Forceful Encounters

The next day, Elf returned to Tattoine, and Luke surprised her with a large box of chocolates as a peace offering. She accepted it graciously, and put it in her room.

So they decided to make a fresh start.

At the training area, Elf was given a light saber. She did her best to follow Luke's instructions and mimic his maneuvers when asked to do so. Luke was careful not to treat her like a child or simpleton, and things started going a lot better.

They worked until she seemed to be getting the hang of the most basic things necessary.

"Next, I’m going to show you how to liberate your blade." Luke explained, and showed her how.

Silently, she observed, then copied the procedure.

Then the light saber battle training began.

"Aren’t you something of a water sprite?" Leia asked."

"Yes, I am wondering that myself," Luke said curious to learn more.

No, I'm - " she winced and gasped.

"What's the matter?" Luke asked.

"My knee." She said.

Luke approached Elf and knelt to take a look at her knee. It was bleeding, but it was not too deep.

"I'm fine," she assured him. "It smarts, but it just needs a bandage, that's all."

The sight of the blood seemed to remind Luke of something, and he halted the training session. "I think that's enough for now, you've done well on your first day."

Elf nodded slightly.

"But I’m going to have to take some blood," Luke explained.

"Oh? Why" she asked.

"It is only to check for infections."

"That doesn't make sense." she said. "This is a fresh cut. It shouldn't be infected yet' and do you need a blood test for that?"

"It's just a standard procedure for newcomers, to make sure they are healthy enough to train."

"I'm not planning on spilling any more blood, just so you know." The elf said warily.

Luke frowned as he tried to think of some way to reassure the elf without sounding as if he was condescending to her. The wariness had disappeared for an all too brief time until the cut on her knee. He thought hard, and finally came up with, "The blood test is actually for the force,"

The elf scoffed, "Well then it is completely unnecessary. I don't have the force."

Luke grinned. "You just never know for sure until you are tested," he said. And we have had Earthlings come through here, claiming they had the force when they didn't."

"There, you see?"

"But it might be different with you. And the others are for genetic and species information, and to see if you're carrying any viruses or agents of disease."

"Well, I like that." Elf said sarcastically. "Why not just put me in quarantine while you're at it?"

Luke looked apologetically at her. He just couldn't do or say anything more to make her at ease, and part of the problem was that he was feeling uneasy himself. No matter what he said, he just seemed to be getting off on the wrong foot with her, or in danger of making sure it stayed that way.

But Elf was also considering, and she eventually said quietly, "Never mind, I understand, let's get this over with."

They went to the medical section of the compound where she could get her knee seen to, blood drawn, and tests run.

On the way there, she suddenly remembered, "Oh, you asked earlier if I am a water sprite. I am not, though it was a means to an end I intended for a hideous monster. Only I'm not sure he didn't escape before it had a chance to happen." she scowled, but subsided a few moments to continue more gently, "I'm an elf, and am not dependent on or tied to any particular element."

"Oh, I see," Luke replied.

They continued on until arriving at the hospital/lab.

First, Elf's knee was medicated and bandaged. Then it was time for the blood test.

At Luke's request, Elf rolled up a sleeve and put her arm out, clenching her fist to help with the procedure.

"Now," he said, "you’re going to feel a little bit of pressure, but it’s not too bad.

She remained silent.

"Here we go." he said. Without counting, as he didn't know how she was with needles and did not want to frighten her even more, Luke, as gently as he could, swabed the area.

The elf held her breath, bracing herself. Sure enough, she felt a slight sting, and a little pressure, but as Luke had said, it was not too bad.

Her eyes narrowed and she frowned when the needle went in, and showed relief when it was withdrawn.

Then she was put through a battery of scans and was made to provide samples of her DNA etc. The results showed she was an elf in good health, and not a health hazard to anyone.

Luke and Elf found Ben, who told them they could take the rest of the day off.

Elf agreed, and went to her room for a brief rest.

Luke and Ben discussed the blood test, and Elf's first training session.

"We've started training." Luke said.

"How is that going?"

"Fine. She is new and still trying to learn what to do with the sword. But she doesn't get frustrated, she just keeps trying. I thought she might just storm off after the first five minutes, but she didn't even come close."

"And she will not. She is far too determined for that." Ben answered. "That's why she came back. She wants to end Sidious as much as we do."

"I can sense that in her." Luke replied, "Once she puts her mind to something, she sticks to it. I can remember how I was when I was training with you. Master Yoda can tell you. I was downright impatient." Luke replied.

"I know you were," Ben said. "But, you have learned to control your anger. You have also learned to control your patience, and that is very good. Now, let us run the test.

While they were doing that, the Elf returned to the training area, intending to practice what Luke had taught her that morning, and to get better used to the feel of handling the saber.

"Well, what have we here? The emperors grading Voice reached their ears. I sense that you are up to no good! What’s going on? Where is Skywalker? The one who had to be scrubbed this morning?

The elf whirled to confront the man in the wheel chair. "You!" She glowered down at him, "You have some nerve setting foot on this property, boy!"

Boy?" He spluttered, incredulous that someone would have the gall to address him that way. "You must call me Your Excellency, I am Lord Sidious, emperor! On your knees, commoner!"

"You will learn what happens to people who presume to tell me what I 'must' do, Mr. Insidious 2.0! There is nothing excellent about you, and you are not emperor over me, no matter how many times you try to recycle yourself!" She spat coldly.

Palpatine tried another tactic. "Oh, pardon me, ma'am, I'm just their uncle, I tease them like this all the time," the intruder said with a laugh.

"Liar!" the elf began.

"What!" Sidious roared with a glower, trying to intimidate her. "How dare you - "

"One!" She cut in. "If you are their uncle, you are not the emperor. Two. The scrubbing, or whatever it was, did not happen this morning. It was two days ago. Three, you dare come in here and gloat about it and you call that kidding around."

"Sorry if I offended you." he said.

"Shut it!" she snapped. "Your regrets are just starting."

Without warning, the elf approached the figure, and it looked as if she might punch him out. Instead, she got behind him and took hold of his wheelchair and began marching him out of the training area. "Trash day is today!" She noticed Luke and Leia approaching, and called over her shoulder, "Anyone wanna help me take out the trash?"

"Good idea!" they chorused together.

"Let’s do this. He calls himself or uncle? He is not our uncle at all. He is nothing more than a speck of dust in a wicked old twerp," Luke said, but his voice nearly had a shout.

"Calm down now! Both of you!" The emperor said as Elf wheeled him to what looked to be the edge of the balcony.

"They have every right to scream at you, sir!" The elf hissed, saying 'sir' in such a way as to make it an insult.

"Not again!" The emperor tried to sound put out. "I went through this before when my former apprentice lifted me over his head and threw me over the balcony railing."

"Don't give me ideas." the elf warned.

"I have now come to seek my revenge." the emperor said with his characteristic laugh.

"No-brainer," said Elf, "And you laugh like a deranged smurf."

"Those who insult me scream for a thousand years!" Palpatine ranted.

"Those who commit torture get well acquainted with my wrath, up close and personal!" the elf shot back. "And they don't like it."

"Luke used the force to lift the emperor in his wheelchair.

"Do not throw me over!" The emperor pleaded. I am too old. Release me, and I will release my apprentice.

The elf guffawed.

"I will allow him to return to the light." the emperor continued.

"No you won’t!" Luke said. I challenge you to a light saber duel. Is everyone else in on this? Luke asked.

"I suppose," the elf replied. "But it's your fight."

"No, we'd like you in on this too." Luke replied.

"Before we do that," Elf said mysteriously, she put down her light sabre and walked over to the emperor, her tone becoming frosty, "I don't believe I have given you a proper greeting yet."

With that, she positioned herself and delivered a vicious right uppercut to his jaw, and stalked back toward Luke. "Let's go."

Luke burst out laughing.

She was starting to realize this had to be all part of the training, with a droid rather than the real emperor.

It made sense. The inner workings were hard components while the outer layers simulating flesh and skin were stuffing and fabrics. Surely the real emperor wouldn't just happen to come in and take interest in some newcomer's first day at light saber training.

Sensing that Elf was injured, the emperor aimed his light saber at her from his wheelchair.

"I wouldn’t do that if I were you," Luke warned,

Elf put her light sabre in position to block the attack.

The emperor looked frustrated.

They went on for a while, then broke for supper, with Luke, Leia, and Elf leaving the Emperor in the training area.

When the meal was over, Elf returned to the training area.

She scowled when seeing the likeness of the emperor still there. She hoped the droid would be deactivated, she did not want distractions when taking the time to get better accustomed to the sword.

"How's your knee?" he asked.

"How's your jaw?" she countered.

"Why do you hate me so much?" he asked. "I'm only trying to help you."

"Stop whining, I'm trying to figure this thing out." she said irritably, and practiced some moves with the saber.

"Not bad," he commented, "Not bad at all."

"Shut up." she said sharply, and continued slashing, stabbing, and deflecting what some imaginary enemy was apparently supposed to be giving her.

Finally, she grew tired and put the saber away. Then she left without a word.

But he followed her. "Nice work." He said.

"Buzz off, bozo!" she commanded with a scowl.

"Is that any way to react to a compliment from an emperor?" Palpatine asked.

"Your compliments don't count." the elf shot back tersely. She turned and got behind him so she could take hold of his wheelchair. She roughly maneuvered him out of the training area. It was a jerky, bumpy ride, at a running or jogging pace. He kept protesting for the elf to "Slow down!"

She refused, and just kept jarring him along.

"I'm only trying to help - " Palpatine protested.

You already said that!" she cut him off.

"I've heard tell that you are an elf of some sort?" he asked.

"What's that got to do with anything?" She snapped irritably. "I ought to take you apart and see what kinds of spy gear you've got in there."

"What!?" Palpatine exclaimed. "My dear Elf, what a ghastly idea!"

"You could only come by that information by eaves-dropping. Droids can be programmed for that."

It's nothing like that, Miss Elf, I'm Just trying to make conversation." He said as amiably as he could manage while being rushed along.

"Well don't!" She said sharply.

Unable to get her to talk about herself, a classic means used to get people divulging all kinds of information, Sidious tried something else. "You may not realize what you're letting yourself in for. The jedi are not innocent and certainly my ex-apprentice Darth Vader isn't."

"Don't try that crap with me, mister, it won't work." She snapped.

"Whatever they may have told you about me, is only half true." He continued.

"And you think they told me things about you because?" She countered.

"It just breaks my heart seeing a lonesome elf like you being taken advantage of like that."

"Don't give me that phoney garbage, Lord Insidious, or whatever you really are. You have no right to claim sympathy for me considering all the disgusting things you've done, and your sympathy is utterly vapid anyway.""

"Insidious!?" He stared at her. "How dare you, you, you, you stupid elf!"

"Hah! That didn't take long for you to forget your own game," she guffawed. "I wouldn't take that lie from you or the real Palpatine."

"Real? Are you saying I'm not real?" he seemed confounded.

"Well, I'm pretty sure you're just a droid, and a darn good facsimile of him." she said. "Not 100% positive, but pretty sure. Now stay here like a good little boy and we'll pick up our training tomorrow." With that, Elf left him and swaggered away.

"Well done!" A voice boomed from somewhere above her.

"What the heck - " Elf Looked up, and saw ben balancing precariously on the balcony railing.

How did you do that!" He asked.

"Do what? Wheel him out? It wasn't any trouble," she replied. "Is this a droid of Sidious, or is this the real thing?"She asked.

"It is a Prototype. Ben said. "I designed him for new comers to train with. The real thing is much more powerful."

"I thought so." said the elf.

"Well done on your come backs by the way," Luke commented."

"You heard all that?" said Elf, frowning at him.

"I have a confession to make," he said, "I followed you and him."

She scowled. "I warned you about putting me to the test! One more time, and I will not let it slide. If you want to help me with training and give me some kind of test, tell me up front before you begin! You got that?"

"Sorry, Elf, it's just that - "

"Knock it off!" She glared at him, "I am not here as some kind of project or bit of entertainment for you, sir. Do you want me to help you destroy Insidious or not?"

"Yes, we do," he replied, trying to make her less put out with him.

The elf did not return his friendly smile.

"Luke, Elf," Ben came up to them and said, "I'm sorry to report this, but he is again being scrubbed. He needs this to quit."

"First it was scrub once a month, now it's every couple of days. Just what's your game?" Elf demanded to know.

"And I should inform you," said Luke, "that’s no droid, that’s the real thing. He’s just got metal plates all over him from the years of suffering is endured.

"I'm not interested in bullcrap sob stories. I told you that!" the elf reminded Luke curtly." She lowered her voice again to continue. "What are the odds of him just barging in here like an intruding vagrant? If this is the real thing, I'm just here to assist you. It's your fight."

"So that's why you didn't all out try to kill him yet," Luke speculated. "You thought he was a piece of training equipment, and you wanted us to be the ones to end him."

She nodded.

"We already have confronted him." Ben said to her. "He's made many unwelcome visits, and we have all said everything to him that we've needed to say. Now, he is all yours."

"Are you quite sure?"

"Do what needs to be done, Elf, with our blessing, and, may the force be with you."

She nodded skeptically, and went on her way.

"Elf! Wait!"

"Changed your mind?" Elf turned back.

"No, I just wanted to tell you something!"

Elf sighed in annoyance. "About Palpatine?" She asked.

"No," he called back.

She said nothing more and hurried away without looking back.

"Elf!" He called after her. "About the force - "

"It can wait a little longer, Luke," said Ben, "We will tell her when it's over,."

Elf went and got a light sabre, then returned to find the emperor, still waiting where she had left him.

Back already? I thought we were picking up where we left off tomorrow, my elf friend." The emperor Lord Sidious said casually when he saw her come storming back.

"Change of plan." she said brusquely, "We're not training here either. We're going somewhere else." She got the saber in place to be carried, then once again, roughly wheeled Palpatine out of the area. "I still don't think you're real, but let's get this over with."

"Where's she going with him?" Luke asked Ben, they had made their way to where Palpatine was waiting, so they could see it all go down. But when Elf came for him, they ducked out of sight.

"There is only one way to find out." Ben answered. Ben and Luke followed as the elf tore out of the compound and along some bumpy stretch of road until she was sure they were far enough away from people to get it over with without disturbing anyone. The whole time, Palpatine was shrilling for her to "Slow down!"

Watching, Luke said to Ben, "She picked up my light sabre instead of hers."

Elf brought the chair to a violent jerking halt and suddenly unceremoniously shoved it, tipping it over on its side.

"How dare you!" Palpatine Sidious bellowed indignantly.

She said nothing, but got the saber ready.

"I never did anything to you, Elf!" He said frantically.

She only scowled.

"No! You're not going to run me through with that!" he tried to sound incredulous. "I'll make flambé out of you instead!" Palpatine put out a hand, aiming to shoot a lightning bolt at her.

As soon as she saw his hand begin to raise, Elf reacted quickly, dousing him and his effort with a wave. Have fun in Helheim, Mr. Insidious 2.0! Nobody will miss you here!"

The force from Luke's sabre and the wave worked to obliterate Incidious, or at least, this version of him.

When even the wheelchair had been vaporized, the elf made her way back to the compound.

Luke, Leia, Yoda and Ben met her at the training area when she was going to return the saber.

"That version of Mr. Insidious is no more." the elf announced. "And I think I took your saber by mistake."

"We have news for you too, Ocean," said Ben.

"What's that?" she asked.

"The blood sample you gave revealed the force is strong with you."

"Oh, go on." the elf laughed."

"It is true. Your midichlorian count is sky-high. When I mean you have the force, I mean you in fact *have* the force, my dear Elf." Ben confirmed.

"Right..." She still wasn't convinced.

"You demonstrated it when you arrived and we're having supper with us." said Ben.

"That you did, when your food you did not want, then changed your mind." Yoda added.

"But that was just the force in the atmosphere here." the elf said.

""Partly, but not every newcomer can do what you did on the first night here." Said Ben.

"Unbelievable..." The elf chuckled.

"Congratulations Elf! So, what have you to say for yourself?" asked Leia.

Elf only shrugged, and began to walk away.

"She doesn't believe us." Leia said quietly to the others.