Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 67a

Double-deck elevators at the C.D. Howe Buildin...

Internal Transport

In yet another alternate universe, Ben had started to glumly contemplate his fate. He could fall out of a universe easily enough – and had enough skill with the force to steer himself to universes where he could survive long enough to get out even if he didn’t hit a planet straight off – but his subconscious was just interfering way too much. He’d been blaming Jacob for his problems, and had promptly arrived in a universe where Jacob had wrecked the Republic AND the Sith territories. Now he was depressed.

Oh NO. Now he was wondering how much worse this could get! Once he started to think about THAT… He’d be a hybrid flying dutchman! Wandering from universe to ever-worse universe, thinking about how it might get worse, until he wound up in some sort of inescapable hell where the force bound everything together so much that he’d NEVER be able to break away!

He went to get a drink. And perhaps to get very VERY drunk.

Meanwhile, back in Universe-0…

We waited silently while dangling from the ceiling as the Republic military bunch went chasing after Jacob through the tunnels underneath the Jedi Temple. I wasn’t about to use my Force sense until I had a better idea of their intentions towards the rest of us. About all I was able to tell was that the vibrations and noise caused by all that crashing around was becoming fainter and that likely meant it was becoming more distant. Finally I judged it to be reasonably safe to drop to the floor again, let go of Alys and Lazlo, and open the door.

Looking around, I could see that the little chase scene had done a number on the walls, with cracked or bent panels all over the place. Droids were busily sterilizing the places where containment of the vampiric space moss had been broken, so no need to worry about that. I really didn’t need a vampiric plague running loose around Coruscant because of Jacob. Thank the Force for the small miracles in life.

Alys and I then began looking for a computer terminal to hack into for any clues on the Republic Codifiers that might be had. Hopefully we could use some of the Faded hacking modules I made copies of to break in and learn something valuable or interesting regarding these guys. We finally found a remote terminal hookup hidden amongst the racks of computer equipment and Alys was busily hooking into it when a number of alarms started going off around us.

(Kira) What did we trip some sort of protection system?

(Alys) No, it’s external to this system. Looks to be coming from the main Temple system itself.

(Kira) What sort of alarm is it?

(Alys) I’m getting some sort of intruder alert. Looks like the Jedi Temple is under attack.

Sometimes I hate being right.

(Kira) Alright who?

(Alys) Bounty Hunters storming the main lobby and several over entrances. Also looks like a heavy Sith paramilitary group under the foundations trying to come up. And finally we have a number of unseen individuals done in one of the service tunnels just underneath the surface.

We started comparing precognition and probability analysis results against each other. It was obvious who the Bounty Hunters were primarily after (and what had set it off; Jacob’s blazing exit from the temple, which had amounted to a giant flare announcing “Now is the time!”). We figured the bunch underneath the foundations were also going to be trying to push their way towards the storage rooms for looting whatever they could find before trashing the place. The unseen group in the tunnels was a bit harder to determine other than their intent on killing everyone in the building.

Well crap. I was hoping for a more singular threat to focus on than this.

Bounty Hunters were little more than annoying in anything other than overwhelming numbers or when equipped with really heavy weaponry, and these close quarters weren’t going to favor the really big weapons anyway. Plus they had no real good way to locate me without searching much of the temple. That left the unknown group and the looters. Unknown people with the objective of killing everything they could find was definitely the bigger threat, but without more information on who they were and how they planned to accomplish this, anything I could do would be just as bait/decoy. Besides, there were a large number of bounty hunters that were going to resist being killed most violently. If I was lucky, the two problems might take care of themselves.

Right, I am not going to be making much of a dent in the Bounty Hunters without a lot of time and help, and going after the unknowns wasn’t going to be productive without more information, so it was time to go hunt some looters I think.

(Kira) Alys, see what you can do to organize what defenders we have, and then we need to get all the tourists evacuated if possible. In the meantime, I am going to see what I can do about some of the Sith running around the place.

Alys grunted in assent. She didn’t see to be happy about the idea of once again organizing things, but it wasn’t like I had any real skill with that beyond proposing various plans. I left her and Lazlo behind as I went off through the corridors looking for a way down. Quickly enough I found myself back outside the Force shielding and reconnected to the Galaxy. Valerie immediately came over the link as I took off at a silent run through the halls.

Alys was more than a bit unhappy about handing around the Sith Holocrons any more than she absolutely had to. The blasted things could tell that she wasn’t a Sith – or even a force-sensitive in the conventional sense – but they could also tell that the force was focused in and around her in some fairly potent fashions. They tried offering her a number of things – including lessons in some very nasty political maneuvering…

She’d never heard of a Sith Politician, and didn’t want to be the first! This mess was going to be ugly enough without that!

<Valerie> Ah so you did come back on your own. Care to explain that one?

<Kira> Looks like vampiric space moss paneling on the walls blocks the Force.

<Valerie> Interesting!

<Kira> Also interesting is the fact that the Jedi Chief of Security for the Temple is also a hybrid like us.

<Valerie> That’s just disturbing in the implications.

<Kira> You’re telling me. Does it look like the authorities have caught on to a disturbance in the Jedi Temple yet?

<Valerie> They’re efficient enough to have gotten there in force before the ruckus even started. It’s also all over the news that you’re involved in this.

<Kira> How did the news pick up on my presence? Is the Republic Military trying to pin this fiasco on me to justify a coup or something?

<Valerie> That one you can blame on your pal Jacob. He’s been running through the streets of the city proclaiming himself to be the “Herald of Kira Keldav here to announce the impending Yeveetha invasion led by the Dark Lord of the Sith.”

*twitch*

<Valerie> You’ll note that I offered to take care of the problem for you not that long ago.

<Kira> I didn’t say anything.

<Valerie> And I know you better than that.

<Kira> Let’s just say that Jacob better get offworld or be found by the Jedi, because if the Republic or I find him first, it isn’t going to be pretty.

At that point I made it to an elevator to go further down into the Temple basement. I was about to phase through the door so that I might simply fall down the shaft to the bottom, but then the elevator arrived. Unfortunately, the door opened to reveal ten war droids.

(Droid) There he is! Open fire!

Pulling out my lightsabers and leaping back, I blocked the blasts that were going to hit me as I sensed for the keeper of these droids. I sensed he was in the elevator car that was about to arrive a few seconds from now in the adjacent elevator shaft. Looks like he had sent the initial batch of droids up ahead of him to draw fire and clear out the way. Alright, best to take out these droids then before he arrives. Stepping into Hypertime, it was a simple matter to ramp up my timerate until I vastly outpaced the droids. At which point it became a simple matter to just pick apart the droids faster than they could react.

That still left me with a number of droids and it looked like two bounty hunters set to arrive in the next elevator in a few moments. Oh well, the bounty hunters were of secondary importance right now. The various Sith were the primary concern and the bounty hunters would neatly act as a distraction for them.

I walked into the waiting elevator car the droids arrived in and phased through the floor. I could hear the two bounty hunters disembark there own car and begin shouting at each other as they found the remains of all their droids. While falling it was another simple matter to adjust my timerate such that I was gently falling to the bottom of the shaft instead of quickly plummeting at terminal velocity. Since my goal was the bottom level, I landed onto the bottom of the shaft with all the fine grace of microgravity and phased through the next door. As I re-entered the normal timestream, I could hear the sounds of crunching metal and concrete behind me as my massive inertial impact damaged the elevator shaft. An unfortunately bit of property damage the Jedi could bill me for, but I think they might be willing to forgive me considering the number of Sith I am likely to be dealing with.

I found what I was looking for soon enough as I spotted a service shaft extending through the foundation below. The hatch itself was open and I could see a pair of soldiers standing watch as it sounded like more of their friends were quickly climbing the ladder to join them. Conveniently both of them had a belt of thermal detonators on them. Since all evidence pointed to these guys not being with the Republic, it was a simple matter to make a noise at the other end of the hall from me to distract them. One went off to investigate, while the other continued to stand watch over the hatch.

Stepping lightly but quickly, I slipped behind him and sliced off the belt of thermal detonators with one of my knives. He immediately turned to look at me in shock as I handed him one of his thermal detonators back and pushed him down the hatch.

(Kira) Here, hold this for me would you?

By that point the thermal detonator was already primed and counting down. As he fell staring at me in shock and horror, I telekinetically closed the lid on the hatch and spun the locking mechanism tight. The other soldier came running back at that point. He pointed his rifle at me and started demanding answers as to what I thought I was doing.

(Kira) Wait for it….

At which point the thermal detonator exploded below us as the floor shook violently for a moment and the hatch groaned mightily. I was anticipating the tremble, but the soldier wasn’t. So I was able to close the distance, grab him, and slam his helmet into the wall until he fell unconscious. I took his blaster and thermal detonators after making sure he would remain unconscious for a least a few more hours. Reaching out with my senses, I would gather that I got at least one Sith with that blast and maybe a second one. Then the building shook violently and rhythmically.

Oh crap, had I just severely damaged the foundation with that thermal detonator? I didn’t think those had sufficient output to do that kind of structural damage. Wait a minute, that rumbling was coming from above and I was now suddenly detecting a massively powerful Dark Side user near the top of the Temple. About the same time I felt something very odd happen to the local dimensional structure as I suddenly detected a lot more people and a fair number of Sith appear out of nowhere in the Temple. What in the hell was going on?

Bens experience at the bar had been ordinary enough – although the bartender looked kind of familiar somehow. Still, it was a big multiverse. A LOT of people looked kind of familiar.

It had gradually become apparent though that the bar was really popular because it was the only one that still got new, live, shows and offworld channels.

Wait, how could that possibly work?

Then he got a message from someone called “Vi” – from home.

 Vi was pleased. He’d finally made direct contact with Ben Therus! He’d been trying to catch up with him for some time… Ever since he’d seen the instructional channel on Gruenn! On the other hand, he was only getting a low-bandwidth connection, the signal had traced to a wandering spot in the air in an empty storeroom (confusing both himself and a bunch of bounty hunters), and the conversation was decidedly odd…

It didn’t take long for Ben to figure it out! The bartender was the analog of that bouncer – the one with the monotalent that let him see into other universes. The aberrant signals that had made him pick this bar – and all those live transmissions – were coming from other universes. He had a link to home!

There was a good deal of confused discussion with his would-be “student” before he decided to make a desperate attempt… He opened himself up to the multiverse, reached out to the rest of the bar (and, inadvertently, to the rest of the people in the temple – who desperately wanted to escape the catastrophe their world had become) and shifted.

He accidently pulled everyone in the temple – including an army of Jacob-clones and their support systems – with himself.

The room was suddenly really crowded.

Meanwhile, some distance from the Jedi Temple in a pub, Valerie Soung was watching the news with some amusement.

“Thank you for tuning in ladies and gentlemen. Right now we are reporting live from the Jedi Temple. It looks like a massive all out battle has broken out here between the Jedi, Sith, Yeveetha, a Clone Army, and Bounty Hunters. Following the revelation that Kira Keldav is currently in the middle of the battle, the Republic Military has been trying to establish order amidst the chaos. Currently we are trying to get confirmation of the presence of the Jedi Counc……. what’s this? It looks like Chan Naldor has entered the battlefield…. yes this is definitely Chan Naldor….. oh dear……”

Xiang had, eventually, decided to follow the rest of them to Coruscant. With her head back together – at least somewhat – she’d spent some time upgrading her amulets some more, and then had taken a ship for Coruscant.

Being able to afford her own custom ships was really kind of nice. She could get used to that!

The authorities hadn’t given her much of any trouble at all. She’d behaved herself in customs, and was – after all – a citizen of Coruscant in good standing, even if she was listed as being a bit psychologically unstable due to grief. Yes, she’d been associating with Kira Keldav a bit – which led to a basic debriefing – but she had no major weapons along, no particular crimes on her record, and not too much information to share.

That had been easy. The visit to the memorial to the collapse that had killed everyone she had ever known was a lot harder. After that, she’d felt seriously in need of some distraction.

She’d gone to look for the others, and had arrived in time for Jacob’s dramatic exit. That was… not good.

The presence of Republic Fleet Admiral Ramith (the one in charge of the Coruscant Sector) – on the GROUND no less – definitely indicated that something was up, but he wasn’t pleased to see her – and his bodyguards tried to stop her.

After she bounced a few shots and crushed a heavy blaster against her forehead (detonating the power cell in a massive blast) without being harmed, he didn’t see any convenient way to stop her.

She headed in with the bounty hunters.

Back in the depths of the Jedi Temple:

<Valerie> Hey Kira.

<Kira> Valerie, I am kind of busy right now.

<Valerie> Why do the Sith target Alderaan as opposed to Coruscant?

<Kira> Are you really asking this now?

<Valerie> Because Chan Naldor keeps his stuff on Coruscant!

Sigh

<Kira> Valerie, are you really reciting Chan Naldor jokes now?

<Valerie> Can you guess where the news is saying Chan Naldor has shown up?

<Kira> You can’t be serious!

<Valerie> Don’t worry, Chan Naldor could accidentally kill every Sith in the sector when he sneezes. Too bad he never sneezes.

As if this whole debacle couldn’t get any more ridiculous. Now we had a pop culture icon showing up hoping to prove just how bad he is. Here I am in the middle of one of the most chaotic and potentially disastrous battles in the war against the Yeveetha, with bounty hunters, Sith, and Republic military forces trying to get me, and my Bondmate is sitting in a pub flirting with the patron sitting next to her at the bar.

<Valerie> Hey, I am not flirting with this idiot. If he wants to buy my food and drink, that’s his prerogative.

Sigh.

<Valerie> Don’t sigh at me. We both know it is far more important for me not to be in the middle of that mess right now in case you need an escape option.

<Kira> Sure.

<Valerie> Don’t talk back to me! Besides, I am trying to be somewhere private enough I can watch the comings and goings of the people around me while still being public enough that I can be sure most of the people around me aren’t Republic Codifiers.

Things had suddenly gotten a lot more complicated in the span of a few seconds and I have no clue why. Well, I probably had a good idea of why Chan Naldor was here, but the rest of these people that just suddenly arrived was another matter. Precognition and Assessing Odds was giving me almost complete and utter nonsense about planetary panic, clone armies of Jacob, Zandaras’s victory over the Republic, and Sith saving the Galaxy. Best to check in with Alys and see if she had any clue what was going on. I had my commlink call her.

As soon as the commlink connected, I thought a mistake had been made as it sounded like a droid speaking binary to me. It took a few moments to verify that the commlink was connected to the right place, then I figured out the beeping was coming from the swear filter. I wonder how that got turned on? I am going to have to work on that PDA system Ban had installed I think. Blasted thing was probably being overly sensitive with the filtering or something. I found the appropriate setting and turned off the filter.

Only to get a loud earful as I suddenly heard Alys swearing harder than any sailor I had met in the Republic Navy. I just stood there in awe for several moments as I listened to the straight laced noble unleash a string of profanity as bad as any of those college animation holos I used to watch. I was pleased to see that the commlink was kind enough to be recording this call for posterity.

(Kira) Whoa, whoa, whoa there Alys!

(Alys) WHAT?!?!?!

It took a moment to suppress the urge to respond to her using that tone with me.

(Kira) Alys, you do know that with all the media surrounding this place, there is a good chance that your language is being plastered on the news for your parents to hear?

(Alys) Oh yeah, sorry.

(Kira) Right, now what is going on? Where did all these people come from?

Then followed the explanation from her that Ben had apparently decided now was as good a time as any to bring everyone in the Jedi Temple from an alternate Coruscant here. This included the Sith that had conquered the place, and the clone army of bioweapon Jacob’s that the Sith had hoped to use to conquer the planet back from the Yeveetha. Plus all the survivors still left hiding in the Jedi Temple and an ongoing broadcast of highlights of the Yeveetha conquest of Coruscant that had been serving as a distress beacon of sorts. This on top of Xiang apparently deciding to show up and fight Chan Naldor on top of the Jedi Temple.

Right, next time I see Ben, I am going to smack him.

While this made things a logistics nightmare, it still didn’t change the priorities very much. Yes, Alys needed to get the droids installing Force Shielding around the Jacob clones, but that was what droids were for. And this only added to the number of people that needed to be evacuated from the building as opposed to fundamentally changing the plan. Plus it just added more Sith to the list of people that needed blown up. No problem, there are plenty of explosives in my possession right now and the Sith can’t readily track me.

Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 66b

A Trandoshan from Star Wars Galaxies.

Whatever happened to these guys anyway?

Focusing on Jacob while making a semi-random interdimensional jump did indeed bring Ben to a Jedi Temple.

One overrun by refugees.

He’d been focusing on Jacob! Therefore this was definitely Jacob’s fault! Just like the last dimension.

As it turned out, it was….

Gruenn had been a disaster. Apparently they hadn’t gotten the information on how Zandramas was pulling off his infiltrations out and hadn’t hooked up with Smooche.

When Jacob had jumped out, he had indeed wound up in an abandoned ship – but it wasn’t the Mrs Beasley and it wasn’t ANY version of the Lifestar. It was indeed a very large and powerful ship – but it had fit in with Jacob’s personal obsessions rather than his and Smooche’s.

It had been a bioship, probably genetically engineered from the spacegoing treefolk, powered by a fairly conventional hypermatter reactor and the tree creatures usual biological subspace heat sinks. As such, it was slow, clumsy, and could make only short, stepping-stone, hyperspace hops since otherwise its metabolism would overheat. It had decent shields, but few if any weapons of any kind. On the other hand, it had a gargantuan, focused, force-potential. Linked with a proper pilot who could channel that potential, it could accomplish an immense variety of tasks – including re-engineering or taming biospheres, which was what it had been designed to do.

It was SLOW though, and didn’t have Smooche along to tune it’s hyperdrive – which, it being biological, he might not have been able to do anyway.

By the time the Biostar had re-entered republic space, Zandramas had reached and captured Coruscant. Much of the galaxy was still fighting, but – at least for the moment – there was a new Sith Empire in the galaxy.

It wasn’t unprecedented. It wouldn’t last. They never did. The Republic always bounced right back. Conventional weaponry simply wasn’t enough to maintain a Sith reign of terror, and such states always started off with a dozen rebellions in progress and a distinct lack of military forces to use against them – having lost most of them in the process of seizing the Republic. They never really lasted long enough to rebuild.

Then Jacob arrived to attack Zandramas and what little was left of Zandramas’s fleet with giant, force-generated, lightsaber beams.

The Biostar had never been built for battle however – and using the force to generate his weapons drove Jacob into a dark side explosion. Zandramas and the remnants of his fleet had been destroyed. The Biostar had lost atmosphere and power, and had spiraled in to crash on Coruscant – where the occupying troops had gathered up what little was left of it and Jacob.

And then the Yeveetha had arrived in pursuit of the Biostar.

The few remaining Sith – the junior aides that Zandramas had sent to occupy the temple and rummage through it for anything useful – had activated the old defenses of the temple. Survival took precedence over the destruction that would cause around it.

Of course, by then, the Temple was flooded with refugees, who’d turned to the last symbol of protective power in the face of the Yeveetha hordes. The Yeveetha had been unwilling to destroy half of Coruscant’s structures and resources to break the shields protecting a hundred square miles of the place – even if the activation of those defenses had wrecked another few hundred square miles of the world-city already.

They settled on a siege. They would win in the end.

In the temple, a few refugees set up a broadcast – documenting some of their personal tales and the destruction of Coruscant as a sort of combination of distress call, memorial, and warning – and settled down to survival.

The Sith, however, plotted. They needed to destroy the Yeveetha on Coruscant and either reclaim the place or at least deny its resources to future Yeveetha while they escaped. They had plenty of organics – the Jedi “Temple” was a fortress that had been designed to endure the sun going nova and to support its population almost eternally – but little industrial capacity or raw materials to spare. Even a (generally ineffectual) Droid army was out of the question.

If they could only produce a clone army dangerous enough to defeat the Yeveetha however…

They still had living tissue from Jacob’s body, and from the Biostar.

It hadn’t taken too much tweaking to turn Jacob-clones into monotalented vampiric force-predators. All they’d have to do would be to prepare them, open a momentary gap in the lower shields beneath the surface, and turn them loose. The Jacobs would exterminate the Yeveetha – and most of the other life on Coruscant. Sowing seeds from the Biostars would soon lead to Coruscant being forested with force-boosting ships – and with the Jacobsaries being able to leave in them to scour the galaxy clean of the Yeveetha. They could hide in the force-shielded depths of the temple, so that the Jacob’s wouldn’t sense them – and eventually emerge to re-establish a Stih Empire that this time – with the threat of once again unleashing the Jacobsaries to back their power – would last almost forever! Just like the Infinite Empire of old!

Ben, in fact, did not get all of that, and wouldn’t until much later – but he went to tell the local Sith about transdimensional Hypertunnels and the Final Empire. He REALLY hated to say it, but it might well be their – and the survivors – best shot. The Final Empire could handle the Yeveetha.

It took a good deal of explaining and drawing of circuits and such.

Meanwhile, back in the arbitrarily-designated Universe-0…

All speculation along those lines was cut short as alarms started going off. At first I thought that Alys or Lazlo had triggered some sort of failsafe in the droids, but I found them being told to seek shelter by the droids instead of under attack.

(Kira) What is going on?

(Alys) Looks like an intruder alert has been triggered nearby. Something about either a person or a missile bouncing around the corridors. We’re being asked to seek shelter until the intruder can be dealt with.

Oh now here was a complicated decision. Seeking shelter might put us in the middle of whatever group it was that was running this place, at which point we would have to explain our presence. Not seeking shelter meant we might run into whoever was dealing with the intruders ourselves and having an even more position of explaining why we hadn’t sought shelter as directed. Damn it, with the Force shielding around this place and the possibilities of who we might be dealing with, I couldn’t recklessly use precognition in here.

(Kira) Alright, where is the shelter then?

(Alys) Apparently in one of the vaults where they are storing the Aberrant Holcrons.

Well, I doubt that is anyplace most people would go to seek shelter. And it was also likely to be one of the better shielded rooms against outside probing too.

(Kira) Right, let’s go. Lead the way.

We were led to a heavily armored doorway that led to a room with only the one entrance. The walls looked to be thick and well shielded from outside probing. That also meant that phasing through the walls was going to be dangerous to say the least. We entered the room and the droids promptly sealed the place behind us. That left us more or less locked in the room by ourselves and with a number of holocrons around us.

In short order I began to hear the faint whispers of the holocrons with their temptations and promises of power. They had no hold over me though as I quickly tuned them out of my senses. Alys wasn’t able to hear them naturally enough, but both of us got horrified looks as we saw Lazlo’s face go blank as he became unaware of us. Alys and I both pulled weapons in case Lazlo suddenly went on a crazed rampage. I hesitantly engaged my Force senses again as I waited for a Dark Side explosion to occur. I could feel the Dark Side energies in the Holocrons around us flicker and twist, but none of it seemed to be particularly affecting Lazlo at the moment.

Lazlo in fact had noticed that the Holocrons – shielded from the wider universe of the Force – seemed to be little more than simple recordings with personality-simulators – and he’d already noted that quite a few techniques were (regardless of what the Jedi and Sith tried to insist) quite gray. It all depended on what you did with them.

Given that, there was no reason not to learn a few techniques – like the biomanipulation speciality – while he had the chance!

Meanwhile, Jacob was once more on the run. His opponents had caught up with him, and he wasn’t up to fighting multiple hybrids at once. Fortunately, his reckless rocketing through the corridors (and gradually working on bashing himself to death) was VERY hard to keep up with, even with the judicious use of hypertime – and the troops didn’t stand a chance.

The sealed blast doors were a problem though!

Wait! He could attune to machines! He’d link up with the computer controlling the door, flood it with the force, and have it open for him!

That worked to some extent – but the computer knew it’s job, and now that it was wide awake, it closed the door on one of his legs – carefully pinning him down while taking care not to sever it.

Fortunately, Jacob’s legs were cybrenetic. He simply jettisoned one, and continued with his flight. OK, that made him more off-balance than ever, but when you were already bouncing off the walls, who cared?

He exited the temple in full “decoy” mode – trailing force-lightning to make the showiest possible exit before plunging into the city sublevels. He even had a great idea! Everyone “knew” that holosith had only one master and apprentice at a time! He even continued to broadcast the “announcement” he’d started in the temple:

(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! Your pathetic heroine Alys cannot stop the coming of the New Empire!”

He headed off to start trying to make contact with the various Sith factions on Coruscant – and to keep up the occasional broadcasts to keep people going… Constant reminders that he and Kira were out there, and that surrender was much better than being forced into submission, that the galaxy was not large enough to serve as an empire for the mighty Kira, and therefore another had been imported, and that the combined forces of the Jedi and the Republic would never be a match for Jacob and Kira!

Hopefully he could explain to the Jedi what was up before they got too mad!

Suddenly I became aware of the Atavist’s presence again as he entered the Force shielded section. He was obviously running from something in a hurry, and I could hear containment breach alarms going off in his wake. I shut down my Force powers hard at that point and began looking for an escape route as I felt Jacob heading our way fast. Damn it, I didn’t want to get caught up in whatever hornet’s nest he’s stirred up before even learning what the hell was down here. I was getting really close to telling Valerie to handle Jacob the next chance she got.

Sadly, there weren’t any hiding places to use in here since there was only the one door in here. Trying to phase through the wall was foolish, and cutting through was going to be pretty damned blatant. I really didn’t want to have to use the Bond to escape this soon either. Looking around the room a second time, I saw that the walls went an additional three meters above the top of the door itself. Well, it was certainly a chance worth trying.

I threw Lazlo over my shoulder and motioned for Alys to grab ahold of my shoulders as I fired one of the variable stars at the ceiling above the door. Once up there, I shifted the weight a bit and fired the other variable star to help relieve the weight a bit. Then it became a simple matter to use the anchor points provided by my arms to plant my feet against the wall so that we were all hanging flat just below the ceiling. Alys was working hard to keep her grip on me and to hold Lazlo in place as he remained in his trance.

My heart was racing as… Jacob went by at high speed in the main corridor without even noticing another armored door like all the others along the main hall, bouncing around like a repulsor ball in his armor at high speed as he collided with the walls. On the monitors, I saw a glowing white figure chase in after him for a moment as Jacob then bounced off the opposite wall and down another corridor. The figure in hypertime turned around again to give chase. The fact that whoever it is was in hypertime made it impossible to see his face directly, but I was no normal person in this regard either. It took a careful altering of my timerate and a bit of frequency shifting, but I was able to peel back the layers of blazing light to get a better look at the chaser. I quickly saw the lightsaber blade take shape as I adjusted better and then worked on getting a better look at the face without incinerating Lazlo and Alys as part of this.

Come on, show me that toothy smile of yours, you Republic Hybrid.

Chief of Security for the Jedi Temple Michael Costov.

My heart was still racing with what I can only presume was the excitement of the mission that Valerie spoke of about these infiltration operations. We finally had direct confirmation of what I have been expecting for a long time now: not just Republic Codifiers, but also Republic Hybrids. Alys, Telera, Ben, and the others thought I was being paranoid with the idea of these guys really existing, but now we knew for certain. Not just emails, not just subtle deductions involving kidnappers, but a real Hybrid that is not one of us running around underneath the Jedi Temple itself.

Oh shit.

Either the Jedi Order itself was sponsoring these guys, or they were being extensively infiltrated by the Republic Codifiers themselves. The fact that the Jedi Chief of Security was one of them more or less proved it. Was the Jedi Council in on this? That seemed hard to believe, but Lazlo had to have gotten that code module from someone on the Council considering he had picked it up in the Council Chamber itself.

Wait. From a display in the Council Chamber itself. And the council was using reminder-droids to remind themselves of the existence of the Codex. Was it that easy? That was as bad as the Emails! At some point the Hybrids could have erased themselves from the memories of the Jedi Council by simply… turning off a few reminder-droids.

Hell, they could do it repeatedly every time the Jedi caught on. Were the two factions just the ones who operated WITH the Jedi because it was so obvious that they needed steering and the ones who were doing something else?

The fact that the investigation into my family’s kidnapping began running into issues suggests that these guys starting actively interfering with it. And if they started interfering with it, then that means that they are the ones that did the kidnapping. They have access to the appropriate security codes and can readily mimic Jedi. Hell, they can actually have Jedi do the work for them given this level of infiltration into the Order.

Why haven’t they tried to recruit me though? I should be a prime target given a number of factors. Hybrids can’t be so common as to just pass up the opportunity when it is inconvenient for them. Could the kidnapping just be an incredibly round-about recruitment plot, or maybe that Sith Commander around Gruenn Alys spoke of? You would think one of their agents would have just shown up at numerous points in the process and just forced an audience. Hell, if the Jedi knew we were going to open a hypertunnel to Gruenn, so did these guys. At which point they could have planted a spy with the technicians to make contact.

Perhaps they really don’t intend to make contact after all. At which point there isn’t any intent to return my family to me or to try and work with me. If that is the case then I am going to need allies in this above and beyond the individuals I’ve been with. The Varen are a natural starting point, as is the alternate Republic and Codifier Republic. We would have to do a complete and thorough search of all our people for infiltrators and spies.

I watch the Chief of Security run back through the door to continue his chase of Jacob. Yes, we are going to have to be very careful going forward based on what I’ve just seen here. But first, I need to see what else I can learn about these guys. Who knows, maybe they will prove cooperative and just have a beef with Jacob.

I know I do these days.