The next morning Tenel Ka sat on a stool in front of her mirror, braiding her hair, as Inaril came in utterly quiet and stopped
politely a few steps from the princess. Tenel Ka looked over the shoulder, having sensed the tensed presence of her bodyguard
even before she had entered the room.
She nodded at Inaril, but continued to work on her hair.
Inaril looked over the whole quarters suspicious.
“Prinzessin, diese Räume sind nicht sicher. Wir haben in Mara Jades Quartieren Wanzen gefunden.“
Tenel Ka’s hands dropped down immediately and she stared at her bodyguard disbelieving through the mirror.
Bugs? In Mara’s quarters? Who could be stupid enough to install them there?
The feeling of hidden danger rose up from the bottom of her mind.
They’re waiting for the right time to attack, probably when Mara’s alone or asleep. But they’ll notice
it when we remove the bugs.
She examined her own quarters with the force, finding nothing, she told Inaril:
“These rooms are safe. Thank you for telling me. I trust you haven’t removed any of the bugs?”
“We haven’t. Shall I tell Mara Jade about it?”
“No, I’ll take care of that.”
Tenel Ka sent Inaril away with a nod. This trip was getting more and more interesting…
She was happy she caught Luke outside his rooms, in the docking bay with R2D2. They worked on his X-Wing; something had loosened
at the transport on board of the Jade Saber to the Ralroost.
Tenel Ka came nearer hesitantly, not sure where exactly in the Fighter the Jedi-Master was. She could only hear him.
Then a few strands of blond hair appeared from under the pilot’s chair and the rest of the Master followed after he
had successfully unsnarled himself from various wires.
“Master Skywalker, can I speak with you in private please?”
Tenel Ka asked in a low voice, not wanting any tech to hear her. They still had no idea of the danger’s identity.
“Of course.” Luke smiled at her and let her in a quiet corner of the docking bay.
As soon as they were there, Tenel Ka began to speak:
“You know of my bodyguards?” When Luke nodded, she continued.
“I had a vision of a faceless danger threatening Mara and ordered them to protect her. They’ve found bugs in your
quarters. I’m sorry I’ve betrayed your faith in me, I should have told you before.” She said, feeling guilty.
“That’s no problem.” Luke hastily told her. “I’m glad you’ve told me. We’ll be careful.”
“Please don’t tell Master Jade about the bodyguards.” Tenel Ka pleaded him.
“I won’t. It’ll stay our secret.” Luke winked at her and walked off to his fighter.
Kyp greeted her as she entered the training room.
“Hi” How are you?” He asked and gave her the smile that made her knees weak.
“Good and you?”
“Have to.” With that, he turned around.
Jaina felt like screaming. Or at least she wished she could.
It was the perfect moment, no one except her and Kyp in the training room, but she couldn’t speak. She just stood there,
staring at Kyp’s back and trying to bring her mouth and her wobbling legs back under control.
I can’t! All in her cried desperately.
Feeling empty and defeated, she turned away and immediately wished to bite herself.
“Tenel Ka?” Jaina asked quiet after the lesson, when they walked together to their quarters.
“Yes, my friend?”
“Please strangle me if I don’t tell him next time.”
Tenel Ka looked at her strangely, but nodded.
Luke came to Tenel Ka’s quarters a few minutes after she had arrived there. Tenel Ka motioned him to enter and sit down.
He took a seat on a sofa in the living area.
“Thank you again for protecting my wife, Tenel Ka.” Luke said gratefully. “I’ve spoken about everything
with Admiral Kre’fey. It seems we have some Yuuzhan Vong saboteurs on this ship. Therefore we won’t fly to Coruscant;
the ship will be repaired at Bilbringi, in safe distance from the capital.
Mara and I have also spoken about it and decided to leave the Ralroost once we’re there; we’ll move the self-defense
training to Coruscant, where we had wanted to go sooner or later anyway. Jaina has been given holidays for two weeks, so she
can come with us, then she’ll have to decide whether to go with Rouge Squadron and the Ralroost or to stay with us.
It would be a great honor to have you with us.”
“I’m thrilled by your offer, Master Skywalker. I’ll come with you. My bodyguards will insist on following
us with their ship, but could I please fly with you on the saber?”
Luke laughed. “You really don’t like bodyguards…..”