Jedi in OZ  
jedi in oz

Chapter 12

      At the Royal Palace in Emerald City, in Ozma's throne room, Jellia Jamb watched the many goings-on in Oz via the Magic Picture. Anything happening in the world is instantly viewable; one just has to wish it shown. On this morning, Jellia, head of all the palace's maids and Ozma's personal attendant, wanted to see what was going on at Lindens End. She had yet to meet Oz's newest arrival though she'd seen Madeline Tasou in performance on the Picture.
     Oh well, Jellia sighed, just another routine morning for Miss Tasou. Poor thing, all she does is practice, practice, practice. Well, she is a professional musician, and she has to keep on top of her art. Still, in Oz, one doesn't have to work half that hard. Maddie's musical friends learned that, and they don't practice nearly as long as...Hello! What is this?
     "Is she going out?," Jellia said out loud.

     "Is who going out, Jellia?," asked Dorothy who just came downstairs from her private suite in the palace. She had hoped to have breakfast with Ozma. However, what Jellia said piqued the curiosity.
     Jellia pointed at the Magic Picture, saying, "Maddie is going out, and she hadn't her breakfast yet. Look, she has the woven mat, and the Holocron."
     Dorothy peered into the Picture, then she gasped. Taking Ms Jamb by the hand, she said, "She's going to the valley. Come on, Jellia, we have to alert Ozma and the Wizard!"


      In the kitchen at Lindens End, Gladys waited for the cook Mrs Fellowes to finish Madeline's breakfast tray. Such lovely tray, too. All sterling silver with a pretty linen cloth and fine china dinnerware. Gladys placed a small vase of fresh flowers on the tray as Mrs Fellowes arranged two soft-boiled eggs and crisp toast on a plate.
"I just hope she's good and hungry this morning," said the cook, a short, fat dumpling in neat yellow dress and starched white apron. Her gray hair was pulled back in a bun and covered with a frilly cap. She looked as if from another time and place, and that was true. "Poor dear didn't eat much last night. Just cold roast beef and a salad, and that she barely picked at." "It's the Holocron, Mrs Fellowes," said Gladys, pouring fresh coffee into a little silver pot, "Miss Maddie's been in her room all night looking at the pictures. How incredible to discover her famous ancestor met–"

     A knock at the door followed by a resounding voice interrupted Gladys in mid-sentence. At once she knew that West Country accent, and his name just by the huge shadow he cast.
     "Hagrid!," greeted Mrs Fellowes. "Oh come in, dear boy, and have a cup of tea with us."
     Gladys went to the door and opened the bottom half to allow Hagrid entry. She had to laugh a bit as the gentle half-giant ducked his head to avoid knocking into the ceiling light fixtures.

     "Mornin', ladies," grandly greeted the half-giant, his wild black mane and beard flowing gently in the breeze. "Sorry to say I don't have time to stay an' chat. Had to take something to Glinda, and I need be a-gettin' back to Hogwarts."

     Gladys nodded, glancing out the window to see a great black dragon sitting patiently in the backyard. She gasped, saying, "Hagrid, is that a dragon? We don't see too many dragons in Oz, except those who live in the great Crystalline Swamp. Keep to themselves there, they do. One has to go there to see them. I hear they're quite spectacular, and very gentle. Not at all ferocious or dangerous. That is, unless they sense their sanctuary in danger."
     Hagrid grinned, gladly accepted the cup of tea and a slice of Mrs Fellowes' brown bread, replying, "Well, old Conrad out there is quite tame, but he's not mine. He's on loan from Mariah. As soon as I return, he'll come back to Oz on his own."
     "Mariah...," said Gladys. "Doesn't she live in Quadling Country, just across the swamp? She lives with her brother and Deke, and all three are Force Masters."
     "Yeah," said Hagrid, "but I don't know much about the Force, but Dumbledore does. Yep, he claims to have met both Marbe and Kirel Tasou, and that was before Marbe remained behind on Earth and Kirel returned to his home planet with Luke Skywalker."

     At that moment, Mary Stokes entered the kitchen quite concerned. She didn't even notice the breakfast tray waiting to be taken upstairs. She saw Hagrid sitting at the table, smiled a bit and said, "Good morning, Hagrid. Good to see you again. How is everyone at Hogwarts?"
      "Oh, we're just fine, Mary. Just had to run an errand for Professor Dumbledore, but I wanted to stop and see me friends before goin' back." replied the half-giant.

     Mary smiled then grew serious; she was about to tell Gladys something but Mrs Fellowes spoke up first.
"Here, Mary," said the cook. "Miss Maddie's breakfast tray's all ready. Now, take it up before it gets cold."
     "That's what I come down for," said the maid. "But Miss Maddie's not in her room. Not even in the house. I looked on the porch, in the sitting room, even the library, but she's nowhere in the house, Gladys. I went up to her room again and saw that the little mat and Holocron were gone. I think Miss Maddie has them, and she's gone to the valley before she's supposed to."


      Surprisingly, it didn't take that long to walk the distance from Lindens End to the heart of the valley. How lovely this is! All green and fresh. The huge lake was so blue and clear, and Madeline almost took a quick dip. However this was not the time for swimming; besides the jeans and T-shirt wasn't quite right for water sports. Finding a low rock to sit upon, Madeline took out the woven picture and Holocron. Last night, after Padmé's visit, Maddie studied both carefully, marvelling how her forebears hobnobbed with dinosaurs. Those creatures weren't the ferocious animals seen in scary movies; they were friendly, intelligent, and amazingly had the power of speech.
     "They weren't ordinary dinosaurs, that's for sure," she said studying the woven picture. It still didn't quite sink in for her that she was here in Oz for a specific purpose. Padmé could tell her so much: That Maddie would meet a Dark Jedi whose own ancestor came to Earth shortly after the Tasous, but he arrived some centuries later, via that time slip. In fact, Padmé admitted several Jedi, escaping the ongoing purge, found that time slip thus ending up on Earth in various time periods. Only the Tasous plus one other arrived in the planet's very distant past – the Jurassic and Cretaceous respectively. Padmé didn't reveal the identity of the other who came to Earth, saying only he was originally from her homeworld of Naboo. He wasn't even Jedi but extremely Force-sensitive.

     "And here I am, with the Force running through me like fury," Madeline muttered as she tried to piece together the picture's story. "I've always felt different from the other kids, that's why I had so few close friends. I knew – Mom must have known – that I had some sort of powers. I had a feeling Charlie knew...Why did he wait until now to tell me?"
     Sitting on the rock, the textile artwork still in her hands, Madeline closed her eyes and quieted her mind. Perhaps if she concentrated long enough, something will happen, maybe conjure a vision or long repressed memories.
      "But what long repressed memories?," she asked herself. "The only really unpleasant memories I have are when Judy died and Jeff left town. I really haven't thought of either for so long...Although I still miss them terribly, I've been too busy to remember at all..."
      "My life wasn't really so bad. We had food on the table, even if it wasn't exactly gourmet fare. I wore good clothes, if one counts stuff from Goodwill or secondhand stores. I always had new stuff for Christmas and birthdays, not a lot, but it was something. So it's not as if we were destitute. Besides, Mom made sure my music lessons came first. So why do I still feel so sad, confused, even bitter?"

     She glanced about, half thinking someone may be nearby ready to answer her question. It happened before – those visits from Anakin, Padmé, and Obi-Wan – so Maddie assumed another long-dead Jedi might appear to her. No such luck this time as she was quite alone; no one in that vast valley other than herself.
     With a shrug, she slipped off the rock, preferring to lie down in the soft, lush green grass. Oh, the fragrance of sweet wildflowers and the warmth of the early morning sun were quite relaxing, and Maddie felt herself calming into a deep trance. Still clutching that woven picture, her hand resting on the amethyst bead, she could see, in her mind's eye, a scene from long ago. No, not her immediate past, but a time gone millions of years. What she saw seemed familiar yet disturbing.

     "Bren! Are you coming? We have to get back or else our folks will be mad."

     "In a minute, Korie. I want to look at the sky sparkles some more. Look at that one, Korie. See how it's bigger than the others? Mama says it's special, a dreaming star to make your wishes upon."

     "But it's almost dark, Bren. Aren't you scared? What if a Sharptooth comes along? You know we're not supposed to be together anyway. Longnecks never play with beakmouths..."

     "...Or threehorns, or spiketails, or flyers. Yeah, yeah. I heard it before, Korie. But what's wrong in us being friends? You are my best friend, Korie. Always will be. Come on, let us look at the dreaming star. Maybe we can wish all the Sharpteeth would go away."

     "Or wish that we'll always be together, no matter what we are."

     "See that sky sparkle up there, Korie? It's even bigger than the dreaming star. Gee, I wonder if it has...Hey, I'm hearing things."

"Hearing what, Bren?"

     "I don't know. But ever since I started looking at the sky sparkles, I hear stuff. Music, or something that sounds like a song. But there are no words. It's very pretty, all dreamy and sparkly. Sometimes I hear music in my head even when I'm not looking at the sky. Pa and Mom think I'm just making it up, but Bron says it might mean something."

     "You know, Bren, my mom says when we see and hear things, it's a sign of the future."

     "Then I wonder what my future is. Korie, I heard Pa say Bron is ready to find a wife. There is a really pretty longneck who came to visit us, and Bron really likes her. So maybe that's what hearing things means. My brother will marry soon. We're still too young to have mates, Korie, but we'll have husbands and babies some day..."

    "Yeah, let's enjoy being kids...Bren, did you hear something?"

    "No, just quiet nighttime stuff. Why? What? Is it a Sharptooth? Come on, we've been out here long enough...Oh!"

"Bren! Bren!"

    "Korie, what is it? Why am I floating in the air? I can't get down! Go for help...But we weren't supposed to wander too far from the herd...We'll get it for sure...Korie, why can't I get down? What is this?"

     "Bren, I'll go for help...No, we're not to be here...not after dark...Bren, come back!"

    "I can't...I don't know what's got hold of me! Pa! Bron! Mama! Help me!"

    "Bren, come back! Come back!"

"I can't...I can't! I keep going up and up..."

     "So that's what's been bugging me. That's why this woven mat is so significant. I remember most of it...Korie watched something lift me up into the sky. I disappeared into the heavens, never to return. Oh my God! That happened just before Ricar Tasou visited...That dinosaur, Bren, was...Me?!"

     It all began to fall into place. Madeline, now out of her meditative trance, studied the mat, now knowing the significance of the picture.
     "This was our valley, much like this one, but not as large. The amethyst is me. The carnelian is Korie...The others are my family. But what happened was so long ago, millions of years before I was born. So how could I remember such? Maybe that was what Anakin said by, 'Your family is here.' Maybe that's part of the reason I'm here. So, if Ricar visited this Jurassic family, and his children encountered animals so obviously Cretaceous..."

     "Time slip! Obi-Wan mentioned Ricar Tasou found a time slip that brought him here to Earth. Only Ricar shared this knowledge with his family and few close friends, people he could trust. Wonder what caused that time slip in the first place."
     With a sigh, Madeline prepared to leave, but she promised herself to return to the valley. Perhaps another visit will jar more specific memories. Besides, she was surely missed at home, and she promised Charlie and James to meet them for lunch in Emerald City. There they can explain what she just experienced – the telling fact that she might have lived before as a dinosaur. It sounded so far-fetched, but what else could explain it?
     At the last minute, Maddie decided to remain in the valley a little while longer, just to drink in all this beauty. So peaceful, but lonely what with no one living here. Such a shame to let all this beauty go to waste – the lake, the forest, meadow...

    "The one who breached that time slip is the very one who kidnapped young Bren. That memory is just one more step to your Jedi training. In time, you will visit your Jurassic family again, ultimately bringing them here to Oz."
     Maddie looked up to see another Jedi Master sitting beside her. So many people who, up until recently, had made themselves known to her. Oh, she knew they watched over her all these years, and she knew them by name. She spoke to the Jedi.

    "Master Jinn. What is happening to me? What I just saw in my deep memories both intrigued and disturbed me. So I have to know. You've watched over me my entire life, all the Jedi have, and now I need your help more than ever."

[Go to Chapter 13]

Copyright©2007 by PRP