Best Laid Plans – A Star Wars Serial Adventure
Author's Note: While I have created these characters and situations, it all resides in the Star Wars Universe originally conceived by George Lucas.
This story was conceived in an episodic, serial form. To read the previous episodes of this story, please go to:
www fanfiction net/s/8366512/1/The-Best-Laid-Plans-Episode-I
www fanfiction net/s/8479640/1/The-Best-Laid-Plans-Episode-II
www fanfiction net/s/8647198/1/The-Best-Laid-Plans-Episode-III
www fanfiction net/s/8771880/1/The-Best-Laid-Plans-Episode-IV
(just need to add the missing periods, I apologize for that inconvenience)
Soraa and Ja'Ina are finally living the life of excitement they've always wanted, as part of the crew of the pirate ship Queen Valkyrie, captained by Berini, a former Imperial Navy officer.
The band of pirates took on a bounty hunt that pulled them unwittingly into the conflict between the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance, a conflict which continues to spread into the further reaches of the galaxy.
While being pursued by an Imperial Star Destroyer, the Queen Valkyrie sustained damage and casualties including Soraa, who was badly wounded in the attack before the ship escaped into hyperspace…
Everyone aboard the Queen Valkyrie gathered in the large common room, as was the procedure Berini had set in place for emergency situations such as this. Mylyn, Krivan and Gartia remained on the bridge to ensure the ship maintained stability during the flight through hyperspace.
The situation was chaotic – the badly-wounded were laid on the conference table while the lesser-wounded sat in chairs or on the floor. Medpacs were strewn everywhere, being used to treat the various injuries in the best way possible in the make-shift triage. Unfortunately, medpacs were meant only for general first-aid in a field setting so they were less-than-adequate for many of the injuries. Soraa and the others with the more serious wounds really needed actual hospital facilities. The air was filled with the constant din of the crew trying to handle the emergency situation.
Ja'Ina and Spiaré were tending to Soraa the best they could. The rest of the crew accepted the Jedi's presence in spite of the fact that he was still technically their prisoner.
Berini was walking around the room, inspecting the wounded, talking to everyone she could. She wanted to make sure her crew knew she was there and cared about each and every one of them. Her double-breasted, uniform-like jacket was opened, revealing stains of blood from the wounded on the shirt underneath. Aurelia was there as well, hovering very close to the Captain as if the teen were tethered to her with a tractor beam. Berini took a handkerchief and wiped the sweat from her forehead as walked over to the head of the table. She pounded her fist on the table like a gavel to get everyone's attention. A hush fell across the room.
"Alright everyone! Sound off!"
The crew then proceeded to call out their names and the names of those present who could not speak for themselves. The names of three crewmembers were not called out – first officer Myrrna, Zeltron chief engineer Haani, and a human crewmate named Viru.
Berini was very concerned for the absent crew. "Does anyone know where Myrrna, Haani and Viru are?"
A Mirialan named Tedaai stepped forward, sobbing and thoroughly disheveled. "Captain… V-Viru's dead… I was with her in the starboard corridor when…when a blast tore into the hull. S-she was sucked out of the ship, and I-I barely made it p-p-past the containment door…" Her voice trailed off as she put her face in her hands and cried.
Berini walked briskly over to the devastated woman and hugged her. "It's okay my dear. There was nothing else you could do. You can go back to your quarters and rest."
Tedaai straightened up her posture and composed herself. "I-if it's okay with you Ma'am, I want to remain here and help."
Berini smiled and squeezed the woman's shoulder. "Very well."
Myrrna just then barged into the room, holding a lifeless Zeltron in her arms. The Zeltron's body was covered with serious burns and her clothes were burned and shredded. Myrrna was similarly burned, though not as seriously as the chief engineer. "Haani is dead, Berini." In the stress of the situation, Myrrna's voice actually expressed some emotion. "The engine room was hit and we were caught in an explosion. She took the brunt of it."
Fitty silently rolled in behind Myrrna. His cylindrical body was singed from helping fight the engine room fire. Everyone present remained silent as Myrrna gently laid Haani on the floor in the corner and covered her with a sheet. After a few respectful moments, everyone went back to work. Myrrna slumped to the floor next to the Zeltron's body, exhausted.
Even though the room was crowded and everyone was bunched close together, everyone was too busy to notice that Spiaré held his hands on Soraa's exposed wounds as he stood over her. He bowed his head down and closed his eyes. Ja'Ina watched him, unsure of what he was doing.
Soraa was still unconscious, but it appeared she was breathing more steadily and deeply now. Ja'Ina crouched down and looked more closely at Spiaré's hands. With amazement, she saw that the particular wounds the Jedi's hands were in contact with started to slowly close up. Ja'Ina sprang back to her feet.
Ja'Ina urgently whispered to him, "Spiaré! How are you doing that?"
Spiaré did not answer; instead he stood perfectly still, as if in a trance. Ja'Ina then closed her eyes and tried to block out the chaos around her. She then felt through the Force his energy swarming gently but powerfully around him. It was more power than anything she ever felt with Kurloh. The energy felt soothing, healing. Then Ja'Ina had a revelation. Healing!
Kurloh had told Ja'Ina that there were many powers and abilities within the Force, but she never mentioned the ability to heal. Ja'Ina thought to herself, is there anything a Jedi can't do?
Kurloh walked over, also drawn by Spiaré's energy. She kept it to herself and hoped that no one else noticed what he was doing. She shot Ja'Ina a surprised expression.
Spiaré slowly moved his hands to a different set of wounds and continued. After a few moments, he started to slightly tremble and his face no longer showed an expression of serenity. Both Kurloh and Ja'Ina could feel his energy begin to destabilize. Spiaré fought the exhaustion for a few more moments, trying to work on the current wounds. He was only able to partially heal them when he pulled his hands away and dropped to his knees out of breath.
"I'm okay," Spiaré quietly said to Ja'Ina and Kurloh. "I just need to rest for a bit. I'll go sit out of the way."
The Jedi slowly stood up with the young women's help, but he was a bit unsteady on his feet.
Ja'Ina turned to her friend. "Ku, stay with Soraa. I'll help him."
"Okay, Ina. I'll make sure she doesn't go anywhere." The Togruta smiled, in spite of the grim situation.
With Ja'Ina's help, Spiaré slowly walked out of the conference room and sat against the wall right outside the door. The young woman crouched down in front of him. Spiaré looked at her, regarding her attractiveness and scanty choice of clothing.
"Oh, if only I were twenty years younger…" He gave her a weak smile as he ruffled his salt-and-pepper hair.
Ja'Ina blushed, but her honey-brown complexion did not readily show it. "Are you serious? Look at me!" She gestured to the dirt and blood all over her – Soraa's blood.
"It'll wash off." He gestured to his own similarly-stained clothes.
"Yeah, but a girl's gotta keep herself up!" She smiled back at him and tried to touch up her messed-up raven hair. "Isn't a Jedi supposed to not get emotionally involved with someone else?"
"The Jedi Code's stance on relationships was not quite that straightforward, but that was the generally-accepted interpretation. How do you know about that anyway?"
"Ku told me about the Jedi Order. She knows a lot about it."
Spiaré raised an eyebrow. "Oh really?"
"She tried to find as much information about the Jedi and the Force as she could, but it was difficult to do."
"I'm sure it was! Such research is enough to raise more than a couple of eyebrows from authorities these days. And the last thing a Force-sensitive wants is to attract the Empire's attention."
Ja'Ina silently nodded in agreement.
Berini stepped out into the corridor and stood imposingly tall over Spiaré and Ja'Ina.
The Captain spoke sternly, but without anger. "What was all that about back there?"
Ja'Ina stood up. "What do you mean, Captain?"
"Him," Berini said as she pointed open-handedly toward Spiaré. "What was he doing?"
"I was simply working to heal Soraa," Spiaré said while slowly standing up. He braced himself against the bulkhead as he rose.
"Well," Berini put her hands on her hips, "you probably noticed that we are ill-equipped for this level of casualties. Are you going to help heal the others?"
"Berini, he can't do any more right now!"
"Ja'Ina, stand down. I asked him." Berini sounded like a mother about to ground her daughter for back-talking her.
Spiaré took a deep breath. "It's okay, Ja'Ina. She's right; there are others who need my help."
"But you can't right now," Ja'Ina whimpered. "You're too weak."
Berini cocked her head. "Master Jedi, I would appreciate that you not play favorites around here!"
Spiaré deeply exhaled. "I assure you Captain that was not my intention. Soraa just happened to be the first. I swear to you I'll do all I can."
"I will hold you to that, Master Jedi." Berini looked at Ja'Ina with an expression of annoyance. The young woman averted her eyes down to her feet.
"Don't worry, Captain," Spiaré said. He smiled at Ja'Ina and walked back into the conference room.
Berini turned to Ja'Ina. "You! What is with you and this Jedi? Hmm?"
"Nothing, Berini. He just happened to be there to help me rescue Soraa from the turret."
"Is that why you ran out of the bridge just before we jumped?"
Ja'Ina broke out in a cold sweat. Suddenly, she realized that she may have accidentally revealed her extraordinary abilities to Berini.
Berini prodded again. "How did you know that Soraa needed help?"
Ja'Ina stood as still as a statue, trying very hard to not show her nervousness toward Berini's inquisition. The young woman had wild thoughts of Berini personally spacing her for being a Force user; even more so for not even divulging that little detail.
"I'm waiting…" Berini crossed her arms and impatiently huffed.
Ja'Ina had to come up with something quickly, but she had nothing better than, "I was just worried about her and wanted to be with her. I didn't know she was in trouble until I got there." She avoided eye contact with the Captain as she spoke.
It seemed that Berini harbored some kind of animosity towards the Jedi. Ja'Ina thought, is it from her days with the Empire?
It appeared that Berini didn't quite buy the explanation, but she let it go anyway. "Alright. Go back in there and ensure he makes good on his promise to me. I am holding you personally responsible for him."
"Yes, Captain," Ja'Ina sheepishly answered with a slight nod.
The young woman walked back into the conference room as Aurelia walked out. Ja'Ina gave the teen a gentle smile, which the latter ignored as she trotted into Berini's waiting arms.