To Hide and Be Found

"No," Kirn begged. "No, you can't die. If you die- all the jedi will be gone."

Oden shook his head, his eyelids feeling heavy. "Maybe that's how it was always meant to be. Perhaps the Jedi were doomed to fade away. Maybe we were always a dying kind."

"No," Kirn said, pleading for Oden to live. "No."

"Yes, Kirn, you're right. That's not true. You are still here."

"Oden-" Kirn began. The old man was delusional now. "Oden, you don't understand."

"No, Kirn, you don't understand. Listen to the Force. One day you will be a Jedi."

"But How?"

"By remembering what you have learned. And by trusting the force to teach you all that is left to know."

In that moment, troopers burst in to the small apartment, "You couldn't hide forever . . . jedi."

Oden was breathing his last, as the five troopers entered the room, raising their blasters to destroy the last jedi and his student. An anger filled Kirn as he lifted his hand.

"No, Kirn," Oden whispered. "Once you start down . . . you must not follow . . . the dark path. Kirn-"

Kirn's rage consumed him, as he clenched his hand into a fist. The five troopers flew back crashing against the wall and falling to the ground, unconscious.

"Kirn- no. Turn from the dark side. If you embrace that power, a sith- you are a sith!" Oden's voice was growing weaker, but his words brought Kirn out of his trance. He released his fist and looked over the troopers that he had beaten with one gesture.

"I- I." Kirn looked down at the still face of his Master, "Oden? Oden!" Oden lay lifeless before him, his final words echoing in Kirn's head, "you are a sith!"

Kirn drew a breath and opened his eyes, looking over the Nubian landscape. Meditating had been very difficult lately. Jerica had finally gone to get rest late yesterday, and she still had yet to wake up. Yet even in her unconscious state, he could sense her sorrow. It brought up memories of his own losses and failures.

Drawing a deep breath, he closed his eyes and attempted for the umpteenth time to focus. He needed guidance, and the Force was the last place he had to find it. If he couldn't- his eyes opened as he sensed a presence entering the common room behind him.

Rising, he turned and saw Jerica exiting her chamber and coming to stand near the kitchen.

"Good Morning," he said.

She looked up at him but only nodded. Going into the small kitchen unit, she started to gather food from the cabinets, before taking a seat at the small table.

Kirn followed, realizing he hadn't eaten yet. She looked up at him, but still didn't say anything, as she shuffled the food around on her plate. Kirn shook his head and came to join her at the table.

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Well, that could have gone better. Kirn thought, as he cleared the dishes from the table. Jerica was out on the veranda, where she had stormed to a few moments ago. How did such an awkward meal turn into such an augmentative meal? Kirn never ceased to be amazed by how quickly Jerica could change her attitude.

A dish slipped out of his hand, crashing to the sink and startling him. He shook his head, and moved his gaze away from the veranda. I really have to start paying attention to what I'm doing. He turned his attention back to the dishes, but his thoughts drifted away, back to the breakfast they had just finished.

Jerica had been quiet throughout the meal, too quiet. Kirn was used to the brass senator facing him with a terse expression, never being afraid to stare, or rather glare, him right in the eye. "Are you alright?" he asked, knowing it was a stupid question.

"I'll be fine," she said, reaching for her glass of water.

"Look," Kirn said. "Why do you have to be so guarded? I've saved your life at least three times, I think you can trust me."

"What do you want me to say Kirn?" she asked, finally looking up at him with her sorrow-filled brown eyes.

"Nothing," Kirn said, looking down at his own food and shoving a few spoonfuls into his mouth.

"I just shouldn't have been surprised. I should have expected the Empire to find my father, and of all the suffering in the world, I shouldn't let my own tragedies-"

"What?" Kirn interjected, "Show that you're human?"

Jerica shook her head, "I can't believe I'm having this conversation."

"Why?" Kirn asked, dropping his spoon. "Because you've never been honest with yourself? You've been running for so long, you don't even know who you are any more, do you?"

"Who are you talking about Kirn?" she asked, harshly. "me . . or you?" She pushed back her chair and stomped toward the veranda.

That is what had brought him to this point. He had somehow insulted, Jerica . . . again. And this time, it caused him to be left with the dishes.

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Tentatively, Kirn stepped out onto the veranda. Jerica remained looking over the water, her back to him. Why do I feel like shavit? "Um," he started. "I guess I owe you an apology. I'm really not qualified to help you . . . I mean, I never knew my own father."

Jerica didn't reply. She just kept staring into the distance. "There was my uncle, but I really never saw him. He was a jedi-"

"Is that why you don't want to be a jedi?"

Kirn shook his head, At least she's talking to me. "No, that's not why. I once met a jedi, the last of the Jedi, but he died. And I failed him."

"You can't stop people from dying," Jerica said, turning to face him.

"It's not about that," Kirn said, dropping down into a chair, "That's not why I failed him."

Jerica was about to reply, but then another thought seemed to hit her, "Wait? The last of the Jedi?"

"Yes, Oden Revzen, he was a knight before Palpatine destroyed the Order."

Jerica looked thoughtful, her eyebrows furrowed. "But that doesn't make sense."

"Why?" Kirn asked.

Jerica looked back at him, "Oden couldn't have been the last of the jedi. If he was, then who was this Obi-Wan Leia was talking about?"

"Kenobi?"

"Yeah, he was with Commander Skywalker when they rescued Leia." Jerica said, matter-of-factly.

"You're just telling me this now?" Kirn asked, raising an eyebrow.

Jerica looked away, shaking her head, "Almost everyone knew about Ben Kenobi, Leia asked for his help before Alderaan was destroyed. Ben was supposed to come to the Rebel's aid, but he, Luke and that Corellian smuggler all got caught up in the Death Star. You didn't know that? I didn't know you were that ignorant."

Kirn let it slide, glancing over the valley, "So you think this Luke Skywalker is a Jedi?"

"I don't know," Jerica said, "But he knew one." With that, she turned and went back into the house.

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Kirn woke up with a start. He sat up in an instant before turning sharply toward the door lead out onto a small balcony. Both of the bedchambers had their own balcony, an overly luxurious feature for a safe house and apparently, a dangerous one. Someone or something was out there.

He summoned his light saber from where lay next to his shirt. Once the metal handle of the blade was settled in his hand, Kirn darted to the balcony. A quick gesture sent the double doors flying open, and Kirn leapt into the cold night air. Hovering in the air above him was a droid, obviously programmed for assassination. The second his feet hit the ground, his blade was darting around blocking laser blasts set for kill.

Ugh, this is ridiculous. Kirn thought as he continued to send the bolts back toward the droid, only to have the annoying machine dodge them. How am I going to beat this thing if I can't-

"Kirn!" Jerica's voice rang out from behind him. Kirn didn't have to look back at her, his gaze was focused on the droid. He saw its sensors flinch, readjusting to a new target.

Jerica must have sensed this, for she lifted her hands protectively over her face, calling for help now, "Kirn!"

He took his chance, pushing his opened hand toward the droid and through a current in the force sent it reeling. In almost the same second, he was pulling his blaster from its holster and firing. The droid erupted into a small spurt of flame before blasting into oblivion. Kirn turned to see Jerica standing behind him, a concerned look on her face.

"Um," Kirn looked back at her, sheepishly, "They must have had the wrong room."

Jerica shook her head, letting her hands drop to her sides. "No, Kirn," she said as she took a step toward him, "All along, it was you they were after."

Kirn shifted slightly, moving past her and back into his room. Summoning his shirt from across the room, he pulled it over his head and shrugged his arms into the sleeves, ignoring Jerica's presence.

Jerica refused to be ignored, "Kirn, why would bounty hunters be after you?"

Kirn looked back at her, a hard look in his blue eyes, but he knew he would have to answer.

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As Jerica ran with Kirn through the wooded Nubian terrain, the sun was beginning to rise. They had been traveling for hours, trying to make it back to the bongo. The droid would have been enough to convince Jerica that the safe house was no longer safe, but what Kirn told her was far more effective.

After Oden had died, Kirn had followed his own desire for vengeance, and he had made enemies with the most prominent Imperial officials and several bounty-hunters. He had spent almost a year terrorizing his enemies, all for the name of revenge. He was embracing the dark side, he said, and he didn't care what happened to himself.

He had already failed Oden, he would never be a jedi, he could only be a sith. His youthful arrogance led him to strike against the heart of the Empire. He lead many strikes on the Imperial Palace and lost many allies. With each friend and fellow rogue's death, Kirn's sense of vengeance grew. Any chance he had to destroy a trooper or Imperial officer, he took it.

Jerica had heard rumors of shadowed assassins while she was still in the senate, but she had never suspected her rescuer to be the leader of such men. Now, she didn't have time to consider the irony. She was beginning to feel very tired from all this running. They hadn't spared anytime, leaving at the first possible moment. The waterfalls of Theed were visible on the horizon, but Jerica didn't think she would make it.

Kirn was leading the way, when suddenly he turned around, his eyes wide with fear. "Jerica!"

Jerica was conscious of fire ripping through her body, knocking her to the ground. She tried to stand only to find she had no strength. Kirn, saber ignited, was running back toward her. Her world was growing dark and soon fell into total night. Kirn's voice was very quiet as he called to her. She could barely hear him, even as he drew closer, and then she heard nothing at all.

AN: Well, what did you think? Let me know.