Disclaimers: Corran Horn, Valin Horn, the Star Wars universe, and any other non-original characters I may mention do not belong to me. I make no money off this, as you should already know.
Note: This is another background story for my fighter squadron. I'll probably be posting a lot of these. I have them for a bunch of the characters. Also, any ideas for an improved Title are welcome. I just made this up right now.The Little Outlaw
Penclu ran down the narrow alley, clutching a bundle to her chest. She swerved around a pile of crates. Suddenly, a wall loomed up before her. She heard the shouting voices getting closer and looked frantically around. She spotted a half-open window, slithered inside, and shut it silently. She watched several pairs of feet walk around the area she had just vacated. Someone walked closer to her hiding place and she shrunk back, hoping the person would think she was part of the shadows. After a few moments, the person walked away and Penclu let out a breath she hadn't know she was holding. She waited tensely for about ten more minutes. Finally, the people left and she crawled onto the ground.
She looked around before exiting the alley and winding her way through the streets of the city. She reached the edge of the town and made her way to the abandoned estate she'd discovered several months ago. She got a running start and easily scaled the fence, dropping to the ground on the other side. She walked around to the back of the house and climbed up to the second story. She walked along a ledge and dropped through an open window. The lights came on as she sat on the large bed. She took the package out from under her ratty, oversized vest and opened it. A full loaf of bread lay on her lap. She had gotten much more than she usually did. Her mouth watered just looking at it. She broke off a chunk and put it in her mouth. It was even sweeter than she expected. She heard the door open and automatically rolled under the bed. She crawled to the foot of the bed and peered out. Suddenly, there was a pair of green eyes staring back at her. She scuttled back from the edge of the bed. A hand appeared, beckoning her.
"It's okay. You can come out. I won't hurt you," a man's voice said, warmly.
She carefully crawled back to the edge of the bed, still clutching her loaf of bread. She stood up and looked at the man. He was about five-and-a-half feet tall with silver-shot brown hair and sparkling green eyes.
"Hello," he said. "My name is Corran Horn. What's yours?"
"I'm Penclu Ux Lomtula," She replied, holding her bread even tighter.
"Are you hungry?"
She nodded. He took her hand and led her out of the room. They walked down the stairs and into a room where a middle-aged man sat at a table.
"Hey, Dad. Who's that?" the second man asked.
"Valin, meet Penclu Ux Lomtula. Penclu, this is my son, Valin."
"Is she the one we're looking for?" Valin asked.
"I don't know." Corran then turned to her. "We've been getting reports that someone has been sneaking onto our land for the past few months. Was that you?"
She nodded. "I didn't want the people to catch me. And sometimes I need a place to sleep."
Corran set a plate of food in front of her. "Don't you have a home?"
"Mommy and Daddy used to have a home before they died."
"How long ago did they die?" This time it was Valin asking.
"Five years ago." She finished eating before Corran stood up.
"You're probably exhausted. Let's go put you to bed. Tomorrow, we'll give you a bath, haircut, and get you some new clothes."
Corran joined his son in the living room.
"Did you sense it, too?" Valin asked.
"Yes. She has great Force potential. I'll offer to take her to the academy tomorrow.
Penclu woke up and looked around. This wasn't the room she usually slept in. She sat up and saw a man sitting at the foot of the bed. She automatically lashed out and felt her punch connect with something. She ran into the 'fresher and locked the door. A few moments later, the door opened and the man walked in, rubbing his chest. She prepared to attack, but the man held out his hands.
"Don't hurt me, I'm a friend, remember?"
She looked at his for a moment before recognizing him. "Corran?"
"That's right. Now, let's get you cleaned up." He took her clothes off and put her in the bathtub, running the water. He finished bathing her and toweled her off, handing her her clothes. She got dressed and followed him downstairs. He handed her a bowl of cereal.
"What's this?" She looked at the bowl, confused.
"Cereal," Corran replied. "It's for breakfast. How long since you've had a real breakfast?"
"What if I told you that I could take you someplace where you could eat whenever you wanted, have your own room with your own bed, and nobody would chase you?"
"There's no place like that."
"Yes, there is, and I can take you there. If you want."
"I'd love to! When do we leave?"
"Tonight. The place is the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4. There will be lots of other kids there with powers like yours."
Corran glanced back at the fold-out acceleration couch behind Valin. He and Mirax had installed those seats when they had kids. Penclu was slumped over, asleep, her chin resting on her chest. She had refused to sleep for most of the trip from Corellia to Yavin. She had watched the pattern of hyperspace, enraptured, for the past six or so hours. He pushed the hyperspace levers forward. He saw the stars and the emerald jewel that was Yavin 4. He piloted the Pulsar Skate towards the jungle moon and keyed the intercom. "This is Corran Horn aboard the Pulsar Skate. Requesting permission to land at the academy."
"Permission granted, Corran," a young, female voice replied.
"I decided to help out. Chuck and Alex are here, too," the teenage girl replied.
"Okay. Can you tell Master Durron that I have a new student?"
"Can do. Celeste out."
Corran stood in front of a small group of students. Penclu stood with him. Kyp and Chris stood with the students. "Everybody, this is Penclu Ux Lomtula. We'll have to be gentle and patient with her. She's still pretty suspicious of people, especially adults. To most of you, this will mean nothing., but to some of you,"—he glanced at Chuck Raider—"this will mean a lot. She spent five years living on the streets of Corellia with no parents, money, or a place to stay."
Chuck looked at Penclu pityingly. He must remember just enough of Corellia to understand. Kyp walked closer and Penclu shrank back behind her friend.
"Welcome, Penclu. We're glad to have you aboard. I've got a room I think you'll love. You want to see it?" Kyp held out his hand. Penclu hesitantly took it and Corran saw her start her much-needed healing process.
But wounds like the ones she had might never completely heal.