With Ben finishing up his attempts to single-handedly jumpstart Chyran civilization in the face of thousands of years of taboo – a task that access to the Mrs Beasley made almost practical – events on Chyran were winding down for him. They were winding down for Kira as well now that they had a Sith shaman to replace Lazlo and the old Sith vaults were shielded.
We wrapped up our business on Chyran quickly enough. Alys organized a monstrous feast for everyone that was ridiculously and meticulously planned to the tiniest detail. You know, this excessive amount of organization that seems to spring up around her is getting on my nerves at times. Part of me wonders if this is Alys’s means of compensating for her status as a trouble-magnet or something. I prefer a more laid back and relaxed approach, although I know that annoys Valerie. Oh well, that’s half the fun of it.
I did hand out a number of handheld shields for the youngsters to use though. It seemed like a practice worth encouraging and so I even threw in a few lessons on how to use the things properly. Whether or not it catches on is another matter and one I wasn’t likely to see. Ah well, with that done, we headed back to the Mrs Beasley where more urgent business was in need of being dealt with.
First off we worked to open a hypertunnel to the Codifier Galaxy. That was simple enough considering the resources at our disposal. Once we had the tunnel open, we were able to connect to the local hyperspace grid and contact our counterparts again. A-Valerie wasn’t especially pleased to be hearing us requesting yet another favor of them, but she had to acknowledge that we were owed quite a bit considering we had at least temporarily ended the war there and rescued a good portion of their galaxy from stasis. They agreed to ask the Codifiers and the local Republic for assistance in sheltering a number of refugees for us. She did request for some time to prepare on their end though and we agreed.
Second off, Valerie, Virstris, and I confronted Gab. Somehow I ended up the one doing most of the explanations. Gab was both thrilled and frightened to learn she was being freed. At first she thought she was being sent away for doing something wrong but I was able to clear that matter up. I did inform her that Valerie would like for her to stay, but it would be as a professional assistant as opposed to a slave. She could also return to Republic space if she wanted and we could arrange transport in that case. The choice in the matter was hers. Then she asked why this was happening now.
(Kira) Now this might come as a shock, but Virstris and I have found Darius.
(Gab) Darius? You mean my little brother Darius? He’s alive?!
(Kira) Yes, onboard this very ship even. We found him on a hidden Republic world training Sith hunters.
(Gab) Sith hunters?
(Virstris) Being trained in many ways similar to how I am. Trained to hunt down and kill Sith using a variety of tricks and techniques. Except this bunch has a few more abilities at their disposal and aren’t too big on the differences between various types of Sith.
(Kira) Or the difference between Jedi and Sith for that matter.
(Gab) So he was being trained to kill Jedi too?
(Kira) Not a lot of difference in the techniques involved, it’s more a matter of distinguishing targets and this group really doesn’t care to make that distinction.
(Gab) Why would he get involved in such a group then?
(Virstris) The attack on Maples and what happened to you hasn’t endeared him to the Jedi and the Sith.
(Gab) But the Jedi weren’t even involved in the battle.
(Kira) That’s the problem in his eye. Right now Darius knows who I am and isn’t happy about it. I’ve promised him I would secure your freedom and I have. But I don’t think it prudent to let him know that it was Valerie that owned you right now.
(Gab) You think he will hurt Lady Soung?
(Valerie) That I doubt he can do.
(Kira) He is liable to make a mess and get himself hurt or even killed. There is something else you should know that we found out: Darius is a Force Sensitive.
(Gab) Like you are?
(Kira) Indeed, and I am not sure how Darius is going to react to that revelation either considering his disgust with Force users. So he is going to need your support in this.
(Gab) Are going to make him join the Sith?
(Kira) No, he would never go for it. However, by most definitions I am neither Jedi nor Sith. Perhaps that will be enough of a gray area for him to consider receiving training. Otherwise the course he is on now will only destroy him.
That darkened her mood significantly from her earlier happiness with being set free. I wasn’t sure how to help the situation given the circumstances, but I felt that she had a right to know what Darius faced ahead of him. Darius did too, for that matter, and so Virstris, Gab and I next went to his quarters. I motioned for Gab to remain outside for the moment while Virstris and I went in. Darius was idly playing with some piece of disassembled hardware on the desk. What it was I couldn’t really identify.
(Darius) So is it time to go and rescue my sister yet?
(Kira) And here I thought I was impatient.
(Darius) Are you making light of the situation my sister is in?
(Kira) Stay sullen and serious like that all the time and it will stick. Trust me on that.
(Darius) My sister is out there enslaved and you want me to not take it seriously?
Sigh, how I ended up volunteering to be in this position is beyond me.
(Kira) I ask that you put a little more faith in my promises Darius.
(Darius) And why should I trust you when you didn’t even tell me your real name for weeks?
I wanted to smack him on the back of the head right then and there, but held myself. Instead I telekinetically waved the door open.
(Kira) Alright, would you come on in please?
With that, Gab stepped through the door. I was satisfied to see Darius dumbstruck for once as Gab nearly bowled him over in her rush to embrace him. Questions as to how I freed her so quickly I deflected for the time being as unimportant at the moment. Gab eventually mentioned to Darius that I had something else important to say in all of this and he turned to me expectantly.
(Kira) Darius, as you are probably already aware, I am something we’ve been calling a Hybrid. I can use the Force like the Jedi and Sith do. I can also use what the RDF Breakers called Providence, although I was taught to call it the Codex by a group known as the Codifiers. Codex potential is about as rare as Force potential although the losses are higher for a number of reasons. Hybrids like myself though are incredibly rare as it appears that someone has to be “lucky” enough to be both a Force sensitive and a Codex sensitive.
(Virstris) It’s like winning the lottery grand prize twice in a row.
(Kira) In some ways yes. It has certainly let me pull off stunts users of either one could never dream of. And in some ways it’s been a bit of a curse.
(Darius) Ok, that is interesting, but why are you telling me this?
(Kira) Because thus far in my travels, I have met only a handful of other Hybrids despite meeting many Force users and Codex users. Ben, Virstris’s sister, and I are all Hybrids. I know of at least three the JLA have, and I am aware of a few alternate versions of some of us that are also Hybrids. What is most relevant to you is that you also are a Hybrid, although untrained.
(Kira) You have already received some level of Codex training. You are also a Force sensitive. You probably haven’t noticed yet because your status as a Hybrid protects you to some extent from the worst aspects of both.
(Darius) You mean falling to the Dark Side?
(Kira) The Dark Side is a lot more complicated than the holos make it out to be. Let me introduce you to some people on board that have fallen to the supposedly Dark Side.
And with that we began the grand tour of the ship’s Sith crew. We started off with Smooche’, Menethil, and Ichara to show him that falling can lead to relatively “harmless” obsessions with weird projects. That really seemed to shake up his notions of the concept of “Sith”. Next came the Arethi Welhem and his obsession with love, compassion, and healing. Then I introduced him to the Shaman Kven’thann with his totems, charms, and rituals. Finally I included recordings of Xiang and Chan since we didn’t have either of them aboard thankfully.
Introducing him to Telera was an interesting moment indeed. Darius just could not wrap his head around the idea that there could be Jedi and Sith aboard the same vessel without violence breaking out. Telling him that the vast majority of the discipline issues on board tended to result from the various normal technicians picking fights with each other led to him refusing to believe it. Finally we took him down to the brig to see the various crew members the security team had put into “time out” due to anti-social behavior.
With that out of the way, I then proceeded to show recordings of our encounters with some of the less friendly factions out there. The tragedy that was Lecrouss was a particularly eye-opening experience for Darius.
(Kira) The Force does a lot to the minds of those sensitive to it. The Jedi and the Sith are in many ways victims of this fact. The Jedi are detached, calm, and aloof because they have to be. Otherwise they end up Sith. Some Sith fare better than others, but it is probably better to think of many of them as mentally ill than to think of them as monsters.
(Darius) So is this to be my fate, to be like one of them?
(Kira) I think not. I believe that with the Codex and the Force, one can be used to balance out the excesses of the other. We’ve have only done very limited experiments with using the Codex to heal Sith, and haven’t even begun looking into using the Force to heal Codex users.
(Darius) So all you have to offer is vague hopes?
(Kira) No, I have proof that the Codex can heal a Sith. It’s just that the Sith in question was also a Hybrid.
(Darius) Let me guess, Virstris’s sister?
Geez this kid could be sharp at times.
(Kira) Yes, that is correct. Now, if you are willing, I will apprentice you in the ways of the Force and the Codex. I can’t promise to have all the answers, but I probably have more than most anyone else in this Galaxy as to what exactly is going on. I don’t want an answer immediately, but I want you to think about it and give me your answer once you’ve decided. Your sister also has some decisions of her own to consider as well.
And with that, I left them to catch up some more and think about their future. I had a feeling that Ben was considering another mission anyway and I wanted to know what exactly he was planning and why. Perhaps we can limit the chaos a bit if we do a bit more planning from the outset this time around. Virstris and I found Alys, Ben, and Valerie arguing on the bridge while looking at a display of a planet hanging in the air. I didn’t recognize the world at all.
Entering the argument and getting the story thus far, I learned that this was Ben’s homeworld. Apparently something about our trip to the RDF training facility had made Ben want to rescue his people from the Sith occupation/quarantine. I mean I can understand the reason, but why this has become an issue now was not really clear to me. Ben had never spoken of wanting to save them before.
Ben’s initial plan was for him to simply show up and demand that his clone-siblings be handed over to him with the rest of us nearby to assist if things go badly. Immediately I thought this was a bad idea considering how little we knew of the defenses and number of Sith on the world itself. The sheer number of blank and vaguely defined locations on the planet itself was hardly encouraging for charging straight into battle. We had more information regarding Gruenn before we landed there.
Ben was a little clearer than THAT. After all, the Sith HAD offered him his clone-siblings once if he’d come and share his new discoveries with them… And he was sure that there weren’t too many; a few Holosith and some Artificers seemed most likely.