Up in orbit, Ben’s plan had not gone as hoped; the police had indeed responded to his request that they board his ship and arrest the Sith who’d hijacked it (and him!) – but his young Sith had left some minions to keep an eye out, and sneaking up on an orbiting ship was not easy.
They’d tried a tractor beam, but Ben’s ship had massive power reserves and very powerful drives; It was currently heading for the asteroid belt at nearly 80% of the speed of light with the police cruiser straining to keep up – despite the tractor beam. About the only good point was that the ship couldn’t jump to hyperspace while the tractor beam was on it…
They’d swiftly passed the maximum range of Ben’s reploid setup though; he didn’t have the massive hyperfields of the final empire to piggyback on.
That left him and his young Sith charge awakening to… a near-overloaded power plant, heated drives, straining shields, a ship under fire from the police cruiser’s ion cannons, a crew of droids, mercenaries, and a few other youngsters, and an asteroid belt less than two minutes away and them moving too fast to get a clean miss. Jumping to hyperspace would avoid the asteroids – but they couldn’t do that with that damned tractor beam on them!
Drat it! He should have known the local cops would hang on like grim death! To them, “Sith” + “Ben Therus” + “Near Alderaan” equaled “Potential Superweapon Attack!”.
Worse, the kid had gotten out a minute or two before he had – and was preparing to use his precognition to try and pick a path that would take them safely through the asteroid belt at near lightspeed. After all, he knew that “Other Sith” could do that (at least on the holos) and “therefore” he should be able to do it too! Besides, he couldn’t foresee any disastrous consequences from making the attempt!
Bens quick estimate of the odds of success on such a maneuver – given what he’d seen of the kids shaky grasp of his powers extent and limitations – suggested that the only reason why the kid didn’t foresee a resulting fiery explosive death was because HE was likely to do something!
He couldn’t get to hyperspace, fiery death was waiting in normalspace…
In the chaos, Ben hastily sidled towards the subspace drive – grabbing his personal thawing system and his clothes – with their powered thermal liner – off the rack along the way. If he crosswired the thawing signal to his own personal system, he could jump the ship to (probable) safety and still leave all these maniacs frozen!
It took some frantic rewiring – but with the “crew” manning the shields, lamenting the lack of guns, and trying to “assist” the kid with his “piloting trance”, some hasty excuses covered the few queries about what he was doing fooling with some obscure bit of apparatus.
He jumped with seconds to spare…
That left him… well outside the elliptic, about four light-hours from the local sun, aboard a ship that was barely above absolute zero, with a frozen toe (he’d been standing a bit wrong in the rush), and… still in something of a mess. Most of the ships systems wouldn’t work at such low temperatures, he was rapidly freezing to death as his body heat drained into the smog of supercooled (and slowly crystalizing) gases that had been the ship’s atmosphere – and if he reheated the ship so that things would work again, he’d once again have a Sith crew – and he’d flashboil himself unless he got outside the ship first!
Wait a moment… Getting outside the ship wasn’t a bad idea at all!
Ben hastily grapped a hypercom unit, warmed it to operating temperatures with his lightsaber hat, and got outside into the welcome insulation of space where he could call for help before he froze to death.
The military were by to collect him and his ship shortly thereafter
Meanwhile, back on Alderaan, Alys had been relaying the situation – including the use of Rakata weaponry – to Vi, and Vi had been explaining what kind of weaponry they were up against to the military… Fortunately, the military knew the JLA as a specialist command group that dealt with the Sith – even if a good many of their methods were pretty mysterious. Since there was a “Sith” problem in the city, the advice of a JLA command officer was well worth listening to.
The local commander had ordered the fighters out for an immediate stun-strafing of the city streets. There might be a few really big weapons down there – but it sounded like their operators were relatively unprotected. It was a rough way to restore order – but better a massive stun-headache than blown to bits by some maniac with a ridiculously powerful hand weapon.
Back on the surface, Alys picked up that order – and ducked under cover. The theater was handy since she’d been headed back there anyways – and, like every sizeable public building on Alderaan, it had it’s own internal riot-control and safety fields. Hm… With the power back on, she could probably control some of those…
And back with Kira…
I had just finished asking Alys to send a pickup for these Rakata I had incapacitated when suddenly I got the impression of incoming fire. Turning around to look behind me, I unfortunately got confirmation of that feeling in the form of two fighters coming in to do a strafing run on me and everything else in the area. Ben’s reploid along with that teenage Sith’s had both gone limp and fallen to the ground around that same time. Well, no point in saving soulless and brainless clones, but I really didn’t want the Republic fighters to accidently eliminate the Rakata in stasis or frozen. That meant dodging and taking the Rakata with me.
Damn it all.
Picking up a Rakata in each hand, I ran the ten meters to the edge of the city and leapt over the side. With the local explosions, the fall arresting shields were inoperable which neatly allowed me to dive straight into the river thirty meters below me. While it wasn’t the most graceful dive in history, it still got me out of the line of fire of those fighters doing their strafing run above me. As I put on my breath mask, I took stock of the situation. The river itself was still roiling from the holes blown in it earlier in the battle, and it took some effort to avoid the suction trying to pull me into the sinking mud, silt, and debris. I didn’t bother attempting to counter for the current slowly moving downstream for the time being though. Perhaps I would worry about it once I got to the point I was likely to drift pass the entire city, but not now.
It was with some annoyance that I impacted another shield system twenty meters downstream.
That system promptly scooped me and the two Rakata out of the water and then began making noises about calling medical droids to come check on me. Attempts to brush off the system resulted in the computer notifying me of a five credit fine for disobeying the “no swimming” signs and diving into the river. It then notified me that this was my first recorded offense as an adult and that I needed to think hard about the path my life if I was so willing to casually disregard the rules of society.
I really wanted to ram my fist into the computer for having the audacity to lecture me about a five credit fine.
At that point a team of medical droids arrived and started fussing over the two Rakata. Announcing that the one was “cryogenically” frozen while the other was in a metabolic stasis only increased the fuss as the droids then tried to shove both me and the Rakata into an ambulance to the hospital. Presuming that the fighting was already largely over except for the Republic military doing cleanup, I decided that it was less of a hassle to go along with the droids than to stand here arguing until the police and military arrived. This resulted in me being deposited at the hospital only minutes later with more droids and doctors fussing over me and the Rakata. I was busily trying to explain what was going on with the Rakata when another droid suddenly blocked my path.
(Droid) Sir, I am afraid I must insist that you disarm yourself immediately. This is a place of healing and we cannot have you taking those weapons into the hospital with you.
(Kira) Oh, for the love of…, I have a waiver from the military and the Jedi Council itself!
(Droid) I don’t care if the Supreme Chancellor himself gave you permission. You may not enter until you disarm.
(Kira) Ok fine.
At which point I began laying out my weapons on the table the droid had indicated. First there were the two Rakata weapons I had removed the power cells from, my own rifle, pistol, lightsabers, flamethrower, variable stars, subspace lance, glass packets, smoke pellets, explosive gel, glue spray, and bracer shields. The droid looked at the pile and somehow managed to give a look of incredible annoyance on that plastic face it had.
(Droid) Is that all?! Are you sure you don’t have plastic knives or something?
(Kira) Whoops, forgot those.
(Droid) Oh please don’t tell me you have monofilament wire in your hair, explosive fillings, razors hidden in your fingernails, or any other highly impractical weapons hidden about yourself?!
(Kira) Oh, I forgot the monofilament line in the bracer, let me take that off.
I could practically see the smoke come out of the side of it’s head.
(Droid) Anything else?!
(Kira) Well, I am fairly sure that I could use my boot as a lethal weapon just by hitting someone hard enough with it.
(Droid) This is nearly eighty kilograms worth of weaponry you are carrying! Don’t you think that is a little paranoid to say the least?! I don’t think the Jedi Council had this in mind when they gave you a waiver!
(Kira) Eighty kilograms, you’re exaggerating! I hardly felt that weight!
(Droid) You can see the scale readout here. It was calibrated this morning. See, if I add this ten kilogram weight, the scale output goes up an additional ten kilograms.
I found myself staring at the weight readout and the pile of weapons for a moment. I never really noticed just how much weight I had been carrying this whole time. I had just been adding the occasional item from time to time as I ran across something new. A number of those items had largely become obsolete given how my powers had developed too. Maybe it was time to reconsider consolidating things a bit. I know Valerie had been on my case about how much I was carrying these days.
The droid did another search of my person again for any other weapons but finally decided I was disarmed. I made sure it knew to keep my stuff safe in the meantime as I continued into the hospital to try and keep the doctors from reviving two Rakata without having any clue what they were getting into. I was busily trying to explain stasis belts to the doctors and droids when my commlink chirped.
It was about at that time that Alys realized that the RDF commanders had located Kira again – and were getting an assault using “top-level” weaponry organized.
While he was in a HOSPITAL? And disarmed?1? She passed THAT on to the military right away – and the local commander ordered Kira pulled out NOW.
(Alys) Kira, Republic soldiers are on their way to pick you up and evacuate you.
(Kira) What? I’m fine, I don’t need to be evacuated.
At which point the wall beside me was blown out and soldiers started pouring through. The doctors’ attempts to protest were quickly silenced as the soldiers brandished their weapons in an effort to show they meant business. I got the impression that these guys were in an immense hurry.
(Soldier) Target acquired, beginning evacuation.
(Kira) I’m fine. No need to worry yourself with me.
(Soldier) Sorry sir, but I have orders. It looks like the enemy is bringing serious weaponry to get you and we can’t have a firefight in a hospital.
(Kira) Alright, but can I at least get my weapons first?
(Soldier) No time, but I will have another team retrieve them for you while we get you out.
At which point they practically pushed me out of the hospital and into an assault shuttle. We took off immediately – although they’d never actually touched down – and I found a corner to sit in while trying to look mildly annoyed. I could hear the soldiers arguing about who the enemy was and why they were targeting me, but the Censor made trying to explain anything but the simplest overview difficult at best. Finally I just resigned myself to sitting back and letting things take care of themselves. If they wanted to get panicky over a few RDF soldiers still running loose, more power to them. Besides, it looked like the RDF command staff had gone into hiding for the time being.
At which point I got the sudden precognitive warning that something very bad was about to happen to the shuttle and everyone in it. There wasn’t going to be time to do any careful thinking about whatever this threat was, but I could only think of one thing that might threaten a military shuttle of this class that quickly. Reaching out with the Force and the Codex, I grabbed a hold of the shuttle and everyone in it as I accelerated our timerate. Between the cries of shock from the soldiers and the fact that I could feel the deviation in our timerate and the planet’s, I could tell that the technique had been successful. I yelled at the pilot to take us aboard the command ship as we were about to be fired at with some serious weaponry. The pilot complied without questioning and took us into the open shuttle bay of the command ship hovering above the city.
From Alys’s point of view, the shuttle suddenly burst into a ball of fire, there was an explosive boom and a streak of flame across the sky – and the shuttle vanished utterly.
Blast it! Kira had better have teleported or shifted or something! If he’d gotten himself killed, she’d never forgive him!
The pilot started complaining once the shuttle started melting through the floor of the shuttle bay once we landed, but I ended the technique at that point and ignored the matter for the moment. At least a major capital ship’s shields should be able to handle Rakata rifles for quite some time, the RDF would be fools to engage a warship in an artillery duel anyway.
With the sound of a major impact on the shields, the ship lurged significantly. I nearly fell off my feet as I couldn’t see the lurch coming through precognition. The soldiers were visibly upset as they tried to get back to their feet.
(Soldier) Why couldn’t you be bait somewhere no one cares about, like Tatooine?!
(Kira) No one is looking for me on Tatooine! It’s hard to act as bait when no one knows where you are!
(Soldier) We could put out rumors and have paparazzi dedicated to just following you around!
(Kira) Do you realize just how many bounty hunters are on Tatooine?!
(Soldier) At least then you wouldn’t be my problem!
With that the ship lurged again and I heard the incredibly disconcerting sound of the shield failure klaxon. The ship started rocking hard almost nonstop at that point. Had another ship entered the fray or something? Wait, they wouldn’t dare use the Hyperstrike technique in conjunction with Rakata weaponry would they? Of all the incredibly suicidal things…..
With that a hull breach klaxon pretty much overrode all sound aboard the ship. At the rate this was going, we weren’t going to last much longer. Only thing I could think of to help was to try and nullify the advantage the Hyperstrike technique gave them by pulling the ship into Hypertime too. No longer trying to brace myself, I reached out with the Force and Codex again as I attempted to repeat what I had accomplished in the shuttle. Grabbing a hold of what I could, I then pushed to accelerate the timerate experienced. Hopefully I could get all of the ship with this, and thereby get the ship’s shields on an even footing with the Rakata weapons.
Almost immediately I could tell that something had gone wrong as I felt the area of accelerated time expand beyond the boundaries I had try to set up. My attempts to reel it back in resulted in just straining myself dangerously. At least the rocking of the ship slowed dramatically given whatever had happened. I struggled back to my feet as the soldiers started panicking over something. Looking over at them, I saw that they were staring out the open bay to outside and were exclaiming that someone had done something to the sun. Walking over to get a better look, I saw that the sun was now incredibly dim and red with the city seemingly in the darkness of night. I watched as the sphere of accelerated time washed over the entire city and stopped some ways past the city limits. This scene seemed abruptly familiar, almost like what happened to the Shar Research Group….
Oh hell, I just caused a Codex accident like they had, except I had dragged the entire city into one. This was the sort of thing which had destroyed all those asteroid colonies… Ilia is not going to let me live this one down. Looking at the city below, I could tell that the presumed Codex users were standing there looking dumbfounded as they stared at the sky and their weapons. They seemed particularly annoyed with their weapons for whatever reason. Why they weren’t using Hyperstrike to keep attacking was odd too. Then I realized that the Codex accident was preventing me from entering Hypertime relative to the city. Oh now this is interesting, the accident effect overrides the use of Hypertime by bringing the entire city into lockstep.
While the presumed RDF commanders below kept shooting at us relatively ineffectually, I could see that Alys was apparently getting the soldiers and city defenses coordinated to overwhelm the RDF. As that quickly resolved itself, my commlink chirped again.
Now that the RDF commanders were no longer flashing around in hypertime – and the city safety fields were available at full power again – it was easy for Alys to locate the remaining RDF troops and their eight commanders and turn the riot-control systems against them. That left them wrapped in multiple layers of safety fields. Firing Rakata weaponry inside THAT would break them free of course – but the backblast would almost certainly kill them in the process.
Still, they might have other resources… Lazlo, now free of the need to keep fiddling with the RDF troops now that the riot systems had them pretty well under control vaulted across a narrower section of the chasm to kick one of the RDF commanders; they were fanatical enough that they might do something even more suicidally stupid than the stuff they’d already pulled if they were left conscious.
The first one had been slowly reaching for some sort of grenade-like device. Fortunately, a fist to the face to follow up on the kick put an end to THAT.
With Alys playing spotter and opening the restraining fields when he needed to hit people, smacking down most of the RDF commanders was fairly easy. With hypertime locked down, and phasing mostly incapable of getting them through a shield / restraining field, that left them with shifting – and they just weren’t good enough with that to stop him.
Unfortunately, one of them had been in the process of activating his “grenade” when Lazlo took it away from him – and Lazlo had no clear idea of how to disarm the thing. What little he could get with precognition suggested that it would be a REALLY good idea to find a way to do it though!
Wait! Vi had studied all the RDF weapons too! And had a better memory for that kind of thing!
Lazlo called Vi…
Vi, at that moment, was busy. He’d been peacefully advising the ships captain on what to do to contain the RDF – when a flarestorm of firepower had impacted the shields. A partial burn-through had blown out the big hyperspace observation window on the bridge and flung half the bridge crew out of the ship as it had tumbled to the side…
That included the pilot – which left Vi trying to hang onto the control consoles to avoid falling out, pulling people back inside, piloting the ship via remote manipulators, and trying to operate the commlink remotely so he could shout directions to Lazlo on how to disarm a spacefield grenade, all at the same time.
This was not easy – but with the force and plenty of pure luck he managed, even as Kira dragged the entire area into hypertime – and the ship shields started to come back up.
Lazlo managed to disarm the grenade with Vi’s help – and promptly found himself cornered by a group of kids who wanted to know how he’d been able to do some of the things they’d just seen. They’d seen every episode, and didn’t know he could do those things – and they weren’t in his stats in the Kira the Kat trading card game! And did what Lazlo said count as official errata for the Lazlo card?
Lazlo was a bit flabbergasted for a moment – but eventually went along with it. When had he become an object of merchandising?
(Alys) Kira, what is going on? It’s like the Shar Research Group accident right now.
(Kira) I botched my attempt to take the ship into Hypertime to deal with those blasted weapons. Apparently I dragged the entire city with me by accident.
(Alys) I am detecting a nearly 260,000:1 timerate increase in this field! And the shield-aura from the military ships is creating a vacuum zone outside the city due to the augmented repulsion! At least that’s keeping the interface temperature from melting down the area outside I think.
(Kira) Well at least we know how to fix it. Priority should be on keeping everyone from panicking or trying to leave the field. The Shar bunch proved that the outside atmosphere is like a solid wall given the timerate difference.
Again she started cursing up a storm given the seemingly impossible demands we kept asking of her but I ignored her for the time being. Let her work with the police and the military to keep things quiet and I can see if I can arrange a fix. Ben was nowhere to be found. Well, we found two of his bodies, but neither of them seemed to be the real one. I found Vi and Lazlo arguing about what to do next some time later. I proposed that we could use one of the big ship’s hyperdrive to try and take the city into hyperspace and back again. That would likely melt the ship’s hyperdrive in the process, but that was minor compared to the city’s plight right now. Vi lamented the need to destroy a hyperdrive when he suddenly announced that a really powerful Force user might be able to power through the time differential and lock us back onto normal time.
That was a nice idea, but I wasn’t sure I knew of anyone with that kind of power that wasn’t an insane nutjob themselves. I suppose maybe the Jedi Council could do it, but they would take weeks of normal time to get here and that would translate to….. nearly ten thousand years of our time. Screw it, I could personally haul people through the interface zone faster than that. At which point Lazlo piped up that he had made friends with the local planetary energy being who happened to be a Force user.
(Kira) You met what now?
(Vi) I think it is this planet’s version of Khadim’s main body.
(Kira) Wait, you mean that is the planetary energy being or whatever they are?
(Vi) Yep, and apparently this one is Force sensitive.
(Kira) What does it want?
(Lazlo) It wants to turn me into a galactic mind so that it has someone to talk to.
That wasn’t quite right – it wanted to accelerate the evolution of the existing galactic mind to bring it up past the instinctive-reflex level – but it was close enough.
(Kira) Tell it that it can make friends the same way the rest of us do, by going out and meeting them. Wait, scratch that.
At which point Vi started talking excitedly about immortal Force using energy beings, Force ghosts, infinite energy content and a whole lot of things that weren’t making a lot of sense to me. That then led to him, Lazlo, and Alys discussing the whole silly “Galaxia” concept and making the Censor intelligent. To me this sounded a lot like more of that weird mystical nonsense the Jedi kept pushing around. Eventually Vi and Lazlo determined that the energy being had been working for tens of thousands of years to get the “small minds” to be peaceful, cooperative, and organized into a harmonious society. It took me a few minutes to realize the full implications of that statement.
(Kira) So you’re to blame!
Sadly venting my frustrations of my difficulties trying to fit into Alderaan society on the planet’s energy being was about as effective as arguing with a planet would be expected to be. Vi’s assertion that this energy being must be what the Sith have been trying to destroy or blackmail subconsciously for millennia did little to help my mood. Life was so much simpler not so many years ago.
(Kira) Regardless, do you think you can get in touch with it and get it to help?
(Lazlo) I can try.
(Kira) Right, Vi, I want you to try to get a hyperdrive ready as a fallback plan. If Lazlo’s friend doesn’t come through, we are going to have to depend on ourselves to get ourselves out of this.
(Vi) Can do.
(Kira) Officer Larson, I have a pile of weapons and such that I ended up having to leave behind at the hospital in a bit of a rush. Would it be possible to get that stuff crated up and sent to my ship while we wait for a resolution to this fiasco I created?
(Larson) I suppose so, but aren’t you going to pick them up yourself?
(Kira) Right now I want to go someplace quiet for the moment. Feel free to escort me if you want, but I suspect the excitement is over for now.
Letting the experts work on fixing this, I left and made my way across the city on foot. A few people were out in the streets after the police announced the fighting had ended but it seems like the festivities were over for the time being since it looked like the sun had died or something. This was probably another thing I was going to get blamed for too. Oh well, since I am on a roll for getting blamed for crap right now, I might as well be present for this next round personally. I arrived outside the restaurant sometime later and found the “Closed for Private Party” sign hanging like it does this time every year. While the door was obviously locked, the keypad still took the old passcode for members of the private party. As the lock quietly snapped open I entered the restaurant to see who was here.
(Martha Glithe) It’s obvious who is at the center of this fiasco. Yet another festival ruined because of that degenerate.
(Cyrn Bernelli) Now, now, even if Kira is involved like the news says he is, that doesn’t mean he’s caused it.
(Martha Glithe) Quit apologizing for him!
(Cyrn Bernelli) He has the approval of the Jedi Council itself! How much more of an endorsement do you need?
(James Olath) The Jedi aren’t the most…. pragmatic bunch. Still, I don’t think we can hold it against Kira if he has made some enemies in his travels. After all, you don’t kill major Sith Lords without pissing someone off.
(Martha Glithe) He could at least be a target elsewhere! Our children have gone missing because of that freak and you bunch keep apologizing for the one responsible!
(Evelyn Olath) How about we let the young man defend himself then? You can quit eavesdropping.
(Kira) Knew I was listening in huh?
(Evelyn Olath) I know that door and your habits a lot better than you think.
At which point I was nearly bowled over as Priscella Bernelli rushed me and grabbed me in a giant hug. Before I really had any chance to react, I found that I had been plopped into a seat at the table and a plate of food in front of me. It really was like I was ten years old again in some ways. Actually in more ways than one. The Bernelli’s were seemingly oblivious to my actions, the Olath’s were cautiously sitting the fence, and the Glithes were looking at me with more than a little scorn. On the other hand, I wasn’t a small child easily intimidated by adults anymore.
(Kira) Alright, given what I just heard and the fact I have an incredibly annoying Twi’lek investigator continually pestering me with questions, I assume all of you know something has gone wrong?
(Martha Glithe) Considering how much we are paying for such a highly respected investigator, she sure is taking her time and not being very detailed in her reports.
(James Olath) We are aware that the ones who claimed to be Jedi are not who they said they were. That much was obvious when the Jedi investigators showed up and began asking questions. We also know that the military is involved somehow.
(Kira) Then I shall explain the sequence of events as best as Nimh and I have been able to reconstruct. Please forgive me if I gloss over some details, but there are issues with the very nature of the information I am going to relate.
And I began to explain things. I gave very basic explanations of the Codex and the Censor as general background. After finding a way to explain that in a form that would at least get the concepts across without giving enough details to invoke the Censor, I then went on to describe the JLA and the RDF and how they related to the incident. It at least helped matters that the issues involved were personally important to them and that helped them focus a bit on the topic at hand. I detailed my actions up until now and how I felt it might have triggered the RDF to take such a dim view of me. Finally I explained why I came back to Alderaan despite knowing it was a trap. About the only thing I really didn’t try to explain was Valerie and how I escaped some of those incidents with her help.
(Peter Glithe) So you came here, knowing it was a trap and got lots of people involved in a firefight using star destroyer scale weapons?!
(Kira) I had lost track that it was festival time again. It was not my idea, but the plan was to go to the house, get ambushed by a small squad of Codex users, and then capture as many as I could. I did not anticipate the ambush involving over four thousand soldiers and Rakata.
(Martha Glithe) Some Force user you are. I thought you people were supposed to be able to see these things.
(Kira) Not when a Codex user is involved. That makes it incredibly difficult.
(Cyrn Bernelli) Besides, he did manage to save everyone that got caught up in it all.
(Martha Glithe) Have you even looked outside?! We could all still be killed by this so-called accident he caused!
(James Olath) He says he knows how to fix it and that the military is helping.
(Martha Glithe) You have way too much faith in the military and Jedi!
(James Olath) And what would you have us do?! Punish him?! You do realize that right now he is powerful enough to kill everyone here and there isn’t a damned thing any of us could do to stop him! The military, the Jedi, and Kira are the best bet I have of seeing my son again!
(Martha Glithe) He hangs out with that damned Sith girl all the time and you want me to trust him?!
Leave it to Nimh to spill the beans without any heed to the social considerations of certain pieces of information.
(Evelyn Olath) Yes, I’ve noticed you’ve curiously omitted her from your explanation. Valerie Soung of the Varen Sith I believe she is. How does she figure into this? Nimh seemed to think she knew why but was keeping it secret.
(Kira) It’s complicated.
At which point I could just see the look of disgust wash over Martha’s face.
(Martha Glithe) Found yourself a little Sith tart to play with?
Alright, this needed to stop now. I know the Glithes didn’t like me, but I think it is about time they understood that I wasn’t that stupid college kid they remember anymore. Reaching out with the Force, it was a simple matter to simply telekinetically move the table out of the way. Setting it to the side, I pulled Marthas’s chair close to me so that she was almost face to face with me. The others had backed away looking alarmed by the sudden move, but I focused my attention on Martha as I looked into her eyes and put my hands on her armrests. She was trying very hard to look as defiant as a moment ago and not having a lot of success.
(Kira) Alright, I know you don’t like me. After twenty years that has become one of the facts of life. If you feel the need to lecture me like a child, that’s fine and a privilege of having to deal with me when I was a bratty kid. I am not, nor will I ever be asking for your approval. I have endured terrors at the Academy that still gives me nightmares. I have fought Force predators that can rip through solid rock like it was made of wet paper because I had no where to run. I have been chased by thousands of bounty hunters while trapped on a lonely planet far from the Republic. I have fought a Dark Lord of the Sith that thought nothing of casually killing children just to provide a technical demonstration. A nigh immortal Sith Lord that threatened to destroy the Republic is now dead due to my actions in no small part. I have saved quadrillions of people in two alternate galaxies and have managed to significantly tilt the tables in the Yeveetha war heavily in favor of the Republic.
(Kira) I accept that I am not well appreciated by a number of people across the Galaxy. No matter what I do, there is always someone out there able to twist the story into further proof that I am a Dark Lord of the Sith out to conquer the Galaxy. Frankly, I don’t care beyond the sheer inconvenience it has caused. What I do care about is when you belittle that “Sith tart” as you called her. She has worked very hard to reform herself since I met her and has done far more for me than most anyone else over the last five years. To be honest, I don’t really appreciate it when you talk about Valerie like that. Do I make myself clear?
(Martha Glithe) Y-yes.
(Kira) Good, now I will find your daughter, Barcos, Nathan, and my family because they are all important to me. Not because of your attempts to guilt-trip me into doing it. I am sorry the festival got ruined in the process of me attempting to learn where your daughter is hidden. Deal with it.
(Evelyn Olath) Bravo kid, way to stand up for yourself.
I silently moved the table and chairs back into place. Evelyn tried to start the small talk going again by asking me to describe meeting the Jedi Council and what my impressions of them were. That got the discussion going in the direction of how the Force affected the minds of those sensitive to it and how this resulted in the various types of Sith. That fascinated Peter immensely as he started asking a number of psychological questions relating to the various Sith I’ve met and my impressions of them. That took the discussion fairly late into the night and finally everyone started going home.
I thought briefly of visiting the house myself, but decided the amount of traps that were likely to be waiting for me wasn’t appealing right now. Not to mention how disturbing sleeping in an empty house was likely to be given all that was happening. It was bad enough considering how silent things felt through the Force right now and adding to the isolation I was feeling was the fact that the link with Valerie was now feeling incredibly weak through the interface zone. To that end I found myself a hotel room to stay in for the night.
The next few days was spent trying to keep on top of what Lazlo and Vi were doing, making sure the RDF command staff and soldiers remained secure, watching how repairs to the power plant were going, and keeping an eye on the interface zone for any untoward changes. I still found myself amazed at how many of the people here obeyed the curfew without question the entire time. It was towards the end of the third day when I was beginning to contemplate issues with food and water supplies that I felt time suddenly snap back into place. At that same time the sky went from an incredibly dull red glow to a noonday sun in a single blinding instant.
As part of this blinding sensation was a feeling of an immense ocean of Force power that seemed to engulf the entire region. To say this felt overwhelming was an understatement of epic proportions. I thought Lecrouss, Huriel, and Zandramas were powerful practitioners of the Force, but they didn’t hold a candle to this ancient behemoth. I ended up shifting to the Codex side in order to keep the feeling of being overwhelmed at bay. I could only presume this was Lazlo’s new friend. At least this seemed to fix the problem my accident caused. Looking at the clock, it looked like three days passed inside the interface zone while only a second passed outside the interface zone.
Police, government officials, and military officers all began to converge on Crevasse City at that point. Alys took on the task of explaining to the government and police while Vi handled the military. We did learn that Ben’s ship was missing, but apparently the military were giving chase right now to a ship racing towards the asteroid belt at a significant fraction of lightspeed. Not much I could help with there though besides just offer suggestions from time to time since the Republic military had such a head start on chasing the ship down.
That more or less resulted in another couple days of cleanup efforts, explanations, and trying to stay out of the way as the festival restarted. News of Kira Death Clones showing up, defeating thousands of soldiers, disrupting the festival, and getting my first criminal offense as an adult (damned swimming violation) was filling the local broadcasts. The calls for banning the Kira Death Clones from next years festivals were annoying on a number of levels. How exactly they proposed to tell the difference between me and any so-called Death Clone was not immediately clear and the whole ruse stunk of a round-about means of banning me from future festivals. The arguments then proceeded to debate the point of whether or not you could ban something that did not exist and if it didn’t exist, was there any “harm” in banning it?
It was as I was lamenting the fact that the locals were even having the debate to begin with that my PDA informed of the arrival of a number of messages. First batch was from various members of my extended family wanting to get in touch with me. Many of them were people I barely remembered beyond a few reunions and visitations over the years. Some wanted updates regarding what was happening to me, my siblings, and my parents, and I went ahead a wrote a response for those. Then I saw that apparently some of them had realized I had come into some money recently and were (although not always subtly) asking for financial assistance. Part of me was torn between the realization that many of them wouldn’t care the slightest about my well-being if it weren’t for the money, and the fact that refusing to help family was a bit of a egotistical Sith trait. I am going to have to think about this for a bit. I was rather amused to see the letter from my cousin Al Masters (I think he is a paramedic these days) wanting to get together for drinks at some point. Last time we had gotten together resulted in me getting a court order to join the military. I might take him up on that at some point.
The second batch was a bit more surprising on a number of levels. At first the PDA asked me what to do with the assorted messages it had presorted into the spam category for the interim. I asked it to provide a typical sample for me to review so I could give better guidance. That resulted in me being presented with the image of a blonde female offering to do a number of things that weren’t exactly considered polite to say on Alderaan. I mean, I’ve seen more than my fair share of associated mass-market spam promising all sorts of things, but this was the first time I’ve seen something like that addressed to me personally by more or less ordinary people. A quick review of a few more items in the list showed that this blonde was hardly an isolated incident on any level as there was a considerable number making similar offers. I even recognized one of them as a girl that never gave me the time of day back in college. The contrast between those messages and the people wishing all sorts of unpleasant things to befall me was stark.
Dashing rogue indeed….
And yet it felt so hollow. I had no delusions what they were after any more than I did regarding many of those family members wanting to get friendly with me all of the sudden. Perhaps there was a time where that sort of thing wouldn’t have mattered to me but these days I want something more substantial than that. Of course, it is hard to get anything more substantial than being Bonded to someone. Perhaps that is why I feel nothing more than idle curiosity with these messages. And I think that is probably a good thing. Letting Valerie see these messages, however, was not a good thing.
So those messages got sorted into the spam bin for prompt deletion.
Of course that brought up the thought as to why exactly was I Bonded with Valerie. Oddly enough that never came up in any of our discussions of the Bond between us. Maybe I should talk with her about it the next time I see her.
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 77 (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 75 Appendum (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 76 (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 73b (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 71c from Emergence Campaign Weblog (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 73a (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 72b (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 68b (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 67a (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 66b (ruscumag.wordpress.com)