~ The Sith Empress ~
by AJ Marks

Disclaimers: The two main characters look a lot like the ones we are used to, Xena and Gabrielle, and no I don't own them, wish I did. This story takes place in the Star Wars universe that I don't own either, that's owned by George Lucas, along with Yoda who I borrowed for this story.

Disclaimer 2: This story takes place about 650 years after 'Jedi Bri Meets Sith Xara".

Subtext: Yes this involves love between two women, nothing graphic however.

Send comments to AJMarks01@aol.com

Part 12

Jessica made her way down to where she knew that several Jedi would be waiting for her. She wondered about how much they knew and if they knew that she was the Sith Lord Darth Rizon. There was still that one man, Trona to talk with as well. It seemed that he knew more of what was going on then he had told everyone.

Walking into the office she spotted Luke right away. There was another man next to him with dark hair and a beard. There was also another Jedi who had been in the med lab when Jessica had been as well.

"You wanted to talk with me," Jessica asked.

"Yes, I was wondering what you know about the current Sith uprising," Luke asked. "And what you might know of the current Sith Lord that is leading them."

"Not much, I was kicked out," Jessica said calmly. She knew that it was not exactly the truth but it was close.

"Then you do not know who was leading them or what their intentions are," Luke asked.

"Not really," Jessica said. "Last I heard was that they were still trying to build up their forces."

"Okay, but where are they getting their ships, where are the ship yards," Luke asked hoping that if they could get the location of the yard then the Republic could deal this group a decisive blow.

"Isn't one," Jessica said. "The ships are left over from Darth Raven's fleet."

"But that fleet was destroyed thousands of years ago," the dark haired man said.

"True Kyle, but when it comes to the mysteries of the universe one can never be too sure," Luke said. "It is possible that a few survived."

"But they would have to have been maintained for such use over several thousand years.," Kyle said.

"Not if they were not being used and just sitting there," Luke said remembering a fleet of Dreadnaughts that Grand Admiral Thrawn had gotten a hold of. "How many ships?"

"Several hundred," Jessica told him watching as their mouths dropped open.

"We need to notify the Republic about this," Kyle said.

"Do you know where they are," Luke asked.

"Yes," Jessica said wondering about what she was doing. Part of her was saying she was a Sith Lord. Another part of her just wanted to be with Gaia that is if the small Jedi would allow her to stay.

"Then we need to get there to make sure that the ships don't fall into the wrong hands," Kyle said looking like he was ready to leave the room.

"No need," Jessica said. "The ships have already been destroyed."

"What, how," Kyle asked not sure he understood what was going on.

"A self destruct mechanism that they all have," Jessica said. It was the one thing that she had kept quiet from Tyi and the others. Each ship was embedded with a bit of the Dark Side, it would lay dormant until a Sith lord activated it. It would activate the self-destruct on the ship. It was something that Darth Malak had put on the ships to prevent the ships from rebelling against him.

"How many are left then," Luke asked.

"Only what attacked this planet," Jessica said. "They are probably no matter to anyone anymore. The crews probably scattered by now. They will probably appear as parts of pirate fleets later on."

"Right," Luke said thinking about what that might do. In the long run it really did not matter too much. It might mean some increase in piracy but with knowledge they should be able to defeat the ships.

"Is that all," Jessica asked.

"For now," Luke replied.

Jessica nodded her head then walked out of the room. She wanted to get back to Gaia. There was a lot still left to do and talk about.

Gaia was laying on her back staring at the ceiling. The ceiling was actually quite boring to look at but it was about the only thing she wanted to see.

"How's my patient doing," the doctor said walking into the room.

"Bored," Gaia said honestly.

"Well, after what happened to you I am still amazed to see you alive," the doctor replied. Gaia could hear the honesty in the man's voice.

"I guess, I don't remember that much," Gaia confessed.

"It is remarkable even though Trona won't say much more about what happened. It could save lives," the doctor said.

Gaia was not sure exactly what the doctor was talking about. The last thing she really remembered was the fight. The next thing was waking up in this bed with the Sith Lord next to her. That brought another thought to her, how had she survived the ship's explosion? That and several other questions were rolling around in her mind.

Jessica was walking down the corridor when she spotted Trona coming towards her. She stopped when it looked like he was going to talk to her.

"Who are you really," Jessica asked.

"I am like you," Trona replied.

"Not much of a reply," Jessica said. She wondered what the man's real purpose was. She would keep on guard until she found out.

"We must be careful these days," Trona replied. "We can never be too careful otherwise it could be a disaster for all of us."

"There are more of you," Jessica asked.

"In a way, all like me and you and the small Jedi," Trona replied.

"What do we have to do with you," Jessica asked.

Trona looked around quickly then turned back to Jessica. "You two are soul mates," he told her.

"And," Jessica asked looking for more.

"When you two are ready to travel, look this man up," Trona said handing Jessica a card. It had only one name on it, Percy.

"All right, now I'm going to check on her and see what her condition is," Jessica told him. He merely nodded his head then continued on his way.

Jessica walked into the med lab where Gaia was still being held for observation.

"Well, it's about time you returned," Gaia said. "I have a few questions for you."

"I know," Jessica said. "But perhaps they should wait until you're out of here."

"Not this question," Gaia said. "You know my name but what is you name?"

"It's Jessica," she replied.

"Jessica," Gaia said. "I like it."

"Good, its my name," Jessica said. She looked around to see if the doctor was nearby. "Can you get out of here yet," she asked.

"The doctor was by and before he left I could take small trips just as long as I don't over do it," Gaia said.

"Come on then, let's go for a walk," Jessica said.

Jessica and Gaia made their way to a small area outside the temple. It was secluded enough to make sure that a conversation would be private. This was what Jessica wanted a private place to tell Gaia what happened.

"So what happened," Gaia finally asked. They had been sitting there for a few minutes and she was beginning to wonder if Jessica would tell her what happened.

"It seemed that my trusted second betrayed me. He had been the one who was with me the longest," Jessica said. "He planned a revolt against me and did it quite well. He also did it the Sith way."

"Sith way," Gaia repeated not sure she completely understood that.

"Well, its like this, the strongest are not always on top, but the one who has the best combination. Tyi is actually quite weak, but he wanted power. He hid that part very well from me. He was shuttling from one ship to another when he ordered the other ships on his side to attack," Jessica said. "It worked, our shields were down and they had caused massive damage to the ship before anyone could even reply."

"All those people," Gaia said. "They were killed just to get on top."

"Its the Sith way," Jessica said. "We find a person's weakness and use that against them."

"And me," Gaia asked wanting to know the truth. She knew that some sort of bond had formed between them and needed to know that there was more between them.

"Its strange," Jessica said with a slight shake of her head. "I ordered the evacuation of the ship. I knew that no one would concern themselves with a prisoner. I had to make sure that you were safe."

"Is this when I was knocked unconscious," Gaia asked not really remembering much about this battle.

"Yes," Jessica said. "I carried you to the escape pods and put you in one and launched it."

"Why didn't you come with me," Gaia asked.

"I just couldn't abandon my men. The Sith are ruthless but they also don't throw away lives either," Jessica said.

"That's now what we're taught about the Sith," Gaia said.

"We don't throw away lives but it is also survival of the strongest. If someone dies so be it," Jessica said.

"How did you get out of the ship, I saw it explode," Gaia said remembering the explosion of the ship from the view that the escape pod had.

"After I pushed the ejection for your ship I started to head back to the bridge," Jessica said. "But then there was a large explosion on board. I could feel the ship breaking up and knew that there was no more time. Dragging a crewman with me I jumped into the nearest escape pod and escaped from the ship."

"Then what happened," Gaia said.

"I landed on a nearby planet, probably the same one as you. I gathered up the men who had survived from the ship," Jessica said. "The men knew that whoever had taken over did not care about them as well. I had a very loyal following although it is smaller than before. We vowed revenge against those who tried to kill us. So a few of the survivors reported back to the fleet in order to gain information about who was now in charge. It was then that I found out who was being the attack."

Gaia listened to Jessica tell her what had happened. It all seemed so quick in her mind. She guessed that she was expecting more to be said about what happened. Really what was she expecting to hear, that Jessica was on board the ship and survived in the vacuum of space by using the Force. It was unrealistic but one that would be written down for sure.

"So you infiltrated the enemy to gain information, what happened next," Gaia asked.

"It was then that I discovered that he decided to attack the Jedi academy here on Yavin. I also knew that you had come back here after landing on the planet," Jessica said. "My second in command was not that smart in letting you go."

"It was," Gaia said a bit surprised by that.

"Yeah, you knew more about what was going on than just about any one else. You could have said where they were, what was going on along with a bit about military strength," Jessica said. "So why didn't you?"

"I'm not sure," Gaia replied after a few seconds of silence. She thought about it for a while before finally just giving a sigh. "I think I was morning you."

"Me, but I haven't given you any reason to morn me," Jessica said finally. "I would have thought you would have been glad to get rid of me."

"Not true," Gaia replied. "I think I fell for you somewhere along the way."

"You mean that you're willing to forgive me then," Jessica said hope filling her voice. "I did some awful things to you."

"I know, and that does still hurt me," Gaia said truthfully. "But I also cannot let you go again, does that make sense?"

"I think so, but I cannot become a Jedi, the Sith part of me runs too deep for that," Jessica replied. "Its part of who I am, what I am and where my strength is."

Gaia opened her mouth to reply then shut it again. What Jessica had just said was the truth, but she wanted to be a Jedi still.

"This is not going to be easy I see," Gaia said finally.

"With us, I guess it never is," Jessica said. "Come on, your friends are dying with curiosity about what is going on."

"Then they can wait," Gaia said. She got up with Jessica's help and they made their way back to the temple. Gaia knew that not everything had been settled but she felt that her life was on the right path standing next to Jessica.

"Well, they're coming back," Fie-Tel said noticing that Gaia and the tall dark haired woman were walking back to the temple. "Any new clues as to exactly who or what she is?"

"Nope, but I fear that we are about to lose a Jedi for now," Luke said.

"What do you mean," Fie-Tel asked. He was not sure about what Luke was talking about.

"He means that Gaia will be going with her when she leaves," Kyle stated from where he was sitting.

"Yes, much like you," Luke said looking at Kyle.

"You think that she will leave the Jedi Order," Fie-Tel asked not sure about that. His honor would not let him think about leaving such a profession until he died. Thinking that was something he could not really comprehend that well.

"Yes, sometimes things happen that require people to leave the order, but I feel that she will be back one day," Luke said. "I have a feeling about Gaia."

"Like you did with me," Kyle said. "You never gave up on me even when I did."

"I had a feeling that you would come back. You had to come to terms with who you were, and your feeling with Jan," Luke said. "Once everything had settled I knew you would be back. I just thought you would come back in time to train again to learn the Force."

"Not like how I did," Kyle replied. He had used the Valley of the Jedi to regain his Force powers.

"Well if you're sure Master Skywalker," Fie-Tel said. He was not sure about it but he would not go against Luke in this.

"I'm sure," Luke said.

Gaia walked with Jessica to see Master Skywalker. She was going to ask for some time away from the academy to sort out her life. There were things that she needed to do and one person who she needed to be with.

Jessica walked along beside her as they entered Luke's office, a large room which was mostly barren. Luke was there along with two other men who Gaia recognized as Masters Kyle Katarn and Fie-Tel. The three men seemed to be waiting to see what for either Jessica or Gaia to say something first.

"Master Skywalker, there is something that I need to talk with you," Gaia said finally.

"You know that you can discuss anything with me Master Gaia," Luke replied using her formal title. Gaia was a Jedi Knight and had earned the title.

"I need to leave the Jedi for now," Gaia said slightly hoping that she was hurting anyone's feelings.

"I understand," Luke said shocking Gaia. This was not what she had expected. The Jedi Order was strict in that few leave. "Not what you were expecting to hear, the Jedi Order at one time would have frowned upon what you were doing, but since the reformation of the Jedi Order some changes have been made. I have come to understand that even Jedi require time away, many come back better than when they left," Luke said his eyes turning to Kyle.

"Its true, up until a short time ago I had turned my back on the Jedi. It wasn't until Desann that I really came back to stay," Kyle said. "I have a feeling that our paths will cross again."

"So do I," Jessica said. Gaia and Jessica both left the room leaving the three men in there.

"Come on, I've got to pick something up from my room," Gaia said taking Jessica by the hand and leading her there.

Fie-Tel watched as the two woman walked out of the room. He was not sure about what Luke was doing. To him a Jedi pledge their lives to the Jedi Order thenn they should not turn their back on it.

"You disagree Master Fie-Tel," Luke said.

"Yes, I think we should respect the way of the Jedi Order and the traditions of the Jedi way," Fie-Tel said.

"We should, but as a Jedi we also have to look at learn from the past. Those same traditions and ways led to the purge. Now we are rebuilding and must take those lessons along with the traditions and build a new foundation," Luke said. "This is my way of merging the two."

"If you say so," Fie-Tel replied not sure about that.

"I'm sure it will work out Luke," Kyle said from where he was. He had been given the chance twice. He would not look back on the Jedi Order again but he also knew that without that path away from the Order he would not be where he was now.

Jessica walked behind Gaia into her room. It had a few items in it that she could tell belonged to the smaller Jedi. What intrigued her the most was a small box on one of the shelves.

"What's this," Jessica asked.

"Oh, that, I'm not sure," Gaia said halfway turning to see what had caught Jessica's eye.

"You mean you've never opened it," Jessica asked. "I'm surprised."

"Its not that I haven't tried, but my mother said it would only open when the time was right. Its been in our family for generations now," Gaia said.

"Has anyone ever opened it," Jessica asked.

"Nope, not that I'm aware of," Gaia said placing some clothing in a small bag then turned to see Jessica studying the small box.

"It looks like it should open right here," Jessica said trying to open it. The small box refused to budge though.

"I'll leave it here for safe-keeping," Gaia said reaching up to take it out of Jessica's hands. The box suddenly opened as she touched it. "What did you do?"

"Nothing," Jessica replied not sure why the box had just opened. They both looked inside the box wondering what could have been in there. Inside were two gold rings.

"Huh," Gaia said as she picked them up. One was smaller than the other. Each had two gems on it, one was blue the other was green. The strange thing about the gems was the fact that the gems seemed to be merged together. "Pretty," Gaia finally said holding one up. The smaller one seemed to fit her finger perfectly. The other she wondered about and went to place it on Jessica's finger. "Well how about that," she said not really thinking about what she had just done.

Jessica was actually a bit stunned by what had just happened. The rings were indeed beautiful. Somehow the gems seemed to represent them. She was about to say something when a foggy mist enveloped the room. Jessica and Gaia turned to see the strange figures that Gaia had seen so many times before.

"Its you," Gaia finally said looking up to Jessica. Feeling a bit bold Gaia placed her hand into Jessica's larger one giving it a gentle squeeze.

"Hah," the shorter figure said giving the larger one a bump. "See I told you so."

"Hurmph," the taller one said.

"Yes, it is me," the shorter figure said to Gaia. "And you have figured this out as well."

"Who are you," Jessica said not wanting to be left in the dark for much longer.

"I am Jedi Master Bri Lighter, and this is my soulmate, Xara Darhart," the shorter one called Bri said.

"Then I was researching the right path," Gaia said. "Is Xara a Jedi as well?"

"No, I was taught by the Sith, but never became a Sith Lord," Xara replied looking at Jessica. "The Sith power runs strong in you."

"I know," Jessica said. "But there is something else in my heart," she said looking at Gaia.

"Then our work is done, but yours is just beginning," Bri said as they faded away.

"Well, that was unusual. Happen to you often," Jessica asked looking down into green eyes.

"Not until I saw a black clad figure attacking us a while ago," Gaia said. "Was that you?"

"Yes, I was part of Desann's original Shadow troopers," Jessica said.

"Then you know where the Valley of the Jedi is," Gaia said suddenly.

"Yes and no," Jessica replied. "I've been there, but I do not know the location. But you were there at the defeat of Tavion."

"Yes, my second experience in combat. But I think I somehow felt you there," Gaia said as she thought about that.

"Yes, I think you did," Jessica said. "As much as I probably felt you. I was just so focused on what I was doing to notice it."

"You felt me as well," Gaia asked partly hoping that what she felt worked both ways.

"I don't normally stare at a place that I don't see people at first. But I do remember thinking that a pair of green eyes were looking at me," Jessica said.

"I think we should talk with someone," Gaia said remembering her time on Coruscant.

"Sounds like an idea," Jessica said as they walked out of the small room.

Percy sat at the small desk that he worked at. He heard the door open and looked up. He was slightly surprised to see the blonde Jedi that he had helped not that long ago. He was however surprised at the taller dark haired figure that was beside her. She radiated a power that few people ever do which sent chills down his spine.

"Hello Percy," Gaia said to the man.

"Gaia," Percy replied not sure if he should take his eyes off Jessica. Perhaps he had been wrong.

"This is Jessica," Gaia said. "I think its time we had a talk with someone who can explain everything."

Percy was about to try and make something up when something caught his eye. He smiled and nodded telling them follow him. They were lead to another room which was occupied by a man who Gaia had seen only once before.

"Percy, what are you doing," the man said then saw who it was. "Ah, I see, have a seat."

Jessica and Gaia shared a look but sat down. They waited for him to begin.

"My name is Frank and I am the high priest of the organization," Frank said.

"What organization," Jessica said speaking for the first time.

"We do not have an official name," Frank said leaning back in his chair. "Members know what they are part of."

"And are we members," Gaia asked. She was not aware that she had taken Jessica's hand while they were sitting there.

"Yes, you are," Frank said. "Its not one that anyone can join, but I think you already know that."

"So what type of organization is this," Gaia asked.

"Everyone who is a member has a soulmate, or had one," he said.

"Soulmate," Gaia said saying the word then looking at Jessica. "I like it."

"You would," Jessica said. "How do you know that I didn't force Gaia here to find out about this?"

"Easy, you wear the rings," Frank said looking at the rings that were on their hands.

"We could have stolen them," Jessica said.

"No, the rings are special," Frank said holding his up. "Here, put mine on," he said to them.

Jessica shrugged then looked at the ring. It was similar to the one they had but the color was brown and blue. Jessica took the ring and placed it on her finger. She noticed that the ring seemed to separate the colors.

"The colors join only by the soulmates of the rings," Frank said. "Each one is specially made."

"But these are not ours," Gaia said.

"Yes, you are of an old soul. The older the soul the more vibrate the color of the rings," Frank said. "The same rings can be used for the same souls. You two are of the Warrior and Bard. Much like Bri and Xara. You are the Warrior," he said looking at Jessica. "And you are the Bard. Usually the Warrior has a dark past, and the Bard one of light. It is the dark part that we worry about and keep a close eye on."

"But if we're soulmates and we got the rings why are you trusting me with this information," Jessica said. "You know what I'm capable of."

"Yes, but the darkness must be there, otherwise a strength of the Warrior is not as strong. The darkness gives you the strength, but the Bard is your source," Frank said.

"I doubt that," Gaia said.

"I don't," Jessica said. "When I fought one of the Sith Lords I was losing" Jessica said remembering the last Sith Lord Spirit she fought. "I heard you somehow and thought that I found the strength to defeat him."

"Yes, and I'm sure you felt it as well. It would have felt like something was slipping away and there was nothing you could do," Frank said.

Gaia nodded remembering a time when she was in the library and she had that feeling. "Is that when you became a Sith Lord," Gaia asked.

"Yes," Jessica said.

"I felt that," Gaia said. "But why do you live in secret?"

"When Bri and Xara were alive a threat arose against us, if it wasn't for Bri and Xara we would have been exterminated. During their trial they had a vision. It was then that they constructed the box," Frank said. "They said that only the next reincarnation of their souls would be able to open it, but they had to be together to do it."

"That would explain why it opened when we both touched it," Jessica said.

"So what are your plans," Frank asked.

"A vacation," Jessica said looking at Gaia. "Then we'll figure it out."

"There's a nice place on Naboo," Frank said. "I think you would enjoy it."

"Sounds good," Gaia said. She looked up at Jessica who seemed to agree.

Luke looked out from his office down at the recruits that were on the training ground. Master Fie-Tel was down there instructing a new recruit. He wondered what would be next. There had been several months of peace and quiet. The remaining ships from Darth Rizon's fleet had been captured or destroyed but there was no word as to what happened to Darth Rizon. It was if the Dark Lord had just disappeared. A few rumors stated that she had died on the attack on the Jedi Academy. Luke knew the truth, but did nothing to counter the rumors.

Glancing down again he spotted two forms coming towards the temple. He was a bit shocked to see them. Even at this distance he could see the way the smaller blonde held onto the taller form. It was obvious to him that they were in love, and that his Jedi was coming home. That just left the thought about the taller darker woman. She had been a Sith Lord, Darth Rizon, but now, he hoped that one day she might join them, but he also knew that the two of them would make a great team.

"Kyle, let's go down and meet our returning Jedi Master," Luke said.

"Returning, Luke what do you mean," Kyle said a bit lost by Luke's words then saw who was coming. "Ah, I see. Wonder if Jan would let me do that to her," he asked seeing the taller woman kiss the smaller one while spinning her around.

"You already do that," Luke said from where he was standing.

"I meant today," Kyle said.

"You two could get a contest going," Luke said with a chuckle as they walked out the door.

"Haha," Kyle replied as he followed Luke out the door and down to where the two women were waiting.

The End

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