Lazlo did find a few interesting things in training… Most interestingly, the JLA seemed to blame most of the codex-related disasters on the RDF. They believed that their recruiting come-ons led a lot of people to experimenting with the Codex without any idea of what they were messing around with. With that, disasters were inevitable.
Well, at least it helped keep ignorant meddlers from breaking up the galaxy. If you intentionally took out the worst cases before they got to do anything too bad, they wouldn’t be running around warping space and time out of shape!
Vi, meanwhile, was focusing on building a personal contact base and intelligence. After all, if he was going to be in the command structure, he might as well be good at it.
Back with the breakers…
Alys was working on her tactical and command skills – obvious choices, given her existing talents. Besides… playing to her strengths made it easy to keep up her cover and to find the spare time she needed to keep watching for information. There really hadn’t been much so far save for confirmation of a lot of things they’d only believed were true, but that was worth quite a bit in itself.
Wouldn’t her brother be surprised to see her in “boot camp” as well. Both she and Ben were in the pre-command program… Well, pre-everything-that-was-noncombat. She was further refining her bureaucratic skills and tactical training, while giving the impression of a quiet student.
Ben too was going with his strengths; engineering. More vehicles than superweapons, but vehicles were the only way to make war across interstellar space, so the breakers needed that kind of specialist too. In fact, they seemed to need them desperately. Were they having trouble maintaining their ancient, stolen, technology? Alys was pretty sure that they were; at least in her estimation – usually more accurate than most peoples detailed surveys – they couldn’t possibly have the industrial base to fully maintain the things. Of course, that fit in with what they were asking him about… A depressing couple of months of working on their superweapons.
“By the sith, let them know I am in any way related to ben and suddenly its make superweapons all the time. I need to lead my people out of sith rule and get a reputation as a leader.”
Vristris – with an ID as a highly skilled mercenary – hardly needed to hide anything at all.
Kira was having bigger problems. Being so much better than the other students while having to conceal it was difficult enough – but with so many other students being basically scum, it was trying to put up with their behavior that turned out to be impossible.
One evening we were returning to the dorm from one of the card games Virstris had set up among the class. I had lost badly on purpose while Virstris had made out like a bandit. Darius was laughing up with Virstris about my lack of skill when I felt something coming from behind one of the training buildings. It was difficult to pinpoint what exactly, but some sort of disturbance was in progress. While evening classes were still going on for the upper classmen, that particular building wasn’t in use at the moment. Virstris saw my attention straying.
(Virstris) What is it?
(Kira) Not sure. I’m going to check it out. You and Darius return to the dorms and I will catch up once I’ve satisfied my curiosity.
(Darius) We’ll all go.
(Kira) We’ve already been chastised enough about tardiness from the instructors. They at least expect it of me. There is no need for you too to be receiving any of that when there is no point.
Darius continued to protest but Virstris more or less towed him away behind her. Once they were safely out of sight, I quietly skulked through the evening shadows while hiding my Force presence. It wasn’t quite as effective without my color changing robes, but then we’d already proven countless times that the instructors weren’t the most observant bunch around.
It was as approached the back corner that I heard the scream. Rushing forward with no heed to stealth, I turned around the corner to find three men and a woman. I recognized the three men as some of the more degenerate students that even the instructors were having issues with. They were armed with knives and I saw two rifles leaning against the tree nearby. Two of them were busily restraining the woman while the third was cutting at her shirt. Much of her clothing was torn or cut from what I saw and her eyes spoke of the terror she was experiencing. I wasn’t naive enough to have any illusions about what was going on here. She saw me immediately, and the others turned to look at what had caught her attention.
(Man #1) Oh, for a moment I thought it was a teacher. Get lost you stupid punk if you know what’s good for you.
(Kira) I am only going to say this once. Let her go.
(Man #1) Or else what? There is only one of you.
Seeing the blood on the knife and watching the woman sob uncontrollably was making my blood boil. I had seen enough of this kind of stuff at the Academy – and what it did to people – to know I didn’t want to see it happen to anyone else. Recognizing my rising anger, I shifted over to the Codex side of things.
(Man #2) I recognize him. He’s that idiot that was smacking around the other students back at the beginning of training.
(Man #3) All that fist fighting must have made him over confident if he thinks he can take all three of us on at once.
(Man #1) Looks like that is going to be your last mistake. You should have gone running for the teachers when you had the chance.
I strode up to the first one holding the knife and looked him in the eyes. He didn’t back down as he grinned at me while waving that knife around.
(Kira) And what makes you think I need the help of the teachers?
He rammed that knife towards my chest with the full aim to stab it into my heart. It was a simple matter in Hypertime to step aside, grab his wrist, and then flip him over. Holding onto the wrist as he fell resulted in the sound of snapping bone and tearing muscle. A split second later the second one had one of the rifles pointed at my head as he stepped into Hypertime as well. Too bad for him that his speed in hypertime was inconsequential compared to my own. I merely leaned to the side as the shot hit nothing.
Grabbing the rifle, I rammed it back at his chest. He let go of the rifle and doubled off gasping for breath. I adjusted inertia and swung the butt of the rifle in an underhanded swing into his face. That sent him flying upwards and backwards in a slow motion arc. Flipping the rifle around so that my hand was on the trigger, I fired a trio of shots into his chest as he continued his slow arc.
At the last second I caught a blur of motion out of the corner of my eye. Whirling around the blaster rifle, I fired another rapid trio of shots at the figure rushing me in Hypertime. Those unfortunately phased through him to hit the wall behind him. He took the opportunity while I was watching the stray shots to then ram the rifle barrel he had into my face and held the trigger down. I had to use a combination of phasing to avoid the first few shots as well as Hypertime to fall backwards rapidly.
Hitting the ground, I quickly spun in place to knock his feet out from under him. That sent him into a slow motion fall. Quickly standing up, I grabbed him by the foot while he was still airborne. Spinning him around me with the aid of more inertial control, I then slammed him down on top of the first one that was slowing trying to get back up. They collided with each other and the ground with the sound of more breaking bones and screams of pain. I quickly verified that all three were not getting back up and then threw the rifle in my hands to the side.
At that point I realized I had an audience.
A large crowd of students had appeared as well as a pair of instructors. Judging from the looks on their faces, they had seen my little performance. And I had just beaten three armed classmates without any weapons of my own and without the slightest hint of injury to myself. The odds me being able to talk myself out of this one were not good.
(Instructor) Alright, it looks like we may have to consider you for the advanced classes after all given that little performance. The rest of you students should get back to your lessons. I am going to go get the other instructors to discuss this. If you wouldn’t mind waiting here for a moment Aaron.
With that he ran off in Hypertime to get the other instructors. I had no illusions about the reason why he was fetching them, and it had nothing to do with advanced training. While he ran off, I stepped into Hypertime myself to think rapidly for options. I couldn’t just run off or drop out of the universe since that would still draw suspicion on Alys, Ben, and Virstris. Killing all the instructors before they had a chance to get a warning out was going to be impossible too. Attempting to claim to be part of the JLA was likely to result in them trying to kill me anyway, and possibly trigger reprisals against the JLA. Claiming to be a Sith was only going to fuel panic of a Sith Hybrid and possibly start a war of genocide. The only ID’s I had that could be considered powerful Codex users were as myself and Verun Navaro.
Verun Navaro still had that whole Sith Hybrid issue, and would raise an awful lot of difficult questions for Alys, Ben, and Virstris. At least Kira was considered a Republic sanctioned trouble magnet and ergo a possible allied agent. Still, given how paranoid and Force-phobic these guys are, claiming to be a Force user was going to be dangerous. Add to that fact the two Star Breakers in the system and I wouldn’t entirely rule out them using the things just to try and kill me as an option of last resort.
If I stay I can’t win, and if I leave the others would be instantly marked. Taking all of them with me would just alert the RDF that someone matching my description was seen snooping around one of their bases. That may well trigger a major incident anyway. Turning myself over to their custody and I have little doubt about what could happen in that case. I can’t win this situation.
And if I can’t win the game, then it’s time to change the playing field. I was reminded of a situation Ben was in not so long ago. With that thought in mind I reached out telepathically to Ben and Alys. Virstris I could not reach since all of her training had closed off her mind to outside influences.
<Kira> Alright guys, it looks like I’ve blown my cover.
<Ben> Well it was simply a matter of time.
<Alys> I am surprised it took this long for you to blow it.
If I could have glared via telepathy, I would have then.
<Kira> Regardless, it is only a matter of time before they figure out who I am and thereby who the rest of you are. If we are going to stop word from getting out, then we need to move fast.
<Alys> And what do you propose?
<Kira> Trigger a Codex cascade event that takes most of the population with us.
<Ben> Ah, you mean like I did accidently…. I mean on purpose?
<Kira> Yep, take all witnesses with us to say the Codifier Galaxy and sort them out there. Back in this Galaxy it will look like a Codex accident that wiped out the population. You’d expect that sort of thing in this situation.
<Alys> Alright, I am in.
<Ben> Me too.
<Kira> Alright, get yourselves ready for the transition effort. I need to check on something first.
Dropping the link to them, I then did a full scan of the planet with my Force Senses to verify that my initial assessments of the number of Force and Codex users on the planet was accurate. I made no effort to hide my scan as it crossed the Hybrid in orbit I had sensed earlier. At first he tried to conceal himself, but as I gave the area of thorough scan and he knew I was aware of his presence, he reached back out to me. I could tell he was trying to get a reading of my personality and I did nothing to hide it. Eventually he was apparently satisfied with whatever he found as I felt his presence telepathically.
<Hybrid> I wasn’t aware of another agent in this system.
<Kira> Well, not quite a member of the JLA or whatever you guys call yourselves. I am a trouble-magnet agent though.
<Hybrid> Interesting that you are here then.
<Kira> Well, it seems I’ve blown my cover in infiltrating this group. And in an effort to keep this from spiraling completely out of control, I was going to try to tip the local balancing point.
<Hybrid> Well, my mission is to see what I can do about destroying those damned weapons they have here. I was trying to sneak my way aboard, but I am open to suggestions on what you might have instead.
<Kira> The local reality is a bit unstable anyway given the Force shielding, the superweapons, and all the Codex users running around. It shouldn’t take much to tip things enough to drop the people out of the local reality and into another.
<Hybrid> That’s a bit of a one way trip with a lot of similarities to a suicide mission.
<Kira> I’ve had some practice steering between dimensions. You just need to be able to sever some links while selectively leaving the links you need to return where you want to go.
<Hybrids> Sounds like an excellent way of overestimating the strength of the links.
He had a point. Trying to use Valerie as a link to drag the planet along to was more likely to bring her here instead of the planet to her. As amusing as the idea of bringing the planet to her as a surprise might be, the potential silting issues made that idea foolish at best. Best to drop out with everyone I could get, and then aim the mess for the Codifier Galaxy. Then we could use hypertunnels and such to do the heavy lifting of moving us back to this Galaxy in a controlled fashion.
<Kira> Which is why I am going to try to tip the planet out and then steer it to a nearby dimension instead of dragging it across our Galaxy. Once there we can attempt take our time coming back.
<Hybrid> Sounds like you have a lot of experience doing this sort of thing then.
<Kira> Well, my name is Kira Keldav and I have some experience with this sort of thing.
There was a silence over the link that could have been him swearing, gawking, or just sighing. There was no way to tell what. There were a few awkward moments of silence before he finally responded.
<Hybrid> All right; I will assist in this.
With that I brought Ben and Alys back into the link. Together we tried to reach out to as many people as we could and then phased in concert. I could feel space around us warping in response to the combined effort. Just push a little further and it should all just tip out of place.
Suddenly it all just snapped back into place again with significantly more force than any other time I’ve been involved with this sort of thing. At first I thought something had intervened and stopped the process since the area around me was unchanged. Then I realized it was about mid-morning and the sun was a bright yellow instead of dull red. I saw a watery world above me hanging in the sky where a moon would normally be. This looked like the same little planet we had been on moments ago, but now the rest of the system looked different. I could sense the Hybrid still in orbit, along with Ben and Alys down here on the surface. Had we actually succeeded in bringing the entire planet along with us?
Aww damn it, and Jacob was mouthing off nonsense recently that I had the power to teleport planets.
At that point I was suddenly confronted by three of the instructors.
(Instructor) Alright, who are you and what did you just do?!
(Kira) What makes you think I had anything to do with this?
Alright, I will admit that was about as flimsy a retort as they come, but it was vaguely possible that in their eyes that I had nothing to do with this and that it all was a big coincidence. But I highly doubted that they were going to buy it. I got my response as two of the instructors pulled out blasters and entered Hypertime while pointing their weapons at me.
(Instructor) It’s obvious you had something to do with it. Now tell us what you did and who you are or we’ll open fire!
(Kira) It seems I accidently dragged the planet out of the universe and into another one. As for who I am, I really doubt you are going to like the answer I have to give on that.
At which point the two pointing blasters at me opened fire. I stepped into Hypertime myself that same instant and dodged the first blast. I then reached to my sides to pull out my lightsabers to block the rest when I abruptly remembered I had left purposefully those on the Mrs Beasley to avoid suspicion. That also meant my armor was missing too. Thankfully years of sparring with Valerie had gotten me used to reflexively reinforcing myself against attacks as I was hit three times. The first shot hit my shoulder, the second hit me in the thigh, and the third caught me squarely in the chest. Amazingly I took all three shots without any damage save for smoking burn marks on my clothing.
That left all three of them gawking at my still standing form. Taking the opportunity to appear dramatic and to make an impression, I telekinetically reached out to one of the blaster rifles laying on the ground and pulled it to my hand. I rested the barrel of the rifle over my shoulder as I spoke again.
(Kira) Gentlemen, I am Kira Keldav. Pleased to meet you.
The one that had been talking suddenly ran away at full speed in Hypertime. The two in Hypertime dropped back into normal time and just stepped back with a look of absolute terror on their faces. Like some sort of terrible monster out of legend had just arrived to eat them or something. I had to admit that was more than a bit surprising. Either these guys had a downright religious fear of Force users and Hybrids, or they had some really warped ideas about who I was and what I was capable of. At least the fellow who ran off likely had no way of warning the rest of his organization about my presence now.
Then I heard the sound of blaster fire coming from the far side of the training center. Waving to the two instructors standing there stupidly, I stepped into Hypertime and ran to the source of the commotion. When I ran into a building in my direct path with a crowd of people milling about in front, I simply did a Force enhanced leap over the crowd to the top of the building, ran along it, and then stopped at the edge of the building. From here I had a good view of the commotion.
Oddly enough it looked like the streets on that side of the training facility were now covered in some sort of gooey mess. The fighting itself was being fought between some of the students running around clawing and biting at the rest of the students who were shooting back. Focusing my senses on that suggested that the ones biting and clawing were being influenced by some chemical concoction. What the hell is going on?
Meanwhile Ben and Alys were having their own “bit of fun”. They’d been quietly working in a class when their instructor got a call and went dashing off somewhere. Then they’d participated in a bit of planet moving – which, surprisingly enough, had worked.
The giant flying jellyfish had NOT been a pleasant surprise. Ben had taken several minutes to recover from the flashbacks – by which time Alys had seen someone shoot one of the blasted things with a missile launcher. They’d blown off a large piece of it, gotten splattered with the resulting goo – and had promptly gone utterly berserk.
Locking the doors and preparing to hold the line had gotten messy when a Kreedath (was that fair? The things were tough and strong enough even when they WEREN’T berserk!) Had smashed straight through the door….
A full-power, amplified, tight-focus shot to the head barely stunned it. This DEFINITELY wasn’t fair. Still, at least it gave them a chance to phase it into the floor, which at least stopped it from coming at them.
A similar trick with using phasing to take a chunk out of the floor let them replace the hole in the wall with a solid barrier. Fortunately, organizing the students was easy.
Looking at the effects… The blasted jellyfish spread panic and terror to places they couldn’t reach by secreting massive overdoses of high-powered combat drugs? Anyone they stung turned into a berserker zombie out for blood? That really was pretty evil! Especially since the likely first victims would be the ones who were tough and courageous enough to defend everyone else!
This was bad. At least the other students had been easy enough to take command of.
<Kira> Alys, Ben, any idea what is going on?
<Ben> Looks like we brought the planet and the orbital stations with us.
<Kira> I can see that. I am talking about this commotion where some of the other students are acting like zombies or something and trying to eat the other students.
<Alys> It’s the jellyfish. Their remains contain a concoction of chemicals designed to shut down higher brain functions while instilling a berserker rage. They’re acting purely on reptilian instinct.
<Kira> Wait, what jellyfish?
<Alys> Giant jellyfish that could swallow a star destroyer.
<Kira> Wait a minute….
Turning to look at that “moon” again, I suddenly recognized the profile. This was Archegyph and these were the giant jellyfish bioweapons from there. How they had managed to get to this planet – much less to a landlocked town – and why they were secreting berserker goo was an open question for another time.
<Ben> I think the Sith in this timeline made a variation that can travel in a vacuum and release zombification chemicals instead of paralytic venom.
<Kira> Right, it looks like we missed in aiming for the Codifier Galaxy, so new plan. Ben I need you to make a trans-temporal hypertunnel as fast as you can. I don’t care how you do, just make it happen. Alys, I want you to try and organize everyone into some kind of defensive perimeter. We need to evacuate the nearby town as well. I get the sneaking suspicion we are going to be in the midst of a major disaster here and we’re going to be the only way out for all these people.
<Ben> Now you want a Hypertunnel….
<Alys> I’ll see what I can do.
<Kira> In the meantime, I am going to do what I can to rescue survivors and hold off the enemy.
With that I shifted the link to focus back on the Hybrid in orbit.
<Kira> You alright up there?
<Hybrid> I had heard stories about you using giant jellyfish to eat starships, but I thought that was purely rumor.
<Kira> It was, at least in our timeline. Apparently the jellyfish in this timeline actually do eat starships.
<Kira> Alright, so I missed the timeline I was aiming for. The collective noise of thirty or forty thousand people was a bit harder to overcome than I expected.
<Hybrid> Hmm, yes. I can see that.
<Kira> Do I need to work in a rescue mission up there as part of this, or are you doing alright?
<Hybrid> The shields will hold for a few hours, so we’re fine for the moment. Tell me, is there a plan beyond survival at the moment?
<Kira> Current plan is to collect the survivors, build a hypertunnel to do the grunt work of tearing a hole between the dimensions, and then that way I can focus my techniques on steering the tunnel. Lot more reliable that way. Besides, I’ve learned to be very good at improvising plans on the fly.
<Hybrid> Sigh, right, I am going to try to organize this rabble up here to take the frigate to the surface then. I’ll meet you shortly.
With that I shut off the link.
Turning my attention back to the growing battle below, it looked like the people were catching on to the idea that touching the jellyfish goo was a bad idea. That still left us with the berserkers running around trying to eat people. At least it looked like there was only the one jellyfish at the moment and it had been shot down. I then caught a glimpse of a young woman below me carrying a small child as she ran from a wookie chasing after her. He was roaring like some primitive animal as he followed her.
Stepping off the ledge of the building, I fell to the ground. I landed with a resounding crack as the pavement broke and cratered from the impact. The wookie and the woman both stopped to look in my direction. I didn’t stop for a moment though as I stepped into Hypertime and charged the wookie. I slammed into him hard as I focused my on enhancing my strength, speed, durability, and inertia. That flung the wookie into a large stone outcropping that then proceeded to explode in a hail of stone shrapnel. I dropped out of Hypertime and turned to the woman that was now staring at the remains.
(Kira) Quickly, get to the building at the center of the training facility, there are others trying to set up a defensive perimeter there.
She just stood there paralyzed with fear. A light touch of telepathic manipulation though snapped her out of it and got her moving in the direction I had pointed. Thankfully it was easy to manipulate people in a state like her’s was at the moment. Loss of rational control made such things simpler.
Loss of rational control….
Wait, if these berserkers were being driven past the point of reason, then it stood to reason that they would then be easy to manipulate so long as I kept things simple like appealing to a base instinct. Let’s see, fear of injury wasn’t going to work, neither was the urge to sleep, that left sex and food as the remaining options. I wasn’t going to consider the first one, so that left food.
The surrounding farms were filled with many things that would qualify as food, and were obviously sparse on people compared to the training facility and the town. To that end, I pulled on the Force hard and sent out a telepathic pulse associating the farms with food in the minds of all the berserkers running around. I doubt that was completely effective, but I think it eased the immediately pressure and bought us time.
That was when I started sensing people trapped in the nearby building with jellyfish goo blocking the way out. Again I reached out with the Force pushed on the jellyfish goo telekinetically as I lifted it up into the air and flung it out into the countryside I wasn’t able to completely scour the streets free of the stuff, but I was able to get the bulk of it out of the way. That combined with judicious use of makeshift causeways using whatever debris I could find helped clear a path for those that were trapped inside the buildings in the immediate area.
I was about to head to the next block when I heard the movement of stones behind me. Turning to look, I saw the wookie from earlier crawling out from under the pile of rubble I had left him in. He was covered in blood, but not nearly as much as I would have expected from that kind of a hit. It was then that I realized that most of that blood wasn’t the wookie’s. The sheer amount of dried blood confirmed what I feared was happening across the town. I proceeded to unsling the rifle and pointed it at the wookie as he turned to focus on me.
(Kira) Taken to eating people? Now that is on my ass-kicking list.
With that the wookie bellowed a roar and charged at me.
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 71a (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 68b (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 68a (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 67b (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 61b (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 62b (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 66a (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 59 (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 61a (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 60a (ruscumag.wordpress.com)