Star Wars: Ressurection of Hope

The plan

“No, I am sorry, I do not recognize the warrior.” He shifts his attention to the plan drawn out on the floor. “Here is the main Dantari communications building. There is a public address system tied into the building that I can call for the uprising through. But we must take the building. You all look like the Imperials. You will have to help us take that building. Once inside, I can alert my brothers to begin the fight. From there, we move to Martyr’s plaza. At the center of the plaza is the access to the underground control center, which directs all communications on Dantari and monitors the asteroid fragments that endanger nearby starships. As long as Imperial forces hold the control center, their vessels can fly freely through space around Dantooine and land troops wherever they wish. After the rebellion begins, I will direct attacks on the outskirts of the city drawing troops away from the building. When word comes of the reduced security at the entrance to the control center, you can then move to Martyr’s Plaza and secure the entrance. If you do so, you will allow the Dantari to take control of the center, which will enable them to keep the Alliance off their world indefinitely. With your tactics knowledge, you point out the need to take a weapons cache first allowing you to arm yourselves appropriately to take on AT-ST’s which, according to Sartok, guard the Martyr’s plaza. While you look over the numbers, Sartok’s mate Ulala arrives and they spend a quiet moment together by the fire as he says what might be his goodbyes.


Drax studied the crude map drawn in the dirt at his feet, for several moments. finally, he looked up. “Aiala…” he said nodding in at her. “I want you to go back to the ship and get 7-A. I want you to use 7-A’s holorecorder to get some footage of what the Alliance is doing to Sartoks people.” Aiala smiled a knowing smile, but let him continue. “When the uprising begins I want you to get that footage, too. I want the rest of the Galaxy to see that they can stand up to the Alliance. The people need hope. Let’s give it to them.”

Next, he turned his attention to Veela and Ray. “Veela, I want you to see about rounding us up some imperial officers uniforms. Maybe we can trick them into letting us in to the communications building. Like Sartok said: We look like imperials. Let’s use that to our advantage.” Veela nodded. “It won’t be easy, but i’ll see what I can do.”

Drax now turned to Ray. “Ray… I need you to take Sartok and some of his fighters. You need to locate and raid a weapons cache. If the disguise plan fails, we’re going to need some heavy firepower to knock out those Walkers. You’re the most experienced soldier. Arm the fighters. Show them how to use the weapons and prepare to lead the assualt on the walker.” Ray stared at Drax for a moment, dumbfounded. “Wh.. What happened to you back in those caves?” he asked. Drax smiled. “Can you do this?” he asked Ray. “Ye…Yeah…” Ray replied as he composed himself.

“What about you?” Veela asked. “What are you gonna be doing, while we’re off running errands for you?” Aiala shot the Jensarri a piercing glance. “I’m going to try to track down this mandalorian that keeps popping up wherever we go. It’s time her and I settled up.” Drax replied, a smile edging his lips as he noticed Aiala’s anger at Veela’s comment about him.

As the group prepared to set out on their various tasks, Sartok approached Drax. “You seem to be a man of action far-traveller. What is your name, so that my people may know the man that delivered them from Imperial persecution?” Drax blushed at the Dantari’s words. “Dr…” he started to answer. “Revan!” Aiala blurted over his words. “His name is Revan.” she repeated. Sartok nodded. ” Very well far-traveller Revan. Let us show these imperials that the Dantari people will not lay down and die at their bootheels.”

Drax stared at Aiala as the Dantari exited the cave. “What?” She shrugged. “I told you. The galaxy needs a hero. Like it or not, you are Revan.” Drax considered this for a few moment s before following Aiala out of the cave.

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Sartok

“Zzzzzkkt…yes sir. Sergeant, bring over the primitive known as Sartok. Please sir, let Lord Wrath know what a good job we’re doing down here.kkkzzzt”

The stormtroopers lead the Dantari named Sartok to the forefront where he looks slightly healthier than the others in the cage. He eyes you warily as they shove him to you with chains on his wrist.” (I assume you will tell him you aren’t with the empire, where he asked you to take him to the mountains where he has some items cached. Not far from your ship actually)

The resistance leader picks up a few cached belongings and asks his guests to sit comfortably. At this point, Sartok is dressed as humbly as any Dantari, but he carries a satchel over one shoulder. The second and fourth fingers are missing from his left hand, and he has numerous scars, including some across his face. He is darker brown than most Dantari, with lighter splotches of skin at his wrinkles and creases. As an older member of his species, he has seen much that he’d rather not have witnessed. Sartok makes a quick sweep of the cavern, checking to ensure that it has not been disturbed. Apparently satisfied, he crouches by the simple fire and motions for you to sit. He takes a few long breaths, then turns and speaks to you. “My world is enslaved, and we have come to realize that no negotiation or appeal to reason can free us. The only way we shall regain control of Dantooine is to take it back by force, which requires us to face the weapons and training of the Empire. That battle must begin here—all other settlements look to us for inspiration and leadership. For the sake of our world, we must take up arms against our oppressors. “The cost shall be high for my people, but they are eager to pay it. The cost for remaining slaves would be higher, and it would be paid by our children and our children’s children. If you will help us, we are ready to throw off the yoke of tyranny, even if we lose our lives. Liberty is too precious to sell for the chance of quieter, safer lives under the dark shadow of oppression. “I have allies throughout the city who are ready to raise arms against the Empire at my signal. We are not a warlike people, but the stormtroopers have shown us the basics of violence, and we have learned the lesson well. Against soldiers, I have no doubt that my people would fight bravely with a fair chance at victory. But the Imperial forces have vehicles—large, metal, two-legged machines of war—that we cannot face. My people fear these machines, and though many would still fight bravely, too many would wait to see if we could topple them. Such an attack would be staggered and lose too much of its impact. Only if many of us take up arms at once can we overthrow our oppressors. “But you are outsiders, and to be standing here, you must have opposed the Empire’s machines successfully. Many of my less confident allies believe that with your aid, even the walking war machines could not stop us. This would give them the confidence to bring enough forces to bear at once. If we can take control of the planetary shields and turbolasers that they have nearly finished building on Mount Antas, we can complete those structures ourselves and use them to defend against further Imperial attack. The first step in such an attack is a citywide riot, which I am prepared to trigger. “I know this world is not yours, that our people are not your people. But if you will aid us, you will always have a place of honor among the Dantari.”


Drax looked back and forth at his allies. “I think I speak for us all when I say we’d be more than happy to help your people, friend Sartok.” Drax considered his options for a moment. (Knowledge:Tactics) “Before we get started, though I need to know if you or any of your allies have heard of a Mandalorian that has recently arrived on Dantooine?” Drax give Sartok the womans description. “If you hear anything about her current whereabouts, I’d be most grateful.”

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Encampment

“Yep…that’s her…”

There are several small yards near the center of town, but these are clearly only for the elderly and very young. They have few guards and low walls, and the Dantari within them seem unlikely to be able to run even if unguarded. The central detainment yard is different. Thirty meters on a side, it is a large square enclosed by a tall stone wall, which looks like it was built from the rubble of collapsed buildings. A metal gate in the north wall of the yard controls access and is apparently remotely operated. There are four guard towers, one at each corner of the yard, with two heavily armed stormtroopers in each. Two vicious, cybernetically enhanced Nek dogs patrol the inside of the yard, growling at the prisoners without getting too close to them. Most of the Dantari huddle together in the center of the yard, but you notice one captive keeping an eye on the others and moving around the outside of the group to stay between them and the Nek dogs. Prowling along the inside of the yard are two large quadrupeds, roughly 2 meters tall at the shoulder. The vaguely canine creatures are powerfully muscled and covered in a tough brownish hide. Their huge mouths have three rows of razor-sharp teeth, and their legs each have three long claws.


Drax looks to the other three. “Follow my lead.” He says as he makes his way to the Stormtrooper gaurds. As he approaches the Troopers , he reaches into his his utility belt and produces a sabacc card. He holds the card up befor ethe troopers as if it were a badge or other form of identification. “I’m here on behalf of Lord Wrath. We have been given orders to secure the prisoner Sarttok for transfer. He is to be interrogated.”

(mIND tRICK)

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Ding?

The city is no more unusual than any backwater planet’s main drag, is what ran through Ray’s mind. Business seemed to go about as usual though the same scene on a civilized world would cause mass suicide. After greasing the fingers of a resident of one of the local cantinas, you discover quickly the slave trade is more alive than you’d hoped. And more out in the open. Apparently, they don’t even try to hide the fact residents are being rounded up. There’s been a detainment camp started in the middle of town and after two drinks your new friend hints that a man or being named Sartok is leading a rebellion that’s poised to take place. Unfortunately, he’s been rounded up with the regular riff raff and thrown into the detainment camp. Apparently, most of the natives are waiting from some kind of ‘signal’ from him to start the rebellion. In the middle of his drunken rant, your new friend lets slip another new arrival to Dantooine. A mandalorian by the sound of it….


Raymus gives a description of the female mandalorian that they encountered back on Kadril to the drunk.

“Perhaps a rescue for this Sartok is in order.” Raymus seems inpatient. “Lets scout this detainment camp out.” Raymus walks in the direction of the camp.


Drax nods in agreement and follows Ray to the detainment camp.
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The City...

The city of the Dantari has no name. None is needed, as it is the only settlement larger than a town on the entire side of the planet. The Dantari refer to it as ahdjok, but this is nothing more than their word for “city,” and the Empire hasn’t bothered to assign it a name. Its position behind Mount Antas protects the city from the worst of the planetary dust, and it has a large, flat area on which to build a spaceport. As a result, the city has been the main point of contact between the Dantari and offworlders. It sits atop an underground river, which provides an endless supply of fresh water. This, combined with offworld trade, allowed the city to grow much larger than local agricultural conditions would otherwise permit. It is a traditional pilgrimage site for Dantari worldwide, making it a convenient location for the Empire to gather slaves. The city is sprawling, with 10- to 15-story buildings crowded around wide streets and public fountains. Most of the city looks old, constructed of stone and natural caverns. Ancient statues of rock and ornate decorative carvings are worked into most buildings, and even the roads are paved with carved stones. This must be a city home to the primitive Dantari peoples rather than the human farmers mostly found on this planet. More modern constructions can also be seen, mostly watch-posts bolted onto buildings or gates that block access to some streets. Posters, wanted signs, and recruitment fliers for the Empire have been plastered everywhere, ugly debris atop the city’s natural charm. Most of the creatures you see are obviously locals, the Dantari. None seem to carry weapons, not even something as crude as a knife or club. Their heads are generally downcast and their shoulders slumped, but whenever one glances at an Imperial poster or flyer, it looks up, and a flash of hatred shows briefly in its eyes. Though much less common, aliens from dozens of worlds also walk through the streets. Most are followed by one or two Dantari carrying heavy bundles of goods. The aliens go by without comment and are diverse enough that you see no reason your own appearance should draw unwanted attention. The Imperial presence here is also obvious. Stormtroopers in small groups patrol openly through the city, and in the distance you can hear the mechanical stomp of military walkers, though nothing as big as an AT-AT would fit in the streets.


Drax looked around the city streets as the both the locals and the alien visitors bustled along their way. “Where should we start?” Ray asked. as he came up beside Drax. “I’m not sure.” He answered. “We definately need to stay clear ofthe Stormtroopers. Maybe if we checked out some of the wanted posters. Aye? Veela? What do you two think?”
“I agree,” Veela says. “The less attention we draw to ourselves, the better. Let’s try to find a way to make our clothes look as native as possible.” Veela thinks for a minute …”I would also think that being caught with weapons, would severely diminish our success; as much as I hate to go unarmed, but this time it may be a necessity,” she states.
Drax smiled. “We have the force at our discretion. I think we will be fine without our blasters. Hopefully we can finish constructing our lightsabers once this mission is over.”
Raymus had already removed his armor and left it in his room along with his blaster. “Ready whenever you two are. No reason to split up, we stay together to lessen our chances of being mugged or worse.” Patting Drax on the back he smiled at both his companions. “Lets go.”
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A new ally

Upon loading up the ship, a hologram appears in front of all of you. Aiala tells you all that she has been contacted with a prerecorded message. It is Luke Skywalker, easily recognizable by you all due to his wanted holovids all over the galaxy.

“Thank you for returning my call for help. Maya left me a message describing your circle there as trustworthy. I decided to honor her last wishes to invite you all to the academy. I understand you have all been tasked with finding the source of slaves on Dantooine. In this, we have a common goal. Due to my inability to move about freely, I would ask that you take up this burden of mine and share intelligence you learn along the way. We are warriors with a common enemy, and I wish the Force to be with you.” With that the hologram fades and Aiala returns her looks to you. “We’re in the big time now boys. We’ve got the backing of New Alderaan and the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy. Let’s get down to the city and see if we can stir up some trouble.”


Drax nodded in agreement. “I guess, you’ll have to wait awhile to see the holocron.” Tucking it safely back into his pack, Drax turned to the others. “Let’s getting going. It’ll be dark soon.”
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Drax's journey

Now…

Drax moved through the dark cavern as if in a dream. As he did flashes of a past life played out before him. He eased his way through the darkness until coming to a large catacomb. Unconciously, he removed a glow rod from his belt and tossed it into the middle of the large cavern. A green glow illuminated the room. Drax closed his eyes and let the memories flood into him.

Then…

The young man stood in the large cavern, looking from side to side. The feint glow of his lantern showed various stalactites and stalagmites littering the large room. Behind him, Alek, long his best friend stood gaping in wonder at the caves natural beauty. “It’s amazing…” He whispered. “I know.” The young man replied. “Aren’t you glad you came with me?” he chuckled. “I just hope Master Drukkus doesn’t kick us out of the acadamy.” Alec said. “We were supposed to seperate and do this part on our own…” The young man turned back to his friend and gave him a reassuring pat on the back. “Relax, Al. Master Drukkus will never know.”

Alec worried about everything it seemed. The young man wondered how his friend had made it this far through training. While as skilled in the force as any other padawan, Alec seemed almost timid sometimes. They had met when they were still younglings, playing with toy lightsabers back at the Jedi Council on Coruscant. The young man had always been a little rebellious. Sometimes, late at night he’d sneak out into the city and go exploring. Alec would always be right behind him. Tagging along, complaing and worrying the whole way. They never got caught, though.

The young man gazed around the cavern, until his eyes settled on a large crack against the northern wall. “Come on.” He said. “I think we can get through there.” Alec chuckled, nervously. “Heh heh… There no way we can fit though there.” The young man sighed. “Of course we can. I’ll go first. Just stay right behind me.” WIth that the young man eased his way into into the crevice.

Now…

Drax snapped into awareness. He was standing in front of the crevice. Or what was once a crevice. Where the crevice had once been, a huge stalactite had fallen, blocking the path. Drax sighed in frustration. He could still feel the pull from the other side. He had to get through.

Focusing on the fallen rock, Drax raised his hand and reached out with the force. A rumble issued from the debris as the stone began to lift. The stalactite lifted a few feet in the air and paused. Drax could feel he was losing control of the giant boulder. He watched in horror as the Stalactite began to lean in his direction. He was such a fool! He should have stepped back alittle further, giving himself room to move the stone, without endangering himself. Panic filled his heart, but was soon replaced by rage. His anger at his mistake snapped Drax back into focus. He wasn’t going to die like this. Not now. With a gutteral growl, he pushed out again with the force. The Stalactite shot off to the side, slamming into the wall. As it hit, it shattered. Small pebbles and dust littered the room.

Drax fell to one knee, weakened from the sheer exertion from moving the stone. After a moment he stood back up. Looking down into the crevice, he felt himself being pulled once more. He had no choice, but to follow further into the darkness.

He had spent several hours making his way through the tunnels. At times he would have to crawl though narrow caves. Other times he would find himself scaling sheer surfaces to get to the next tunnel entrance. Time was lost to him. All he could do was followed the siren call of the force as it pulled him in deeper. Eventually he came to large underground lake. He stood at the waters edge for several moments studying the room. Yellow light, from several crystals that permeated the stone, illuminated the room. The crystals cold be used in constructing his lightsaber, he had no doubt. He started to remove his tools to remove one, before hesitating. Once again, he felt himself remembering past events that had transpired in this cavern.

Then…

“We found them!” Alec shouted in joy as he removed one of the yellow stones from the wall. The young man paid him no attention. Instead he focused on the body of water that the room encircled. “Hurry!” Alec said trying to get his friend’s attention. “Collect your crystal and let’s get out of here!” The young man turned to face his friend. “This water has to come from somewhere. I’m betting it leads to another cavern. I’m gonna see where it leads.”

Alec stared at his friend as if he’d just woken a hibernating wompa. “Are you out of your mind?” He said. “We have our crystals. We’ve completed our quest! ” The young man smiled back at his friend. “No Alec. You have your crystal. You have completed your quest.” Alec sighed in resignation. “So what? I’m supposed to just leave you here, alone to drown in an underground lake?” The young man shook his head. “No. You go back and build your lightsaber. I’ll be fine.”

Alec shook his head in response. “No. If you insist on seeing this through, then the least I can do is wait here for you. As he spoke Alec reached into his satchel and produced a long coil of rope. “Here. Tie this around your waist. If you get in trouble, give two hard tugs and i’ll start pulling you back. The young man chuckled as he tied the rope aropund his waist. Before leaving, he had admonished Alec for bringing the rope, telling him he didn’t think it would be of any use and that it would just be extra weight. As he dove into the cool waters he silently thanked his friend for his preparedness.

Now…

Drax emerged from his vision and immediatly began stripping his clothes off. He was already shaking before he set foot in the water. He had never been much of a swimmer. Sure he could tread water, but he had never swam as far as he new he was about to. He clumsily fumbled through his satchel for his aqauta breather and cursed himself when he realised he had left it back on the ship, assuming he wouldn’t be doing any swimming. He desperately wanted to go back to the ship and collect it, but he knew he couldn’t. He had to push on. Even if it killed him.

Drax eased into the water, slowly. As the water reached his chest he began toconvulse uncontrollably from the cold. His muscles already ached and he could fell himself begin hyperventilate. Aware that he was begining to panic, Drax closed his eyes and focused. Using his connection to the force to calm himself, Drax slowly inhaled and exhaled, deeply. He allowed himself to slip into a meditative trance. Void of pain and fear, Drax moved further into the water. The water crept up his chest to his neck. As it came to his chin he took a long deep breath and let himself sink into the blackness….

Drax emerged from the pool, gasping frantically for air. Dragging himself to the waters edge, he collapsed on to the cold ground. After a few moments, he stood up and examined his surroundings. The first thing to take his notice was that the entire room was alite. So much so that it took him several minutes to let his vision adjust to the fiery orange light that emitted and refracted off the thousands of crystals that had formed along the cieling, walls and floors of the chamber. The entire chamber was an enormous geode. Drax looked around him in awe of his discovery, when he noticed the cube. It was small and sat right in the middle of the room, on top of a small metal box. He felt the pull from before. Cautiously, he reached down to touch the cube. As he did he felt his conciousness drift away…

Then…

The young man calmly took in his wonderous surroundings as he emerged from the water. The entire chamber radiated a bright orange glow. He felt as though he had stepped into the heart of a sun. The orange crystals that permeated the massive chamber radiated power. He had studied many of the different crystal types during his training, but the type in this cavern were different from any he’d ever seen before. As he went to remove one from the wall, he was startled to hear the familier sound of a lightsaber igniting behind him. He ducked and rolled to the side, as the lightsaber swung wildly over his head.

The young man jumped to his feet and faced his attacker. “Alec?” He asked, confused. “What are you doing? Where did you get that?” He asked pointing at the humming, red lightsaber that his friend held. Alec said nothing. Instead, he swung once more at the young man. This time the young man flipped backwards, bring him to the edge of the pool. “Alec!” He yelled at his friend hoping for any response. Once again, the lightsaber came down just as the young man dove to the side.

“I’m warning you!” He shouted. “Stop now!” He could feel his shock at his friends betrayel segue into fear at meeting his end in this cold, wet catacomb. This in turn angered the young man. He had always been there for Alec. Always taken him along with him. Always protected him. And now, the little womprat was trying to kill him. With a snarl, the young man tapped into a side of the force he had as yet only heard of. Holding his hand up, he visualized his fingers clasping around Alec’s throat. He squeezed. The padawan dropped his lightsaber and immediatly began clutching his throat. The young man watched as his friend reached out a hand, as if pleading for mercy. He sneered in disgust. Focusing his rage, he continued to choke his friend. The young man could sense the life slipping from Alec’s body, but he refused to let up. Finally, Alec fell to the ground, face down, and was still.

The young man stood over his friends corpse for several moments, before moving closer. Leaning down, he rolled the body over, To his horror, he was aghast to see not Alec, but his own corpse laying on the ground before him. Horrified he stumbled back, tripping over his own feet. He watched as the body, slowly disintergrated before his eyes. After a few moments, there was nothing left. The young man was alone.

Now…

Drax snapped back to reality in time to hear a lightsaber hm to life behind him. Taking a deep breath, he whispered. “Your not real, but if you are then strike me down, now. He waited for the sound of lightsaber cutting through the air, but it never came. In fact sound of the activated lightsaber seemed to stop altogether. Drax turned to face his fear. There was nothing. Drax smiled. Sometimes you can learn from your mistakes.

Drax returned his focus to the cube. He gently reached down and touched the device. As he did, a light projected from the top of the cube. A holographic image flickered above the the cube. Drax recognized the face almost immediatly. It was the young man from his visions. Only, he was older now. Drax’s heart lept into his throat as he finally realized the resemblance the man in the hologram held to himself.

The hologram spoke:

“Greetings. My name is Revan. I hope this message finds you in better spirits than I was at the end of my own trial. It has been many years since I last set foot in this cavern. This place has always held a special meaning to me. It was the place of my first failure. Of course I didn’t have the humility at the time that to realize that sometimes, you have to fail in order to succeed.”

“I have been many things in my lifetime. Hero, Villain. Destroyer. Savior. Now, as I set out on what I believe will be my last journey, I feel compelled to leave something behind for the generations to come. I chose thsi place for it’s significance to me, personally and because I feel it would take someone really special to find it. Someone that can make a difference. I have programmed this holocron with much of my personal history. From my rise to Jedi Master, to my eventual fall to the darkside, through my eventual redemption. There is also a historical account of both the Mandalorian Wars along with the first and second Sith Wars. When you are ready to continue, please ask me where you would like to begin your study.”

Drax sat crosslegged before the cube. Here it was. Everything he ever wanted to know about his history. Right before him. He studied the holographic face for a moment, before leaning in close. “Start at the beginning. Tell me everything.”

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Waiting.

“How much longer are we going to wait?” Veela asked. “However long it takes.” Ray answered. They were camped out by the ship, waiting for Drax to reemerge from the caves. It had been five days since they had arrived on Dantooine. Ray and Veela had finished their quests and gathered their crystals.

Aiala sat in the ships cockpit, concentrating. She tried to reach out through the force to locate Drax, but the valley was so steeped in the force, finding Drax was comperable to finding a needle in a haystack. It’s like the cave had swallowed him up.

Now it was approaching the sixth day. By now his food supply would have run out. “Any luck?” Ray asked, as he entered the cockpit. “No. This was a mistake. I shouldn’t have brought you here.” As she spoke her voice quivered. She was on the verge of panic. Ray patted her on the shoulder, reassuringly. “He’s alright. I’m sure he’s just hanging out at one of the cave entrances, waiting to make a dramatic entrance.” He joked. Aiala smiled, but didn’t laugh.

“I don’t wish to upset you, but we need to be leaving soon.” Veela spoke up from the doorway.”We’re already overdue to rendevous with the others.” Ray glared at her. “We’re not leaving without Drax.” He stated, bluntly. “She’s right.” Aiala said. Her voice was resigned. “You two head back to the rendevous point. I’m going to wait here. You can send a ship to pick us up when you get back.”

“Why are you wanting to stick around on this mudball for, Ay?” A voice came from over Veela’s shoulder. “Drax!” Aiala shouldered past the Jensarri into Drax’s waiting arms.” Ray clapped his hands together. “I knew you’d make it.” He said with a grin. “You’re late.” Veela said cooly. “Sorry about that.” Drax said. “I’ve found something, Ay.” He said. “Something important.” Aiala stepped back. “What is it?” she asked. Without saying anything, Drax reached into his backpack and pulled out the cube. Holding in one hand out before him. he touched the top of it.

“Greetings. My name is Revan. I hope this message finds you…” The holographic image spoke. Aiala’s eyes lit up. “That’s… it can’t be… It’s…It’s…” Drax grinned. “Revan.” He answered. “Come on. Let’s get out of here. I’ll tell you about it on the way…”

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Raymus' journey (flashback)

Raymus didn’t know how long he had been walking, but he realized that when he looked back toward the way he came, all he saw was blackness. The only source of light was the glow of his glow rod. Hearing a rustling noise, he stopped, whispering to himself “What … was that?” Closing his eyes he used the force to search out. There was someone else in here and they were force sensitive. As he opened his eyes he fell back from shock of seeing a face inches away from his own. Quickly standing back up he stuck the glow rod out in front, as if to shield himself. He could barely see the figure, but it was hanging up side down, off the ceiling. (To get an idea of what it sounds like, think Robert Guillaume, doing the voice of Rafiki off of The Lion King and looks like a mandrill) “Oh now, don’t let old Rafiki scare you none” As he dropped to the floor Rafiki walked on all fours at times, slowly he moved away and went around a corner. Raymus just stared in the direction of where this Rafiki was just a second ago. Rafiki appeared, poking his head around the corner staring back. “You gonna stand there, or do you wanting to come eat something old Rafiki make? Come talk some.” When Rafiki smiled, long sharp teeth showed. Raymus took a quick look around, shaking his head he followed Rafiki, thinking to himself “Is this a joke?”. Raymus was surprised as he rounded the corner, there was a small fire going, looking upward was a small hole, letting the smoke out. Looking around Ray saw various trinkets and unknown objects laying about. “This be home away from home” Rafiki laughed as he handed Ray a bowl of hot soup. Ray accepted it, smelling the soup unsure if he should try it. It had a strong smell of fruits and was surprisingly tasty. Drinking the last of it, Ray put the bowl down. “So.. uh, why are you here. Rafiki?” Rafiki was in the middle of drawing something on the wall, though Ray was unable to make out what it was. “Old Rafiki comes in dis caves every turn of seasons.” Rafiki moved his hands pointing to the walls of other drawings like telling a story, Raymus following with curiosity. “You see, Rafiki peoples been living here for long time. Many changes happened.” Rafiki moved in close to Raymus “Old Rafiki is on vacation” Rafiki moved back laughing and dancing. “So, what be your reason for here?” Rafiki sat down, looking serious at Ray. “What should I call you?” “Ray is my name and the reason I’m here, well.” Ray thought for a moment, Rafiki spoke up. “You one of them soon to be Jedi? So is your friends I sense.” Ray was caught off guard, but didn’t show any expressions that he was. “You know of Jedi’s?” Rafiki walked around Ray, eying his outfit, looking for something. “You not have any weapons or one of them sabers that soon to be Jedi carry there Ray.” Rafiki smiled, reaching behind him, Rafiki pulled out something and quickly threw at Raymus. Raymus barely had time to put his hand up and catch it before hitting his face. As soon as Ray caught it, a swoosh sound followed by a buzzing and a blueish glow from the light saber surprised Ray. “Where did you get this Rafiki?” Rafiki spoke with a low yet creepy voice “Not all soon to be Jedi’s survive their test, there Ray.” Ray stared at the light saber. “I never held one till now. Never image that it would be so light.” Ray turned it off and handed back to Rafiki. “You not want this saber there Ray?” “No, never trained with one.” Rafiki almost looked pleased “You go another way, not as one of those soon be Jedi’s. She speaks to you, have to learn to listen.” Raymus looked confused “Who speaks to me.?” “She be everywhere and in all things. I speak of the name that soon to be Jedi’s call it, the Force.” Ray sat across from Rafiki, both of them meditating. “She can be cruel or sweet there Ray. She is uncontrollable but needs to be controlled. You learn what make you angry, scared. Learn to control that, she not control you.” Rafiki began to speak in a language that Ray was unfamiliar with. Soon Ray felt as he was in a trance, slowly he began to get drowsy ever with his eyes closed, it felt as his the room was spinning. Rafiki voice got softer until all was quiet. “Soldier! What the HELL do you think you are doing!” Raymus’s opened his eyes and turned around. The cave was gone, replaced by his old boot camp, it was his drill instructor. Ray looked for Rafiki, but he was no where. “Stand attention!” Without hesitation Raymus stood up and was in rank with others soldiers. The sounds, smells and the heat from the sun all felt real. He saw his old comrades, some of them should be dead. “How?” Raymus thought to himself. The drill instructor began shouting and walking the lines of soldiers. “You are the uglies butches of shit heads I have ever seen! I’m going to enjoy this. Some of you are going to run back home crying to your mommies! But I assure you, if you are man enough, when I’m done with you. You’ll be THE BEST DAMN SOLDERER THE EMPIRE HAS TO OFFER!” The drill instructor walked with his back turned, stopped, turned to face them; “NOW MOVE OUT!” Everyone yelled out and ran to the training course. During his training it started raining, hard. He remembered how it used to rain, seemed like it would every day. Raymus stopped “I have to reason to do this… I’m done.” The sound of the instructor shouted died away, though the raining didn’t stop. Raymus looked up and closed his eyes, letting the wet rain fall, cool and relaxing onto his face. Raymus then remembered something, this rain began to stir something up in his memories. He didn’t know why but he felt like he should be remembering, like it was a dream. “My dream!” Raymus quickly ran off in unknown direction, not knowing where he was going. “But it was just a dream…” After a few moments, he noticed the blur of two humanoid shapes in the downpour. The glow of a lightsaber lit up the two figures, one dragging the other. When the two figures approached within sight, it was Drax pulling Teresa. Ray called on the force, surging toward at both of them as Drax brought his lightsaber down on Teresa. Ray leaped on top of Teresa and closed his eyes waiting for the attack to come. Nothing happened, keeping his eyes closed he realized that the rain stopped, upon opening his eyes, Teresa was gone as was Drax. He was looking up at a cave ceiling. He sat up on his elbows and looked around he was back in the cave with Rafiki. “Some dream you have there Ray. You been sleeping all day, here old Rafiki make you some of that soup.” Rafiki handed Ray the same bowl with warm soup witch had a fruit smell. “All day?” Setting the bowl down Raymus rubbed his head. “More like a nightmare.” Raymus slept without dreaming, waking only because he was unable to sleep, not knowing what time of day it was. Rafiki spoke more to Raymus about the force, though he always related to it as “She”. Through more conversations Ray came to the conclusion that Rafiki was like a shaman to his people. Raymus tried studying the drawings on the wall, he couldn’t make sense out of anything, other than it held some story to it. “You like my drawings there Ray?” Raymus looked back at Rafiki. “Yeah, but what does it mean?” “They be the stories of soon to be Jedi. Not all make it, some die, others don’t become Jedi. Like you Ray.” Raymus turned his head and looked at Rafiki. “Like me. what do you mean?” “Your dreams talk, your movements tell more than what you could have to say, there Ray.” Raymus stared at Rafiki thinking about what he had said. “You are the oldest I have seen during the test they take, there Ray. Why are you here Ray, what brought you this far out?” Rafiki asked grinning. “I…” Raymus thought about his answer, he never took the time to really think about all that had happened until now. “The starting reason was to find someone special to me and that’s still my goal, but…” Raymus seemed to struggle. “Why I’m here now, the reason I’m in this cave. I’m here because I want to help a friend. I want to make amends. I look at Drax and…” Raymus caught himself not meaning to give any names away, looking up at Rafiki who was still grinning. “And he reminds me of me. If I could take back some of the things I’ve done, but I can’t, so some how I feel that If I can help him.” Rafiki interrupted. “No need in explaining all your wrong doings. Take that which you know and teach others and hope for the best.” Raymus nodded in agreement. “Before you leave, you hungry?” Raymus held his stomach. “No. No more fruit soup.” Rafiki held up what looked like rabbits, 3 in total. “No Ray, I make something good before you go. Old Rafiki has family recipe. Come.” As Raymus sat, watching and listening to Rafiki he was relaxed, almost at piece. “A Jedi’s path, isn’t my way” he thought to himself, “But that doesn’t mean I block out the force, another path lays out for me.” Later after the feast, while Rafiki layed asleep, Raymus sat crossed legged and meditated. He reached out again to Maya. “Though I am not become a Jedi, I will never forget you, teacher.” (Basically Maya in spirit shows up and they talk for a while. Raymus reveals more about himself. During his terms in the Navy, he hunted down and killed innocents because he was order to. Taught to hate anyone who was against the Empire because his parents were killed during a skirmish that involved the Rebellion and he knows what it’s like to want revenge. A heart to heart moment.)

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Leap of faith

Veela Saren watched her two Jedi brothers descend into the blackness, down the cliff face. She heard Drax yell for Ray and then felt the presence of …something. “This place is strong with the force,” she thought.

So, she let herself go; she felt the force begin to send forth …how to describe it …tentacles, I suppose will work. But, not like a plant, with an every growing, creeping vine; more like a Sarlaac, sending tentacles outward for something to capture, whatever it felt, and bring back that information and data for her mind, or even the sub-conscious to process.

She felt her area of force awareness begin to grow, her sphere emanating about her. She could sense the ship, the cliff edge, and the plant life growing in the crevices, nooks, and crannies within the stone. She felt the insects buzzing inside the sphere, as well as the ones on the edge flitting in and out of her force bubble. She also began to feel the presence of something much larger than herself, something beginning to call to her and begging her to come down the cliff. It didn’t speak to her in a language, but sent her mental images. It was like looking through holo images on her datapad; although couldn’t go back and forth through the images. It showed her Jedi, ancient from the looks of them, attempting to acquire their crystal; a pictorial history of the Jedi’s attempt. If she had attended the Jedi academy before the Emperor had ordered Darth Vader to eliminate all the Jedi, she may have recognized some of the faces as a previous master with whom she had learned.

And then it stopped. It now seemed to focus on her. It began to make her feel like she needed to start her journey to her crystal, or two; for she had decided to build two lightsabers, since she’d planned on using one in each hand to fight.

The new images, however, seemed rather odd, but logical. The force presence showed her companions descending the rope, but it showed her removing her harness and using to the force to float down. She felt rather calm at the prospect of trying to float to the valley floor. Then the presence flashed an immediate rebuttal. She felt that she should either float or scale down the rope, but try to do neither; her pessimism may lead to her fall.

Veela then sent out an even stronger force presence, expanding her own personal awareness sphere. She’d seen her Jensaari master raise and levitate object, even large ones, with the use of the force, but now she was about to “do” this with her own body. It was also a very long distance to the valley floor, not a few feet off the ground, like in her practice exercises.

She felt herself grow lighter than she’d ever experienced, not unlike the feeling of a broken or malfunctioning grav-compensator failing on a ship in outer space taking on a zero-g atmosphere. Her force sensitivity could detect the edge of the cliff and the empty space outward from the edge. Veela stepped off the ledge and out into the empty space.

Once she left the ledge, she felt the valley floor rush towards her feet; her force sensitivity seemed to be closing the distance to her destination. She gained a greater sense of the cliff as she descended, the mental image fleshed out the cliff face from a mere plateau, at the top, to a holo of the outer cliff wall.

She knew Jedi, by using the force, could leap long expanses, high distances, or even fall long distances without sustaining injury, but this was different; she was moving herself like the rocks she had stacked so may times as an apprentice. Nevertheless, Veela, never broke her concentration, and found herself on the valley floor next to the end of the rope.

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