The struggle, the effort. Lea could feel the emotions in Rokoi. The hatred, the anger. The pain.
Though Rokoi was a Sith, Lea still cared for her. “Move!” She screamed over the rustling of branches and cracking of wood.
The tree hit the ground with a flurry of dust and leaves. Lea coughed, trying to blow the dust away from her face. When she could finally see, she searched the forest around her for Darth Rokoi, but found nothing. The tree was so thick and large, Lea couldn’t see.
“Mai Reu?” Lea asked, her voice shaky. “Are…are you there?”
Lea’s mind frantically searched for any emotion, any spark. But there was none.
Darth Rokoi was gone.
Lea’s bottom lip quivered, and she burst into tears, hugging the lightsaber hilt close to her heart. She sat alone, her hair and dress soaked, crying over her fallen teacher.
Lea looked up scanned the landscape behind her.
It was Tay. She was rushing through the trees, Chewie in her arms. Her eyes frantically darted around, scanning the area.
“I’m over here!” Lea yelled, waving her arms . She stood up and began running towards Tay.
“Oh, thank goodness!” Tay exclaimed when they met, “ I heard the lightning, and then the tree fell, and I was so worried about you.” The concern in her eyes was unmistakable.
Lea suddenly realized that whatever could have happened during her fight, she would still have her sisters, and Tay, that would always be there for her. Always concerned, always caring, and always loving. Just as Lea realized that, she felt complete.
Happy tears welled up in Lea’s eyes and she drew Tay into a hug. “She’s gone. We’re safe.” She whispered. “I can go home now.”
Tay smiled, and patted Lea’s back. “You have to tell me how you did it though,” She insisted, “I bet it was epic. I wish I was there to see it.”
Lea laughed, never so happy to see her friend so enthusiastic. “I’ll tell you on the way back.”
“This is going to be awesome news!” Tay exclaimed, then paused. “Wait. On the way back to where?”
“For one thing, my home, and to find your new home.” Lea answered, fastening Luke’s lightsaber to her belt.
“Oh. Yeah.” Tay suddenly remembered. Then she focused on the little ball of fur in her arms. “What should we do with Chewie?”
“Sorry, but I do not want to carry him all the way to my house.” Lea said. “Do you even know how heavy he is? He’s like toting a bowling ball everywhere. And Sarah would never let me keep him.”
Tay cracked up, then said, “I guess we could just let him go right here.”
“Alright.” Lea said. She took Chewie from Tay, and set him on the ground. “Go on, little guy, go home.” She whispered. Chewie stared at the girls, confused on why he was on the ground.
“Go home, Chewie!” Tay said, waving her hand, saying goodbye. Chewie finally got the message. He nodded his little head, and very slowly, crept into the underbrush.
“Will he be okay?” Lea asked, once he had gone. She was worried about him.
“Oh sure.” Tay said confidently, “He is here in the forest all the time.”
They were silent for a moment. Tay coughed. “So um, are we ready to go?”
Lea peeled her eyes off the forest and looked at Tay. “I need to find something first. Can you help me look?” She picked up her robe off the ground and shook the dirt and sand into the air.
“Sure, I’m game,” Tay said. “What are we looking for?”
“It’s a lightsaber, just like mine – I mean, Luke’s.” Lea said, already scanning the soft earth for her metal hilt.
“Wait. What?” Tay paused. She stood with her hands on her hips, her eyes demanding an explanation.
“Okay, long story short, I actually didn’t have my lightsaber, it was actually Luke Skywalker’s. Mai – Darth Rokoi, had mine, and she threw it in the dirt somewhere. I want my own lightsaber back. Can you please help me look?” Lea took a second to tell Tay as fast as she could, then went back to looking.
“Lea!” Tay hollered, as Lea moved away through the brush, “Who is Mai? You called Darth Rokoi a ‘she’ ! Is Darth Rokoi a GIRL?”
When Lea didn’t answer, Tay huffed. Then a smile crept onto her face. Lea had learned to be in a hurry from the best. Tay ran to catch up to Lea, and began to search for the missing hilt.
After a few minutes of searching, Lea bent down and picked up something. A cry of triumph ran through the forest.
Tay ran through the grass to where Lea stood, holding two lightsaber hilts; one in each hand.
“Woah.” Tay mumbled, “They look exactly the same!” She put her index finger on the cool metal.
“Almost,” Lea agreed. “Mine has dents on the bottom though, and a leaf-shaped scratch.” She held it up to her face and closed her eyes. “This one is mine.” She opened her eyes and held the other lightsaber out to Tay. “Do you want it?”
“Me?” Tay asked, “Nooo thanks.” She backed away from the weapon that was pointed at her.
“Well, what should we do with it?” Lea asked, “I certainly don’t need two, and I like mine way more.”
Tay thought for a moment. “Let’s bury it.” She looked at Lea, hoping she would approve.
Lea sighed. “Alright.” She and Tay dug a small hole in the soft dirt with their shoes. The ground was muddy from the fresh rainfall.
Carefully, Lea placed the lightsaber into the hole and Tay watched solemnly. Together they piled the dirt back over the hilt of metal.
“May the rightful owner of this lightsaber yield it when the times comes.” Lea said with her eyes closed, as if casting a spell.
Tay blinked. “I have no idea what you just said, but I agree wholeheartedly.”
Lea nodded towards Tay. “Let’s go home.”
And now this time, the follower leading, and leader following, the girls made their way back towards the road.
Stay tuned for Part 22. :)