c e r e b r a l

c e r e b r a l

The Era of the Empire

SSS - Short Scifi StoriesPosted by Nilsen 2015-03-08 18:23:10

The Clone, the Lady, the Historian, the Senator and the Jedi...

A long long time, in a galaxy far far away…

Its been six months since the creation of the Galactic Empire. The Jedi’s are scattered and hunted, if not dead. The Imperial war machine is ever growing and the newly appointed Moff’s help tighten the grip of the core worlds populace with promises of a more secure and peaceful future in the Galactic Empire. The Holonet, once a tool to spread ideas and information are now under the control of the Imperial Security Bureau. Access to use the Holonet is for Politicians and Military personal only.

The secretly formed Alliance to Restore the Republic are slowly growing with the help of a few Senators who still haven’t been arrested for high treason or killed in what media calls accidents.
And in the middle of it all there are those who still don’t know that they will soon be part of something bigger then they could possibly imagine…

Coruscant.

He was watching the old Jedi ending his third Zeltronian wine bottle with the same savor as the first. But it wasn’t thirst that drew the old man to drink, Jane knew. It was the pain and frustration that one feels when ones whole world is violently ripped apart from the ground up and there is nothing one can do, to make it undone. The old Jedi suddenly rose quickly and headed towards the exit, but as he passed the bar he reached out with his left hand and suddenly one of the barkeeps bottle of strong Corellian whiskey flew a short flight through the air and landed in the old Jedi’s hand. He quickly hid it underneath his robes.

“What the..!” Jane’s comrade from the Coruscant Guard had apparently seen the incident also and was just about to call it in, when the Jedi turned and force slammed the Guard into a pillar behind them. And even though he was standing next to him; Jane remained untouched. He let him go; knowing all too well that he couldn’t stop him. He didn’t want to either. He knew the loss that the Jedi had suffered, that he himself had suffered too. They shared a bond of loss and loneliness.

They had joined forces during the last months of the Clone wars. Jane was a fresh-out-of-the-tank Clone trooper and the Jedi was their Commander. They were stationed at a listening post in the snow covered world of Aniu. Together they had watched their comrades die in an aerial bomb strife that took out their whole platoon. Though they survived the attack, they were buried alive underneath the Support Tank that was supposed to aid them with fresh supplies.

The old Jedi’s Lightsaber had been lost and there were no way for them to cut their way out. Fortunately, the tank gave them both shelter and access to food and water.

It took three months before help arrived, but things had changed, changed for the worst. It was no news for the Jedi however. After two months he started to speak of death and the diminishing of friends and students; younglings he called them. Whatever it was, it took him hard. He could wake up from an uneasy sleep and try to claw his way out. Once, Jane had to knock the old Jedi down, to prevent him from scraping off his fingertips. But that wasn’t the only thing that made him questioning the old Jedi’s sanity.

After they were dug up from their steel coffin, the Imperial soldiers, not Republican troopers, seemed to take extra precaution concerning the old Jedi. But the old man seemed to know what was coming and used his powers to kill all of the soldiers in an instance. And he did it without moving a muscle. One of the Imperial soldiers was barely alive, hanging in the air in front of the Jedi, choking and clutching his throat with armored gloves.

“Murderers,” the old Jedi had uttered silently before breaking the soldiers neck with his powers.

The old Jedi left him without speaking another word, shooting off in the troop carrier that the Imperial soldiers had arrived with.

Later, Jane luckily found means of escape in a scout ship that had survived the battle three months earlier and Jane used it to fly back to a much changed Coruscant.

Half a year later, Jane had reentered service as one of the many Coruscant Guards. There he learned patrolling the streets and making swift justice. He wasn’t too thrilled about his new assignment, but it had to do for now. It was about that time he spotted the old Jedi. Far off, on a crowded plaza, the old man exited one of the four Plaza bars. But to Jane’s surprise the old Jedi stopped and looked straight at him. And even though Jane wore his helmet, the Jedi gave him a sly smile of recognition underneath his heavy mustache before disappearing amongst the pedestrians.

A week after the incident at the bar, Jane’s CO contacted him and told him that he had been reassigned to the Corulag Building - Senatorial Wing, as a personal security guard to an aged former Senator from Corulag; Alastar Treen. Jane understood the message clear enough; he was no longer trustworthy, so they had degraded him, by turning him into a nanny…

Present day.

The old man’s age was an understatement; the ex-Senator was closer to death then a privateer with an unpaid debt to a Hutt. Nevertheless he was rigid and had grey keen eyes that spoke of decades of clever negotiations and diplomatic compromises. He started to address Jane as soon as he entered the old man’s office;

“Now, there is a face from the past. Different, yet the same,” his face becoming more wrinkled as he smiled. “I knew the man whose gene-pool you were cloned from. He’s dead now, of course, as you surely know... As is your siblings, as I understand it. You are the only one left. A unique clone… The last batch out of Kamino...”

The old senator moved away from his desk and stopped in front of the large panoramic window looking over the buildings private garden below. Large trees rose with majestic branches filled with colorful flowers in white and purple. “We have a mutual friend, you and I. You saw him at the Plaza some days ago, so we don’t have to be more specific on the who or what.” The old man paused, meeting his eyes and then continued, “…only that he is a hunted man as long as Palpatine’s Empire is allowed to grow. The Emperor's henchmen seeks him and his likes everywhere. Right now, Palpatine have cleared the creation of a branch of Inquisitors that will aid the ISB in finding and eliminating all that is Jedi.”

Jane already knew all of this, except the part about the Inquisitors. “Why are telling me all of this, Sir?” The ex-senator, eyed Jane and then moved closer, up to a point where Jane started to feel threaten, which was of course ridicules. He could kill the old man with one blow. However, Jane felt something that he lacked and the old man had plenty of; power of knowledge from real life experience and high age. And it intimidated Jane. After all; he looked like a young man in his thirties, but in reality he was only three years old, with artificial experience.

“I’ve read your records, and I believe that you are unique in more ways than your superiors think you are,” the old man tilted his head and continued, “you spent many months with our mutual friend and you didn’t react when he killed the soldiers that rescued you. That tells me that there’s a bond between you and him. You consider him a friend.”

“Clones do not have friends, only comrades in arms,” Jane responded hastily.

“Ah, yes! Emotionless and ready to die whenever called for,” the old man smiled slyly, “yet, there’s those of you who pick a name for themselves and some defected and went into hiding. There are even rumors about some clones that didn’t follow Order 66 and didn't help eliminate enemies of the Republic. It’s said that they considered them Comrades in arms and that they wouldn’t kill one of their own.”

Jane stood quietly and held his gaze on a tall building in the distant skyline outside the wide window. “Why me?” he suddenly said. He hadn’t meant to ask the question out loud; he just did.

“I need someone to handle security for me, a sort of bodyguard if you will. You’re from Corulag, well your father was anyway and your CO tells me that the Coruscant Guard has no use for you. You haven’t made one arrest for several months, nor have you volunteered for any extra patrol duty, except some days ago, when you failed to act in an attack against a fellow guard.”

The old senator paused, “I know, that you patrolled the plaza together with a comrade and that you both saw our mutual friend do a trick with a bottle. He told me that you stood completely still when he disabled your friend, as if you knew he wouldn’t attack you… He was testing you, you know.”

“It wasn’t that I knew, I just didn’t care, that’s all…” Jane answered distantly.

“No hope, no goal, no friends, is that it?” the old Senator asked.

“Sir, please. Tell me what I’m doing here.” Jane was losing his cool and some of his frustration could be heard in his question.

“I will give you a purpose and a goal in life to serve those you were meant to serve in the beginning.

“The Jedi?”

“The People, Jane. That is your self-giving name isn’t it? But the people are living their life in a world dictated by a man with nothing but self-interest in his own power over lives that, in the end, matters little or nothing to him.”

“You know, I could make my first arrest based on what you just said,” Jane turned his gaze and looked the old man straight in the eyes with a sarcastic smile, “What makes you think I won’t do it?”

“Because Jane, you don’t care more for the sake of the Empire, then you did about arresting our friend the Jedi,” the Senator spoke openly. Ty Cobb, the Jedi and an enemy of the Empire. And the old Senator spoke openly about it. Worst, he trusted Jane not to arrest him.

The old Senator continued, “Unfortunately his present here on Coruscant has been compromised, due to the attack on the Guard. But he tells me that there’s not much more for him to do on this planet anyway, so he has agreed to let me help him off this… rock of intrigues and power struggles!”

Alastar continued, “I want you to travel with my assistant, to my home world of Corulag. There you will meet my old protégé; Lord Ilum of House Oberon. My assistant has information that is meant for Lord Oberon’s eyes only. You will help her deliver the message and aid her in any further venture she sees fit to take on. Ty Cobb will also travel with you to Corulag, and once there; choose whether he wants to stay under the protection of Lord Oberon or travel elsewhere. Do this and you will have a goal, a purpose in life that goes beyond being a mere puppet in Palpatine’s grand army.” The old man rose his bushy eye brows, "you might even make a friend or two along the way..."

“And what about my oath to uphold the law and security for the People of the Empire? I can’t break my oath!” Jane spoke with a hint of contempt. He was well aware that he had broken the same oath many times during the last six months, but that was more because the oath was meant for a different type of job than that of patrolling the streets of Coruscant.

“That oath wasn't meant for the Empire, it was meant for the security of the Republic, an oath broken when we allowed Chancellor Palpatine destroy the very essence that was the Republic; the Jedi Knights!”

***

Morgana Ludens, was never late to a meeting and was therefore perplexed when she entered the office of her employer; Ex-senator Alastar Treen. The old man was standing in front of a man dressed in a uniform belonging to the Coruscant Guard. She, herself, was wearing a simple long gown in thin white Alderaanian Nerf wool. Surly she hadn’t mistaken the time of his calling for her presence. As she entered the office, the conversation between the two men ended abruptly.

“I am sorry, Senator. I was not aware that you had a guest. Would you like me to return at a later hour?” She did not recognize the man, other then that he was a clone. Not that she had ever seen his kind before, but the eyes and posture told her everything. But if it indeed was the Coruscant Guard and a clone at that, it could mean trouble for her and the Senator.

“No, my dear,” Alastar said with a frown on his high brow. “Morgana Ludens, meet Jane, our new Security guard. Alastar spoke the last sentence as if a question had been asked towards the Guard. The Guard gave a wry smile and returned the smallest of a nod.

“No family name, only Jane,” she retorted turning her focus on the Guard.

The wry smile came back as the Guard turned to meet her, “Well, I guess Harmond, Batch 001, will have to do,” he said.

“A Clone, yes. And your name is Jane?” Morgana asked again with false interest.

“Yeah, it works better than H-M-D-10-16-001. It’ll work better on the field when speaking through comlinks in the heat of battle. We needed call signs, so some Kaminoan gave us a name based on our number from the batch. I’m number ten of sixteen. The letter J is the tenth letter in the alphabet so, Jane it is.”

The meeting continued with the presentations and ended with Jane leaving the office to pay a visit to his new accommodations at the Senatorial Wing Security department. When they were alone, the old Senator motioned Morgana to the group of couches at the end of the big panorama window.

“What news do you have for me, my child,” Alastar asked. She was not his daughter. It was something he had been calling her from the very beginning of her employment with the Senatorial staff. He was originally from Corulag and was married to a much younger wife. They had two children that were both young. His eldest a promising third-year-cadet at the Corulag Naval Academy. Her officially background told of her upbringing on Alderaan and the years of studies at the University of Alderaan for the young and gifted. Her studies of Political systems and Galactic Societies had brought her the attention of Senator Bail Organa himself. It was thanks to him that she now worked for Senator Alastar Treen. But that was not all she did. She had another purpose as well. As a daughter of Alderaan, she had for the last six months worked as an informer for the Alderaan Intelligence Department, AID.

It was very strange, she thought; how her sub-conscious mind worked. She had instructions that laid out the guidelines for her spying activities. And she remained absolute loyal to the cause. But after a while she had noticed a change in her ghost, her soul. She had spent a lot of time thinking of what it could mean, and this was her conclusion;

- If she spent enough time around a single individual and her moral guidelines didn’t find anything that stood in conflict with that individual; her sub-conscious would imprint itself on that individual. And so was the case of Senator Alastar Treen. In other words; her loyalty towards Alastar was now equal to her loyalty towards the AID. -

Morgana seated herself, each hand resting on either thigh, formal and calm. She began reporting her latest finds . “The ISB has knowledge of Ty Cobb’s residence and are back-tracking his movements with the help of the City Monitoring System. They know that he has been dwelling at the ruins of the Jedi Temple, but have been unsuccessful in tracking him in real-time.”

“Good,” Alastar nodded in relief, “last time I met him, Ty told me that he had made progress in finding survivors. He said that he had gone through each and every friend and student that he knew of and try to find them through the Force. He said that the Force is strong within the temple boundaries and that he has been able to pick up many Jedi’s that are still alive. That is good news. But we must move quickly! We need to get him off this planet. We need to conta…”

“There is more,” Morgana interrupted. She continued when she saw that she had the old Senators full attention, “When I was searching through the ISB mainframe I came upon a report concerning you and your involvement with the Delegation of 2000.”

“What did it say,” Alastar asked calmly, but with a concern look playing across his face.

“The report has details of your involvement with certain members of the main delegates that wrote the Petition of 2000. It says that there is enough strong evidence that warrants for your immediate arrest.”

“Oh dear, I guess I had it coming sooner or later. It doesn’t matter though. I’m an old man and death is closer than the next election. But I’m concerned about my family and how it will affect them. My wife and my son’s future’s are at stake, more now then ever. I can’t let them suffer the arrogance of their father’s politics." he paused. "You must help me, my dear.” And suddenly he seemed much older and very tired in Morgana’s eyes. She knew that he was old, but he had always worn a posture of a young man.

“Of course, Senator. What will you have me do for you?” she asked sincerely.

“We will record a message and you will bring it to Lord Ilum of House Oberon on Corulag. He will help save my family and he will help Ty Cobb in finding the Jedi refugees. And we will have the help of the Empire’s finest; a Clone soldier, but with a mind to choose his own destiny!”

“Of course Senator... I will do what you ask of me.” Morgana answered hesitantly. She took the Senators hands in her own and pressed them reassuringly. “Now, what about transportation?”

“You will take my ship; Tranquility. I’ve already made preparations. The ship is yours and you will use it as your own. It was a gift from my old protégé; when he left for Corulag and I decided to stay Coruscant. He’d hoped that I would use it to travel home more often than I’d previously had done. It’s a good ship, but I have no use for it. Maybe it could do some more good in the hands of the right people… Now, be on your merry way, my dear and tell Ilum that he is as dear to me as my two young boys!”

Corulag.

Hiram Long sat by a long wooden desk in one of many rooms at the Institute of Historical Research. His datapad was filled with the latest list of questionable pre-empire art and litterateur that Hiram were forced to go through and, if any, stove away from the public eye. “This is madness,” he spoke silently to himself. “Utter madness!”

He threw the datapad on the desk where it slid to a halt, and brought up his pipe and his last pouch of Voorma Tree tobacco, a Corulag blend. He stuffed his pipe full and started puffing at it, while pondering on his next move.

He knew that the House of Citizens had a summoning today and that it was a very high possibility that Governor Snoops was attending. He must speak some sense into the man. If they were to change history to the likings of Palpatines New Order, then what was the point of having anything historical at all? What happened next time there was a change in power; rewrite the history books again and again and again? There wouldn’t be any history books to rewrite anymore. And maybe it was better that way. Then all the prior mistakes made from earlier societies could be remade in the name of stupidity! Ha! He reached down, opening the top drawer of his old wooden desk. He picked up the archaic lighter and lit his pipe.

Hiram whirled in his chair and stood up and began to pace slowly forth and back in front of the tall windows that sat high above allowing the bright Corulag sun rays fill the study with its light and warmth. The smoke blended with the sun-rays making it blue-grey in color.
The House of Citizens was a waste of a good judgment; filled with people with more interest of speaking their minds then actually doing real-life changes. And lately, Hiram thought, it was painfully obvious that the House of citizens was no more than a House of puppets. Powerless and no more a reminder of what once had been a strong source of peoples influence over their own life.

Except for one individual, that Hiram Long had gotten to know and respect over the last half century. It was the former Senator of Corulag; Lord Oberon. The first time Hiram met the man was during his last two years at the House of Citizens archives. Lord Oberon knew the power of knowing once history and what you could learn from prior mistakes and successes. Many were the hours that Hiram had spent digging up old protocols from earlier debates and negotiations for Lord Oberon. They had spent many nights discussing old cases and arguments that Lord Oberon later used to pled his point in the House of Citizens forum. It wasn’t a surprise to Hiram when he learned that Lord Oberon won the highest post and was elected Senator. His knowledge of History gave him the opportunity to represent Corulag at the Republican Senate. And Hiram felt that he was most definitely a part of making that happen.

During the last months he and Lord Oberon had agreed that Palpatine's New Order with the eradication of all things Republic was a threat to democracy and the heritage that was Corulag. Therefore, Lord Oberon had allowed Hiram to stow away any relics that Hiram seemed too important to risk falling into the wrong hands and send them to the mansion of House Oberon. So every now and then a package would arrive and be stored in one of the many rooms at the Oberon estate.

He was half through smoking his pipe when his datapad chirped in a notion that it had received a message. At the end of the Clone wars when Palpatine announced the creation of a Galactic Empire; Hiram Long had started getting messages from an unknown source. The messages were directed at him personally and had started with questions about certain information that wasn’t secrets, but not altogether public knowledge. And due to his access to certain halls inside the House of Citizens as well as the Naval Academy at Curamelle, he had no problem answering them.
The questions could be about specific discussion protocols from the Chamber of Lords, schedule arrivals of dignitaries, info on closed meetings and naval activities at the academy. Information that could easily get him arrested as a traitor to Corulag.
But the thing that made him confidence that the source meant well, was the requests about certain historical items; such as the rare artifacts that the source wanted Hiram to hide from the clutches of the Empire. He had done it willingly and that’s how Hiram had joined something called the Alliance for the Restoration of the Republic.

He picked up the datapad and ran the encryption code that he had received earlier. He then pushed a symbol on the pads display to view the incoming message.

FROM: ARR; Chandrilla

TO: Dr. Hiram Long, Prime Director of Archives; Institute of Historical Research.

MESSAGE BEGINS:

We want to thank you for the information you have provided for us in the past. But now we need you to help us with a more urgent matter. A group of hunted refugees is coming your way. You need to help them off world or find them a temporary safe haven, until we can find some kind of transport off-world. Your friend Lord Oberon will soon be visited by a company of three; sent out from his old friend, Senator Alastar Treen. He is one of the Senators behind Petition of 2000 and a friend of the Alliance of the Restoration of the Republic. One of three is a friend of the old Jedi Order and can help you with the refugees. Talk to Lord Oberon and may the Force be with you.

MESSAGE END.

Hiram erased the message from the datapad and shoved it down his satchel. He had always felt guilt when he acted against the Empire and completely terrified. But the more jobs he did the more the guilt and terror transformed into duty and thrill. He felt heroic. Just like the people from all the history and written reports from past events. He felt that he made historical changes that would echo through eternity. And just like the men, women and what not from the past, he hoped he did the right thing and that he was one of the good guys…

House of Citizens.

His name was Lord Ilum Azaril of House Oberon and he was a true son of Corulag. He was the People’s Voice at the House of Citizens and Chairman for the Chamber of Lords and the House of Citizens in the absent of the sitting Governor. He was sitting in his private office at the House and feeling slightly irritated.

Months past, Palpatine had created a new branch, the Moff’s. The Moff’s were handpicked by Palpatine himself and assisted him in shaping the Empire. Many of the Moff’s were war veterans, nobles and powerful corporate owners. They were very much the new Senate; each responsible for a region of space.

Moff Jamson Caglio governed the Bormea Sector, but was often away at Coruscant. In his absent, he had appointed Zafiel Snopps, another son of Corulag, to govern Corulag and other minor adjacent systems. The Governors role was simple; he ruled the civilized planets in a sector or sectors according to Palpatine's New Order. Whatever the system of rule the planets had had before; it was now a dictatorship with one will to rule all. One only hoped that the authoritarian was one of compassion and just.

Fortunate, Governor Snopps was a just ruler, according to Ilum, and he could sometimes be compassionate, but only when it served his interest. And luckily for Corulag citizens, Corulag was Zafiel’s foremost interest and that was why his seat of rule hadn’t been questioned… yet.

In his mind, Zafiel had everything that made him perfect for the role as Governor. He was noble borne, which pleased the Lords on Corulag. His wife was a commoner, much to the approval of the majority of the people and, of course, he was the head of one of Corulag’s most promising business corporation. His investment company had a finger in every major corporation on Corulag, and therefore the owners were most pleased with a stockholder with direct contact with the Empire.

But the thing that irritated Ilum was the ever growing pro-Empire tendency amongst the general population. Corulag was changing into the form in which all Imperial planets could be molded after. It was close to the core and it fostered most of the Naval Officers that now served the New Order. And the corporations brought in wealth and luxury for all citizens on Corulag.

So what was it that made the Lord of Oberon resent this change of rule..?

It was a decade before the Clone wars and the Senator representing Corulag at the Galactic Senate on Coruscant was Alastar Treen. He and his middle aged adjutant and protégé, Ilum, Lord of Oberon, was packing for Corulag. Alastar Treen was to report back to the House of Citizens and there to be relieved of his position as Senator to the new successor. For Ilum and the Jedi that had been assigned to the Corulag Senator it was the end of a five year buildup of a platonic romance.

That night Ilum and the Jedi Gwenowyn of Chandrilla, merge for the first time and it resulted in a child. Because the Jedi Code strictly forbade any romantic attachment, Gwenowyn and the Jedi Order hid the pregnancy from the public knowledge and especially the father; Lord Ilum of Oberon.

Some ten years later however; there was another change of Senators and this time the new Senator representing Corulag was non-other than the Lord Ilum of Oberon. And as it happened the Jedi Knight that had been assigned to protect and aid the Corulag Senator was again Jedi Gwenowyn, now a Knight of the Jedi Order. The Jedi Council had however given the Jedi Knight an ultimatum. No romantic involvement, platonic or otherwise, or suffer the consequence of a reassignment.

Gwenowyn held her part of the deal and Ilum and the Jedi Knight never talked about their earlier romance.

But at the beginning of the Clone wars, a Separatist bomber managed to kill a whole delegation of Senators at a concert hall and injure many more. One of the injured was Ilum. But thanks to Gwenowyn’s quick response Ilum was healed with the help of the Force. The incident, however, got Gwenowyn thinking about her son and the unknowing father. She decided then to tell Ilum the truth and she did. One day she showed up with a ten year old boy; a Padawan, Ilum thought. He believed the visit was part of the boys training. But then the boy called his dear friend and life saver for Mother and he understood immediately why she had brought the Padawan with her. He also understood that this was a far as it got in terms of his role as a father. The never said anything more about it to each other.

Three weeks later Corulag decided that a different type of Senator was better suited for wartimes and the Lord of Oberon was called home. But that wasn’t the end of it. Ilum thought often of the boy that was the heir of Oberon. But the boy was meant for another life as an upholder of peace and justice across the galaxy; as a Knight of the Jedi Order.

But then something horrific happened. Palpatine came to power with the creation of a Galactic Empire and suddenly made a ruling that the Jedi had tried a coup d’état and needed to be hunted and killed as traitors of the former Republic. Ilum didn’t know the faith of Gwenowyn or the boy; who's name was or had been Wilum. The Jedi Temple had been destroyed and the few remaining Jedi’s was hunted prey.

At the installment of Moff Jamson Caglio; a dark helmed figure named Lord Vader had joined the festivities on Corulag. Ilum didn’t know then, but did now, that this Lord had been the commander of the battalion of Clone troopers that was responsible for the massacre at the Jedi Temple. Apparently, Lord Vader had been injured to such a degree that he had to wear a breathing apparatus to keep him alive. Ilum wanted no more then to rip the helmet off the man and let him suffocate, but that was not the way to act as a nobleman. And who was this so called Lord? What was the name of his House? Ilum had never heard the name Vader before and it wasn’t in any records…

“Messages for you sir, the protocol droid said as it walked into the office. The droid walked clumsily up to the desk and handed Ilum a datapad. It read two priority messages, one domestic and one from Coruscant. Ilum opened the first one and saw that the short text messages were from the Hiram Long of the Institute of Historical Research. It plainly read; - I will be at the mansion this afternoon. Hope to see you there. -
It amused Ilum that the doctor proved to be as nutty as scientist in general was known to be; too much book reading and to little of socializing. But it was a good thing to see. Not so many months ago, Hiram had been just as shy and goofy as back when he worked at the House of Citizens archive. But of late he had been more out spoken and almost rebellious in his behavior. But as long as he didn’t become out right insubordinate, Ilum guessed it was for the best.

The other message was also a short text message from his old mentor Alastar Treen. It read; - I’m sending my protégé for a visit. She can no longer learn anything from me and she need the practice that you can provide. She will also be companied by an older man whom I trust with my life and so should you. He has served as an adviser through my years as a Senator. Take care of all of them; they will serve you well, no matter what. Take care, my friend and long live the Empire. -

Ilum had to read the last line twice just to make sure that he had gotten it right. Alastar had never used that last sentence ever during the last six months. In fact at the beginning of the Era of the Empire; Alastar had spoken openly about his feeling of Palpatines New Order and it was anything but polite words. Alastar lived for democracy and a self-proclaimed emperor was just the opposite. There was something wrong with this message. Ilum almost felt like his old mentor was passing on the torch, as if Alastar was about to step down or worst… telling him goodbye… forever.

Coruscant.

Amongst the rubble sat a lonely figure in a dirty robe and hood, out of sight from anyone to see. He was one with the Force and the Force was strong in this place that once had been a temple of light. Now it was tainted by destruction, pain and death. The dark side was present here; all around him. And even with him. Especially when he drank; he could almost hear the dark voices calling him to join the shadows. But the light was stronger; especially where he sat. This had been the place where the younglings had had their dormitory. So pure at heart and so eager to show their best, to show the elder Jedi’s their worth. But there was also a present that sang of loss and separation. And he knew why. She had showed herself to him ever so briefly.

Gwenowyn had lost her life here to protect the younglings, to protect her son. The only thing now was to find him, and bring him home. That was what she had told him in their brief connection between the here and now and the netherworld.

He had spoken to Alastar Treen about transportation off world and now a ship waited for him to take him to Corulag. Apparently his old friend from the war had left the Coruscant guard and joined Alastar’s little cause to restore the galaxy to what it once was, but Ty Cobb felt little hope that that would ever happen now that the Jedi’s Order was gone, dead and divided. There was also the old Senators assistant; Lady Morgana. Lady Morbid, should fit her better. Ty Cobb had a never been able to read her mind, nor her feelings and that made him suspicious. What was she? Dead, as his nick-name for her hinted at, or was she a walking Force-void of some sort? Disconnected from all that bound the galaxy together? What ever she was or not, she was important to Alastar, so he guessed he was alright with her too. He would just have to keep an eye on her...

Ty rose from his hiding place, picking up the only things he carried with him; his backpack and his newly constructed Lightsaber. It had taken him a while, but he had found all the pieces here at the Temple to make a new Lightsaber. Soon the Temple would be reconstructed to serve the Emperor. He would taint the place that had seen the birth and fall of the Jedi Order with his darkness and foul presens.
With his Force presens kept close and small, Ty had made his best to keep the light within this little spot of all that is good in the Force. He just hoped that it would be enough.

But before he severed his connection with the Force, which would otherwise give away his position to any Force Sensitive outside the palace boundaries, he closed his eyes and emptied his mind and concentrated;

“I will find him, my Padawan, my darling dear,” Ty said in his mind. And as from far away he heard her with the faintest of a whisper, before the connection broke.

“And you will, father…”

To be continued…



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