost town when they stepped foot in Philadelphia for the first time.
Ada and Meeko strolled down the streets, the brilliant blue Twi'lek hidden behind her Jedi robe's hood. The two weaved around merchants and farmers selling their wares, buyers examining the goods and loiters and solicitors who walked around without a purpose. Ada took in everything from the aroma, to the sounds to the sights. Meeko however stayed close to her master clutching to her master as if her life depended on it. Millions of protocols ran through her head in case she got separated from Master Gillian. A thought came to mind as Meeko dared a look up from the ground and she glanced around her.
They stood out like a sore thumb.
Meeko tugged on her master's coat, getting her attention. The two Jedi made their way over to an alleyway where they could speak easily without shouting. The Twi'lek informed her master of their dilemma and though she didn't worry so much about it, Ada knew from experience discretion was the best option. Otherwise they would draw attention to themselves, which was something they wanted to avoid.
As plans ran through her mind, Ada spotted a boutique across the road from her. She smiled to herself as she ordered Meeko to stay put while she dashed across the road, avoiding the carriages and horses. Meeko waited as patiently as she could but when it seemed her master would take a while the young Padawan started to explore the alleyway. There was a curtain hung up to hide a hole in the wall. Meeko got curious and pulled back the curtain only to find someone's old hideout.
There was a small puddle in the middle of the room, with a wooden chair next to it. The wood on the chair looked old and covered in webs. In the far corner there were two things; a rotten looking cot and moldy porcelain bowl. There was a windowsill with the remains of a long wilted flower. Otherwise the place looked empty and rather sad. Meeko wondered who used to live here.
"Meeko!" she heard Master Gillian call. Sticking her head out the Twi'lek Padawan acknowledged her human master who jogged over to where she was wearing something that caused Meek to do a double take.
Instead of her usual robes (that were protocol) Ada Gillian wore dark trousers, white blouse, a medium brown vest and her light brown boots. The only thing that was standard issue, Meeko realized was her light saber, which hung at her belt. Ada walked into the abandoned building and handed her a bag, gesturing for her to get dressed. Meeko did as instructed and undressed and redressed in her new clothes. It consisted of the same articles of clothing as her master. Blouse, trousers and stockings.
Meeko changed in a secluded corner of the abandoned building while her master respectfully glanced away. Once the Twi'lek was done the two Jedi left, plunging back into the chaos of the streets. The two intergalactic peacekeepers made a quick lunch break at a quaint little café dubbed the Cook Coffeehouse. The food and service was magnificent although the customers were a bit too rowdy for Ada's taste. Once they paid their tab, they headed over to a barn, renting two horses for tomorrow. The sun was setting when both Master and Padawan returned to the abandoned building deciding it was way cheaper rent a room for the night.
Meeko went to sleep almost immediately but Ada lay awake, what happening ten years ago with the Men in Re-the British-spooking her. The long night gave the extremely young master some time to think. While getting those clothes, Ada inquired about the War, saying that she had been in the deepest parts of the jungle where news has been scarce and she found out that the colonists claimed victory and independence. The British had been kicked out and General George Washington had been unanimously voted the First President of the United States of America. Though the country was still young, there was evidence of a booming thriving country.
Ada sat down in a lotus position, by the puddle. This warehouse had the energy of the Daughter, whom she hadn't seen since she arrived back on Tython in the Room of a Thousand Fountains. Though it was extremely faint, there were traces of her aura. The young master felt a tug at her waist.
She blinked and was transported into the past during the war. She was cleaning a porcelain bowl, humming quietly to herself as she worked. Her pale hands ceased working for a second before resuming her task. Her mouth formed words but no sound came out. She held the bowl up and Ada did a double take what she saw in the reflection. The Daughter's regal and elegant face stared back along with the Son's evil and twisted smirk.
Ada blinked once again and she was back in the present. The Master felt tired suddenly, a common side effect from her spirit being pulled back and forth. She didn't feel feverish or nauseated that she felt when she was young first gained the ability.
Another thing that changed over the past was that the Jedi did away the Celebration of the Three. Since the Force Guardians' sudden disappearance from the universe, the Jedi decided to do away with the Deities since they 'abandoned' the Jedi. Though Ada was the only one who knew the truth. Every Jedi felt Mortis seal forever, which marked the beginning of the wait for the Chosen One. Several claims had already been made since the release of the Prophecy but so far every claim had been false.
Ada's sapphire eyes closed as she started to get comfortable on her cot. The human master fell asleep looking up at the sky through a hole in the roof.
May 2, 1792….
Ada woke with Meeko poking her. Very annoyingly. She groaned and rolled over, hoping the young Padawan would get the hint and let her sleep for a few more minutes. She did not.
"Master," Meeko whispered. "Master, the sun's up."
"Just because the sun is up doesn't mean you have to be," Ada scolded slightly. She sighed as she felt Meeko cease her poking but groaned rather loudly when the young Twi'lek continued her poking. "Alright. Alright. I'm up. Might as well get up now, since there's no point in sleeping in."
Ada grudgingly got out of her cot, rubbing her eyes sleepily. This was their usual morning routine: Meeko would get up long before the sun while Ada wanted to sleep in until noon. But since the two had a long day ahead, Ada figured it was best to get an early start.
The two immediately gathered their things and headed out. They stopped by to pick up their horses before galloping out of town. Ada made a quick detour (with the owner's directions) towards the only print shop that was still opened. The Pennsylvania Gazette. James Hiller claimed that he used to write for a newspaper but when Ada mentioned the blonde's name to an elder African American by the name of Moses, he said neither James Hiller, Sarah Philips nor Henri Lefebvre lived there anymore. Ada thanked the man and left. Soon enough the two Jedi were officially on the road, the warm late spring air keeping them comfortable. Ada told Meeko about her adventures here on earth to pass the time, earning a shiver from the Twi'lek when her master mentioned it took place in the dead of winter.
Eventually the two stopped for lunch, bringing out the bread, meat and cheese they bought at the market. The two ate in comfortable silence and afterwards Ada dozed peacefully underneath the shade of an oak tree. Meeko scowled as a strange winged insect landed on her nose. The Twi'lek giggled lightheartedly. It tickled!
The strange yet beautiful creature flew off with Meeko chasing after it. It was so pretty with its beautiful orange and black wings flapping ever so gently in the breeze. Every time it landed on a flower or a piece of grass, Meeko would try to get close to it. She almost succeeded but each time she would giggle in excitement or the butterfly would hear her and fly off.
The Twi'lek was almost to a fast flowing river when she realized how far she was from her master. And when Meeko patted down her pockets for a com unit, she realized with a start that she didn't have it! She must've left it in her bag! Meeko's heart rate picked up and she felt tears prickled behind her eyes as she realized that she was completely and utterly lost.
Meeko ran towards the stream and sat on the bank, trying to keep the tears from flowing. Thoughts about the worst-case scenarios ran through her mind: she would get kidnapped and sold into slavery; she would drown in the river or get bitten by a venomous creature. Or she could get molested, murdered and robbed by thieves.
A tear slipped form her eyes, followed by another, then another and then another until Meek was practically bawling. She curled herself into a ball as she waited for the tears to pass but they didn't. The young Twi'lek was so caught up in her dilemma that she didn't hear the voices approaching until they were almost right on top of her. She gasped as she fumbled for the hood of her robe and pulled it over her lekku right as four figures emerged.
There were two boys and two girls all ranging from different ages. The oldest looking boy had long strawberry blonde hair and sea blue and a tanned complexion. He looked to be about seventeen years old with his hair worn back into a ponytail. The seventeen year old wore a black vest, white blouse, tan trousers and stockings with strange buckled shoes.
The oldest looking girl, who looked to be around fifteen years of age, had fiery red hair; also tied back into a ponytail, deep blue eyes and a very large pink and white hoop skirt. She held the hands of twins: both with sparkling blond hair and sky blue eyes.
The group stopped laughing when they spotted Meeko and her tear stained blue eyes. They looked at each other confused and worried. The eldest girl let of the younger ones' hands and made her way over to Meeko, who instinctively took a step back into the water.
"Hey sweetie," the girl greeted softly, the hem of her dress getting soaked. "Are you lost?"
Meeko remained silent but nodded, fresh tears blurring her vision. The girl held out her hand, patiently waiting for Meeko to grab it. When it appeared the girl was still hesitant the redhead spoke again.
"My name is Anna. This is my older Alex, and those are the twins Avia and Aiden. What's your name?"
The young Padawan sniffled. "M-Meeko."
Anna smiled. "What a lovely name. Do you want us to help you find your mamma and papa?"
Meeko nodded and started to wade towards Anna. Unfortunately the Twi'lek lost her footing, the quickly moving current sweeping her away.
"Anna! Go get help!" Meeko heard Alex yell when her head broke the water. The Twi'lek gasped for air before she got pulled under again. She made sure to keep he arms flailing above her so the young human could easily spot her.
Master! Mentally screamed Meeko. Master!
Ada searched the surroundings for her Padawan who must've wondered off while she dozed. The human master decided to follow her force signature until she found her apprentice. Ada wasn't worried, that is until she heard Meeko scream mentally in her mind.
That's when she started to run for it. She whistled for her horse and continued to run, following her Padawan's signature. It was moving fast…. too fast.
Well I just have to be faster, Ada thought as she raced towards her Padawan's signature.
"Anna! Go get help!" The master heard someone shout. Ada positioned herself on a hill for a better vantage point. There was a strawberry blonde male chasing after Meeko who was struggling to keep her head above the water. Ada hopped from her vantage point and ran as fast as the force would let her. Her horse, whom she dubbed Smokey, showed up right at that moment, giving Ada the speed she needed. The master straddled the powered grey horse easily before whipping the reins. She winked at the boy as she rode by him before pouring force energy into the horse. It rode faster, and as it caught up with Meeko, Ada stood on the saddle and dove into the water right as her apprentice's head went under.
Ada's lungs burned when her head finally burst through the surface, with Meeko in tow. With difficulty, the human master swam towards the shore, where the natives were waiting. Ada hauled an unconscious Meeko on the shore. Before the natives tried to do anything Ada started to use the fore to drain the water from the young child's lungs. Meeko coughed as the water was expelled. Ada embraced the Padawan who opened her eyes, a close call of her own coming into memory.
"Can't…. breath." Meeko choked. Ada's eyes went wide as she withdrew an apologetic smile on her face. The young master turned towards the natives: a seventeen-year-old human male and two other children about the age of ten that looked like paternal twins.
"Thank you for finding my Padawan." Ada thanked with a bow of her head.
"No problem ma'am." The boy said bashfully. "If you want, you can come back to our place and get into something a little warmer. And for your uh…."
"Padawan." Ada supplied.
"Right. And for your Padawan to get some rest."
Ada glanced down at her Padawan who was visibly shaking and drained of energy. The master readily agreed to the boy's offer and picked up her small Padawan bridal style.
The humans and Twi'lek walked until they reached a three-story house with a lovely garden out front. They were almost to the steps when the front door flew open and two females came out. One was obviously older than the other with grey hair streaking her brilliant red hair and tiredness shinning in her familiar moss green eyes. The other was an almost exact clone of the older woman, except she had sea green eyes. Both women wore large hoop skirts that Ada really despised.
"Alex! Are you all right? Anna came in here saying someone fell into the river! I told you to stay away from there!" The woman neared about yelled. Ada tensed when she recognized the accent from the Men in Red.
"It's fine Ma'am." Ada interrupted politely. "My Padawan and I got separated and she fell into the river. Thankfully I was close by when I heard, uh, Alex yell for help."
The woman seemed to buy that and dismissed the incident, inviting Ada and Meeko in. The Twi'lek had fallen asleep in the Jedi Master's arm, wrapped up in Ada's robe. Once inside Ada placed Meeko on the bed of a guest room, undressed her and lit a fire. Ada pulled the covers over her Padawan, kissed her forehead before leaving the room.
The all too familiar woman greeted her in the kitchen. "How is she?"
"A little shaken but she'll live," Ada allowed herself to relax with a tired sigh. "And to think I almost lost my apprentice. Now how I know how Master Klai felt." The last part was muttered but apparently the woman heard it as she looked up.
"You knew Master Klai Dioddai?" The woman asked causing Ada to look up in question. The human master narrowed her eyes in suspicion. She decided to play the 'knew him but didn't know him' care just in case. Ada shrugged nonchalantly.
"I knew him but I only knew him from around the Temple." Ada answered. "How do you know Klai Dioddai?"
"He came here with his apprentice several years ago," the woman answered while handing Ada a mug. "They helped General Washington gain a major victory against the British. I was only fifteen at the time."
Ada stared wide-eyed, her grip slipping from the mug. Her breath caught in throat as the mug shattered into a million pieces. The woman…no she couldn't be…. squealed slightly as the shattered mug startled her. The woman quickly picked up the pieces and wiped the liquid with a rag.
"No…" Ada breathed. She looked up and caught the eye of…"Sarah Philips?"
"Y-yes?" the woman-Sarah Philips- confirmed. She cocked her head before gasping as she recognized the beautiful woman standing in front of her. With tears, Sarah asked, "A-Ada?"
Both women embraced, tears of joy streaming down their faces. When they pulled apart the grown women inspected and interrogated each other.
"Look at you!" Ada complemented. "Childbirth of four looks good on you."
"Oh but look at you Ada!" Sarah complemented back. "Uh…war looks good on you?"
Ada laughed at Sarah's lame attempt at a complement. "So, who're ya married to? I see a rather large rock on your finger."
Sarah blushed violently as the door opened a voice announcing a new arrival. The now married woman grabbed a dish and brought it to the kitchen, calling her children down for supper. Ada sighed as she walked into the dinner room, almost barreling into a strong man with blonde hair and moustache. His sky blue eyes met her sapphire ones, blinking in confusion and surprise.
"J-James Hiller?" Ada gasped out loud. The man's face contorted into confusion.
"I'm sorry but who are you?" Ada crossed her arms and smirked, her eyes gleaming mischievously.
"Now surely you haven't forgotten me? After all, you did want to include me in your newspaper."
The man's blue eyes widened in recognition and his mouth split open in a smile. He suddenly embraced the Jedi Master who embraced back. Older James and Sarah Hiller side hugged once James and Ada pulled apart. The young master scrutinized them carefully. They looked just as in love as they did all those years ago except now they didn't look as conflicted.
"So you two are married and have four kids," Ada summed up. In a singsong voice she added, "Called it!"
"What brings you back to Earth?" James asked after they had sat down for dinner. Meeko had long since woken up and had joined her master. She was currently getting to know Avia and Aiden, chatting with the twins animatedly. Ada shook her head, chuckling silently to herself.
"Work." Ada answered. "The council had decided that this planet is in need of protection should the Sith return."
Ada spooned a forkful of mashed potatoes into her mouth, her taste buds exploding with the flavor. She smirked as she shoved another forkful into her mouth.
"And how long will you be staying?" Sarah questioned, taking a sip of water.
"Meeko and I will be staying on Earth indefinitely. The council has chosen me to become the Temple of the Earth's first Grand Master."
"Congratulations!" Sarah exclaimed. "I always knew you could do it."
"Wait a minute!" Alex interjected. The three adults looked over at him simultaneously. "How do you know each other?"
"Alex, don't be rude!" Anna whispered harshly.
Ada couldn't help but let a giggle loose as she watched the two eldest children bicker. She could definitely saw Sarah and James. After Sarah scolded both children, Ada explained how she came here on a mission to bring back a Jedi Master who eventually got stripped of his rank. The human master informed the Hiller brood of how she met both parents and their Uncle Henri, described the Temple on both Coruscant and Tython and informed the parents of all the changes that occurred over the past ten years. The former Loyalist and Journalist offered their condolences when they heard Master Klai had passed five years after their adventures.
The story had lasted through the rest of dinner and through desert. Once all the dinner plates had been washed and put away Sarah herded all children to bed. She gave Ada and Meeko the guest room, which they took gratefully. They were about to snuggle under the covers when there was a knock at the door. Ada tied a robe around her waist and opened up the door only to see Mr. Hiller. Clutched in his hands were a stack of journals with either torn or dog eared pages.
With a quick glance over at a slumbering Meeko, Ada gestured James to enter. James looked rather hesitant but entered all the same, sparing glances at the Twi'lek Padawan occasionally. After assuring the grown blond that Meeko could sleep through the Second Coming of Christ, James sat down his journals on the table in the far corner.
"What brings you here?" Ada questioned. The former journalist gestured to the stack of five journals.
"I wanted to give these to you before you left." He explained. "They won't do me much good sitting around here." Ada picked one up and started to flip through. "They are entries and notes about the adventure. I was going to publish them…then I remembered your promise."
The human master smiled fondly as she picked up the bottom journal only to find the entire thing empty. All of its pages were bare of any sort of writing. Ada held the book up and raised her eyebrow in silent questioning.
"Oh that one is for you." James answered his face catching fire with blush. "I recalled how you said you never saw a use in writing in a journal but I figured that now being a grand master…."
James trailed off but Ada got the jest of it. The Jedi Master placed a hand on the older man's shoulder. Both adults smiled slightly at each other for a moment but Ada looked away first. She sighted tiredly as she started to usher the host of the door.
"Thanks for the journals James,' Ada said. It was then that she realized that was the first time she acknowledged the boy as James. Before she closed the door, Ada said, "I'll see you in the morning….Mr. Hiller." Ada didn't wait for the man's reply and gently closed the door.
She didn't hear James's soft reply through the heavy door.
May 3, 1792….
Ada and Meeko left before nine o'clock with maps and suggestions from the Hillers on where the best land in the area. With some tears and a promise to let them have a grand tour when the temple was completed, the two Jedi left, until they came to a perfect piece of land. It was a valley with lush green grass that moved gently in the spring breeze. The air was clean and sharp with freshness. This place was perfect.
While Meeko ran around, exploring the area, Ada contacted the Grand Master. Of course this perfect area had horrible reception but they would work on that once the temple was built. About five minutes of looking for the best place, Ada finally got a signal.
"This is the Jedi High Council," The Grand Council Master answered. He allowed his lip to twist into a smile. "Ah Master Gillian. How goes the search?"
"Excellent Grand Master," Ada answered. "I am sending you the coordinates for the location site of the first temple of Earth."
"Very good. Expect supplies and work crews in five cycles." The Grand Master then hung up. With a sigh Ada placed the com in her pocket and watched Meeko chased a monarch butterfly, giggling childishly when it landed on her nose. Ada smiled, truly happy at how her life had turned out. True she had a bunch of obstacles early on but being a Jedi really helped her overcome those obstacles. And now she was about to become the youngest Grand Master ever. If only Klai could see her now.
After watching Meeko roll around in the flowers, Ada pulled out the empty journal and a pen. She turned to the first page and wrote the date before tapping the pen on her chine unable to think of what to write. After about thirty minutes of thinking, Ada decided to put some basic stuff in it: basically how her day went, how she felt and some background information.
She sighed as she closed the journal; surprised to see the sun was already setting. Meeko was quietly sitting beside her, playing with the grass. Ada wrapped her arms around Meeko who snuggled up with her master. The air was slightly chilly but otherwise it was very comfortable. The two Jedi silently watched the moonrise and the stars come out. Even after ten years, this planet still amazed her and left her speechless. The sunsets were a fabulous explosion of colors and the only moon was beautiful and breathtaking.
Two months later the first temple of Earth was completed. Ada and Meeko had welcomed the first thirty Jedi and Ada had been officially given the title of grand Master with the Hillers in attendance. The ceremony was fabulous with an awesome after party.
As Ada stared up at the stars in her new robes that marked her as a Grand Master, she couldn't help but realize that her journey was just getting started….