Stripped

Disclaimer: I own Ben, Chester Meroff, Ms. Welsh and her kids, and Kreela. The rest is Disney's.

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After the light dimmed and their sight returned to them, they got a clear view of the room, which was big and spacious, with a lone chandelier dangling from the ceiling. At the far end of the room, Chester was sitting in his red velvet chair, the locket dangling from his paw.

"My locket. Give it back!" She yelled, anger overriding her more logical thoughts. Before she could take one step, a hand on the back of her shirt stopped her.

"Don't be foolish girl. You said yourself he is a force to be reckoned with," Basil whispered in her ear. She pulled out of his grasp, still fuming, but knowing he was right. Charging into a battle half cocked would seal not only hers, but all of their fates. They needed to think this out.

"You should've let her go Detective. I would've enjoyed killing her in front of her…friends," Chester sneered, grasping the locket tightly in his paw. Ben's anger flared again, but this time, Kreela stopped her.

"Young one. Clear your mind and think logically. Brute force will not defeat him."

"But another kind of Force might," Ben told her.

"Your powers are too weak to face him. Mine might be able to hold him off, but I am not powerful enough."

"Combine our powers! Use both at the same time! Anything to defeat him!" Ben seethed, throwing her arms up angrily.

"So, the whelp and the old one wish to fight Force-on-Force?" Chester asked cockily, rising from his seat slowly. He reached under his shirt, pulling out another sword handle. He ignited it, its ruby blade humming dangerously as he swung it in front of him.

"I would stand back Basil. Non-Force users would get seriously injured in a fight like this," Ben told him, as Kreela ignited her own sword, its blue blade casting a bluish glow over her fur. For once, Basil complied, stepping back out of the range of them. He was still trying to figure out a way to stop Chester, but at the moment, it was best to let them fight.

"Let me deal the first blow. It's more my fight than yours," Ben whispered to Kreela, as she crouched into a defensive stance.

"It is equally our fight Young one," Kreela told her cryptically, as she swung her sword up in front of her.

Ben looked at her, confused at the comment, but before she could question her about it, Chester held his open hand out in front of him, causing everyone and everything in his way to be flung across the room.

Ben slammed up against the wall, hard enough to make a slight crack in it. She fell to her hands and knees, shaking her head to clear it, and stood slowly back up. She focused on Kreela and Chester's fight, trying to make out how to disarm Chester, figuratively and literally. As the two dueling mice locked blades, Ben tried to dislodge Chester's sword by using the Force to pull at it, but it was a futile attempt.

"So, the whelp wants to play. Very well," Chester flung Kreela off to the side easily and reached out with his mind pulling two swords, which were crossed above his chair, off the wall. Ben watched as the swords came hurtling towards her, their blades glinting dangerously in the light. She dove off to the side, but she wasn't fast enough. One of the swords managed to catch her shirt, slicing through and pulling it off at the same time.

As Ben tried to get up, Chester's foot came down on her chest. It wasn't hard enough to cause any damage, but it was hard enough to cause pain. She tried to break free, but he just increased the pressure.

"One more step witch, and the little urchin here dies," He threatened, his foot digging into her sternum. Ben gasped, feeling the air being squeeze out of her lungs.

Kreela stopped in her tracks. "Do not harm her Chester," She warned him, her eyes hard as diamonds as she glared at him.

"Now, why would I want to harm her?" He asked, mock shock crossing his features. "Before she found what happened to her dear old daddy."

Bed inhaled sharply, her eyes widening in shock. "He knows what happened to my father?"

"Yes, of course I do, whelp. I killed him. Shot him down like the dog he was," Chester growled, picking Ben up by the collar. "He should've stayed home that day. He might've survived long enough to see what his precious girl has become," He hissed, dropping her to the ground.

Ben landed at his feet, anger and sadness overwhelming her. Her hands clenched into fists, her claws digging into her palms, her breath nothing more than ragged sobs. Chester seems to lose interest in her, as he rounded on Kreela, his gray eyes boring into hers like drills.

"If only you would've accepted me as your suitor, and not that whelp's backstabbing, sorry excuse for a father, this wouldn't have happened."

"If only you were more accepting, and understanding, this would not have happened," Kreela corrected, circling him slowly now.

"You were seeing him, behind my back on top of it, and even bore that whelp before running off without a single word, and I was supposed to be understanding?"

"You're my mother?" Ben blurted out, causing the two of them to stop arguing and look at her. All she could do was stare in shock. She couldn't believe it, after all these years, she finally got to meet her mother! Too bad it had to be under these circumstances.

"Yes, Young one, I am," Kreela sighed. "I am sorry I did not tell you earlier."

"Enough!" Chester yelled, using the Force to call his sword back to his hand. "It's time to finish what I started!"

It all happened in slow motion, as a horrified Ben watched, helpless. Kreela tried to call back her own sword, but she was second too late. Chester's blade entered her chest, burning a clean hole right through the right lung. Ben ran over to her, catching her before she hit the ground.

"Young one…it is up…to you now," Kreela whispered, before falling limp in Ben's arms, the light fading from her eyes.

"No," Ben whispered, burying her head in Kreela's robes. How could this happen? She was supposed to live! Not die at the hands of a madman. Bed slowly lifted her head; bitter tears streaming down her face as Kreela's body slowly disappeared. She silently called over Kreela's sword, catching it and swinging it gracefully in an arc around her.

"Remember young one, The Force will always be with you, as will I," Kreela's voice echoed in her head, giving her the strength to throw Chester against the wall with such force that it would've turned a normal mouse into a smear on the wall.

As Chester stood, covering his fear of Ben's newly gained powers with smugness, Ben advanced on him an aura of white light visible around her, her eyes glowing a solid bluish-white.

"This isn't over," He picked up some sharp rock shards that fell from the crater he made in the wall, and flung it at Ben. She fling her arm out, reflecting the shard right back at him, hitting him in the ear. As he grabbed onto his ear, Ben grabbed his shirt, flinging him to the center of the room, right under the chandelier.

"Endgame," Ben growled, as the chandelier came crashing down, crushing Chester under its weight.

"Ah ha! It worked perfectly!" Basil called out triumphantly, sliding down a curtain that covered part of the wall. "I told you I would have figure out a way to stop him!"

"Yeah," Ben mumbled, her eyes and body fading back to their original colors. She went over to Chester's body, where it lay half buried under the mangled metal. She wrenched open his hand, taking the bloodstained locket out of it.

"Bastard," She said, igniting the sword and impaling it through Chester's skull.

"Let's go now. Our mission is completed," Ben said to Basil, who nodded in agreement. As they walked out of the hideout, Ben cast one last look over her shoulder, only to see a ghostly vision of Kreela standing near the chandelier, smiling at her. Ben gave her a sad smile as the vision faded.

"All right, detective, let's head home."

The next day…

Ben went back to the docks, standing at the edge. In her paw, she held two red rose petals. She threw them into the dark still waters, a single tear falling along with them.

"To those who weren't so lucky," She said, turning and leaving the petals to float wherever the water took them.

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Well, that's the end. I hope this was an enjoyable story for everyone.

I would like to thank all my reviewers: If it wasn't for you, I would've never finished this story.