This is based on the season three finale of Clone Wars, primarily from the episode 'Padawan Lost'. Contains spoilers.
It may have just been me, but I really liked Kalifa (the human girl survivor), and I wanted to explore her character a bit. This is just a one-shot, sort of exploring her up to the point where she died.
The name spellings of the canon characters come from Wookieepedia.
I decided to write this from first-person point-of-view, mainly to get inside her head. As well as that, the tenses alternate. Present-tense is as Kalifa lies dying at the end, and past-tense is as she recalls her life. (Most of it's in past-tense.) Enjoy!
Summary: Kalifa reflects on how she came to be a prisoner, part of the large, elaborate, Trandoshan hunt, and how it has affected her life. Based on the episode 'Padawan Lost.' One-shot.
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars. *is not George Lucas* However, I do own the Padawan characters ('cept for 'Soka, obviously.)
From Youngling to Jedi
They say your life flashes before your eyes as you die.
Heh. I suppose they, whoever 'they' are, are right.
I always looked forward to becoming a Jedi. Growing up in the temple, I was taught the ways of the Force. Handling a lightsaber was my favorite part of training, though. Something about the power and certainty of wielding the retractable blade soothed me, made me feel strong, like I could protect myself and others easily.
I suppose I have a tendency to protect people. It's just…something I've always done. I've never really considered myself as a leader, but for some reason, I always tend to end up in that role.
Take when I was nine, for instance. One of the other younglings, a red Twi'lek, had the bright idea to lead an 'expedition' through the streets of Coruscant.
Real genius, that one.
I tagged along, with a couple of others. I thought it was stupid, and said so to his face. He smirked, a cocky smile, and told me there was nothing to worry about.
Eleven-year-olds thought they were so great.
I figured he would land himself and the others in trouble, so I followed without complaint.
We wandered around a bit. Got some weird looks, but no one bothered us. It was only when he turned around to lead us back that we realized the situation.
The idiot had gotten us lost.
The three others who had followed along began to pester him. He gazed at them hopelessly, holding up his arms in defense. "I don't know!" he said, almost breaking down in tears.
Some leader you are, I thought, but held my tongue.
Instead, I stepped forward. "Follow me." The others were a bit reluctant. I was a nine-year-old, after all. Because one to two years made such a big difference. "I know the way back."
And I did. I led them easily and confidently through the streets, back to the temple. We were scolded, though I had expected as much. But Master Yoda simply smiled at me, as if he knew it was I who had led the others to safety.
My dream was to become Master Yoda's Padawan. I know now, and even then, I suppose, that it was a fruitless fantasy. He was part of the Council, after all.
But I never got the chance to have any sort of master.
It was during a training session. I was thirteen, along with the two other initiates, O-Mer, a pale Cerean, and Jinx, a green Twi'lek, that were in my group. I'd seen them around, talked to them a few times, but hadn't ever really gotten to know them. We just happened to end up in the same group together.
A tingling in the Force as we went through with the training nagged at the edge of my senses, but I pushed it aside. Foolishly, stupidly, I pushed it aside.
A sound, flash, yellow electric light pulsing around me, hurts, hurts, can't even scream!
I awoke in a cargo hold, the low thrum of an engine letting me know I was onboard a ship. Inside a cage. In the distance, I heard noises. Harsh, grating voices laughed and snickered. I narrowed my eyes. This was funny?
My first guess was that they were slavers. I'm not sure why they wanted to capture Jedi younglings, but they must have had their reasons. Sick, twisted, mind-blowing reasons, but reasons nonetheless.
I felt the ship slowing down, then let out a cry of surprise as the floor dropped from underneath me. I fell to the ground, rolling, and sprang back up to my feet as a shot from a blaster cracked the air and scattered sand a little ways away from me.
Behind me, I could hear the distinct sound of lasers firing, and the duller thud as bodies hit the dirt. I bit my lip, then turned around. I couldn't just leave them there to die! I could help! I was a Jedi. It's what we do.
I ran forward, cursing both myself and them. A yell, from off to the right, sounded familiar, and I recognized it as belonging to O-Mer. I pivoted, and took off after the noise.
There. He was sprinting away from a Trandoshan speeder, Jinx next to him as well, and another young fellow, a human.
I began to follow the speeder, catching up to it slowly. With a leap, I landed on the back of the craft. Surprised, the Trandoshan turned around, and I landed a roundhouse kick in his ugly face.
He roared, then lashed out with his scaly claws, scoring a deep slash on my shoulder. I stumbled back in pain, and he shoved me off, then pulled out his gun.
Time slowed. Or sped up. Because if it was slow, I might have been able to stop it.
The human boy, the foolish human boy who had been running with O-Mer and Jinx, leapt in front of the Trandoshan, made a grab for his gun.
The Trandoshan shot, and the boy fell backwards, toppling down onto me. I rolled him off, checked his vitals as quickly as I could while O-Mer and Jinx used the Force to distract the horrid lizard.
He was dead. This human. He thought he'd be a hero, thought that he could help others. And he just got himself killed.
I shouted for Jinx and O-Mer to follow me, then got up and ran.
He was stupid. The human was stupid. That was all. It didn't matter. I was still alive. I didn't care about the boy. I didn't care that he'd saved my life. He was dead. What did he matter?
The tears coursing down my cheeks told me otherwise, but I ignored them. Now was not the time.
Together, us three younglings found the cave. We flopped onto the floor, gasping for breath, our faces streaked with dirt and grime…and tears.
We spent a sleepless first night, each taking turn on sentry duty.
No Trandoshans came.
As the sun rose, we stayed huddled in the cave. It was safe, we thought. They couldn't find us here, we thought.
We were wrong. The Trandoshans tracked us by our scent, and we scattered. As night fell, I was still separated from the other younglings. I wasn't sure if they had lived or not. I honestly wasn't sure if I had. Maybe this was all a dream.
But not even nightmares were this bad.
As night fell again, I kept on the move. I didn't go back to the cave. I was far too scared.
Instead, I huddled up against a tree, occasionally nodding off. Catnaps weren't really doing me much good overall, though.
The next morning came around, and I blearily wiped my eyes and stumbled forward. I needed to keep on the move.
So far, I was lucky they hadn't caught me at night, though I was sure they must have been out hunting.
I jogged steadily through the vibrant environment of Wasskah, the Trandoshan moon they'd dropped us on. A noise, and footsteps behind me alerted me to another presence. I froze, glancing out from behind a tree trunk to see Jinx.
Slowly, I stepped out from behind the trunk, and he quickly spun towards me, his features visibly relaxing in recognition. "Kalifa. You're alive."
I nodded. "Yes. Have you seen O-Mer?"
The Twi'lek shook his head. "No. I am worried. We got separated, and the speeder chased him away from me. I fear the worst." His voice shook, and his eyes shone bright with unshed tears.
I wanted to reassure Jinx. To tell him that everything was okay, that O-Mer was fine.
But what use was it, when I didn't even believe it myself?
A humming sound in the distance sent us sprinting once more. The chase was on.
Gunshots. A near death encounter. Missed by an inch.
Jinx and I survived, and watched behind shelter as the speeder rose and flew away once darkness settled. "They don't hunt at night?" I murmured, the question posed in my mind.
This was good. This meant we could get some real sleep. "I don't know," Jinx said beside me, unsure. "But maybe."
"Maybe," I repeated, then beckoned with my arm. "Let's go back to the cave."
Horrified, he gaped at me. "Are you crazy?" he said in his accented voice. "The Trandoshans will track our scent again! This whole ordeal will repeat itself!"
"I'm saying, only for the night," I responded, leading the way back to the cave.
We reached it about halfway through this particular moon's night cycle, which left us only three or so more hours to rest.
I swore, but my mood was soon lightened as we saw a familiar form curled up in the back of the cave, his large, pale head covered in dust. "O-Mer," I breathed in relief, sitting down beside him. Jinx leaned up against the wall as well, and we fell asleep once more.
Pretty soon, we became used to the cycle of things.
The Trandoshans didn't hunt at night, so we always came back to our cave in the evenings for rest and tomorrow's chase. Food was scarce at first, but as we became familiar with the ecosystem, we learned what was edible and what was not. Water was a bit more dangerous to retrieve: the only available source was the sea on the beach landing strip. Its contents were all of freshwater, not salt, thankfully, but we only risked drinking at night, after the Trandoshans had gone.
The strip was far too bare of cover to risk it during the hunt.
Months passed. Possibly. I stopped keeping track of time. Still not sure if I ever started.
At times, we'd rescue some of the captured, have them join our little band.
They never lasted long.
Hope came, though, one day. It was in another load of prey that we stumbled upon a welcome surprise.
In their last batch of captured young, the Trandoshans had hauled in some Padawans.
Quickly, we got their attention, and led them away from the Trandoshans, back to our secret cave.
The four of them made it with us unscathed. We hadn't realized they were Padawans, but we knew the feel of the Force when, well, we felt it. It was a telltale sign, and we were aware they knew we had it too.
"Who are you?" their leader asked. He was a Kiffar, probably around fifteen, about to become a Padawan, or maybe even one, with light brown, spiky hair, paler skin, and piercing brown eyes, as well as three green slashes down his right cheek, likely the tattoo markings of his tribe.
"My name is Kalifa," I said, then gestured in turn to my friends. "This is O-Mer, and Jinx. We are Jedi younglings."
The Kiffar male, obviously the leader, nodded stiffly. "I am Jadryn. My friends here are Chala"-he gestured to a blue-skinned Pantoran girl, with the customary lighter, almost lavender, hair flowing freely down her neck- "this is Kinto" –another gesture to a small, human boy with short, black hair, lightly tan skin, and a small smile- "and this is-"
"Cor'ess Va Tel," a voice hissed, and I turned towards it, startled. My eyes widened, and I lifted my hands up, to Force-push her away from the rest of us.
Jadryn stepped forward. "Hold on. Cor'ess is not one of the hunters."
I glared murderously at him and then at the Trandoshan behind him. "She's one of them," I spat, angry both at him, for bringing that scaly monster to our cave, and at myself, for not paying close enough attention to who the Jedi were, rather than just that they were Jedi
Her raspy voice caused my head to whip in her direction, where she stood, hunched against the wall. "I am not one of them," she said, then licked her lips, a disgusting habit the lizards had.
I raised an eyebrow, placing my hands on my hips. "Really? Because you look a whole lot like a piece of Trandoshan scum to me."
"Now hold on-" Jadryn started, to say, attempting to place himself in between the two of us.
The lizard knocked right past him, then held out her hands-paws?- to me. "I have five fingers! Not three!" she hissed, nearly shoving them in my face. "I am a Saurin! Not a Trandoshan!"
I realized she was right, and took a step back. If I remembered correctly, Saurins were an offshoot of Trandoshans, that had gone to live somewhere else, for who knows why. Maybe they didn't like the whole hunting thing. "Do they even have Jedi Saurins?"
Instead of saying anything, Cor'ess lifted a rock five feet away from her, hefting it easily in the air with the Force. "There? Force-sensitive Saurins are rare, but they exist." She seemed to have calmed down, but her height, almost six feet, and her massive jaws, were still intimidating.
I sighed. I was wrong, though I didn't want to admit. "Sorry," I muttered, and she gave a crocodile grin.
"You are forgiven," she said, to my surprise. "I am not a barbarian," she added, turning to glance outside the cave to the sunset. "They may be my cousins, but they are not my family." Her gaze looked sad, and I really did begin to regret my hasty judgement.
"How long have you been here?" Jadryn's question snapped me back to reality.
Jinx answered in my stead. "Around four months, I think."
Hmm, so one of us had been keeping track.
"Why haven't they come for us yet? Shouldn't we keep moving?"
I shook my head. "They don't hunt at night. We stare here during the dark hours, then leave in the morning. As long as you keep on the move, you're good."
Jadryn kept his eyes steady on my face. "Do you know where their base is?"
Pausing, I gave him an incredulous look. "Do you intend to fight them?" I asked in disbelief.
The Kiffar nodded, his face hard. "Yes. We need to find a way out of here. I need to get back to my master."
"Master?" O-Mer interjected. "You are younglings, though, are you not?"
To our great surprise, the Kiffar shook his head. "No. We are Padawans. My friends and I were captured on a solo mission. Our masters had decided to test us, and to ensure we had full reign, they did not observe us. We had comms, naturally, but the Trandoshans broke them."
"Ours too," I said.
"When do the ships normally drop off prisoners?" a small voice piped up. It belonged to the human boy, Kinto, I thought.
I replied, "Every four days or so."
"Can we attack the ships?" Another new voice, this one belonging to Chala, the Pantoran.
I shrugged. "You can try. But I doubt there's anything you can do."
As the night wore on, the others progressively went to sleep. Soon, it was only me and Jadryn left planning. I was doubtful at first, but soon, I began to think. With his help, and the help of the other Padawans, we might actually be able to beat the Trandoshans! And get off of this Force-forsaken moon.
When day came around, I blearily blinked open my eyes, and got the others up. We set off, hiding and ducking, avoiding the hunters as usual. There were a couple of close calls, but there almost always were.
Night fell once more, and Jadryn and I continued our plans.
A few days and nights followed much the same, the others contributing ideas and theories.
First, we had to find their base. During the day, we searched for it, hard, as we ran, but there was no sign.
Over two weeks after the Padawans had arrived, I sat outside the cave, brooding. A habit I'd picked up since being captured.
The rustle of cloth alerted me to one of the group, and I turned to recognize it was Jadryn. Silently, he took a seat down beside me, out of the light of the cave and its fire.
Tomorrow, we had decided, we would attack the ship together. It would be bringing in a fresh shipment of prey, and we had given up on finding the base. It would do us no good to continue searching if nothing was going to yield to our efforts.
"Do you think we can do it?" Startled, I looked at Jadryn. That sounded something like I would say, but I never would have expected it to come from his mouth.
"You doubt us?" I asked, though I had felt the same many times before.
He gave a small smile, and turned to look at me. "I'm worried," he admitted. "What if someone gets killed? It'll be all my fault!"
I shook my head. "No one's going to get killed. And if so, it would be through no fault of your own. Rather, it would be those dirtbag Trandoshans. Those monsters." When the Padawans had first arrived, I would have been worried about offending Cor'ess, but I didn't even think of her as having any relation to the Trandoshans anymore. Saurins were a completely different species, as far as her actions showed. Her strength made her a brilliant asset to our team, even if her Force abilities were weaker than others.
"Kalifa," Jadryn began, then stopped. He took a deep breath, as if gathering up his courage. "There's something I need to tell you before tomorrow. In case, you know, we don't make it."
Curious, I tilted my head to the side, ignoring the fact that my heart had begun to pound. "What is it?" I questioned, my voice dropping to a whisper.
"It's-" He stopped, then steeled himself. "This." Without another word, he leaned forward, and pressed his lips to mine.
My eyes opened wide in surprise, but I didn't pull back. Instead, I felt myself sinking into the kiss, my eyes closing.
After seconds and years, he pulled away, and glanced at me sheepishly. His face turning red, he rubbed the back of his head and looked away. "I'm sorry-" he began, but I cut him off.
"Idiot," I told him, and his gaze saddened. "Do it again."
We laid out a couple more details to the plan, then went back into the cave to sleep. He slipped into the realm of dreams easily enough, but I couldn't. My heart rate was fast in my chest, and I felt myself consumed by fear. What if he was right? What if one of us did die?
What if it was him?
I smile inwardly to myself, thinking back on the memory. Another shudder, another deep breath, as I watch Ahsoka frantically reassuring me.
I'll get to be with Jadryn now.
The mission failed.
We attacked the ship, Force-jumped onboard as it was at its lowest point.
At first, we seemed to be winning. We overpowered them, Cor'ess even throwing one overboard.
Then everything went awry. Garnac, the leader of the Trandoshans, appeared, with a whole mass of the lizards.
The first one to go was Kinto. He was too small to battle the Trandoshans, and was using the Force to battle them. Garnac brought out his rifle and shot the young Padawan straight in the back. He staggered, gasping, and fell to the cold steel of the ship roof.
Chala cried out, and ran to his side. Another shot, and she too was on the floor with Kinto, blood flowing from her blue body.
I blinked, startled and stunned. They were dead? Just like that? How?
The Trandoshans began to advance upon us. We kept dodging around, using the Force. I managed to knock one overboard, but before I could begin to celebrate my brief victory, a burst of pain in my left shoulder had me spinning backwards. I gave a sharp intake of breath at the fire in my arm, and stumbled backwards, to the edge of the roof. Air was right behind me, and I tried to balance myself. I couldn't just fall off the edge!
As I reached out my hand, a rough, familiar one grabbed it. Jaydren gave me a short smile, then pulled me back from death by height. I was about to thank him, and suggest we find some shelter from the rain of gunfire, when his eyes widened, and his grip became limp.
I blinked in shock at the orange, simmering hole in his chest, and the slackjawed slant of his mouth, and at the stinging pain in my right shoulder, a scrape caused by the same bolt that had gone through his chest.
A gurgle, his eyes went blank, and he fell over. I screamed as he tumbled off the edge, desperately tried to grab for him, but I knew it was too late.
He was dead.
Jadryn was dead.
He was dead long before he'd even begun to fall.
"RETREAT!" I shouted. I needed to protect the others! I had to, had to-no!
Cor'ess charged the other Trandoshans, sending one flying with her Saurin strength. But even though she was just as strong as the Trandoshans, there was only one of her, and a full mob of them. One grabbed her neck, and shoved her against the wall. Through her scaly skin, I heard a muffled snap, then lunged towards O-Mer and Jinx, ignoring the thud of her limp body falling to the roofdeck.
"We need to leave, now!" I pulled them to the edge, and we Force-jumped off the ship and landed hastily on the beach. Sprinting, we darted through the landscape and rested a ways off from our hideout.
The safe blanket of night fell, and we returned to the cave, battered and beaten. I ensured that O-Mer and Jinx were safe and asleep before I snuck out.
I went to the beach, and found the bodies, all shoved callously off the ship. The Trandoshans must not have wanted their skins.
Steadily, I began to dig shallow graves in the sand, ignoring the tears flowing freely down my face.
When the last body had been buried, Jadryn's, I turned away, blinked back the hot tears stinging my eyes, and walked away, head held high.
That was it, then. There was no escape. No more hope. No one was coming to rescue us, no one captured could help.
That was the day I gave up.
Again, time passed. Months, days, hours. I honestly couldn't tell anymore.
I was numb. I couldn't feel anything when I saw the Trandoshans gunning down other unlucky souls who had been captured. It didn't matter. As long as I kept O-Mer and Jinx safe.
One day, another captured person arrived, someone with the Force hovering strong around her. A delicate-looking Togruta, she proved to be fast and capable.
Doing something I hadn't done since the Padawans had died, I offered her our help, told her to follow us. If she'd been smart enough to hide in the briar forest, it might be worth keeping her around.
She could help me keep Jinx and O-Mer alive.
I honestly didn't care about myself anymore.
We took her to the hideout, and slept through the night. In the morning, we were on the move again. Upon seeing two of the prisoners, I hushed her, and told the others to stand back.
We watched as the Trandoshans slaughtered the two, and I kept an eye on the Togruta, Ahsoka was her name. Last night, I was surprised to learn she was a Padawan, and the look in her eyes told me she was much more experienced than the others here earlier. She only seemed a little older, but I thought I remembered hearing about a young Togruta advancing quickly in studies when I was back the temple.
Her face was twisted, hurt, shocked, that we would allow them to be killed.
But what could I say? That I had abandoned humanity and hope long ago?
"We could have stopped them," she told me angrily afterwards.
I turned to her. "No, Ahsoka. We are not saviors here. Here, we are survivors."
She was still angry, I could tell, but I didn't press the matter further.
She did. "We'll never get out of here if we keep hiding," she told me, once we had stopped to rest.
Jinx responded before I could. "There were other Padawans here, that once thought as you do now."
Inside, I flinched. "All right," Ahsoka said. "Where are they now?"
Something inside me snapped. "They're dead!" I yelled, my voice harsh. I crossed my arms and looked away, ashamed at myself and my actions, but still very angry with the Togruta. Did she have a death wish?
"Just because they failed, doesn't mean we will," she said, hope that had yet to burn out still flickering inside her.
O-Mer answered. "You don't understand," he said. "It's not that we don't want to fight. We're younglings. They have every advantage." I didn't like the way he said that, but I had to agree. Padawans couldn't do anything. What could we do?
Survive. That was all.
To my surprise, though, she apparently didn't listen. With a leap, she distanced herself from us. "What-huh? Get back here!" I shouted. This particular Padawan seemed suicidal! I reached my arm out to her, to draw her back to us.
Instead, Ahsoka kept facing forward, her back to us. "I can't do that," she said. "My master would never forgive me for running and hiding in a situation like this."
I almost let out a bark of laughter. Her master? She'd never him again, that was for sure. Still, I'd grown to like Ahsoka a little bit. I pleaded with her. "Do not overestimate your abilities!" I called to her, frustrated that she thought she was so powerful.
She surprised me then. She surprised me a lot. "I'm not," she said, then leaped down.
"Ahsoka, don't!" I followed Ahsoka, quietly and cautiously, after that. I saw her confront a Trandoshan, and when she was knocked down, I stepped in. Using the Force, I held the Trandoshan up, then began to squeeze my hand as he clawed at his throat.
Die, I thought. Die, for what you and your kind have done to my friends. Die, die, DIE!
"Kalifa!" Ahsoka called, and gently pushed my hand down. "Don't kill him out of hatred! It is not the Jedi way."
I began to believe her, when the stupid Trandoshan began to call for help. Startled, we fled.
At the hideout, as night fell, I finally revealed the thoughts I'd been having throughout that day.
Ahsoka was an advanced learner. In the use of the Force, in military tactics, etc. It was obvious, from when we'd first met her. Unexpectedly, even to myself, I told her my hope. Yes, hope. It had begun to grow in me again, with her arrival. Maybe…maybe, she would succeed where the others had failed.
Jaydren…soon, Jaydren, soon, I think. My life is ebbing slowly, but quickly. I cannot tell.
We began to formulate a plan to attack the Trandoshan's base. If only we had found it, last time, we might have made it. Maybe with Ahsoka, we could find it.
Maybe. I seemed to be saying that a lot lately.
That night, I remembered how I snapped, when she asked what had happened to the other Padawans, when we had told her. My answer was harsh, and uncalled for, but I couldn't help it. I didn't want to think of Jadryn, Cor'ess, Chala, Kinto. They were gone, now. I had to accept that.
I'd been trying to, for the past however long it had been.
My sleep was restless, my dreams haunting. Four friends hovered in my mind's eye, and I woke tired, but ready.
This morning, as I think about it, surprised me yet again. O-Mer found the base. Up in the sky, if you would believe it!
But before we could think of how to attack it, the hunting resumed, and soon Ahsoka and I were split up from O-Mer and Jinx.
A speeder pursued us, and a shot clipped the branch below me, knocking it from under my feet. Startled, I fell to the ground, winded and clutching a wound from the fall.
The Trandoshan chased me for a bit, backed me into a corner, when Ahsoka came jumping down, and fought him. I watched her chase after him, and sighed, my eyes closing.
She was going to die. I would never see her again, just like the others.
But as usual, she surprised me, and came back. Helping me to my feet, we got ready to flee again. That's when the rifle fired.
The shot that pierced me is the one slowly taking my life away right now. Ahsoka is kneeling, her face in shock as she tries to help me. Behind me, I hear the enraged yells of Garnac, the Trandoshan leader.
"There's no escape! I'll hunt you down! I'll kill you! I'll kill you!"
"Kalifa! We have to move, hurry!" Ahsoka says, pleading.
"Please, Ahsoka, leave me!"
"I won't!" She's wearing her determined face. She's always wearing her determined face.
I take a shuddering breath. "You" –gasp- "have to! Please…take care…" I tell Ahsoka, before breaking down into more coughs and gasps.
"I-I'll take care of the others," she promises and I believe her.
"I know you will," I say, taking deep, ragged breaths.
I have confidence that she will protect O-Mer and Jinx with her life. And for some reason, I feel that Ahsoka's going to get them safely off this island, safely off this moon, and back to the Jedi, where they belong.
Slowly, my eyes close…
…and I smile as four familiar faces greet me.
On a couple of things. One, the reason I had her in love with another Padawan, was based on the way she said, "They died!" when Ahsoka asked what happened to the Padawans. Kalifa seemed really upset, as if it went a lot deeper than friendship with them, and I wondered if maybe she'd had a romantic interest in one of the Padawan learners. The relationship was short, obviously, starting after two weeks of nights spent up planning, and ending the day after its kindling. Also, to the rule that attachments are forbidden in Jedi, Kalifa is almost saying 'Screw it.' After all, she's been away from the Jedi for a long time, and progressively loses a lot of the things she's taught. Plus, they're both young, and they're spurred on by the fear that they might die the next day.
Two, the age was a guess, naturally. I figured thirteen seemed a good age, though she's probably older, and I intended her to be about fourteen or fifteen by the end of the fic. I don't know how long she was there, and I didn't want to say, mainly to keep it vague. Time seemed to blur for her, so I kept it at that.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed!