Star Wars: Shattered Galaxy

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"What in the name of..." Rec began as he snapped his head upwards to look blindly at the ceiling. "Sithspit... I am inclined to think this mission just got a lot more complicated. We should move quickly lest the entire place crush us under its weight." The game hunter was the first into the Vault, dropping to one knee and holding up his rifle to fire at anything with a Force aura that moved.

Since this was a vault belonging to the Jedi of old, it stood to reason that a lot of things inside were connected to the Force in some way. None of them appeared to be living beings, however.

Rana trembled in fear momentarily as the earth seemed to shake itself apart, but regained her bearings as quickly as they had been lost. She jogged inside the vault, and despite her awe, wished nothing more than to be out of this place as quickly as possible.

Rana kept her blaster in its holster, not wishing to fire into something valuable - which was everything in this room. But what is the most valuable?

"What are we going to take?" She asked the group as she scanned up and down the room, pacing around the perimeter of its walls, "Maybe we should ask the holocron what we need most."

Marcus quickly stepped into the vault, his mind already running through the scenarios in his head as to what kind of aftershocks that the building above them collapsing would have. He at first hoped that there was a secondary lift, or otherwise it would be a long climb back up. Otherwise, they would need to dig out some in order to properly escape this place. Even then, the location might not be as stable now, meaning that they would need to run a little bit further away before they dared call in the ship.

Pausing once inside the hallway, Marcus looked about, not quite sure what to make of the considerably long hallway. One thing that was sure was that unless things began leaping through the walls, they were relatively secure.

"Rana, we are going to take anything and everything we can carry without slowing ourselves down. We don't need to consult the Holocron to do that. Lightsabers, crystals, more Holocrons, visors, robes, or anything that might be even remotely Jedi, or useful, we will be taking. And if this vault is filled to the brim with things we don't recognize, then we should probably ask it." Marcus explained, still rolling scenarios through his head about what exactly they would need to do to get off this rock.

Good thing we brought the case and cart. Otherwise, we would be lucky to be able to carry more Holocron's back, let alone anything else that might even be useful.

As they examined the Vault, they could see that it was quite gigantic - the corridor they were in went on for a considerable distance, with another corridor intersecting it in the middle. To the sides were several doors with various signs - 'The Jedi Order' 'The Sith' 'Force Cults' 'The Yuuzhan Vong & Zonama Sekot' 'Stasis Chambers' and 'Maintenance'.

As they stepped inside, their helmets beeped one by one. An indicator on their HUDs stated that the air was clean and breathable.

Prenlarr didn't exactly trust his helmet at this point, for all he knew or cared it was a malfunction at this point.

"Hmm, can I get someone to go with me to maintenance and then stasis pods. I want to make sure what my helmet is telling me is correct before we do anything." He said as he looked around.

"I'd also like to know what is being kept in the pods, see if I can't figure out what they were used for and if they are still useful." He was unnerved by the collapsing buildings but the sheer size of the vault was so overwhelming it pushed every other emotion out of the way as curiosity took over. In the back of his mind he knew he should leave, but he didn't want to at all at the moment.

"I'll go with." Joseph offered. "Something about this place is... Off. I also don't recommend taking off the helmets, the door may have been open for a few seconds, but that doesn't mean the air is clean."

He nodded at Prenlarr, the Go Signal for him to begin walking for the Stasis Pods. He looked over at the Miraluka.

"Stay here, make sure no one tries anything stupid." He said. Waiting for Prenlarr to begin walking. He didn't like being in the Vault. They were trapped under what possibly could be a destroyed building.

"Whoa whoa whoa! We are not going to be waking anything up from stasis. I would rather not wake up someone who 'seems nice', only for them to be some mad Jedi who decides it would be fun to throw us around." Marcus said, already not liking this whole idea.

"And second, we are not going to be splitting up. Why don't we next suggest each of us take a room and tamper with something? I mean, just wait a damn moment. We all go to maintenance, check we are clear, then take off these bulky hats and go check out the Jedi Order. Rather have information than some sketchy pods we know nothing about.

And....this is why I hate working in a group. Second you come across something, everyone thinks its fine, lets just grab and be on our way. That is EXACTLY when people get killed.

"Who said anything about waking them up? I meant looking for records, seeing if they ran any experiements or tests and what the results were. I'm not about to wake anything up, just looking for information, maybe a list of who or what's in stasis if I get lucky. Besides sooner or later you need to trust at least one of us other than yourself to be competent." Prenlarr said as he began walking towards the stasis pods. Hopefully there would be a central computer he could use to get a list of what these pods were for.

Before Prenlarr could reach the door into the stasis rooms, the door into the Maintenance area slid open and a droid with a battered gold shell stepped out and examined them. "Oh, dear. I am sorry for not meeting you at the door, I was loading a deuterium rod into the power core. I am L-9ER. Master Skywalker referred to me as 'Niner'. I am the chief caretaker of the Jedi Vault." The droid's mouth and eyes lit up brightly. "It is most excellent to finally see another Jedi. It has been terribly quiet down here for many years and the destruction of the surface fourty-seven standard cycles has completely halted all visitation."

"One thing, Knaake," Rec answered the PURK trooper quietly, lifting the supporting hand from his rifle as he did so. "If I may be so bold, who put you in charge? I'm more than competent in the field, so... really not much sense in giving orders to people who don't really need them."

The droid that had shown itself - surprisingly functional, given its age - seemed to be friendly enough. Or at least non-hostile, and that was good enough. Rec could never tell with artificial beings; they were lifeless, less than non-sensitive. The game hunter didn't trust them for the most part.

Joseph was more perplexed by the Droid then Rec's protest.

"Is that? Oh No, not one of those things." Joseph said. "They're always so chatty, and annoying, and they get in the way of everything." He groaned. "But, I guess he could be of some use, security codes, maps, much needed information." Then it hit him.

"Wait, another Jedi?"

"Yes, another Jedi. Before the planet's devastation, Jedi frequently brought artifacts of all sorts into this place, added more information into the databases, and did other things that are really beyond me. I am sorry, I will not be of much assistance to you, I'm afraid. I'm mostly just a maintainer and archiver. I can point you to what you're looking for, but most of the real information is in the database. My memory banks are already strained simply holding the names and physical descriptions of everything in these vaults."

"As far as security codes, you've already come down here, which means you're either Jedi Masters or authorized by a Master. There's no need to make you input further codes."

Marcus was prepared to step forward to tell Prenlarr this wasn't a damn lab....or it shouldn't be anyways, when the droid showed up. After it announced it's model, and it's purpose, Marcus nodded. It was about time they encountered something not trying to kill them.

"Greetings Niner. It is good to see that you have maintained your duty rather well. Is the air in this room as fresh as our suit sensors claim it to be? Outside of the vault it is quite a bit more dangerous, you understand. And...where is this database please? We are somewhat in a hurry." Marcus said politely, preferring to be friendly to a being he hoped would be able to show them a good direction.

Well, I think this just might make things a lot easier for us.

"Hmm I guess once you are done with his request I would like to make one of my own. An inventory, at least one of material that would be considered of extreme importance to the jedi and their locations. I would also like to know what is kept in the stasis pods if it isn't much trouble." Prenlarr said, he figured Marcus had his own way of dealing with it, but Prenlarr was sure the droid already knew the answers and simply asking might yield some results. Especially if they were pressed for time, it would be quicker if the droid told them rather than searching through a computer.

"One moment, please, Master." The Droid buzzed for a moment, then the Vault's door slid shut. Sound of ventilation kicked in for a few seconds, then Niner nodded. "All traces of Fex-M3d, the Rakghoul Plague, and Imperial Bioweapon 171C have been removed from the Vault. The air is being set to the optimal conditions for your racial mix - Seventy-seven percent nitrogen, Twenty-two percent oxygen, one percent a mix of Argon, Carbon Dioxide, Neon, and Helium. I've also taken the liberty of adding a bit of mujaberry scent."

Niner turned his attention to Prenlarr. "This may take some time. Could you tell me what you are looking for?" Niner's eyes blinked for several seconds after Prenlarr mentioned the Stasis pods, then he said, "I am afraid the Stasis Pods are empty. They were intended to be used in the event of a catastrophe - like the one here - but the Jedi did not make it here before they were killed. Is there anything else?"

"Sounds fantastic. Thank you Niner." Marcus said, somewhat confused why he would take the liberty of adding a scent to the air. However, the droid seemed well enough. For a droid anyways.

"Niner, what he is specifically asking for are Holocrons, lightsabers, and possible training devices regarding initial force teachings or other types of knowledge. Especially training regarding lightsaber use and construction would be appreciated." Marcus said, trying to be a little more specific for Prenlarr.

Here is to hoping that we can find a few weapons that would at least be a little more useful against some dark Jedi.....actually....

"Niner, does the installation or you do any additional scans of the outside world? If so, I would like to check something, if you can."

"Oh." Niner hummed for a moment. "I assume you mean Jedi Holocrons. They can be found within the Jedi Wing. Do not touch the Sith Holocrons in the Sith wing. They are..." Niner shuffled closer to Marcus. "Mean to me. And the other droids. The Holocrons are difficult to miss in the Jedi wing, they're stored within the room just to your left as you enter the Jedi wing. When you are ready, I will assist you there. There is...quite a selection. Many of the Holocrons contain information on training, and other rooms contain devices used in the training process. Many detail the construction of a lightsaber, including variants such as the Dual-Phase blade and the Double-Blade. Others contain lessons on their use, everything from the Vaapad of Mace Windu and the devastating Djem-So favored by the Skywalker line to the simple Shii-Cho and the Jar'kai favored by Master Ajira Dovo'Kai."

Niner seemed to look saddened. "As for lightsabers, there is a cache of Adegan Crystals used in the construction of the lightsaber within the Vault, but I am afraid that there are only two lightsabers within this Vault. One is the lightsaber of Master Kyle Katarn. His was deemed the best choice to serve as a physical template. The other is the lightsaber of the Sith Lord Darth Akarian, a Sith Lord that threatened the Republic some four hundred years ago."

The droid's reaction to being asked to talk about the stasis pods didn't sit well with him. He wanted to take a closer look at the hardware and programming, something was definitely off about it. He wanted to know what it was though.

"Excuse me Niner, would you mind if I took a look at you for a second? I think something may be off, probably nothing but I'd still like to check if you don't mind." He then turned to the others.

"I would prefer to remain here for a bit if that is alright. If you insist I will go with you but I would prefer to perhaps go to the maintenance wing with Niner and perhaps one person who knows how to use a gun then meet up with you later.

Niner nodded. "Of course, sir. It has been some considerable time since my last proper maintenance check." He approached Prenlarr and turned around, showing the access panel. Prenlarr had little trouble accessing the droid's memory banks, and after a few minutes of searching, found that all data on the Stasis Pods was simply not there, a massive blank spot in the Droid's memory.

Marcus nodded, happy to hear that there were the necessary supplies around to make a lightsaber. While simply grabbing one sounded nice, he wasn't comfortable using a legendary Jedi...or Sith, lightsaber. It wasn't in his hands, and he wouldn't do it justice. Besides, much better to be one with his blade....or something heroic like that. That was how the stories went, right?

"Thanks again, Niner. I think some lightsaber lessons would very much be in order, as well as some crystals to assemble a blade itself...." Marcus began, watching as Prenlarr got to looking over the droid.

"See anything important there? I think we should get started looking this place over if there is something suspicious. Otherwise, get to work on this...whatever it is we are getting ourselves into." Marcus continued, stepping about and looking at the droid and the doors, looking at the one claiming the Jedi wing. Pushing a button on the panel, the door opened, and Marcus stepped inside.

Well, here we go. This is going to be either horribly stupid of me to start doing, or horribly successful.

Shouldering his rifle, Rec approached Prenlarr and the droid before they could head off. The idea of obtaining the lightsaber of the Jedi Master Katarn appealed highly to him, despite his regular manner of choosing not to work for power or glory. Just getting close enough to examine the fabled Jedi weapon was appealing in itself. Given the mention of holocrons which could instruct in their use, he could even learn to use one...

"Where can we find these crystals, and the lightsabers?" he asked the droid, who provided the answer as being the Jedi Wing. Turning back to the group, minus Marcus who had left for his destination, Rec said, "Right, I'm gonna go see what there is to see in there. Feel free to follow if you want." With that the hunter slipped his rifle back into its strap, drew his pistol - because one could never be too careful, even in a place such as the underground vault - and made his way to the wing.

There they were, clear as day. The lightsaber stood in a case, held up by a display frame. On its right sat a plain, unadorned box; the two were placed on a pedestal in the center of the room. Its contents, however, were no mystery to Rec. He could feel the presence of many small objects within, each with a slightly differing Force aura around it. The collective auras made the box of crystals shine like a kaleidoscope, blinking and pulsing slightly in Rec's colourblind vision. The crystals paled in comparison to Master Katarn's lightsaber, however; the Force signature attached to the weapon eclipsed even that of Vesera, and she had had the brightest aura Rec had ever seen.

The game hunter cautiously approached the pedestal, his free hand extended tentatively to the display case in which Katarn's saber stood. With slightly trembling fingers - unusual for Rec - he holstered his pistol, lifted the glass free with both hands, and set it down in a free space next to the stand. Then he reached out and cautiously took hold of the weapon, lifting it free.

Almost instantly, Rec's vision flickered and blurred before snapping back into focus. He felt... powerful, with the lightsaber in his hand, even though it was inactive. The legendary weapon seemed to have a life of its own, such was the strength he felt in just holding it. Truly, Master Katarn must have been a great Jedi in his time.

"The memory of the stasis chambers is, non-existant. Not deleted, it literally isn't there. Why in the world would that be the case? What would be so precious that they would delete the information. This certainly deserves to be investigated. I don't want to release whatever it is, but I can't help but want to know what would be so horrible. Can you hypothesize anything that would make this reaction plausible Niner?" Prenlarr said, hoping at least one of the others would be as interested in it as he was. He wasn't about to go alone, or even with the droid at this point. He would at least wait until one of the more experienced members of the team expressed some form of interest.

Niner looked extremely puzzled. "Strange. You are correct, the memories have been erased. Further, by my analysis, I have entered several times. There are over nine hundred and thirteen hours of lost memory on my databanks, spread out over the last thousand years." Niner beeped for a few seconds. "My hypothesis is that there is something within the Stasis Pods that someone does not want known. I cannot be certain that there are not other moments of missing time within my memory."

Marcus paused at the doorway, seeing Rec collect the one lightsaber from the alter. He was either overeager to prove something, or actually thought he could handle the weapon. However, this was not really his concern anymore. What was his concern was that the stasis pods were now an issue.

"Niner, is there any records of the Jedi who have entered this vault? And are there sensors outside of this vault?" Marcus asked, stepping back out of the Jedi wing, now somewhat concerned about even opening the Stasis wing.

"And Prenlarr....I would think it better we collect what we know for certain, rather than investigating something which may interrupt that. I think the pods are likely important as well, but we shouldn't go diving into trouble when there are other items that need to be collected and cared for first." Marcus said, looking the droid over again closely.

So he has been tampered with. Just great. Means that we have had someone around here doing something they should not have been doing. Or there was someone in stasis who woke up and decided they would rather not exist any more here as a Jedi....Hm.

"Oh my, yes. I could attempt to list them for you. The first person I encountered upon my activation was Master Ben Skywalker. Soon after, I encountered Master Luke Skywalker, Master Corran Horn, Master Tionne Solusar, Master Aran Keltame, Master Cale Voss, Master..." The Droid went on for several minutes until he was requested to stop.

"As for your request as to the sensors, yes, we do. They were damaged in the initial destruction of the surface and further by the depredations of the feral creatures that now inhabit the planet, but the mouse droids repair them."

".....Feral creatures? I think I would like know anything about them you can tell us. We didn't see any of them on our way here, which is probably lucky for us." Marcus said, not pleased to hear that getting back up to the surface might be more difficult than he wanted it to be.

So much for training at all. Going to have to make a task of it while going back to space....or going who knows where next. Going to be kind of messy from here on.

Marcus began walking back into the Jedi halls, looking over the many items stored in the area. He wasn't sure if he should really take all things out of this vault, as chances were it would again be used in the future....well, if there was one.

Without thinking, Marcus reached forward, picking up one of the Holocrons in the area, and looked it over. It wasn't necessarily too much different from the other one he had been holding forward before, but without even wondering, he knew that it somehow was.

"What do you have to teach me, oh interesting thing? Some guidance, any guidance, is always appreciated. Especially now."

"I'm afraid I don't know very much about them. They appeared soon after the planet's destruction. They seem to be of numerous races - mostly Human, but still many other races. All mammalian, though. Bothans, Sullustans, a few Wookiees. They seem to have some kind of immunity to the nerve gas, but they aren't terribly intelligent. Here and there, scavengers have landed on the planet, but I'm afraid they were quickly torn apart. The Rakghouls are in the lower levels, and they're a little more well-known. Mutant monsters that resemble some kind of amphibioid creature. The Ferals and the Rakghouls seem to do battle on a regular basis."

The Holocron pulsed blue, and then a holographic face appeared over it. "Greetings. I am Talia Kovagne, once the leader of the Jedi Shadows, now the Gatekeeper of this Holocron. Have you come seeking training, or wisdom?"

Forty-one thousand kilometers away from the would-be Jedi, the KSD Aullanger maintained it's high orbit over Coruscant. Aboard, the crew was bored. Being assigned the Coruscant garrison was well known among the Kuati - it was like being on shore leave, and having to stay aboard doing maintenance.

And so that is what the crew of the Aullanger did, day in and day out. Drills. Maintenance. More drills. More maintenance. Also card games, distilling alcohol, and 'fraternization.'

On the bridge of the Aullanger, they still behaved like the bridge crew of a Star Destroyer, even if they didn't quite look the part.

"Captain. We're detecting a seismic disturbance on Coruscant. Buildings around the Temple are collapsing..."


"It's fine, sir. Maintaining geosynchronous orbit over the Temple."

The Captain, a middle-aged man who apparently didn't take the uniform regulations on shaving particularly literally, nodded. "Attempt to raise the landing party."

The communications officer punched a few buttons, then looked up at the Captain. "Sorry, sir. We can't detect them at all."

"Continue to transmit to them..."

Then the communications officer tore off his earpieces, an earsplitting screech coming from them. He began punching buttons on his control. "Something's jamming us, Captain! Full-spectrum jamming, I can't get through it."

"Sensors, do you detect anything?"

"Those buildings collapsing stirred up a nest on the planet, but no sign of enemy ships. Or planet-based defenses."

"Signal Battle Stations."

"Battle stations, aye. Shields up, all weapon systems online. The 15th, 9th, and 101st are scrambling."

The Captain sat back on his seat, grimacing. "Let's hope we don't need them. Keep trying to break that jamming. Compile a message to Admiral Cath and transmit it at any opportunity."

"I come seeking both, Master Talia Kovagne. However, training would likely be more beneficial to me in any sense at this time." Marcus replied to the Holocron, not sure what he was getting into, but then not really caring at this point.

Well.....quite a few of these I don't think I would be able to take with us to teach us anything in the first place. Going to see what this one does for me now, and then it's time to grab several of them, then get moving to the other rooms, see if there is training equipment or something in there.

Looking back at Niner, Marcus shrugged his shoulders.
"I am hoping that you have not had any incursions with the feral monsters or Rakghouls, have you?" Marcus asked the droid off hand, turning his gaze back to the Holocron that had addressed him.

"Oh my, no. The Vault door has been sealed for some time. Occasionally one of the maintenance droids encounters one of them and is torn to shreds, but replacing them is not difficult. There is a small automated factory down here for producing droids, and there is no shortage of materials. But the Vault itself is quite impregnable. I doubt they are even aware of it's existence."

The Holocron nodded. "Opening your mind to the Force is one of the most difficult steps in training. If you are ready to begin now, find a quiet place and rest in a position that is comfortable for you. Then clear your mind. Do not contemplate your physical surroundings, but rather turn your focus within."

"Niner, what are the dates before and after the last gap in your memory?" Prenlarr wanted to know, if they were recent it meant somebody had changed something and would probably be coming back. Meaning it would be better if they left right then and there, or at least prepared.

Marcus nodded, both to Niner answering his question, and to the Holocron informing him of something he could do. Taking a quick glance around, he began walking to the back area of this Jedi wing. Pausing to listen for a moment, he figured it quiet enough for himself, and took a seat. Setting the Holocron in front of himself, he found himself taking a deep breath, looking at the Holocron intently.

"....Where do I begin? Just.....not thinking?" Marcus asked, not really sure what to expect, or how to do what he was going to attempt. Flexing his hands slightly, he began to wonder what this was even going to do.

Is it like daydreaming, where I do not know what is happening that moment? Perhaps something to go with my extra senses? Am I going to even feel this?

"So... the weapon of a Jedi Master," Rec said quietly, more to the lightsaber than Marcus, who had left and re-entered the Jedi Wing. "Perhaps I shall take up your blade, Master Katarn... then again, the stories say that each lightsaber is attuned to the Force-signature of its owner, and yours is long since linked with this weapon, I can tell that much." He was correct, of course; the lightsaber's aura seemed to clash with his own. It might be better if he built a saber himself and used that one in combat. Over time, perhaps Katarn's blade would recognise a new owner, one who followed the teachings of the Jedi, and... allow itself, for lack of better words, to be used in the hands of Rec or any of the other hopeful Jedi.

That seemed to be the best course of action. With a new goal in mind, Rec set the lightsaber down, carefully replaced the glass casing and took the small case of Adegan crystals in one hand. Reclaiming Katarn's saber but having nowhere to put it, he turned away from the pedestal on which they had stood and paused, not really knowing where to go from here. Marcus was seated on the floor, talking to another holocron. It occurred to Rec that following suit, perhaps with another of the Jedi artifacts, would be good.

The game hunter randomly chose a shelf of the devices, and strode over to it, resting the lightsaber on top of the crystal case in order to free a hand. He picked out a tetrahedral holocron and held it in an open palm, silently wondering how to activate it. He didn't know much, if anything, about things like these; killing krayt dragons and similar monsters was his forté.

Master Kovagne continued, "Focus, young one. Close your eyes and open your mind, release your preconceptions about reality. All things, everything are linked through the Force. Can you feel it? The stones, the vault, the great ship in space, you. They are not separate, they are one, each a tiny part of the greater universe. Close your eyes and see the greater puzzle."

As Rec lifted the Holocron, the air over it shimmered, and a creature that looked somewhat like some kind of robed shellfish appeared. It gurgled something at Rec, then it translated.

"I am Master Khodoan. And you...who are you?"

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