The next morning, the Ocean Elf had only just dressed when there was a knock at her door.
"I'll be right out." she called, and straightened out the bed
She opened the door, and broke into a smile of pleased recognition.
A man and woman entered.
"I’m Luke," he said, "This is my sister, Leia. We are the Skywalker twins."
"No, you are simply twins." Elf said.
"Actually my name isn't Skywalker, it's Leia Organa." the girl corrected.
"We are the son and daughter of Anakin Skywalker." Said Luke.
"In a biological sense only." Said Elf, frowning. "If you keep on gushing over Anakin Skywalker," she grimaced when uttering his name, "I am going to be sick. You are not mere extensions of that man."
"Bail Organa is much more father to me than Anakin." said Leia.
"But Anakin is our biological father." Luke insisted.
"Bail is still her real father." Elf countered. He adopted her. Your precious Anakin tortured her. Adopt VS. Torture - uh I think I have some idea which one actually merits the title of 'father' and so should you."
"But that was after - " Luke tried again.
"No excuses." Elf cut him off. "If you just came here to bother me on his behalf, you can take off again."
"Ugh, this isn't starting out well." Luke thought to himself. He couldn't even deny what had happened, so tried to shift the conversation to what Elf was here to do. Unfortunately, Anakin had bored his way so far into Luke's mind that even this attempt got messed up. "anyway, we know that you are here to help him, but - "
"No," said the elf firmly, "I am not here to help him... I'm here to help with the downing of a terrible emperor, and I am not even sure that is possible yet. That it just happens to be Anakin apparently spearheading this effort is most unfortunate," she said, looking as if she was about to be sick. Then, she took a deep breath and said in a gentler tone, "No more talk of Anakin Vader. This is about attempting to get rid of Emperor Insidious."
Leia smiled at the elf.
Luke decided not to press the Anakin thing further. "if there’s anything that we can do to help, let us know. If it has something to do with the emperor, Count us in. Anyway, what’s up? How can we help? I think we can manage."
"It is you who should let me know. I will assist you any way I can against His Malevolence Emperor Shiv Palpitations Insidious."
Luke and Leia exchanged looks of surprise and amusement, then burst out laughing.
"I don't think she likes old Sidious, do you?" Luke said to Leia.
"Now what could possibly give you that idea?" Leia kidded back.
So they decided to get some breakfast and talk more.
They settled in at a dining table to eat and talk.
""By the way, Elf," Leia said, "nice choice of words for Sidious, You are exactly right. Sidious his old, grubby, and a freak."
"Oh, that..." Elf grinned, "I'm afraid if I didn't throw jabs at his ridiculous name and title, my language might get a little salty." she admitted. "But I do not make fun of people's age or let them use that as an excuse for their actions."
"He is actually crazy!" Luke said.
"Oh, Elf," said Leia, "we will assist you in your training."
Luke added, "You will also be training with Yoda, Ben, and Anakin when he feels up to it."
"No, I will not!" The elf said sharply, then in a gentler tone, she continued, "Just you two, and Ben and Yoda will do nicely."
"We know what is involved in his care. Sometimes we can hear him squealing. Luke continued.
"Look, I said, enough!" Elf raised her voice. She continued more gently but firmly, "This is about defeating that Insidious tyrant for the good of Tatooine. One more mention of Anakin and I will be on my way back home, no matter what happens. Don't make me break my word to Ben and Yoda. I told them I would stay and try to help fight this current threat, but I will not cooperate if you keep going on about Anakin Skywalker and I do not care that he's your biological father."
"May the force be with us all," Leia said.
"I hope we can defeat that wicked old screw!" Luke said in indignation. "He needs to be annihilated."
Elf scowled at Luke. "Emulating the speech of that man will send me packing as well. If you want Palpatine ended, for goodness sake, use your own words."
"Palpatine’s" coming now," Luke said."
"Excuse me?" The elf didn't believe him.
"Stay still," Luke said, ,looking directly at Elf. "He’s approaching in his wheelchair."
"Oh, really?" The elf looked suspiciously at Luke. "A bit coincidental, don't you think?"
"Look out. He might try to fool you. Don’t let him fool you. He may seem kind, but he’s really not."
Elf scolwled at Luke and twirled a finger at her temple.
But Luke was on a roll, and seemed oblivious to the way his words were effecting her. "After all," he continued, "you are an elf, and you can see straight to someone’s nature."
Elf winced. "If you're so sure of that, why are you acting as if I haven't got his nature figured out?"
Luke, don't insult her intelligence." said Leia.
But Luke still wasn't listening. "He may be almost 90 years old, but don’t let that fool you."
"I don't care how old he is, Luke. He will answer for his actions when we meet." she hissed.
"He is extremely powerful." Luke warned.
"So I've heard." Elf replied.
"I just wish he had a better life." Luke said.
"who?" Elf Asked."
"I mean him." Luke said. From what I heard, his mother was not very nice to him. In fact, both his mom and his dad from what I’ve heard, his sister includes, were downright he’ll tempered. Maybe that’s why he turned out the way he did. I’m not sure if he’s going to reveal his whole life story to us, but in time he might."
The elf became cross again. "Look, do you want to help put an end to this or do you just want to sit around and swap useless stories?"
Luke sat silently with his mouth open for a moment.
"Don't you dare start feeling sorry for Palpatine now because of some tear-jerking whopper going around." the elf continued.
Luke and Leia exchanged pleased grins, and waited a moment before replying. They wanted to gage the elf's reaction to see if her resolve was really as solid as she said it was. The story was only a test made up by the cunning Luke, to see if she would believe it and express any sympathy for Palpatine. Her scalding reaction was a relief, but it was so furious that Luke was not sure if he should say anything else and risk making her explode.
"Please don't get me wrong," Luke finally said, "I don't feel sorry for him, or know anything about his childhood. I don't think anyone does.
"Then why all this bullcrap?" Elf confronted him. "I thought better of you than that."
But Luke only said, "He’s been lying to our father for 30 something years."
"Your father, Luke." Leia said with a scowl.
turning crimson with sudden anger, "All right, that does it!" The elf said abruptly, jumping up out of her chair. "I'm off!" She hastily tucked her chair in, turned and began hurrying away.
"Oh, that was brilliant." Leia said, rolling her eyes.
"You don't have to rub it in." Luke retorted. Then he called after Elf to come back.
"I'll try to persuade her to give us another chance, but stop screwing it up, will you?" Leia said. Then she took after Elf.
Luke didn't know how long it took, but eventually he was relieved to hear two women's voices coming closer and closer, and then Leia and Elf came into view.
"I'm sorry about that, Elf," said Luke as she took her place at the table, "And I am glad you will not let him sway you."
"I told you, he cannot. Let's get something straight," Elf said with a scowl at Luke. "If you want my cooperation, don't lie to me, and don't put me to the test!" She hissed, fixing Luke with an ice cold stare.
"Well," Luke turned away for a moment to calm his unease. He soon thought of a way to dissuade the elf's anger. "Could you consider this part of the training?" he suggested.
She looked annoyed. "No, I could not." She said sternly. "Don't try that again. I do not like being lied to or put through the paces...by anyone... I told you Sidious will not influence me. I also told you any sort of reference to Anakin Skywalker spells the end of my cooperation with you. I mean it. Understand?"
"We are sorry," Luke said.
The elf heaved an irritated sigh.
"Actually," Luke continued, "this is part of your training."
"Thank you for giving me such late notice." The elf countered icily, "So let's have this 'training' go both ways. You learned I don't like being lied to, put to the test without prior knowledge of the nature of the test, and I will not accept the abuse excuse for horrific acts."
"Yes, but be careful. He will try to reach out to you. If he does, you can use something from your world to keep him away." said Luke.
"I've got that bit covered." Elf said firmly.
"Although some of your magic may not work in our world, some of it will.." Luke continued.
Elf turned from annoyed to insulted. "It is time you stopped believing in the notion that I was born yesterday, sir." she replied coolly, her patience was clearly spent. "I help run a mission station back on my own world; I am aware different worlds have different properties." She hissed, giving Luke a severe look.
Luke," Leia said, "she's not a child."
Thank you, Leia." Said Elf, looking at her. At least someone here doesn't think I'm completely helpless and stupid...!"
"Sorry," said Luke,
"'Sorry, sorry, sorry,' oh, knock it off!" Elf snapped.
""I didn't mean to insult you. I guess I just got carried away."
"Yes, I guess you did." Elf responded.
Luke did not press that subject any further, and the rest of the meal was eaten in an uneasy silence.
When all were done eating, "OK." Luke said. "Now, Elf, I’m going to show you how to use a light saber. First, you need to learn the basic drills."
Elf rolled her eyes. "No kidding." she said sarcastically.
"Luke..." Said Leia reproachfully, giving him a desperate glance.
"Now, Elf," she mocked him out, "I am going to show you how to use a light saber, and you must start off with the basics."
Sorry." Said Luke.
"Lesson three! Do not condescend to me! Understand?" The elf glared full on at Luke.
He shuddered, looked away, and mumbled, "Oh, boy, this isn't going to go well.".
"Probably not." Elf agreed. "So use your own head instead of assuming I can't use mine...!"
Luke and Leia looked uneasily at each other.
Noting this, Elf confronted them about it. "What's wrong with you two anyway? Don't treat me like an imbecile or a lab rat, or take up for sadistic people, and I'll give you nothing to worry about.
Sor - " Luke cut himself off from making another apology which also seemed to annoy the elf, "it's just some disturbance in the force. They happen every so often."
"Hmm." Said Elf. "So where did that standin for Palpatine go all of a sudden?"
"Stand-in?" Luke looked as if he'd just been caught in a lie, "I guess he left when Leia went to get you to come back." he finally said.
"Hmm." Elf murmured, looking ever more suspicious. "That's it for today. No more training of any kind until you treat me with a heck of a lot more respect."
"But what about the light saber training?" Luke protested.
"Is there something wrong with your hearing? I said - no - more - training! That means whatever you planned with me today is off. I've had all I can stand from you. I'm going back home to try turning this rotten day around and get some rest. And when I come back tomorrow morning, you better not hand me any snows or insulting attitude, or else the whole thing is off...!"
Elf stalked off without another word or glance back at either sibling.
Oh, no." Luke looked as though he knew he had really blown it.
"Congratulations!" Leia said, "You just delayed the whole operation by one whole day!"
"I was just trying to prepare her for - " he trailed off.
"Prepare her for what, Luke?"
There was an awkward pause, and finally he looked dejectedly at Leia. "I don't know. Palpatine, I guess."
"Were you really trying to prepare her, or yourself?"
"What's that supposed to mean?" he asked.
"I mean who were you trying to convince that Palpatine is a terrible enemy? Elf, or yourself?"
"Come on, Leia, I know Palpatine is rotten to the core." Luke retorted.
"Oh?" Leia countered, "All this time, it looked more like Elf was more sure of that than you. And she didn't buy your claim that Palpatine was that old man in the wheelchair. She knew you were pulling her leg.""
Well, now I have to figure out how to get out of trouble with Ben over Elf's leaving. If we just go to the training area and do light sabering maybe he won't notice until dinner, then we can just tell him Elf got sore at us over the training and left early."
"Luke, you're not really going to do that!"
"It's worth a try." he said, and got up from the table.
The siblings moved off toward the training area, arguing the whole time.
"I don't think this is a good idea." said Leia. "But you're just not listening today, so - "
"Yes, I am," Luke retorted. "I just wanted to make sure Elf was listening and that she understands how serious this is."
"If you had been listening, you'd realize she is already dead serious about this mission. I wonder about you, though." said Leia.
"Are you kidding?" Luke looked incredulously at Leia, "It was me that kept saying that old screw needs to be annihilated."
"She said it before you did, Luke, she just didn't call him an old screw. Anyway, all that crap you told her about Palpatine's childhood?"
"That was supposed to be a Jedi mind trick." Luke said. "I wanted to see if she'd - " Luke paused, trying to think how to say the rest of it. "You're right, I shouldn't have done that. The mind trick was his idea."
"whose, ben's?" Leia said incredulously. "I don't think even would try it on that elf."
"No, Dad's. If I could succeed in getting Elf to think Palpatine deserved some sympathy, then the next one I'd try was to get her to start liking my father."
"You are supposed to stick to the problem of what to do about the emperor, not using Jedi skills you don't have a handle on yet to run interference on personal matters." Leia said to him. And the way you talked to her, like you were teaching a group of school kids.
"Well, she is new here, and Dad told me to tell her things he tried to but she wouldn't listen to him."
"No, luke, I think Elf is more prepared than you are." said Leia.
"I don't understand how she could be. Not if she hasn't used a light saber, and, she's an elf. What would she know about our problems?"
"That's your problem right there, Luke. You let your father eat your brain so much that you can't even think for yourself any more, and you think this woman doesn't know anything just because she's a newcomer and an elf? Until you shape up, you can train on your own." Leia said, and quickly strode away, back in the direction where they'd come.
"What's the big deal?" Luke asked himself. "I was only trying to - "
then he felt as if his heart lept into his throat as he entered the training area and saw Yoda and Ben waiting there.
"Hello, Luke," Ben said, "Where is Elf?"
Luke stood for a moment, trying to come up with a good answer.
"You were going to start her on light saber training this morning?" Ben asked.
Luke nodded. "She changed her mind." he said numbly.
"Was there a reason for that?"
Luke seemed frozen in place, and stared down at the floor.
"Come now, a Jedi owns up to his mistakes, facing them head on. Yoda encouraged.
Luke still couldn't seem to find the words.
"I tried to tell Elf some things," Luke finally said, "but I guess I went about it wrong. She's not like other Earthling women who've landed here, and definitely not what I think of as an elf."
"What were you expecting, Luke," Ben asked in a curious manner to try keeping him talking.
"well, you know. Someone light-hearted and easy to coach, eager to do a job."
"I also detected your misuse the force on her with that attempt at a Jedi mind trick." said Ben. "I know you've had a little fun messing with some of those silly fangirls from Earth, including tricking them into thinking they had the force. You probably think an elf might be even easier to manipulate, and it's true, some would be. Hogwarts house elves, certainly. Perhaps even some from Santa's workshop. But not this one."
"I'm sorry. I guess I got carried away." said Luke. "It's exciting to have someone - especially an elf, who wants to stop Palpatine, and get my father healed."
"Told us she did, that she cannot heal people. But see Sidious finished is what she will help us with." said Yoda.
She is already enraged at your father's bringing her here, and she has gotten rid of an evil monster's power base on her home planet. So she is not one to trifle with." Ben cautioned. At this rate, we'll be lucky if Elf comes back at all, and then even more lucky if she doesn't decide to annihilate us along with Sidious."
What can I do to fix this?" Luke asked no one in particular.
"If I were you, I'd tread lightly around Elf if she comes back. And remember that you use different approaches with different people. You may teach young padawan, but you inform your peers and your elders."
"But which category does Elf fall into?" Luke asked.
Even though she is not a Jedi in training, you are to consider her your peer, at the very least." Ben replied. "She is only going to use a light saber if there is no other option available. "Training to expert level in that would take years, and with this mission, time matters."