As I awaited the practically inevitable chaos to spring forth, I spent my time meditating and practicing using the Codex and the Force to balance each other. The others wanted to go exploring in the depths of the Jedi Temple looking for whatever the Jedi might have hidden or stashed away that they could play with. I wasn’t keen to see what superweapons and Sith Holocrons had been hidden in the depths of the Jedi Temple for millennia but the others were getting rather excited by the rampant speculation. The suggestion that the Jedi might even be hiding the Censor itself I found to be utterly ridiculous. It was pretty obviously a manifestation of a primitive galactic mind, not a physical object!
Debate then ensued over what exactly the Jedi had intended for us to be able to do since they had more or less left us here to our own devices. The others took the fact that we weren’t given explicit instructions not to go exploring from some of the most powerful precognitives in the galaxy meant we had more or less been given free reign to do what we wanted. I found that idea hopelessly naive and figured it hadn’t even occurred to the Jedi that they might need to explicitly forbid what others would assume as unspoken – especially since they’d have a really hard time dealing with our own precognitives and codex users!
Finally we settled for not doing any exploration for the time being and simply browsing the computer network for what information we might find in the archives for us to peruse. We could only presume the Jedi Order had quite a bit of useful information stashed away in their archives that no one looked at anymore. For whatever reason, we ended up gathered in the Council Chamber as they began sorting through the archives looking at information regarding the fall of the Infinite Empire and the Rise of the Republic.
First thing we learned was that the Jedi Order actually preceded the Rise of the Republic. It apparently arose as an attempt to limit the damage caused in the Final War of the Infinite Empire. That was looking increasingly like the war with the Yeveetha from what we were able to piece together too. The war involved rather frequent use of superweapons that we saw in that alternate universe. That also led us to discover that the Jedi computer systems were busily looking for signs of people looking into how to make artificial supernova. Any such information or research along those lines was looking like it was rapidly suppressed.
Oddly, this seemed to suggest that those looking for supernova weapons actually believed it to be a unique technology immune to the effects of the Censor or some such nonsense. They didn’t realize that the reason the Infinite Empire could get the damned things to work and that no one else could was that it was something unique to the Rakata and not their weapons. The Rakata being immune to the Censor made a lot of the effort this system was taking irrelevant as you needed to just hunt down those with immunity, not some nonexistent unique technology. Although this did get me wondering if Kreedath were out there that were still immune to the Censor. Twenty thousand years was a long time in my estimations, but that was still not very long in the grand scheme of galactic and species history.
Ben rapidly reached just the opposite conclusion… Superweapons research indicated immunity to the Censor. Ergo, hunt hints of superweapons research, and you’d automatically locate some of the most dangerous censor-immunes – the ones who WERE out to blow up chunks of the galaxy. It might also lead to Rakata who hadn’t yet gone into berserker mode.
Oh well, something to look at another day I think. Best not to let that knowledge get too common either. We don’t need to add a resurgent Infinite Empire back to the mix in the middle of a Sith war and a Yeveetha war. Sigh, I suspect this means I am going to have to find where those Rakata ran off to.
Alys’s digging around the Jedi computer system did reveal a few more surprises though. While the Jedi monitoring the Senate was no big surprise, the amount of traffic going on in the archives section of the system was so impressive as to border on the absurd. I didn’t understand archives and databases very well, but there shouldn’t be any need for various isolated setups to be exchanging that much data with each other comparing historical notes just to build a simple cross reference and index.
Then Alys determined that it looked like the system was trying to find conflicts in the various accounts and flagging discrepancies. Ah, someone – of only the droids at the moment – was aware of the patchwork nature of history and so was looking for anomalies indicating something arriving or leaving the galaxy. Those anomalies would then trigger alerts that would eventually get a Jedi team sent to investigate. The amount of traffic and anomalies being produced was following a linear growth pattern in some ways. Did this mean that the galaxy was slowly growing as new systems and planets were added by the nature of the multiverse?
That brought up the fact that we kept running into the reference about how much destruction and damage had been done to the Galaxy in the Infinite Empire’s Final War. Finally I asked Alys if she could find a map of the Galaxy from before the Final War for use as a comparison against our own and the Codifier’s map. It took a lot of digging on her part, but eventually she found one. It took Ben and Alys some time to overlap the three maps on the holo-projector and color code it so that we might get a better handle on what has happened thus far.
That was both disturbing and enlightening at the same time. It looked like a significant fraction of our galaxy had been sterilized or otherwise rendered lifeless by the rampant use of superweapons in the Final War. Looking at the extent of the damage done, I wasn’t really all that surprised to see that Tatooine had been a major world back before the war and had barely survived being at the edge of the sterilization zone. Part of me wondered what some of those worlds might be like and if there would be a chance to rescue some of them from other timelines to repair our own galaxy. That would probably be a project for after the Republic Codifiers, the Yeveetha War, and building the defenses against the Final Empire.
I made a copy of the map and was quietly studying it for a bit. I suspected the Varen were going to be interested in this, and the implications this had on a number of issues. I was beginning to suspect that the Yeveetha were the creations of the Furipede Expedition in their war against the Infinite Empire. If true, then it might be possible that the Yeveetha have some command overrides built into them. That was something to look into, and I was becoming curious over what exactly transpired between the Furipede Expedition and the Infinite Empire to lead them into such a devastating war. Could it be that the fact the Furipedes were immune to the Censor made them call the Rakata’s “bluff” on superweapons?
My thoughts along those lines were interrupted when Lazlo wanted to know what some ancient artifact was. He was holding a rather odd shaped thing in his hands that looked like it belonged in a museum more than it belonged in his hands. I then saw the display he had removed it from and sighed to myself. I figured it was only a matter of time before these guys broke a major priceless artifact of the Jedi’s and we were going to be held responsible for it.
Alys and Ben then began to examine that thing and consulted the records about it. From what they were able to determine, the thing was actually a modified blaster design incorporating a number of technologies and concepts we had discovered over the last few years like stasis technology and frequency shifting. Ben’s calculations of the output put the thing into the same class as a Star Destroyer’s major weaponry. All of this in a package a little big for an assault rifle – even if it would be pretty unwieldy with the stasis net deployed.
Well, I guess we now know how the Rakata took care of Sith.
Ben and Jacob began drooling over the damned thing and didn’t heed my suggestion to put it back on the display and forget about it. Alys voiced similar concerns, but all we could manage without getting violent was to get Ben to hold it so that Jacob couldn’t screw with it. I was getting rather upset with Jacob’s urge to push the buttons on it when I saw that Lazlo was now moving about the Council Chambers stuffing various items from the historical displays into his pockets for whatever reason. His explanation that the Jedi “obviously” left this stuff out so we could take it didn’t hold much of any water in my opinion.
Ben found the weapon… Interesting. Powerless and with half it’s components burned out or failed millennia ago, and far too likely to blow it’s user up even in optimum functioning condition, but it would allow a few horrifically powerful shots before draining it’s power system. Hand-held antiship weapons? No wonder the infinite empire had dominated the galaxy if they had a warrior-caste both able and willing to use weapons like this. No one would have dared to challenge them! Instead they had gradually… adapted to a stable, and only moderately oppressive, galactic government…
Wait, was that what the Varen were unconsciously reproducing? A devotion to pure logic and anger would… cut you off from general sympathy and connectedness with the galaxy at least as effectively as a Codex monotalent. Would that leave them open to a pattern that had operated for eons, but without the weapons to impose a galactic hegemony?
Well, it looked like the Jedi had spent centuries before the republic working to suppress the Rakata and their super-weapon talent… Hard to blame them really. Kind of to their credit that they were still pretty tolerant of the Kreedath. Still, the Infinite Empire had used stasis systems – but they’d pretty much vanished after the war. Evidently, even the Rakata had treated blowing up stars as a last resort. The technology was rediscovered… fairly often. Just like the Sith had. And then they’d put a generator aboard a capital-class ship…
They’d tried to weaponize it – and the Censor had clamped down. Was it OK as long as you thought of it as a refrigerator and surgical aide? Worse, the containment system had broken down and the jellyfish had wrecked the planet. The Censor was STUPID.
Right, we needed to do something to keep these nuts occupied as sitting around had gotten them turning to looting and breaking into computer systems to keep themselves entertained. Alys suggested we go look at the massive computer system the Jedi apparently had built for this project of comparing historical accounts – and see what the rest of the computer activity being dumped into the public networks was. Most everyone agreed to that scenario as we started looking for where the system might be.
Alys’s investigation of the maps and associated blank areas revealed three areas likely to be hiding a computer system of the necessary size and complexity needed for the task. The first one was labeled as some sort of Memorial to Fallen Jedi. That I figured was probably more or less exactly like what was printed on the label. The second one was some sort of storage location that items were quietly placed in, and very rarely were taken out of. Part of me wondered if that place might be the basis for all those urban legends for the Secret Jedi/Republic Warehouse used so often in the Holos. It might be interesting to simply browse through there to see what interesting artifacts might have been stashed away, but I was more concerned with what sort of mischief these nutjobs might get into in such a vault.
The third one was actually a set of rooms interconnected with a large amount of power and network fiber cabling and seemed to be the general source of most of the traffic Alys was seeing in her analyses. That seemed like a probable location for the immense computer system we were speculating existed. It was deep beneath the Jedi Temple though so we were going to have to head down if we wanted to look.
<Kira> Valerie, we’re going to be looking into some rooms underneath the Jedi Temple that aren’t showing up on the maps beyond to state that the rooms exist.
<Valerie> Be careful, who knows what sort of traps the Jedi may have set up waiting for people to go prying into the place.
<Kira> I know, I’ll be careful.
Lazlo, meanwhile, had collected a considerable stack of the council chamber exhibits… Some of them were so generic that they HAD to do something!
Well, if they weren’t executive toys. A few of the things laying around had kind of looked like it. The crystal spheres and the little statue probably fell into that category. But why the small electronic gizmos, the constantly-changing tone generator, and the other odd bits?
Jacob, meanwhile, was drooling over antique lightsabers and designs thereof – and resisting using the power of the galaxy to try and fix that Rakata blaster. It was HARD though! It was triggered by a button!
Well, that would possibly be sneaking into areas we are not supposed to be going, but I am running out of options to keep these guys occupied. So to that end we packed up our things for a little field trip and loaded into the elevator to go down. I was a bit surprised to see that despite us asking for the bottom floor, we instead got delivered to the main lobby on the ground floor of the Jedi Temple. Inquiries to the elevator system and the droids revealed that they had no record of any subterranean levels underneath the Jedi Temple. Now that was interesting, but it also raised concerns in my mind about us going somewhere the Jedi did not want us going.
Lazlo was wondering about his own history. Genetic engineering was so widely feared and distrusted – and it was os USEFUL. The genetic engineering of sapient beings was against the law throughout the galaxy…
Was that because of the Yeveetha?
Alys, Ben, and Lazlo started arguing with droids and started pulling up maps to try and figure out a way further down, but I had my own methods. Tapping into the Force and the Codex, I started running various scenarios for getting further down. First option looked to be a section of the lobby that was undergoing remodeling for one reason or another. I suspected what I would find there was a hole in the floor that we might drop down into, but it was unlikely to be the primary route down. Second option that came up was for me to simply phase through the floor and let gravity do it’s thing. That still didn’t look like the primary way down.
Then finally my sense started pointing me to a nondescript set of freight elevators tucked away in a back corner of the lobby. That looked promising. I turned to inform the others of what I found to see Lazlo walking up to every droid he could find and pressing a button on some dongle he had that would then proceed to emit an incomprehensible string of beeps.
(Kira) Lazlo, what are you doing?
(Lazlo) I found it in the Council Chambers, I was hoping it might activate some sort of hidden command sequence in the droids if I used it near them.
(Alys) I’ve been analyzing traffic coming to and from the Temple and I’ve been seeing what looks to be military personnel entering in the sublevels.
(Alys) Yes, looks to be near the speculated computer system.
Well, that was interesting. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but it definitely seemed worth investigating. Maybe the Republic Archives and Libraries Department was secretly tapping the Jedi’s investigation system for their own purposes? Or perhaps subtly manipulating what the system reports to the Jedi? Or maybe just some military liaisons with the Jedi picking up the latest batch of reports from the system for their purposes. Still worth looking into I think. We did decide to grab some Jedi robes to wear on the chance that it might help explain our presence for a few precious seconds if we were found. I proceeded to put it on over my own robes and pulled the hood over my head to partially conceal my face.
I led the others to the elevator system I had found leading deeper into the Temple. An engineering droid intercepted us and informed us that the elevator was for maintenance and droid use only. More questions aimed at it only seemed to generate the runaround routine.
(Kira) Lazlo, I think now is the time.
With that, Lazlo activated his little dongle again to generate that weird coded signal. The droid promptly stood aside with that and let us pass. I grinned at the others as I gestured towards the elevator. I can pull off those moments of seemingly ridiculous insight without any external prompting from time to time too. I dare say half the Jedi trick into it is to not let people know how much knowledge you are gleaning via more mundane methods and simply keeping to yourself. That certainly seemed to be how Nimh pulled off some of her weird insights.
We loaded into the elevator and had Lazlo enter his code again when we asked for a floor the system refused to acknowledged even existed. That got the elevator going down into the depths of the complex beneath the Temple at a somewhat alarming speed. Part of me was worried that we had missed some critical command and that now the elevator was going to crash into the bottom at full speed to kill the intruders. As I was worrying about that, Ben and Jacob seemingly vanished from right next to me.
Jacob I could still readily detect with the Force as he simply jumped off the elevator into the complex around it and ran off to who knows what insane end. I was finding myself glad that he was no longer with us considering how ridiculously easy it was to track him despite how “invisible” he was. Yes, I was glad he was gone.
Jacob had noted the droid interface in the elevator – and you needed to use it to get to the lower levels. He’d remembered his invasion-programmed droid, and had gotten it out, hooked up the command line to his suit, and tried to power it up with the power of the galaxy.
It promptly took over his suit and took him on a mission. After a brief evaluation of his skills at infiltration, it had decided that he was utterly incompetent at it, took command of the suit, and had set out on it’s own infiltration mission.
Ben had decided to try to pull off an invisibility trick – using phasing to set up a visual interface with another universe so that he’d be perfectly transparent in this one, and then using his force senses to navigate. He’d somewhat managed to pull it off…
Ben on the other hand seemed to be standing right next to me still, but I couldn’t see him either. He was obviously doing something weird with the Force and Codex though as he wasn’t nearly as apparent to my Force Senses. Then it occurred to me that Ben and Jacob had been still carrying around that damned blaster rifle thing.
(Kira) Ben, please tell me you still have that damned rifle and that Jacob hasn’t run off to parts unknown with it.
(Ben) Yep, still got it in my hands. He’ll have to pry it out of my dead hands first to get it.
Somehow I wasn’t very reassured.
Finally the elevator stopped at the bottom of the shaft. There was a corridor leading off ahead of us, and the hallway looked like it hadn’t been used by sapients in a very long time judging from the dust buildup. I could feel Ben run off ahead of us while Alys, Lazlo and I followed behind a little more quietly and slowly. Then I felt Ben simply vanish from my Force Senses. We followed his footprints with weapons at the ready as we tried to trace his steps and find out what got him. Then I felt a very familiar and disturbing presence as we both felt a hungry presence around us. Turning the corner, we saw the corridor was bathed in a red light and that feeling of a disinterested hunger became stronger.
I then recognized it from a series of ugly memories I had escaping the Varen and Morrowain and crash-landing with the Alternate Alys on the world of Vampiric Space Moss. Luckily it seemed that this stuff was actually “sated” and kept confined inside panels of glass and metal lining the ceiling, walls, and floor. It was looking at the floor that I could see that Ben’s tracks abruptly stopped as he had entered the doorway lined with the stuff. Well crap, either he had been eaten or had fallen out of the cosmos again.
Ben had abruptly seen the universe vanish from his perceptions – and had slipped up. He’d opened his eyes, seen both a brightly-illuminated corridor and a corridor filled with hunger and a noxious red light – and had opted for the brightly-lit one.
The wrong one, in another universe. A place where Coruscant had been abandoned for more than half a million years and an archeological dig was underway.
Jacob, meanwhile, had decided to link his droid-suits directly to his mind with the Artificer Technique – and had gone more than a bit mad. He also had the problem that his armor didn’t want to let him out by himself. It had judged him quite incompetent.
Also interesting was the fact that I couldn’t detect anything beyond the doorway and the associated walls. Apparently Vampiric Space Moss acted as an effective wall against the Force in this kind of configuration. What a clever way to hide something from a bunch of precognitives. Did this mean that the interior was also hidden from the Censor as well? If so then the maintenance droids may well be able to continue supporting the computer system and expanding it as needed without much external input save for parts for millennia.
I brushed the idea of automated factories out of my mind and back to the problem posed to me by this relatively simple door. While sated, I could argue that walking though it as a Force user might leave me severely drained and exhausted. Not something I was real keen on given what little I knew was on the other side. On the other hand, walking through as a Codex user might either shield me from the drain, or end up severing remaining links I had to this reality and drop me out of the universe. Sadly there wasn’t any real way to determine which way was the best without trying it.
I ended up splitting the difference and just walked through as a roughly normal person.
Lazlo and Alys seemed to be vaguely unnerved by the sensation of walking through the door but came through unscathed. Well, Alys is a Codex user, and Lazlo is a Force user, so that indicated my worrying about the door was simply me worrying over a door. Oh well, lesson for the future.
Inside the room, I could sense the rest of the universe suddenly became very faint and nearly impossible to detect. Jacob was impossible to find despite his massive aura. I could sense Valerie though, although it was very faint and distant. I could feel her concern over the link, and tried to send a feeling of reassurance back along the link to her. Either she didn’t feel me or she wasn’t reassured. It was hard to tell much of anything except vague impressions.
I was looking at the immense arrays of computer hardware when I heard Alys talking to someone. Peeking around the rack to get a glimpse of the situation, I saw Alys speaking with a number of droids. The droids were speaking in a horribly archaic accent I found difficult to understand, but that Alys was coping with. It took a few minutes to really get a handle on the accent as they conversed. Apparently we were the first sapients the droids had seen in a long time. Judging from the dust and other little signs, a long time was a very, very long time. She informed them that we were here looking into the state of the system and began asking them questions about the system. Apparently this place had something to do with Aberrant Sith Holocrons. It took a while to determine that Aberrant meant that these Holocrons disagreed with the standard histories and not that they were just Sith Holcrons. I wondered aloud if that meant there might be more than one version of the same holocron then and I was somewhat surprised to find out that there were in fact a few examples of that.
Why I was surprised I am not sure. You’d think I would have a pretty good handle on this, especially since I have encountered multiple versions of myself.
I returned to looking around the computer system as Alys talked to the droids for a bit. What struck me was the fact that this operation seemed to be predicated on a number of assumptions about how the universe worked. Assumptions that ready access to the multiverse would either simplify or eliminated. So this implied whoever built this knew that stuff was appearing out of nowhere but had not necessarily picked up on the fact that this implied multiversal travel was in fact possible. Instead it all gets categorized as anomalies and hidden away. Perhaps this is the Jedi and Censor’s response to the evidence? Quietly sweep all evidence of the multiverse under the rug as disturbing and anomalous?
Jacob, meanwhile, had run across the military contingent, in an annex to the force-proof area, and was listening to angry military voices arguing about the Jedi turning him loose with a couple of Jedi who were trying to explain that they couldn’t overrule the council.
The Jedi picked up on his presence, turned out to be hybrids, and came to get him. His armor stopped the first lightsaber blow, but did get holed…. As the alarms went off, Jacob engaged his drive systems, and began bouncing his way through the corridors. When he smashed some panels with vampire space moss his “being eaten” phobia flared up again and he decided to stop and get it off. Stealth was blown at the moment anyway. He’d forgotten that any force-sensitive in the area would pretty much automatically detect his presence!
They caught up with him again as the droids started decontaminating the area, and he took off again – having gone from “infiltrator” to “decoy”.
Well, if he was going to be a decoy, he’d be the best decoy possible! He’d trail force lightning across the sky of Coruscant and proclaim the coming Sith Empire of Kira!
(Jacob, on general broadcast) “As Kira’s apprentice I am here to herald his coming! His domination of this galaxy, as well as the new sister galaxy, is well underway. Submit to us and we shall show you leniency!”
Ben, meanwhile, didn’t want to meet the archeologists (especially since the enthusiastic droids wanted to put him on exhibit as an example of an archaic species). He was sure this was all Jacob’s fault somehow. (He was a superweapons designer; being fair would foul up his entire career!). He focused on Jacob and shifted out.
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 64 (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 57 from Emergence Campaign Weblog (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 53 (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 60c (ruscumag.wordpress.com)