Author's note: Hey everyone! Sorry this chapter is so short, and I know it isn't much of a cliffhanger, but I'll add onto it as soon as I can. Until then, here's the next little bit. Call it a "teaser chapter" if you will.
Feeling slightly tired, Kim turned around out of the cockpit and retreated to the bunk that had been designated for her. Well, technically it was a spot on the floor with a blanket, but it was better than nothing. Lying down, she pulled the soft fabric over her and closed her eyes for a quick nap.
She was in that place again. That place inside herself where her power resided. She hovered again in that blue sphere.
'Did you understand that warning earlier?'
Great. I'm talking to myself. No, I didn't.
'I tried to make it clear enough.'
You'll have to excuse me. I'm new at this.
'Then here's the spelling. That was a vision of the future, three times over.'
But what do my friends have to do with it?
'They will be the cause. Their deaths will hurt. Especially since you will not grow older while you are here.'
Calm down! I'm still gonna be a teenager when Obi-Wan gets a beard, and you want me to calm down!
'There's no talking to you like this.'
Hey! I am you, so don't even try to go there!
'We'll talk more later. When the news has had time to sink in. I just wanted to let you know in advance.'
Thanks for the warning.
'Sarcasm will get you nowhere.'
Kim floated up out of the blue sphere into a clear meadow. 'Now where am I?'
A voice called her name. "Kim?"
The teenager awoke with a start. "Wha?"
"Sorry to wake you," Padme said, smiling, "but we're almost to Naboo."
"Oh. Thanks, Padme."
"It's alright. I've got to go and attend her Highness now."
"Okay. See you later." Padme nodded a final farewell and left.
The teenager sat up and stretched her arms. Sleeping on metal sure didn't do anything for your muscles. Staggering up, she folded the blanket neatly and set it on the nearest bunk. That done, Kim stepped out of her "room" and bumped into Anakin. "Oh! Sorry, Ani!"
"It's okay," the boy reassured her. "C'mon! We're in a Gungan swamp!" He took her by the hand and started leading her towards the exit. "I think Jar-Jar already went to the hidden city."
Kim blinked as her eyes adjusted to the sunlight. The lush, green forest was surprisingly well lit. Spotting Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon to the side talking, she went over to go see what was going on.
"...You are much wiser than I am, Obi-Wan. I forsee that you will become a great Jedi Knight." Kim wondered if she shouldn't wait a while. She didn't want to mess up Obi-Wan's chance to patch up his relationship with Qui-Gon.
She didn't have to worry. Obi-Wan waved her over, obviously in a much better mood than before. "Glad to see you're up."
Qui-Gon scrutinized her. "You must have been tired, to sleep for the duration of hyperspace time."
Kim smiled. "Well, it isn't every day I meet two 'fictional' heroes." She remembered her dream with a jolt. "Um, there's something I should probably tell you."
The two Jedi Knights stood quietly, allowing her time to gather her thoughts together. "Well, you see..." She took another deep breath. "I'm not going to age while I'm here."
Obi-Wan quirked an eybrow. Qui-Gon's brow furrowed. Kim coninued. "So, in two years, if I'm here that long, I'll still be fourteen. I just thought you should know." The girl looked down as the full front of that sentance hit. If she was here for a long time, she would be forced to watch friends grow old and die, while she remained in perpetual youth. How in the world am I going to deal with that?
Qui-Gon suprised her with a gentle hand on her shoulder. "This can't be easy for you, but thank you for telling us."
Kim strugged to keep tears from welling up in her eyes. "It's just..." She managed to smile a little. "A few days ago, I had nothing to worry about except schoolwork."
"If you need to talk to anyone," Qui-Gon continued gently, "I or Obi-Wan will be here."
Kim felt her stomach go into knots at the knowledge that no, Qui-Gon would not be here for much longer. Obi-Wan noticed with an internal frown that Kim's face seemed to clear of emotion suddenly.Almost as if there was something that she had to hide... "Thanks," she whispered. She mentally screamed out to him, You're going to die today! You've got to do something! But that little voice she had come to knowas her powerful, mature self countered, He can't hear you. I know it hurts, but you can't do anything about it.
Thankfully, Kim was distracted by the arrival of Queen Amidala and her handmaidens, along with Captain Pananka. The Jedi went over to meet them, Kim inbetween her two friends.
A splashing sound came from the lake. As Kim looked over, she saw a wet and quite confused Jar-Jar wade out of the water. He shook off the excess water at the bank edge, and then came over to report. It wasn't good. "Dare-sa nobody dare. All gone. Some kinda fight, I tink. Sorry, no Gungas."
Captain Pananka stepped up. "Do you think they have been taken to camps?"
Qui-Gon shook his head. "More likely they were wiped out."
"No...mesa no tink so. Gungan hiden. When in trouble, go to sacred place. Mackineeks no find them dare." Jar- Jar countered. "Mesa show you!" He waved for the group to follow him.
"We'd best follow him," Qui-Gon said to Pananka. The captain nodded, and motioned for Amidala and her handmaidens to follow them.
Kim fell into step with Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon.
As they walked, Kim thought, and thought hard. So I can't tell them what's going to happen? Then why the heck am I here?
Obi-Wan, being the observant young man he was, noticed her silence. "Hey." Kim looked at him, feeling very lost. "It'll be okay."
"Obi-Wan…I hope I'm not presuming too much, but you're my friend. How can it be okay? I know when and how you'll die. And I'm powerless to do anything about it!" Kim was not well inclined to becoming an "innocent bystander".
"Our destiny was decided before we were even born," Obi-Wan said. "Of course I'll die someday. It is a part of life." He reached out and gave her hand a squeeze, to both of their surprise. "But that doesn't mean we can't be friends in the time I do have."
Kim couldn't barely speak. "…Thanks, Obi-Wan."