Epilogue – 32 years later
Chapter 16 of Betrayal, the day after the Jedi Strike Teams escape from Corellia
Outwardly Jedi Knight Tyria Sarkin-Tainer appeared to be as calm and composed as befitted a Knight of her age and experience. Inwardly, though, she was concentrating hard on keeping her agitation from showing on her face. And she had to consciously suppress the urge to fidget.
The news about the failed missions on Corellia had spread faster among the Jedi than Bothan Redrash did among an all-Bothan crew of some secluded space station. Details were sketchy, yet, but most Jedi were already aware of the traps which had been waiting for the Jedi teams. But while most Jedi were already discussing how the Corellians could have received such detailed information about the missions, Tyria was worried for one individual only.
While she was already aware of her son being alive and well, both through the Force bond she shared with him and the preliminary reports Jaina Solo had sent, her motherly instincts drove her to be here on the tarmac. She needed to make sure that her son was really fine, had to see him with her own eyes and touch him with her own hands. It was pointless, it was superflous and completely corny but she couldn't help it.
Tyria shook her head. She should get a grip on herself. After all Doran was a grown man of twentyeight years and not a toddler barely out of the cradle.
An unbidden memory appeared in front of her mind's eye, a five-year-old Doran preparing for his very first shockball match. He'd looked clumsy in his thick protective gear, like a young wanderer crab from Toprawa who'd chosen too large a shell for himself.
"Clear landing pad Osk-Cisk-Sixteen for incoming shuttle. I repeat: Clear landing pad Osk-Cisk-Sixteen for incoming shuttle."
The voice blaring from a speaker drew Tyria out of her reverie. She began scanning the blue cloth of the sky for an approaching ship. Sure enough a group of distant dots dropped beneath the bottom-layer of the ever-moving speeder traffic in the skylanes and headed for the military landing field which the Jedi had been given by the Galactic Alliance for their own use. The dots separated, a single one dropped lower while the rest remained in a tight formation. Five seconds later the X-Wings roared past and were out of sight within an instant. The shuttle, she immediately recognized it as an old but classic Lambda-class vessel, raised its wings and dropped his landing gear. The ship slowed gracefully, rested on the air cushion created by the repulsor lifts and then gently touched down on the duracrete surface of the landing pad. But she didn't expect anything else from Jaina Solo who was certainly one of the best pilots the Jedi Order had.
"Something's bothering you, Jedi Sarkin-Tainer?"
Tyria glanced at the white-haired woman who'd joined her at the edge of the landing pad. Her face gave nothing away, but Tyria could feel her guarded amusement. "Tionne," she said and gave her a small bow. "And it's Tyria."
"Allright." Tionne laughed lightly. "He is fine. You know that."
"I do," Tyria agreed. "But he's my son and worries are hardwired into a mother's genome. I can't escape them."
"I'm sure Doran appreciates it."
"I know." Tyria sighed in vexation. "But sometimes I do have problems discerning the grown man Doran is now from the tiny piece of human he was at his birth, the sometimes clumsy toddler or the rebellious teenager I've known. Intellectually I know he's way beyond the age of needing protection, but ..."
Tionne patted her arm. "That's natural. He will always be your little boy in some way or another. That is the way parents tend to view their children." Her smile grew into a grin. "But as I understand it he will always be a little boy in some regards. Namely the pranks he used to play ... and still does."
Doran's mother chuckled lightly. "True enough. When I look at his father I still see the childish prankster I've fallen in love with all those years ago. He hasn't changed one bit. And I wouldn't have it any other way."
Tionne smiled. "I know a few Jedi who would give a lot for him to change just one little bit. I seem to remember an incident involving a bucket of ramjet lube …"
Tyria held up her hand and silenced the older Jedi. "Whatever it is – I don't want to know about it."
A vicious hiss of steam from the Shuttle interrupted the conversation and returned the two Jedi's attention to the ship parking in front of them. The boarding ramp lowered slowly accompanied by groans of the hydraulic system and more steam coming out of the cooling vents. First to emerge were Jaina Solo and Zekk and he was obviously not happy about something. He threw Jaina a murderous scowl and furiously rubbed his hips.
Jaina ignored him and gave the approaching Jedi a small bow of respect. "Tionne, Tyria."
"Welcome back, Jaina," Tionne answered and smiled. "Good to see you in one piece and unharmed."
"I'm not unharmed," Zekk grumbled and fired another glare at his Jedi partner. "Thanks to her."
"Too bad Bacta can't cure vices of personality," Jaina sighed. "Don't be such a crybaby."
Zekk glared again and pointed at her. "Next time you can sit in a seat this small for a few hours. Then we will see who's a crybaby, Jedi Solo."
"Noone forced you to sit there. Why did you have to take the kid's seat at all? I could have flown all by myself quite easily."
Zekk snorted. "Sure. A kid's seat," he mocked. "At the co-pilot's station? Or do you know of a human kid that shed's fur?"
Tyria blinked. "Fur? What fur?"
"Not Bothan fur," a new voice from behind Jaina and Zekk called. "Jusht to make zhat clear."
Tionne frowned at the Bothan. "Are you allright, Kolir?"
The Bothan shook her head. "Broken jaw. Noshing Bacta can't fixsh."
Tyria craned her neck and studied the intricate painting on the ship's flanks. "Interesting choice of an escape craft," she said and raised an eyebrow at Jaina. "Hardly inconspicious, though."
The brunette Jedi shrugged. "Not my fault. Thann here obtained it."
"In our situation I figured that spaceworthiness ranks higher than a pleasant appearance," the Falleen Jedi retorted with utmost dignity. "The ship was fueled and ready for take-off. As such it fulfilled our primary needs."
"And you got to play with thoshe pheromonesh again," Kolir muttered. "And if I ever find out that you're getting datesh thish way …"
"Will you two leave it!" Tahiri descended the ramp and glowered at the Falleen and the Bothan. "You've never stopped bickering ever since we've left Corellia."
"It's not my fault that Jedi Hu'lya is jealous of my efficiency," Thann said and shrugged.
Kolir's death-glare would have melted a Star Destroyer. "You've got an innate deshire for a Bacta dunk? I can arrange it for you. Eashily."
"Children!" Tionne gave the group a small glare. "This is not an appropriate behaviour for Jedi." She pointed at Kolir. "You're going straight to the Medcenter for Bacta treatment. For the rest of you there's a debriefing scheduled in an hour. Time enough to freshen up and get something to eat."
"Yes, Master Tionne." Jaina bowed and dragged a still glowering Zekk towards the Jedi complex.
The rest of the Jedi team, minus Doran who was waiting patiently at the bottom of the boarding ramp, followed Tionne's order, bickering all the way and disappeared into the towering building.
The white-haired woman rolled her eyes in exasperation. "Force grant me strength. They make teaching youngling classes look like a vacation at times."
Tyria gave her a small smile. "I've got two of those in the family. Married one and gave birth to the other."
Doran glowered. "I'm not that bad."
His mother shot him a wry look. "You are your father's son, Doran. You can't escape your genes."
Doran frowned. "Aren't you supposed to be on my side?"
"I've had to put up with your antics for nearly three decades. I know you and that scoundrel inside your head. You don't fool me at all."
Tionne smiled broadly. "I'll leave you two alone. There are some issues which require my attention, anyway." She nodded at Doran. "Debriefing in an hour, remember."
"Yes, Master Tionne." Doran bowed and watched the Jedi Master retreating into the building.
When she was out of sight Tyria embraced her son tightly. "I was worried sick. When they told us the news I feared the worst."
Her son had inherited his father's height and physique and could lift her from the floor easily. "I'm really fine, Mom. It takes more than a few overzealous CorSec folks and some rusty droids to take me down." Then he put her down again.
She withdrew from the embrace and wiped a stray tear from her cheek. "Sorry," she mumbled and gave him an embarrassed smile. "Old habits die hard, I guess."
Her son grinned. "Not a problem. Besides …" Doran looked around to make sure they were really alone and twisted his face into a devillish grin. "There's something I wanted to show you. It's even better that the others aren't here anymore."
She knew that look. His father sported it every time he'd successfully set up one of his pranks. "What are you up to, Doran Tainer?"
He grabbed her hand and dragged her up the boarding ramp and into the Shuttle. "There's something I found in a locker. I'm sure you'll appreciate it," he said and grinned.
Tyria pulled her hand away and crossed her arms. "If this is one of your pranks I don't want any part in it. You hear me?"
Doran merely smiled and opened a locker which had been inserted into the bulkhead of the ship itself. Then he pulled out a folded black piece of clothing, unfolded it and held it out for her to watch.
Tyria raised an eyebrow. "A children's jumpsuit. So?"
Her son shook his head. "That's not a kid's jumpsuit, Mom. Look at the arms and legs. They're way too short for a kid of that age." The devillish grin reappeared on his face. "I'd say that jumpsuit should fit Lieutenant Kettch perfectly."
"Oh no!" His mother's eyes went wide. "Don't tell me you still have that life-sized Ewok doll."
"Oh, but I do," he answered cockily. "You don't really think I'd get rid of such a hero as Lieutenant Kettch, do you?"
She shook her head. "Thought – no. Hoped – yes." Just then she remembered a piece of the conversation with Jaina and Zekk. "By the way what was that about a tiny seat with fur on it?"
Doran pointed at the cockpit. "The co-pilot's seat is very small and narrow, too small for most creatures." He rubbed his chin and frowned as a new thought crossed his mind. "It's like …" He shook his head. "No, that's nonsense. That can't be."
"What can't be?"
"That seat is about right for a fully grown Ewok."
Tyria gave him a lopsided grin. "Yeah, sure."
He shrugged. "See for yourself."
Tyria shook her head and approached the door separating the passenger's compartment from the cockpit. As such the ship had been massively modified. Where normal Lambda-class shuttles had a decent space for passengers or cargo this one had three cabin compartments, one large and two of a smaller size, leaving only a little room for a tiny galley, a table and a cramped settee.
She stopped in mid-stride and took a look around. This was no ordinary charter shuttle but more like the mount of a four-person-family. She looked at the large cabin, then the other two.
The parents's and the kid's bedrooms, she thought. So that jumpsuit really belongs to one of the kids.
Tyria shook her head and resumed walking. As she approached the passageway to the cockpit she slapped her palm on the opening mechanism and the door silently disappeared in the bulkhead to her left. She entered the cockpit and studied the seating arrangement. The co-pilot's seat was really tiny, too small to be of use for grown humans or similar species. And there was fur on it, all right.
Tyria sighed and turned to leave when a picture appeared in front of her mind's eye. She saw an Ewok with dark-brown fur sitting in the tiny seat. He wore the black jumpsuit her son had shown her and had metal extensions attached to his arms and legs. She shook her head trying to clear her mind, but the picture refused to disappear. She took a deep breath and drew on the Force to push the impossible thought back into the dark depths it had emerged from. It was impossible, unthinkable. Her mind was just playing tricks on her.
She took a step towards the exit, but hesitated when she felt a whisper of the Force.
She turned around and let her gaze sweep across the grey surfaces, the consoles and displays. The whisper returned, no longer lighter than the touch of a Fireflare's wing but growing into a nearly discernable rumble. There was something in here for her to find.
Allright, she thought and took a deep breath. Let's see what's so important in here.
She closed her eyes and reached out with the Force. She wasn't one for visions and they usually came only in deep meditation, remained blurry and incomplete. But this time it appeared with the ease of someone switching on a holoprojector. She saw the Ewok again, still sitting in his seat and using his prosthetics to manipulate the console in front of him. A human hand – a female hand - appeared at the edge of her field of vision, flipped a switch and disappeared from sight again. Her vision rocked slightly as if the ship had touched down and the Ewok busied himself – Tyria had no idea how she knew he was male, but she was convinced of it. – with flipping switches or punching buttons. Lights started to flicker and died down one by one. Finally the consoles went dark. Then the Ewok unhooked his crash-webbing and began snapping off his prosthetics before he extricated himself from the seat. A panel to his right opened revealing a small rack and the Ewok put the metal extensions into the rack before closing the panel again.
Tyria jerked back to reality. She'd never experienced a vision this clear. It reminded her of the results certain high-resolution spycams produced. She'd used those a few times during her service with NRI.
"Mom? Are you okay?"
She waved her son's concern away. "I'm fine."
He approached the still open passageway between cockpit and passenger compartment. And he was obviously not placated. "Sure?"
She smiled and nodded. "I just had a small vision. Nothing important."
Doran shrugged but kept leaning against the bulkhead. "Anything interesting?"
She finally lost the battle with her grin. "Nope. Just Lieutenant Kettch."
Doran chuckled and shook his head. He'd grown up with stuffed Ewoks, Ewok pranks and the tales of the mighty Lieutenant Kettch. It had become a private joke among his family.
His mother chuckled, too, but approached the panel the Ewok in her vision had opened. She knew it was pointless, but she needed certainty. She knew she would not find anything behind that … She gasped.
"Mom?" Now Doran was really concerned. "You sure you're allright?"
Tyria turned to look at her son and gave him a disbelieving look. "Tell me those are not what I think they are," she said breathlessly and pointed at the open panel.
Her son frowned and peered into the cramped compartment. When his brain realized what he was seeing he jerked back and returned his mother's disbelieving stare with one of his own. "I … I …," he stammered. "I don't believe this."
Tyria pried one of the metal extensions out of its fitting and studied it intensively. It was worn and dirty, had scratches everywhere. As if it had seen heavy use for years.
"I don't know how they did it," her son remarked as he was studying the object in her hands, too.
"Dad. Loran. Janson." Doran shrugged. "That's gotta be some prank of them. I mean, that can't be real. Can it?"
Tyria shrugged. "I don't know." Kettch real? Force preserve my sanity.
"But how could they? They couldn't have known about our mission. They couldn't have known about us … obtaining this ship. It wasn't planned at all." Doran still couldn't get over it.
"I don't know, Doran. But I guess we should find out, shouldn't we?"
His mother jerked her head at the bulkhead on the other side of the cockpit. "There's gotta be some datapad with the ship's registration. Maybe we get an idea who our Kettch here is."
Doran swallowed. "I'm almost afraid to find out. That would take the punchline out of this joke."
"True," his mother admitted. Then she glanced at her wrist chrono. "Go and take a shower. You've got a debriefing in a while."
Doran leaned in and placed a kiss on her cheek. "See you then, Mom." Then he withdrew from the cockpit.
Tyria stowed the prostethic extension in its rack again, crossed to the other side of the cockpit and snatched a permanent-memory datapad from a slot in the bulkhead next to the captain's station. Then she followed him.
In spite of her gnawing curiosity her duties kept her busy for the best part of the next two hours. Due to her Intelligence training and experience she'd been temporarily assigned to the teaching corps and assisted other Jedi in teaching the finer arts of the Intelligence business.
She did not like that task as it reminded her of the more unpleasant facets of her service with Wraith Squadron. She'd seen things, and done things, that still made her skin crawl and welled up revulsion in her stomach. She'd been all too happy to leave NRI in favor of her own Jedi training, even if it had meant to leave her friends and her husband behind for quite some time. But she'd spent a lot of time thinking about this step and at some point she hadn't been able to take it anymore. Intelligence had worn her out.
She locked the door of her quarters and gave a sigh of relief. She had never voiced her displeasure and she was quite sure nobody had managed to spot her unease, but those training sessions always took a lout out of her. The time would come when she'd have to tell the Masters that she needed a break from them. But not now. Not that soon.
Tyria wandered into her small kitchen and switched on the caf distiller. She had the distinctive feeling that this would be a long evening and some caf would certainly help her fight the rising fatigue. The bulky device gurgled and hissed – which reminded her to give the maintenance droid a call and have it clean the distiller – but after a few minutes it had produced a can of the hot, black and decidedly strong fluid. She filled her favourite mug, added milk and sugar and made her way back into the living room. Her destination was the computer console.
Time for some research, she decided.
The datapad in her pocket had grown heavier since she'd put it in there. And when she pulled it out of its temporary prison it seemed to ... throb ... She shook her head. Her senses were playing tricks on her. She was probably still stressed out from the training session.
Tyria switched it on and was presented by an utterly standard greeting. The old Empire had passed a law which dictated that every single privately owned ship had to carry a permanent-memory datapad containing all information on the ship and its owners along. The Imperials had hoped to use them in their struggle against all opposing elements within Palpatine's new realm, but that had proved to be a vain hope. Forging a ship's documents was even easier than faking a ship's ID or tuning its engine signature. The New Republic had continued to use that rule as had the Galactic Alliance, but nowadays the thorough documentation was more of a tradition than a galaxy-wide regulation.
She had to scroll through pages after pages full of wordings of law, reminders to adhere to the principles of privacy and other pointless drivel. But finally she managed to worm her way into the main menu and went looking for the owner details. She hit the button and took a sip of her caf. Just then she nearly spat the liquid across the holoprojector when drops of it took the wrong passageway in her throat. Tyria coughed heavily enough that tears formed in her eyes and forced the offending fluid out of her windpipe. Then she stared in surprise at the data in front of her eyes.
The ship was registered at CoroNet City and was owned by a small passenger and freight distribution company - DonoSlane Excursions. A part of that name itself was familiar. She'd known a Myn Donos many, many years ago. He'd been one of Wraith Squadron's founding members but had left the unit for Rogue Squadron when the Wraiths had been transfered to Intelligence. A few years later he'd resigned his commission and had disappeared.
And really – a Myn Donos was listed as co-owner of the shuttle along with a Kirney Slane-Donos, apparently his wife. Tyria smiled wryly.
What a coincidence. First there's something that cannot be real aboard the shuttle and now there's a familiar name in its registration.
But of course she could be reading all of this the wrong way. Maybe there were other men with that name – although she'd never heard of another Myn in her whole life. But there was a chance to verify her hunch. If the datapad was set up strictly by the rules, then there would be holos of the registered owners ...
Tyria whistled silently. Now that was interesting. There were no holographs of the owners, just static noise. If that was the Myn Donos she was thinking about, why would he have had his holo removed from such an innocent document? And that of his wife.
She mulled over this. Donos had disappeared completely after resigning his commission almost exactly thirty years ago. He'd never contacted any of his old comrades afterwards. He hadn't left behind a way to get in touch with him, either. He'd vanished just as if he'd never existed at all. If he weren't listed in Rogue Squadron's annals she might believe him to have been a product of her own imagination. What had driven him to this step? Granted, he'd been a loner even after conquering his inner demons, always part of the group but never in its center. But disappearing this completely ...
There's more to that than any of us ever suspected, she mused and took another sip of her caf. He was never one to act rash. He was one for careful planning and consideration. He must have had a very good reason.
When Han Solo's Taskforce had returned to Coruscant after their victory at Selaggis all personnel had been given the rather opulent amount of three weeks of leave. In fact Donos had been the first to disappear. They'd barely touched down, and if she remembered the incident correctly Donos had just had enough time to move his personal belongings to his new quarters, when he'd finalized the paperwork and had headed off to some unknown location.
The next time she'd seen him had been many months later, when the Wraiths had been assigned as advanced scouting party to the operations against prince-Admiral Delak Krennel. Donos had been a different man by then, not the distant and brooding loner she'd known before. Then she'd attributed his newfound ease with himself to the healing properties of time, but now she wasn't so sure anymore.
"If that is the Myn Donos I'm thinking about at all," she sighed. Without a visual confirmation her whole musings might be nothing more than elaborately sculpted steam. She stiffened. Visual confirmation.
She put the datapad aside and switched on the computer console. Due to her temporary teaching job she'd been granted access to the Galactic Alliance's extensive bureaucratical network and even a few Intelligence databases. She logged in, called up the database listing all Galactic Alliance citizens and filled the search mask with the information. Corellia might be a rebellious member at the moment, but bureaucrats were the same on every planet in this galaxy. These creatures could not stand data sets not kept in a meticulous shape. They would rather breathe the hard vacuum of deep space than allow for sloppy data management.MATCH FOUND. OPEN FILE(S)? YES / NO
She had the computer open the file and studied its contents. It was the correct Myn Donos, allright. She looked at the service record listed: Talon Squadron, Wraith Squadron, Rogue Squadron. He'd returned to Corellia, his home planet, and had lived without attracting attention ever since. Well, well, well ...
But there was one big surprise waiting for Tyria in that file, too. When she entered the command to display the person's holo she was greeted by the very same static noise she'd seen in the ship's registration files. Her mouth formed a wordless 'O' of surprise. Manipulating the ship's registration files might be easy enough for even the greenest of rookies, but the citizen's database of a government was a completely different category. These databases were guarded more closely than most planets did watch their financial reserves. To be able to invade such a computer system without raising alarms, manipulate files without letting the keepers of the data know about it and withdraw just as silently you had to be one of the galaxy's top slicers. Few of those were not working for governmental organisations and those who did not were excessively expensive to hire. So why had Myn Donos hired one to cover his tracks? And where had he gotten the money for that operation?
Tyria put her elbows on the console and buried her face in her hands. She could already feel a headache forming behind her forehead. And it was going to be a bad one. She had various pieces of the puzzle – the jumpsuit, the metal prosthetics, the ship's registration and the manipulated personal file. But they did not fit. They did not form a picture but an erratic blob of shapes and colours. Where was the key to unlock this mystery?
She closed the database and logged out, but let the projector on standby. She had hit a dead end. There were more questions than answers and this path would not lead to any other revelations. Suddenly she remembered one of her – probably long gone – tutors from Airen Cracken's Staff.
If you cannot gather any more information the conventional way go to the source.
That had been an operational procedure reserved for emergencies or completely failed operations. If you wanted to know as much as possible about an individual it was always better not to alert him or her of your interest. To resort to this straightforward approach you had to be desperate.
Tyria snarled, exasperated at herself. She had established the identity of the ship's owner, a former squadmate and friend, and here she was – contemplating information gathering strategies as if going on another Intelligence mission. She really had to get out of these Intel courses very soon.
"So if the Noghri don't come to Wayland, Wayland comes to the Noghri," she muttered and powered up the holocom. She picked a number and waited.
"Jedi Sarkin-Tainer. That is a surprise," the man's holo said.
Tyria bowed slightly. "Master Katarn. Forgive me for being blunt, but I need an authorization for a HoloNet call to Corellia. I know the Alliance is monitoring those. Or worse." She frowned slightly. Was this really what she'd fought for all her life? "But with the authorization of a member of the Jedi Council ..."
Katarn was puzzled. "May I ask for your reasons for this rather unusual request?"
She smiled. "The ship the Jedi teams used to escape Corellia turned out to belong to an old friend of mine. He was a member of Wraith and Rogue Squadron before he resigned his commission. I want to assure him that the ship will be returned in prime condition once the situation between the Alliance and Corellia has been sorted out."
"I see." Katarn's holo grinned. "So you're killing two Mynocks with one blasterbolt, aren't you?"
"From a certain point of view ... Yes."
Katarn laughed lightly and punched a few buttons. A light flickered on Tyria's console and indicated the receipt of a data package. "I've authorized your request and transmitted a one-time access code for the HoloNet. Use it and the Alliance will leave you alone."
Tyria bowed again. "Thank you, Master Katarn. And please excuse the interruption."
Katarn's holo nodded and winked out.
Tyria took a deep breath and let it out slowly. That had been surprisingly easy. Given the disasters which had befallen the Jedi operations on Corellia she hadn't expected to get clearance. All the better, she thought and brought up the owner's details of the shuttle. And really – there was a HoloNet address listed. She held the datapad in her left hand, opened the file she'd received from Katarn and dialed the number listed in the registration datapad.
Her call was answered almost instantly, but the holo that popped up surprised her. The first thing she saw was the back of a woman with coppery hair, tightly woven into a single long braid. She was facing the room behind her, obviously still engaged in talking to another individual. She gave Tyria a quick glance over her shoulder and said, "One moment, please. I'll be with you right away."
Tyria hadn't gotten more than a short glance at her profile, but that voice ... She sat up straighter in her chair. That voice is familiar, she realized. But then the holo drew her attention back. And she needed all of her willpower to keep her jaw from disconnecting from its sockets.
Behind the redheaded woman the holo showed a genorously spaced office with several desks and computer terminals. Off to the right she could make out a spacious settee and a low table, obviously intended for the more important business negotiations. But the room was far less interesting than the other individual which had stepped into the holocam's recording range.
It was an Ewok. The same Ewok she'd seen in her vision aboard the shuttle. The furry creature wore a jumpsuit whose dark grey had almost completely given way to various stains of red, black or brown. She knew only a few substances could produce that particular colour pattern - starship lube, fuel and coolant fluid. He – Again Tyria had no idea how she knew it, but she was absolutely certain that that Ewok was male. – was waiting patiently for the redhead to finish her instructions, wiping his paws on a dirty old rack.
The other woman's voice penetrated Tyria's stupor, but her words were directed at the Ewok. "The issue with the loading mechanism is sorted out?"
"Yes," the Ewok's sing-song voice answered in almost clear basic. "New hydraulic set installed and tested. Problems gone."
"Very good, Kolot. Could you find Myn and remind him of his promise to Alina?" The woman threw a glance at her wrist chrono. "She should be finished in half an hour. He promised her to pick her up."
The Ewok nodded. "Kolot will do." Then he headed off and disappeared from the holo.
Tyria remained motionless in her chair, far too stupefied to form a coherent sentence even in her own thoughts.
But that stupefaction was nothing compared to the one that followed. The readhead turned around in her seat, facing her for the first time, and gave her a business smile. "I beg your pardon. Thanks for calling ..." She trailed off and narrowed her eyes.
Tyria could feel her penetrating gaze, but she was occupied studying the face in front of her. I know her, she thought. And yes, there was a familiarity about that other woman. She knew she'd seen her before, had heard her voice before. But she couldn't remember where and when.
Suddenly the redhead's expression changed and her eyes widened considerably. Tyria saw the spark of recognition in those green orbs. "Tyria?"
And then the credit dropped. As did Tyria's jaw. But that couldn't be ... That woman was dead, had been dead for three long decades. And suddenly it made sense ... The way Myn Donos had disappeared. The total lack of contact. The manipulated files. "Stars of Alderaan," she breathed and gave the redhead a wide-eyed stare of surprise. "Lara?"
The End ...