He may not have told Aunt Em, but Lion could always open up to his longtime friends. Far removed from Emerald City, in the Deep Forest, the Cowardly Lion felt more at ease in his own domain.
"It was just too odd," he said to Scarecrow and Nick Chopper, his best
friends. All three had known each other since time immemorial when a little girl
named Dorothy Gale was trying to find her way back to Kansas. They shared many
adventures during their journey to Emerald City, each hoping the Wizard would
bestow upon them what they most desired. For Lion it was courage, not that he
already had much bravery in him. The adventures he shared with Dorothy attest that.
Lion's biggest problem was an embarrassing, persistent fear. He would literally
tremble in fright when facing virtually anything. The Wizard and Ozma assured him
it's natural to be scared of some things, but Lion still has a tendency to run from
In this case, Lion's dreams – make that one persistent dream – were so disturbing, so unusual, he never shared them with anyone, up until now.
"So," asked Scarecrow, "what was it like? Who was in it?"
The Tin Woodsman asked, "Do you think it means anything?"
Lion took a deep breath, looked around for anyone or anything that could be
eavesdropping, then revealed his dream.
"As I said, it was just too weird. All these people and things all jumbled together. Let's see, it all starts with me in a big room. There are comfy chairs and sofas, a big fireplace with a huge mirror hanging over it, and a piano in the corner. Kind of like the big reception room in Ozma's palace. A young lady was playing piano. She almost looked like Maddie, but it wasn't her."
Scarecrow commented, "Ah, that must have been Marbe Tasou. Everyone says Maddie really favors her. Okay, what else happened in your dream? Who else was there?"
Lion continued, "Well, another young lady played violin. It wasn't Six but someone else. She was pretty, all red hair and big blue eyes. Another lady sitting next to me said the violinist was really a Jedi."
"Who was the other lady?," asked Nick Chopper.
"You know," replied Lion, "I really couldn't figure it out. She was very pretty, too, but a bit older. She spoke with an English accent, all cultured and refined. Kind of like Maddie's cousin James; in fact, the lady said her son and James shared the same name, even look somewhat like each other. Anyway, we sat there listening to the music when another woman walked in with her friend. She was very pretty, too, dusky complexion, big green eyes, and loads of shiny black hair. She wore a red dress and a crown of rubies. Her friend was a little misshapen guy, but he was very nice. He told me this lady was the first person whoever showed him a kindness."
Both Scarecrow and Nick nodded to each other as they had an idea the
misshapen man and his friend's identities. They learned about them from Major
Spikeblade who had direct dealings with both in another time and life.
"Hmm," said Scarecrow, "that must have been Quasimodo and Esmeralda. I'm still trying to figure out who the other women are. Maybe if you tell more we can piece it all together, perhaps figure out what it all means."
Lion said, "That was when it got weird. Esmeralda started to dance, and
everyone seemed to have a good time, then in walked someone else. And you won't
believe this. It was a dinosaur!"
"A dinosaur?," asked Nick. "Could it be one of the Herd who's coming to Oz very soon?"
"I don't know," said Lion, "He wasn't one of the really big ones, like the Longnecks. He looked like Aladar, but it wasn't him. I think he said his name was Xander."
"Anyway, Quasi said there was another dinosaur back in France, in his time, and Esmeralda actually saw and spoke to it. He said the man who kept the baby dinosaur left France after the baby died. It was little girl longneck and she told Esmeralda everything that happened from the time she was snatched by an evil man to when another man rescued her. This was the man Quasi mentioned. Seems his wife and two daughters were put to death for practicing witchcraft, and it was because someone saw the little longneck. Naturally this person told everyone and the news soon reached Judge Frollo. The baby got moved to a safer place so no one else could ever find her. Of course, that is until a year later when Esmeralda happened by and saw the kid."
"Okay," said Scarecrow, "we know all about that, but what else happened in
your dream? Why was the other dinosaur there?"
Lion replied, "Well, while Esmeralda danced, she came over to Xander and said, 'Things are not as they seem, and you are caught in the middle.' I don't why she said that, but the lady next to me finally told me some things about the Jedi and how she encountered one during an ocean voyage."
"The Jedi who played violin was Fantine, but her real name was Talia Eldin of Coruscant. She eventually married Helmut Brück. He's a Jedi, too, and his real name was Bruno Dibon of the Naboo. The lady next to me said Helmut, in his old age, visited her home and said to her, 'A Jedi once lived here, didn't she?' Of course, the lady didn't understand what he meant by that, thinking it was the old age catching up with him."
He made a gesture with his paw that suggested, "You know, a few loose screws. A little senile."
Scarecrow frowned, saying, "If she didn't know a Jedi once lived in her
home...She told you she met one on an ocean voyage."
He looked at Nick, asking, "Do you think it's who I'm thinking of?"
The Tin Woodsman asked Lion point-blank, "Did the lady ever tell you her
name? And did she mentioned the ship she was on? The reason I'm asking is one of
our Ozites was on the Titanic. Oh yes, fished out of the Nonestic Ocean by Captain
Billy and Ojo. She got swept up in a swell of water the moment the ship sank.
Traveled all the way to Nonestica in that swell."
Now Scarecrow knew; he asked, "The Jedi the lady encountered was Mary, wasn't it? Our little Mary, the nice housemaid at Lindens End, who once worked for the Bellamys of Eaton Place. The lady in your dream was Lady Marjorie Bellamy, She drowned, you know, along with her brother and sister-in-law."
"Yeah," said Lion, "drowned while helping a lost little girl find her mother."
Indeed that dream was a puzzler. None of the three friends knew Mary was
really a Jedi or how she came to be one. Maybe she's the mystery Jedi Major
Spikeblade spoke of, the one who would eventually come to Maddie's aid at a most
No, thought Nick, it can't be just Mary, or else the major would have said so. The mystery Jedi is someone else. Now, let's see...There are supposedly three Jedi living in Oz. If Mary is one, and once Madeline completes her training...I wonder who the third is...
He then asked Lion, "Any more to that dream, Lion?"
The Cowardly Lion shook his head. "No. The dream faded away, and it always ends the same way with Marbe Tasou whispering something to me, but I can't make out what she's saying."
At Pastoria Centre, taking a break from rehearsal, Madeline sat in her office overlooking Emerald City streets. In the distance she could see a figure rushing up the street towards Ozma's Palace. Gee, what's the hurry? Nothing in Oz is that urgent, isn't it? I thought people led rather relaxed lives, none of the hustle and bustle of the Great Outside World. Oh well, whatever's going on it obviously doesn't concern me. I'm just too busy getting ready for our first grand concert. So glad Ozma consented for me to reorganize the Oz Symphony, even act as musical director. This is what I love best, but with my Jedi training coming fast, and I don't know how long that will take or how long I'll be gone...
Just what goes into this training? Granted, I'll learn to use the lightsaber,
but there's so much more to being a Jedi that skillful swordplay. Or so Master Jinn
said. Being a Jedi isn't easy, but I'm used to hard work and rolling with the
They say these Force Masters are a tough bunch, that the one called Deke really didn't want to train me, saying I'm too old and set in my ways. But didn't Charlie and the Wizard say Deke had to relent and agree to train me? Something about those guys getting a visit from a long dead Jedi, Master Mace Windu no less! Qui-Gon has told me much about the great Jedi Masters, and Mace was the best, next to Yoda. I wonder if I'll see any more of them myself. Only a few have appeared to me personally, and I'm sure they'll be with me once I begin training. I have no idea what to expect or if I'll ever become a full Jedi like Marbe. Wow, I sure have some big shoes to fill.
With a shrug, Maddie gathered her music then returned to the rehearsal room.
No time to brood over what she felt could be the biggest challenge of her life.
Three days until the first major concert and Maddie wanted to be fully focused on
that. Besides, she wasn't conducting so it's not as if she'll be that much on the
spot, but she was coordinating the whole affair so she wanted the evening to go
without complications. Her good friend Tony was featured soloist, performing the
Schumann concerto, and that in itself promised a successful evening. Maddie would
suffice as principal cellist, and she didn't mind having the spotlight off her for
Just before leaving the office, she forgot to close the huge window behind her desk. No, let it stay open. It's a nice day, not as if a big bug will fly in here, or a desperate, determined burglar would break in. There's nothing like that in all of Oz. Everything here is perfectly safe.
She couldn't have timed it more perfectly, that exit from the office. For as if by magic – and who says it wasn't – a huge golden eagle carrying a parcel in its talons winged its way towards that upper story room and flew through the window. Once inside, it deposited that item onto Maddie's desk then quickly exited out the window.
The Force Ghost of Jedi Master Adi Gallia appeared almost instantly. Her eyes
fell on the parcel; she said, "Jedi Knight Talia Eldin's, also known as Fantine
Larue Brück, diary. Within that diary are so many memories. Madeline shall know
them before departing for the Jurassic Period, to the Great Valley."
Before vanishing, Adi felt an odd rumble in the Force. No, it can't be! How did this one manage to get here long before the others? Not that he has direct bearing on Madeline's presence in Oz, or of the ultimate outcome of a sixty-five million year old prophecy.
Ah, so he found one of the secret tunnels. I wonder if she, the one called Sirenna knows of his arrival. I sense Sirenna is purposely circumventing the Dark One's invasion attempt, lulling him or her into a false sense of security.
Now I sense it. The true Dark One is a woman! The man we suspected as a Dark Jedi is neither Jedi nor Sith. He is like Grievous, believes he is all powerful, but he is not a Jedi, much less a Sith. Already he has received secrets of one Dark Jedi, Lorenz Kast, and is training himself. That is not how it is done, and he'll fail miserably. How do I know? It has been foretold eons ago, and his forebears' misdeeds at the hands of Kast shall be avenged. His father has passed from this life to the next, and the one who so desperately sought what was snatched from her family will soon learn the truth, and make her way to Oz.
Gladys, the housekeeper at Lindens End, paused briefly to pick up a stray
apple she dropped on the way home from the farm. Normally Gladys would take the
carriage on these errands, but it was such a nice day she decided to walk. Besides,
the farm isn't that far from home.
She thought of several things. Miss Madeline would be gone for many days, weeks even, once she begins her training in faraway Quadling Country. It really didn't make sense to stock up on supplies if the mistress of the house is absent for many days. Nevertheless, there would always be the occasional visit from Mr. Lavigne or Mr. James, so procuring extra foodstuffs was a wise choice.
Gladys also thought of Mary, a simple girl really but quite vague on her life post-Eaton Place. Granted, Mary had her baby only to see it die shortly after birth. Later she took on lesser jobs as maid of all work for a couple of suburban London families. Then came that fateful invitation from her sister to join her and friends on an ocean voyage to America. How wonderful, at first, for Gladys to run into Mary during the journey. As usual the girl didn't divulge much about her life, only to say she encountered someone on the ship who promised to help her.
Help her with what? Surely Mary didn't secure a place already, and days before the ship was due in New York. Of course, those plans were dashed the moment Titanic hit that iceberg.
Gladys recalled that night of terror, and how, briefly, she and Mary, after
an unsuccessful search for that elusive lifeboat, took refuge near the grand
staircase, in first class. The women momentarily ran into Lady Marjorie Bellamy,
Mary's former mistress. The noble lady with a lost little girl in tow, curiously
looked at Mary for a few fleeting seconds and asked, "Are you what Helmut Brück
Mary didn't get a chance to reply as the great skylight gave way, the entire room awash in a flood of freezing water. Mary and Gladys made a mad dash for the deck, never once looking back to see if Lady Marjorie managed to escape the deluge.
"She's gone, Gladys," Mary tearfully screamed, "She's gone because I can feel it. Oh, the grief Mr. Bellamy will feel when he receives the awful news! And her son, Captain James. He'll be devastated. He loved his mother so."
Gladys didn't dwell on that tragic event anymore. That was all in the past,
but it changed hers and Mary's lives forever. Still, there was something about Mary
that didn't seem right. What did Lady Marjorie mean by, "Are you what Helmut Brück
Wasn't he a minor composer, the same who was really a Jedi Knight? If he knew about Mary, could it be Mary is a Jedi, too?
With a sigh, Gladys pushed those thoughts from her mind then continued her
journey home. Nearing that part of the road which forked – One road led to Lindens
End; the other to the valley – Gladys felt something odd. Was that a tremor? As if
someone or something walked with an incredibly heavy tread? She felt it again; it
came from behind.
Turning around, she saw exactly what made those tremors. It was a dinosaur! Huge apatosaurus of tremendous size. It looked quite aged, kind, perhaps a humorous sort and not at all dangerous.
Knowing all animals in Oz have the power of speech, Gladys asked, "I heard you
come up. Are you lost, sir?"
The old longneck smiled, his jagged teeth showing, and said in a gravelly voice, "Didn't mean to startle you, but yep, you could say I'm lost. See, I was in this very long tunnel then, wouldn't you know, I wound up here."
He glanced about, saying, "Doesn't look like the Great Valley or even the Mysterious Beyond, but I guess it'll do. I met someone on the way and he said there's a place called Gotoma's Valley. Do you know where it is?"
Gladys, now wondering if this particular longneck could be one of the Great
Valley herd, pointed to the other road and replied, "The valley is up that path,
sir. No one lives there yet, but it will soon fill up with more of your kind. My
name is Gladys, and I look after the house at the other end of the road. May I ask
your name, sir?"
The old longneck grinned, saying, "Sir? Why so formal? I'm no one special. You can just call me Pat."
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