The med bay of the rebel ship is relatively peaceful compared to many other areas. There aren’t many who currently need tending to so those on staff bustle about their daily work quietly. There is the occasional beep or blip from equipment and the same med droid wandering back and forth checking on Rakine’s vitals. The only thing truly out of place in this scenario is the blond woman calmly situated at Rakine’s side.
Callia has a holobook in her lap, though she doesn’t seem to intent on reading it. Instead her eyes are focused elsewhere and her mind clearly drifting off to some other point in time. She looks as if she found a refresher in the time they arrived on Commander Nebula’s ship, cleaned up and clearly in better shape than the last time Rakine would have seen her. She’s clearly waiting for the Togruta to awaken.
It’s a reversal of roles compared to when they last spoke this way. She had pulled a battered Callia off of Jiroch (with a little help from her friends) — this time the rebel was the one who had to be lifted out on a stretcher. A jedi-gone-wrong had been the one to land the jedi in the med bay, while Rakine — ironically enough — was downed by a rogue bomber. The ratio of surface-skin to bandages is quite alarming, even just from her shoulders up to the tips of her ‘horns’ and headtails. Her arms, one at her side and the other draped limply atop the blanket over her midsection, are unequally swathed: it looks like she took the brunt of the explosive blast on her left side.
She’s been out for hours already. A stun grenade’s effects (as anyone who travels with Zet would know by now) are slow to wear off, but of course they aren’t typically fatal. Callia’s patience is rewarded, eventually, by the sound of a sudden deeper breath from the patient, followed by an agitated motion. The med droid, in its unhurried way, clanks back toward the bed to process the new development. Rakine’s return to consciousness is marked by some belligerent confusion: her eyes are tightly squinting as they dart around the room, and she has to be prevented from trying to sit up immediately.
Irony of the role reversal is not lost on the Jedi. She senses Rakine’s slow arrival to consciousness before the first change in breathing even occurs. It’s amazing how being attuned to the Force can make her seem almost psychic. She stays out of the way as the med droid works, only stepping in when Rakine attempts to sit up. Gentle hands try to ease her back down before she can get too far.
“It’s good to see you awake, Rakine,” Callia greets. “You are in the Med Bay on Commander Nebula’s ship. How do you feel?”
The human voice seems to attract Rakine’s attention more than the standard drone of the droid, which advises her to “please remain calm”. The way she stops and turns her head, it looks like it’s given her something to think about. Figuring out who’s there and how to get her foggy concentration focused on the woman’s face, probably.
“The jedi,” she speaks in a mumble at first, accepting a glass of water and taking a drink instead of answering the question that was addressed to her. “What happened? Qurzer said to stop the Trandoshan I shot at. I followed him to the ship…”
“Indeed,” Callia affirms. She sits back down once the Togruta seems to have settled, her holobook already knocked aside for the time being. “I believe you were caught in another of the explosions. He got away before we could catch up to get him. Zet took your radio and contacted Commander Nebula to pick us up. Now we’re here.”
Skimming over the part where no one should be able to access her secure comm contacts (that is DEFINITELY going to be an issue to consider later on), Rakine inclines her head in a slight nod, which brings with it a wince of pain. “There was most certainly an explosion before I reached the hangar.” In a pause for thought, she seems like she still has very many questions. “Why were any of us trying to stop him? Who was he working with?”
“It appears he was doing some work for the CEC executive we…ah, took into custody. They were causing explosions and careful sabotage to help the negotiations with Kuat Drive Yards along.” Callia explains. “He is also a former partner of Santos’. There is clearly some very bad blood between the two of them, possibly more now that this Trandoshan needlessly used a man who helped us as a bomb.”
Rakine’s tired, impassive expression doesn’t change while she accepts most of this information — except for the part where Santos’ name improbably comes up. What are the odds of that? The idea of someone being used as a live bomb doesn’t seem nearly as unexpected. “I see. If Nebula is in a useful mood again, maybe we can investigate some of this corporate ruthlessness. Selonia appeared to be needing all the help they can get.”
“I hope you can. I know it would mean a lot to Qurzer. This whole situation is outside of anything they’d ever expect to happen on their planet.” Callia brushes some hair from her face. “If the Rebellion can help at all, I’m sure they will find a powerful ally in the Selonian people.”
She wisely avoids nodding this time, but there’s a sound of quiet agreement that the Togruta makes to acknowledge Callia. “Your Selonian friend at least appears dependable — if stubborn.”
Callia chuckles softly. “Sometimes stubborn is a good thing. We need more stubborn beings in the galaxy. More people unwilling to submit to what has become normal.” Is she agreeing that maybe the Rebellion isn’t a bad thing? Gasp.
“That much is true.” More crucially, is Callia suggesting that someone else here is stubborn?? Of course, Rakine could be directing an inquisitional stare in her direction for any number of reasons. Still so many questions.
The Jedi lets out a soft sigh. “I was wrong to look down my nose at you, Rakine.” Callia admits. “I was so wrapped up in the past and what it meant to be a Jedi when the Republic still existed that I forgot that we don’t have the luxury to…well, fix the galaxy with our words anymore.”
Once again the look of surprise returns to the Togruta’s white-encircled eyes. The patterns of her face emphasize any slight change in her expression. “I only assumed you were afraid.”
“Fear was a part of it, it’s true.” Callia replies. “Still, now, I am afraid. I need to stop letting that control me, though. Fear leads to the Dark Side.” She smiles. “I think seeing the Selonian people rise up against their oppressors opened my eyes to just how desperate our galaxy currently is. I am glad there are people like you out there, fighting against the Empire.”
There’s a sudden awkwardness that comes to Rakine’s posture in the presence of Callia’s appreciation. She shifts in her bed, glancing in the other direction where Dr. Droid is standing by, sedately keeping watch over the medical monitors. “It’s not easy for any of us to face,” she speaks slowly, “The scale of everything we are up against.”
“I realise that.” Callia replies. “It is a large enemy we all face, whether from the shadows or in the front lines.” She takes a deep breath. “The galaxy has been in turmoil for far too long. Since long before the Clone Wars, even. It’s time we all started thinking about how we can fix that.”
“Yes.” As simple a response as it is, Rakine’s tone is weighted with her own perspective.
Callia swallows and studies her hands for some time. “I will not be working in the forefront yet. There is much I need to learn, still. But if you ever need help or if the Rebels need help, Rakine, please do not hesitate to call upon me.” She turns her head to the side, staring at the door to the medbay.
A hand lifts in Callia’s direction: calloused and marked-up from the tasks of a mechanic, and bare now without the leather gloves Rakine is in the habit of wearing. She’s looking for their eyes to meet, waiting for the Jedi to take up this offer of a handshake between allies. “Thank you. At the right time, it could mean a lot to us.”
Callia will not leave her hanging for long. There is a moment’s hesitation in her eyes as she realises the magnitude of what she’s promising but it doesn’t stop her. “I hope I live up to expectation, then.” She smiles as she finally grasps the offered hand and gives it a warm, reaffirming shake. Jedi don’t just say things, after all.
She gets to her feet afterward, picking up the holobook and lying it on the table next to Rakine’s bed. “Some light reading for later. I must be on my way, Zet and Santos are eager to take off. We will speak again soon.” She grins. “Try not to get into too much trouble in the interim, Rakine. It was good to see you again.” With that, she heads on her way with an air of confidence not previously noticeable in her steps.