Ahsoka awoke from her healing trance whole but exhausted. She wanted nothing more than to stay curled up with Trip and Leia and sink back into sleep. However, the three sentients had grown into eighteen, and one of them was strong in the Force. Ahsoka knew she would have to investigate or she wouldn't be able to sleep soundly.

Trip opened one eye and looked at her when she stood up. Ahsoka sent reassurance to her so that she wouldn't try to follow. Someone needed to guard Leia.

Trip sighed and went back to sleep.

The Force guided her feet through the forest, letting her pass almost soundlessly, just another shadow in the night. The minds of animals, both sleeping and awake flickered by while she ran, like tiny flares, while the plants were more of a gentle hum. The whole area thrummed with life.

A sharp stab of someone's fear tore through the Force. It wasn't from the Force sensitive, so it was able to get past her shields.

Ahsoka abandoned her stealth efforts and poured all of her energy into speed.

She burst into a clearing moments later, behind three giant creatures who stank of Darkness - the malicious kind. There were numerous smaller beings tied up in sacks and some roasting over an open fire. The giants were going to eat the other people.

Ahsoka ignited her lightsabers and leaped on top of the closest giant, using him to push herself over the fire. She landed with her back to the smaller beings, facing the giants.

The giants shouted loudly, their confusion leaking into the Force.

One of them tried to swat her, but Ahsoka jumped over his hand with ease, slashing across his face with her shoto as she did so. She didn't want to kill anyone yet, not when she didn't know the full story, so her attack was only meant to injure.

She Force-pushed the other two giants into the trees before they could get any bright ideas about attacking her.

As soon as the giants were out of the way, Ahsoka used the Force to lift the log that some of the beings were tied to off of the fire. She tried to set it down so that none of them were trapped beneath it, but she was tired and might have squashed a few arms and legs.

The giants chose that moment to attack again, yelling something that Ahsoka didn't understand.

One tried to grab her, so she flipped backwards, her lightsabers a whirl of green and yellow as she chopped the fingers off his hands.

The giant that had tried to hit her earlier, who now had a large burn on his face, pulled out a knife. He moved fast for something so big, but not fast enough. His hand soon joined the other giant's fingers on the ground.

Before the last giant could attack, an old man wearing gray robes and a gray hat, strong in the Force, appeared on top of a stone hill. He shouted something that made the giants turn to him then slammed his staff into the hill. A brief flex in the Force combined with the blow split the stone in two, and the light of dawn filled the clearing.

To Ahsoka's astonishment, the giants turned into stone, their presences extinguished from the Force. Just like that, they were dead.

Ahsoka stood off to the side, her lightsabers turned off and clipped to her belt, while the shorter beings pulled themselves out of their sacks and cut their people off the log. The Force user watched her with shrewd, ancient eyes that reminded her of Yoda, or maybe Plo.

She sent him a small smile, making sure to keep her lips closed over her teeth. Some people found sharp teeth disturbing, and she didn't want to alienate the only non-malicious sentients around already.

The old man narrowed his eyes for a moment then nodded before turning away.

Ahsoka went back to observing the shorter beings - likely some subspecies of Human. They had a lot of hair, she noted, fighting to keep her nose from wrinkling.

One of the short humans with long, dark hair and a short beard approached her. He said something that Ahsoka couldn't understand, although the feeling she caught from him was one of gratitude.

"Do you speak Basic?" she asked.

The Force user frowned and walked over to stand behind the short human. He said something in a different sounding language, but Ahsoka still couldn't understand.

"How about Mando'a?" she asked in Mando'a. Neither of them appeared to understand.

They spent a few minutes throwing various languages at each other before they hit on one that they both understood: an ancient Jedi dialect, one that had already fallen out of use by the times of the Ruusan Reforms. Ahsoka only knew a bit of it because Obi-Wan knew it, and Anakin had occasionally punished her by scheduling lessons in it with his Master.

"I called Ahsoka," she said clumsily.

"I'm-" something indistinguishable "Gandalf." He said more, but she didn't understand it.

Ahsoka frowned, trying to figure out a way to ask where the nearest city was, when a howl rang out.

It was Trip, calling her back.

"I come here," Ahsoka said, unable to remember the word for back or the future tenses of the verbs.

Gandalf seemed to understand, thankfully.

Ahsoka ran back into the forest, leaving her possibly new allies behind.

It didn't take her long to pack up all of their supplies - feeding and changing Leia took much longer.

Trip seemed excited to meet the new people; she had already taken to calling them 'new pack.' Ahsoka had tried to stress that they were possibly friends, not definitely friends, but Trip didn't seem to understand.

After a while, Ahsoka gave up trying to explain and just let the warg prance around the tree while she finished packing.

Once everything was secure and Leia was happy, Ahsoka took a deep, calming breath to steady her nerves and prepare for what was likely to be the most difficult negotiations of her life. Then she set off, leading Trip down the route she had traveled twice before, Leia in her arms, as she mentally tried to recall everything she'd learned about the ancient dialect.