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Among the Stars

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Star Wars: Among the Stars
A Jaia Starseer story

Dramatis Personae

17 Years ABY
Anakin Solo –human male, child
Jaina Solo- human female, child
Jacen Solo- human male, child
Leia Organa Solo – human female, Chief of State
Han Solo – human male, pilot
Chewbacca- Wookie male, pilot
Wedge Antilles- human male, pilot
Luke Skywalker- human male, Jedi Master
Mara Jade – human female, Jedi knight

32 Years BBY
Anakin Skywalker- human male, Jedi Padawan
Obi-Wan Kenobi- human male, Jedi Knight
Jaia Starseer- human female, Jedi Padawan
Palpatine- human male, Supreme Chancellor
Mitth’raw’nuruodo (Thrawn)- Chiss male, Commander
Yoda- male, Jedi Master
Mace Windu- human male, Jedi Master
Padmé Amidala- human female, Senator
Bail Organa- human male, Senator

 

Chapter One: Playing Pretend
17 Years ABY- Coruscant

“C’mon guys, hurry up!” eight-year-old Jaina Solo called over her shoulder to her brothers. Her twin Jacen grinned at her as he brushed by. Their younger brother Anakin hurried to catch up.

“I don’t think we should’ve snuck away from Winter,” Anakin said softly. Jacen snorted.

“Don’t be such a baby, Anakin,” he said, “just think of the fun we’ll have without any of the grown-ups watching us!”

Jaina nodded. Anakin was definitely the most quiet of the Solo children. She looked around. Winter had been watching them while their mother was busy with the senate for the day. Jacen and Jaina had hatched the plan to sneak away from their guardian. There were many places to explore in the former Imperial Palace that they called home.

They were in a deserted corridor deep in the bowels of the Palace. It was dark and looked like it hadn’t had any power to it in years. At the end of the corridor was a door. Jacen looked at it.

“Do you think you can get it open?” he asked, glancing at his siblings. They were both far more mechanically inclined than him. Jaina nodded, and Anakin stepped up next to her, somewhat reluctantly. The two went to work immediately. Jacen stood watch, not that he expected anyone to appear.

Jaina had found the entrance to this corridor by accident when Winter had taken them to a park last week. She had paused, staring at the door avidly.

“There’s something in there,” she had whispered to him, “We need to figure out how to get there.”

Jacen hadn’t felt anything in the Force, but he trusted his twin sister implicitly. If she said something was in there, he believed her, and he wanted to know what was in there too.

Getting into the corridor had been easy. He could feel Jaina’s excitement through their twin bond. She was practically vibrating with the desire to get through the door.

“Got it,” Anakin said, pulling his hand out of the power box next to the door. The door slid open part way and got stuck, but it was far enough for the three small children to slip in.

“Here,” Jaina said, handing her brothers glowrods. They turned them on.

“Whoa,” Jacen said. The room was huge and circular. There was some kind of chair in the center. The entire place seemed to be built of stone, and dark moss had taken over much of the walls.

“What is this place?” Anakin asked. There were strange hieroglyphs on the wall.

“Dunno,” Jaina said. She clutched her glowrod in her hand and turned to face her brothers. “So, wanna play?”

“I get to be Obi-Wan Kenobi! Great Jedi general!” Jacen said, striking what he thought was a heroic pose.

Jaina struck her own pose, “I’m Jaia Starseer! Another great Jedi knight, part of the greatest trio of Jedi ever!”

Anakin sighed, “I guess that makes me Grandfather.” He grinned. Their Uncle Luke had told them stories of those three Jedi Knights. He had gotten the information from what few records he could find. Most of the stories he made up, but the Solo children loved to hear about the adventures of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Jaia Starseer.

Jaina whipped her glow rod forward like a lightsaber. Jacen laughed and leapt back, then he and Anakin looked at each other and both jumped towards Jaina, their glowrods forward.

“Bzzzzz!” Anakin yelled. Jacen laughed and joined in, trying to make their glowrods sound like lightsabers. Jaina giggled and darted back.

“I’m much better than you at lightsaber dueling, Obi-Wan!” she cried out, tapping Jacen on the arm with the glowrod.

“You are very good, my former apprentice! But not good enough to beat me and Anakin Skywalker!”

Jaina squealed as her brothers leapt at her at the same time, laughing as she tried to parry their clumsy attacks.

The Solo children ran around the large stone room, their laughter echoing off the stone walls. Their laughter and shouts of joy made the room seem brighter, much more welcoming than it really was.

After some time, Jaina stopped near the large chair in the middle, her hands on her knees. All three of them were breathing hard. Jaina looked up at the chair. It was huge, more like a throne. Chewbacca would’ve fit quite easily in it.

“It feels weird…” Anakin said, looking up at the chair. Jacen and Jaina traded looks. Sometimes, Anakin felt things they didn’t. Anakin stepped back, his face scrunching slightly. “I think we should leave.”

“Not yet,” Jaina said, walking around the chair. The chair was the same stone as the room, and dark moss crawled up its sides. The chair was situated in a strange half circle. It looked like a small moon had grown up halfway around the chair. The weirdest thing was there was no moss on the half circle, and it was a different color than the rest of the stone of the room. It was a soft white, almost like a hawk-bat eggshell.

Jaina reached out and caressed the circle.

“I don’t think you should touch that!” Anakin cried out. Jacen and Jaina looked at him.

“I don’t feel anything from it,” Jacen said, staring at his younger brother uneasily.
“I feel something…” Jaina muttered, walking around the chair and circle, her fingers tracing the stone.

Jacen closed his eyes and reached out with the Force. He tried to feel what his sister was feeling. There was something almost…anticipatory about that chair, and suddenly he agreed with Anakin.

“Jaina, let’s go back, it’s almost dinner. Dad and Chewie should be back by now, and Dad’s making nerf loaf…”

“It’s calling to me, Jacen!” Jaina whispered wonderingly, staring up at the chair.

She climbed onto the chair and sat in it. Her legs stuck out, her feet just barely hanging over the edge of the seat. Her small hands rested on the arms of the chair.

“Jaina, get down from there,” Jacen said. Anakin nodded grimly.

“I’m fine, Jacen, it’s just a chair.” She smiled at her brothers, “See, no problems.”

The floor shuddered. Jacen and Anakin fell against each other. The two boys looked up at Jaina, who was staring at her hands with something like terror. Jacen could suddenly feel her through their bond. Something was happening.

“Jaina!”

“Jacen, I can’t move,” she cried out. He could see her struggling, but it was like she was strapped to the chair. The floor shuddered again, and Anakin cried out in fear. He clung to Jacen’s hand. Jacen pulled him back with a strangled sob.

The half circle that had been around the chair groaned, and slowly started to turn.

“Jacen!” Jaina looked at him. Her fear beat against him in the Force. The circle began spinning faster and faster, until it was blurred around his twin sister. He reached out with the Force to try to stop it, but was horrified to discover that he couldn’t.

“Jaina!” Jacen screamed out. Anakin was crying, his own fear driving Jacen’s higher. “Jaina!”

“Jacen! Jacen! Help me, Jacen! JACEN!”

Jacen and Anakin were pushed back from the wind being created by the spinning thing. The two boys clung to each other, tears running down their faces.

“JACEN!” Jaina screamed again. She couldn’t see them anymore. She couldn’t hear them. With a jolt of pure terror, she realized she couldn’t feel her twin through their bond anymore. His name turned into a wordless scream.

Suddenly, there was a deafening CRACK and a flash of white light and Jacen and Anakin were thrown back. Jacen wasn’t sure how long he laid there, his eyes closed tightly. He could feel the tears on his face as he slowly sat up and opened his eyes.

He gave a wordless cry, lurching to his feet. Anakin was curled at his feet, crying inconsolably. Jacen stared in horror at the center of the room. The chair, the half circle, everything was gone. Including his sister.

He reached out with the Force, and tried to find her through their twin bond. There was nothing there. He hit his knees, a thin, high cry erupting from his throat.

Jaina Solo was gone.

~SW~

Leia Organa Solo sat up straight with a strangled cry. The council fell silent, staring at her. Her hands gripped the heavy wood table before her.

“Excuse me,” she managed to whisper, lurching to her feet and rushing from the room.

She couldn’t feel Jaina. She had felt a brief moment of sheer terror and then…nothing. It hadn’t been all that long since the children had been kidnapped. She still woke with nightmares of not being able to find them.

She called Han on her comm, trying to control her panic. He had just gotten back to their apartment. Winter was frantic, the children having slipped away from her earlier in the day.

Leia could feel Jacen and Anakin’s panic and terror. She still couldn’t feel anything from Jaina, and she was terrified.

What had happened to her little girl?

Leia lost track of everything as she ran through the Imperial palace. She was vaguely aware of her guards pounding after her, calling her name. She ignored them.

Her comm buzzed.

“Leia?” Luke’s voice came through the tiny device.

“Jaina…” Leia moaned, never slowing. She followed the feel of her sons’ terror deeper into the palace.

“I know,” Luke said, “I felt it too. I’m with Han and Winter, we’re on our way down.”

Leia didn’t reply.

Leia rounded the corner and ran headlong into her husband. He grabbed her, his eyes wild. Luke, Winter, and Chewie stood right behind him.

“I can’t feel her,” Leia whispered, burying her head into Han’s chest. Han clung to her, feeling her body heaving against his. The memories of the last time the children had been kidnapped were far too fresh.

He had spent time with them as he recovered from the Yevetha. It had been wonderful.

Now, he was afraid it was all over. Once again, something, someone, had taken one of their children away.

His little girl.

They ran, Leia leading them ever deeper into the bowels of the Imperial palace. What had the children been thinking, coming down here?

Chewbacca grunted and rushed forward. He had heard the cries of the boys before the humans. He stopped before a half open door and wrenched it open wider.

“Daddy!” Jacen yelled, throwing himself at his father. Han grunted as he was nearly bowled over by his son. Anakin rushed to his mother’s side, hiccupping and sobbing. Leia knelt down, drawing her youngest into her arms.

Luke dropped to his knees next to his sister and her family. “Jacen,” he asked, putting his hand on the boy’s shoulder, “what happened?”

Jacen took huge gulping breaths, staring at his uncle with wide eyes. “We…we wanted to pla-play, and Jaina…Jaina felt this room days ago…we got in…” he sniffled, rubbing his nose on his father’s shoulder. Anakin whimpered, clinging to Leia.

“We played Clone Wars, and then she sat…sat in the chair,” Jacen wailed, burying his face against Han’s neck.

Chewbacca rumbled. Han glanced at his partner and then back at his son. “What chair, Jace?”

Anakin lifted his head. “There was a big chair in the middle of the room,” he said softly, ice blue eyes shining with tears.

“She got in it, said it was waiting for her,” Jacen muttered, shaking. His twin, his other half, was gone. He felt like half a person.

“It started moving,” Anakin said, “and she couldn’t move.”

“And then…then…then-“ Jacen couldn’t finish. He burst into tears again. Han held him, his eyes locked with Leia’s. They turned slowly and looked at the center of the room.

Luke stood in the center of the room, hands out and eyes closed. He felt the remnants of Jaina’s terror, but beneath that was something else.

He thought it could very well be the thing that called to her, drawing her to the room.

The Force was strong in that very spot. He wondered how he had never felt it before. He had thought he had moved through the palace, looking for everywhere the former emperor could have hidden any strange experiments or Dark Side relics.

How in the hell had he missed this?

He turned back to Han and Leia, both watching him with apprehension. He shook his head slightly.

Han closed his eyes, holding Jacen close to him. Leia shook, trying to soothe her youngest son.

It was hard. A piece of her heart was gone.

Her daughter was gone.

Chewbacca let out a mournful roar.

Winter lowered her eyes, tears rolling down her face. She would forever feel like this was her fault.

Anakin sobbed into his mother’s shoulder, his small hands clinging to her white robes.

Jacen, cradled against his father even though he was really getting far too big for it, stared at the center of the room, every heartbeat calling out for his sister, his twin, his soul.

One of the glowrods flickered and went out.

Chapter Text

Chapter Two: Not Playing Anymore
32 Years BBY

Anakin Skywalker was cold. He was in space, and that was completely astral, but he hadn’t realized how cold it would be. He drew his arms tighter around him and shivered, trying not to draw attention to himself. He glanced around the hold, eyes darting from person to person.

Two Jedi, a queen, and the most beautiful angel Anakin had ever seen, and they were basically ignoring him.

He sighed. He missed his mom.

Anakin looked at the Jedi Master. “Master Qui-Gon?”

The older man turned, kneeling down in front of Anakin.

“Yes, Anakin?”

“Can I go look at the droids?” Anakin asked. He missed Threepio too. He felt bad that he hadn’t been able to finish the droid before leaving.

Qui-Gon glanced at the queen of Naboo. She nodded regally. Qui-Gon turned back to Anakin. “Of course. Go ahead.”

Anakin smiled at him, and Qui-Gon was struck by how innocent the child was. He had to be the chosen one. There was no other option.

He watched Anakin smile briefly at Padme and walk to the droid hold. He felt Obi-Wan’s eyes and him, and looked at his Padawan. Obi-Wan dropped his eyes. Qui-Gon knew his Padawan didn’t approve of bringing the boy with them, but Qui-Gon was absolutely certain that the boy was essential to the future of the Jedi Order.

He knew it.

~SW~

Anakin let himself into the hold that held the Artoo units. The lights came on as the door slid shut behind him. Most of the droids were dark, unmoving.

There was one moving, a blue and silver unit. It turned, hooting at him.

“What is it?” Anakin asked, moving forward carefully. He recognized the droid as Artoo Detoo, the one that had accompanied Master Qui-Gon and Padme into the city.

Anakin stepped closer. Artoo rolled back, domed head swiveling between Anakin and something in the corner. Anakin touched Artoo’s dome and looked down.

He nearly screamed.

There was a girl lying face down on the cold floor. She looked to be roughly the same age as Anakin. She had long brown hair, and that was all he could tell. She wore some kind of jump suit.

Anakin looked at Artoo. “I’ll be right back!” he yelled, turning and running back through the ship.

“Master Qui-Gon! Master Qui-Gon!”

The adults stopped talking as Anakin came charging back into the hold. Qui-Gon could feel the Force around him. Something was going on. Something important. He traded glances with Obi-Wan, and the younger man nodded stiffly. He felt it too.

“Anakin, what is it?”

“There’s a girl in the hold!”

Obi-Wan snorted. Qui-Gon raised a hand to his Padawan, silencing him.

“It’s probably one of the queen’s handmaidens, Anakin,” Qui-Gon said.

“No! She’s my age! Come on!” Anakin grabbed Padme’s hand and dragged her to the hold.

Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan looked at each other and followed the young boy back to the hold.

Padme knelt by Artoo, staring at the girl. She looked up at Qui-Gon.

“Anakin is right,” she said softly.

“Told ya,” Anakin said, half glaring at Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan looked away. He wished his master would stop adopting projects.

Qui-Gon went to his knees as Padme moved out of the way. He reached out and brushed the girl’s hair off her face. Her eyes were closed, and she was breathing deeply.

He could feel the Force swirling around her. His hand hovered just above her head. She was important to the Force, that much was clear. Perhaps nearly as important as Anakin.

He reached out with Force, gently probing at the girl. It was generally frowned upon to do so without the permission of the other person, but Qui-Gon felt that it was important, vitally important, to get a feel for the girl through the Force.

He suddenly found himself thrown across the hold by a powerful Force shove. Obi-Wan had his lightsaber in hand the moment Qui-Gon hit the back wall.

“Astral!” Anakin yelped, jumping backwards. Padme stood next to him, eyes wide.

The girl was awake, whiskey-brown eyes blazing. She scrambled away from them, her back slamming against the wall. Her eyes darted fearfully around.

Qui-Gon held his hand out to her. “Forgive me, child. I should not have done that.”

“Who are you people?” The girl snarled. Her eyes landed on Artoo, and she rushed to him, hiding behind the droid.

Artoo gave a confused beep. He had no idea who the girl was.

Qui-Gon climbed slowly to his feet. The girl was powerful in the Force, that much was clear. He waved his hand at his Padawan to put away the lightsaber.

“My name is Qui-Gon Jinn, Jedi Master.”

~SW~

Jaina felt someone probing her with the Force, and she reacted, shoving away from her as hard as she could. Her eyes flew open and she scrambled backwards. She heard the familiar hum of a lightsaber, and saw a young man holding a vibrant green blade. He was wearing Jedi robes, and she was absolutely certain she had never seen him in her life, and she knew most of the Jedi from Uncle Luke’s academy.

There was a young woman standing next to an even younger boy, and the older man who had been probing her with the Force was getting up from her shove.

“Who are you people?”

Her eyes landed on the blue and silver droid. Artoo! She rushed to him and ducked behind his domed body, shaking.

She heard the lightsaber shut down, and she peeked around Artoo’s body. Artoo seemed confused.

The older man, long hair, beard, Jedi robes, stared at her. “My name is Qui-Gon Jinn, Jedi Master.”

Jaina frowned. There weren’t that many Jedi, and Uncle Luke was the only master she knew of. Her eyes flicked to the younger man in the tan robes.

“This is Padme, a handmaiden to the queen of Naboo,” Qui-Gon continued, gesturing to the pretty young woman.

Jaina felt a headache coming on. Naboo?

“My Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

Jaina’s head whipped around to stare at the younger Jedi. No. No. It couldn’t be possible. That name she knew.

Obi-Wan Kenobi stared at her, confused. He could feel her fear at his name. It was a reaction he had never had before.

She looked at the young boy, standing next to Padme. She looked into his blue eyes and felt like the world was spinning away under her. She knew those eyes. Her younger brother had the same eyes.

She swallowed. “And you?” she asked softly. “Who are you?”

The boy smiled. “My name’s Anakin, Anakin Skywalker.”

“Oh.”

Jaina’s eyes rolled back and she collapsed. Obi-Wan managed to catch her, lowering her to the ground before her head smashed into the floor.

Anakin looked at her, then up at Qui-Gon.

“Was it something I said?”

~SW~

Obi-Wan carried the girl back to the main hold, the others following closely. There was something about this girl.

“Anakin, have you ever seen her before?” Padme asked.

Anakin shook his head. “No. I knew most of the other slave kids, and if she was a slave, she wasn’t from Mos Espa.” He shrugged. “Plus, the bomb would’ve gone off as soon as we left orbit if she was a slave.”

“That’s horrible,” Padme muttered.

Obi-Wan set the girl down on one of the chairs. He stepped back, thinking about her odd reaction to his and the boy’s names.

Qui-Gon rubbed his back. The girl had thrown him across the hold with surprising strength and ease. It took some Padawans years to master that move.

The Force was strong with the girl. Very strong.

How strange that they would find two incredibly Force strong children on the same trip. Qui-Gon wanted to know about this girl. Where had she come from?

Anakin looked between the girl and then back at Padme. “She kind of looks like you,” he said.

Qui-Gon looked between the girl and Padme in surprise. Anakin was right. The girl could be a young handmaiden.

Obi-Wan watched his master. “Master, are you okay?”

“I’m fine. She took me by surprise is all.”

“She took all of us by surprise,” Obi-Wan muttered.

“Come now, Obi-Wan, she’s just a girl. She’s not the Dark Side personified.”

Obi-Wan sighed. He had a feeling his master was about to adopt yet another project. Damn it all. Why did this always seem to happen to him?

“Come, let’s give her a moment. Anakin, why don’t you stay with her?” Qui-Gon said. Anakin nodded, sitting down across from her. Padme wrapped a blanket around Anakin’s shoulders, and put another over the girl.

“You did well finding her and alerting us, Anakin,” Padme whispered. Anakin smiled at her, drawing the blanket tighter around his shoulders.

He watched Padme walk back to the others in the cockpit. His eyes fell back on the girl.

She stirred, blinking.

He watched as she sat up, looking around in confusion. She looked at him, and closed her eyes, tears running down her face.

“I’m sorry,” Anakin whispered. He didn’t know what he was apologizing for, but he didn’t want her to hurt.

The girl blinked, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand.

“Not your fault,” she said, staring at her feet.

~SW~

Jaina woke slowly, hoping it was all a dream. Anakin Skywalker, her grandfather, was sitting across from her, watching her with those blue eyes.

Not a dream then.

“I’m sorry,” Anakin whispered.

“Not your fault,” Jaina replied. She drew the blanket that was over her closer.

“Where are we going?”

“Master Qui-Gon said we’re going to Coruscant to meet the Jedi Council. He’s going to train me to be a Jedi.”

Jaina frowned. Hadn’t Uncle Luke said that Obi-Wan had been Anakin’s master?

“I’ve never been in space before,” Anakin whispered. Jaina looked at him. “Do…Can I know your name?” Anakin finally whispered.

Jaina dropped her eyes. Did she tell him her name? She felt a brief moment of panic. She was too young to deal with this!

“Jaina,” she whispered.

Anakin misheard her. He held his small hand out. She reached out and took it, shaking it slowly.

“Hi, Jaia,” Anakin said with a smile.

Jaina didn’t correct him. Maybe it was better this way.

The two children sat in silence. Jaina reached out with the Force, searching for any sign of her twin, her baby brother, her parents, Uncle Luke, anyone. She knew it was fruitless, but she wanted, needed, to try.

Anakin sniffed. He missed his mom. He looked at Jaia. Her eyes were sad, and he had the feeling she missed someone too.

She looked at him.

“I miss my mom,” Anakin whispered.

Jaina sighed. “I miss my mom too.”

They sat in silence as the ship hurtled through hyperspace. Jaina wondered what they—she—would face once they reached Coruscant.

She rested her head on her knees, the hum of the ship a comforting noise around her.

Chapter Text

They orbited Coruscant, the city planet glittering below them. Anakin stared open mouthed through the view port. He hadn’t realized there were so many people in the whole galaxy, let alone one planet.

Jaia stood next to him, eyes red from crying. Anakin took her hand, and was surprised when she squeezed it gently.

She stared at the planet. She had seen it before, of course, but she had a feeling that telling them that would be bad. She stayed quiet, listening to the pilot asking for clearance.

They were going to be dropped off at the Jedi Temple first. She swallowed, nervous. Anakin squeezed her hand.

“I’m scared too,” he whispered. She looked at him, nodding.

Yes, she was scared. Not so much of going to the Jedi Temple, but the fact that she was apparently in the past, holding her grandfather’s hand with a young Obi-Wan nearby.

What had happened?

“We’ll get you both warm food when we land,” Master Qui-Gon said kindly. Jaina looked up at him, nodding.

Obi-Wan just sighed.

Anakin watched in awe as the ship sliced through the atmosphere. “Astral,” he whispered as other ships appeared, darting and dodging through the air.

Jaina’s eyes widened as a huge tower loomed before them. She could recognize the Imperial Palace in the distance, but this…this had to be the Jedi Temple.

Uncle Luke would’ve loved to see this.

The ship lowered smoothly, landing without a bump on one of the Jedi landing pads. Qui-Gon led them out, bowing to the queen and promising they would meet up again later. Anakin waved at Padme, who smiled back and waved.

Qui-Gon gently herded the children towards one of the side entrances. The council would know he had arrived, but he was going to take care of these special children first. Obi-Wan trailed behind them, and Qui-Gon couldn’t help the smile at his Padawan’s exasperated air.

Anakin was looking around in awe, clearly impressed and practically vibrating with desire to go study everything.

The girl—Jaia, he’d learned her name was—was quiet, looking around like she was trying to find a quick escape route. She kept turning her multi-tool over in her fingers like a nervous tick.

She was better at hiding her feelings in the Force, and Qui-Gon could feel that she was definitely hiding something. He had the feeling that she’d had some training in the Force from someone, but he didn’t know who, or how.

It wasn’t unheard of for parents to hide their Force sensitive children from the Jedi, but one as powerful as Jaia was nearly impossible to mask from them. Where had she come from?

He led them to the cafeteria, smiling as Anakin piled his plate high with different foodstuffs. Jaia followed him, grabbing certain things and leaving others. Clearly, she’d had some of the food before, where Anakin hadn’t.

They sat at a table, the children eating. Anakin wolfed down his meal while Jaia picked at it. She could feel the eyes of others in the cafeteria on them, and it made her nervous. Qui-Gon sat next to her, gently using the Force to calm her nerves. She glared at him briefly, turning back to her meal.

So, she had felt that. Fascinating. Who was this girl?

His eyes met Obi-Wan’s. His Padawan shrugged. He had no idea.

Jaia’s eyes snapped to the door as it opened. She watched a tall, dark skinned man stride through the door. He was bald and radiated power.

Qui-Gon stood. “Master Windu.”

“Master Jinn. We expected you to come straight to the council.”

Anakin shrunk against Jaia’s side. She found herself leaning into him. Master Windu didn’t seem like a man to cross.

“I needed to get these children something to eat,” Qui-Gon said mildly, gesturing to the two children.

Windu’s eyes swept over the two children. Close in age, both younglings. The boy met his eyes only briefly, dropping them back to his plate and leaning into the girl at his side. The girl stared back at him, whisky eyes hard.

He reached out with the Force, eyes widening slightly. Both children were astoundingly strong in the Force. The girl was more focused; clearly she’d had training from somewhere, though Windu had never seen her in his life.

The boy was pure raw power unlike anything he’d ever felt before.

Where in the nine hells had Qui-Gon found these two?

Qui-Gon simply gave him that infuriating smile that he had to have learned from Master Yoda. Obi-Wan just looked tired, and far older than his years.

“As soon as they finish, bring them. The council is waiting,” Windu said, spinning on his heel and sweeping from the room.

Qui-Gon smiled down at the children. “He’s not so bad once you get to know him.”

Jaia just looked at him like he had suddenly sprouted a fully grown nerf from his head. She shook her head and finished her food.

Qui-Gon took the children’s plates and put them in the garbage. They followed him from the cafeteria, and Jaina was certain that she heard whispers flare up the moment before the door slid shut.

They followed the Jedi master to a lift, riding in an awkward silence as it rocketed upwards. Anakin swallowed, suddenly wishing he hadn’t eaten so much so fast.

Jaina felt his rising nervousness in the Force, and she blinked back tears. He reminded her so much of her brothers. She took his hand, gently reaching out with the Force as she would with Jacen.

Her hand spasmed in his. Thinking of Jacen hurt.

Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan felt the Force rise in the girl, soothing Anakin’s nerves. They stared at each other, eyes wide. They could also feel pain from her.

Obi-Wan wondered what had happened to her, where she’d come from.

Anakin didn’t know why he suddenly wasn’t as scared anymore, but he smiled at Jaia. She gave him a watery smile back.

They kept holding hands as the door slid open. Qui-Gon strode down the hall towards the doors at the far end.

Jaina could feel beings strong in the Force on the other side of the door and she felt vaguely ill. Anakin squeezed her hand, and she smiled weakly at him.

The door opened, and Qui-Gon gently led them into a circular room.

The council stared at the four people before them; Qui-Gon, standing proudly behind two children, Obi-Wan looking rather put out, doing his best to shield his feelings in the Force. It was the children that interested them the most.

Master Windu had reported to them immediately upon returning from the cafeteria, and the council was incredibly interested to see these Force strong children with their own eyes.

Jaina looked around the room, eyes darting from being to being, noting where there were holograms instead of physical Jedi masters. Her eyes landed on the master in the center and she felt another jolt, trying to clamp it down in the Force.

She knew the Jedi masters felt her sudden surge of surprise in the Force when every single eye locked on her.

She couldn’t look away from the small green creature sitting before her. She had never seen a holo of him before, but she recognized him immediately from Uncle Luke’s stories.

Master Yoda.

This was real. She fought the urge to laugh hysterically. She was too young for this.

Yoda stared at the children, chewing the end of his gimer stick. He could feel the power from both of them, and the rising panic rolling from the girl. He reached out with the Force to calm her. He didn’t want any child that scared around him.

He felt her recoil in the Force and go still. They stared at each other, her brown eyes wide. The tip of his ear twitched. A mystery then.

“How did the delegations go?” Master Windu asked.

“Marvelous,” Qui-Gon said, “they tried to kill us, we escaped with the queen, landed on Tatooine, met Anakin here, where his remarkable pilot abilities allowed us to get what we needed and earned him his freedom, and we found Jaia as well.”

Obi-Wan gave him a sharp look. Were they not telling the council that the girl had mysteriously appeared on their ship?

Yoda noticed the look. “Speak your mind, you must, young Obi-Wan.”

Qui-Gon looked at his Padawan. They stared at each other for a moment, then Qui-Gon bowed his head slightly.

“The girl appeared on our ship.”

“A stowaway?” Master Windu asked. Jaina shot Obi-Wan a withering look that she learned from her mother.

“I request permission to train them both,” Qui-Gon said. Obi-Wan took a step back. A master taking on more than one Padawan was unheard of, and Qui-Gon already had him.

“Too old, they are,” Yoda said. The girl snorted, drawing the council’s eyes to her. She stared back at them.

“They are both too powerful to go without training,” Qui-Gon said, hands resting on the children’s shoulders.

Jaina studied Yoda studying them. Anakin’s hand was clammy in hers, his nerves dancing beneath the surface. She could feel Yoda probing at her, and she fought the urge to shove him like she had Qui-Gon.

“You know our laws, Master Qui-Gon,” Windu said darkly, eyes sweeping over the children. “We cannot take them.”

Anakin’s disappointment was palatable; they didn’t need the Force to see how his shoulders slumped.

Jaina frowned, confused. She knew Anakin became a Jedi. She turned to face the masters again, squeezing Anakin’s hand hard.

She was scared, confused, and alone. Uncle Luke had always said Master Yoda listened to reason, even if he was impossible to understand half the time. She couldn’t keep this secret. She couldn’t stand next to her grandfather anymore.

“Master Yoda, I would speak to you in private,” she said, silencing the entire room. Anakin stared at her with wide eyed wonder, impressed that she was brave enough to stand up to the council.

Qui-Gon’s eyebrows shot up. They hadn’t introduced the council by name, how had the girl known? Master Yoda wasn’t an unknown, but for a child to know…

It only added to her mystery. Qui-Gon had been sure that Anakin would be the bigger of the mysteries they faced, with not having a father and being so strong, but he was starting to think young Jaia was just as mysterious, if not more so.

Yoda’s ears twitched again at the forwardness of the girl. She met his eyes and didn’t back down. He eased himself off his seat and walked forward. She stared down at him as he stood before her.

Close up, he could see how scared she was. He didn’t think she was truly afraid of him, but something was clearly bothering.

“Master Yoda, we don’t have time for this,” Windu said. Yoda raised a hand.

“Come,” he said to the girl, leading the way to the hall. She dropped Anakin’s hand and followed the little green Jedi master with her head down. He led her to a small side room with a balcony.

“Wish to speak to me, you did,” Yoda stated.

Uncle Luke had been right. Master Yoda did talk weird.

Jaina took a deep breath. She blinked back sudden tears and sat down hard, putting her head on her knees. Yoda sat beside her, waiting patiently, as if he had all the time in the universe for her and her alone.

“You have to train him,” she whispered.

“Why?”

She looked at him, brown eyes swimming with tears. “Because he is my grandfather.”

Yoda nearly dropped his gimer stick.

He stared at the girl before him. The Force was swirling around her, and had been since she had appeared. He had felt a strange disturbance in the Force the day before, and now wondered if it had been this girl.

She swallowed. “My name is Jaina Solo and—”

Yoda held up a hand. He closed his eyes, concentrating on her. She was powerful in the Force, nearly as powerful as the boy in the council room. She let him probe her mind, trying to be as open for him as she was for Jacen.

He saw flashes of her life; her twin, her other half, a beautiful woman with kind eyes and long hair, a man who looked more comfortable in a tavern than in the uniform he wore, a Wookie, a younger brother, a man with sandy brown hair and Jedi robes. He saw the room with the chair, the children playing Clone Wars (what was this Clone War they pretended at?) and he saw her disappear from the future, only to wake up in the ship with a boy who was her grandfather.

He withdrew from her. She wiped her eyes, sniffing. She looked down.

“Train the boy, Qui-Gon will.”

Her shoulders slumped in relief. She knew that Anakin Skywalker had to become a Jedi. She wondered how much of the future he’d seen in her mind. Had the truth about what Anakin Skywalker would become shone through?

“And you, hmmm?”

She looked at him, confused. “I just want to go home,” she said quietly. “I miss my brothers, my family.”

Yoda nodded. He wondered why the Jedi Order of the future didn’t remove the children from their parents.

“Try to find a solution, we will,” Yoda said.

“But no one can know, right?” she said quietly.

“Hmm, bad, it would be.”

She nodded in glum agreement.

“A Jedi Master you will need as well.”

She stared at him. “You want me trained too?”

“Powerful, you are. Direction, you need.” Not that Yoda wanted the temple to take on the training of two aged children, but it wouldn’t be fair to train the Skywalker boy and not this girl. Plus, it seemed that she had some rudimentary skills, if the image of her throwing Master Qui-Gon across the ship was anything to go by.

Her eyes dropped. She thought for a moment. Yoda watched her. The Force felt strange around her, but she was telling the truth, that much he could tell.

She was from the future. Somehow.

“A master in mind, you have?”

She turned her multi tool in her hands. “Jaia Starseer?”

Yoda frowned. “No Jedi named Jaia Starseer there is.”

Jaina looked at him in shock. “But…we have records of her! We know she existed!”

Yoda tilted his head. Even as far in the future as Jaina was from, Jedi masters would still be alive.

Jaina felt like her entire world was being upended. First she lost her brothers and parents and somehow ended up in the past with her grandfather, now she was being told that the Jedi knight she had adored never—

She gasped, sitting up straight and staring into the distance. Yoda watched her. The Force swirled around her.

Something important was happening.

“I’m Jaia Starseer,” she whispered, eyes locked on what would one day be known as the Imperial Palace.

Yoda rocked back, eyes widening.

She looked at him, breathing hard. “I’m Jaia Starseer. That’s…that’s why she doesn’t exist yet, because I hadn’t…oh…”

Her head hurt. This was far too confusing for her.

If she was Jaia Starseer, was this always meant to happen? Would Jaina Solo cease to exist, only get to live to be eight years old before being whisked back in time to become someone else?

She clutched her multi tool to her chest, blinking back tears. “I’m Jaia Starseer,” she whispered again.

The Force storm around the girl soothed as she accepted it.

Jaina closed her eyes. She thought about her brother, the empty space where he used to be. She thought about her Anakin, her little brother with his serious eyes, so like his namesake standing in the next room. She thought of her mother, and her father, and her uncle.

She had to be strong. She was alone now, and couldn’t go back. She knew that Jaia Starseer had been a Jedi in the Clone Wars, had fought alongside Obi-Wan and Anakin.

She was here for the long haul.

She lifted her head. “I am Jaia Starseer,” she said one more time, looking at Master Yoda.

Yoda nodded, using his gimer stick to stand up.

“Come. Tell the others my decision, we must.”

She got to her feet and wiped her eyes and nose. She followed him back to the council chamber. Qui-Gon stood with his hands on Anakin’s shoulders, Obi-Wan beside him looking miserable and trying to hide it. The rest of the council watched as Yoda walked slowly to his seat, climbing back in it.

Jaina—no, she thought, I’m Jaia now—Jaia stood next to Anakin, looking Master Yoda in the eye.

“Train them, we will,” Yoda said quietly.

The council exploded in noise and shock. Anakin looked at Jaia, smiling wide. Qui-Gon was shocked at Master Yoda’s easy acquiescence. He had felt something in the Force, something surrounding Jaia, but he didn’t know what.

“Master Qui-Gon, train the boy, you will,” Yoda said. Qui-Gon bowed. Obi-Wan looked like he’d been shot. Yoda’s eyes focused on him.

“Nearly a Jedi, you are, young Obi-Wan.”

“I’d like Obi-Wan to stay with me for a bit, until we finalize his trial,” Qui-Gon said.

“Unheard of,” Windu said.

“We’re doing lots of impossible things today,” Qui-Gon said easily.

Yoda nodded. “Stay with you, he will. For now.”

“What about Jaia?” Anakin said suddenly. He wanted her to be a Jedi with him. He liked her, and felt less lonely with her around.

Yoda’s eyes moved back to the girl from the future. They locked eyes, and after a moment she looked at the ground. She would do what he wanted.

Yoda gnawed on his gimer stick, watching her. He knew she was from the future. He should be the one to take her on as a Padawan, but…

His eyes slid half closed, and he looked deeper into the Force. He could see the way Skywalker and Jaia were connected, but he was surprised to see that she was strongly tied to Obi-Wan.

Interesting. Those three had entwined destinies.

It seemed that Obi-Wan didn’t feel it, and Yoda wasn’t sure that Jaia did either. He knew Anakin didn’t; the boy just wanted to be accepted. Qui-Gon locked eyes with him. So, Qui-Gon saw more than most, as always.

“For now, stay with you, Jaia Starseer will. Separate the children, we will not.”

Anakin let out a quiet cheer, grabbing Jaia’s hand.

“Starseer, huh?” Anakin said. “Cool name!”

Obi-Wan looked at the girl. Starseer. Fascinating name. He took a deep breath. He didn’t know where he stood with Master Qui-Gon anymore.

“We will find them adjoining quarters, then,” Qui-Gon said, putting one hand on Jaia’s shoulder. They bowed, and he steered the children and Obi-Wan from the room. He could feel Obi-Wan’s displeasure and confusion. They would need to speak later.

The door the council chambers slid shut behind them. Qui-Gon led them to the elevator and went to find the children rooms, Obi-Wan trailing in his wake.

Qui-Gon hadn’t told them that he believed the boy was the chosen one of prophecy. He hadn’t wanted to do it in front of the children. He would get them settled and go back, telling them everything.

In the council chamber, the other masters rounded on Yoda.

“We have never done this before. We can’t start taking in older children just because they’re powerful,” Plo Koon said.

“I agree,” Windu said. “They are both unknown quantities, and to have them both apprentice to one master is unheard of.”

“They are strong, though. I’ve never felt such raw potential before,” Adi Gallia said, lacing her fingers together. “Especially the boy.”

“More potential for both of them to fall,” Windu said.

Yoda let their arguments wash over him. He focused on the Force, feeling the threads of the future weave and turn. As ever lately, he could barely see much farther than five years. A great darkness was coming.

He saw Jaina Solo—Jaia Starseer—as hope. Clearly, the Jedi survived the coming darkness, if she was anything to go by.

“See the future, the girl can,” he said, his voice silencing the protests of the council.

“The future is ever changing. We all know that,” Plo Koon said.

Master Windu stared at Yoda. He alone knew of the diminutive master’s inability to see deep into the future anymore. He knew of the gathering darkness. If this girl, this Starseer could see where the Jedi Grand Master could not…

They could not turn her away.

Yoda looked at him, and he nodded. “We will train them,” Windu said finally, “and we will see.”

The council slowly filtered out of the room, leaving Yoda alone. He looked down.

There on the floor was Jaina Solo’s multi tool. She had left it behind.

Chapter Text

Jaina—No, she told herself, you’re Jaia now—Jaia sat in her small, barren room, staring blankly at the wall. She felt drained and exhausted, but didn’t think she’d be able to sleep. There had been too many revelations in the past hour.

She was in the past, and the Jedi Master she had long looked up to in stories was…her.

It made her head hurt.

They had given both her and Anakin a change of clothes, but she hadn’t moved since Master Qui-Gon had shown them to their rooms.

She wiped her eyes, trying to stop crying and failing.

There was a knock at the door and it slid open. She leapt to her feet as Master Yoda shuffled in, his gimer stick tapping on the floor. He held her multitool in his hand.

“Left this, you did.”

“I…I thought I…” she wasn’t sure how to put her feelings into words.

Yoda hopped up on her bed, waiting. She stared at the multitool.

“Dad gave that to me,” she said softly.

Jaia picked it up, running her thumb over it.

“Then keep it, you should.”

Jaia looked at him. “I thought I would have to give up…who I was.”

Yoda tilted his head. “Forget where you come from, you should not. Powerful, it is. Embrace Jaia Starseer, you must. Forget Jaina Solo, do not.”

She nodded, setting the multitool on the folded Padawan clothes on the end of her bed. “I thought Jedi weren’t supposed to have things.”

Yoda just shrugged. Uncle Luke was right. The little green Jedi Master was infuriating.

She sniffed. She wished Uncle Luke was here instead of her. He’d know what to do. She was too young.

“Keep a journal, you should,” Yoda said, handing her a small holo journal. She took it from him, thinking. Maybe…Maybe she could leave messages for her parents, her brothers. She could hide them somewhere, and then maybe they would get them one day.

It soothed something in her. She could talk to them, even if they would never respond. She wondered if Yoda had anticipated this.

She nodded at him. “Thank you, Master Yoda,” she said quietly.

He smiled at her, jumping off her bed and walking towards the door. She watched as he left, the door sliding shut behind him.

She sat on the bed, turning the little holo journal in her hands. She would have to lock it behind many layers of security. Even as young as she was, she could imagine how bad it would be if someone actually figured out when she was from.

She grabbed her multitool and got to work. It didn’t take her more than an hour to have a strong security system in place. Working with her hands took her mind off everything that had happened.

She sat back, brushing a strand of hair back. She glanced at the chrono on the wall, one of the few things in the room. She reached out tentatively with the Force. Anakin was in the room next door, sleeping it felt like. She could feel the hum and flow of the Jedi Temple, of the masters and the knights and the Padawans. It was overwhelming, and she drew back.

No one was nearby.

She turned on the holo journal and stared into the blinking light. It was recording her form.

Jaia took a deep breath.

“Mommy…Daddy…Jace…Anakin,” her voice cracked at Anakin’s name. “I didn’t die.”

She took another steadying breath, and began to talk.

~SW~

Anakin slipped into Jaia’s room, wearing his Padawan’s clothes. Jaia looked up at him, smiling tiredly as she pulled her boots on.

“Everyone’s freaking out about something,” Anakin said, bouncing on his toes while he waited.

She stood up. At least the new clothes were comfortable.

“Did Master Qui-Gon say he would come for us?” she asked.

“Yeah.”

They both turned as the door slid open again, and Master Qui-Gon walked in. His eyes drifted over both children. They would be given their Padawan braids later, but they wore the clothing well. His eyes fell to the multitool on Jaia’s belt. She stared at him defiantly.

He turned, leading them from the small room.

“Queen Amidala has led a vote of no confidence on Chancellor Valorum,” Qui-Gon said, leading them through surprisingly deserted hallways. “She is returning to Naboo, and the council has ordered Obi-Wan and I to accompany her.”

“Why take us?” Jaia asked bluntly. Qui-Gon smiled slightly.

“Anakin is my Padawan, and Master Yoda has said that the two of you are to remain together for now.”

Jaia was silent, looking around as they reached the hangar. Obi-Wan waited for them at a speeder. His eyes tightened when he saw the two Padawans. She resisted the urge to stick her tongue out at him. Who knew Obi-Wan was such a stick in the mud?

“They’re holding the ship for us. The queen isn’t entirely thrilled that we will be joining them,” Obi-Wan said, moving over to let Qui-Gon take the stick.

Jaia and Anakin both watched the city fly by. Anakin was excited to see Padme again. He couldn’t wait to tell her that he was going to be a Jedi. He would be the greatest Jedi, he just knew it.

Obi-Wan wasn’t happy that the two children were coming with them. He knew it was very un-Jedi of him, but they were a reminder that he was no longer Master Qui-Gon’s Padawan. He didn’t feel ready to face the trials, or to be a Jedi knight.

He turned slightly. The girl was watching him, a frown on her face. They stared at each other a moment, until Obi-Wan turned to face front, unable to bear the scrutiny in those whiskey brown eyes.

Jaia frowned at the back of Obi-Wan’s head. She didn’t know what to think of him. She turned back to the ships and speeders flying by, fingers curled around her multitool.

~SW~

The Jedi joined the Naboo contingent on their ship, lifting off and spearing away into sky. Jaia worked her way into the cockpit, looking over the controls. She could fly it, but she didn’t ask.

Most people didn’t like it when eight year olds could fly better than them. She wandered back to where Anakin sat, talking earnestly to Padme. Obi-Wan seemed to be meditating and Qui-Gon was talking to the queen. Jaia drifted through the ship, finally sitting near R2-D2. The droid beeped at her and she felt a wave of sadness. Artoo didn’t know her, not like before. She sighed, playing with her multitool. She watched as Padme joined the queen and Qui-Gon, turning to Anakin as he plopped down next to her.

She asked how he had gotten to this point, and he told her about being a slave on Tatooine and how he had been the best pod racer. He blinked back tears as he talked about leaving his mother, and she couldn’t resist reaching out to hold his hand. He reminded her so much of Jacen and her Anakin.

She shook her head slightly. She couldn’t think about them anymore. She wasn’t Jaina anymore. She was Jaia Starseer.

“What about you?” Anakin asked. “How did you end up on this ship the first time?”

Jaia was silent for a moment. She had thought about this, using her time recording on the holo journal to come up with a story. She probably should’ve confirmed it with Master Yoda first, but she didn’t have time before Qui-Gon had taken them away.

She decided to stick as close to the truth as possible. “I was taken from my family,” she whispered. “My mom and dad, and my brothers. I…snuck aboard the ship on Tatooine and hid with the droids.”

She angrily wiped a tear away, mad at herself. Anakin squeezed her hand. He was sure she wasn’t telling him everything, but he didn’t really want to talk about his mother either.

“What are your brother’s names?” Anakin asked.

Jaia froze for a second. “Um, Jacen is my twin. My little brother’s name is…” she fumbled for a name similar to Anakin’s. “Um, Nikan.” She sniffed, resting her cheek on her knees.

“You’re a twin?” Qui-Gon asked softly.

Jaia lifted her head, looking at the Jedi Master. He seemed like a kind man. She wondered why Uncle Luke had never mentioned him.

Jaia nodded, sniffing again.

“Force sensitive twins are very rare,” Obi-Wan said. “Your parents hid you?”

Jaia nodded again, half glaring at Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan stared back.

“Both of you, calm down,” Qui-Gon said. He could feel the Force moving between them. He tilted his head. Jaia Starseer and Obi-Wan Kenobi were tied together somehow. The Force moved strongly around them, and both were connected to Anakin. A mystery he’d have to figure out at a later time.

Obi-Wan looked away, taking a deep breath. Jaia turned her head away from him, looking back at Master Qui-Gon.

“Was your entire family Force sensitive?” Qui-Gon asked.

Jaia thought about the question, deciding to try to be as truthful as possible. “My mother and brothers. Not my dad.”

“Your mother’s name?”

“Tracking her down to punish her won’t do you any good,” Jaia snapped, squashing the anger that flared up in her. She needed more time to come up with a plausible story!

“Why not?” Qui-Gon asked, trying to keep her calm.

“Because they’re dead!” Jaia yelled. “They’re all dead.”

She started to cry, shoulders shaking as she sobbed into her hands. Anakin looked a little panicked, unsure of how to comfort a crying girl when he himself just wanted to cry. Obi-Wan looked surprised and he and Qui-Gon traded glances.

Qui-Gon reached out and pulled the young girl against him. She flung her arms around his neck, crying into his shoulder. Qui-Gon rocked her back and forth, using the Force to soothe her. He could feel her sadness, her fear, her utter loneliness. He wondered how they had missed Force sensitive twins, especially if her twin brother was as powerful as she was.

Obi-Wan watched his master comfort the young girl. He didn’t know how to feel about any of this. There was no doubt the girl was powerful, but he had the distinct feeling that she was lying about something. What had she said to Master Yoda to get the old master to agree to teaching both of them? He didn’t know, and it bothered him.

“We’re coming up on Naboo.”

Padme stood up. It was time.

~SW~

They landed near the swamps and Jar Jar went to talk to Boss Nass. The Gungans agreed to meet with them, and the queen tried to negotiate.

Jaia and Anakin stood near the back, trying to stay out of the way of everyone. Anakin kept looking around; this was only the third planet he’d ever been to and it was different than Tatooine and Coruscant! It was so beautiful, green and ethereal. Jaia thought it was beautiful, and couldn’t help but wonder if she would get to see Alderaan.

The big Gungan boss was having none of Queen Amidala’s pleading. Padme stepped forward.

“Whosa dis?” Boss Nass said, glaring down at her.

“I am Queen Amidala. This is my decoy, my loyal bodyguard,” she said.

Anakin and Jaia exchanged shocked looks, the rest of the contingent shifting as whispers rushed through the crowd. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, standing behind the young ones, glanced at each other, remaining silent.

“I’m sorry for my deception. It was necessary to protect myself. Although we do not always agree, your honor, our two great societies have always lived in peace. The Trade Federation has destroyed all that we’ve worked so hard to build. If we do not act quickly, all will be lost forever. I ask you to help us.” She took a deep breath and fell to her knees. “No, I beg you to help us. We are your humble servants.”

Anakin went to his knees first, followed by Qui-Gon. Obi-Wan and Jaia exchanged looks and knelt at the same time. Obi-Wan didn’t like kneeling to anyone but the Council, but he kept his feelings tamped down. The rest of the queen’s contingent knelt, bowing their heads to Gungan boss.

“Our fate is in your hands,” Queen Amidala continued.

Silence fell over the gathered humans and Gungans. Boss Nass looked at the kneeling queen and let out a honking laugh.

“Yousa no thinking yousa better dan da Gungans? Mesa likin’ this. Maybe wesa…being friends.” Boss Nass shook his head, spittle flying every which way. Amidala smiled as the Gungans started to celebrate. This could work.

~SW~

They decided to split up. Qui-Gon led the way to the hangar where the pilots were being held captive by droids. He had Jaia and Anakin hide in a starship, although Jaia wasn’t certain that was such a good idea. The two Jedi thumbed on their lightsabers and leapt into the middle of the droids.

Jaia peeked out from around Anakin’s shoulder, watching the two Jedi cut down the droids. She had seen her share of lightsaber practice, and Uncle Luke had even let them hold his lightsaber before, but seeing Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan move seamlessly together was awe inspiring.

Padme nodded to the Jedi and led her contingent to the door, only to be intercepted by what could only be a Sith. Jaia let out a quiet moan, feeling the Dark Side rolling off the horned man. Anakin glanced back at her, worried at how pale she was.

Jaia knew he couldn’t feel what she felt; Anakin never had any formal training, and whatever she felt was because of her limited training. Anakin looked back at the man, swallowing hard.

“That guy was on Tatooine,” Anakin whispered.

They watched as Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon started forward, giving the queen and her people a chance to escape and complete their mission. The Sith activated his double sided red blades. Jaia suddenly knew that she had to witness whatever was about to happen. It felt almost like the Force was nudging her the same way it had when she found the room that had brought her back in time.

She popped the canopy on the fighter, tumbling out to the ground. Artoo squealed and Anakin looked at her.

“Jaia! Master Qui-Gon said to stay here!”

“I can’t!” Jaia said, crouching besides another ship.

More droids appeared, shooting at Padme and the others. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan couldn’t disengage from the fight with the Sith long enough to deflect the shots.

“I have to help!” Anakin yelled, punching buttons. Jaia darted behind another ship, hiding from the searching eyes of the droids. Anakin’s starfighter lifted into the air, repulsors humming. “Guns, guns, guns,” Anakin chanted. He found them after what felt like an age and fired at the droids, cutting them down.

“Nice job, Anakin,” Jaia whispered, sprinting closer to the lightsaber battle.

“Artoo, how do I stop the ship? Artoo? Uh, oh,” Anakin said as his fighter rocketed out of the hangar, angling towards space. “Autopilot!”

Jaia shook her head as Anakin’s ship flew away. “Don’t die, Anakin.”

Would she disappear if he died? Best not to think about it.

Jaia watched as the Sith effortlessly parried both Jedi’s attacks. She felt a thread of unease as they fought down a corridor. She had to follow. She had to see this through to the end.

She bolted from her hiding spot and slid into the corridor. She followed them as they fought, heart in her throat.

She didn’t know why the Force wanted her to see what the outcome of this battle was, but she knew without a doubt that she had to witness it.

She followed the hum and crash of lightsabers, uncertain of the path set before her.

She had no choice but to trust in the Force.