Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 53

Star Wars: Jedi Knight (series)

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Around Ben, Jacob, and Smooche’, the Mrs Beasley was… cold. The neutronium generators – backed by Smooche’s powers – had begun thawing the most vital areas of the ship, but using the subspace drive to “vanish” without leaving any hyperspace disturbance to show that they’d escaped the inner layers of the sun had left the entire fourteen thousand cubic miles of the ship at the minimum possible temperature – near absolute zero. It would be years before it could all be warmed again.

With the ship drifting 60,000 light years above the galaxy – the result of taking a random 100,000 light year jump – they were safe enough from detection for the time being. They were likely to be presumed dead. It was too bad that there wasn’t a codex technique which could erase the user from the galactic mind… Oh well. At least there was no sign of temporal loops yet; he’d been rather dreading that possibility. It was still possible that alternate versions of himself had been partially responsible for his own past though, which was confusing enough.

Ben decided not to think about possibilities like that any more. They were simply too confusing. What they needed was a very very LARGE, but very low-powered lightsaber beam – something big enough to engulf the entire ship – could dump enough energy into the ships molecular structure to bring it’s temperature back to normal.

Where would they find a crystal that size though? Use the core of a burned-out star that had cooled all the way? There wasn’t anything like that in the universe! Jacobs attempts to heat the place were nice, and were helping the droids keep cold and complaining kids away from Smooche, but they’d never be enough. He simply couldn’t provide that kind of power.

Worse, they had no functioning shield generators – which meant that there was nowhere in the entire galaxy that they could go!

Wait. They could still head for another dimension. Some universe that could repair them? The Codifier Galaxy?

Definitely the Codifier Galaxy. He got together with Jacob and Smooche and took a try at piloting the ship there…

Unfortunately, Jacob was thinking about giant lightsabers, and Smooche was thinking about thawing out the Mrs Beasley, and he had giant crystals from the burned-out cores of ancient suns in mind…

Back on Gruenn, Lazlo was busy… not only did he have to avoid Xiang (and her obsessive search for him), but he had yet more Yeveetha to fight. He’d already shot down some who were coming in, half-wrecked his partially disabled fighter taking out a group, organized and defended the locals, chased the Yeveetha survivors into tunnels, and led a troop of the Kreedath against them.

Tunnel fighting. You’d think this was an asteroid colony or something.

Better to have the berserkers on HIS side for once anyway. Still, he was going to think of some way to get back at Alys for her impulsive little “wedding”. According tot he local net, it was quite legal enough to stand up!

Kira was still in Varen space – again, close to a hundred thousand light years from Gruenn, even in it’s new location – nearly sixty light years from it’s original orbit.

Preparations to ready the Ashen Lance for a journey to the Codifier Galaxy were ongoing. The Varen Council was deliberating who would go and who would stay here. Ultimately that didn’t involve me and I didn’t really care what they decided. I was just glad they listened to the warning regarding powering on that hypertunnel of theirs without running proper low powered tests first. I really didn’t need to get irradiated so soon after having just gotten out of medical.

I sat in one of the larger courtyards of the Winter Moon near a window to space and watched as construction work on the facility outside continued. Details were hard to make out at this range, but I estimated the size to be on par with one of the asteroids the group had in it’s possession. It certainly threw light on the value of some of the assets we had managed to procure along the way.

It was also depressing to realize that seeing my alternate self was going to be the closest I’ve been to seeing anyone from my family in practically two years. The Jedi had promised to investigate the disappearances while I went after Zandaras. But now the way things are, trying to get the information I needed out of the Jedi Council was going to be difficult indeed.

Then someone sat beside me I didn’t have to see, hear, touch, or even sense to know who it was. The now familiar voice in my head came as soon as she sat down.

<Valerie> Staring off into space?

<Kira> Not really, just waiting patiently for what I am told to do next. I imagine it will be to assist you in targeting the gateway.

<Valerie> A reasonable guess and a good way to help prove your commitment to the Varen.

<Kira> I suppose.

<Valerie> You’re thinking about your family again.

<Kira> No point in trying to deny it with you. I’ve been wondering how I might get the information the Jedi promised me about their investigation.

<Valerie> Do you really think they will hand it over if you ask for it?

<Kira> ….

I wasn’t really sure on that point at all. The narrative that the Jedi just used me to defeat Zandaras for them and that they had no intention of cooperating with me was very tempting. On the other hand, it was very hard to visualize them as a bunch of manipulative, vindictive jerks. Plus there was the difficulties in even just asking them. Showing up on Coruscant right now was suicide at best. Maybe with some additional false ID’s and time for the furor to settle down, then maybe that could work. And I had my doubts about how difficult it was to track traffic through the communications grid, given how readily the bounty hunters found me time and again while I sat in chat rooms in the middle of deep space.

<Valerie> It may not be smart to dig too deeply. Afterall, if they are being held by Hunters….

<Kira> If it was your parents and Virstris, would you abandon them?

<Valerie> Come on, it’s time to head over to the Ashen Lance for the experiment.

She immediately got up and started leading me to one of the shuttle bays on this side of the ship. I had to make a point of following behind her as an apprentice supposedly would.

<Kira> You didn’t answer my question.

<Valerie> I don’t intend to.

It was easy to see that the question troubled her. She isn’t as coldly calculating as she likes to think she is. And that raging volcano of hatred isn’t quite as intense as it once was. I would almost say she was slowly unfalling if that was even possible. With that thought she turned to give me a dark glare and her voice entered my head.

<Valerie> Be careful who you call a raging volcano of hatred.

<Kira> Yes ma’am.

An in-system shuttle was waiting to take us from the Winter Moon to the Ashen Lance. Virstris, Ban, Vincent, and Augusta were also present and loaded into the shuttle after Valerie and I with Augusta piloting. During transit, I saw a shuttle with a massive fighter escort also move from the Winter Moon to the Ashen Lance. Whoever was aboard that shuttle was seriously important to be getting that kind of escort.

(Valerie) That would be the members of the Council that have decided to watch the experiment first had.

(Kira) The Council is going to be watching this personally?

(Valerie) Indeed, they are most keen to see other galaxies first hand.

(Kira) Very trusting to be tagging along on what could be a major disaster.

(Valerie) Are you not comfortable with your ability to steer?

(Kira) Not at all, I’ve just seen the hyperdrives melt themselves from improper tuning far too many times for me to be expecting major officials tagging along.

(Valerie) You handle the steering, we’ll handle building the thing correctly.

Our own shuttle docked moments later. An officer of the ship was waiting for us in the docking bay. From the colors and insignia, I would say he was an untalented member of the Brooke household that was one of the senior officers aboard the Ashen Lance. He bowed in the appropriate manner and Valerie and I responded in turn. I made a point to remain standing behind Valerie as an apprentice during the whole proceeding.

(Jurgen) My Lady, I am First Officer Jurgen O’Connell. I do apologize that the Captain is not here to greet you personally, but I am afraid he is busy with the proceedings with the arrival of the Council.

(Valerie) It is no matter. I trust the preparations have been made as requested?

(Jurgen) Indeed, quarters have been arranged and your effects have already been placed in them. The modified hyperdrive has undergone final tuning and the Chief Engineer wishes to express his supreme confidence in the proper operation of the modifications.

The chief engineer actually had a lot less than full confidence in those modifications. They were on the “known to be suicidal” list after all. Still, if the Varen wanted them, defying them would be unpleasant – and they were precognitives; presumably it would not be fatal after all.

(Valerie) Very well then, please have someone escort us to our quarters and then we shall head to the bridge to prepare for the final test. I imagine we will be ready long before the Grand Tour of the Ship is complete.

(Jurgen) As you wish, my Lady.

He then gestured to one of the minor officers in attendance and told him what to do. The minor officer then gestured towards a car and we all sat down in it. Transit to our quarters didn’t take nearly as long as it did on the Winter Moon, probably because this was a medium cruiser as opposed to a Super Star Destroyer. The accommodations weren’t quite as plush as aboard the Winter Moon. There wasn’t an attempt to fake an outdoor private park and lake here, but the actual quarters themselves were just as spacious and grand as the Winter Moon.

My quarters looked empty given what few effects I had in my possession. Still, the place looked like one of the lush hotel rooms you see in the holos all the time despite the fact I never actually found myself in one. I declined when the droids asked if I needed anything and went back to meet with the others. I found Valerie and Virstris waiting for me already.

(Valerie) The others are not going to join us on the bridge for the time being. They’ll be here if needed.

(Kira) Meanwhile, the pair of you are going to keep an eye on me?

(Virstris) More of a perk for me being the granddaughter of one of the Councilmen. I get invited to events such as this.

(Valerie) Besides, there will be plenty of firepower around in case you do decide to be an idiot.

(Kira) Well you have accused me of not being intelligent.

(Valerie) I’ve accused you of not always using what you have. Now to the bridge.

The journey to the bridge was only interrupted by another thorough scan and ID verification by Vailo Guards. Once our ID’s were verified, we were allowed up to the Command Deck where the bridge lay. Arriving on the bridge itself found several members of the crew and many droids doing last minute cleaning and prepping for the arrival of the Council. Soon enough everyone cleaning scattered as it was announced that the Council was now in the lift on their way to the bridge. The Council arrived moments later and the Captain was still in tour mode as he showed them the bridge.

I found it difficult to conceal my shock when the Shana Councilwoman actually wiped her finger against a console looking for dust. Just how stuck up did you need to be to feel the need to check warships for dust and smudges? No wonder the crew was going through such a ridiculous dog and pony show. All thoughts along those lines ended as Valerie’s foot stomped onto mine painfully. There wasn’t a word or thought that passed between us, but her intention was perfectly clear none the less.

(Councilman Soung) I assume the pair of you are ready?

(Valerie) Yes, Grandfather, we are ready as soon as the crew is.

(Councilman Soung) Captain, is your ship ready then?

(Captain) Indeed, the route has been entered and we are awaiting the go ahead.

(Councilwoman Vascud) Very well, proceed with the test. Let us see these alternate galaxies for ourselves.

With that the hyperdrive began to warm up and begin the initiation cycle. I could feel the feel the ship begin to overlay the area around the ship as it overlapped into the appropriate sections of hyperspace. I could feel the multiverse become apparent as different threads in a tapestry of space and time. I reached out my power into the knot of threads and began to feel out which one was the Codifier Galaxy.

I felt Valerie’s power add to mine as she assisted the effort. Working with Telera, Jacob, and Ben was a much more clumsy and unwieldy effort compared to this. Working with them was much like trying to herd cats all in the same direction. This was…. much more natural and responsive than what I was used to. I wasn’t fighting to keep us both focused in the same direction so much as we worked together to find the right thread.

I also could feel the Dark Side power within her, and the barely restrained anger and darkness flowing into her Force power. Together we sorted through threads looking for the one we wanted. Soon enough we found a thread that felt right and resonated with both of us. Focusing our power and control, we grasped the thread and homed in on the resonance.

(Kira & Valerie) Got it.

The ship journeyed through hyperspace for some time as we held the thread and pulled the ship towards it. We both could feel the resonance get stronger and more clearly defined as we got “closer” to the Codifier Galaxy. After an indeterminate amount of time, we felt the ship drop out of hyperspace and released the technique.

Only to find ourselves in the middle of a minor battle.

Sensor scans showed us to be in low orbit around a planet other than Homestead. The crew wasn’t able to readily identify it, but I could tell where we were at a glance: Alderaan. Both Valerie and I could feel alternates of ourselves on the planet below and we both quickly moved to shield ourselves against that resonance. It certainly seemed like this was the right galaxy, although a battle around Alderaan had disturbing implications given what I knew of the local strategic importance of the place.

(Captain) We are being fired upon by forces planetside. Whatever it is, it’s slowly eating at our hull.

(Councilwoman Rote) I thought you said the locals were friendly.

(Valerie) Kira, get in touch with our alternates on the surface now!

I shoved a communications officer out of the way as I attempted to get on one of the local communications channels. I got a panicky comm-officer quickly enough demanding we identify ourselves or be shot down. Identifying myself as the Alternate Kira Keldav, I gave my provisional ID code and demanded my local alternate be contacted to verify my claim. Valerie for whatever reason stayed out of the transmitted image and let me handle the discussions.

Quickly enough my alternate joined the channel and after a few quick questions and answers verified my ID. That got the locals to stop firing at us and got us some information in turn. We were given instructions to power off our drives and a few other minor actions to stop the nano-plague from eating our hull. Also we got a urgent warning that Valerie and I were not to attempt to phase right now due to some sort of nonsense I didn’t understand.

We got confirmation that a major Faded attack on Alderaan was underway and the defenders were losing ground. That was when I became aware of all the extra stars in the background behind Alderaan. They appeared dimmer than normal, but the sheer amount of them suggested something was very wrong with the local space. I didn’t have the science skills to say what exactly though. At least the crew of the Ashen Lance was doing there part to find out what was going on.

Back on Gruenn, Alys was busy abdicating. There were endless minor details to settle, and it was nice that the biggest bounties had been taken down – but there were still thousands of bounty hunters around, and some pretty hefty bounties from the Hutts (who thought that she was capable of seizing control of planets with her datapad) and other non-Republic groups. Lazlo was helping clear up the Yeveetha, but – at this point – that could be left to the bounty hunters and republic forces.

The Zemogoostar and the Ratsoogomez were both available, as was the Shard of Devastation. The Furripedes and the Republic had brought in plenty of ships to support the ground forces against the remaining Yeveetha. The Sith forces had been mopped up, a good deal of planetary aide was on the way (thanks to Mrs Beasley having to do something ELSE relevant with the reward money, she’d arranged to put people back in charge of the educational system, the last of Zandramas’s agents had been captured and were undergoing treatment, and they (sadly) had the last of the artificers poking around…

Even Telera thought they were pretty well done. Still, anywhere they went, they were likely to drag complete chaos after them.

Wait; there was ONE place they could go… They’d promised to bring some help to the Codifiers – and their two asteroid-ships, and the Shard of Devastation, and the assorted fighters, bounty hunter ships, and industrial facilities they still had aboard would – in the Codifier Galaxy – actually be a fair amount of help, at least to their version of Alderaan. They could try to bring them more help later.

Of course, that left them dependent on Handell, Telera, and Lazlo for dimensional navigation – but, at this point, it was hard to see how things could get worse. Half the galaxy believed that they were the biggest menace in history… If it took them a year to find their way back, it wasn’t going to make matters any worse.

(Telera spent a force point, got very, VERY, lucky, and had assistance from both the troubled structure of space near Codifier-Alderaan and certain probability manipulations… She actually managed to hit the right system in a single try).

Back with Kira…

The scanners picked up fourteen Faded ships and several hundred fighters with only a few dozen fighters remaining on the defenders side plus whatever planetary defenses were still online. The Faded had more fighters than the Varen had, but the Ashen Lance looked to be a match for those fourteen ships. Plus I really doubted the Faded fighters had anti-capital ship weaponry. The scans also revealed additional hyperspace incursions out past the asteroid belt. Scans showed three capital ships of moderate size closing in on the planet.

Capital ships? Who locally had anything that would classify as capital ships?

Apparently not the Codifiers as they began panicking again. The Varen remained neutral in the affair while trying to get what information they could about the newcomers. Finally high magnification images became available showing an asteroid and a battleship inbound. Those looked an awful lot like the Zemogoostar, the Ratsoogomez, and the Shard of Devastation to me.

Confirmation came quickly as Alys and Telera came on the communications channel trying to contact the Codifiers. The Codifiers brought me in on the commlink in a three way conversation. Valerie was suddenly not happy that we had used my real ID to talk to the locals, but I don’t think either of us expected this scenario in any fashion. And frankly, I had to agree with her that I wasn’t entirely happy that I wasn’t using the Verun ID around these so-called friends of mine either.

At least it was obvious that Alys and Telera didn’t recognize me immediately and eventually took me for a HoloSith counterpart. I didn’t recognize the bright red twi’lek in the background that I swear was watching me like a hawk. After sharing what information we had, Alys started directing the Shard of Devastation, the Zemogoostar, and the Ratsoogomez into chasing off the Faded fleet and asked me for assistance.

Assistance wasn’t really mine to give, so I looked questioningly at the Council after putting the comm channel on hold.

(Councilwoman Iresha) What is it with you and asteroids? They seem to love following you around and multiply.

(Kira) You know, that is a very good question I have asked myself on more than one occasion. I would love to have an answer to that.

(Councilwoman Vascud) I think it best to sit back and let this play out for the moment. It certainly looks like your friends and the Codifers are managing things on their own.

So I went back onto the channel and relayed as much. Alys certainly wasn’t happy to hear it, but these things weren’t under my command. I was just a middleman these days. And I have to admit, not being the center of attention and the focus of a major manhunt was actually quite nice.

Back with Ben, Jacob, and Smooche, the Mrs Beasley had arrived in… a near-dead universe. Still, there was some activity, near the core of what little was left of the galaxy… A ring station forty light years across, spinning fast enough to be in free fall around the galactic black hole, powered by… the crystalline cores of two burned-out suns hanging in the radiation jets of the black hole. The resulting “lightsaber” field was intense enough to be pulling particle pairs out of the dark energy of the cosmos. Those fell into the black hole, whereupon most re-emerged as the beams that the station focused to support and pump the lightsaber fields…

It was self-perpetuating. A power source that was virtually eternal, and could be directed into beams powerful enough to repel smaller black holes or blast infalling neutron stars apart into more fuel and raw materials. The stars gravity was sufficient to repair flaws as they developed, even under that kind of load…

The locals lacked three things though… the dimensional transfer technology, the force, and the codex. Probably something trillions of years ago… but they had proved to be quite willing to divert a weak pulse from their power system to heat the Mrs Beasley back to normal temperatures in exchange for the dimensional transfer information. At this point, they wouldn’t need t steer anyway; ANY younger universe would suit them…

Their next jump did get them to the Codifier Galaxy, quite near Alderaan…The number of extra dim stars was disconcerting though… Was the local galaxy so close to falling apart that it was overlaying itself on other dimensions?

In fact the new center of attention became the absolutely massive ship that appeared at the edge of the system. It looked to me like a Lifestar and if I had to guess, I would have said it was the Mrs Beasley. That definitely sent the Faded fleet running into the asteroid belt to hide. That nicely eased up the pressure on the local defenses as they could now concentrate on the Faded forces that had landed on the planet.

Soon enough, Ben, Jacob, and Smoche joined the large conference call and things got weird fast. I quickly found out that this Ben and Alys had Codex powers and that Ben was experimenting with subspace drives of all things. We also got an analysis from Ben on how space-time was collapsing from the concentrated Faded assault. This apparently was causing all sorts of disruptions I didn’t understand and made it nearly impossible for anyone to attempt hyperdrive travel anywhere until this was fixed – and bloody dangerous to phase. So THAT was what that warning had been about…

This quickly got the Varen Council angry at me for supposedly trapping them in a dying alternate universe, but I quickly pointed out that they had approved of the destination and decided to come along all by themselves. That logic was hard for them to argue with, although the retort that last they knew I was responsible for the disappearance of a planet I replied with the fact I was in Varen custody at the time. That didn’t go over well, and Valerie was getting upset with my backtalk so I eventually dropped it. They still weren’t happy about the situation and wanted to know exactly what I was going to do about it.

Actually, the Varen Council was mostly just harassing him and testing. He hadn’t fallen yet – but they were pretty sure he was going to, and wanted him to do it while well-supervised. At this point, he was too valuable to lose. Alys, however, was starting to wonder. She’d been wishing that more allies would appear – and they had. Just how much was the force starting to bend probability on her behalf?

Seriously, I am the most junior Varen on the ship and the one least trusted with anything, and they look to me to get out of the situation. I was really tempted to ask what was I going to be allowed to do about it before I got an image of Valerie threatening me with death. I decided not to voice that question. Instead I turned the question back to Ben and asked for options.

After he rattled some nonsense about his precognition telling him a list of things not to do at his wedding to some woman he didn’t know because it would be obvious he knew her, he got around to presenting options. His basic plan called for the elimination of the local Faded, and then dealing with the Faded at the Galactic Core. The local Faded were going to be easy enough given the firepower at our disposal, but the Faded at the Core were still going to pose serious issues even with this kind of firepower.

His first suggestion was to remove the Galactic Core and the Faded by sending it someplace else. Second suggestion was to add another galaxy on top of this one to add stability. Third suggestion involved trying to catch the Faded phasing while projecting a specially tuned hyperfield across the Galactic Core. Fourth suggestion was to import a fleet from somewhere to do the fighting for us. Fifth and final suggestion was to stasis the Galactic Core somehow.

Well, it was too early to be picking one of those options right now and I stated as much. Efforts needed to be focused on taking out the local Faded and then we could determine what to do next.

Next things got weird as a small ship left the Mrs Beasley and started “flying” towards Alderaan. Except that it just started teleporting randomly as opposed to traversing space and seemed to be approaching Alderaan more due to sheer odds as opposed to any planned course. It was quickly followed by a bunch of shuttles full of children looking to land on the planet for “shore leave”. Alys tried to get them to head to the Ratsoogomez instead without a lot of luck. Finally I got fed up and came in on the channel in her place.

(Kira) The planet below is a war zone right now. Go to the Ratsoogomez and do not land on the planet. We are not going to babysit a bunch of children right now.

That seemed to terrify the children significantly as some of them started crying and panicking. At least all the shuttles turned to land on the Ratsoogomez instead of the planet. It definitely looked like I had reminded them of someone with that outburst. A bit of probing showed memories of…. Lecrouss. Oh for the love of…. did Ben and the others steal the children and not return them to their families? Instead it seems they are off gallivanting across the multiverse with a ship piloted by nuts and crewed with children. All of this in a giant superweapon ship that could destroy the galaxy.

I started banging my head against the console. Everyone in the bridge turned to watch me do it, but I really didn’t care at this point. After about the third hit, I felt that Valerie was finding this whole charade to be hysterically funny as see was trying hard not to burst out laughing. I shot her an ugly glare.

<Valerie> Your disguise is really working well!

<Kira> Bite me.

<Valerie> I could just swear you’re filled with barely repressed anger and hostility!

In response I started sending imagery back to her. I barely got to the some of the more creative uses of her lightsaber when she smacked the back of my head hard into the console. Through the fuzziness I could tell several of the Council Members and crew had begun chuckling at that. Well, at the very least this suggests I might have a career as a Varen comedian.

(Kira) I assume the Council approves of the plan to eliminate the local Faded? It’s going to be hard to try to leave the system otherwise.

The Council then proceeded to deliberate for some time over what to do. I imagined I was going to be sent planetside with a limited show of support to deal with the Faded with the others. Then once that was done, I was going to be asked to take the Ashen Lance back to Varen space. The enticement of potential allies in their debt was only going to go so far. Plus, it wasn’t like my time was my own anymore.

Not yet anyway.

On the other hand, it wasn’t really my problem either. So I leaned against the wall and let greater minds than my own wrestle with the fate of galaxies. I could get used to this. Alys looked like she was ready to snap under the pressure, but it wasn’t like I had any power in the situation to help her.

(Councilwoman Vascud) It’s decided. A team consisting of some of our forces, Valerie’s team, and the Council will be sent planetside to assist in rooting out the Faded presence. Kira is to handle coordination with the Codifier and independent assets in the area.

(Councilman Soung) We will add the stipulation that you and Valerie are to be deployed as far from your counterparts as feasible. After all, the twin resonance could become a serious problem with close proximity.

I had to admit that was not what I was expecting. I was expecting a bit more short-sighted selfishness and greed. Not the deployment of a serious amount of power given the local situation. Perhaps the enticement of potential allies and a chance to see the technology they so desperately wish to master is enough to actually consider offering serious assistance. I proceeded to announce the Varen commitment on the conference call.

(Jacob) But I don’t want to be eaten!

…. Blink

<Kira> Valerie, I must not have heard that right, because I could have sworn he expressed concern over being eaten by us.

<Valerie> He did.

(Ben) It’s ok, I don’t foresee any risk of betrayal beyond the usual getting my skull bashed in with my notebook! Even if he is a silly HoloSith trying too hard to look intimidating. He’s probably still just as much a snarky asshole as our Kira.

I glared at the screen hard for that one. I was now a criminal wanted by most of the major governments of the Galaxy and by every two-bit bounty hunter with a credit to their name because of this bunch of nutjobs. The odds of my ever being able to see my friends, family, and home again have now become downright abysmal because of them. I was probably now being blamed for the death or kidnaping of several thousand children now too. Plus there is the fact that most everyone thinks I attempted or succeeded in destroying a planet.

Valerie then shared an image of burning holes in ship hulls at orbital ranges with my glares. She thinks she’s so cute.

Ignoring her for the moment to turn back to the task at hand, it looked like the real issue on the ground were the three Faded that managed to make landfall. The first one had not been seen since he landed. The second was off terrorizing a city; A-Valerie and Akira were leading a group of forces to take him down. And third was one running around in hypertime doing a substantial amount of infrastructure and defense destruction.

Well the first one was a concern but was also going to be a pain to track down. Going after the second one was going to run into issues with Valerie and I resonating with our alternates. That let us going after the saboteur. A cursory glance of available targets and trying to use my own talents to narrow down the selection more or less got me anything in the region he was operating in was fair game. My own powers just weren’t powerful enough to narrow it down any further. In fact, most everyone here using precognition was going to be effectively blind on this trying to see where he was going.

Except Ben who has developed a technique to focus on his own future and send information back to himself.

Asking Ben to use his talents to isolate where the Faded saboteur was likely to attack gave us one probable location and three other alternate locations that could be targeted next. The probable target was a regional hypermatter reactor that was going to be irreplaceable and irreparable for the locals if it was lost. It’s loss would also cripple industry on this side of the planet.

Alright, how much manufacturing capacity did we have at our disposal in case the reactor was crippled? The Ratsoogomoz had quite a bit at it’s disposal, but a hypermatter reactor was still going to be timeconsuming to repair. The Shard of Devastation had enough for some spare parts but nothing on the scale we needed. The Mrs Beasley though apparently had over a thousand cubic kilometers of manufacturing capacity at it’s disposal. That…. was some serious manufacturing capacity for a ship to have. Seriously, that was potentially enough to build a Super Star Destroyer. Rebuilding a hypermatter reactor should be feasible then if worse comes to worse.

It was decided that we would split up and provide coverage for all four locations. The various members of the Council split up accordingly, and all of them appeared eager to see what a “true master” of the Codex could really do. Personally, I thought that A-Valerie was a better example of what a true master would look like, not one of these nutjobs running around that has let the power consume them. Valerie must have overheard that thought as she smiled at that time.

We made our way to the shuttles to head to the surface. Soldiers, guards, and the Council were already departing for the ground. Valerie’s team was already waiting for us and we loaded into another shuttle for the hypermatter reactor. The descent gave me a better overview of the planet and population and I had to say the view was startling. The first word that came to mind was “poor” and the image of a crumbling ruin also came to mind. This was definitely not the Alderaan I had known since childhood. The idea that the local society was slowly falling apart and dying was disconcerting on a lot of levels.

I don’t think I ever realized just how bad things were here in the Codifier Galaxy if this was one of the major centers of civilization.

Landing on the ground was also a bit of a shock. The grass had been allowed to grow wild and fallow for a long time. Off in the distance it actually looked like real wilderness out beyond the city as opposed to a carefully managed garden. The buildings looked well maintained, but were also showing signs of age and weathering. Part of me really began to wonder if we could actually bring in enough resources to really make a difference in things here.

We took up positions around the hypermatter reactor to cover the various approaches and a core group of defenders next to the reactor itself. On the plus side, a Faded was unlikely to sense this many Force sensitives in his way, although he might notice something was affecting his probability sense. With any luck, our saboteur won’t realize what is lying in wait for him here before he is right on top of us.

Alys had been looking into how the faded were organized… and was appalled when she realized that they were more or less religious nuts. They believed that, if they eliminated the codifiers who were anchoring reality against them, they could more or less WISH the galaxy into becoming a paradise.

Wait, was she going to wind up coordinating this entire galaxy?!? Even for the responsibilities of a noble of Coruscant, that was a bit much!