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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Episode 7: The Knight

A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind

It was the end beautiful spring day when Taedron said to Aarik, “Let’s take a walk on the beach.” Aarik replied,” That sounds good” The two didn’t get as much quality time together as they needed, the walk would be nice Aarik thought. They walked down the beach holding hands, there was a nice breeze blowing and the two moons were starting to come out. They found a nice spot to sit, Taedron pulled Aarik in with his arm around him. “I had also read the story on the chip I gave you Aarik”, Taedron said. “I was worried it would affect you, but I think it really affected me more. I love you so much, I cannot bare the thought of losing you, that is why I think I am so protective.” Aarik replied, “You have been doing better Taedron, you seem less uptight when we are together in public and you don’t seem as over protective as you were before.” Taedron smelled Aarik’s hair and gently held Aarik’s face, “I have tried, it has been easy lately, you have been doing better yourself Aarik.”

Taedron looked into Aarik’s eyes, they were beautiful in the moonlight. “Will you marry me?” Aarik was shocked at Taedron’s question, his heart swelled and tears filled his eyes, “Yes, I will marry you.” Taedron held Aarik and they kissed long and passionately. Aarik thought and then asked, “What will the Jedi Council think?’ Taedron said, “I have thought about this a lot and have spoken to Master Melucian, he is wise and if he didn’t like his freedoms so much, would be on the council himself.” Aarik asked, “What did he say?” Taedron answered, “He said there have been married Jedi for as long as the Order has existed, however, it is rare. The hundred years or so after the victory over Palpatine’s Empire saw the most marriages amongst Jedi. It seems only more recently in the past three hundred years that the Jedi Order has returned to the more conservative ways of the Old Republic Jedi Order. However, he didn’t think there would be too much a problem except the fact that you are still a Padawan and still have to complete the Knight Trials.” Aarik considered this, it could be a problem, he was still far behind and Taedron was his Master yes, but was also a teacher full time at the Temple.
They both knew Aarik’s Padawan training was always been more of a happenstance here on Dantooine. “Well, if I need to be a Knight before we tell the Jedi Council of our intentions what do we do about that?”, Aarik asked. “Master Melucian and I discussed it at great length. We think sending you to The Jedi Temple on Coruscant would be the only way that you can get the training you need.” Aarik was a little upset, “Coruscant?” Taedron answered, “They can prepare you for your Knight Trials Aarik, much better than we can do here. They have special classes for each of the four primary trials, the Trial of Skill, the Trial of Flesh, the Trial of Courage, and the Trial of the Spirit. You must pass all four trials to be bestowed the rank of Jedi Knight.” Aarik looked at Taedron still unsure of his readiness, but Taedron wouldn’t have approached this if he didn’t believe he was ready. Aarik said, “I will go.” Taedron leaned in and kissed Aarik again. The two went inside, Taedron had received the analysis of the force crystal Aarik had been given by the ghost of the unknown Jedi. Aarik, “I have received the report on the Crystal.” Aarik walked over, “What does it say?” Taedron read the report and repeated the less scientific parts of the analysis back to Aarik. “The scientist calls it a Star Diamond, as it is a combination of elements left when the a very small star’s life ends and the remaining gravitational effect created a diamond at its core. This can only happen inside certain classes of stars and there are only a few of the diamonds in existence. The energy source inside has a resonating effect and the diamond is no longer radioactive, the stone is dated at approximately fifteen billion years old.” Aarik said, “Taedron what was a good synopsis of that scientific analysis. So I can use the crystal?” Taedron looked up and said, “Yes, look like it. So let’s go get it and you can come home and attune it.” The two went over to the Temple and got the crystal from its stasis chamber. Aarik was still impressed with the weight of the stone, he hoped it wouldn’t be too heavy for the lightsaber.

2

Aarik sat in a meditative stance and began to attune to crystal to himself by imbuing it with his force energy. The crystal began to glow a little more brightly than before, they grey glow was now more Magenta glow. He finished attuning the crystal and opened his lightsaber. The crystal he removed was first, Taedron had taken him to the Crystal Cave here on Dantooine to get it, and he would treasure it forever. Then Aarik took the new crystal and placed it in his saber. He stood up and he engaged his lightsaber. The blade color was of a beautiful pale magenta, Taedron entered the room, “Very nice Aarik.” The Taedron started breathing deeper through his nose and he walked up close to Aarik. He held Aarik in his arms and laid him down on the bed, breathing in the intoxicating scent his lover had released. “What thought ran through your mind that caused you to release it? It is affecting me as always.” Aarik answered, “It was thinking about going to Coruscant, being away from you. It worried me and I guess since you were here and it happened.” Taedron had an evil grin on his face and whispered, “Do it again.”
The next morning, Mrs. Hairon, Cook and COO-2180 were not happy about Aarik’s going to Coruscant. “You said he would not have to go to Coruscant for his Jedi training. Didn’t he Hambas?”, Mrs. Hairon asked, very perturbed. “Taedron you did say he wouldn’t have to go and now your saying he will be gone for how long?” Taedron sighed, running his finger through his hair frustrated with the whole situation, “I do not know, weeks maybe, months maybe. He is behind, it is my fault, for not being harder on him, for not keeping him up late when I was finished at the temple, for not working him harder. Now we all have to pay that price, he has to go and we have to let him.” Aarik walked into the kitchen. “Good morning all.” They all greeted him in unison. “Your up early this morning Aarik”, Cook said. Aarik replied, “I did not sleep well last night.” Mrs. Hairon said, “You were probably awake all night worrying about going to Coruscant. You will do fine Aarik, you will learn what you need to know, pass the trials and be back home just like that.” She snapped her fingers. “Yes, he is going to do great, a fine Padawan like that, they should be so lucky to have such bright and handsome young men in the Jedi Temple more often”, Cook said smiling at Aarik. Everyone helped carry the breakfast over to the temple. Aarik asked, “When do you think I will be going Taedron?” Taedron replied, “I sent an inquiry last night to the Jedi Council, I should hear back something today.”
Aarik and Taedron ate a table full of Knights as always, they rarely spoke to the Padawan. Whether it was because he was a mere Padawan at close to their age or because he was Taedron’s Padawan and they were scared they may say something to offend Taedron, who knows. But, today they were all about Aarik and his new lightsaber crystal. Finally Aarik was asked to light it up, he stood and the lightsaber blade glowed like it had at home. “I have to get me one of those!”, one of the Knights said. “You know it!”, another added.
After breakfast Aarik was laying on his bed thinking about the trip he was actually sick to his stomach now, he shouldn’t have eaten. His Master walked into the room and sat on the bed. “I got an answer from the Council. They need you there in two days.” Aarik sat up and began to cry. Taedron held his Padawan and lover, “Come now Aarik, you are far more than you think, yes you are a little behind, but I have faith in you and your abilities.” Since they had to be on Coruscant in two days, it required them to leave that very day. The two took Cook’s ship the Evasion, Aarik had never been to Coruscant, though he had seen holoimages of it and it was on the news every evening, it was far greater than they could portray. The Coruscant of 1000 ABY looked similar to the Coruscant of the past, although much greener. Tall skyscrapers still dominated the skyline, but huge sections of the city that had been destroyed in the Yuuzhen Vong war had been removed, especially the sections over the ancient sea beds, exposing the actual surface of the planet. The ancient seas had been filled with water and ecosystems created. Forests grew under the skywalks. Farm skyscrapers were built to provide food and clean the air. Aarik thought Coruscant was spectacular. There was a blue sky over Coruscant in the year 1000 ABY.
As the ship approached the Jedi Temple, Aarik thought the site unbelievable. The Jedi Temple was an imposing structure, an exact replica of the Old Republic Jedi Temple, however this Jedi temple was surrounded by large meditation gardens, smaller temples and monuments to the fallen Jedi from history. Taedron landed the ship and the two headed into the Temple. The two looked to be the perfect Master and Padawan as they walked through the temple. Many that saw them, thought what a good looking duo they were. Aarik was trying not to gawk at the sheer size of the temple. While Taedron was dreading bringing Aarik here more and more with each step. “Master Hairon, it is good to see you again”, A Jedi said to Taedron as the two came to a stop. “Master Hillik, this is my Padawan Aarik Kernis. Aarik this is Jedi Master Hillik.” The Padawan and the Jedi Master bowed to each other. “Its been a while since you have been to the temple hasn’t it Master Hairon?, Master Hillik asked. “Yes, quite a few years actually”, Taedron answered. “And how are things on Dantooine?” Taedron replied, “They are still going very well, the latest group of Knights are about to enter the last steps of their Guardian Training.” Master Hillik said, “Excellent.” Master Hillik then said, “Well, Kernis, this is the dormitory you will be staying in, your instructor will be meeting with you later on today. Now, if you will excuse me I have to get back to the council for a meeting.” Master Hillik left the dormitory room. “Great, I get to sleep in a room full people”, Aarik said. “Like I said, it will be over before you know it, you may actually not want to return home to me after being here a while. The temple may be to your liking”, Taedron said, trying to get Aarik to smile. There was nowhere to go for Taedron and Aarik to say their proper goodbyes. So they said their farewells the proper Jedi way with a bow. Aarik watched his Master leave, not knowing what was going to happen next.

3

Aarik was waiting in the dormitory when some of the other Padawans returned. “Hi, I am Jhori” said one, another said, “I am Variy” as they introduced themselves to Aarik. “I am Aarik”, he answered. “What are you here for Aarik?”, Variy asked, she was a blue Twi’lek. “I am here for the Knight Trial classes”, Aarik answered. “Congrats, you are about to become a Knight!”, Jhori exclaimed. “If everything goes well Aarik said to the two younger Padawans.” Aarik thought to himself, these are kids, I am too old to be here. Aarik met with his instructor Jedi Master Davn Husan, who explained to him that his age was not an issue and that the holocourses he would be taking should catch him up quickly. “You will find the training you will receive to be just as effective as if it were training in real life situations”, the Jedi Master said as he turned on the program and left the room. The courses were detailed interactions with hologram combatants, teachers and story tellers, they included riddle sessions, lightsaber combat, meditation, counseling and concentrated history focusing on ways to avoid the Dark Side. Over the course of weeks Aarik made friends and completed the entire four course program. It was time for his Knight Trials.
His Master had returned to Coruscant. “Master! Aarik yelled down the hall at Taedron as he approached” Taedron replied whispering, “Aarik, you look good, how has it been for you?” Aarik answered, “It has been good, I think I did well.” Taedron said, “So I hear. They sent word that you were a gifted Padawan and ready for the trials. But tell me, when they learned about your crystal, what did they say to you?” Aarik laughed, “Master Husan and one of the Jedi Council members dropped in on my lightsaber training and were impressed with the color of the blade. And when I told them the story of how I got the crystal, you would have thought them to be Padawans the way they acted , I had to tell the story twice. Then, I had to repeat it and show the lightsaber to the Jedi Council.” Aarik “They told me they scanned you while your lightsaber was off and then again when it was active. The Force was amplified by a factor of four when your saber was active. And after it was off, your base Force power was elevated above what is was before. They believe whatever the Star Diamond is, it’s the Crystal of choice for the future and they will be looking for more.” Taedron then started to smell Aarik, taking the pheromone in, “You have done it again and there is no where for me to hold you and breathe it in.” Aarik smiled, “Sorry.”
That day Aarik started his Knight trials, the first trial was the Trial of Skill, Aarik was pitted against a hologram of a Sith Lord named Darth Nihilus, the Sith was in a hooded black robe with a evil mask of red and white. Aarik took the Shii-Cho stance as the fight began, but quickly switched to a more refined Makashi Form, as Taedron watched he was very proud. The Sith attacked mercilessly, using forms that the Jedi do not teach, swipe after swipe Aarik parried, the went on the offensive. The magenta glow of the lightsaber sparked as it clashed against the bright red of the Sith’s. The Sith force threw Aarik around the room a few times, but the Padawan was able to recover and continued defending. Aarik channeled all the force within himself and for the first time held up his own hand and attempted a force throw. The Sith form flew across the room and was smashed against the wall, it did not get up. Aarik was surprised with himself and Taedron was shocked. The other Jedi observers were very pleased with Aarik’s trial, which he of course, passed.
The second trial would have been the Trial of the Flesh . The Jedi council considered that Aarik had passed the trial already while on Wayland a month earlier by surviving his wounds. The third trial would have been the Trial of Courage. The Jedi Council determined that Aarik’s return of the Heart of Dantooine to the Janta by entering the temple ruins and facing the ghost of the unnamed Jedi would count for the trial. The fourth and last trial was the Trial of the Spirit. Aarik had to confront his past that he did not remember. He was successful, he passed the trial. But the trial opened doors to things he would have come to grips with, his regained memories.
Aarik passed his Knight Trials and the Jedi Council bestowed upon him the title of Jedi Knight. The Council granted Taedron’s request for Aarik to be stationed back at the Jedi Temple on Dantooine. Taedron had been there for all four of the trials and was worried about him. Aarik was quiet most of the trip home, he now knew the name of the planet he was from, he remembers his family and the circumstances of his abduction. There were many things that he would have to deal with over time. It was a profound discovery, it seemed surreal to him. Taedron did not push the issue. He knew Aarik would be ready to talk about it soon. He would be there for him, they would go and rediscover who Aarik was together.
The End
by sweufan

Monday, May 24, 2010

Episode 6: Dathomir And Back Again

Sometimes the best plan is neither fighting nor running

Aarik and Taedron were walking downstairs one morning when they heard arguing coming from the kitchen. “Should we go in?”, Aarik asked. Taedron looked back at him, “I don’t know, I’d rather not”, Taedron answered. For he had rarely seen his mother, Versax Hairon the former Nightsister in a mood before, it wasn’t pleasant. “Well, I need coffee Taedron, so I am going in.” Taedron laughed, “Ok Aarik if your head doesn’t come flying back through the door, I’ll take it as a sign everything is ok and I’ll come in.”

“Good morning everyone”, Aarik said as he entered the kitchen. “Aarik tell Cook I need my herbs from Dathomir for my potions”, Mrs. Hairon said. “Cook, Mrs. Hairon needs her herbs from Dathomir for her potions.” She said, “See!” Cook replied with a raised voice, “You told him to tell me that!” Taedron walked into the room, acting oblivious to the situation. “Good morning, mother, father, COO.” The COO droid said, “Good morning Master Hairon.” Cook and Mrs. Hairon were just looking at each other. “Mrs. Hairon had been in a tizzy all morning after she discovered that someone had left the heating panels on all day and over the previous night on her herb garden, the herbs had all died”, Cook said. “Yes and it probably was you old man”, she added. “I did not do it,  I merely went out to pick some of the spicy marjoram yesterday morning early and I turned the lights on, well, you may be right, maybe I turned on the panels as well. Fine then, we'll go to that wretched world I rescued you from and get more!”, Cook finished. “You did NOT rescue me you fool. I did not need rescuing, I was a Nightsister Spiritualist! I went with you because you sweet talked me into falling in love with you”, Mrs. Hairon said in a curt tone. Aarik said, “That is a sweet story." “Well, he was a dashing and daring smuggler back then and he could cook like no other. I actually think I fell in love with his off world dishes, that’s why I left with him”, she said finally smiling and gave Cook a little kiss. “I would do it again, even though he turned out the way he did”, she added. Cook smiled an returned the kiss, “Well, looks like we will be going to Dathomir. COO take over for me, we may as well take what we have prepared to the temple and you can use the automated kitchen for what’s left.” The droid answered, “Certainly Cook.” They got the breakfast over to the temple and Cook made sure everything was in order there for COO-2180. Cook went back home to pack some food and drink for the trip. Mrs. Hairon got the supplies they needed to dig they herbs up and transport them, shovels and flower pots.

2

Aarik said to Taedron, “I am going with them to Dathomir.” Taedron looked at him, “Oh I am sure of that. So, I assume you want me to tell Master Melucian you won’t be there for your lesson and that you will make up the lightsaber training with me another day?” Aarik smiled, “Yes, something like that.” Taedron smiled at his Padawan and lover. “You got it, look after them, they are not as young as they were when they used to have adventures and remember, Dathomir is a dangerous planet Aarik. You have never been anywhere like it.” Taedron said his goodbyes to the three as they headed loaded the supplies and boarded the small freighter Evasion, owned by Hambas “Swifty” Hairon, Cook’s real name. The old ship was prepped and they took off. Dathomir was not too far away and would take about half a day in hyperspace to reach.
Aarik was eating a snack and finally said, “Tell me the whole story of how you two met again. From what I can remember it was pretty interesting.” Mrs. Hairon laughed, “It was that.” Cook said, “Well, ok, I’ll tell it. One day I was traveling the Hydian Way fully loaded with Giggledust, a very valuable spice, when I was attacked by Spider Clan Pirates and my ship was damaged. I didn’t want to be stranded in space and then be boarded by those Spider Clan Pirates, they would have killed me and taken all of my spice! Well, the closest planet to this stretch of the hyperlane was Dathomir. How I loathed to land on that forsaken rock. But, I had to do what I had to do.” Cook continued, “So, I approach the planet, still being pursued by the Spider Clan Pirates and decided to land at the abandoned spaceport in the south of the main continent. I landed and unfortunately, it had become occupied by Nightsisters. Now, my ship was at its end, it needed repairs and would go no further. I landed on the pad by another ship. The other ship on the landing pad looked to be in as bad of shape or worse shape than mine. What was I to do, I was in between a rock and a hard place. I just decided to see how this would work out. I got out of the ship and was taken prisoner by the Nightsisters.” Mrs. Hairon said, “That is when he met me and his life turned for the better.” Cook continued, “Well, that is true, that evening she brought me my supper. It was awful and I told her so. Versax said I was lucky they didn’t kill me and said if I could cook any better to prove it. I agreed and she escorted me to the kitchen, the big Nightsister cook that was there moved to the side and let me do my work.” Mrs. Hairon laughed and said, “He really impressed Borgah. She was the big cook he was talking about, he trained her to be a real chef there in that old kitchen.” Cook continued with his story, “In return for me teaching their cook how to be a real chef, by utilizing better local ingredients available to them, they allowed me to fix my ship. Versax had been spending time with me in the kitchen and in my cell, all of my wild smuggler tales won her heart and she prepared to leave with me.” Mrs. Hairon added, “I took seeds from all of my favorite herbs and plants that I would need to continue to make my potions, I took my book as well,” Cook said, “And when it was time for me to leave, she had hid herself on my ship and we left Dathomir.”
Aarik said, “I knew I remembered it being a good story. Thanks for telling it to me again.” Aarik went to the back and took a nap, by that afternoon they had arrived at Dathomir. Aarik saw that the planet was indeed menacing looking yet beautiful, he was ready to see the surface. They landed in an open area near a forest, close to the mountains and the particularly tall peak of the Singing Mountain. The blue grass expanse was wide and rolling to the north and the soil that peaked through looked like red clay. Not the small bushes and plants scattered sparsely around the area were the herbs Mrs. Hairon was looking for, at least three of the varieties were missing. They took the shovels and the small pots to replant the herbs and set out to dig them up. There were some that were already in seed, meaning that Mrs. Hairon could pick the dried seed pods off and grow them at home without taking the plant. However, at least half of the varieties need to be brought home as plants. “Aarik, see if you can find me a walishk weed , it is the small, pale grayish one and has tiny pink flowers that retract when you touch it and thorns, do you remember it from my garden?” Aarik thought about it and remembered the plant, “Yes, I remember it, it is the one that smells like honey, but you don’t touch the thorns, because they are poison and you get a fever and everything is pink for two days.” Mrs. Hairon said, “Yes that is right, see you do remember what I teach you.”

3

Aarik searched the various clumps of herbs here and there across the wide field. As he got close to the forest at the edge of the grass he felt it, he was being watched. Aarik knew he had better start walking back to the others, not turning his back to the forest he started taking steps backwards. The group of Singing Mountain Clan rushed from the forest, Aarik grabbed his saber and it lit up. The group surrounded him, there were males and females, most around his age some younger some older. Two of them were riding Rancors and that scared Aarik more than the people did. They were dressed in cloth tunics, the males were bare-chested, some were dressed in more elaborate costumes. It was like a scene from some movie set in ancient times. A female spoke up, stepping closer she carried a tall spear, “We are the Singing Mountain Clan. What are you doing here Jedi?” Aarik answered trying not to appear nervous. “I have come to gather plants and herbs for medicinal purposes.” Aarik did not want to endanger Mrs. Hairon or Cook by letting him know he was not alone, for he was over the hill from the ship and the two were not visible. “Medicinal herbs, you are joking a Jedi would have no use for that, you are lying”, the female replied. One of the tall shirtless males stepped up, “He is pretty, let’s take him with us.” She smiled an evil smile, “Yes, he is pretty but he is a Jedi, the fight would not be worth the loss on our part.” Aarik was kind of flattered by their remarks. “His hair color is like the sun”, the tall male walked up Aarik knew he wasn’t in trouble, they were not looking for a fight, just curious. The tall male who Aarik thought was very attractive in a sort of rugged way, reached out and touched Aarik’s hair, feeling it. “Let’s go”, the female said. “Be careful Jedi, some on this planet are not as restrained as we are. Some may think you a slave worthy of dying to have.” The male dropped Aarik’s hair and looked him in the eye. Then he turned and joined the others as they disappeared into the forest. The look that the male had given Aarik was of desire, it was the first time anyone else had looked at him that way besides Taedron. Aarik put his saber back on his side and headed back over the ridge to the ship. “Aarik, I looked all over and only found one walishk weed, I see you didn’t find one either. No matter, one will get me started.” Then they noticed Aarik wasn’t saying anything, “What’s wrong Aarik?”, Cook asked. Aarik told them the story of what had just happened. “Why didn’t you call to us? We were right here over the hill, we could have helped you”, the two were very upset, but Aarik let them know it was fine and he was in no real danger. Two more people could have aggravated the situation. The two agreed and both breathed a sigh of relief that the situation took care of itself.
They arrived back on Dantooine late that night, Taedron was still awake waiting on them. That night in bed Aarik told Taderon the story, the complete story, including what the male clan member had said. Taedron said, “Well I knew you all could have gotten in trouble. Next time, I’ll go with you all. And don’t let other men play with your hair, that is just for me.”
The End
By sweufan

Episode 5: Droid Planet

Sometimes, when you believe something to be real,
 it becomes real

Taedron entered the house fairly quickly, “Father have you seen Aarik this morning?” Cook looked over at his son and said, “Yes, he came back home from his lesson with Master Melucian and went upstairs to study.” Taedron said, “Thanks Father” and hurried upstairs. He walked into Aarik’s room. Aarik looked up and said, “Hey.” Taedron told Aarik, “Well, what I am about to tell you is going to make you excited, but it is serious Aarik. There has been an issue arise at an abandoned Baktoid Combat Automata factory on the moon world Valest III. I have been ordered to investigate and I am bringing my Padawan with me. A Republic Star Destroyer is on its way and will be picking us up shortly. Come with me to the temple.” Aarik stood up and Taedron gave him a peck on the lips and left the room. Aarik was excited at the prospect of adventure and he quickly followed Taedron.

They arrived at the temple just as the Republic Shuttle was touching down. Aarik thought that was fast. “The Guardian was already close to the Dantooine System when the Republic was notified of the trouble on Valest III”, Taedron said as the two were boarding. Taedron and Aarik got it their seats and the shuttle took off again. As the shuttle approached the Guardian, Aarik was impressed with the ship. The Star Destroyer Guardian was new and out on her first patrol in the Raioballo sector. The ship was a Venator-R class, recently produced for the Galactic Republic by Kuat Drive Yards, the design was based on the old Venator class from centuries earlier. “It is quite a ship isn’t it Taedron?” The Jedi Master answered, “Yes, it is, brand new I believe.” Aarik saw the ship was in Republic livery, the symbol was on the port and starboard sides. The pilot said, “We are just about to land Master Jedi.” Taedron acknowledged the pilot and said to Aarik, “When we get on board Aarik we need to report to the bridge for a complete briefing on the situation on Valest III.” The shuttle landed and the two disembarked, they were immediately greeted by a young Republic officer. “Jedi Master Harion, Welcome aboard the Guardian, I am Ensign Lihn, I'll to take you to the bridge to meet with Captain Cathon.”
Aarik and Taedron arrived on the bridge, it was large and very advanced. Aarik was especially impressed by the new holographic technology, the figures on the holopad were in vivid colors and the audio was extremely crisp. The positioning system was a holographic detail of this sector of space, floating above a console in the center of the bridge. The ship’s displays, controls and interfaces were also all holographic. Even the bridge forward windows had holographic HUDs. The ship was piloted by very advanced looking droids of a series that Aarik didn’t recognize, they were painted with Republic colors and symbols. “Captain Cathon, this is Jedi Master Hairon,” Ensign Lihn said. “Captain Cathon”, Taedron said to the Captain, nodding. “Master Hairon, Welcome aboard the Guardian.” Taedron replied, “Thank you Captain and this is my Padawan Aarik Kernis.” The Captain and Aarik nodded at each other. “A very impressive ship you have Captain”, Taedron said. “Thank you Master Jedi”, the Captain replied. “The situation we are investigating is unexpected, reports from two mining ships say that the Baktoid Combat Automata factory on Valest III is operational and that Vulture-class droid starfighters were patrolling the space around the planet. The mining ships were attacked, but managed to escape the system. Baktoid Industrial Systems is the parent company and they have no knowledge of the factory being operational, it was supposedly shut down at the end of the Clone Wars.” Aarik said, “That was over a thousand years ago, it could not have been continually operational for that long, right?” The Captain looked at Aarik and said, “I don’t believe it could have been, but we will not know until we arrive. However, if that is the case, there will be LOTS of droids.” Taedron said, “Well let’s hope not.”

2

The Guardian entered hyperspace towards Valest III. The trip was short only lasting about two hours, as the Valest III was close to Dantooine. The large ship dropped out of hyperspace on the edge of the Valest system. The Guardian masked its approach to Valest III from behind its small moon. The Captain said, “Send out a stealth probe droid and let’s see what we’re dealing with.” One of the officers on the bridge said, “Aye Captain.” Taedron added, “Good call.” The probe droid was launched and it rounded the moon and approached the planet. It was transmitting back coded data real time and the data was displayed on the holoimager. There were many vulture droids patrolling the space around the planet. As the probe droid approached the location of the droid factory on the surface everyone was amazed at what they saw. Where there once was a droid factory, there was now huge complex stretching for hundreds of kilometers. The sky over the complex was full of droids, images of various models covered the holoimage. If Aarik didn’t know better he would swear it was a large city for the complex had tall buildings of sorts, droids flying like vehicles following traffic. “That reminds me of Coruscant’s industrial district. This is simply extraordinary”, Taedron said.
“Well, though the probe is in stealth more the level of technology down there look to be very advanced, they probably detect it”, a man said in a blue uniform. “Jedi Master Taedron meet Dr. Narsting, sorry I didn’t introduce you before. Dr. Narsting is a droid engineer from Baktoid Industrial Systems." Dr. Narsting added, “I don’t see how they could have completed such a project on their own, these droids built here at the time were for combat. This factory, according to the company records built, B-1, B-2, T-Series and Variable Geometry Self-Propelled Battle Droids.” Taedron said, “We are here to investigate, so we have all the information we can get from a probe, so I think we should go down there and do some first hand investigating. Captain would you happen to have a protocol droid onboard?” “Yes, but you are planning just to go down there?”, the Captain asked. “May as well”, Taedron answered. Dr. Narsting spoke up, “I’d like to go down with you, my knowledge of droids may be helpful and I would really like to see what is going on down there.” Taedron said, “Fine, you may come.”
The protocol droid met them in the hanger, “I am A-6PO, and I understand I am to accompany you to the planet’s surface?” Taedron answered, “That is correct. I want you to also make the contact for us with whoever or whatever is down there. Put that programming to use and get us landing permission, do you understand?” The droid answered, “Why certainly sir, I look forward to this assignment, after all that is what a protocol droid is designed to do.” The four boarded the shuttle and left he hanger. The small ship rounded the moon and was headed for the planet, “Transmit a greeting A-6PO”, Taedron said. Aarik who hadn’t said much since they boarded the Guardian found all of this quite exciting, though he was apprehensive about the group landing on the planet. The protocol droid linked with the communications computer, “This is A-6PO in the shuttle craft approaching your planet. I humbly ask for permission to land so I am speak with your leader or leaders.” The droid stopped transmitting and turned to Taedron, “I have transmitted in a number of droid languages that Baktoid Combat Automata originally used in the timeframe the factory was operational.” Aarik said, “Well, I guess we see if we get a response?” About the same time as Aarik said that an image of a T-series droid popped up on the view screen, “This is TX-75 of Droid City, what do you want?” Taedron nodded at the protocol droid, “We would like to land and talk to your leader or leaders, that is.” The TX droid turned and said to someone or something off to the side, “He says they want to talk to you.” Whomever or whatever he was addressing gave him an answer and he turned back to the viewer, “Well, ok, you can land, but don’t try anything. Land you craft on the pad at 2435,19,-1271.”
Taedron landed the shuttle and the group got out. They were met by TX-75 and a group of B-2 Super Battle Droids, painted yellow and black. The TX droid said, “Follow me.” The group followed the TX droid followed by the B-2s. Now Aarik was nervous but very interested at how this would play out and also was very curious to who their leader was. The four followed TX-75 into a building and then onto an open lev-train. The train sped off deeper into the massive complex. The train stopped in a large central part of the ‘city’ it was open and surrounded by tall towers, droids of many types were going about there business, some walking some flying and even very small ones scurrying about. There were holographic billboards with advertising and what looked like news of some sorts on large holoscreens. The TX got off of the train and proceeded up a ramp into one of the tall towers. The four followed the TX, by now they were in awe of what the factory had become. Inside the building the lobby was full of art and odd shaped furniture, it looked as though it were made just for droids. Aarik finally said, “This is amazing.” The protocol droid added, “Indeed.”

3

The TX droid said, “Thank you.” The TX finally reached the elevators, the five got on and the B-2 stayed behind.
The elevator raced to what turned out to be the top floor. When the door opened and the group walked into what looked to be a throne room, command center, living quarters. There were sculptures and artwork of various models of droids doing various things, some looked like portraits.
TX-75 said, “Well, they are here.” From around the corner came a small droid, about one meter tall, it had human features, with a silver tone. The droid said, “I am PC-1, Baktoid Home Automata Personal Companion Prototype.” Dr. Narsting stepped up to the PC-1 and said, “Baktoid Home Automata?" Amazing, that was an in house test name brand that was never implemented. And you PC-1 you were the first prototype?” Dr. Narsting was smiling, it was clear he was excited by seeing this working piece of his company's history. Aarik said, “You have an amazing place PC-1.” The droid replied, “Thank you and what is your name?” “My name is Aarik”, he answered. “Nice to meet you Aarik.” The protocol droid who was still taking in all that he was seeing said, “I am A-6PO, human-cyborg relations.” PC-1 said, “I am glad to meet you as well, fellow droid.” Taedron finally said, “I am Jedi Master Hairon and this is Dr. Narsting, he is a droid engineer. We are here to make contact with you and investigate this facility.” The small droid thought and said, “Yes, I understand.”
“How is you came to be here on Valest III?”, Dr. Narsting asked. PC-1 answered, “This is where I was made, by Dr. Zanich, he was my maker and my friend.” The PC-1 looked at Dr. Narsting then around him at the others and waved saying, “We can all be friends too.” Dr. Narsting said, “Dr. Zanich made you but who left you here when the factory shut down?” The PC-1 paused for a moment, “It happened fast. I was in my alcove recharging and talking with the computer system like always. Though they never knew we talked. The computer is my friend as well, like TX-75 and now you all too. Then all of the lights were turned off, the next thing I knew I was not talking with the computer anymore, they had turned it off as well. I did not like that so I left my alcove and turned the computer back on.” Dr. Narsting said, “Well, that made sense you missed your friend.” PC-1 said, “Yes, I did. And I missed Dr. Zanich, I do not know what happened to him. I also missed the other people. So I made more friends.” Taedron asked, “So you turned the factory back on?” PC-1 answered, “Oh yes, I did. It makes lots of friends.” Taedron continued, “And friends need places to recharge as well, so your droids built the city? Am I right?” PC-1 was so excited with questions, “Yes, we did and then the computer and I accessed all droid plans and made them all too. Having different types of friends is very important, it keeps your mind open.” Dr. Narsting said, “You are a very smart droid.” PC-1 replied, “Thank you Dr. Narsting.”
One more question from me, “Why did the Vulture Droids attack the mining ships this week?” PC-1 said, “The ships that came to the planet?” Taedron answered, “Yes”. PC-1 explained, “They were not nice to TX-75 when he told them to go away, they did not leave but tried to land without asking. We did not destroy the ships though.” Taedron said, “No you didn’t.” Aarik stepped forward and asked, kneeling down to talk to the little droid, “Who did all of the artwork we see throughout the building?” PC-1 looked at Aarik and said, “I did, is it good?” Aarik smiled and said, “It is very good.”
Dr. Narsting and A-6PO remained with PC-1 on the planet. PC-1 and TX-75 assured Taedron that Dr. Narsting would be safe with them. The report that Taedron submitted to the Jedi Council and to the Republic probably raised eyebrows and may have been met with skepticism. Taedron had called the little droid PC-1 sentient in his report and requested that Valest III be put under Quarantine, which under that status would protect the planet from Baktoid Industrial Systems and anyone that wish to exploit the droids and their planet.
The End
By sweufan

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Episode 4: The Heart of Dantooine

In a dark place we find ourselves..a little more knowledge might light our way

Aarik had woken up long after Taedron had left for the temple, he had a  propensity to sleep in when he had stayed up late studying. Aarik washed, dressed and headed downstairs to the kitchen for breakfast and a nice hot cup of vine-coffee that Cook has brought in from Belsavis. When Aarik entered the kitchen, Cook, who had returned from serving breakfast at the temple handed Aarik the steaming cup of coffee with milk and honey. Cook had always had an uncanny way of being prepared for Aarik, especially when matters of food and drink are concerned. “So where are you off to this beautiful spring morning Aarik?” Cook asked. Aarik already had it in his mind where he was going, but to tell too much has never proved to be in his advantage when dealing with Cook or Mrs. Hairon. If he were to tell Cook exactly what he had planned for the day it might not be the best thing, for information had a way of getting back to who they didn’t need to get back to, Taedron. Cook would tell Mrs. Hairon about what Aarik had done, planned to do or just mentioned in passing and she in turn would tell Taedron. So, Aarik made up his mind very quickly, “I am going to search the beaches north of the village for more seashells”, Aarik answered Cook. “Well, if that is the case then it is a good thing I had packed you a small lunch to take”, Cook said giving Aarik a knowing little smile. Aarik ate the breakfast Cook sat in front of him, nuna eggs over easy, milk fried toast.
After Aarik had finished breakfast he took an empty sack for ‘seashells’ and the lunch that Cook had prepared. Aarik walked outside and thought to himself what a beautiful morning it was indeed, there was a light breeze off of the sea and the faint smell of the early spring flowers in bloom. Aarik went down to the stables for Bolie, his small Bol. Aarik put the tack on Bolie and mounted up the two headed north along the beach, greeting and waving to the various villagers and fishermen he met along the shore as he went. After a while of riding Aarik reached the Janta Village.
The people of the villages don’t particularly dislike Jantas, they trade with them all the time. But they are not particularly fond of them either. Though the people of the village and farms on Dantooine are many varied races, they are prejudiced against the Janta for being primitive. Now, Jantas are a very smart people and their little villages are scattered here and there across Dantooine.
Jantas if treated with respect can also be a great source of information on the history of Dantooine, which many would probably consider with skepticism, but not Aarik. He had met Vonik months ago when he ran into Vonik gathering seashells himself along the beaches north of the temple. The two talked for quite a while and Vonik offered to show Aarik more of the ways of the Janta and their history. Aarik was making the trip to speak again with Vonik in hopes he tell him more.
About a half a hour north of The temple Aarik saw the small road, more of a trail really heading east from the beach into the dunes and then what Aarik could gather would lead almost directly or directly to the Janta Village. Aarik had no idea what the name of the village was or if it even had a name. Assuming the level of intelligence shown by his new friend Vonik and the way Vonik talked of his people Aarik was sure the village, town or settlement would be very interesting, name or no name.
Aarik took the small road up into the mix of rolling dunes and trees, he rode on until the dunes gave way to a small rocky forest of conifers and herb bushes. Soon after there were tell tail signs he was getting close to the village, actually the small road sign at a fork in the road was the tip, it was a wooden pole with a skull and some fish bones hanging from it, where the small road that this one intersected going north and south would lead, he didn’t know, so he kept heading east. Then as he rounded a corner there it was, the Janta Village. It was round and walled with stones and the dome shaped structures, some made of wood, others made of stone rose up many feet into the air, ropes hung between them and there were Jantas everywhere, wearing all the same fur and woven cloth type wraps.
Aarik stopped at the gate to be greeted by two guards. “So what you be wanting?”, a guard asked, both of the guards were wearing the most peculiar armor, it seemed to be almost patchwork from various skins and bones. “I am here just to visit with my friend Vonik”, Aarik answered. The guards looked Aarik up and down suspiciously and the one said, “You wait”. Then he said, “We go get Vonik.” The two headed into the village.

2

A few minutes later Vonik came walking up to the gates followed by the two guards. “Hello Aarik, I not expect to be seeing you, but I ask you to come, so come”, Vonik said smiling. “Hello to you as well Vonik”, Aarik greeted Vonik in return. “Why you come Aarik?” Vonik questioned. Aarik and Vonik walked out into the small clearing by the village, right by a newly plated garden. “I have been thinking of what you told me of your people Vonik and I was hoping that you could tell me more about them and their history.” The Janta motioned for Aarik to sit and the two sat down on the grass at the edge of the garden and Vonik began, “The Janta live on Dantooine many thousand years, we native people. Others come join us, some human, Zabrak, Twi'lek and Weequay.” “Aarik you Jedi, I tell you story of bad Jedi ”, Vonik finished. “Oh yes, Vonik, please do.”
“Long time been past, in old, old days Janta had stone holy to us. Stone called ‘Pok og Datin’, you say ‘Heart of Dantooine’. Bad Jedi lived at temple. He live with other not bad Jedi’, Vonik said. “We no know if other bad Jedi know he bad. But he stole Pok og Datin and took to temple, it not same temple u live now. Old tale say we talk to not bad Jedi, tell them he stole stone. He tell them no, they say he no lie. He no stone and no give stone back.” Aarik, considered the story and said, “How long ago was this Vonik?” The Janta said, “Me not know when. Me ask.” Vonik stood and called to some older Jantas, they walked over and the four of them talked and argued a bit. Finally, they all were nodding and agreeing. “Old Janta say many thousand years Aarik.” Aarik replied, “Many thousands of years? That is a long time, the stone is probably gone from Dantooine now Vonik.” The Janta said, “No it still here, we know.” Aarik thought about it, he could investigate the story. Aarik knew his time was running short he had class soon and needed to get back to the temple. Aarik said, “Vonik, I will see what I can find out about the stone, I’ll let you know if I find anything. However, I need to get going” they said their farewells and Aarik mounted Bolie and they returned to the temple for his lessons with Master Melucian.
Aarik told Master Melucian the story that the Janta had told him o about the stone, just not when or where he was told it. “Well Aarik, I have not heard of the Heart of Dantooine, or of a Jedi stealing such a stone. The Jedi have been on Dantooine on and off for thousands of years, he is correct about that. Now, as for another temple, that could also be true. This site we are at now has been used here and again for five thousand years or so, but older Jedi ruins are on the planet.” Aarik asked where are those Master Melucian, I have not seen them.”
“Aarik, I am not going to tell you. I want you to research the locations of the other Jedi ruins, then write a report on your findings. Now, if you happen to find the Heart of Dantooine as a result of your search, which your Janta friends seem to believe is still here on Dantooine, all the better. You are a tenacious padawan Aarik, almost ready for your Knight Trials, if the stone is on Dantooine, you will find it”, Master Melucian said smiling at Aarik. Aarik said, “Yes Master, I will get right on it.” Melucian said, “You do that, I’ll see you tomorrow at your lesson time and you can tell me of your progress.”
Aarik was headed over to the library to research Jedi ruins here on Dantooine when Taedron ran over, “Hey, I didn’t wake you this morning when I got up did I? You were up so late I wanted you to sleep in.” Aarik looked at his Master and lover, “No you didn’t. I think I slept too late actually”, he said smiling. “Come have lunch with me Cook and COO-2180 are about to serve lunch” , Taedron said. Aarik had forgotten it was just about lunch, how in the world could he forget, he was always hungry. “Cook, you have nut crusted goober fish again!” Aarik exclaimed, “Why didn’t you tell me this morning?” Cook replied smiling, “I like to see you surprised is all.” Aarik was an avid seafood fan, his favorites were from Dantooine, berry crabs, river prawns, goober fish and red flounder, and he really liked it all except muscles and squid. Aarik and Taedron ate with some of the Guardians in training. “Aarik do you know how much caffeine is in Poptree Soda?”, Taedron asked. Aarik sat the soda down and said, “Not nearly enough Master.” The others at the table laughed, Aarik laughed too. “He drinks a huge cup of vine-coffee every morning and usually has two or three Poptree Sodas at lunch, then when he gets home Cook has a pot of Tarine tea ready for him. He is addicted to caffeine I think”, Taedron said. He was teasing Aarik, trying to give his padawan more attention in public, Aarik had recently accused him of treating him coolly when around others. Taedron had promised to do better. After they had finished eating Taedron asked. “Where are you headed now?” Aarik replied, “I have to go to the library and do some research for a report. I’ll tell you all about it tonight, because I may need your help.” Taedron touched his padawan’s shoulder, “Ok, well, I’ll see you for your lightsaber training in two hours.” Aarik headed over to the library and was greeted by X3PO. “Hello Master Aarik, Do you have another report that you need my assistance with?” Aarik smiled at the droid, “X3PO, I sure do.” The droid said, “Very good, I do enjoy helping others, it is a shame more people do not visit the library.” Aarik replied, “Well, you see me here often X3PO, I won’t let you down.”
“I need help finding old Jedi ruins here on Dantooine, think you can help me find that information?”, Aarik asked. “Why certainly, let me see”, the 3PO droid said as he walked over to the computer interface. “Here is the information you requested Master Aarik”, the droid said. The giant holoimager displayed Dantooine and the dots meant the locations of various Jedi ruins. Aarik touched one and read on it, then continued with the next. “Some of these ruins are over ten thousand years old”, he told the droid. Aarik plugged in his data pad and downloaded the information. “Thank you X3PO, you help was invaluable”, Aarik said, giving the droid a little boost. “You are most certainly welcome Master Aarik, let me know if you need help in the future.”

3

Aarik headed home to read over the material in his room before a short nap. He had less than two hours before his lessons with Taedron. He entered the house through the kitchen like always and sure enough Cook and COO-2180 were home back home from the temple, “Master Aarik, I have prepared a snack for you, it is a new recipe I wanted to try, I think you will like it”, the COO droid said. Aarik looked at Cook and he just made the face that said, may as well try it. Aarik sat at the table and the droid placed the plate in front of him. It looked delicious Aarik thought, “What is it?” The droid answered, “It is a vine-coffee, chocolate crumble, with Vasarian Brandy mousse on top.” Aarik tasted the desert, it was really good. “COO, that is excellent”, Aarik said while continuing eating. Aarik had two pieces of the desert and two cups of Tarine Tea. Aarik thought he may not need a nap after all that caffeine, it didn’t bother him.
He thanked them both and headed upstairs to work on his report. After studying the locations on the map he realized there is no way Bolie would be able to make the trips in the time, he would be all day just going to one and back. Aarik considered he could camp while traveling between sites. No, he would miss Taedron too much he thought. Well, Taedron could come along for the trip and then the more he thought about it the more he knew that would not happen. Aarik just needed a faster way to travel, he could borrow someone’s speeder. Master Melucian has a classic XJ-8 he could borrow. He will just ask Taedron what he thinks about it.
“Absolutely not”, Taedron replied. “But Master I need to do the report properly”, Aarik said insistently. “I have no problem with you traveling to the ruins, but you are not borrowing anyone’s speeder, least of all Master Melucian’s.” Taedron sighed as the two left the training room, “You did very well today in your lightsaber training Aarik.” The padawan said, “Thanks”. Taedron took Aarik’s arm and said while they were walking to the dining room, “We will figure something out, your right about you and Bolie making the trips, it won’t work.”
Mrs. Hurian was helping Cook and COO-2180 in the serving line. “Mother what are you doing back there?”, Taedron asked. “What does it look like Taedron? I am having to help, the droid is trying new recipes and they fell behind. They are very good new entrees. Taedron you are getting the baked red flounder with camby berry chutney and Aarik, your getting berry crab claws with spicy bantha butter.” Aarik exclaimed, “Yes!” After the two they helped Cook, the COO and Mrs. Hairon get everything cleaned up. The four headed home and watched the news and their favorite holonet shows ‘Smugglers Run’ and ‘Wayback Machine’. After the shows were over Taedron and Aarik took a shower together and went to bed. “I love the Wayback Machine, but I hope no one creates a real time machine like that. Sharman and Dr. Peabandy are always so close to messing up the timeline.” Taedron laughed, then he held and kissed Aarik, pulling him onto the bed. “Your so funny Aarik no one can create a time machine.”
Aarik woke up, where was Taedron? It was still early, but if Taedron was up he may as well be the good padawan and get up as well. Aarik washed his face and put on a robe. “What in the world are you doing up Aarik?”, Cook asked. Mrs. Hairon said, “I have something new and before you say anything, just take it and we can argue later.” She sat the bottle down in front of him. “It will ruin my coffee”, Aarik said. “Fine, just make sure you drink it after you have finished your coffee.” COO-2180 sat a nice cup of hot vine-coffee down in front of Aarik. “Where did Taedron go this early in the morning?”, Aarik asked. Cook and Mrs. Hairon just looked at each other and then both of them shrugged. “You three had to have seen him”, Aarik said. The droid said, “Master Taedron had a cup of coffee and then left.” Cook said, “Ok let’s get this breakfast over to the temple.” Aarik got up and drank the bottle of whatever potion it was, Spring, Daily, or something. He grabbed one of the hot boxes with a handle and the group walked over to the temple.
As they went up the back way into the kitchen. Aarik said, “What is that ship doing here? It looks like a merchant ship.” Mrs. Hairon said, “Aarik bring that food on into the kitchen, it’s probably just a ship delivering supplies.” Aarik helped the three set up the breakfast buffet. The Jedi started coming in to eat. “Aarik, you may as well serve dear since you are here”, Mrs. Hairon said. Aarik washed up and put on gloves, Cook refused to use the automated kitchen here at the Jedi Temple, he and COO-2180 cook at home and bring it over. Taedron was next in line to be served, “Why did you get up so early this morning?” He looked at Aarik and hid a smile, “I had things to attend to and those gloves suit you, I think you may have found your calling.” Aarik laughed, “I don’t think so.” Aarik was finally able to fix his own plate, he went and sat at the table with Taedron and the others. The group of Jedi at the table started discussing Aarik’s report and the traveling he was going to have to do. They were planning his routes his campsite, the watering spots for Bolie. “Aarik it looks like you are going to be gone for about 3 weeks”, Vins Voz said, smiling and laughing. “Aarik looked dismayed, “3 weeks? Traveling for 3 weeks?” Aarik was glad he was through eating because he had lost his appetite at that time frame.

4

Everyone began to stand up and go put their trays away, “Come on Aarik let’s walk”, Taedron said. Cook and Mrs. Hairon were following them outside. Many of the Jedi were standing all in a group out front. “What’s going on Taedron?” Taedron nodded and the Jedi moved out of the way. There was a speeder sitting out front. “What is that?”, Aarik asked. “It is yours and mine actually”, Taedron answered. Aarik as very surprised. “Are you serious? I can’t believe it”, Aarik said as he walked up to the speeder. Mrs. Hairon said smiling, “I was scared the surprise would be spoiled with you getting up early for the first time in who knows when.” Taedron said, “It’s an X-34, a classic model. It’s very, very old but should do fine for what we need.” Aarik said, “It’s perfect Master. Thank you!” the Jedi had gone on about their mornings. Mrs. Hairon and Cook went back inside. “So this is what you were up so early for and why there was a cargo ship on the lading pad?” Taedron said, “Well, I couldn’t have you riding your bol across half of the Northern Continent going from ruin to ruin camping in between. It would have been too dangerous and took you away from me for far too long. Now you can make a trip a day to the locations and be home in time for supper.”
“Well, It is a good a time as any, get in and let me teach you to drive.” Aarik hopped in the driver’s seat and Taedron got in. Aarik drove them towards the beach, it would be the best place to learn Taedron thought, less to hit. After a short while Aarik got the hang of driving and they returned to the temple. “Go get your maps and a communications device. Cook has your lunch packed and ready to go”, Taedron said to Aarik. “So, I get to go today?”, Aarik asked. “You may as well start”, Taedron said. Taedron knew Aarik needed more freedoms, to get out and away from home, the temple and from him.
Aarik set out for the closest of the old Jedi ruins, it was about 90km away, and he would be there and back before he knew it. The Dantooine countryside was pretty, he passed herds of pickets, bols, thunes and a scary group of grauls. But, in spite of the grauls being large and dangerous Aarik was glad they and the other larger animals had reestablished on Dantooine. The trip was uneventful really, he passed farms and a few Janta villages. Aarik eventually reached the first set of Jedi ruins. It was fairly large and for the most part totally ruins. Aarik didn’t know what to expect when he got there, the pictures in the database were really helpful. Aarik walked around the ruins looking for a clue to a secret door or something that may have remained unnoticed over time. His search turned up nothing, but he used his data pad to take more up to date picture. He could give them to X3PO and maybe the librarian droid could use them on this temples information.
Aarik returned home and went to see Master Melucian, he told Master Melucian that he had found nothing, which of course was to be expected this many years later. “Aarik, don’t be discouraged by one site, for this assignment is also to help hone your investigation skills as well.”
The next day Aarik went for the temple in the east, it was about 150km away, and this one was used up until three thousand years ago. When Aarik arrived, there was not much to see, the temple was originally very small and appeared to be more of a shrine. The sea that had been created on Dantooine had surround the temple leaving it as an island. Aarik took pictures of it as well and then returned back home. It was too late in the evening to see Master Melucian and instead watched the holonet with Taedron.
The last temple was in the north about 300km, lots further than the other two. Aarik brought two packed meals with him for this trip. It was a lot cooler up near the mountains, the temple ruins here were by a small lake. Aarik got out of the speeder and walked around. This complex of ruins was quite a bit larger than the others. Some of the buildings were not in bad shape, one looked very much like the temple back home. Aarik rounded a wall and there was a large door led inside what remained of a large pyramid. This pyramid structure was unlike the other buildings he had encountered so far.
Aarik was nervous about going in, not telling what creatures may line in there. “Aarik you are about to become a Knight if everything goes well, suck it up and do this”, he told himself. Had Taedron or Master Melucian known that any of the entrances to the pyramids were still accessible they would not have let Aarik go alone. Aarik used his data pad for a light and entered the darkened doorway. The first room was large and it led to en even larger room behind it. The temple had a one time large working light fixtures and computer consoles, but the lights and consoles along with everything else had been ripped out and taken over the millennia .The opening to the temple was clean of debris, but as he got inside, there was a buildup up rocks and soil on the floor. The larger room had four hallways leading off of it. Aarik decided to take the one on the left first. The passage lead around and down into a large chamber with some stonework on the walls and nothing else. Aarik went back up and took the passage to the right, it led down as well, and however, the ceiling had collapsed and was impassable. Aarik had one last passage to try, he and been taking pictures of the inside of the building.

5

Aarik entered the center passage, it led down as he expected it too, down to another large chamber, this one had stonework on its walls as well, but this chamber had three more passages leading out of it. Aarik decided to take the middle one first. It led down again, then leveled off into a long passage. There were what have one been elevator shafts leading up, but there were no longer elevators there. Aarik reached the end of this passage, it divided off into two large rooms. One was completely empty from what he could see and the second still had items and things strewn across the floor. Aarik looked at the debris, this was more modern, like from an archaeological dig. Aarik said out loud, “This is useless, I have led myself this hunt knowing full and well these temples have been the subject of looting and study forever.”
“Yes, they have young padawan”, a voice said. Aarik jumped and almost screamed, he was scared. Where was the voice coming from? Aarik looked all around and then it appeared out of the shadow. “Who are you? What are you?”, Aarik questioned. “Who I am or was does not matter anymore. But what I am is another story. I am a disembodied spirit of a Jedi that fell away from his path long ago.” The blue transparent being approached Aarik, "Do not be afraid padawan, I will not harm you.” Aarik finally whispered, “A force ghost.” The ghost answered, “Yes, that may be what they call what I am these days. For I have no way of knowing when this time is. What year is it padawan?” Aarik still breathing hard answered, “It is the year 1000 ABY.” The force ghost said. “ABY, it means nothing to me.” Aarik said, this temple was constructed over ten thousand years ago if that helps.” The Force Ghost surprised, “Ten thousand years? Has it been so long? I remember when the temple was new.” The ghost was of no old man, but of a young man, probably in his twenties.
“I know why you have come young padawan. I was the Jedi that took the Pok og Datin from the natives. I was the one who used it to amplify my dark powers and then drained them from it to make me more powerful. I was also the one cursed to linger after my death because of it. You may take it, for I have no use for it now”, the force ghost said. “I have been waiting on one who would come and return it to them.” Aarik was no longer really scared but now felt that this Dark Jedi had more than paid the price for his actions. The force ghost motioned Aarik over to a wall and said, “It is behind here, those that came before you to plunder and steal never discovered the secret room, and it is protected by an alloy that masks it from being detected. Clever wasn’t it padawan?” Aarik answered, “Yes it was, very clever.”
The ghost told Aarik, “Push on the wall, once on all four corners and then three times in the middle.” Aarik did as he was told and the secret door opened. The blue ghost led Aarik into the small room, there was a large red crystal suspended over an alter and a box on the floor. “The crystal is quite heavy padawan. There is also something that you can take for yourself in the box, a force crystal, for a lightsaber, it has never been used. It was cut from a crystal found in a dead star. Aarik picked up both objects, “Now go,” the ghost said. “There is nothing I can do for you?”, Aarik asked. The force ghost laughed a long laugh, “No, just go.” Aarik left the small room and when he got back to the door to the large chamber, the force ghost was still watching him. “Thank you”, Aarik said to the blue ghost as he left the chamber.
Aarik left the pyramid and put the two objects in his speeder. As he drove back home he considered the fate of the unknown Jedi, who was now seemingly trapped in the temple as a force ghost. Aarik felt bad for him and wished that he could do something for him. But, Aarik was glad he had retrieved the Heart of Dantooine and could return it to the Janta. It was late evening when Aarik got home, he was met by Taedron, Mrs. Hairon and Cook. “Well, right on time Aarik”, Taedron said and hugged his padawan. “How was the trip?”, Taedron asked, knowing Aarik didn’t find what he was looking for, but needed to ask.
“It was a success”, Aarik said smiling, but had a bothered look on his face. “It was?”, they all three asked in unison. Aarik lifted the Heart of Dantooine out of the speeder. “Oh my, Aarik that is truly amazing”, Taedron said in total surprise. “I can’t believe you found it Aarik”, Mrs. Hairon added astonished. The three looked at the crystal and Aarik took it and the box inside the Jedi Temple. Master Melucian said, “Extraordinary Aarik, simply Extraordinary, I have seen force ghosts before, but never one ten thousand years old before. And to be trapped inside the temple for so long.” Master Melucian shook his head still looking at the large red crystal.

6

“I also have something else to show you, though I have not seen it myself. I wanted to tell you all about it first and all see together”, Aarik said looking at Taedron. “What is it Aarik?”, Taedron asked. “It is a lightsaber crystal, never used. It was cut from a crystal found in a dead star. At least this is what I was told.” Aarik opened the box and within it was an odd crystal, long and heavy, it looked like a gray diamond, with a faint glow emanated from the stone. “Aarik that is quite unusual, I have never heard of such a crystal”, Taedron said. “We need to have it analyzed to make sure it is safe. I don’t feel any dark energy from it, though I do sense a natural power, just as precaution, let’s put it in a containment field.”
The next day Aarik took the Heart of Dantooine to the Janta Village to return it to the people. Vonik and the villagers rejoiced at the return of the Pok og Datin. Aarik was hailed as a hero and made and honorary member of the tribe. Aarik was sitting in his room that afternoon. “Padawan”, Aarik turned, it was the force ghost. “How?”, Aarik asked. “I am free now and I have you to thank as you thanked me”, the blue ghost said. “You will become a great Jedi one day padawan, I have seen it.” The force ghost of the unknown Jedi disappeared.
The End
by sweufan

Friday, May 21, 2010

Episode 3: The Disk

Nothing Happens By Chance

Taedron walked into Aarik’s room and handed him a small disk, “It is old, very old, but it’s something you will want to read. It was in some archive boxes they were cleaning out of the Temple on Coruscant, I believe it was part of an investigation at some point in history.” Aarik looked inquisitively at his master and asked smiling, “What is it? The Treatise on the Seven Forms of Combat?” Taedron smirked at Aarik, no I saved that one for later. Just read it.” Aarik put the disk into his data pad and began reading the story.....
Asaerin and his lover Kaneth VII lived with  Kaneth's grandfather Chancellor Kaneth Nichoz V. Asaerin was the son of a palace employee that the Chancellor was fond of, when she died, he stayed on at the palace. Eventually, Asaerin became Kaneth's lover and the Chancellor treated  him like a grandson. Kaneth's parents had been killed in a shuttle crash when he was very young. When they were younger, Asaerin and Kaneth enjoyed the old man's stories about the “olden days”, when the Cossec Patrols fought space pirates that frequently attacked the mining and merchant ships. Those Cossec Patrol Ships were no more than old merchant ships, refitted with guns and cannons, archaic by today’s standards, but then that was 90 years ago.  Asaerin kept records of events in his life he felt significant, like the talks with the old Chancellor on a little dicta-pod that records all of the important events and later he can compose them onto a journal disk.
By Galactic standards the Cossec Federation, would by no means of the word be considered a galactic power in this day and age. Consisting one planetary system of which 3 planets were habitable with a few large and small cities, outposts and mining colonies, all of which gave the “Federation” a grand total of around 10 million inhabitants. Though the Cossec Federation was small and the population was not great by comparison to other civilizations, the Federation was quite progressive in the areas of the sciences, architecture and agriculture.
The Cossec Federation was only about 300 years old. It was formed by those who felt that their religious and cultural differences from the Mandalorians kept them from flourishing. They left Mandalore at the onset of the Mandalorian Wars. Both cultures, still stress the fact that the separation was a choice by the Cossecs, not forced on them. The Mandalorians had always shown them good will. They set out from the Mandalorian home world in hundreds of small transports and vessels of such type. They arrived in the star system and set out to create their own civilization.
The day Asaerin turned twenty he contacted the Minister of Foreign Affairs and informed them that he was preparing a trip to tour a few planets in the Galactic Republic, five stops in all, over fifteen days. Asaerin wanted know the official way he should set up the trip and get  further information on the destinations he would eventually choose. The reaction of the Chancellor was as Asaerin expected, he objected to the trip, but eventually agreed to it after a long philosophical debate. Upon hearing of this “galactic tour” Asaerin was taking, Kaneth had begun adjusting the travel plans to include transport by the new command ship, CFF Valliant. Kaneth informed Asaerin within minutes of hearing of it that he would be coming along for the trip. “The ship should be unescorted, a large military vessel with an escort may feel  threatening to some systems." Kaneth said as he walked into the room rattling off orders on his data pad. “Well, it is not a galactic tour, it is however fifteen days and five planets” Asaerin said to Kaneth. “So when were you planning on telling me about this little trip? When you got back?” Kaneth questioned. “No, I just contacted Ministry of Foreign affairs to inquire about how to set it up a short while ago, moments later the Chancellor was on the holonet me asking why in the world would I want to go and I spent time making my case for going.
I make my point to him, then I finally get him to agree and next thing I know you’re here about the trip. Kaneth, it’s not even planned or thought out yet” Asaerin said frustrated. “I decided on the trip this morning, I’d like to do this for my twentieth birthday.” Kaneth sighed, “Well, the way things get around, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had you leaving on some merchant ship already.” Asaerin laughed a loud laugh and said, “So, is there is a surprise party tonight?” Asaerin asked. “Oh please don’t be coy, you know there is going to be a party” Kaneth replied. “Now pick the good places, I don’t want to go to any crap planets either” Kaneth said, leaning over and kissing his him on the forehead, then headed back to work.
Asaerin’s lover Kaneth VII, heir to the throne, had chosen the military life and planned to be heavily involved in the military as future Chancellor. Kaneth was a brilliant military strategist and engineer; he also had a vision of a new Cossec Military. Kaneth began his work to transform the lean, aging Cossec Defense Force into the sleek, cutting edge Cossec Federal Forces. At twenty years old Kaneth was given control over the military changes as a High Commander under the Chancellor. A new shipyard was built; older ships were then refitted with new systems. New fighters were built using Kaneth’s own designs. A new Marine Unit was established alongside the Cossec Army and trained with new weapon systems. Within 3 years at the age of 23, Kaneth had turned the small defense force into a shining new military unit, complete with a small fleet of fighters and a large new command ship. The Cossec Federal Forces, CFF Valliant was over half a kilometer long of grey and black Durasteel. Federal Flagship, troop transport and fighter carrier, it was a well-designed and impressive ship, a symbol for the Cossec Federation.
The party was small, Asaerin appreciated a more intimate gathering. There were some friends and all of the palace staff. Asaerin really didn’t have too many friends, as he was sheltered throughout his childhood. He did not attend school or universities, per say, the classes were here in the palace. Asaerin was tired of this and wanted more freedom that he knew the Chancellor and Kaneth would not give him.

2

Asaerin was fond of clothes, the Chancellor and Kaneth both knew this, a designer from the planet of Coruscant was commissioned to design a new wardrobe for him. The designer was sent a holographic representation of Asaerin and he set out to make this private collection something to be talked about. He took various antique military uniforms from the history books that spanned the Cossec’s history from the time they were a people of Mandalore to the last century. The lights were dimmed at the party. “What is going on?” Asaerin asked. “You will see my boy”, the Chancellor said. Then the music started, it was a modern and faster version of the Federal Anthem, and then small spotlights shown on the end of the hall as male models came out in the coolest outfits Asaerin had seen. When the show was over the designer came out and announced this collection was designed for Asaerin’s trip. Asaerin was floored at this gift. “This is the best gift I could have received! Thank you!” and he hugged the old man. “Well son, it was Kaneth’s idea actually, but I am glad you liked it”, The Chancellor said. “Kaneth! How in the world would you know what to get me that I would go crazy over?” Asaerin asked. “Hmm let me see, you have two whole rooms of crap you hardly wear and some of that crap has even crept into my closet!” Kaneth said laughing. “Well, thank you both, it is wonderful!”, Asaerin said smiling.
Asaerin had went over possible places to go on his trip that evening with the Chancellor and Kaneth after supper and the list still needed to be trimmed a bit, from twenty five locations down to fifteen. Asaerin did not sleep in his own room and never had really, he slept with Kaneth his lover, everyone knew this. Intimacy between males was not uncommon and was accepted, the same goes for two females in the Cossec Culture. The two were talking again about the trip again. Asaerin had talked about it so much, Kaneth that Kaneth had become excited about it as well. “I think you are interested in showing the Valliant off more than anything” Asaerin said.
That night the Chancellor Kaneth Nichoz V of the Cossec Federation died peacefully in his sleep. The Federal Jacks were lowered to half-mast and “Long Live the Chancellor” was played over the Federal Network. Asaerin was upset, but considered that the man he considered his grandfather was 108 years old, it was a blessing that they had him that long. “He lived a long and eventful life,” Asaerin said to Kaneth. “Yes he did, I hope you and I live that long” Kaneth said.
It was cold the day of the funeral; he could see his breath upon the air in front of himself. It was mid afternoon in winter, there was a light snow on the ground and a mild breeze in the air. Asaerin remembered that Kaneth was going to be crowned Chancellor in exactly two days. It was tradition that the ascension by the heir was to take place exactly four days following the death of the Chancellor. The High Priest finished reciting the long Prayer of Passing from the Holy Book and began exemplifying the accomplishments of the late Chancellor to the masses gathered before the tomb.
Asaerin looked around at the thousands of citizens that have gathered to honor and mourn the passing of the Chancellor. The long pipes began to play as the tomb of Chancellor Kaneth the Fifth was closed; fighters flew slow and low overhead. Kaneth had his hand on Asaerin’s shoulder. “The last few weeks I missed spending time with him, I wished now I had tried harder to make the time”, Kaneth said. “He knew you loved, respected and wanted to make him proud. He also knew you were very busy and was very pleased with your accomplishments.” Asaerin replied. “He was a military man in his younger days and was very proud of you", Asaerin said as he and Kaneth walked down the steps to the shuttle, greeting and acknowledging Kaneth's extended family, officials and dignitaries, some all the way from the capital of the Galactic Republic, Coruscant.
The two climbed into the shuttle. Asaerin leaned in and put his head on Kaneth’s chest, Kaneth pulled him close and kissed Asaerin on the head. Kaneth let out a sigh, “It’s just the two of us now, and I am twenty three and you are twenty, we are going to need to help each other.
The shuttle landed at the palace. Asaerin was looking at the gardens that the Chancellor had help tend, the Federal Jack was blowing the breeze half-mast, the beauty of the winter scene made Asaerin contemplate the loss again. He was proud of being Cossec, though a people with their shortcomings, they were a people true of heart. He would miss this man that was like a grandfather to him; he embodied what it meant to be Cossec.

3

Asaerin and Kaneth made their way into the palace greeted by the servants and serving droids ushering them indoors, taking their coats and making a fuss over the “boys” as they have always done since they were little. Asaerin sipped on the hot cocoa that the housekeeper droid SE2 handed him. “I am tired, I am going to go lay down,” Asaerin told the droid. “Yes Your Highness, please ring if you need anything, I will have the chef make you and Master Kaneth dinner whenever your ready”, the droid answered. SE2, had looked after the boys for years, he called Asaerin Your Highness, though he was not a blood relative of the royal family. Asaerin got to his room and got undressed, leaving just his long underwear on, he took another sip of his cocoa and went through the door into Kaneth’s room. Kaneth was already lying down; he pulled the covers back for Asaerin. Asaerin got into bed and Kaneth pulled the covers back over them. He put his arm over Asaerin, pulling him close and kissing the back of his head, they fell asleep.
Asaerin awoke the next morning and Kaneth had gotten up already and was in uniform, sitting in a chair, looking out the window. Kaneth was a very attractive man, tall, 6’ 5” well built, hairy chest and legs, chiseled features, black hair, blue eyes and a little goatee. Asaerin was tall himself, at 6’, sky blue eyes, striking face, sculpted build, shoulder length blond hair, porcelain skin with just a little puff of hir there and there. Asaerin was lying on the bed looking at Kaneth. He turned and saw Asaerin looking at him. “You're awake”, Kaneth said. “Yes, I am awake and was just looking at you” Asaerin said. “I have just been sitting here thinking” Kaneth said. Looking at Asaerin lying there is bed, he was a lucky man to have someone so beautiful love him the way Asaerin does, and he felt the same way. “I am going to see the Senate today, there are things to discuss and I would like you to be there with me” Kaneth said. “So, get dressed please” Kaneth continued. “I’ll wear something conservative” Asaerin said. “Oh, I am sure of that”, Kaneth said sarcastically to Asaerin. Asaerin got up and started for his room. “Hey, come here”, Kaneth said, grabbing Asaerin and pulling him close. “I love you so much, whatever happens, I am doing this for us” Kaneth said. “What does that mean Kaneth?” Asaerin said. “Just keep your mouth closed in the Senate Chamber, you are there for support and to be my trophy lover, that’s all, ok?” Kaneth finished. “Ok, but”, Asaerin started “No buts”, Kaneth said. “Get dressed”, Kaneth said.
Asaerin picked one of the coolest suits the designer had made. It was a gray stretch woolen military suit, which the longer coat that belted in the front with a shiny black belt; the jacket and pants had a wide black stripe down the side. He put on the tall shiny black pull on military boots with thick soles. And a black woolen coat with a black yak fur collar, a black yak fur hat and lastly a black woolen scarf. Then headed back into Kaneth’s room, “Is this good Kaneth?” Asaerin asked. “Perfect Asaerin, you look perfect” Kaneth answered. Kaneth put on his long coat, grabbed his case and the two headed downstairs and the housekeeper handed them each a bottle of ever-warm coffee. Asaerin put on the large sunglasses that were in the coat pocket from the designer. The transport was on the lading pad, the federal guards stood at attention as the door slid open and the two got it. “I’m nervous, I have not been into he Senate Chamber since I was little, that was just a tour and it was empty” Asaerin said. “Don’t be nervous, I am technically the Chancellor and you are my lover”, Kaneth said. The transport landed at the Capital Building. Guards opened the door and Chancellor Kaneth and Asaerin got out. Guards were standing at attention as the two entered the complex.
“I have made a list of responsibilities and powers that I am giving back to the Senate, these changes are in effect until I make the determination otherwise or in the event of wartime” Kaneth continued. “This list is sweeping your Excellency, we would have to elect a Prime Minister to run the Federation from day to day”, The Senate Leader said. “You would be more of a figurehead then, is that you are saying you want?” The Senate Leader continued. “Yes, that is what I want”, Kaneth answered. The Senate was surprised and quite pleased by the changes. When the long meeting was over the two returned home to the palace. “Tomorrow is the transfer of power, Asaerin and then we can get back to finishing plans for the trip,” Kaneth said. “The trip, you mean we are still going?” Asaerin asked surprised at hearing it. “Yes, we are still going, we need to get away for a while” Kaneth said.

4

The following day Kaneth was placed as Chancellor of the Cossec Federation, though mostly a symbolic title now. The Senate presented him to numerous nobles, government officials and dignitaries from various alien civilizations after the ceremony, including a Jedi Consular from Coruscant. “Your Excellency, you look almost Imperious in your current attire”, Asaerin whispered to Kaneth who was standing by his side. Kaneth answered whispering. “You’re looking rather regal yourself.”
The two were introduced to the Jedi Consular Hinda Klen, the Jedi said, “The Republic is sorry for your loss of Chancellor Nichoz, we hope that the progress made in the negotiations for the Cossec Federation to join the Republic will continue with you, Your Excellency. There are also matters that I would like to discuss with you personally on my next visit.” Asaerin had never met a Jedi, but the Jedi looked directly at him, making a curious face said, “Well young man, you  may also be of particular interest to the Jedi Order. We should arrange a meeting also when I return.” Asaerin confused agreed politely and nodded at the Jedi.
When the long festivities were over the two were finally free to return to the palace and rest. Asaerin couldn’t sleep and asked, “What do you know of this Jedi Order that this Jedi Consular Hinda Klen was speaking of?” Kaneth replied, “They are group that keeps the peace in the Galactic Republic.” Asaerin said, “I suppose they are like a police force, why in the world would he think we would be interested in that?”
   Within a week Kaneth had made arrangements for the trip and they would be leaving the following day. “Are you nervous Asaerin?” Kaneth asked. “Slightly, for I don’t recall going off world except to some of the other colonies”, Asaerin answered. “But, I am excited, I feel that we have been trapped here for so long.” Kaneth answered, “Well, we are not trapped any longer.” The two disembarked the shuttle and were met by the Captain and the crew in an official ceremony welcoming the Chancellor and his partner aboard. This Captain Garren was very attractive Asaerin thought to himself, “Welcome aboard the CFF Valliant Your Majesty”, Captain Garren said. “Thank you Captain Garren”, Kaneth said. The two were shown to their quarters. Asaerin thought to himself that they were very sparse, but it was to be expected, as this was a military vessel. Being that the ship was new, Asaerin figured that he was the first person to stay in these quarters, not that he would be sleeping in them.
Within minutes of the arrival of Kaneth and Asaerin, the CFF Valliant left orbit, the large ship set its course for Coruscant and entered hyperspace. The trip through hyperspace lasted three days and when they finally reached Coruscant, Asaerin and Kaneth disembarked the Valliant on a shuttle and were flown to the surface. Asaerin and Kaneth could not believe the sight, for the Republic Capital City, was enormous. There were skyscrapers as far as the eye could see. “Kaneth this is unreal, the city is so vast, I had no idea”, Asaerin said. “Neither did I, it is most impressive”, Kaneth answered. A Foreign Affairs Liason met them at the hotel. They were informed that a security detail had been attached to them and that it was only for their protection. If anything was to happen to the Chancellor of a foreign government or any of his party, it would be an intergalactic mishap and an embarrassment to the Galactic Republic. The government had tours, receptions and meetings scheduled for the two dignitaries, but tonight was open for Kaneth and Asaerin to rest after the trip.

5

Asaerin was looking at holonet, listing every form of entertainment on Coruscant. “Its amazing what the have on Coruscant, Kaneth. Cossec Prime has nothing to do and they have it all here” Asaerin said. “I can see that, the city is huge with lots of things. What have you found of interest?", Kaneth asked. "They have things called nightclubs, they are like our cantinas and pubs, but larger and they have dancing", Asaerin said. “That sounds interesting, find a good one and we will go there”, Kaneth said with a light yawn. “No yawning”, Asaerin said, smiling at Kaneth. “There are tons of nightclubs geared for various tastes. Here is a perfect one, The Dark Trooper!” Chancellor Kaneth asked with peaked interest, “Dark Trooper? Get the address.” Asaerin said, “I want to go without their entire Security Force with us.” Kaneth said, “Me too.” Asaerin walked to the hotel room door. And whispered “Come in men”. The Cossec Federal Guards came in the room. “What are your names?” One answered, “My name is Guard First Grade Hamzen, Your Excellency.” The second answered, “My name is Guard First Grade Koric, Your Majesty.” Asaerin said, “Listen you two, we are going to go out for the evening and have a little fun. But we do not want to be escorted all night by the Coruscant Security Force, it just won’t be fun. Got it?” “Yes, got it”, the two said in unison. “How do we four get out of here without being seen?” Asaerin asked. “There is a landing pad to the left from the hotel room door”, Koric said. “The Security Force is at the elevator around the corner.” “Then we need to head to the landing pad for a transport” Chancellor Kaneth said.
The guards opened the door and they looked around the corner and there was no one. The four left the room and headed left down the hall to the landing pad. Fortunately transports land on the pads when someone steps onto them. “Please state your destination,” the droid said. “The Dark Trooper” Asaerin said. “Certainly” the droid said and the transport flew away from the hotel. The transport landed at the The Dark Trooper, the droid said, “Please place your hand on the pad for payment”. Kaneth said, “Ok, lets try this” and placed his hand on the pad. The computer voice said, “Search in progress, please wait.” Then the computer voice said, “Chancellor Kaneth of the Cossec Federation, please accept this fare as our welcome to you to Coruscant. All other fares you wish to take will be free of charge as well, Thank you and please enjoy your stay.” The door of the transport opened and they got out. And there the four stood in front of the nightclub, two guards in Federal Guard dress uniform, complete with tall fur hat, Chancellor Kaneth in Commander’s uniform with coat and hat and Asaerin in his black stretch military uniform, with a coat of blue and black whale fur and matching tall fur hat.
There was a very long line into the club that stretched down the skywalk and it was very cold outside, they began to think this wasn’t such a good idea after all. The people in the line were as Asaerin had never seen before and of many species, dressed in all sorts of outfits, some were shiny and skintight looked like rubber, all sorts of colors. “Lets see if we can go get in”, Asaerin said, “It’s cold in this city.” “In that coat and hat?” Kaneth asked. “Yes, it is, Asaerin looked over the guard rails, no wonder we are at least a mile up, nothing this high on Cossec”, Asaerin smiling at Kaneth.
The four walked up to the door and there were three big men and a large droid, letting people in as people went out. Guard Koric said “Hello Sir, This is Chancellor Kaneth of the Cossec Federation. We would like to get into your establishment. But, the line is quite long.” The man just looked at Koric and said “Yeah, sure.” But the man just stood there, not letting them in. Then the Chancellor pulled out his Identification and handed it to the man and Asaerin did the same. The man sighed, believing them to be fakes and handed the Chancellor a hand pad for payment. Kaneth placed his hand on the pad, just looking at Asaerin, the look said, if I didn’t love you we would not be here. Then there was another man moving the others out of the way saying, “Your Majesty, please forgive the wait, please come in out of the cold. I am the manager Liticin; drinks are free for your party for the night. Let me know if you or your party needs anything!” The man was looking at the doormen mouthing something and making faces, the large droid finally said, “Sorry for your wait.” Kaneth said to the manager, “It’s not a problem, we see your establishment is very busy.” They went inside and the nightclub was actually huge inside and packed with humans and aliens of many races. The music was pounding, people were all over dancing and some were stripping off their clothes. Asaerin’s smile was huge and seeing Asaerin’s smile Kaneth smiled as well. “We need to check our coats and hats”, Kaneth said. They walked over to the coat counter and checked their coats; the coat checker that was helping them said looking at Asaerin’s coat, “Is this a real Volushe? And oh my Gods, it’s the matching hat.” Then the checker looked at Kaneth and Asaerin and with two fingers pointed and said, “You two are fabulous together.” The protocol droid standing behind the counter added, “Indeed.”
They walked further into the club. “Let’s get drinks!’ Asaerin yelled, as the music was loud. The two guards were actually standing guard, and at attention. The four got up to the bar after a few minutes and the bartender said, “What will it be?” “I’ll have an ale” Kaneth said, and then looked at Asaerin, “Surprise me” Asaerin said to the bartender. Then the bartender looked at the two guards, “Nothing for us”. The Chancellor said, “Go ahead, and consider yourselves off duty.” “Give them what I am having”, Asaerin said. The bartender returned with ale in a glass and three glasses filled with a blue drink that had fog floating over the liquid. “To the Federation!” Asaerin said and began to drink. The Chancellor finished his ale and ordered another. The guards and Asaerin were drinking the blue drink down quickly, “It’s good isn’t it?” “Yes, Your Excellency it is, whatever it is” they all laughed. They finished the blue drinks and all ordered another. The next round of drinks arrived and they drank them, talking and laughing at get away from the Security Force. Asaerin and the guards didn’t realize how strong the drinks were and all three of them were getting a little buzz. Kaneth said “You three have had enough for right now” and he finished his ale and ordered another. “It’s hot in here”; Asaerin said and pulled off his suit jacket. The guards pulled off their uniform jackets and Kaneth said, “Take mine too” and he handed them his uniform jacket as well. Asaerin was in just his underwear top now dancing in place, smiling at Kaneth. The guards got back and Kaneth had another ale. “Let’s go dance Kaneth” Asaerin said, the music was pounding.
Kaneth took Asaerin’s hand and they walked through the thick crowd slowly until they got to the dance floor, then they looked up and saw the club was five stories tall and packed with people.

6

Asaerin and Kaneth found a place on the dance floor and started to dance watching the other people to get their rhythm. Kaneth had a good buzz going and as they danced Asaerin kept saying he was hot, so Kaneth unbuttoned Asaerin’s cotton top and Asaerin let it fall to his waist. Guards Hamzen and Koric watched from by the dance floor as their Chancellor and Asaerin danced. The Chancellor yelled over the music, “Get more drinks." The guards looked at each other and walked though the crowd to a bar that was closer and Koric told a bartender droid, “Hey there, we need an three ales and one of the blue drinks with the smoke.” Koric turned to Hamzen and said, “We had better stick with ale, we now what it is.” Hamzen said, “I agree with you there.” The bartender gave them the drinks and handed Koric a hand pad. “Well, see if it works.” And Guard Koric placed his hand on the pad, and then gave the bartender the pad back. “Did it work?” Koric asked the bartender. “Yeah, it worked.” They two guards looked at each other and then headed back to give Kaneth and Asaerin their drinks.
Kaneth handed his uniform shirt and tie to Hamzen. Asaerin and Kaneth got their drinks and continued dancing. Kaneth had unbuttoned the cotton top of his own long underwear and let it fall to his wait as well. People on the dance floor and around the club had removed shirts and much more flesh was showing. Hamzen and Koric were simply amazed at the place. They looked over at Asaerin; he had finished his drink so he handed his glass to Koric. “We need a place like this at home Kaneth, we are way too backwater”, Asaerin yelled smiling. “This place is amazing Asaerin”, Kaneth said loudly, looking at all the people dancing. Hamzen and Koric removed their uniform shirts and stuffed them in the backs of their pants, then undid their tops and let them drop to their waists, Hamzen stuffed both his and Kaneth’s shirts in the back of his pants and Kaneth’s tie into his pocket. The two guards were now dancing shirtless. After a short while the two went and got more drinks for everyone, Asaerin and Kaneth were still dancing and smiling. Hamzen said, pointing at the dancers, “I have never seen anyone dance naked in public before, especially someone the color blue.” Koric thought about it and said, “I could do just as well as them, my body is good enough.” “The old prudes back on Cossec Prime wouldn’t believe us if we told them about this place”, Hamzen said. “You're right there brother”, Koric said.
Earlier that very evening, ships on the edge of the Republic front began recording large movements of vessels entering Republic held territories, the war front now mere light years closer to Coruscant. The enemy ships numbered close to a thousand now, while the Republic forces numbered in at a few hundred. One of the tactical officers at a Republic space station said, “We have multiple contacts sir, a large number ships approaching the Republic Core.” The station commander said, “They are pushing right for Coruscant.” Alerts went up for Coruscant. But there was little time to prepare, half of the Sith fleet had made a hyperspace jump and appeared within the heart of the Galactic Republic, near to Coruscant. On Coruscant, planetary defense systems were initialized, a communications officer announced, as screens brought up the ships entering the solar system. “Sir, they have entered local space and are launching fighters!”
Kaneth’s communicator was beeping and buzzing in his pocket, but he could not hear nor feel it with the music. Captain Garren could wait no longer, for they had to leave orbit soon the invasion force was jumping in steps, hundreds of large warships would be jumping into orbit of Coruscant at any moment. “Contact Coruscant and tell them we are sending a force down to recover the Chancellor and Asaerin!” Captain Garren said loudly and nodded at the soldiers. They had the location of the Chancellor’s communicator and were headed to the surface to retrieve him.

7

The military transport entered the atmosphere at full speed and raced down to the city below. The Marines on board had to get Chancellor Kaneth and Asaerin back to the Valliant and they had mere minutes to do it. The large transport landed in the pedestrian causeway in front of the Dark Trooper and the Marines armed with pulse rifles disembarked the transport. The commander was yelling orders, as the pedestrians just watched, a huge crowd gathered around them. The commander and ten Marines went to the club doors and made their way forcibly in. The commander just looked around at the inside of the club, there were thousands of people in there, could he find the Chancellor? He walked up to a bartender droid and yelled, “Stop the music or I will do it myself!” The music stopped and the club was much quieter the patrons were yelling about the music being stopped when the commander yelled, “Chancellor Kaneth! Chancellor Kaneth!” Kaneth, Asaerin and the two guards heard the commander calling and made their way to through the crowd to the Marines. “What’s going on here Commander?” Kaneth questioned. He had not finished his sentence before the he and Asaerin were being grabbed and pulled from the club. “No time to explain Chancellor, we have to get you and your partner back to the ship now”, the commander said loudly as they were placed on the transport. “Go, now!”, the commander yelled at the pilot. The transport took off full speed into the sky and raced back to the Valliant. “What is going on commander?” Kaneth demanded. “Your Excellency there is a Sith invasion”, the commander answered. “An invasion where?” Chancellor Kaneth asked. “Everywhere in this part of the Republic, the front lines with their war with these Sith have collapsed back to Coruscant,” commander answered. “What of the Federation?” Kaneth demanded in a panic. “We do not know yet, our central command went on high alert about an hour ago on news of the battle, since then we have lost all communications with Cossec Prime. We believe the Sith are jamming long range communications.” Asaerin was in a state of shock, just sitting there breathing, he said,“ I didn’t know the Republic was at war.” Chancellor Kaneth said, “Asaerin, they have been at war with the Sith for a while. When we get back to the ships we will leave orbit and head back to Cossec Space, we have no quarrel with these Sith, at least not yet. The commander said,” We know they have hundreds of large warships, I hope we can make it through.”

8

The transport landed on the Valliant and everyone raced to the bridge. As Chancellor Kaneth and Asaerin arrived on the bridge the Valliant was turning to enter hyperspace. Then the space around Coruscant filled with the enormous warships. “Evasive maneuvers!” Captain Garren yelled, and the Valliant turned hard to starboard to avoid collision with one of them. Fighters raced from the surface of Coruscant firing upon the warships as thousands of fighters were launched from the warships to meet them. The scene was surreal, Asaerin watched as the Chancellor yelled, “To Hell with it, target the closest warship and fire cannons!” “Aye, aye”, said the officer at tactical. And then the new cruiser CFF Valliant fired her plasma cannons, the barrage hit the closest warship broadside, large explosions plumed from the blast. “Again!” Chancellor Kaneth yelled. The second volley had the same effect and everyone watched as the Republic fighters and cruisers that had arrived fought a losing battle with the Sith Fleet.
A group of fighters had broken off and had begun attacking the Valliant. “They are firing on us!” the tactical officer yelled. “Get us out of here, resume course for the Cossec!” Chancellor Kaneth yelled. But at that moment the large warship to port opened fire on the Valliant, the volley ripped through the Valliant’s armor plating and into her superstructure.  Main power was lost and then, a second volley was fired and the section behind the bridge was hit, explosions and fire ripped through the bulkhead, throwing everyone forward, killing and injuring most of the bridge crew and destroying the pilot droid. Kaneth had thrown himself onto Asaerin as he saw the volley approaching and they had landed in the section of the bridge a few steps below. Asaerin turned Kaneth over, “Kaneth! Kaneth! Dear Gods please be alright!” he yelled. “Get the ship out of here Asaerin”, Kaneth managed to say.
Asaerin stood and went over to the helm, in panic he saw the helm was damaged and the coordinates were gone. He pushed the destroyed droid chassis out of the way, looking at the blank console. “Computer, set a course out of here and jump!” he yelled. “Please state hyperspace coordinates”, the computer said but the voice was slow and the computer seemed damaged. “Anywhere, just set a destination out of the battle and go!” Asaerin yelled. The computer selected a system out of the battle zone and the hyper drive began to engage. He watched as a third volley hit the Valliant as it was about to enter hyperspace. Damaging the main computer and the hyperspace core. The cruiser Valliant was crippled and began to list.

9

The third volley from the alien warships had injured Asaerin critically, throwing him into a bulkhead and causing massive internal injuries. Asaerin came to hours later and was able to stand in spite of the severe pain, his head was bleeding and though he did not know, he was bleeding internally. Asaerin made his way over to Kaneth, who was still unconscious, but breathing. Asaerin dared not to move him without knowing his injuries. Asaerin said, “Is anyone else alive?” There was no response, so Asaerin checked the other bridge crew, two were alive, including Captain Garren, but neither would respond. Asaerin said, “Computer”, there was no response. He had to help Kaneth and the other two that were alive; there must be a medical kit here on the bridge. Asaerin knew a medical kit would not have sufficient supplies to treat their injuries.
The internal fire suppression systems finally, even under low power had exhausted most of the flames. But, not all of the hull breaches were sealed, as there was insufficient main power for the force fields to be erected in some sections. Asaerin walked through the destroyed section behind the bridge, and found it was exposed to space. “Dear Gods, what do I do?” Asaerin whispered out loud, watching the huge ships orbiting Coruscant. Asaerin went back onto the bridge and checked the consoles to see if any worked. The explosion fried them all and the screens were blank.
There was a floor hatch, so he decided to try to make it down to the medical facility. Asaerin opened the floor hatch and climbed down the ladder. The next deck was exposed to space as well, but one of the doors in it opened. Asaerin took the door to the right and found that this section of the ship had been gutted by fire and there were bodies. Asaerin vomited and blood poured from his mouth, then his nose. He was in so much pain that his eyes were blurring and he felt that he would pass out. He could not, he had to go on he told himself. He walked through the burned area of the ship, passing dead crew and destroyed medical droids, and then he got to another door at the end of a long hall. He hit the burned open button, it didn’t work, but he hit it again and the door opened, it was the medical bay. Asaerin walked over to a medical droid station and it said, “Automated medical system 2405 engaged. Please stand perfectly still. You will be scanned for a diagnosis. You have sustained multiple injuries, you must be treated immediately. Please prepare to be sedated.” Asaerin quickly said, “You must treat the Chancellor first, he is gravely injured and on the bridge!” Before Asaerin could say more, an automated arm quickly delivered a sedative and Asaerin was quickly unconscious. Asaerin awoke, right after the surgeries and the computer said, “ Your surgeries were successful, however there are no medical droids responding. Chancellor Kaneth is still in need of medical treatment on the bridge.” Asaerin answered, still sore from the surgeries, “The medical droids were destroyed in the fires I believe. I will bring Chancellor Kaneth down.”
Asaerin managed to bring Kaneth down to the medical bay. The computer scanned Kaneth and he was given pain killers and automated arms placed him on a table. “Will the Chancellor be alright?” Asaerin asked the computer. “It is the duty of this system that every measure is taken to ensure all proper treatments are administered.” Asaerin said, “Please save him, for he is my life.”

10

Asaerin brought the other two down as well, now his pain was back and unbearable, he passed out on the floor. Asaerin awoke and he was lying in a medical bed. He looked up and Kaneth was standing above him, “Kaneth, Kaneth you are ok”, Asaerin said as tears filled his eyes. “Thanks to you Asaerin for you not only saved me but Captain Garren and Ensign Kentis”, Kaneth said, running his fingers through Asaerin’s hair. “So we have no way of knowing our situation is?” Captain Garren asked. “We had set a course for Cossec space before the battle, but I am not sure that the hyperdrive could get us out of here now”, Ensign Kentis said. Kaneth said, “We need more information on what is going on out there, we need to contact the Republic Command or anyone for that matter.”
The ship rumbled beneath their feet and the sound of decompression could be heard. The force fields were failing all over the ship, venting precious atmosphere. “Shut the door!” Captain Garren yelled as the air was being drawn from the room. Asaerin said, “I am sorry I could not get the ship to enter hyperspace fast enough.” Captain Garren said, “Don’t apologize for anything, we were unprepared for this.”
There were Republic cruisers and fighters floating nearby, damaged as baldly or worse that the Valliant. “I suppose we will see what the Sith to do with us soon”, Chancellor Kaneth said. And as he said that a ship docked with the Valliant and took Asaerin, Kaneth and the surviving crew to a Sith Cruiser.
They were taken together, along with more of the crew that survived. They were now in a very long black hangar with large overhead lights, filled with more crews from the Republic ships. Large holographic monitors were above them along the walls with readouts Asaerin could not make out. Asaerin stood closer to Kaneth, for Kaneth was the rock in his life. “Whatever happens, stay with me, do not get separated or let them separate you from me. Do you understand Asaerin?” Kaneth asked. “Yes, I understand”, Asaerin answered. “We are aboard one of their ships, if they had intended to kill us all they would have done so already”, Captain Garren said “We have no weapons, we are helpless to defend ourselves”, one of the Marines said. Asaerin wondered where the guards that they had been at the nightclub with were, probably dead he thought, it saddened him even more. Armed troops entered the room, some were in black armor and others in Silver armor. The officers were in black uniforms accompanied by tall black droids. A tall young man stood in front of the others that were closest and said; “You are all prisoners of war of the Sith Empire for the time being. However, you will be taken down to Coruscant while the Republic prepares to surrender, for we have no interest in detaining you.”
When they reached the surface and were released Kaneth looked up at the ships flying over head, there were many cargo and passenger ships arriving and departing despite the battle fought just this day. Kaneth figured the Republic had officially surrendered by now and a treaty was most likely being debated. He had to make contact with Cossec see if there had been an attack on it. Locating a Holonet, he contacted the Federal Naval Command. Though Cossec had received news of the surrender, no hostile ships had entered their systems and things were relatively normal there despite apprehension over the surrender of the Republic. The Valliant was in bad shape and would have to be towed back to Cossec Space. A ship was being prepped for dispatch and should be arriving at Coruscant in a few days from the Federation to retrieve the Chancellor, the Valliant and her crew.

11

Asaerin and Kaneth were taken to an apartment in a high rise on Coruscant and the government representative that had brought them here said, “This will be your home as long as you two remain on Coruscant, however there is still so much to see and do here on Coruscant despite the war. The holonet terminal can access anything, games, news, occupational opportunities, the list is endless.” Kaneth said, “Thank you for you help.” The government representative nodded and said, “If you need anything contact Republic Command.” The government representative then dismissed herself, leaving the two alone again.
Asaerin was looking out across the city, “There is quite a bit of damage from the bombardment.” Kaneth asked Asaerin, “Do you want to talk about what has happened now that it is just the two of us?” Asaerin answered, “No, I don’t want to think about it. I have you here, that’s all I need.” Kaneth nodded, “You’re right, there is no sense on dwelling on the situation until we are able to leave then we can focus on it then.” Kaneth turned to the side and looked at Asaerin, he was staring out at the city, “We will to start the galactic tour over again,” Asaerin laughed then looked at Kaneth, “I am so sorry the Valliant was so badly damaged and so many crew members were lost.” Kaneth said, “It’s just a ship, and the crew were doing what they signed up to do, a heavy loss none the less though, but atleast we are safe.”
The two got much needed rest that night and the next morning they received a visit from Jedi Consular Hinda Klen. The Jedi sat the two down and explained the Force, “The Force is a supernatural, cohesive, and omnipresent power that flows through all living creatures. Beings that are in tune to the force whether they realize it or not are called force-sensitive.” The two didn’t follow the Jedi, but he continued, “You two are particularly force-sensitive. It is what I had wanted to discuss with you at some point in the future. Things have changed however, the Republic has just signed the Treaty of Coruscant, a peace treaty with the Sith Empire, came at a heavy cost to the Jedi Order, we lost many of our own.” Asaerin looked at Kaneth who said, “So you are saying we, Asaerin and I are force sensitive, what does this entail?” The Jedi continued, “Before the War, Jedi training started when the individual is very young, many times we can identify force-sensitives in their infancy. But, we need more Jedi, you two have a good connection with the force. I’d like you to accompany me to the temple and I can show you what I mean.” Asaerin and Kaneth agreed to go with Hinda Klen to the Jedi Temple.
The damage to the temple was great, the Jedi Order had lost quite a few of the most powerful Jedi and some of the Jedi Council. Jedi Consular Hinda Klen told the two that they would meet with various other Jedi to discuss what being a Jedi would be like and how it could or would change their lives. As the two watched a holovid of the history of the Jedi Order, they began to truly understand what a Jedi was, it was much more than being a ‘policeman’ as they had previously thought. “This is very exciting don’t you think Kaneth?”, Asaerin asked. Asaerin was very impressed with the roles that Jedi can fill, warrior, diplomat, healer and many more. Asaerin also considered about how the space battle they had went through the previous day had show him how shallow he had been in his life. His concerns had been with clothing and material things. Then the battle and almost losing Kaneth brought him a whole new focus. “Yes, it is exciting, I am impressed with the discipline one can attain with the force, the order you can achieve in your life”, Kaneth answered. After the holovids, they were greeted by two Jedi Masters, one was Ikil Yoi and the other was Ghenis Joilen. The Jedi Masters explained that they would like to meditate with Asaerin and Kaneth.

12

Asaerin and Ikil Yoi, went into a smaller room in the temple, Ikil Yoi explained that the meditation would give the Jedi time to look at him from the perspective of the force. “I understand Master Jedi”, Asaerin said. “Good, then young Asaerin, kneel and face me”, Master Yoi said. The two knelt facing each other, the Jedi walked Asaerin through the meditation process and before long he was able to enter a meditative state. The Jedi Master was able to see the force residing in Asaerin, he was pleased to sense Asaerin was a fair minded and compassionate individual. Yet there was an attachment, a strong bond to his lover that could hinder him as a Jedi.
Kaneth’s experience with Master Ghenis Joilen was extraordinary. The two entered the meditation and the Jedi Master was able to see the warrior that Kaneth truly was, strong and honorable. With the right guidance Kaneth would be a strong Jedi, however the bond between the two lovers surfaced during the meditation with Master Ghenis Joilen as well.
“How did yours go?”, Kaneth asked. “I think it went well and yours”, Asaerin asked in return. “It went fine, I rather enjoyed the experience”, Kaneth replied. “So, what do you think Kaneth? Is this something you would be interested in? It is vastly different than what we are accustomed to. But, sometimes change is good and what they do is impressive. It is like a spiritual military.” Kaneth looked at Asaerin and smiled, “You are right, that is what it seems like to me and yet I like the idea.” Asaerin said, “You know what? I do as well.” Kaneth said, “You do realize that they wear robes and do not have many material possessions?” Asaerin laughed, “So, you know me well, I am materialistic and shallow, but it changed for me on the ship when I was trying to do what I could to help. I would give everything I have away if I could bring back those we lost up there.” Kaneth pulled Asaerin in close, their foreheads touching and said, “I know, I know.” The two stood there considering everything, their life together and where their paths will lead them.
Jedi Consular Hinda Klen walked up and said, “The remaining members Jedi Council has listened to what we had say about you two. There are concerns, but the decision was made to offer you two the opportunity to join the Jedi Order.” The two looked at each other and Kaneth said, “I know you would be giving up a lot in your lives, you being the Chancellor of a star system Kaneth and Asaerin, you are still young and you may not know exactly what you would like to do. But, I can tell you this, this is an opportunity for you two to do something I think would be life altering for you both, in a very positive way. You both have great potential with us, if that were not true I would have never said anything about it.” The two looked at each other again and Asaerin nodded to Kaneth. The older of the two looked at Jedi Consular and said, “We will do it.” Jedi Consular Hinda Klen smiled at the two, “Well, I will go let the council know. I will be back shortly.” Kaneth said to Consular Klen, “I will contact Cossec and let them know. My last official act as Chancellor will be to recommend Cossec join the Galactic Republic.” The Jedi looked at Kaneth and said, “That would be one final act as Chancellor that would benefit both Cossec and the Republic greatly. Thank you, Excellency.” Cossec joined the Republic a short time after.

13

The two began their Jedi training shortly after with the relocated Jedi on Tython. Kaneth quickly becoming a Knight with Asaerin following as an excellent Padawan. Asaerin’s Jedi training did not go as quickly as Kaneth’s, however he was knighted two years after his lover. The two Knights turned out to be quite the duo. Having had a number of exciting adventures from the Jedi Temple on Tython. They had been following various leads from smugglers and traders from around the Outer Rim that reported that a Sith Lord and an Apprentice were searching for a specific Sith Holocron. “It could be anywhere Kaneth, why would these two think they could find it so easily?”, Asaerin Asked. “Because they are Sith my love and they believe they will find it. From what the last trader said, there was a Sith Holocron recovered by a salvager from one of the Sith Cruiser Debris.” Asaerin replied, “I would imagine there were a number of Sith Holocrons recovered in the massive amounts of debris left after the war.” Kaneth sighed, “That is highly unlikely Asaerin, the Sith prize holocrons the way we do, many contain the most intimate knowledge of the Sith teachings. I am sure there were very few, if any, left un-recovered after the war.” The next lead took the two to the planet Telos IV a world still recovering from previous wars.
“Our next contact is Jaf Dorohe at the Thani Spaceport”, Kaneth said, reminding Asaerin. “He is the smuggler right?” Asaerin asked. “No, he is a salvager.” Asaerin replied, “We have followed quite a few leads, I am starting to get our smugglers, salvagers, information brokers and traders mixed up.” Kaneth laughed and then said, “Just try to keep them straight a little longer, hopefully we will be finished with the investigation soon. If we do find the Sith, do not engage them, they will be far too dangerous. We are here to track them and then, when we have backup we can attempt to apprehend them.” The Thani Spaceport was quite large, line after line of warehouses and landing pads. The two Jedi took the tram down the row of warehouses that had the number they were given. They arrived at the correct number and went inside. To their dismay they found Jaf Dorohe dead on the floor. “He has been killed recently Asaerin, be on your guard. They could still be here if they haven’t found what they were looking for”, Kaneth whispered.
Asaerin was quite unnerved by the prospect that they would actually find the Sith. “Ok, what now?”, Asaerin whispered back. “We can check out the warehouse, then I alert the Jedi Council of our findings here”, Kaneth replied. “Do not engage them”, Kaneth repeated. Asaerin looked at him and whispered, “Are you joking, I do not plan on engaging them, I am not sure I want to go in there looking for them.” Kaneth then motioned forward, further into the warehouse and said “If they didn’t find the holocron, it probably isn’t here. Keep a lookout for opened storage lockers.”
The two headed down the main aisles, that then split into many smaller aisles. Asaerin thought to himself this was going to be a maze. All of the lockers were cut open, it was the work of lightsabers. The two moved quietly down the aisles, Asaerin was careful not to lose sight of Kaneth for very long. Asaerin then came upon lockers that were not opened, “They have either found the holocron they were looking for or are still here”, Asaerin whispered out loud. He turned to look for Kaneth. As he turned back, there was the Sith Lord standing in front of him. The Sith said, "Still here.” His lightsaber was on in an instant and the red blade impaled Asaerin and he fell to the ground. “Asaerin!” Kaneth yelled, running back around the corner. The Sith Apprentice stood in his path, lightsaber drawn, glowing red. Kaneth killed the Apprentice in an instant, desperate to get to Asaerin. He rounded the corner, lightsaber glowing blue, there was the Sith Lord standing waiting at the end of the row, by the body of his lover. The two yelled and ran at each other, Kaneth in a rage. They met half way, lightsabers clashing, they fought a long fierce battle. Both were masters of the blade and in the end, they both met their fates by the blade. The Sith Lord fell to the ground dead, Kaneth walked over to where Asaerin lay mortally wounded. He pulled Asaerin up close and with his dying breath said, “I love you so much, I should have married you", then Kaneth died. Asaerin placed his fingers on Kaneth's lips and whispered, “I love you too.” Asaerin pulled the little dicta-pod out of his pocket and said, “Compose.” Asaerin died soon after, still holding Kaneth in his arms. The story ended.
Aarik sat there in his room saddened by the story. He thought of Taedron, they shared something in common with these two Jedi. He walked over to the temple to see his Master. He found Taedron alone in one of the training rooms. Aarik walked over to him and put his arms around him. “I figured it would affect you this way, I was hesitant to give it to you after the way you felt seeing the Sith in the Oubliette last week”, Taedron said concerned. “But, I am glad you did, their story touched me and I will carry it with me for the rest of my life”, Aarik replied.
The End
By sweufan