Unexpected Visitor

The wind felt refreshing, sweeping silken black hair across Reon's pale face. For a momment she stood and stared at the light of Barab's moon before continuing on to the memorial. She paused, feet away, noticing a small robed figure seated at the base of the memorial, and was about to turn and leave when a familiar voice suddenly spoke up.

"You don't have to leave, Jynxie. I sense you need to be here as much as I do. It's peaceful here…I think we both need that an maybe we could both do with some companionship." The Jawa says, only turning to face Jynx after she had finished speaking.

For a long moment Jynx merely stands there staring down at her comrade and companion, a weary and haunted look in her eyes that the little Jawa had never seen there before.
"I didn't mean to disturb you, Stinky" she says at last. "It's just that…well, dumb as it sounds I just didn't think anyone ever took the time to come above ground and visit the dead."

“You are not disturbing me”, answered the Jawa in a quiet respectful voice.

Gracefully Jynx slides into a kneel before the Jawa, reaching out and tracing a finger across T'Thock's name.
"O how I envy the rest of the honored dead…just think, Stinky, they'll never have to come to terms when this war is over. I mean, can you imagine the mighty barabel taking a desk job somewhere? Almost as difficult to imagine myself at home raising kids…" a sad and sinister note to her voice.

She looks away for a momment, then sits down and turns her attention back. "I miss them, Stinky. I never had a chance to say goodbye to either T'Thock or to Talon. I feel so lonely…ChiChi is my only family now, and I am greatful to be with him, but how long until even he is torn away?" Again, she looks away from the Jawa, fingering a small metalic band on her finger.

“For some reason, most beings need that chance to say farewell, even if it is just being able to say it to their lifeless body. That is why I helped arrange the ceremony for M’rath; to help the living deal with his passing.”
Carefully and gently placing a hand on Jynx’s shoulder Dee continues.. “But with both T’thokk and Talon we didn’t even have that.” Pausing for a moment, a vivid memory bursts into Dee’laan’s mind as she recalls the last moment of Sillo Bluestar’s life in this plane of existence. Taking a sharp inhale of air, she holds it as the Jedi code runs through her mind and then exhales. In a pensive but shaky voice, she continues.
“I don’t know which is worse, actually witnessing the friend’s death but being too far away to call out or to help or just receiving the dreaded comm. of their fate.” Placing her other hand on Jynx’s chin, the jawa cautiously turns the human’s head to be able to look her in the eyes. With absolute heartfelt sincerity, Dee’laan declares to Jynx, “You are not alone.”

"I know I am not alone…" Jynx says "I know the hurt the others must have in losing their friends and comrades. And I am sorry about M'rath, I wish I could speak more on his behalf, but I never knew him."

With some trepidation, the jawa asks the next question.“This may seem a weird question but you have been a fairly private individual so I don’t know your views on this subject. And depending on your answer, I will respect your position. Do you believe in the Force?”

For a momment something dark flashes in her eyes, then as if recalling the Jedi Jawa sitting beside her offering her company, the look in her eyes softens. "Back home, when I was little, my nurse once told me that when a person passes, we often find their faces in the stars above us. I come out here whenever I can and search for T'Thock and Talon among the stars….but all I see are stars."
Leaning back, her hand stretched behind for support, she sighs. The light of the moon reveals an angry scar across her breast, vanishing into her shirt. Her eyes take in Stinky beside her. "I'm sorry, Stinky, you asked me a question. The force…."She looks up at the stars again as if deep in thought. "I am not sure…I have seen some strange things since joining with the rebelion, but for the most part… The Force…whatever it is, is as unpredictable as the individuals it haunts. It is like a curse, from what I understand…it makes one weak, doubtful, always hesitant, unable to go through on what is most needed. And sometimes Twisted…but again, that is my own experience. I have never really studied up on the Jedi…it seems like a fairy tale story, and a tragic one at best. As if all the Jedi have ever done was to bottle up their feelings until they can no longer hold them inside, and then they are no more."

“For someone who is unsure and unstudied, you are very insightful. The Force is more of double edged sword, at times it is a curse and other times a magnificent and dangerous gift. But I didn’t mean to turn this into a discussion about the Jedi. They are just the best known of the all the many paths that exist to guide Force users. I meant it on a more elemental level. Sometimes I forget that those who aren’t in touch with the Force have a hard time understanding or believing it really exists because they can’t see it or touch it. Do you remember the last mission we both went on with T’thokk? Remember the Eyes of Aepier? The ones he put down his pants and when we got to the pillar room, they started to jump around.” Dee’laan pauses, looking to Jynx to see her reaction. A mixed pang of longing and mirth run through the Jawa as she recalls the sight of his dancing pants combined with the memory that T’thokk had spend most of that mission trying to keep her alive as the poison from the giant ants could not be fully purged from her body. Regaining her composure, she continued. “Those Eyes are a solid example of the Force at work. There were no repulsors in them, no mechanical parts. There is no death, there is only the Force. I have come to firmly believe those words.”
“T’thokk and Talon both touched many lives. If even half of these beings keep their memories of our friends alive… Their physical bodies may be gone, but their energy, their Force has rejoined the stars. Your childhood nurse was on the right track. Maybe you’re just looking too hard.”

For a long span Jynx quitely reflects on this, her gaze turned to the skies. "You'r right…" she says softly. "I needn't search for the dead…I know where they are" she says, brushing fingertips across her heart and smiling sadly.. "And I suppose it's not like any hurt can reach them now."
Again, tracing her scar…a habbit she has recently developed, Jynx's tensions still seem to burden her as if something else is on her mind. Changing the conversation "Stinky…I didn't know you frequented Barab…" she says at last. "I have never seen you around, though the complex is…well, complex. But why come out here, or back at all? I mean no disrespect, but I heard about your incident here some months ago…aren't you afraid?"

“Out here, in this place, from what I understand the Imperials don’t patrol here all that often. Plus I ask before I come out here, so no, I’m not afraid of being here,” and to emphasis the area she is speaking of, she points down at the immediate area. “As for why I’m back at all and why I’m still here,” now she is gesturing outward to encompass the city, “Where do I start?” Dee contemplates and she rubs her healing knuckles.
“I did not plan to come back here so soon but events have transpired that lead me to have to come back. After M’rath turned out to not have died at Shiva and some others who were thought to have died but showed up alive, Taylor wanted to get confirmation on all those we have lost but for whom we have no body and no other real proof of death. We discussed what I did to find M’rath and asked me to do the same for T’thokk. I said that method wouldn’t work but I could look back and “see” the event.” Dee shutters, being aware of how emotionally painful “seeing” this past event is going to be.
“We would have gone to do this on leave were it not for something I learned about the reemergence of a previously know adversary. Taylor suggested coming here as she is on very good terms with Xakon. I was extremely hesitant to come as I didn’t know if I would be welcome after… after my arrest and with what had to be done to get my ship, to free me, to hide me and ultimately find a chance for me to leave this planet. But Taylor called and I was allowed to come.” A shiver runs down the tiny form as she queries herself, “Is it cold or is it just me?” Continuing, “If you have been to the hangar bay, you will notice that I did not use my ship to get here. I arrived with Taylor and we completed our research before she left for the mission. I forgot I was under orders to take a vacation away from the fleet but had made no plans. Xakon made arrangements and I am to get a ride back to the fleet with your husband.”
Dee’laan felt the knot in her stomach grow and as she swallowed, her slightly raw throat flared up. Digging her fingers into her palms, she vacillated about whether to continue. No matter how painful, she needed to deal with this, she needed to keep the memory alive and not rebury it for another 19 years. But Jynxie had enough problems of her own.So, standing up, stretching her fingers away from the palms to stop from hurting herself too badly (her fingernails had already drawn blood), she pressed her palms together in hopes that Jynx had not seen the blood. “You asked if I am afraid to be here on Barab 1. Some fear is a healthy thing; it is excess fear that is unhealthy. No I am not afraid to be here. I am aware of where I am safe, of where I am welcome,” and just barely aloud, “though that area may be shrinking after my outburst.”

Jynx instinctivly reaches out to clasp her friend's hands in her own and stares up at Stinky, the look of hurt back in her eyes…and worry. "Stinky, promise me that if you do this…that you won't tell me what you find." Tears begin streaking down her face, and she leans her forehead against the Jawa's robes. After a few minutes pass, she sniffles, backs out of the Jawa's reach, and quiets herself.
"Look at me, I'm falling apart. I've been so upset for days now, I'm surprised Squibie's fur isn't still damp." Looking up at Stinky, her makeup running in black smears around her eyes, she holds up one palm of her hand, the Jawa's blood left a mark.
"Stinky…are you okay?" The resolve in her voice seems to magically begin fitting all the pieces back together now that Jynx has something to focus on.

Blast! Her nails had cut her deeper than she realized as she now looked at her still bleeding palms. It wasn’t being here that caused this, it was the memory and another panic attack. Digging her nails into her palms was her new way to stave off the attack.
Another chill ran through her body as set herself to reply. “No and yes. I know that sounds stupid but… On the day that you and Taylor left for the mission, I had another panic attack. I have been thinking for a while that there must be something deeper causing them.. In my room in the BMG I mediated on this. Whether I fell asleep or went into a trance, I don’t know but I woke up to find that I was screaming and beating on the door and a Barabel was grabbing me to stop me from hurting myself further. And I could now remember, in vivid detail as if it had all happened yesterday, the events from 19 years ago that originally lead me to having panic attacks.”
Seeming to calm down a bit but still shivering, Dee’laan went on with the short version of her tale. “Children can be very mean to one another. When I was 10, I was sent to live with another clan, given a different name and told to act like a boy. I never fit in and on my 11th birthday, some boys pulled a prank on me. I was attacked, beaten, dragged and thrown into a room. The door was locked and blocked. I spent over a week in that room. After that the panic attacks started. A few months later I ran away to live on the streets of Mos Espa. Spending 2 weeks in an Imperial prison cell brought back the panic attacks.”

"I'm sorry to hear about your past," Jynx replies. "I have a fear of deep water, in case you hadn't noticed. We don't have any deep water back home…and my first encounter with it was…."She leaves the rest unsaid, merely glancing back at the memorial.

“I have a small request. My given name is Dee’laan Gad’wa-heega (out of the transliterator the name is Dee’laan More Sky). Dee , DG or Deej are all fine also. Stinky is the name know to the Imperials who arrested me. I would feel more comfortable to not be called that name here on Barab 1.”
Looking back at her bloody hands and continuing to shiver, Dee knows she should see the medic again. “Jynx, thank you for listening. Anytime you need someone to talk to, come see me. If you want to talk while we head back, I’d like that. But I should go back and see the medic. And do you know of any really, really warm spots to sit? I mean like Tatooine warm cause I’m freezing. Oh yeah, and I promise.”

Smiling in a wistful manner Jynx takes the Jawa's hands tenderly in her own. "If you like, I can take care of this for you….and I might have something to help with all the stress so you don't have to keep bleeding your palms. I know…after that grenade went off in my hands…how difficult it is to work with swollen digits. Although this is less severe by far."
Rising, Jynx gives her friend a sideways glance. "Is DD okay as a nickname?"

“No one has ever thought to call me DD, but if you are comfortable with that, it works for me." Stinky says.“Thanks for the offer to patch up my hands. This saves me from having to explain to the medic, yet again, what I have done to myself. I’d do it myself but you kind of need two hands to do a proper job.”
Something Jynx said suddenly sunk in for the Jawa. “What was that about a grenade going off in your hands?! You do remember the saying about once the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is no longer your friend?” She give the explosives expert a look that conveys the sentiment of “I know you know what you are doing, but someday I would love to hear this story”.

"I hope you liked the Jawa punchie I got signed for you, but I hope it doesn't bring back any painful memories. Other cultures are confusing, me and ChiChi just had a discussion about some of the things acceptable in his culture that I have a hard time with." And after a pause, as Jynx begins guiding her companion through the labyrinth of white walled corridors towards her lab…"Do you ever miss it…DD? Home? Despite what happened?"

"The inflatable Jawa was great. I haven’t had a real chance to look it over but I may put it in my office back on Discovery. I do sometimes miss home. Like right now I am missing the heat. And I wonder about my parents. Until I was sent away, my life was wonderful, I had a purpose, a path. I can only think that the Shaman saw a future that required me to leave. What planet are you native to? I have never heard you speak of it but if you don’t want to say, that is fine. And funny as it may sound being that I am from a planet with no water to speak of, I might be able to help you with your fear of deep water. Xakon has a pool and I have been using the opportunity to practice my swimming. We could stay in the shallow end to start.” As Jynx prepares to head back, Dee follows suit.

"I'm from Kalandis IV. There's really nothing to the system there which is part of the reason I wanted to leave. But my parents weren't happy there either….they were always looking for a way out. I think that is why is why I like Barab…the decorum reminds me of home. Most of it, architecture and what not, are very similar to my home planet. We exported lots of silk and lace…the only thing I really have of value from home is my comming of age dress." "

“Jynx, you are the first person to give me a viable reason why you like it here. Taylor just can’t seem to understand why I don’t feel at home here but she has never given me a good reason why I should considering what has happened to me here. I’m glad you have found a home away from the fleet.” Dee pauses and then looks around, completely lost. “I think I am glad I chose to stay at the BMG. It’s bad enough finding my way around over there but here. I’d always need an escort.”

A voice welcomes it's mistress back to the lab as the pair walks through, and Jynx keeps an eye on her companion and some of the volatile things she may be unaware of. Dee looks around. “Interesting. I recognize some of this stuff so you don’t need to warn me as to how dangerous it can be. I might have followed the same path as you in explosives but other training took precedence.” Taking the offered seat, Dee sat down and watched as Jynx got out the med kit. “Before you start, do you have thermal blanket or heat lamp? I really need to get warmed up.” Settling herself in the chair, she tries to not get blood on anything. As Jynx starts to work on her hands, Dee’laan tries not to wince. “You did this to yourself, so no cheating to get rid of the pain; no Force use,” the little Jawa tells herself.

"You're the first person to ever see my lab" Jynx says, helping the Jawa onto a seat and finding a thermal wrap for her before moving away to look for her medical kit.
Dee is thankful when Jynx brings a thermal wrap and helps her to bundle up in it so that she won’t drip on it.
"As for the water issue" She continues "I know how to swim…it's the thought of what might be lurking in that deep water that frightens me." Again, a hint of sadness in her voice. "There are three things that physically scare me, Stinky" as she examines the Jawa's hand and begins cleaning the wounds. "Things with tentacles that come out of the ground….force wraiths….and things lurking in water. And as for Xackon's pool….I've had enough strife over that…

Hearing why Jynx is afraid of deep water and what her greatest fears are, Dee almost laughs. “Jynx, those are things that lots of beings have fears about. Sometimes you need to trust that those with you will help you if you are attacked. Like when I was targeted by a Dianoga. You must remember what those wraiths did to me on Pajor? So if Force wraiths are attacking, just remember one of your favorite sayings, “Stun is for pussies”. And if I am with you, I have learned something that should deal with them. I think one part of my meditation might help you out. This part is usable by anyone. I will put it onto a data pad and I can help you understand how to do a short meditation on this.”

Cleaning the blood off Stinky's palms,"And as for the grenade…well, that was sheer stupidity on my part, and the first time I ever really got hurt by my own hand….no pun intended. I tried to throw a grenade into a hole beneath an AT-AT head, but slipped my hand inside to be sure. Some idiot grabbed it, so I let the grenade go figuring he'd go after it….well, I was wrong. Choth pulled the frag out of my hands afterwards and that was really painful."

Listening to the tale of the grenade, Dee ’s only comment when Jynx is done telling the tale is, “Ohh, oops.”

Finished with her work DD's hands are now covered in My Little Taun Taun bandages, and feel a lot better. Reaching over one of the work stations Jynx reaches for somethng and hands it to the Jawa. It is a 'Squib' with white and brown fur, a bandaged tail, half a missing ear, and an eyepatch. A nasty red zig zaging stitch marks runs across the belly. "Don't worry, this won't blow up….unless you want it to…I can always fix that." She squeezes it and lets it go. "It has a rubber ball inside it's middle that is filled with Tatooine sand. I use it when I get frustrated in the labs, and figured that since it is small enough to carry on a belt, you might make better use of it."

Taking the sqeezy squib, Dee thanks her friend. “As soon as I can find another one, I will get you one. Squeezing this will be a lot better than puncturing my hands.”

Letting the Jawa out of the lab, Jynx offers to walk her back out to the BMG, or at least out of the complex. "I'm not sure myself how I've come to navigate the halls…"

“I would appreciate the escort back to the BMG or else I may be wandering these halls for weeks."

"You know, DD, if you ever need a stitch while here and I'm about I'd be happy to patch you up. After all, I think I owe it to you and the rest of our comrades to do so after the hell I put them through on the last few missions….I mean, I could have killed everyone. I'm surprised to have made rank….while you were away they made me a captain….but I am not sure I deserve it."

“Someone must have thought you deserved the promotion. You could always turn it down; others have. So was your behavior on your last missions and what you did the reason you have been upset?” The pair has arrived at the edge of the BMG and Dee has the feeling that Jynx probably is done talking for today. She doesn't answer the last question, a look of hurt flares in her eyes and Jynx merely looks over her shoulder.

Moving on into the complex, the little Jawa turns back. Pointing to her hands, she calls back to the young human, “Thanks again. These (the bandages) are quite cute.” Hopefully I will not need your medic services or anyone’s for the rest of my stay but thanks for the offer. And if you need the same, either here or on a mission, I will gladly reciprocate. Though I hope neither of us will need that type of attention. If you feel you need to talk some more later, just comm. me. I have nothing planned.”

"No problem" Jynx says, turning to retrace her steps back to Xaxon's…."Home" she says under her breath as she walks away.

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