Eden bolted up, shaken.

The vision that haunted her dreams was more urgent tonight, sharper, an icicle driven into her head. She threw back the duvet of her bed, shrugged on a robe, and moved into the kitchen, still partly lost in the vision. The stone floor was chilly under her bare feet. She poured herself a stiff drink to dull the lingering pain, and more importantly, her lingering sense of…what? Fear? Hope? Mourning?

One thing was certain. Her life was going to radically change. While Force visions were hard to interpret, two things were crystal clear. Holding her drink, the sash of her untied robe trailing behind her, she padded her way across the kitchen to the plush carpet of her living space, and into her home studio. Two things.

“Ms. Arborlane? Do you require assistance?” The voice came from the air of the room, a pleasant gentlemanly modulation. T1-MG9N. Her virtual assistant.

“No, T1M.” Sipping at the drink and feeling the burn at the back of her throat focused her a little. “On second thoughts, pull up that brochure from Chandrilla Starlines.”

“Yes, Ms. Arborlane.”

Eden’s screen lit up, the bright colors from her avant garde collection flashing in front of her. She rifled virtual pages to the side. There it was. The invitation.

The first thing. The man on the pleasure ship whose life was going to upend itself. He wouldn’t understand the moment until it came to him, and the vision was clear that she needed to be on hand to smooth his way. Right now he didn’t understand the role he would play, the impact he would make in regard to keeping the galaxy free. She smiled briefly at the thought of his metamorphosis. He’d hate the idea, see it as a betrayal of everything he was. Eden was not above enjoying watching him squirm. There might be some karma in the Force. In the end, it was a decision upon which the future of the galaxy hinged for years.

She studied the knickknacks on the shelf below the screen. Pens, datapad, crayons, fabric swatches. Ah. There it was. The compass. The second thing.

Not only would the next people need the compass, but they would also need the map. She’d have to go back to Oshira and find the map. Then she would need to marshal them to the new reality, to something they’d been hoping for a long time. They were…what were they called? The Saja. Perhaps passing on the map and the compass to them might be more important than steering the man. Perhaps.

The man. The map. The compass. She glanced back at the invitation. There it was. The invitation to recruit talent to the House of Arborlane on the Chandrilla Lines Halcyon at the Outer Rim Regalia. Perfect. That would put her where she needed to be, give her a reason to be there. The invitation would cover her tracks, and who she was would remain secret until such time as it suited her purpose.

Tomorrow she’d contact Reynard. He’d have her back once she confessed fully about the prophecy. “T1M?”

“Yes, Ms. Arborlane?”

“Tell the Chandrilla people I will come. And set up an interview with Coruscant Fashion Weekly.”

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.