Numb, Pain, or Healing?


Ani was not feeling very well. Her body, pushed to the brink of near exhaustion, felt as if it was on overload. To make matters worse, she was stuck in a cramped passageway underneath the Temple. With her master. Who was already madder than a Hutt who had been deprived of going to a slave girl auction. She was not at all happy, considering that they had just barely escaped from underneath the Masters’ noses, and the fact that she had ripped down her padawan’s shields to inspect her every thought and either made a derisive comment on it or mocked her about it. Except for the thoughts that had involved exposing her to the other Jedi for punishment; her master was extremely pissed at that point.

After that…painful experience (Ani winced in the solid blackness surrounding her in the passageway), she had almost no time to recover from that mental agony, as well as physical agony (take your pick it varies every time, she thought) as she was quickly rushed off to the passageway behind their room that connected to the Council room, the Healers’, the training rooms, and several more that she could not name nor knew. Ah, well. That was probably for the best. Her thoughts drifted back to Master Luminara, how strong and pretty she was. Sure, Master Pollo was pretty, even prettier than Master Luminara in some respects. But, there had been something…natural connecting her and Master Luminara, whereas it was somewhat forced between her and her current master. Stop it, she thought hurriedly. If your Master finds out who you’re thinking of, she’ll…no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no……

But it seemed that her pleadings were not to be answered that day, as her mind got racked with more pain than it could handle, or her physic, for that matter. It seems that my master loves to torture me to no end, she thought grimly, before a bigger burst of pain settled upon her and she fought it, and against screaming aloud, which would only fuel her master’s wrath more, but to no avail. Before she went into sweet unconsciousness, she sent a plea out with her mind: Help me, whoever can hear me. I need you. I can’t last. Master will kill me soon since I am sending this message. She winced as another attack increased the pain, but continued, being drawn closer to the sweet bliss of being unconscious. I will not survive. We are in the passageways behind – Another burst of pain overwhelmed her and she slumped forward to fall deeper into the shaft, now unconscious, totally subjected to her master’s wrath.

Meanwhile, Masters Luminara Unduli, Barriss Offee, and Yoda searched the training rooms, chambers (which included the Council chamber), and the Healers’ center, while Masters Mace Windu, Cin Drallig, and Ilena Xan checked the rest of the Temple, mainly below since many levels contained sleeping quarters and small apartments. As they walked through the third to last training room, Luminara staggered. She felt such pain coming into her head, then wondered why she was feeling it, as it did not directly affect her. Suddenly, she remembered last night, and all that had happened, including the fact that she and Ani had formed a slight bond. Then why were there no shields on the other end? Taking a deep breath, she ignored the curious glances she was receiving from her friend and fellow Master, and delved deeper. She felt much more pain than before, but continued on. Soon, she felt someone speaking in through their bond, and listened as closely to it as she could without actually hurting herself or the person attached to the other end.

Help me, whoever can hear me. That was weird. I need you. Okay. I can’t last. Bad news there. Master will kill me soon since I am sending this message. She felt even more pain come on in and she nearly cried aloud, purplish lips stretching back to reveal shiny white teeth. She faintly felt Barriss being worried and Master Yoda coming over towards her, but she ignored them. The next part startled her. I will not survive. She has to, Luminara thought grimly. We are in the tunnels behind – Suddenly, the connection was suddenly broken as the other end slipped into peaceful unconsciousness and started to fall. She felt herself starting to fall, only to get levitated into the air.

“Hello, Master Yoda,” she said, confusion and pain still inside her being. “Did I –”

“…fall, you did,” Yoda informed her soberly. He set her back right side up. “Know, I did not, that bond you did with a chosen apprentice.” When she started to protest, he started to laugh. “Hoped, I did, that bond with young Laminara you would.” His ears drooped. “Wish, I did, that circumstances were better.”

“Agreed, Master,” Luminara said stiffly. “I did not know that she would be experiencing pain, however.” She gestured towards the rooms they had not yet checked yet. “Ani said that they were in the tunnels behind…” She stopped suddenly, feeling more pain crawl up the bond. “Oh Force.” She buried her face into her hands.

“What is it?” Barriss asked her.

“Master Pollo’s trying to severe our bond that Ani and I share,” Luminara gasped, struggling to maintain her hold on the bond. “It seems that she and I have, in our short time together, bonded so tightly that her master is hard-pressed to destroy it, but she’s managing to damage it, nevertheless. It’s slow though, so we have time, but we should make this quick, okay?” Barriss opened her mouth to ask a question; Luminara knew what she wanted to say and intercepted her, “She feels that she’ll die soon if we don’t find her now.”

“Then hurry, we must,” Master Yoda called out. He started down the hallway, pushing his hoverchair to its limits. It sped down the hall so fast that the two women had to run to catch up.

“Where are we going, Master Yoda?” Barriss panted, keeping pace on his right side.

“Going to the Council chambers we will.”

“Why?” asked Luminara, also keeping pace on his left side.

“In danger, our young one is. Torturing her to her limits, her master is.” Master Yoda looked at them both gravely. “Get there soon, we must, or your young one, Luminara, dead, she will be.” A shiver ran up her spine as she followed the minute Master to the Council chambers, Barriss in tow. She prayed to the Force that Ani would be blessed enough to live that night, as she refused to lose her. She knew that she had originally not wanted to take on another padawan, but the Force had connected them for one reason or another, and she would do as it wished. And I made sure that I had paid attention to Master Jinn’s lectures on that, she thought wryly, allowing a rare smile to sneak up and flash over her face. Please, let Ani be alright. I need her, for reasons unknown to myself. She will need a lot of healing though, both physical and mental.

She didn’t know, couldn’t know, how right she was.

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