Fate of the Force: The Dark Resurgence: Chapter 3.

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Fate of the Force: The Dark Resurgence: Chapter 3.

Post by Fated Xtasy on Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:35 am

Fate of the Force:  The Dark Resurgence: Chapter 3.

Gar strode through the ship’s corridors, all around him the cruiser’s personal nodded and waved politely as well as respectfully at him. Gar returned their greetings with a courteous nod of his own. Rarely were words spoken as he continued his walk to the bridge of the ship. The scientist and researchers were all too busy with…..something.  As he continued forward, Gar couldn’t help but let his mind drift back to his Padawan, Maia. It had been eight years since the incident of Korriban. But he was still haunted by the dreams – the nightmares of her and Sai-Fa’s deaths. Since then, Gar had been made a Jedi Master for his defeat of the rogue Jedi, Daak Vas. He was even offered the seat of Master of Order. But Gar had turned it down he didn’t feel that he was deserving of such a prestigious title. Not after the loss of his first and greatest pupil, not after the loss of his friend and comrade.

It was unlike a Jedi Master to dwell on the past, to regret was to crave control and power. Two things that lead to the Dark side, Gar knew about this, it was the reason why he had chosen a solitary path, he trained alone, went on missions alone – Gar had forsaken all friendships that he once had. Those who knew him well, like the legendary swordswomen, Kilai Visir. And the Grandmaster of the order herself, Severin. All noticed the change, it had happened only mere days after the death of his Padawan and friend. Gar had fallen into despair and sadness.

“If you continue on your path, you will find that your pain and anguish will consume you, Gar.” Severin had told him. Her gentle voice had said things he already knew. “Do what you must, to embrace that pain. That anguish, the sadness. But do not let it consume you. Instead, let it flow through you.”

Yes, Master. Since that day, Gar had turned to solitude and detachment; he had become a strict and powerful Jedi Master. He knew this had worried his closes friends and allies; he had become distant, almost cold. But he was still a Jedi.  Gar finally arrived at the door to the bridge, the doors opened as soon as he stepped in front of them, he stepped inside. The bridge was a hive of activity; scientists huddled around tables. They spoke of an anomaly that the ship’s sensors had detected.

An anomaly? This must be the most exciting thing to happen on this ship since we left Corusant Gar thought to himself. While he enjoyed the silence and peace that came with the mission that the Council bestowed upon him, he felt – knew, there was another reason for him being on this mission. The council had felt that he had gone without a comrade for too long. Gar couldn’t help but chuckle quietly.

“Enjoy your nap?” a voice asked. Gar turned around to face the voice. A female Nautolan stood tall and proud, she wore a full black leather body suit that showed off her voluptuous and athletic body, her hands rested on her hips. It was Sum-Baki, a fellow Jedi master and friend of Gar’s, the two Jedi had been through training together and were even knighted at the same time, the two Masters had known each other since their time as students. They had remained friends throughout the years. Sum wore an amused look on her face that disappeared as suddenly as it had come. I guess it’s serious

“I would have slept longer, but your officer said you were waiting for me?” Sum-Baki nodded and lead Gar to a holo-table, she expertly entered a number of codes on the console integrated into the table and accessed a file. A holographic figure came to life. It was a large diamond shaped figure; ancient marking of unknown origins covered the hologram. Gar studied it for what seemed like an eternity, the Jedi were all well versed in the history of the order, the creation of the New Jedi Order under Luke Skywalker, the siege of Yavin IV, the Ragnos Crisis and many more, but their Knowledge of ancient times was limited. Gar himself could not recognize the marks on the figure, finally. He spoke up. “What is it?”

Sum-Baki shrugged. “We don’t know, our ship’s sensors picked it up almost immediately, we thought it was some sort of debris, but then we took a closer look and well. The science team is baffled, they have no clue what this” Sum struggled to find the word. “What this thing is” she finally blurted out.

“Is it of Sith origin?” Gar asked.

“No” a gruff voice answered. “Greetings, Master Jedi” A short Nemodian man bowed to the Jedi Masters. “This anomaly is not of Sith origin, the markings are quite different from those of the Sith warriors under the Sith Lord, Krayt. And they do not match any of the known Imperial Sith markings used by the Emperor Sidious or his followers”

Gar and Sum-Baki exchanged a glance. “And you are…?”

“Sar Badakua, head of the research, science and statistics team” Sar bowed again. “You have not seen much of me, I mostly keep to my laboratory and have all of my meals brought to me to save time”

“Save time?”

“Yes, Master, Jedi. I was there when we discovered the coordinates to this sector on the Planet, Dxun.” Sar Badakua rubbed his chin, his eyes were fixated on the figure, but he seemed to be deep in thought, almost as if he were searching for an answer to an unspoken question. “Though it is an honor to be here, I fear most of my time is spent in the laboratory deciphering the remaining data alongside my Colleagues. And I must say the process is quite….tedious, to say the least.”

Gar crossed his arms over his broad chest and stared directly at the Nemodian man. “Yes, I imagine. I am Gar Thorin” Gar presented himself and continued. “Have you discovered anything new from the encrypted files?”

“Yes, and no” Sar said. The Jedi said nothing; they knew there was more to Sar’s story. “We have discovered that the datafiles on the ancient datapad are more coordinates, however, the majority of the files that we were able to decipher lead to regions which we have already discovered, the Corusca sector, Raioballo and” Sar gulped and composed himself before continuing. “The Esstran sector.”

“Korriban!?” Sum-Baki and Gar both exclaimed at the same time.

“Well, that’s the good news. What’s the bad news?” Sum-Baki inquired

“The rest of the files are too corrupt for us to decipher, it would take us weeks, months – perhaps even years to decipher the remaining files even with-“  

“Master Sum-Baki, Master Thorin, you need to see this” The officer from before said. The jedi quickly turned their attention to him; Gar could sense his friend’s annoyance.

“What is it commander?” Gar could see that Sum was trying hard to contain her anger and frustration at her officer.

“Ma’am, the station is….opening” The Jedi exchanged a worried glance; the force was clouded here, adulterated with something that neither Jedi could place a name on.

Gar and Sum-Baki looked out of the Transpirasteel glass; the diamond shaped station was colossal in size, twice the size of a Star Destroyer. The hologram Gar had seen did not do the gigantic station justice; the markings that covered the station suddenly took on an eerie appearance, they twisted and turned as if they were lock mechanisms and they – the Jedi –No, the force was the key.

The station’s markings and outer shell continued to curl and rotate; the technology was unlike anything Gar had ever seen before, the station was creating – No, unveiling– its hangar.

The unidentifiable markings locked in place; a thin line was all that was left from the elaborate demonstration that they had witnessed, the line parted in half, both sides headed towards opposite directions, suddenly, the hangar of the Station came into view.

Gar heard the soft murmurs and gasps of disbelief, excitement as well as worry, behind him, even Sum-Baki had held her breath. Gar examined the hangar as best as he could from a long distance, he could barely make out the faintest of shapes. He knew they would have to board the station in order to examine it closely. Oh, this should be fun

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Gar and Sum-Baki, maneuvered the small reconnaissance ship gently through the expansive star-ways, as they grew closer, and closer towards the hangar, the Jedi felt their senses dull, their connection to the Living Force shrouded by a fog.  Behind them was head of the research, science and statistics team. The Nemodian man and his team worked silently, the sound of gentle clicks and beeps were the only things that filled the starship’s control center. Gar found he had become unnerved by it all.

The Kel Dor master turned to his companion in the co-pilot seat, Sum-Baki sat motionless, he could feel the power of the Force swirl around the Jedi Master, he had hoped to feel the warm and almost enthralling feeling that the Nautolan usually radiated, but instead, he felt the cloud-the fog- of an unknown source – neither light nor dark, it simply was.

“It is strange” Sum-Baki said, speaking the very words that Gar wanted to say aloud. “I do not feel the bitter tang of the Dark side-there is a trace of it, yes. But it is not like Korriban or the Valley, its power is… weak.”

“Yet it affects our senses, our perception, our connection to the Force, greatly.” Gar finished for her, rubbing his chin with a clawed hand. “We will have to proceed with caution”

“Well, we’re very fortunate to have been trained to live by that very phrase, aren’t we?” Gar chuckled, sped the star-ship up and engaged the docking sequence.

The recon ship landed smoothly, within moments of the ship’s touchdown, the Jedi were the first to exit from the shuttle, their hilts gripped tightly in their palms. The shroud that dulled their Force sensitivity seemed to have grown stronger than before; it took considerable effort for the Jedi to reach out to the Force, much more than it should have.

Gar took a look around, mummified remains, ashes and other relics of the past filled the room, the walls and floor were seared by a blast of some kind. They looked ancient. Yet despite the death that surrounded them, he saw that, Sum-Baki, stood motionless. Her glow rod fell to the floor.

“Sum-Baki?” he called after her, Gar got no response. Gar ran to her, only to stop dead in his tracks. He understood why she stopped, the power of the force –the Dark side- was here, only a foot away from them, its power was incredible, Gar didn’t want to imagine the person or thing that held such tremendous power. It was tainted, angry, unadulterated-the Dark side in its purest of form.

Gar picked up the glow rod, brought it up to his head and watched as it illuminated the darkness that covered the room, he saw what Sum-Baki saw, a ship crushed by ….something, there were no marks of cannon fire nor did it seem to have been detonated from the inside – this was work of a powerful force user. Could the power we sensed have come from this? Gar thought to himself.

“Do you feel it?” Sum-Baki said, the force surged around her, Gar felt her erecting her mental defenses.

“Yes” Gar placed his clawed hand on her shoulder and gave her a gentle squeeze. “Are you alright?”

“It-it caught me by surprise, this place weakened my senses. I was not prepared for the dark side’s assault” She spoke softly, still focusing on her mental defenses. “Let’s move on”

“Very well, why don’t we go and speak to the rest of the team?” Sum-Baki nodded in agreement and the two walked in silence towards the shuttle.

“Master Jedi!” A man clad in the colors of the Imperial Republic, stood at attention. He wore the red and black colors of the alliance, his hair was extremely short – the buzz-cut common to the infantry troopers of the Galactic Imperial Republic. He was muscular and tall. He was a giant of man.

“Lieutenant, how go the preparations?” Gar bowed respectfully, though he no longer held any formal rank within the Imperial Republic, soldiers, commanders, generals, politicians; old and young alike, all treated him as a high ranking officer. He had been one of the most prominent Jedi generals within the Imperial Republic for many years. Yet the respect and admiration within the eyes of every man within the Imperial Republic still surprised him, it was not a feeling of arrogance, only unease, many men had died or loss a limb under him, Gar felt that those men deserved respect and admiration, men that died fighting for peace and justice, not him.

“The research teams are prepped and ready to go on your word, sir!” The young soldier said, still maintaining his salute. It was clear to Gar that the young man was trying to impress him.

“Excellent.” Sum-Baki exclaimed from behind Gar. “Go and make sure everything is in place lieutenant”
The soldier saluted them again and left. “So, do we go in now? Or do we wait?”

“Wait?” Gar chuckled and shook his head. “If we don’t start now, I doubt I’ll ever muster up the power to start again!” The two Masters shared a laugh.

“Then I guess we better get started, unless – of course – you’d like to take another nap and wake up at noon?”

Gar burst out in a loud and uncharacteristic laugh. “Not today, I think.”
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Gar sat on the floor cross-legged, for the last three hours, he had been trying to clear his senses and perceptions with the force, but the fog that clouded his power still kept a hard grip, making it harder to use the force, but not deteriorating his combat ability, even without the force to guide his hand, Gar would be more than a challenge to any opponent.

“Gar, the teams are ready, we’ve double checked everything from the slicing and analytical equipment to fire arms and protective armor. Every thing’s set” Sum-Baki stood behind him, her hands on her hips.
“Are you ready?”

“Yes.” Gar rose from the ground and met her gaze. “I am ready”

The Jedi Masters returned to the shuttle and found the team already waiting for them, among them was the lead Nemodian scientist, Sar Badakua, he was bent over a small table, presumably doing a last minute check on all of his equipment, the Nemodian merely nodded at the Jedi.

“Alright, Research team” Sum-Baki called them all. “so far, we have no idea what lies ahead, there could be dormant war droids just waiting to be awaken, a self destruct system that will activate as soon as we enter through one of their blast doors” Gasps and murmurs of fear and worry spread through the small group of the twenty – thirty man team. “Or maybe there’s an old sith lord with a split personality disorder behind the door” The crowd erupted in a laughter all at once; even Gar couldn’t suppress a chuckle. Such a thought would be preposterous. Someone would have to be on some really bad Blaze Blossom to come up with such a thought Gar thought for a moment and reached for his personal communicator. “Reminder:  Scan Sum-Baki’s blood for any ….abnormalities “

The research team, made their way off the shuttle, they huddled together and marveled at the scene of battle before them, an ancient ship that seemed to have been crushed by the hands of a rancor. The skeletal remains of a being that seemed to have been several broken bones, some were shattered, and others were completely pulverized. Gar felt their fear and worry, and fell too, the calm and reassuring aura of his friend washing over them like a great typhoon, even with their benighted sensitivity, Gar could feel her muster the power of the force and then release it like a refreshing and gentle waterfall. It was ability unique to her, one that was honed after years of training and studying, where others had chosen combat as their focus, Sum-Baki had chosen to study the force and all things related to it, in just a few years as a Jedi Knight, she had learned  the esoteric . And as a Master, she had delved deeper into the force, but it was not a thirst for power that drove her nor was it a blind ambition to become the greatest of the order, it was instinct, a gift that was granted to her by her deep connection to the living Force.  Her power within the Force was only matched by her diplomatic skills, even the sternest and most stubborn of politicians and crime lords fell to her in a battle of words.

The group paused at what they assumed was the main entrance. Sum-Baki and Gar exchanged a worried glance. Up ahead, they saw a corpse, its bones were at odd angles. Gar felt a tiny fraction of the dark side emanating from the corpse. He turned his attention away from the corpse at to his fellow Jedi master; Sum-Baki was examining the room , Gar followed her gaze and saw scorch marks of…something, it was not from a blaster or something akin to a force blast a force user, the scorches marks on the walls were… inhuman. Something unlike Gar had ever seen before.

“Let’s continue” Gar only nodded followed behind Sum-Baki. The group continued to move carefully through the station, for hours, they paused and examined old and battered machinery, they took samples of the machinery and returned to the shuttle, each time, one of the Masters accompanied the recovery team, while the other stayed and guarded the other team. It was Gar’s turn to stay behind with the scientists.

“Master, Jedi!”  The young, tall and muscular republic lieutenant from before jugged towards the master. “Master, Thorin” The young soldier panted, his chest heaved.

“Calm yourself, breath and then begin”

The young man followed his suggestion to the letter and began. “One of the lab-ra- I mean scientists, left the group, I just noticed and thought I should let you know” Gar’s eyes widened behind his mask.

“How long ago did he leave?”

“The others said that he left to help the recovery team about ten minutes ago” The soldier tugged at his collar nervously.

“Do we know who the one that strayed away from the group is?”

“Sar Badakua, the Nemodian, sir.” Gar sighed wearily; he had expected this from one of the younger and more curious scientists, but not from the Nemodian elder and leader of the team.

“Call Master, Sum-Baki, and tell her to get back here as soon as possible. Once you’re done with that, I want you to round up the scientists, the rest of your squad and stay here. I will go after Sar Bakadua”

The young man saluted the Jedi master and set off to complete his assigned task, Gar was taken aback, he had excepted the young man to want to follow him in a foolish attempt to gain glory and honor.  Gar pushed the thought out of his mind and focused, he called on the force, and though it did not respond as it usually did – as a surge of power that rose through him- it came slowly and dimly. But it was enough, Gar settled himself as best he could within the Force and dashed towards one of the open corridors, moving faster than any of the soldiers and scientists could perceive.

Gar was a flash of movement, running faster than any normal being would have thought imaginable, though to him, the world moved normally, giving him enough time to see the every molecule of each room he passed through, it was less of a technique and more of an instinct to him, though each Jedi was trained in Force augmentation from Padawanhood, few continued their training in it, opting to instead focus on other areas of the Force or hone their diplomatic skills. Gar had continued his force training under the greatest of Jedi masters, like his friend, Kilai Visir, as a Jedi Weapons-Master, Kilai’s sole focus was on lightsaber combat and how to use the force to help her in combat, although many ignorant Padawans would remark that Kilai’s focus on combat and title meant that she was untrained – or rather, unskilled. But none of the Padawans had ever witnessed Kilai Visir single handedly destroy a YT-Freighter with her bare fist nor have they witnessed her send a man flying with a mere finger flick to the head.

Gar stopped abruptly, he saw a figure in the distance. It was hunched over examining….something.
The Kel Dor shook the swarm of possibilities that entered his head and carefully walked over to the hunched figure.

He didn’t call out to the figure.

Gar was two feet away from the figure, up close he saw that it indeed was, Sar Badakua, he wore the loose white robes of a scientist, his goggles strapped to the back of his head. Gar saw a datapad in the doctor’s hand from behind. In front of him, were the skeletal remains of three beings, one a Cathar, the other a Deveronian and the last a humanoid of some sort? Gar couldn’t tell, all he saw was the battered remains of a few unlucky pirates. I hope whatever attacked them is gone Gar turned his attention to Sar Badakua, the man was so entranced with his work, that he failed to hear the Kel Dor behind him.

“Doctor” Gar placed his clawed hand on the Nemodian man’s shoulder and tightened his grip lightly. “Why did you leave the group? You were explicitly told to stay with the others and within the view of the soldiers” The doctor nearly jumped out of his skin when he felt Gar’s grip on him.

“Master, Jedi. I apologize but I had to investigate someth-“

“Investigate what? Badakua, you are placing this operation in jeopardy, the council agreed to provide protection and to assist you in this matter if things were done the right way. You cannot simply risk everything – your life and the lives of others –just because you have a Jedi escort; we are not your personal bodyguards.” Gar’s tone was neutral, scolding, but without a trace of anger or annoyance.

“Master, Jedi, I understand that, but there is something I had to investigate, I felt an …uneasiness coming from here, when I found these bodies and I examined them to..”  Sar Badakua stopped; it was as if he was embarrassed to continue. Gar waited. “I examined them to distract myself from the darkness and unease that I felt; I am sorry Master, Gar.” He bowed respectfully. Gar felt confused. He had felt no unease or darkness when they touched down, only feint touches of darkness, nothing at all like the corridors of Daak’s base on Korriban. Did non-force sensitives feel the Dark side more strongly than a Jedi? Or did Gar’s familiarity with the Dark side have something to do with it?

Then –as sudden as the sand storms of Tatooine- Gar felt a surge of power within the force, peace, serenity and... “Innocence” He said aloud, the Force passed through him like a gentle rain. It was the force in its purest form, albeit weak and untrained. Gar felt no trickery or illusion, the strange and new power was welcoming, warm and gentle, it felt as though he was back on Yavin IV, within the temple of Jedi Order, listening to the gentle and relaxing waterfall within the Forests of a Thousand Streams. It had been so many years since he felt the Force so strongly. Then as suddenly as it had come, it was gone.  

Gar found that he had closed his eyes; he opened them and saw that Sar Badakua was just as entranced as he was, Gar turned to where he felt the Force spike; it was beyond a large and simple looking door that he felt the Force strongly.

“You felt it, yes?”

Gar only nodded. The Kel Dor master drew his smooth, cool steel hilt and ignited the blade. The warm light of the lightsaber cast away the darkness. “Stay behind me.” The doctor was more than willing to oblige. Gar walked slowly and attentively towards the large door, the fog that clouded his senses and engulfed him seemed to have dispersed, all he felt was a pulse pass through the force –a heartbeat- it was as if a voice was calling to him – beckoning him. Gar obliged, but he remained alert. He stood in front of the door, waiting for it to open, after a few seconds of waiting; he hesitantly reached for the door and touched it. The door emitted a blinding bright light-blue aura and in an instant, the door was gone, leaving an opening in its wake.

Gar slowly crept through the entrance; this new area was unlike the rest of the station, the walls glimmered, pulsing with green and red bolts of lightning, two 4 meter tall statues stood erect and proud. Large pikes in their hands. They didn’t resemble any known race. Were it not for their less than warm situation, Gar would have asked Sar Badakua for his input, but that was not the case at the moment.

After a few steps, Gar felt a disturbance in the force, the floor rumbled.  The statues had awakened.

Without a second thought, Gar thrust a hand OUT and sent Nemodian man flying backwards. Under normal circumstances, Gar’s force wave would have shattered the bones of any being, but the wave was more of a gentle shove than a destructive wave of pure energy. As the man fell backwards, Gar leapt into the air and landed across from the doctor just in time to see two large pikes hit the ground with incredible force. Gar held his blade out before him in a two handed grip, his opponents brandished and twirled their blades with inhuman speed, Gar kept himself perfectly still as his opponents continued their flourishes, he knew the speed was meant to throw him off balance, but he would not let it work.

The twin statues lunged at him, thrusting their pikes relentlessly at the Kel Dor, each strike was precise and meant to kill, but Gar was better, he blocked one of the pikes with his blade, while he twisted his body to the left to avoid the other, before the other statue could even react to the sudden evasion, Gar wrapped his arm against its pike and held it, the other brought his blade down on Gar, who immediately brought his lightsaber to meet the cool steel. Their blades locked, the combined strength of the twin statues was astonishing, he was sure that together the statues weighed as much as a Starfighter, the Statue he had locked blades with drew his pike back and prepared itself to launch another assault, with his current position, Gar knew he was exposed.

This might be difficult

Gar released his hold on the pike and sprang into back-flip, moving out of the way of the falling pike, as soon as his feet touched the ground Gar charged the twins, he aimed a crosscut at one of the statues’ thigh, but it parried his attack, creating an opening for its twin.

The other statue quickly unleashed a series of lightning fast jabs and cuts at the Jedi master, Gar leapt, twisting and turning in order to evade the dozens of cut that struck at him in less than a heartbeat. He landed on his feet, gathered the force and unleashed it on the Twins; one tumbled over, while the other barely managed to hold its ground against the Force wave. Without skipping a beat, Gar vaulted in the air and struck downward aiming for the standing statue’s head. The statue twirled out of the way and unleashed a devastating kick on the Jedi master that sent him soaring through the air and into the wall with a loud thud.

Gar rose to his left knees he could feel blood trickle from the back of his head, his torso ached. He had underestimated his foes and now he was going to pay for it.

No Gar gathered the Force around him and let it flow through him, he felt it strengthen him, rejuvenate him. It gave him all he needed.

Gar sprang into action, moving so faster than Statues could perceive, he felt the Force envelop his hands, like a flame. He rolled out of the way of one of the pikes and struck the statue’s would-be stomach with his fist, the strange metal shattered, not letting up on his foe; Gar leapt into the air and struck the statue with a spinning back kick to the head, the power behind his kick sent the head of his opponent flying. The statue fell to the floor, headless. But the battle was not over yet.

The other statue had risen and struck downward at Gar, without thinking, Gar brought his arm up to meet the blade…

He had expected to feel the blade pierce his skin, shatter his bone and cut his limb off, but instead small shards of metal fell from above, the pike had been destroyed.

Gar extended both of his hands towards the statue and lifted it up into the air, his arms shook under the stress that the weight of the statue, but he did not let up, instead he slowly brought his hands together and then quickly made a ripping motion. The statue was torn in two parts; both parts fell to the floor, unmoving.

Gar panted, his chest heaved, he called his lightsaber to his hand and then remembered that he had not been alone during the attack, he looked around the scene of battle, searching for Sar Badakua. And found him standing near the entrance; his mouth gaping.

Guess I made quite the scene

A door hissed open, both turned their heads and faced the door. “Come, let’s get moving” The Scientist nodded slowly.

The pair treaded carefully as they entered the new area, unlike the room they had just left, this one was filled with consoles and chairs. Was this a ….

“It’s a command center!” Sar Badakua exclaimed, it was if the Nemodian had read his mind. Sar Badakua took a seat in one of the many chairs and began to check the systems. “It’s a bit corrupted, but if I can rewire the motherboard to a working one, I might be able to download the files on to a data-disc. Oh! But I’d have to check the compatibility between the two different technologies; a thousand year difference would no doubt be a great disparity between our more modern technology and the ancient….”

The doctor continued to ramble on, Gar was only half listening as he searched the room, he found himself drawn to the large – bacta tank-esque- tanks that stood in front of the large control room, they were all broken, dirty and filled with a strange substance. He felt a small ripple through the force. It was the same warmth he had felt before. His eyes widened as his eyes fell on the last of the tanks.

A human boy was floating in the odd liquid, his eyes closed; a breath mask supplied him with what little oxygen it could provide, the Kel Dor thought it to be a corpse, but he saw the boy’s chest move. He’s alive! Gar turned to Sar Badakua and said. “Don’t touch anything!”

“What? Why?”

“Do not touch a single button on that panel! There is a living being in one of these tanks!”

“Oh come now Master, Jedi, now is not the time for jokes” Sar Badakua waved a hand in dismissal.

“I do not Joke, Doctor I-“

The console beeped, a green lights flashed from the console; a green entity appeared before them. It stood upright and stiffly.

“Yes, that is a living being in there “It said, as it walked to the tank and placed its holographic hand on the tank.

Sar Badakua jumped out of his seat and fell to the floor.

“I told you not to touch anything!” Gar said, annoyed at the Nemodian’s foolishness.

“I didn’t!” Sar Badakua cried.

“Your Nemodian friend is correct, Kel Dor, he did not activate me, I came of my own accord”

“Who are you? Where are you broadcasting this hologram from?” Gar ignited his lightsaber and pointed it at the hologram.

“Hologram?”  It chuckled silently. “I am no Hologram, Kel Dor, I am an Artificial Intelligence created by the Infinite Empire. And my name is Av’eborg.”

the Infinite Empire? Gar’s mind flashed to his history lessons from Padawanhood, he had heard of the Infinite Empire, it was an ancient galactic empire,  the predecessor of the old Republic that was ruled by a tyrannical species called, Rakata. Aloud Gar said. “This is a Rakatan station?”

“Yes, when the Masters fell, this place was untouched. Scientists, who saw no meaning in politics, war or slavery, came here to be a part of something greater. ”

“Something greater? Untouched? Is this not a battle station? A cage for some creature?” Gar had done studied several periods of history and mission documents of the old Order, among them was a text, detailing the Jedi Master, Jaden Korr’s battle against a powerful Rakatan entity, he had been no match for the entity, but he had described the monstrosity as an ‘embodiment of the Dark side’ and speculated that it had been created by the Rakata. The very thought of such a being sent a shudder through Gar, he suppressed it as best he could.

“No, this not a station or a cage, this was a laboratory of sorts, here the Masters delved into many different experiments, many of which have been lost unfortunately”

“Experiments?” Sar Badakua spoke up, his tone too curious for Gar’s liking.

“Yes, many experiments, at the height of great empire, the Masters found that they needed enforcers – warriors, but they thought all species to be inferior – there were exceptions, of course. But the Masters took matters into their own hand and began to experiment. They attempted to create a being with Midi-Chlorians.”

“What!” Gar exclaimed, he knew there were great secrets within the force, life after death, the art of revival and the esoteric, but creating beings from scratch. Such a thing was unheard of. “How?”

“The Masters took samples from several beings with a high Midi-Chlorian count and attempted to create a being by manipulating the Midi-Chlorians. I do not know how they did this. My files on the subject are corrupted. All that I can say, is that they failed many times, some of the test subjects that were created could not withstand the power they wielded and were driven insane, others became aggressive and were corrupted by their own energy, it took a battalion of our forces to restrain these subjects”

“What happened to the other test subjects?”

“They were normal beings, they were all created by the Masters, female and Male, Twi’lek, Kel Dor and Human, they created many beings, each was unique in appearance, and with only some similarities their DNA structure. Those who were driven mad or became aggressive were killed, others died of deterioration because the creation process was imperfect, only a handful of subjects were left after the fall of the Infinite Empire.”  Gar wondered what had happened to the scientists, were they killed by the tests subjects? Or had they died out slowly? Almost as if reading his mind, the A.I said. “One of the tests subjects went mad and broke out of its containment room, the Masters were too weak from starvation and dehydration to do anything about it, in a single minute, the security personal  - that numbered in fifty were all killed, the scientist took even less time for the test subject to kill.”

“What about the other test subjects and the creature?’

“The creature disappeared a thousand years ago, whether or not it lives, is knowledge  that I do not possess” The A.I paused for a long moment and the gestured at the boy in the tank “This is the last test subject, the Masters’ last work, their legacy, when the creature attacked the Masters, I was programmed to preserve test subject ,FX - 20140631, at all costs, I was forced to shut down the other tanks as well as many non-critical systems to conserve power. Even my own non-essential systems were shut down to preserve this last subject.” The A.I seemed ….sad? Was it possible for an Artificial Intelligence to feel any sort of emotion? “I am running on my last reserves of power, speaking to you and sustaining this holographic image has proved costly. I will transfer all available power to the console, from there, you may activate the awakening process, the boy will be safely roused to consciousness.”

“But” The doctor spoke up. Stammering as he did so. “But what of you? There is so much we can learn from you!”

The A.I chuckled and shook its head wearily. “I am running on my last reserves of power, speaking to you and sustaining both the few remaining systems and this image has proved to be costly, after I transfer all power to the console, I will…cease all functionality, in organic terms; I will die.”

“There has to be another way, Master, Gar, use your lightsaber or your Force to break the tank. We can’t allow the A.I to die on us; there is so much we can learn from it, so many secrets to uncover!”

The A.I’s eyes widened. “No! Any other option will produce undesired results, this is the safest way for the patient” The A.I turned its holographic head towards the boy, a grim expression on its face. “Please” it said, its gaze never left the boy. “It is the only way, the safe way. Please.”

Gar regarded the young boy with fascination, this young boy had been more precious than any of their other files and other test subjects, he was the Legacy of the Rakatan people, the last great work of the most brilliant of minds among the Rakata, and now, the Artificial Intelligence was willing to die for him. This went beyond programming. Gar knew what he had to do.

He marched to the console were Sar Badakua stood, pushed the scientists aside –ignoring his protests in the process. The A.I guided him through the activation process.

“Now all that is left is to press the confirm button and the process will begin…” The A.I walked towards the young boy’s tank, pressed its hand against the glass and whispered something inaudible to the tank. Now, Gar saw the image clearly, it was a female humanoid, she wore a pained expression, the emotion he saw her emit surprised him. As he pressed the confirm button on the screen, he heard her whisper. “Goodbye, tiny one. enjoy your new life” and with that, her image flickered and died.

Machinery whirred and buzzed, the restraints that held the tank in place gently released their grip on the tank, the strange fluid drained down an exhaust tube, Gar sensed Sar Badakua attempt to stop the process and froze the Nemodian man in place with a mere gesture. Gar turned his attention back to the tank; the awakening process was nearing its end, the tubes connected to the boy retracted and the breath mask was gently being removed. Gar stood in front of the tank as it hissed open, the young boy’s exposed and limp body fell into Gar’s strong and muscular arms. Behind him, he heard the footsteps of ten, maybe twenty people. He heard their gasps and a familiar voice as well.

“ Gar, what happened?” Gar slid his right hand behinds the boy’s knees and cradled his head, Gar saw strange markings covering the boy’s body; they covered most of his body, his arms, legs, stomach, back, chest –they were everywhere, everywhere except for his face. Was this a common development that occurred during the creation process? Or was it purposely done by the scientists? Gar thought to himself. He pushed the thought out of his mind, rose with the boy in his arms and turned to face the group of men and women who gasped at the sight. He ignored them and spoke.

“Contact the temple, we must take him back to Coruscant immediately “
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