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The Search

Posted on Wed Sep 29th, 2021 @ 5:39am by Spacer Ariadne Azanni & Sage Hud Ubar & Jedi Knight Satara' Jalran & Jedi Knight Enchelei Dardana
Edited on on Wed Sep 29th, 2021 @ 5:40am

Mission: Episode 2 - The Empire Rises!
Location: Nawar'aven
Timeline: After "All the Wrong Places"

Enchelei paced restlessly in the cargo hold. What, by the Force, had just happened to all of them? Order 66, Port Nowhere, Polis Massa, splitting of the new team. It was all quite intensely overwhelming. Anger, fear, confusion, a feeling of being infinitely lost in the wide galaxy where everyone wanted to kill the Jedi...because they were Jedi.

"I am a Jedi...NO!" She muttered to herself as she paced, gesturing with her hands as she did so. "The Jedi are gone! We are...we are...kriff! I don't know what we are. I don't know!" Enchelei placed her palms on the sides of her head, "I don't know! I don't..."

Knees hit the deck with a thud. "I don't know...."

The Force was there, swirling around her, yet she could not feel its welcoming embrace, its calm, it's focus and direction. No, now it danced around her, eluding her, further fuelling the myriad of emotions that plagued the young Sentinel.

"I don't....I....I don't know...." the Mirialan kept repeating, hands still on the sides of her head, on her knees in the corner of the cargohold.

Satara felt the force wave like she'd be thumped in the chest, even before it actually hit her sending the Twi'Lek to her knees. Pain, punishing pain, deep inside her chest; it felt like she'd been stabbed. "Enche..." Struggling up from her seated position the Twi'lek collapsed to the deck, hissing as her hands broke her fall. The cool metal plating was a comfort against her bare skin, the sensation focusing her just enough to struggle back to her feet. Lekku wrapped comfortably around her shoulders Tara stumbled for the door... she had to find Enche.

Her eyes shut tightly, Satara followed the turns of her ship, instincts guiding her every step. It wasn't long before she found herself at the cargo hold. Reaching out her hand stilled, shaking a moment as she hesitated over the control panel. Tara felt a chill run up and down her spine, goosebumps rising across her blue skin as she swallowed hard. Her eyes opening Tara took a deep breath and tapped the panel, the heavy metal doors sliding open.

The heavy rush of wind was what she noticed first, squinting as she took stock of the situation. A Force Tempest filled the room, anything not bolted down was swept up in the swirling winds and at the center of it all was Enche. Stepping forward, Tara began to push herself against the swirling force, her own abilities all she could employ to keep from being battered by tools and supplies. Pressing against the resistance, the closer she got to Enche the harder the winds blew. Tara had to claw at the deck, she could barely see through the high winds, she darted forward, her arms and lekku wrapping tightly around the Miralan.

Squeezing tightly she could only hold her friend, emotions pouring out of each of them as she took on Enche's grief, her guilt, and confusion.

"Peace, Jedi!" Hud called out from the doorway. "That is one of your tenets, is it not?"

Would the Code bring Enche any peace? It certainly hadn't for Tara, not since Orto Plutonia, each time she recited the ancient creed the words felt more and more hollow. But maybe, maybe it would be enough to ground the distraught woman. Turning from the Kel-dor to her friend, Satara started to recite the code in Enche's ear, frowning as she found herself struggling to say the words sincerely. They were like dust on her tongue, but for Enche she would try.

A whisper in a thunderstorm. Soft, persistent, hopeful. Enchelei couldn't make out what was being said. Loss and confusion turned to hope. Even completely surrendered to her grief a lifeline was a welcome sight, whatever its origin. In her mind, the Mirialan reached out towards the voice.

"There is only the Force..." Enchelei whispered, "Power in Serenity...serenity...Serenity!" Her hand reached out towards the voice she kept hearing internally, towards both Satara and Hud who stood in the tumultuous Cargo Bay. "Power...restraint...harmony..."

It was all there, she could see the glimmers of hope in her mind. The power to fight the darkness, the restraint that would bring harmony.

"A strong tree breaks in the wind while a lowly weed holds its ground," Hud said. "It is because the wind yields to the overwhelming force while the tree does not. The tree's strength becomes weakness because it is too stiff. There is great power in yielding. It is this failure that has led the Jedi Order to its current state. Alas, the winds of change have proven too great. And the Sith now arise." It seemed as though he'd trailed off, but he began again. "It is a new way that is needed, one which can yield to the Dark Side without succumbing to it. Otherwise..." His respirator hissed almost as if in emphasis. "All will be lost."

Then, the image in Enchelei's mind changed. Known events seemed to unravel backwards, returning to a point in time and space from which they had begun. People travelling from sector to sector, Rim to Rim...

Lucidity returned in form to Enchelei's mind as the dots connected and a familiar pain of a migraine reappeared. This was a very unusual Force vision, one that manifested within and without. As her mind's control reasserted itself the tumult in the Cargo Bay died down, though the vision itself still plagued Dardana's mind.

Time was reverting, but to when? And why?

"What was that?" Tara finally asked, her breath heavy as she tried to process what she had seen. Images had flashed before her eyes, thousands of them. She saw... she saw Ryloth, Dalleron, and even Orto Plutonia... but also planets and people she couldn't place, memories that weren't her own... A forest, a grove... mountains in the distance... fog rolling through a valley... calming. She'd felt so at peace in that moment, safe like at home...

"The Cosmic Force is calling," Hud explained, his face unreadable behind his respirator and goggles. "In this moment in space and time, there is a window to a beneficent path for us all. No one mind has the full picture. We must merge our pieces together to form a whole."

Rising into the air, Hud crossed his legs beneath himself and held out his clawed hands. "Join me, Jedi, and I will attempt to guide us all."

Without a reply, Enchelei placed a tattooed hand in his.

Hud began to hum, which was an odd sound through the respirator. It sounded not unlike a speeder bike engine. Through their tactile touch, Hud reached out to the both of them, searching for the unity of vision that they had each touched, and allowed for them to reach back.

"We are but vessels of the Force," Hud said. "It penetrates us. Transcend the Living Force and its flow into the essence of the Cosmic Force and its pure knowing."

The Kel Dor relaxed slowly like flood gates, allowing the Force to flow and back forth through them like a circuit.

"What do you see?"

Even though her eyes were open, Enechelei did not see the Baran-Do. In her mind, events still seemed to play themselves backward. Things and places destroyed came back to life, things built disappeared through deconstruction, stars changed positions, ships flew backwards through hyperspace.

"Time flowing in reverse..." the Mirialan gave a breathy reply, "I don't know if that means actual time travel or if we're supposed to remember something from the past."

She knew very well that time travel was possible, but it was extremely hard and the possibility of such came very few and far between.

"Time is a mortal construct used to focus and filter the Force," explained Hud. "It is the loom through which we draw the Living Force through the Cosmic Force. Your vision is of something hidden from our position but still calls out through the Force. The past may be a clue to help understand, but the context is always from the point of reference."

Pausing in thought for a moment, the Kel Dor broke his contemplation with a flick to his faceplate.

"Do you think you could reconstruct your vision using outdated stellar cartography?" Hud asked. "We could use the spacecraft you saw as indicators to help narrow down regions that were unexplored or otherwise uncharted. By matching your vision with the constellations of old, then we may unlock the mystery of what and where it is you saw."

Tara had watched the exchange, her own hand finding Enche's as the others meditated, the Twi picking up on a few of the images that flashed through the Force. "It all seemed familiar and yet not..."

"The sea of knowing is a tumultuous one," Hud confirmed. "Let us consult the star maps to see what may be recognized."

Tara nodded, turning back to her friend grasping her arms to help Enche back to her feet. "You up to looking at the charts Enche? Or do you want to rest a bit first?"

Enchelei stood up, grasping Tara's hand. "No, let's try to figure this out. My brain is still swimming in these reverse images, the Force is trying to tell us something." She touched the side of her head, wincing, "this headache is still all too present, so I'm betting it's not done telling us what it needs to tell us."

"Never seems to be." The Twi said with a smile, her hand still tightly intertwined with her friend's. "Alright let's see what we can find out, what these images mean." Leading the pair from the Cargo Bay she headed toward the Salon Pod. A place of serenity Tara hoped that it would help focus their minds as they searched the Navicomputer. "Naga meet us in the Pod and connect yourself up with the ship's computer."

"Allow the Force to guide you," Hud reminded.

"So, did anything seem familiar, any stellar markings that we can use to identify a sector? Or at least which rim?" Enchelei released Tara's hand, tapping on the control on the wall.

The lights in the Salon Pod dimmed, a domed holoprojector raised out of the floor. It was one of the few original design elements the ship's last owner had made that Satara kept. Highly stylized, along with the retractible conference table it looked like a sun. It was nice, usually, she enjoyed using it to give the room a different hue while meditating. Right now she was feeling a little too shaken to take in its...aesthetics.

"The Forest seemed familiar, been there before... or I felt like I had. I just can't place it." Tara gave a sigh as she added that filter her eyes closing as she tried to recall anything else from their visions. "Planets, there were at least five... maybe more? And ships, old ones, nothing new but also civilian not criminal so... the Rim?"

"Alright..." Enchelei nodded, yellow coloured hands inputting new parameters, "five planets or more, Mid and/or Inner Rim. Anything else you can give me?"

Tara shook her head, eyes still tightly shut as she tried to remember what she saw in her vision. "Nothing from the system... but it felt like... I don't know, old. Like there was an ancient presence there."

Enchelei nodded, "alright, focus on that. Can we get more specific? How old are we talking? Pre-Ruusan, post-Ruusan?"

"The planet is older... structures... still so familiar... Post-Ruusan but with strange energy in the Force..." Tara was SURE she had been there before, stepped foot on that planet. The sounds the smells, the taste of the air on her tongue... it. "Banawali!" Her eys flew open, hands acting of their own accord swiping through system information until she came to a stop. "The Force wants us to travel to Banawali."

Enchelei watched the frantic search, the certainty in her friend's' face and voice. Then she looked at the map and her heart fell. The map didn't show a system. In fact, it showed nothing, just an empty region of space.

"'re pointing at empty space." The Mirialan said gently. "Could this system have been destroyed since?" Then more softly, she added, "there's no system on the map you stopped on, my friend. Are you sure?"

"Positive." The Twi was sure, everything in her being said this was the place that the Force was guiding her to.

Hud held up a clawed hand. "Even an invisible man cannot hide his shadow," said the Kel Dor. "If the system was destroyed, then the gravity silhouette would have disappeared as well. Someone erased this system from galactic records, but if we go to the bottom of the gravity well, then we shall no doubt rediscover it."

Enchelei processed what the Baran-Do said. "Alright, so we're blind jumping to an empty lot of space hoping we just miss a system we can't see. Things being as they are, I'm down for this dini'la dajun."

"You always were the wild one Enche." Satara smiled, her grin wide as she turned back toward the holo-display. "This is the right choice, I know it."

"The Force is our ally," Hud said plainly as if it could not have been more obvious. "And a cunning ally it is."

The Mirialan nodded, "alright. Let's do this." With that said, she turned on her heel and stepped out of the room, heading for the cockpit.


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