"You mentioned the Sith. Do you believe those were the unknown forces that attacked the station? Quite honestly, any information would be helpful right now. I've been going through data files and the closest things I can find to the kind of weapons they were using date back to Republic times. Attempts to create battleship-mounted superlasers, like what was done with ISD Eclipse. Failures, but now someone's solved the puzzle...and more, mounted it on something the size of a standard Star Destroyer."
She rose to her feet. "And if what she said is accurate - if you do have the power of the Jedi, we could really use your help."
This was the time Prenlarr decided he should speak.
"I was approached by no one, and I have less of an idea of what is going on than you do. Up until a few minutes ago I was merely an engineer on the station. Now suddenly I'm being asked about some jedi I've never met or even heard of, technology I've never even seen before let alone studied, and all right after my home was blown up and I found out I have some mystical capacity I never even knew about!" Prenlarr immediately shut his mouth after he had shouted in a room full of armed guards.
"I'm sorry, this is just too much to take in right now. I've just lost everything I've ever known and I have no idea what I'm going to do. Not to mention just having everything I though I knew about myself turned upside down and I think you can understand." he quickly apologized and explained.
"If I may enter the discussion here, Admiral," Rec began as he stepped forward, "I would just like to say that while that recording you played may be accurate, and a Jedi could pick us out in a crowd - which is not exactly difficult, since I did it myself before your guards arrived - I am inclined to believe that none of us, even myself, have the skills or training a Jedi would possess. The Miraluka may be a Force-sensitive race by nature, but I can assure you, none of us are as strong as the Jedi Vasera was. I only caught the name through chance." His tongue loosening, the game hunter continued.
"You probably know that a Miraluka such as myself can only see through the Force; we have no physical eyes to see. We can determine the strength of an individual's connection to the Force through this. I saw the Jedi in action, against her dark counterparts, and her aura was far stronger than anything I have seen before. The five of us are as a fleeting spark compared to the bright beacon of power I saw in Vasera. Forgive the flowery description, but that is the way I have heard it described. To sum up, given the facts at hand and my interpretations of what I have seen and heard, I do not think we can help at the present time. I am sorry." His piece spoken, Rec stepped back to rejoin the group.
If there were a way to learn the teachings of the Jedi, then perhaps we could be an asset to this war against the Sith, the game hunter mused. We may be Force-sensitive - I can tell that much - but we wouldn't stand a chance against one of those Dark Jedi. One alone would be enough to eliminate all of us.
"I'm a salvager, Admiral Cath. While I have some knowledge of weapons, blades, and blasters of many types, I cannot say that I have ever seen a weapon like was being used today on the station. However, if there is something I can go for sure with is that those were Sith that did that. I don't see any Jedi in the galaxy, but I saw this one publicly draw her blade out to defend against boarders, and I don't think a Jedi would do that against a small troop with guns." Marcus said, trying to now figure out what else he could say at all to help, yet get him out of this.
"And if I may be so bold...Rec is quite correct in his reasoning. Unless someone here is hiding something impressive enough to evade his eyes, I know that I am no Jedi made to battle anyone. I've not moved objects without touching them, or done mind tricks or anything like that. The closest I've ever been to a Jedi is with some lightsaber parts that I wouldn't know what to do with now anyways. Much like Rec, I am sorry, but I lack the powers of any Jedi or Sith that you might be thinking of." Marcus finished.
Well, great. If we can be found by Sith....well, not really sure what I'm going to do now. I could probably keep doing what I'm doing, but every time I go to find work, I would have to look out for Sith. Well.....dammit.
Cath dropped back down into her chair. "I was afraid of that." She rubbed her eyes. "We're facing an invasion by the Sith, and there's no Jedi to stand in their way. Just these." She tapped the bulkhead behind her. "Just ships and soldiers. No heroes."
She sighed and leaned over her desk. "Unless there's anything else, I'm sorry for disturbing you, I know this is probably not a great time for you. I need to make a call to the Chairman, let him know that we're facing a Sith invasion." She barked a laugh. "Days like this make me wish I was a glitbiter."
Rana smacked her hand against her forehead when the audio footage came up. Actually, I don't think it really matters if anyone heard me talking about jedi. The sith can find us just by looking, anyways. She sat as a silent observer as the others talked, not eager to say something she would regret. The girl also prayed to some unknown deity that Cath did not know that she was a suspect in various murders, kidnappings, and robberies.
"What I said, admiral, was that we have the POTENTIAL to become jedi. If you're going to eavesdrop on everyone, I suggest you actually pay attention so that you avoid wasting time that could be spent bombing enemy ships," the duros bitterly lashed at Cath. A full year of being hunted by police did nothing for her fondness of authority, and it showed sometimes.
"No, there's no more business. I think we're finished," Rana blurted out hurriedly, anxious to leave this place, nudging Marcus and Prenlarr to urge them to go as well, "And you, Miraluka -- I want you to come with us. I think we have some things to discuss."
I need to know why Vasera sent him to me. Perhaps she gave him some sort of plan to relay. But I don't want Cath listening in on everything.
Marcus paused, a thought that was just scratching at his mind before seemed to jump forward. He was halfway tempted to call it paranoia, or perhaps it was something else. Maybe even the damned Holocron he was hiding. However, if there was a time to ask, now was it.
"Days like this make me wish for the older days. There was a slightly better sense of order and protection...no offense." Marcus began, finally deciding that the scratching at the back of his head wasn't going to stop.
"There is one thing, Admiral Cath. This may seem an odd question, but I think this chatter of Sith makes it appropriate. Have you ever heard of someone called Nomi Sunrider? Sith or Jedi?" Marcus asked, seeming to lean forward slightly as if hoping the Admiral would divulge some secret or trick which he would need to catch.
While I can't reasonably trust her, she might know something. Even something offhand would be helpful right about now before I go running of with....whatever the hell I have gotten myself into this time.
"Nomi Sunrider?" She rubbed her forehead. "Yeah. She's usually included in lists of great Jedi Masters. Right up there with Luke Skywalker or Yoda. That is a pretty unusual question, though. Any chance you'll tell me what brought it up?"
"Now, this is probably going to sound kind of crazy, but there was an itching at the back of my head that just figured I should ask. I'm not even sure why I figured I would ask really. Just wondering if I could have some enlightenment on some Jedi since I actually ran into one. And...yeah." Marcus replied, not exactly sure where he would even go with a question like that.
"Never mind, forget I asked. Just looking for information at this point, and that name seemed to pop into my head." Marcus explained, now figuring that business was done. Though, his gaze wandered back to the out of place officer who he figured was here before him. Something was...different. It was something extra he was sure he could feel, but yet...it wasn't.
Though...what is that officer doing here? He is out of place, and yet...here he is. And why is there something running loose in my mind now?
"If you're going to lie to me on my ship, in my ready room, at least make it somewhat convincing. Despite what most of you seem to be thinking, I'm not your enemy. I would've thought the rescue would have made that clear."
She sighed. "So I'll ask one last time. Any information you have on these Sith would be invaluable. Because right now, the only people likely to even believe this are in this room right now. I present this to the Party as it stands, and these ships will be Iridonian, Duros, Corellian, Fondorian, Chiss. If we have some kind of evidence, though, we might be able to form a unified coalition against them..." She shook her head, realizing she was rambling. "So are you sure there's nothing?"
Marcus stood, watching the Admiral with his normally unblinking eyes. He reached outward with his extrasensory abilities, to see what exactly he should feel is going on. See if it was safe for him to even do this absolute stupidity. He stepped forward, going to the desk of the Admiral to look her directly in the eyes for a time, and to ultimately make it easier for himself to sense what exactly was going on with her.
He couldn't sense any malice from the good Admiral, and he could almost feel it, probably that Jedi Force he was so aware of now, that he should at least give the Admiral something.
"Your rescues were not required perhaps, but don't you dare hold that over our heads. That would be like me holding any information I give you over your head because it might have helped you out in some situation or another." Marcus said, his voice and features now going grim.
"How much do you trust your guards and cameras, Admiral? For I might have something I think you, this group, and the good captain over there." Marcus said, nodding to Knaake as he said so. "But this wasn't something I was planning on even mentioning to you. So I want some Hutt business security on this. I mean I want some damn well privacy on this. And personally, I don't think that anything I show or tell you would unify anyone, with the galaxy as it is. They would likely take this and use it to get an advantage over each other, not save the goddamned galaxy. Pretty sure the fall of the Republic promised us that much. No delusions of grandeur, no heroic moves, no threat to join us all together. If we are going to chat, we are going to do so seriously, without hoping some Jedi comes out of the asteroids to save us. Clear?" Marcus waited, his hands resting on the desk across from the Admiral. He would not waver, and didn't blink. He waited, almost half expecting some guard to walk up and try to do something. He was ready for it.
If we are going to play Pazaak on high end table, might as well be serious about the stakes. Play your cards, Admiral.
Kass had remained silent for the most part, only complaining when bridge security stripped him of his blaster. Despite reassurances that it would be returned to him, he was reluctant to surrender it. In any case, he was somwhat more irritated by the fact that he was rounded up to the bridge simply because he was standing in a corner near people he had never met before in his life. Even worse, Kass had no idea what the hell he had to do with this crazy talk. Jedi, Sith, unified galactic coalitions? He had no time for this nonsense.
"Quite frankly, I'm still in the dark as to why I'm here," he said, making no effort to hide his irritation. Kass normally tried to be civil when the situation demanded it, but with the loss of his ship and his crew, his frustration and anger dominated his thought process. "I don't know anything about these Sith besides that they can throw you clear across the milkin' room, I don't know any of these people, and I simply want to get the hell out".
While he was highly interested in what Marcus had to say, Rec's attention was turned to that of a new voice in the room. One who hadn't spoken up until now. This person, too, was sensitive to the Force, even if he didn't know it. Maybe he needed to be shown that he was just as capable of using the Force as Rec himself was. The game hunter backed up a little and turned to face the new voice in the room.
"You may think that you have no reason to be here, but trust me: you do," he said quietly, speaking only to the stranger in a low voice as the other conversation went on. Rec reached out to the speaker's mind to try to pick up his name and identity as he spoke. Lucen Kass, formerly a soldier, now a smuggler. Interesting choice of profession for a Zabrak. "I can tell that you too are a sensitive. You may not believe me when I say that, but it's there. I see it in your mind, Lucen Kass. Your connection to the Force is... about as strong as those of the others here. Let me ask you this: Have you ever experienced luck that could be called unnatural? Seen interesting things others passed by, intuitively known things about people at a glance?"
Prenlarr remained quiet for this part, since it seemed to be going less like a questioning or a negotiation and more like gambling. Unfortunately this wasn't something like a game of cards, where the skills his species would actually be useful, instead his abilities wouldn't help anyone. Besides, if anyone here knew what they were doing he figured it would be Marcus. He wouldn't want to accidentally ruin the man's plan by saying something stupid.
Though I have to wonder what it is he wants out of this. he thought.
She gave Marcus a look. "I'm holding nothing over your head, I would simply appreciate your cooperation. Quite frankly, I have very little power here. I could throw you in the brig, but it would accomplish very, very little. So you have a deal."
Marcus nodded, figuring that perhaps he had what assurances he needed to in order to perform this overtly stupid move. He found himself hoping that he could get some sort of point across with Nomi Sunrider on this. That, and the fact that he had no idea of where to go other than away from Sith with no experience.
"Alright Admiral, then we have a deal. Hope you have something a bit more tangible to help us out after all this is said and done, because in case you haven't guessed it, we don't really have much of anything after the station." Marcus said, turning to start tapping in the address on his comm unit mounted on his arm.
Here is to hoping I won't have a thousand year old Jedi pissed off that I brought her out of hiding.
With the familiar hiss that would normally mean bad news coming from a comm, the small compartment popped open, and Marcus grabbed the small cube-like object, and held it forward as he resealed the hidden spot.
"I hope I don't have to tell you what this is, Admiral. This is where my question came from."
"I see it in your mind, Lucen Kass".
"First things first, Miraluka: You get into my head one more time and I swear that I will end you," Kass spat with the utmost venom, stepping a bit closer. "My mind is my own, and I won't think twice about smashing that pretty face of yours to the deck, got it?". He paused, more to let his fury subside than to let his warning sink in. "Now, I suppose you expect me to believe you when you say that I'm sensitive to the Force. You're expecting me to believe that all of us are able to use this mystical energy field, and we just happened to be rounded up here by chance? I've seen a lot of things in my time, Miraluka, and I think this reeks of Bantha shit".
Joseph almost made a grab for the one called Kass, if a fight was going to break out, Joseph was going to end it, and damn fast. Weather it be through breaking an arm or a leg or leaving a fist size hole in their chest from one of two of his PBT blaster Carbines. He tensed up noticeably and eyed Kass, with fire and brimstone in his eyes. He looked over at the Admiral, she had a calm resolve to her. It was hard to guess her age. Knaake looked no older then nineteen when he was actually twenty-two. From what he had heard, the Admiral was at least in her fifties, and she looked old enough to be Knaake's spouse. Joseph suddenly got a bad feeling of awkwardness. The rest of this adventure was going to be hell. He could just tell.
Rec flinched and stepped back in mild shock, having had no intention to offend Kass with his peek at the surface thoughts of the Zabrak. "I apologise for intruding on your mind; it was to learn your name, nothing more," he said, raising his hands in a gesture of peace. "And for the record, I do not believe this to be chance at all. Sometimes, the Force works in ways we cannot comprehend. I am inclined to think that it has brought all of us together for a reason. What that reason may be... I don't know yet."
Perhaps Kass wasn't very eager to believe in his power over the Force. Rec was no smooth talker, but he hoped he had gotten his - somewhat short - message across: Stay, hear out what people have to say, and make your decision when it's over.
As Rec waited for Kass's response, he felt a slight tingle in the back of his mind, closely followed by a sense of power in the room. Someone had done something, though he couldn't tell what it was, not being able to see the events unfolding.
Cath's eyes widened to the size of dinner plates. "Is that..."
The holocron pulsed a bright blue, then a holographic image formed over it - a human male clad in a black robe, with short, graying brown hair. "Hello. My name is Luke Skywalker." The image turned, regarding each of them in turn and nodding slightly. "I haven't seen a gathering like this in a long time...six Force-sensitives gathered in the same room, barely aware of their potential."
By the look on Cath's face, it was a good thing she was already sitting down. She leaned back in her chair. "Sithspit, this explains a few things."
Joseph dropped his helmet with a very noticeable clatter. He jaw hang open in amazement. It was a hologram of Luke Skywalker. The thing closest to the actual man in this galaxy for nearly a thousand years. He was very confused, he knew that the Late Jedi had given something to one of the other five. But that, that was not what he was expecting. He scrambled to pick up his helmet of the white deck and he haphazardly tucked it back under his arm.
"What is this? I don't even-" He spat out in confusion, tripping over his own tongue.
Even Prenlarr in his ignorance of the force and the jedi, instantly recognized the appearance of the man in the hologram. Once he spoke his name it was confirmed though, this was the Luke Skywalker.
"Well this is certainly new. How often does one get to talk to the hero of the Rebellion? Or at least what is left of him anyway." He said as he nodded back out of respect to the hologram.
"Just how many former jedi's images are inside of there anyway?" It was the only question he could think to ask at the moment. He knew it was stupid but he wanted to know, the engineer in him wanted to know just how much was contained in such a small device.
"I can't answer that question, I'm afraid. From our studies of the Great Holocron, we've determined that it's storage capacity is incredibly high. In my lifetime, I spent hundreds of hours studying it, and never even came close to being able to grasp how much information is stored in it. Memory-personality imprints of nearly every Jedi Master dating back at least six thousand years, with all their accumulated knowledge and wisdom."
Admiral Cath's jaw droppped. "The amount of data...that makes the Obroa-Skai libraries look miniscule."
Rana was angry that Marcus had foolishly decided to share the holocron's existence with Cath. Why the hell did he think it was a good idea to tell her about the holocron?
Rana stood for a moment while the rest of the sensitives stood around like slack jawed fools. The wonders of this high memory storage were lost on her, as her only concerns for the vast majority of her life did not involve computers. At least, not direct interaction with computers. She folded her arms, slouching, and tapping her fingers against her upper arm as she prepared an inquiry.
"A jedi named Vasera gave you... the holocron, to me," Rana informed the hologram in a matter-of-fact tone, "So she must have had a purpose for it. Do you know what that is?"
This is pretty nice, we have access to every jedi master for the past six thousand years? We may actually be able to survive against these sith, after all.
Marcus was more than surprised when he ended up seeing Luke Skywalker standing in front of him rather than the other Jedi. Though, it was some Force enchanted....thing. He saw the Admiral had been absolutely broken by the information that the Holocron seemed to hold more information than any other galactic database combined. Marcus wasn't here for a lesson on Holocrons, he was here to make some form of sense of everything.
If I'm meant to be a Jedi or some foolish destiny like that, I can learn all about these things after I figure out what I should be doing.
"Don't be foolish and rude at the same time, Rana. It's a bad impression to give Commander Skywalker." Marcus said over his shoulder, aware of the tone she was using. Almost like a child, he mused as he prepared his own question.
"So, six Force sensitives in a room, and a Sith battle fleet running around destroying space stations for the hell of it. In case you can't tell from our expressions, we are lost, lacking supplies, training, ships, credits, and even understanding of what we even are. History has a lot of stories of you facing Dark Jedi, Sith, and all forms of other chaos. Though unless you need to be brought up to speed, the galaxy is in poor shape. To put it simply, I figure coincidence stopped playing this game of Pazaak once we specifically ended up here, so now was as good a time as any to consult you on what we should even be doing at this point. So, any wisdom you can send our way, or should I just look for a way out of here so I can get back to salvaging?"
"The Sith didn't destroy your station for nothing, Marcus. They destroyed it to kill you six, Jedi Vesera, and destroy or capture this Holocron." Master Skywalker rubbed his chin. "Throughout history, the Jedi have never fought alone. Even in times of peace, we were supported by organizations like the Antarian Rangers, and the Republic and Jedi were allied more often than not - and when they were separate, it was a sign of bad times in the Galaxy."
He turned to face each of them in turn. "If you need supplies, ships, and credits, you'll have to look beyond us. If you do intend to follow the path of the Jedi, perhaps one of the nations of the galaxy can offer you assistance. None of them will have forgotten the time of the Jedi. As for training and knowledge, the minds within this holocron are intended to be able to train potential. It is not an ideal situation, a living Master is much preferable for many reasons. But it can and has been done."
Admiral Cath cleared her throat, having regained her composure. "If you do intend on attempting to become Jedi, I'm willing to support you any way I can. My discretionary resources are somewhat limited, but I don't think Kuat will notice thirty thousand credits vanishing, which should be enough to cover your financial needs at the moment. I can also have a shuttle you ferry you to any destination in Kuati or Neutral space within a thousand light years, except the Deep Core."
"Ma'am," Joseph started. "Might as well make this formal as it is, so I'm going to request an Honorable Discharge if I'm going to continue on with this." He said. He reached over to his left shoulder and disconnected the left shoulder pauldron with his rank insignia, he disconnected his duty belt and removed his Holo-Tags. He placed them on the clear desk. "I'd also like to request permission to keep the armor if it isn't too much to ask, Admiral." He thought about what he was doing, he did have some regrets. Like not being able to do enough to save the Jedi, or to save that squad of troopers that had gotten slaughtered while he evaced a wounded man. Suddenly, the scale of the loss hit him. He suddenly wanted to seek revenge, all regret left him and a calm determination over took his mind.
This is either the smartest thing I've done, or the stupidest. This better be worth it.
"It isn't as if I have anywhere else to go, and I would like to see where this leads. Consider me a jedi in training. So where should we go to train, I mean it would have to be somewhere under heavy guard probably. Not like we can go to some uninhabited planet if the sith have already found us once, right?" Prenlarr said after mulling the idea over for a bit.
An engineer turned jedi, this is quite a day for me. Hopefully this will prove to be a good idea as opposed to a quick death.
Marcus did not like where Luke ended up taking that discussion. He was being specifically hunted. That did not sit particularly well with him, as he had dealt with smaller bounties before. He had a distinct feeling that the Sith would not be so easily killed, or payed off.
"Well......I don't know of any better way to deal with a Sith than to be a Jedi. Hell, it's probably not much more different than being a salvager anyways, right? Course, I guess it will be odd taking instructions from someone who isn't physically there..." Marcus replied to Luke, still somewhat processing what the Admiral had said.
"........Uh.....well.....Admiral, that is actually quite fantastic. I mean.....really really fantastic." Marcus began, not exactly sure what he would even say to that. He had been rich before, after some particularly successful salvage jobs, but for thirty thousand to just be dropped on him was unheard of.....though, that was only five thousand each, but it was something.
"However....I can't even think of a place where we would all be welcome to sit around and train, ESPECIALLY with a Holocron. In fact....I can't think of anywhere we can go where a Holocron wouldn't be a huge target for Hutts, pirates, thieves, and just the galaxy in general. Jedi is great and all....but with no where to go, not sure what that means for us. "
Rana shot an angry glance at Marcus, annoyed that he would reprimand her for such a petty reason. Last time I checked, great men did not care for pointless pleasantries. And foolish? How was my question foolish?
"As I mentioned earlier, it would be suicidal not to get training when I have evil warriors trying to kill me. Count me in," Rana stated, "And I won't say no to those credits, admiral."
With the exception of this infuriating nautolan, this could turn out to be a great day. Then the girl realized that she hadn't met up with Vasera again.
"But the question needs to be asked: what happened to Vasera? Did she not make it off the station?" Rana asked, anxious.
More mystical nonsense from the Miraluka. The sudden appearance of the hologram of the long-dead Luke Skywalker. An offer of credits and transport from Admiral Cath. This day was getting more and more bizarre. Kass had absolutely no desire to be a part of this grand quest that the others seemed to be a part of, and he didn't like how he was grouped in with these people. Despite this, he wasn't an idiot. The Admiral was offering money and free transport from this blasted asteroid field, and the Emperor's black heart only knew that he wanted to put as much distance between himself and this place as possible. So, for the time being, he would have to travel with this group of would-be Holovid adventurers.
"Free money? Free shuttle? Hmph. Anything that isn't here, I'm fine with".
Bypassing the comments of Rana and Kass, Rec addressed Marcus directly. "May I make a suggestion? If we intend to learn the ways of the Jedi - the offer of which I will certainly accept - then as you said, we need a place where we can be undisturbed for a decent length of time. I offer my homeworld, Tatooine; I spent many years trekking the deserts, living aboard sandcrawlers and in the lairs of krayt dragons. Most people would not dare to traverse the expansive deserts unless they were well supplied with provisions: we could easily obtain food and water from my home city to last us a long while."
Venturing into the desert was risky in itself, Rec knew that much from his own experience. But it seemed like a good idea since no-one else had come up with anything yet.
Marcus looked at the hunter for a time, mulling over the idea of going to possibly the closest planet possible to a sun. The idea wasn't exactly favorable to himself...though he hadn't been to his water bound home in some time, it didn't mean he happily enjoyed going to where it was hottest.
But...he is right. Tatooine is the middle of nowhere, relatively undisturbed, unwanted, isolated, and if it's his home, he would know the land well.
"That...is a fantastic idea actually Rec. Though not exactly my...first choice in wanting to visit, I can't think of anywhere else which is relatively untouched or not visited. Though, I hope you are a fantastic hunter, as I would prefer to not become target practice for some Sand People, or a krayt dragon meal. Unless someone has a better idea?" Marcus said in agreement.
That was actually...much easier than I thought it would be. Maybe this whole "Jedi" thing won't be as much a pain as I thought it would be.
"Why is it always Tatooine? For a planet that's supposedly the darkest spot in the universe, it does seem to crop up more often than I'd expect. Seems to breed Jedi." Luke seemed to talk to himself for a moment, then turned back to them. "I would suggest a different strategy, at least for the moment. The Sith are for the moment beaten back. They may not be aware of your survival. I would recommend taking advantage of this. There is one thing you will need to fight them, as much as your training. The Lightsaber. Most of the components are fairly common materials, but you will need something more difficult to find."
He paused, possibly for effect. "Adegan Crystals. They can be synthesized, but that would take time and equipment you don't have. Mining them likewise. But there are caches of them to be found. One of which is only a few lightyears from here."
"And where is that, Master Jedi?" Admiral Cath leaned forward.
"A bunker on Coruscant, underneath the Jedi Temple, along with some other things that may prove useful. Records, weapons, tools."
"Coruscant? You want us to go to Coruscant?" Kass asked the hologram of Skywalker incredulously. "Blast that. I could list off a whole bunch of ways we'll end up dead if we go there". He faced the others. "In fact, why are we taking directions from a hologram? I don't care if this is supposed to be a hologram of Luke frackin' Skywalker, I'm sure as hell not about to set foot anywhere near that place".