With this segment it’s time to catch up with Kira – who was accidentally hurled through hyperspace in a previous session. He drew himself back to reality along the only link he had available – and thus is currently out of touch with the party.
I appeared in a room full of apparently toxic gas and a thinning atmosphere. I could hear the sounds of atmospheric pumps removing what air remained in the room. Luckily I was still wearing my breath mask from my unplanned hyperspace trip to wherever this was. Hopefully whatever gas this was needed to be inhaled to be toxic, but if it was a skin contact agent then I was in trouble. Looking around the room, I saw that it was a hastily abandoned conference room. There were even snacks and drinks still laying on the table. To the side I saw an airlock door.
Peering through the window of the airlock, I saw that the other door was still hanging open. That meant I wasn’t going to be able to cycle the airlock without assistance or a lot tricky telekinesis. On the far side of the open door I saw a steamy atmosphere, something crumbled on the floor, at least one droid spraying something and stirring the stuff on the floor and a few humanoid figures. Well drat, that implied a contact toxin of some sort.
I could also feel the distant vibration of alarms – those had to be bloody loud in a full-density atmosphere – slight shaking, and distant weapons fire. It was obvious that I’d appeared in the midst of some sort of battle, and the airlocks implied a ship or a station – but I’ve seen enough loonies in my day to realize that some of them might build their houses with airlocks too.
Rather than screw with the airlock, I just phased through the door to the other side. The mist was making everything difficult to see at the moment but I could now readily see the droid spraying whatever that cylinder was full of. I didn’t sense that the stuff was dangerous so I let it do it’s thing. I did aim a question in it’s general direction.
(Kira) “Damn it, of all places I have to appear in a partial vacuum in the middle of a battle. What the hell is going on here?”
(Droid) ‘The RH12 toxin saturates fibrous material on contact. It is advisable to remote outer layers of clothing and to ensure that body fibers are exposed to the antidote. Counteragents are 98%+ effective given prompt treatment. There should be no lasting damage, unless your passage through the structure of the door has inflicted some. Deep breathing of the counteragent mist is also recommended.”
I couldn’t help but cock an eyebrow at that assertion. I did take off my breath mask as directed and took several deep breaths. The mist had the faint smell of alcohol and medicine to it that reminded me of all the things I hated about hospitals. Again I spoke, as much to the droid as to the wall.
(Kira) “It isn’t the Baramour again is it? You’d think the Butt Monkeys of the Galaxy would catch on sooner or later.”
(Droid) “Assailants are as yet unidentified. Accuracy of targeting, and ineffectiveness of attack, indicates Force-Active opponents however.”
(Kira) “Right, very well then. Now to find where they went, if they are even aboard…. wait a minute, where the hell am I?”
Wait a moment… I hadn’t just traded with another Kira again had I? The droid didn’t seem to be having any difficulty with the notion that I’d just phased through a wall and was again solid! There were only a few places where the droids might have been updated with some data on that –
A grip like steel grabbed my arm and spun me around. I found myself suddenly face to face with Valerie…. wearing only a shift. I tried very hard not to let my eyes wander as my brain suddenly froze. Then she spoke in the loudest Force-silenced whisper I’ve ever heard.
(Valerie) “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE YOU IDIOT?!”
I didn’t need a mirror to tell my eyes had gone as wide as tea saucers. Fight or flight response kicked in at that point as I glanced in the direction I guessed the blasterfire was coming from and made to phase through the wall.
(Kira) Uhhhhhh, leaving!
Only to have my trip through the wall aborted as the vice like grip kept a hold of me and dragged me back through the wall and onto the floor. Damn, even phased she can do that. Was that because she was able to phase too?
(Valerie) “Finish with the antidote first you idiot! Do you want your flesh to drip off your bones?”
Not particularly, but I wasn’t about to admit that aloud after being handily thrown to the floor by a girl wearing nothing more than a shift. Even if it was Valerie. I gave an annoyed huff as I stood back up.
(Kira) “Well if you put it that way, then fine. I imagine the Baramour again? Seems like their Modus Operandi.”
(Valerie) “Most likely!”
I have seen the ominous shadows seen looming through the mists in holos countless times, but I always thought that was a special effect. Now I saw one looming through the steamy mists as it approached us. The chilling effect was not helped when I saw it was Admiral Morrowain wearing only a shift too. Morrowain did not look to be at all happy to be seeing me right now. I can’t say I was at all pleased to be seeing how much muscle her robes had been concealing either.
I mean I knew she was a towering individual, but seeing her like this gave me the unnerving impression that she could readily break Lazlo without using the Force. How much of that was true and how much of that was me feeling her Force aura was hard to tell at this point. She looked at me with more than a hint of malice and annoyance.
(Morrowain) “You again?!? That’s one hell of a coincidence! You’d better NOT have had anything to do with this!”
I couldn’t help but glance at the smoked remains of my belt and silently cursed Ben. I found it hard to believe his belt caused this attack, but Ben’s devices have had some really spectacular failure modes thus far.
Oh hell, if Morrowain was here, then this was probably a major battle between the Varen and the Baramour. I shielded my Force presence with the Codex in a probably-vain attempt to keep every Force user in a thousand lightyears from detecting I was now here.
(Kira) “Unless something really weird has gone on, I seriously doubt I had anything directly to do with this…… although I may have pissed the Baramour off repeatedly……. but how can I help making them look incompetent?”
I glanced down at the floor as I tried to think of something that might satisfy them, only to catch sight of my new robes now soaked in whatever chemical counteragent was being sprayed around the place.
(Kira) “And I just bought these friggin robes!”
(Morrowain) “So let the droid soak it in the antidote! That’s what it’s here for! The catalyst will break it down, hopefully before it starts digesting your tissues….”
Slouching my shoulders, I couldn’t keep the look of annoyance off my face. As if on cue, the mist sprayer the droid was using belched up a thick slimy blast of the stuff right into my face. I bet Morrowain did that.
(Morrowain) “And how the hell did you get aboard this time boy? Another one of those blasted hypertunnels? Damned good targeting if you managed that!”
To be honest, I didn’t have the faintest idea of how I got here.
(Kira) “Let’s just say that fighting Lecrouss without a lightsaber or an antimatter warhead is a BAD IDEA! Now as to why I ended up here, I really don’t understand it. I mean, I just followed the………… oh hell.”
The proverbial light fixture went off above my head, started hissing, and then exploded in a hail of shrapnel. I followed the only link I had while in hyperspace. That link brought me here. Lecrouss had spoken of Bond links and power flows and I knew something about that was important. I knew my power was growing far too rapidly to make any sense, and I knew Valerie had to be connected to this all somehow. So when I followed the link here, I found Valerie. There was only one explanation that made sense of it all.
Valerie and I were Bonded.
I was just staring at the wall as much as anything at this point as the revelation washed over me. Recognizing it for what it was, I could clearly sense that link between us like I could sense my own hands. I couldn’t help but accidently brush against the link with my own power and I could feel Valerie startle at that. Best not to be probing that in front of others and before she and I had a chance to talk.
(Kira) “Well this explains an awful damned lot.”
The rapid growth, the glances sizing me up, why I can bend steel, why she could find me so readily so many times, the calmer disposition, and so much more made sense if my pattern was taking after hers. Morrowain snapped me from my internal thinking as she spoke to me again.
(Morrowain) “Lecrouss? I think I’ve heard of him… you’re in very good shape for that. Where was that? On that little planet you’re reported on?”
(Kira) “Gruenn system, I don’t know if that is the planet you’re thinking of, but that is where 20,000 bounty hunters, Lecrouss, Zandaras, and half the damned Galaxy thinks I am. Ha! See if they can find me there now!”
(Morrowain) “Damned tunnels… 165,000 lightyears, and apparently so fast that you didn’t have time to die of vacuum exposure. Congratulations! You’ve won at least two weeks in medical being desilted!”
I couldn’t help but let some bravado slip out.
(Kira) “It takes a lot more than being dumped into hyperspace without a ship to kill Kira Keldav!”
Annoyingly, Morrowain was probably right though. The last two times I went on a hypertunnel journey, I felt ill immediately. This time I hadn’t really noticed it, but between the toxic gas, adrenaline, the emotional relief of having survived Lecrouss, my own much-improved body control, some body control far more potent than anything I could manage, and possibly some phasing effects, determining whether or not I needed chelation therapy was difficult to assess right now. At least Morrowain seemed to be hinting that medical care would be provided. Hell, she was probably the one boosting my stamina and resilience right now even if inadvertently. Of course, if Morrowain knows of the Bond to Valerie, then she really doesn’t have a choice in the matter.
Life has gotten a lot simpler and yet very friggin complicated in only a few minutes.
(Kira) “Hmm, traveling 165,000 lightyears without a ship, probably a galactic record there.”
I felt Valerie smack me on the shoulder once I said that.
(Kira) “I can handle a bit of silting for a while. Being blown up or turned to goo is a lot harder to ignore. I assume this is your ship then?”
(Morrowain) “Yes it is… fortunately, I can keep tabs on the fight from here! Two Star Destroyers and about thirty lesser ships and a few hundred fighters. Looks like they used a cloaking system to get close enough to try and launch that poison attack and set off antimatter missiles. Did a fair amount of superficial damage with that… it shouldn’t be any problem.”
The image flashed to my mind of Morrowain micro-managing the fleet from a console in her personal shower. The absurdity of the image was only interrupted when I felt Valerie stomp on my foot hard. Another figure I did not recognize erupted from the steaming mist. Something told me that this new woman was on the same status level Morrowain was. From what little I remembered of the Varen culture Virstris taught me, the colors indicated she was from the Iresha family. That meant another Council member then. I seriously was in deep trouble now.
(Iresha) “And what the hell is going on over here! Why aren’t you paying closer attention to the battle Morrowain! This ridiculous boondoggle of yours is already costing a fortune, now it’s attracting attackers?”
She then turned to look at me.
(Iresha) “And YOU, you little pest! You’re the one who set all this off! How the hell did you get aboard, and who are those allies of yours out there!?”
Little pest? I’ve got 16 thermal detonators stashed in my robes that could probably make me a BIG pest. The fact that this councilwoman recognized me on sight was also testament to the fact I was more than a little pest. Best not to antagonize them too badly right now. Morrowain at least hinted at medical care and I wasn’t about to steal another shuttle and make yet another random hyperspace jump. The last time I did that came as close to killing me as Lecrouss and Valerie have.
(Kira) “How I got aboard is beside the point. I highly doubt those are my allies out there if they are Baramour. They probably hate me more than they hate you guys.”
(Iresha) “Well you’re certainly the one who set this impractical project off! The amount of resources that have been spent on this useless idiocy! All because of ridiculous fantasies! And now you have the gall to show up here! You’ve gotten half our budget devoted to a useless station in the most useless possible location!”
Valerie then elbowed the Iresha.
(Valerie) “That is supposed to be secure information you know!”
(Iresha) “So what! It’s not like the whelp is going to be leaving!”
(Kira) I”’ve heard that one before.”
Oh, wait, she meant to Medical. Everyone there glared at me for that one. I swear, even the droid got in on the glaring act. Still, this was interesting information. I couldn’t help but grin widely and play coy.
(Kira) “Impractical? What the hell are you people trying to do? Wait a minute, you can’t mean the Trans Temporal Hypertunnel? That one is easy! Or are you trying yet another one of the projects we solved long ago?”
(Morrowain, to the Iresha) “Still a bad habit to get into though. Telling people about secret plans? That’s a HoloSith stunt!”
(Kira) “Tsk tsk”
I saw the bare faintest glimmer of a smirk on Morrowain’s face at that. The Iresha gave me a glare that could have melted monopolium. At what point I got lumped onto the same side as her against this Iresha in this argument, I do not know. Morrowain then turned to me again.
(Morrowain) “As for what we’re doing, you can probably figure it out! But why should I deprive you of occupation?”
I could think of several reasons, but chose not to voice them.
The Iresha woman then started muttering something about superweapons never working. Then Valerie quite impatiently shouted.
(Valerie) “The project is NOT a superweapon!”
(Kira) “This conversation sounds oddly familiar.”
Indeed, Ben and I had had this discussion many times over the last couple years. I think the most recent one was his weaponized kitchen appliance line.
(Valerie) ”It should! I must have had it twenty times today! And a hundred more when we started!”
(Kira) “Well I was thinking of Ben and his damned weaponzied refrigerators. But that works too. Now, I am not fond of superweapons. Natural enough given my homeworld I suppose. As long as your little project doesn’t run afoul of certain conditions, it should work fine.”
I then gave the most smug look I could muster.
(Kira) “Provided you built it right.”
(Valerie) “Well, it’s not a superweapon anyway…”
Valerie then turned back to the Iresha.
(Valerie) “And why don’t we resume the discussion after the battle is over and we have Kira here safely out of it and in medical?”
At first I assumed she meant me safely out of combat.
(Kira) “Me safely out of it? I am the only one in here still armed I think.”
(Valerie) “Safely out of overhearing things that are – at least as yet – none of your business. It’s not like you and your friends shared ALL of your secrets with me!”
(Kira) “If you knew half the stuff I’ve learned over the last three years…..”
I could tell that comment pissed her off. I really wasn’t sure what to make of that. I felt the urge to fill the sudden silence in the room with something.
(Kira) “Regardless, time to kill Baramour I imagine?”
I pulled out my enhanced blaster. A quick check verified it looked operational, although some light damage was obvious. There was an ominous faint heat around the power cell though. Blast, that meant the thing was probably shorting out. Knowing my luck the thing was liable to become a grenade in my hand at the wrong time. Oh well, I had plenty of other weapons and with my enhanced strength I should be able to handle the blaster blowing up in my hand.
Then suddenly the effects of the Body Control whoever was projecting dropped. The full effects of the silting then hit me like a Star Destroyer. Suddenly walking was going to be a chore. Right, fighting in this condition was not going to be feasible. I quickly had to brace myself against the wall to keep from completely toppling over. I felt someone grab my arm and help brace me.
(Valerie) “Enough bravado, you’re going to medical.”
There wasn’t much I could do to argue with her there. We walked to medical through the corridors. The soldiers and crew running about their duties didn’t bat an eye at either of us save to offer assistance that we both shrugged off. Once we were safely out of earshot of anyone who might be listening I spoke.
(Kira) “We are Bonded aren’t we? That’s why my powers are growing so quickly compared to everyone else. And I have a sneaking suspicion that’s how you learned Hypertime.”
(Valerie) “Figured that out at last did you? And there goes my big secret!”
There was no mistaking the sarcasm in her voice. Well if anything, her sarcasm has improved over the last three years. I wonder if that is because of the Bond too? At least it was a relief to find out that Valerie hadn’t brilliantly deduced what we were doing with our Codex studies and copied the techniques I screwed up so badly in my own trials. That made her feel more “normal” to me in some way. Right now I think normal is a good thing.
(Kira) “Well sorry if the novice took a while to play catch up with what everyone else has known all along. Besides there were certain…. psychological blocks in the way. Lecrouss slapped me hard enough to make me take a fresh look at things.”
(Valerie) “I looked into the possibility of eliminating him once. He was threatening to draw the attention of the Republic into a serious push against the Sith – but it didn’t look like a very good prospect at the time. I recommended attempting to use ship-based weaponry on him if he could be located well enough.”
Hopefully Alys, Ben and the others would think of something similar. They had two days to arrange something spectacular to kill him because of the stunt I pulled. What was unnerving was the fact that Lecrouss spoke of the Clone Technique like he knew how to do it. He wasn’t happy with it, but I wouldn’t put it past him to use it as a last resort. I really need to find out how old he is, that might give us an idea of whether he has done that before.
(Kira) “Never take him on in melee or line of sight for that matter. Take this advice from someone that fought him for a few seconds. Ship based weaponry is definitely the way to go with him.”
The thought of how Lecrouss fell came to mind. That information suddenly took on a new light given recent revelations.
(Kira) “Hmm, I am going to have to be a bit less reckless in the future I imagine.”
Valerie went silent with that and I began thinking again. Getting myself killed suddenly took on a whole new meaning if Lecrouss was any kind of indication of the damage it might do to Valerie. I had always considered my death to be something family and friends to get upset about, not a potential catalyst for creating a monster. On the converse, if something happened to her, I would be tempted to eat a thermal detonator just to avoid becoming a monster like that.
Life has become so complicated since high school.
We arrived at medical a few minutes later. I saw Vincent Lowell treating some other wounded crew here. I weakly waved.
(Kira) “Hey Vincent, long time now see.”
He waved automatically before turning to give me a look of shock. At least it was good to know I could still give the Syndat a good surprise. I wonder if Virstris, Ban, and Augusta are here too.
Valerie laid me down on a medical table as a medical droid began running diagnostic scans. Valerie told it to do a chelation treatment and the droid acknowledged the command while the appropriate equipment began prepping.
(Kira) “Valerie, let me tell you how dangerous Lecrouss is and why we need to be careful in the future…”.
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 49 (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 48 (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 47 (ruscumag.wordpress.com)