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Chapter 1

Jacen used his corusca gem to cut through the transparisteel plate of the door to his prison.

Silently he cursed himself for not thinking about the sharp gem before; it would have saved his sister and his friends some wounds.
Brakiss, a former student at the Jedi-Academy, had kidnapped them and tried now to force them to surrender to the dark side.

The last training for the young students had brought them several small injuries and wounds. After it, Brakiss had told them he’d planned to steel more students from the Academy.
Jacen was determined not to let this happen.

With a pling, the plate fell from the metal door, revealing the door’s control panel and several wires.

What would Jaina do now? Jacen asked himself, thinking about his twin sister, who had a hand for everything that had to do with machines.
Jacen reached inside the panel, grabbed the ends of two wires and tried connecting them.

The lights flickered, but nothing else happened.
He tried a second wire, but still without a result. Jacen just hoped he didn’t cause an alarm with it.

What if he didn’t succeed? Then he would have to cut through the whole door with his small gem. Jacen shook his aching finger.
No, he’d try the other wires before.

When he connected the next pair, the door finally opened. Jacen laughed out relieved and stepped out, carefully looking around. But all he could see were locked, bare doors. Light panels half-lit the corridor.

The control panels were easier to manipulate from the outside and he didn’t think he’d have problems to free his friends – if he’d found them.

* * * * *

The door opened and two stormtroopers threw Jaina into the blank, white room. In the center of it stood Tamith Kai, the hint of a cruel smile around the corners of her mouth.

It’s better if Brakiss doesn’t know about this. The nightsister thought and examined the girl. Despite her lack of sleep and the exhaustion of the earlier training, she looked surprisingly alert.
Not that it’ll help her much. Everyone is sleeping; nobody will help her and her wounds haven’t healed yet. She won’t be a big problem.
And once Jaina has taken her first step towards the dark side, the others will follow.


* * * * *

Jacen mentally called for his friends, stopping and listening at very door. He hesitated as he reached a door were he found an echo of Jaina’s presence and worked on the panel to open it. The room was empty, but Jacen could definitely feel his sister’s presence in it. There was no doubt it had been her quarter, but where was she now?

He closed the door again and continued with his search. He hoped they had only moved her to another room.

* * * * *

“What do you want from me?” Jaina asked, unable to be quiet any longer. That witch was pacing around her like a predator rounded its prey.
Needless to say, Jaina felt very uncomfortable.

Finally Tamith stopped in front of her.

“I want you to become my apprentice.” She said.
“No!” Jaina immediately said.

Of course you don’t even consider it. Skywalker has trained you too good. But is his training stronger than you pride? Tamith Kai thought amused.

“You are alone here, no one can help you. If you side with me, you can become strong enough to help your brother and your friend; maybe you could even kill Brakiss.” She whispered, bringing her mouth to the girl’s ear.
And I would still be stuck with you, witch. Jaina thought.

“Your mental shields are miserable.” Tamith commented and for a short moment, Jaina saw the hate of the woman reflected in her violet eyes. No, that woman would only use her for her own purpose.

“I’ll never ever side with you, ugly daughter of a hutt.” Jaina bit out, just wanting this woman to leave her alone.

“Very pernicious adjectives you use here.” Tamith Kai hissed.
“I’m surprised that you even know the words “pernicious” and “adjective.” Jaina provoked. “Or wait….maybe you even used to be a man and got a sex change? But that would make you an ugly son of a hutt.” She corrected.

Tamith Kai’s bad mood was now back and this time she didn’t even try to hide it. “How can you even dare to insult me like this?!” She spat.

In one fluid motion, she drew a small knife and slashed across Jaina’s cheek with it, leaving a long bloody line.
Jaina had been too tired to react fast enough, but now she felt a burst of adrenalin pushing her exhaustion away. She lifted her knee and knocked the knife out of her enemy’s hand.

But the nightsister had long ago learned to fight without weapons; she simply hit Jaina with her fist under the chin. Jaina was able to more or less move with the hit, but still the impact made her stumble backwards and her jaw exploded with pain. Before she could made any further move, one of Tamith Kai’s muscular legs landed in her belly and sent her flying into the wall.
Jaina could hear her blood flowing and her heart was beating so loud she was afraid it could burst any moment.

* * * * *

Jacen had managed to find Lowie’s room and opened it. They continued to look for Jaina, but they had no idea where to begin with their search. It seemed she was nowhere in the student quarters.

Suddenly black dots appeared in front of Jacen’s eyes and he sank to the ground with a cry of pain.
His hand felt the skin on his cheek, but everything seemed to be normal. Jaina? He asked.
Silence.

Lowie leaned down worried and as Jacen still didn’t move, he lifted him up and carried him through the corridor. They were able to find the docking bay, but still no sign of their friend.
When they looked at the ship that just had landed, they saw to their relief that the two passengers were Luke Skywalker, Jedi-Master and uncle of the twins, and Tenel Ka, a friend of theirs.
“Uncle Luke!” Jacen shouted from his position on the wookie’s arms.
“Jacen!” Luke came over to them looking worried. “Where is your sister? And why is Lowie carrying you?”
“I don’t know where she is.” Jacen explained as Lowie lowered him to the ground. “But I believe she got hurt.”

Luke closed his eyes and stretched out with the force.
“She is fighting against a very powerful woman.” He whispered in shock, feeling his niece getting weaker and weaker.

“Hey, what are you doing here?” A voice suddenly demanded. They turned around just in time to see five stormtroopers coming through a side corridor and aiming their weapons at them.
“Heads up!” Luke shouted over the noise of the shots, activated his lightsaber and deflected as many bolts as he could.
“To the ship!” He cried.
In that moment, one of the stormtroopers triggered the alarm.

“Uncle Luke, what about Jaina?” Jacen asked from the ramp to the ship.
I have to leave her. Alone, I might have been able to free her, but now I’m responsible for the Jacen and his friends. I can’t risk their lives. Luke realized. But although he knew he had to go, his heart ached that he had to leave the girl behind.

Slowly he started to retreat to the ship and made it up the ramp before more stormtroopers appeared.

The children all stared at him with opened eyes. When he started the engines, Jacen began to cry, hiding his face in Tenel Ka’s hair, who laid an arm around him.

I’m sorry. Luke sent to his niece, before the ship took off and he made the jump to hyperspace.

* * * * *

I’m sorry.
The words echoed in Jaina’s head without actually making sense. She still struggled to remain conscious.

Then she felt a great, heartbreaking sadness from her twin, which abruptly disappeared. Then she knew what was going on.

They were escaping, and leaving her behind.

Why? She thought desperated. Her blurry gaze fell on Tamith Kai, who was standing over her and gloating over her enemy’s misfortune.
Too dangerous. The realization hit her and she felt an anger rising inside of her she’d never known before.

It was all that woman’s fault. Everything.

Jaina’s delicately chiseled features deformed with pain and ire. She used her hands to push herself up and away from the wall.

Tamith Kai looked mildly surprised to see her standing up again, but soon her look became despising.

“Good, very good, Jaina!” Brakiss voice sounded from the door to the room. Tamith Kai whirled around. “You! What are you doing here?”
“Punishing you for trying to hide this from me.” Brakiss made a gesture that included the scene in front of him.

“Now, Jaina, don’t you want to end it?” He asked softly, coming to an halt behind her.

Jaina’s whole body was shaking and trembling. Suddenly her eyes wided, and she screamed as she lost control over her ire.
Violet lightnings formed between her splayed fingers and still influenced by Brakiss’ mind trick, she threw them at the nightsister.

A nonhuman cry sounded through the room as Tamith Kai was burned alive.

After the last lightning had vanished, Jaina stared at her hands, not wanting to believe what she’d just done.

“Very good. I knew you wouldn’t disappoint me.” Brakiss said behind her.

Jaina sank to her knees, unable to look away from Tamith Kai’s burned face and body.
The last thing she thought before the world became dark, was:

What have I done?

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