Paradise – 17:35
Today has been most perplexing for the pink haired angel known as Jibril. What had started out as an unexpected but otherwise routine infiltration of a Citadel in order to evacuate some colonists had turned in a direction she had not expected. As her face fell at the end of her utterance, her expression became muted, her thoughts dimmed as she turned to look out of the panoramic window overlooking the Imperial installation. The place, it seemed, looked to be ran by a lady in a golden headdress who proclaimed to be Kirnic Ismaren, her presumed dead mother.
The angel kept her back to Kirnic as she looked out of the window, her head beginning to hurt form the cascade of emotion surrounding the encounter, her wings at a comfortable retracted position. Not only had she found a person she believed to be dead but also had a half brother who, according to the lady in the golden headdress, was the true heir to Emperor Palpatine. It surprised Jibril herself that she was even still standing from all the revelations.
The glowing dusk of the evening began to dim a little as the thoughts of the angel were a mess as the light flooded the office room, the colour palette a swathe of primarily orange and sepia tones. She remained still as she experienced a uncomfortable sensation course through her.
M…mother? Half-brother?!… What have I done?!
Taking a moment to steady herself, the angel kept her back to the lady as she spoke with a faint trembling in her voice,
“S…So…” Jibril tried to start in a faint voice, “…You ar….are… c….comfortable here?” She felt an unusual tremor in her left index finger as she tried to continue,
Allez Jibril, prenez une respiration… (Come on Jibril, take a breath…)
Realising her finger had started twitching a little, she delicately moved her hands together in front of her and awaited a reply.
“Comfortable?” Kirnic begins, “Of course dear. My every need is tended to. Your brother is kept safe. The greatest hole in my heart, is now filled.”
She raises a hand to her face brushing away a tear.
“Jibril… Darling, there is so much that I have missed. So much to discuss…”
Kirnic pauses, looking solemnly down at the red carpet, it matches the red of her dress.
“It was not an easy adjustment. It took me a long time. But eventually I accepted this new life that the Force had chosen to throw me into. In time I hope you will see and understand”.
The Force? Pah!
Closing her eyes to the dusk for a brief moment, the angel muttered a silent curse at the mention before letting out a held breath to take in a new one to compose herself. Opening her green eyes back out on the cityscape, Jibril tried to focus through the simmering pain of emotion in her head before turning around to address Kirnic with a slightly more defiant tone.
“I….I normally only allow 3 questions.” The angel started, her voice stumbling a little, “B…but I’ll answer any questions you have i…if you consider that my very arrival w….wa….was a s…sign from… ‘The F… Force’…. to ch…chaaannge again.”
Qu’est-ce qui ne va pas avec moi? Je ne peux pas sortir mes mots! (What is wrong with me? I can’t get my words out!)
Kirnic heads over to a set of comfy-looking armchairs to one side of the room. As she sits, she gestures to another, offering it to Jibril. She presses a button on a cabinet next to the chair, a panel opens up at the top and a tea dispenser with cups rises to the top. She pours herself a cup and proffers one towards Jibril.
“I‘ll accept that it’s possible. I am no Jedi, but I do believe that the Force has a will and that it has willed us to meet again. After all, we reunite now after two decades and an ocean of stars apart”
Her hand clutches at a tassel on her dress, “I in turn will endeavour to answer any questions I can, of course. You must have so many. I’ve missed so much, we’ve lost so much time” she looks uncomfortable now, a shadow of the authoritative persona she projected in the lobby, “But first I must say that I’m sorry. I am sorry I wasn’t there for you when you needed me the most”.
Tilting her head slightly, Jibril watches Kirnic pour the tea as she pushes off the floor to float slowly towards her, the shadows of her wings evident on the wine red carpet. The drink that looked to be offered certainly didn’t look like or smell like poison to her. Considering her options for a moment, the angel took the cup from the lady and poured herself one before sitting down in the armchair. The deep, almost velvet textures were uncomfortable to the angel, who was more used to the rougher and more utilitarian fabrics any good cargo hold might have. This was perfectly obscene to the angel. It reminded her of the night she spent in luxury on the Angel’s Tear.
Still trembling a bit, the cup rattled a little in her hands as she let out,
" Merci " before taking a cautious sip of the tea. It was a bit warmer than she would have liked but at the moment, she wasn’t going to say anything. Jibril sighed as she continued, steadying herself as she spoke,
Kirnic focuses her eyes on Jibril, and Jibril gets the sense that Kirnic is really studying her. “Well, where to begin?” she chuckles, “I suppose I’ll start with the obvious – how are you? Are you well?”.
For a moment, the green eyes of Jibril were focused on the cup as she tried to steady herself for the questioning. However, a quietness in the tone stirred the Angel to look up and saw Kirnic focusing on her. For just a brief moment, a calm came over Jibril before she shuddered a little at a new pain, a familiar headache started to stir. She managed to keep a straight face as she replied carefully,
“2…24 years…. and you ask that?” Jibril stammered, almost surprised by the vagueness of the question. It was beginning to frustrate her that her words, master of them she normally was, was failing her right at this moment,
“W…Well… different is a word. N…N…not entirely the little girl you left down there… i…iii….nnnn….” Jibril’s words trailed off in a sea of mumbling. Clenching the cup hard as she grimaced at the cup, her focus on the liquid in the cup, she tried to focus on how to say the next few words but a little familiar voice distracted her.
Come on Jibril, look up.
The angel looked up, past Kirnic, to see a shadowy figure standing in the right hand corner of the room, by the window, arms crossed. There was no shadow being cast even though it was standing by the window. A pair of familiar wings stretched out a little.
“Jibril, focus on me.” the voice said calmly, “Tell her how you really are.”
“I…I am alive at least.” Jibril finished, recovering from her stress as her focus slowly returning to Kirnic, “T…Though I must confess, I am not quite the person I used to be.”
Kirnic looks down and nods, “Yes, I suppose it is a rather large question. But it is the one that reflects my main concern. I suppose my first question should really be, are you happy?”.
The shadowy figure moves closer to reveal it is Kirina. Taking a position behind Kirnic, wings now outstretched a little further, Jibril tried refocused on Kirnic as she asked her question but was stunned. A reserved smile came over Kirina,
“I want you to take a breath Jibril… I know how you feel about that sort of question.” She said quietly. Quickly looking up, Jibril sharpened her eyes at Kirina and snapped…
…before looking back at Kirnic with a sharpened resolve, her verbiage restored,
" Happy… Define happy for me. Do I pretend to think that today is a happy occasion?" Jibril hissed, thundering on, "To find that my long presumed dead mother is alive, to find I am related in some way, to the former emperor of the Empire? To find I have a half-brother who seems to be more of an abomination than I am?! If you mean happy as in to be alive… as I said, I am not quite the person I used to be. Over 20 years stuck in the pit, in the rotting corpse of that world, lost, dead. HAPPY?! "
Angrily setting the cup down, Jibril jumped up and paced quickly over to the window, a small tear coming from the angel as her back was turned, as she finished with a hint of exhaustion,
“I am lucky to be alive at all. In fact…” a small manic chuckle came out from Jibril as she shuffled a little towards the centre of the window, “…I was reborn of that place.” A rush of air ran across the room as Jibril opened her wings to block out as much of the dusk’s light from the window as possible. She was sure it would leave Kirnic and Kirina in much more darkness than before, finishing with a darkening tone,
“I am free of the pain from my past live down there… the life you left me to.”
Kirnic draws back into her chair, but she steadily holds Jibril’s gaze, “After your father… After he died, I made a lot of mistakes. I was a fool, lost and overwhelmed. I don’t say this to excuse my actions but the errors compounded until the situation was beyond my control. I have wished dearly that I could have taken back my actions that night. I lost everything I held dear, and what’s worse is that it cost you the most”.
Kirnic slowly raises herself to her feet, pressing her hands together, “Jibril, I cannot begin to imagine what you have gone through. I… I can’t change the past, but I hope we can build a future together”.
Kirina titled her head slightly, a rather plain expression on her as she walked up to the upset angel,
“Jibril…” she started reaching out with her left hand to touch Jibril’s distraught face, “…ask her about the necklaces. It might help answer some of our pain.”
Retracting her wings downward back to their retracted state, the re-emerging light showed that Jibril’s eyes continued to water, a few more tears trickled down her face as she held the necklaces in her hands. She singularly stood there, alone, for a few minutes as she tried to think of a question to ask Kirnic,
“It is useless to think of the future without understanding the past.” Jibril cryptically started as she moved towards Kirnic, “You mentioned these before… there is a faint inscription on them that I’ve never been able to read. Where did they come from and what does it say?” she finished quietly, leaning forwards to show the pendants to Kirnic but keeping a tight hold of the chains around her neck.
For a moment Kirnic reaches for the necklace, a wistful expression on her face, but she holds back.
“I had this for you when you were born. I hoped it would help you, so that you might always find you way home in the end”.
Seeming to resolve herself, Kirnic steps forward and points, tracing with her finger as she speaks, “The green is the Mantari Rainforest, one of the most pristine in the galaxy. Even the Ithorians revered it as much as their own Mother Jungle. The blue is the Glarus Lagoons, a deep inland sea. They were near our home, I loved to play there and explore them as a girl and hoped that one day you would too”.
She begins tracing the inscription, “This is a reminder,” she says, “a reminder that you are loved, that you always have a home with me and your father. It says, ‘Jibril Kirina Parastrel, you are never forgotten,’”.
Kirnic finishes tracing the inscription, wiping away a tear, “by Alderaan”, she whispers.
The angel’s face went white, her eyes shaking, now lost in a sea of disbelief as she went cold and numb. Leaning back up, releasing her grip on the chains, Jibril felt very faint but managed to look up to see Kirina standing behind Kirnic, her face a pained expression of surprise.
“…I….I…” Jibril stuttered, her lips trembling as she shut her eyes and fell to her knees, her wings smacking down on the floor in a most uncoordinated manner. She felt a light, comforting touch come to her face as a familiar voice softly whispered,
“Jibril, this makes sense. I told you Coruscant never felt like home. You felt this on Chandrila, at the restaurant with Kaida and Dean.”
Wha… wha…. what do I do now??!
Jibril remained in a stunned silence for a few moments, tears now flowing freely from her eyes as she retracted into a ball on the floor, her wings encircling her. She could still feel the presence of Kirina over her but with the failing light and the darkness within her own space, Jibril felt as if the rug has been completely pulled from under her. She held herself tight on the floor for a few moment trying desperately to feel secure.
Non non Non! Cela ne peut pas être vrai! (No, no, no! This can’t be true!)
After a minute or two, a small voice finally came from the ball on the floor,
“H…how did we end up on Coruscant then?” Jibril finally started with a defeated voice, relaxing her wings to be able to see Kirnic and Kirina, “Neither of us k…know… how?”
A brief flash of confusion crosses Kirnic’s face, but it passes quickly. She crouches down so she’s at eye-level with her daughter.
“Your father, he was a member of the Royal Court, he worked for the Senator’s Office. We had planned to live on Alderaan, and he would work from Aldera. But then the Separatist Crisis started up – Dooku’s Raxus address, separatist movements springing up on Kashyyyk and Ryloth – the Senate was in chaos. Your father was called to Coruscant urgently, and you were born en route”.
Kirnic looks up, as if lost in happier memories for a moment. Suddenly she appears shocked, “No… Why that was… That was twenty-nine years ago this week…” she reaches for Jibril’s hand, “You were born two weeks later”.
The feeling of being held enraptured the angel. It was welcome, a faint feeling of certainty about a life she couldn’t remember but it was shrouded in confusion and upset. Looking up to Kirnic, JIbril tried to grip onto her hands as best she could but could only manage a small squeeze before her doubt came to haunt her. With the failing dusk light, the office lighting started to glow a very familiar artificial warm light.
It was almost as if she was back on Coruscant again.
Pulling away, Jibril managed to stand up in front of Kirnic. The expression of Kirina, who according to Jibril, was standing besides her, became confused as she walked slowly around the crouching Kirnic,
“My… I wonder if she is lying just to get you on side? I wonder how she knew we were coming to this place? I wonder what Irek really is? She is not filling me with any confidence Jibril. Saying you are Alderaanian” she spoke slowly with a haughty voice, her expression becoming more disbelieving as she moved back to stand besides Jibril. Jibril staggered backwards with her back facing the window as she tried to reconcile her thoughts, leaving Kirnic and Kirina in the middle of the room,
Qui suis je? Que se passe-t-il!? Allez réfléchir, que voudrait-elle que nous fassions? (Who am I? What is going on!? Come on think, what would she want us to do?)
“So….” Jibril slowly started after a few moments of pause, trying to recompose herself in the face of all the new information, steadying herself with deep breaths, “….what is this place?” Her green eyes looked up at the vision of Kirina, “How odd. I…If this indeed P….Paradise, then…. h…how did you know we were c…c…coming?”
A sharp intake of breath came from Jibril as the simmering pain in her head suddenly reared its ugly head and momentarially fazed Jibril, clenching her left hand into a fist to try and distract herself from the pain. Kirina rushed forwards in concern, ignoring the elder on the floor,
“Jibril ma chérie, tes médicaments! (Jibril my dear, your medication!)”
Kirnic gives a short laugh as she stands, walking towards the desk.
“It is a long story, my dear,” she says, “but I think the name itself started as a little joke on Sheev’s – sorry, the Emperor’s – part”.
She turns towards the window, looking out over the cityscape, “This place was designed as a sort of galactic safe-house for the Emperor. I’m not entirely sure why he felt the need to establish a colony along with it – perhaps he needed the workforce, or perhaps he simply wanted people to rule over,” she shakes her head, “It’s secure, hard to find and self-sufficient – all good qualities in a base”.
“When Irek was a child, he was injured. Badly. His wounds would have killed anyone else, they should have killed him. But by the Force, he survived. He was transferred here for recovery. For a long time I thought that was it, that I had lost both of my children. But after a few years the Emperor brought me here too”.
“You see, it seems as though Irek would break out. Frequently and violently, he would blow past every security measure they employed. He would wander the city. Palpatine thought Irek may be seeking his family. So here I came, I calm him down”.
Kirnic turns back to Jibril, she clearly looks concerned, “As for how we knew you’d come, that’s complicated… the child knew you would arrive”.
She comes back to Jibril, reaching out to her, “Are you alright, Jibril? Do you need a medic?”
“Non” Jibril blurted out, the strain lessening, “It is… merely the shock of a long day catching up with me.” She put her hand on the desk to steady herself as she watched Kirina come up behind Kirnic,
“The child? Irek? Tch, how perverse. One wonders how that freak of nature knew if he can barely comprehend Basic, let alone anything else.” Kirina hissed.
Another pain came to Jibril but found herself able to suppress it for the moment. The angel let out a momentary laugh,
“D…Did you know I am a doctor myself? Jibril said with a light chuckle. A faint chuckle came from Kirina as well. It was ironic to say the least.
Jibril moved away from the desk, still uncomfortable at all the information being presented to her but kept focus on Kirnic as she recalled any similar situations she had found herself recently and back on Coruscant,
“So Irek is my half-brother….” she started with a shudder, “…and you are my mother…” her voice trailed off as she moved over back to the tea on the arm of the armchair, picking it back with with more resolve than the first time,
“You have to appreciate… I want to believe you. It answers…. so many questions I have. " She slowly took a sip of the tea. It was a Tarine Tea.
Must run in the family…
Looking back over at the elderly lady and Kirina, Jibril stopped to think for a moment before taking a seat in the armchair, slowly become more secure in herself,
“Tell me Kir…. Mère (Mother), Irek forsaw me, forsaw us coming? He, and by extension you, opened the path for us?” Her eyes looked down at the tea, “You set this all up for us. We’ve been playing in tune into your plan…” A deep seated mix of regret and pain started to rise within as Kirina came over to her side to stand silently besides her,
“…I have died too many times to be a pawn in someone elses plan.” Jibril continued in a darkened tone, “Coruscant, Ogoth Tiir… I am not interested in why Paradise exists. I only assume the Galaxy Gun exists either as a monument to yours or Step Daddy dearest own desire to shape the galaxy as you see fit. A failure of logic, no gun, no shelling… no death… can ever replace the pain. The dead are useless Mère, they cannot help fix what is wrong with the living. No gun can ever help with that either.”
Her voice became fragile for a moment. Kirina kept a stern expression at Kirnic,
“I asked you to change the target to Dathomir because it was simply a numbers equation.” A small tear rolled down her cheek, “I have a rule. I possess no lethal guns. Too often I saw thugs down in the Underworld wield them with inflated egos and terrorising inncocents down there, drunk on their own power only afforded to them by a machine that cares not for it’s targets. The Galaxy Gun is the single biggest symbol of that I could possibly think of. Coruscant may be the source of our collective pain, the point at which our lives went wrong but there over a trillion souls on that planet…. and I doubt they are all as corrupted as we think they are.”
Jibril took in a slow, measured breath before exhaling slowly to continue, still staring at the tea,
“I told you Dathomir is a stain on the galaxy. The fact is I’ve never been there, only met one person from that place. He is… well… he is from there.” She looked up at Kirnic as she continued with an unnerving gaze, “The deaths of all the souls from the change in target is on me and me alone… and I will need to learn to live with that… and I can… because I saved so many more in the process.” Kirina looked down at Jibril and smiled gently.
“You’ve learnt…” she whispered before returning her gaze to Kirnic.
Jibril took a moment before sipping her tea slowly, setting it down on the arm of the armchair and standing up, her voice becoming softer,
“I won’t be able to tell anyone of this, not even the person I am deeply, maddeningly in love with. The three souls in the next room will most likely want to kill Irek… and you if you give them reason. I don’t want that, I want you and Irek to come with me, join me on my journey to find a new home.” She pushed herself off the floor to hover upwards a little before spreading her wings out and lighting them with a soft white glow, all the shadows of the room expelled. Becoming more vocal, Jibril pleaded,
“Mother… please… let me save you and my brother whilst I still have time. All you’d have to do is come with me willingly and help us evacuate as many as possible. I am your daughter, an angel reborn from my pain and suffering of Coruscant. Perhaps this is the Force at work but please Mother, I, Jibril Kirina Parastrel, love you!”
“Ah!” Jibril suddenly cried out, almost falling to the floor in pain but managing to drop down onto the floor, the light from her wings shutting off. Before Kirnic could do anything, Jibril pushed out her right hand to stop her before reaching for a bottle with her left but found it missing. She looked up at Kirnic in pain and smiled bitterly through her own pain,
“Jibril, I don’t need saving,” Kirnic begins with a wry smile, “I understand why you may think that I do, but I don’t. Besides, it would be too risky to try to move Irek – both for him and for those around us”.
“Over the years I have worked my way into a position of trust here. Eventually power. Counsellor Rax has been of great help in that regard. The Emperor may be dead, but I can now use the tools that he has built to protect my son – he is the rightful heir to the throne, why shouldn’t they be used in this manner? I can protect you too”.
Kirnic looks as though she wants to step towards Jibril, but she holds herself back.
“As for Coruscant,” Kirnic sighs, for a moment she looks lost, but then her composure reasserts itself, “Perhaps you are right. It is the symbol of all our pain. I acted rashly in targeting it with the Galaxy Gun – although it is nowhere near as blunt a tool as the Death Star. It can be both sledgehammer and scalpel”.
Now she does approach, just a little.
“I wonder,” she says, “Perhaps I misunderstood your intentions in redirecting to Dathomir. I apologise. I was overwhelmed by the emotion of reconnecting with you”.
“I realise you may need some time to process things. We have both had quite the day. Both you and your companions are welcome here as my honoured guests. I’ll ensure that no harm will come to any of you, you have my word”.
The simmering headache struck again with more force. The angel gritted her teeth and made a fist with her left hand . The pain was mounting and without medication or intervention, it would surely reveal itself. However, right at this moment, rather than feel liberated or mindlessly open as she had done on Lothal or on the way to Chandrila, this time Jibril felt hurt, confined and very alone. Shakily looking up at Kirina, the vision was becoming faded. She looked down at Jibril with saddened eyes as JIbril continued to grit against the mutation,
“I don’t think you can save her ma chérie. She is too caught up in all of this, too obsessed with that… creature… that is your half-brother., too obsessed with the world of which she is a part of. You may need to let her go.”
Non, je peux la sauver (No, I can save her)
Crouching on the floor, Jibril wearily looked up and shook her head in anguish,
“Please M…mother.” she spluttered but the pain in her head continued, “W….We…. have to l…leeeaveee. Our… colleagues are expecting us and…. the colonists here…” she found her breath becoming short and shallow, “…they are… in… ddanger. They… are disappearing and we don’t know why!”
Inching forwards towards Kirnic, a pained smile appeared on Jibril as she reached out with her left hand,
“I… I don’t want to lose you again b…but…. I can’t stay here and I can’t gu….guarantee your safety if I leave. They are so… so…” Jibril again found her words failing her. Stopping to compose herself, her hand lowering, she felt her heart race as her head lowered,
“It is f…funny. Love clearly doesn’t motivate anyone unless it suits them. Y…You claim to w…ant to build a future with m..me and yet are unwilling to take a leap of faith and join your angel.”
Finding the strength to stand up, Jibril found herself rather unsteady but found eventually found some balance,
“Heh… My C…Correlian friend wondered about a bedtime story about a Lord Nyax… I w…wonder if Irek is the source of that?
I…w…wonder if you are s…so blinded by w…wanting to keep him safe, to be heir to a th..throne that no longer exists, that you’d sacrifice your own daughter again. What is Irek? What has he got that I don’t? H…Heritage? The… F…Force? The W…Wraith?”
Sacrifice… ahahaha… how ironic…
A piercing scream came from the angel, which surely could be heard from the other room as she fell to the floor again, her wings smacking the door to the corridor connecting the two rooms, now clearly unwell. Jibril looked up in terror to see a figure hissing right by her, holding her right hand.
“Ignore her…. she doesn’t want you… the person you claim to love doesn’t want you… only I want you….” it hissed in a grin. A sweat came over Jibril as she hurriedly tried to find the bottle again.
Jibril couldn’t find the bottle. She was uncertain as to wherever it was on her person or not in the first place but was sure she had packed it at one stage but without it…
“Mère, please!! Fetch Kaida!” Jibril screamed in pain. She tried squeezing her hands into a fist again but found it didn’t help this time.
“Hahaa… stop resisting… you can’t save yourself, let alone some absent mother, hell bent on her own destruction. She doesn’t want you, she wants your brother, the power crazed harridan.” The voice hissed again.
“Jibril, you’re clearly unwell and you’re clearly upset,” Kirnic says, “we have one of the most advanced medical facilities in the galaxy here, please let me help you”.
Kirnic goes over to the desk and begins inputting commands into an intercom system.
“I’ll just call your friend. Don’t worry, everything is going to be alright”.
After finishing with the intercom, Kirnic rushes back over to Jibril’s side.
“I don’t want to lose you, Jibril. I’ve only just found you. Why don’t you tell me what’s going on?”
“Haahahaa…. sssshes the witch who abandoned you when you were 4 years old. Come on Jibril, there is nothing for you here, nothing for you to claim.” The voice hissed deeply down Jibril’s right ear. Sweating more profusely, the angel shakily looked up at Kirnic, grabbing hold of her dress to pull herself towards her,
“Wha… what is your connection with the Wraith and F…Fenris?!!” Jibril seethed in pain, her voice becoming more agonised “I… I don’t want to lose you again e….either but…. PLEASE!!”
“Please Mère …” Jibril gripped hold of the dress tighter with watery eyes, the feeling of despair from her time at her last orphanage came flooding to her, her breath ragged and filled with fear as she desperately tried to ignore the demon within, “…I….I…. I can’t lose you again! M… M…y… destiny does not belong here, Kirina told me that! F…fo..r too long, I have been abandoned, rejected again, and a…again and again. I… I am not t…the… little mute you left behind, d..deep in the pits of death of C…Coruscant….”
Je t’aime (I love you)…
Summoning all of her sapping strength, Jibril made her final plea and shouted,
“I AM JIBRIL KIRINA PARASTREL, AN ANGEL REBORN FROM MY DEATH! I DON’T WANT TO LEAVE YOU OR MY BROTHER BEHIND!!!” A sudden hacking cough broke out as Jibril tried to draw breath which interrupted her briefly before pressing on,
“B…But… I can’t stay, I have to follow, to watch over, to counsel, t…to befriend, to protect the one I love and I… I can’t lose her either! I would kill for her… I’d kill myself if I had to if… it meant saving her. S…she would kill everyone here if s…she had to. I love her!”
Her voice became more croaked and horase from the effort, the hissing laughter momentarally faded. Jibril wasn’t sure if she could see Kirina behind Kirnic but for a fleeting moment, she was sure it was her,
“A…and I can’t risk e…either of your safety. S…so pp…pplease, let m…e save you! I DON’T WANT YOU TO BE KILLED!”
The hissing laughter faded as Jibril’s senses became numbed and then blacked out. Her grip on the dress slackened and the wings became deadweights as Jibril fell to the floor in a heap, sweat pouring off her brow. As she faded out of conscious, Jibril was sure she heard a soft, comforting voice whisper in her left ear,
" Mon ange merveilleux… (My wonderful angel…) "
As Jibril collapses, Kirnic rushes to her side. She clutches her hand and whispers,
" _ Mon ange merveilleux. Attendez. L’aide est en route. Ne pars pas, reste avec moi! _ "
(My wonderful angel. Hold on. Help is on the way. Don’t go, stay with me!)”
Tears stream down from Kirnic‘s face, “Hurry up! Get in here!” she yells.
Kirnic grabs some ice and a cloth from the drinks dispenser cabinet and begins applying it to Jibril’s forehead. She brushes a strand of Jibril’s hair off her face as she tenderly strokes her cheek.
“Jibril, tu as raison. Je suis un imbécile – tu n’es pas la petite fille que j’ai laissée derrière. Keezion voudrait que nous soyons ensemble. Irek est compliqué, mais nous allons résoudre le problème ensemble. Je ne sais pas où dans la galaxie serait sans danger pour nous ce n’est pas ici, mais nous pouvons faire face ensemble en famille”
(Jibril, you’re right. I’m a fool – you’re not the little girl I left behind. Keezion would want us to be together. Irek is complicated, but we will figure things out – together. I don’t know where in the galaxy would be safe for us that isn’t here, but we can face this together as a family)
The door opens and a pair of medical droids burst in, they’re swiftly followed by some guards. Kirnic quickly assumes a composed expression. At Kirnic’s direction they quickly swoop on Jibril’s unconscious body. Kirnic points at one of the guards,
“There are people in the lobby under guard with General Wieserly bring them here immediately. The General too. Do not delay”. The guard snaps to attention and sprints off. She turns to the other guards,
“Check on Conai’s status. And find out where Counsellor Rax is, I haven’t heard from him since the breach”.
As the remaining guards hurry off in a flurry of activity, Kirnic crouches between the medical droids next to Jibril, her composed mask slipping once more.
“Tiens bon, mon ange,” she mutters, “la route devant nous est peut-être raide, mais nous le ferons ensemble Attends encore un peu, mon ange. Continuer à se battre. Je prends un acte de foi”
(Just hold on, my angel… the road ahead may be steep, but we will face it together. Hold on just a little longer, my angel. Keep fighting. I’m taking a leap of faith)