Ninde sat in the camp all alone. Her knees were pulled up to her chest and she was hugging them as she cried. How could this have happened? She had told Obi-wan not to venture near that camp no matter what. How come he hadn’t listened? And now she had to let them suffer until help came. Like Mace had said they wanted all of them so Ninde just couldn’t run in there to save them. Of all the people in the Temple she had been blessed to be one of the best… But now even that was not going to help her to Obi-wan and Qui-gon. If she lost either of them she didn’t know what she’d do. She didn’t want to be left alone…
She had been in this state for the past three days now. Alone in the wilderness wondering if she’d ever get to see either Obi-wan or Qui-gon again. Even the rising of the sun did little to settle her heart. And most would love the golden rays looking over the trees… Elves should especially love it.
Two birds suddenly landed next to Ninde and began to chirp. Ninde ignored them at first as their chirping was only annoying. But then she began to listen to what the birds were saying and raised her head to look at them. Being an Elf she was able to understand what they were saying. A natural gift that most Elves are blessed with. She began to respond to them in Elvish.
“They’re being moved to a Max Prison under the Capitol? When?” The birds chirped some more and Ninde bit her lower lip some. “Three days from now? No that’s too soon. It’ll take at least another day for a team to arrive if one has even been sent.” Again the birds chirped and Ninde allowed the silence to endure a few seconds after they were done. “So this may be my only chance to save them… The numbers aren’t good and the odds of success are even worse. But I must help them now.” She stood and the birds jumped back some. “Show me the path they are going to take.”
The birds nodded and took to flight, flying towards the camp. Ninde quickly began to run after. Once the birds saw that she was having no problem keeping up the pace they began to fly faster. The obstacles Ninde had to leap over were nothing to her whatsoever. The force was channeling her every movement, guiding her to her Master and partner. It would not be long before they reached the place. Ninde’s feet were light and her speed was so great that she was just a mere blur of motion to anything that saw her.
The birds had landed in a tree and Ninde had climbed up to join them. From there she looked down at the trail. The distance from the camp to the city was not all that great. A mile at the most. That was not good news for Ninde at all. She’d have to be quick with her strike and rescue in order to save both Obi-wan and Qui-gon and still be able to get away. If she wasn’t then back-up could easily arrive from the city and she would be captured too.
Ninde looked to the birds and smiled gently to them. “Thank you friends. If it hadn’t been for you than I would have never known. Please go and inform all the animals not to be in this area when that party leaves the camp. I don’t know what lengths I will have to go to save the two men in that camp. I don’t want to hurt any innocent creatures. I wish you well.” The birds chirped and took to flight once again.
For a moment Ninde just perched there on the branch looking towards the camp. She knew Obi-wan and Qui-gon were still in there somewhere… So close and yet so far. A light wind blew and Ninde’s blonde hair flew out behind her. With the sun was on it her hair looked to be golden. She slowly stood and nodded towards the camp. “I’ll come for you… I promise I will.” She then leapt from the tree and began back for her camp.
It had been three days now and Ninde had made herself completely ready for the rescue. She had rigged the trail at various points to create a trap and briefly cut off back-up from coming. Now she would have to wait and see if things had panned out. Also in those three days she had constructed something she hoped would assist her in her upcoming task… another lightsaber. The making of it had been quick and she knew she would be tempting fate by using it. You never rush the making of a lightsaber… ever If you did then you could easily find yourself fighting and the lightsaber would fail on you. This had gotten many Jedi killed… Jedi Knights had even died because of it. But Ninde had had no choice but to rush it’s construction. She was desperate and if this could help either Qui-gon or Obi-wan then it was worth the risk.
It had been a miracle she was able to make it in the first place. She had to tear through her survival pack and take apart several datapads and other electronically equipment to make this. The outside of it was covered by white wood and bone, simple things she had gathered from the woods and had just barely been able to form into a comfortable handle. At the end where the beam was to be generated was a metal cap. The activation button was a metal skull Ninde had taken from a bracelet she had packed. The bracelet had been a gift from a friend she had saved in the low levels of Corusant three months earlier. And as for the concentrating crystal Ninde had used the stone from a necklace she always bore with her. An artifact from her home world that her mother had gifted her upon dieing. It was a strong purple crystal and Ninde had hated to use it… But it was all she had at the time. She was thinking about retrieving the stone as soon as the lightsaber’s purpose was worn out. But she would judge once the time had come. Right now she had other matters to worry about.
Ninde now sat in the tree she had been in three days earlier with the birds. If all went as planned she’d be able to rescue Qui-gon and Obi-wan without much trouble. But that is only if everything went as planned. The enemy numbers had to be just right and a series of things had to happen in the short time frame of no more than three minutes That wasn’t a long time when you’re considering all the fighting she’d have to do.
A bird flew up to her and chirped lightly. Ninde nodded and slowly stood. “Very good Chi-tweet… Thank you yet again for your help. Now fly from this place with all your speed. Just about anything could happen at about this point.”
The bird tweeted some and Ninde nodded to him. “Yes I’ll be fine. Go and be safe.” The bird dipped his head some as though a sign of a bow and then took to flight. Ninde slowly made her way out on the branch and stopped at about the point where she was soon to exit her cover. She looked towards the camp and could see the group of men moving down the road. They were not far from the tree she was in. She had to act now.
Ninde closed her eyes and began to feel about with the Force. She was looking for the two thermal detonators she had set up. There was one behind the group and another not too far ahead of where she was now. The first explosion went off behind them and no more than four seconds later the next one went off. Ninde then used the Force to push over trees and block the paths off. She hated to destroy trees but she had already begged forgiveness of them and they had granted it. The fire would not spread far because the surrounding woods were so damp so there was no need to worry.
A few moments passed before Ninde stepped from her hiding place. She came to stand on a branch that was above the road no more than a few feet from the group of men. Her timing couldn’t have been anymore prefect. For a moment she stood there gazing across the group for Obi-wan and Qui-gon. Her feet were set shoulder length apart and the wind tugged at her golden hair and dark clothing. Her face was a void of emotionless and her eyes seemed to hold a small hint of sadness and pity for all the men below her. It did not take her long to spy Obi-wan and Qui-gon. They were both on their feet looking at her. Their hands were tied behind their back but their eyes were not glazed over from the affects of drugs. That was good because that meant neither of them were currently drugged. And aside from thinness from perhaps lack of food they didn’t look all that bad.
With a nod Ninde held her hands out to the side some and both her lightsabers flew into the upon her command. A white beam came forth from her original lightsaber and from the other came a purple beam. At first the beam flickered some as though threatening not to work for Ninde. But the flickering ceased and the blade remained. And now it began…
Ninde somersaulted from the tree just as blaster fire began to zing by her body. When she landed she allowed herself to kneel in a squatting position before springing herself up and forward. She had allowed her mind to merge with the force. Now she was the agent of the Fore and would make a move upon what she was told to do. Now just about anything was possible.
Quickly Ninde deflected a series of blaster bolts that were clearer meant to knock her down but not kill her. Most of the shots spiraled off and out of harms way, but some of them bouced back and hit the soldiers before her. Some were lucky enough to have on the appropriate armor to protect them but most were not so lucky. They mostly received either severe or mortal hits from the deflected bolts.
When Ninde reached the front line she sliced off the arm of the man about to fire a shot off at her. She then kicked high and slammed her foot into his nose. He fell and she spun, using her new light saber to slash the next man across the chest. The wound was not life threatening but enough to eliminate him from this battle. From there she somersaulted into the air once again and landed on the shoulders of a man. She wrapped her legs about his head and then tossed all her weight to one side. A large snap was heard from the man’s neck and she fell the rest of the way to the ground with the body.
Ninde rolled on her shoulders and came to a kneeling position. She quickly deflected several blaster bolts as she came back to her feet. She quickly slashed again and took two more hands clean off the men’s arms standing in front of her. They both fell down and cried like little babies. With each step forward Ninde took down more and more. Men from the back were rushing to aid those at the front. A few guards were even leading Obi-wan and Qui-gon back, trying to buy time for reinforcements to show before Ninde reached them. Time was running thin and Ninde knew it.
Suddenly a blaster bolt grazed Ninde’s right shoulder and she paused. That had not come from in front of her… but rather from behind. She glanced over her shoulder and groaned as she saw that reinforcements from the city had easily put out the fire and were running towards them. All chances of victory were gone and all hopes lost. She had spent too much time fighting these men.
`Go!’ The voice shouted in her head was not her own. She looked to where Qui-gon stood. Though she could not see him through the masses of men before her she knew where he was.
`No Qui-gon, I won’t leave without you.’
`It’s too late to help us now. If they catch you now then we will all be put to death. Go Ninde.’
Ninde bit her lip and looked at the men leveling their blasters. They had not fired yet because they were hoping she was going to give up and surrender. “…I am sorry…’ She then turned and ran off into the woods, heading for the river. At first the men hesitated to follow. Partially because they were shocked and mostly because they did not know if she had another thermal detonator set up out there and was waiting on them. Nor did they know what sort of booby traps she had set up on the way. But they followed in the hopes they could capture her. But what they didn’t know is they could search all the tree covered areas of their planet and they still wouldn’t catch her… That’s just the way she was.
“I cannot believe this! Twice she has gotten away when we should have had her! What is your problem?! I swear you men are purposely allowing her to escape! I should just have all of you put to death and choose better men to replace you!”
The four Generals shifted uneasily as Balank paced back and forth in front of them. For the past two hours this is all Balank had been doing and the Generals had been smart enough to keep their traps shut. They knew better than to talk when Balank was like this. Doing so would cause them instant death.
Balank stopped pacing and looked to his Generals. “You’re lucky I still let you live. Get out of my sight!”
The Generals instantly bowed and followed his commands. Balank waited until the door hissed close before he sat down in his chair at the conversance table and put his hands together. Things were not going as planned…
One of his bodyguards stepped up behind him. “My Lord what are we going to do? Should one of us go and find her?”
“No, it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack right now. She’ll come to us.”
“How do you know Lord?”
“Because we still have her Master and friend.”
Arianne brought the starship closer to the planet. There was no planet wide security system yet because no one had contacted them on the comm. But nevertheless she kept the starship as close to the ground as she could manage. She wasn’t one of the best pilots at the Temple but she did alright. But she still didn’t like flying because Oria would sometimes ask her to do things that she wasn’t good at doing or wasn’t all that sure that she could.
Oria sat in the co-pilot chair to Arianne’s right and had just pointed out a good hiding place for the starfighter. A canyon just wide enough to fit into. It would be a tight fit that expert pilots would have no problem with but Arianne was not so confident. After all her skills were average at best. “Are you sure there is no other place Master?”
Oria flashed her a smirk of amusement. “Don’t worry padawan, I trust you and your skills. Set the craft down.”
Arianne knew better than to argue with Oria. She nodded and brought the craft to hoover over the canyon before gently sitting it down. She used the Force to guide her so there was no problem. A small grin formed on her face she looked to Oria. “I guess I could to it, thank you Master.”
Oria nodded as she undid her crash webbing and stood. “You’re welcome Arianne. Now come, we have to find Ninde as soon as possible.
Ninde sat next to a small fire staring into the flames. Her mind was lost in thought about her failure. Now it would be nearly impossible to save Qui-gon and Obi-wan in the first place, she had not expected to succeed. She wasn’t lost in self-pity as much as she was lost in worry. She had known the odds and had also known it would take more than a miracle to succeed. Even with as good as she was success against such odds would have been foolish to even hope for. If anything she was feeling a major failure that she was not sure of how it would turn out. Her failure could have very well have cost Qui-gon and Obi-wan their lives.
A sudden snap from the edge of the tree line near the camp caught Ninde’s attention and she immediately stood. Impossible they couldn’t have found her already. She reached for her lightsabers as she looked over to where the snap had come from. There stood two females, both of whom she recognized right away. She took her hands from her lightsabers and ran over to them. She leapt and hugged the two of them at the same time.
After some time Ninde finally stepped away and bowed her head. “Forgive me Master Oria and Arianne. I am glad to see that I am no longer alone in this fight to help Qui-gon and Obi-wan.”
Oria nodded some and looked into Ninde’s eyes. “What is the full situation?”
Legolas sat down with Gimli, Orophen, and Rumil. “I just finished talking with Elbereth.”
“They have been able to reach out to Ninde and know that she’s alive but she is not answering to their call.”
“What are they planning on doing?” Haldir asked as he looked down at one of Ninde’s necklaces. She had had several of them and in order to feel like she was nearby all three of them had allowed themselves to borrow one from her collection and wear it.
“Well they are going to wait until she responds to their calls… They’re going to bring her back.”
“Well I hope she has matured a little bit. I don’t need that las swinging from my beard anymore. I am afraid I am a bit too old for that anymore.”
“Aye Gimli. I do not think that Ninde is in a good situation. Elbereth won’t tell me if she’s in danger or not. I volunteered to take my weapons and go and save her… But she said that it isn’t a world where I can go for I do not understand it. But I cannot help but fear for Ninde’s safety. What if she doesn’t come back? I promised my sister I would protect her no matter what.”
“And we promised our brother the same thing. Worry not I am sure that Rumil and Laurelasse will understand.”
“Orophen is right. We can help her no more than we can survive in the place where she is at. Our weapons would be considered highly primitive there or so I have been told by the Valar. They have yet to figure out how those people construct their weapons to make them work the way they do. I trust that she’ll pull through whatever situation she is currently in. She always seemed to be able to do that here.” Haldir added and he tucked his hair behind his ear.
“You think that she will still play her old pranks when she gets back?” Orophen asked worriedly.
They all laughed. “You never know,” Legolas said.