Where do we go from here?

Jallira was dying.

Jallira was dying.

Caer rolled up another piece of cheese with a thin strip of meat and chewed on it though it tasted like cardboard in her mouth. The thought of someone she thought of as a sister, someone she cared for deeply only had weeks to live and it made her stomach flip flop lazily making her feel nauseous.

Giving up on food, Caer abandoned her plate of food on her bed and the movie she was listening to as she paced the length of her bedroom on her ship. She felt more comfortable here than she did in one of the barracks at the monastery. The carpet between her toes were somewhat comforting though the movement was helping to calm her mind somewhat.

Running a hand through her messy hair she came to a halt in front of the bed and flopped onto it, spilling the meat and cheese she’d been eating over onto the floor. Noodle, her fanged Tiglon cat scrambled out from under the bed in a mad dash to grab up ever morsel  as fast as his tongue and legs could manage. Caer ignored the cat and just flopped an arm over her face.

Death by combat, that was one thing. War, even starvation was something she’d seen in her long career as a Jedi. She’d seen cities decimated by bombings, she’d seen villages wiped out by lack of food and everything in between. But watching someone die was something she couldn’t get used to.

Anxiety gnawed at her chest and belly, making it feel like it was difficult to breathe. She stopped and closed off her senses for a moment, letting the darkness fill in the vision she relied upon so much. She started slowly with forcing her muscles to relax. First the muscles in her face, head and neck, then shoulders, back and on down until she was kneeling on the floor and breathing regularly again.

She turned her thoughts to other things.

Raiyden did the smart thing and sent Lyrae’a off back to Alpheridies with the kids. She knew of hiding places there that even Caer and her family knew nothing about.  She knew there was a cave system on their properties that she hadn’t had a chance to fully explore yet and maybe she can take them someplace there, keep them safe under the watchful presence of our god and goddess.

Caer missed home sometimes. The Estherians had been a presence since the beginning, helping build up the people and the planet responsibly in their quiet little way. The home though… it was beautiful. It covered several dozen acres and it’s like a sprawling self sustaining village. Father and mother had the main house along with the kids if they really wanted to stay there, plus seven or eight little private houses for guests and dignitaries who visit. Then there’s the Fosters house, where those who’s kids are visiting or getting training for diplomacy from father, healing skills from mother or just need a place to stay while being wards of the people.

Lyrae’a will take good care of the kids. Or so Caer hope. Lyr had always wanted kids. Or so that’s what mother has said about her. Lyrae’a refuses to talk about herself or about her past really and Caer could understand. The woman had had a very painful life. Had lived through a lot of heart ache.

Maybe she’d take Sheenah up to see Alpheridies sometime. She would show her the cave system, introduce her to Ashla and Bogan, show her what the food and the people were like there. Maybe she could find something peaceful up there to latch onto. Or that was Caers hope. She’d of course have to get permission from the Archon and Arbiters but that wouldn’t be too much of a problem she thought. Alpheridies all but flung themselves at the Republic, so it wasn’t like they were going to run into any Dark sided people there.  It was hard to be dark side and hide well on that planet.

Rubbing her temples she felt the beginnings of a migraine coming and it reminded her she needed sleep. Shoving the now sleeping Tiglon off the bed, she stripped down to nothing and crawled under the covers, soon falling asleep to the sound of Noodles light snoring next to her.

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If the Sky Comes Falling Down For You

Hey brother, there’s an endless road to re-discover.
Hey sister, know the water’s sweet but blood is thicker.
Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you,
There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do.

Caer rubbed the back of her neck as she leaned against the wall next to Raiyden and Xaishens door. She knew they were asleep and that made her feel loads better than she had felt a while ago; the anxiety and the worry draining out of her like someone had pulled a plug out of a tub. 

The minds behind the door slept, troubled, but they slept and that’s all that mattered to her. As long as they were sleeping and not doing anything rash, that’s all she cared about. She could sense Raiyden through their bond and through his bond to Xaishen. Then the tiny little flitting thoughts of the babies- her nephews.  Jaiyden and Hunter both with their innocent little minds oblivious to the danger they were in. 

She whispered a soft prayer to Ashla and Bogan, “Please, please Ashla, protect them with your Light. Shine on them so that no harm can befall them. Bogan, should our enemy come, guide my hand so that I can strike at him a fatal blow. That’s all I ask.” 

Hey brother, do you still believe in one another?
Hey sister, do you still believe in love, I wonder?
Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you,
There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do.

The wind blew across the yard, kicking up dead leaves and little dust devils in the light of the moon. Shadows played across the ground as the trees rustled with the teasing of the wind. Her Miralukan vision watched the force waver and dance along with the trees and plants that dotted the area. It would have been peaceful any other time, but now it almost seemed ominous. Each rustle of leaf, each whine of the wind through the court yard… it could hide a more serious noise a more threatening one. 

She didn’t particularly care how many times she was told this place was safe. She’d believe it when she saw it. No place was safe. The Jedi learned that the hard way, twice in her memorable history. The Sith several times. Belief like that is what got people, many of them good, caring and solid people killed. Her hand strayed to the hilt of her saber, brushing against the crystalline blade that rested just behind it, the twin to that one on her right hip. She was armed with more than her saber and the twin Dancers blades that she usually carried. The rest were strategically hidden and she’d remain that way until this Darth Daedalus was cold and rapidly decaying under a mass of carrion birds. 

What if I’m far from home?
Oh, brother I will hear you call.
What if I lose it all?
Oh, sister I will help you out!
Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you,
There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do.

Caer lifted her head up and exhaled slowly, It was going to be a long night and an even longer day after the sun rose. She’d been three days on no sleep already and the long days and nights were starting to catch up with her. She had to maintain her guard though. It wasn’t that she was afraid of Raiy or Xaishen doing anything stupid such as running off- though Caer had heard earlier through various sources that Xaishen had lost his cool and had actually had an argument in front of several people- namely Jallira and Vrodrik yelling at Raiyden. Supposedly an argument had ensued. Caer assumed that had been when Raiyden had effectively and rapidly dampened their link mentally to the point of shutting her out entirely. It had concerned her greatly. But she’d been reassured hearing their voices over comms. 

Pushing away form the wall, she walked in small circles around the front of the doorway, her boot heels clacking softly on the ground beneath her. The sound echoed slightly and it gave her something to concentrate on. Something other than her own exhaustion and boredom. Some part of her thought back to the mental exercises their Master had taught them when they’d been placed on door duty back at the temple on Coruscant. Counting to fifty first in Basic, then Huttese, Nautolan, Bothese, and finally backwards from there back to Basic again. Each breath a number, each number an inhalation and exhalation of breath. It made her focus come into a sharper clarity and allowed for her to extend her senses beyond just what was in front of her. It was rare she ever used the other senses, the ones that allowed her to touch upon anyone else around them like a ghost in the night. It wasn’t an invasion but more of a sense of knowing others were around them. She always sensed the Empaths first, it was inevitable as she was tied so closely to one. It only made sense. The others were faint little flickers of light, auras in the night. Some awake, majority of them asleep. 

Hey brother, there’s an endless road to re-discover.
Hey sister, do you still believe in love, I wonder?
Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you,
There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do.

Caer turned and came face to face with a near mirror image of herself. She gave a faint squeak of surprise and aimed a fist for that face only to find her wrist in a tight grasp and the face that looked so much like hers smiling. Caers heart hammered in her chest and her adrenaline pumped through her veins like it was her life blood. She gave a choked cry as the grasp around her wrist tightened and then loosened only to go around her throat. The persons other hand moving up to her lips. 

“Shhhhh. Sister.” Lyrae’as voice spoke with that annoying Imperial accent she loved to use.

“Kriffing hells!” Caer hissed in a strangled voice. “Fucking hells!” 

“Essentially the same thing.” Lyrae gave a cheerful smile and then lowered her hand from Caers throat.”Now, I received a distress signal on the sibling channel… I came as quickly as I could.” 

Caer rubbed her throat and glared as best as a Miraluka could. “How the hell did you even FIND this place?! And better question how the hell did you even get here without someone stopping you!?”

Lyr, Caer and Raiydens younger sister tapped her face. “I look like you, idiot. Remember? I played your idiot crew for a while. Besides, breaking into your ships system,then into the codes and using them to find you lot wasn’t so hard. Honestly sister, you should change them once in a while. Besides, I stayed away from Casa Marran and avoided the little system they have up there. I came directly to where you and brother are.” 

Caer clenched her jaw and pointed back the way she’d come. “Go. Now. Before someone finds you and skins you alive. Especially with that ridiculous accent.” 

“I’m here now, not going anywhere. Especially knowing my darling little siblings are in trouble. It certainly pays to eaves drop on conversations back at home.” Lyrae’a tilted her head to look around Caers shoulder to the door. “You’re not bleeding, crying about how someone was mean to you or look otherwise distressed other than that horrid hairdo of yours… I’m going to assume that Raiyden is the one in trouble?”

Caer nodded and resolved herself to not getting rid of her damnable sister any time soon. She quickly told Lyrae’a the story about Xaishen and the Sith in question then quietly asked the gods to cover her ass so she could break it to the Archon that their sister had found them. Here of all places. She wondered as she explained to Lyr if this was the gods way of sending her the protection she asked for. If so, they had a rather morbid sense of humor. 

Lyr listened and then moved to the door to take up Caers spot. “Then I will stay and watch. You go sleep. You look like shit and smell worse.” 

Caer looked at her with an incredulous expression. “Are you retarded? Seriously. Did Alistere bang your head too hard on the wall the last time you two slept together? Cause there are some huge tell tale differences between us. Such as you’re about two inches shorter than me, your ass and chest is smaller and the big tip off is the accent. Oh and lets not forget the plethora of other Miraluka who run around here and can see auras just fine thank you very much. Plus we have so many gods damned Empaths around here, you can’t take an uncomfortable crap without someone knowing about it.” 

“Ooooh aren’t you precious.” Lyrae’a pinched Caers cheek until her sister slapped her hand away. “Shut up and just go wait in the ship. See if anyone else tries to come here okay? Or put your stupid Imperial ties to work and see if you can get anything on the guy. I’ll need to explain to my boss that you’re here and you mean no harm. Otherwise, you might just end up with someone smashing your face in the dirt.”

Lyr snorted. “I’d like to see them try.” 

Caer pinched the bridge of her nose. “Seriously Lyrae’a. These are not guys you want to mess with okay? Especially the Archon and some of the others. You don’t exactly have a stellar alignment and it’s by our peoples graces and pity on you that you even still walk our homeworld without getting your ass thrown to a tribunal.”

Lyr sneered and then turned to walk back into the darkness. “If it wasn’t for me… our precious planet would be dealing with Sharise.” 

Caer winced and sighed. But by the time something witty had even come to mind, Lyrae’a was gone. Damn. She was tired if she couldn’t come out with a snappy comeback within the time it took her sister to take off. 

Turning back to the door she stared at it for a few moments before speaking softly. “Well door. It’s just you and me.”

What if I’m far from home?
Oh, brother I will hear you call.
What if I lose it all?
Oh, sister I will help you out!
Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you,
There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do.

Avicii- Hey Brother.

And the walls kept tumbling down…

Caer rolled her shoulders and pinched her nose. The pain just seemed to settle right behind her left temple, taking up residence and comfortable with the location. It hadn’t gone away in over two weeks. Not since the whole mess with Xaishen and Raiyden had started. Not since that damn nightmare that sent her sprawling to the floor.

She watched the monastery from her little location up on the rock wall. Most everyone was likely asleep or burning the midnight oil in whatever endeavors they pursued in the witching hour. Goddess knew she should be asleep; but she hated sleeping. It meant dreaming and dreaming meant seeing things she was not necessarily comfortable with.

Dreams had always troubled her. Ever since she’d been a child, she’d had problems with dreaming such vivid dreams that they had terrified her at first, then merely frightened her and now… now she was just resigned to the fact that she had such nightmares that even Kaeden had tried to help her. Even Raiyden didn’t always know how to handle her dreams and he’d felt so helpless to give her some relief from them.

A snap of twigs and branches brought her whirling to face whatever was coming and her stance only relaxed when she realized it was Xaishen stepping through the tree line. She gave him a sour expression and Xaishen gave a weak smile in response.

“I see you cannot sleep as well.” Xaishen brushed hair from his face as he approached to stand next to her.

“No shit, Hurlock.” Caer retorted, feeling slightly annoyed that he’d disrupted her thoughts.

Xaishen gave an indelicate snort and let the snarky comment roll off his shoulders. “What is it you watch over? The monastery is the safest place we could be in.”

“No place is safe, Xaishen. If even Tython can get turned on its face with its ass in the air to get screwed by the Sith… no place is safe.” Caer took a seat on the rocks and dropped her leg to swing over the ledge.

“Oh Caer, never lose that delicate verbal touch of yours.” Xaishen smirked, his tone dry. “How you never made it into politics is so beyond me.”

“Keep it up Xaishen and I’ll chuck your ass off this ledge. Why are you even up here anyways?” Caer canted her head to the side, the Miraluka equivalent of a glance. She noted that the Pureblood didn’t look particularly well rested either and unsettled her immensely. He always- to her at least- looked well rested and fresh, no matter the circumstance.

“I like you my dear heart cannot sleep. I fear we both worry about the same things but in our own different ways. “ He glanced to Caer and sighed. “I am sorry, Caer. I really am.”

She turned to face him fully and was silent for a long moment. “For what Xaishen? For coming into my brother’s life? For giving him a happiness he’d have likely never known otherwise? Being a father and a husband to his kids, my nephews?  Yeah a hearty fuck you for making my brother so stupidly happy that he can barely function. Whatever shall I do for revenge? Asshole.”

Xaishen blinked a few times and then pursed his lips. He exhaled through his nose and looked away. “Since you put it that way. But you know what I mean Caer. Stop dancing around the issue. You and our family are in very real danger. It’s because of my brother that it is so. I knew I should have murdered him in his sleep when I had the chance.”

“Yeah it would have accomplished a lot of things. But would you have met my family if that had been the case? Doubtful. You’d have been made the new heir to your shitty family.” Caer shook her head and exhaled slowly. “Look, Xaishen it is what it is. You can’t change it. All we can do right now is stop it before it gets too nasty. Wish in one hand shit in the other, see which gets fullest faster.”

“Ever again Caer, so eloquent.” Xaishen arched a brow ridge at her and shook his own head. “You know you swear more when you’re stressed.”

“… Can I set you on fire now?” She retorted, though a smirk played at her lips.

Xaishen chuckled and waved her off. “Not yet dear. So much left to do. Such as sleep, I think our little chat has bored me enough to lull me into a doze.”

“Suck a dick Xai..suck a dick.” Caer grunted.

He said nothing though she was sure a half a billion retorts came to his mind. He merely half bowed and wandered off through the bushes and trees again to wherever it was he and Raiyden called home.

Sighing heavily she turned her gaze back towards the area of the monastery and rested her chin on her knee.  Her thoughts turned towards more recent matters. Ones that had seemed to have developed overnight.

The first being her sour and unfriendly mood towards Jallira. She’d instantly regretted saying that Jallira wasn’t worth killing. That had been one of the cruelest things she’d ever said and her cheeks burned with shame and embarrassment as she thought about it. She had refused to apologize though- not because that she felt that she didn’t need to but because she didn’t want Raiyden or anyone else thinking that they could tell her what to do. Especially Raiyden who always had a habit of acting like a poncy git whenever he felt like it. She would apologize in her own time, and she had.  Rather ridiculously but she had. It was why she hadn’t bothered fighting back when Mae had dragged her off her mount and shook her like a rag doll.

Then there was the new/old comer. Sheenah.  She apparently was an old Marran member returning to the fold and had been placed in her and Jaidins care by order of the Archon and Alasha. It confused her to no end as to how anyone could trust her with a loaf of bread let alone someone’s reintroduction back into the Marran.

They’d talked tonight and Caer had gotten a glimpse into what she would possibly need to deal with. From what Caer could tell, the woman had bonded with a Sith who apparently was Dark Side. Caer half wondered about manipulation and worried if she might have to deal with some sort of dark side influence on the womans behalf. Caer wanted to meet this supposed Sith, to find out more about the man who was bonded to Sheenah. It worried her as to what she would find.

Caer got to her feet and stretched. Dawn would come soon and she’d need to get some sleep at least before dealing with whatever catapult of crap would be flung her way. Yawning and rubbing at her face she made her way to her sleeping quarters, booting Noodle her Tiglon in the butt to wake him up to follow. The cat yawned and did follow obediently.