- "When I must kill, I mourn every life I take. I feel their death as if it were my own. Indeed, a little piece of me dies every time it happens. It doesn’t matter if they were evil or not."
- — Kalja Sairu Leidias
Kalja Sairu Leidias (11 BBY) is the latest in a long line of Kaljas to bear that name. A member of the Leidias Family, Kalja comes from a strong Jedi lineage and many believe that she has surpassed her ancestors as one of the greatest Leidiases to ever live. Aside from being the youngest Jedi to ever be voted onto the Jedi Council, as well as one of the youngest to be granted the title of Jedi Master, Kalja has accomplished many amazing feats. She’s stopped galactic threats like Sivter and the Val Aru. She was a principal reason for GAIT’s downfall. She even was the primary force for an eventual treaty between the Jedi Order and the Empire.
Kalja possesses a natural affinity for the Force, seeming to understand it on a level beyond many other Jedi, which gives her great power. Perhaps the most astonishing thing is how clearly she could feel it before she was ever trained in the ways of the Jedi. Her training was merely giving form to something she already understood subconsciously.
Because she has such a deep connection to the Force, Kalja goes out of her way to avoid violence and especially killing. Her sensitivity to the Force means that she feels the pain and death of others more acutely than other Jedi. With the galaxy in such turmoil, she finds she must consciously restrain her natural awareness and rarely opens herself up completely to the Force unless absolutely necessary.
Never one for formal titles, Kalja has a quirk of referring to everybody she meets by their first name. This even extends at times to her father, Tulsar. She does this not out of disrespect, but because she believes everyone is equal in status when it comes to the larger scheme of things. Ever humble in spite of her many accomplishments, Kalja insists people call her by her first name as well.
- "A lot of people mistake my kind-heartedness for being naïve. They think you have to be hard and cynical in order to survive. Rather, I help people because I don’t believe in thinking the worst of everyone. It’s been my experience that very few people have fully extinguished the good within themselves. You both proved that today."
- — Kalja to Garrett Granth and Ashin Varanin
- "As far as Forcers go, Kalja Sairu Leidias shows little sign of corruption by the Force, which I find to be a minor miracle considering the power she has demonstrated in the past. However, all it takes is the proper set of circumstances to shatter all of that. We’ve seen it happen before in too many others."
- — Reng Kasr to Thrawn, expressing his concerns about Kalja
Kalja is often considered to be the idealized Jedi. She’s patient, understanding, brave, and kind almost to a fault – selflessly doing her best to help others no matter what the cost to herself. It’s not that uncommon an occurrence for her friends and allies to force Kalja to take a break before she passes out from exhaustion. She also does her best to avoid fighting unless she’s given no other choice, as she strongly believes that violence only begets more violence.
Kalja’s kindness doesn’t stop at allies and innocents either. She’ll extend the same to her enemies and others shunned by society (such as career criminals) if she feels that there’s still good inside them, preferring to try and bring that good to the surface if she can. While not always successful, Kalja does have a remarkable record of making friends out of those who initially tried to do her harm – perhaps most notably with the former Jedi Hunter, Delth Ardin, who eventually became her significant other. Many who have a cause to hate or disparage the Jedi Order will usually welcome Kalja with open arms.
However, Kalja is not without her flaws. She has a deep-seated fear of one day losing control over her great power and becoming a monster. This fear is so great that Kalja utterly refuses to even try and face it unless given no choice, lest that fear somehow becomes a reality by doing so. At any other time she patently avoids thinking about it. On the other end of the spectrum, Kalja also fears going through life without the Force at all. When cut off from the mystical energy field, Kalja becomes a shell of her normal self, far less confident in anything she does or says. She’s been known to state that life without the Force would be a living nightmare for her.
- "The Force moves in mysterious ways."
- — Kalja Leidias
Kalja has a very strong sensitivity to the Force. She is a quick learner when it comes to Jedi techniques and usually needs little instruction in how to use them.
Her unique connection to the Force allows Kalja to draw a dangerous amount of power from it without having her body fried in the process. She rarely does so though unless there is no other option. The lure of the Dark Side from summoning so much power becomes very strong and once she is done, her body immediately falls into a coma-like state from the withdrawal of so much power. There is no chance of waking her when she is in this state and it usually takes three to four days for her to recover.
She is well versed in all of the basics and has mastered some of the more advanced non-violent techniques known to Jedi. In particular, Kalja has become adept at healing, Battle Meditation, and exorcising Dark Side spirits. Her presence in the Force has been described as pure light and she’s shown the ability to intuitively use Force Light. Kalja rarely uses offensive spells, but when she does it's usually through the direction of whirlwinds in the Force or by using it to knock back enemies. Her high sensitivity also gives her an advantage when attempting to sense those who try to hide themselves with the Force.
When it comes to lightsaber combat, Kalja has mastered the traditional Soresu form. As it is the only purely defensive style of the classic seven forms, it is the only one she has ever trained herself to use. In general though, Kalja prefers not to use her lightsaber at all, as she is a big advocate of Form Zero.
- Singlebladed Lightsaber
Kalja uses a singlebladed lightsaber with a relatively common Mephite Adegan crystal.
Feeling that her lightsaber is better off unused, Kalja has spent a lot of time designing the hilt to be as elegant and artistic as possible without sacrificing function. The reason for this is so the weapon will resemble a decoration more than a tool of attack.
- Shield Gauntlet
Originally a gift from Devon Vos so Kalja would have another option available to her other than her lightsaber, the shield gauntlet was the same kind as the type worn by the Kilian Rangers. Kalja was able to incorporate it into her use of Soresu, making her defenses even more impregnable.
The shield gauntlet was lost during a fight with GAIT's droids. Kalja has so far not had a chance to replace it.
- "I've never seen someone so in tune with the Force without prior training. Mark my words, Falanis, one day Kalja is going to be greater than all of us."
- — Tulsar Leidias
- "Welcome to the galaxy, Kalja Sairu. May your deeds be as noble as the legacy you've inherited."
- — Tulsar to a newborn Kalja
Kalja was born to Tulsar and Falanis Leidias on the planet Juoi. Even at a young age her potential in the Force overshadowed anyone else in the family, much to the chagrin of her older brother, Sysen, and to an extent, her parents. Using the Force seemed to come intuitively to her and Kalja picked up Tulsar and Falanis’ lessons with little need of a repeat instruction.
By the time Kalja was seven she was already casually using the Core Powers to aid her in her everyday activities, which also started to get her into trouble since she had a penchant for wandering off if she saw someone who needed help. The first time Kalja ended up using her powers to help someone in public, her parents had to rush her away and explain what could happen if people found out about her, doing the best they could to impress upon the young Kalja the evils of Palpatine and Vader. While she didn’t fully understand why they couldn’t just stop the “bad men” when they showed up, Kalja largely refrained from using her abilities in public from the point onward – as long as no one was looking.
While a prodigy in the Force, Kalja’s prowess with a lightsaber was far more lacking. Since she could feel the life around her very acutely through the Force, Kalja absolutely refused to learn how to use a lightsaber; insisting that all it could do was kill. Tulsar eventually convinced her to start learning the largely defensive style of Soresu, but getting her to train in it became a daily chore. To make matters even more frustrating for her father, Kalja tended to be purposefully neglectful when it came to her practice lightsaber, either “forgetting” to bring it with her or finding creative ways to lose it to try and get out of the training. Tulsar, however, was adamant and remained just as persistent in trying to get her properly trained.
A Notorious Trip
- "Did they steal this stuff from you?”
“No. I saw them take it from a woman and didn’t see anyone else try to stop them, so I went after them.”
“I see. Seems you have a lot in common with my daughter in that respect."
- — Tulsar and Faye Ward
During a family trip to see Corellia, Kalja ran across her first experience with the evils of the galaxy. It started when she helped another girl her age, a disciple of the Followers of Palawa named Faye Ward, track down a thief. Like Kalja, Faye was considered something of a prodigy, only in her case it was through the martial arts. However, when the two young girls tracked the thief back to his gang, they found themselves outmatched and it was only through the timely intervention of Tulsar that a nasty situation was avoided.
Kalja’s ability to find people was also noticed from afar by Notorious, a Firrerreo street urchin who was looking for his friend, a young Corellian boy by the name of Gadget. After getting into contact with the Leidiases and explaining the situation, Tulsar was at first set to refuse, for fear of the risk of exposing themselves to the Empire’s Jedi Hunters, but at Kalja’s insistence, he agreed to help find Gadget. Faye and her Master, Lyn, agreed to help as well. With Kalja’s abilities, they soon discovered too late that Gadget had been taken by a group of nearly feral Anzati led by Rethe Frettan; the boy was already dead by the time they arrived.
Unknown to the Leidiases, Rethe was an old enemy of one of their ancestors, who had defeated him in the past. Rethe recognized them as descendants and attacked, hoping to rectify his past failure. The resulting duel with Rethe and his Anzati was hard fought, with Tulsar, Falanis, and Lyn doing most of the fighting, but in the end the feral Anzati were destroyed and Rethe was forced to flee to save his life. Kalja, who witnessed it all, lost her innocence that day, but not her faith in good triumphing over evil.
The event attracted the attention of the authorities and the Moff himself, Faarel Blackthorne. Things seemed rather bleak until Kalja recognized that Faarel was actually a Jedi in hiding. Knowing better than to doubt his daughter when it came to such things, Tulsar confronted Faarel in private with the information and explained the situation. The two were able to come to an understanding; the Leidias and Ward families were given clearance to depart and Notorious was secretly placed under Faarel’s protection until the heat died down.
As Kalja said goodbye to her new friends, she gave Notorious a real name: Danolie (which was based on the name of her favorite doll, Danola). With names being so important to Firrerreo, Kalja’s gift of one was seen as a real treasure – though she didn’t realize it at the time. Years later Kalja would encounter Faye, Danolie, and Faarel again at different times in her life, but in the present someone even worse than Rethe would soon emerge and change her destiny forever.
- "I feel cold. Why do I feel so cold?"
- — Kalja to Tulsar
For the most part, life for Kalja on Juoi was peaceful, and even her trips abroad with the family – Corellia excluded – were relatively uneventful. Her halcyon days were not meant to last, however, and would all come to a horrific end in the form of a cruel Darksider named Sivter.
Kalja was in fact the first to sense something was wrong after Sivter arrived on Juoi, even though she was too inexperienced at this point to realize it was a Darksider. However Tulsar knew that his daughter’s senses were keener than his own and immediately began searching the planet for the elusive threat. After several weeks of cat-and-mouse between Sivter and Tulsar, the Jedi was finally able to drive the Defel from Juoi after a battle that Sivter barely escaped from alive. He was only saved from Tulsar’s killing strike after professing to give up and agreeing to leave and never return.
It would be a mistake that would haunt the Leidias family for years to come.
In fact Sivter only left to improve his skills at hiding himself from the Force. When he secretly returned a few months later, Kalja was unable to sense him this time. It did create a vague sense of unease in her, but without being able to place why she was uneasy, all it served to do was make her restless.
With no reason to think Kalja’s vague anxiety was being caused by Sivter’s return, and Kalja herself unsure what was going on, Tulsar tried to help her relax by taking her to a fair that was being thrown at a nearby town. Either by fate or design, going to the fair saved their lives for Sivter chose that night to strike, killing Sysen and Falanis in their sleep.
The two rushed home immediately upon sensing the deaths, but Sivter was already long gone. It would be discovered later that Sivter had also contacted the Empire about Jedi being on the planet, which would lead into the Battle of Juoi, and that the Darksider had finally managed to get his hands on the information he had been seeking the entire time.
After the battle, Tulsar petitioned Juoi’s leader, Sulimurr, for the resources to hunt Sivter down. Sulimurr was only too eager to agree. Unwilling to risk something happening to his daughter in his absence, Tulsar took Kalja with him to watch over her and to help her grow even stronger in preparation for the next time they would encounter Sivter.
- "I never would have figured a girl so young would be up to the challenge of hunting Sivter. Boy, was I proven wrong real quick."
- — Davit Jipper
For many years Kalja joined her father in the hunt for Sivter. The Defel proved to be a slippery foe and would often be one step ahead of Tulsar and the crew of the Champion of Juoi, who had been assigned to help Tulsar. The few times they managed to get the drop on him, Sivter would find a way to escape.
Their failure to bring Sivter to justice became an increasing source of frustration for Tulsar, but Kalja discovered the hunt as a way to sharpen and perfect her own skills. An informal battle was soon waged between Sivter and Kalja throughout her time on the hunt. Kalja would hone her ability at detection and Sivter would in turn hone his at stealth to evade her.
Even with the danger of their mission, Kalja still adamantly refused to carry her lightsaber with her unless Tulsar gave her no other choice. Instead, Kalja focused on different ways she could use the Force to end a conflict without inflicting harm, or at the very least killing somebody.
The hunt also gave Kalja an opportunity to see a multitude of different worlds and races. The Champion became the informal ambassador ship of Juoi as they searched the galaxy for Sivter. Many times they would pick up temporary allies from other worlds that had felt Sivter’s touch, but the difficulty in tracking Sivter meant that their help only lasted so long.
The Sands of Time
- "It may be true that I will also fall against your power, Sivter, but I won't run. A Jedi's duty is to protect and preserve life, no matter what the cost."
- — Kalja Sairu Leidias
Even though they had no real success in stopping Sivter, they were eventually able to learn that Sivter was searching for the ancient Sith planet of Chisas, where legend had it that an army of Force-wielding droids were waiting to be activated and used. Tulsar and Kalja would soon meet new allies on Tatooine in the form of the Jedi Devon Vos and his family.
The two families joined forces even as Sivter joined up with an enemy of the Vos family; an ancient Sith known as Dragon Masque. Over the course of time, Sivter would be granted all of Masque’s power and knowledge as well as leadership of Masque’s cult. The Jedi were only able to corner Sivter once he finally reached Chisas, but with the droids at his command and the considerable power he had inherited from Masque, Sivter proved to be more than a match for the Jedi and their forces.
Because of her pacifistic nature, Kalja ended up being the last Jedi Sivter dealt with. Knowing that she couldn’t let Sivter unleash his droids on the galaxy or untold numbers of people would suffer because of it, Kalja valiantly made a stand to stop him. She fought well, but even her own great power wasn’t enough to overcome the combined might of Masque and Sivter. When things looked their darkest, Kalja had a burst of inspiration and discovered a way to exorcise the power Sivter had absorbed from Masque.
Severely weakened from the withdrawal, Sivter fled and activated the self-destruct on the droid factories to cover his escape and attempt to kill the Jedi that had thwarted him. Kalja managed to get everyone to safety, but once again Sivter escaped their grasp. Despite this, Tulsar called it a victory as the loss of Chisas was a major blow to Sivter.
- "It's a Leidias tradition to only train within our family... but then again I've never been one to let tradition interfere with the flow of the Force."
- — Kalja Sairu Leidias
After the events at Chisas, Devon invited Tulsar and Kalja to become instructors at a new Jedi Praxeum he was founding. Tulsar turned Devon down, but Kalja, ready for something different, agreed to join him and became the youngest instructor there. Her classes specialized in meditation and other aspects of the Force that didn’t have to do with violence. She proved to be a popular instructor although her accomplishments caused some students who were around her age to become jealous, including Faye Ward, who resented Kalja’s status as instructor since Faye was still considered a student. Kalja, just happy to share her wisdom, remained mostly oblivious to the resentment of her friend.
Devon, seeing how reluctant Kalja was about carrying a lightsaber, gave her a gift of a shield gauntlet while she was at the Praxeum. Kalja would make good use out of the shield gauntlet, even developing a style that incorporated the gauntlet with a lightsaber after she finally decided to carry the Jedi weapon around with her.
While at Devon’s Praxeum, Kalja also formed a bond with one of the students who was having a hard time opening himself to the Force, an orphan named Reave Hevren. Although Kalja had no way of knowing it at the time, Reave’s difficulty in using the Force would go far deeper than either of them could have guessed.
A Link to the Past
Kalja and Reave would eventually explore a crumbling Sith temple that was located on the same moon as Devon’s Praxeum. While inside, Kalja would connect with the spirit of one of her ancestors, Kalja Valie Leidias, who had given her life ages ago to seal the temple and trap the Sith spirits that dwelled within it.
Speaking with her ancestor, Kalja learned much from her elder namesake and it would be her words that would finally convince Kalja to carry a lightsaber at all times. Kalja also learned that her ancestor’s ship, the Mystic Aura, was still buried on the moon and, amazingly enough, in working condition.
With Reave and her ancestor’s help, Kalja was able to traverse the booby-trapped temple and fight past the ancient Sith’s alchemically created soldiers; known only as the Deadly. When it came time to destroy the temple, Kalja was forced to call upon her ability to draw power from the Force past her limit. She was able to exorcise the Sith spirits, free her ancestor, and extract herself and Reave from the temple while trapping the last of the Deadly inside.
True to the give and take nature of the Force, Kalja fell into a deep coma afterwards from the strain of drawing so much power. Her ancestor, Kalja Valie, remained behind to comfort Reave and let him know that Kalja would be alright before her spirit disappeared into the ether of the Force.
- "I never expected to be nominated onto the Council by my fellow Jedi. It is an honor I'm not quite sure I deserve, but I will strive to embody the ideals of the Jedi Order and see to it that your faith in me is not misplaced."
- — Kalja Sairu Leidias
Kalja’s time at Devon’s Praxeum was cut short as she was invited to attend the first Jedi Convocation at Midpoint Station soon after waking from her coma. Before leaving though, she managed to extract the Mystic Aura from the moon’s jungle with some help from her father and the crew of the Champion. She also bequeathed her ancestor’s lightsaber to Reave as a sign of her faith in the young man, however Kalja kept another treasure she found on the ship: the long lost Leidias Family Holocron.
At the Jedi Convocation, Kalja was eloquent in her words about the redemption of fallen Jedi being a priority and was surprised to find herself voted onto the newly formed Jedi Council at the convocation’s end. It was an honor that she didn’t turn down; pleased that she would be able to serve the Jedi in such a capacity, despite the fact that she was still a Knight and also the youngest member of the Council. Coruscant became her new home and for the first time Kalja found that she had to reign in her senses or be overwhelmed by them on such a populated planet.
Kalja dedicated her life to doing everything within her power to try and reestablish the Jedi Order, often at the expense of her own personal life. Perhaps it was fortunate then that while on Coruscant Kalja became acquainted with a Jedi Knight named Jana Dophi, who helped mind the Jedi Archives. The two women became fast friends, but oddly enough, it turned out to be the librarian Jana who was the more extroverted of the pair as she continually tired to hook up the perpetually single Kalja with a boyfriend. Kalja humored the attempts, but they tended to be doomed to failure for one reason or another.
Kalja was happy with her life and rarely left Coruscant unless it was a matter of grave importance, such as when she was contacted by Reave some months later...
- "I can't do it, Reave! I can't do what you ask! It goes against everything I believe... and yet, what choice do I have? If I don't destroy the Val Aru now, every innocent life they take once they start their jihad will be on my head..."
- — Kalja Sairu Leidias
In Kalja’s absence, Reave had discovered his roots and learned that he had the blood of the ancient Val Aru race flowing through his veins. The powerful and genocidal race had been strong in the Force, but lacked any ethical guidelines about how to use it. The ancient Jedi had wiped them out millennia ago, but somehow a sect of them had survived into the present day and were threatening to wage a jihad against the galaxy.
With some help from Tulsar and another member of the Jedi Council, Ethan Voss, Reave had tracked down the Val Aru to the planet Calernon. Reave defied the Val Aru’s attempts to convert him, but even with the Jedi's combined might, they were no match against the power of the Val Aru.
To end their threat, Kalja had to make the most difficult decision of her life and use her own power in the Force, combined with the abilities of the Mystic Aura, to eradicate the Val Aru from Calernon before they could commence their plans and kill billions of innocent people. Even though the Val Aru had been hopelessly malevolent beings, their deaths still cut deeply into Kalja’s psyche.
After the events on Calernon, Kalja isolated herself from the galaxy and focused on meditation to heal her spiritual wounds. Her actions had brought her perilously close to the Dark Side and it scared her to think of the power that she could call on. She wouldn’t return to Coruscant until many months later; healed but forever with a scar of what she had been forced to do to protect the galaxy. One of the few bright spots to the incident that helped her to heal was Reave’s growth into a Jedi Knight and Tulsar’s agreement to adopt Reave into the Leidias family.
Fall of Coruscant
- "It might not be wise, but I'm staying behind. The Empire's occupation will cause great suffering. Someone has to be there to ease it."
- — Kalja Sairu Leidias
Upon her return to Coruscant, Kalja redoubled her efforts to help the new Jedi Order that she had helped establish grow stronger. However, with many of the other Council members frequently away on other missions, Kalja found herself more often than not maintaining the status quo with the few other Council members still on Coruscant. She contented herself with helping to teach again at Devon’s Praxeum, which had been moved to Coruscant in her absence.
The return to a quieter life would not last long, as the Empire, under the rule of Emperor Damascus, attacked Coruscant with the third Death Star. The New Republic was hopelessly overpowered and forced to flee the planet, which presented the Jedi with a dilemma of their own: stay and fight the Empire or leave and help the New Republic. In the end, the choice was up to each individual Jedi.
Kalja herself chose to stay behind, not to fight the Empire but to help out those who would wind up suffering from its occupation. Her choice was motivated partly by a lingering need to still redeem herself after the Val Aru incident.
Kalja did a lot of good while on occupied Coruscant, not the least of which was helping the New Republic resistance cells develop a cure for the Imperial registration virus from her own antibodies. She soon had visions of a new threat encroaching on the galaxy, however, and knew it was time to go. Kalja was able to get off Coruscant with some other Jedi and former Council member, Gideon Duthuras, thanks to some outside help provided by her father and Jonji Fawkes.
Search For Significance
- "I know you hate titles but you, probably more than any of us, deserve the title of Master and though not needed, it is bestowed upon you."
- — Daer'Gunn
The threat Kalja had sensed on Coruscant, as she would find out, came in the form of the Xen’Chi invasion. However, even more alarming to Kalja was the entity known as GAIT, which had appeared during the Battle of Corellia while she was still trapped on Coruscant. Once she made it off the planet, Kalja dedicated her time to try and find out all she could about GAIT as well as ways to defeat it.
She didn’t make much progress before word reached her that the Jedi were creating a new academy on Onderon. Knowing that her duties to the Jedi took priority, Kalja rushed to the ancient planet and ended up helping Faarel Blackthorne (who had retaken the mantle of Jedi Master since their encounter on Corellia) receive the influx of Jedi and Force-sensitives who heeded the call.
Soon she and the newest incarnation of the Jedi Council built a new temple, one that incorporated the planet’s surroundings rather than overpower them. Later, in a ceremony were the current head of the Council, Daer'Gunn, inducted new Jedi into the Council, he also gave Kalja the title of Jedi Master. Although Kalja didn’t feel she was ready for it, she accepted Daer'Gunn’s decision, figuring that many Jedi already saw her as a Master even if she didn’t.
While on Onderon, Kalja also took a new apprentice, a Nagai named Akain Karna. She worked diligently with Akain, helping to him to build up confidence in his abilities in the Force. Unfortunately, as the Xen'Chi Invasion continued to take a heavy toll on the galaxy, Kalja would eventually be forced to cut Akain's training short.
On a trip to Taylon, to visit the City of the Jedi, Kalja was overwhelmed by a wave of pain and despair sent through the Force by GAIT. She ended up blacking out while on approach to Taylon, sending her ship out of control. Kalja and Akain would likely have been killed if not for the actions of Tav Garvin, who noticed the out of control ship and kept it from crashing.
Kalja recovered shortly thereafter, but the event forced her to make a hard decision. Knowing that Akain wasn't nearly ready to face something like GAIT, but realizing the galaxy needed her now more than ever, Kalja secured another teacher for Akain before departing Taylon alone. She vowed to herself that, if she made it back, she would resume Akain's instruction if needed.
- "I’ve spent most of my life dealing with monsters that threaten this galaxy. Just because I choose to believe the best about people, it doesn’t mean I’m blind to what it’s like out there. You have no idea what I’ve had to do to keep this galaxy safe; what I’ve sacrificed. I’ve got plenty of scars, Delth, on the inside. I bear them gladly because it means someone else won’t have to."
- — Kalja Sairu Leidias to Delth Ardin
Kalja was able to track the wake of the wave GAIT caused in the Force and use it to pinpoint the center of the disturbance. With a good idea of where the A.I. was hiding and confident that the abilities of the Mystic Aura would help her defeat GAIT, she took off to hopefully end the war...
Kalja’s path took her into an unexpected meeting with the Rogue Fleet and Dolomar Daktren of the Dark Star in particular. She was not the only one to show up though, it was as if the Force itself had worked to draw some of the best in the galaxy together in one place to fight GAIT. The eclectic group, Kalja included, consisted of Delth Ardin, her old friend: Danolie Notorious – now a Jedi, Skarrek, Ket Maliss, Grant Tirelli, and Josep. Under Daktren's suggestion, the strange alliance of people from different professions was formed into a task force with the sole purpose of tracking down and destroying the A.I.
The first action of the group was to locate and recruit Garrett G. Granth the IV, since the man was known to have an extensive knowledge of GAIT. It was decided that Kalja, Danolie, and Delth would stay behind since Granth was also known to be wary of working with any affiliation. Between the three of them, they could be said to represent the New Republic and the Empire. No one else in the group had any such ties.
The three waited for their return in Kalja’s ship. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it allowed Kalja and Delth to know each other better and come to terms with who the other was. By the time the other members of the group returned with Granth and, unexpectedly, Ivan Munroe and Morgana Okaya, a professional respect had been forged between her and Delth.
Little did Kalja realize at the time that her talk with Delth would eventually lead to something much more profound…
- "Twice GAIT has tried to single me out during battle without actually killing me. I’m positive that she doesn’t want me dead – at least not yet."
- — Kalja Sairu Leidias
The eclectic group would soon discover a way onto GAIT's flagship, the Cleansing, and begin a long struggle to reach GAIT's sanctum and destroy her. Thanks to a bio-bomb that Garrett had set off earlier, which was aggressively interfering with the ship's systems, the fighting was not as heavy as it could have been, but it was by no means easy to make their way through the ship. Devious traps, scores of droids, and Xen'Chi Chosen were all placed in the way by GAIT to try and destroy the intruders.
The closer they got to GAIT's sanctum, the tougher it became to proceed and after a particularly devastating trap, the group was forced to split up. Thanks to fate, Kalja ended up with Delth as her only companion as they neared ever-closer to their target. Little by little, without either of them realizing it, the two began to form a bond through the Force. At first it was just a means to survive the constant attacks, but as the bond became stronger, it also began to mean much more.
Feelings that they had not even been aware of started to surface and each was subtly changed by their contact with the other. Kalja’s inextinguishable light helped to quell the roiling darkness that Delth constantly struggled with, whereas Delth’s familiarity with death helped Kalja to better deal with those they were forced to cut down in order to make their way to GAIT. The feelings they had for each other also increased until they both realized they had something special.
Unfortunately, GAIT, who had been monitoring everyone’s progress, became very interested in Kalja due to the amount of power she wielded in the Living Force, which she could use to eliminate the effects of the bio-bomb. The A.I. focused numerous attacks on the pair to exhaust them before drawing Delth into the nether of the Cleansing. With Delth unable to help Kalja, GAIT was able to send in a legion of droids to successfully capture her.
Death & Rebirth
- "You should feel honored. Your body will be the last living organism to inhabit this galaxy by the time I’m finished."
- — GAIT to Kalja before taking over her body.
Kalja, who had been preparing for an attempt by GAIT to take control of her body, was not surprised to discover she was right. Even though she had known what was coming, the speed in which GAIT took control was frightening and it was only through Kalja's prior understanding of what GAIT wanted that allowed her to retain her soul instead of having it destroyed by GAIT. Kalja hid herself away in a sanctuary within her own mind that was hidden well enough that GAIT couldn't find it. There she bided her time until the right moment presented itself for a surprise strike.
The waiting was an excruciating process for Kalja. All she could do was watch as GAIT was able to summon almost god-like power from her takeover and do horrible things with her newfound might. Although Skarrek, Ket, Danolie, and Delth fought bravely against the A.I., in the end none of them stood a chance. This was made especially clear after GAIT revealed that after acquiring Kalja's knowledge of healing through the Force, she could fix even the most grievous of wounds in a matter of seconds, making her practically invincible. One by one, the four warriors fell to GAIT.
It was only when GAIT was a hairsbreadth away from killing Delth, her focus almost completely on him, that Kalja made her move and disrupted GAIT's control over the Force. The tactic worked. Delth used Kalja's own lightsaber, which he had been hiding behind his back, to run both of them through in an act of ultimate sacrifice. Even with Kalja and Delth dying from the mortal wounds (Kalja though the heart, Delth through the stomach), they were able to keep GAIT's control disrupted long enough for her to only be partially successful in healing the wound in the heart.
Forced with the possibility of dying with Kalja's body, GAIT tried to flee and find another body to inhabit, but Kalja and Delth were able to force her into the nether dimension on the Cleansing instead. GAIT was defeated, trapped, but for the galaxy to truly be at peace, the genocidal A.I. had to be destroyed completely before she found a way to free herself from the nether…
The End of GAIT
- "I can’t follow you, Delth. There’s something I still have to do.”
“I know. We each have our own path.”
“Ours will meet again. I’m going to see to it that you have what you need to finish GAIT off once and for all. You aren’t alone anymore."
- — Kalja and Delth between the physical realm and the nether.
Both Kalja and Delth found themselves as spirits in the Force after GAIT’s defeat. Kalja wanted to follow Delth in pursuit of GAIT, but she knew that Delth would never be able to defeat GAIT alone in the nether. No one could. Without a physical body, the only way to kill GAIT would be to overpower her. Towards that end, Kalja resolved to return to her physical form and use the abilities of the Mystic Aura to engineer GAIT’s final and lasting death.
She and Delth shared what, at the time, they thought would be their only kiss. All the pent-up emotions they had been feeling for each other was expressed in the embrace before duty took hold once more. Delth left for the nether and Kalja returned to the living world, if only briefly, to ensure their final victory.
Slowing dying after being impaled and partially healed, Kalja nonetheless did what she could to save the other warriors who had fought against GAIT. With her connection to the Mystic Aura, Kalja was able to utilize one of the ship’s abilities and have it appear next to her. As she was barely able to crawl aboard, it was up to everyone else to make their way onto the ship. In spite of their injuries, Danolie, Ket, and Skarrek were able to stagger their way onboard. Danolie, perhaps the least injured of their group, even managed to drag Delth’s prone body onboard as well.
With the Aura and Danolie’s remaining power keeping her mortally wounded body sustained, Kalja concentrated on helping Delth. The Mystic Aura served as her conduit, allowing Kalja to achieve a kind of Oneness with the Force and connect to every Force-user in the galaxy to plead for them to lend Delth their power. While not everyone contributed, the response was overwhelming and Delth was able to use that power to finally and completely destroy what was left of GAIT. The enemy of every biological lifeform would threaten the galaxy no more.
Kalja managed to cling to life just long enough to sense GAIT’s ultimate demise before her body finally quit on her. She welcomed the peace of becoming one with the Force, but had some regrets about going before her natural time. However she was unexpectedly saved moments from true death by Delth’s return.
While he still had access to the incredible power that had been given to him, Delth used it to heal Kalja back to life before collapsing into a coma as his physical body slowly died from the wound to the stomach. Kalja, her body perfectly restored, in turn used the healing knowledge she had to try and save Delth. While she was able to stabilize his connection, she couldn’t restore him as perfectly as he was able to restore her.
With GAIT’s complete annihilation, the Xen’Chi War ended soon afterwards. Delth, still in a coma, was taken into Imperial custody for treatment, and Kalja was forced to return to the Jedi rather than being allowed to try and help him further. However, Kalja vowed that she wasn’t about to give up on Delth so soon after realizing her feelings for him - even if that meant she had to change everything to make it happen.
Kalja managed to speak directly to the Regent of the Empire, Grand Admiral Thrawn, about the possibility of a treaty as a formal end to hostilities. Much to her delight, Thrawn appeared open to the idea, and agreed to meet at a neutral location known as Nexus Station in one standard weeks’ time to discuss it. It fell on Kalja’s shoulders to convince her fellow Jedi to agree as well…
- "I know there is no love lost between us and the Empire, but I believe one of the biggest threats to the Jedi is changing for the better. I think helping Delth recover could be the first step in achieving a peace between us."
- — Kalja Leidias in her speech to the Jedi Council
Upon her return to Onderon Kalja discovered, much to her dismay, that in her absence Sivter and his Cult of Shadow had launched a devastating attack upon the Jedi temple. By the time of her return, the battle was long over, but the deaths of the Jedi involved - most notably Faarel Blackthorne - caused her no small distress. If she hadn’t already had Delth’s well-being to worry about, she would have set off once more to try and track down Sivter. As it was, she resolved to go after him once her business with helping Delth was finished.
With Imperial attitudes towards Jedi being less than friendly, and a lot of Jedi who could care less about the Empire because of the Purge, Kalja knew that the current level of distrust between the two groups meant she had her work cut out for her, but she never hesitated. Kalja couldn’t explain why, but she felt as though she was the only one who could bring Delth out of his coma, and she didn’t intend to sit around and do nothing when she had the power to help.
During Kalja’s meeting with the Jedi Council, she was eloquent in her passion to help and her belief that Delth had atoned for his past sins and deserved a chance to be helped. Although other council members shared misgivings about her idea, it was eventually decided that they would give it a try - if for no other reason than for what Delth had done for the galaxy by killing GAIT. And, as Daer’Gunn pointed out, it wasn’t the Jedi way to refuse any chance at peace.
- "You are a member of the Jedi Order now, Caitlyn, and as long as you keep in mind the kind of responsibility that goes along with that, I see no reason for me to worry."
- — Kalja Leidias
While on Onderon, Kalja found her old Padawan, Akain, with a young girl newly arrived to the temple, named Caitlyn DeVries. Although Kalja knew she already had her hands full with Akain, she felt a connection to Caitlyn that she couldn’t quite explain. Always one to trust in the Force, Kalja took it upon herself to take Caitlyn on as a second apprentice - little realizing at the time what it would mean for the future for herself and her apprentices.
In the week leading up to the soon to be historic meeting at Nexus Station, Kalja resumed her instruction duties, helping to teach Akain and Caitlyn in the ways of the Jedi. She found that Caitlyn’s rather open and direct personality was more effective at breaking through Akain’s withdrawn nature and lack of self-confidence than her own gentle nurturing and encouraged it whenever possible – little realizing what it would eventually lead to.
Nexus at Nexus
- "We just might make a diplomat out of you yet."
- — Kalja to Daer’Gunn
During the trip to Nexus Station, Kalja learned that Caitlyn had already been to the station once before looking for her sister. She tried to give words of encouragement, but it was clear that her new Padawan wasn’t eager to return. As such, when it came time for Kalja to leave Akain and Caitlyn for the meeting due to security precautions, she was glad to see Caitlyn leave with not only Akain, but some of the other Padawans as well, such as Rhyana Torshey and Renato Farani. It would be the last contact Kalja would have with her Padawans for awhile since the meeting room was protected by ysalamiri to put all the delegates at ease about the possibility of mind control.
The talks with Thrawn went well for the most part, with Kalja taking the lead and Daer’Gunn, in his capacity as Grand Master, following her example. However it didn’t take long for her Padawans to get into trouble in her absence, the most notable being a mysterious Darksider that confronted Caitlyn, but refrained from attacking her. When Kalja learned about the trouble they had been in during a recess in the talks, she tried to reassure Caitlyn, but suggested that she and Akain return to the Guardian where it was safe.
Before they could another Darksider, a Dathomiri witch known as Lyli Var'nio, tried to provoke Akain by psychically attacking Caitlyn, driving him to the Dark Side as he sought retaliation. While Kalja wouldn’t learn of it until after the incident, Lyli had been the killer of Akain’s parents, and the sight of her very nearly sent Akain over the edge. Nothing seemed able to deter him until Kalja resolutely stood in his way and talked him down. Lyli, her attempt thwarted, vanished before the authorities could find her. Seeing the anger issues Akain was dealing with, Kalja suggested he try her father’s method of Combat Meditation as a way to deal with the intense feelings he was dealing with. Akain gave it a try and started training under JSI operative Daria Nekros, discovering that it could indeed help him.
While the Padawans were taken off of the station, the events that had transpired almost ruined the negotiations between the Empire and the Jedi, with Thrawn pointing out that he had doubts about the Jedi controlling their own when the Masters at the talks couldn’t even control their Padawans. Kalja and Daer’Gunn were able to salvage the discussion by pointing out that their Padawans had simply defended themselves from attack, which seemed to satisfy the Imperial leader. Kalja tried not to think about how narrowly their chance at peace could have been ruined if Akain hadn’t listened to her about going after Lyli Var’nio.
Eventually an accord was struck and Thrawn gave his permission for the Jedi to see what help they could give to Delth. The historic implications of the truce were nearly lost on Kalja now that the way was open for her to help the man she loved.
- "He's locked himself away. If the ghost is to be believed we have no hope of forcing the issue. There was a lock on the gate though... Which means somewhere there's a mental key that could open it."
- — Jola'Edana Kahlid Vos
Reviving Delth turned out to be a little more complicated than Kalja had anticipated, since although his body was fine, his mind was completely shut off from contact. Kalja’s old friend, Jola'Edana Kahlid Vos, who was an expert in healing and mental states, was able to create a simulacrum of the mental state of Delth’s mind. At first an attempt was made to reach Delth using a former Jedi acquaintance of Delth’s, Jaster Marael. He and Jola ran across the remains of Damascus' spirit connected to Delth's mind, who had lost his power and simply guided them to a fortress in the simulacrum that contained Delth's memories and core personality. The fortress remained sealed despite their best attempts to get inside. About all the duo could uncover was that Delth was indeed inside the fortress somewhere and that a mental key carried by someone else would be needed before they could go further.
Kalja volunteered immediately to be brought inside Delth’s mind and give it a try and quickly discovered that she could bypass the barriers of the fortress with ease, allowing her, Jola, and Jaster to enter. Kalja suspected that it had something to do with the mental bond she and Delth had established during their time on the Cleansing, but it remained speculation. The trio ventured through the fortress, past different doors that contained Delth’s memories, including a newly created one for Kalja, before they arrived at the room that contained Delth’s core personality.
Inside the room was a vision of Delth laid out on a stone slab. Acting more on instinct and her own gut feelings, Kalja approached, knelt down next to Delth’s prone form, and kissed him. For one reason or another, Kalja’s kiss was able to wake Delth and bring him back from his mental isolation. Before Kalja knew it, she and the rest were back in the real world and Delth was cognizant once again. She kissed him for real, no longer caring who knew about her feelings for him, and quietly promised Delth that they had a lot of catching up to do when he was ready.
However, the mental trip had lasted longer than Kalja expected, and a standard day had already passed since her arrival on Nexus Station. Working without sleep and both spiritually and emotionally drained from her journey into Delth’s mind, Kalja bid Delth farewell as she left to check on Akain and Caitlyn on the Guardian, promising to return as soon as she was able.
It would be a promise that she wouldn’t be able to keep as other forces were already in motion that would end up bringing Kalja closer to the breaking point than she had ever been before.
- "Emperor’s black bones. They’re insane. Completely insane."
- — Mai Valentine, upon learning her target is Kalja
Unbeknownst to Kalja, at the same time she was trying to broker a peace between the Empire and the Jedi, her enemies were moving against her. The Obsidian Company, working through their front on Nexus Station, had their man Duncan Colivaar hire four mercenaries to kidnap Kalja for a mysterious client. The four who ended up taking the job; Mai Valentine, Lorcin Kileon, and Emmali Vaungier & Cassandra Muir; had no idea who it was they were supposed to kidnap until they arrived on the station. While the idea of kidnapping a Jedi Master was daunting, especially one of Kalja's skill, none of them backed down. In fact, the kidnapping proved to be surprisingly easy.
Exhausted from the long negotiations and her ordeal with Delth, Kajla wasn’t at her best when she was suddenly contacted by Mai, who gave her a datapad in a rush and said they needed to talk before leaving again. The team had done their homework as the datapad Mai had given her indicated that she had information on Sivter’s whereabouts. Although wary of some kind of deception with everything else that had happened to the Jedi on Nexus Station already, Kalja couldn’t turn down the possibility of locating the Defel and went to meet her.
When she arrived she was immediately accosted by Lorcin and knocked out by a sharp blow to her head. Kalja had no time to defend herself, managing only to send out a brief cry for help through the Force before falling unconscious. The call didn’t prevent Kalja from being taken from the station, but it did alert Akain, Caitlyn, and Delth that something was wrong. Her apprentices, with the aid of Sulimurr and the JSI, took Kalja’s new ship, the Swift Light, to try and find Tulsar to help them. Delth, on the other hand, was given command of a Strike Cruiser – aptly renamed the Ardin – to search for Kalja his way.