Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 61a

A Force FX Lightsaber photograph taken in low ...

What? They make great night lights

Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 61a

With all the Jedi finally unloaded and debriefed, it was time to turn our attention to the main problem of Huriel. Interestingly, Lazlo’s severing of the bonds connecting the Jedi to Huriel had shrunk the black hole’s event horizon by forty light seconds. That did suggest that we might be able to take care of the problem indirectly just by severing all the bonds linking to Huriel. Unfortunately, that fact that Huriel had used the pyramid technique on Coruscant meant that we either had to hunt down and break the bonds to tens of trillions of people, or we still had to go after Huriel directly. Since we didn’t want to have to spend the next 20,000 years evacuating Coruscant, that left us with Huriel as the focal point of our efforts.

Sadly, Huriel looked to be at the center of that maelstorm of filaments tearing the Senate building apart. After some discussion – and a lot of totally impractical proposals – we really had only two ways of handling that: either use a subspace drive to remove Huriel from the area or I try to sneak past all the filaments, get a good line of sight on Huriel, and then push him out of the universe. I didn’t think we had much of a chance trying to get a subspace drive to Huriel past all those filaments to Huriel’s immediate presence. My ability to sneak in there past all the filaments was also in question, but I was a lot more nimble than any subspace drive.

On the other hand, the man was anchored to all of Coruscant’s population. He might be nigh-impossible to push out of the universe.

Ben suggested just removing the entire Senate building with a subspace drive, since a hyperdrive would probably rip everyone in the building apart… That would certainly work, but that meant a much larger system than what we had available at the moment.

Ben started getting really excited about the idea, but I wanted to know what happened when a subspace drive tried to transport something larger than it could handle. A hyperspace drive we saw would shear off the section it could take and leave the rest, but if a subspace drive just attempted to take the whole thing and burned out, I wanted to know before getting stuck in time for eternity. Ben got indignant and said there was no way to know without testing. My request that we find an asteroid and actually run a test annoyed him, but the others joined in and demanded a test as well.

We found an asteroid nearby that we attached a subspace drive to that was too small to move the whole thing. With the press of a button, I suddenly was very glad that I insisted on running a test in the first place. The drive had attempted to move the entire asteroid, overloaded it’s power system, and smoked itself. There were also signs of subspace freezing on some sections of the asteroid. Had that been me with that thing, I could have been subspace frozen in a stasis field for the rest of time and little hope of rescue.

Ben sighed. He should have been expecting that. Smooche’s subspace-shunting droids had been able to poke Jacob, shift him into subspace for an instant, and instantaneously freeze him solid, without even a puff of displaced air. Ergo, a surface effect. He couldn’t let Jacob go with it either… All they needed was the guy maintaining the timerate by linking to the rest of the galaxy to accidentally press a button, trigger the drive, and go into subspace where there was no time.

Jacob conceded that one.

Glares at Ben got my point across as he went to work finding a workaround. What he did find was that we had to establish some form of physical separation from the object to be transported and whatever else it might be attached to. His exclamation that all we needed to do was to cut the Senate building free from the rest of the planet got annoyed looks from the rest of us. I mean, I am good with a lightsaber, but my ability to cut one of the largest buildings I have ever seen free of the rest of the planet wide city was not something I had a lot of faith in. In order to do that, we would need a lightsaber significant larger than a….

Oh God damn it. Damn Jacob, damn the Force, and damn my insane excuse for a life.

Jacob had been building a lightsaber spaceship now for weeks (and was cheerily volunteering to “wield” it). Last I heard, it was even almost completed. Why the nutjob had felt the need to build something so absurd had been beyond me, but now we needed a massive lightsaber and we just happen to have one. The others thought this very convenient, but I was looking past that to the implications of just how much of the insanity of my life seems to be directed to happen. I really thought the conveniently appearing pieces of equipment and information in holos was a symptom of bad writing, not the universe actually working that way.

At least I wasn’t alone in that impression: I could tell Valerie was also highly annoyed at the whole idea.

Jacob was overjoyed! The Force had led him to this moment! The Force liked Buttons and now he could become one with his Space Saber Button!

He headed down to inspect his ship.

It was hard to escape the feeling that something was wrong though…

It took him awhile to figure it out. It looked like the droids on the ship systems end of things had realized that they could use the crystal and beam both as an extremely high-powered drive system and to power the entire thing via hypermatter reactor – but they’d considered that so obvious that they hadn’t relayed that information to the droids putting in the shielding and control systems – and so those hadn’t been upgraded to match the new design specifications.

There was enough drive potential to squash him flat – and far more than enough power to drive the blade to it’s limit. He just had to beef up the shielding and refine the controls to handle it.

He brought in Ben to double-check. He was good at that stuff!

It was decided that Ben and Jacob would take the lightsaber ship to cut free the Senate building once the tests were completed. So I left them to do their testing of the lightsaber ship, and Alys went off to handle the negotiations with the Faded. The Faded hadn’t failed to notice the shrinking of the black hole, and were even willing to admit that navigational beacons and communication relays had appeared again that had been lost for millennia. That certainly gave credence to our position, and Alys was busily exploiting that opening.

I turned my efforts back to not putting any effort into anything in particular. This was a fine art I had cultivated back in school for many years. I found one of the species habitats had a good facsimile of a mountain stream running. It was a simple matter of finding one of the larger trees in the middle of the stream and laying back on one of the branches while listening to the sounds of the water and the birds chirping. It was nice to actually just let go of the Codex and Force and idle a bit. Spending days on end holding techniques was mentally exhausting, let alone trying to actually do work at the same time.

Annoyingly, my attempts to relax were being interrupted by the arrival of several Jedi children and one of the adult instructors. The children looked to all be under the age of eight, and the instructor was a woman old enough to be my grandmother. She was supervising as they played with some repulsor ball toy. I probably dozed off a bit shortly thereafter, cause the next thing I remember was being hit in the face and hitting the water under the tree.

I finally got back on my feet and mostly out of the water when the children saw me and started shouting “Sith!” That got them all riled up, and roused the instructor into firmly planting herself between me and the children. My concern was where my lightsabers had fallen to in the stream. Unfortunately, she saw that thought, completely misinterpreted the intention, and leapt at me. It was then that I realized the depths of my stupidity as I now had a senior Jedi moving to attack me.

I dove beneath the water, hid my Force potential with the Codex, and rolled to the side. I could sense when she hit the water, and knew she was searching for me. Not giving her a chance to find me, I scooped up some pebbles from the river bed as I swam along the bottom. I still annoyingly couldn’t find my lightsabers. I briefly contemplated putting on my breathing mask and hiding under a rock in the stream, but having to hide aboard a ship from Jedi we just rescued was all sorts of embarrassing.

Valerie would never let me hear the end of it.

It was easy enough to get a good idea of the Jedi’s location given that she was using the water walking technique only a dozen meters from me. Planting my feet and measuring the angle, I leapt out of the water and landed feet first against a nearby tree. That got her looking my way almost immediately, and she was charging towards me with fists glowing with the shimmer of shield systems. Now that looked familiar….

Not giving her a chance to close the distance, I used a technique Remilias taught me as I flung the pebbles at the Jedi while carefully altering the hypertime interface. Careful aim ensured none would actually hit her, but they came close enough to the mark to make an impression and the shockwave of the hypersonic missiles definitely stunned her. The pebbles then embedded themselves in trees and the distant wall as they exploded in a hail of shrapnel and splinters.

Thankfully that seemed to have the effect I was looking for as she dropped the attack stance after recovering from the shock.

(Kira) I trust we can avoid additional hostilities? I was lounging in a tree quick quietly a few moments ago, until I got smacked with a ball and lost my weapons in the stream.

(Jedi) Always carry weapons with you?

(Kira) Considering the number of people that have attacked me in my short career already, it seems foolish not to.

(Jedi) You are not very trusting it seems then.

(Kira) Well, I never know when a Jedi might skulk out of the shadows to kill me on general principle. Now, may I retrieve my weapons before the water recycling system eats them?

That seemed to interrupt her “holier-than-thou” lecture nicely. Given the lack of any objections, I waded back into the stream and hunted my lightsabers. I could sense that Valerie had felt my battle just know and was getting concerned, but I sent a feeling of reassurance back her direction. That didn’t really seem to satisfy her, and I could tell she wanted an explanation later, but at least she didn’t come running to my “rescue”. Maybe I am finally getting to the point where I can be trusted not to screw up in her opinion.

Finally I found my lightsabers nearly ten meters downstream of where I had fallen out of the tree. How they managed to get that far in what should have been a completely vertical fall was beyond me. By this point I was wet, and the clothing’s heating system was beginning to have issues with the continual heat loss. I could have just toughed it out with Force or Codex techniques, but I wasn’t keen on having to sustain more techniques for a while. It may be prudent to add a wetsuit option to the clothes for scenarios like this. It did well enough against rain and snow, but immersion caused issues.

Well, there was someone onboard I could speak to about that. It took a few minutes to get to a computer terminal where I could check on Ban’s whereabouts, but I found that he was in one of the manufacturing bays. I told the computers to alert Ban to my arrival and found an elevator to his location. I was rather surprised to see the elevator was full of Jacob-smacking droids. I then immediately learned they were not Jacob-smacking droids as one of them clocked me good with a foam baton. I fell to the floor and onto my back as they immediately swarmed over me.

I could only guess Jacob or Alys had made these in retaliation for their own droids. If they were going to be so upset over the matter, then they needed to quit doing insanely suicidal things while flouting commonsense! It was a simple matter to phase and roll out of the encircling ambush as I got back to my feet. One droid lost it’s power core to my fist ripping it out of the droid’s chest. Flinging that power core at another firmly “brained” it’s chips onto the wall. Stepping into Hypertime, it was a simple matter to simply tear apart the remaining droids as they hung there seemingly frozen in time relative to myself. I was definitely highly annoyed now, but thankfully the Codex gave me relative safety from the Dark Side. I think I am going to have to have a word with Alys and Jacob regarding these droids.

Valerie was definitely wanting some explanations now, but I continued to ignore her.

I still hadn’t stopped dripping water when I finally got to the manufacturing bay. I found Ban was busily reviewing the droid design archives intently. His personal droid assistant chirp a reminder now that I had now arrived. It had to beep again a moment later to truly get his attention as he finally noticed my presence.

(Ban) Oh, you should have told me you were coming.

(Kira) I did, notice your PDA is still chirping a reminder of my notification from several minutes ago.

Ban looked down at his PDA rather startled by the revelation, but I was used to this sort of thing from Ban. He can get so caught up in whatever he was working on that he would sort of tune out reality, sort of like an Artificer in that respect. Except without the Force powers driving him mad.

(Ban) What can I do for you?

(Kira) I got ambushed by a Jedi, and then several droids wishing to beat me over the head repeatedly. In the process I fell into a stream in one of the environment simulations we have aboard. Is it possible to get a wetsuit option for these clothes? Or at least make them less susceptible to prolonged immersion? The insulation doesn’t hold up well to getting wet, and the thermal systems start having issues quickly.

(Ban) Hmm, fair enough I suppose. Those clothes of yours are getting awfully damned packed though. We might have to exchange a layer for a wetsuit configuration to keep the weight down. Let me have a look at them and I will see what I can do about it. Just put them over there on that table then.

I did as asked, stripping off the layers of the robes, until I was only wearing a loose fitting set of pants and a tank top. I did however take the weapons belt and put it back on my waist. Ban looked at me and suppressed a comment about my appearance.

(Ban) In the meantime, I’ve been building you a number of support droids for the Verun Navaro ID. There’s enough variations in these archives to easily support the idea of them all being heavily customized from current models. They should be ready in the next few days. Not that I imagine there will be any issues requiring them. Would you like for me to review the upgrades to that TLGS NULL the droids and Furipedes are working on?

(Kira) Not a bad idea.

(Ban) Alright, I will see what I can do there. In the meantime, I suggest you head to the Sith Canton aboard the ship.

(Kira) Wait, we have a Sith Canton? When did that happen?

(Ban) Shortly after all those Republic techs came aboard. The Alderaan techs and the Sith techs had been having minor issues intermingling up until then, but the administrators were able to keep a lid on it. Then the Republic naval techs arrived and have been getting increasingly hostile about the Sith techs. A defacto segregation has set itself up onboard since then. It does keep the hostilities to a minimum.

Oh bloody hell, it was bad enough we have the Sith and Jedi antsy about killing each other, but we really didn’t need the Republic technicians stirring up fights in the crew. Having two halves of the crew antagonizing each other was the thing we needed the least. I am going to have to have a talk with the heads of the Republic and Sith technicians.

(Kira) Alright, where is this Canton?

(Ban) That would be centered on Lady Valerie’s and Mistress Lisella’s quarters. Here, I will mark it on the map for you.

Figures the Sith technicians would congregate around them. I knew that moving into the Sith Canton would raise all sorts of difficult questions, but I needed some peace away from the judgmental Jedi and sadly the only place I could get that was among the Sith right now.

The elevator dropped me off just outside the Canton. I could see a makeshift guard post with a lone guard and several security droids armed with stunners. The guard merely nodded at my approach and waved me through. Inside I found the place had been refurbished significantly to be similar to the residential section aboard the Winter Moon. There was even a pond and grassy park in the center of it all. I would bemoan the expense of it all, but we did have plenty of manufacturing capacity and volume at the moment. If this made them feel more at home, so be it.

The various occupants of the Canton watched me go by with little more than idle curiosity. They all had a good idea who I was and were not really objecting to my presence. Indeed, I think it was the fact that I was walking around barefoot in only a shirt and pants that really intrigued them. I found a quiet location near the pond and laid down on the grass. The faux sunlight felt good as I prepared to take a nap.

Some time passed by when I heard a familiar voice next to me.

(Virstris) You are the most atypical Sith I have ever met. You don’t even have shoes on, but you still insist on keeping your lightsabers at your side.

(Kira) The clothes got wet after a scuffle with a Jedi. Ban is looking at repairing them now.

(Virstris) You too huh?

(Kira) What, you’ve been harassed by Jedi too?

(Virstris) No, mainly Republic technicians and undercover agents. There are a number of them aboard skulking about asking prying questions. My sister has been on the receiving end of a number of lectures though. Those don’t end well. There have also been a number of minor scuffles with some of the others, but thus far nothing that requires more than first aid. The Jedi are clamping down hard on antagonizing.

(Kira) Great, just what we need: an internal revolt breaking out while the Faded fleet is on one side of us, and a massive black hole is on the other side.

(Virstris) I don’t think it will come to that. There is way too much heavy weaponry and such aboard for anyone to seriously consider launching a mutiny.

(KIra) I hope you are right then. Annoying that I have to lie low aboard own our ship though.

(Virstris) Well, I think you are welcome here. I can get you some quarters set up shortly if you want.

(Kira) May not be a bad idea. Might help keep those blasted droids ordered to smack me at bay too.

(Virstris) We’ll see what we can do.

And so my quarters were relocated for the time being. I was rather surprised to find out that my quarters were next to Valerie’s now. Valerie was annoyed, especially at something Virstris quietly whispered to her that I didn’t hear. I did catch the image of nightly rendezvous through the wall as it went through Valerie’s mind though. Then she caught that I saw that and went incredibly red.

(Valerie) Don’t be getting any ideas!

(Kira) Excuse me? That thought went through your head, not mine. Besides, it’s not like I….

I got the immediate impression that completing that sentence was going to be very bad. Thankfully, my instinct for self-preservation outran my mouth and shut off that thought halfway.

(Virstris) See! He is learning!

I could tell Valerie was working at suppressing her anger at my half comment.

(Valerie) We need to talk. I will come by this evening.

I got the sudden image of receiving the “Let’s be friends” speech from Valerie. The sheer absurdity of it got me chuckling and seemed to catch Valerie by surprise as the image went over the link. She actually seemed to be unsure of how to respond to that one. Virstris was lost to the joke, of course but smiled knowingly.

The droids came by with the stuff from my old quarters a couple hours later. I was busily sorting the stuff into the closets and dressers when Valerie phased through the wall leading from her quarters. I could feel her reach out with the Force and use the Codex for a few moments before she relaxed a bit. She sat on the foot of the bed while I found a chair to sit in backwards as I rested my arms on the back of the seat.

(Valerie) Well, it looks like Virstris did a good job of removing any of the bugs and wiretaps in this room. There shouldn’t be any chance of someone overhearing us in here.

She really needed to learn to pick her words more carefully.

(Valerie) Get your mind out of the gutter. We need to talk about the Bond between us. We’ve put it off long enough.

(Kira) I am not sure what I am supposed to say. We’re Bonded, that means our fates are tied together.

(Valerie) There is more to it than that and you know it.

(Kira) Well yes, but considering that the only real choices open to us are to become bitter rivals, or becoming…. like our local counterparts, what exactly can we say to that? “Oh, let’s go for option two then”?

(Valerie) You aren’t making this any easier!

(Kira) Well, I am sorry. I imagine most people who become Bonded don’t have a relationship as screwed up as we do now.

(Valerie) Would it be easier if we were rivals?

(Kira) You know as well as I do hwo suicidally dangerous that is. Look at what happened to Lecrouss when his bondmate died. We can’t be bitter rivals and not end up trying to kill each other. Do you really want to end up like him?

(Valerie) So you don’t want to end up like Lecrouss, is that what you are saying?

(Kira) No, I am saying I don’t want either of us to end up that way. Not me, and not you either.

(Valerie) So you do care.

(Kira) Hard not to given the circumstances. Being in a person’s head all day tends to make you attached to them.

(Valerie) And yet you resist.

(Kira) Well, excuse me if the fact that every version of myself I have seen that has fallen to the Dark Side has left a bad taste in my mouth. I am certain you’ve seen the recordings in the ship’s archives of one of the uglier versions. I don’t want to become like that. Besides, if I go on a rampage like that, what happens to you?

(Valerie) It won’t happen.

(Kira) Ah yes, another declaration of what is impossible. Tell me, have you noticed the fact that you might well be Unfalling?

(Valerie) You’ve noticed have you?

(Kira) It’s subtle, but on the other hand, I am probably in a better position than anyone else to notice it too. And don’t tell me you haven’t noticed how much more trouble you are having with the Codex training than I am. It’s no use pretending it’s due to lack of training.

Her face was hard set, and I could feel the emotions roiling in her. That hit close to home I think.

(Valerie) It’s not easy watching you outperform me. You’ve always have been behind me riding my own powers as I drug you along. Seeing that wasn’t something I was prepared for quite yet.

(Kira) Join the club. You’ve been this monolithic benchmark for so long that I wasn’t prepared for hitting parity either. The feeling of “Now what” is rather strong I must say. If it wasn’t for unlocking the secrets of being a Hybrid and remaining sane, I wouldn’t know what to do right now.

(Valerie) You really believe that it will work?

(Kira) Valerie, look at what is happening to you since we started down this path. We are tantalizingly close to figuring this out.

(Valerie) Then if we can’t be rivals, and we can’t fall to the Dark Side, that pretty much leaves us becoming Hybrid…. lovers.

It only seemed like a few minutes ago I would have sworn it would be a cold day in Hell before I heard her say something like that. She would hardly even admit to being slightly annoyed at something, let alone this forthcoming and honest about this. Still, the cold logical determination the decision in her head was almost the completely wrong approach to something like this. Something this important can’t be decided by simply agreeing to it.

(Kira) I don’t think we can just simply decide that sort of thing. Despite what your sister may insinuate.

(Valerie) Then what exactly do you suggest we do?!

She was clearly getting agitated again. Hell, we both were.

(Kira) That we spend time together and see what happens. I am not going to fall to the Dark Side, and neither of us wants to become bitter enemies I think. We just take things slow, and let what happens happen. Just because we can see the probable final destination doesn’t make the journey any less important does it?

(Valerie) Fine, we’ll spend time together.

(Kira) You don’t have to sound so upset about it.

(Valerie) I am not upset!

Like hell. With that thought, she promptly stormed through the wall into her own quarters. Somehow I still managed to not say the right thing in her mind. At least with her gone, I was able to finish up unpacking. I tried to crawl into bed and sleep, but ended up staring at the ceiling still agitated from the discussion earlier. It didn’t help that I could feel her fuming on the other side of the wall. Perhaps this was a mistake….

Finally I ended up requesting some sedatives from the medical bay to help me get to sleep. I know those things aren’t as good for me as normal sleep, but neither was sitting here feeding on each other’s fuming all night. Hmm, on second thought, I doubled the requested number of doses. The medical droid didn’t ask too many questions and noted a delivery droid would be by shortly to deliver them.

It arrived shortly thereafter with the pills. I took the pills and dismissed the droid. I took one dose myself, and put another dose into my hand and phased it through the wall. Turning over my hand to drop the pills, I didn’t need my eyes to know another hand caught the pills as I dropped them. The feeling of appreciation I felt in response was all the confirmation I needed as I crawled into bed and quickly fell into a dreamless sleep.