Newcomer

The Ocean Elf was awakened by an alarm at Mission HQ. There was a strange presence on the property, possibly a security threat.

Sighing, she got up, then looked at the time. It was only 3:36 in the morning. She shook her head irritably, but nevertheless, hastily readied herself for the day, and without eating, exited the main building to do some checks.

"Brrrr!" She huddled inside her coat, the weather was bitterly cold, which always made it even more difficult for her to get going.

She found nothing strange directly on the property, but as she was just about to turn back to retreat inside the building and get away from the cold snowy conditions, she nearly lost her footing on a slippery patch of ice beneath some snow.

She soon regained it, but to her astonishment, the landscape suddenly changed.

Gone was the Mission HQ and its surroundings, to be replaced by a completely different setting.

She was now in a galaxy far far away. She had no idea how she got there, but she was pretty sure it was someone else's doing, and no accident. She had a keen sense of being watched, and probably by whoever was responsible for dragging her through some portal and into this strange land.

Sure enough, the elf's suspicions proved correct.

A man in black approached her. He was very ominous, but instead of intimidating her, it made her back go up. He must've been the one responsible for the disturbance back at HQ and summoning her through a sneaky portal, though how and why that was managed, she hadn't yet figured out.

But he seemed familiar. He reminded her of someone - some black-coated villain in the movies.

A further clue to his identity was that he breathed loudly, sounding exactly as if he was on a respirator.

Of course! There was only one person who looked and breathed this way, someone who stood out from the other black-suited bad guys in the movies.

This one had to be none other than Darth Vader himself.

The elf frowned and narrowed her eyes. Then she looked up to gaze intently at him. If he intended to amuse himself with her and then have her destroyed, she wasn't about to have any of it. But if he was going to have any pleasant dealings with her, he would have to have returned to the light. But she didn't yet know what his intentions were. Of all the people he could've sought out, why her? Had he learned of certain operations in her world that she partially carried out? If so, how could he even be bothered with that information when surely there were other things going on in his own galaxy? But those questions would have to wait for now.

"Anakin Skywalker. You may refer to me by my birth name if you wish," he said, his voice a little bass tone through the mask.

The Elf grimaced and shook her head, but responded matter-of-factly, "You don't need to address me at all." She took a step closer, looking irritated. "Why have you brought me here, and what do you want with me? You have some nerve breaching the security system on my property, disturbing my rest, and zapping me into this strange place." she said coldly.

I am most apologetic, the figure in black replied. I only want you to help me to return to the light."

The Ocean Elf looked incredulous. "Excuse me?"

He continued.

"I am tired of being the emperors so-called Aaron boy, or his dark enforcer. he said with a dejected sigh.

The elf stared in disbelief for a moment, and then her expression became steely. "Too little, too late," she said curtly, "the damage has already been done. As for Palpatine, he is dead. Good riddance."

"I threw him down once before, but he cheated death by using the force. Then he cheated death again when Rey electricuted him."

"What!?" The elf looked incredulous at first, then suddenly livid with rage, more angry than he could imagine her to be. ""I see...!" she spat.

Outside the window of the room they were standing in, the sky turned dark with ominous clouds, lightning flashed, and there was a tremendous thunder clap.

The others had warned Anakin Vader that using the force to bring her here was a huge mistake, and now he was beginning to see why.

But he lowered his head and turned away to make himself appear less threatening. "I could use your help, but be careful of the malign energy that shoots from his fingertips."

"So this is why you brought me here? You found out about our Earthly Mission HQ and thought you'd give us a try?" She said more menacingly, "You better not have singled me out for this."

By this time, large raindrops and small hail stones pelted the roof, and wind was howling.

The man in black nodded, but chose not to address the elf's last remark. "By the way, you may refer to me by my birth name. It is Anakin."

The elf scowled. "I take that as a yes!" she hissed.

He continued. " If I were to talk to you without my mask, my voice would be a little more than a whisper, and it would be very difficult and painful for me to speak. The respirator helps me to breathe,"

The elf heaved an irritated sigh and twittled her thumbs.

The storm continued raging during the rest of their conversation.

Vader continued. "because my lungs are so damaged. He explained..

"You are used to it enough to carry on plotting, torturing and killing tons of people with a gloat to others you would coerce. Don't try any sympathy plays on me." she said sharply. "I am only interested in ending this Palpatine if he's still kicking around as you say, and not for your sake..."

I am very glad, he replied.

"Oh, shut up!" the elf raised her voice.

"And I'd like to thank you - "

"Don't thank me, don't thank me, do you hear?" The elf snapped, glaring at him.

"Can't you even take a compliment?" he asked.

"I don't want anything from you!"

He stood still for a moment, considering what to say next. This was not going as he had hoped. "If you should see Sidious," he spoke again, "you must be careful. The emperor is really a SITH Lord. Darth Sidious.."

"DUH!" said the elf. Now if you will excuse me...?"

She turned to walk away.

The man continued."Please, do be careful. If I have to, I will use the force and lift him over my head. I shall throw him over the balcony railing."

"You already did that. Apparently it didn't exactly work." she sniped.

"He nearly killed my son Luke Skywalker. I shall vowed to seek my vengeance! I know it’s wrong, but if I want to return to the light, I have to do this myself."

"Well then, you don't need my help." the elf said coldly, then began walking swiftly away from him.

"It's no use, Elf," the man said, "This is a no-teleport zone."

Oh? Then why did you manage to bring me here?"

"The force. As soon as I transported you, I used the force. You couldn't leave if you wanted to."

"I want to. I never asked to be brought here in the first place, especially by the likes of you!"

The elf had one hand in a pocket, glad her device for transport was there. But she found it didn't work when she tried to return home.

She kept her back turned, not wanting to show the panic and loss of control in her expression. She was not about to give him that satisfaction. So for now, she did not try very hard to escape. It wasn't worth the struggle while he was there watching her. She planned to work her way out of this later when he was not observing her.

Turning back toward Vader, the elf glared, putting both clenched fists up. "You just kidnapped me for nothing, and it will cost you." she hissed.

He shuddered, stumbling back, then moved off to the side to recover from what appeared to be some kind of fit.

"Call off your grounding force field or I will end you right here and now!" the elf warned.

He only tried appealing to her sympathy again. "I can't. The effort to bring you here and set up the no-escape zone in here is exhausting."

The elf scoffed. "Then you shouldn't have wasted your energy." Without warning, she doused him with a wave.

Vader sputtered and cried out in surprise when it knocked him off his feet.

In a second, the wave had vanished, but it left him drenched.

In a mix of shock and sudden fright, he righted himself, then stared down at the elf.

"That was only a small sample of what you're up against." the Ocean Elf warned. "It is in your best interest to let me return home.

Now he was really starting to regret bringing her here by force. He was in trouble with her no matter what. If he gloated and told her she was not free to leave, she would probably wave him right out of existence. But telling her of his exhaustion was also giving away his weakness. That was something he never did with anyone else he had captured before. Telling her of it would be putting himself at even more risk. But what else could he do? The only thing left was to try to play on her compassion if she had any for him at all. He knew she was capable of compassion because she made it clear how she felt about commission of deliberately cruel acts. He just hoped she didn't know the extent of everything he had done. and would be willing to overlook it if she could be convinced how much he suffered.

"I am so tired of the pain I suffer in this wretched thing for the past 30 something years!"

The elf put a finger to her lips.

Vader only continued, showing her the armor he wore. "It is heavy, cumbersome, and I can’t move!" He said. His bass voice near-shout resonated around the room.

"Enough!" the elf raised her voice. "This was your idea, not mine. Don't blame me if you're tired out. There are people back in my own world who have it a lot worse off than you, and our technology isn't nearly as advanced as what you have in your galaxy. If you were really so bad off you'd be lying in a hospital somewhere, unable to do everything you've done to damage and snuff out life, left, right and center! So next time you want to balk about your suit, shut up!"

Vader sighed dejectedly. Was there nothing he could do to make this elf give even a little? Never before had he gotten such a cold, hard reaction from newcomers, whether they had been brought here against their will or not.

But then he got one more idea. Maybe the physical touch might break through the ice, and show her a reason to be sympathetic. So Vader reached out and took the elf's small hand in his cybernetic one. "By the way, he said.

She yanked her hand away. "How dare you touch me!?" she said furiously.

He froze for a moment and looked into her face. There was not a trace of what he was so used to seeing in the faces of other newcomers, fear, admiration, pity, or a combination of them all, and mostly awe. The elf showed none of these. Only a confrontational stare he could not stand to look at for long.

He stepped away again and looked to the side. "My apologies." he said.

"Oh, shut up. Just send me back." the elf demanded.

If you will just hold on a little longer," he appealed.

The Ocean Elf heaved a very audible sigh of irritation.

He continued, "I will bring you to meet a very good friend of mine. His name is Ben, but he hasn’t gone by the name of Obi-Wan sense… Oh before Luke was born.

At this, Elf frowned in suspicion. "Wait...Your friends?"

"Yes," Vader replied. "We our friends. Are used to be his student, before that wicked old screw of an emperor influenced me. He is the one that lured me to the Dark side."

"You let him." said the elf unsympathetically. "That was still your choice."

"It was prophesied, but I would bring balance to the force."

The elf gave a muffled cough and grimaced.

"If you are unfamiliar with the force,"

"Everyone in first world countries on Earth has heard of the force." said the elf tersely.

"But you may ask Obi-Wan. You will meet someone else who is almost 900 years old. His name is Yoda."

"Why wasn't it one of themn who tried to contact Mission HQ?"

Vader's heart sank. He had no answer for this, so only continued. "He uses the light saber just like I do, and you will learn how to use one as well."

""Oh, whatever, let's get on with it." The returning annoyance was followed by a warning. "And remember what I said. If I still can't get out of here next time I try, you will regret it."

He then said, "I can sense something of a force field around you," at the elf's sudden suspicious scowl, he asked, "Have you done any sword fighting dear?"

The elf shook her head. "As if that's any of your concern." she said, "If I'm required to learn that, you stay out of it."

"Well," Anakin said, "I shall bring you to meet two friends of mine."

You already said that!" the elf snapped.

"We shall momentarily be entering a very Caverness chamber underground." he said to her. "Are you afraid of the dark?" He asked, very rare but kind smile showing through his mask.

"What do you think I am, five?" she countered, rolling her eyes.

"Do not mind the sound of my respirator. He said. I hope to get this wretched thing fixed soon. I am so tired of the pain I suffer!

"Oh, for crying out loud! We've been over and over this! Gah but you love feeling sorry for yourself! Just stop! Stop! Stop!""

"I am most apologetic for bringing this up again," Anakin said, almost crying.

Elf sighed impatiently. "All of a sudden you're just falling apart over this; and you never have before. We do have some footage of various things from your world that have made their way to ours. You know what that means!" she said pointedly.

"I wish I could just force choke the emperor, and defeat him that way. Of course, then he would suffer. He is almost 90 years old after all."

The elf scowled.

Anakin continued."Anyway, here we are. With this, he stopped before an oak door. Lifting a creaking latch, which echoed around the room, he pulled it open and lead the elf into a Cavernous room.

Elf looked around with an ice cold expression.

Directly before her sat Master Yoda and Master Kenobi.

"This is Obi-Wan," Anakin said, introducing her to a man who is about 57 years of age.

The elf frowned at Anakin, then turned to glance warily at Ben.

This fellow was a kindly gentleman, with white hair, and a snowy white beard trailing down to his chest. His eyes were of a piercing blue color, and for a weaker-willed individual, they might seem to stare right through to one's soul. "It is Nice to meet you dear," the man said, rising and shaking the elf's hand. "Please, just call me Ben."

She returned the hand-shake but rather stiffly."I would've liked to meet you under better circumstances." she explained. "Please excuse me, I am upset." she stated.

Ben nodded.

Then, a raspy voice of the person next to Ben added, "Yes, nice to meet you it is."

Directly to Ben's left, was an elderly man, small and green, sitting in a chair. He wore the same style robes as Obi-Wan.

"Likewise." she replied, extending a hand to Yoda as well. "Just call me Elf, for now. If either of you two needed help from our Mission HQ, you would have been welcome to contact us."

"Understand in time you will," Yoda said. "Very difficult to explain it is." He continued.

"What happened to you?" Ben asked Anakin Vader. "Your suit, it's all wet."

"It's nothing. I'll go dry off." he answered quickly, and exited.

"He shouldn't have brought me here and prevented me from trying to go back." said the elf miserably. "That's why I threw a small wave at him."

"Our apologies. I tried to get him to wait and let us contact you first." Obi-Wan said, "But Nnow that you are here, please sit down dear. I can sense through the force that you must be starving."

The elf looked warily back, wondering silently to herself if she might be starting to look a bit pale, but she only said, "I can wait until - "

A plate of what looked like fish and rice magically floated through the air. It gently landed on the table directly in front of Elf.

She stared in silent astonishment, then looked around at the others. "How did - ?" she finally asked.

"The force," Ben gently answered.

"The force can do that?" she asked, a look of wonder on her face.

"Indeed," he replied.

"Have questions do you?" Yoda asked.

"if we had this back where I come from, throwing parties would involve a lot less prep time. I could get used to this!" She trailed off in a quiet chuckle.

"And it is just waiting to be eaten, so go ahead and enjoy." Ben said with a kind smile.

"Thank you." she said with a small, grateful smile at her hosts. But I'll wait until you have your meal and eat with you."

As she sat quietly waiting, two more plates magically floated through the air, landing in front of Yoda and Ben.

A look of concentration came over her face, then broke into a smile at the sight.

Ben’s plate contained something similar to hers, but the elderly Jedi Masters plate contained rootleaf stew, a favorite dish from the swamp planet Dagoba.

Elf looked curiously at each one for only a moment then took another silent moment before starting on her meal. She complimented her hosts and went silent to eat.

Anakin Vader had returned, and used the force to get himself a plate of dinner.

The elf looked down at her own plate..

"You may ask us anything you wish," Obi-Wan said kindly. "It is very easy to ask questions."

"Thank you." she said quietly.

"If you are to ask about my suit, and what exactly happened to me," Anakin said, "I am willing to tell you my tail. It alas is a tale that is not to be told, but should you ask, I shall tell it. I do wish I could get out of this wretched thing."

The elf stopped eating and put her fork down, looking suddenly exasperated. "For the freaking zillionth time, not interested!"

He continued. "I have heard tales of an old sand person, who is a shaman."

"A healer?" Elf asked. "Why not use the force to summon this person, instead of me?" for she had now theorized that was how her transport must've happened. She stared at the plate of food in front of her intently for a moment until it rose and floated away, presumably back from where it had come. The other plates of food remained where they were. She continued, not shouting by any means, but there was a stern edge in her tone. "And don't tell me you brought me here to go looking for this person and tell them all about you and your troublesome suit and somehow persuade them to come back here, because I will turn you down flat...!"

Everyone else stared at her with aghast expressions.

Not meaning to be rude to you two," she glanced quickly at Yoda and Ben, "but there isn't a gentle way of saying this." she continued rounding on Vader. "If you could bring me here, you can bring them as well and tell them all about your problems yourself. You don't need me...! I've heard enough about your suit to last a decade and have absolutely zero questions for you, sir!"

Ben shook his head and looked sadly at Anakin, who was crest-fallen.

It was Yoda who spoke up next. "Overwhelmed is our stranger in a strange land. Our motives, you mistrust, and understand, we do. But Elf, an errand girl you are not. The problem Anakin faces, a catch22 it is. For he cannot heal until the emperor is vanquished. Yet the emperor cannot be vanquished by him until he gets some strength and help. The old sand person, a shaman healer he is, and a little temporary relief he might bring. Many other healers from different lands have tried, and heal Anakin, they could not. So in his desperation, many galaxies he probed, searching for someone who might ally with him against the emperor."

There was something about Yoda's patient, calm and friendly manner that helped the elf to subside and listen. Her expression, while still not smiling, showed she understood what Yoda was explaining to her. So, changing her mind about the food, she brought the plate back and resumed quietly eating.

Ben smiled slightly, and Yoda continued. "Much effort has drained him. All of his hopes, dashed, until the force probe discovered a raging sea storm in which a thoroughly evil entity perished at your hand."

"I'm not so sure about that." the elf said. "He might have, he might not have. I was just clearing out all the stuff after the fire that his proxies started. I didn't actually see him literally get ended. He was there, then the fire blew everything up. When I could return to look at the damage, I didn't see him there."

Ben and Yoda looked astonished at each other.

The elf seemed to become even more furious. "If Palpatine cheated death, this monster might have as well...!"

Yoda nodded, and continued. "But you got rid of his base on earth, the monster's livelyhood and source of power there."

"That's not enough." the elf said brusquely.

"But better than nothing, it is," Yoda appealed, trying to make her satisfied with what she had accomplished, "Many times before, had that evil entity been seen enslaving and terrorizing. Many conquests, he made, until the day he was taken down by the ocean waves. A new hope was discovered that day."

"He might've been taken down by the fire. If I was sure he was among that wreckage, I'd agree with you. But hope is only a start." said the elf.

Yoda and ben exchanged doubtful looks. This elf was not going to be easy to win over.

Yoda continued. "No more strength does Anakin have, not even enough to bring the old sand person here. Die he might, in the attempt."

"But you have demonstrated that you can use the force to some degree," Ben added.

"That's all part of the way things work here, isn't it? Anyway, we get to another problem." said Elf, "Considering the bloody history. Sand people killed Shmi," she looked outraged again, "Anakin retaliated by killing more sand people...I just don't see this working out." If I was any good at persuasion, I could've been a politician or working in sales, and even the best of these couldn't sort out this mess."

Defeated first the emperor must be. Yoda said. Only then, can anakin be helped."

"I'm not interested in helping Anakin..." said the elf. "if I can help destroy Sidious, I will. But this healing stuff is something you'll have to work out. I won't be sticking around past Palpatine's end, if I stay at all. I'll make it out of here somehow."

Elf, please." Anakin Vader said sadly.

"No ifs, ands, buts, or excuses. You never should've worked for Sidious in the first place and you should not have brought me here...!" the elf glared at Anakin, voice rising to a shout.

Anakin Vader shuddered.

"And I'll make you pay for any benefit you get from my being here!" she hissed, staring menacingly at Vader.

"Elf! Elf!" Yoda said frantically, reaching out to take hold of her forearm.

The elf pulled her arm away, but looked at Yoda. "I mean it." she said in a quieter but no less serious tone.

Ben shot Yoda a relieved glance, and said calmly, "Well, let us end the supper, and settle in. The twin suns are setting, and it is almost time for rest."

The elf made no response. She seemed to clam up.

"Yoda, could you show Elf where she'll be staying for the night?"

"That I will." he replied.

Yoda found some night clothes for Elf, and gave her a toothbrush that was still in its package. He waited outside until she was in bed, then got her an extra blanket. He spread it over her, saying, "Learn a great deal you will," He made sure Elf was comfortable. "Very cold it gets here on tatooine nights. A desert planet tatooine is, so one must be careful, and stay safe."

"Thank you, Yoda." Elf said quietly, allowing a slight smile to cross her lips.

Yoda returned the smile, being surprised at the elf's unexpected warmth toward him. Learn from Anakin you will."

The elf's smile vanished. It was replaced by pursed lips, narrowing eyes and a blush of angry crimson.

Yoda realized he had just said the wrong thing, but he couldn't understand why her reaction fazed him. He had dealt with Jedi in training being angry before. But this was not one of them. He had never seen an Earthling act this way at mention of Anakin either. Some showed signs of adoration or admiration, others showed fear and awe, some showed a mix of all of these. But Elf's reaction was one of disdain. He knew she was extremely upset at being stolen out of her own place by someone she disliked. This too was different from many situations where experiments with teleportation went wrong.

I am not here to learn anything from that man." Elf snapped, and turned away in the bed.

"Sorry I am," said Yoda, "Upsetting you was not my intention."

"I want nothing to do with him. I don't want to see him, don't wanna hear any more about or from him. He had some nerve spiriting me here like that, and that's only scratching the surface."

"Truly sorry I am that distressed you are. Rash are the ideas and acts that come from desperation, but sleep we shall, and feel better I hope we all will in the morning." Yoda tried to assure her.

She made no response, remaining silent and sullen.

Get some rest, Ocean Elf." With this, Yoda went on his way.

"Learn 'from Anakin' indeed... Screw that!" The elf huffed.

Soon, she tried Settling down to rest, or sleep. The transport had taken a lot out of her and so did the stress of the whole situation.

As Yoda made his way to his own room, he thought about the complexity of bringing this stranger into their midst. Was it a good thing or bad? What might come of this? What might come out of it, good, or regret?

The elf had been more receptive toward him than anyone else, and Yoda picked up on it as soon as they met, and when he had explained the situation, she listened to him without hostility, until he mentioned Anakin as a source of learning for her. Yoda saw her keep Ben Kenobi at bay, and decidedly frosty toward Anakin. And Yoda knew part of that was because of how she had been brought here. If she was extremely attached to her friends and family on Earth, it was no wonder she reacted as she had. But Yoda had been patient and kind toward her, so she could become attached to him if neither was careful. As pleasant as that idea was, it scared him.

Attachments, he had always taught and been taught in the past, lead to the dark side. They were against the Jedi code.

But then how did that explain Ocean Elf? She certainly was not of the dark side, and it was because Anakin/Vader had gone to the dark side that he was so disliked by her. But then he realized he had answered his own question. She was an elf, and an Earthling, not a Jedi. Yoda realized there was definitely potential for things to go badly wrong if Anakin started becoming attached to her, or she to Yoda or anyone else. The elf already demonstrated she had an iron will and could use the force. What in the world had Anakin just gotten everyone including himself into?

Yoda struggled with this sudden inner turmoil as he retired for bed. He looked at himself in the mirror, and saw his confounded reflection looking back at him. "Do not ask me why you took the extra time to explain things to her, then made sure she would get her rest. No idea do I have." He rolled his eyes at himself, then went to bed.

In her room, Elf recalled the days when she was a little girl, and used to have pleasant daydreams about going to Tatooine and meeting the people from Star Wars. She never in her wildest dreams thought she would ever actually go there, much less because of such a complicated and sad situation.

But what of her life back home? The idea that she might never be able to go back worried her terribly and made her feel sick.

Suddenly she let out a sharp gasp, and tears spilled from her eyes. Not wanting to dampen the pillow, she rolled from her side on to her back and furiously wiped away the tears with her hands. She didn't know how long she spent sobbing, tossing and turning, but eventually when she subsided, she sat up abruptly and swung her legs out from under the blanket to stand up.

For a few moments, she stood up and concentrated silently.

Then she took her phone out. Thank goodness it hadn't run out of battery and could connect to Tatooine internet here. Then, she did some searches about Anakin, and sure enough, found what she had suspected, now confirmed.

Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader had indeed committed kidnappings and torture..

The elf glowered in disgust and decided right there that if she was going to be able to help down Palpatine, she would make it clear she was not doing it for Anakin, but the citizens of Tatooine.

Then she searched on Palpatine, and sure enough, various sources said he had returned.

Then, relaxing, she crawled back into bed. From now on, no one was ever going to just spirit her away to somewhere else without her consent again. Anyone who tried would pay for it. But she knew she couldn't try getting away until everyone was asleep.

She heaved a sigh. Much as she wanted to return home and stay there, she knew too much about the corruption and oppression being caused by the emperor, who apparently, was still around. She knew her conscience would probably nag her endlessly about what horrible things might be happening on Tatooine and other places in this galaxy. She would be haunted by the fact she had let everyone down if she didn't return.

But then, maybe not. If Slender Man got away from her on her own planet, what gave anyone the idea she could actually be of any real help to destroy Palpatine? It was all so ridiculous.

"Oh, why freaking me?" she asked herself in her head.

"You know why." her inner voice answered.

"That doesn't make it make any more sense."

"Use the force, and look to God for guidance, and those who invited you here to Tatooine to help them."

"Use the force, yeah right, as if I could. Anyway, this is no invite."

"Well, how about thinking of it that way. You didn't exactly barge in like some fangirls would love to do."

The elf chuckled quietly to herself, wondering how many fangirls had managed to come in through various portals and made obnoxious nuisances of themselves. But she couldn't convince herself this was any kind of an invite. Vader had simply gone way beyond any boundaries, invaded her property, her space, and did not merely steal something from her, he stole her, and that was a violation she could never excuse.

Ben went to check on Anakin. He found him In his quarters, looking dispirited. Sitting dejectedly on his bed.

Once Anakin became aware of Ben's presence, he began crying beneath his mask.

Ben put a hand out to lightly touch his arm to let him know he was there.

Anakin looked around and saw his mentor standing there.

"She is not as cruel as she might seem to you, Anakin."

"I tried to make her see, to understand." Anakin said haltingly.

"She does to a degree. More than she wishes to. We do not know her story. But she could be one who has seen or known of more suffering that she could not help or prevent. It is not callousness that is making her react this way, it is fear. I saw it in her face when she was becoming upset at you last night. Not fear of you, but perhaps being made to relive some past experiences she would like to forget. She is shielding herself from things that might make her become depressed or lose control. It is a common defence with people who need to be in control of themselves at all times. She might even be afraid of how she would react, or uncertain of how she should react. She will come around once she has rested, and worked it all out in her mind. I know this was not the reception you were expecting from her. But as we all know, things worth having are often hard won. Trust me, Anakin, she will become much kinder to you as she makes discoveries. She is not the sort to cry often. Tonight, she may shed a few tears of anxiety for being uprooted from her home. It will not be long before her tears fall for you."

Much as that idea may have given Anakin some comfort and hope, Ben himself disagreed. All he could do for now was humor Anakin and hope the elf would still be there the next morning. But he had his doubts.

Ben discussed it with Yoda. Both men had picked up on the Elf's decidedly frigid attitude toward Anakin, and it had only been what they had been warning him about ever since he came up with this idea to press her into his plans. If she knew of Anakin's history, there was practically no chance at enlisting her help on his behalf. So they just hat to hope she knew little to nothing about it. To Gard against possible wrath from her to come the next day, they hatched a plan that might make her sorry enough for Anakin to stick around long enough to help him with his suit problem, which was their way of avoiding his wrath instead.

Lying awake in her room, the elf continued to seethe. Finally she'd had enough, and decided it was time to do something about it. She said earlier that she was going to get out of this place somehow, even if it meant calling one of the fairies back at Mission HQ for help.

Elf threw the blanket off, sprang out of bed, then hastily got dressed, tossing the night clothes that had been given her on the bed, as if they were something she was glad to be rid of.

Then, she headed quietly, cautiously out, looking for any signs of activity. As there seemed to be none, she continued on her way.

The logical thing to do was retrace her steps from her sleeping quarters back to the meeting room where the meal and discussion had taken place the night before. Beyond that, she thought she could make out a door that lead outside.

Sure enough, and it opened without any difficulty.

Ocean Elf stepped outside, walked some distance away from the compound, and concentrated as she felt in her pocket for her device. Clicking the home button four times returned her home. This time, much to her relief, it worked.