Khessya stepped out of the shuttle and made her way to the old ruins that once served as headquarters for another unlikely alliance all those years ago.
She needed to be somewhere she would be left on her own, she had made sure Lana understood she didn’t want to be followed, or even looked for. The Sith Lord had tried to protest, of course, but even Lana couldn’t break her resolve. Not today. Not after Umbara.
She had taken a shuttle and set course for Yavin 4. The moon was unwelcoming, stifling with humidity and the dark side of the Force. It was the perfect place. No one would look for her here. And she needed the solitude almost as much as she needed the memories.
She sat on the floor and embraced the breathtaking view. Despite the lingering remnants of a dark past, she had a careful fondness for the green moon. She had been happy here.
She let her mind bring her back to memories of time spent with the only two people she had ever fully trusted. The two people who had abandoned her.
She allowed her tears to run freely. While she never agreed on the Jedi Order’s stance on emotions, she knew better than letting them overwhelm her. And she was getting dangerously close.
Sorrow. Anger. Loneliness.
The man she loved had turned her back on her and on everything they had shared and worked for. For reasons that didn’t even begin to make sense. And the only person she would have allowed herself to share her pain, concerns and doubts with was nowhere to be found. She had never felt so alone.
So she let the tears run. For as long as she needed them to. Allowing herself to forget about the Alliance, the war, everything but the pain tearing her apart. The galaxy might not stop breathing for her but today, for the first time in her life, she would stop breathing for the galaxy.
Only when her last tear had dried, numbing her pain for a short while, did she allow herself to move. And think.
She carefully wandered between old stones and thick vines, allowing the ghosts of her memories to haunt her.
Here on Yavin, a lifetime ago, Grand Master Satele had called her a light guiding others into the darkness. But how was she to guide anyone when she was lost and left in the dark too?
He had called her a tyrant. Helpless against foes threatening the galaxy she, they, had been working so hard to protect. He had lost his trust, his faith in her. If he ever had any.
She was determined to find him. To make him explain. To help her understand. To give her answers, willingly or not. And to figure out what would come next. For him. For her. For them…
He had said he loved her. That he couldn’t live without her. And he had stabbed her in the back. You know I love you but this is bigger than us. How could he? How could he see her as a monster and still love her? Where did the truth stop and the lies begin?
She couldn’t even begin to wrap her head around it all. They had both worked tirelessly to bring relief and peace to the galaxy. Spent hours finding ways of using their resources to help those in need and put down uprisings and riots before they turned into another war. How was that making her a symbol of oppression.
So much for your dreams of peace. She had thought, believed, with her whole heart, that it had been their dream. One they shared and worked on together. As a team. As partners.
Was it all a lie?
How did this all happen? When did he stop believing in the dream they shared? In peace? When did he ever start thinking she would brush his concerns and doubts away without a thought. When did she lose him?
The man who told her those words on that train was not the Theron Shan she knew and loved. The Theron Shan she met on Umbara was a stranger. The Theron Shan she gave her heart to wanted the galaxy to find peace but not at the cost of innocent lives. Had she fallen in love with a lie?
She leaned against a broken wall and wrapped herself into her arms. Her pain was too intense, her sorrow too deep, her thoughts too confused.
She closed her eyes, allowing more tears to drop. Sometimes, the loss is just too much.
People keep trying to break us up. They never learn… I wanted to tell you… I couldn’t take that risk… I’d do anything to protect you… Whatever happens down there, I just wanted to say… I love you…
The words haunted her, sweet and sharp. She wanted to believe those words. To believe there was more to his betrayal than met the eye. She wanted to hope. To believe in him.
And in that moment she realized that she would.
Because she loved him.