Santos hasn’t move since being loaded onto the Freedom’s Purchase. Zet’s lying, motionless, on the bed set up for her in a quiet corner of the infimary. Santos is wholly focused on his unconscious friend.
He’s tried time and again to heal her with his new found talent in the force, and he becomes more and more disheartened each time it fails.
“Zet. Please don’t leave me.”
The Twi’lek sleeps for a little over 24 hours. At first she does so deeply, held under by the lingering effect of her own stun grenade. For the final few hours she’s more restless, stirring from time to time and murmuring in the throes of some dark dream.
Zet finally awakens with a disoriented mumble, her fingers flexing to tighten in Santos’ hand as her other twitches under the blankets towards where she would normally wear her blaster at her hip. She opens her eyes, turning her head to focus on her friend, and swallows against the dry feeling in her throat that comes of going so long without water.
“If I’m here and you’re here, who’s flying the ship?” For once she’s not trying to be a smartass. She sounds genuinely confused.
“New owners.” The Chiss replies, dripping with resentment. “The rebels stole our ship, and were going to leave us stranded on Jiroch, The one in charge thanked us for ‘graciously’ donating my ship, and ‘gave’ us back our speeders. I swear we would have gotten a better deal with the pirates.”
He tells himself to let it go. After seeing what the dark side can turn you into, he doesn’t want anything to drag him closer. He tightens his grip in response to Zet’s flexing, and attempts a smile. “How are you feeling? I was afraid you wouldn’t…”
“The rebels…?” Zet echoes threadily. Her stun grenade went off before the backup showed up. Pulling her free hand from under the thin blanket, she rubs groggily at her eyes. “Um. I have a really bad headache. But I think I’m okay.” This time she squeezes his hand with intent, not letting go. “Did I get her? Did everyone else make it?”
“We’re all more or less in one piece, but Callia is in rough shape.” Nevermind that Santos himself is coated in his dried blood. He truly hasn’t Zet’s side, even to be looked after by a medic. “She certainly wasn’t prepared for you,” he continued with a chuckle, “she seemed pretty rattled, but she didn’t go down. I don’t know exactly what happened to her.”
He reaches into his utility belt, and takes out a few small crystals. “The room below was full of these. They might be worth something. Maybe enough to get our ship back up in the air.” He folds her hand around a the gems.
Poor Zet seems to be processing this information more slowly than usual. After the size of that explosion, it’s easy to believe her brains are a little rattled. She hasn’t even responded yet when her hand closes on their prize.
Lifting them up into view, she squints as she tries to focus properly on one of them. “Where’d these come from?” She definitely does not remember seeing any crystals. Just Black Sun logos everywhere… “I don’t wanna run any errands for Callia anymore.”
“After you… tried to blow yourself up I took you down deeper into the tomb, away from the fighting.” Keeping him safe from being knocked unconscious a second time was an added perk. “We found the crystals there, and… I placed you on an altar, I guess hoping that I could focus the force and wake you up, but instead the temple kinda gave me this.” He holds up the holocron for her to see, before quickly putting it away.
Well /that/ puts a little of the old spark in her eyes. “I didn’t try to blow myself up.” Zet holds the crystals back out to him so he can hang onto them for now. “I figured if I got her real good you could finish her off, obviously.” The holocron gets a blank look. “What is that? You got it because you stuck me on a Jedi altar in some creepy temple?” She closes her eyes. “No more Force stuff…”
“I’m not sure we’ll have a choice.” Santos does share Zet’s sentiment, but it seems to him that the Force pulls you where IT wants you. “I don’t know what this thing is, but I thinks it’s what we were there for. I think it wanted to be found by us.” Ok, at least that can be it for the Force stuff for a week or so.
“So from what I can tell, the rebels are going to drop us and speeders off on Corellia. That should be big enough for you to find a fence, right? From there, who knows.”
“So what? What would’ve happened if we had just flown on by?” Now she’s getting testy. “This is all way above our pay grades, Santos. Yeah, let’s sell the crystals and the speeders and figure out how we’re gonna get back to Nar Shaddaa. Then things can go back to normal.” Zet opens her eyes to gaze up at the ceiling. “I can’t believe I ran away.”
“You what?” Santos wracks his brain trying to figure out what she’s talking about. He remembers being basically back to back with her, and then the wall attacked him. Although she wasn’t there when he came to, was she? “I’m sure it was the right thing to do at the time.” He shrugs, “you came back, anyway.”
Zet gives him a funny look. She actually missed him getting knocked out… “When she got in my head, I dunno. I don’t think you were looking my way. I panicked and bolted. I don’t want to be around anyone who can do that to me ever again.” She rubs at her neck. “Or drag me across the room. No wonder people are scared of Jedi if that’s what they can become.”
Santos doesn’t respond right away. People are only scared of Jedi because that’s all they know. Truth is, they are really afraid of what the Force can do to people.
“Alright, so here’s the deal: I’ll do what I can to keep you from being dragged across the room. You do what you can to keep me from dragging people across the room. Sound good?”
When she looks at Santos again, Zet’s expression is just a little guilty. All that stuff just came spilling out of her mouth, but she really didn’t mean him. Him, she trusts implicitly. “Yeah. Of course I will. I don’t want you to end up that way, Santos.” Slowly, she struggles to sit up, but once upright she leans forward to press the heels of her hands into her temples. “What did you do back there?” The Twi’lek’s eyes are closed again as her head swims. “In the temple, you grabbed my arm and it was like you healed me but it really hurt…”
“I did heal you,” Santos really doesn’t know how to explain what happened. He’s not entirely sure himself. “After we were attacked by those beasts, I tried to meditate a bit, just to push past the pain. Instead, I felt the Force stitching my wounds. I’m not sure exactly how it happened, but you were looking pretty rough, and there were still 4 spiders to deal with, so I tried to do the same on you. Only, when I tried to heal you I could only seem to access the… wrong… kind of Force.”
Now that she’s been awake a little longer, Zet seems to be getting her kneejerk responses back under control again. The tension in her shoulders and her brief silence after he does his best to explain should still read loud and clear to Santos, but when she answers him she just says, “Oh.” Rubbing her eyes and pinching the bridge of her nose, she finally looks up and around the inside of the hangar again. “Well… thanks for having my six.” When she finally returns her gaze to his face, she blinks. It’s like she’s just taking in all of his own old wounds for the first time. “Aw man, you should’ve let a doctor look at you…”
“I will,” he replies with a soft smile, “now that I know you’re ok. I think we have a long trip ahead of us, anyway. I should be at 110% by the next available opportunity for crime.”
“Good.” Zet smiles back at him. “Just how bad_ is_ Callia?” She stretches her arms above her head, arching her back until her spine gives a satisfying crack. “If everyone else needs the rest, maybe we can just lay low on Corellia for a while. Gather some resources, heal up, make a better plan to travel the rest of the way to Nar Shaddaa so we aren’t just constantly on the run and stealing ships and losing them again…”
“She looks like the temple was pulled in on her.” If that Twi’lek could do that much to Callia, he feels pretty comfortable with taking Zet to safety in the tomb. “She was walking funny when she joined us in the tomb, and someone had to guide her. I think she may be blind.”
If Zet had been awake to witness what Sora did to Callia, she would_ also_ have been pretty cool with the way Santos carried her off to hide her. In spite of how annoyed she’s feeling with their Jedi friend for leading them into that mess, shock flickers across her face at this new development. “What?? Is she going to get better?” Apparently she missed a lot while she was out. “Damn, I really hope we can just go back to shooting at pirates and run-of-the-mill crooks for a while…”
“She’ll be fine,” Santos says, reassuringly. “I think.” Not so reassuring. “I’m hoping she just needs time.”
The blue giant doesn’t hide how relieved he is that the twi’lek is moving around again, or how guilty he feels about the whole fiasco. Callia wasn’t the only one who wanted to explore the temple.
“Definitely. We will only shoot at pirates and partake in run-of-the-mill ne’er do welling for a long while.”
Callia wasn’t, but Zet has a hard time blaming Santos for much. As far as she’s concerned, Callia’s the one who should have known better. It’s not Santos’ fault that he’s attracted to the possibility of shiny things, and he doesn’t know much about the Force at all. So there. “Are the rebels serving us breakfast? I’m starving.” She definitely isn’t moving with her usual natural ease, but with a little effort she gets her feet over the side of the bed. Leaning forward, she frowns as she brushes her thumb beneath one of the scrapes on his face. “And you need to see a real medic, like, now. None of my hack job attempts to patch you all up on the go.”
Santos laughs loudly. “Alright, alright. Just save me a seat at the breakfast table.” He gets up and slowly limps away to find some medical attention.
“I’ll guard it with my life,” Zet retorts. She gets unsteadily to her feet, waiting there for a moment as the room stops spinning and watching him to make sure he’s headed in the right direction. Behind his back, her easygoing expression melts away into a worried frown, but she turns to go rustle up something to eat without another word.