40 ABY Coruscant
The room was dimly lit with candles and the last traces of sunlight filtered through the windows of the small room which seemed to serve as a combination dining and living room. Slow dreamy music played as the couple danced and laughed. The dark haired man kissed the woman and spoke, "you're incorrigible Murial Ishra."
The scene shifted to a little boy sitting at a table, his mouth covered in blue fruit tart, "what's incor-e-gibble?"
"You are." The woman responded and she wiped at his mouth aggressively with a napkin.
"Mom?" Kyp Durron woke from his dream confused.
Chapter One: Why Go Home
The terraform world had changed since Kyp's last visit nearly two decades ago. He had brought Miko there to show him the remains of the dissident colony he had called home for eight years. It had been painful then to retrace his steps from the landing pad to the floating walkway roughly near where his house once stood. Miko was quiet and patient as his master relived the memories of being taken by storm troopers. At first, Kyp couldn't find the exact location of his home, and when he finally did, nothing remained. He stared transfixed at the still poisoned water as it gently lapped the dock. Then he abruptly turned and hastened back to his ship. That had been his visit to Deyer. At the time, one hour was all he could stand.
Now, the planet had changed radically and so had he. Instead of the memory of his childhood home he held the memory of his devoted, but long deceased, apprentice. Everyone I love goes away. He banished the thought and drove onward in his rented speeder. Deyer was bigger now. A large city with surrounding homes and floating cropland sprawled out from the landing area where he had left his ship. The Yuuzhan Vong had not invaded the planet and thus it was able to grow and heal during wartime. Years of careful planning had brought the water back to it's pre-Empire quality. Healthy fish swam in its waters and floating croplands produced food for the growing planet. After the war many displaced refugees found their new homes there and Deyer had what one would characterize as a thriving community and economic system within the GA.
He visited the city office and was told the official records only dated back 7 ABY, but that he should visit a doctor who also happened to be somewhat of a local historian, especially on matters dating during the Empire.
The man at the door was taller than Kyp, with graying hair and intelligent eyes. He appeared around Han Solo's age. Kyp stood in the doorway, attempting to form a question. The man gripped Kyp's hand firmly and spoke first.
"I'm Doctor Larsen Lemm." The name did not register with Kyp. But quite the opposite happened to Larsen.
"Kyp Durron, I used to live on this planet." The doctor's eyes went wide.
"You were the little one?" Kyp nodded. "You were a crazy little monkey lizard." The older man smiled and gestured towards the interior of his home. "Please come in, I'd love to talk with you."
After Kyp took a customary survey of the room through the Force for possible threats, he sat on a soft green chair with his back to a large portrait of a Deyer sunset. He sensed no negative intent from the man across from him, just a tinge of excitement. "You knew my parents?"
"Quite well. They were my best friends. We were all young idealists together. Deyer was formed as an utopian colony to be ruled democratically. I remember when your parents were arrested. I was taken that night too."
Kyp's brows creased together. "But you didn't go to Kessel?"
"No, the Imps wanted my medical skills in their med bays. I was shipped around from Star Destroyer to Star Destroyer until all that was left was the Remnant and they let me go after four years." He looked down ashamed; he knew the man before him had not been as fortunate.
The doctor attempted to lighten the mood. "I was glad to hear you survived and found a career as a Jedi?"
"Yeh, I guess it's a career. " Kyp shrugged, he couldn't help but feel wrong somehow, why was this man alive and not his parents? Why had he only had to serve the Imps for four years in relative comfort while he suffered his childhood in the spice mines?
Worried that Kyp's hesitation was a demonstration of sorrow the doctor moved to continue the conversation. "You're a lot like your parents."
The tactic worked, Kyp visible perked up. "How's that?
"You stand up for what you believe in. Even when it's unpopular. Your parents always taught you boys to do that." Kyp scowled, knowing fully where this conversation was headed. "I've followed you a bit through the holonet."
"Then you know of my less savory feats also?" The anger was scrawled across his face.
"Of course, but we all have our own inner darkness to work out, and given the nine Corellian Hells you were dragged through you were entitled to your anger."
"You don't have to make excuses.." Kyp grumbled.
"Stop, I'm not making excuses, however, you didn't come here to talk about that. You want to know about your parents, right?" Kyp gave a positive reply. "I'll tell you what I can. But you really ought to visit Denon. That's where they were from. I'm surprised you don't remember that."
"My memories from my childhood are limited due to the circumstances of that childhood."
"Or lack there of." He looked pensively at his hands before stating. "I know someone who works with patients to regain memories. She might be able to help. Though I wouldn't let her know you are a Jedi, it might make her apprehensive about her skills." He rose and went to his data pad to locate her number. Kyp's eyes followed him.
"I'm apprehensive about her skills." He felt confused. Should he submit to this doctor who might help him remember his parents? How mentally invasive might that be? What if she unwittingly tapped into memories he didn't want exposed. It was just too dangerous. Yet when he lightly probed Larsen's thoughts he sensed only concern and tenderness mingled with a little regret.
Kyp nearly thought he had been caught prying when the doctor answered. "It'll be fine. She's a colleague of mine. She's not going to read your mind, she can't. She uses a technique to relax you and help you find the memory, that's all." He paused and gave the younger man time to process the information. "Can you tell through the Force when someone is lying or unsafe?"
"Yes, and you are telling the truth, you don't wish to hurt me. So you think she can make me recall my life here? " Kyp shifted uncomfortably.
"She will try, and you have nothing to loose."
"You're right." His voice took on it's normal tone of resignation. "I've already lost everything."
After discussing the technique for nearly an hour Kyp agreed to submit to Doctor Vraili. She preferred to work with her patients in a relaxing environment. Most of them were survivors of trauma and she understood the importance of safety and comfort Her office was plush and inviting, large fabric tapestries hung on the walls and the floor was covered in a deep blue rug that tempted patients to remove their boots and feel its softness. The furniture consisted of a few chairs and a relaxi couch which Doctor Vraili motioned to Kyp to recline on. As he did the couch conformed to his body. If he had relaxed and not tensed about her memory retrieval process he thought this was the type of chair one could easily fall asleep in. He made a mental note to look into getting one of these for his own home.
Kyp was no different than any of her other patients in that he had voiced a concern he would remember things he did not want to revisit. She reassured him they would work on Deyer memories only. She didn't know he was a Jedi. If she had know, if she had known he was the one Jedi of the order with considerable mind powers. She would not have agreed.
Kyp had surrendered himself to the Force to place himself in a meditative trance. It seemed to work in allowing the doctor access to his memories. He was recalling events from extremely early times and babbling about them in a stream of words.
Doctor Vraili had never had as open a flow of recall as this. Once into the state of unconsciousness Kyp simply ran through memories like watching a continuous holofeed. No one she had ever worked with had access to this level of recall. She looked apprehensively at Doctor Larsen and lifted her hands questioningly. He silently offered a shrug back, but he knew the Force sensitivity must have been augmenting the experience.
"Kyp, I need you to stop. Four, three, two, one, open your eyes." At that command Kyp's eyes snapped open. He looked at the doctor and smiled satisfied. "What do you remember?"
"Everything, the taste of blue fruit, it's stickiness on my chin, the salty air and Zeth feeling he never had enough space of his own and his guilt for leaving me behind to be with his friends and my father's determination that we live here and my mother's resolve that she'd made the right choices and my scrapped knee and by broken finger and you Doctor Larsen, you were so young and yet, worried and there was this feeling in the air of doom, something was coming and I could taste that fear; it danced among us." Kyp stopped and took a breath. When he looked at the doctors they sat astonished.
"Kyp, I haven't moved you through memories past your third birthday. You remember all of these things?"
"Acutely, with all my senses and with my emotions too. Can we continue? The F…my feelings are telling me to keep going. He had almost blown his cover, indeed he had lowered his shields to let the process work. He felt flooded with relief that bordered on euphoria, and he wasn't sure where the feelings came from, but he felt lighter than he ever remembered and he wanted to continue to experience that high.
Doctor Vraili continued the procedure and he slipped readily into recall. Now he was in school and his teacher didn't like him, too many questions, he had three friends; they swam, he described at length the sensations of the water, the mood of each friend, and then he began to cry. Lost in the memory of his six year old self he cried, "please let mama get better, she's sad all the time about the baby." Suddenly his mood changed and lightened and he smiled remembering a life day gift. He was seven. It was the last time he smiled during the recall, his mood darkened and he began to toss on the relaxi chair. Never safe, no where safe, stop talking, stay quiet, matter of time, doom, they are coming, nasty, horrible, death, hide, run, Go!"
Present time Kyp screamed go so loudly both doctors jumped. He startled and sat up holding his head in his hands. Doctor Vraili noticed they were shaking ever so slightly.
"How do you feel?" Although it was uncommon, she always worried when a patient pulled out of the recall session abruptly. It left many disoriented and stressed. Those patients usually left her office distrusting the procedure and unwilling to continue with the therapy.
Head still firmly in hands he uttered. "I have a headache."
"Do you need pain relief?"
"No, do you mind if I just lay here for a few minutes, alone?"
"We'll be in the outer room if you need anything." He lay back and they exited to the outer office.
Fully aware of the direction this was headed, Doctor Larsen shared his concerns as cryptically as possible.
"The next session is going to take him to the traumatic time. Will he be safe?"
"Of course, the reaction you just saw is the worse anyone ever goes through. And he seems in enough control of himself to pull out of the memory if it is too disturbing. What makes me curious is the style in which he remembers. Some of the memories are distinctly the feelings of his family, not necessarily his own. Why is that Lemm?" The eyes that met his were accusing.
"He must have had a deep connection to the people he loved." He offered lamely.
She glared at him. "He's empathic, and you know it. What are you hiding from me?"
"I knew him a long time ago Caffi, I know he's been through a lot and he came to me wanting to know more about his parents. I'm helping him as a friend, not a doctor. I know you've guided some tough cases through, I'm sure you can handle him."
"Thanks for the support." She said sarcastically before sighing. "All right, let's see if he'll even want to continue."
When she looked to the relaxi chair Kyp was sitting up, alert, but with grim determination on his face.
"I'm ready, but I warn you, this is where it's going to get tough. And one more thing, please don't take me past age nine."
"Why is that?" She asked, sitting down in the chair next to him.
"There are things from later that I simply don't want to revisit."
"Revisiting can help you heal from those experiences."
"Not now, that's not why I am here."
She took him back into his memory and was hit by a sudden sensation of kinetic energy crackling about the room. Kyp's head turned from side to side as he uttered a stream of racing emotions, some his, some his families and others. Hide! No! They're dead, don't cry, what do they want with me, where are we going? Zeth, don't take him away, no not my brother, I'll be good, but don't take him. I'll be quiet, let him stay. He stopped moving and talking. His eyes opened, but they were unfocused, they flickered back in forth with fear mingled with curiosity. Where? Stay small, stay silent, stay hidden.
He was silent for several long minutes. Doctor Vraili prompted him, Kyp, where are your parents?"
The sounds coming from his mouth were not words, just pieces of syllables, jumbled phrases not making sense. She had entered a time where, do to the experience, his memory was stored differently, almost as if he had tried to block it out.
"Where are you?" Doctor Vraili leaned closer trying to make sense of his random words which were barely above a whisper.
"Kessel Prison, mama me, no dad, no Zeth. Stay small, don't make a sound. Cold, hurts, stuffs too big, mama sad no, Zeth gone somewhere, shouldn't have gone to Deyer, shouldn't have been so loud, stay small, stay quiet, work, walk, sing me a song, dad angry, am I bad? Hope, hug, find Zeth and go home, it'll all end soon." He was sitting now, legs crossed, eyes tightly closed, body rocking forward and back.
"What ended?" Vraili moved away from him as he suddenly stiffened. She was glad she had leaned back because in the next instant he sprang to his knees on the relaxi chair.
"Dad!" the scream was blood curdling. On his knees now with unfocused eyes wide open, he continued to scream hysterically and then they heard "no, don't take my mom away, don't leave me mom…can't fight…love you always...be true…love. Hide!" He jumped from the chair and ran behind it. He was in mind and body recall now. In an utter state of panic. Doctor Vraili moved to the back of the chair where Kyp had pressed himself tightly against the wall. "Kyp, I need you to stop. Four, three, two, one, open your eyes."
He opened them and gasped! They were unalert for a moment, frightened and roaming. Then he breathed deeply as if using a calming technique and he seemed to come back to his adult self. He still sat silently, eyes tightly shut, back to the wall, arms folded about his drawn up legs.
"Need a hand?" It was Doctor Larsen. "Let's get you back to the chair."
"You just went through some difficult memories, you'll be all right." She assured him soothingly. When Kyp didn't answer she worried she'd taken him too far into the memories he had wanted to avoid. She addressed her colleague. "Did I go too far?"
"No, there are other memories that are far worse. Just give him a minute."
Sure enough Kyp opened his eyes. They were focused, but showed a great deal of pain. "I saw my father die. The other inmates stabbed him and called him an Imperial Spy. Chak Durron was no Imp, that's for sure. They stabbed him over and over and I felt it. My mother was dragged away; they pulled me from her arms. She wasn't killed. I can feel it. I knew it then, but I'd forgotten." His eyes focused on Larsen. "I think they sold her into slavery."
He looked at the others as if to affirm his idea, but Doctor Vraili was looking at him incredulously, she then turned to Larsen.
"You knew who he was and you lied to me. " She turned back to Kyp, "You're Kyp Durron, you're a Jedi!"
"Yeh, Larsen thought you wouldn't want to do recall with a Jedi, that you'd think it might not work or something."
"I've never regressed a Jedi, I would think your minds impenetrable. " Her face had returned to its calm expression.
"I let you do it, I wanted this, I needed to know. Stang, my head hurts."
"This time I am giving you pain relief. You process memories more acutely than others, you not only sense the memory, but you replay emotions, for yourself and others." She brought him back a pill and some water.
"I am empathic, though it's usually turned off." He fell back into the relaxi chair and rubbed his damp face with unsteady hands. He breathed heavily as if releasing stress. "Force, that's too much at once." Then the expected calming breaths were drawn and a few minutes later he smirked at her. "Sorry about that, thanks for your assistance." With that he stood and on steady legs walked towards the door.
"Kyp, where are you going? We need to talk about the memories you recalled."
"Why? I know what I need too and there's nothing you can say that hasn't already been brought up by some other therapist. I just learned something new from your process. My mother didn't die on Kessel. " With that he turned and was gone.
Once outside in the warm sun of Deyer Kyp felt free. The memory regression had been painful, but it was useful. He had felt joy at feeling them all again. He had forgotten that as a child he was so attuned to his families emotions. It had to have been the beginnings of his Force sensitivity, however, it went hidden, or did it? His mother always told him to stay small. As she said it images of dark corners and small closets always filled his mind. Was she giving him a projection to help him cloak? He realized he still pictured a dark corner when he cloaked himself from others in the Force. Perhaps his mother was Force sensitive, didn't matter, he'd never know. He pushed the tiny seed of hope that his mother was alive out of his head. With his hands swinging freely he walked with a carefree step down the long walk way to the parked speeder. His mother had not died at Kessel.
Where in the universe had she gone to? Surely, if she was alive he would feel her presence and it was not there. There were only a few routes off Kessel, death, the end of the sentence, and slavery. As much as he hated the idea it might be true.
If his mother was sold into slavery the record might be at Nal Hutta. It was his only chance….
Bol R'san was a typical Hutt servant. Closed and untrusting. He cowered in the presence of the Jedi Master.
"I am not here to arrest you. I'm looking for records of my mother. These records are more than 30 years old, about the same year as Jabba's death."
"What makes you think we have those records?" Questioned the Hutt servant.
It's well known Hutts keep detailed records and I'm sure there are records of slave transactions in the year 4 ABY." He pressed his desire deeply into the mind of the Twi'lek causing him to yield as if he had been plied with truth serum.
"I will find them for you."
It took some time and a great deal of patience on Kyp's part, but one hour later R'san stopped scrolling through records when he came upon,
Female, age 33, Murial D, sold to Nain Dervrosch,
Kyp knew it was her, his mother, she had not died at Kessel.