A scream snapped Lilliya out of her meditation and the last image she saw was of a white-faced man with black eyes rushing at her. Then it faded, as quickly as the scream vanished, into the darkness of her mind. She shifted uncomfortably in the soft sofa chair she lounged in. She was alone within the library again. This was the one place she felt at peace, and safe from the eyes of the other JedI students. Luke was with his son, Ben, at the moment—father and son training she supposed—so the break of attention gave her the chance to do her own meditation.
She just didn’t expect to be frightened out of it by some ghostly figure. She buried the image from her mind, but decided to keep it close in case she should mention it to Luke. He said to tell him anything she experienced that was considered out of the ordinary. Random screams and scary faces of black-eyed men were definitely not her usual daydreams.
“Hello, Lilliya,” Forra said, making her jump in her chair again. He smiled at her surprised demeanor. “You really ought to get used to other people being around. Although, I am sure you would shock me as well, considering I cannot sense you within the Force.”
“Right…” Lilliya muttered, allowing a smile to break her furrowed concern. “How are you, Forra?”
“I am well. And you?”
Lilliya shrugged, not exactly sure which response was best, the truth, or an evasive little lie. “I’m fine. A little tired.”
“You look very drawn,” Forra said, crouching beside her. “Are you sick?”
She shook her head no. “I only had a…weird dream. Kind of jump-started me awake. Nothing too serious.”
“Was it of Pell? I heard of your little lightsaber battle,” Forra smiled, effectively avoiding anything that made Lilliya uncomfortable.
Lilliya laughed a little. “What, you didn’t see it? I thought the entire planet was witness to that. I’m a star now, you know.”
“Yes,” Forra chuckled. “Quite the little transporting celebrity.” Then his expression turned serious. “Speaking of stars, I think I have finally translated your pendant.”
Lilliya grew immediately interested. She had been waiting for over a week for Forra to translate the charm her father had hidden within his private chest, the charm that surprisingly fit onto the necklace she was found with as a child.
“It is interesting, this pendant of yours,” Forra murmured, his brow furrowing. “I could not attain the exact translation, but the closest language it resembles to is of the Yuuzhan Vong.”
Lilliya’s heart stopped. The last thing she dreamed of being related to was of the Yuuzhan Vong, the destructive and religious driven alien species who invaded the galaxy over a decade ago and successfully destroyed nearly everything in their conquest. The Yuuzhan Vong came from the outside, so it would make no sense that Lilliya’s original heritage was from outside the galaxy as well. She was human.
“As we are well aware of, the Vong do not use anything that is not of organics,” Forra continued, playing with the charm between his long fingers. “I cannot tell you how your father came upon this, or what it may mean to you, but the Basic word it closely resembles to is…Star.”
Lilliya was frozen, staring blankly at Forra for what seemed like hours. Then she blinked away her stupor, and cocked her head to the side in wonder. “Star?” she repeated softly.
Forra nodded. “Does this mean anything to you?”
Lilliya thought for a moment, then shook her head slowly. “No,” she murmured.
Forra sighed, then handed back the charm. “I was hoping it would shed light on your mystery.”
Lilliya frowned. “My mystery?”
“Yes,” Forra responded innocently. “You are a mystery to us, invisible to the Force. Others say they feel threatened by you, as though your mere presence repels the Force away. We have experienced this only with the Yuuzhan Vong. And you are certainly not a Vong.” Forra smiled at this, hoping to cheer up the obviously upset Lilliya. Only as her expression darkened in confusion did Forra realize she was unaware of this information he now laid on her. “I am sorry,” he continued, “you did not know of this?”
“Not at all,” Lilliya grumbled. “No wonder I’m being treated as a science experiment.”
“Then I am very sorry,” Forra said, his face falling. “I was not supposed to make you feel isolated.”
“It’s not your fault.” Lilliya waved him off.
“I am not strong in the Force, so, at first, I thought your invisibility was because I could not see you. Where in fact, no one can,” Forra explained. “But I thought you knew this. That was why I thought you were here.”
“So I could be exploited…” Lilliya muttered, her gaze fixed on the stone floor.
Forra grew nervous now. “I am worried. Please do not be angry with us.”
Lilliya’s gaze snapped up and met Forra’s. Her expression softened suddenly and she reached out to touch his arm. “Why are you afraid of me?” Concern flooded her multi-colored eyes.
“I fear things I do not understand,” Forra whispered. “Most of us do. Only the Master JedI do not fear.”
“Don’t be afraid of me,” Lilliya said softly. “You are my only friend here.” Then she smiled to show she was no longer angry, though she reminded herself to have a heartfelt conversation with Luke once he was finished with whatever he was doing. “And I am very happy that you took the time to translate my charm.” Her expression changed as she was reminded by something. Something buried deep within her memory. Al lechufeon marahl… It was the Huttese phrase Jenar was constantly throwing at her, laughing at her frustration because she never learned as many languages as he… “What does al lechufeon marahl mean?” she asked bluntly, not meeting Forra’s golden eyes.
His eyebrows lifted in surprise. “It is of the Huttese language. A very rare saying. It means ‘my beautiful one.’”
Lilliya felt a stab of pain in her chest and quickly reburied all thoughts of Jenar and the Huttese words, zeroing in on her thoughts of Luke Skywalker and her “exploitation.”
Forra’s expression remained worried.
Lilliya sighed and stood from her sitting position. She straightened her jumpsuit and began to make her way out of the library.
“What are you going to do now?” Forra called after her.
“I’m leaving,” Lilliya said. “My time here is done.”
“You cannot!” Forra ran after her. “You must not give up. You may be an enigma to us, but I can tell you are special. I can tell!”
Lilliya scoffed. “You can’t even pick up a tiny pebble with the Force, how you can your assumptions about me mean anything other than sick curiosity?”
Forra stopped, his expression turning sad.
Lilliya stopped too, immediately regretting what she had said. “I’m sorry,” she said, turning to look him straight in the eye. “I didn’t mean that. I just don’t belong here—obviously never did. And I don’t care if I’m invisible to you guys. It’s never been a big deal in my life before.”
Forra took a deep breath, his voice taking a serious note. “Lilliya, you are the star…”
Lilliya paused for a moment, studying Forra’s sudden passion. And then the way the word “star” mixed with her name reverberated in her head baffled her, made her wonder, but then, even more curiously, made her feel like she had come upon a huge discovery. As though something clicked, made sense for the first time. As if, she was one step closer to understanding everything she never understood before.
“I think…” Lilliya murmured, her wonder-filled gaze focused on the ground, “I’m having a revelation.” A crooked smile crept on her lips.
Forra frowned in confusion. “What do you mean?”
“From now on, Forra,” Lilliya said, meeting his gaze, “I want to be called Lilliya Starr.”
“Do you think it is your family’s name?”
Lilliya shook her head. “I have no idea.” She truly didn’t, but for some reason, changing her name was like changing everything, giving her a fresh start at life. And with this new life, she would work harder with Luke to find a way to the Force, in spite of everything she learned of her presence on Ossus. As much as she denied it in the past, deep down inside she knew she had some sort of unusual power. Her visions were no coincidence and her sudden random transportation was no accident, even though she couldn‘t figure out how to do it again.
My beautiful one… Jenar’s voice echoed through her head again and she shook it away as quickly as it came. If the name Lilliya Starr was to give her a new life, then she would have to bury the past far beneath her.
“He loved me,” she murmured, “and I never knew.”
“What?” Forra said.
Lilliya looked up at Forra. “Never mind. Gotta go!” At that, she spun on her heel and left the library at a brisk pace, Forra watching her leave in bafflement.