Chapter 13: The Calm
The Inquisitor made it back to the ship via her smaller vessel. Despite the mask she wore as part of her uniform, the present crewmen could sense her anger of the captain's failures in the capture of the Rigger ship, even the force wasn't needed to feel the intensity of the anger, which in turn created thoughts of what the consequences would be. She made her way to the captain quarters, the captain decided on liquid courage to face the dark figure which would be the deciding fate of his lifeline's length. He heard the doors open, "My lady, I can explain—" he was then interrupted by sudden blockage of air, he then raised in mid air while grabbing his neck looking upon the Inquisitor with her arm stretched out.
"Oh please captain, by all means." She said to him with subtle anger. His only responses were a mixture of raspy sounds of 'please' followed struggled breathing. "No? Then allow me." She released him from her force grip. He fell to the floor on all fours, grabbing his own neck followed by gasps of air for the sweet oxygen that he was deprived of for half a minute. "You were ordered to capture the ship that held the objectives we were supposed to capture. And yet they managed to evade us and hopped into hyperspace with something that could've been proven useful for the Empire!" She said with a risen voice.
"We've done everything we could! It was an old ship, they must have made modifications! And! We had a droid in there to sabotage them, they must have caught on!" He said bravely, forgetting on who and what he was talking to.
"And now they are on their way to some unknown location in which the Empire has no idea about to do who knows what in their efforts against everything we are building!" The Inquisitor added. The doors opened again. A crewman came in to relay a message.
"My lady, the Emperor seeks an immediate audience with you." He told her. The captain felt her hateful gaze piercing him before she left to her quarters to answer the call. Even he knew a call from the Emperor can mean fatal consequences if a mission goes bad.
Rayrsoll and Ahsoka met up in the cockpit to talk about their next move. The had a chance to breath after the fiasco of an escape from the Empire, and an Inquisitor. Ahsoka sat on the co-pilot seat and Ahsoka on her pilot seat. What was to come next remained in the air. Okami is dead, which put a hinderance in Rayrsoll's mission, yet his children remain and have inherited his connection to the force. Now the Empire was after the family, seeing that if an Inquisitor was present, one could sense the power from the children, putting them at more risk than ever. He knew the that the Empire would simply kill Hana and take the children without a hint of remorse or hesitation, leaving them to become killers and oppressors of the Empire. That much he knew for sure, but what was to be done about the family now was still left unanswered.
"Ray, we need a plan for them." Ahsoka said to him. Rayrsoll looked at her with crossed arms trying to act sure when he really wasn't.
"I know, and I do." Rayrsoll replied.
"You know I can tell when your lying." Ahsoka answered back. "Not only your crossed arms, but also the fact that when it comes to changes in a mission, you need more time to think, as your master always said—" She then caught his look, he was remembering the day he lost his master right in front of him made him sad. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to—"
"Its fine, I know its been years but still."
"A pain like that never goes away, but we can learn to live with it."
"We all lost so much during and after the war. Our friends, home, and our good names. The only thing we gained is the attention of bounty hunters, Imperials and Inquisitors constantly breathing down our neck." He looked at the door, on which the other side the family were collecting their thoughts after the events that unfolded. "And now they have to burden the same troubles we're having."
Ahsoka looked at the door after him, and a thought came to her resolve. "Well then, the mission has changed."
"What?" Rayrsoll asked.
"We bring the children to Shaak Ti." She answered to Rayrsoll. He was surprised, who would he explain this to Hana, and better yet Master Ti. Hana and the children had been through enough he thought. A firefight, running from the Sith and outrunning a government ship without the slightest idea of who or what him and Ahsoka are.
"Ahsoka, forgive me if I seem rude, but I don't think that's a good idea. They just survived the Empire, the last thing they need now is be taken to some fungi planet to be taught by stranger on something they don't understand." Rayrsoll answered coldly. She met his gaze with a stubborn look and rose up to remind him of their upbringing.
"We both knew nothing of the force as well. We were taught by strangers who became like family to us. And you mean to tell me that it's a bad idea for them, knowing who's going after them? Ray, come on think about it!" Rayrsoll heard her and he did. She was right. He became what he is now because of the order and those who taught him, despite what he loss. He is alive because of the Jedi teachings. Maybe this is the best route.
"Ok, but we go gently about this." Rayrsoll said to Ahsoka, she nodded in agreeance.
"What news do you have for me?" The Emperor asked the Inquisitor. She was bowing before him in his holographic presence.
"My Emperor, I regret to inform you that we have failed in our endeavors to eliminate the Jedi. The have escaped." She answered. The Emperor was not pleased with her response.
"I sent you to do what the Empire has trained you for, and you fail despite your training?!" The Emperor asked furiously.
"My lord I apologize, but I have a reason for my reluctance."
"And what reason is that?"
"I have made a discovery."
"Force sensitives, two of them, and very powerful. When they went into the ship, I ordered the crew to disable the ship. Potential such as those could serve the empire well." The Emperor's anger then turned into curiosity.
"How could you know this for sure?" He asked her.
"My liege, the Jedi did their damndest to protect the family, when I faced one of the Jedi, the children were present, I felt it like a huge wave. They have such power, I figured it would be shameful and a waste to kill them."
"Indeed it would." The Emperor then ordered her to rise. "If what you say is true, I will allow you to continue the pursuit and not be so quick to call it failure. You will report back to Coruscant and get your own ship. But know that I will not provide another chance, this is simply a change in the same mission."
"I will not fail you my Emperor." She replied gratefully.
"Be sure that you don't, it would come as a great concern to question why I spared your life." The communication then ended, and she ordered the captain to go back to Coruscant.
"No! No! Absolutely not!" Hana said to Jedi. Rayrsoll and Ahsoka were present with Hana who asked to speak to her in private from the children. They felt that the children should stay out of the conversation to avoid confusing them.
"I know it sounds like a bad idea, but Shaak Ti is a master of the force and the ways of the Jedi. She can teach them about how to control the force." Rayrsoll replied to her.
"Plus they can learn more about their father-" Ahsoka tried to finish her sentence, but Hana interrupted.
"Don't bring him into this! He was a good man who loved us very much!" Hana answered.
"No one is arguing that Hana, I know he was." Rayrsoll reassured her. "But the point is that we should get the children to Shaak Ti so she can assess what we should do."
"You want me to put the fate of my children, MY FLESH AND BLOOD! In the hands of some mystical nobody who I have no idea about?!" Hana asked angrily.
"She is a former general of the Republic who led many victories against the Separatists and a former member of the Jedi Council who she assisted in keeping the peace before the war. Now she survives because of training that has helped the Jedi for thousands of years, so yes Hana, I think it's a great idea considering the factors." Rayrsoll said with a little bit of anger.
"Well it's a good thing they're not your kids." Hana said coldly to Rayrsoll.
"Here is your situation. You just witnessed the Empire, granted they were after us, but now they want the children. Why? Because they are force sensitive. Now you can do you best and hide from them, but they have other force sensitives called Inquisitors, who specialize in hunting other force sensitives, and they will find you. Also if you hide the children from where you are, they will torture you in ways you can't imagine, bringing pain you quite possibly never felt before! You will beg for death but only until you give them up! So tell me Hana, what's your plan on that because so far it sounds like you don't have one while throwing away the only chance for you and the children to survive!" Raysoll's rage was then calmed by Ahsoka, he saw the tears of fear coming from Hana. The guilt ran through him suddenly as he left the room. He then saw the children standing side by side with a scared look on their face.
"Rayrsoll-san, what's going to happen to us?" Ame asked Rayrsoll. He approached them and knelt to them.
"I don't know yet, but we will do everything we can to help you. Right we are just trying to make a decision, for now, let's see what we can munch on." He walked them away from the room to fix their small hunger.
Ahsoka sat Hana down and she sat next to her. "I'm sorry about Ray, he can be quite assertive in the most needless of times, it's just that he's been through a lot as well and is still going through it." Hana still looked down. "He really is sorry, I'll talk to him about his behavior."
"He's right though, I don't have a plan." Hana said sadly. "All my life I tried to protect them from the judgement of society, fearing that if anyone found out about their powers, they would be taken from me. Now I have to fear for their lives because an entire government is after them. I don't know if I can do this….. how can I do this?" Tears filled her eyes. She felt helpless and useless. "I'm a terrible mother."
"No, no you're not." Ahsoka reassured her. "What I saw in here is what any mother would do. I saw a mother who always puts her children first before anything else. I saw a natural reaction of a mother when given an audacious option. That's a great mother." Ahsoka said to her. Hana rose her head and began to smile at her. "Anyone ever say you have a beautiful smile?" Both giggled in relief.
"Thanks Ahsoka-kun, but how can I do this alone?" Hana asked in concern. Ahsoka than gave her a look filled with a confidence.
"Who said you were alone?" Ahsoka replied.
Rayrsoll sat with the children at a table eating protein bars. They were bland, and he could tell the children didn't enjoy them, but they munched on anyways.
"I know guys, these aren't exactly filled with taste." His response didn't help. "I promise, next planet, I'll find something sweeter for all of us, deal?"
"Deal." The children said in unison. Just then, Hana and Ahsoka walked in. Both had a more relaxed look on them, which calmed the air.
"Ok, I'll trust you both for now, I just want you to promise me the children will be safe." Hana said commandingly. Rayrsoll listened and knew that safe was a word that didn't apply to the situation, all he could do was his best, he couldn't let Hana know that.
"I swear on my life the will be." He said looking at all of them. "Ahsoka?" He asked her, she nodded in agreement.
"Then we will go to Shaak Ti." Hana said. The Jedi smiled and nodded. "Where is she anyways?"
"On the planet Felucia, but first we have to resupply on Alderaan." Ahsoka answered.
"Alderaan?" Hana asked
"Remember when I said you're not alone in this endeavor?" Ahsoka said to Hana. A look of confusion was hidden with a smile from Hana.
"Whats gonna happen now?" Yuki asked Rayrsoll.
"You're going to learn about the force," he then reached and ignited it. "and how to use this." Yuki and Ame looked in amazement at the elegant weapon. The though of mastering such a weapon never crossed their minds, until now as their odyssey began.