Jinx’s gaze held her, even after the light in his eyes faded and died away, his final words ebbing into the silence.
“Jinx…” she pleaded, “forgive me.” He had, that she knew; only she could never be able to forgive herself. It had to be done; for her son’s sake, it had to be done.
Comrade and long-time friend…. Memories flooded her mind – their first mission on Tatooine; fighting side by side here on this very planet and all over the galaxy across the years; wounded and aiding each other, scrambling to get aboard the Raven with mere seconds to spare, then laughing about it together at death’s expense.
And so then…this is how it ends. She wanted to throw her pistol as hard as she could, watch it spin as it flew, bounce across the rooftop, flip end over end over the side to fall into Coruscant’s cavernous depths and break into a thousand pieces when it reached the bottom.
Cradling his head, emotions rose like a drowning flood – too many of them, all threatening to overwhelm her – pain, grief, anger, denial, horror – all vying for dominance. She couldn’t afford to give in to any of them. Not right now. Not yet.
Les moaned behind her, a sound so full and so tortured that was hard to read. She holstered her weapon, the one that had taken the life of Jinx Katarn. She eased his head down, gently – the metal rooftop seemed so very hard. When she laid a hand over his eyes to close them and felt the mixture of warmth that still lingered in his flesh and the coldness that was taking over, she almost lost it then. Fighting back her feelings, she crossed his arms over his chest, gave his hand one final squeeze.
She turned to her son, down on his knees, watching her. He watched as she approached him in the day’s waning light. Standing over him, looking down into his eyes, a chill went down her spine. Though calmed somewhat, there was a trace of that strange light in his eye, that untamed anger he’d unleashed on his late master; a look that made him seem more alien than her own flesh and blood, her Les.
She slapped him.
“I have just killed for you,” she said in a quavering voice. “You will NOT look at me like that.”
When he looked at her again, that crazy light was gone. Back was her son, her little boy. Tears filled his eyes. “Mom….”
“DON’T!” she warned. “Don’t talk to me right now. Not right now. Don’t say anything, understand?” He nodded sheepishly, looking very much like a kid who knows he’s in great big trouble. His face was turning white. He looked like he would be sick. “Come on, son,” Janet said, putting Les’ one remaining arm over her shoulder and helping him to his feet. “You’re going into shock.” With a crushed knee and missing limb, she practically had to drag him aboard. When he had been strapped in the medical bay and covered in blankets, Janet went about bringing Jinx and the old man aboard. Again she was struck with a wave of emotion as she lifted the Jedi’s limp body onto the repulsor cart she’d found on the ship; it seemed he ought to have put an arm around her to aid her in her labor; to open his eyes and tell her once again that he understood. None of this seemed real, had yet to sink in. Force help her when it did.
Up in the air to join Coruscant’s never-ending stream of traffic, Janet looked back. The Storm’s Revenge seemed so lonely sitting there alone and bereft of her pilot. Turning back to the business at hand, she guided the borrowed craft to a medcenter she knew of that would treat Les’ injuries, and ask no questions.