(A/N) this is a companion piece to Knights and Eros Bound, primarily because I miss Schurke and Kampher…. To my beta Geo3 and her red pen of death
And Vega Lights My Way
valleys, animals and children asking me,
Tell the story that you told of sailors drinking tea.
Tell the one about the man who saddled up the wind
Pegasus and flying fish and woodsmen made of tin.
John Denver, "Pegasus"
5 years ago
Transmission date: 28.34.018
Transmission source: Raithal-87he-98u-88yt (codedmia-kia)
Transmission source: Classified
Recipient/s: R.H. Canaille, Schurke & Kampher
Standard Message follows: 98.mia/kia.tm-15
Regret to inform you that your daughter, O-I-C class 1. Canaille, Aubé G was lost in service to the Empire on 27.34.018. Body not recovered.
Enclosed find certificate MIA-KIA-BNR-398-0098-876-877. Please retain for your records.
The Emperor offers his condolences and expresses gratitude that your family member made the supreme sacrifice for the Empire.
Raithal, Sec 027-3874
One month later:
Transmission date: 29.34.018
Transmission source: ISD Executor
Transmission source: Classified
Recipient/s: R.H. Canaille, Schurke & Kampher
Condolences on your loss of your daughter, Aubé. She was lost with a garrison of the Academy's finest students and would have been a great asset to the Empire, in time.
6 months later:
Message by courier:
Received at the Gubernatorial Offices, 3rd Sector, Correllia
TO: The Right Honorable Schurke Canaille, Governor 3rd Sector, Correllia
PERSONAL and Confidential
Papa; Alive, well and with friends who think as I do.
Will come home when this is over.
The Force is with me.
One month ago;
Delivered by Courier to the private residence of House Canaille, 3rd Sector, near Cornet, Correllia.
Papa; the war is over and many of us are allowed leave to come home to our families.
Will make planetfall within a month, if all goes well.
Much to talk about, more so than I can say here.
Love to Mother and Kay-leb. Tell him he owes me an ale.
Your loving Daughter,
One month ago, the night of the telegram.
Through the force you will see…
His leg, gone at the knee…
This time, Schurke managed to bite back the scream behind his lips as he awoke, clutching his leg.
His mechanical leg.
Beside him, his wife Kampher still slept deeply. Sleep suggestions were a rare practice in the Canaille household, but Kam had been wrestling with her own unspoken demons as of late, and Schurke had utilized his fading Jedi skills in the attempt to alleviate her suffering.
He leaned over, and still clutching his leg with one hand, he waved the other gently over her eyes.
'Don't wake," he murmured softly, and smiled as she sighed in response.
Schurke slowly climbed out of bed and walked – no – he limped to the window. He knew that tomorrow he'd have to go to the local Healer.
No, not the Healer. Kampher was the local Healer. Schurke would go to see the droid repair technician.
"Oh, Toboo," Schurke sighed aloud. "You'd think in twenty years I could find a sentient who could at least do a competent repair on this… thing…" He rapped his leg for emphasis.
But Toboo - Anakin Skywalker - was dead. He'd been dead for nearly 20 years, as had the Jedi Knight Schurke Canaille.
He'd accepted that.
But why couldn't Kampher?
He is alive, Schurke. Kam had once broached the subject many years ago, when the first whispers about the Emperor's nightmare right hand were heard. Whispers about man who was only half a man…
Schurke had cut her off angrily at the time. Anakin had died in one of the last battles of the Clone Wars. Palpatine had even declared a National Day of Mourning for Anakin Skywalker, the fallen hero of the Republic, not long before Obi-Wan and the few remaining Jedi had been marked as fugitives in that muddy time of transition…
No, Anakin was dead, and now, nearly 25 years later, the Galaxy was again at peace. Their eldest daughter was coming home. Their youngest son – a Healer, like his mother – was already back from some Force-forsaken…
Force-forsaken … what an odd choice of words. The past was dead and gone, as was Anakin. As were the rest of the Jedi.
Schurke shivered involuntarily, although the night was warm. Not for the first time in all those years, he felt homesick.
When Kampher awoke the next morning, Schurke had already departed, taking their son with him, trying to get an early start on the day. Aubé's message had not only conveyed the news of her home-coming, but the fact that the war was finally over.
Not just the Rebellion, Kampher thought to herself, but the true war.
Slowly, she rose and walked over to a small cabinet on the other side of the room. It was a fairly simple, nondescript piece of furniture that Schurke had found in the market in Cornet, and given her as a gift on the first aniversary of their union. In a rare admission that he still listened to the Force on occasion, Schurke had insisted that it had called to him. Since then, it had served as a respository for the few possesions they had kept from their previous life.
A small hidden compartment sprang open at Kampher's touch, revealing the key that the previous owner had claimed had been lost. She carefully removed it, mindful of the fragile dried wildflowers that they had found inside.
Naboo Wildflowers, just like the ones Anakin kept in his pocket..
Kampher held the key to her breast and closed her eyes.
When they had placed their possesions into the drawer,she and Shurke had removed a few of the loose seeds and scattered then into their little garden.
The past gives life to the future, Schurke, she had told him as he had cradled her in his arms. Aubé had yet to be born, and their son Kay'leb was many years away.
Naboo wildflowers. They had already run rampant through her little garden, a riotous kaleidoscope of color. The Delegate from Naboo - Kampher could never remember his name – had come to supper one night, and remarked upon them. She remembered that as much, more so for the fact that despite his outward appearance, Schurke too had made the connection.
Not that it really mattered.
Slowly, Kampher unlocked the cabinet and carefully removed a single holo of four friends, looking scruffy and dirty. Three had their arms thrown around one another. The fourth crouched in front, leaning easily into them with lopsided grin on his face.
They all looked impossibly young.
Schurke and herself.
Kampher touched her temple, suddenly self-conscious about the grey that now shot through her hair. The holo was twenty-five years old – where had the time gone?
The holo flickered as she reached out to it, and suddenly tears sprang to her eyes, unbidden.
Unwilling to move from her spot, she called a candle and a light to her hand from across the room.
"For old friends, long gone," she murmured softly as she lit the taper. "May the Force keep you well…"
Things had been quiet on their home world. Even as the Lead Healer at the local center, Kampher was allowed the odd day to herself. The com had been silent, and Kay-leb, despite his youth, could handle the myriad of minor injuries and illnesses at the center. Kampher had the urge - no, the need to meditate.
She lay back on her unmade bed, closed her eyes and allowed the Force to speak to her once again.
At first, there
was nothing but the memory. The harrowing night that Gris had died.
The three friends had gone after their companion, only to find that she had made the terrible choice to go to the dark side. Only at the very end had she fought back and had tried to return to the light.
Anakin Skywalker's voice crept into her memory, like an errant child in hiding.
"She earned a draw, in the end Gris knew that she wasn't strong enough to win against the Darkness... But she fought back."
"As did you, Anakin…in the end."
Suddenly, in her mind's eye, Kam saw him standing before her, as if he had stepped out of the holo, young and whole.
"I saw your son once, Anakin," Kam murmured softly. Strangely enough, she felt no discomfort with the idea that she was speaking with a ghost. It seemed to be the most natural thing in the world. "He has your eyes…"
The specter nodded slightly, a smile playing about his ethereal lips. "He is his mother's son… he believed in me to the very end..."
"And he was right, wasn't he Anakin? In the end?"
Again, a gentle nod.
A comfortable silence fell between them, but it was not destined to last for long.
"It's time to say goodbye, Kam. She's waiting there for me..."
Kampher sighed. "I know, but you want something of me, don't you… of us?"
He raised his head slightly, a stubborn look crossing his features.
"You want us to go back… to help your son."
"Only if you want to, Kam. Only if you want to…"
"You know we would want to help you, Anakin. We were always there for each other."
He looked over his shoulder, and then back at Kampher, and then he smiled. There was nothing more to be said.
It was time.
The specter raised his hand in farewell, and for one glorious moment, Kampher could see…
Impressions, most only faint whispers, but they were there.
The Jedi Masters.
Anakin and his angel…
The images faded, like shadows being chased away by the sunlight, but like the sunlight itself, the memory of their presence warmed her.
Kam awoke from her mediation, eyes wet with tears, but with a new determination. Slowly she reached for her com. When it went off in her hand, she momentarily recoiled, startled as her husband's voiced boomed from the speaker.
"Kam? Sweetheart, are you there?"
Kampher thumbed the switch to reply. "Of course I am, you silly Gundark," she laughed. "Who else would answer my com?"
She could hear him groan before replying. "Kam, this is serious… I want… I want to…"
"Go home? Back to Coruscant?"
He began again slowly. "Yes, all right… I won't ask how you knew. But the Council wants to send an emissary or two to speak to the… to the Jedi."
"And you convinced them that you should be among the first."
"Your son did actually," came the absent reply. "But in any case, they want us to leave in two weeks… it wouldn't be until after Aubé is home… Kay'leb has spoken to her and she agrees. They want to know… to see it all for themselves. Kam I know this is short notice but…"
"You're right Schurke." Kampher reassured him softly. It's time to go home..