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Note: The song "Time to Wonder" belongs to Fury in the Slaughterhouse and I don't own it.

Chapter 17

Luckily, the Ralroost’s hangar shields really lowered for her, when Jaina and her fighter - now damaged by some magma missiles – approached the ship and crashed onto the surface of the hangar.

Her arms felt strangely heavy as she pulled herself out of the cockpit, but Jaina didn’t allow herself to rest. Too much was at stake. Making sure her lightsaber was safely attached to her belt, she let herself drop to the ground.

Sparky whistled something, reminding her of his presence.

Oh force, I had totally forgotten him.

Turning around to the little droid, she replied: “No, Sparky. I can’t take you with me. I know it’ll be dangerous for you to stay here because of all the Vong, but with some luck...” She grinned like a predator. “...will they only care about me.”

Sparky wasn’t convinced and tooted sadly.
Sighing, Jaina turned around and made her way to the exit of the docking bay. After some steps and more sad tooting behind her, she looked.

“And besides...” She called over her shoulder. “...you can still use the repulsors to lift the ship up high enough for the Vong not to be able to reach you.”

Now silent, the droid immediately began to warm the fighter’s systems up again and whistled something back. Guessing at the content of what seemed to be a question, Jaina answered:
“Of course, just blow them away with the lasers if they come.”

With that, she faced the exit, heavy durasteel doors, a second time and jogged towards them.

Before she had reached them, Jaina drew her lightsaber without activating it. Then, she carefully moved to the right side of the doors and opened them with the force. Looking around the corner, she could only see a black corridor lying in front of her.
Sensing someone in the dark, Jaina ignited her weapon and in the same moment, pointed it at where the force told her the other person’s throat was.

The man, someone in the clothes of a mechanic, stumbled backwards; obviously afraid.

“Please, I didn’t want to attack you or something like that. It’s just that all lights in this corridor are dead and I was blinded by the light from the hangar. I was the one who lowered the shields.” He stammered,

Jaina put her weapon down, knowing he was telling the truth. A strange, but warm feeling filled her body, when she realized that without even knowing her, that man was willing to risk his life for her.

“Are the turbolifts working?” She asked him.

The mechanic shook his head.

Then I’ll climb. Jaina mentally shrugged.

“You should better get going.” The man told her.

“What will you do?” She asked him.

“I’ll hide somewhere. I’m not a warrior, I’d only be in your way.” He replied, but smiled optimistically at her.

“Why don’t you climb into my X-Wing and hide there? You could also see if you can repair some of the damage.” Jaina suggested.

He nodded. “Thanks. Good luck!”

She nodded goodbye and then entered the corridor.

Darkness flew from the violet glow of her lightsaber. She jogged down the corridor till she’d reached her own room and entered. Quickly and as fast as possible with the only light coming from the lightsaber she was now levitating, Jaina changed her clothes. Her orange jumpsuit had to give way to better for combat suited and more inconspicuous, dark clothes.

Sensing no empty spots in the force on this deck, she fished her lightsaber out of the air and ran towards the turbolifts.

No idea where the emergency stairs are...Does this ship even have some? Jaina wondered when she looked at the doors to the turbolift shaft. The cabin appeared to be further upwards, what could later become a problem, but in this moment, Jaina didn’t care.

I’ll care about it when I’m there.

Looking upwards, along the ladder steps on her side of the shaft, Jaina pondered.

If I leave my lightsaber ignited, I have to levitate it the whole way upwards and I won’t see much more of the ladder steps because of my own shadow...
Kriff! I’ve got no choice. Can’t relay on my eyes now.

At least I’ll see how good my Jedi-training is.


Deactivating the lightsaber and hanging it back onto her belt, she started to carefully climb the ladder steps up. It went surprisingly good, even without seeing anything.

A few decks before the top of the shaft, a door suddenly opened, opposite of Jaina’s position and a bit upwards.

She sighed. Of course it had to be on the opposite side of the shaft. Then she noticed her mistake. She shouldn’t have sighed.

The Vong inside the doorframe had probably only been on patrol or something like that, but now he knew that someone was inside the shaft – and that it was an invader. After all, what Vong would climb around in a shaft?

He was fast, already had his amphistaff in his hands. Jaina knew she had to be even faster to stop him from alarming his friends – and to evade the turbolift above her. Another Vong was cutting with his amphistaff through the wires holding the cabin, wanting to drop in onto her.

Quickly, she climbed further upwards till she was on the same height with the doors and the first Vong. The enemy warrior was already happily throwing Grutchins to where he’d heard her sighing.
Lit by only the dim, red light of the corridor behind him, the warrior couldn’t make her out, something that Jaina had now used against him.

Led by the force, her lightsaber sprang from her belt and whirled activated through the air, cutting into the Vong’s upper body. Through his armor held, he fell backwards.

In a graceful summersault, Jaina leapt backwards and into the doorframe.

Her lightsaber came back into her hand and using the poor Vong’s surprise, she quickly attacked him.

Suddenly, his amphistaff became soft and curled around her weapon-arm.

Necessity is the mother of invention. Jaina just thought and simply used her other arm to pull on the amphistaff her enemy towards her. That was something neither the amphistaff nor his owner had expected, let alone where prepared for.

The amphistaff loosed his grip around her arm; the Vong only stumbled towards her. Hastily, Jaina stepped sidewards. The enemy warrior almost fell into the shaft, with only his left hand holding him back, clutching onto the doorframe. The Vong was now leaning with his upper body in the shaft, his back pointing to his enemy.
In that moment, the turbolift fell down.

Despite all the things Jaina had already seen in war, she wished she didn’t have to witness that.

Even a Vong doesn’t deserve this.

Turning around, she entered the red-lit corridors of her vision.

* * *

Stairs! Now, that’s a surprise! Why don’t they have them everywhere?
Jaina thought and headed the emergency stairs to the deck containing the bridge up.

I don’t understand this ship here anymore!

As soon as she’d reached the top, Jaina felt like she was back in her dreams.

The same corridor, the same light...the same fate?

At first, she only jogged, but then she started to run, run down the red-lit corridors.
She could feel the despair of the people on this deck; she could feel the pain of brave soldiers dying in the defense of the bridge. Her heart ached cause she knew she wouldn’t make it in time.

Finally, she rounded the last corner and entered the corridor that would lead her straight to the bridge.

In front of her, five Yuuzhan Vong warriors blocked her way. They moved with the precision of veterans, each taking position where they wouldn’t constrain each other.

Behind them, she could see the doors to the bridge – and the huge whole in them. At least one of the Vong was already in it and killing.

Jaina raised her violet blade and stormed forwards.

* * *

She had killed three of them before the other warriors brought her down. One of them pulled with his amphistaff her legs away under her; the other one caught her with his weapon on the collarbone and left a bloody trail.

Jaina landed hard on her back and panted for air.

Is this the end? She thought.

The warriors seemed to move strangely slow. One of them raised his weapon for a death blow. He seemed so slow...

Jaina only stared at him bewildered.

Inside her head, she heared voices and faces appeared in front of her inner eye.

The mechanic, willing to risk his life for her.
Admiral Kre’fey, also trusting her with his life.
Jacen, her twin. Caring, strengthing.
Anakin, the young hero; smiling at her.
Her parents, always there for her.

Anni, telling her to live.

The thought of her dead friend brought tears to her eyes, but she didn’t want to disappoint her.

Then she remembered a song Winter had used to sing along to, back when Jaina had been a little child.

We’ve got time to wait
And we wait still its too late
We always move in seconds in a world of hours and days
We’ve got bones and blood
Is this all what we’ve got?
I thought there was a brain
But maybe I just thought in vain


Slowly, she opened the eyes she hadn’t noticed she’d closed.

This is not the time to wonder
And this is not the time to cry
This is not the time to sleep while we fight


The Vong was still moving so slowly.

And this is not the time to die

Reality and dreams
Reality is not what it seems

Its not the way we want it
Its just the way it gotta be

We’ve got love and hate
But we can’t estimate

What’s the right solution to kill the illusion of this world?


Her lightsaber, forgotten where it had fallen down, flew over the Vong with the raised weapon and she took it, rammed it into her opponent’s belly.

This is not the time to wonder

She pulled her weapon out of his body and faster than anyone could follow with the eyes, was behind the second Vong, the tip of her lightsaber pointing to the ground.

And this is not the time to cry

Behind her, the Vong fell dead to the ground, the crimson mark of a lightsaber diagonal over his whole body.

This is not the time to sleep while we fight
And this is not the time to die


As she looked up, the doors to the bridge awaited her.
This is not the time to die...She repeated in her thoughts.

And this is not the time to wonder
This is just a time to fear
Dont worry about the meaning
Dont worry ‘bout the world
Its the question how to see it clear

And she saw very clear now. The force allowed her to be faster than any human had ever been.
In an eyeblink, she was inside the bridge.

She felt like she was the force itself. The pure energy seemed too big to be held inside her small body. Jaina was sure she’d have to explode soon.

In her ear, she could hear water flowing; a big, mighty ocean. Then she realized, that it was the force. The force was an ocean.

The last Vong stood in the middle of the bridge. Kre’fey’s people were hidden behind consoles, their blaster’s seemed to be out of ammo.
The ground was covered with dead bodies, most of them species of the New Republic.

“Ean Ku! I’ve taken these people under my wings! I am your enemy!” The force itself called out of Jaina’s mouth.

Your lightsaber, you won’t need it. Something whispered in her ear.

She let it drop to the ground.

Moving slowly, she approached her final enemy, hands slightly lifted up.

Ean Ku had turned around to face her, the exact opposite of her.
She was the light, he the darkness.

But he had one big disadvantage.

“You can’t win.” Jaina said, coming to a halt about two meters in front of him.
“So you say, little Jeedai!” He replied. “And because? Because of your physical strength?” Ean Ku asked sarcastically.

“No.” Jaina smiled. “Because darkness is displaced with light!”

Then, she let herself drown into the ocean that the force was.

* * *

Ean Ku watched in awe as the Jedi suddenly began to shine lighter and lighter. The light seemed to reach for him, till it flooded around him.

The force connected darkness and light.

* * *

“What happened?” Kyp asked her as soon as she’d opened her eyes. Jaina lay on the bridge, her head resting on his arm and the rest of the worried Jedi-Master leaning over her.

“What happened?” She asked him.
Kyp laughed.
“That’s what I also want to know. I know that you’ve fought against someone here on the bridge, but I just can’t see your enemy. And all other dead Vong’s are too far away from your current position to be that enemy.”

Surprised, Jaina looked at where Ean Ku was – or better, should have been. There was nothing.

“The force….has taken him.” She replied weakly.
“Yeah….I guess every Jedi in the system has sensed you.” Noticing her questioningly look, he told her:
“I came here when I felt you getting hurt, must have been still outside the bridge.
One mechanic, who was insane enough to sit in your cockpit, lowered the hangar shields and let me in. Then I only had to follow the lightsaber marks…” Kyp grinned at her.

Jaina immediately felt better.

“Well, the rest of the crew is unconscious, so I have no idea what has happened…”

“Kyp?” Jaina interrupted him.
“Mmhmh?”
“Shut up.”

With that, she kissed him. That made him silent very quickly.

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