RIFTS: A Daria/Star Wars Crossover

By: Ranger Thorne

Part Three

The base had once belonged to the government of the United States of America. That, however, had been before an extraterrestrial force had defeated it and every other government on the planet. Now under the control of the conquering forces, it was, still, a military base. Instead of men and women in olive drab and camouflage, it was figures in brown uniforms and white stormtrooper armor.

The early morning sun was still hidden behind the curve of the planet as the troopers guarding the base maintained their vigil. One, stationed outside of a weapons storage building, turned as he heard something. Seeing nothing, he turned back to face front, failing to see two figures slip through the door he was guarding.


'Mack' MacKenzie lowered the macrobinoculars as he turned to glare at the man crouched next to him. "I told you," he said in an intense whisper, "we would wait for their signal."

"What's the signal?" the man asked. He, like the rest of the men in their group, was dressed in black. Some, like Mack, held high-tech blasters, while others held projectile weapons ranging from M-16's to AK-47's to double barrel shotguns. The man was also wearing black face paint to keep his pale skin from showing in the night.

"You'll know it when you see it," Mack promised.


A flash of brown caught the attention of the guard outside of a store room. He turned just in time to see a dark-skinned woman in a brown robe wave a hand at him and command, "Sleep."

Jodie caught the guard as he fell over. "Just don't snore," she whispered as she quietly lowered him to the ground. Her companion pulled back the hood on her robe, revealing her auburn hair. Daria frowned at the padlock on the door for a second, then waved a hand as she reached out with the Force to open it. With a slight 'click,' the lock gave way.

Slipping inside, Jodie pulled a small flashlight from her belt. The dim red glow allowed her to find her way to a crate in the corner. A minute later, the two Jedi had opened the crate and began to remove its contents.


The man next to Mack frowned as he checked his watch. Turning to Mack, he whispered, "If they don't give the signal in five minutes, I'm going to call off the whole --" Twin explosions sent a shock wave through the ground as a fireball rose into the air.

"That's the signal," Mack barked into his radio. "Go!"


Daria smirked as she dropped the rocket launcher onto the roof. "If they're not using jet fuel," she said to Jodie, who was tossing a launcher of her own to the rooftop, "they should remove the tanks." A third fireball rose into the air as a second tank of fuel exploded.

"So much for the easy part," Jodie muttered as she reached for the lightsaber on her belt.

"Yeah," Daria copied her action, "now we gotta keep the boys from getting hurt while playing soldier." Together, the two dropped off of the side of the building.


"What was the damage?" Tyran demanded as he glared at the Lieutenant who was looking at him nervously.

"They took weapons and supplies," came the reply. "Most of what they didn't take, they destroyed."

"Destroyed?" Clement frowned. "Why didn't they take it?"

"I don't know, my Lady."

"So, why didn't Commander Shavm come tell me, himself?" the Sith Lord asked, his displeasure radiating like heat from him.

"I do not know, sir."

"You know, Lieutenant." Tyran glared, "Your commander sent you in hopes that I would vent my anger on you. He knows that his incompetence will cost him not only his career, but his life."

"Sir," the young man looked terrified, but manage to continue, "he wanted me to tell you that there was at least one Jedi in the group."

"A Jedi?" Tyran raised an eyebrow, "Is he sure?"

"I saw one of them myself, my Lord," the man said. "They had a green lightsaber."

"Green?" Tyran looked at Clement and hissed, "Which of our Jedi friends uses a green blade?"

"The older Morgendorffer girl," Clement growled in reply.

"So," the Sith returned to his seat, "they are coming out to play. This bodes well." Turning to the lieutenant, he said, "Your orders are to return to your base and place Commander Shavm under arrest. He will then be brought to me. Is that clear?"

"Yes, my Lord."

"You will then take command of the base until I send a permanent replacement." Waving a hand, Tyran said, "Dismissed."

"Yes, sir." Turning, the young man kept his stride to just below a run.

After he was gone, Tyran clenched his fists as he growled. Calming himself, he looked over at Clement and asked, "What do you think of this?"

"They hit a garrison and took weapons and supplies. At least one of the threesome is now actively helping the Landon woman with the resistance."

"Yes." Turning to the window, he looked at the moon in the distance. "I want some competent people to begin watching the Morgendorffer girl. But they are not, under any circumstances, to do anything other than watch."

"Yes, Master. Are they watching for anything in particular?"

"Indeed," he turned to face her. "I want to know when that girl is alone or without a Jedi watchdog, so have them report directly to me." He grinned, "If they are getting out, they will eventually make a mistake and leave the child alone."

"I still do not see the need for her, my Master," Clement said. "Any return to the Republic is years away."

"It is, indeed," he confirmed. "However, this is to take Frost's sister away from her as much as to ensure that someone will be ready to control my empire here when I return to destroy the Republic. Besides," his grin faded, "I have given you an order. That is all the reason you need. Now," he waved a hand and turned away from her, "leave me."

Clement knelt, "Yes, my Master." She rose and turned in a swirl of her cloak, leaving him alone.

As she stalked down the corridor, she fumed silently. He still talks of Frost as if she were more than me. I'm the one who saved him, the one who built the hyperdrives for Danathrees. I've always done more than her, so why does he still prefer that traitor over me? I'll face that mindless drone and kill her, some day.


The car dropped Daria off at the curb, then drove away. Daria waved halfheartedly at the unfamiliar face that had been behind the wheel, then turned to head into the house. Stepping into the living room, she sighed and started toward the stairs until she noticed something going on in the back yard. She dropped the bag she had been carrying next to the stairs as she continued to the glass door on the far side of the room.

"Very good, Veronica," Jane nodded as she circled the girl. Both were holding wooden rods with cloth wrapped around the end they were holding. "You've done pretty good, today. Just remember to --"

"What is going on, here?" Daria asked as she stepped out into the back yard.

"Daria, you're back!" Veronica smiled at her sister, but didn't move.

"Just in time to see that Jane is teaching you to . . ." Daria looked at her friend, "what are you teaching her?"

"Mock lightsaber combat drills," Jane explained. She winked at Daria, then spun and struck out at the girl with the rod. Veronica brought up her rod to block, then counter-attacked with a swipe that caused Jane to have to leap over her.

"Enough!" Daria barked. Stepping forward, she held out a hand to Veronica. Now worried, the girl handed the wooden rod over. Daria examined the fake saber, then looked at Jane, "You've been teaching her to use a fake lightsaber?"

"Uh," Jane looked confused, "yeah. I figured it would make more sense than starting her off on a real one."

"I'm gone for three days and this is all you can think of to teach my sister?" Holding the rod, by the covered end, she tested the weight. After a sigh, she shook her head and said, "Jane, this feels nothing like a lightsaber."

Jane frowned, "I wasn't teaching her how to use a lightsaber, I was teaching her the skills you use when in combat. I'll have you know I also taught her how to hold and use a saber using the training balls I brought back when I visited the fleet last week."

Daria shifted her left shoulder and grimaced. "Sure you have. Veronica," she looked at her sister and winked, "duck." Spinning, she swung her rod at Jane, only to have Jane back out of the way. "Still feel like cracking wise, Lane?" Daria asked as she advanced.

"Nah, I leave the being wise to you." Jane grinned as she struck out. The two traded blows back and forth as they spoke. "So," Jane ducked a swing, then stabbed out only to be blocked, "how'd it go?"

"Well," Daria side-flipped over another swing, "we got the weapons and supplies, but we lost more people than I'd hoped." Block, block, attack, block, attack, attack. "Something's up with Jodie, though. I saw her throwing up not long after the fight."

"Ooh," Jane blocked a strike that would have taken off her head if it had been real, "that's not good. I've seen her look at six-month-old bodies and not even lose her appetite."

Daria blocked an overhead swing, then dropped into a leg sweep. As Jane hopped over her, Daria back-rolled to her feet in time to block another strike. "Whatever is wrong, Mack knows about it. He was holding her hair back and talking to her. When she was done, he held her like he knew what he was doing."

"He probably does," Jane ducked under a swing. "They are married, you know. He's no doubt held her several times by now. The way they act on a mission, you know they're getting busy at home. In fact, I'm surprised she's not . . ." Jane and Daria stepped away from each other.

"It can't be," Daria stated.

"But, it is," Jane replied.

"This complicates things," Daria added.

"That's for sure."

"What are you talking about?" Veronica demanded from a safe distance.

"Jodie's pregnant," they replied together.

"How, how do you know that?"

"We feel it," Daria told her. She tossed the rod to her friend as she walked toward her sister. "Have you ever felt that you knew something was going to happen before it did?"

"Yeah," Veronica nodded, "just before the stormtroopers busted into the house. I just knew something was about to happen. And then it . . . did."

"It was a premonition through the Force," Jane explained as she came even with Daria. She had the rods over one shoulder. "Once you've learned how, the Force can tell you when someone is lying. Or," she shrugged, "in this case, when something is true." Looking at Daria, she asked, "So, what do we do about Jodie?"

"She can't go out like that again," Daria said. "She might have a complication or a problem at an inopportune moment. That and we can't risk the baby."

"She'll be furious," Jane pointed out.

"Well, she'll get over it. Besides," Daria smirked, "I have an idea that will compensate. To some degree, anyway." She looked at the house, "Where's Quinn?"

"Don't know. She just said there was somewhere she needed to go. Something about an old friend." Jane shrugged, "She wouldn't say more."

"I hope she's not taking up her old dating schedule," Daria grumbled. "I don't think I could handle going through that again."


She heard her son's footsteps approaching her door, followed by, "Mom, there's someone here to see you."

"Me? Okay, I'll be right out." After slipping on a pair of glasses, she walked to the door and, out of practice, found the knob on the first try. Stepping into the hall, she walked to the living room without hitting anything. "Hello," she said into the room, "You wanted to see me?"

"Sandi?" The voice was familiar, but she couldn't place it.

"I'm sorry, but I don't remember --"

"It's me, Quinn."

"Quinn?" Stepping forward, Sandi held out a hand, "Quinn Morgendorffer?"

"Yeah." Someone took the hand, then pulled her into a hug. "God, Sandi, I just found out about what happened yesterday."

"What happened? Oh, yeah, my eyes."

Quinn fought back tears as she looked at the former head of the Fashion Club. Sandi was in great shape, with the look of someone who got regular exercise. Her hair was cut short, looking very much like Helen Morgendorffer's had back when Quinn was in high school. But there was a stiffness to her posture that, along with the black glasses, told Quinn that something more than age was different about Sandi.

"You look great, though. I like that dress." The sea green dress had buttons down the front, with the bottom two undone.

Sandi's laugh was relaxed as she moved to sit on the couch. As she patted the cushion next to her, she said, "I like big buttons on things. That, and my husband likes this dress."

"It's the buttons," Quinn observed as she sat. "A guy sees them and all he can think about is how to get them undone."

Sandi laughed again, then said, "You're still smart about that kind of thing."

They shared a chuckle before Quinn became serious. "Sandi, I heard that you lost your, um, sight when the bus vanished."

"It was the last thing I ever saw," Sandi confirmed. "It seemed to be swallowed by a light. Then, the light got brighter until it burned my eyes too much for them to work."

"I'm sorry I didn't tell them to stop for you."

"I'm not."

"Sorry?" Sandi could hear the confusion in Quinn's voice.

"I wasn't a likeable person back then. It took a couple of months before I realized that. Since then, I've gotten my act together. I married a wonderful man, and have three wonderful children." She smiled, "If I had been on that bus, I would have been with you and the others, but I would have been someone different. I like who I am, now," she concluded with a shrug.

"But you're blind."

"I can't see," Sandi corrected. "Blindness is a closing of the mind. I think I'm the only one who draws a distinction between the two."

"I guess that makes sense."

"So, what happened? Where did everyone go? Are Stacy and Tiffany okay?" Sandi reached out and felt Quinn take her hand. "Tell me everything."


Clement smirked as she watched the expressions of the people she met. The professional white-and-blue dressed doctors and nurses were suddenly absent as she made her way through the hospital. She stopped in front of a door, then looked at the two guards behind her and said, "Wait here," before stepping inside.

The man sitting behind the desk looked at her nervously. "You are Lady Clement?" he asked.

"No one else would dare pretend," she replied. "You are Dr. Winslow?"

"Yes, ma'am." He gestured toward a seat, "You had some questions to ask me?"

"Thank you," she said as she took a seat. "I understand you are the head physician at the hospital."

"That's right."

"Good." Clement leaned back and asked, "I have one, simple question for you. What makes Humans throw up?"

He looked at her for a few seconds. "That's your question?"

"You have a problem with it?" her voice became very calm.

"No!" He shook his head. "I'm just a little surprised, is all. Are we talking about someone who is otherwise healthy or are there any other symptoms?"

"As far as we know, she's perfectly healthy."

"She?" The doctor bit his lip for a moment. "Are we talking about an adult?"

"Yes." Leaning forward, she raised an eyebrow and asked, "You have a theory?"

"Well," he motioned with his hands as he spoke, "I'd want to do a proper examination, but it's possible that, if she's an adult and doesn't seem to be showing any other symptoms, she could be pregnant. Although it is most common in the morning, pregnant women can, under the right circumstances, become quite ill at any time."

"Pregnant?" Clement stared at him, then grinned. "Yes, that would make sense. She was recently married."

"I can have someone from obstetrics give you a booklet with all that information in it," he offered. "Weight gain, being sick at your stomach, all the other stuff."

"Thank you, doctor," Clement stood, "but you've answered my question quite well. I will not trouble you further."

The doctor waited until the Sith was out of his office before he let out the breath he was holding. He waited several more minutes before he picked up his phone and dialed. "Colonel Victory," he said when someone picked up. A few seconds later, a click was heard. "Dr. Winslow reporting. Clement was here and asking why a Human would throw up. She seemed pleased with pregnancy being a reason. There's a reason she was asking about this, so I suggest we check the females who were on the last assignment." Not waiting for a reply, he hung up. Then, going over to a small cabinet, he pulled a bottle of brandy from behind a locked door and had a double.

"I hate days like this," he grumbled.


"Uh, oh," Jodie said as she stepped into the Morgendorffer home. The Morgendorffers and Jane were looking at her with smirks on their faces. "What's going on?"

"Congratulations," Jane told her. "When's it due?"

"Crap," Jodie sagged. "I was afraid you'd figure it out."

"Why?" Veronica asked. "Don't you want to have a baby?"

"Of course I do," Jodie replied. "It's just a little inconvenient right now."

"Well," Daria after a sigh, "you realize that this means you're not going on another raid, right?"

"Hey," Jodie said with a scowl, "I did okay on the last one."

"But what about the next time?" Jane asked. "How long until it does cause a problem? Can you keep from throwing up and keep from getting shot at the same time?"

"Uh . . ."

"Besides," Daria added, not waiting for a reply, "we have another job for you."

"Another job?"

"Quinn, Jane and I are all capable of handing jobs for the resistance. You, however, are a better organizer than we are. You are going from front line to front office." Daria crossed her arms, "Also, when we three are gone, Veronica's training will be up to you."

"So, you see," Jane smirked, "you're not really getting off easy. We're just dumping all the paperwork on you."

"Great," Jodie put her hands on her hips, "I'm not the Jedi Secretary."

"Actually," Quinn spoke up, "it's more like the head of Earth's first Jedi Council."

Jodie's eyes widened, "I never thought of it like that."

"Well," Jane's smirk widened slightly, "Jedi Council and Babysitting Squad."

"Hey!" Veronica protested.

"Sorry, squirt," Jane said to her.

"Hey!" the girl repeated.

"Well," Jodie frowned, "at least I'll be busy."

"Good," Daria nodded, "now that that's settled, what's coming up that we need to take care of?"


Clement looked at the computer screen and smiled the barest of smiles. So, smells can cause a pregnant Human to become ill? I'll have to do something about that.

"Something of interest, my apprentice?"

Coming to her feet, Clement turned and saw that her master had entered the small room and had been standing behind her. "Master, I did not know you were there."

"It is all right, my dear," he waved a hand. "I just returned from visiting a few of the former world capitols. Deciding which city to make a world capitol in is a pleasing problem, wouldn't you say?"

"Yes, Master," she nodded her head slowly.

"What has you so engrossed?" he asked.

"I've figured out how to kill two birds with one stone."


"A Human phrase," she explained. "I means to achieve two goals by one action."

"Ah." Smirking, he added, "I'll have to remember that. 'Kill two birds with one stone.'" Smiling, he nodded, "I like that."

"Thank you, Master."

"Do you know which birds you will be killing with this stone?"

"Yes, Master, I do. I will redeem myself in your eyes and have revenge for what happened on Danathrees."

A slow nod preceded, "Very good, Clement. You may proceed." Without another word, the Sith lord turned and left the small room.

"Thank you, Master," she said, bowing to his back.


"You use to live here?" Veronica asked as she walked down the hall.

"A long time ago," Jodie replied. "Back before we got carried off to another place and time."

"Must have been nice to grow up in a place like this."

"We only lived here for a few years," Jodie told her. "Before that we had a smaller place close to where you live."

"Why'd you move?"

"Dad invented a folding coffee cup," Jodie said, looking sad. "We got to buy some nice stuff, but after that all my folks ever thought of was my 'future.'" She shrugged, "Some future it would have been. I'd have had an ulcer by the time I was twenty."


"Yeah," Jodie smiled, "ew."

"So, what happened to your family?" Veronica looked around, "I mean, where'd they go?"

"Well, the neighbors said that they'd gone on vacation. Somewhere in the islands, they think." Jodie shrugged, "I hope they're okay."

"You haven't tried to find them?"

"Wherever they are, they're safer there than with me."

"That makes me feel safe," Veronica said as she smirked.

"You are so much a Morgendorffer," Jodie told her as she shook her head.

"Thanks. By the way," she went on, "what are we doing here?"

"Hiding, mostly," Jodie admitted.

"Hiding? Why would a Jedi be hiding?"

"I'm pregnant," Jodie reminded her. "Being pregnant limits what a Jedi can do. As the baby grows, it'll begin to take away my strength with the Force."

"Why would it do that?" Veronica was confused.

"Imagine a woman in labor who can move things with her mind."

"Oh." The girl's eyes widened slightly as she thought about it. "So it happens over time?"

"Yes. I can already feel my strength in the Force ebbing away. I wouldn't be much good in a fight right now."

"But you were in one a few days ago," Veronica reminded her.

"And by the time it was over I was barely able to do more than lose my breakfast." Jodie sighed, "Honestly, Veronica, I'm not much of a bodyguard right now. But," she smiled, "I have something that will compensate."


"Lightsaber practice drills."



"Tell me, oh wise one," Jane put an arm on Daria's shoulder and leaned in close, "why does this take all three of us, again?"

"Because," Daria told her, "a lot of brilliant military minds are being held captive. And, since a large force would draw too much attention and endanger the prisoners, we and a small band will be breaking into the prison and freeing them."

"Oh." Jane frowned as she looked around them. Quinn was sitting on the far side of Daria, with their backs against a wall as they waited. The fourth chair had been occupied by Mack, but he had been called away a few minutes ago. The small waiting room was outside the larger meeting room where their past raids had been planned out.

"You'd think they'd at least tell us how much longer we're, like, going to be waiting," Quinn grumbled.

"I'd have to agree with the princess on that one," Jane agreed.

"I'm not a princess," Quinn griped.

"Sorry," Jane told her. "I'm just in a foul mood."

"Yeah," Quinn shrugged, "me, too."

"So you're both taking it out on me, is that it?"

"That's what you're for, Daria," Jane smirked as she spoke.

"Nice to know I have a purpose in life," came the dry rejoinder. She was about to go on, but Mack chose that moment to come out of the room.

"This sucks," he told them.

"Is this a general statement or are you referring to something in particular?" Daria asked.

"Particular," he replied. Mack sighed as he looked down at them and said, "It appears that Darth Clementine has figured out that one of the members of the last raid was pregnant."

"How's she do that?" Quinn asked.

"My guess," Daria said, "is that they found where Jodie threw up."

"Yeah, they did. Then, she went to a hospital and grilled a doctor about why Humans puke. She stopped him when he mentioned pregnancy."

"Wait a minute," Daria held up a hand. "We didn't destroy the security system, since all of our people were either already known or hidden. If they caught it on tape . . ."

"They know it was Jodie." Mack's eyes grew.

"The fact that you two are married is not a secret," Jane stated.

"Tyran's apprentice might know Jodie is pregnant." Quinn took a deep breath, then blew it out as she thought. "You know," she told them, "if it was me, I'd be looking for a chance to get Jodie alone somewhere."

"Like now," Mack reminded them.

"But, she's with Veronica," Jane pointed out.

"Who they want to get their hands on, anyway," Daria reminded her. "We gotta get home."


Veronica sighed as she stepped through the front door with Jodie right behind her. She paused long enough to make sure that the Jedi was sitting on the couch before heading toward the kitchen. She didn't see Jodie's eyes suddenly widen with alarm.

"Ronni, don't go in there!" Jodie turned and started to rise as the girl entered the kitchen.

"A little too late, I think." Veronica backed away from the source of the voice. Clement walked calmly out of the kitchen, flanked by two stormtroopers and two men in brown uniforms. "Hello, again, Veronica. Now, now, Jodie," she waved a hand languidly at the woman on the couch, "don't get up." Smiling, she held up her hands, "I've not drawn my weapon, have I?"

"What do you want?" Jodie asked.

"The girl, of course." Clement gestured, and the two uniformed men moved to block Veronica off from Jodie. "Restrain her," she ordered.

"Leave her alone," Jodie rose from the couch and reached for her lightsaber.

"Oh, by the way, Mrs. MacKenzie," Clement smiled, "congratulations on your pregnancy. Too bad it's already weakening you." The smile turned sinister as she went on, "I did a little research on Human reproduction, and found that pregnant women are very sensitive to smells. So," she pulled a small device from her belt, "I gathered together the ten top smells that upset the stomachs of pregnant women. Here, have a sniff." She tossed the device onto the carpet, where it began to emit a pale vapor.

"Uh," Jodie turned away as the scent reached her nose.

"Now, now, can't use those fabulous powers or you might hurt the baby." Clement watched as Jodie held a hand over her mouth. "You feel the need to, oh, what is that amusing phrase I read? Oh, yes, you need to 'blow chunks?'"

Jodie managed to make it to the wall before she fell to her knees and began to throw up.

"Ooh, that'll never come out of the rug." She looked over to see that Veronica had her hands bound behind her. "Now, you might think that I'm going to go over there and kill the woman who blew up my hyperdrive. Well, you're wrong."

"Your hyperdrive?" Jodie managed to say. She blinked a couple of times. "It was you in there. I recognize you, now. You were the one who told me that whole thing was going to explode."

"And it did, didn't it?" Clement snarled. "I worked for years to design and build that hyperdrive. It was my crowning achievement. And you blew it up! I should kill you for that. But, I have a much better idea." She walked over to Jodie, then knelt and snatched her lightsaber. "You see, I want you to live. More than that, I want your baby to live. So that every time you see them, you will see your failure to keep your friend's sister safe. Your own child will be a daily reminder that you failed your friends."

Jodie tried to speak, only to be overcome with nausea again. As she delivered her stomach's contents onto the carpet, Clement laughed and stood. She dropped the lightsaber as if it were dirty and turned away.

"Call the shuttle in, we're leaving."


They found Jodie lying on the couch when they charged into the house. Her eyes were wet where tears had been, with wet tracks from the corners telling where they had gone. Mack rushed forward and took her in his arms.

"Ronni?" Quinn asked, quietly.

Shaking her head, Jodie disengaged herself from her husband and stood. "She was waiting when we got back. I - I couldn't stop her. She knew I was pregnant, somehow, and used some really nasty scent to make me too sick to fight. Uh," she glanced over at a wet spot on the carpet, "I was finally able to clean it up."

"Ew," Quinn muttered.

"So," Daria's voice was flat, "they've got Veronica."

"We gotta get her back," Quinn said.

"Okay," Jane moved so that she could turn and face the sisters, "what do we do?"

"Tyran has been spending most of his time on his ship," Mack spoke up. "He'll have her taken there."

"Getting on a Star Destroyer is not going to be easy," Jane pointed out.

"I'm responsible for this," Jodie said.

"No," Daria cut her off with a wave of her hand. "It was no one's fault. She got the drop on us. But now," her eyes narrowed, "it's our turn. As long as we had to protect Veronica from capture, we were limited in what we could do. Now it's time to show the Sith what happens when you mess with the Morgendorffers."

"Hey, I'm in, too," Jane corrected. "I mean, she's a cool kid, and I like her."

"Yeah," Mack told them, "she is cool."

"What's the plan?" Jodie asked.

"You two," Daria pointed at the couple, "are going to the fleet as soon as I figure out how the three of us can get on that damn ship." She clenched and unclenched her fists, "It's time to end this thing."


Veronica looked up as the door to her cell opened. Seeing it was Clement, she looked away.

Tossing the bundle she was carrying onto the bed, the Sith said, "You need to get dressed. Your new master is waiting."

"He's not my master," Veronica replied.

"He is, now."


"Get dressed," Clement ordered. "Get dressed or I'll have some troopers come in her and undress you. Now, do you really want a bunch of men who've not seen a naked woman in months to be in here with you alone?"

For a few seconds, Veronica was terrified. Then, she scowled, "You won't do that. Your precious master won't let me get hurt."

Clement smirked, "Very good, little girl. You're smarter than your sister. I won't be letting some troopers in to take care of you. But," she reached behind her and tapped the door, "I do have some people who are just perfect for the job."

The door slid open, allowing two very large women to squeeze, one at a time, into the small room. "Vash and Reeno do not have a problem with dealing with disobedient children. In fact, I think they enjoy it."

Veronica glared at the three before she reluctantly looked at the garment the Sith had tossed onto the bed. "Is that it?" she asked.

"What's wrong with it?" Clement asked, looking. It was a sleeveless tan tunic, with a belt around the waist. Below the belt, the tunic became a skirt that was barely long enough to be a mini skirt.

"I can't wear that, I'd be," she cringed, "ugh. Can't I have something longer?"

"Ah," Clement nodded, "it's too revealing. Given the outfit your sister wore as our Master's apprentice, your modesty is a bit of a surprise." After a moment's thought, she said, "I tell you what, you agree to wear it, and I'll get you something to wear under it. How does that sound?" When she saw that the girl was reluctant, she added, "I think I even have some boots you'll like."

"Well," Veronica scowled, "okay. But only if whatever this is fits."

"Deal." Looking at the large women, Clement said, "I don't think your services will be needed, ladies." After the two had left, she looked at Veronica and said, "I'll be back in a few minutes."

"I guess I'll be here," Veronica grumbled.

"Good." Clement walked out the door and past the guards. She waited until she was around the corner before she let the smile show. "One compromise," she muttered. "Once you give in the first time, you start down the slope toward the Dark Side. Only, you aren't going to be Tyran's apprentice, girl," she smiled, "You will be mine."


Jodie came into the hospital room and stopped. She could see Daria and Quinn standing on different sides of their mother's bed, each holding a hand. From the looks on their faces, the news wasn't good.

Quinn was the first to notice her. "What'd they tell you?" Quinn asked in a subdued voice.

"We're fine," Jodie told them. "I'm a little dehydrated from all the nausea, but otherwise okay."

"That's good," the redhead told her.

"You two look like you've been given some bad news."

Daria looked up from her mother's face. "The doctors don't think she's going to wake up."

"What do you think?"

Quinn swallowed hard once, then spoke, "I've been coming here every day, Jodie. But even with my giving her some of my strength, she's not getting better."

"And with us not knowing when we'll be back," Daria paused, "it's likely she won't be here when we return."

After looking from one of the daughters to the other, Jodie nodded and retreated from the room.

Daria looked from the doorway to her sister to her mother. "Mom," she said in a rough but steady voice, "we're gonna get Ronni back."

"We promise," Quinn agreed. "We wont' let what happened to me happen to her."

"You just hold on until we can bring her back, okay?" Daria bent over and hugged her. After a few seconds, she pulled back. Quinn replaced her a moment later. Then, the two turned and left the room.

They went down the hall to where Jodie was sitting in a chair by the nurse's station. As she stood, she said, "Jane says that she has an idea about how to get on the ship. She's going to meet us at your house." When both women only nodded, she fell into step with them as they headed down the hallway.

They were silent until they boarded the elevator. Alone, Jodie turned to the others and said, "Look, I know this is my fault. If I had taken my job more seriously, this wouldn't have happened."

"Stop it," Quinn told her. "This isn't your fault. They would have found a way to do this. I know how they think, Jodie. They're like, tinnitus or something."

"A ringing in the ears?" Jodie asked.

"Huh? Oh, I mean tenacious."

"Oh. But --"

"No, Jodie," Daria said, "this isn't your fault. Remember, it was my idea for you to be sitting Veronica in the first place. If this is anyone's fault, it's mine."

"Daria . . ." Quinn's next words were cut off as the door opened, allowing the trio to leave. With a glance, they again became silent until they were outside.

"Don't worry," Daria told her when they had left the hospital behind, "I'm not going to wallow in self pity or anything. I'm just saying that if one person on our side is to blame, it's me. But," she scowled, "the person we really need to blame is Tyran. All this boils down to him."

"And we need to bring him down," Quinn added.

"Well," Jodie scowled, "I just hope Jane has some ideas that will work."

"She will," Daria said before sighing. "Jane has always come up with ideas that work. They just," she shrugged, "don't always work the way she plans for them to."


Clement smiled when she heard a rapping on the door to the cell. She nodded, and the guards opened the door, allowing the girl to step into the corridor.

"Not too bad," Clement told Veronica.

"I guess." Veronica had on the tan tunic, but now had a black outfit under it that had long sleeves as well as legs and a mandarin collar. A pair of black boots that reached almost to her knees were on her feet, and a black headband replaced the blue one she had been wearing. Veronica had to admit that the outfit was comfortable, even if the reasons for it were upsetting.

"Now, we shall meet our Master," Clement turned and walked down the corridor, leaving Veronica and her guards to follow.


Arriving at the house, the threesome found that Jane was waiting for them. "I don't mean to be rude," she told them, "but we're running short on time."

"You've found a way aboard?" Jodie asked, amazed.

"Yes. But, it's not comfortable and it's a one-shot deal." Turning to the sisters, she said, "Look, we're really short on time. We're leaving here in five minutes."

"I'm ready now," Quinn said.

Daria thought for a second, "There's something I want to do before we go." Turning, she raced up the stairs. She returned less than a minute later with a bundle under her arm.

"Well," Jane waved a hand toward the door, "let's go."

"Wait." Jodie took Daria's arm and pulled her aside.

"Jodie, we don't have time for this," Jane called to her.

"Look, Daria," Jodie made sure her friend was looking her in the eye, "I want you to take this." She pressed her lightsaber into Daria's hand. "I want you to give it to your Padawan."

"She's not my --"

"She is in all but name. Take her under your wing, Daria. You did a good job with Quinn, you'll do a damn good job with Veronica. Take it." Turning Daria around, she gave her a small push to get her moving.

"I told Mack what's going on," Jane called over her shoulder as she headed after the siblings. "Just keep your butt down and your baby safe."

"And check on Mom for us if we don't come back," Quinn added.

"I will," Jodie promised. Then, she was alone. Looking down, she put a hand on her stomach, "Just you and me, kid. Just you and me. Hmm, I wonder if they have any peanut butter and carrot sticks," she wondered as she headed for the kitchen.


"You see," Jane whispered as they stood behind a truck, "they sent a group of troopers to secure the airport when Clementine and company came in to get your sister."

"So?" Quinn asked.

"So," Daria said, "they look like they're getting ready to leave."

"They are," Jane told her. She pointed, "There are two transports over there that will be heading back to the Star Destroyer in a little while. We just need to be on one of them."

"Like, what do we do, walk in backward so they think we're leaving?" Quinn scowled. "They have guards on those things, and they do a head check."

"I know. Look," she faced Quinn, "I have an idea that will work. But only if you don't talk. Our voices are female and won't sound right."

The sisters looked at each other, then looked back at Jane before nodding. "Okay," Quinn told her, "what's the plan?"

"We're going to take advantage of our girlish figures."

Daria and Quinn spoke in unison, "Excuse me?"


Tyran turned his seat so that he had a view of the door leading into his throne room. The dim lighting caused the glow from the planet to stand out. When the doors opened, he smiled and watched as Clement let the Morgendorffer girl into the room.

"Welcome, my new apprentice," he said with a smile.

"I'm not your apprentice," Veronica told him with a glare.

"You are what I say you are," Tyran stated as his smile faded. "Never think otherwise. Remember that your sister once tried to defy me."

"Looks to me like she did a pretty good job," the girl replied. Glancing at Clement, she added, "Cause this sure don't look like my sister."

"Watch your tongue," Clement advised.

"Now, now, Clement," he waved a hand, "we must allow her the false bravado. After all, she is very afraid. Yes, that's right, child," his smile returned, "I can feel your fear."

"I'm not afraid of you," Veronica lied.

"Don't be ridiculous," Tyran told her. "I can sense your fear as clearly as if you were holding up a sign. I can also sense your hatred of me. You can use that, you know. Wrap your hate around you like a warm blanket. It can make you powerful."

"It can make me like you," Veronica stated. "And I don't want to be anything like you."

Clement chuckled, "Silly girl. He's the master of your planet."

"That's like a 400 pound gorilla being the master of a playground full of school kids," Veronica snapped at her. "You come in here with technology you didn't invent and expect us to be impressed. You're nothing but a bunch of bullies."

"Ooh," Tyran grinned at Clement, "she's got a temper."

"Should we surrender to her now?" Clement asked with a grin of her own.

"Very funny," the girl grumbled.

Turning serious, Tyran motioned toward the planet outside the widow. "Look at your precious Earth, child. It and all on it are mine to command. I have an unobstructed view of all of it, and the firepower to level it if I so choose."

"Ooh, you're really a big man, now," Veronica said. "And my name is Veronica, not 'child,' 'kid,' 'girl' or any of the other nicknames you're wanting to use."

"Veronica is the name from your previous life," Tyran said, rising from his seat. "You will have a new one when I believe you are ready."

"I like the one I have." She glared at him until he was near, then stepped back. "Keep away from me."

"You are my property!" he lunged forward and grasped her by the jaw. As she grunted from the pain, he leaned in close and whispered, "I will do with you as I please. If I wish to experiment on you, you will be experimented upon. If I say you are to pleasure the crew of this ship, you will do so. And," he shoved her away, "if I tell you that you will be my apprentice, you will be my apprentice. Do you understand me?"

Holding her jaw tenderly, Veronica just glared at him.

"Clement," he growled, "teach this insolent whelp some . . ." his voice drifted off as he suddenly looked away. "How did . . ." Returning to his throne, Tyran pressed the intercom button.

"Captain," he snapped, "who just boarded the ship?"

There was less than a second's pause before, "Just the last shuttle from the operation in Lawndale, my Lord."

"Do a personal check, Captain. I believe my old apprentice is among them. Find her and kill her." Turning off the intercom, he looked up to see Veronica smiling at him. "Do not be so proud of your sister, child. She has come a long way to die."

"No," Veronica corrected, "she has come a long way to rescue me."

"Master," Clement spoke up, "she probably did not come alone."

"An excellent point, my friend." Tyran hit the intercom again, "Captain, put the ship on alert. There are at least two intruders aboard the ship."

"Yes, sir."

"And find out how they got aboard. I want the ones responsible punished."


The stormtroopers came down the ramp in formation and lined up against the wall three deep. In the back, one shifted slightly in discomfort, only to be nudged by the one next to them. On their right, the shortest stormtrooper on the deck looked around, then took the one who had done the nudging earlier by the arm. A few seconds later, the three black-and-white figures slipped to an opening on the deck. Without a word, they each dropped through the hole to the deck below.

Twenty feet down, the maintenance level was empty of life until the troopers landed, unharmed. For a few seconds, they kept their heads turned upward, then they relaxed.

"God, how can they see anything in this?" The tallest asked.

"And, like, what's with the color scheme, anyway?" the second chimed in.

The third shook their head, then, setting their blaster on a container, reached up and removed their helmet. "At least you two don't feel like you're on the rack," Daria complained. Her head was barely high enough in the suit to keep the helmet on.

Jane was smirking as she removed her own helmet. "But it worked."

"Yeah," Quinn grumbled. "But we're, like, outnumbered and stuff."

Daria set a glove onto the same container as the blaster, then started on the arm. "I just want out of this thing. Then we can find Ronni and finish this mess."

Reaching into the inside of the armor on her left leg, Daria pulled her lightsaber free. "Oh, that was not fun," she complained before she repeated the move on the other leg to free Jodie's weapon.

"No kidding," Jane agreed as she removed her own lightsaber.

"I guess I got lucky," Quinn commented as she reached under her breastplate and pulled her long black lightsaber from beneath.

"I see you're going back to the two-bladed saber," Jane commented.

"Tyran sometimes uses one," Quinn told her. "I want to be ready if he does."

The trio peeled themselves out of the white armor, then stored it in an empty container. Jane and Daria were wearing their Jedi outfits, while Quinn was in a long-sleeved pink top with a smiley face on the front. She had on blue slacks that covered her boots.

"Nice boots," Jane commented.

Quinn glanced at them, then looked back at Jane, "Thanks." She frowned, "I'm hoping to use them on certain parts of Tyran's anatomy."

"Speaking of which," Daria said as she adjusted her obi, "are we all clear on what our jobs are?"

"No," Jane told her. "I was busy trying to find a helmet that fit when you went over it the last time."

Daria rolled her eyes. "Our first job is to find Veronica. Then, we have to get to the bridge and shut off the deflector shields."

"Leaving the ship a sitting duck," Quinn added.


"And then we run for our lives," Jane concluded. "Got it."

"We just need to find Ronni, first," Quinn said.

"You know," Jane mused, "I wonder if she'll be with one of our Sith buddies?"

"If she is, leave Tyran to me."

"Quinn --"

"I know what you're going to say, Daria," Quinn cut her off. "But this isn't about what he did to me. It's about what he'll do if he isn't stopped. He'll hurt Ronni. And he does use a double-bladed lightsaber sometimes."

"You were using one when we fought the first time," Daria reminded her.

"Yeah, but I was overconfident." She smirked, "You know, it's a trait among the Sith. But I know Tyran better than you two do. He's my responsibility." She shrugged, "It's something I have to do."

"I'm cool with that," Jane told her. "I took him down last time, so it's someone else's turn. Besides," she looked at Daria, "you have a sister to look after."

"Jane," Daria told her, "let's worry about that later."

"Sure," Jane replied. "It's just that I know what that is for," she pointed at Jodie's lightsaber. "You have a responsibility to your mother, Daria. Leave anything else to us."

Daria looked at her for a moment, then turned to her sister. When Quinn smirked and nodded, Daria scowled. "Okay," she agreed, finally, "but only if you two promise to not get yourselves killed."

"Promise," Quinn replied quickly.

"There go my plans for the day," Jane smirked.

"Oh, crap," Quinn said as her eyes grew wide.

"Problem?" Jane asked her.

"He's sensed me," she told them. "He knows I'm here."

"Funny how he can do that," Jane scowled.

"He spent a lot of time with her original training," Daria reminded her. "Master Yenchi could pick me out of a crowd with ease."

"So could my Master, now that you mention it." She shrugged, "Well, so much for the element of surprise."

"It was fun while it lasted," Daria grumbled.

"Like, I guess we should still be sneaky, right?"

"Yeah," Jane shrugged, "let's try that."

"With you it would be a change of pace," Daria smirked at her friend.


Veronica relaxed as she leaned against the wall next to the viewport. She let herself go as she watched the Earth spin beneath her. Behind her, the Sith were becoming impatient. Be calm, she thought to herself, they're coming to get you. I just hope they don't get hurt because of me.

"Your thoughts betray you, girl." Veronica jumped as Clement's voice came from behind her. "You have learned quite a lot, but you are a long way from completing your training."

"Well, you won't be doing it," Veronica replied, sounding calm.

Clement laughed, "Don't be so certain. Master Tyran is very good with a lightsaber, but I'm better. Your sister doesn't stand a chance."

Turning slowly, Veronica smiled at her. "Death comes for you. You and your master will pay for your crimes today." Shaking her head, she added, "There will be no escape."

She never saw the blow coming. The backhand sent her bouncing off of the viewport and to the other side of the throne. "You arrogant little girl," Clement hissed. "You are so much like your sister. So full of yourself and your petty attitudes. I've had all I want of this familial ego." Reaching down, she lifted Veronica by her tunic and held her face close to her own. "I'm going to enjoy killing them. Then I am going to turn you to the Dark Side myself. In time," her smile was not pleasant, "you will even thank me for doing so."

Shaking with fear, Veronica clawed at Clement's hand, trying to free herself. It wasn't until the door to the room opened, however, that she was released. As she landed, she saw that Tyran had watched the entire exchange.

The Sith, however, had turned to face the newcomers. Three figures approached them in the shadow of the room. As they reached the light, they stopped.

"We've come for Veronica," Daria stated. "Let her go and we'll leave in peace."

"I do not believe so," Tyran stood. Gesturing to where Veronica was getting to her feet, he said, "As you can see, she has settled in here quite nicely."

"You okay?" Quinn asked her.

"I am, now," Veronica replied.

"What happened to your face?" Jane asked.

"He grabbed me," Veronica glanced at the Sith Lord as she spoke.

"I hated it when he did that," Quinn commented.

"Enough of the chit-chat," Clement growled.

"Calm yourself, my apprentice," Tyran waved a hand at her.

"I will not be calm," she snapped at him. She took her lightsaber from her belt, but did not ignite it.

"I take it you're not going to let her go." Daria scowled, "We will take her."

"Oh, and who's going to do it?" Tyran asked. "All I see is someone who failed to defeat me once before," he smirked at Jane, "a girl who couldn't resist me," he turned his smirk on Quinn, "and someone who couldn't hack it as a Jedi." As he matched gazes with Daria, he added, "There's not a challenge in the group."

As they locked eyes, Daria gave him the slightest of smiles. "You sorely underestimate my family, Darth Tyran. While I would love to take you down myself, Quinn already has dibs on turning you into a jigsaw puzzle." Turning to her youngest sibling, she said, "Ronni, come here."

When Clement tried to move to get between the girl and the Jedi, three hands came up, forcing her into the viewport. As Jane held her in place, Veronica ran to Daria.

Bending slightly, Daria looked her in the eye and asked, "Are you sure you're okay?"

"I'll be fine, Daria." She hugged her and said, "Thanks for coming for me." Releasing Daria, she embraced Quinn, "And you, too."

"Hey," Quinn smiled down at her, "it's least I could do for the family smidget."

Jane lowered her hand and looked over at the girl as Clement slid to the floor, "Save mine for later, okay?"

"I will."

"Ronni," Daria put her hands on the girl's shoulder, forcing Veronica to look at her, "do you want to learn the ways of the Force? Do you want to be a Jedi?"

"Yeah, of course."

"Do you want me to teach you?"

Nodding, the girl said, "Yeah."

Daria took a deep breath before she smiled. Then, turning Veronica the other way, she put her hands on Veronica's shoulders again. "Jane, Quinn, you two can witness this. I take this girl to be my Padawan Learner."

"Oh," Clement taunted, "how sweet. Now what is it you Earthers do? Oh, yes, you stand around a fire and sing some silly song called 'Come Buy Yawns.'"

"That's Kumbya," Jane replied. "And no, they don't. Now they go and leave the two of you to us." The sound of her lightsaber igniting followed her words. "Unless you've changed your mind about just letting us leave."

"Not a chance, Jedi."

"Good. Now I can get even for you making me remember that stupid song."

Tyran looked at his former apprentice, "Surely you can't be thinking of trying to defeat me? You could never match my skill or power."

"I have come far since then, Sith," Quinn replied as she took her lightsaber in hand. "You have much to pay for, and the time to pay it is now."

"Come on," Daria hissed into her Padawan's ear, "we have our own mission to finish." As Veronica followed Daria out of the room, she looked back one last time to see Clement and Tyran raising their weapons as they prepared to fight. Then, the door closed, leaving the Sith and the Jedi alone in the room.


Quinn was reaching for the activation switch on the lightsaber when a body slammed into her. Clement's voice was screaming as the two fell to the floor and began to roll, causing Quinn's lightsaber to go rolling away as they wrestled.

"Well," Jane said to Tyran, "that was unexpected."

"Quite." He frowned at her, "Well, I guess that leaves you and me, Jedi."

"And soon, it will be just me." Jane smirked as she raised her saber.


"Daria," Veronica tried again to get her sister's attention as they walked quickly down the corridor. "Daria, wait -- eep!" The girl gasped as Daria grabbed her shoulder and pulled her into a small room.

"Hush," Daria told her as she glanced at the door. They heard armored boots march past, then it was quiet again. Kneeling in front of Veronica, Daria leaned in close and whispered, "We have a mission. We are going to the bridge of this ship and shut down the shields. There will be a squadron of X-Wings waiting to torpedo this thing into oblivion. Now," she took Jodie's lightsaber from her belt, "Jodie loaned this to me so I could give it to my Padawan. So," she held it out, "I guess you get it."

"Uh," Veronica took the weapon, "should I call you 'Master,' now?"

"Actually," Daria smirked, "I've always hated the idea of being called that. And 'mistress' sounds even worse. So just call me 'Daria,' okay?"

"You got it." Veronica put the lightsaber on her belt. "I have a question," she said, "how are we going to find the bridge?"

Gesturing with her thumb, Daria said, "we go up."


The door from the throne room opened as Quinn was thrown through it. Spinning, she managed to catch herself on the far wall, turning just in time to duck as Clement kicked at her head. Quinn shoved her, using the Force to send her flying down the corridor.

Rolling to her feet, Clement reached out and pulled Quinn to her. With a squeal, the redhead managed to dodge a punch, then a kick.

"You have no concept of how to defend yourself without a weapon," Clement observed as she kicked Quinn in the stomach.

"Like, I'm not a bawler," came the reply.

"Sounds like it to me." Clement grabbed Quinn's hair and used it to slam her into the wall. Quinn drove an elbow back into Clement's ribs, causing her to let go and step back. Turning, the redhead swung a fist toward the blond's face, only to have it blocked.

"Like, why me?"

"Why you?" Clement stepped back and laughed. "You have been a thorn in my side since the day you arrived. You took the only thing that mattered to me. You took my place and you took my fa, uh," her face fell for a second, "my master's respect."

"Wait a minute." Quinn's eyes grew as she realized what Clement had almost said. "He's your father. Tyran is your father!"

"Yes, damn you!" Clement's teeth gritted tightly. "You took my father away from me. His work kept him from me for years. Then, he opened that portal, bringing you across. After that he wouldn't even contact me anymore. As soon as I heard of you I swore I'd kill you someday. I worked my fingers to the bone so I could find a way to make him proud. And I did, or came close."

"Danathrees," Quinn nodded at her. "I remember, now. You designed that massive hyperdrive. You called it your 'baby.'"

"And your Jedi friend destroyed it." Flexing her hands, Clement said, "I was going to let her live, but after this, I'm going to destroy her entire family. One at a time. Only," her smile was not pleasant, "they're going to have to wait until I finish with yours."

"Keep your hands off of my family!" Quinn dove at Clement, only to have a forearm crash into her face. Somehow, she managed to avoid most of the kick and punches the Sith threw at her, but she still had a busted lip and a cut on her hand when it was over. Clement, however, was relatively undamaged. She had a small bruise forming on her cheek, but had not been hurt, otherwise.

"Nothing without your lightsaber, are you?" The blond moved in quick, driving a knee into Quinn's midriff. As the air gushed out of her lungs, an elbow slammed into the back of her head. As she collapsed to the deck, she heard Clement said, "Not that you were much with one." Then, everything went black.


"Didn't we already do this?" Jane asked as she stepped back from Tyran.

"Yes, but I didn't really care for the ending," he replied. He spun the double-bladed saber before saying, "I should have used this the first time." He charged her while swinging one end of his saber toward her head. Jane blocked the strike, then sidestepped his charge and cut toward his legs.

Tyran jumped over the swing, flipped in midair, then landed facing Jane as he swung again. Jane fell back as the larger figure pressed the issue. Once or twice she would push him back, but otherwise she fell back as he kept attacking. The blades hummed as they became blurs of color in their hands.

Seeing that a balcony was overlooking the throne, Jane leaped up to it. It was only a few meters wide, with a few chairs and electronic broadcasting equipment. Glancing over the side, she could see that the focus of the equipment was the throne. "Hm, so this is a sound stage," she mused as she noted the abandoned lightsaber lying on the ground. As Tyran landed behind her, she spun and brought up her saber in time to stop his attack, then kicked him through the door at the end of the balcony.

Jane dove into the room, avoiding the waist-high strike from the Sith Lord. This room had much more light, with the sterile walls of the rest of the ship. Otherwise it was bare. The fight continued as they circled around the room, their blades clashing in an uneven symphony of destructive intent.

As she blocked a cut toward her waist, she drove the hilt of her lightsaber into Tyran's face. With a gasp, he staggered backward, but recovered enough to block her next attack. Twice he brought his blades against her before he spun and cut upward with his lightsaber. Jane tried to fall back, but was too slow to prevent her own weapon from being cut in half.

"What the hell?" Jane looked at the dead lightsaber. "That's never happened to me before."

"As they say on your little planet, there's a first time for everything. Now," Tyran raised a hand, "I believe I was about to kill you."


"You shouldn't see this," Daria told Veronica as she pulled her lightsaber from her bet.

"See what?" Veronica said as her sister suddenly darted down the empty corridor. A group of five stormtroopers rounded the corner, their weapons lowered. Before they could fire off more than a couple of random shots, Daria had ended the fight. A second group appeared even farther down the hall, this time with their weapons up.

As Daria raised her saber again, Veronica heard a sound behind her. As she turned, she brought up the borrowed lightsaber. Three troopers were raising their weapons toward her. The first one to fire missed her, but the second was on target. Veronica let herself relax as the blade seemed to move on its own to block the shot. The third shot was also blocked, but this one sent back to the trooper who had fired it instead of into the floor. I can't keep this up forever, she realized. As the remaining two fired again, the girl dove to the floor and rolled back to her feet. Lashing out with the blade, she killed both in one strike.

"Oh, god," she whispered as she watched them fall.

"Ronni!" As she turned, she saw Daria had finished the second group and was heading toward her. "Are you okay?" she asked.

"I - I'm fine," the girl said as she shut down the lightsaber.

Daria stopped a couple of steps away as she looked at the troopers. Seeing that Veronica's face had gone slightly pale, she sighed and said, "It's not a good part, but killing is sometimes a necessary part of the job, Ronni. I'm sorry you had to do that, but it really does come down to you or them sometimes. And, you know," the barest of smiles tugged at a corner of her lip, "I'd rather it was you."

"Yeah, in that case, I guess the choice is pretty easy. The girl shrugged, "Like you said, Daria, "it's part of the job. I just . . ." Veronica shook her head as she put the lightsaber back on her belt.

"You up to finishing this?" Daria asked her sister. "I need to know if you've got my back."

As Daria watched, Veronica looked at the bodies in the corridor. She took a deep breath, the looked up at her sister with a determined look in her eyes. "I've got your back Daria. Let's go."

"That's all I needed to hear," Daria said with a nod. Turning she headed down the corridor with her sister beside her.


The Force-lightning arced across Jane's body, leaving her screaming in pain. After a few seconds, Tyran stopped long enough to taunt her with, "You know, Frost held out for almost a minute before passing out the first time. I wonder how long it will take you. Of course," he smirked, "when you pass out, you won't be waking up again."

Jane fell to the floor as the lightning resumed. Forcing her eyes open, she saw that Tyran had placed his lightsaber back upon his belt. With a gasp, she reached out a hand toward it.

Seeing the motion, the Sith paused long enough to place a hand on his weapon just as the blade ignited. Pulling it away from his leg, Tyran barely managed to avoid having his leg severed by the lightsaber. With a growl, he turned back toward Jane as she scrambled to her feet.

"You have bought yourself nothing," he growled.

"No," Jane replied as she rubbed her hands together, "I've made myself ready."

"Jane, you will still die by my hand."

"Ooh," she smirked at him, "you're gonna spank me to death? Kinky." When he paused for a moment to try to figure out the meaning of her statement, the Jedi dove across the room toward the door.


"You just can't stay awake, can you?" The voice brought Quinn out of the darkness and back into consciousness. As she groaned, Quinn lay still. Opening her eyes, she saw Clement standing over her.

Clement smiled as she spoke, "I remembered to bring the inhibitor bands, so you won't be able to move."

"Peachy," Quinn grumbled. Turning her head, she looked around then asked, "Uh, like, where are we?"

"My room," Clement said casually. "My own little corner of the kingdom."

"I see you decorated in early geek." Almost every available space had either a device of some kind on it or parts of one. A few held things Quinn recognized, including what looked like part of a lightsaber on a stand. It took her a few seconds to figure out what it was.

"That's my lightsaber. The one I had before --"

"Before your sister showed you just how useless you really are," Clement cut her off. "Seeing you two makes me very glad that I'm an only child." Walking over to a display mounted on the wall, Clement removed a metallic object. "You know," she held up the sword so that Quinn could see it, "I like metal weapons like this. It has an artistry that lightsabers just can't match." She looked at the display, which held an identical weapon and said, "I had these made so I could have something a little different for special occasions." Smiling, she moved to stand over Quinn again. "And I consider this occasion to be very special."


"You know," Veronica said as she watched a trooper fall from a deflected blaster bolt, "I think I'm getting the hang of this." The two were in a small cargo area that went up five decks. Both entrances were open, with stormtroopers filling the doorways and shooting at the two, who were caught in the center of the room.

"Well, you're getting enough experience," Daria replied as she used the Force to pull a trooper off of his feet and slam him into the wall.

As she brought the blade around to send another shot away, the redhead commented, "I'm still getting used to people shooting at me."

Scowling a little, Daria replied, "Happens to me all the time." Risking a glance upward, she said, "Ronni, I think it's time for your first official lesson as a Padawan."

"Is it how to make myself invisible?"

"No," came the reply, "it's how to jump straight up a long way."

"Sounds," both siblings moved as a shot was allowed to pass harmlessly by, "cool. How do I do it?"

"You know that meditation where you use the Force to relax your muscles?" Daria deflected two shots at once, killing the troopers who had fired.

"Yeah." Veronica blocked one, then another, with the bolts hitting the walls around them.

"Instead of using it to relax, you supercharge your muscles with the Force."

"Uh, how do I do that?"

Daria glance up again before answering. "When you meditate, you send the Force into your muscles until they reach equilibrium. Well, for this you keep focusing the Force into the muscles until you feel that they have all they can hold. Then, you expend that energy when you jump."

"How can I do that and not get shot?" Veronica asked her.

"On the count of three, hand me your lightsaber, then stand at my back. There's a doorway with a small alcove on the next deck up, see it?"

"I see it."

"Aim for that. And Ronni," Daria added, "if you fail, don't fall on me, okay? It would be bad."

"I won't," Veronica promised.



"One, two," Daria held her hand out behind her, "three!"


A bolt of lightning shot past Jane as she rolled through the door and onto the balcony. Coming to her feet, Jane leaped to the floor below. As she did, she reached out her hand and called Quinn's discarded lightsaber to her. The twin blades extended as Jane turned to look at the Sith Lord who was just landing next to her.

"Another weapon will not help you, Jedi," Tyran spit the last word out like a curse.

"You keep making threats, but you can't carry them out," Jane told him. "Does this have something to do with your mother? Let me guess," she said with a smirk, "your real name is 'Norman Bates,' right?"

"Who?" he asked.

"Now, Norman," Jane said as she shook her head, "if you're gonna take over a planet, you should at least understand some of the cultural references. Norman Bates was a character from the movie Psycho."

"The only cultural references that are of any importance are the ones I create. And there is no room for Jedi among them." Raising a hand, Tyran again fired Force-lightning at Jane.

Blocking the burst with the lightsaber, she scowled, "You really don't have any better ideas than this? Come on, get your head in the game, Norman."

"I am Emperor Tyran," he growled, "ruler of your pathetic little planet." He tried again, unsuccessfully, to reach Jane with the lightning. Then, with a growl, he brought up his lightsaber. "It looks like we will have to settle this the old fashioned way. You will find that it is not easy to master the double-bladed saber."

"Oh, I don't know," Jane twirled the weapon, then spun it around her waist followed by her head, "it looks pretty easy to me." She smirked as she fell into a ready position. "I've studied with every type of saber weapon I could find, Norman. The only person who can beat me in saber combat is Daria. And that's only on her best days." Nodding her head toward the balcony, she added, "Don't let one fluke fool you. It is time to end your reign, Norman."

"My name isn't NORMAN!" Tyran charged Jane, only to have her leap over his head. As she landed he turned and attacked, the clash of their saber blades making a rapid staccato sound as they fought.


Clement raised the sword, preparing to drive it down into Quinn's heart. "So, this is it?" Quinn asked. "All your talk about revenge, and, like, all you can do is just stab me in the heart?"

Pausing, the Sith looked down at her and asked, "What are you talking about?"

"This is so equestrian," Quinn told her. "You should have thought up something more creative than this." Rolling her eyes, she continued, "It's no wonder your father keeps bringing up Frost's name. I mean, even your outfit is lame."

"My outfit is not lame!"

"Yes, it is. Like, look at that skirt." Quinn shook her head. "It just screams 'I'm a little girl!' You should at least make it different. Hmm," she thought, "I know, you should use that fishnet stuff I wore over it. You know, give it a different pattern than the rest of it."

"You think so?" Clement looked down at her skirt. "I thought it might make me look a little cheap."

"Oh, no!" Quinn shook her head. "Cheap is only for women who don't look dangerous. How do you think I got away with it? People were too scared of me to think I was cheap."

"Hmm, good point. Now, wait a minute," Clement glared down at her, "why are you helping me with my outfit? I'm about to kill you."

"As a former member of the Lawndale High Fashion Club, it's my responsibility to help those who are fashionably challenged." Quinn smirked as she continued, "Besides, you're not going to kill me."

"And why not?"

"Because I can do this." Bringing up her hands, Quinn Force-shoved Clement across the room, knocking over a few tables and pedestals. As the Sith scrambled to her feet, Quinn rose and plucked off the inhibitor bands. "You know, one thing I do remember about being a Sith is that we always like to talk about how great we are. Well," she reached out, causing her old lightsaber to ignite and fly to her hand, "you're not."

Clement tossed the sword away as she plucked her lightsaber from her belt. "You lost the last time you held that weapon, Frost. And now," igniting her saber, she raised it into a salute, "you will lose again. I don't care why the inhibitor bands didn't work. This will be more fun, anyway."

"If this is fun, then Daria's been right about it for all these years." Quinn raised and activated the weapon. "But I don't think having to kill you is going to be fun. Even though it will be rather satisfying."

"Oh, shut up!" Clement charged across the room, swinging her lightsaber.


Veronica held onto the edge of the alcove by her fingertips. Below, Daria spun at a dizzying speed as she blocked blaster fire from two directions from a seemingly endless supply of stormtroopers.

"Hold on!" Daria called up to her. Then, she leaped up, landing in the alcove next to her sister. Bending over, she pulled Veronica up, then flattened the two of them into the alcove.

"Thanks," Veronica said breathlessly. "I'm sorry I didn't make it the first time."

"You did great," Daria told her as blaster fire erupted around them. "I'm just sorry I didn't teach you any of this beforehand." Holding out Jodie's lightsaber, she said, "Here, take this. I need you to cut a hole in this door so we can get out of the rain." Raising her own weapon, she added, "I'll keep them from getting in a lucky shot."

"This I can do," the girl said, turning to the door.

"It doesn't have to be very big," Daria reminded her as she blocked two blaster bolts. "Just large enough for us to get through."

"Not too big, got it."

Daria blocked a few shots, then looked down. "Hmm, there's a few still there, but I think the rest are trying to intercept us up here." She glanced over at her sister and added, "You should probably hurry."

"Almost got it," Veronica told her. "There!" Putting her shoulder to the circle of metal she had cut, she fell forward as it fell to the floor beyond, dropping her lightsaber in the process.

The weapon bounced off of the ledge and would have fallen to the stormtroopers below, but Daria called it to her hand before it could. A second later she dove through the hole as well. Rolling to her feet, she held out the weapon and said, "You dropped this."

"Right," Veronica took the lightsaber, putting it onto her belt, "sorry."

"That's why you start off as a Padawan," Daria pointed out, "so you can learn stuff like this."

"Yeah, I guess."

"Ronni, you're in a spot no one your age, much less experience, should be in. And you're handling it like an adult." Daria bit her lip, then added, "I'm proud of you."

"Yeah, right," Veronica sounded despondent.

"Veronica," Daria asked, "have I ever said anything to you that wasn't true?"


"So, if I say you're doing good, what does that mean?"

The redhead thought for a moment. Then, the slightest of smiles appeared. "It means I'm doing good."

"Right." Daria turned down the corridor, "Now, as Jane would say, let's beat feet before those stormtroopers get here."

"Makes sense to me," Veronica replied.

As they headed away from the door, Daria looked at her sister and scowled. "That made sense to you without an explanation?" She sighed as she shook her head, "You've spent too much time around Jane."


As he had when the two had fought on Danathrees, Tyran used his superior size to continually force Jane to give ground. This time, however, Jane only circled the room instead of allowing herself to be harassed from room to room.

"You are well trained," Tyran commented as Jane rolled to her feet away from him. "But you are not as strong with the Force as am I."

"That's 'as I am,' you twit." Jane brought her weapon up, then added, "Get the language right. You sound as screwed up as Master Yenchi."

"Do not compare me to some pathetic Jedi!" he yelled at her.

"You're right," Jane nodded, "it's an insult to the Jedi." She smirked, "But, then, comparing you to a slug would be an insult to the slug. You're just that slimy."

With a roar of rage, the Sith Lord charged her while swinging. Jane leaped up and drove the heel of her boot into his face. Coming down onto one hand, she flipped back onto her feet. "You know," she said, calm, "I love doing that. It makes me look acrobatic."

"Grr," was the only reply before Jane was once again under attack.


"Hold still!" Clement barked as she hurled another piece of furniture at the redhead.

"And let you hit me with it?" Quinn asked. "Like, I'm not stupid."

"That," Clement growled, "is a matter of opinion."

"This is, like, getting so predictable," Quinn said as she rolled her eyes. "Throwing the furniture around is just so cliche."

"Then maybe I should just end this once and for all." Clement came at Quinn with enough ferocity to drive the redhead out of the room and into the hall.

Great, I'm being thrown of a room again, Quinn thought. I hope this time goes better than last. Bringing up her saber, she parried first one attack, then a second. Her own attack forced Clement to backflip out of the way.

The blades blurred as they closed to saber range and exchanged a ferocious flurry of strikes, blocks and parries. Clement ended the moment by slamming her saber hilt into Quinn's nose.

"OW!" Quinn backed away while putting a hand to her face. Seeing blood on her fingers, Quinn scowled at the Sith. "You're lucky you didn't break it!"

"Oh, Frost," Clement said as she neared, "you have much greater things to worry about than your nose."

To the blond's surprise, Quinn smiled. "You know, you calling me Frost use to make me mad. Now, though, I understand some stuff."

"Wisdom usually comes before death. But," Clement back off, "I'm curious to hear what a fluff-headed brat such as yourself has realized just before her end."

Again with that Sith ego, Quinn thought. "All right. First of all, I understand why you hate me so much."

"I'm so relieved," came the sardonic comment. "Please, go on."

"Well, the truth is that I didn't want to be your Daddy's apprentice. He forced me into it." Quinn began to move her hands as she spoke, "Like, he even forced me to remember things wrong. Like, Daria didn't abandon me. I told her to go with the Jedi because Tyran wanted her gone. Then, he would have me to himself." She frowned, "I would have gone with Daria if he'd have let me."

"All so you could save the Jedi from the fashion disasters they were?" Asked a scornful Clement.

"That, too," Quinn admitted. "But mostly to be with Daria." Her voice dropped, "I missed her."

"I'm gonna be sick."

"Hey, it's not my fault your father hated you."


"Ooh," Quinn said, seeing a sore spot, "that sounded so convincing."

"This has gone on long enough," Clement announced. "It's time to die, Frost. Then I can prove to my Master who the real Sith is."

"Sith?" Quinn shook her head. "No, I'm not a Sith." She raised her head slightly as she said, "I'm a Jedi, like my sisters."

"Then die, Jedi." The blades again turned to blurs of color.


"Uh, Daria?" Turning, Daria followed her sister's gaze to where three rolling shapes were coming at them in single file down the corridor. "What are those?" Veronica asked.

"I think they're destroyer droids," Daria said, calmly.

"Are they very tough?"


"We should do something, then?"


"Run away?"

"That sounds good." The duo turned and ran as their pursuers closed on them. Rounding a corner, they came into a cargo bay with several crates stacked against the walls. Turning, Daria used the Force to pull some of the crates down, blocking the corridor the droids were in.

A few seconds later, the crates were blasted out of the way as the droids entered the bay and headed for the corridor on the other side. Behind them, one of the crates opened, revealing Daria and Veronica. Wordlessly, they pursued the droids, with Daria in the lead. With a burst of speed, Daria caught up to the closest droid and drove her lightsaber through the back of it. As the first droid began to fall, Veronica leap-frogged over her sister to cut the second one in half as it began to turn toward the danger. As the second one fell, the sisters saw that the lead droid was now facing them and starting to fire.

Still not speaking, Veronica back up until she was behind her sister. Then, with the younger watching behind the elder, they retreated to the bay as Daria deflected the incoming fire. Once in the bay, however, they split up, with Daria continuing to draw the fire until the droid turned its back on Veronica. This fatal mistake was realized by the machine only as the reddish-pink lightsaber blade emerged from its chestplate.

"That was not fun," Veronica muttered.

"Jodie once dealt with three of these things on her own," Daria told her. "That's where I got the idea to hide in the crates. Come on, we've got to get moving."


"Hey, Mack."

"Captain Taylor," Mack nodded to her, "what brings you here?"

"I wanted to see you off." Brittany looked at the fighter, then said, "I always kinda wanted to fly one of these things, you know?"

"Yeah." Mack patted its side affectionately, "They're good ships. I really think they're better than what I was flying back in the Republic."

"There were rumors that they're going back to them, you know." She chuckled once, then changed the subject. "There's been no word from Daria's transmitter. It could be that she won't get those shields down, you know."

"Daria's never let me down," Mack said. "I've worked with her a few times and she always comes through. She will this time, too. I have faith in her."

"Funny, isn't it? If we hadn't been sent to the Republic we'd be down there with no clue what was really going on."

"I'd rather be here," Mack told her with a smirk. "Cause I get to fly the cool stuff!"

Brittany rubbed her hands, then spoke again, "Good luck, Mack. May the Force be with you."

"You just be here when we get back," Mack told her before chuckling.

As Mack climbed the steps to the cockpit, Brittany moved back so she could watch the ships move carefully out into space. "We'll be here," she whispered. "Just be sure you come back. Jodie will kill if you don't."


Daria pulled her head back, then moved down the corridor to where Veronica was waiting. "This is bad," she told the Padawan.

"How bad is bad?" Veronica asked.

"There's one destroyer droid and about a dozen troopers at the door." Frowning, Daria grumbled, "I could handle either apart, but together it's a pretty potent combination."

"So, what do we do?"

"Let me think for a minute." Daria's frown continued for over a minute. "Hmm," she finally grumbled, "if I had a costume, I could try to pretend I was Quinn's old alter-ego. Too bad I don't have one."

Behind her frames, Veronica's eyebrow rose. "You know," she said, "that does give me an idea."

"Really?" Daria raised an eyebrow of her own, "Tell me about it."


When the young girl staggered out from around the corner, every weapon outside the bridge entrance trained on her. Out of breath, she looked at the group and smiled. "Finally," she managed to say.

"Halt!" one of the troopers barked unnecessarily.

"Not, not moving," the girl gasped, lying on her back.

"Who are you, and what are you doing here?" an officer asked.

"My name is Veronica, and I just escaped from my crazy sister." Rolling over onto her side, she said, "Master Tyran made me his apprentice a little while ago. Now my sister is trying to rescue me." The scorn in her voice at the mention of 'rescue' was clear in the disdain she had for the word. "I made my escape and came here."

"You know," another trooper said, "she is the girl Lady Clement brought up from the planet."

The officer brought a comm link to his helmet. "Captain," he said, "we have the girl from the planet here. She says she escaped from her sister."

There was not response, but a few seconds later the massive doors blocking entry to the bridge slid open. "Let me see her," the captain demanded. The group moved away so he could see the redheaded girl, who was climbing slowly to her feet. With a scowl, he approached. "You said you escaped from your sister. Where is she, now?"

"She was trying to find a shuttle when I got away," she told him. "I heard her say something about explosions in the engine room, but I think she was making it up to scare me."

The man frowned, then turned to the troopers. "Take half of your men and search the next three decks down. Send the other half to engineering. We'll let the droid protect the bridge. You," he turned to the girl, "come with me."

"Yes, sir," she replied, meekly.


The troopers marched below Daria as she held tightly to a hole in the ceiling. As soon as the sound of their footsteps faded, she let go and dropped to the deck. "I love high ceilings," she whispered.

Reaching into her boot, she pulled out a small device with a switch on it. "If we're not done by the time you get here, you better turn and run," she whispered a she hit the button.


The captain closed the door to the bridge as soon as he and the girl had entered. Bringing her with him, the man moved next to a woman who was operating a consol. "Get the Emperor on the intercom and tell him we found the Morgendorffer child."

"Yes, sir." She started to turn to her console, but stopped when the sound of blaster fire sounded outside the door, followed by a heavy hammering sound.

There was silence for a long moment as everyone turned to look at the door. Finally, the captain glared at the crew in general as he said, "Back to your duties. Whatever it was gone."

"The boogy-man has left the building," the girl added with a smirk.

"That's enough out of you," the officer snapped. Turning, he headed toward the front of the bridge. "We'll hold you here until Lord Tyran tells us what to do with you. Then, we'll send you off and get back to normal. But, until then, you will remain . . ." looking around, he noticed that the girl had not followed him. When he spotted her next to the door, he yelled, "Don't open that door!"

As she hit the release, Veronica turned to look at him and said, "They're heeeerrrree!"

As the door slid open, the remains of the destroyer droid fell into the room. Next to it, Daria Morgendorffer had her lightsaber lit in one hand. "Another one I owe Jodie," she said as she handed her sister her borrowed weapon.

"I'm already starting to feel naked without this," Veronica commented as she took it.

"Okay," Daria said as she walked into the room, "anyone feel like playing hero? If not, you may now run screaming from the bridge."

"The first one to move," the captain said as he pulled out his sidearm, "is the first one to die."

"Oh, brother," Daria grumbled as she gestured with her free hand. The captain's pistol flew from his hand as she rolled her eyes. "Next?"

"I refuse to let you take my ship," the man insisted. Turning, he threw two hidden switches beneath the windows. As popping noises began to sound around the bridge, he turned to glare at them and say, "I'll at least take you with me."

"I don't like the sound of that," Veronica told her sister.

"Over there!" Daria pointed to a round doorway. "Get inside, quick!"

Veronica was almost there when she realized that Daria had gone the other direction. Then, the portal on the front of the bridge blew out.


"I guess I'm better with a lightsaber than you thought," Quinn said.

The two had made their way out of Clement's room and down the corridor. The door at the end of it opened into a mess hall, which had been full of people when they had entered. After Clement sent three tables full of trays at Quinn, however, the place had quickly emptied.

Clement growled from atop the table she was standing on, then said, "I'm still better than you."

"Prove it." Waving a hand in the universal sign for 'come on, then,' Quinn raised her lightsaber and waited.

The attack was fast and hard. Clement started with an overhead strike, then went for every part of Quinn's body. As each attack was thwarted, her growls became louder. Finally, Quinn kicked her hard in the chest, sending her flying a few rows away.

Pulling herself to her feet, Clement glared at her foe. "You should never have betrayed us. If you hadn't, maybe we could have spared your father."

"You leave Dad out of this," Quinn's voice was quiet.

"Why, you feeling guilty?" Clement smirked, "Poor little Quinny. Her daddy is dead, and it's her fault --"

"Leave him out of this!"

"Sore spot?" the Sith guessed.

"Unlike your father," Quinn said in a calmer tone, "my father loved me. He loved all of us. We never doubted how he felt. No matter what he did, he never did anything to hurt us. He was there whenever we needed him. Nothing was ever too good for his girls. But, for you to stand there and insult his memory is just too much."

"Well, then," Clement tilted her head to one side, "do something about it."

Quinn brought her hands to her chest, then thrust them out to the sides. When she did, everything not nailed down in the room but the two women was slammed into the walls. The massive impact sent a shock wave through the floor and created a massive crashing noise.

"How's that?" The redhead's voice was icy calm. "That enough of a 'something' for you, Clement?" She walked forward a few steps, then made the 'come on then' gesture again. "You still think you're better than me? Let's see the proof. We end this . . . now."

With a yell, Clement came at Quinn, she brought her blade down in an overhead strike as Quinn drove her blade forward in a stabbing motion. There was silence, except for the lightsabers.

Clement looked down and was shocked to see something against her chest. It took her a few seconds to realize that it was Quinn's lightsaber. She released her own weapon as her hands went numb. "How did that get there?" she asked as she fell backward.

Quinn looked down at her as she shook her head. "You really shouldn't mess with my family. We're, like, nasty when we get messed with."


"Anything, yet?"

"No, Joey," Mack said to his wingman, "nothing, yet. Just give her time. Daria and Jane are both in there."

"With Quinn," came a different voice.

"Jamie," said a third, "I can't believe you're still doing that."

"What?" Jamie replied.

"Guys!" Mack snapped, "stay focused. We'll have to move fast when we get the signal." A small light began to blink. "We've got the signal. Let's go!"

The small group of star fighters veered onto course, then jumped to lightspeed.


As Tyran slashed through the last of the supports for the balcony, Jane dove out of the way of the falling structure. She landed behind the throne, hitting the window hard. Still lying on her back, she slashed the support for the throne, then rolled to her feet.

The Sith Lord stopped and looked around as if he had heard something odd. "So," he whispered, "my daughter failed me one final time."


"Clement was my daughter," he explained. "She was never much use to me. I finally took her as an apprentice only because he helped me escape Danathrees. Now, she is dead. Frost has destroyed my greatest mistake. Now I can kill you and reclaim my apprentice. Then, we will destroy the other Jedi and I will have two sisters at my side."

"Get a friggin' clue," Jane told him as she hurled the toppled throne at Tyran.

Tyran dodged the flying chair, then closed with Jane. He struck once, twice, then three times at her midriff with his lightsaber, then blocked as Jane stabbed toward his chest.

As the Sith Lord swept his saber at her legs, Jane leaped over him. He spun even as her feet hit the ground, this time going for her head. Jane deflected one blade over her head, then blocked the other one as he swung it around. She kicked him in the chest hard, sending him flying across the room. Not letting him collect himself, Jane charged after him and nearly ran into the tip of his saber. She parried it away, then began to attack and defend as neither one gave way.

Tyran parried Jane's attempt to cut him in half, then saw his chance. With a growl of delight, he swung his lightsaber blade toward Jane's shoulder. It wasn't until she raised her own straight that he realized his mistake.

With the lower blade, Jane blocked his attack. Then, she brought the upper blade down in a strike that severed his right arm. As he staggered backward, she stepped forward and brought the other end up, bisecting him down the middle.

As the two halves fell apart from each other, Jane shut down the weapon. "That's what I would have done last time if I could have seen what I was doing," she told the former ruler. As she turned to leave, she saw where the throne had landed, causing her to turn back to the corpse and say, "You know, they call that thing a throne. But, where I come from, thrones flush."


The rushing air nearly pulled Veronica from the ground, but she grabbed a console and held on as the open door let air continue to blow through and carry the crew, as well as the captain and anything else not connected to the deck through the opening and into space.

Veronica's eyes began to hurt, but she kept them open as she watched her sister. Daria was, somehow, staying on the deck and moving forward. It took Veronica a moment to realize that her sister was using the lip that ran along the consoles against the wall to hold herself down. The Jedi dragged herself along by her fingertips until she reached her destination. As Veronica watched, she moved a slider of some kind down, then flipped a few switches. Finally, she pulled her lightsaber and drove the blade into the controls.

Instead of moving away from the opening, however, she began to inch forward again. Veronica's cries of concern were more than muffled by the wind that was still gushing through the bridge. As she watched, Daria moved to where she could switch from holding onto the controls along the wall to a bank of them in the center of the bridge. She moved around them until she found the one she was searching for, then began to operate some of the controls. Daria then moved to a different set of controls and did the same thing. Finally, she pulled out her saber again and slashed through both consoles. When she did, the panels exploded, sending a piece of metal to slam into her head.

"NO!" Veronica cried out as her sister went limp. As Daria was sucked toward space, one of the pieces of cloth extending from her tabard caught on something. Her body was whipped around by the wind, held in place only by the scrap of cloth.


The squadron of X-Wings came out of hyperspace to see the massive Star Destroyer moving away from the planet below at a high rate of speed. As they neared, Mack noticed something.

"Guys," he said, "does it look like there's a cloud coming out of the bridge?"

"I see it," one of his experienced pilots said. "I think the bridge has a hull breach."

"Uh," Joey spoke up, "so we still want to hit it, then?"

Mack thought for a second, then checked his sensors. "Hey, all the shields are down. I guess Daria had some extra time on her hands. I tell you what, Joey, Jeffy, Jamie, I want you to hit the engines. Max, you and Drenna hit the bays. With the shields down, I'll be able to take out the bridge. Just don't fire until I give the order." A quick chorus of 'okay' and 'got it' came before the ships split off.

"Just get out of there, guys," Mack called to his friends.


Inch by inch, Veronica made her way toward her sister. The air from the corridor was slowing, causing the girl to have to breathe harder. Finally, her fingers were able to reach Daria's boot. Being careful to not lose her own grip, she worked her sister down to her side, then used her foot to knock the cloth free. Looking at the doorway, Veronica realized that the wind would make it impossible to get anywhere near it.

Daria stirred slightly in her grip. "Don't squirm," Veronica told her.

"Lifepod," Daria muttered, gesturing toward the doorway she had directed her sister earlier.

"There's a lifepod over there? A way out?" Daria nodded weakly. "Hold on, sis, I'll get us there." When Daria opened her mouth to speak, Veronica cut her off with , "And no 'save yourself' speeches, okay? We're both leaving, so get used to it."

"I was going to say that I think I can make it if you get my hands near the lip," Daria corrected. "But it's nice that you think I'm that noble."

"Oh." Veronica maneuvered Daria's hands to where she could get a grip, then the two began to head for the lifepod.


The launch bays were calm. There was an increase in the guard, but otherwise not much was happening. Jane was looking at a shuttle when someone came around the corner and saw her.

Quinn quickly lowered her lightsaber as Jane did the same. As they reached each other, she looked at the lightsaber in Jane's hand and smirked. "Came in handy, I hope?"

"Oh, yeah. That looks familiar," Jane commented, seeing the partial saber in Quinn's hand.

"Yeah. It's from when Frost fought Daria. Clement had it as a souvenir."

"Anything from Daria?" Jane asked her.

"No. But, she did tell us to get our jobs done then get off of this heap." She looked around Jane to see the Lambda Class shuttle sitting in the bay. "Anyone aboard that shuttle?"

"Nope." Jane raised an eyebrow, "Ready to grab a ship and scram?"

"What would Daria say? Oh, yeah, let's blow this joint."


Mack could see that the plexi-steel that had protected the bridge from the vacuum of space had been blown away from the bridge. With a smirk, he could see that the wind, while dying down, was still blowing from elsewhere in the ship by the condensation of the escaping air. I'll be able to put these torpedoes right down their throats, he thought as he lined up for the shot.

"Commander MacKenzie to squadron," he said, "commence firing runs."


The air was depleted enough that the two were able to stand. Veronica and Daria leaned on each other as they reached the escape pod. Daria, still slightly woozy from her injury, was pushed inside by her sister. Just as she started to climb in, Veronica took one last look at the hole. A small object was heading directly at her.

That's a missile! She thought just before she turned and dove into the pod. "Go!" she cried to Daria. "We're being bombed!"

Daria hit the controls to fire the pod three seconds before something massive slammed them around, making things go dark.


The shuttle was clearing the ship when Quinn pointed off to the side, "Look, it's some of ours."

"Cool," Jane replied as she spotted the two X-Wings. They watched as each fighter fired two missiles into the underside of the Star Destroyer then turn toward them. Jane rapidly adjusted the comm system until she was on the right frequency. "This is Jedi Knight Jane Lane to X-Wings. Do you copy?"

"Jane?" Mack's voice came over the speakers.

"Hey, Mack. Uh, we're in a shuttle that just escaped that big target back there, and we'd appreciate it if you didn't blow us up, okay?"

"Sorry, miss," said an unfamiliar voice, "we thought you were one of the bad guys."

"Well, we're not," Jane replied. "Oh, and you might not want to shoot anyone else who comes off of there. Daria and her sister ain't with us."

"They're a bit late, then," came another voice. "This ship's going up fast."

Turning the ship, Jane was able to watch as the massive Star Destroyer began to blow itself apart. Plumes of fire began to burst through the hull, and a huge fireball blew out of the underside bay. Finally, the entire vessel was enveloped in flame as the energies contained within were spontaneously released.

"Oh, god," Quinn whispered. "What about Daria and Ronni?"

"Hey," Jane looked at her, "you should know how good Daria is at getting out of spots like that."

"But where are they?"

"We'll find them, okay?" Jane watched the fireball for a few seconds more, then nudged the ship forward. "Watch the scanners and we'll track them down, all right?"

"Jane," Quinn's voice had an odd sound to it, "set course thirty-seven by two forty-eight."

"You getting something?"

"They're in a lifepod, but it's damaged. Hurry."




"Think they'll find us?"

"They'll find us. I contacted Quinn, and she's following my mental signal."

"You mean we're telepathic, too?"

"Not exactly. We can send signals to other Force-users, but it's not easy. If I have to keep this up much longer, my headache is going to make me wish I'd stayed back on the ship."

"That's not good."

"Tell me about it."


The shuttle's tractor beam pulled the lifepod into the storage bay at the rear of the ship. As soon as the doors closed and the air pressure was returned to normal, Quinn and Jane were at the door to the pod.

"You hear me in there?" Jane called out.

"Like, let's get the door open," Quinn told her.

As if on cue, the hatch popped open and a head with red hair appeared. "You mind?" Veronica asked. "We're trying to get some sleep in here."

"Ronni!" Quinn grabbed her sister and pulled her bodily from the pod and into a hug.

"Urf," the girl muttered. "Air," followed a few seconds later. She was smiling when she separated from her sister, however.

"This has been a long day," Daria grumbled as she slowly crawled from the damaged pod to sit with her back against it.

"I can heartily agree," Jane said, joining her. "How you feeling?"

"My head hurts," Daria reported, "but I'll be okay. Thanks to Veronica." Looking from her friend to her sisters, she said, "I take it we all have stories to tell. How about we share after we get back to Earth?"

"Sounds like a plan," Quinn said. "Hey, Ronni, wanna help me pilot the shuttle?"


After they were alone, Jane leaned toward her friend and asked, "So, how'd she do?"

"She really did great, Jane. She kept her head and did everything I asked her to." Daria sighed as she leaned back and closed her eyes. "She even saved my life."

"She's gonna make us all proud," Jane observed.

"Or make us obsolete," came the reply.


The citizens of Lawndale had become accustomed to some things that, a few months earlier, would have been considered strange. Ships of all kinds flying overhead, visitors of differing levels of notoriety, and even the occasional movement of troops of both friendly and unfriendly varieties. They had not, however, gotten used to one thing.

As people dove out of the way, a speeder bike pulled into the parking lot of the hospital. As they neared the covered entrance, the raven-haired pilot put on a burst of speed and lifted the nose of the bike so that it stopped on the covered entrance instead of beneath it.

Jane shut down the power, then looked over her shoulder at her passenger. "Okay, Veronica, you can let go, now. Veronica? Ronni?"

Veronica's hands were in a death grip on Jane's tunic. Her face was pale and she was shaking.

"Oh, come on," Jane protested, "I'm not that bad. Come on, snap out of it." She snapped her fingers a few times in front of the girl, but nothing happened. "Okay, you asked for it," Jane muttered. She cleared her throat, leaned in close, then said in a slightly louder than normal speaking voice, "Veronica, I kissed your sister."

"EW!" the girl replied, leaning away.

"Don't worry, I didn't kiss either of them, I just wanted to wake you up. Now, jump down and go see what's up with your mother." Jane watched as the girl vanished over the ledge. "I just wish Daria had told us if it was bad news."


When Veronica reached her mother's hospital room, she caught herself on the doorframe and looked inside. The curtain was pulled down far enough to hide the occupant from the door and Daria was standing at the foot of the bed, with moist eyes threatening tears. Seeing Veronica, she motioned for the girl to come closer.

"Is she . . ." Veronica couldn't finish the question.

"Not yet," Daria said in a whisper. "But the doctors think it will be soon."

"Why?" Veronica asked, turning to look at the frail figure of her once-strong mother. "Why can't you do anything?"

"Because her body is too broken, Ronni," Daria said as she clamped her hands tightly on the bottom of the bed. "Quinn and I have done all we can, but she's too badly hurt."

"No!" Veronica turned on her sister as the tears began to run. "You're a Jedi, you can do anything!"

Daria's glare was like a living thing as she turned toward Veronica. The girl took a step back as the brown eyes burrowing into her own. "Veronica," Daria said in a calm voice, "I am not all-powerful. I am not a god. The Force is well-nigh powerful, but finite beings have limits. You got that?"

"Uh," Veronica dropped her eyes, "yeah. I just don't want her to go."

"I don't, either," Daria replied. She put her hands on her sister's shoulders before saying, "Look, I've tried giving her some of my strength, but it's only made her pain last longer. Clement did too much damage." The sisters looked up as Quinn suddenly appeared in the doorway.

"Is she . . ."

"Not yet," Daria answered the unfinished question. "But she's been getting weaker by the minute." Stepping back, she let her younger siblings take up places on either side of their mother.


As the last light from the day streamed in through the window, Veronica raised her head from where she had rested it on the mattress to look at the people in the room. Quinn was sitting across from her and holding Helen's right hand. Her face, now dry, still had streaks where tears had crossed her makeup. At the foot of the bed, Daria was sitting in another chair as she stared unceasingly at the heart rate monitor. To Veronica, the sound seemed to skip every so often, as if the muscle was starting to stumble.

Veronica noticed a figure standing between herself and the window. As she looked at them, she could make out enough details to realize it was Jane. She was standing still as she watched the family wait for the inevitable. Her robe was open and her hands were hanging by her sides. With the light behind her, the Jedi looked like an angelic protector. She's watching over us in our time of need, Veronica told herself. She's Daria's friend, but she's here for Quinn and me, too. The thought comforted the girl as she reclaimed her mother's hand.


The graveyard was quiet as the small crowd filed past the casket one last time. As they passed the three sisters, they would stop and give a word or two of regret or of shared pain, then go on to their waiting vehicles and lives. Most of them were a blur to all three except for the Lanes, and a few that the older siblings remembered from places they had lived before.

Daria, however, was surprised to see Eric Schrecter in attendance. He seemed genuinely saddened by the loss as he wiped away tears. He and his wife had already passed before Daria realized that the woman was her mother's old paralegal, Marianne.

All too soon, the trio walked away from where their parents' resting place. As they did, they passed a tall but heavy-set man with thick gray hair. "Ladies, I am very sorry for your loss."

"Thank you, Mr. Carlisle," Quinn replied. "Uh, about Dad . . ."

"It's all right," he held up a hand. "With all that's gone on, one unauthorized body won't be noticed. Besides, you have a very unique headstone for both him and your mother. I just hope we can duplicate the look."

"You'll have to talk to Jane about that," Veronica spoke up, pointing to where the woman was standing with Trent and Belinda.

"Ah, Amanda's daughter, yes?" Seeing their surprise, he shrugged and said, "I knew her mother when she and Vince first came to Lawndale. She did the sculpture of the grieving widower that's in my office."

"I thought it looked like something she'd done," Daria said with a slight nod.

"Anyway, I received word this morning that the new world government would be picking up the bill for the expenses." He raised an eyebrow as he went on, "It seems they believe they owe your family a great deal."

"Uh, well, we didn't do that much," Quinn's sisters were surprised at her sudden modesty.

"Well, they believe so. Anyway," his face saddened, "the world is worse for the loss of such loving parents."

"No argument here," Veronica agreed.

They waited with the Lanes by the SUV and the Lexus until everyone else had left other than the cemetery workers who were still hiding in a nearby shed. They were silent until Quinn sighed and said, "It's over. We won."

"The cost was too high," Daria replied.

"The cost of war is always too high," Trent told her. "That's why people have to fight to avoid it."

"The cost of losing would have been worse," Jane said, nodding toward Veronica.

"Yeah," Quinn agreed aloud as Daria nodded and put a hand on Veronica's shoulder.

They were silent for a few minutes more until Veronica looked at Daria and asked, "Are we leaving now?"

"Yes," Daria replied. "The rift is being closed, and we need to go back through before it's gone."

"Do you really have to go?" Trent asked his sister as Belinda signed something.

"Yes, Trent, I do," Jane replied as she watched her sister-in-law. Then, as she tried to sign back, she spoke her words aloud, "Yes, I'm leaving you alone with him. Now I won't have to listen to you two all night." When Belinda's eyes grew large, Jane added, "You might be deaf, but you're still a screamer."

"Jane!" Trent, Daria and Veronica said in unison.

"Heh," she moved toward the Lexus, "my work here is done."

"Unfortunately," Daria said, "so is mine." Looking at Veronica, she asked, "You sure you want to go? I don't know what I'm facing when I get back. You might be better off at the new academy with Quinn and Jodie."

"You are my Master," Veronica said, crossing her arms, "and my sister." She raised a hand to point at Quinn with her thumb, "You taught her and she seems to be pretty good. So, now you're gonna teach me." She turned and hugged Trent and Belinda, then grabbed Quinn and held on tight. The two whispered their goodbyes, then, teary-eyed, the girl went to sit in the Lexus with Jane.

"I'm going to get hugged, aren't I?" Daria asked.

"Oh, yeah," Quinn said before they embraced. It lasted for almost a full minute before they stepped back. "Look, you take care of Ronni, okay?"

"I will. You look after Jodie and her family."

"I will." They stood and stared for a few seconds. "Quinn," Daria finally said, "I --"

"I can't go back, Daria," Quinn interrupted. "We both know that."

"Yeah, you're right."

"I love you, you know."

Daria nodded, "I love you too, sis." They embraced again. Then, after wordlessly hugging Trent and his wife, Daria moved to driver's side of the car. "May the Force be with you," she told them.

"You, too, sis," Quinn replied. Then, as if she were holding a lightsaber, she brought up her hand in a salute. With a slight smile, Daria mirrored the gesture, then got into the car.

For the second time, Quinn watched her sister leave her behind. This time, she thought, it's my choice. And it's the right one. At last I know my destiny. Besides, she smirked, I have to go get ready for my date tonight. Oh, that would be just too much. Me, dating again.

For the first time in days, Quinn Morgendorffer laughed.


A motion caused Veronica to look up from the floor she had been staring at. "Hey, Jane," she said. "Uh, I mean, Jedi Lane."

"It's okay," Jane said as she sat next to the girl. "We're all but family, anyway. So," Jane motioned toward the door to the chamber where the Jedi Council was meeting, "any word?"

"Not since they made me come out here."

"Daria took you in with her?" Jane was surprised.

"She wanted them to know about me." Veronica sighed and shrugged before adding, "Then, after a couple of them yelled at her for a bit, they sent me out here."

"And Daria didn't say anything?"


"That is not like your sister." Jane scowled slightly.

"I know." Veronica looked at the floor again, "What if they try to take me away from her, Jane? I don't want anything bad to happen to her."

"Hey," Jane nudged her slightly, "we talked about this on the way. If they do anything to keep Daria from training you, I'll teach you myself."

"I know. Thanks. It's just," Veronica paused for a sigh, then continued, "I'm really still getting to know her. If I lost her now, I'd just . . ."

"Now, now," Jane put an arm around the girl's shoulder and squeezed, "she'll be fine. Remember, Master Yenchi has always been a big believer in Daria. He's sent her on the toughest missions because he knew she could succeed where other Jedi would fail."

"I thought it was because he was trying to kill me." The two stood and turned to see Daria standing just outside the council door.

"Daria, are you okay?" Veronica asked.

"My ears are sore from all the talking they did, but I'm otherwise fine." Daria looked at Jane and said, "I see you made it."

"Wanted to be here in case we needed to carry you to the infirmary." Jane looked at her closely. "Hmm, you're all in one piece."

"And you still have your lightsaber," Veronica observed.

"You still one of us, then, Morgendorffer?" Jane asked.

"Yes, I'm still a Jedi." She smirked, then added, "again."

"Cool!" Veronica gave her sister a quick hug.

Seeing Daria's expression was a cross between surprise, revulsion and pleasure, Jane said, "Still getting use to the huggy little sister?"

"Huggy?" Jane laughed as the sisters spoke in unison. Then, she had to catch up as Daria turned to walk away with Veronica at her side.

"Hey," Jane asked as she caught them, "what did they say?"

"Actually," Daria told her, "they did me a favor. But don't tell them I said that."

"A favor?"

Daria looked down at her sister, "You're going to be taking classes at the Academy, as well as training with me."

"I am?" Veronica grinned, "This is great!"

"What about you?" Jane held out her hands to emphasize her question.

"I'm going to be teaching," Daria told her. "A position has come open for someone to teach Jedi History. And," she shrugged, "they seemed to think I'd do a passable job."

"So, are we still gonna live on the ship?" Veronica asked.

"We'll be using a small suite set aside for an instructor who has a family," Daria replied. "Since you're my sister as well as my Padawan, you'll be staying there with me."

"This just keeps getting better," the girl said.

"Don't get too settled," Jane advised the two. "Remember, Jedi with field experience tend to get called away a lot when trouble starts up."

"Hopefully, Jane, with Tyran gone, there won't be that much trouble for a while." Daria motioned toward Veronica, "She needs to do a lot of catch-up learning."

"I'm learning about ketchup?" As Jane laughed, Daria scowled at her. "What?"


"DARIA/STAR WARS: CHAPTER FOUR; RIFTS" was written by Ranger Thorne


So, we have come to the end of the story. I'd like to thank Angelinhel for her beta-reading and for the licenced use of her image as Darth Clement.

Thanks again to Robert Norwall for creating Veronica. She's been fun to work with.

For any who didn't quite get it, Clement is also the woman who was with Jodie in the giant hyperdrive in the story Not Every Happy Ending Is. A cameo turning into a major role. Think it'll go to her head? Nah, neither do I.

As for the names of the Sith, with the exception of Quinn as 'Frost,' I have done the same thing that Lucas seems to have done. I've simply cut something off of the words. For Vader and Sidious, he took the 'in' off of the front, as I did for (in)clement. For Tyran, I took the 't' off of the end of tyrant. It seemed to suit the concept.

I know not all questions were answered, but life is like that. The answers just didn't fit into the story, so I've decided to just leave them up to the imaginations of whoever reads this far.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have enjoyed my foray into the Star Wars universe using Daria and company.

*legal disclaimer* I do not own any of the characters from the Daria or Star Wars universes. Veronica Morgendorffer was the creation of Robert Norwall and must be home by 9 (10 on weekends). Darth Tyran and Darth Clement are the creation of Ranger Thorne (although Darth Clement's image is the property of Angelinhel *insert last name here*). This story can be circulated, but only if you follow the usual rules of not changing anything, keeping the proper name on it, and not changing the font color to something really gross.