As usual, this consists of Kira’s player log with additional material inserted to cover the activities of the rest of the characters so that it can serve as a general session log.
With Jarik escaped – even if his ship had taken massive damage, and he’d lost most of his cargo of biological weapons thanks to the kids bombardment from their hidden bounty hunter ship / “clubhouse” – the group’s attention turned entirely to the force predator he’d turned loose in their base.
While that left Alys and 10CH in uncontested control of the droids and base systems, that wasn’t as big an advantage as it might have been. The place had already taken quite a bit of damage and their only security droids were the ones they’d picked up with the base. They were well-armored and well-armed – but they were designed to operate in space and underwater, and were currently swimming around in the water reserves near the center of the asteroid. Not a lot of help.
Ben thought otherwise and started redirecting the remaining industrial production droids. It wouldn’t take all that much in the way of modifications to let them flood sections of the base – and while drowning the stupid beast wasn’t an especially elegant solution, it really ought to work. It would take a little while to set up though.
Xiang and Jacob were headed for the industrial areas – and from there to confront the creature – as well. There was enough of Jarik’s booby traps and defense perimeter left on most of the other routes to make using them to reach the thing kind of impractical.
Kira, meanwhile, had barely enough time to pick his spot – a location with plenty of walls with chambers beyond to phase through, places to snipe from, and a choice of escape routes. All his weapons – throwing knives, heavy repeating blaster pistol, flamethrower, variable star, explosive gel for traps, flash systems, and fast-setting super-strong glue – were ready to hand as always as the creature turned the corner.
The predator and I entered hypertime simultaneously. Being an eight-legged creature still gave it a speed advantage over me, but not nearly as bad as the hypertime would have. It lunged straight at me as I dodged to the side and unloaded the flame thrower at it. My dodging seemed to startle it significantly as it took the full brunt of the flaming gel. That seriously annoyed it as it caught fire and began burning. Unfortunately the regeneration seemed to be powering through the damage that got through the natural armor.
Great, I’ve got to deal with a hyperaccelerated, super strong, armor-plated, vampiric predator that’s on fire. Brilliant Kira.
As it turned to gut me, I phased through the wall into the adjacent room. This brought me into a plate fabrication room with all the automated equipment still running. The droids turned to look at me with something I could only say was apprehension. Not stopping for a moment, I pulled out the explosive gel and sprayed it on the wall I just came through and inserted a detonator as Shipwreck had shown me as I heard the predator start to claw its way through the wall. I backed away towards another wall and readied the detonator.
The moment it poked its head through the hole in the wall, I pulled the trigger. That neatly set off a large explosion that filled the place with smoke and debris. The droids started running in a panic for the exits. You know, people tell me droids aren’t alive, but then I see them do stuff like this and I have to wonder if everyone’s definition of alive is a bit too narrow. Not dumb enough to go into that smoke cloud to see if the predator was dead, I waited and made ready to phase through another wall. I felt a paralysis try to take hold of me as I can only presume it was picking up my own lifesigns and use its monotalent on me. I was barely able to overpower the effect and maintain control of my body.
It came out of the smoke running and gleaming with bits of shrapnel sticking out of it all over like so many metallic spikes. There has to be an upper limit to the amount of damage it can regenerate. I managed to fire off several rounds from my blaster at it before it closed the distance and I had to phase through another wall. Out in the hallway I heard more explosions going off all over the place, but paid it no heed. My attention was focused solely on the sound of rending metal behind me.
I applied another measure of explosive gel to the wall and then ran down the corridor. Soon enough it poked its head through and got the wall detonated around it as I fired my blaster at it. I kept repeating this formula over and over again trying to cause enough damage to the thing to bring it down but to seemingly no avail even when it connected; the blasted thing was bright enough to vary it’s approach a bit – an it had nearly caught me with it’s paralysis effect several times. I have to give this thing credit for sheer persistence though. I’d have given up and gone after something else by now. Maybe it’s working so hard to kill me because it’s reserves of energy are being depleted rapidly? Or is it just that there’s nothing else alive around here?
Meanwhile, Lazlo had gotten into an argument with the Kredath Berserker, and the ensuing muscle-flexing had degenerated into insults, and from there – given the nature of the Kredath – the descent into battle was inevitable. It got more dramatic when Lazo finally mocked the Kredath enough to provoke it into firing a missile at him; not the wisest thing to do in the middle of a manufacturing facility full of dangerous chemicals, assorted munitions, and combat gear. That meant that you didn’t dare let the missile hit anything else.
Lazlo relied on the Force, and managed to resist the blast – but it wasn’t like the Kredath hadn’t seen THAT before; if some clown managed to tap into enough of the force to resist a major attack you just kept firing. Nobody could keep it up for long – and he had PLENTY of missiles!
Ben had been checking the available resources… anti-bio-contamination anti-jellyfish armor, check, hamsterball tanks, check, concussion missiles, check, stockpile of antimatter warheads… oh dear. And Lazlo had gotten into another explosive confrontation, He positioned himself so that his shield generator covered the entrance to the antimatter warhead storage room. He MIGHT be able to keep anything from hitting them that way.
Xiang had opted to take the obstacle course route – but Jacob, knowing how long it took to get through that way – had opted to go through the manufacturing facility. He took the last steps at a run as he heard the explosions start – and reached out with the force to pull the missile launcher away from the berserker.
Sadly, he only managed to divert it to a line of Jarik’s miniature bio-bombers, which started detonating in series. The wave of molten metal draped itself across numerous other machines and Ben’s shield – which he was not about to abandon at the moment.
Jacob took cover in the hamsterball annex – and had a bright idea. He might not know much of anything about piloting a vehicle, but it should be easy enough – and they apparently even had some weapons!
Alys, meanwhile, was frantically issuing emergency shut down instructions. If she could at least cut down on the active power supplies, it might keep the disaster from spreading – and that would give Ben time to flood the corridors and her time to get the security drones up to help out.
Meanwhile, the Kreedath had gotten in a lucky physical shot; in hand-to-hand and claw-to-claw, the creature wasn’t that much inferior to Lazlo – and a few good shots on top of the aftermath of the missile blast put Lazlo down for the count just before Jacob hit the wrong button, initiated the emergency escape “jump-to-orbit” drive and – in the ensuing insane pinball display flattened the Kredath before winding up wedged in the doorway to the antimatter storage annex, and welding itself there thanks to the remaining molten metal.
Back in hypertime with the creature…
After the eighth such trap, I got confirmation of my theory. It was definitely slowing down and the regeneration was having a harder and harder time keeping up with the amount of damage I was throwing at it. Trouble was, the constant phasing through walls, blast waves, and shrapnel was getting to me too… Still, if I can keep this up long enough, I might actually be able to win this. Unfortunately the next room I phased into had Ben in it with a horrified look on his face while trying to get my attention. Not able to understand a word he was saying, I dropped out of hypertime for a moment. He then pointed to a rack of cylinders and started yelling again.
Looking around the room and considering options with precognition and probability analysis showed that letting the creature enter the room was going to be catastrophic at the least and very likely death. The only sure way to really avoid that potentiality was to prevent the predator from entering the room in the first place. And the only way to do that was to run back through the wall it was no doubt clawing its way through now.
No choice then. The things I do to buy just a few moments of life.
I ran at the wall and slid through it, hoping to catch the creature off guard enough that I could slide under it before it could react. Unfortunately, it seemed to have anticipated the move and swiped a claw at my chest. Luckily I was still phased, otherwise that swipe would have taken my heart and lungs out. I still felt my life being drained from me for a split second while it’s claw was in my chest. I grabbed onto my own energy as hard as I could to keep it from pulling out any more than it already had. Thankfully the length of contact was brief and it only managed to get enough energy to leave me short of breath.
Unfortunately that seemed to invigorate the creature some and renew its interest in eating me. If I don’t make too many more mistakes like that, I might actually be able to survive this. Hopefully my powercells and explosive gel will hold up long enough. This would be going a lot better if I was more familiar with this section of the base. Of course it didn’t help matters that Jarik had greatly expanded the facility too for his own twisted ends.
While Kira was occupying – and fleeing from – the force predator, Jacob was cutting his way out of the hamsterball tank on both sides. That would let Ben scramble out while he got another hamsterball – and set a few of the autopilots to follow some remote commands from the one he was going to be driving. Ben wished that Jacob would carry a comlink and (briefly) attempted to communicate via charades. He gave up and focused on wriggling in through the new hole so that he could get at the stasis netgun and the other weapons…
Alys, meanwhile, had closed all the doors she could, had the droids reinforce the weak points, and was starting to flood the area where Kira was fighting – as well as partially depressurizing the workshop for fire control. If she could drown the thing, or use the security droids to kill it, they might all survive.
Jacob had headed out to get a new hamsterball while Ben was wriggling into his old one. It took him a minute to remember “pockets”, but he found his breather mask fairly quickly after that. Hm. “Pockets” were handy things! For that matter, so were hamsterballs!
He got a new one and slaved eight more to follow it.
Lazlo, meanwhile, had dazedly wandered off to find some tea – and had found bounty hunters putting more boobytraps into Kira’s rooms instead. There was fighting near the docks too. He ran the bounty hunters off – like they would need any MORE traps around this place – and headed for the docks to try to settle that.
And back with Kira…
The next wall I phased through took me to a room that was very quiet. I quickly determined the reason why as being due to the air pressure having dropped significantly. I had no idea if this was normal, it the room had been – or was being – vented to space, or if something else was going on. Still, this seemed like a good place to try and lure the damned creature as I was willing to bet the thing couldn’t regenerate through breathing vacuum and IT didn’t have a breathmask.
I felt clawing through the wall for a few moment before it slowed down. Was it giving up? Of all times, this seemed like an odd one for the creature to finally decide to eat something else. Was it able to detect the vacuum then? About the only unusual sense I knew it to have was the general life sense ability. However the amount of life between this room and the last room should be the same roughly, even if I am shielding my life signs significantly. I mean seriously, this section of the base is an industrial facility full of droids. Can it possibly be picking up on the lack of bacteria in the air? Could its senses be that acute?
Nonetheless, if it was sitting on the other side of the wall being indecisive, then I needed to take the opportunity presented. Pulling out my lightsaber, I stabbed through the spot it had been clawing through just moments ago. Unfortunately, that hit nothing that I could tell. Damn it, it’s already run off and is probably honing in on someone else. Phasing back through the wall, I reached out with my senses to get an idea of who was still here and likely to be seen as tasty. Most of this area was evacuated now save for Ben and Jacob, and Jacob radiated a large amount of life energy through that atavism trick of his.
Right, I think I know where the creature is going.
Meanwhile, the creature had decided to ignore the small, elusive, annoying prey that had just flashed by it in favor of getting out of the now rapidly-flooding tunnels (sadly, it didn’t know that it was in space and that “getting out” would be a bad idea) and going after the hopefully less-elusive meals that it had sensed just before the small pesky thing had come back. It had blurred off to smash through the blast doors into the main industrial area, bringing a wave of water with it to short out the remaining power supplies and cause more havoc. As a side benefit, that room turned out to be mostly dry.
Ben was horrified – the hamsterballs hadn’t been enough to protect Alys and Shipwreck the last time around, his armor was nowhere near that tough, and fleeing risked the damn thing getting into the antimatter! They were all going to die!
Jacob, however, had an idea. With a bit of force-assisted insane piloting, he managed to scoop Ben into HIS hamsterball at high speed – and then he hit the escape button again, sending a dozen tanks bouncing around the industrial area and munitions dump at ten gravities.
Alys had been helping direct the fight down at the docks, but that one brought her full attention back to the manufacturing area – but it was so chaotic and full of smoke, water, and flying debris that she couldn’t get any idea of what was going on.
Ben, now badly injured, had an opinion though – “YOU’VE KILLED US ALL! IT’S TOO LATE FOR DRIVING LESSONS!”.
With the force predator latched onto the outside of their hamsterball and rapidly peeling it apart, it did indeed look like doom – especially as it slashed through the side of the tank, and through Ben’s armor, and actually left a few scratches on his skin beneath it despite his frantic dodge. The thing was in bad shape at least – but that just meant that it was even more desperate for life energy to absorb.
Ignoring the walls, I made a straight line to Jacob and Ben as I moved to intercept. Phasing through the last wall, I saw nearly a dozen of the hamster ball things bouncing around at ridiculous speeds and heard Ben swearing at Jacob. I thought I saw glimpses of the creature in the mix, but my attention was now focused on other matters. Like the dozen multiton tanks bouncing around the place like a giant game of hyperactive pinball. My precognition and probability analysis were both screaming at me to get the hell out of there. Not one to question such insights, I ran like hell.
I got behind a large bulkhead door and activated the emergency shut function. No sooner had the door slammed close then I heard a major series of explosions and the sound of rushing air. More bulkhead doors slammed shut as the automatic systems kicked in and sealed off the vented rooms. Alys came on the commlink and was requesting a status report. I told her what I knew and got an update in return.
When the concussion missile stockpile started to go up, it was the last straw as far as the areas structural integrity went. Masses of stone, alloy reinforcement, and atmosphere sealing were spilled into space as the manufacturing facility exploded out into space – the water flooding the place freezing instantly into a spray of ice crystals.
Jacob was actually rather enchanted, even if he was adrift in space. The starlight shining through the sprays of ice crystals, the explosions, and the crackling energy discharges were beautiful… A display of celestial fireworks mixed with a thunderstorm, with every point of light surrounded by a corona of rainbows and all in the magnificent silence of the vacuum and against the background of the galaxies river of stars, undimmed by atmosphere. His rotation gave him a panoramic view, and Ben had at last quieted down as his stasis system had kicked in – and the pesky predator was finally giving in to death. As magnificent as the beast had been, the hunt was now done.
From what Alys could get from the instruments, the entire manufacturing section of the base had just exploded and vented directly to space. Jacob and Ben were missing but droids were beginning search and rescue operations. The predator was presumed to have been lost in space as well given the circumstances. I can’t say that would be an especially pleasant way to die, but Ben at least should have a stasis belt on. I can’t be responsible if Jacob refuses to wear one.
Jacob was most surprised to see the laser-armed droid space-sharks coming – but was willing to ride one back. The security droids hadn’t been much help in the battle, but they were equipped to operate in space, and could do rescue.
At the docks, the diversion had allowed a number of Jarik’s bounty hunters to break through to their ships and head out – but Lazlo and Alys and Khadim had managed to capture a number of them.
It looked like Jarik had escaped, along with some of his bounty hunters. We were low on air, shield systems were at 60%, and the weapons systems were also at 60%. Power systems were fully operational, and the sensor systems had been upgraded significantly. The manufacturing facilities were a near total loss though. We also had a great deal more living space now than we used to. The “gardens” had been greatly expanded as well with the addition of a great deal of water, most likely from a captured comet or something. We also had an additional Eighteen bounty hunter ships, six bounty hunters working with Xiang, three captured, and one unaccounted for. Oh and nineteen dead bounty hunters. The droids managed to find Ben and Jacob. Ben was in need of serious medical treatment (although his stasis belt had kept him alive), and so went into the bacta tank, while Jacob wasn’t doing too well either.
Seriously, how does a precognitive of Ben’s power get into so many nearly fatal accidents? Even if he does always manage to survive them?
Wait a minute, I just successfully fought off a predator that could routinely kill multiple Jedi. There aren’t many at the Academy that could have done that. Was this what all those measuring glances from Valerie were about?
The captured bounty hunters were very anxious to leave quickly. That much was obvious from their demeanor, let alone what I could pick up telepathically. Asking them about it revealed that whatever parasite Jarik had infected them with would go out of control if not kept in check with regular treatments. Well that certainly explains why Jarik was able to command such “loyalty” from them all. It also made me further regret that I did not kill Jarik when I had the chance.
I had a deal for them then. If they would leave peaceably and not come after me again, then we would get the Arethi Welhem to look at them and see what he could do. We would even repair their ships enough to be spaceworthy again. If they wished to go after Jarik, then we would also supply weaponry. Unsurprisingly, they all went for the deal and left.
That still left us with the bunch allied to Xiang. They were given a modified version of the same deal: leave and not come back and we would let them go. Ben even threw in 10,000 credits to each of them for their “assistance” in regaining the base. Most took the money and ran, although the one, named Keriya, with the droid mines we faced earlier still wanted to haul me off for the reward. Fortunately, we outnumbered him greatly and had much more firepower than he did. Keriya then asked who exactly we were working for since we didn’t seem to be Sith.
Lately I’ve been wondering that myself a lot. Lessa Soung obviously thinks she has me wrapped around her little finger. The Jedi are nearly blackmailing me into fighting Zandaras. The Republic is paying me to stay away. And Valerie is obviously scheming something to do with me.
Ben, speaking from his bacta tank, began the trouble magnet explanation with a translation of what parts of the cartoon are accurate and which are not. Keriya then surprised me by announcing he wasn’t fond of the Sith, but didn’t fit into the Republic. Ergo, he would join us in our fights with the option to take my body in for a bounty should I die. He even offered to donate a third to whatever charity I wanted and another third to my family. He didn’t seem to mind my opinion that I wasn’t going to let it come to that. At least he isn’t going to try to shoot me in the back yet.
Keriya wasn’t even sure who was offering the bounty unfortunately – for all he knew, it could be the Jedi; they were nuts, they got republic funding and didn’t spend that much of it, and so they had more money than anybody. He wouldn’t put it past them to quietly offer a bounty even while Kira was regularly visiting them simply because somebody on their council had a dream that it would all work out better if they did.
He’d gone after Kira on the presumption that he WAS a Sith; he might not fit in with the military, but he was a republic loyalist, this bunch seemed willing to accept anyone and were also fighting the Sith, and – besides – even a 1% chance at a third of a thirty-billion credit bounty offered a better rate of return than anything else he’d ever gone after.
Besides, it looked to him like trying to haul Kira off somewhere, even locked in a cell, was just asking for a catastrophe.
Telera’s students showed up then to present the latest earnings from the cartoon. It looked like Mrs Beasley’s latest rants about me were further fueling the popularity of the show. Royalties came out to 200,000 credits each this time. That was a fair chunk of change, and gave me over a quarter million credits in liquid assets. Let alone the Asrai and my section of the base. Considering most of my expenses are along the lines of meals or stuff I can readily have the base make for me, it may be prudent to try to get that money into investments or something like that. At least something my family and friends could access should something happen to me and they get released by whoever has them.
Before I could ponder that thought any longer, the local Republic task group arrived. Ben handled the communications with them from his bacta tank again. Apparently, while the commander of the fleet wasn’t a believer in trouble magnets before, he was now after hearing our story. He did offer to give us assistance should we require it. Ben and Alys asked for some parts and technicians to volunteer to help (they got a number – whether it was for the hazard pay, for the excitement, or because they were Kira the Kat fans). It was decided to move the manufacturing facility deeper within the base, but to keep the antimatter storage towards the surface. Hopefully, if it did go off, that would let the rest of the base survive.
Lazlo requested that the commander send over a psychologist as apparently Lazlo thought I was in need of therapy. My reply that the suicidal noble, the cat that thinks he’s property, the obsessed superweapons nut, Xiang, Shipwreck, and the drunk pilot felt I needed counselling? I will admit I have issues, but I like to think I have a full deck of cards here. This predictably started a major argument with everyone here accusing everyone else of being insane. Although when Ben started insisting that he thought I was sane, I did begin to have doubts.
Thankfully that whole discussion degraded to an argument between Lazlo and the commander of whether or not Republic law applied to him. We left them to that as we pursued other matters.
The discussion eventually got diverted to what should we name the base. I voted for the “Forlorn Hope” much to Lazlo’s consternation, while Alys suggested Candyland also to Lazlo’s consternation. Other suggestions included: Titan, Zomogoostar, Invincible Voyager, Missed Target, Rogue Apprentice, Lost Moon, That’s No Moon, Kat Cave, and several others. At more or less a stalemate between us, we decided to pose the question to the Kira the Kat message boards as a poll. That quickly came back with Zomogoostar as the leading candidate.
Zomogoostar it is then.
It took about two weeks to get the base functional again. We still weren’t back to the levels we were at only a few weeks ago, but time would fix that. I had to move into the Asrai for the time being though given the sheer number of traps in my room aboard the Zomogoostar. At least the droids were able to retrieve my stuff out of there after some thorough scans. I will wait for another room to be created instead of trying to go through the mess of cleaning that one out. Maybe Jacob can use it as one of his training exercises to detrap the place.
Alys had been looking into the kids “clubhouse”. It looked like – when the Bounty Hunters had shown up – the tinkerer amongst their two young Jedi had felt Jarik waking up. They’d run to the docks, where their young escape artist friend had somehow bypassed security to get into one of the better ships that the bounty hunters had arrived in. The youngster with the computer skills had hijacked it – and wiped the records on a hidden, dock around the far side of the base (were they’d been keeping the two bounty hunter ships that they’d captured earlier) out of the bases computers. A little more work on camouflaging the access tunnels with the help of the Furripedes aand they’d had a serviceable “secret clubhouse” with three armed starships. Getting stocked up with even MORE supplies and munitions – courtesy of the droids and furripedes again – had also been easy enough. They just hadn’t dared to try and make a run for it past the main weapons systems unless they really had to – and then everyone else had come back.
Resourceful kids there… Well, they’d been very helpful, and were as entitled to a share of the loot as anyone, and had captured one of those ships on their own. Besides? Who knew? At some point they might all need a secret clubhouse refuge… She helped them make sure that the base would stay off the records.
Cleaning the rest of the Zomogoostar of traps was going to take a long time. Between Jarik and the bounty hunters, the place was probably full of them. The Republic fleet at least was kind enough to escort the Zomogoostar to an out-of-the-way location so that the bounty hunters and Sith would have a harder time finding it. We took the quiet time to recruit a new manager for the Zomogoostar since the previous manager had gone running for the far end of the galaxy after Jarik woke up again. Someone made the prudent suggestion of finding a retired Jedi to take the job. I had to admit that a Jedi had a better chance of keeping a lid on things here than most people, even if they were all a bit crazy. Course, looking at everyone here, I guess you have to be a little crazy or desperate to be here.
Strangely enough, just such a Jedi showed up almost as soon as we posted the job offer and began our search. I’ve seen firsthand what precognition can do, but sometimes I wonder if people are just screwing with me as I have yet to “know” to appear at a certain spot in the galaxy at a certain time for something to happen. Ben claims to have those kinds of insights, but I have seen them backfire as often as not. Maybe it’s that I don’t trust the Force. Of course, given what I’ve seen over the last two years, I am pretty sure I have good reason not to trust it.
Actually it wasn’t that big a coincidence. Quite a few Jedi had never been all that powerful to begin with, and retirement was boring.
Regardless, Master Quirrel agreed to take over management of the base in our absence. Master Quirrel gave me a disapproving look before asking for direction in what kind of support we needed. I gave him three basic directives: clean out the base of traps and finish repairs, assist in the evacuation of the Furipede world, and make preparations to reinforce the Codifier galaxy. Most any personal support I needed was largely in the parts category these days. Well except for training. Between Welhem and Quirrel, I had most of the Force training I could want, but Codex training was another matter and it wasn’t like Master Quirrel could do anything about that besides make preparations to reinforce the Codifier galaxy.
The initial report on the status of the Jedi investigation in my family’s disappearance came in about that time. The Jedi claimed to have proven there was no Sith infiltration. I had my doubts until it was shown that whoever took them had enough Republic codes to fake a Republic Military probe by relaying through genuinely official channels. There had also been a large number of interviews focused largely on asking personal questions about me. Due to the nature of the questions and who they were asking, the Jedi felt it likely that whoever it had been had been trying to build a personality profile of me.
It was also revealed that my family had made several inquiries regarding the identities of Jedi who were based nowhere near Alderaan. Well that reinforced the idea that people impersonating Jedi were pretending to be part of a Republic Military probe. It was also clear that my family and friends had left willingly as the homes were nicely organized and it looked like they had time to even pack their bags. Unfortunately, the only person who saw the faces of the ones that were impersonating Jedi was Mrs Beasley.
Of course, Mrs Beasley was spinning this into a grand tale of betrayal, heroism, protective custody and her cats. The Jedi were now trying to get something coherent and useful out of her. Good luck to them on that, as the security forces of Alderaan have been trying that for decades if not centuries I’m told.
Sigh, all signs pointed to a secret organization within the Republic as behind the disappearances. The Jedi believed it may even be a Jedi subgroup at work with the Republic on this. Myself, I was wondering if this might be our Codifier/Faded Precursors. Problem got to be, I don’t think my family and friends would be fooled by a Codifier pretending to be a Jedi for very long. Jedi abilities were too well known for such chirades to work for long. Ergo, the imposters had to have Force powers of some sort then to pull off the deception.
That implied that there really was a Jedi subsect out there, possibly working with the Codifier precursors, or that they were hybrids like myself. But if other hybrids exist, then why aren’t they more readily known since they presumably won’t go Sith or Faded? Something in this immense pile of assumptions isn’t making sense and I can’t figure out which one is incorrect.
The Jedi were NOT pleased that the investigation was leading to either the Republic hiding secret departments from them or secret Jedi subsects hidden within their own organization. They would keep diligently digging into this.
Sigh, no real way to mount a rescue until either Zandaras is dead or the Jedi complete their investigation.
Leaving that headache inducing speculation behind, it came time to try to clean out the garden section of the base. I figured this was the section most likely to give us problems given Jarik’s recent obsession with bioweapons. I kept trying to put the whole thing off, but we needed to take care of this now before anything spores and eats the crew while we are gone.
Surprisingly, probability analysis and precognition was foreseeing no problems more severe than falling down a crevasse. We still loaded up with weapons and biohazard suits before entering the place. Inside the gardens, we found what was more or less a piece of idyllic scenery, with grass, trees, shrubs, flowers and other fairly normal plants. Tests confirmed that general suspicion as well, save for the fruits from the trees being laced with Force stimulants or Force suppressants.
Some of the others speculated that Jarik may have been experimenting with the regeneration trick, or perhaps Jacob’s atavism trick, but I wasn’t convinced. As best as I could tell, there was no way to make that work effectively without the use of the Codex, either through monotalents or trained skill. Neither of which Jarik possessed. Just what was he up to in here? I doubt it was anything so innocent as creating someplace serene to lounge around in.
Not seeing much of anything that needed to be cleaned out urgently, it got time to plan our next step. It was decided that we had left Alys waiting long enough for rescue. Now granted, most of that time was spent on very urgent matters and trying to figure out how to enable two-way traffic across dimensions but it had also been months now. Besides, this Alys was getting pretty adamant that she wanted to be somewhere other than with us, even if it meant being stuck in a nearly empty galaxy.
We loaded the Asrai up on parts and supplies again, although at least Ben didn’t go quite so overboard this time as he did last time. Directing the gateway was also more difficult this time around. This was so much easier with Valerie around. There I go again thinking about her. Is this some sort of burn in from Akira or is there something else going on? And I still can’t help wondering what the difference between us and our counterparts is.
The trip was very short – only about twenty subjective minutes – and brought us out relatively near the core of the galaxy – and in an unlivably high-radiation zone. At least it looks like I managed to find the right galaxy. Now to see if Ben’s hyperdrive holds out.