VI

I--Darth Maul--am staring down at the Jedi my given data called Obi-Wan Kenobi. Already I have defeated his Master-a tasteful, useful, unprecedented victory. I skin the pit's edge with my halved saber; a mixture of healing/revigoration and success, pouring through the Force siphoned through me, slows sleepy time with primal pleasure unneeding of description. My enemy is going to attempt, succeed, a Force-pull to the dead one's lightsaber--

I--Luke Skywalker--in the split-second when the Sith's synapses react, wrestle up out of his thoughts I had recognized as once behind and now before 'me' and slow him, distract. His eyes widen, and I could control that, would if I just touched a little nearer the dark side intent--

I kill him, but I feel the pain-numbness of the slash, and his shocked surprise.

I wake up lying on my side in the center of that shooting-star emblem, little residual battle-pained, my lightsaber just beyond my fingertips. Again I'm lying there muttering, "Ben? Ben..."

Obi-Wan Kenobi.

I think, and wonder perhaps if this is my first free thought in a while, that I should have somehow shoothed my foe. What was he?

I get to my feet gently. Lorti Rall is set with his knees up to his front beside the small door we entered.

"How long has it been?" I say, hoarse, and I wonder to late whether I look frightening, emerging sweat-slicked from the how recently strobing darkness.

"Yousa only dancin for a few minutes. But it full of--it was full of purpose. You fought no one."

I nod, try to look reassuring. "I'm all right now, Lorti. it's gone.

"I just want to go back home."

The room seems empty when Leia, Queen Kelina, and I sit around the large conference table after I rested, bathed, and dressed again in a sleeveless tunic and loose pants. I can explain calmly the ordeal and its repurcussions. Lorti is mentally shivery, and from all his delicious relief falls the fact that I did not kill anyone.

He would have...

Lorti was right; I channeled the spirit of a Sith that fought in this palace once. That Obi-Wan fought and killed in this palace once. I could almost admire the alien's strength and focus in the Force. I reassure my sister with a stroke of thought and look at Kelina's now feather-framed face. "Your Highnes, would there be any record I could not have yet accessed to verify either this darksider's existance or an old Jedi's presense here?" Perhaps good information could come after all, about Ben and his Order.

"I am sorry, but there are none. Palpatine's hacking droids destroyed all mention of official Jedi activity here fast, because this is his homeworld. Some were apt to remember too much."

His homeworld. is new information to me! But otherwise--nothing. Likely, Palpatine sent this Sith to fight a Nubian Jedi. I am glad that Ben, perhaps with my intervention, destroyed him and left me with my emotion-fed father...

No, I am not sure of that. What could have been should not occupy and distract the thoughts.

FIN