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.
“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 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.”
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!”
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.
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.
“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.”
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…
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.
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.