The Chu’unthor Incident – Part 3

The Chu’unthor Incident

by AJ Marks

Part 3

Xara finished her meal even thought the handcuffs did make it a bit harder than usual, but she managed to finish without spilling anything. At first there were a few stares at her, but most were from the younger crowd, which she realized would stare at anything unusual. The others who did she figured were the one who would have to be convinced of her innocence. She really was not that concerned about it, but there was always a possibility that something else could go wrong no matter what the plan was.

Xara picked up her plate when Yoda was also done and they put their dishes up. She knew that the time had come for the trial to begin.

“Who’s the judge of the trial?” Xara finally asked now that they were on their way.

“I am.” Yoda replied and Xara almost stumbled a bit at the news. “Only member of the council here I am, my responsibility.” Yoda said clarifying his position.

“So why the trial.” Xara asked if Yoda thought she was not guilty she was not sure why they would go through the trial.

“Cal had been raising a fuss over you. Telling anyone that you’re guilty he has.” Yoda said. “This will prove to others, and maybe bring out the real person.”

“Of course.” Xara said understanding the reason now. It was actually less to do with her guilt than finding out who was really responsible. Xara would have liked nothing more than finding out that Cal was guilty for everything, but somehow she did not think she would.

Xara walked into the large room and was surprised by the number of people who had turned out to see what her fate was. She still was entirely convinced that Cal would not try to bring out her past and use it against her. She pushed the thought into the back of her mind and concentrated on winning this battle and worrying about the rest later.

Xara was led to a table in the front of the room where she sat down. At the next table she noticed that Cal sat down and they exchanged glances. He had a cold stare and Xara returned it with her own cold stare. She then turned her attention to the head table where Yoda went and sat down.

“Here to address the charges against Xara we are.” He said after he was seated. Everyone watched as the beginning addresses began.

Xara was almost worried when another Jedi sat down beside her. She looked at him for a second then realized who it was. This was the Jedi who she had encountered in the corridor of when the second explosion occurred.

“Hi, I’m Master Jedi Kint.” He whispered introducing himself. “Master Yoda told me what has happened and that he thinks you’re not guilty. After listening to him neither do I, although we were never introduced.” He said the last with a smile.

“No we weren’t. I’m Xara.” She replied with an answering smile.

“First though we have to listen to this young windbag.” Kint said almost making her laugh as she looked at Cal.

“I’ve got to listen to him, ugh.” Xara said in annoyance.

“I take it you don’t like him too much.” Kint said as Xara nodded her head in agreement. “Just to let you in on a secret, neither to most of us.”

Cal had now finished shuffling his papers and looked around to see if everyone was ready for the trial to begin. When he was satisfied that everything was to his liking he finally began.

“My fellow Jedi, there has been an atrocity that has been allowed to take place, and because of it eleven good citizens died because of it. I won’t bore you with every detail of what happened to cause this terrible attack on us but allowing Xara, a non-Jedi to take up residence in our temple, caused it. She became some of our friends, which is even more dangerous for our Order. She brought with her a darkness that we can not overcome without eliminating the source, which she is.” He said raising passion in his voice. Xara had to resist the urge to strangle the man right then and there.

“Xara has weaseled her way into our Jedi Order to deliberately sabotage our missions, and this is a clear example of what she has done and will continue to do if we don’t do anything about it. She sabotaged our engines and communications to the point where we are a drift in space without a way to communicate with anyone for help.” He said turning around to look at everyone who would make eye contact with him. “I myself saw her come out of the engine room just before it exploded, as there could be no one else who could have done it. I was lucky to make it out alive by following her until the second explosion occurred. That’s when I realized what had happened. She had sabotaged our missions, all of ours.” He said making eye contact with Yoda then Kint and finally Xara.

“Not only did she sabotage our ship but she tried to steal the Exir Stone. It was found missing shortly after the attack occurred and it was found in Xara’s processions. She probably was going to sell it on the black market in the hopes that a new Sith would appear.” Cal said bringing up the Sith for what Xara realized would not be the last time.

Xara glanced over at Kint who seemed to be in deep thought. So far Cal had made his opening argument with passion and ability to strike a cord with what the Jedi might fear the most, the return of the Sith.

“We have the evidence against her and she has the skills to do something like this. She is a skilled bounty hunter who is skilled in stealth and abilities to make such an attack that we just experienced. My fellow Jedi we can not allow her to remain among us or it could be the end of us all.” Cal said finally finishing.

Xara turned to Kint who was her defender at this trial and placed her trust that he would counter most of what Cal had said, even though she had blocked out most of his speech, which was a repetition that she was a danger to all of them. She had to stop from rolling her eyes at the thought.

Master Kint stood up and after acknowledging Yoda, something that she realized Cal had not done, the man began.

“Honorable Jedi, I have heard along with all of you the evidence against Xara, however we have forgotten that she is to be treated as innocent until her guilt can be proven without any doubt.” Kint said beginning his own counter speech. “I have heard the claims by Jedi Knight Cal and there are many problems with his theories. As for the theft of the Exir Stone, the person who is responsible for the sabotage could have stolen it and placed it in her possession to throw off the investigation.”

Many of the assembled people began to look around at each other at Kint’s words. They each knew that he was speaking the truth; it was the job of the prosecution to prove that Xara was in fact responsible for what had happened.

“Begin the trial we will.” Yoda said as he realized that Kint was finished talking. He had kept his opening statement short and precise, something he was known for. “Xara, the stand you will take.”

Xara got up and walked to where she was in front of the room and sat down in the chair in. Cal got up and it was clear that he would be the first one to question her.

“Xara,” he said spitting out her name like a bad word. “You worked as a bounty hunter before you came on board the Chu’unthor, isn’t that correct?”

“Yes it is.” Xara replied staring at Cal wondering how he was going to twist the facts.

“Then you have knowledge of explosives and where to place them to disable or destroy vital equipment on a starship?” Cal asked her as he returned her stare.

“Yes I do.” Xara stated without emotion and was about to continue when she caught Kint’s eye. The Jedi nodded his head and she knew that he would get his turn. She would have to trust in his skills to counter any damage done by Cal.

“Isn’t it also true that you were in the engine room just prior to its explosion?” Cal said asking his next question.

“I was lost, and a crewman help me out of the room.” Xara said with a smile.

“You had a map, and you were lost, I think not, you were using the map to find the engine room for your scheme.” Cal countered.

“I had the map because I wanted to find my way around the ship.” Xara said defending herself.

“So you say, I think it was to get to the engine room.” Cal said turning to face the gathered group. “And she did that quite well, well enough to damage our engines.”

“That’s not the reason.” Xara said from where she was sitting beginning to get angry.

“Is it not true that you visited the museum earlier in the day.” Cal asked suddenly changing topics.

“Huh? Yes with Bri, she showed me around.” Xara said.

“Did you feel anything from the stone?” He asked.

“What does that have to do with this?” Xara asked.

“Answer the question.” Cal said.

Xara suddenly felt like the room was too small for her and that everything was closing in on her. She had felt something pulling her towards the stone, and she knew what it was. She also realized that the Jedi assembled in front of them also knew it. She also realized that they would probably know if she lied to them.

“Your answer?” Cal asked when she had remained silent.

“Yes.” Xara said as the room erupted in conversation over her answer while Cal sat there gloating.

“Xara not only had the skills, but the ability and reason take the Exir Stone. The sabotage was just a distraction in which eleven people were killed.” Cal said sitting down and letting Kint take over.

Kint sat there for a few seconds then looked at his notes for a few seconds. The last part of the questioning had brought out some information he had not been expecting, but nothing he could not deal with. He stood up and walked around to where Xara was sitting.

“Xara, we all know that you are a bounty hunter, and with that comes the facts that people assume you have the skill to do what my collogue here says you do.” Kint said beginning his defense. “Do you or do you not have the skills to what happened?”

“Yes I do.” Xara replied and Cal grinned some more.

“I sense that there is more to this thought, could you pleas tell us what else you are thinking?” Kint asked knowing what she would say.

“The explosions were quite simplistic in its nature. Whoever did it did not take the time to study the target.” Xara replied.

“What do you mean?” Kint asked intrigued in what his client was saying.

“The captain can verify this, but depending on the type of engine you may or may not be able to use an explosive. On this ship I thought I saw a type LXII series hyperspace engine, I would have never used explosives.” Xara replied.

“Why not?” Kint asked knowing that this would be a moment of truth for the trial.

“Using an explosive device on that series engine could result in the reactor going critical and blowing up the entire ship.” Xara said. “Whoever did this endangered everyone’s life.” Xara thought as another thought came to her that she kept silent on. ‘Perhaps that was their goal.’

“I don’t believe that.” Cal said suddenly as he stood up. “She knows the type of engine and where to disable it using an explosive device.”

“She is right.” A voice said from the back of the crowd. Everyone turned around to see who it was and made a path as the captain came walking up.

Yoda looked at the captain and then noticed that he was holding some information in his hands.

“Here is the information you requested Master Yoda.” The captain said handing Yoda the data crystal.

“Thank you captain.” Yoda replied as set the crystal down and examined what was on there.

“The young lady is right.” The captain said looking at Cal. “Any experienced bounty hunter would check the engine out to make sure it would not blow up, especially if they are still on board. And there are easier way of disabling the XLII series engines.”

With that the captain walked out of the room to return to his duties. Xara glanced back at Cal who had lost his smirk and she responded with a grin as he turned away.

“There is another piece of evidence that has been overlooked.” Kint said looking at Cal for an instant before continuing. “There is still the fact that Xara has not been seen anywhere near the communications room, nor was she seen again in the museum. Were you ever near the communications room.”

“I don’t think so.” Xara said. “The only way was when Bri was lost leading me around and trying to find the museum, the cafeteria and our room.” Xara chuckled a bit.

“Ah yes, Jedi Master Bri, she always did get lost on this ship. Looks like nothing much has changed with her.” He muttered a bit to himself. “Is that why you had the map?”

“Yes, I got a bit tired of being lost.” Xara said with a grin that was matched by Kint.

“The map was just a way for you to get familiar with the ship so that you and Bri would not get lost.” Kint stated so that everyone understood what she had said.

“Ridiculous!” Cal said from where he was sitting. “Bri is a Jedi who has spent a lot of time on board this ship. She knows her way around.”

“She does not, never did.” Yoda replied knowing that Bri had never gotten her bearing on board the ship. Cal could not say anything or else he would dispute what Yoda had said and even he was that foolish.

Cal sat there fuming a bit as piece by piece his arguments were being dismantled right in front of him. There was still one thing that they would not be able to dispute. That was the theft of the Exir Stone, he had her on that one he was sure of it.

The assembled group had at first thought that Xara had done everything that Cal had said, but now most were not sure about her guilt. Yes, she had the skills to do what had been done, but they had not realized how close they had come to having the reactor going critical. The other fact was no one had ever seen her near the communications room.

“There is still the fact that the Exir Stone was found in her quarters, even if she did not do anything else, she still had the time to take the stone in all of the confusion.” Cal said pressing his last point.

“The stone could have been planted there by the person who really committed the crime to throw us off the real trail.” Kint replied.

“She felt something.” Cal said pointing at Xara as he was speaking.

“That does not mean much.” Kint said back. “There are lots of people who it calls. In fact thinking about it the fact that it calls her does not surprise me at all.” Kint’s words surprised everyone in the room, even Xara. “Being a bounty hunter Xara has probably had her fair share of dealing with scum, and even working for them. We forget that the Force flows through everyone, not just us.”

Several Jedi nodded their heads having forgot that fundamental part of the Force. Everyone had it; just some had it stronger than others. Cal however seemed unconvinced at Kint’s words.

“There is still the theft and it cannot be denied that the evidence was found in Xara’s processions.” Cal said brings up the last real threat, but Xara was ready this time.

“A stone that I did not steal.” Xara said in response. “You say that I stole it during the confusion, right?” She said putting Cal on the spot. He responded that she did and Xara continued. “I would have had to run straight to the museum, to my room then to the med lab to get there before you came in and accused me of what I did not do.” Xara said.

“And you had time to do that.” Cal said not sure what she was getting at.

“Not if I was walking, and ran into someone.” Xara said.

“Like me.” Kint said looking at Cal who was a bit bewildered at everything. “I encountered Xara walking back from the direction of the engine room when the second explosion occurred and threw us both to the floor. Recalling the incident Xara was running towards the med lab, not the museum.”

“Then she stole it before she went to the engine room.” Cal said trying to make something stick.

“Possible it is not.” Yoda said. “Have here the time frame when it was stolen. It was stolen after the explosions, not before.” Yoda held out the data crystal to Cal who took it. He noticed that the guards had noticed the stone missing after the explosions, not before, and the guard had just done a patrol of the museum.

Cal was a bit angry that it seemed that Xara would get off from what he had charged her. “If you did not do it then who did?” He asked.

“Determine guilt, that’s what this trial was for.” Yoda said. “The guilty one is still out there.”

“Master Yoda, is there anything else that needs to be done or is my client free to go?” Kint asked.

Yoda looked to Cal to see if the man had anything else to say, but he just sat there not saying anything.

“Free, Xara is.” Yoda said then dismissed everybody.

Xara waited as the guard came up and removed the cuffs that were around her wrists. She rubbed her wrists and was glad to have them free. She knew that the person who had caused Bri’s injuries was still running around free and she was determined to find whoever was behind it.

“I want to thank you for your help.” Xara said turning to Kint.

“Cal may be a Jedi Knight, but he is also a hothead. He usually spouts off quickly without knowing the full truth. He was my padawan and I’m afraid that I did not train him that well.” Kint said with a bit of sadness in his voice.

Xara did not know that Cal had been Kint’s padawan and wondered what had happened to make Cal the way he was. Kint seemed much more mild mannered than Cal was. She also wondered what her life would have been like had she been discovered by a Jedi Knight instead of one of the Sith Lords.

“Too sure of himself he is.” Yoda replied. “Taught him all you could Kint.” Xara could tell that they had talked about this before by the unspoken words that flowed between them.

“You do know that he has a fascination with Bri?” She asked them both wondering if they knew that.

“Knew that we did.” Yoda replied. “Learned that when they were teenagers.”

“He would stare at her and forget to do his work and studies that had been given to him. It got to the point that Master Yoda and I got together with the council to separate the two. I would keep in touch with Yoda to make sure that we were not crossing paths in the hope that he would forget about her, or at least the fascination would lessen.” Kint said.

“Thought it worked I did.” Yoda mused before continuing. “Guess not.”

“Then I’ll feel safer when I see Bri.” Xara said as they got up and began to walk to the med lab.

The walk to the med lab was uneventful and entering the room Markus walked over to where they were as Xara went straight to Bri’s side.

Markus seeing that Xara, Yoda and Kint were walking into the room went straight to Yoda’s side to let him know the situation that had developed. He was not sure how well the news would be taken. Yoda saw his padawan walking toward him and he knew that the news was not good.

“Master Yoda, the doctor says that the swelling has not gone down like he wanted it to, and that it could be a sign of more permanent damage.” Markus said as he approached Yoda and the rest of the group. Yoda just watched as Xara went over to Bri’s bed. Yoda glanced over at the other patient, an engineer that worked in the hyperdrive.

“Good news that is not.” Yoda finally replied to his padawan. He knew that the doctor had mentioned something about the swelling in Bri’s head yesterday, and now it seemed like it was a concern. “Moved has she?” Yoda asked.

“A bit last night, but nothing since then.” Markus said not knowing what was wrong.

“I’m glad that your here.” Yoda heard a voice behind him say. He turned around and noticed the doctor headed his way. “I’m concerned about Bri, the swelling has not gone down, and that could indicate damage to the brain.” He told them.

Yoda nodded his head noticing that Xara so far had not heard anything as was still by the bed.

Xara glanced down at Bri’s face. She seemed so peaceful lying there like she was sleeping. Xara had heard what Markus and the doctor had said but she refused to believe it. Taking hold of Bri’s hand she just held it, trying to get through to her soulmate to heal herself.

“She also has not moved in quite a while.” The doctor was saying when he noticed Bri move out of the corner of his eye. He glanced over and noticed that she had a grip on Xara’s hand, and that Xara was not just holding her hand.

Xara felt the fingers tighten around her hand and felt a bit of the tension relax. The swelling was still a concern, but Bri had not forgotten her.

The doctor walked over to his patient and looked at her for a few seconds before checking the charts to see if anything had happened. He noticed a bit of an increase in Bri’s brain activity, and in places he had not expected.

Yoda looked at Bri and Xara and recalled something Janson had said to him after Bri and Xara had left for their first mission. ‘If one is injured, the other can help heal just by being close. But my sister says that a healing sleep will do wonders for injuries that are hard to heal. It won’t heal bones, but it has been known to heal head, and other serious injuries. It is just something they don’t talk about to much.’ Yoda glanced again at Xara and Bri before walking over to the doctor.

“This is a good sign.” He said to Yoda as he walked over. “I really thought that she might be shutting down for some reason. I still might have to do surgery to save her life, but I do not want to. The swelling is in a bad spot for surgery, even for our advanced medicine.” The doctor said pointing to a place on the screen.

“Something else we will try.” Yoda said to the doctor who looked at him a bit strangely. “Move Bri to a double bed.” Yoda told him.

“A double bed? Master Yoda, your knowledge is considerable but I fail to compared what this would do.” The doctor replied wondering what he was trying to do.

Yoda looked around a second before replying. “Soulmates they are.” He said quietly.

The doctor’s eyes almost bulged out at the news. It was something he had not been expecting to hear, especially from Yoda. He quickly turned to Markus and together they moved another bed beside Bri’s. Xara looked on in a bit of confusion. She had heard Yoda tell the doctor that she and Bri were soulmates, but aside from that she was lost.

“I would rather not perform surgery, and a healing sleep would repair any damage done to Bri.” He said to Xara.

“A healing sleep?” She replied wondering what exactly he meant.

“It’s a medical phenomenon, no one has ever been able to understand why soulmates can perform such a task. The only thing that has been explained is that the one who is injured does not have enough energy to heal themselves and their other half provides the energy and the reason to come back.” The doctor replied. “I’ve been studying soulmates for a long time, in case I ever have to heal some in my travels. Unfortunately you’re my first so I was not able to recognize the signs.”

“What do I do?” Xara asked.

“Just sleep with her in your arms.” The doctor replied as another thought came to his mind. He unhooked all of the equipment then motioned Markus to help him put up a protective screen around the bed so they could have some privacy.

Kint was still standing near the doorway and he finally realized what they were saying. Bri had a soulmate, something that he had never know was possible for a Jedi.

“Master Yoda, does the council know about this?” He asked.

“Masters Janson and Aqat know, and now you do as well.” Yoda replied knowing that the Jedi Master would not reveal such a secret to anyone.

“I suggest one of us stays here at all times, I don’t really trust Cal right now. He still gets angry too quickly and I think his fascination with Bri has not changed one bit.” Kint told the others.

“Computer, no one is to see Jedi Master Bri Lighter until further notice.” The doctor said as the computer replied with its normal acknowledgement. “I don’t know how long it will take, but I’m placing this here for when you wake up. I think that you will probably be hungry, and this will give you a boost until you can make it to the dining hall.” The doctor said placing two enriched drinks down next to the bed.

“Thanks doctor. I’ll see you guys later, and thank you Master Kint.” Xara said.

“It was my pleasure, one of my easiest defense trials.” He said. “I look forward to talking to you both.” Kint then walked out of the made up room.

The doctor and Markus both walked out at the same time and Yoda nodded his head in understanding to Xara then walked out himself.

Xara took off her shoes and other clothing that she did not want on and crawled into the bed. The person who sabotaged the ship was still on the loose, and whoever placed the Exir Stone in her stuff was also on the loose, but she would worry about that later.

She carefully placed herself next to Bri and put her arms around her. She was surprised when Bri suddenly turned over and was on top of Xara snuggling into her normal sleeping spot. Xara really did not feel sleepy, and was content to lay there with Bri just holding the woman who meant so much to her. Xara did not know how long she was lying there until she fell asleep.

End Part 3

Continued in part 4

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