Chapter 6

Madeline Moraes

Moments after Rey left…..

"Adeline," the blonde woman turned towards her master. "I need you to help evacuate the temple. Use any and all available shuttles and ships you can get your hands on and head to the nearest Jedi Temple. Inform the mayor of what's coming, as well. Get the militia to evacuate the city. I don't want anyone left when the First Order lands."

"Yes Master."

"I also want the all of the holocrons in the Archives taken with you." Madeline sighed. "We cannot let the knowledge in that room fall into the hands of the First Order."

"Of course." Adeline started to walk towards the main hanger but stopped when she realized Madeline wasn't following her. "Aren't you coming, Master?"

"I am going to stay behind and give you enough time to get the city and the Temple evacuated."

"But Master, you'll be destroyed!"

"If that is my destiny, then so be it." Madeline placed a hand on her former Padawan's shoulder. "I have made many mistakes in my life. It is time that I face them."

Tears were falling down Adeline's face. "Master, I just can't leave you."

"Adeline, you are the only I trust to lead the Jedi Order into its new age of prosperity. I am the only thing keeping that from happening."

"No, you're not, Master."

Time was running out but Madeline kept talking. "I am the last remaining member of the Old Republic Jedi, an outdated and weak philosophy. It's time for the Old Jedi to finally die, and a new generation to begin. You must lead that new generation. Adeline, you have been an excellent apprentice. I failed your family too much to be forgiven, but this I can make right. Remember your training, and know that no matter what happens to me, I will always be watching over you."

Adeline was silent before embracing the woman. The blonde woman didn't want to leave the closest thing to a second mother she had but the old woman wasn't giving her any choice.

"Now go." Madeline ordered, breaking the hug. "You still need to clear out the Archives."

Adeline bowed to her master before darting out to the hallway. Luckily, three other Jedi masters and two knights were just running by. Adeline Agreste called them and ordered them to assist her to get the holocrons to the hanger. The young woman started to follow the others, only to stop and glance behind her. Her old master was smiling softly, her dull yet focused coffee brown eyes were shining with pride.

Knowing this may be the last time Adeline might see the woman in this life, she whispered, "May the Force be with you, Madame Moraes."

"And May the Force be with you, Adeline. Always." Madeline's reply was lost as the last of the Jedi apprentices left the Temple. Thirty minutes later, Madeline received a city-wide evacuation order from the Mayor. She sighed in slight relief. The First Order will not get the chance to repeat the Battle of the Paris. Madeline walked through the empty halls of the Temple. Her first destination was the empty Archives. The once softly lit room was now dark as a tomb. Madeline examined the place, making sure that it was truly cleaned out before leaving.

It had been the first time since Madeline rebuilt the Order on Earth that the Temple had been eerily quiet. She remembered the days following the ceremony announcing her as the Grand Master, when she locked herself in the Temple Archives during an intense study session on the Temple's history. There was a large blank in the Archives, right after Madame Cammi's visit with the main Jedi Council on Tython. Madeline suspected that was when the natives of Paris at the time raided the temple.

The first few years of her being Grand Master was the loneliest time of her life. Her brother was busy with the Rebellion, her other friends living their lives and Master Selma was buried. As far as Madeline knew, she was the only remaining Jedi on Earth, being pulled in all different directions, to speak at conferences all over the world and to see if the claims of children being Force sensitive were true. Madeline stared out the window of the upper levels, watching the First Order troops march through the empty streets of Paris. Her eyes glanced towards the skyline, where the last of the shuttles disappeared into the rising sun.

Madeline turned, and headed deeper into the Temple. With all of the security she placed on the outside and at the entrance of the temple after the EARTHLINGS bombed it a year after the massacre on Yavin, it would take the invaders a while to get inside the Temple. So, the elder master hobbled down the lower levels of the Temple. Very few members used the foyer that was a part of the original 1880 design. Madeline only went down there when she needed a moment to herself, away from all the chaos of running a temple.

She sat in the middle of the foyer, in a meditative position. Her cane was placed at her side, while her lightsaber was placed in her lap. Madeline closed her eyes, and took a deep breath, preparing herself for what was to come. There was no way that she would survive this encounter. It was just like she told Adeline. The New Jedi Order needed new leadership if it was to survive this war, a different way of thinking. Madeline was the only remaining member of the Old Jedi Order, the Order whose ideals were corrupted and whose belief were outdated. Too many Jedi had lost their lives fighting for an evil they had been sworn to destroy, blind and deaf to what the Force was trying to show them.

The temple shook, dust raining down on her. But Madeline's serene expression remained the same. The Temple shook again, causing another veil of dust to fall on Madeline. Her heart was beating fast, as she remembered the Battle of Paris, when the Empire was raining holy hell upon the city while the civilians were trapped in the foyer. Though, the Grand Master recognized the booms from above as the traps set at the entrance of the Temple. No doubt Kylo Ren ordered several of his troops to go first as cannon fodder. As the moment of silence stretched on, Madeline opened her eyes and glanced at the ceiling. She furrowed her brow when she sensed the troops moving through the Temple, desecrating the sacred space with their thirst for blood. She smirked. The first place Kylo would search would be the Archives, to liberate the ancient knowledge stored there.

Good thing that it had been cleared out.

Madeline felt the anger pierce through the Force. She sighed before closing her eyes again. Sooner or later, the boy would sense her down where she was. Might as well prepare for battle. She mentally recited the Code of the Bendis, the Grey Jedi. However, she didn't get very far as the sounds of marching reached her ears. She kept her eyes closed as the First Order stormtroopers surrounded her, their weapons trained on her. Her serene expression remained neutral even when slow, deliberate footsteps echoed through the empty cavern, stopping a few feet in front of her.

"I was wondering when you would return. Though, I didn't foresee the exact reason why." Madeline opened her eyes and was greeted by quite a sight. At least a dozen stormtroopers had surrounded her, leaving no way for her to escape (not that she was planning on it). In front of her, stood her old apprentice, Ben Solo. He was dressed in black, his hair longer, and he had a dark look in his eyes. There was a scar that ran down his face, most likely from a lightsaber. Whether his 'beloved master' did that as punishment for his failure, or he got when he battled Rey, which happened a couple times from the reports she received from Leia, she wouldn't know. "It's good to see you, Young Solo."

"That's not my name."

"It was the name given to you by your parents."

"They don't have any meaning to me anymore."

Madeline gave a dry scoff. "Obviously. Since you murdered your father and tried to incinerate your mother."

"It needed to be done, if I was to fully become a true Sith." Ben stated it with such a flat tone that it sent Madeline over the edge.

"What happened to you? After all I taught you, all I did for you?" Madeline stood, the stormtroopers' blasters following her every move. "It sickens me to see how far you've fallen Ben. You were a promising pupil."

"I've heard enough." He gestured to the First Order troopers. There was the sound of many blasters cocking simultaneously. Closing her eyes and taking a deep breath, Madeline reached out with the Force. What she was about to try was risky, a trick that she hadn't quite practiced. Time seemed to slow down. Every sound seemed to be amplified. Her breathing, her heart beat, even the mechanisms of the blasters surrounding her seemed infinitely louder.

Then, the moment of truth came. The stormtroopers opened fire. Reaching down into the Force and calling on some supernatural help, Madeline felt the edges of her dress fan out as the blaster bolts were stopped in midair. While Kylo Ren and his soldiers stared in shock, Madeline grunted. Her hair flowed upward as she shoved the blaster bolts away from her. Most of them hit the stormtroopers in the chest, but others grazed them or knocked them out, leaving only Kylo Ren and her standing.

"Now that your…entourage is taken care of, we can finally talk."

"There is nothing to talk about."

"No?" Madeline turned her eyes to the downed stormtroopers. "You have forsaken the teaching of the Jedi and have betrayed the very ideals that you were raised on."

"The Jedi are weak. It's time for them to die." He snapped his fingers. Suddenly, two stormtroopers had her, restraining her arms behind her back.

"You can kill me, but you'll never destroy me. It takes power to resist the Dark Side. Only the weak embrace it."

"But it is power." Kylo Ren stated. Madeline scowled as the younger man grabbed her chin and forced her to look straight into his eyes. The old master saw an opportunity and took it. The young man wretched his hand away as her teeth made to bite him. "Such power can't be understood by the Jedi. As the hypocrites they are, they fear any power greater than their own. The Dark Side is more powerful than you could ever dream of."

"And those who oppose it are more powerful than you'll ever be!" With that, Madeline broke free from those who held her, knocking them out. She reached for her lightsaber with the Force, igniting it once the hilt touched the palm of her hand and leaping into a duel. Her blade met Kylo, and even though he kept his face neutral, Madeline could see him struggling. It would be such irony that he never battled a real master, just some untrained apprentice.

"You know," Madeline whispered while they kept their lightsabers locked. "It appears you weren't as skilled as you think you are, seeing how a barely trained warrior managed to defeat you.

"AAAAAHHHH!" Kylo's roar was primordial, guttural. Like an animal, Kylo Ren pushed and pushed against her. But Madeline didn't back down. Whatever ground she lost in the fight, she quickly regained it. Eventually, the two were incorporating their Force abilities. And Madeline soon learned that what her former apprentice lacked in skills with a blade, he more than made up for it in Force abilities. The old master, in all her power and knowledge, had trouble keeping up with the younger man. Her stamina, while amazing, was still short because of her age. Pretty soon, Madeline was having trouble keeping up with the younger man's attacks. She switched from offensive to defensive in a matter of minutes.

In one final hurrah, Madeline rushed the boy. She remembered to drag her saber along the ground, creating sparks which she flung into the boy's eye. He cried out as Madeline leapt over him and made a break for the door. However, she only got three steps before she stopped suddenly. Pain bloomed through her body, her breathing turning ragged and difficult. She glanced down, only to whimper slightly at the sight of the red-bladed lightsaber piercing her body. Madeline's legs gave out and she fell to the ground. The Master inhaled sharply as the blade was suddenly removed. Darkness was on the edge of her vision. In a matter of minutes, she would be dead.

But, she had one more thing to do.

With great difficulty, Madeline stood and turned around, clutching the wound. Kylo was watching her with a sickening curiosity. When Madeline blinked, for a moment, she saw young Ben Solo, staring at her from the other side of the training room with nervous anticipation. Her breathing was now all too loud in her ears, and her brain was struggling to stay active.

"Ben…." She rasped. "I'm…. sorry I f-failed you. I…. I d-d-on't blame you. I hope…. you can…. free yourself…and forgive your mother. She was only…. doing…what was…"

She didn't finish her sentence as she finally collapsed on the ground. It hurt to breath to the point where it didn't seem worth it. Through her darkening vision, Grand Master Madame Moraes of the Jedi Temple of Paris saw Kylo Ren stand over her soon-to-be dead body. Her brain was slowly turning off, but she could've sworn she saw regret in his eyes. But that was a fleeting thought as her eyes closed and there was no more pain…

-Epilogue-

She didn't know how long her eyes were closed before she someone started to shake her shoulder.

"Mads!" The voice hissed. "Wake up! We're going to be late!"

Madeline's brain was barely working enough to process the words, Late? Late for what? Do I have a meeting with the mayor that I forgot about? And since when did the young ones start calling me 'Mads'? No one calls me that anymore.

"Madeline, I swear if you don't wake up, I'll give you a wet-willy."

The childish threat seemed to spur Madeline to try to open her eyes. She fought through the darkness, wincing when she finally opened them in the blinding light of the room. She slowly sat up, confused about where she was. Madeline glanced around, vaguely aware that the wound she received in fighting Kylo Ren wasn't hurting anymore. The now-young girl turned her head, her breath taken away at the sight.

There in front of her was her brother, Michael. He looked like he did when she last saw him: slightly dirty, but very loud orange flight suit, with his lightsaber and blaster clipped on his belt. He was talking to Master Selma Turon, and Mace Windu, both looking like they did when she last saw them.

Curiosity spurred her even more to look down. She was young again, all the wrinkles that she received had vanished. But she was still wearing her robed dress that marked her as the Grand Master. The curiosity spread further as she grabbed a bunch of hair and pulled it forward to where she could see it.

Coffee brown.

Then, it occurred to her that she could feel no heartbeat, no pulse. Her hands, while retaining some semblance of color, were tinted light blue. While she was having a little freak out about the prospect of being dead, a comforting hand landed on hers. Madeline jerked up to see Michael smiling at her. Tears fell from her eyes as she launched herself into a hug at the boy. Oh, how she missed that goofy smile.

"Okay, Mads." Michael rasped. "Can't…breath!"

"Oh! Sorry." Madeline chuckled. She placed her hands down by her side. "I've missed you, Michael."

"You have done well, my apprentice." Master Windu's voice congratulated. Madeline, with tears still running down her eyes, bowed her head in recognizing.

"Thank you Master."

"I think we should get going." Master Selma proposed. Madeline cocked her head.

"Where are we going?"

Beside her, Michael chuckled. "You'll see."

And together, the four spirits disappeared, entering the cosmic force as one.