While relieved at the Captain’s timely arrival, it still isn’t time to celebrate. He apologizes for not coming to the rescue sooner; he had been busy helping several prisoners the pirates were keeping. Rudi helps bring Rune back to consciousness, and then recounts the basics of what had happened since getting separated from the Captain. Kitt, noticing that Kol is still absent, calls him on the comlink to see if he’s alright. Running well into the jungle before the fear faded in his mind, Kol is indeed a bit lost. He attempts to find his way back to the pirates’ hideout, as Kitt starts following his trail into the jungle. After a little effort, Kitt tracks him down and leads him back to the hideout. He expresses disappointment and concern for having run out on the entire fight, which Kitt assures him not to worry about.
Now that everyone is conscious and in the same place, it is time to secure their passage off the planet. With the shuttle the pirates were using operational, all they need to do is salvage the remainder of the proto-prototype heat shield from the crashed shuttle. The party makes it way back there; with Mace and Kitt working double-time to remove the parts in the best way possible. Once that is taken care off, the group (now with the female prisoners the Captain rescued) makes the intense trip through Metalorn’s atmosphere. This time it goes off without the near meltdown and crashing, and they pass through the atmosphere in one piece. They immediately jet off for the Crusader, having to announce that they are part of the crew and they have Captain Forma with them. Hearing this, they are given permission to dock.
Rish is extremely pleased to have the Captain back (which you can tell from her slightly less harsh demeanor), and makes the formal announcement to the crew of his return. The feeling around the ship lightens, breathing out a collective sigh of relief. Captain Forma assures her that he was confident that it would all work out the way it had, and that they did well in his absence. Rune, feeling the injuries from his recent battles weighing heavily on him, seeks out the medical bay and Iliuum’s bacta tanks. This feeling of levity on the ship doesn’t seep in for Kitt, who reluctantly seeks out medical aid as well. Seeing an opportunity to celebrate and bring the crew together, Kol starts talking to everyone in the hopes of throwing a big party. To this end, he seeks out help from Randi, seeing that she’s the morale officer. She throws a few innuendos his way, which Kol allows to go right past him, but does agree to help throwing the bash.
Hours pass, much too slowly for Kitt’s taste, while she is stuck in the bacta tank. Snibit and T5 arrive just at the end, making eating motions to her before draining the tank. When she asks him what this is about, Snibit declares that it’s time for the ice cream social! She and Rune have to come and get some ice cream, so Snibit came to make sure they wouldn’t miss it. Although the party mood still isn’t high on Kitt’s list, she goes along anyway. How could anyone pass up an ice cream social?
Everyone seems to be enjoying the party, mingling, eating and being merry. There is a surprising variety of ice cream for a ship (Kroder always seems extremely well prepared for ice cream parties), and everyone is able to find a flavor they can enjoy. Kitt immediately goes to talk to Captain Forma, passing by Rudi as he chats up Hayde. Captain Forma is being his charming self, talking with the ladies he saved from the pirates when Kitt goes to interrupt. She gets right to the point, telling him she has to go home, Concord Dawn. It only takes a moment’s pause by the Captain to figure out why. He agrees, and offers her the recently acquired shuttle for transportation. Before he’s finished hashing out the details—
Kol jumps into the conversation, declaring that if Kitt has to go then he’ll go too. Snibit echoes the sentiment, not wanting his friend to face this situation without him. Kitt is a bit caught for words, but does manage to thank them for the offer. Rune takes this opportunity to apologize to Kitt for what he perceived as failure on his part to stop the Sith assassins. He expresses that he should have been more vigilant, as Sith hunting is what he was trained to do best. Kitt tries to reassure him that it’s all fine, Sith are tricky after all, and as long as no one died you have to call it a good day of some kind. Rune stays firm in his idea that he needs to do better and assures her he won’t fail her again. Now that is seems more like a real group field trip, Captain Forma asks Hayde to go along with them.
Remembering something else he needed to talk about, Rune approaches Rudi about the fight with the pirates. He warns him of the feelings of anger and pride he felt coming from Rudi then, and to be cautious of them leading him to a darker path. Rudi says Rune is just overreacting, playing the hyper vigilant Jedi, and that there is nothing to worry about from him.
In a more concerted effort to cheer up Kitt, Kol ushers her over to the counter to choose some ice cream. As she mulls over the myriad of choices, Kol reminds her that there are times that people should rely on their friends; no one can go it alone all the time. This is one of those times, Kol feels, and he tells her she can count on him for help. Kitt thanks him, for the words and the ice cream, noting that it means a great deal. At that moment they’re interrupted by Randi, who drops by to pick out her own ice cream. Even responding to the question, “What kind of ice cream are you getting?” results in flirty response. She continues to throw a few more innuendos Kol’s way, to which Kitt responds “innuendo” to each one until Randi takes her ice cream back to the party. Kol mentions that he’s aware of what Randi is getting at, so Kitt no longer needs to provide subtitles for him.
Telsij, overhearing that Rune would be leaving again soon, approaches him to talk for a few minutes. She is worried, and expresses concern for his safety out on his trip. Rune brushes this off, stating that he will be fine. It seems that Telsij is more than just the regular kind of concerned, and tells him that she cares for him. Without saying it in so many words, Telsij is trying to tell Rune that she has romantic feeling for him. Whether out of wishing to not notice out of strict adherence to the Jedi Code, or just actually not noticing, Rune doesn’t pick up on any of it. He just reassures her he’ll be fine.
Having been brushed off by Hayde, Rudi spends his time at the party mingling until Randi approaches him again. The two seem to make up (yet again, it’s hard to tell now how many times they argue and make up), and as the party winds down, Randi takes him back to her room.
The next day there is a knocking on Kitt’s door as she is finishing packing to leave. It’s Melina, who relates a horrible dream she had the night before. More of a vision, really, she asserts. She saw Kitt, surrounded by enemies, in a village burning to the ground. Feeling that it was one of those prophetic dreams, Melina thought it was necessary to let Kitt know. Kitt doesn’t know what to make of it, and can only respond with a laconic thank you. Melina warns her to be careful.
After leaving, Melina runs into Kol, who is making his way to the hangar bay. She relates the dream to him as well, also warning him to be careful. Kol is alarmed by the vision, and that it is Kitt alone surrounded by enemies. He thanks Melina for the warning.
The group gathers in the hangar, where Kag is waiting for them. He tells Kitt that the shuttle is prepared for their take off and warns her that they will need to remove the proto-prototype heat shield as soon as they return from Concord Dawn. Kitt acknowledges that and gets into the shuttle for take off, but not before Kol tells her of Melina’s vision, which she replies she already heard about. He seems more worried about it than Kitt does, reiterating that he’ll do everything he can to help and make sure that the vision does not happen. When everyone’s finally settled in, they make the jump to hyperspeed and zoom off for Concord Dawn.
A ship rises from the intense atmosphere of Metalorn. One menacing voice proclaims they have failed and lost the woman. Another voice cuts in, saying that they hadn’t yet. There is still another chance. Their ship flashes off into hyperspace, following the party.
It doesn’t take long to arrive at Concord Dawn. Kitt explains to everyone that the planet is mostly farmland, and they’ll have to land about a town over from where her parents’ farm is. Only a minute or two out into the town and the group can already hear some sort of commotion going on. Kitt thinks she recognizes one of the men talking, but can’t remember his name. He remembers her, though, and calls her by name when the group comes up to ask what is going on. The man, a Journeyman Protector, introduces himself as Turgens, who took over some of Kitt’s jurisdiction when she left. Things aren’t going well for him, though, explaining that his partner was just killed by mercenaries from the war that had settled on Concord Dawn. They have no respect for tradition and won’t let Turgens give him a proper burial in the graveyard. The people in town don’t want to deal with the trouble, won’t help Turgens get to graveyard and tell him to turn away. Kitt tells Turgens they’ll help him get his partner a proper burial, and asks if afterwards he could give them a lift to the Drasco Homestead.
They all load into Turgens’s speeder and take off through town. It doesn’t take long before Rudi spots a mercenary ready and waiting with a sniper rifle on the second floor of a building. With some deft use of telekinesis, Rudi pulls the rifle from the mercenary and hands it over to Kitt. This is just the beginning, as the group is shot at by other mercenaries waiting in other buildings. The group fends them off, Hayde putting her very large blaster to good use.
The rest of the ride to the graveyard is quiet in comparison. It is only when they finally reach the place that they are confronted by more mercenaries who were waiting there for them. The party splits off to fight them. Rune and Rudi taking on half of them with help from Turgens and Hayde, who stay by the speeder, while Kol speeds off to take care of the others as Kitt assists him and keeps Snibit clear of attacks at the same time. Shots are exchanged, Turgens taking a few bad hits, and Hayde finding some difficulty with her blaster at one point, but the mercenaries are eventually taken care of. Soon only one of them is left alive, fighting against Kol. The mercenary surrenders, and the party strip him of his comlink and weapons before sending him back to his fellows. With the graveyard safe, Turgens is able to bury his partner, helped by the rest of the group. He agrees to lend them a few speeder bikes to take them out to the Drasco Homestead, and briefly talks about how he has been going to visit Kitt’s parents regularly to make sure they’re still doing fine. Kitt tells him she appreciates him doing that, seeing that they’d been on their own since she left.
As they ride towards the Drasco Homestead, Rudi asks Kitt how long her family has lived on their farm to which she only replies “a very long while.” Any other conversation is cut off as they notice smoke rising on the horizon, Kitt muttering that it is, “Coming from…home.” She is gone the next second, pushing the speeder bike as fast as it can go, leaving everyone behind. The farmlands around Kitt blur as she races with urgency back home. She ditches the speeder bike in the front yard and runs around to the back where the smoke is coming from, calling out to her parents. When she rounds to the backyard she sees—
Her father, standing over a very large rack of bantha ribs on the barbecue, her mother nearby along with their neighbor who Kitt only knows as “Mr. Mandalore.” It’s just a backyard barbecue that she’s run in on. When her parents realize it’s Kitt they run over to say hello, her mother almost shouting about Kitt’s return. They proclaim they thought she had died (to Kitt’s dismay and realization she should have known nothing she’d send would get back to them), that it’s been almost three years since she left, and ask her if she had found her brothers. Kitt is apologetic for it all, but moves onto the issue she finds most urgent: the Sith assassins. Her father doesn’t seem too concerned, declaring that he’ll defend their home no matter who comes after them.
Kitt wants to impress upon him the seriousness of the matter, but is distracted by the arrival of the rest of the group. Though they are worried at first about her rushing off, they are pretty relieved to find a barbecue going on. Kitt introduces them all to her parents, having to note that a few of them are Jedi and soon they are all sitting around the table enjoying the barbecue. Kitt’s father first assumes that Rudi, who is decked in one of his suits, is Kitt’s lawyer of some kind rather than Jedi, then assumes that Rune and Kitt are ‘together,’ which she immediately corrects. Both her parents assert that she should have someone in her life, and Kitt tells them that she did but it was a while ago. Kitt seems relieved when the conversation moves to other topics, like Kol’s ‘healthy’ eating habits, and telling her parents about her best friend Snibit. Her parents talk about how Turgens had been kind enough to look in on them since Kitt left, and he explains a little bit more about the troublemaking mercenaries. Realizing the kind of trouble they could be for the town, the group agrees to help put this situation to rest. By the end of the meal the group is invited to stay the night the gals in Kitt’s old room with the Jedi in her brothers’ old room.
When they do decide to retire for the night, Kitt leads Hayde up to her old room. Taking a good look around, noting that it is sparsely decorated, Hayde remarks, “Not a very girly room, is it?”