From Empire to Rogue
A week later, Terra stood on the porch of the lake house her father had designed and built. He had always enjoyed being here, the quiet solitude of nature his only company. It had been a great place, away from prying eyes, to train his children in the ways of the Force.
Fortunately, Terra's homeworld, Slynor, had been far enough out of the mainstream not to be readily noticed even in the days of the Old Republic. Of course, the rather unique practice of men taking their wives' family name upon marriage had insured some difficulty for anyone trying to trace her grandfather's whereabouts following his departure from Alderaan as many of the non-Slynor records listed his wife as having taken his name instead.
When his son, Terra's father, had been born, he decided to train him, against the wishes of the Jedi Council so many never knew Callow existed. The young boy followed in his father's footsteps and became a Healer as well as a rather renowned medical doctor. Then when her parents had married, again changing the family name, anyone searching for the descendants of a certain Jedi Healer from Alderaan would be lost in the wind.
These were the reasons Terra's family had escaped many of the purges but it had cost them much, including, until recently, ties with family and friends on Alderaan. In addition, Terra and Marx had been outsiders when young, always slightly different from their peers. It was difficult for them to understand for many years, as their Force training had not begun until they were close to a decade old.
From birth they were taught the Jedi philosophy of serve and protect but their actual Force training was somewhat difficult. Terra, who had always been rather gifted in anything she did, had become easily frustrated and at times resentful upon realizing she would probably never reach full Knighthood.
Her bond with her family, which had been present since birth, had grown staggeringly. Her father had turned to a collection of older books for help with teaching her to control and utilize her Tracking abilities within the limits placed upon her by the Force. This, combined with her natural athleticism and strength, had proven a great asset.
These books were now hidden within this very cabin along with several generations' worth of family history in the form of priceless journals. Her father had once told her she would know what to do with them when the time came.
She was saddened by the loss of Alderaan, one of the few places she had believed the Jedi Order would re-emerge from. Now, she suspected her little library was the only location of real Jedi knowledge left. It scared her to think that she, not even a full Jedi, was alone and that quite possibly the Order had vanished forever.
Terra was brought out of her reverie by her mother's approach. Kathreene stood beside her daughter and looked out over the lake, enjoying the early morning sunrise. "You taking Tycho sailing again today?"
Terra smiled and shook her head. "He said something about taking a hike around the lake."
She lifted her eyebrows in surprise. "That's quite a ways. Did you pack a lunch?"
Terra again shook her head, "I'm not going with him. He wants to go alone." She smirked at her mother out of the corner of her eye, "Assuming you feel like putting up with me today."
Kathreene chuckled. "I can't believe you're letting him out of your sight." She sighed and watched her daughter as she added softly; "Reminds me of the way you were with your father after Marx died."
Terra shook her head at the memory, "Was I really that bad?"
Kathreene nodded, "Why do you think we were so eager for you to try out for the smashball team?" They shared a round of laughter, the healing medicine of the soul.
They sat down in the porch glider watching the night fog dissipate off the lake; noises from the kitchen informed them Tycho was moving around. When Terra stood to check on him, her mother rested a hand on her shoulder and gently applied pressure till Terra sat back down.
"I'm sure he does not need your help to pack a lunch," she told her daughter softly.
Terra frowned and fidgeted in her seat until Tycho joined them on the porch, a pack strung across his back. He was dressed in hiking boots, short pants and a lightweight tunic, showing off the tan he had acquired over the past week.
His hair was beginning to take on blond highlights reminiscent of his youth not to mention it had grown past regulation length to hide his ears. It was growing so fast that Terra was sure it would brush his shoulders in another couple of weeks.
He smiled slightly, "Good morning. Guess I'll be back around mid-afternoon."
"Remember to stay within sight of the shore," Terra reminded him and then began to rattle off a series of questions; each time he nodded his head, she would ask another. "Do you have a comm and lunch? You're sure you know how to use the stunner?"
And so it went until Kathreene interrupted her, "Terra, he can take care of himself."
Terra grinned lopsidedly at Tycho. "Sorry. Habit, I guess."
Tycho shrugged, "It's OK. You're just worried about me, that's all." He turned to Kathreene with a twinkle in his eye, "I do not envy you having to put up with her today, for that I am sorry."
Kathreene smiled. "I'm sure I'll manage. You just have a good time but don't forget to be careful," she reminded him jokingly.
He nodded politely and then headed off on the nine-hour trek around the lake. As soon as he was out of earshot, Kathreene asked, "How is he?"
"Still in denial," Terra answered softly as she watched him disappear from sight.
Continued in Part Eight