Disclaimer: I do not own Lucasfilm Ltd., LucasArts, Walt Disney Co., or Wookieepedia, nor anyone else who may hold copyright on these characters and information. This is simply my creative work building on the work of others whom I respect. Any intellectual information that has not been created from scratch by me is the property of appropriate copyright holders. The characters Naluma Fau, Kumu, and her father as well as the events in this story are under copyright by Alena McCaffrey, 2018.
*trigger warning: if you have any triggers don't read this*
Naluma Fau, Jedi Knight of the New Jedi Order, grunted as blaster fire whizzed past her shoulder. With just enough warning from the Force, she was able to roll over in time to avoid the hit on her sim vest.
When I get my hands on you, Luke, putting me through this nightmare . . . I thought you loved me. A barrage of laser fire from behind a thirty-meter tall flower caught her off guard. The luminescence from the dense jungle foliage of Felucia blurred her focus. Almost everything was perfectly recreated, except there was no humidity.
As a squad of battle droids marched across the flooded paddies, she hefted her rifle and shot with precision. When that rifle over heated, she switched to her sidearm.
While the pressing humidity of her home planet was absent in the military simulator, sweat drenched her head under her helmet, dripping into her eyes. Between attacks, she wiped her forehead and retied her chignon at the nape of her neck.
She leaned back against the trunk of a palm tree that extended twenty meters above her in the holochamber. Huh, must be a pillar disguised as a palm. She sighed and took a swig of water from her canteen.
Felucia stirred up old fears. Panic surged in her throat. She initiated a Jedi cleansing breath. How long ago was it? Will I ever be able to have peace again?
She breathed deeply again. The peace she desired evaded her grasp. That's it. I've never truly had that perfect peace Luke has. And I never will as long as this controls me. Twenty years in fear.
Her attention wandered to the "sky" above her as it transformed from twilight to evening. The stars were perfect, exactly what she would have seen at night at home.
It was at night.
They came at night.
The ones she trusted came and . . . no she couldn't go through that again. If I don't think about it, I can control the fear.
But in the back of her mind she could hear Luke's voice again. You're wrong. You must face it to gain peace.
She closed her eyes and heaved a weighted breath as the scene rushed back to her.
Her old master—Kumu. His long, grizzled hair hung in dark greasy braids. She could almost smell his rotted teeth when he opened his mouth. The gold cap on his incisor gleamed in the low light in the workshop.
The heavy man thudded in front of her. "Turn around."
In her hurry to obey, she felt the splinters from the wooden bench poke her rear. She bent over her work—a salvaged speeder motor.
"Show me." A noxious cloud of Junk Juice vapors spewed from his mouth.
Naluma gagged and pulled her hand to her mouth. A chunky hand clutched hers and pulled it behind her back. "I said to show me."
She knew what he wanted, and it wasn't the repaired motor.
But she wasn't going to back down without a fight.
The unwashed mechanics master leaned his porcine belly against her back. He glided his left hand down her front, mauling her chest.
Naluma cringed as he unbuttoned her tunic and ran his hand across her skin. But it wasn't time yet. She had to endure. She wanted them all. And she could feel them just outside the door.
"Good, you've learned to obey." Another belch escaped his maw. It was all Naluma could do not to heave in response.
At last her hands were free, but it was still too soon. She needed surprise. She struggled against his grasp as he stripped her filthy muslin tunic from her torso. The reciprocal slap stung and knocked a tooth loose. Blood oozed from her mouth. The coppery tang bit through the memory.
"You want it rough, huh? Oh, you'll get it rough, and you'll be begging for more before we're done." He slapped her again. "Answer me, slave."
She stuttered, her loose tooth marring her speech. "Yef, Mafter."
Another slap. "Louder."
I can do this. Just a few more minutes.
Kumu shoved her against the workstation. "Come on, boys."
Three men—smugglers, drug runners, slave runners—she knew them all. This wasn't their first time, but it was going to be the last time.
She reached for the vibroblade on the workbench. She groaned when it was just out of her reach.
"Listen to her moan. Told you she likes it rough."
She grunted and struggled against his grasp. She extended her arms, pulling her shoulders as far as possible out of their sockets. She was able to just touch it with her middle finger.
She ignored Kumu as he struggled with her belt. She closed her eyes. Whimpering, she reached out for the vibroblade. She pulled with all her might, wishing it into her hand.
The vibroblade whirred to life, its six-inch energy cutter humming in the air. With a quick pivot, Naluma jerked her long arm and lashed out at Kumu. Her eyes widened at the blade in her hand which now stuck in his chest. The heavy man thudded to the floor.
She tugged the blade. The electricity cauterized the spot of blood at the insertion point.
With her eyes glaring, she said to the three gathered around her. "Who's next?"
Naluma shook herself out of the Force-vision. I killed them. Just like my squad when I led them into an ambush on Thila. Just like I did my father. I killed them. I'm a monster.
She heard Luke's voice once again. He had counseled her many times about this. Jedi are the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy. You cannot have one without the other.
Hearing footsteps around her, she stood and took cover behind the pillar masked as a palm tree. She hefted her cooled rifle. This time it wasn't battle droids. This time it was the faces of her squad, the face of her master, the faces of his friends, and the face of the one she had loved so much—until the Junk Juice turned him into a monster—her father.
The holograms spoke in unison. "We've come for you. It's time, Naluma, for you to pay for your crimes."
"No. Not this time. I am a Jedi, keeper of peace and justice in the galaxy. In the name of all your victims, I sentence you for your crimes. Justice demands that we protect the innocent." With the precision of a Jedi Knight, each fell with a heart shot.
When she reached her father, she paused. "I loved you, Daddy, but what you took wasn't yours. And I won't let you take it from any other little girl." She gently squeezed the trigger and watched as the hologram toppled to the ground.
Jedi Knight Naluma Fau slung her rifle over her head as the holochamber returned to normal. "Now, my ghosts, I can forgive you. You no longer have power over me."
Naluma inhaled deeply and reached out into the Force. Her heart rate and breathing calmed, her muscles relaxed, and that ever-elusive peace was finally hers.