Chapter 14 Today That Hurts

Kimmy was floating in a sea of darkness. Above there was a faint light, coming nearer and nearer. Slowly, she opened her eyes. A white ceiling greeted her.

"Kimmy." Kitch stood beside the bed. "How are you feeling?"

Kimmy took an inventory. Head: aching, room: spinning, but slower now, side: throbbing, eyes: wanting to close again, ears: there was a strange buzzing. Well, things could be worse.

"Alright." At least her voice worked. "Where's Jesse?"

Kitch looked away. "He ended up killing Sifo Dias."

Kimmy struggled to make things compute. "So what are you saying? That he turned to the dark side?"

Kitch didn't look up.

"Kitch?"

"No." Kitch finally answered. "Not yet anyway. But he thought he had, so he left."

"Left? We have to go after him!" Kimmy tried to sit up. Bad idea. The room once more pitched dizily and a black fog closed in. After a minute it cleared.

"No, Kimmy." Kitch was saying."You can't make someone do what you want. It's Jesse's decision. We just have to wait."

Tears filled Kimmy's eyes, but she nodded. "I know." She whispered. "Do you think he'll ever come back?"

"I don't know."

There was a soft knock at the door and it opened.

"Kitch, oh, you're awake, Kimmy." A nurse poked her head through. "This came for you." She handed a box to Kimmy and left.

Kimmy opened the letter first.

Dear Kimmy,

I guess by now you've heard what happened. First I want to assure you, I will not use the dark side for any purpose. Why did I leave then, you ask? It's just this, Kimmy, when I saw my lightsaber go through my old master's neck, when I felt how little resistance there was, smelt the burnt flesh, and saw him fall to the ground dead it scared me. All the little details are branded into my mind forever, but I don't remember what happened, the major things, I mean. All I remember is seeing you helpless on the ground and attacking him. I think I touched clarity and rational thinking for a minute, and I told myself I wouldn't give in, but in the end I killed him anyway. And I wondered then as I do now, what right have I to take a life? This wasn't some droid or animal, this was a human being, with feelings and emotions, just like you and me. I could have apprehended him somehow, brought him back for trial, but I didn't. Instead because of me a person will never breathe, or laugh, or cry, or feel, or love again. And I couldn't face you, or Master Windu, or anyone else, including myself. So I guess I'm running from myself again. I'm going to fix what Sifo Dias did if it takes the rest of my life or even if it takes my life. But I want you to know that I love you. That hasn't changed, and it never will. You've meant a lot to me, and I know you'll be one of the greatest Jedi ever because of your soft heart, your determination, and your commitment.

Jesse

Tears ran down Kimmy's cheeks as she put down the letter and opened the box. Inside lay a silver cylinder.

"Oh." She cried. Sobs came freely now, shaking her hurting shoulders.

Kitch put an arm around her. "It'll be ok." He whispered, wondering if it ever truly would.

"I know." Kimmy said. "Someday. It's today that hurts."

>>>>

After a few days, Kimmy was finally able to get out of bed, but only for a little while at a time. She ditched the medical droid that kept following her around and went into the archive room.

Kitch looked up when she entered."Hey."

"Hey. I haven't seen you around today."

"I had a talk with my master aboutleaving the temple without permission."

"So, are you in trouble?"

"Master Laython was a little upset, but he told me we would forgo punishment this time because of the circumstance. But he did ask that I let him know the next time I decide I want totake off."

"That's good."

There was a long pause.

"You still miss him, don't you?" Kitch finally said.

"Yeah. I…"

Just then, Kimmy's comlink went off. She answered it to find it was her master.

"Kimmy. The Council requests your presence immediately."

"Yes Master."

She gave Kitch an apologetic smile and walked off.

Five minutes later, Kimmy stood in the council chambers, going through her knighting ceremony. It seemed wrong somehow; she had always expected Jesse to be here with her.

But, he's not. He's gone, and I may never see him again. The thought raised a lump in her throat.

Kimmy looked at Mace Windu, to possibly see a sign of how he felt about his padawan leaving the Jedi Order. As always, his face was impossible to read, and she really couldn't get his reaction through the Force. But she knew he had to be feeling something. Kimmy was brave when it came to a lot of things, but asking Mace Windu how he felt about Jesse leaving the Order wasn't her idea of bravery; it was more suicide to her.

However, as Kimmy continued to think on this, a voice she knew all too well broke into her thoughts.

"Hmmm…sense troubles in you, I do."

"Sorry Master Yoda. It's just…well…I mean, Jesse and I were handed an assignment, and yet when we learned our lead was a dead end, we stayed on Tatooine with Anakin and Pad - Senator Amidala while Master Kenobi and Kitch were tracking down the real threat. I just wonder if we had left to look for the real lead, if maybe things could have turned out different."

"Dwell on the ifs we mustn't young one. Change the past, we can not."

"And you must understand this too. Like I told Jesse…" Mace stopped for a second, and Kimmy was sure she could sense sadness, yes sadness, coming from the great Jedi Master. But then, he continued. "This mission was an unusually twisted mission. Nothing was right about it. And I sense nothing will be for a long time. You did what you felt the Force told you to do; what you felt you should do. It takes a true Jedi Knight to decide when they need to follow the Force, even when it deviates from their mission."

"Yes Masters."

"Promote you to Jedi Knight, the Council does."

With that, the council members stood up. The lights dimmed and they all activated their lightsabers. Then, her Jedi Master, Shaak Ti, walked up, her blue lightsaber activated too, and with a horizontal cut, cut Kimmy's padawan braid off where it fell into Kimmy's hand. Shaak Ti deactivated her saber and hugged her former padawan tightly. Kimmy knew dark times were ahead. She smiled. Jesse may be gone, but she was still a Jedi and she would honor him by staying a Jedi Knight until the end. As she walked out of the Council chamber, she looked down. On her right was her lightsaber she had just constructed. On her left was Jesse's lightsaber. How he had found his original, she did not know, but she didn't care. She would always carry it with her, to remind her of the best friend she had ever had.

I fanyone reviews and tells me that they cried I will be the happiest person in the world. Thatlast sectionwas almost all JediWizard. Don't you think we make a good team? Well I hope so, because next up is Revenge of the Sith. Coming Soon! (and I want lots of reviews!) The end! (for now)