Campaign of the Month: June 2016

Fate Accelerated: Star Wars: The Infinite Empire

Index of Episodes

This campaign was originally started with Fate Core before we, as a group, decided to migrate it over to Fate Accelerated. The Fate of the Jedi logo will take you to the original Fate Core website for our campaign.

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Click on the banners below to read the full Episode Logs.

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A small band of young Jedi Knights has gone against council edict and attempts to rescue a fellow Jedi, Galen Argyus, and some wookiee slaves from neferious Trandoshan Slavers. Galen informs the companions of a newly discovered crash site that holds ancient artifacts that are suffused with the Dark Side of the Force.


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Infuriated that the crew of the Crucible disobeyed direct orders to save their companion from Trandoshan Slavers, the Jedi Council sends a representative to bring them in for questioning. The confrontation with New Republic soldiers and Grandmaster Veshraan’s most trusted lieutenant erupts into violence on the Wookiee home planet of Kashyyyk.


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Going undercover the Jedi crew of the Crucible travel to The Wheel, a space station with a seedy reputation, where they mingle with a cross section of unsavory collectors who are all bidding for the location of the crashed ship. Mazer Val’Zian is reunited with an old friend who threatens to expose the Jedi for what they are unless they help her.


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Mingling with the other bidders the Jedi make friends and enemies alike all in an effort to ensure that their bid is the one that secures the crash site of the ancient ship. Unfortunately their fellow bidders are willing to resort to any tactics to ensure their own victory in the auction.


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When a Hutt secures his bid for the ancient crash site through treachery there are unexpected developments. Allies turn enemy and the Jedi learn that Imperial Entanglements can be very deadly indeed as they are forced to flee The Wheel while it is under attack from an Imperial Star Destroyer. Would the Empire be willing to risk a war over the location of a crashed ship?


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Sabotage and a hidden tracking device force the Jedi to make a final stop for repairs on Outpost 17 which orbits the planet of the crash site. When they get there they discover that they are being stalked by an old enemy that attacks from the shadows.

End of Fate of the Jedi


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From this point on the characters and rules have been converted to Fate Accelerated and Jadepunk.


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The group of young Jedi visits the storm tossed surface of Durace looking to solve the mystery of Cassandra’s Hope and General Saberota’s past. But what they discover leaves them with more questions than answers and it turns out the Infinite Empire may not be as dead as they hoped.


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After the revelations of Durace the Crucible returns to the Jedi Council with news of the new threat presented by the Infinite Empire. General Saberota submits to study by the Council in light of some troubling questions about the nature of his cybernetics. Meanwhile, controversial Jedi, Galen Argyus, joins the crew and they are confronted by bounty hunters that want to collect the price on his head.


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After Jaden Windu and Cortree Tincove’s discoveries the Crucible makes its way to Dagobah to investigate a former Jedi Grandmaster’s personal effects for clues. They hope to find information that would lead to Tython, the lost birth place of the Jedi Order. Still reeling from the discovery that his long lost sister is actually alive Galen Argyus and his new padawan encounter the Dark Side in a mysterious cave.


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Pursued by a clan of Trandoshan hunters who seek revenge for the raid on their homeworld and for the past deeds of Galen Argyus the Crucible must fight a desperate battle on and above the surface of a swamp world on the Outer Rim. Meanwhile, Jaden Windu and Cortree Tincove discover the Jedi Holocron of Grandmaster Yoda himself providing an important clue to the location of Tython.


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At long last Galen Argyus has finally found his long lost sister. But their reunion is violently cut short by the infamous Mandalorian Huntmaster, Moag Wren. The skill and power of the allies is put to the test by the murderous bounty hunter and his powerful Basilisk war droid.


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After so many innocents were killed during Moag Wren’s assault on Eriadu the Jedi must face the questions of the Republic authorities and the media alike. From there they set off to find the mythic birthplace of the Jedi Order. During their journey they must board a long abandoned Clone Wars Munificent Class star frigate in search of more clues without waking up the dormant droid crew.


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After finally making it to the surface of the fabled birthplace of the Jedi Order the crew of the Crucible discovers that several factions have been warring over possession of the planet for a century. Uncovering the secret history of the planet the Jedi learn of the Legion of Light and their war against Imperial Forces. They are confronted by a platoon of Stormtroopers led by a deadly Imperial Inquisitor.


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The Jedi disguise themselves as Stormtroopers and infiltrate an Imperial base in an attempt to find out what happened to the missing Jedi from Tython. They find a potential ally in a powerful Trandoshan prisoner and must risk it all to secure her release pitting their skills against a deadly dark Jedi who conceals his features behind a fierce mask and yet seems oddly familiar.


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Jaden Windu, Galen Argyus and Cortree Tincove free the Jedi captives on Tython witnessing first hand the horrifying experiments being committed in the tradition of the long lost Infinite Empire. Could Palpatine’s Imperial remnant be in league with forces long thought lost to antiquity? If so can the galaxy withstand the melding of the two most ruthless empires in galactic history? A desperate battle breaks out between forces that many thought were long lost in a battle for the very soul of the ancient birthplace of the Jedi Order itself.


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Gisaku Saberota leads the crew of the Crucible on a rescue mission to stop a runaway Chiss warship from its crash course into Coruscant’s sun. Can the general and his allies reach the Chiss ambassador on board while battling against the ship’s own automated security systems controlled by an elite team of saboteurs? A team that includes an ancient war droid of the The Infinite Empire.


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Episode : 16
GM: Justin

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Part: 1

On the outer edge of the Coruscant star system there is a little known moon in orbit around a gas giant. On that moon, called Vitellius, lies a small and ancient temple built long ago by the Jedi. For centuries they used the moon as a sacred spot for meditation as the spectacle of its tidally locked orbit around the gas giant provided a magnificent and peaceful backdrop. This was especially important during the Clone Wars when so many Jedi found themselves faced with the impossible situation of holding to their Jedi values in the face of a brutal war. Jedi General Saberota himself had visited the moon on two occasions during that seemingly unending conflict and managed to find solace there after grueling campaigns against Seperatist forces on Telos and Lothal. After Palpatine's Empire rose from the ashes of the Old Republic the site had been converted to an early warning outpost because of it's location on the outer edge of the system. It also served as a training facility for the Emperor's most valued spies. Recently the ancient temple had been given back to the Jedi order by Senator Graal Sexton in exchange for the political support of Grand Master Veshraan.

SWFotJFAE_LogPics_1601.pngAfter weeks of being grilled by the Galactic Senate General Saberota found his time spent there in deep meditation invaluable as he struggled to reach the inner peace that had eluded him since he had been revived from his long hibernation. The inquiries of the Senate Subcommittee on the Jedi Order, led by Senator Sexton, had left the cyborg with many questions. Questions that he did not have easy answers for. As he finally achieved his center despite the rasping hiss of his respirator he was interrupted by visitors.

"Galen Argyus, my friend. Welcome to Vitelius," Saberota said without opening his eyes or getting up. "Where is Jaden Windu?"

"Greetings, Master," Galen Argyus said bowing respectfully to the old General. "Jaden was asked to remain on Coruscant to consult with "Master T'ket in the Archives. It seems that there is much to learn from the Temples we found on Tython.

"I had heard you were successful in finding the birthplace of the Jedi. It is all anyone is talking about of late. It is a fine achievement for all Jedi and I want to hear all about it. But first I believe introductions are in order. Who is this at your side?"

"Master, may I present Leoni  Venusia, my new padawan." The Jedi General got up from his crossed legged position at this and bowed to the young padawan. He held the bow, waiting for her to offer her respect in turn. But the young lady was gazing in wonder at the spectacle of the gas giant that the moon orbited through the window.

"Leoni," Galen, aghast, whispered, trying to catch his distracted student's attention.

"LEONI!"

"Wha…? Oh! Sorry, Masters. Puh…please," she stuttered hastily bowing deeply to the general, "I meant no offense, General."

"No offense was taken, young padawan," the General said with a gentle smile. "I recall having a similar reaction my first time here. Although I am sure your master would ask you to be more mindful of your surroundings," he added with a nod to Galen.

"Galen, I see you are carrying a second lightsaber. I hope the pointers I gave you were of service."

"They were indeed, Master. Without your advice I am not sure I ever would have mastered Jar'Kai," Galen said.

"You are an excellent swordsman, young Jedi," said the old general, "I am sure you would have managed just fine on your own. Captain Tincove, it is good to see you as well. I must admit that my cybernetic systems have suffered without your mechanical genius."

"Howdy, General," said the fringer clasping arms with the Jedi. "I reckon I could do some diagnostics for you when you have time."

"Excellent," said the old Jedi with a genuine smile. "And now, Galen, I sense you have some questions for me. Please, I will answer to the best of my ability."

"Yes, Master Saberota. We discovered much on Tython. I hope that you might have some insights," Galen said. The Jedi began explaining what they had found on Tython during it's liberation from Imperial forces with Cortree and Leoni chiming in frequently. They spoke of finding cloning and cybernetics facilities and the horrid experiments that had been committed by the Imperials on the Jedi there. They also revealed that the Empire had managed to successfully clone several Jedi and SIth using the ancient technologies of the Infinite Empire's Rakata. Something that had never been achieved before.

"So clearly, General, the connections between you and the labs on Tython seems likely. So I have to ask, do you remember how you obtained your cybernetics? Or how you ended up in that cryotube?"

"No. I am sorry, Galen," the general said after a moment searching his memory. "All I remember is…pain. And fragments of a conversation between my former padawan and…Master Yoda? I…they spoke of…saving me? From what I do not kn…"

"Aaaaaah!" Cortree Tincove cried out suddenly interrupting the General's train of thought. His hands went to his ears drawing everyone's attention.

"Captain? Are you well?" asked Leoni with concern. The captain of the Crucible hunched over distressed.

"Can't y'all hear that? It's like something is screaming out in pain."

"I don't hear anything," the young woman said uncertainly. "Masters?"

"If Cor is the only one who senses it then I suspect that it must be tech related. His mastery of Mecha-deru makes him more sensitive to tech than almost any Jedi," said Saberota.

"Ahhh. Guh….something is happening. I hear a ship…it…it's crying out in pain. Someone has disrupted its systems. It isn't far from us and it is in great danger." At that moment his comlink began beeping insistently.

"Come," Saberota urged, "We can take the call in the main comms room." The small group quickly made their way down the halls to the comm room and Cortree began working at the main console. Within moments the holographic image of a New Republic Admiral appeared to them.

"This is Admiral Rotramel to Captain Cortree of the Crucible. Please come in. I say again this is Admiral Rotramel to the Crucible…"

"Admiral, this is General Saberota. What can we do for you today?"

"Thank the Force," exclaimed the young Mon Calamari Admiral. Rotramel was Admiral Ackbar's prize student and had a reputation as a brilliant tactician and leader. He had risen through the ranks quickly and was currently the commander of the combined Republic military.

"General, we have an emergency and you are the only ones who are in position to help. There is a damaged Chiss star cruiser that is hurtling toward the sun transmitting intermittent emergency codes. We don't know what is wrong with the ship nor what you will face there but there is a Chiss ambassador on board and we need you to make sure he is saved. Along with his ship if at all possible."

"Understood, Admiral. We will launch the Crucible immediately."

"Well, General, I hope y'all are well rested. Cause it looks like your vacation is at an end," Cor said wryly.

Part: 2

"There it is!" Captain Tincove exclaimed. "I finally picked it up on sensors and am locking on now. General Saberota's course was spot on. Galen you need to adjust heading .25 to starboard."

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"Roger that," Galen said calmly, "Vectoring in for intercept, Leoni, give me more power to the thrusters. Things are about to get tricky and we don't have much time before we reach the sun."

"Look of the size of that thing!" Cor blurted. "It's bigger than a Bellator Class Battle Cruiser! Galen, I am picking up multiple escape pods coming from the ship. One of them is broadcasting a signal but it is in Chiss."

"This the Crucible to Coruscant Control. I am sending coordinates and sensor data for multiple escape pods. Please send rescue crews to pick them up."

"Ack..ow…….. ucible…." came the nearly unintelligible static-filled reply.

"Coruscant Control, do you read me? Over," Galen said.

"We must be too close to the sun's corona. It is interfering with the signal," Cor said. "I am sending the coordinates to the nearest comm satellite. They shouldn't have any problem sending help."

"Do you think our VIP is onboard one of the escape pods?" Leoni asked.

"Unclear. I am running the translation protocols now on the signal from that pod," said Saberota. There was a pause as the General, who was plugged directly into the Crucible's computer through his cybernetic systems concentrated for a moment.

"If I am understanding this correctly then the ship is called the Dire Guardian and is a warship in the Chiss Ascendancy. It is carrying an ambassador and the crew was unable to get to him because of systems failures before they were forced to abandon ship."

"It looks like we are going to have to board that ship ourselves then. Why can't things ever be easy?" Cortree sighed.

"But we don't have enough time to search that whole cruiser," Saberota pointed out. "I think I may have a solution," Captain Cortree said his fingers flying across the sensor console as he concentrated for a moment. The crew was silent knowing that he needed to focus. "It looks like the Chiss ship is running without power and heading right for the sun. We won't have much time to do anything. Tractor beams are useless this close to the star's corona so we will have to alter the ship's course by nudging it. If we can get enough power we can slingshot the ship around the sun and back toward Coruscant which will make recovery efforts much more likely."

"That's not possible. The Dire Guardian is far too bi…" Leoni began before Cor cut her off.

"Normally you'd be right. But I think I can slice into the Dire's systems and use it's emergency thrusters to give us just enough power to pull it off. But we will only get one shot at it. If it don't work then we probably won't even have time to search the ship. Fact is we will probably just burn up in the sun if we don't time it right."

Leoni gulped but said nothing as she managed to keep her emotions in check. Galen put a comforting hand on her shoulder. "We can't just let those people die without trying to help," he said his voice steady.

"All right," General Saberota agreed in his deep, heavily modulated and commanding voice, "It looks like we have to take that risk. Cor send Galen the course we need. Galen get us close enough to mate the ships. Hopefully we can use the Dire Guardian's own hull to provide us the protection we will need from the sun. It's going to get hot out there."

"Yes, sir!" The old general continued giving orders and the crew responded immediately getting ready for the dangerous task ahead. Galen, with Leoni acting as co-pilot, managed to fly the Crucible ahead of the Chiss cruiser and then flipped it end over end so they were both facing the same vector. He then fired retro-thrusters decelerating so quickly that the inertial dampeners couldn't fully compensate. Galen then fired the ship's main drive attempting to precisely match the target's velocity further taxing the dampeners.

Everything on board that wasn't tied down or secured flew to the ground with loud crashes throughout the ship. The ancient Jedi cruiser shuddered and shook as the Chiss warship quickly caught up. It was a tricky maneuver. Galen fought the controls to get them into position as the ship bucked and shuddered in the turbulent space near the star.

As they reached the shelter of the Chiss ship's wake the shaking dropped to nearly nothing. Galen nested the Crucible up against the lee of the larger ship next to a maintenance hatch at Cor's direction. The Fringer mated the two ships and spotted something disturbing.

"That's not good," Cor said. "It looks like the damage to the ship's comms array was internal. It had to be sabotage."

"Sabotage!" Saberota exclaimed. "That certainly makes things more interesting. Cor, see if you can match the Crucible's computer with the Guardian's."

"On it! I have a link and with emergency access. That should be enough to get the thrusters online. Galen you will need to fire the engines on a maximum burn on my mark. Brace yourselves! This is going to be a rough ride!"

"Hit it!!!" Galen slammed the throttle to maximum as Cor did the same with the Dire's engines. The mated ships strained and shuddered against the sun's unrelenting gravity. The Crucible's engines howled as they struggled to alter the course of the massive starship. The whole ship convulsed as if alive and the crew was thrown violently against their restraints.

"She can't take much more of this!" Galen shouted over the noise as his panels lit up with red alarms. "The engines are going to blow!"

"Steady! Just a few more seconds! Now! Cut power!"

The silence was deafening. The crew sat quietly for a moment stunned at the sudden change.

"Did it work, master?" Leoni queried.

"Not sure. Cor? General? Did we do it?"

"Hold on. I am running calculations now….I….I think so. Yes. Yes, we did it! We are on course to sling shot around the sun and back toward Coruscant."

 Part: 3

"I am almost in, general. Just a few more seconds," Cortree Tincove said as he worked furiously with a plasma torch on the sheltered maintenance access hatch.

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The cyborg general stood over the Fringer shielding him from the sun's fury as much as he could with his massive, space suited form. They were still perilously close to the star and the radiation and heat would have been lethal without the Crucible's shields. Galen had extended them to cover the passage between the two ships. Galen and his apprentice were fitted out in EVA suits while waiting for the all clear to make their way across and into the Dire Guardian.

They all knew immediately that Cor had cut through the lock when the chamber on the other side decompressed suddenly venting atmosphere into space.

"Let's go!" Galen called out to his reluctant apprentice. The two made their way across and into the airlock chamber that Cor had just opened.

When all of them were aboard the General closed the hatch as best he could behind them with his cybernetic strength and Cor overrode the inner door's safety protocols so they could enter the ship. They all had to fight against the howling winds of decompression as atmosphere vented into space.

Again the General shielded them with his body, his feet magnetically attached to the floor, standing like an unbending Wroshyr tree in a storm providing shelter for the others to fight their way aboard. Once they were all inside Cor shut the hatch and the roaring winds died down. Pressure quickly equalized in the small maintenance access way.

"It's all clear," Cor said taking off his helmet. "The atmosphere has stabilized."

The others removed their helmets as well and they were assailed by wailing sirens and announcements in what could only be the Chiss language.

"Na wrewgh ankevi – hwi a yll hwath dos dhe'n Benn-seythen Gernewek, mars owgh hwi skav!" a calm female voice intoned urgently.

"Anybody know what the ship is saying?" Galen inquired. "If we can translate it might help us find our passengers."

"Not sure," Saberota replied, "we might be far enough out from the sun's interference for me to reach Coruscant Control. Maybe they can provide a translation. Transmitting now. I've got them! Here we go. I have got a translation."

Speakers on the general's cybernetic systems began to play the translation sent back from Coruscant Control:

“This is not a drill, all hands abandon ship. Please make your way to the nearest life pod. I repeat. Abandon ship!”

That was when something strange happened. A console near the crew beeped and suddenly the loudspeakers in their immediate area began transmitting the announcements in Galactic Standard.

"That's handy," Cor said. "Pretty sophisticated algorithm for a ship's computer to adapt to the situation like that."

They moved down a large corridor that branched off in many directions. The ship's architecture was alien and highly sophisticated leaving them all feeling vaguely disoriented. They all knew that the ship was deserted. That it had been abandoned. They noticed maintenance work left undone here or there or food left uneaten on a tray as it looked like whatever had happened had interrupted them in the middle of their daily work routines. It was vaguely unsettling to be the only ones on such a large ship.

"Attention. Unauthorized visitors. Please abandon ship. This is not a drill. If you would like I can direct you to the nearest life pod."

Suddenly a blue line lit up on the floor leading off toward a bank of life pods. As they continued deeper into the ship the blue line kept changing, pointing out the nearest pods and pod doors opened to let them in. This went on for quite a while until the line vanished abruptly. The intruders jumped when the pod doors slammed shut all at once.

"Attention. Attention. Please remain calm. Evacuation is no longer recommended. New sensor readings indicate that radiation from the nearby star is too high for safe evacuation. Please find the nearest shielded compartment and wait for rescue.

A red line leading to a room with heavy blast doors. Ignoring the red line Saberota approached Cortree and said, "Captain I believe you are the most qualified to handle this. Perhaps you can talk to the ship and get it to help us."

"Maybe. I have never encountered Chiss tech before," he said hesitantly.

"Computer? Query: please lead us to the bridge."

"Access denied. You do not possess the proper clearance."

"Right. Should have guessed that. Computer, can you please direct us to any survivors?"

"Access denied. You do not possess the proper clearance."

"Ummm. Well how about you tell us where security is so we can check in and gather the proper access?"

"Access denied. The security crew has abandoned ship. You will be unable to gather the proper clearance."

"This is getting us nowhere," Galen said after a moments concentration, "and I can't feel anyone through the Force either. Cor, you know ship design and engineering better than anyone. Which way should we go?"

"Well, I reckon a ship this size would have a main bridge and a flag bridge for a fleet admiral," the Captain said looking thoughtful as he reasoned it out. "A flag bridge would be found in the heart of a ship where the armor is heaviest. And any VIP would likely end up there during an emergency so he would be kept aware of the situation without interfering with the ship captain's operation."

"I say we should go that way," the Fringer said confidently pointing down the center corridor. The blast door ahead of them came crashing down.

"Access denied. For your own safety please take shelter in the indicated rooms."

"Well I reckon that was the right choice," Cor smiled as he pulled out a sophisticated decryption tool.

"I can slice the door and get us through." After a few long minutes of intense work from the Fringer the door slid up revealing a long corridor with an even more massive door at the end of it. Cor smiled triumphantly.

"See? I told you. No problem!" Red lights began flashing and alarms rang out. Cor's smile vanished and he looked around in surprise. Moving quickly he gathered his equipment as Galen and Leoni moved up to watch his back.

"Warning. Unauthorized maintenance activity. Systems compromised. Countermeasures initiated."

"I have a baaad feeling about this, Master," Leoni said her eyes wide.

"Remember to trust in the Force my young apprentice," Galen said calmly, reassuring his young charge."Let it flow through you."

Just then a half dozen panels opened up abruptly from the ceiling and articulated arms dropped down with ball turrents bristling with blasters on their ends.  They began firing in an onslaught of blaster fire that lit up the entire corridor.  Most intruders would have been slain in an instant unable to withstand the fury and speed of the assault.  But Galen and his apprentice reacted with uncanny speed, their blue lightsabers igniting and dancing faster than the eye could follow.  The two had been training hard in recent weeks and their graceful ballet of light was perfectly synchronized as they spun and twisted, blocking the barrage from the ship's security systems.  

However, despite their astonishing display some blaster bolts got through. One in particular struck a control panel next to General Saberota and Cortree erupting in sparks with shrapnel peppering them both. General Saberota activated his own lightsaber and while his movements bore none of the grace of the other two Jedi he was just as effective. Blaster bolts reflected back at the turrets taking out several as the older Jedi stepped in front of the Crucible’s captain shielding him from harm. Cortree, fully covered by the cyborg’s flashing blade began to work furiously on the the now exposed wires of the control panel.

“Just keep them off of me for a few more seconds!” Cor screamed. The Jedi nodded gravely, set his shoulders in determination.

“Galen! I’ve got this! Take care of those turrets!” he screamed out over the blaster fire.

Galen and his padawan, seeing that the other two were holding their own, changed tactics. Without saying a word the pattern and flow of their blades became more aggressive. The two Jedi, padawan and master, sprung forward covering each other as they chopped down the turrets one by one destroying a dozen of them in mere moments. But more and more turrets dropped down and the two of them were beginning to tire. Ataru, characterized by breathtaking acrobatic movements, was a very effective lightsaber form but its one great flaw is that it is hard to maintain such a frantic pace. The two Jedi were staying ahead of the turrets. For now. But they would not be able to maintain such a pace indefinitely.

“Cortree,” Saberota called out as he desperately swatted blaster bolts away. “You must hurry. We cannot keep this up fo…”

“Got it!” Cor screamed. Sparks flew from the control panel and waves of energy cascaded from various conduits along the corridor that provided power to the turrets. The blasters erupted and sparked as their systems overloaded.

“Attention. Maintenance crew to corridor B7.”

“Whew,” panted Galen, “Thank you Captain. That was excellent timing…”

“Attention. Unauthorized access in Q12. Security systems activated.”

“What? Who could that be? I thought the computer said we were in B7,” asked Leoni with a puzzled expression.

“Deactivating security in Q12. Access granted.”

“Whoever it is they just sliced that computer faster than I ever could,” said Cortree. “And that is saying something.”

“Attention. Unauthorized access in P9. Security systems activated. Deactivating security in P9. Access granted.”

“I reckon it is our saboteurs,” the Captain said with some thought. “They must be makin’ their way to through the ship too.”

“Then we must find the ambassador before they do,” General Saberota said with conviction.

“I think I can disable all the blast guns from here,” Cor said looking into the diagnostic tool he had used to overload the turrets.

“Do it,” Saberota ordered. The young captain began typing codes furiously into the patched panel.

“Attention. Primary security systems deactivated.”

“Perfect,” Cor said with a triumphant grin.

“Attention. Activating secondary security measures. Closing all blast doors.”

They all jumped as blast doors throughout the ship came crashing down all at once.

“Oh, Uh, right,” Cor said sheepishly. “Secondary systems. Makes sense.”

“We will just have to slice each door as we go. Cor you unlock the doors and I will hold them open for everyone to get through,” the General said.

“We have to move quickly if we are to get to the ambassador in time,” Galen said.

“Then may the Force be with us.”

 Part: 4

“This has to be it,” Cortree Tincove said as he used a plasma torch to cut into the access panel so he could slice the door. “The flag bridge is through this door.”
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“That’s what you said last time,” Leoni complained before Galen silenced her with a glance. It had been tough, sweaty work making their way through the ship with all the blast doors locked down. They had made several wrong turns and had to retrace their steps more than once.

“Yeah, but see the maintenance logs I accessed showed that there was work on a primary feed to the ship’s computer core leading to this chamber. A flag bridge would need that kind of access so it has to be through there,” the captain said confidently.

“All right. We all know the drill,” the general said. “Everyone get ready.”

Cor entered in a code and they could all hear the loud metallic noise of the door unlocking. The powerful cyborg general braced himself wedging his fingers under the door and lifted, displaying strength that would make even a wookiee take notice. Galen and Leoni leaped through the door with their lightsabers ready placing themselves between their allies and any threats that may present itself from the chamber they had entered.

They looked upon a massive room with well over a dozen computer work stations all lit up with alarming red lights. The chamber ceiling was quite high with a massive open bridge hovering above with long stairs leading up to it on both sides of the chamber. Climbing those stairs to the main platform would leave them quite exposed making the bridge a very good defensive position.

From that bridge Galen heard the unmistakable sound of a voice. After their companions had made it onto the main chamber Galen pointed to the platform above indicating that he was going to check the voices out. Saberota nodded. Galen gathered himself with his apprentice at his side and they both made an impossible leap straight up to the main bridge with the aid of the Force.

The Jedi landed in the midst of two well dressed figures with the distinctive glowing red eyes and blue skin of the Chiss, an older male and a younger female.

“A Jedi!” the young lady exclaimed in surprise. The older Chiss, regal in his bearing and wearing an officer’s uniform, nodded.

“Of course they sent Jedi. I would expect no less under the circumstances,” he said. “Come. We must hurry. The saboteurs will be here any moment. I have been trying to hold them off with the ship’s systems but I only succeeded in delaying them slightly.”

“We are here to get you out of this situation safely. We have steered the ship away from its crash course with the star. So we are not in any immediate danger on that front.”

“You don’t understand. I have set the self destruct. We cannot have a Chiss warship fall into the hands of a foreign government,” the officer said quietly. “We must evacuate now.”

“I see,” said Galen bowing his head slightly. “Very well. If you would please follow me.”

The Jedi stopped and turned gazing hard at the door across the chamber. He stepped forward putting himself between the two Chiss and the door while pulling his lightsaber.

“Leoni,” he called out,“get behind me. Get behind me!”

When the door opened they were confronted by a small group of heavily armed assailants. A Chiss stood at the blast door’s console with a myriad of slicing tools that were almost identical to Cortree’s. A half dozen rough looking, heavily armed Trandoshan mercenaries charged into the room with ruthless efficiency led by a professional looking Rodian gunman. He was flanked by possibly the largest human being any of them had ever seen. The massive man radiated anger and violence and Galen could feel the Dark Side coming from him in waves, assailing his senses. As disturbing as that was it was the final figure that gave all the Jedi pause. The Ancient Wardroid that faced them looked exactly like the one they had last faced on Outpost 17 and Durace.

“Well, ambassador,” Galen said to the Chiss, “I see you are facing the Infinite Empire as well.”

Not waiting for an answer the overly confident Jedi leaped from the platform into the midst of the saboteurs both of his lightsabers flashing with his padawan right behind him. As fast as he was, though, the Rodian gunslinger was a fraction faster. He fired a volley of pinpoint accurate blaster bolts at the young Jedi while he was in mid-flight forcing him to twist and turn awkwardly in order to deflect the blasts.

Before Galen could even think about mounting a counterattack the large man reached out a massive hand and, screaming in rage, launched Force Lightning from his fingertips. The overconfident Jedi was barely able to shield himself and his padawan from the deadly assault, absorbing the rampant energies with his lightsaber and dissipating it through the Force.

“Galen!” General Saberota called out in concern, partially blinded by the flashing display. The massive cyborg activated his own green lightsaber and, with thunderous footsteps, charged the invaders hoping to distract them from his ally. The Ancient Wardroid faced the general eagerly and lunged at him with deadly vibroblades extending from its arms.

The Clone Wars veteran was almost cut in two by the sudden ferocity of the attack. He had gotten up a huge amount of momentum with his charge and had a hard time slowing enough to properly defend himself. In a brilliant display of swordsmanship he was able to deflect the deadly attack and, using his momentum, rocked the droid back on its heals with a powerful cybernetically enhanced kick.

“Warning. Unauthorized maintenance activity on deck A1.”

“Access granted. Primary security systems restored. Countermeasures initiated.”

Familiar ball turrets dropped down from the ceiling and began firing on the general stopping him from capitalizing on his advantage over his opponent. As he dodged and blocked the blaster bolts he realized that this Ancient Wardroid he faced was not the same one they had encountered on Durace. It had completely different blades and its battered and scarred outer armor was significantly different.

“Oh, no you don’t,” Cortree hissed under his breath as he took cover behind one of the bridge consoles. He rapidly accessed the ship security systems attempting to wrest control from the Chiss slicer.

“Warning. Unauthorized maintenance activity on deck A1.”

“Access denied. Countermeasures deactivated. Remote targeting disabled.”

The gun turrets clicked and whirled back and forth between targeting the saboteurs and the Jedi as the two battled for access. The captain of the Crucible could tell that the Chiss must have an access code for the ship because he kept using the system’s own intruder countermeasures to try and force him out of the system. Cor had lost full access to the turrets but had managed to isolate the targeting program and encrypt it heavily using a code he devised on the fly. He had no illusions that the Chiss slicer would be foiled by that for long but it bought him some time and forced the Chiss to target the turrets manually.

“Poodoo!” Cortree screamed slamming his fist on the console as he was locked out by the Chiss.

“Access granted. Primary security systems restored. Countermeasures initiated.”

The turrets turned on Cor blasting at him. But, unlike before, he was the only target. Without access to the auto-target program the Chiss had to mark targets and aim the turret himself instead of designating all the Jedi as intruders and letting the computer target them all. Cor was forced to duck back behind his console and he pulled his heavy pistol and snapped a shot at the Chiss Slicer forcing him to duck.

The Trandoshan mercenaries moved in surrounding Galen and his padawan. Galen recognized them as belonging to Clan Martel. A mercenary clan known throughout the galaxy for their ruthlessness and their ties to the slave trade of the Hutts. The Trandoshan’s leader smiled cruelly as he gave the order to open fire on the Jedi. Galen and his padawan deflected the blasts with ease. The Jedi, moving faster than the eye could follow, leaped up into the air spinning with his twin lightsabers twirling in a circle around him as his padawan ducked beneath them. For a moment the mercenaries stood frozen, transfixed as Galen landed in a crouch between them, grim smile on his face. Then as one their heads tumbled from their bodies as they collapsed to the floor. For a moment there was a pause in the battle as everyone marveled at the young Jedi’s skill. Slaying six foes with one blow was remarkable.

The Chiss slicer, obviously seeing Galen as the biggest threat turned the turrets on him sending a torrent of blaster bolts at the evasive Jedi. The Jedi Knight and his apprentice reflected the blasts back at the Slicer causing him to rethink his strategy as the energy beams impacted all around him burning his arm.

Meanwhile, Saberota slammed into the battle droid with his full strength hoping to bowl the evasive droid over with brute force. But the droid proved to be just as strong as the Jedi and sparks flew from its clawed feet as it dug them into the metal floor scoring it with long furrows. The droid twisted its upper torso at an impossible angle, trying to gain a wrestling hold on general. But Saberota was an experienced in-fighter and he managed to shove the droid off of him enough so that the droid couldn’t get a good hold on him.

Seeing that the general was occupied with fighting the droid the canny Rodian gunfighter moved in on his flank and opened fire, fully expecting to catch him off guard. But as cunning as he was the Rodian had never faced a more battle tested foe. General Saberota had survived countless battles during the Clone Wars and one of his greatest assets as a combatant was that he had the uncanny ability to keep track of his opponents during a firefight. He disengaged from the droid momentarily and casually batted the gunslinger’s blaster bolt right back at him scoring a hit knocking the green skinned mercenary to the floor. Luckily for the Rodian the bolt had been mostly deflected by his blast vest leaving him largely unharmed. He now had a much healthier respect for Jedi though and seemed almost hesitant to attack.

Galen, having downed the Trandoshan mercs, turned and faced the brutish warrior. A wave of Dark Side energy emanated from him as he smiled cruelly and for a moment a flicker of fear gripped the young Jedi’s heart. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear that none of his efforts mattered. As he struggled with his fear Galen saw the same struggle in his young apprentice’s face.

“Remember, Leoni,” he called out to her, finding his own strength in his need to protect her. “There is no emotion there is peace.”

“Center yourself my young padawan. Find harmony within and you shall be as one with the Force,” Leoni looked him in the eye as he spoke and Galen saw her swallow her fear and find her center.

“I am not afraid, Master,” she said with conviction. Galen smiled at the young woman with pride and nodded his head toward the warrior in a silent question.

As one the two turned on the brutish Dark Side warrior who seemed to sink into some kind of primal rage lashing out uncontrollably. Galen and his apprentice flipped and bounded around their foe, each staying just out of his reach. Galen would leap forward and attack and the brute would jump at him so the Jedi would bound away. As the warrior tried to follow Leoni would surge up behind him forcing him to abandon his pursuit of Galen to face the more immediate threat. When he turned on the padawan Galen would spin forward again to menace the increasingly frustrated and disoriented warrior.

Meanwhile, Cor and the Chiss continued their cyberwarfare with neither gaining the upper hand. Cor was, perhaps, the more gifted tech, but the Chiss had access codes that more than evened the playing field. Frustrated the Crucible’s captain drew his blaster and shot the Chiss in the shoulder eliciting a cry of pain from him. The Chiss took cover and began returning fire with his own gun pinning the captain down.

General Saberota still wrestled with the wardroid unable to fully defeat his canny foe. The two were of equal strength although the droid possessed far greater speed. However, the general was the superior warrior and was able to anticipate the droid’s attacks and counter them with his unparalleled strategic skills. Ultimately they were at a stalemate. Realizing this the general unexpectedly disengaged from the droid and sprang at the completely surprised Dark Sider. The warrior was unprepared for the attack and Saberota managed to slash him across the belly and spinning around ram his lightsaber through his back.

The general stood triumphantly over his fallen opponent thinking the battle was over. But the Wardroid leaped at him forcing his full attention back on it. The general had no idea the severely injured warrior would be capable of emitting a veritable storm of Force Lightning. But he did. The general caught the full furry of the blast while Galen and Leoni leaped away from it. Lightning cascaded over the general’s cybernetics cause them to spark and sputter. He screamed in agony as multiple systems were overloaded causing cascade failures throughout his body. The droid charged the general pinning his right cybernetic arm to the floor with its vibroblade mangling it severely.

The Dark Side warrior rose unsteadily to his feet as lightning poured out of his body uncontrolled.

“For the Empire!!!” the warrior screamed in rage and defiance as the energies increased to critical mass. He exploded messily his body no longer able to contain the power within him. Galen, his padawan and the general were covered in a strange goo.

“I don’t remember when the bad guys started exploding but I am not a fan,” Galen said wiping the foul smelling muck from his face.

Ignoring the grisly display the droid continued its assault on the crippled general. Galen somersaulted back down to stand over the fallen Jedi protectively. As the droid turned its attention to him Leoni came up behind it and slashed its neck jamming it in position, unable to turn. When the droid attempted to attack the padawan the Jedi Knight jabbed his lightsaber into its leg nearly taking it off at the knee. The droid rolled with the blow and spun back over the threshold of the door that the saboteurs had entered. The Rodian fired a volley of blaster bolts at the triumphant crew of the Crucible covering the droid as it made its limping retreat.

“Attention. Activating secondary security measures. Closing all blast doors.”

The blast door came slamming down again blocking the Jedi from pursuing their foes.

“Poodoo!” Cor cursed again as he slammed his fist against the console. “I have been locked out. Again!”

Cor ran over to the general and began checking his systems and trying to restart them. He glanced over at the sound of clapping from behind them.

“Most impressive,” the older Chiss in uniform said while clapping softly in approval. “Allow me to introduce myself. I am Syndic Day. I am here to discuss our mutual enemies with the Republic.”

“You mean the Infinite Empire?” Galen asked.

“We have much to talk about but first we need to get off this ship before it self destructs,” he said calmly. He strode over to a console and entered a command code. Blast doors throughout the ship flew open and turbolifts activated. The crew of the Crucible was able to retreat quickly to their ship and board it minutes before the Chiss ship exploded.

Cor was the only one who noticed the sensor ghost of a cloaked ship in the explosion’s wake just before it jumped to hyperspace without a trace.

End of Episode: 16

Continue to Episode: 17

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Episode : 15
GM: Brad

SWFotJFAE_LogHeading_15.png

Part: 1

“Transport four, you are fifteen minutes behind schedule. What is your delay?” The Commlink on the console of the Imperial transport said.

The message had been meant for the pilot and co-pilot who had been transporting a prisoner, the Jedi General Tetreen, to the Imperial Garrison on the other side of the planet Tython. The pilot and co-pilot would never respond to the message because Cortree Tincove, Captain of the Crucible, had shot them dead. Cortree and the Jedi Knights Jaden Windu and Galen Argyus had disguised themselves as stormtroopers and had hijacked the Transport over the Silent Desert to free Tetreen.

To rescue the rest of the Jedi imprisoned by the Imperial Garrison, the Allies had been forced to take creative measures…

“Transport four, do you copy?” The Commlink said again.

The new pilot and co-pilot responded as they took the transport to the air and continued on their original course over the Silent Desert.

“This is TK-724, the original pilot and co-pilot are dead.” Jaden Windu said in his best imitation of the stormtrooper he had taken credentials from.

“What happened?” The Base asked.

“The Jedi tried to escape and killed most of us. The Inquisitor managed to subdue her but she killed all but two of us Stromtroopers. Plus our commander’s wounded.” Jaden said as Cortree pressed a command into the console to create artificial static.

There was a long pause as Jaden awaited the answer. If they were not believed, getting past the defenses would become far more complicated.

“Again? Acknowledged Transport Four.” The Officer on the other end said matter-of-factly, “That’s the fourth time this month one of those Jedi tried to escape. Do you require any assistance?”

“Armory.” Cortree said, remembering the plan.

Jaden cleared his throat and began again, “Command, Inquisitor Second Brother requests permission to drop off our wounded at the Barracks and rearm before dropping off the prisoner.”

“Copy Transport four, save travels. Command out.” The Officer said. The Line went dead shortly afterword.

Jaden and Cortree let out a breath. Cortree grabbed Jaden’s hand in victory. Cortree punched in commands into the Auto-Pilot and looked over his shoulder.

“They bought it!” Cortree said, “Don’t seem at all suspicious. Managed to get permission to go to the barracks at the back of the base. We can hit the Armory and get some detonators.”

Galen walked into the cockpit with General Tetreen right behind. Galen stood in the Inquisitor’s garb, adjusting the black outfit of the dead darksider to his slightly different frame.

“Great, that should buy us some time.” Galen said.

“Your disguises will not last forever.” General Tetreen said, “They will discover us when it is the least convenient.”

“No offense, General but why didn’t the Legion try this before us? Disguises and such?” Cortree asked, genuinely curious.

“We did, Captain.” Tetreen confirmed, “The Imperial Garrison knows the face and voice of everyone on planet and doesn’t use many droids across planet. It has made false-facing next to impossible.”

“They know all of your faces?” Galen asked, concerned.

“Small planet. They’ve have sixty years to study us all.” Tetreen said.

“Well, they don’t know us.” Galen said.

The Transport crossed over the Silent Desert, passed the mounts of shifting sands and empty pieces of planet beneath them. They slowed as they came to the perimeter of the translucent energy of the Imperial Garrison’s Planetary Shield. The shield was strong enough to repel any bombardment if it had stretched over the whole planet, but this one was concentrated over the Imperial Garrison’s territory alone, further focusing its strength.

As the transport moved further into Imperial Territory beneath the defensive shield, two things drastically changed. The first was the distant sky. The Guardian Fleet, the mass of Droid-Controlled Starships orbiting Tython seemed to congregate over the Imperial Territory. Waiting for their moment. Waiting for their purpose…

Cortree looked at them through sensor scopes on the console, spotting the massive Super Star Destroyer right over the Garrison.

“If that shield goes down we need to bug out fast.” Cortree said, “That fleet is gonna glass this whole area.”

“What if we destroy the jammer instead?” Galen asked.

Jaden rubbed his chin in thought, “I don’t think so, Captain. Droids of that era would favor a ground assault if their communications were no longer disrupted. But they would also favor ground assault if they were unsure of friends or foe.”

“Meaning they won’t attack immediately unless we can take down both the shield and the jammer.” Cortree said.

“How long would we have before the droid fleet began attacking after the shield and jammer go down?” Galen asked.

“About five minutes. “ Jaden confirmed.

“What is that?” Tetreen said in a cold voice. Trandoshans couldn’t get goosebumps, so she just stood still.

The second thing that changed as the transport came in further was the near sky and the ground beneath. The ground turned from arable soil to black as pitch. Polluted. Dead. As the Allies reached out in the Force, the area felt dead. Then it felt cold as the sky changed to dark clouds. The Planetary defense shield became illuminated by the crash of thunder and the crackle of lightning from Ion Storms.

Jaden and Galen gasped in recognition of the phenomena.

“Just like Cassandra’s Hope.” Galen said, remembering his adventure with General Saberota.

“Just like Durace…” Jaden said.

“You’ve seen this before?” Tetreen said, “What is this?”

“The dark side.” Galen said, “A Planet being corrupted.”

“Coming up on the Garrison…” Cortree confirmed.

The Transport crested a canyon and the Imperial Garrison came into view. Four prefabricated bases connected by elevated walkways surrounding a space elevator. On the south side was the Research Prison, with the Shield and Jammer bases on just to the North on opposite sides both connecting to a barracks on the North end. The transport passed over the research base, following their programmed course to the barracks at the back. In the center of the base lay what the Imperial Maps referred to as The Spire, a Space Elevator stretching from the corrupted soil to the Orbital Station above.

The minds of the Allies began racing as the base’s structures came into view.

Cortree looked at the back of the base, focusing on a section with empty ports on the outside, “That research base is too small. Looks like a section’s missing.”

Galen looked over the base as they passed by everything and started shaking his head in confusion. An AT-AT Walker marched below them. The image of it on the scope showed the correct markings of the modern empire.

“These bases have been upgraded.” Galen confirmed, “That technology is modern. That AT-AT is new.”

“Someone has been here before us? Resupplied them?” Jaden said.

“Impossible…” Cortree said,”Files said their star charts got destroyed. No one in their right mind comes this far into the black let alone out again without a map.”

Jaden’s eyes grew as they got closer to the space elevator. The Allies saw that it was made of a line of stacked rings of some material not quite stone and not quite metal. It had veins of power and light running through it from planet to sky. The Elevator connected at the bottom to some kind of ancient ruin.

“There it is…” Tetreen confirmed, “That is the Wellspring.”

“Why is an elevator connected to a Force Nexus?” Galen asked.

Puzzle pieces clicked inside Jaden’s head. The Archaeologist snapped his fingers in realization.

“That’s it! The Infinite Empire.” Jaden said, “Before the invention of the Hyperdrive, The Infinite Empire was rumored to use strange technology that allowed them to travel across the stars without one. But the planets involved had to be strong in the Force for the process to work. It is speculated that is the reason Empire was so spread out in clumps all over the Galaxy instead of being contiguous.”

“If that’s true then…” Galen realized, a cold lump forming in his throat, “The Empire is stronger than we thought.”

Part: 2

The Barracks building on the North side of the Imperial Base was crawling with Stormtroopers and Imperial Officers. A pair of AT-STs marched out on their patrols. Tie-Fighters launched and landed, providing Air Support to the base.

More than a few of the Stormtroopers and Officers sat aroundtables playing sabacc and watched the same holograms.

“Those Stormtroopers look bored out of their minds.” Galen said.

“Not surprisin’” Cortree said, “Backwater outposts like this are more ‘wait’ than ‘hurry up.’ If these were different circumstances, I could make a killing trading parts, supplies and luxuries with these guys.”

The Transport carrying the Allies touched down and the gangplank extended. Cortree and Jaden marched out in their Stormtrooper disguises with the surviving Stormtrooper Commander laying unconscious on a hovergurney. The pair met an Imperial officer and squad of other troopers on the deck. The two fake troopers saluted.

“The Inquisitor says there’s no need for the reinforcement.” Jaden lied, “The Jedi seems keen on Mind Tricks. Made us shoot each other.”

The mention of Mind Tricks made the troopers shutter. The transport retracted its gangplank and took off, heading back out.

“What happened to him?” The Imperial Officer asked, indicating the Stormtrooper Commander on the gurney.

“Jedi got ‘em.” Cortree said in his best stormtrooper voice, “Took that Trandoshan hand to hand. He deserves a commendation.”

“I’ll see he is.” The Officer responded, “Take him to Medical and report for reassignment.”

Cortree and Jaden saluted, picked up the gurney and marched away.

The pair of fake troopers came to the Medical Bay and handed the gurney to waiting medics. The medics took the commander’s helmet off. The trooper’s eyes were blank as the medic shined a light in them.

“Take care of him, guys. He’s getting a medal. We need to report in.” Cortree said, keeping up the act.

“How many surrets did you give him?” The medic asked.

“Two…maybe three.” Cortree said.

“That’s enough for him to sleep for a week. Who trained you in…?” The medic asked. Unfortunately when he looked up the two troopers had already gone.

Jaden and Cortree followed the signs and found their way to the Armory. The pair approached the Quartermaster’s Desk, which took up the room with a massive transparasteel window above a weapons drawer. The Quartermaster took his feet off the desk and put down the datapad he was reading as Jaden and Cortree put their blasters into the Weapons drawer. The pair of fake stormtroopers stood at attention and saluted the Quartermaster.

“What do you need?” The Quartermaster asked.

“Requisitioning new gear, sir.” Cortree said, “Need replacement blasters and the Second Brother needs Ordinance for Demolitions work. As powerful as you got.”

“What does the Inquisitor want to blow up?” The Quartermaster asked as a matter of course.

“Whatever he wants, sir.” Cortree responded.

The Quartermaster yawned at the fake troopers, obviously not suspicious as he put forth a datapad for the pair to sign, “Whatever… Sign here.”

The Pair signed the datapad and the Officer moved to the back of the Armory Cage and grabbed a few devices from a sealed case. He put a box of charges and a pair of blasters into the drawer and slid them toward Jaden and Cortree

“Just got these in.” The Quartermaster said with a grin, “Enjoy, but be careful with these.”

Cortree inspected the charges and sealed the case. The pair, picked up their new blasters, saluted and walked off. As soon as they were around the corner and down the hall in a safe area, Cortree opened the case and handed Jaden a few charges. Jaden looked down at the charges skeptically as Cortree engaged his commlink to Galen.

“Galen, we got the charges.” Cortree said.

“Do you have enough to destroy the Shield Generator or the Jamming Station?” Galen asked.

“How about both…and then some?” Cortree asked with a grin concealed by the helmet.

“Perfect.” Galen said.

“I’ll take the Shield Generator.” Jaden said, “You take the Jamming Station.”

“Right.” Cortree said and the pair went in opposite directions.

Meanwhile, the transport made for an automated landing as a group of Stormtroopers led by an Imperial Officer stood at attention.

Onboard, Galen and General Tetreen looked at the assembled mass concerned as they touched down.

Tetreen nodded at Galen, “Let’s get into character…”

Moments later, Galen put on the helmet of the fallen inquisitor and started psyching himself up. He beat his chest and tried to orient himself, testing a new voice out.

“I am an Inquisitor!” Galen said to himself in a deeper voice than normal, “You will bow before me!”

Tetreen stood behind him sliding his Lightsaber up her orange jumpsuit’s sleeve, “Don’t go overboard, young Jedi. Just tell them what to do and they’ll obey.”

Galen nodded and helped Tetreen back into the Muzzle and restraints that Cortree had glued back together with a light adhesive. The restraints looked like they worked, but in actuality they could easily be gotten out of. Galen and Tetreen straightened up put on their immaterial guises. Galen grabbed the back of Tetreen Jumpsuit and pretended to weakly struggle as though she had taken injuries.

Galen hit the button on the console and the gangplank lowered. He stood out in front, pulling Tetreen by a chain behind him.

“Stand back!” Galen boomed in a deep voice and made grand gestures with his arms, “Your minds are too weak to resist her mind tricks. Leave her to me…”

The assembled mass quaked in their boots and the Officer turned to the troops, “You heard the Inquisitor, dismissed…”

The crowd departed and the pair descended the gangplank in their charade. The landing platform was in the middle of a wide open assembly area overlooked by a pair of blaster cannon posts. The Area led straight past the cannons towards a fork. The map had indicated that the right fork led to the prison, which was where they were cleared to go. The other went to, “Research.”

“We need to check out this Research wing.” Galen whispered, “We might not get a chance once the fireworks start.”

Tetreen nodded and the pair moved toward the left fork. As they approached, Galen finally got a good look at the writing on its side. He had seen the logos and markings before, on some of the data his sister had shown him on their way to Coruscant from Eriadu. The Force flowed through Galen and he could sense it was the same. This was part of something bigger…

The wing was clearly labeled in script at least sixty years old,.
Imperial Special Projects, Research Unit 1138

Part: 3

The Research wing forked towards a pair of nondescript project overlooked by observation windows. Galen and Tetreen continued their deception, pretending to be an Inquisitor and his prisoner.

Galen was unsure which path to take, so he breathed in and let the Living Force flow through him. He let the Force guide him to the left-hand path and the project labeled as, “Project New Dawn”. Through the windows the pair saw cloning chambers with technicians working on them inside. A single Imperial Officer, the Lab Head stood in the midst, going over their myriad of activities. Galen and Tetreen continued their charade and stepped into the room to find answers.

“Inquisitor?” The Lab Head said with a twinge in his voice as he and the entire stood at attention, “An inspection wasn’t scheduled until next week.”

“Silence…” Galen said in the deep Inquisitor voice, he was getting better at it, “Report your status.”

The Officer nodded, shaking in his boots. He guided Galen to one side of the room. Galen saw banks of not just cloning tubes but of other medical equipment.

“As you can see…” The Lab Head said, “We continue to make great advances in the Genetic Modification of live subjects. Our therapy techniques offer new opportunities for new military and civilian applications. We calculate that birth defects and genetic abnormalities can be almost eliminated from most of the active population at large…”

Galen nodded at the equipment as the Officer continued. He recognized some of the equipment from the reports he had read about the Imperial Remnant. Gene Splicing had become popular in the past few decades. “Purification of the Empire” they called it. The Ordering and Strengthening of Nature. This was where was being worked on it seemed. Maybe where it was born…

But what the Lab Head was telling Galen was clearly cutting edge research. Far beyond what was in regular use.

“That can’t be everything you have to report.” Galen boomed out, “What about the other project?”

Galen assumed there was always another project. Always another secret. The Force and his experiences with the Empire told him there was always another secret.

It paid off.

The Lab Head escorted Galen to the other side of the lab, towards a few specimen jars holding organic matter in suspended animation for study. Severed hands cauterized just below the wrist. Severed legs. A few taller jars filled with preservative.

“As I keep telling Colonel Valarus,” The Lab Head said, the name familiar to Galen, “I realize that the turnaround time for New Dawn is too slow, but every attempt at Accelerated Growth of subjects has failed. The tubes don’t work. It takes a lifetime to grow these subjects. The Accelerated Subjects have constitutions too weak for the most menial of deployment since the resulting subjects have minds beyond madness and a lifespan comparable to a Telosian Mayfly. The current process is the only one that works so far.”

Galen felt the power coming from the Force Nexus beneath his feet. It gave him an idea, “And the Wellspring has made that possible?”

The Lab Tech clasped his hands, exasperated,”Yes…that whatever it is down there plus the Dark Star Technology plus whatever it is the Grand Inquisitor and his Council has been doing to them has allowed for fully stable subjects, but only through the use of natural surrogates with no growth acceleration. A single subject will theoretically possess a full range abilities with memory retention…theoretically. But, it takes a lifetime to grow them and the implants still make them a little twitchy when they come online.”

The Lab Head led Galen to the edge of the lab, one of the places where Galen had noticed there was a section missing. Galen scrutinized the area and the let the scientist keep talking as the Imperial Officer indicated the specimen jar on the end, a whole specimen. The sight took Galen’s breath away…

“I’m sorry Inquisitor, but I can’t tell you any more because of that turnaround time, the fact that most of the subjects are in the field being monitored by their handlers and most of my samples were taken to the other facility. I cannot tell you what I don’t know.” The Lab Head continued, “But I can say without equivocation that The Silent Inquisition in its current iteration is so far a resounding success…”

The specimen in the jar at the end was without a doubt a human Jedi Knight. The datapad in front indicated the sample’s important data, “Tythos Kelrune. Killed in Action. Sample recovered from the Battle of Geonosis.”

The dead Jedi’s face was the same. Jaxor Kelrune. Leoni’s former Master…

Galen’s pulse quickened. His mind raced at the implications. At the name the Scientist had spoken. The Silent Inquisition

“Inquisitor…what is the prisoner doing in here?” The Lab Head asked finally, “Is she to be dissected?”

“That is none of your concern,” Galen said as he came back to reality,”You are to give me a full readout of all current research status on the double.”

“Yes, sir…” The Lab Head said.

The Technicians scrambled to get what Galen had demanded. A few minutes later the Lab Head emerged with a datapad. Galen took the pad without looking at it.

“Back to work.” Galen said as he walked off.

“May the Force Serve You Well…” The Lab Head said as Galen walked out of the Lab.

Part: 4

Before Jaden headed to the signal jammer station, he found a window overlooking the station. The Jedi then watched, waited and analyzed with an archeologist’s eye. He let the Force flow through him and let his instinct guide his careful judgment. Jaden saw the flows of traffic going in and out of the Shield Generator. He saw the formations form and move away. He saw one formation of troopers making up a patrol about to start that had a space in back.

Jaden marched in proper Stormtrooper fashion right into the empty space into the back of the patrol formation. The demolition charges were close at hand on his belt right where Jaden needed them. As the patrol went through facility, past the sensitive equipment and power stations, Jaden in the back stuck the demolition charges onto power conduits and structures. With the Force flowing through him, he felt more than thought about the best places for the charges to go. As the Patrol completed, Jaden placed the last charge on the central powerline for the Transport Grid, which he suspected would disable all the hyperlifts when the charges went off. As the patrol took Jaden around the Shield Generator a second time, Jaden realized that the points the Force had guided him to place the charges on would destroy the main power coupling, overload the main generator and cause extra potential devastation.

On his way out of the shield generator, Jaden secretly engaged his commlink, “Shield’s ready.”

“Good job.” Galen whispered over comms, “I think you’re need in the research wing called Dark Star, trooper. I don’t have time to check it out.”

Cortree Tincove on the other hand, marched the best he could for the first maintenance shed he could find close to the signal jammer and picked up a toolkit. He walked down the walkway to the guards out front and held out the toolkit in front of him like a badge of honor.

“Inspection time for the conduits for the refreshers.” Cortree said in his best Stormtrooper impression.

The Stormtroopers on guard were skeptical until they heard the word, “Refreshers” and let Cortree right through. Cortree took a quick glance around as he entered the facility. A few modern upgrades here and there but mostly the station was old Clone War-era tech. Probably converted from the Republic Inteliigence Outpost that used to be here. Old old tech meant…

Cortree’s familiarity with Technology told the fringer exactly where to place the charges. While performing, “Inspections” Cortree waited for guards to pass and placed charges inside the consoles right next to the mainframes. Then he placed a few in back on the support struts for the antenna and the transceiver. The trip took Cortree to a lower floor overlooking the central area of the base. A sight caught his eye as he finished his mission.

“Jammer’s ready and I think I found a ride. Meet you at the Prison.” Cortree said over commlink as he headed towards an AT-AT Walker on standby next to the station.

“Good job.” Galen whispered over the comms, “Everybody get ready…”

Galen and Tetreen had decided after seeing the New Dawn of the Empire it felt right to actually take Tetreen to the prison. The pair rounded a corner and found the structure. An open area surrounded by several Stormtrooper Ready Stations. Starting a fight here would be a real trial. Beyond them though were…

Racks and racks of pods of not quite stone or steel. A hundred and fifty odd Jedi stood in silent stasis. The pods were not exactly the kind Galen had heard about from Jaden and Cortree’s adventure to Durace, but the lines of energy that flowed from the pods into the ground towards the Spire gave him a few ideas as to their purpose. It wasn’t the imprisonment itself that angered Galen, though. It was the silence. Galen couldn’t feel them through the Force. He couldn’t hear screams or cries for help. Galen heard nothing from the Jedi Knights before him. He clenched his fist as he headed towards an area that caught his eye in the back.

The Maximum Security Wing was marked by a pair of Frost-Troopers armed with Cryoban Cannons standing before a massive blast door. Some type of chilled gas flowed into and out of several sections, formed condensation and making breath visible in this part of the base.

The Imperial Officer to the side held up a hand as a matter of procedure, “Identify.”

Galen once again made a show of it, putting on the mental guise of an Inquisitor.

“Stand aside,” Galen boomed, “I must get this prisoner to security immediately, Lieutenant. I cannot restrain her for long.”

The Lieutenant looked down at his datapad, “I don’t have any S-Class prisoners scheduled, today.”

“Her mind tricks made the guards aboard my transport shoot each other.” Galen lied, “You wish her to try again?”

The Lieutenant hesitated a moment and snapped his finger, “Open the door. Double watch on the prisoner.”

Another two Frost-Troopers came up behind Galen and Tetreen in addition to the Stormtrooper Guards there for the regular transfer. The Officer engaged the console and the massive blast door opened just long enough for the mass of people to get through into a sealed airlock marking another massive blast door. The second blast door opened revealing to Galen a dozen Cryotubes unlike the others. There were no connecting conduits of energy to these. The Jedi inside were just sealed inside. What made these twelve so dangerous? Galen didn’t know but he figured it would be a good enough to cause the kind of trouble he needed to free these people.

Galen’s eyes glanced to his left, spotting the pair of Imperial Officers overseeing the Mysterious Twelve. The Officers began lowering a new pod for Tetreen. It was time.

Galen tapped Tetreen’s chain in the previously rehearsed signal pattern. Tetreen elbowed Galen in the face and ran for the center of the room.

“The Prisoner is getting away!” Galen said, “Frost-Troopers, surround her!”

The Frost-Troopers complied and leveled their cryoban cannons just as Tetreen let a burst of Telekenisis. The Force Slam knocked the Frost-Troopers off their feet and towards the walls. Tetreen ended the maneuver raising a hand towards Galen.

Galen drew the double-bladed red lightsaber and “resisted” Tetreen’s power.

“She’s too strong…” Galen said as though under a vice, “Look out!”

Galen spun around in one deft move. Four Stormtrooper helmets fell to the floor.

Galen then threw himself into the console in front of Imperial officers as though he were thrown by the Force.

The Officers held up blasts and reached for the alarm. Galen raised a hand, stopping them.

“Wait.” Galen said, “I can handle this myself…”

The Imperial Officers hesitated.

It was the exact time Galen needed to make another sweep with the Lightsaber, cutting down the Imperial Officers.

Tetreen ripped off her muzzle as Galen held up the lightsaber to Tetreen.

“Trade you.” Galen said and Tetreen nodded in agreement. Galen threw General Tetreen the Second Brother’s Double-Lightsaber while Tetreen threw Galen his blue-bladed one.

Galen ran to the console and pushed away the body of a fallen Imperial Officer. He opened console’s controls and looked through the available commands.

“Can you them out?” Tetreen asked.

“I think so. I’m not as talented with slicing as Cortree.” Galen admitted.

Galen looked at the readouts indicating the Prisoners were the most dangerous subjects in the prison.

“General, do you know these prisoners?” Galen asked.

“They are our heroes.” Tetreen confirmed, “These Jedi have caused more trouble for the Imperial Garrison than the rest of us put together.”

“What did they do?”

“They reprogrammed the Guardian Fleet in orbit above us now.” Tetreen said, “Among other things.”

Galen grimaced in concern. But to liberate the Jedi in the prison, Galen needed help. These Mysterious Twelve would have to do. Galen punched in a few commands for revival sequences for the prisoners.

“I think I got it.” Galen said, “I got it!”

The red lights on the outside of the cryopods turned green and let out a burst of cold gas. The pods opened and the Jedi came stumbling out.

Then Galen heard the familiar sound of an Imperial alarm.

“Great…” Galen said, holding up his commlink, “It’s time for an escape!”

When the alarm went off in the other parts of the phase, the Stormtroopers and Imperial Officers ran to the weapons lockers and began arming themselves. The voice of the command center blared out across the base amongst chaotic motion.

“Security Breach in Maximum Security Wing. All hands to battle stations. All hands…”

Cortree looked up to the troops forming up down the walkway and looked back to the AT-AT before him. The disguised Fringer nodded.

“I know this music…” Cortree said as he went through the AT-AT’s door and made his way to the Cockpit.

Cortree ran to the cockpit and immediately hit a few buttons on the commander’s console. The commands closed the doors behind him and unhooked the massive walker from the platform. Cortree jumped to the Pilot’s station and began moving the walker forward towards the Prison. The Stormtrooper squad right behind him on the platform shook fists at him and screamed at the fleeing walker. The commlink aboard buzzed in Cortree’s face.

“Walker Two you are not cleared for…” The Command Center said.

Cortree cut off the Officer in a scream,”Negative, Command. We’re mounted up and headed to cut off the prisoners’ escape.”

“Copy Walker Two.” The Commander seemed not suspicious given the circumstances.

As soon as Cortree was a few walker lengths away from the Jamming Station he moved to the next part of the plan. Cortree triggered the detonator on the Demolition charges he had placed. A series of sparks and fireballs erupted from the rectangular jamming dish, making it if fly to pieces. The building was still intact, but the force of the explosion shook the Walker and the rest of the base, sending up a cloud of smoke.

Cortree pulled out his personal Commlink to the Crucible and checked the air waves. Crystal clear now. He opened a line to the Crucible.

“Cortree to Crucible. Leoni, do you Copy?” Cortree said into the commlink.

A moment later an answer came back, “Leoni here. Ready. Copy.”

“Ready for transport. Come out for us. Watch out for Tie-Fighters.” Cortree said.

“Copy. Roger…oh whatever.” Leoni said, “Taking off now…AHHH!!!!”

The transmission garbled as Cortree heard the distinctive sound of liftoff in an enclosed space.

Cortree shouted into the comm without missing a beat,”Watch it, that’s my ship!”

“Sorry!” Leoni said before cutting off.

Galen threw the Inquisitor’s mask onto the ground and ran to the Jedi he released. The Jedi, barely conscious a few minutes before started ripping open the lockers next to the adjacent Containment Area that had been holding all of their gear for safekeeping. The Jedi soldiers distributed their gear, armor and lightsabers in the styles of the Old Republic. Galen approached a tall woman who strapped armor on in a practiced motion. Body language and the Force suggested she was the one in charge of this Mysterious group.

“You are the one we have to thank for this escape?” The woman asked, looking straight at Galen, ”Jedi?”

“My friends as well are no friends to the Empire.” Galen said, then extended a hand in greeting,”Galen Argyus, Jedi Knight. Just in from Coruscant.”

The woman smiled and shook his hand vigorously, “General Bohemond, Legion of Light. Make ready.”

Galen ignited his lightsaber and stood before the door as the various unfamiliar Jedi lined up next to him and General Tetreen. The Other Jedi ignited their own blades, each unique and old in style. Their Armor, just as ancient in design was also ready for action.

General Bohemond and her troops shouted in unison in a familiar statement as they raised their hands to blast door, “May The Force Give You Strength!”

The group of Jedi blasted the blast door with the Force all at once and ripped off and into a squad of Stormtroopers. The group of Jedi ran to towards the Troopers with Lightsabers drawn.

Galen led the charge as a whirling dervish of blue light as he shouted,”For FREEDOM!!!”

The crowds collided and Stormtroopers fell in droves as Cortree’s Demolition charge went off, giving the Jedi another moment of surprise. Blaster bolts flew through air. Some deflected back at their senders. Others stopped by raised hands throwing Force Blasts in the other direction. The troopers were forced back by the might of the Jedi, but their numbers kept replenishing from the Guard Stations on standby.

Tetreen ran to the readied stasis tubes and started opening them up, freeing the captives within.

“Suppressing Fire!”A Stormtrooper commander shouted he and his men unleashed a torrent of bolts towards the Jedi.

The bolts were sent back by the whirling dervish that was Galen Argyus and his mastery of Ataru. He leapt, jumped off the wall and into another squad of troopers, cutting them down. He kicked one against the wall while stabbing backward, taking the trooper in the chest.

In the walkway between the Shield Generator and the Prison, a squad of Stormtroopers pushed past a lone trooper who seemingly couldn’t shoot to save his live. The squad paid no mind the lone trooper, so they never saw Jaden Windu’s Lightsaber ignite. Jaden’s purple blade cut through the troopers in a carefully timed ambush.

“Jedi Windu!” Galen shouted, getting his attention and marking him as a Jedi to the Tythoni, “Check out the Dark Star Research before they destroy it. I’ll hold here.”

“Right!” Jaden shouted over the din before cutting down another trooper and taking up his blaster. He turned off his lightsaber for the time being and ran towards the Research facility.

Jaden held up his commlink as he ran,”Cortree, Galen could use some covering fire if you have time.”

“On it!” Cortree responded, jumping into the gunner’s chair. The display switched between options, showing his possible targets.

The other AT-AT had its back to Cortree, but he wouldn’t be able to turn around for a while. The Spire was too big to be hurt by the AT-AT. But…

Cortree caught a glimpse through the thermal scope of a caped figure moving towards the prison. The Force to him what it was. He took aim at the man behind the wall in front of him as the Walker drew closer.

“Inquisitor incoming!” Cortree shouted into the comms.

Galen cut down another trooper and turned to the new foe appearing from the Research wing as Jaden ran past him. The First Brother stood prim and proper in his black mask and cape. He drew a curved-hilt lightsaber and ignited its red blade.

Galen rushed towards the Inquisitor’s pointed finger. Lightning bridged the distance between them and Galen rolled with the force of it.

Galen had dodged most of the damage, but smoke still rose from him. The Second Brother raised his saber in salute.

Galen ran at the Inquisitor, swinging in a textbook Hawk-bat Swoop. The Inquisitor took a step back and swept the blow aside, throwing Galen off-balance. The pair matched sabers and circled.

But just then, Galen heard a voice over his commlink, “Fire one!”

Cortree’s AT-AT locked on and fired a blastercannon volley at the Inquisitor.

The Inquisitor leaped into the air just before the explosive attack landed, ripping a hole in the side of the Prison complex. The blast forced the Inquisitor backwards, forcing him to slide on the ground backwards.

Galen coughed up the dust from the destroyed section.

“Damn it, Cor!” Galen said.

“Check your Fire! Walker Two, report!” The commander said over the commlink.

“I was aiming for the Jedi. Checking fire.” Cortree said as he reoriented the AT-AT for a second shot.

The Inquisitor ran in and swept his red blade at Galen’s head. Galen deflected the strike and flipped up to his feet in a kippup. The Second Brother switched styles in the middle of his routine from the elegant Makashi to the diplomatic style of Niman. The Second Brother’s Blade flowed in one hand while his other pelted Galen with telekinetic strikes, slowly widdling down the Jedi’s defense.

The Inquisitor spoke in a melodious voice, “You cannot win this. The Force is not with you nor does it give the Jedi Strength. It serves the Power the power of the Dark Side.”

Galen flipped over the Inquisitor and jumped off the wall. His kick staggered the Inquisitor, who spun and matched his saber strikes again as a squad of storm came in towards Galen. Galen’s move allowed him to flank the Inqusitor, pitting him between Galen and the AT-AT on the other side of the hole.

Meanwhile, Jaden dashed into the research wing and headed straight through the door for Project Dark Star.

He found the scientists inside the room pointing blasters at him as he entered. Jaden thought quickly and just let the Force tell him what to say.

“Jedi are attacking!” Jaden said, “The Grand Inquisitor wants a backup of all project data. Evac protocols, now!”

The scientists moved and started compiling information, ignoring Jaden.

Jaden let the Force guide him to where he needed to go, to the information that would be important to the galaxy. He immediately found himself in a nightmare. Autopsy Tables with Aliens on them lined the wall. The aliens were smooth skinned humanoids whose tall craniums had eyes extended on short stalks. Pieces of technology seemed grafted to their bodies.

He didn’t recognize them immediately, but felt they were familiar to him. Then it hit him.

They were the Rakata…the people of the Infinite Empire.

The implications gave Jaden more questions, but he kept going around the room grabbing samples and pieces of data to analyze. The data on the systems next to the autopsies showed Jaden glimpses of research at adapting pieces of a larger Rakatan device to living tissue and modern technology. Theories about what such things could be used for raced. Cellular Regeneration. Inhibited Aging. Augmented abilities….but there was more lab to be explored.

In the back of the room Jaden found a holoprojection of the known galaxy. The Star Map had several planets in many different sectors highlighted. Planets all over the galaxy in the Core, the Mid Rim, Hutt space, the Empire, the Outer Rim and even the Unknown Regions and beyond into uncharted Wild Space. A few of the points noted on the map in the Unknown Regions formed a familiar pattern to Jaden.

A search pattern. They were looking for something. Something big… Something scattered…

Jaden downloaded the Star Map for further analysis.

Galen found himself in saberlock, trying to stare the power Inquisitor down.

“Give into it, young Jedi.” The Second Brother said, “The Rage. The Anger. Use it. Let it consume you…”

Galen’s sweat and courage dripped down his face and sizzled on the lightsaber blades. This Inquisitor was right. Dark thoughts came to Galen for a moment…

Then he heard a voice over his commlink, “Fire two!”

Galen down out of the way as Cortree fired another volley. This blast took the Inquisitor in the back, though his sweeping lightsaber deflected some of the blasts away. The energy ignited his cape, setting his back on fire.

The Inquisitor cut away his cape and threw his black helmet away. His face was that of Count Dooku.

The Second Brother held up his commlink, “Destroy that Walker! It belongs to the Jedi…”

“It will be done, my lord!” The commander of the other AT-AT said over the commlink as the giant walker circled around and took aim at Cortree’s Walker.

Cortree turned the AT-AT towards the other walker and locked onto the side of the neck. He hoped that the AT-AT had enough firepower for the job.

The Inquisitor came at Galen again. The strikes built up momentum as a squad of troopers from the shield generator wing came over the walkway and surrounded Galen. Galen’s speed allowed him to deflect their blaster bolts, but their presence combined with Cortree’s new threat outside meant that Galen was running out of room to maneuver and hide.

Galen tried a desperate gamble. He came in hard and let the Inquisitor into his defense. Galen elbowed the inquisitor in the face, and clipped the inquisitor’s left arm, then spun back around sliced the darksider across the belly.

The Inquisitor let out a groan as Jaden emerged from the lab with all the research materials he could secure in a pack over his shoulder and still fight.

Several Stormtroopers approached Jaden as he walked out of the Research wing and aimed blasters at him for a moment. Jaden pointed back towards the lab.

“A Jedi was just spotted in the research area!” Jaden said, maintaining his disguise, “They need backup!”

The Stormtroopers ran right past him. When the were around the corner, Jaden looked over the battlefield and decided.

“It’s time, now.” Jaden said and pressed the button of detonator on his charges.

At first nothing much happened, the charges barely made a sound inside the Shield Generator, then something sparked something else and the Shield Generator was replaced by a fireball that knocked out all the windows on the base and took all of the power offline. The fireball became a pillar of smoke and ash and the walkways from the Barracks to the shield generator to the Prison fell to the ground as the Planetary Defense Shield fell.

A new alarm sounded.

“Evacuate to the Spire. Repeat. All hands evacuate to the Spire.”

Cortree and the other AT-AT exchanged fire. The Other AT-AT missed by a small margin, but Cortree’s blast struck true on the side of the neck. The massive enemy Walker lurched as the blast immobilized the head and disabled the front left leg.

The stormtroopers continued shooting at Galen, forcing him into the Inquisitor, who was a match for Galen’s own skill. Galen desperately defended himself against the Inquisitor’s onslaught, which continued to widdle his defense to nothing. He considered the dark side…But no.

Galen used the last bit of strength he had and reached into the Light of the Force for more speed and strength.

The Inquisitor swung at Galen’s head and the Jedi jumped over the blow and kicked the Inquisitor in the forehead. Galen’s sword went up under the Inquisitor’s defense and found the Dark Sider’s heart.

The lights in the clone’s eyes went out and Galen pushed him out of the hole in the wall.

Cortree and the other Walker targeted each other again and fired, both walkers hitting each other. The Other Walker’s blast made sparks fly inside Cortree’s AT-AT. But, Cortree’s rapid fire blasts nailed the Walker on the Neck at its weakpoint, making the other joints on the walker explode, making the main chassis fall between the legs that came apart at the joints and fall in opposite directions. The Chassis hit the ground and smashed all over the ground below.

Cortree breathed a sigh of relief as he searched for another target…

…Just in time for the Crucible to descend and extend its gangplank onto the prison’s walkway.

“Yeeho!!!” Leoni screamed as she fired the Blasters in all directions, holding off the Tie-Fighters.

A message came in on every one of the base’s remaining holoprojectors as emergency power cam online. An automated message played on the sliced systems, displaying only the ancient symbol of the Jedi Order.

A calm synthetic voice said, “This is Tython Guardian Fleet. All non-Republic personnel set down your weapons and surrender in ten minutes local time. Non-compliance will result in obliteration from the Ionosphere. May the Force Give You Strength…”

Jaden finally took off his Stormtrooper helmet and looked at the last surviving squad of troopers giving Galen and the other Jedi trouble. He held up a hand used the Force to telekinetically throw the troopers out of the hole in the wall.

“Get to the ship!” Jaden shouted to the others, guiding them towards the Crucible’s waiting gangplank.

Cortree emerged from the hatch on top of the AT-AT, ran across the top and leaped through the hole in the wall he made. He fired his blaster into the retreating stormtroopers and made his way back to the Crucible.

Galen, Jaden and Cortree held off the last of the Imperials too brave or stupid to run away as the Jedi Prisoners piled into the ship behind them. The three Allies were the last ones onto the ship, helped on by Cortree’s droids who were acting as crowd control, filling up every available space.

Cortree closed the hatch retracted the gangplank and pushed a command into the intercom, “Leoni, get us out of here!”

The Crucible circled around and flew as fast as it could to get out of the area. Cortree, Jaden and Galen found their way to the cockpit just in time to see the sensors displaying a sight they would never forget.

The Guardian Fleet fulfilled its purpose with the most awesome, precise display of firepower the Allies had ever seen. Night turned to day as th Imperial Base crumbled around the space elevator.

Then there was a flash of white light and the Tython Orbital Station vanished. Poof.

The minds of the Allies raced at the implications.

“Teleportation…” Galen said, “You were right.”

“It requires more research.” Jaden said, showing off the satchel of artifacts and research materials he took.

Galen smiled and handed him his own imperial data disc, “Yes it does. There are many things that need to be explained.”

Part: 5

The Crucible returned to Balian City to find the Starship town in celebration. People cheered in the streets as Imperial Officers and Stormtroopers were led at blasterpoint by Guardian Fleet Battle Droids. As the Crucible passed over the city, they passed the smoke from the explosions that had surged across the Imperial installations as self-destruct devices destroyed all the modern technology on planet. The crowds followed them as the ship headed towards the Jedi Temple.

The Jedi Training Ship landed in front of the Jedi Temple in the central courtyard, where a legion of Battle Droids awaited them. The gangplank lowered and the Jedi Prisoners piled out in the arms of medical units and surgeons.

Jaden, Cortree, Galen and Leoni were the last ones off the ship. Their appearance drew silence from the crowd as the Jedi all parted. The Allies found themselves standing before an old grizzled Jedi with a white beard dressed in ancient styled armor and carrying a serious, grim expression. They could sense that of the assembled mass, he was by far the most powerful. The Allies stood at attention as the man approached them and looked at the Crucible with a familiar expression. Somehow he knew this ship…

“You are the allies that helped take back Tython?” The old man asked.

“That would be us.” Cortree said.

“Who sent you to us?” The old man asked.

“We were sent by the Jedi Council to find Tython.” Jaden said.

“It took us a while, but we found you.” Cortree.

“The Force guided us here.” Galen said.

Leoni raised a hand, “I flew the ship at the end there…”

The statement drew a glare from Galen.

“What are your names?” The old man asked.

The allies gave them.

The Old Jedi smiled and put a fist to his chest, “I am General Balian. Today, I proclaim that you four are to be known as Heroes of Tython!”

The speech drew cheers of the crowd. Celebrations began and continued long into the night.

Days later, the Crucible came out of Hyperspace above Coruscant.

The Jedi Training Ship went straight past reporters and into the Jedi Temple’s inner docking bay to another waiting crowd of Jedi. The ship landed amidst silence.

Jedi Master Kataar and Grand Master Veshraan flanked General Gisaku Saberota and Leena Argyus in front of the crowd as the gangplank lowered. Galen, Cortree, Jaden and Leoni emerged all at once to find several dozen waiting gazes. The Allies looked around as the assembled party came in closer.

Galen gulped at the sudden attention from the Grand Master himself.

“Well? Did you find Tython?” Leena asked, breaking the silence.

Galen smiled and stepped aside.

“Better…” Galen said as an envoy of Armored Jedi emerged from the Crucible. The sight drew gasps and murmurs from the crowd.

General Balian pulled back his hood and stood before the Grandmaster of the Jedi Order. He stood at attention and bowed to the Grandmaster.

“I am Jedi High General Jeris Balian of the Legion of Light, Commander of the Tython Guardian Fleet, Captain of the Allusis and servant of the Galactic Republic. Reporting for duty, Grandmaster.”

With that introduction, a New Hope for the Jedi Order and the Galaxy was born…

But many shadows still remained…

End of Episode: 15

Continue to Episode: 16

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Episode : 14
GM: Brad

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Part: 1

When Captain Cortree Tincove, Jedi Knights Jaden Windu, Galen Argyus and Padawan Leoni Venusia first set out to find the Jedi Homeworld of Tython, their minds raced with expectations. Can we find it? Is it like the stories? Will it be habitable? Will it be scarred by the Dark Side of the Force? Did any of the Jedi stationed on planet survive somehow?

Jaden had had an open mind. The Archaeologist expected a planet full of mysteries to be solved, discoveries to be made and a long history to be explored. Galen had had inklings from the Force that told him there would be some kind of new hope for the Jedi Order if not the Galaxy on the surface. The Liberator had thought that surely some Jedi had found a way to dodge Order 66 and survive in the wilds, but had no faith of finding any actual civilization. Leoni had expected a Lost Jedi Colony to be awaiting them with open arms to reveal all sorts of mysteries of the Force that would make up for a lifetime of mistakes and tragedies. But, the Padawan hadn’t read any of the actual histories, merely the more exciting holos about the Great Galactic War. Cortree had heard Tython’s story a hundred times before about a hundred other failed colonies throughout the Outer Rim now lost to memory. The Fringer had expected an abandoned barren rock of a planet with plenty of salvage, some old Jedi Ruins and at least one Rancor they’d have to fight. He didn’t know if they had Rancors on Tython, but Cortree had been ready for that possibility.

Several weeks after setting out, the Allies had no idea they would find themselves fighting an Inquisitor and subsequently infiltrating an Imperial Occupation on Tython disguised as Stormtroopers…

“You’re doing what, Master?!” Leoni shouted into the commlink aboard the Jedi Training Ship, The Crucible.

“Keep your voice down, Leoni.” Galen whispered into the commlink, “maintain position and follow protocol for twenty four more hours.”

“Copy Master.” Leoni replied quieter than before, “May the Force…ahem…For the Empire!”

“For the Empire…” Galen said into the commlink to remain incognito inside the Imperial Base Aurek.

Imperial Base Aurek sat adjacent to Balian City, a small settlement made from Republic and Separatist Military starships forced to land on Tython at the conclusion of the Clone Wars and stranded for the past century. Base Aurek was a prefabricated Imperial Installation plopped onto the surface decades before to oversee the population of Clone War survivors on planet now forcibly enlisted as workers on this the most secret of secret worlds. Having learned as much as he could about the Empire while helping the Liberation Lane on Eriadu, Galen was somewhat familiar with these old prefabricated bases. Galen led the group down the halls to the closest auxiliary maintenance station they could find.

Finding it empty, Galen did his best impersonation of a Stormtrooper and stood guard outside as Cortree jacked a slicer’s datapad into the console with Jaden right beside him. Cortree’s familiarity with technology glided his commands through defensive layers.
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“Haven’t upgraded their security in sixty years,” Cortree said, “Typical Empire fringe world.”

“The Force is with us so far.” Jaden said.

Cortree’s datapad and the console chimed in unison after a few commands, “I’m in. I don’t have total admin access, but I can’t go any deeper without setting off any alarms.”

“It’ll do.” Galen said over commlink, listening in on the conversation, “Where are we on planet?”

Cortree brought up the holographic map, “Base Aurek. At the south side of Balian City…”

Jaden enhanced various areas of the starship town. Imperial Walkers romped and stomped a patrol around the perimeter and down the makeshift streets. Stormtroopers were everywhere around them.

“Do a search on detention areas.” Jaden said, rubbing his chin.

Cortree tapped a few commands highlighting two points on the map, “Looks like there are two detention areas on planet. One local detention here, one special detention block near that beanstalk on the dark continent. Looks like they call it the Spire.”

Jaden zoomed in on the area near the space elevator connecting the Tython Orbital Station to the Imperial Base on the surface, “The Imperial base has a special detention area labelled, ‘Research’. Fascinating.”

“Sounds dangerous…” Cortree replied.

“What else is around that special detention area?” Galen asked over commlink.

“Lucky us. Shield Generators, Military Jamming Station…and a standard-sized Imperial Base.” Cortree said.

“With these disguises we should be able to go right past their security.” Jaden said.

“Where can we go?” Galen said over commlink, “These disguises won’t last forever.”

Jaden thought for a moment and held up a finger, “Perhaps we could assign ourselves to a prisoner transfer from one detention area to the other. Might even be able to find out what’s going on.”

“That’s a good idea.” Cortree said, “Easiest way to get somewhere you’re not supposed to be is to have a reason to be there.”

“Do it.” Galen said over commlink.

Cortree went very carefully through the databases and pulled up the day’s schedule. He passed the data over to Jaden, who carefully analyzed it. He stopped on a blinking red entry.

Cortree smiled as he punched in a few commands, “This system is tricky, but I got access. Pick the prisoner we want to be assigned to.”

“There’s a transfer happening shortly at the local detention block.” Jaden confirmed, “A Jedi General Tetreen.”

Jaden pulled up the file, showing a large, strong Trandoshan Jedi. He enlarged the red blinking part.

“File says that Tetreen is considered to be extremely dangerous even without weapons.” Cortree said.

Galen said over commlink, “Let’s go meet her then.”

The allies took their new orders and hopped on a shuttle that took them across Balian City. They passed over tents, shops and homes. A little piece of civilization even here in this remote world…even with AT-STs stomping by.

The shuttle dropped the Allies in front of an anient stone pyramid structure. The allies stood in awe of the pyramid, unsure of the feeling flowing through them.

“What is that?” Galen asked.

“Map called it, ‘The Forge’” Cortree said, motioning to Jaden, “Jedi Temple mentioned it too. Some kind of history to it, Jaden?”

“Yes.” Jaden confirmed, “It’s where the first Lightsaber was built…”

Part: 2

The Forge had been described by historical records as various places with conflicting descriptions. A Temple of Knowledge, an ancient device of unknown origin to the original Je’daii, a piece of a ruined Tythonian city. All of the tales described a place of knowledge of technological wonders where the warrior-scholars that became the Jedi created the First Saber, an artifact that would become their iconic weapon, the Lightsaber.

Jaden, Galen and Cortree found a pyramid structure built into the side of a hill as a bunker. As they passed through the entrance in their Stormtrooper disguises, they found the walls made of something not quite stone or steel. They saw circuits of light and power going through arteries in the walls. The Force Sensitives felt the power flowing through the planet and into this place. This was a place of creation, of wisdom. This place had more places to explore and expand their knowledge of the past.

But, it had been made a detention area for the Empire.
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As the allies made their way further and further into The Forge, Stormtroopers and Imperial officers walked past them. Jaden took notice of the troopers and the Archeologist began his analysis. He saw how they carried themselves, how they marched, how they saluted the officers, how they watched their perimeter and how they stood as the white armored champions of the Empire with all their conviction. As they reached the detention area, Jaden corrected Galen and Cortree. He whispered in their ears on how to walk, what to do, how to best sell their fragile disguises.

After a few minutes of following signs and passing through ancient halls, the Allies found the holding area. Though the arteries of light and power in the walls were impressive, they were obviously unrelated to the blastdoors and devices installed by the building’s new occupants. This place had become a series of cages meant for Jedi and their sympathizers.

Jaden led the way to a line of Stormtroopers standing by. In front of the quartets of stormtroopers were Commanders denoted by their extended red shoulder plates. Jaden noticed the commanders around here all carried the same weapon, a handheld cannon of some kind that seemed to let off steam or mist around it. The Allies didn’t recognize the weapon and dared not ask about it, lest they be discovered. Jaden saluted one of the Commanders and gave him a datapad.

“New orders, sir.” Jaden said in his best stormtrooper voice, “We’ve just bee assigned for the prisoner transfer.”

The Commander looked over the datapad with practiced routine.

“What happened to your fourth and you commander?” The Commander asked.

“Skirmish at the temple, sir.” Jaden said crisply, “Jedi took them out.”

The Commander nodded in understanding. He looked over to three of stormtroopers next to him and made a motion with his hand.

“You three are dismissed, you’ve been relieved.” The Commander said, turning to the Allies, “You four form up and make ready. Blasters on full charge. You even think the prisoner is trying to escape, blast ‘em and keep blasting until your power cells run dry.”

“The Jedi Scum won’t escape us, sir!” Galen said in his best stormtrooper voice.

The other stormtroopers left and marched down towards the mess hall as the Allies followed Jaden’s previous instructions and lined up in a perfect formation behind the Commander and next to a single Stormtrooper that was part of their “Squad.” Of all the things the Jedi had had to do recently, standing at attention in white armor had been the most difficult and unfamiliar. The white armor of the stormtrooper made it difficult to move and breathe despite being of very little actual protection against blasters. In addition, the trio knew that one false move could tip off the entire base to their presence and have them surrounded. The best thing they could do was to stand at attention and wait.

Then they heard the screams from down the hall. Jaden dared to move his eyes to the side, seeing only a glimpse through the helmet’s visor. Down the hall hecould see alcoves and stasis devices holding Jedi aloft in electrified shackles. Jaden dared to stretch out with The Force. He could sense pain and confusion coming from whomever was down there. Someone was strapped to a table and someone else was asking questions and didn’t like the answers. Someone was asking questions. Someone dark and powerful.

What is going on here?, Jaden thought, Are the Jedi being experimented on?

Then there was another who was coming this way.

The Stormtrooper Commander forced them to attention stone still as the blast doors of the secure wing opened. A Masked Zabrak in the black suit of an Imperial Inquisitor, his head spikes protruding from his head and a double—bladed lightsaber hung at his hip, walked with silent purpose in front of his prisoner. The Inquisitor felt powerful, cruel and a bottle of rage. As the prisoner came into view, all the Stormtroopers trained weapons on her with disciplined precision. The Trandoshan Jedi General Tetreen walked in an orange Prison Jumpsuit collared and muzzled, her limbs bound at the wrists, elbows and the ankles with binders of metal and electricity. Even if she had had a Wookie’s strength, the allies could see that Tetreen could not escape them with great power.

But there was also something to this Zabrak that the trio’s senses in the Force couldn’t put a finger on. Something wrong and yet…familiar.

“Move out to the ship.” The Inquisitor said in a deep, ragged voice.

“You heard the Second Brother.” The Commander ordered to the Allies.

The Stormtroopers both real and fake made ready and escorted the Jedi down the hall…

An hour later, the allies found themselves on a Transport Shuttle flying over the landscape of Tython. The Cargo hold was empty save for a squad of Stormtroopers training their guns on General Tetreen’s cage in the center. If she made a move, the Stormtroopers would have more than enough time to blast her to ash. The Inquisitor made an anxious stroll around the cage, seemingly eager for the Jedi to try exactly that so he could taste her blood and death.

The allies waited in the port-side crew area for the shift change in the middle of the flight. Cortree looked at Galen and the allies whispered in hushed tones.

“You sure this is gonna work?” Cortree asked.

“It has to.” Galen said, “Can you cut the power to the engines and the comms at the same time?”

“I think so.” Cortree said, “I can hold my own against some troopers.

“I can handle our Commander.” Jaden said with confidence.

Galen took out and hung his Lightsaber from his belt, “I’ll take the Inquisitor. Be ready.”

“Let’s do this.” Cortree said.

Part: 3

The shift change came and the allies took their places. Jaden stood on the starboard side opposite the crew compartment they had just left and the only other real Stormtrooper in their squad. Next to Jaden stood the Stormtrooper Commander with his strange steaming weapon. Galen and Cortree stood at the aft end. As Cortree took his place, he looked over the console attached to the engines and environmental controls before doing a left face turn and standing at attention like Jaden told him. The Inquisitor continued strolling around the cage with his Double-Bladed Lightsaber in easy reach.

The General sat in a cross-legged meditation stance. She seemed to know patience.

The other shift of Stormtroopers made their way to the crew quarters and made ready to get some down time. Galen watched them go in and close the compartment door behind them. The Inquisitor continued his stroll around the cage and turned his back on them.

Galen looked to Cortree and then Jaden and nodded. The pair nodded back and took their positions.

Cortree moved to the Engine console and Galen stood in front of him to hide him and watch his back. The Tech Savant’s intuitive sense of technology bringing up the commands he needed before he knew what he needed. He pressed in a few commands within moments.

As the Second Brother strolled to the back of the cage, Galen reached out to General Tetreen. He sensed great calm and cool collection from the General. Much like the Order’s own Battlemaster Droast. He sent a message to her through the Force.

“We stand with you General.” Galen sent to Tetreen, prompting no mvement.

The Inquisitor stopped on the other side of the Cage and turned towards Galen.

The General sent a message back.

5…4…3…2…1…

“Now.” Galen whispered to Cortree as everything happened at once.

Cortree punched in a command and power surged through the shuttle. The lights dimmed as the engines and communications stopped at once, causing the shuttle to lurch as it moved to landing repulsers and began descending.

Jaden looked for a weakness in the binders just as General Tetreen stood up and ripped her reinforced binders apart in a single motion.

The Second Brother ignited his lightsaber’s dual red blades and brought it up for a swing to cut Tetreen in half.

Galen leapt on to the ceiling as the shuttle lurched. His motion was so fast it drew the attention of the last stormtrooper and the Commander as Galen became a white blur. The Master of Ataru flipped off the ceiling and the cage, drew his own blue-bladed Lightsaber and intercepted the Inquisitor’s swing.

Galen and the Second Brother matched swings as they engaged each other. Galen flipped and quickly dipped under the Second Brother’s fierce swings throwing the cumbersome stormtrooper helmet to the floor.
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The Stormtrooper Commander raised his strange weapon towards Tetreen as the craft lurched. Jaden took the opportunity to elbow him in the face and into the wall, “accidentally” knocking the commander unconscious.

Cortree punched in another command and locked the starboard crew compartment blast door. He laughed as the Stormtroopers on the other side slammed their fists against the sealed door.

Galen and the Second Brother spun around and matched each other blow for blow. Galen waited for an opening.

The last stormtrooper moved around the cage to flank Galen, but Galen moved too fast for that.

Then General Tetreen let out a roar as a blast of Force Energy flew in all directions, breaking the cage to pieces. Jaden braced himself against the hull, but the last stromtrooper was slammed against the wall. The Jedi General was now free.

Galen managed to dodge the Force Slam, but the Second Brother was knocked off-balance for just a moment. Galen felt it was the only moment he’d have in this fight. The pair matched blades again and Galen put all of his strength, courage and convinction into one one move.

The Second brother made a wild swing as Galen ducked under it with blinding speed. Galen elbowed the Inquisitor in the face, spun around and followed through with a practice motion. Galen’s swing went right through the darksider’s defenses and took his head clean off. The Inqusitor fell to the deck and Galen made a sigh of relief.

Then the Stormtroopers in the locked crew compartment began to move.

“Stand back!” The Commander in the crew compartment said as his weapon charged and fired.

The door froze in a flash before a few blaster bolts followed and blew the door to pieces. The last stormtrooper squad made ready against the allies and the General.

Cortree fired his blaster at the squad, the confined quarters making aiming difficult as he shouted at the equipment, “I can’t see a thing in this helmet!”

Jaden picked up the fallen Stormtrooper commander’s unfamiliar Cryoban Cannon at his feet and leveled it at the reserve squad’s commander. The Weapon bucked unexpectedly and the shot went wild, freezing the side of the hull, completely missing it’s target.

“Nice try, impostor!” The Commander said as he levelled his own Cryogun at Jaden, “Shoot the Jedi!”

The danger was short-lived as his helmet shattered from the force of General Tetreen’s charge and subsequent headbutt, taking the man down and dropping the Cryogun to the deck.

The Stormtrooper squad fired at Galen, how deflected the bolts away and made his way towards them.

Cortree spotted the gun drop and fired at the fallen weapon, thinking it look unstable. His shots hit home on the regulator, but his timing was off as the ship rocked as it touched down. The Cryogun exploded in a cloud of freezing vapor that caught Tetreen in the face as the Stormtroopers dove back.

Cortree sensed they were on the ground now, so he turned his attention to the cockpit door and took aim. Moments later, the cockpit door opened for a pair of armed pilots, who only found Cortree’s blaster bolts flying at them. The pair dropped where they stood.

Half the Stormtroopers grabbed and extended stun batons and engaged both Tetreen and Galen in hand to hand. The others fired their blaster at Tetreen, whose Trandsohan physiology was slowed by the cryoban. The blaster bolts hit home and scorched Tetreen’s hide as she powered forward. The tactic was unexpected and unusual weapons caught Galen offguard as the Stormtroopers used genuinely good fisticuffs to hold him off and prevent his lightsaber from coming to bare.

Jaden looked at the Stormtroopers and watched their movements. He analyzed their trained formation, found an opening on their flank and fired the blaster. The blaster bolts took out the two stormtroopers all over Galen, freeing him up.

The two remaining stormtroopers shot at the General, hoping to drop her before she reached them. But the the Jedi General was faster and her superior strength and skill shattered their helmets against the deck as they fell.

Galen held up his lightsaber and swept the area for danger.

“Clear starboard.” Galen said.

“Clear fore and aft.” Cortree said.

“Clear Port…” Jaden said cutting himself off, his gaze falling to the ground.

“What is it, Jaden?” Galen asked, his gaze following to the Inquisitor’s severed head now out of the mask that covered it.

Cortree moved forward and looked down, his face turning to surprise, “What the?…”

Galen, Jaden and Cortree had been doing a lot of research on the Clone Wars in light of recent events. They knew the faces surrounding the conflict. They knew the faces of those who started the wheels in motion.

They immediately recognized the Second Brother’s dead face as being almost identical to the most infamous Zabrak in the Galaxy’s recent history.

“Darth Maul…” Jaden confirmed, “Or at least a corrupted clone of him.”

“That’s not possible.” Cortree said, “I heard you can’t clone Jedi Folk. Doesn’t work.”

“Historically,” Jaden said, “accelerated cloning of Force Sensitives has resulted in universal failure. Subjects either don’t possess Force Sensitivity or are mentally unstable with a lifespan so short their usefulness is too limited.”

“We have to find out what they’re doing here.” Galen said, shutting down his lightsaber.

The trio turned as General Tetreen ripped off her muzzle and other restraints and threw them across the room, drawing their attention. Though wounded and still unarmed, Tetreen seemed ready to take all three of them single-handed.

“First you have to answer my questions,” General Tetreen said in an rocky authoritative Trandoshan hiss, “Who are you?”

Part: 4

Galen shut down his lightsaber and let fall to his side. He made a light bow to the Jedi Master before him.

“We are here to rescue you. We are Jedi Knights Galen Argyus and Jaden Windu of the Jedi Order and this is our ally Cortree Tincove, Captain of the Jedi Training Ship, The Crucible.” Galen said.

“You are not of Tython.” Tetreen said.

“We came from Coruscant,” Galen said, “We followed an old map left behind by Master Yoda. We discovered the Temple and feared the worst.”

“Prove to me you are Jedi.” Tetreen said, “Your word and your Lightsaber alone are not enough.”

“What would you have us do?” Jaden asked.
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Tetreen thought for a moment and spoke, “Emotion?”

Galen picked up on the challenge code, “There is no emotion.”

“There is peace.” Jaden followed. The pair picked up on it immediately.

“There is no ignorance…”

“There is knowledge.”

“There is no passion…”

“There is serenity.”

“There is no chaos…“

“There is harmony.”

“There is no death…”

“There is the Force.” The three said simultaneously.

Galen walked up to her and handed her his lightsaber.

“If you don’t believe us,” Galen said calmly, “Strike me down with my own blade.”

Tetreen regarded the young man intently.

“So be it,” Tetreen said, “Jedi…”

Galen sighed in relief as Tetreen handed back his saber, the danger passed.

The allies at down and broke out some rations as they recovered from the combat.

“How did you get past the Guardian Fleet, Master Jedi and Captain?”

“Yoda’s Holocron had old ident codes.” Jaden confirmed.

“You are fortunate, they would have blown you out of the sky.”

“What’s happened here, General?” Galen asked, “What is the Empire doing?”

“The Empire?” Tetreen said, “We don’t know.”

“Forgive us, General. We’ve found conflicting information.” Jaden said, “How long has the current occupation been here?”

“Sixty Years ago the Legion and the Order retook Tython,” Tetreen confirmed, “We’ve been at relative peace with the Imperial Garrison here for nearly that whole time. They attacked us right out of the blue five weeks ago.”

“B-314’s chronometer must be off,” Cortree said, “He said Five Years.”

“We’ve been trying to get that fixed,” Tetreen said with familiarity, “But that’s what happens when the Empire rakes the entire planet with ion cannons and destroys the most accurate star charts.”

“So your Order has been stuck here for century?” Galen asked, genuinely curious,”How did you survive?”

“Master Balian’s a survivor. He reminded us of all the things a Jedi could be. Especially in times of greatest need.”

“When we came in, the Guardian fleet gave us a strange greeting.” Jaden said. Tetreen nodded, recognizing the concern.

“A relic of the past, but only used by a small small minority among the Jedi on planet.” Tetreen said,”Most of us are not like that.”

“It concerns me, Master the militarism apparent on Tython. Do you think yourselves soldiers?” Galen said, as carefully as possible.

“We think ourselves as Jedi.” Tetreen said, “The Jedi Order has taken many forms over the millennia. Our situation demanded that we needed to be the strongest version of the Order to survive and to bring the Galaxy back to a better time before Empire.“

“But what if your war is over?” Galen asked honestly, “What if the Republic has moved on?”

“War is a temporary state, but struggle and change never end. The Legion of Light and its members are like all other Jedi, servants of the Republic. We are not despots or dictators, we are guardians of its people, its laws and its ways of life. Even if there is no physical enemy for the Jedi to face, there will always be struggle between Light and Dark. We face that struggle along with the rest of the Republic. It is our duty to help it along and hope that it chooses the Light.”

Galen felt moved by the words. But he also wondered how the Seekers of the current Order would fair with these new Jedi with them…

“What did the Empire do with the rest of the Jedi?” Jaden asked,”In the Forge there were some kinds of experiments.”

Tetreen hissed, her stillness cracking from the memory.

“The only thing we know about the Imperial Occupation here is that they seem to be doing some experiments up by the Wellspring.”

“The Wellspring?” Galen asked.

“A Large Force Nexus on the other continent.” Tetreen said,”It augments Force abilities using some kind of strange technology surrounding it.”

“Strange how?” Jaden asked.

“You might have seen some of it in the walls of the Forge. Some kind of ancient technology the original Jedi Survey team found. We can’t really comprehend it or everything it can do besides its ability to build things rapidly. When the surveyors first found the Forge and the nearby Fount of Rajivari, they were but ruins. But they grew into the massive bunker you saw. What we do know for certain is that the technology seems to only be able to be operated or reassembled by Force Sensitive people.”

Jaden pursed his lips as theories fell into his consciousness, “This technology, did it feel alive?”

“Yes. I think so. I haven’t spent much time with it.”

“Are you familiar with the Infinite Empire?”

Tetreen shuttered at the thought, “A few footnotes from historical study. But didn’t they die out tens of thousands of years ago?”

“We think they’re makin’ some kind of return.” Cortree said,”We’ve had run ins in the past.”

“They possessed technology like the kind you describe.” Jaden said,”According to the histories, their Empire used technology that was fueled by the Force and became attuned to the Dark Side. At some point the Empire somehow lost their ability to use the Force and therefore their technology.”

“But what does it mean?” Tetreen asked.

“It means they’re doin’ something that needs a lot of Force Users.” Cortree said,”Big project might demand you capture as many of ‘em as you can, I figure.”

“That is certainly a possibility…” Tetreen said,”What do we do from here? Do you have a ship?”

“My ship, the Crucible,” Cortree said, “We can use it to get past the Guardian Fleet easy. Galen’s apprentice is piloting it, but she should be able to get us out.”

“Good idea.” Tetreen said,”We should return to the Republic and bring as many Jedi and Republic Forces as we can muster.”

Galen thought about the situation long and hard. He thought about Tython, about the road they had taken there, about everything that had happened to all of them recently. He thought about what they should do. Guided by the Force he felt that he couldn’t just leave his fellow Jedi in the hands of the Imperials.

“How many Jedi are on Planet?” Galen asked, “How many does the Empire have?”

“One to two hundred, depending on our losses. A few dozen I think are still in hiding including General Balian who still has the command codes for the Guardian Fleet.” Tetreen said.

Galen made his decision. He followed the will of the Living Force.

“We’re not leaving them behind.” Galen said,”I won’t abandon Jedi to the Empire. I won’t let them be slaves or lab rats. I sense we are on the edge of something terrible here. Something that only we can stop. Even if I have to do it alone they must be freed…”

Cortree, Jaden and Tetreen looked to him and realized that he could not be swayed. They realized that he meant what he said, that he would do whatever it took.

The three of them looked to each other and nodded.

“You won’t have to.” Tetreen said.

“I’ll help.” Jaden said without hesitation.

“You can’t blow up an imperial base without me.” Cortree said,”Haven’t gotten a chance to try that yet.”

“Thank you all.” Galen said, “So, what’s the plan?”

The allies took out a datapad and opened a holographic map of the area.

“The Imperial Base sits on top of a large canyon with steep cliffs on either side, making a ground assault impossible even if we had access to the Guardian Fleet.” General Tetreen reviewed,”The Guardian Fleet itself is cut off from the surface by the Signal Jammer. We would have to destroy that jammer before would could call them for aid. In addition, the Planetary defense shields are strong enough to repel any kind of Orbital bombardment.”

“Our primary target should be the Shield Generator or the Signal Jammer.” Jaden said, analyzing the information.

“He’s right,” Cortree said, looking over the site,”If we can can blow up one of them, it leaves the planet open to the Guardian Fleet who I’m guessing have been waiting sixty years for a fight. I don’t think an Occupation this size can repel two million battle droids.”

“I can be your insider. I can help free the other Jedi if you can get me to the right place.” Tetreen said,”You can use that Inquisitor’s outfit to scout the area and see if there’s a way to free us.”

“We have to free these Jedi,” Galen demanded,”That means our primary target should be the shield generator. Once it’s down, we can get Leoni to fly in with the Crucible and get the prisoners out.”

“Hundred and fifty some odd folks?” Cortree said, “Tight fit but we can do it with our cargo space. Won’t be a comfy ride if we have to bug out to Coruscant.”

“How many of the Jedi are members of this Legion of Light? How many can fight?” Galen asked.

“A little more than half of us.” Tetreen said,”But, even the most peaceful of us are still Jedi Knights. If you can get the Jedi free and take down that Shield Generator, we can take out that Signal Jammer together.”

“We will have to trust the Force to guide us.” Jaden said, getting up.

“I’ll check the weapons locker an’ see if they got any Thermal Detonators.” Cortree said, walking to aft.

Galen went to the fallen Inquisitor and began stripping him. He activated his commlink and opened a channel to Leoni.

“Leoni.”

“Yes, Master?”

“Here’s the plan…”

End of Episode: 14

Continue to Episode: 15

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Episode : 13
GM: Brad

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Part: 1

After their long voyage through the unknown parts of the Deep Galactic Core, The Jedi Training Ship The Crucible lay at full-stop just outside of the Tython System. Their destination, the fifth planet, had been known throughout history as the birthplace of the Jedi Order. 25,000 years before, bands of scholars had gathered together on the planet and discovered the mystic energy field known as the Force. According to historical records, a thousand years before the planet lay abandoned in the middle of deep space save for its twin moons. The moons that served as spiritual inspiration for the Light Side and Dark Sides of the Force.

When the Crucible arrived, the allies aboard found themselves staring at a planet surrounded by wreckage and a fleet of starships bearing the same distinctive mark. The Crucible’s computer chimed as the hologram of the symbol rotated before the crew.

“Confirmed,” The Computer said in the ancient voice of Master Yoda, “Ninety-nine percent match to known recorded symbol of the Jedi Order.”

Jaden Windu, descendant of Mace and Jedi Archaeologist sat at the ship’s computer and rubbed his chin, “How old is this symbol, Crucible?”

Data shifted on the display, “Symbol corresponds to others in common use eleven hundred years ago. The Legion of Light.”

“Legion of Light?” Cortree Tincove, Captain of the Crucible said scrutinizing the fleet at the sensor console,“Sounds more like an army.”

“It was an army,” Jaden confirmed, “An army of Jedi.”
Galen Argyus and his Padawan Leoni Venusia sat at the pilot and co-pilot seats maneuvering the Crucible for a better look. Leoni shifted in her seat away from the mass of starships.
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“I didn’t think the Order ever had big armies, except for the Clone Wars.” Leoni said, unsure of the revelation.

“The Legion of Light was formed when the Sith were at their most powerful and the greatest threat to the Galaxy.” Jaden explained, “At the time, the Jedi Order also rose to its political height. The Jedi at the time were very well respected.”

“Dark times for the Republic…” Galen said, suspicious of the symbol,“Cortree, what’s with this jamming? I can’t get much on the scopes.”

Cortree punched in a few commands into the sensors, “That there is military-grade Jamming. Communications in and out a’ system will be hard to say the least. But that makes sense based on what Master Yoda’s Holocron told us.”

The mention of the Holocron caught the attention of Jaden, who brought up the data from the copy they had made on Crucible’s Main Computer. The Holocron that the Allies had found on Dagobah had held the way to Tython and told them of its last known state: During the Clone Wars, Tython had been in the process of being restored to livable conditions, but had been turned into a safe area for those Jedi too pacifistic to fight, for those seeking sanctuary and eventually into a staging ground for special operations.

Jaden stopped on a series of codes in the deeper parts of the Holocron, “Try these, Captain.”

Cortree pressed a few buttons on the communications console, taking a few indicators from blue to red, “Increasing power from secondary systems to Communications array. This should cut through the jamming for the time bein’. Try it.”

Jaden moved to the Communications console and sent out a wide broadcast.

“Tython Temple, do you read me? This is the Jedi Ship Crucible, please respond.”

A few minutes passed in silence before a message came back.

“Crucible, this is Guardian Fleet. Please confirm.” The voice said.

Cortree raised an eyebrow. For Cortree Tincove it was a very familiar voice, even through the static.

“That’s a B1 Battle Droid.” Cortree said as another indicator popped up,”Looks like there’s another signal.”

Jaden tuned into the frequency, “It seems to be coming from the side of the planet facing us.”

“Wo…Someone else is on this frequency?” A voice said, “This is…Dustil. Are really Jedi? Over…”

“That’s an Amateur Fringer.” Cortree confirmed, knowing his own kind.

A third message came in seconds later in a dry voice, “This is Tython Temple. Please confirm, Crucible.”

“Three responses?” Leoni asked, “Something’s not right.”

Jaden sent out another message.

“Confirm, this is the Jedi Ship Crucible on a mission from the Jedi Order on Coruscant. Ident Codes sent to confirm.”

The Fleet’s contact followed much faster than the last time.

“Confirmed Crucible. You are cleared to land following the assigned course.” The droid said, “May The Force Give You Strength.”

The end of the transmission made everyone turn to each other with a look of concern.

“Is it bad to say it like that?” Leoni asked.

“There are many variations on that greeting.” Jaden confirmed, “But that one implies moral flexibility. Very unusual.”

The amateur, Dustil followed just as fast.

“Wo…You are real Jedi…Do you have a ship that works? TAKE ME WITH YOU!”

Cortree butt in, “Copy Dustil, what are you talkin’ about? Over.”

“Well, all the Jedi have been captured…”

“By who?”

“By the Empire…”

Jaden lowered the volume on the amateur to hear the response from the other side of the planet.

“Confirmed, Crucible. Dock in the Orbital Station on the other side of the plane. May the Force Be With You.” The response came in a dry, calm voice that held the silence of the ship together.

“I think my Padawan is onto something.” Galen said, “This whole planet’s not right.”

“What should we do?” Cortree asked, ready for anything.

“It would be wise to follow the course form the Guardian Fleet. We might find some answers at the temple.” Jaden suggested, “If there is danger, we can go back to Coruscant and return with aid.”

“Good idea.” Galen said, turning off auto-pilot, “Let’s do an orbit to see what’s what and go down to the temple.”

Part: 2

Cortree increased power to the shields as Galen brought the Crucible to around the perimeter of the Guardian Fleet. The number of ships in orbit left the allies in awe.

“How many people were supposed to be on planet at the end of the Clone Wars?” Galen asked, looking at the ships, “There are too many ships in orbit to be just the survivors of the Separatists.”

Jaden brought up a piece of the holocron data and expanded it, “Well, it says here that Tython had about 150 – 200 personnel on site. Most of them Civilians from Alderaan. Couple dozen Jedi… Plus a Legion of Clone Troopers and Republic troops in orbit. So, not that many. Not enough to stand up to a Separatist fleet.”

Galen maneuvered closer to the ships, “Try a scan.”

Cortree and Jaden punched commands into the sensors, managing to cut through the jamming for a moment to scan the entire fleet.

Jaden brought up the scan as the information trickled in, “No life signs in the fleet at all. That fleet must be run entirely by droids.”

“How many droids would that Separatist fleet have had?” Leoni asked, balking at the ships passing by.

“Conservative estimate?” Cortree said, running numbers in his head, “’bout two million.”

“More than enough to hijack a fleet…” Galen said.

As the Crucible passed by the ships, its exterior lights and scanners highlighted cables tied between the ships and droids that flew from ship to ship.

“Military-grade jamming means courier droids and hardlines.” Cortree explained, looking closer at the ships,”These ain’t just Separatist ships. What’s the scan say?”

Jaden enlarged the scan data, the Archaeologist fascinated by the old models of starship still running decades after they were to put out of regular service.

“Scans confirm ships from the Separatist Fleet consistent with the Diligent’s flight log, but no identifiable Droid Control Ship aside from a few pieces of debris.” Jaden said,” Also detect a few pieces of a Venator-Class Star Destroyer and several dozen ships from…the Empire.”

“Imperial Ships?” Galen asked, “Like what?”

Leoni gasped and pointed out the window,“Like that!”
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The Allies froze as they passed beside the largest conventional starship they had ever seen besides the Ancient Pyramid ship they had encountered on Durace. It was a wedge-shaped craft 19 kilometers long with six distinctive rear ion engines glowing a weak idling amber.

“"Executor-Class Super Star Destroyer",Cortree confirmed.

“How the hell did they take that thing?” Galen asked.

“With two million battle droids, I could get the job done.” Cortree said, “She gotta name? Birds like these you could count on one hand.”

Jaden cross-referenced the scans with the database, his gaze falling on a name that made him rub his chin in curiosity, “The droids seem to have repainted it and renamed it the Allusis. But Imperial Ident codes on the side still confirm it as…The Merciless.”

“The Merciless?” Galen gulped, “Any history on her?”

“She was lost during the Imperial Reconsolidation, when the old Empire became the Imperial Remnant of today. Some data of the day say destroyed, the others scrapped. That was…sixty years ago.”

“What the hell is she doing here? You don’t send a Dreadnought like this to the middle of nowhere.” Galen said.

“Probably for the same reason they needed that.” Cortree said, pointing to a stellar object past the massive starship.

The Crucible came around the planet, passing by the Super Star Destroyer and came into view of an Orbital Space Station connected to the planet by a Space Elevator. The tube-like structure stretched from the station to the surface of the planet.

“Orbital Station?” Galen asked.

“The Holocron mentioned they restored an Ancient Orbital Station that had drifted from the planet. It housed the Clone Troopers and part of the research unit. The station itself dates back at least 3700 years.” Jaden confirmed.

“Well, we are not going anywhere near it.” Galen said, changing the direction of the ship, “Let’s follow the droid’s course.”

The Crucible descended to the atmosphere and the scans continued to the surface until the jamming overtook them again.

“Looks like there’s Double-Walled Planetary Defense Shield covering the dark continent. Reading ion storms there too.” Jaden said.

“Which side is the jamming coming from?” Galen asked.

“The dark side of the planet.” Jaden confirmed as they broke through the atmosphere to Tython itself.

Part: 3

The Crucible followed the course set by the Guardian Fleet, taking them through the clouds and over the surface of the ancient world.

Tython. Birthplace of the Jedi Order.

Yoda’s Holocron told the Allies that the planet Tython had been abandoned thousands of years before because of some kind of natural disaster unrecorded by history. The survey teams that had rediscovered the planet a decade before the Clone Wars had found the world mostly barren with a surface of ash and a sky of ion storms…

The Crucible passed over green fields beneath a blue sky.

“I thought this place was supposed to be barren…” Leoni said confused.

“The Holocron mentioned they had aid from the University of Alderaan.” Jaden said.

“Planetary Engineering?” Cortree suggested, “Done pretty good so far.”

The ship flew through a canyon that stretched across the continent. A path was carved into the stone below, a long path. Along the long path were Holoprojectors.

“Are those Holoprojectors?” Leoni asked.

“That’s the Initiate’s path,” Jaden confirmed, “Younglings walk the path on foot for weeks. The holograms of old masters give out wisdom as they progress, facing the dangers of the environment, fear, doubt and disbelief. The path guides the Initiates to crystal caves where they would craft their first lightsaber and return as a Padawan learner.”

Along the sides of the Canyon were statues the size of buildings carved from the stone in the images of Jedi Masters from various eras of history. The Great Galactic War, the Jedi Civil War, The Time of Galactic Expansion.

“Who are those?” Leoni asked.

“Most of their names have been lost to time. They may be in the archives.”

“We’re getting close to the temple.” Galen said, “Any other settlements we can detect?”

Jaden pressed a few commands into the sensor console, “Looks like there is a small settlement in the mountains near the Temple and a larger one across this continent. Detectable population roughly…a thousand.“

“Let’s hope they’re friendly.” Cortree said.

The Crucible’s path took it across a boundary wall an into a large courtyard. The allies found themselves looking at the Courtyard’s vastness through the cockpit’s viewports.

“This place is huge!” Leoni said,”You could fit Yavin IV and Ossus Academies in this place.”

“This temple is the largest in the whole Galaxy.” Jaden confirmed.

“What are those things down there standing in the courtyard?” Galen asked, flying lower and slower to get a closer look.

Cortree looked out the viewport with macrobinoculars, “Droids. Lots of ‘em. Looks like Battle Droids too. But not a single living soul to be had.”

“I had a bad feeling about this before,” Galen said, “Now it’s worse…”

The Crucible found the flightpath’s end, an old hanger bay that slowly opened. The ship landed next to rows and rows of speeders and ancient husks of ships undergoing restoration and repair now left derelict.

The gangplank lowered and the Allies walked onto the surface of the planet. As soon as the Jedi’s feet hit the surface, the all stood still as a shiver went up their spines. A wave of energy from the planet into their hearts. Calm. Soothing. Peaceful.

Leoni gasped and Galen deepened his breath.

“I feel it too.” Jaden said, holding out a hand and closing his eyes.

“Even I feel that.” Cortree said, “This planet is strong in the Force.”

“I don’t sense anyone around.” Jaden said, opening his eyes. “This place is abandoned.”

“Not entirely.” Cortree said as he pointed up at the flight control station and waved.

A lone Humanoid Droid waved back from the console.
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“Let’s go ask him.” Galen said.

A few minutes later, Cortree kicked an old landspeeder to life.

“Gotta love this. Classic Speeder.” The Fringer said, running a hand over the old exterior.

Galen walked Leoni back to the gangplank.

“Take the ship and circle around a few times. Find a hiding place.” Galen ordered his apprentice, “Keep the commlink open, but don’t trust anyone on the comms but us. If you see or sense anything strange or threatening you take the ship and you hide. If you don’t hear from us in 24 hours, take the ship back off planet and go back to Coruscant as fast as you can.”

Leoni nodded furiously, “Yes, Master. I won’t let you down.”

“I mean it this time, Leoni.” Galen said.

“I’ll stay on the ship unless you call for a rescue.”

“Good.” Galen said.

“May the Force be With You.” The pair exchanged.

Leoni ran back up the gangplank. Moments later the ship took off again and flew back out the way it came.

Galen jumped into the Land Speeder.

“Are you sure leaving her in charge of the ship is a good idea?” Cortree asked.

“Better than leaving it alone on the surface.” Galen said.

“Well, you’re half-right.”

Cortree engaged the computer and opened a map of the temple. He toggled the path, hit the accelerator and drove the speeder towards the Flight Control Station a few levels up.

The Allies landed at the pad and disembarked. They were greeted moments later by the lone droid they saw earlier. The brown generic variety Protocol Droid waddled up to the party nervously. He eyed their Lightsabers, making a positive identification of their allegiance.

Cortree stepped in front and nodded towards the old droid. The Tech Savant and droid expert knew the best way to greet the ancient droid, so he took the lead.

“Greetings, I am Cortree Tincove, Captain of the Jedi Training Ship Crucible. I present Master Jedi Galen Argyus and Jaden Windu.”

“Welcome to Tython Temple, Master Jedi and Captain. I am B-314 at your service.” The Droid said in a polite synthesized voice, “How may I be of assistance?”

“Did someone tell you we were coming?” Cortree asked.

“Yes sir. Guardian Fleet informed me of your arrival. It is linked into our communications system. Though, the continued jamming prevents the Order from commanding them to leave orbit.”

“When was the last time an actual ship landed here?” Jaden asked.

B-314 thought for a moment and looked up, “60 standard years ago. Not since the Imperial Bombardment destroyed all Hyperspace Capable ships on the planet or so I was told.”

Galen blinked, “The Empire controls this planet?”

“Yes, Master Jedi,” B-314 confirmed, “As far as I understand. I am assigned to this station so I am not familiar the current disposition of Tython. I have been programmed to not leave my station unless designated. It is a lonely life, you know…”

“Who last gave you an order?”

“That would be Master Balian. About five standard years ago.”

“Who is in charge ‘round here?” Cortree asked.

“Last recorded commander was General Alkura of the Legion of Light.” B-314 replied, “Last known location of the General was the Master’s Quarter.”

“Can you take us to your leader, B-314?” Cortree asked, “It is urgent that we speak to him immediately.”

“Yes sir.” The protocol droid replied, “Would you like a tour of the grounds?”

“Yes please.” Jaden said, beckoning the old droid to the Land Speeder.

B-314 guided them through the City that was the temple. The corridors seemed to go on forever. After being kept in the hanger bay for so long, the old protocol droid was enthused as much as a droid could to tell them about the Jedi Temple.

“The Jedi Temple of Tython was first built 25,000 years ago.” The droid said with a spark B-314 hadn’t had before,“Time wore away the original structures, which were subsequently abandoned and demolished. This current structure was first built 1100 standard years ago atop the ruins of the Temple City of Kaleth.”

“How much of this was operational a hundred years ago?” Jaden asked, ever the Archeologist.

“None of it as I understand it, Master Windu. A significant portion was rebuilt and reactivated by Master Xalek and Master Balian.”

“What kind of training facilities do you have at this temple?”

“The best in the Galaxy.” The Droid said with pride.

The speeder emerged from the endless corridors onto a zen pathway that connected to the courtyard the Allies had seen earlier. They passed groundskeeping droids that continued their mission to trim plants and clean up temple grounds. They passed Holoprojectors set before lines of droids.

“What are those droids?” Jaden asked.

“Training units for the Legion of Light.” B-314 confirmed.

“The Legion trains against them?”

“The Legion commands them, Master Windu.”

The Allies arrived at a great hall connected to a common area. When the disembarked and made their way through the arches, they found blaster burns and lightsaber gouges in the walls and floor.

“Signs of battle.” Jaden said, running a hand along the cuts.

“A big one it looks like.” Galen said, eyeing destroyed droids off to the side.

“Weirder thing,“ Cortree said, “No corpses. No gear left behind save for the droids.”

The allies reached the end of the main hall and found it forked into two wings in opposite directions. On the each side of the fork was a holo-statue in front of a sealed door with similar damage to the rest of the hall. The left holostatue depicted a Khaleeshi Jedi with welcoming open hands. The right hand holostatue depicted a bearded human Jedi with pieces of Armor atop his robes.

“Welcome to the Master’s Quarters, Master Jedi.” B-314, “The two doors lead to the two respective parts of the Tython Order. The left-hand path leads to the quarters of the Masters of the Order. The Right-hand path leads to the barracks of the Legion of Light. I am only permitted to take you this far unless you have permission.”

“Is there anyone we can talk to?” Cortree asked.

“I’ll see if I can reach Master Balian. One moment.” B-314 said.

The Protocol droid waddled up to the computer next to the doors. He entered a few commands, receiving only static in return.

“I’m sorry, Master Jedi. No one seems to be home.” B-314 said, “And do please forgive the mess. I can see about getting some groundskeeper droids to clean this up right away.”

“Who are these Jedi?” Jaden asked, pointing to the holostatue.

B-314 pointed to the Khaleesh on the left-hand path, “That is Jedi Master Gelom Xalek. Master of the Jedi Order on Tython for many years.”

“He was in Yoda’s Holocron. Who was he?”

“A scholar of some renown I believe.” B-314 said, “He was dedicated to peaceful pursuits of the Force. He refused to take part in military action during the Clone Wars.”

Galen pursed his lips, “Brave soul. Who’s the other master? He looks military.”

“That would be Jedi Master Belth Allusis.” B-314 confirmed, “A Jedi much revered by the Legion of Light. He fought oh…3700 years ago in the Great Galactic War. More information may be available in the Archives.”

“Are we allowed access to the Archives?” Jaden asked.

“Yes. Please follow me.” B-314 said.

The Allies followed the droid down the hallways to another quarter of the Temple. The Droid waddled its way past a pair of battle droids plugged into sockets in the wall, standing silent sentinel even after five years idle. B-314 stepped aside as the lights came up on the largest library any of them had ever seen. Not all the displays worked, but it was clear that there was a lifetime of knowledge before them.

“Welcome to the Jedi Archives.” B-314 said, “May I be of any further assistance?”

“No, that’s okay B-314.” Cortree said, tapping the old droid on shoulder,”You’ve done more than you duty. You should be commended after all these years. Go get yourself an oil bath.”

“Oh… Thank You. Oh how I could use an Oil bath….” B-314 said as he waddled back down the hall.

Galen looked out at the Archives before them.

“Let’s find out what the hell is going on.”

Part: 4

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Jaden Windu placed a hand on a console in the Tython Temple’s Archives and activated its holographic Caretaker. A robed Kel-Dor Jedi appeared before the Allies, collating the vast amount of information into tangible form.

“I am Master Gnost-Dural, Keeper of the Jedi Archives…” The Caretaker spoke, “What information do you seek?”

“Tell us about the recent history of Tython and transfer the information to my datapad.” Jaden commanded.

The Caretaker rendered the information into a series of images and a timeline of events.

“Choose a starting date.” The caretaker said.

“Start at the end of the Clone Wars.” Jaden commanded.

Jedi and civilians rebuilding the Temple.

“The Jedi Task Force led by Jedi Master Gelom Xalek and his Apprentice Caleb Balian had just finished restoring the Tython Temple as well as begun efforts to further research the ancient landmarks the Forge and the Wellspring. Meanwhile, Republic Intelligence Forces had been using Tython as a secret outpost and Safe Haven due to its none-existence on existing star maps. Planetary Engineering efforts had also just begun to restore the vegetation and wildlife to the main continent.”

The Republic ships started bombarding the planet.

“Until the day the Clone Troopers received a mysterious order and took over the planet, forcing the Jedi on planet into hiding.”

Separatist Starships blotted out the sky.

“Then the Separatist Fleet attacked without warning. The Clone Legion deployed to protect the world, but was vastly outnumbered.”

The Republic ships dueled in the darkening sky.

The starships began falling into the atmosphere.

“Then the tide turned…”

Cortree scoffed at the images, “There goes the shutdown code. Lowest bidders…”

A group of Jedi huddled around a great rift in the ground.

“The Jedi sensed that the war had ended and that the tide had turned, but could not allow unnecessary losses of life. The Separatist ships went out of control with the loss of their droid crews. The Jedi gathered around the Wellspring and used its power to stop the ships from crashing into the planet.”

A Venator-Class Star Destroyer fell in a violent descent…they slowed and crashed to the ground.

Galen looked at the image wearily, “Caretaker, what is the Wellspring? How did it allow the Jedi to do that?”

The console beeped an error, “Relevant data missing from the archives at this time. Additional research needed.”

Galen cursed under his breath.

“How did the Empire come to be here?” Jaden asked.

Shelters form around the fallen starships.

“Unable to get their ships airborne, the survivors of the conflict awaited rescue. However, word of a newly made Galactic Empire drove the Jedi to prepare for the worst.” The Caretaker spoke.

New ships appear. Imperial Ships. The Jedi take holocrons from the Temple and run from the Temple into tunnels and caves.

“But, Jedi Commander Balian took the remaining members of the Order into Tython’s many hidden places. The Planet’s strength with the Force made it the perfect hiding place. However, the Empire did not allow the survivors to leave and established permanent military settlements on planet.”

The shelters around the crashed starships became towns. Life thrive on the surface and the sky darkens.

Galen raised an eyebrow, “Why didn’t the Empire glass the planet?”

“Unknown. Much information is lost on this era. There is no record of what interest the Empire had with the Planet.“ The Caretaker admitted.

Jaden rubbed his chin, “What did the order do next?”

The Jedi underground expand their tunnels and hiding places.

“Out of clear options, Jedi Commander Balian researched the Jedi Generals of old for ways to combat this new evil while other Jedi in hiding argued between abandoning the planet and trying to make peace with the Empire. Both of which would have spelled doom for what remained of the Jedi Order. Commander Balian found his answer in an old historical record.

Caleb Balian, a human Teenager looked up a holocron at the same militant Jedi that Jaden, Galen and Cortree saw in front of the Master’s Quarters.

Galen pointed at the image, “Caretaker, who is that Jedi Master?”

The Caretaker focused on the old Master, creating an image of Bothawui, “Jedi Master Belth Allusis participated in the conflict remembered as the Great Galactic War. Master Allusis, seven dozen of the Order’s finest knights and four thousand Republic Troops stood to defend Bothawui’s Shield Generators from the Sith despite being vastly outnumbered. Although surrender was offered, Master Allusis and his soldiers refused to let the planet fall into enemy hands. It was neither pride nor foolhardiness that drove the defenders’ decision. They were guided by the Force. They had gone beyond the fear of death…”

Thousands of Sith troops faced a handful of Jedi and Republic soldiers and fell. Staggering odds. Undaunted courage.

“The Jedi and the Republic Forces were entirely annihilated, but not before decimating enough of the Sith to force a retreat. The Battle of Bothawui was a draw… That sacrifice inspired new strategies in Republic Strategy at the the time, as well as militant factions of the Jedi Order.”

The images shifted back to Caleb Balian, who watched the same images of the battle from a Holocron. He raised his head with new resolve.

“Over the next few decades, many Jedi remained in Tython’s hidden places seeking guidance from the Force and looked to the future. At the same time, Jedi Commander Balian became Jedi General Balian and built up his remaining Jedi forces into a new Legion of Light. Their mission was not to destroy the Empire, but to undermine their efforts on Tython and to protect the planet and its people from them in secret. The Legion would not allow war or their cause to drive them to fall to the Dark Side. Instead, they decided to bide their time and have patience for the right moment…”

The Legion steal components and sabotage imperial equipment. They gather around a makeshift computer and communications array.

“Forty years passed and many plans were attempted to retake the planet, each one more desperate than the last.”

The Jedi hijack shuttles. EVA Suited Jedi make their way onto the Separatist ships floating dead in space.

“Until the day finally came…”

The Superstar Destroyer appeared. Imperial ships began leaving the planet.

“Records of this era are missing, but it is clear the Imperials were fighting among themselves. Most of their forces left the planet for parts unknown while others wished to stay. The Legion of Light couldn’t let the opportunity slip past.”

Droid ships suddenly come to life and ram the dreadnought’s docking bays. Droids pour out onto the Super Star Destroyer.

“The Droid Armies, once the Jedi’s mortal enemies, became their only allies. The exact details of their operation are lost…but the Legion Jedi managed to take back the planet in a single night.”

Jaden snapped his fingers, “The Imperial Reconsolidation 60 years ago. They used it as a distraction.”

The Droids take over the Star Destroyers in orbit. The tide turns. The Imperials fire Ion Cannons at the surface as a Shield goes up on the other continent. The skies grew the darkest they’ve ever been. Ion Storms formed in the clouds, rolling over the planet…

“But the remaining Imperial Forces had one last play to make. Records show they activated Military Jammers, preventing the Jedi from fully utilizing their new Droid Army and used Ion Cannons to bombard the surface, leaving Tython without a single working Hyperdrive. The Empire’s shield protected their base, but the rest of the Imperial Ships left the system.”

Settlers and Jedi celebrate.

“The Jedi retook Tython, but research revealed that the fleeing Imperial Forces destroyed their up-to-date star charts and sabotaged the hyperlane leading out of the system, leaving the inhabitants of Tython stranded. Attempts were made to find a way back to the Core Worlds, but no one who has left the system to date has ever returned. The shield protecting the Imperial Garrison and the jamming cutting off the droid army form the surface remains to this day. ”

Images shifted to a Tython going from dark back to light.

“Over the next fifty-five years, the Jedi decided to stay on their Homeworld and rebuild their fractured Order. The Masters of the Order, having sought guidance from the Force decided that patience would win the bring a New Hope for rescue to them in time and returned to studying Tython and its relics. The Legion of Light on the other hand kept at their mission to rid the world of occupation once and for all.”

Images shifted to renewed attacks on the Imperial positions by the Legion of Light.

“The Jedi tried to negotiate a truce with the remaining Imperial garrison, but no progress was ever made. No matter how hard they fought, the Legion could never fully defeat the Imperial forces, there were too many. Armistice has been offered to the Empire, only to be rejected. The only hope for the situation is for things to change.”

The images stopped suddenly. The Allies looked around.

“What happened?” Galen asked, confused.

“That’s it, that’s the last record.” Jaden said.

“Impossible. There’s got to be more.”

“If the Empire bugged out sixty years ago,” Cortree said, “Then why’d that Dustil guy say that the Empire is occupyin’ the Planet?”

Jaden punched in a few commands into the console, “Accessing most recent entries. Dated…five years ago.”

A holograph of an old gray-bearded Jedi appeared, “Master Balian log entry… The Empire has emerged from its shield with numbers that are…impossible. They outnumber us a hundred to one and come from nowhere. I believe the Inquisitors may have done something to some of us. They seem to have…”

The old man held his breathe and drew a lightsaber. He held it for a few minutes, looking for an enemy until he could hold it no longer and collapsed as the log cut out.

Jaden and Galen turned suddenly, looking around.

“I sense the Darkside.” Jaden said.

“I sense it too.” Galen said.

“That is not good.” Cortree said, “We gotta get out of here.”

The Allies ran to the hallway, running past the frozen droids guarding the entrance to the Archives. Galen led out in front.

Galen found the Corridor filled with the white armor of a squad of Imperial Stormtroopers.

“There they are.” A Stormtrooper said, “Blast ‘em!”

Galen and Jaden drew their lightsabers while Cortree drew his heavy blaster.

A pair of Red Blades flew down the hall towards Galen on his blindside…

Part: 5

Galen raised his blue blade in a parry, but pair of spinning blades hit home and slashed his leg. His eyes followed the blade back to its source.

A woman in a distinctive black cloaked imperial uniform stood in front of Galen with a double-lightsaber. Its blades were red as blood and the mark of a dark sider.

“Inquisitor!” Galen shouted as he flipped around to flank the figure as Jaden moved towards the doorway.
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Jaden looked for the most defensible position, but found himself surrounded by stormtroopers as their blasters fired a volley towards the allies.

The Stormtroopers focused their fire on Galen, but the Ataru Master had Force-assisted speed and training. Galen swatted the Blaster bolts back to their senders, dropping the Stormtroopers in droves. The inquisitor thought him distracted but he also defended against her strikes with incredible swiftness.

A Stormtrooper in front pointed down the hall, “We need backup! Covering fire!”

The Inquisitor matched Galen’s Ataru move for move. Speed against speed. The pair locked sabers and circled each other wearily. The darksider’s red eyes met Galen’s and a dark voice came from her lips.

“Surrender now, Jedi.” The Inquisitor said,”You cannot win. The suffering you feel will lead you to power you cannot fathom.”

Galen could feel his blood run cold as the woman spoke. He had heard of the technique known as Dun Moch, but had no idea he’d ever have to defend against it.

“I will not.” Galen said grimly as he started a new series of blows. Saber met saber with a clash of light and furious sound and blaster bolts flew overhead.

Jaden raised a hand to the Stormtroopers, reached out with his power and telekinetically moved their blasters towards each other as they fired a volley. This led to panic fire and shouts of, “Check your fire!” as the troopers fell over each other.

Another squad of troopers came around the corridor on the other side of the allies and fired at Jaden, forcing him to deflect the bolts with his best efforts. He somersaulted over the stormtroopers and started engaging them from behind.

Cortree meanwhile punched a command into the console next to the door and smiled.

“Enemies around, protect us!” Cortree said to the pair of Guardian Battle Droids plugged into sockets next to the doorway to the archives.

Galen and Inquisitor seemed equally matched trading blow for blow, darting and leaping off the walls and ceiling as light spun in a hypnotic dance. Blades found each other. Sparks flew.

Galen’s breathing became labored. The Inquisitor wound up and spun for a double-handed attack to Galen’s head. It was just the opening Galen needed.

The Ataru Master leaped up and away from the blow his body parallel to the floor and let the Inquisitor overextend swinging the blade just under him. He torqued his body away from her and is lightsaber came up and slashed her across the chest, forcing a scream of pain. The Inquisitor held the double-bladed lightsaber up in a guard position on instinct. But Galen landed to the left and slightly behind her his blade a blur of motion cutting the Inquisitor’s hands off.

The Inquisitor’s scream as she fell sent a chill up Galen’s spine as he moved on reflex to continue deflecting blaster bolts back to fell another squad of stormtroopers. The Inquisitor toppled and passed out. The sight of their fallen leader caught the attention of the last four Stormtroopers, who found themselves surround by Jedi and Battle Droids with an Inquisitor defeated at their feet.

“Drop your weapons.” A Super Battle Droid said, pointing an arm at the Troopers.

Cortree came around the corner and pointed his own weapon as well.

“Think about it.” Cortree said.

The Troopers looked at each other and made their choice.

They dropped their blasters and threw up their hands.

Cortree walked up to the Troopers and picked their weapons, “Fine choice.“

Jaden looked the troopers up and down, “What size is that armor?”

“I can’t see a thing in this helmet…” Galen said a few minutes later as he tightened the unfamiliar suit to his body.

The Droids continued dragging the bodies into the archives next to the last squad of Stormtroopers, tied with bindercuffs off to the side.

Jaden waved a hand before a face familiar to him, the identical faces of the Stormtroopers. It was the face of Jango Fett.

“You want to tell me your operating numbers and keep quiet.” Jaden said in a calm voice.

“We want to tell you our operating numbers and keep quiet.” The Stormtroopers said in the same voice and then recited their operating numbers.

“Perfect.” Jaden said.

Cortree looked up at the Guardian Droids looming over the Stormtroopers, “Good job, boys. Make sure these guys don’t get away and keep quiet.”

“Roger, roger.” The droid responded mechanically.

Galen held his commlink up to his mouth and continued speaking as clearly as he could, “Take the Crucible into hiding and wait for further instructions. If you don’t hear from us in 24 hours, go back to Coruscant and grab any help you can.”

“Copy.” Leoni said over the commlink,”What are you going to do?”

“Find out what the Empire is up to and find that Fringer Dustil. He might have some answers.”

“Be careful out there. Crucible out.”

The Allies closed the door behind them, put on their trooper helmets and picked up the Inquisitor. The allies ran out the hall trying to look as stormtrooper like as possible.

Jaden toggled the captured helmet’s commlink and did his best impression of a Stormtrooper, “Control, this is Unit-2139. We are in need of medical assistance. The Inquisitor has fallen and the enemies have gotten away!”

“Acknowledged. Med-evac is waiting in the main courtyard to take you back to base in Balian City.”

“Copy,” Jaden said, dropping the act, “Did you notice those troops were clones of Jango Fett?”

“That would explain how they got a whole bunch more troops.” Cortree said as they ran down the hall.

“These disguises won’t last forever, but maybe we can get some answers.” Galen said.

The Allies ran out to the courtyard, past another squad of troopers coming in. They ran to the open and waiting transport ship. The Pilot took one look at their cargo and ran back to the pilot seat. The transport took off none the wiser.

Inside the shuttle, the Allies picked up the medical supplies. Jaden used an auto-injector to give the Inquisitor enough sedation to put her to sleep. Cortree meanwhile did his best impression of a stormtrooper, acknowledging their progress to the pilot.

The shuttle took the allies over the canyons and over the green fields. An hour later they found themselves at a city built around a line of fallen starships. Balian City.

The shuttle headed towards the main building, a prefabricated Imperial base built up over the years, and landed in the speederport.

The Allies hauled the Sith Woman out on a gurney and handed her off to the waiting medics. They traded their best salutes and walked in the other direction. Jaden walked up to a command trooper at the watch station and saluted.

“Sir, what are the last orders?” Jaden asked in his best stromtrooper voice.

The Commander handed them a datapad, “We’re hunting Resistance today.”

Jaden took the datapad and the allies walked off to do the exact same thing.

End of Episode: 13

Continue to Episode: 14

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Episode : 12
GM: Brad

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Part: 1

HOLONET’S FAVORITE PLACE FOR NEWS FROM TATOOINE TO CORELLIA

THIS IS GALACTIC NEWS NETWORK

LIVE REPORT: CHAOS ON ERIADU!!!

A News Reporter stood in a marketplace now covered in smoke before a floating sphere of a Holorecorder Droid.

“I am coming to you live from Eriadu City in the midst of a firestorm. While covering the repeated diplomatic efforts of the Empire in the wake of recent events, GNN cameras caught on holo an attack by a massive droid on a marketplace right here in Eriadu City. We are still getting details, but I can say for sure that the Droid fired a volley into the marketplace. The attack left dozens killed and dozen more wounded before it was brought down by Jedi Knights. Wait…”

The Reporter touched the commlink in her ear before bursting into motion, “I’ve just been told that the Jedi are in fact the group being led by Galen Argyus, the Liberator of Socorro who was recently involved in a Lightsaber Duel over Coruscant just days ago!”

A crowd of reporters flowed towards the familiar face of Galen Argyus, Jedi Knight and his apprentice Leoni Venusia. This time around, as the cameras closed in, the Jedi held their own. In the wake of the Battle with Moag Wren, Galen and Leoni together with fellow Jedi Jaden Windu and their ally Captain Cortree Tincove did the only thing they could. They helped the wounded.

The Cameras came towards Galen as he pulled people out of the rubble only to be preempted by Jaden.

“You, reporters! Help us with these wounded. We need to get them to the triage station!” Jaden shouted, interrupting their chance at a story. At first the Reporters were reluctant, but their consciences swayed them to do the right thing and help the people alongside the Jedi.

Jaden broke open the crates of Imperial Medical supplies and began handing them out to anyone who would help.

Meanwhile, Cortree ran down to the marketplace at a full run and went to the crates. The Tech Savant started up the crates’ complement of Medical Droids, bring them to life when they were most desperately needed.

Galen and Leoni took deep breathes and used the power of the Force to lift a massive piece of rubble off of a group of bystanders. The slab of ferrocrete rose into the air and the people beneath were pulled out by volunteers, thanking them as they passed. The Jedi strained under the effort of the power as a reporter’s recorder droid floated in for some close-up shots.

The floating orb beeped and flashed lights directly in the Jedi’s faces threatening to interrupt their concentration as they struggled to save the innocents trapped by the rubble. The Reporter stood before Leoni and thrust a microphone in her face. The strain was simply too much.

“Stop Talking!” Leoni shouted at the reporter, her face red with effort, “More helping!”

The aid continued as the emergency services funneled in to cordon off the area and took over for the overwhelmed Jedi. The helmeted Security Forces of Eriadu surrounded the Jedi and looked at them.

“You need to come with us.” One of them said.

It wasn’t a request.

Over the next few hours Galen, Jaden, Cortree and Leoni found themselves interrogated by the Eriadu Security Forces at the local station. They told the truth as they knew it: They had been conducting Council business on Eriadu when Moag attacked out of the blue. The one good thing about the media being around was that all of their efforts had been caught on holo and the evidence was clearly in their favor. The Eriadu Security Forces and the Mayor of Eriadu clearly didn’t like the Jedi, but the evidence forced him to side with them and thank the Jedi for their help.

Since Jaden, Cortree and Leoni hadn’t seen Leena Arguyus, or knew that she was involved, they didn’t mention her. Galen on the other hand told the story that he had gotten onto a monorail car when it malfunctioned. He didn’t mention his sister, but did speak of the Bounty on his head and took responsibility for the tragic events.

The Security Forces believed him, but politely told the group to leave as soon as possible.

Afterwords, the Allies regrouped at the Hospital.

“Did you get it?” Jaden asked Cortree.
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Cortree smiled and opened his bag, revealing the memory core of the Tactical Droid, Katarn he had taken from the Basilisk to permanently disable it.

“That biggen won’t hurt anybody anymore.” Cortree said.

“Excellent.” Jaden said and turned to Galen,“You think there will be any more?”

Galen shook his head,“I saw a feed on the way here. The bounty’s officially on hold. No one wants to touch it after seeing the Huntmaster go down in flames.”

“What you think Mandalore’s gunna do?” Cortree asked.

“That’s beyond us, I think.” Jaden said, “Our Quest for Tython is more pressing. We should get back to the ship.”

“That would be wise.” Galen said.

The group stopped when Galen dodged a piece of fruit that had been thrown at his head. The thrower was a mother with a blaster wound in her shoulder. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she ran at Galen and slapped him in the face.

News holodroids seemed to appear out of nowhere to record the confrontation.

“Jedi! You did this!” The mother shouted as hospital orderly droids grabbed her, “You killed my baby!”

“I didn’t, we…” Galen said, shocked, at a loss at how to placate her.

“All your power and you still can’t do anything right! All you Jedi do is bring death and despair! Use your Force…bring my boy back!”

Galen looked at the grieving woman and his heart broke. The mother was dragged away screaming as the Jedi stood with his head bowed in sadness.

Part: 2

As the Jedi walked out of the Hospital back towards the Crucible, news broadcasts flowed past them on holos.

“We will give you more information as this story develops,” a news anchor said,” I’m told the Ambassador to the Fel Empire is about to make a statement. We take you to the statement live.”

A man took over the holos as the Jedi travelled, an imperial officer of some high regard they didn’t recognize. As the Officer spoke, he sounded sincere. Strong, calmed and reasoned. He spoke in the address as a concerned man desperate to help.
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“People of Eriadu, I am Grand Moff Matthias Tarkin, Designated Ambassador to the Republic for the Galactic Empire. I came to this planet as part of the Victory Without War program, a program meant to help those in need. I have heard about the tragedy that befell you today. My heart goes out to the victims…but I know that’s not what you want. You want to do what feels right, to respond with violence. The natural response is vengeance. Vengeance against the Jedi, the Mandalorians, even against the Empire. But that is not the answer. The details of this incident are not known at this time. Don’t jump to conclusions about this. Don’t follow the dark path. Don’t give in to fear, to anger or to hate. Following your feelings here will only lead to more tragedy. The wise choice, the right choice would be to heal. To seek peace.

“As long as the Starship Alderaan is in orbit above the planet, we continue to offer the same aid we’ve always offered. Food, medicine and materials to those who need it. I also offer aid to help in the repairs to Eriadu. To help promote peace.

“The Jedi in this matter by all accounts did their duty. They saved people and ended the threat. They did what was right and defended those who could not defend themselves.

“To the Jedi involved, I thank you. The Empire thanks you…”

As the Allies reached the Spaceport, local stations favored another broadcast…

“My name is Gul Shyssa and I’m here to ask you a question…’the Jedi Question.’ The Jedi Order: Guardians of Peace and Justice or Threats to the Galaxy? The past few months have been ripe with stories of both daring-do and conspiracy. Liberated Slaves. Bounties. Duels over Coruscant. Attacks on Space Stations and a new political power revealing itself in the Unknown Regions. The Senate’s Subcommittee on Jedi Affairs meets today questioning a century old Jedi General for his long history of questionable actions. Even now, Jedi Knights from all over the Galaxy, some not seen for years, gather at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant for unknown purpose. Should the Order be disbanded? Should they be pressed into service? Should they be imprisoned? Should their charter be expanded into a new Army of Light? All of these possibilities are on our panel tonight as all the eyes are on the Jedi and we seek to answer, ‘The Jedi Question’…”

“The Jedi Question?” Cortree asked, raising an eyebrow, “What kinda fodder is that?”

“Our future apparently.” Jaden said, considering the hologram, ”It would seem our Quest for Tython may have more impact that we originally thought.”

“Great…” Galen said as the allies finally made their way onto the Crucible.

They arrived in the common area to find Leena Argyus sitting down crosslegged before the Yoda Holocron. She turned to them.

“Oh, you’re back.” Leena said, smiling, “I let myself in.”

“I gotta change the security codes…” Cortree said, amazed she broke in so easily.

“I might have a few suggestions.” Leena beamed.

Part: 3

Leena gritted her teeth in pain as her brother Galen bandaged her up. When the Basilisk War Droid had fired into the crowd, even Leena had been hit by the blaster fire. The wound was small, but together with her exhaustion it was taking its toll.

“I don’t need your help, bro. Ah…” Leena said, a yawn cutting her off.

“The Force was with us today, but it might not stay that way if we don’t patch you up.” Galen said as he finished the bandage, “There.”

“Ready check complete, we’re taking off.” Cortree said over the intercom.

The pair stared out the window as the ship rose into the sky. Skyline became polluted sky, polluted sky became clouds and clouds gave way to space. As they left orbit, the slowed slightly to pass the mass of ships moving from the Imperial Starship Alderaan to the surface to aid in the recovery efforts. Leena leaned against the arm of her chair with her head in her left hand, looking at at the massive Star Destroyer as they passed it.

“There goes that opportunity.” Leena said.

“I still can’t get over seeing a Star Destroyer in the Republic.” Galen said, scratching his head.

Leena turned to her brother for a moment, “Do you not know why its here?”

Galen shook his head, “First I’ve heard of it was today. That Grand Moff Tarkin guy… thanked us.”

Leena looked back and pointed to the ship and its Republic Escort Ships. She spoke as though teaching a naive child.

“That is the Alderaan, the guy you spoke of is Grand Moff Matthias Tarkin, the Empire’s Ambassador and head of the Victory Without War Program.”

“Any relation to…?”

“Yes. The same.” Leena confirmed.
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Grand Moff Wilhoff Tarkin was had become a legend as the man who ordered the destruction of Alderaan as a demonstration of the power of the first Death Star. The Tarkin family had been one of the richest dynasties of Eriadu for decades long before Galen was born. Matthias Tarkin seemed to be a relative of that family.

“Worst kind of Imperial.” Galen said. He had no love for the Empire.

“I wrote up his dossier. I know a bit more about him than you.” Leena said.

“Like what?”

“When the Empire fell, there were riots on Eriadu and the Tarkin family fled with the rest of the Remnant. They lost everything. Every piece of wealth. The rioters looted and practically destroyed the old Tarkin Family manor. Though today we call it Eriadu City Capital Building. Matthias was born to the Remnant Empire and grew up in the shadow of his ancestor.”

“Good for him…” Galen said, “I don’t see how he’s not another Imperial.”

“He took an interest in Galactic History. In the legacy of his family and something changed in him. I heard he was being groomed for big things, but instead he took command of a program that had been abandoned.”

“Victory Without War?” Galen said, remembering the term from before, ”What is it?”

“Humanitarian offreach with the Republic. Relief Efforts. Peaceful negotiations. Using Imperial knowhow to promote peace. Ease tensions.”

“Peace? Propaganda.”

“It’s made a difference in places you wouldn’t expect, but with current tensions no one trusts him. It doesn’t help that his project’s undermanned and underfunded and the deal he brokered with the Senate was that he was allowed one ship for his efforts.”

“One ship? So he brings a Star Destroyer…Typical.”

“There are no other ships on that Star Destroyer.”

“What?”

“No shuttles. No Fighters. Not even escape pods. Most of it has been converted for cargo space. He has to hire outsiders and get permission to even be in a system let alone go down to a planet in person. If that escort wants to bring that ship down…all hands go down with it.”

“It’s still a Star Destroyer…”

“You are correct. As a Diplomatic Vessel with Diplomatic Immunity, that ship is a hotbed for Intelligence gathering. Tarkin was also one of the youngest people in Galactic History to reach the titles of Moff and Grand Moff. He won’t go down without a good fight…but only after all other options are exhausted. He doesn’t want a situation like that.”

Galen shook his head, “Why? That propaganda about peace?”

Leena turned to her brother and looked him in the eye so he knew she was telling the truth, “He’s believer… One of the good ones.”

“You trust him?…”

“No…but I do have a stash of credits that says he’s getting ready to start a coup…or defect.”

“That sounds more like an Imperial.”

“At the end of the day…he still is. And he makes no bones about it.” Leena said as the Crucible finally went to Hyperspace.

The Former Republic Operative got up and yawned as she walked past her brother towards the guest quarters.

“I need some rack time.” Leena said.

“I’ll wake you when we reach Coruscant.” Galed replied.

“Oh, by the way. The Jedi Temple sent a few messages while you were out. I didn’t answer because it’s not my job.”

Galen suddenly remembered that they needed to check in with Master Kataar.

“Great…”

Part: 4

Master Veshlan Kataar’s holographic image didn’t properly convey her disappointment at the crew of the Crucible. It showed her sitting peacefully with her arms crossed, but somehow that was not enough to express the mood of the Crucible’s cockpit as the Jedi explained the situation to the Jedi Master. Jaden Windu decided it would be better for him to give the report.

“Tell me the honest truth,” Master Kataar said, her tone encouraging a very careful choice of words,”What happened on Eriadu? I want to hear it from you.”

“We were attacked by Bounty Hunters throughout our journey. Moag Wren was just the last of them.” Jaden said as calmly as he could.

“Why were you on Eriadu?”

“Resupplying the ship primarily,” Jaden said, “We needed to after we completed the mission on Dagobah.”

“You found Master Yoda’s ship?” Master Kataar asked.

Jaden brought up holos he had made of the ship and the artifacts they had recovered, “Completely intact, Master.”

“Excellent. Now about Eriadu…”

“We found something else, Master.”

“What?”

Jaden punch in a few commands and the connection that Cortree had made from the commlink to the Holocron activated. The Caretaker, its visage that of Master Yoda appeared before the stoic Master Kataar.

“Greetings…What questions have you?” The caretaker said in the old master’s voice.
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Master Kataar shifted. Her expression changed. Her mouth dropped open a bit.

“Master Yoda’s Holocron. Also completely intact.” Jaden said, “Together with the ship’s navigational systems, we have enough data to get to Tython.”

“Very…good.” Kataar said, regaining her composure, “Get back to Coruscant at once.”

“We are already en route, Master.”

“Very good. Now about Eriadu…”

“We were there to resupply, but I believe Galen is better at telling this part of the story.” Jaden said, letting Galen take his place.

Galen decided the best course was to be truthful to the Council. So, he told Master Kataar everything. About the bounty. About his search. About the Attack and then about his sister.

“When I saw her, I felt it. My sister also has talent in the Force. She must be trained for her own safety and for others.” Galen said.

“The Jedi Order is not in the habit of recruiting convicted murderers.” Kataar said, dubious of his story, “That is why she was being persued is it not.”

“She already has a lot of self-control. She only was tempted by the Dark Side because of her…profession.”

“As an assassin?”

“Is this a secure line?” Galen asked.

“Yes…” Kataar replied, confused.

Galen went with his feelings and spoke the truth, “Leena Argyus is an Operative with the Republic Strategic Information Service…”

Master Kataar froze.

“Master?”

“If you have a student that could be taught in the ways of the Force, make sure she finds her way to the Temple. But tell no one.”

“I have no idea what you are talking about…”

“Very good.” Master Kataar said and then ended the transmission.

Galen exhaled in relief.

Later, Cortree and Jaden gathered around the ships main computer with Yoda’s Holocron in the main hopper.

“Are you sure this will work, Cortree?” Jaden asked.

“I looked at the bird’s specs and the systems are linked. Try it.” Cortree said.

“Caretaker.” Jaden spoke surely as he placed a hand on the Holocron to activate it.

The Holocron hummed and the Hologram of Yoda appeared.

“What questions have you?” The Caretaker spoke.

“Copy all data to the ship’s computer, please.” Jaden said.

“Why?” The Caretaker asked. A simple question, but if Jaden gave the wrong answer it might deny the request.

“Yoda was a great teacher of the Order.” Jaden said, “He oversaw the training of countless Jedi and this…the Crucible is a training ship. To make sure the Knowledge in this Holocron is preserved, there would be no better additional home for it. Additionally, the information will be of utmost import in our quest to locate Tython.”

“We could also use your aid in rebuilding the Archives already in the main computer.” Cortree added.

“Great wisdom, you have.” The Carataker said with a smile, “Commencing upload.”

The Holocron’s hum grew louder and the Main Computer sprung to life. The ship eagerly accepted the Holocron’s information. Now, the allies would have access to Master Yoda’s knowledge aboard ship after they gave this Holocron to the Temple for further study.

The upload ended when the humming and whirring stopped and a new hologram appeared on the Main Computer’s display. It was a smaller version of the Yoda Caretaker.

“Crucible travelling at Lightspeed. Currently on course to Coruscant. All systems operational.” The Ship’s computer said.

Later, Galen found himself standing in the training suite with his apprentice. The pair both had their lightsabers out and set to a training mode, but Leoni wore the ancient training helmet meant to block all outside perception except for the Force. Leoni swung at where she thought her Master stood as her master would circle her and strike at her saber from any angle imaginable. Galen always liked this training because it encouraged padawans to find their true power through the Force. It also encouraged a Jedi to work with the their partner even if one couldn’t sense the other.

While Galen had become something of a master of Ataru, the fourth form of Lightsaber combat, Leoni was still finding herself. She tried her new master’s style, by wasn’t as fast as Galen. She had some raw power to her, but didn’t have the focus for the more aggressive forms. Her style ended up being a chaotic mess that Galen had trouble predicting at times. If that was were the Force was guinding, Galen would see her through to it.

The first six rounds of exchanges went easily enough. Some stumbles. One big fall. By the fourth exchange Leoni was able to keep up with the master. By the sixth she managed to get good swings in and even an unexpected crescent kick.

It was on the seventh round of exchanges, Leoni finally drew on the power of the Force. When she did, Galen found himself actually having to work to deflect her blows. That is until a wild swing made Leoni overextend and she fell to the ground. Her breathing changed, becoming shallow and rapid. Then it turned to screeching, drawing Jaden and Cortree to the room and even awoke Leena from her slumber. Galen came to her, taking the helmet off of her and looked at her. He knew that look, the same look his sister had when Leena thought back to her past.

“What is it?” Galen asked calmly, “What do you see?”

Leoni’s breathing grew more controlled as Leoni got a hold of herself. Sweat came down her face. She finally spoke “I remember…”

“What is it that you remember my padawan?”

“I remember everything.” Leoni said, sitting down.

Everyone gathered around her as she spoke. She tried to be as clear as possible.

“Master Kelrune came to me one day and told me we were going on a trip. He didn’t say where. We got into a shuttle and flew for days. We ended up on a Planet at the end of a hyperlane, I didn’t know which one. It had dark power, I knew that for sure it was a place of dark power. It was a desert with tombs of ancient dead.”

“Korriban…” Jaden said.

“I remember we were exploring the old tombs, going through their history. Master Kelrune seemed to know the way and I could feel his power. He had told me when he was first training me that his father and grandfather were Jedi before him. He said that there was more to that truth than I could imagine. Then a new ship came. Master Kelrune touched me on the face with his hand and I felt his power. He told me to run to the Shuttle. Run to the shuttle, go back to Yavin IV and never look back. We started running and he started fighting someone I couldn’t see. I did as he told me and…blacked out. Then I woke up on Yavin IV.”

“You were close to him?” Leena asked.

“Too close…” Leoni admitted. She had promised Galen no secrets and she was sincere.

Galen rubbed his chin in thought, “I think it’s time we find out more about your old Master. There’s more to this…and I have a bad feeling about it.”

Part: 5

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The Crucible came out of Hyperspace above Coruscant, the Capital of the Republic and went straight to the Jedi Temple. They parked on the landing pad and moved to the gangplank.

Jaden walked to the gangplank with the Holocron in hand beside Cortree, Galen and Leoni.

“Cortree and I can handle delivery of these artifacts.” Jaden said.

“After we speak to Master Kataar, we’ll check the Archives for more on Master Kelrune. " Galen said.

“Your sister already left by the way, her quarters are empty.” Cortree said, “Looks like she already left.”

“She does that.” Galen said as the gang plank lowered.

They had expected a landing party, but they hadn’t expected one quite so…big. Their original send off to Dagobah had been met by Masters Kataar and T’Ket as well as some temple ground crew. The allies had heard from Master Kataar that word of their discoveries and their missions had traveled fast, but not as much as this. Their current arrival was being met by over two dozen Jedi. It was the most number of Jedi Jaden, Galen and Leoni had seen in one place for a long time. Some looked as traditional as the allies in traditional robes. Others wore the flightsuits and armor of mercenary work. The allies recognized some of them as informal members of the Order, but recognized others as Jedi who had long since left the Order. Younglings, Padawans, Knights, Masters and those who had failed the training.

Cortree’s droids opened the Cargo Bay and the hover-palette with the remains of Yoda’s ship floated out and past into the Archive’s loading area. The landing party all reached out hands, not to physically touch, but to touch with the Force. They knew what the ship and its artifacts were. But they wanted to feel them with their power.

When the palette passed the landing party’s eyes and murmurs all gravitated to Jaden. Master Kataar held up a hand to hold back the crowd as Jaden passed. Jaden walked to the waiting Master T’Ket and handed him the Holocron. The Verpine Jedi placed a chitinous hand on the box of green crystal and with a force of will the device lit up. The Caretaker’s appearance drew a gasp and silence from the crowd as the Hologram spoke its greeting.

“Who seeks Yoda’s guidance?” The Caretaker spoke. The Hologram turned and looked to the crowd of onlookers. It considered the audience. Even the assembled Masters seemed in awe of the device.

“Hmm…The Jedi Order it seems. Many new faces. Filled with fear, doubt and disbelief, you are…” The Caretaker observed, “Who speaks for you?”

“Master T’Ket, Current Keeper of the Jedi Archives.” T’Ket said.

“As Keeper of the Archives, all of my knowledge is available to you.” The Caretaker said, “What questions have you?”

“None at the moment, but more to come later. Thank you, Caretaker.”

“May The Force Be With You.”

“May The Force Be With Us.” T’Ket said as the device shut down.

Noise came back all at once as the crowd mobbed up on Jaden to ask him about the mission. Jaden did his best to bring the crowd inside to the temple. Master Kataar stayed behind to greet Galen and Leoni, but turned to find no one standing there. She eventually found Cortree returning to the ship. The fringer bowed to the Jedi in greeting.

“Galen said he’d meet you at your office in an hour, Master Kataar.” Cortree said as politely as he could, “No disrespect intended. He had a pressing matter he had to immediately look in to.”

“Thank you for telling me, Captain.” Kataar said, understanding, “What matter?”

“Research.”

While Jaden had the others distracted, Galen and Leoni ran to the Archives. They combed through files, wading through mindless data about Master Jaxor Kelrune. They found records of his training under Grand Master Veshraan, the stories of his Legacy. However…they couldn’t find any other information to corroborate it. They looked over the data multiple times and it all looked wrong. Galen didn’t know as much about forgery as his friend Maze, but he could tell that the information about Jaxor Kelrune was fabricated. The truth he could gleam in the time they had was clear. Jaxor Kelrune entered the Jedi Order under false pretenses, used those pretenses for personal advancement and his actual identity as such was unknown.

Unable to find more information in the Archives in the time they had, the pair went up to the top of the temple to find Master Kataar waiting for them.

“We have much to discuss.” Master Kataar said.

Master Kataar took the the pair up to her office at the top of the Jedi Tower. The door opened and revealed Leena Argyus standing at military attention for the trio inside the locked office. Kataar looked at her and then to Galen.

“She does that.” Galen said.

Leena salute, “Captain Leena Argyus, SIS.”

“I know all about you. Take a seat and do not speak until I ask.” Master Kataar said as she ended and closed the door behind them, “Tell me the whole tale. Leave nothing out. You can count on my discretion, Captain.”

They started from the beginning and went until nightfall. Master Kataar listened silently and asked pointed questions at keypoints, but listened nonetheless.

“And then we reported to you and came here.” Galen finished.

Master Kataar steepled her fingers in thought. She looked to Leoni and Lenna, considering the both of them.

She stood up and turned to the window with her hands behind her back, considering the situation.

“Master?” Leoni asked.

“I believe you. The Bounty was out of your control. You did your duty on Dagobah and Eriadu and the order commends you for that. But, circumstances have changed. The Galaxy’s eyes are on us now, Jedi Argyus. More than you know.” Kataar spoke as she turned back to them, “You saw the crowd outside?”

“Yes. Many Jedi I haven’t seen in years were downstairs.” Galen said.

Master Kataar paced around them as she spoke calmly to them, “They came here for your group, to see what you found. Word of the recordings of Master Kenobi, of the holos of Order 66 spread quickly. More and more having been coming to Coruscant to see them and to help however they can. The uncovered more recordings. Daily life of the Temple in the days and weeks before the attack. When word of Tython spread, people started coming here. Despite my previous misgivings, the Quest for Tython it seems is bringing the Order back together. We must hold it.”

“Even with our differences in views, I believe we will do the best we can, Master.”

“That’s not all.”

“What else has changed?”

“Somehow those holos also found their way to the press. It’s one thing to hear about Jedi in stories, but it’s another to see their daily life play out. To see their betrayal and slaughter with your own eyes. Now everyone in the Core has an interest in the Jedi. General Saberota is testifying before the Sub-Committee and holding his own in case you are curious. But news of Tython is changing the dialog already. The Senate is considering new legislation. It could mean expanding our powers and funding. It could mean a lot of other things too. New responsibilities. But regardless…the Eyes of the galaxy are on us. They want to know what the Jedi are. We must show them that we are what we have always been.“

“What does that mean for us?”

“We will train Captain Argyus for her safety and debrief her in private as long as she follows the orders of the Council. You will continue to do your duty. Train your Padawan and find Tython. We want to know what has become of it no matter its fate. If the planet is dead, we can still rebuild it. If the planet thrives…we want to know. Now go. May the Force be With Us.”

“May The Force be With Us All.”

Part: 6

The Crucible took off the next morning fully stocked and ready. The ancient Jedi ship headed out towards the Deep Core of the Galaxy. The allies onboard found themselves followed by a line of reporters. The reporters broadcast their live coverage to the Holonet.

“Legendary Jedi Ship the Crucible has been seen leaving Coruscant on a secretive mission with infamous Galen Argyus. What secrets are they after in the Galactic Core?”

Leoni stared out the cockpit’s viewport, admiring the ships coming alongside by for a closer look.

“Do you think they’ll follow us all the way to Tython?” Leoni asked.

“When they see where we’re goin’, they’ll bug out.” Cortree said, sitting at the Navigation console,“Sensible folk don’t go into the Deep Core.”

“We’ll find Tython. Whatever it takes.” Galen said, strapping himself into the Pilot seat.

Jaden booted up the sensor console and the holographic star charts as the group neared the Empress Teta System, the end of the Hyperlanes that led to the furthest reaches of the Core Worlds. As they neared the edge of conventionally known space, more that half the reporters changed course or stopped still as their navicomputers told beeped with warning klaxons of unsafe flightpaths.

“Our map from Master Yoda’s ship is far from complete,” Jaden said, “but based on stellar drift, I think I have found a few stars on the sensors that have not moved in relation to Tython.”

“Great, we have a star to steer by.” Galen said as he punch in the course for parts unknown.

It would have taken a few hours to reach Tython at Lightspeed, but without a confirmed Hyperspace Lane, the crew of the Crucible was forced to take the long way. Scanning of unknown space took up all the ship’s computing resources. They made the occasional short hop through Hyperspace to close the distances, but even those hops were dangerous.

Their first hop took them close to a blackhole, forcing them to hop out again at Lightspeed to escape.

The line of reporters continued to drop away as hours of travel became days. After a week, only a single ship continued to follow the Crucible. The Jedi looked at the last remaining ship with astonishment.

“Galactic News Network,” Galen said, looking at the ship on the ship’s scopes,”Tenacious bunch.”

“Stupid is more like it.” Leoni said, earning a smile from her master.

“Who do ya think is stupid enough to follow us out here?” Cortree asked.

“If the Force is with us? A team of disposable droids.” Galen said.

“If it’s against us?” Leoni asked.

“You don’t want to know…but that possibility requires a capital ship.”

The scopes beeped, turning their attention forward.

“Coming up on something… Wo!” Cortree said, cut off when something big flew past the ship. Galen’s speed allowed him to easy dodge it and the others that followed it.

“What was that? Did we hit an asteroid field?” Leoni asked.

“Looked like pieces of metal.” Galen said, “Sensors?”

“Debris, definitely artificial.” Jaden said.

Cortree leaned over the sensor console and smile. The son of salvagers knew exactly what is was.

“This ain’t an asteroid field. It’s a graveyard.”

The Crucible slowed and switched on its search lamps. The cones of light illuminated the pieces of debris floating past. The smaller pieces became bigger chunks of familiar forms. Chassis. Engines. Skeletons of hulls stretching for parsecs.

Ships. It was a graveyard of starships.

Cortree toggled a switch in the cockpit and the Crucible fired a sphere with a blinking green light at the edge of the debris field.

“Navigational Buoy deployed.” Cortree said, “That should let people find their way here and back to the major hyperlanes. It’ll make the return trip much much shorter.”

“Good work, Captain.” Jaden said, expanding the holographic display of the sensor console so the others could more easily see it, “I’m picking up remnants of the tail-end of the Old Hyperspace Lane Master Yoda spoke of. This whole section of space is safe passage from here save for this graveyard.”

Leoni bite her lip at the sight of so many starship pieces dead in space, “What do you think happened here?”

“I seen plenty of starship graveyards like this one.” Cortree said, “Massive battle. Leaves a trail of dead ships. Great for salvage if you can get there quick…but this one looks cleaned out already.”

Galen set a course to move them closer to the larger pieces for a scan, “What kind of ships are they, Jaden?”

Jaden punched in a few commands, “Scanners are picking up remains of multiple large starships. Capital Ships. Frigates. Can’t get a good reading on the age. Too much radiation.”

“If they had core meltdowns that makes sense. But, if this is the end of a hyperspace lane, this is also a great place for an ambush. Keep your eyes out.” Cortree warned, “What’s the most complete ship? Might be able to get some answers.”

Jaden scrolled through the scans until his eyes stopped onto a piece larger than the others, “This ship looks almost entirely intact.”

Galen took the Crucible by a massive starship of that lay adrift. Cortree looked out the cockpit window at the vessel and whistled in surprise. The Tech Savant knew that kind of ship by heart, having salvaged a few himself. The ship sat silently in space.

“Munificent-Class Star Frigate. Staple of the Clone Wars. 825 Meters across…155,000 Battle Droids aboard,” Cortree said, “Sensors say this one’s called ‘Diligent’.”

“Munificent-Class?” Jaden perked up, “That’s a Separatist ship.”

“What’s a Separatist ship doing this far inside the Core?” Leoni asked.

“Let’s find out.” Galen said, bringing the ship to a stop alongside the bridge for a docking maneuver.

Jaden’s scopes beeped in alarm. Galen turned to him.

“Trouble?” Galen asked.

“Radiation is spiking. I can’t get a good scan through it. Need to recalibrate…” Jaden said as he punched in controls, “Looks like the escape pods have been jettisoned.”

Cortree, the veteran fringer pointed to several areas of the scan, “Looks like the Reactor’s leakin’ radiation. It’ll cook us in our spacesuit after more than a few minutes.”

“We’ll have to work fast.” Galen said, getting up to get the spacesuits.
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Minutes later Galen, Cortree and Jaden found themselves floating in the airlock in their spacesuits, getting ready to disembark as the air was slowly let out and the artificial gravity dropped. Leoni sat in the Crucible’s Cockpit, ready for anything.

“Best things to get are the navicomputer and the blackbox of the main computer.” Cortree said over the group’s commlink.

“I can move the fastest, so I’ll take the navicomputer.” Galen confirmed.

“I’ll get the Blackbox then.” Cortree said.

Jaden pulled a cable that led from a spool on the ship to himself, “This safety line should allow us to get back more quickly.”

Cortree placed a hand on the hatch as the airlock’s depressurization sequence finished. He looked down to the radiation gauge on his suit.

“Radiation from that reactor will cook us in five minutes starting from… Now.” Cortree said as he opened the outer hatch.

The allies pushed off the Crucible and floated towards the ship. Jaden dragged an ascension cable behind them as the gap closed and their radiation detectors began to increase in readings. The trio had tools ready when they reached the outer hatch of the Diligent’s bridge. It took only a few seconds to bypass the now dead mechanical lock and open the hatch.

The allies exhaled a collective sigh of relief that there were no bodies floating on the bridge. There were droids, however. Cortree recognized the B1 variants still floating around their ready stations. The ship itself only required a small flesh & blood crew, so most of the stations were manned by droids like the ones he had restored in the past as helpers and bodyguards. Cortree floated past a Super Battle droid that turned in circles forever with its arms at its sides.

“Are these droids live, Cortree?” Galen asked as he pushed himself off the walls.

“Don’t think so,” Cortree said with trepidation, “But I don’t want to find out.”

Jaden looked around the bridge, dragging the Safety Line behind him and checked his radiation detector, “Four minutes.”

Galen reached the navicomputer and began pulling it away from the console.

Cortree reached the computer core and began the old motions of salvaging. His tools whirred quickly as he detached the components he didn’t need and let them float away.

Jaden’s eyes caught sight of a console right next to him. He floated towards it and inspected it.

“The Communications Console is intact” Jaden said over the commlink.

“Might have some old logs on it.” Cortree said as he reached the blackbox, “Think you can pull it?”

Jaden looked over the console and found the switches at the side for easy disassembly. He pressed the needed buttons and the communications system came right out.

“Yes.” Jaden said, looking again to his radiation detector, “Two minutes.”

Galen pulled out the last connection for the Blackbox in record time. He let out a cheer and raced off the bridge like a rocket with the power of the Force.

Cortree and Jaden both follow him as their radiation detectors went from red to black. The pair both grab the safety line and engage the attached motor, dragging them both off the ship and back to the Crucible as the Radiation became too much.

Later the allies found themselves in the lounge gathered around the consoles they had recovered now wired to the main holoprojectors. Jaden combed over the information form the Blackbox. He decrypted the personal information the the Captain had stored there in a backup drive he hadn’t intended others to see.

“According to the Captain’s Log they set out as part of the fleet that attacked Coruscant at the End of the Clone Wars.” Jaden confirmed.

“Wasn’t that the one where they, ‘kidnapped’ Chancellor Palapatine?” Galen pined.

“The same.“ Jaden confirmed, “Looks like they were ordered to radio silence and were in reserve Galactic south of the main battle to tie up the Republic Fleet.”

The Jedi Archaeologist booted up one of the logs. The holo was of a Muun captain who clearly looked frustrated.

“Diligient Captain’s log.” The message spoke, “Still on commlink silence after a week of flying around in these hyperlanes Dooku gave us. I keep asking for more intel on this mission, but the only response I ever get from command is, ‘Don’t ask.’”

Cortree booted up the communications board that Jaden pulled out, “Lucky. This board’s still got data on it.”

The fringer brought up the communications log. Jaden looked to the last two entires.

“What is the last entry?” Jaden asked, indicating its priority, “Flagged as utmost important.”

Cortree brought up the entry and laughed, “No wonder. It’s the kill code they sent out at the end of the Clone Wars.”

Galen raised an eyebrow at that, “That’s the one that shut down the droid armies isn’t it?”

“Yes.” Jaden confirmed, remembering his history “That code was sent out Galaxy-wide. It shut down every Separatist ship exactly where it was.”

“This code looks like it was written for bottom credit,” Cortree said, “These guys cut corners everywhere. No wonder the reactor’s leaking and they abandoned ship. Would also explain the dead ships out there. They didn’t have enough hands on board to pilot ‘em.”

“What’s that second to last communication? It’s the same priority.” Leoni pointed out.

Jaden brought up the holo and when the speaker’s image appeared everyone’s heart stopped at once. They got close up to confirm what they were seeing.

“Is that who I think it is?” Galen asked.

“Yes…” Jaden confirmed as he started the message. The speaker was an older gentleman with a white beard in a black tunic with a cape flanked by a pair of battle droids. He sounded just as regal as the records used to say, even with the battle that visibly raged through the viewports behind him.

“This is Count Dooku. I have a new mission for you of utmost importance. Take your fleet to the following coordinates on the designated hyperspace route. Destroy all threats in system, capture the fifth planet and all enemy personnel. Do not destroy any major structures on planet. Expect little resistance compared to your forces… “

A droid moved forward and whispered into Dooku’s ear, “Count, the Jedi are here.”

Count Dooku nodded and continued, “After capturing the system, secure it and ready yourself for a Siege on Coruscant and raids on the Core Worlds. Dooku out.”

The communication ended and drew silence from the room.

Jaden punched in a few commands and drew up the metadata from the message.

“Was that?” Galen asked.

“Yes…” Jaden confirmed, “Timestamp confirms that was Count Dooku’s Last Order before Anakin Skywalker defeated him.”

“Go back to the Captain’s log. What were they doing here?”

Jaden pulled up the entries from the ship’s log. He browsed a few of the entries until he found the data he needed. Cortree ran to the navicomputer and pulled up the star map that Dooku sent them.

“It seems the Diligent was parked here as part of a reserve force for the invasion. “ Jaden confirmed.

“That must mean the Vanguard was already headed to Tython.” Galen said, “And that Count Dooku knew about Tython.”

“I got it!” Cortree shouted. The Star Map enlarged and the stars shifted after a few command keys.

“Finally! Tythons actual location compensated for stellar drift.” Cortree said, “We should be able to jump straight there from the end of the graveyard.”

“Good work.” Galen said.

The trio ran to the cockpit and took their positions. This was it, they were ready for anything.

“All stations ready?” Galen asked. People responded in unison.

“Punch it!” Leoni said, more excited than the rest of them put together.

The Crucible went to Lightspeed for a few moments and came out again soon after. With their connection to the Force, the allies didn’t have to check their charrs or scopes. They knew. The somehow knew they were in the right system.

They had found it…

Tython.

But that wasn’t all they found…

As they approached the planet their scopes screeched in alarm. The images of the ring silver objects orbiting the planet gained static as they tried to capture it.

“What the hell is that?” Galen asked.

Jaden checked the sensors again, “Military Grade Jamming. It’s coming from the Planet. Blocking Sensors and Communications.”

Cortree punched in a few commands to focus on the ring of silver.

“What’s that orbiting the planet?” Galen asked, “More debris?”

Cortree looked and nodded, “Nope…those are starships. They’re in orbit like a picket line. Some are destroyed though, looks like the remaining ships are using them for cover and concealment.“

“What’s that?” Leoni pointed to an image on the side of one of the ships visible on the scan.

Jaden brought the image up, punched in commands to clear up the image and said, “Looks like some of them are from the Clone Wars. Other look more recent. We can’t get a better look until we get closer…”

The image cleared up as best it could and rendered solidly on a symbol on the side of one of the ships. Jaden ran the symbol through the ship’s computer and immediately got a result.

Cortree looked in surprise and checked the computer, “No way…”

“What?” Leoni asked, pushing past.

“The starships in orbit,” Jaden said, “Are branded with an ancient symbol of the Jedi Order…”

End of Episode: 12

Continue to Episode: 13

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Episode : 11
GM: Brad

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Part: 1

“Caretaker,” Jaden Windu said to Master Yoda’s Holocron, “Tell me about Korriban.”

The name had stuck with Jaden since the device had first mentioned it during initial questioning at Sluis Van. Galen Argyus’ Apprentice, Leoni Venusia had apparently been there and it appeared to Galen it might be linked to the rediscovery of Tython. When the Jedi Training Ship the Crucible set out into hyperspace for Eriadu, Jaden took the time to speak to the Holocron once more.

The Holocron’s Caretaker, the holographic visage of Master Yoda’s diminutive green form, closed its eyes, raised its large eared and summoned several streaming images and pages of information stained in red light. It started by showing its location, at the end of the Dragon’s Trail Hyperlane in what was now the space of the Corporate Sector Authority.

“The birthplace of the Sith, Korriban was…” The caretaker said. It recounted what little was known by Yoda of its early history. Jaden took notes on his datapad as the caretaker presented the knowledge.

“At some point the planet was conquered by an ancient power called the Infinite Empire…”

The fact caught Jaden by surprise. Another connection to that mysterious Empire.

“Enslave the population the Rakata did, but eventually abandoned the planet. The Massassi, planet’s native inhabitants, of greater concern they are.“
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The caretaker continued for an hour at least. It told of the rogue Jedi that colonized it. Of the Sith Order that was born from Korriban’s sands. Of the empire that rose from it and was lost to the pages of history.

In the meantime Cortree Tincove, the Captain of the Crucible and Galen Argyus sat at the communications. Cortree sipped his drink as he considered Galen’s recounting of what his contacts told him.

“Moag Wren? I heard a that guy,” Cortree said, “Likes a good hunt and threw his money around for all the best gear a couple years back. Even went to Raxus to find rare parts.”

“Any idea of his loadout?” Galen asked.

Cortree shook his head, “Expensive. Gotta be expensive. Be ready for anythin’.”

“My contacts on Eriadu have gone dark for the time being. Once we’re on planet they’ll be after us.”

“Maybe not. I got some friends in the docks there. I’ll see what I can do about dodgin’ the Moag…”

“Thanks Cor.” Galen said, “If you could please let everyone know that I need to spend some time with my apprentice I would appreciate it.”

Later, Galen sat with his apprentice Leoni Venusia in her quarters. Leoni had been on edge since the cave, but her anger had spiked up when they had been on Sluis Van when confronted by the reporters.

Galen needed his apprentice to calm down, so he spent a half-hour guiding her through a session of Meditation. But he also needed her to remember what happened to her master.

“Clear your mind.” Galen said, “Allow the Force to wash over you.”
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Leoni’s felt the Force flow through her. Past the pain and fear she began to feel a calm. Her mind wandered deeper and deeper into her memory. She remembered her old master, she remembered Yavin IV, she remembered being called to leave on a survey mission in the Outer Rim. She could remember a long flight into parts unknown.

Then there was a torrent. Of emotion, of memory, of…power. She couldn’t keep track of it all. Tombs and sand like before. She let out sounds of distress and Galen placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. The help brought her out of the dark vision, aware that she had been sweating heavily.

“What did you see?” Galen asked.

“Nothing yet. “ Leoni said, “I think…I know I will remember in time. When I am ready. You will be the first to know, Master.”

“Thank you, Leoni.”

Their lesson on meditation was cut short when the bridge’s intercom chimed.

“We’re comin’ up on Eriadu.” Cortree said over the comm.

Jaden, Cortree and Leoni met up in the Crucible’s cockpit. Galen gathered himself as he reached out through the Force. Felt for his sister. He could sense that the message was from her…

“Did you get through to your contact in ground control?” Galen asked.

“Yeah,” the Fringer confirmed, “My buddy in ground control will delay reporiting our arrival for a while. If anyone asks, we are the Azure Fortune for the time bein’.”

Cortree toggled a control and the streaking starlines of hyperspace slowed to normal space. Before the Crucible appeared the familiar sight of their destination the Planet Eriadu. Above the planet on the other hand was a wholly unfamiliar sight. A long black, triangular capital ship that made the companions shutter in unison.

“Star Destroyer!” Leoni squeaked against the heart in her throat.

“What the hell is that doing here?” Galen growled, “They follow us from the Wheel?”

“No. That is not the same Star Destroyer…” Jaden replied.

Cortree punched a few commands into his scopes and zoomed in on the holographic rendering of the craft.

“You’re right, Jaden. The one from the Wheel was a Pellaeon-Class Star Destroyer,” Cortree confirmed, “That one there is a… Victory IV-Class Battle Cruiser. Heavily Armored. Pinnacle of Imperial Firepower. Bigger…than most ships in the republic fleet. ”

“Look again. A Republic Escort.” Jaden said as he pointed to a trio of Republic Capital Ships lagging around the massive Star Destroyer.

Jaden zoomed the Visual Sensors on a line of ships moving in and out of the bays of the Star Destroyer, “It looks like it’s trading. No other Imperial Craft. No Tie-Fighters, Shuttles or Imperial Escort Ships.”

“Captain,” Leoni said raising a hand, “Maybe you could ask ground control.”

Galen smiled and nodded at his padawan’s thoughtfulness.

Cortree toggled the comms.

“Ground Control.” The other end said.

“Ground Control, this is the Azure Fortune.”

“What’cha need Cor?”

“Ah…Star Destroyer? Are you being invaded or held at blasterpoint?”

The Ground Control Officer recited the information like he had a hundred times before that day, “That there is the Imperial Starship Alderaan. Diplomatic Vessel. It’s got Authorization to be in this sector from the Republic Senate Sub-Committee on Imperial Affairs and the Sub-Committee for Relief Efforts until the Governor tells it to leave. Don’t bother it and it won’t bother you.”

The companions blinked in surprise, not recognizing the name.

Jaden Windu broke the silence, “They named an Imperial Starship…WHAT?”

“Cortree,” Galen suggested, “Don’t go anywhere near that thing. Just…just…fly casual.”

As the Crucible flew towards the planet and changed angle on the Alderaan, the companions could see that the ships going in and out were not imperial vessels, fighters or even commercial merchant ships. They were small, rusted starships that were barely space worthy. Cortree pointed out that they were not the craft of well off folk, but the craft of those who could barely afford a ship. A few clear merchant ships seemed to be turned away from the massive Star Destroyer.
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“They seem to be transmitting somethin’.” Cortree said, toggling the Comm as the Crucible flew past.

“Attention all vessels, this is the Imperial Starship Alderaan. We are on a Mission of Peace as part of the joint Victory Without War Program. We mean no harm and have no intentions to start a conflict. As a recognized diplomatic vessel, this ship is Sovereign Imperial Soil under Republic Law. Any conflict begun with this ship could be considered an Act of War. Any fire will be returned in kind. As part of the Victory Without War Program, we offer food, constructible shelter, medicine and supplies for those in need of it for no charge of fee or favor in Docking Bay 4. Merchant ships wanting to resell the goods will be turned away and deceptions will face prosecution from the Republic. Those seeking weapons for purchase will find none. Victory Without War is the way of Peace…“

“Very unusual…” Jaden said, intrigued by the words.

“I don’t trust anything the Empire is trying to sell…” Galen said, clenching a fist.

The Crucible came in for a landing at the Eriadu City Spaceport. The port was abuzz with activity. The raggedy ships they had seen go to and from the Alderaan occupied every available landing site. Out of the crafts came hundreds of crates with Imperial markings. The local authorities gathered around the new arrivals, retasked for customs duty for the new imports. Crates were opened and inspected and let through. Just like the message said. Food, water, medicine. The people hauling them looked to be just as ragged as their ships.

The Crucible set down and the Jedi disembarked.

“We can use this opportunity to resupply.” Cortree said as they came down the gangplank, “No tellin’ what surprises Tython has in store for us.”

“Leoni, go with Jaden and Cortree.” Galen said as he put his hood up,“My sister will want me to come alone.”

“What if the Bounty Hunter finds her first?” Leoni asked.

“He will have to face a group of Jedi ready for him.” Jaden said with confidence.

“I’ll stay on the comms. Don’t be reckless.” Galen said.

Leoni forced an unsure smile, “May the Force be with us.”

“May the Force be with us…” The group said in unison, their feelings tempered.

Part: 2

“Are you sure these disguises will keep us hidden, Master Windu?” Leoni asked.
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“Of course,” Jaden said,“Master T’Ket loves flea markets. They are always a good place to find antiques others found worthless, but Archaeologists find priceless. The first key to being a good Jedi is the ability to blend in with the environment…”

Jaden, Cortree and Leoni used the lessons of T’Ket to blend in with the crowd as they searched for supplies for the coming trip to Tython. The marketplace was cluttered with stalls and penny credit merchants selling all manner of goods. But now the stalls were being overrun by the Imperial Crates from the Alderaan. Crowds of the hungry and desperate surrounded the crates as people gave away sealed packages of food from inside. A few of them looked like hired mercenaries, sent by the empire to distribute the requested goods. A few merchants tried to buy the crates of food, but were met with growls and displays of blasters. The mercenaries insisted at the ends of blasters that the food and supplies must given freely only to those who need it.

It was the damnedest thing any of the Jedi Companions had ever seen.

The group came to a flea market stall that Jaden sensed was the right one.

“Lesson two,” Jaden whispered, “The art of ‘The Haggle’.”

Leoni stood and watched as her fellow Jedi engaged the merchant in pleasant conversation for some new astrogation sensors…

Meanwhile, Galen moved quietly through the spaceport. He moved not just through the crowd but through memory. For a moment Galen was six years old again. He was being dragged by the arm of his sister towards a waiting ship. Galen saw himself walk into docking bay 47 and climb up the gangplank of a ship for parts unknown to him.

In the present, Docking Bay 47 was closed for maintenance. There was no ship waiting for him. Hairs stood on his neck as he searched the crowd for any signs. The crowd had no threats but a glance up revealed to Galen a shaped high in the sky. A shape circling the spaceport. Something the size of a Starfighter but too far away to fully make out.

“It that you, Moag?” Galen asked the sky, “What are you waiting for?”

Galen’s introspection was cut off by a new presence that moved in behind him. He had never felt a presence like it before but somehow he knew it. The figure, a little shorter than he, appeared silently behind him. Galen tried to look at the figure, but the figure matched his movements. What little he could see of the form’s face seemed steeped in impossible shadows.

“Not here,” A distorted voice said, “The sky has eyes. Go down the hall.”

Galen and the tail moved down the hall towards the front platform of the municipal Maglev train station as an empty car pulled in. The figure touched the turn style and the holographic display shifted rapidly and bleeped confirmation as the train stopped. Instead the entire train opening for passengers, only the doors in front of Galen opened.
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“We are sorry, this train is being taken out service. Please wait for the next available train.” The droid announcer said.

Galen and his tail moved into the front car as the doors closed behind them. There was a clack as the front car decoupled and only a single maglev car rode out onto the track around Eriadu City. The light came up and the blinds came down, sealing Galen and his tail inside. The figure walked out in front of Galen at last and leaned against the wall for a moment, breathing heavily with the sound of fatigue.

“This place should be secure enough to talk.” The distorted voice said.

The figure toggled a control and the darkened face changed. The Holographic Stealth field dissolved and revealed a young face a few years older than Galen. Lean, fit and beautiful. A military-style bodysuit held a dozen pouches of gear, tools and weapons. A sword was strapped to her back. A pistol of some variety at her waist and a wrapped package slung over her shoulder. Galen guessed it a collapsed sniper rifle. But, Galen didn’t need to guess as he looked upon the figures face. The eyes, the hair and the features all made his stomach drop out and his Jedi training fade away.

For a moment, Galen Argyus was six years old again as he gave his sister Leena the biggest hug he could muster, lifting her off the ground. Tears streamed down his face. After so many years he felt whole again.

“I thought I’d lost you, sis.” Galen cried.

“You’re so tall, you little womp rat.” Leena Argyus replied.

Galen laughed and set her down.

As they held each other, Galen could feel something new in his sister. Something cold.

He released the embrace and wiped away his tears, “I heard you were in trouble.”

“You have noooo idea…”

“Explain it to me.” Galen said, sitting down.

Part: 3

“So…”Galen said, “Where have you been? Where did you go after Kashyyyk

Leena’s smiled faded a bit as she held up a part of he hair. At the base of her neck was a distinctive but tiny surgical scar.

“They took me back to Nal Hutta. I was bought, sold, bought again and again. It took me five years to figure out enough slicing to program a Medical Droid to cut out the tracking implant and remove the slave collar.”

“Five years?”

Leena put her hair back down and leaned against the wall, “Five years of doing what I had to… I stowed away on a dozen ships until I got to the Core. I was legally dead so I couldn’t find anyone. But I was found. Found…and given a new purpose.”

Something seemed off to Galen, “Bounty Hunters? Assassins?”

Leena shook her head and smiled,“The Republic Military. They admired my ingenuity, ability to adapt and blend in. They gave me food, shelter, education and a new home as an Agent with the Republic Strategic Information Service.”

Silence followed. Galen couldn’t believe it.

Leena picked up on the silence and confirmed it, “I’m a spy for the Republic.”

“A spy?" Galen stood silent, contemplating the implications, "Why didn’t you contact me?”

“The Jedi Code forbids attachments. I wanted to respect your new religion’s way of life.” Leena said without malice.

Galen chuckled at the thought, “You’ve never met the current order. We are more flexible on family these days.”

“And I wanted to keep you safe. You didn’t need to get involved in my business.”

“I’m a Jedi Knight. I can handle a little trouble, Sis.”

Leena laughed at that.

“Slavery is a drop in the bucket. There are many many more games going on, Little Brother.“
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“Like what? What exactly do you do?”

“I make a better Galaxy…”

“How?”

Rhaan Cheska in the CSA builds a new line of droids? Agents like me make sure they have more design flaws and bugs before and after they reach market. I still have no idea where Gul Shyssa gets his intelligence for his newscasts. I have pirates raiding hyperlanes in the Deep Core. I have the Mandalorian Supremacy on the brink of Civil War and the only faction sympathetic to us lost power a century ago. And, for the past decade, I have being trying hard to make sure that the next batch of Hutt Gangsters that comes to power after the current ones kill each other off are ones that are sympathetic to the Republic and know that joining the Republic is a better way of doing business.”

“So, that’s your solution to slavery? Silently conquer the slavers one world at a time while innocent people die?”

“Don’t talk to ME about slavery, brother. Slavery is terrible. I’ve been a slave, dammit. But, Mom… always said you have to treat the disease and not the symptom. Slavery is a symptom. One of many. I treat the disease.”

“Slavery is a disease… We can’t just ignore it.”

“Would you rather we go to war? Turn Nal Hutta and Nar Shaddaa to glass? Start a revolution on Mandalore? Maybe we should just start a purge of all the imperials in the Galaxy. Our way is not fast, I admit. It’s not pretty, but in time things will change.”

Galen fell silent. He considered the words and moved onto another topic.

“What happened with Vargolla?” Galen asked.

Leena swallowed. “He was an asset helping me with my biggest problem.”

“That would be?”

“Ever heard of Special Projects Unit 1138?”

Galen sat and thought. He barely remembered a part of a report he had read.

“Not really. Who are they?”

“Imperial Army Unit. No one knows for sure what they are about. For the past few years they’ve been burning through credits digging up artifacts all over the Galaxy. They also seem involved with the Force Sensitives in Imperial Space disappearing without a trace. Your fellow Jedi, Jora Tarkin, mentioned it as much when he got debriefed. They made waves recently when 1138’s own Colonel Valarus attacked the Wheel with a Star Destroyer.“

Galen blinked, “That Star Destroyer?”

“That Star Destroyer.”

“What’s it have to do with Vargolla?”

“1138 was buying artifacts from everyone including the Hutts. I was using Vargolla to find out what was so damned important about a bunch of old relics.”

Galen thought for a moment about relics, “Have you heard of the Infinite Empire?”

Leena stood silent for a moment and shook her head, “1138’s Artifact hunt and the like is outside my experience. Lately I’ve been caught up cleaning up your messes and the messes of the other Jedi.”

“The SIS tracks the Jedi Order?”

“It’s a part of our mandate from the Sub-Committee for Jedi Affairs. Simple really. ‘No more Palpatines. No more Vaders.’ One of yours goes off the edge, we do what needs to be done.”

“The Senate has that kind of pull? That kind of authority?”

“The Senate could draft you all into lifelong service or revoke your order’s charter and political identity if they wanted to. Right now they just want to make sure you behave yourselves. The policy was the Jedi Council’s idea. But I don’t make policy, I merely enforce it. Especially when one of your own goes off the edge like the one last month.”

“Who went off the edge?”

“Some Jedi went to a planet designated off limits by the Jedi Council. When I set foot on world I…felt something.”

Galen steeled himself for the story. Leena’s calm exterior wavered as she remembered and became confused by her own tale.

“My implants and training keep me level-headed but I felt…angry. I don’t even remember leaving planet. Vargolla was just an asset. Doing what Hutts do. He still kept slaves for appearances sake. He didn’t free them like I wanted him too. He didn’t care about them, they were property. I went back to that slug and I got so angry…I felt something in me. Some strength I never had.”

“Sis…”

“Before I knew it I had killed him and the witnesses. I bugged out… But I didn’t give the slug enough credit. He knew who I was, somehow. He knew my real name… But my cover information held. The SIS hasn’t returned my calls so…I think I’m burned.”

“You think the SIS sent the Bounty Hunters?”

“No. Too public. They wouldn’t do that.“

“Why did you come here?”

“Lots of escape routes and for the big thing you probably saw on your way in.”

“The Star Destroyer?”

“It’s a Diplomatic Vessel. Diplomatic Immunity. I can use it and the Ambassador on board to ‘defect.’ I can use it to get close to Special Projects Unit 1138. I can find the missing Force Users.”

“No you can’t.”

“Why not, little brother?”

“The feeling you felt was the Darkside of The Force. You are like me. You have power, I can sense it. You could be trained as a Jedi. We could use someone like you…”

The siblings went back and forth, arguing the points for a while. The argument never got heated. But, both used every argument they could think of until it came to a head.

“Come with us. We can give you sanctuary aboard the Crucible. Please, Leena.” Galen said solemnly.

Leena sat back, “Say I come with you. Where could I go that’s safe?”

“We’re on a mission to find the Jedi Homeworld of Tython. It’s been lost for like 1000 years. A symbol of our order. It isn’t on any maps and maybe your commanders would appreciate you help rediscovering something that could bring the Jedi Order together.”

“So…you want me to help you go into uncharted space into an unknown situation with potentially galactic socio-political ramifications?”

“Yeah…”

Leena stood silent for a while, considering the possibility. She finally made her decision.

“Sounds like fun…” She said with smile.

Galen and Leena laughed together and smiled in each other’s company. They had a way forward. They had finally reunited. They were ready.

Then, something big landed on top of the Maglev Train car, splintering the windows with its weight, putting massive dent in the roof and tearing a hole to the sky.

The light of a red mechanical eye sensor peered through the tear and into the car.

A synthetic voice came from the thing, “Targets located.”

Another voice came from the thing, this one human sounding.

“Boy, you better run. I like a good chase.”
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Galen looked to his sister. Leena looked back with a knowing gaze, smiled and nodded. They were both on the same page.

With impossible speed Galen dropped his hooded cloak, drew his lightsaber and ignited its blue blade.

“I am a Jedi. I do not run.”

Galen swiped his lightsaber at the splintered glass, clearing a way. Leena took the cue and took out the control for a small device just as fast. She toggled it and a holographic field surrounded her and made her disappear.

Galen jumped onto the rim of the broken window and then up into the air. He hung for a moment and passed through what felt like a shield. He found himself on the back of the massive metal thing. Galen didn’t take time to look at it. He just knew it was big. And it screamed

Part: 4

Jaden Windu sensed the danger to Galen immediately, throwing a chilidog over his shoulder and into a nearby trashbin without looking. He turned towards the Maglev.

“Galen’s in trouble.” Jaden said, motioning for the attention of Leoni and Cortree who followed.

He held up a hand towards the passing traffic and flagged down a Droid-Controlled Autocab. The trio piled into the speeder and Cortree typed commands into his small datapad.

“Triangulating his commlink’s position and…” Cortree said.

Cortree typed commands to its destination console. The speeder took flight and flew straight towards the Maglev train. As the taxi’s alarms went off for the invalid destination, Cortree pulled a small device out of his belt pouch and stuck it into the droid’s credit slot. The slicing device tied the autocab to Cortree’s datapad for the time being and allowed him to override it’s safety protocols. As the cab rose past the maglev tracks the trio opened the side door, getting ready to jump onto the maglev train. Then they caught sight of the Train car and froze in shock.

“Look at the size of that thing!” Leoni said, flabbergasted.

The thing on top of the maglev train was too big to be a speeder or a conventional-sized fighter. Besides, Fighters didn’t have clawed arms and legs, a tail half its length or a dozen blaster ports on the front of its scaled hull. Fighters didn’t have a head that moved like a bird stretching out from the armored cockpit and astromech droid module. Fighters didn’t have glowing red eyes the same color as its back ion thrusters. Fighters didn’t mechanically screech when Galen landed on its back…

“Take me to oblivion…” Cortree swore, his memory going a hundred light-years an hour “That there is a Basilisk War Droid. Best…arsenal money can buy.”

Jaden pondered the revelation, “In the past…such droids were used to hunt Jedi and fight entire armies.”

“That thing is a DROID?” Leoni squeaked.

“They’re about as intelligent as a dog. Linked directly with their pilots. But, this one seems smarter somehow. I want one…just not one right here, right now.”

“Get us closer, Captain.” Jaden said calmly, drawing the lightsaber of his ancestor.

“Right.” Cortree replied, already starting to reprogram the droid driver.

Galen steadied himself on the back of the Basilisk. He saw that on its back were a pair of cryotubes meant for transport and labelled for him and his sister. The hatch for the sealed cockpit opened and Moag Wren, Huntmaster of the Mandalorian Supremacy jumped onto the massive droid’s back. The afternoon light glistened off the chromed durasteel of his Mandalorian Battle Armor and the pair of custom heavy blasters on his hips. Galen couldn’t help but take in the various trophies that hung from his armor. Wookie hair cords. Trandoshan claws. Imperial officer insignia welded to the front.

“I like a good hunt.” Moag said.

“Don’t make me destroy you. Leave us alone. This hunt isn’t worth the credits.” Galen said, readying his lightsaber.

“Can’t do that, slick. I got a reputation to uphold. I’ll give the credits to your Order.” Moag’s hands moved to his blasters.

“Okay, then.” Galen said and moved with lightning speed.

Galen braced himself and drove his lightsaber down into the droid just above where he figured the power core was in a flawless strike with all his might. The lightsaber blade could cut through any substance and with but a few seconds, Galen’s strike would destroy the power core and cause an explosion.

Or at least that is what Galen expected to happen.

Instead, Galen’s blue lightsaber blade passed over the hull of the basilisk and did absolutely nothing. Nothing at all. No cut. No burn. No boom.

Galen blinked in surprise.

“Nice try,“ Moag laughed, turning to the Droid’s head “Katarn: Locate secondary target.”

“By your command…” A synthesized voice said.

Without warning, Moag drew his blasters. The Custom Blasters fired a rapid, machinegun volley of blaster bolts towards the Jedi. Galen was faster, deflecting the bolts with practiced motions of his lightsaber. A few bolts whizzed past his defenses and told Galen’s senses that any one of them could fell him.

The droid began tearing up the Maglev train car, searching for the now invisible target, but it couldn’t find its target. Lenna invisibly leapt off the train into a roll on the tracks.

Cortree fired his own heavy blaster at Moag as he leapt though the shield and onto the back of the Basilisk with style. Cortree’s shots sparked off Moag’s armor and Moag continued shooting at Galen, the shots that passed through his defenses heading towards Cortree, forcing the fringer to take cover behind the cryopod meant for Galen.

Galen continued swatting down the blaster bolts as he force leapt onto the other side of the bounty hunter into a flanking position. Moag fired a machinegun volley of blaster bolts at Galen with one blaster, then fired another volley at Cortree with the other, forcing the Fringer to stay behind cover.

As the Basilisk’s claws tore the roof to pieces, Jaden stood in the autocab’s entryway and held out a hand. He grabbed the pieces of the roof with the telekinetic power of the Force and hurled them towards the bounty hunter as distraction. The pieces of metal hit the bounty hunter, but the Mandalorian’s armor stopped the impacts cold and his helmet’s targeting software kept a lock on Galen and Cortree.

Cortree punched commands into his datapad and shouted into his commlink, “Galen, watch your z-axis!”

The autocab immediately lowered and parked itself on top of the Bounty Hunter and onto the back of the Droid beast as it leapt off the back of the maglev train car. Galen stood to the side, over the Bounty Hunter’s exposed head. The speeder’s weight crushed the droid and ground its hull against the track. The Basilisk bird-like head looked out and its sensors caught a glimpse of movement across the raised bodies of a billboard stretched across the distance between the train and the nearby marketplace structure. The thing’s vision switched to infrared and Leena’s form became a stark contrast.

“Secondary Target located, heading toward marketplace.” The droid spoke.

Moag lay underneath the autocab and looked up towards the marketplace.

“Katarn, attack mode!” Moag said as he toggled his jetpack, sweeping out Galen’s leg as he flew forward out form underneath the speeder. Galen’s Jedi reflexes allowed him to stay standing.

Moag fired a machinegun volley behind him and Galen deflected them in kind as the bounty hunter flew through the window into the marketplace.

“By your command…” The droid said as it rose on all fours.

The Basilisik War Droid screamed…

The droid clawed the the autocab and fire blaster bolts toward it. Jaden and Leoni ducked as the claws and bolts tore through the autocab’s outer hull. The angle was strange for the basilisk, preventing it from getting a good hit in. But the damage it did manage shorted out Cortree’s slicing device. The driver droid’s safety protocol’s engaged and the autocab detached from the beast’s back.

Cortree tried to override the cab, but it was no use. He used the time to move up the beast’s back towards the base of its neck. He moved to a hatch and desperately tried to open it.
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Jaden noticed the movement, the chance to get onto the beast faded and he decided quickly. Jaden Windu leapt toward the Basilisk, passing through its shields and grabbed a handhold on the side of the droid, one meant for climbing up the side. The Jedi barely held his grip as the droid lurched from side to side trying to shake him off of level a blaster towards it.

Further down, Leoni jumped onto the roof of the Marketplace and ran back towards the Mandalorian.

Galen force leapt onto the billboard and leapt off of it, tumbling through the window and after the Mandalorian.

Through his helmet, Moag Wren scanned the marketplace below for the invisible Leena. The Marketplace was huge, the tracking software couldn’t sift through all the movement and heat signatures. Moag knew Leena’s tradecraft let alone her holographic tools would allow her to hide and then escape his grasp.

But the Huntmaster had a reputation to uphold.

The Bounty Hunter designated his target zone with a laser light and gritted his teeth as Galen came into view.

“Katarn, drive the girl out!” Moag seethed.

“By your command…” Galen heard from the commlink as his sight traced the laserlight to its target.

“No, stop! No!!!” Galen screamed as he ran as fast as he could towards Moag.

The Basilisk engaged its ion engines momentarily to rise into the air. The sudden movement drew the attention of Jaden, who sensed the coming danger. He flipped over and hooked a foot through a hand hold, hanging upside down. Jaden desperately hacked at his target, a weapons cable underneath one of the armor plates. But the lightsaber couldn’t cut through fast enough.

The War Droid aimed its blasters, let out a synthesized screech and fired a volley into the marketplace. The blaster bolts tore through the roof and into the crowd of people.

People screamed and fell and died.

The companions couldn’t stop or undo the massacre, but they moved to avenge it.

Jaden Windu’s violet lightsaber blade found a gap in the primary blaster’s power cable and cut off the droid’s volley into the crowd. Cortree Tincove moved to a panel and struggled to get it open. He motioned to Jaden to strike at the bottom of the panel as the pair dodged the swipes from the war droid.

Galen continued forward and rushed towards the Mandalorian as he raised blasters towards him. Galen reached for the power of the Force to gift him speed and swatted down the blaster bolts without thought.

Galen reflected a blaster bolt into the Bounty Hunter’s faceplate, distracting him for an instant. The Jedi screamed as he struck blindingly fast, swiping his lightsaber across the Bounty Hunter with everything he had.

The alpha strike cut through the Mandalorian’s armor and burned through his dominant shooting hand, blaster, chest plate and head. The Bounty Hunter’s head snapped back, knocking off the Helmet that now had a cut burned into its front.

Galen felt his balance disappear as the Bounty Hunter kicked him with technology enhanced strength. The Jedi flipped back and regained his footing, exhausted form his efforts.

Galen looked up and found the dark skin and red cybernetic eye of Moag Wren. The Bounty Hunter had a nasty head wound and was breathing hard from the alpha strike, but he looked ready to go three more rounds with a Rancor and win.

“That your best shot?” Moag said, “Your sister is dead or run away like the mouse she is and your lightsabers can’t stand against my Basilisk. Do you yield?”

“Argyuses don’t yield…” Galen said.

Moag screamed as put his remaining blaster in Galen’s face, ignited his jetpack and extended a vibroblade from his injured arm, moving in for his own alpha strike…

Which was cut short as a sniper shot slammed into the back of the bounty hunter’s exposed head. The Mandalorian crumpled and fell forward, dead.

Agent Leena Argyus stood there, her sniper rifle raised and her holographic field collapsed.

“Damn right, brother.” Leena said, smiling.

Galen smiled back as he heard the worst sound on the planet. The synthesized voice of Katarn the Basilisk as it descended on ion engines above the siblings.

“Targets acquired,” The droid said as it aimed at Leena with its primary weapons, “Initiating anti-personnel strike.”

The power cable Jaden cut sparked and prevented the weapons from firing. The droid tried to compensate as Cortree finally opened the panel with Jaden’s help. The Fringer fired his heavy blaster into the guts of the droid, cutting primary power cables loose. Then, he grabbed one cable from the main reactor and shoved the live wire into delicate circuits and the main drive-train with more amperage than it was designed to take.
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The panel sparked as Cortree’s maneuver created power surges inside the Basilisk, causing explosions and sparks all over the droid. The Ion Engines sputtered and the Basilisk fell like a stone back onto the Maglev track.

The Basilisk looked back up at Galen and Leena and took aim.

Then, Leoni recklessly leapt off the marketplace’s roof at Basilisk and slashed her green lightsaber across its birdlike head. The lightsaber sparked off. The Basilisk swiped at the Padawan, knocking her out of the air and sending her tumbling over the Maglev track.

“Leoni!” Galen shouted as he ran and leapt in front of his Padawan without thinking.

The two Jedi stood in front of the Basilisk War Droid point blank as it reared up on its haunches. The damage had been done but it was still moving.

Leena threw a smoke grenade between the Basilisk and Galen, but knew it wouldn’t do much…

The pair, master and apprentice Jedi didn’t have to look or speak to each other to know what they had to do. They only had one chance. If they missed even one move, they would both be disintegrated and then the droid would move on and keep killing more innocents.

The Basilisk leveled its anti-starfighter blasters at the Jedi and fired.

For the first time, Galen and Leoni moved as one.

Their lightsabers wove a complex barrier as they intercepted the vehicle-class blaster shots. The Jedi knocked the bolts back at the Basilisk. The shots impacted, ripped through the chassis and punched holes through the Beskar armor plates, exposing the Durasteel beneath.

Galen and Leoni ran at the Basilisk, weaved between each other to confuse its tracking algorithm and stabbed into the beast’s exposed insides. The Lightsaber blades turned the durasteel orange then to liquid, then ran the blades through…

The Basilisk War Droid screamed as its core melted down and its power system sparked, overloaded and exploded inside the armor plates. Blue smoke surrounded Cortree and Jaden as they leapt from the droid to safety and the giant beast fell limp.

The beast hung for a moment on the side of the maglev tracks, then gravity pulled it down and it fell to the street below. It landed with a crash.

The companions looked down at the droid, ready for anything.

“Help.” The synthesized voice said from the fallen beast, “I require aid. Please. Anyone…”

Cortree and Jaden made their way down to the wreck, opened the cockpit and laughed.

“The Droid has been neutralized!” Jaden shouted, “All that’s left is the…head.”

Right over the command seat, hooked into the controls for the systems sat the severed head of one of the most formidable Droids from the Clone Wars.

“Wow…” Cortree said, “A Baktoid Combat Automata T-Series Tactical Droid…head.. No wonder it could find Leena anywhere.”

Cortree began to examine it just as the droid lodged a protest together with the crushed Astromech unit as Jaden moved towards the Marketplace to help tend to the wounded people.

Up on the Maglev tracks, Galen and Leoni caught their breath as the made their way back tot he marketplace and over to find Leena. Except they found the spot she once occupied empty. Galen’s commlink buzzed and he answered it.

“I’m not leaving you now bro, just headed to your ship if that offer’s still good.” Leena said over the comm.

“It sure is. I’ll see you there, Sis.” Galen said, smiling.

“Roger. You should get out of there too before…”

Out of the marketplace came a crowd of reporters with holorecorders. They looked desperately for the people responsible for saving the crowd, demanding answers.

“More reporters…” Galen said dejected, “How are we going to handle this, now?”

Leoni looked at her master and said, “Together, Master.”

Galen looked back at her, “No more lies?”

“No more lies. No more secrets.”

“No more recklessness?”

“Only if you stop getting us both into trouble…”

Leoni smiled and Galen smiled back. The pair finally trusted each other.

They were finally a team…

End of Episode: 11

Continue to Episode: 12

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Episode : 10
GM: Brad

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Part: 01

A trio of Attack Skiffs approached the Crucible just as it took off on the swamp planet of Dagobah. The lizard-like Trandoshans aboard screeched at their fleeing prey. The Leader, the Bounty Hunter Zost held up a commlink and signalled the rest of his kin, the Red Talon Clan.

“Mikaz,” Zost hissed into the commlink, “Scoop and scoot. Pursue the one we seek!”

In perfect coordination a customized YT-2400 Freighter, The Red Predator, came from the sky and scooped up the skiffs onto magnetic hardpoints. The Freighter flew forward in pursuit of the Crucible through the fog, trees and mountains of Dagobah.

Aboard the Jedi Training Ship, Crucible the scene was chaotic.

“Mind if I take the Pilot seat, Captain?” Galen Argyus said to Cortree Tincove, the owner of the Crucible.

“Just fly an’ fly fast!” Cortree shouted across the ship.

“That I can do!” Galen replied, “Sit next to me, Padawan.”

Leoni Venusia jumped into the Co-Pilot seat, still not wholly familiar with what she needed to do. She managed to get her restrains fastened just as Galen dove the Crucible into the treeline.

“Who are those hunters?” Leoni asked.

“Markings look like the Red Talon Clan.” Galen said, looking at the readout of the ship’s hull.

“You know them master?”

“Sort of…They took me prisoner on Kashyyyk during a raid. Master Saberota and the rest of the crew on the Crucible rescued me and freed the wookiee slaves,” Galen said, remembering the fight months ago. The ship rocked violently from a near hit. “It seems that they were not appreciative of our efforts.”

SWFotJFAE_LogPics_1001.pngGalen relied on the Force to tell him where to fly. Where to turn, when to accelerate and decelerate. He felt the ship and its place in the universe rather than use the instruments on the console. He attempted a dangerous maneuver that took the ship into the treeline of the swampy planet. Despite his connection to the Force he nearly lost control and the ship’s shields exploded into light as the Crucible sheered through the mighty branches of ancient trees. And the freighter was still hot on their trail.

“That was too close…” Galen said, “Cor, get those shields back up.”

“Bypassing the safeties on the power regulators.” Cortree said, flipping switches and pushing buttons in the engine room. The shields powered back up as the ship continued to take evasive maneuvers.

Aboard the the Bounty Hunter Ship, the Trandoshan Pilot Mikaz pulled down his goggles and gunned the engine. Mikaz was the fastest pilot in his clan and loved to fly this way, by the seat of his pilot suit.

The Bounty Hunter Zost took control of the ship’s guns and fired at the Crucible. His clan’s Bloodoath would be satisfied. They would take the Jedi’s head and score many jaganath points for their goddess the Scorekeeper.

The YT-2400’s blasters grazed the Crucible’s shields and ripped through the jungle below. The Red Talon Clan crew members made it to the ship’s systems and gained a target lock on the Crucible.

Aboard the Crucible, Jaden Windu battened down all the hatches and made the ship ready for incoming fire before heading toward the cockpit. The Bounty Hunter Ship fired at the Crucible, but Galen managed to evade the blasts. The evasive maneuvers scrubbed the Bounty hunter’s target lock , but the nimble pilot Mikaz kept on the Crucible’s six.

“I need more engine power!” Galen said.

“Rerouting secondary systems.” Cortree said, creating an engine boost that lurched the ship forward.

Galen used the newfound power to outmaneuver the other ship and get some much needed distance.

Jaden arrived at the cockpit and jumped into the Communications and Systems chair.

“Jaden, find me a way off this planet.” Galen said.

“I am on it!” Jaden said, bringing a Topographical map of the planet. “There’s a series of canyons ahead. Aim for this route.”

Galen looked at the map and spotted his target point.

“This is going to be close!” Galen said rapidly moving controls.

The Crucible flew into the canyon and beneath an arch of rocks towards a mountain going at full speed. At the last second Galen cut the throttle and pulled the nose of the ship up, going vertical, kicking in the afterburners scorching the swamp below. In the middle of the maneuver, Jaden used the ionic charge from the engines to try and overload the sensors of the enemy ship.

Mikaz the pilot, though not a Jedi, had nearly Jedi caliber reflexes. He pulled the ship up at the last second and went vertical too in the Crucible’s wake despite being sensor blind. The Bounty Hunter Zost growled in rage and shouted into the ship’s intercom. The Red Talon Clan Members punched the console a few times and barely managed another target lock.

“This guy’s incredible! I can’t shake him!” Galen said impressed.

A warning beep came from the systems console, red light flashing.

“What is that?” Leoni asked sheepishly.

“Missile Lock…Concussion Missiles!” Jaden shouted.

“Brace for impact!” Galen said.

The ship bucked violently as the enemy missile took down the shields.

“Shields are gone. Minimal damage.” Cortree said over the intercom as he made his way to the ship’s gunnery chair.

”But they still hurt my baby",he growled as he powered up the turret. Cortree took his time despite the rocking of the ship. He carefully lined up the shot and fired the Crucible’s few cannons at the enemy ship. Their shields exploded and fell.

“Help me out here, Jaden.” Cortree said, “Give me a fix on their engines.”

Jaden pressed a few buttons and made some adjustments, “Target Locked.”

Galen moved the ship into a firing position, but the Trandoshan pilot matched his course. He didn’t however recognize Cortree’s trap. The ship’s captain fired the guns and nailed the YT-2400’s engines. A trail of smoke and black liquid flowed out of the freighter’s damaged engines.

“Are they slowing down?” Galen asked over the intercom.

SWFotJFAE_LogPics_1002.png“Naw.” Cortree said inspecting his scopes, “But they’ve got a fuel rupture.”

Aboard the Red Predator, the clan reported the damage and pleaded over the intercom for their Leader, Zost to call off the hunt for now. But Zost and the Red Talon Clan’s Bloodoath against Galen Argyus could not be be satisfied with retreat.

“Almost to the safe area for the jump to Hyperspace.” Galen said as the Crucible and the Red Predator both climbed out of Dagobah’s atmosphere.

“They ain’t giving up the ghost. They gonna keep chasin’ us.” Cortree said.

Jaden examined the readings of the enemy ship, “I concur, their behavior suggests they may seek death before abandoning the hunt. And they still have concussion missiles which could easily destroy us without our shields.”

“No choice then. Blow them out of the sky Cor.” Galen said

“Locking onto the Fuel Leak.” Cortree said, “Jaden, hop on that secondary remote turret.”

The two ships weaved and swerved both pilots trying to gain an advantage. The Red Predator moved into position for a boarding action. Jaden then fired the secondary turrets, causing the Predator to dodge right into Cortree’s waiting sites.

The blaster shots impacted the fuel leak and the Red Predator erupted into a momentary fireball in space.

“Target destroyed.” Jaden said, letting out a sigh tinged with sadness. Galen, who despised slavers such as the Red Talons, seemed far less disturbed by the death of the trandoshans. He calmly began entering calculations into the jump computer.

The Crucible jumped into Hyperspace and went to auto-pilot inside the hyperlane. The crew gathered in the main room as Cortree checked the damage.

“Good news: We are in one piece more or less although we do need repairs.” Cortree said. “Luckily, we are close to Sluis Van. Nice shipyards there.”

“Good thinking,” Galen said, “I have contacts there who can tell us more about these Bounty Hunters.”

“I can use the time to unlock the mysteries of Yoda’s ship.” Jaden said.

Leoni emerged from the cockpit, shaking and stumbling from the G-Forces of Galen’s desperate maneuvering.

“You did well, my padawan.” Galen said, proud of her coolness during the rocky flight.

“Captain, do the freshers still work?” Leoni asked looking decidedly pale.

“Yeah…” Cortree said pointing to a door down the corridor.

“Good.” Leoni said and stumbled towards it.

The sounds of her misery echoed back to the crew who all hid their smiles.

“Well, I think she’s coming along…” Galen said.

Part: 02

During the flight to Sluis Van, Galen got on his comm and called up an old friend.

“Sreb Rejo here.” The Twi’lek said on the other end.

“It’s Galen, I’m my way to you and I need some info.” Galen said.

“Anything for you, man.”

Sreb had been one of the many slaves liberated by Galen at the Battle of Socorro. In the years since the Twi’lek had become a successful, if low level, information broker who was dedicated to combating slavery on the Outer Rim. If there was one person in this sector that Galen could trust to not sell him out to the Hutts, it was Sreb.

“My sister Leena,“ Galen said solemnly, ”I need to know her last known location and who’s hunting her. Keep it quiet.”

“Can do. Drop by the Blackhole when you arrive. May the Force be with you!”

“May the Force be with you, Sreb.”

Some time later, the Crucible dropped out of hyperspace before a series of space stations shaped like traingular prisms. The snake-like Sluissi saw starship building not just as a craft but as works of art. Their shipyards as a result were known as some of the best in the Outer Rim Territories and also among the slowest. Decorum had to be maintained after all and that often got in the way of what many other species would refer to as efficiency. For the Jedi, it was the perfect place to take a breather and regroup.

“Orbital Dock V-475, Azure Fortune requesting permission for docking.” Galen asked over comms. The Sluissi were known for their adherence to protocol, so Galen asked as politely as possible.

“Purpose of your visit?” The Sluissi on the other end hissed.

“Repairs and rest.”

“Wait…is this Galen Argyus?…”

“Negative, you’re mistaken on that V-475.”

“No. I recognize you. I saw you on GNN. You are Galen Argyus… The Liberator of Socorro can dock here anytime, Master Jedi. You are clear to land in Docking Bay 41.”

“41, roger. Crucible out.” Galen said as he rubbed his temples in pain, “So much for laying low…”

The Crucible came in for a landing and found a crowd of people waiting for it. News reporters carried recording devices, ready to catch a glance of the (In)Famous Jedi Liberator. Luckily safety restrictions prevented the reporters from just rushing the ship which gave them some room to breath. The gangplank lowered and Galen and Leoni slipped out onto the bay floor with their hoods lowered and their faces in shadow.

“Keep a low profile and stay close to me, Padawan.” Galen said indicating the waiting horde, “Reporters can be more ruthless than kath hounds.“

“Yes master.” Leoni said.

The pair of Jedi moved swiftly and silently in the opposite direction from the crowd. Calling on the Force, they easily outpaced the reporters to the turbolift on the other end of the dock. Just as the doors closed Galen noticed a Trandoshan dock worker slinking off by himself with a comlink in his hands.

Part: 03

Meanwhile, Jaden and Cortree looked over the lifeboat of an ancient Jedi Master while a team of droids hosed the swamp muck off the outside of the lifeboat and the inside of the Crucible’s cargo bay.

“There better be somethin’ here,” Cortree said unscrewing the front of a panel in the cockpit as the muck on the outside dripped down, “The faster we move the sooner we can clean out the cargo bay. I’m not sure I’ll ever get the smell out.”

Jaden pulled the last of the drawers out of the ship dresser with great care and placed it into the arms of one of Cortree’s pit droids.

”I say patience…We will find what we are looking for with patience. Besides, finding knowledge aboard this craft will make the smell worth it” Jaden said.

“Patience. Right.” Cortree sighed as he pulled a black box out of the old navigation console. He sat on the Crucible’s deck with the Black Box connected to the Navigation console. He typed furiously, navigating through the data. A few beeps from the computer drew his ire for a moment, so he loaded the data onto a datapad and moved to the main room.

Jaden had Yoda’s personal effects laid out before him in a careful order. He took methodical steps to catalog each item and take scans of them. The Jedi Archeologist looked up to Cortree as he approached.

“And?” Jaden asked.

“Patience paid off. The ship’s memory core seems mostly intact.” Cortree confirmed a bit sheepishly, “Looks like he just copied data from his old fighter into it. I ran the star charts through our navigational computer, but they are a century old.“

”Was there any data on hyperspace routes to Tython?” Jaden asked.

Cortree handed him the datapad and the Jedi lit up, “Looks like there was a route programmed into the system even though the lifeboat couldn’t make the trip. Goes to the Deep Core about where Galen pointed to."

“Tython is within reach then?”

“Not perfectly. I tried to compensate for stellar drift an’ such, but there’s too many unknown variables that deep in the Core. Uncharted black holes. Stellar anomalies. Old junk floatin’ in space. With this information we should be able to get to the planet. It will be risky though,” Cortree replied cautiously.

“It will have to do.”

“What’s that you got here?” Cortree asked, looking over the various objects.

“The personal effects of Master Yoda. Clothing, pieces of his lightsaber. Long expired rations…” Jaden listed.

“What’re these tools for?” Cortree pointed to a pile of tools off to the side.

“They look like tools for making a Holocron.” Jaden said rubbing his chin, “But, I didn’t find one here.”

“Could it be back on Dagobah?”

“No, I can feel something is here. But I looked everywhere on the ship.” Jaden said.

“Don’t think so.” Cortree said, “I think this Master Yoda knew how to keep things hid. Well…so do I.”

Minutes later, a legion of small droids began scanning the inside of the lifeboat rivet by rivet. Jaden stared at the little army impressed.

“Very useful these droids of yours…” Jaden said.

“The right folks for the right job.” Cortree confirmed, smiling.

Part: 04

SWFotJFAE_LogPics_1003.pngMeanwhile, Galen and Leoni found themselves in the Blackhole Cantina. The band played the same old playlists and people moved all around. Galen found his contact at his usual spot in the back. Something felt off though. Something wasn’t right. Srub seemed more wired than normal and had three empty glasses sitting next to him as he polished off a fourth drink.

The Twil’lek looked up as he finished his drink gave Galen a hug, “Galen, my friend. It has been too long.”

“It has, Srub.” Galen said, turning to Leoni he whispered, “Stand guard Padawan. Be ready for a quick exit.”

“Yes, master.” Leoni said and she began to scan the patrons of the Black Hole.

Galen sat down and looked over the datapad that Srub handed to him.

“Did you find her?” Galen asked.

“Yeah…last spotted around Eridau heading towards Coruscant.” Srub said, shaking.

“Good work, Srub.”

“But, honestly Galen… what the hell?”

“I know things seem shaky…” Galen began.

“No…what the hell, man? What are you into here? You need to get your sister outta whatever trouble she’s in and find a nice remote planet to take a long vacation on. Just saying.”

“You found her? How close is her pursuit then? How many Bounty Hunters?”

“Last week there were like ten hunters looking for her. Yesterday there were four. As of today…just one.”

“Just one?”

“Competition got scared off. They want nothin’ to do with it.”

“Who?”

Srub looked around skidishly and moved in close, “Your sister is being tracked by the Moag.”

“The Moag?” Galen whispered, the name unfamiliar.

Moag of Clan Wren of House Visla. Current Huntmaster for the Mandalorian Supremacy…”

Galen blinked.

“Mandalore’s top Bounty Hunter is after my sister?”

“Yeah.” Srub confirmed.

“I don’t know much about this Moag Wren.”

“Only thing you need to know, Galen: He’s got the best arsenal money can buy.”

Galen sat silent for a moment, contemplating the situation.

“I can get more info about if you need. For you man…” Srub said.

“No. You’ve put yourself at enough risk.” Galen said.

“Thanks.” Srub said, his eyes darting around. Galen felt something off.

“What aren’t you telling me Srub?” Galen asked.

Srub bolted up and ran away through the crowd, “Forgive me, Galen. The money was too good!…”

Galen and Leoni stared at the Twi’Lek in surprise. Leoni looked over to her master.

“Meeting over?” She asked.

“Let’s get out of here.” Galen said, standing up.

He then found his path blocked by a tall, massively muscled Herglic. The alien looked big enough to break Galen like a twig. Behind him were others who seemed interested by the discovery. The mob surrounded them. Too many. Far too many.

“Galen Argyus…” The Herglic said, his deep voice vibrating throughout the silenced cantina, “I have been looking for you.”

“Get behind me.” Galen whispered to his apprentice. She moved into a defensive position.

His massive hand went to his waist. Leoni’s hand went to her lightsaber. Galen raised a hand stopping her, realizing the situation as the Herglic something from his belt.

A Holorecorder was stuck in Galen’s face by the massive Alien, “Master Jedi, Galaxy Network News.”

The mob of people surrounding him pulled out their own recorders. Reporters. They were all reporters.

Give Galen a group of slavers, he’d find a way to free the slaves. Give him starfighter, he would dogfight in it. Give him a cave full of energy from the Dark Side of the Force and he’d walk through it. Give him a Rancor on the surface of a hostile planet and he would fight it with his bare hands. The Jedi trained him for situations like that.

But reporters with livestreams to the Holonet? Galen didn’t know how to fight them…

The torrent of questions came faster than he could comprehend. How could anyone talk so quickly? It was only because of his intense training in Ataru that Galen was able to think quickly enough to keep up. But just barely.

“What were your intentions when you fought those rogue Jedi in the streets of Coruscant?”

“No comment. The Jedi Council has my report.”

“Are you planning to leave the order like so many other Jedi? Will you head your own faction?”

“I am staying with the Order.”

“Will you be freeing more slaves in the future? With there be another Battle of Socorro? Is Nar Shaddaa or Nal Hutta next?”

“I will do what is right.”

“Does ‘Doing what’s right’ mean defying the Council if you think they’re wrong?”

“I follow the Order.”

“Do you support the current Council’s platform? Does Master Veshraan support intergalactic slavery?”

“The Jedi Council does not support slavery. Excuse us, we have to go.”

Galen tried to push his way through crowd. The crowd went for his apprentice. The torrent of questions came with no replies back.

“Do you support your master’s anti-slavery policies?”

“Will you defy the Jedi Council if the Republic decides to legalize indentured slavery?”

“Are you dating your apprentice? Isn’t that forbidden by the Jedi Order?”

“Do you think the Jedi Order should be given extra-judicial powers to free slaves?”

“You’re Leoni Venusia, is it true that you killed your Master?” The Herglic asked Leoni, putting the recorder in her face.

Leoni did not have her Master’s training and exploded in rage,”I did not murder my master!”

The room went silent and all attention turned to her.

“He was good to me. He saved my life. He put me on a ship and told me to run and I did.” Leoni cried.

The undignified rage was unbecoming of a Jedi and it had just been caught on holo. Galen had to do something. His mind raced before the torrent started again. He steeped forward toward the Herglic.

“I recognize you now, you made false accusations against Incom about falsified reports on the manufacturing of the XJ10 series X-wings. Clearly you need to do your research before asking such unfounded questions. My padawan had nothing to do with the death of her master. Implying such a thing is irresponsible.”

The crowd turned from Galen to the Herglic and like kath hounds began to devour their own giving the Jedi a brief respite. Galen and Leoni ran for the door.

“I’m sorry master.”

“We’ll talk about this later.”

Part: 05

Back on Yoda’s lifeboat, Jaden and Cortree sat as the team of droids worked.

“Maybe it is back on Dagobah…” Cortree suggested, ”I think I can borrow some Mole Miners if we need them.”

The conversation was cut short by a pit droid screeching in Binary.

“What is it?” Jaden asked.

“They found something.”

Cortree and Galen moved back into the lifeboat where the Droid team stood like parade line. The little pit droid pointed down at the floor tile below Yoda’s bed.

Both of the Force-sensitives could feel it now. A faint pulse.

“What did I say? Patience, Captain.” Jaden said serenely with no malice.

Jaden moved to the floor tile and removed it and then the both of them really felt it. It was as powerful a feeling as the one they had felt on Durace. But where before they had felt anger, rage, fear, here there was calm, serenity, and warmth. The archaeologist reached into the alcove and pulled out a box-shaped green crystal device. A Holocron made by the Jedi Master who had taught Jedi for nine hundred years.

Cortree followed Jaden as he moved carefully through the lifeboat and back into the Crucible. He seemed to know where to take it.

The main lounge area the team used for their inflight conversations was also the teaching room a long time ago. The Crucible was built centuries ago for training Jedi. An alcove in the wall just the right size opened of its own accord, somehow sensing the presence of the Holocron. Jaden placed the holocron into the proper slot and the device lit up with a bright green glow. The built-in holoprojector started up and the Caretaker of the Holocron, who would have to be dealt with to gain entry to the holocron’s secrets rendered itself.

Jaden looked around for a moment, expecting someone of human size, finding nothing. He finally looked down to find a alien with big ears. The Caretaker looked up at Jaden and smiled with familiarity.
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“Master Windu, oohohohohoooo” The Caretaker said, “It has been too long.”

“Master?” Cortree asked.

“Master Mace Windu is a member of the Jedi High Council and one I would trust with the knowledge within this device.”

“Right.” Jaden said, realizing that the Holocron was speaking of his ancestor. The Caretaker had no sense of the passage of time. Jaden felt inclined to go with the will of the Force.

“That’s a Jedi Master?” Cortree asked, in awe of the device.

“Size matters not.” The Caretaker pined, turning to Jaden, “What questions have you?”

“Tell me about Tython.” Jaden said.

The Caretaker nodded and windows of data scrolled.

“Lost and found, many times it was. Birthplace of the Jedi. The place we go to rest, meditate and seek guidance of the Force. Where we go to rebuild when darkness comes.”

“Do you know where it is?”

“Rediscovered it was shortly before the blockade of Naboo by the Trade Federation. During the incident, the Council discovered the existence of a Sith Lord. Darth Maul.”

A graphic of the Zabrak Sith appeared in red. It sent a chill down Jaden and Cortree’s spines it see images of the Sith taken from the Naboo Palace security sensors.

“But, always two there are. Seen one we had, but not the other. Decided the Council did, to keep the location of the world a secret until the threat had passed.”

“Why?”

“Long have the Sith wanted to burn Tython. So secret it was kept. Trusted to a small team of Jedi and allies from the University of Alderaan.”

“What about the Clone Wars?”

“The Clone Wars proved difficult for this information. The Council did not fully trust the Supreme Chanceller, so secret from him it was kept. Tython was on no star maps. In those times, its secrecy became more valuable. How do you find a planet on no maps, hm?”

“So what did you do with it?”

“Many Jedi wanted nothing to do with the Clone Wars. Believed Jedi not to be Soldiers, they did. Rather than risk their leaving the Order, we sent them to Tython to rebuild and restore the ancient temple. As the war continued, many Jedi took serious injuries of not just the body. Taken off the line they were and taken to Tython to heal. About a third of the population, these Jedi made up. Others were sent there because they had become targets for the enemy.”

“Others?”

“Hm…Ex-Patriots. Turned Spies. Informants with too much knowledge and no where else safe to go. Another third, these made up.”

“And the last third of the population?”

“Tython’s secrecy had somehow come to the attention of Republic Intelligence in the last year of the war. Desperate, both sides had gotten. The Council decided to use the Tython System as a staging area for Special Operations. Special Clone Troopers, Republic Military Commanders, Agents and Jedi were sent there as the last third of the population. This in addition to the legion of Clones from the 503rd Clone Legion garrisoned there for security.”

“When was your last contact with the planet?”

“Last contact with the planet was the day Count Dooku fell. The Battle Over Coruscant.”

“Who was in charge of the people on Tython?” Jaden asked.

“Jedi Master Gelom Xalek and his Padawan Caleb Balian.“

Questions continued for an hour. Jaden learned all he could about the planet and the history of the place that Yoda had recorded.

“Caretaker…” Jaden said, putting down his datapad, “Tell me about Master Windu.”

“Mace Windu was a fine Jedi…”

The conversation went on for a while longer continuing until Galena and his apprentice returned from their excursion. As they ascended the ramp, they lowered their own voices and sat down in the back.

“How can Tython help the order?”

The Caretaker turned his head and smiled, “When the Order has been divided. Tython is where we return. For twenty five milennia have we done this. It is a place of healing. Of finding oneself. Of finding what Jedi were meant for."

Galen’s stomach dropped out when the Caretaker continued. The words it said must have been something older than Yoda. Something passed to him by his masters and so on to the beginning of the Order.

“The Jedi Order has endured countless struggles. We rise. We fall. We rise again. We protect. We teach. We open minds and hearts. We bring hope to the hopeless. Sometimes we rise to greatness. Sometimes, we fall into darkness. But, no matter how dark the paths ahead may seem…there is always a light to guide the way.”

The room was in awe at the words. They could feel their power. Then the caretaker laughed at Leoni as she approached it.

“Master…” Leoni asked.

“Yes Padawan? What questions have you?”

Leoni looked to Galen for permission. He nodded in return.

“I was on a planet once. I don’t know where it was. It felt dark. It was a world of Deserts and tombs…”

The Caretaker sighed, “The place you describe is Tython’s mirror. The birthplace of the Sith and their dark path. A place of darkness and dark power. It has had many names. Moraband. Pesegam. *Korriban*…“

Leoni slumped down to her knees in shock.

Jaden rubbed his chin, “Perhaps it is balance that the homeworld of the Sith is rediscovered at the same time as the Jedi’s Homeworld.”

Perhaps,” Galen said, helping his apprentice off the floor.”But we need to leave soon. This place isn’t safe.”

Galen helped Leoni into her quarters so she could recover and then heard his commlink beep. An incoming transmission for him.

He moved to the communication console and brought it up. It was scarmbled. No video. Just a woman’s voice. A voice he recognized immediately. A voice that could only belong to his sister.

“Meet where we left for Kashyyyk…”

End of Episode: 10

Continue to Episode: 11

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EPISODE: 09
GM: Brad

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Part: 01

The datapad showed Galen Argyus a woman’s face. The correct age, a face reminiscent of his mother, but he still couldn’t believe the datapad and what it said.

“WANTED: 2 HUMAN SUBJECTS

FIRST SUBJECT: LEENA ARGYUS, WANTED FOR THE COLD-BLOODED MURDER OF HER MASTER VARGOLLA THE HUTT. KNOWN TO BE ARMED AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. APPROACH WITH CAUTION.

SECOND SUBJECT: GALEN ARGYUS, RENEGADE JEDI AND BROTHER OF FIRST SUBJECT, WANTED FOR THEFT OF LIVE PROPERTY AND THE MASSACRE OF SOCORRO. KNOWN TO BE ARMED AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. APPROACH WITH CAUTION.

BOUNTY OF 2 MILLION LOCAL CREDITS EACH FOR LIVE CAPTURE OF SUBJECTS. NO DISINTEGRATIONS.

BOUNTY PAYABLE BY VARGOLLA’S NEXT OF KIN, PORBOTTA THE HUTT AT HIS COMPOUND ON NAR SHADDAA UPON RECEIPT.”

Galen stood frozen in the moment. Memories flowed past his vision. A ventilation duct. The sounds of screams and blasters. His older sister being taken by slavers with the rest of the children. Reptilian growls…

“Galen?” Jaden Windu asked, bringing Galen back to the present.

“My sister, Leena. She’s alive, “ Galen said, “and I have to find her.”

“We will.” Jaden said, putting a hand on his shoulder.

The pair of Jedi together with their ally Cortree Tincove walked past the Corusant Security Forces hauling the pair of Bounty Hunting Brothers aand Former Jedi, Biggs and Wedge, into the back of a hovertruck. Biggs was hauled in shackles next to his brother, Wedge, who was strapped to a gurney.

Master Ashlan Kataar calmly strolled out from the throng, her hands behind her back.

“That was well handled, Jedi Argyus. Very Good work.” Master Kataar said.

“I did my duty, Master.” Galen said, bowing to her, “Any word on the woman, Halcyon?”

“She will be found.” Kataar said with no emotion.

“The brothers?” Galen asked.

“They will face the justice of the Republic and have a fair trial.”

“Master…” Jaden said, raising a hand, “Perhaps the Republic holds an opportunity for these brothers and other exiled Jedi. Service to the Republic in some fashion has been used in the past and may be a way to redeem those that have fallen from the Order’s strict standards.”
SWFotJFAE_LogPics_0901.png
Kataar rubbed her head tail between two fingers in thought, “That is not a bad idea, Jedi Windu. The Council will consider it.”

Mast Kataar moved to Cortree and shook his hand.

“Captain Tincove, thank for your work in the temple. Finding that message. The Council is grateful to you for finding a piece of our history.” The Master said, her voice faltering for moment. Kataar, like all Jedi Masters spent all her time not hiding, but controlling her emotions. But that message had touched everyone in the temple.



“I was just fixin’ something that broke, Master Jedi. Ain’t no thing.” Cortree said.

“Indeed, Captain…” Master Kataar said, gathering herself, “Keep me apprised of your progress and situation. I will see what I can do about the bounty, but…you have your mission.”

“I can handle the Bounty. I will insure that it does not harm any innocents and I will complete the mission, Master.” Galen said.

“And Tython, Master?” Jaden asked.

“If the Force guides you there, it will be found.“ Master Kataar said, steel in her words, “If you can find it, it will more than just the Council that will be indebted to you all. May the Force be with you.”

“May the Force be with you.” Galen and Jaden returned in unison.

Less than an hour later, the Crucible flew out from Coruscant and went to hyperspace. Aboard ship, Cortree Tincove worked on the Communications array.

Cortree punched in a few more commands into the console and offered the seat to Galen.

“Is the line secure?” Galen asked, sitting down.

“Not sure. Best I could do on short notice.” Cortree said, “Bounty that big, someone might be listening.”

“It’s a chance we’ll have to take.”

Galen spent the next few hours calling his contacts in the Outer Rim. Among them were the Eriadu Emancipators and their Liberation Lane, an underground route for escaped slaves to find new lives in the Core Worlds. Galen had helped dozens of people through them. He could slep well at night knowing he had done something good.

“Hobbs, it’s me.” Galen said into the communicator, hours later.

His contact’s visage came up garbled, as always. The precautions he took always seemed excessive to Galen, but you never could be too safe in his line of work.

“Galen, I saw you on the holos. Very nice! You heard about that Bounty?” The distorted voice said.

“I need all you can dig up on that Bounty. Everything. All biographical data. Every rumor, every echo. Everything.”

“Pull back your throttle for second. You know how I work.”

“Yeah, yeah. I’ll be there.”

“I’ll get what I can. I can’t promise I can keep it quiet.” The Voice said.

“Just do it. See you there.” Galen said with fury before cutting the transmission.

Galen turned off the Communicator and ran a hand down his face. He found his hand shaking. He took deep breathes to get his mind back to its center.

When he calmed down, Galen moved through the ship to Jaden’s station at the Crucible’s ancient Computer. A holographic display of a planet floated in the air with a few lines of miscellanous data below it. The other Jedi sat at his station and placed another datapad into the neat stack building next to him.

“Any luck on finding more about Tython?” Galen asked.

“Not much in the ship’s computer.” Jaden said, dejected, “The archives aboard have been encrypted, corrupted, overwritten or purged at some point. Most we have is general information on the planet.”

“Like what?”

“Terrestrial Type. Breathable Atmosphere. Orbital Position five… The planet has been abandoned, lost and refounded several times in its history. Seiged at least once and had it’s Hyperlanes erased by the Sith at least once. Last confirmed record of Jedi habitation dates back to about one thousand years ago when the Jedi High Council ordered to have the Temple rebuilt. ”

“Master Obi-Wan mentioned a Temple in the message.”

“If it is the same Temple mentioned in the old records, it would be the oldest and largest Jedi Temple in the Galaxy. As large as a whole city. Maybe have its own archives or backups of the archives on Coruscant.” Jaden said, pointing to the ancient, out-dated blurry hologram that spun in the air.

“The Isolationists seemed ecstatic that we found evidence of it.” Galen said, scrutinizing the image. He felt a weight through the Force. A power coming from the very visage of the planet.

“I believe that the whole Order will take interest in it. It is the birthplace of the Jedi. Where one could gain knowledge of the past and of one’s self.”

“And the perfect place for the Isolationists to say we should all move and get out of the Galaxy’s way.”

“Or perhaps they would find new wisdom there. Change their perspectives.”

“Maybe when Hoth gets beach side property…” Galen chuckled.

Cortree walked in from the cockpit, stretching out. “Where are we headed first?”

“Eriadu.” Galen said, “My contact is there. He insists on meeting in person.”

“That’s fine, Dagobah is right on the Rimma Trade route. We can pick up some supplies while we’re there.”

“Weren’t you born on Eriadu, Galen?” Jaden asked.

“Yes.” Galen said.

Part: 02

The Crucible dropped out of Hyperspace and came in for a landing on the Planet Eriadu. Located at the center of several major Hyperspace lanes, Eriadu fancied itself as the future Coruscant of the Outer Rim. Ships and Trade Goods flowed into and out of the planet every minute. But, the fires of Industry created skies of smoke that matched the corruption of the planet’s government. The Planet’s Senator was notorious for his landslide victory in his Senate Race despite having not set foot on his home since taking office.

Galen vaguely remembered it as home.

The Ship landed and the Jedi disembarked. Galen and his apprentice Leoni walked together in the rain with Cortree right behind ordering around the maintenance droids hooking up the ship to refuel.

“Stay with the ship, Leoni. I’m going to meet my contact. If you get word from me, drop everything and make a fast getaway.” Galen said.

“Yes, master.” Leoni said with a slight bow.

“Careful out there, Galen,“ Cortree said,“ Watch for tails.”

“I will and I will.” Galen said, putting the hood up on his robes as he walked into the streets of Eriadu.

Cortree resupplied the ship with everything they could possibly need as Jaden practiced flying the shuttle. He practiced on a cargo container the estimated size of Master Yoda’s ship and had marked out the estimated search radius.

The lifting crane lowered for the target…and knocked the cargo container over. Again.

But Jaden kept at it. Kept practicing with the shuttle.

Meanwhile, Galen walked through the streets of Eriadu City. Workers and tourists moved past as he made his way to meeting site, an open-air Cantina with plenty of ways to enter, exit and be hidden.

A holoprogram blared out over the streets as Galen found a seat in the Cantina. A familiar voice to Galen these days given his notoriety.

“I am Gul Shyssa and I’m hear to ask you a question: What has the Jedi Order come to?…”

A stream of images from inside speeders played. Images of Lightsabers cutting through the roof of the hoverbus. Galen looking through the holes cut shouting, “Get down!”. Galen taking a Telekinetic ram to the gut.

“A duel in the skies above Coruscant between Jedi. In one corner, a pair of brothers who took the names of heroes of the Galactic Civil War. Disgraced. Forced to hunt bounties for the Hutts. In the other corner, their bounty. Galen Argyus, Liberator of slaves. Hero to many for doing what the rest of the Order refuses to. The right thing. The just thing…”

The Program continued and Galen inputted the specific order he wanted into the table’s controls. An item not on the menu. Code for the meeting.

“…The Jedi Order is in shambles and they still play at being politicians. Is Galen Argyus, son of Eriadu the enemy of the Jedi Order? Or the Jedi they need right now?”

At the mention of his home planet, the crowds watching the feed wooped. Galen pulled his hood down lower.

An hour later, after sipping a glass of water, the empty seat in front of Galen was suddenly occupied. An invisible shield and hologram came up around them, protecting them from outside eyes and ears.
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Hobbs was a Dugg whose eyes never stopped moving and his four hands never stopped grasping things. He was a slicer instrumental in keeping the Liberation Lane running and Galen knew that if anyone in this area would know something about a Bounty, it would be Hobbs.

“We don’t have a lot of time. You got a lot of people looking for you and your sister. Two million a head is a lot.” Hobbs said. The Dugg passed a datapad under the table with his “foot” and Galen took it.

“Tell me about her. What did you find?” Galen said almost immediately.

“A whole lotta weird, friend. Your sister escaped a few years after she was sold a few times then she just disappeared for five years.”

“Define ‘Disappeared’, Hobbs.”

“No traces. Clean getaway. Then five years later she’s back with the Hutts again. Word is she was a Heavy Hitter for those slugs.”

“Heavy hitter? Like an assassin?”

“She made problems disappear as far as I can tell. How her name got out there but not to us before now…I don’t know. Weirdest thing is that her employer Vargolla wasn’t even with the Cartels.”

Galen scoffed. He had a hard time believing a Hutt wasn’t a gangster, “Spice Miner on Kessal?”

“Archaeologist. He authenticated Relics for Shogo the Hutt’s collection. Biggest brain for the stuff this side of the Galaxy. “

Galen looked at images of his sister, standing over the dead Hutt, “Leena killed him?”

“Word is they were tight. No problems. She just snapped one day out of the blue. Killed him, disabled his entire security entourage and stole his research without being seen. That’s all I got.”

“Thanks Hobbs. I owe you one. Try to find out where she’s been.” Galen said, passing some credits under the table.

Hobbs got out from his chair and stared at Galen for a moment, “I’m sorry about your sis. There will be more Hunters looking for you and ones that aren’t former Jedi won’t be as polite.”

Part: 03

As soon as the meeting was over, Galen could sense he was been followed. He didn’t know where or how, but he could sense them. But Galen knew how to beat tails.

Galen sent a message to Cortree and moved around Eriadu City for an hour. He moved to the industrial district, carefully taking the slowest, most circuitous route he could.

Galen went past places he hadn’t seen since he was a small boy. Memories of his sister found him. She didn’t want to go to Kashyyyk. But mom made them go anyway.

He moved silently into a droid factory. Any speeder or ship would not be able to go indoors. Galen used his Force enhanced speed and mastery of Ataru to leap and ascend to a higher level in a few quick hops. He moved to an open window, leapt to another factory and moved along the crossbeam along the roof. He moved to another window and leapt out to the waiting open hatch of the Crucible.

The Crucible flew off as fast as it could towards the skies, but behind them stuck in aerial traffic was a ANOTHER SHIP. The Bounty Hunters scrutinized their screens and spotted the Crucible’s tail section.

The Crucible left orbit and went to Hyperspace. The Ship came out of Hyperspace over the swamp world of Dagobah. The Jedi hid the ship on its only moon and flew down to the surface on the SHUTTLE.

Part: 04

A BOGWING flapped across the swamps of Dagobah with its croaking song as the shuttle touched down. The landing hatch opened and the gangplank extended.

The voices inside echoed out the front.

“Are you sure this is the site?” Cortree asked, “Not the best place to land.”

“These coordinates were taken from Grandmaster Skywalker’s own X-Wing. It’s the only lead we have to go on.“ Jaden said.

The first person on the plank was Galen’s Apprentice, Leoni. She put a hand over her mouth as the smell of the outside came to her attention.

“What is that stench?” Leoni asked muffled, “I thought this was..AHHH!” The Young Padawan slipped and fell face-first into the mock.

Galen followed her out, quicker than she was and did not slip. He reached out and pulled his apprentice out of the muck.

“What was that?” Galen asked.

“I said I thought this was the Desert planet.” Leoni said, spitting out swamp water and wiping muck away from her face.

“That’s Tatooine, my young apprentice. You should brush up on your history.”

“You thought it was the sand planet too!”

“No, I listened to Jaden.” Galen said and looked out to the landscape.

Cortree and Jaden walked out behind the pair and gave the landscape pause. Cortree shivered as he walked out.

“What’s that tingle?” Cortree asked.

“That is the Force.” Jaden said, “This place has a lot of life in it. It might have been why Master Yoda came here.”

“I woulda preferred Tatooine,“ Cortree said, “There are Cantinas there.”

Jaden looked over his scanner with a smile, “Coordinates are dead on. We should be within a hundred meters of the ship. I’ll take the East. Galen, take the West. “

“I’ll stay here in the warm, safe shuttle.” Cortree said, holding up a modified communicator,“My Beck ‘n Call will call the Crucible if we need it.”

Leoni looked into the fog of the swamp as she bound her wet hair back. She felt something in the fog.

“What’s that?” Leoni asked, “Its cold.”

She ran towards the feeling in the West.

“Leoni!” Galen shouted. He ran through the swamp in pursuit. His Ataru training had made him light on his feet, giving him amazing agility.

It did not do the same for Leoni. She let out a sound as she slipped again and fell back into the muck. Galen caught up to her as she got up herself in front of a large CAVE.

“This place feels cold.” Leoni said, overwhelmed by the Cave.

Galen picked up on it immediately, “There’s power here.”

Leoni’s eyes drifted to the side of the cave. She found a series of letters carved into the stone. She ran her fingers across them.

“Master, these were carved by a lightsaber.” Leoni said in awe, “It says, ‘You will find only what you take with you.’”

Leoni didn’t understand the words. Galen did.

“That is the Darkside of the Force. This place is rich with it. We must be cautious.” Galen said.

“Master… Yoda might have hidden something in there.” Leoni said.

“That is possible.” Galen said. He scrutinized the words cut into the rock. Burned there as a warning. The Forces inside called to him to enter, but his instincts told him it would be dangerous.

Galen removed his lightsaber and utility belt and handed them to Leoni.

“For once, do as I ask and stay here.” Galen said calmly.

“Yes, master.” Leoni replied and sat down on the stones.

Galen let out a deep breath as he entered a meditative trance and walked into the cave. He felt the power flow over him. The tingle, the cold. He walked down a flight of carved stone steps. He let the Force guide his way through the darkness.

Meanwhile, Jaden ran his scanner this way and that. He stepped carefully through the swamp. He set his feet and let the mud cover his boots. Eventually he turned off the scanner.

Jaden closed his eyes and let the Force flow through him. He could sense the rocks, shuttle, the dragonsnake, DON”T STEP ON THAT! He made his way through and he heard an echo. Something beneath him.

Jaden took another step and hear it again. He had found solid ground. Not just ground. Metal. Durasteel.

He toggled his commlink. “Galen, I found the ship. Galen?”

On the other end of the line, the distorted voice came out from Galen’s Commlink on his Utility Belt. Leoni got up and looked to the commlink and then to the cave. It was too much for her. She had to find her master.

She ran into the cave.

Part: 05

Galen’s training had taught him about places like the cave. A Force Nexus. Here he would be steeped in the Darkside and he would see other places. The Future. The Past. Old Friends and Loved Ones. Parts of himself he would rather be forgotten or buried brought to the surface. He couldn’t resist it completely, so he let it flow through him.

Galen wasn’t in the cave anymore. He was six years old on Eriadu. He was looking at all the people around him. So many people around him. Big people walking past without a care.

In front of him he saw the back of his sister arguing with their parents. She was angry.

“Mom, we can’t go! We have to do something about the slaves. We can free them!” Galen’s sister shouted.

She turned to him and stopped Galen cold. Her eyes were red and tinged with gold. The veins were practically popping out of her skull in rage.

“Right Galen?” She asked in a darker voice.

Galen kept his trained resolve. He heard a blastershot. He saw his sister as she was in the Bounty, in a tactical bodysuit of some kind standing over Vargolla The Hutt with a raised blaster. Her eyes were red, full of rage.

“He isn’t a traitor!” Leoni’s voice echoed down the tunnel, snapping Galen back to the present.

“Leoni?” Galen called out, running as fast as he dared in her direction.

He found his apprentice with her Lightsaber out, lighting her way like a torch. Leoni’s young face contorted as she closed her eyes and clenched her teeth in effort.

“This is a vision. There are no tombs. No sand. He is not a traitor…” Leoni said., “He is not a traitor. He is not a traitor. He is not a traitor!”

Galen grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her, “Snap out of it. It’s just a vision.”

Leoni got up and slipped past him, her eyes still closed. She ran deeper and deeper into the cave. Galen’s force enhanced speed allowed him to easily keep pace. He could hear her shouts echo.

“He is not a traitor! THIS IS NOT WHAT Galen is supposed to do! He is a good person! I don’t want to spy on him! I don’t want to lie anymore! This not the way of the Jedi!”

Galen caught up to her and grabbed her, ignoring the images that passed his own vision, not letting the Darkside take hold.

“Leoni, open your eyes!” Galen shouted. That finally seem to work. Leoni stopped, took a few short shallow breaths and looked ahead.
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Leoni stood in a small chamber with pile of bones. Robes. Lightsabers. Big..ears?

“Is that Master Yoda?” Leoni asked.

“Don’t think so. Yoda became one with the Force. This one looks long dead.” Galen said. He didn’t know what he was looking at, but it felt important to him. But he felt that he had spent enough time in this place.

“Leoni,” Galen said coldly, “Run outside. Now!”

The pair of them ran. They ran as fast as the force could carry them. Visions flew by Galen’s eyes. Visions he chose to ignore.

As he reached the area where daylight seeped in, new visions came. Warm feelings. Some were familiar voices from static-filled Holograms he had watched on Yavin IV as a student. Some he didn’t recognize. But Galen knew what they were.

Jedi Masters of the Past reaching out through the Living Force. Teachers whose lessons had been forgotten. Their voices came in a torrent, one picking up where the other left off. A trail of history from Galen’s own master back thousands of years.

“The Jedi Order has endured countless struggles. We rise. We fall. We rise again. We protect. We teach. We open minds and hearts. We bring hope to the hopeless. Sometimes we rise to greatness. Sometimes, we fall into darkness. But, no matter how dark the paths ahead may seem…there is always a light to guide the way.”

Galen saw the light now. A trail of luminance that guided him to a beautiful place of peace, warmth and wisdom. Tython…

The Light faded and Galen stood in the swamp again. But he knew what he saw. The Way to Tython was here. He knew it.

He looked to his apprentice who was doubled over taking deep breaths in. She looked up to him.

Leoni stumbled over her words, “Master. Back there. I…”

“You should have followed my instructions. Do that or you won’t be able to pass the trials.” Galen said, “You can trust me Leoni.”

“Yes master.” Leoni said, “I went in there to tell you that Jaden found the ship. He’s waiting for word back.”

“Good” Galen said, taking his possession back and strapping them back on.

He toggle his commlink and Cortree’s voice came back, “Galen, where you been? We lost you for a second there?”

“Walking a different path. I’ll be there in a minute.”

“Copy.” Cortree signed off.

Leoni got up and Galen stopped her for a moment.

“Apprentice, is there anything you wish to tell me? Anything you haven’t told me?” Galen asked.

“No.” Leoni lied and Galen knew it.

Part: 06

Jaden Windu stood in the mud with his Vibrotunneler whirring. Preparing the site had gone smoothly with only a few local flora and fauna that had to be cleared away first. Cortree stood next to him, minding the equipment as he worked.

The last of the mud cleared away and Jaden found what he was looking for, the dorsal emergency hatch. He worked the handle with some help from the force and the hatch hissed open.

Jaden hooked on a line and lowered himself down into the ship.

“The ship must have sunk in the first few years here.” Jaden said, “It looks like Master Yoda built the Hut on top of it.”

“If this is a Fighter or a modified Lifeboat, then with a century of corrosion it’ll never fly again.” Cortree shouted over the tunneler, “Poor bird. But the interior would have gone hermetic and sealed itself shut mechanically, so it’ll be mostly watertight.”

Jaden moved his glowlamp around the pod. He found the interior as a ship inside should. Bed. Shelves. Sink. But the walls looked brown with corrosion. Swamp water dripped in slowly.

“Looks mostly intact. Mostly watertight.” Jaden said.

Jaden moved to the dresser drawers. He found them undisturbed and sealed. He could feel the echoes of life in here. Something was here for them to be found. He could sense it.

“Personal Effects are preserved. Perfect.” Jaden said.

“Check the cockpit!” Cortree called down.

Jaden’s light moved past the corrosion and found the cntrols for the ship. His lamp moved over the console and stopped on a single display long since gone out.

“It has got a Navigation computer!” Jaden called up.

Cortree clapped his hands, “Hot damn!”

“Call the Crucible. We need to get this out of here now.”

Less than an hour later, Jaden used the shuttle’s tractor beam in a practiced motion and carefully hauled the ship and the hut atop out of the muck. The Crucible came out of orbit and floated down near the surface.
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The Crucible’s Cargo Bay opened and in a practice motion, Jaden hauled the entirety of Yoda’s Ship and hut into the cargo bay. The Swamp water and mud continued to drip down as the ship settled in the cargo bay.

Cortree’s prepared team of droids dutifully tied down the vessel in preparation of spaceflight. Cortree on the other hand covered his nose in disgust as Jaden brought the shuttle in, set it down next to Yoda’s ship and walked out next to it.

Galen and Leoni walked in behind him and covered their mouths too in response.

“The stink…it followed us in.” Leoni said dejected.

Cortree held his nose, “I hop I can scrub that out of the cargobay.”

Jaden walked past Yoda’s ship amazed by the sight of such history.

“Do those pit droids have olfactory sensors?” Galen asked.

“No. Don’t have a socket for ‘em either.” Cortree said.

“Lucky bastards…” Galen said.

The Jedi all stopped at once when the sensed more than heard it. They looked out the back of the Crucible and stared into the distance. Engine sounds.

“Attack Skiffs!” Cortree said, able to identify the threat form the sound alone.

“Bounty Hunters!” Leoni gasped as everyone came to the same conclusion and burst into motion to get the ship moving.

In the distance, a trio of Attack skiffs floated over the water as the Crucible rose out of the water and took to the skies slowly because of the trees.

The Skiff Pilots rose hands in a signal and the skiffs ascended and pursued the ship with great speed as their mother ship, a YT-2400 Star Cruiser came overhead.

The Chase was on…

End of Episode: 09

Continue to Episode: 10

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EPISODE: 08
GM: Brad

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Part: 01

Galen Argyus had finally returned to Coruscant after healing from the wounds he had suffered at the hands of Trandoshan raiders who had kidnapped dozens of Wookiees from Kashyyyk for the Hutt slave markets. The idealistic Jedi had infiltrated Trandosha in Hutt Space and made a failed attempt to free the wookiees with the help of the Kashyyyk Liberation Front. He had been severely wounded and captured by the trandoshans. But not before he got a message out to the KLF who petitioned the Jedi Council for aid. The Council opted not to get involved.

Despite that Galen and the wookiees had been rescued by a small band of Jedi, led by General Saberota, who had gone into Hutt Space against orders. Many on the Jedi Council saw Galen as a maverick and a troublemaker and sought a way to keep him under control. To that end he had been called in to meet with Master Ashlan Kataar at the Jedi temple on Coruscant.

The Jedi Master sat calmly in an isolated meditation chamber that looked out on the skyline of Coruscant. Galen suspected that the reason for meeting him here instead of the main chamber of the Jedi Council was to limit the audience for his Seeker arguments. Galen waited impatiently as Master Kataar was in deep meditation. Finally when he felt like he couldn’t take it anymore the Togruta Jedi opened her eyes and regarded him intently. Galen met her gaze steadily.

“Galen Argyus you have often gone against the edicts of the Jedi Council. What do you have to say for yourself? How do you justify invading the sovereign space of the Hutts to further your own agenda?”

“Forgive me Master Kataar but I fail to see why freeing sentients from a lifetime of servitude should be referred to as ‘my agenda’. It should be the calling of all Jedi in the Galaxy to fight against the enslavement of sentients.”

The stately Togruta’s eyes narrowed, “It is not our place to judge the actions of governments. We must remain neutral no matter how distasteful that may beco…”

Unable to hold back Galen interrupted, “How can you possibly believe that, Master? There were lives at stake! We only did what was necessa…!”

The Jedi Master held up her hand and Galen stilled himself mid sentence. He mentally chastised himself for being so impulsive as to interrupt his superior. His gaze went to the floor as he struggled to control his emotions. Master Kataar continued on calmly as if nothing had happened.

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“History has taught us what happens when Jedi become embroiled in Galactic politics. Such actions led to the corruption of Anakin Skywalker and turned countless others to the Dark Side of the Force creating the darkest time in the Galaxy’s History. We can never let that happen again.”

“But, Master, if we, through inaction, allow oppression and injustice to thrive while we have the power to do something about it we will likely create our own worst enemies! We will be despised for doing nothing by the victims of our passivity. We are part of the Galaxy! We cannot ignore it,” Galen rebutted his voice rising with increasing passion.

“Do you suggest we use our ‘power’ to invade Hutt Space and rule it as we wish?”

Surprised by the question Galen was off balanced, “No, master, of course not! But I…”

“From there I suppose you believe we should use our ‘power’ to rule the entire Galaxy? To impose our own morals and beliefs on all sentients?” Galen was silent. His eyes downcast.

“Of course you do not. Because such arrogance would lead you to the Dark Side,” Master Kataar said decisively.

“Many on the Jedi Council see your actions as dangerously presumptuous and some believe that you act only to increase your personal glory as the ‘Emancipator of Socorro’.”

“What? No, Master. Please! I have no interest in being a celebrit…”, Kataar held up her hand again and Galen went silent.

“I believe you, Galen” she continued again. “That is why I prevented a vote to exile you.”

Galen started at that and his eyes came up in shock. The Jedi Master held up her finger to quiet him before he could protest. “I am convinced that you act out of compassion, not to increase your own status.”

The Jedi Master sighed heavily clearly feeling a great burden of some kind, “Exile is distasteful. We recently had to exile two Jedi from the order for acting irresponsibly and endangering innocents.”

Appalled Jaden retorted, “But Master, how could you do that? If you exile these Jedi will they not continue on a path of destruction? Any acts they may commit will be the full responsibility of the Order that abandoned them!”

“Do not presume to lecture me on responsibility! They were using the secrets we taught them out of greed and taking bounties for the Hutts. We had no choice but to exile them!” Master Kataar replied her voice rising for the first time.

“I…I…Please forgive my impertinence, Master. I meant no insult.”

Master Kataar paused for a moment to regain her composure.

“As I said there were some who called for me to exile you for your actions. But, I have another solution. We will see if we can focus your efforts on teaching. Perhaps if you are responsible for a padawan you will act more sensibly in the future.”

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“What? A padawan? You can’t be serious!”

“You may come in now,” the Jedi Master turned her head and called out to the open door way ignoring Galen’s objections.

“Master I…”, Galen stopped when a young woman with shoulder length red hair entered the meditation chamber her head bowed. The Jedi Knight knew immediately that the padawan had heard the entire exchange between him and Master Kataar.

The Jedi Master gestured to the young lady, “This is Padawan Leoni Venusia. Her master, Jaxor Kelrune is recently deceased.”

“Master Argyus will take over your training, Leoni.” She said in a kindly voice. “He is a compassionate and wise Jedi. You are fortunate to have him as your Master.”

“Thank you, Master Kataar,” Leoni Venusia acknowledged humbly. Looking up her face featured a crooked smile.

“I am honored to be your padawan, Master Argyus.”

Galen Argyus simply stared at her in shock.

Part: 02

The Crucible, owned and operated by Cortree Tincove after he salvaged it on Raxus Prime descended gracefully through the clouds of Coruscant and gently touched down on a landing platform at the Jedi Temple. A guard of several serious looking Jedi Knights awaited the disembarkation of the ancient Cruiser’s passengers. A tall, robed figure moved slowly down the ramp flanked by Jaden Windu and Cortree Tincove.

General Saberota, please come with us,” said the leader of the troop of Jedi. “We have made the arrangements as we discussed.”

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“I understand,” the old General turned to his companions, “Until we can get some answers it is best I stay under the supervision of the Order. I will see you as soon as I can my friends. May the Force be with you.” He clasped arms with Jaden and Cortree and turned away.

The cyborg walked toward the Temple with trepidation clearly etched on his face. He had not been back at the temple since Anakin Skywalker had led a legion of stormtroopers into it’s walls in an assault to wipe out the Jedi order. That had been the worst day of Gisaku’s life as he had failed to save countless children from the blade of Darth Vader and his clone troopers. The Jedi had been cut down by Vader himself while attempting to stop the slaughter. That was his last clear memory before waking up aboard the Crucible in a stasis pod.

The pod bore an uncanny resemblance to the one that the Cultists on Durace had hatched the Dark Side cybernetic warrior known only as Aurek. Which raised several red flags. And finding the same type of pod on the five thousand year old freighter crash site was disturbing. It suggested that there was something much deeper going on.

The General was left with some very disturbing questions. How is it that Saberota’s cybernetics were almost identical to Aurek and the ancient corpse found on the crashed ship? Where had he been for the last 100 years? Was he a danger to his new friends? To the galaxy itself? What ties did all of this have to the mysterious Infinite Empire? These questions raced through the Jedi General’s mind as he calmly made his way deep into the Temple.

Jaden Windu walked alongside Cortree into the temple carrying the case that contained the ancient holocron that they had found on Durace. Cortree carried his own prize. The head of the medical droid from the crash site. He had been working on recovering data from it but so far was unsuccessful. The droid was over five millennium old after all. It would take a good deal of time to restore the failed data.

As the pair entered the Temple Cortree looked around at some of the unfinished construction and even blocked off areas in the temple. He saw a flickering broadcast of the Galactic News Network on an old console with the host, Gul Shyssa reporting on what had happened on Durace. It was shocking that the Chiss Ascendancy had come out of hiding after over a decade without contact. Gul Shyssa was just hitting his stride when the console shorted out in a brief shower of sparks.

Cor walked over to the old console with open panels and began poking around. He felt almost drawn to the old transmitter that he found there.

“Looks like y’all need to give your help a raise,” said the mechanic as he instinctively began the reset protocols on the panel.

“The temple is still under construction,” Jaden Windu said slipping into a lecturer’s cadence.

“It used to be the Emperor’s Palace after all and it suffered extensive damage during the Civil War. The Jedi Order is being very careful to clear and inspect it before allowing anyone to endanger themselves.”

He began looking over the mechanic’s shoulder watching his dexterous fingers fly across the old circuits.

“Palpatine was a powerful Sith with many schemes,” he continued somewhat fascinated by Cor’s ability to fix nearly any device, “Master Skywalker did not want to reopen the Temple here at all but Grand Master Veshraan decided to move the Jedi Council here to be closer to the seat of government for the Republic.”

“Hey! Looks like I got something,” Cortree exclaimed. “These old logs have been in the data buffer since The Clone Wars it looks like.”

“Can you activate them?” Jaden asked excited. As an archaeologist he was captivated by the discovery.

“Yeah. Yeah I got it. Looks like several entries. Not sure if the files are all intact though,” Cortree said. With a click the holoemitter fluttered to life. The fringer continued to work the transmitter as the image stuttered from garbled static to an image of recognizable surveillance footage. They saw a group of Jedi around a holotable watching an incoming message from a robed figure.

“I know him,” Jaden said, “That’s Obi-Wan Kenobi!”

“Who?”

“He was a General during the Clone Wars like Master Saberota. He eluded the Empire for decades and was Grandmaster Skywalker’s first teacher. Can you play the video?”

“Wait. I have something…”

“I am….ppy to report that General Grie…..s dead!” the room erupted in cheers and the image went blank.

“Wait! Bring that back! Can you bring that back?” Jaden asked with excitement.

“Naw. The data is just too corrupted. I might be able to get more out of it with time. There are other entries though.”

He brought up an single image of a cloaked figure marching up the long stairs of the Jedi Temple with a whole legion of clone troopers behind him.

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“By the Force. I think that is Anakin Skywalker,” Jaden said.

“Darth Vader actually,” said a familiar voice. A smiling Galen Argyus entered the chamber flanked by his new padawan.

“Galen! It is good to see you my friend,” Jaden said shaking his friend’s hand. “And who is this?”

“Jaden Windu, Cortree Tincove allow me to introduce you to my new padawan, Leoni Venusia,” Galen said introducing her with a flourish. The young lady bowed her head in greeting.

“Masters.”

“Padawan?” Cortree exclaimed still working on the transmitter. “How did that happen? Y’all think we can get us some padawans to crew the Crucible? Might come in handy.”

“No. I am afraid that is unlikely. The padawan does have a new mission to present to us. A mission that the Jedi Counci…”

Galen went silent as another log came to life. It wasn’t very clear and the sound wasn’t functioning but they could clearly see images of Darth Vader cutting down any Jedi he came across in the surveillance footage. No matter what age they were. All of them were overcome by the slaughter and rendered speechless.

“I have read about the Jedi Purge but seeing it in action is…distressing,” Jaden said quietly. The log cut to a later point showing Obi Wan Kenobi sending an emergency message.

“…repeat. Do not trust your clone troopers. They have turned on the Jedi and are killing us wherever they find us. I say again. Tython Temple. Do not tru….one troopers. They have turned on t….You must stay an…otect the temple at all cos….”

“Tython Temple? That is the mythical birthplace of the Jedi Order!” Jaden exclaimed. “It is thought long lost and is supposedly located somewhere in the galactic core.”

“Cortree, can you trace the location of the temple from the signal?” asked Galen.

“Naw. There is no way we can do that. That part of the log was heavily encrypted and is almost totally degraded. Not even I can recover that. Sorry.”

“Perhaps I can try something instead,” Galen said closing his eyes and putting his hand on the transmitter.

Part: 03

Galen Argyus surrendered himself to the Living Force controlling his breathing and falling into a deep trance. He imagined himself being Obi Wan Kenobi, felt his confusion and distress as the Jedi order was decimated by the machinations of Palpatine.

He had visions of coming to the Temple with Yoda, the wizened Jedi Grandmaster. He felt the despair of discovering that his friend, his brother, Anakin Skywalker had murdered children and had become the monster that is Darth Vader. The site of the slaughter shook Galen to his core and touched on the tragedies of his own life.

Suddenly he was six years old again and hiding in a ventilation shaft from the Trandoshan slavers that had murdered his parents and taken his sister from him. Struggling to maintain his vision Galen forced down the old pain using the teachings of Master Tosh Diath. Fear and hatred threatened his control and with a snarl Galen refocused on his goal but not without a taint of anger and darkness as old emotions surged within him. He opened his eyes with a start.

Part: 04

“I know where the Temple is,” Galen exclaimed triumphantly to his fellow Jedi. He called up a galactic map and indicated a system deep in the Galactic Core. “Here,” he said. “It is in this region.”

“Well, that is nice an’ all but do yah happen to know a hyperspace lane leading to it? Because that there is No Man’s Land. The Deep Galactic Core is full of black holes and is the most dangerous region to jump into in the galaxy,” Cortree drawled.

“He’s right,” Jaden said shaking his head with disappointment. “We can’t take the risk without getting more information.”

A smile lit up Galen’s face as he had an idea.

“I believe my new padawan may be of help,” he said cryptically. “The Grandmaster of the Jedi Order from that time would likely have access to that kind of information right? Well, my padawan was asked to brief us on a mission the Council want us to undertake. A mission that might just hold the key to finding Tython.”

All eyes turned to Leoni and she didn’t shrink from their regard at all. She smiled her crooked smile in acknowledgement and understanding. “My master is correct. The Council has tasked us with going to the place where Master Yoda hid out from the Empire. A planet called Dagobah. The Empire expunged all records of the Old Jedi Order and no images of Yoda survived and they want to commission a statue in his honor. We have been asked to investigate Yoda’s home and find any images or effects from the old master. Perhaps he had the information we seek.”

“Exactly. The Force is with us. It is guiding us to find Tython. I am sure we will find what we need on Dagobah,” Galen said smiling.

Part: 05

For several days the group of Jedi gathered the materials they would need for their expedition. Galen was convinced that his new padawan was reporting on their activities for the Jedi Council but said nothing about it to her. He was working hard to establish a relationship with her built on trust and didn’t want to accuse her falsely. If the Council objected to their goals they had ample time to intercede. In the meantime they had preparations to make.

They requisitioned a small shuttle pod because it was felt that the Crucible was too large to land on the uncertain surface of the swamp covered planet of Dagobah. They gathered supplies and equipment while Jaden did research on the ancient Holocron that he had brought back from Durace with his former master and current Chief Archivist of the Jedi Council, Master T’ket. It was slow going as they were taking every precaution with the dangerous Dark Side artifact. Jaden was unable to learn much other than the artifact was far older than five thousand years old. It suggested it might even be from the era of the Infinite Empire thirty-five thousand years ago. This was very exciting to the young archaeologist and his verpine master. But Jaden was eager to make his way to Dagobah and hopefully to Tython. To walk on the planet where the Jedi Order was founded would be a triumph. And from what he read it was a tradition for a new Jedi Order to send emissaries to Tython to meditate. Finally, the day came when they had finished their preparations.

They were heading to the Crucible’s landing platform to embark on their journey when Galen and Jaden sensed they were being watched. Galen signaled to the scholarly Jedi to distract his padawan and keep her out of harm’s way while he ducked behind some crates and circled back around in an attempt to sneak up on their tail. He failed.

“Stop where you are, Galen Argyus!” called out a familiar voice.

Galen stopped and turned to see a young woman standing before him. “Wait. I know you,” he said. “You’re Kerris Halcyon aren’t you? Your grandfather was one of Master Skywalker’s first students. We trained together on Yavin IV. You were expelled from the order years ago.”

A pair of identical twins stepped out from their hiding place both carrying lightsabers. Understanding lit Galen’s face.

“And you must be the pair of Jedi that was expelled from the Order recently for taking bounties. Master Kataar mentioned you.”

“We have names, " The Twin with a strange lightsaber said, “I’m Biggs and my brother’s Wedge.”

The other Twin, Wedge, telekinetically spun small stones in the air around him, “We gave ourselves those names to honor the old heroes.”

Names aren’t everything." Galen said.

“Galen Argyus,” Kerris said ignoring him, “We are here to bring you in. Porbotta the Hutt has put out a substantial bounty on you and your sister and we are here to collect.”

“My sister? W-what do you mean? She has been dead for 20 years now,” Galen stammered in astonishment.

“Your lies won’t save her, Argyus. You are coming with us and you are going to take us to your sister, Leena Argyus,” Bigges snarled.

“I asked you a question,” Galen said softly a dangerous glint in his eyes, “And you will answer me. What do you know about my sister?”

Lightsabers ignited and the three bounty hunters charged the lone Jedi with inhuman speed. But their reflexes were no match for Galen’s. He was a Master of Ataru and moved with a blur of motion that was too fast to be believed jumping through the air in an acrobatic leap that placed him directly behind them.

To his credit one of the twins managed to move away to prevent the flanking maneuver from being effective. Lightsabers clashed and sparked as the three of them cut and slashed at the elusive Jedi Knight. Galen’s blade spun and he flipped and twisted in a stunning series of moves that left him untouched.

Jaden called out to Leoni to stay where she was and took off toward the fight as soon as they all heard the crackle and pop of lightsabers clashing. Cortree followed and neither noticed that the young padawan was fast on their heels. They arrived just in time to see Galen jump off the floating platform suspended thousands of meters above the surface of Coruscant right into traffic. The twins leaped immediately after him while Kerris Halcyon ran over to a speeder bike and jumped on it. Jaden followed the group leaping from the platform as well and Leoni was right behind him.

“Oh, no you don’t,” Cortree whispered as he lined up a shot on the woman with his heavy blaster as she fired up the bike’s turbines. His barrage took the female bounty hunter by surprise and she gunned the engines to evade his barrage. Cortree shifted his aim and blasted the steering vanes of the bike causing it to spin out of control and slam into the side of a building exploding on impact. Kerris leaped from the back of the vehicle at the last second falling out of sight.

“Well, poodoo,” Cortree muttered lowering his weapon.

Galen fell for some time aiming for the main traffic lane of airspeeders. He landed on the roof of a speeder in a three point stance. He got up and jumped from one speeder to another leading the twins on a dangerous chase. It seemed he would leave them behind but he tripped when an angry dug pilot kicked out at him in annoyance after he landed on the hood of his speeder. Galen fell to the next layer of traffic below and, twisting desperately, managed to barely land atop a bus going in the opposite direction. Unfortunately he lost his lightsaber on impact with the bus’s roof.

“I’ve got it master!” his padawan screamed as she continued her dive after the lightsaber excitement apparent her face.

“What? No! Leoni, get back here!” Galen started to follow his reckless padawan but one of the twins landed next to him on the bus and began swinging at Biggs, the Jedi with his odd looking lightsaber. Galen managed to duck and flip out of the way of the series of thrusts and cuts from the bounty hunter but it took all of his attention. He very nearly lost his head when the twin adjusted a knob on the saber’s odd hilt and the lightsaber’s blade grew a meter in length giving the bounty hunter far more reach than was typical.

Galen was able to dodge the twin’s blows but was getting increasingly desperate as he noted the second twin was fast approaching. But luckily Jaden appeared in rather spectacular fashion. Using magnetic boots to adhere to the bottom of another oncoming airspeeder the cerebral Jedi blocked the twin’s approach. Jaden was hanging suspended upside down swinging his blade at the startled opponent with assured calm.

“Master, catch!”

Galen reached up his hand without looking and his lightsaber slapped into it. He activated it just in time to block a deadly blow that would have cut him in half.

“Perhaps padawans aren’t so bad after all,” he muttered to himself under his breath.

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The passengers on the bus, mostly schoolchildren, erupted in cheers when the Jedi went on the offensive driving the bounty hunter, Biggs back with a rapid fire series of quick cuts. Seeing that his brother was in trouble the second twin, Wedge, disengaged from Jaden and jumped onto the bus behind Galen. He began concentrating on the Force.

Realizing that the amount of power the twin was gathering would likely destroy the hoverbus Galen leaped away putting as much distance as he could between him and the children aboard. Unfortunately, this left him wide open to the assault. Pure telekinetic Force slammed into the Jedi Knight and he crashed into the open bed of an oncoming speeder truck, stunned.

Jaden caught up to the hover bus at that point and was engaged by the first twin as the second one leaped into the back of the speeder truck anticipating his triumph. Galen was queasy and found it hard to focus clearly suffering from a mild concussion. He struggled to rise while wiping blood from his mouth as the bounty hunter approached grinning.

“You are mine, Argyus. The bounty on you is enough to make us all rich,” Wedge said opening his coat. He activated a second lightsaber and two more floated out telekinetically and began circling around him in a barrier of light. The four blades menaced the concussed Jedi as the bounty hunter stalked his intended prey.

“You are willing to sacrifice the lives of innocent children just to make a profit?” Galen asked incredulous. “I owe Master Kataar an apology. She was right to exile you. You are no Jedi.”

The battered Jedi stood up resolutely holding his lightsaber in a guard position. “I am going nowhere with you. You and your brother will surrender immediately for endangering the lives of those children. I cannot allow your recklessness to continue.”

“That will never happen,” the brother snarled.

“Very well. I offered you a chance.” With that Galen exploded into motion charging straight at the bounty hunter. He reached the perimeter of spinning blades and blocked one on his lightsaber while somersaulting forward past the second one before it came down on him. He ended up in a crouch right in front of the surprised bounty hunter who swung his right handed blade at Galen’s head with the left handed one scissoring toward his legs. Barely pausing Galen used his momentum to spring up over the flashing blade aimed for his legs while deflecting the second lightsaber with a flick of his own blade. He spun, landing just behind the brother and thrust his blade back at his unprotected back. The lightsaber erupted from the bounty hunter’s chest and for a moment all was still. Then Galen closed down his lightsaber and the bounty hunter fell to the truck bed along with all four of his lightsabers.

NOOOOOOO,” screamed the unwounded twin, Biggs jumping onto the truck bed.

Galen reactivated his blade and aimed the point at the brother’s throat.

“He still breathes. Surrender now and we will get him the help he needs,” Galen said calmly. “Do not make me destroy you.”

The twin’s lightsaber fell to the ground. Galen moved aside as the brother ran to cradle his wounded sibling in distress. Galen sighed and picked up a datapad that had fallen out during the battle. On it was the bounty featuring his image. Next to his picture was the image of a young woman who Galen recognized immediately. The file claimed that she had been behind the death of a Hutt.

“Leena. It is you,” Galen whispered overcome with a jumble of emotions.

End of Episode: 08

Continue to Episode: 09

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