Static, a blurry and waving image solidifies – a man with black hair and beard in brown robes leaning forward, he looks tired. He is in a small cabin, possibly on a starship.
“We are safe for now, Ta’lon and Burukut has seen to that, now we …”
He stops his account and composes himself before continuing in a calmer tone.
“It’s best to start with the beginning, rather than to launch oneself at the middle.
Trying to reach both back and forward in time to collect all stray bits of information usually results in flailing around in ones narrative like a child . – my first teacher would say.
I’ll take his advice. "
“Some of this information I’ve gained after the fact or through collaboration with others, some of it is plain guesswork and hypothese – I’ll try to limit that as well as I can.”
“So , after leaving Cato Neimiodia we navigated the hyperspace lanes from the hydian way, past mandalorian space and further towards the edges, our destination was a set of coordinates near Gree space.
But before reaching our destination our ship was forcibly ripped from hyperspace by two of the ships in Kiados fleet, using some unknown technology.”
“There were two reasons why this didn’t become our end:
First; whatever technology that allows to interfere with hyperdrives it doesn’t pinpoint where ships wil appear, so the gunners will have to find their mark before unleashing their firepower on it – I think this was why we were only hit with ion beams before our rescue.”
“The other factor is our rescuers; the Shadow Hound – a Lucre Hulk, the kind used by the trade federation during the galactic civil war, was waiting nearby and ambushed our ambushers. I’ve been told the fight was swift, frantic and inspiring – unfortunately we were unconsciously spinning in space while all this happened.”
“After regaining consciousness and getting the engines back online we quickly and roughly docked with the Shadow Hound before it jumped to hyperspace.
This is when we met Ta’lon, and more importantly his boss Burukut.”
“To clarify things I’m just going to reiterate what we were told during our meeting with him: Burukut has noticed the growing power of Kiados building in the galaxy and also has spied our growing interference with her plans. He has been using his network to keep tabs on both of us and has deciced that he does not like the idea of a future where Kiados gets her way. "
“He also admitted to manipulating us – Golok, on Mandalore was him it turned out, figures.”
“He seems intrigued by whatever it is Kiados seeks and has decided he wants it for himself, Onda was quick to agree with this notion I noticed …
I always suspected, but I guess I’ve deliberatly ignored his craving for power, it is crystal clear to me now – for all the good that does. "
He gets up and paces back and forth while talking.
“I don’t know what to do with this, scold him? like a child? or challenge his desire for strength and safety?
I can see how this is the darks side; the obsession with the ego and personal prowess … but it’s not something I can cure or remove with sweep of a hand. "
He sweeps his hands out to prove the point.
“He has to understand his mistake , he needs to choose a different path himself, I can only stand by him and give him the option, but the first step must be his, if I choose for him – there is no point, the pattern will repeat itself and I might as well kill him to save the galaxy from his growing power and ambition. -AND I WILL NOT DO THAT!”
He sighs, and sits down heavily on the bunk.
“I’ll never do that … no.”
Upset and worried he looks around the room and tries to gather his thoughts …
“Onda told me after our meeting that he sensed the force in Burukut, this suprises me, because I felt nothing … I don’t understand this, maybe it’s because that bothan is mad? or something else? Hmmm.”
“So here we are, onboard the Shadow Hound, we will soon leave for our destination, this time with new hyperspace routes that Kiados does not know. The Velvet Thunder is being repaired as we speak and we have some hours of rest before we leave.”
“Time to get some sleep”
He reaches out and turns of the recorder.
Static and warped images congeal to the same man, the lighting is different and shadows play across his face from a nearby powercell. His voice is soft and careful.
“It’s my turn to take watch.”
He gathers up his robes and gets into a better position before continuing.
“Tarillion Station is a marvel, I feel as though I should want to stay here and investigate it’s many habitats and secrets. There are large creatures living in sealed globes og immense size, droids scuttling around doing all manner of tasks, corridors realigning themselves at their own whim … some claim the place has it’s own intelligence. We’ve barely had time to look at it’s marvels before leaving. "
“But to be honest I don’t feel like staying, maybe I’m not just a scholar anymore? maybe these months have changed me more than I thought …”
" After meeting Jessek and the inhabitants of the outer station. We spent almost a day or more travelling to get to him – this place is enormous as I said.On the way there we met an ancient ithorian: Majora Untaithi. Her map helped us get to Kane Nebolous eventually."
“I could not sense her in the force like Onda did as well, it’s as if I’m deaf to it, maybe the station interferes with more senses than we know … Onda has always been the one with the sharpest senses …. yes, that is more likely.”
He clears his throat.
“But we were too late, Kane had already placed the Sirens’ Soul into one of the locks. Yes you heard that right, whatever these old artefacts unlocks, it’s somwhere here on the station.”
“We discussed with him the artifacts, the station, Kiados plans, our goals to stop her.
I tried my best to instill in him an understanding of the danger in unlocking something he had no understanding of. He was unfaced and kept going on about his research, the potential discoveries, how they could help other …”
“-Was I ever so foolish as this?!”
His look is baffled and annoyed, he shrugs before continuing.
“So let’s list the players in this game: Kiados seeks the artifacts to – according to Sun’saith; free her old master. Sun’saith, who’s morals I question as well as his sanity, seeks to defeat Kiados, possibly to continue his plans for her imprisonment – I don’t trust his reasons, and I’m sure ther are many things he is hiding behind that mask.”
“Then there is Ta’lon and his mad master Burukut, who desire power!”
He makes a dramatic and satirical clenching of his fist, before huffing and shaking his fingers offhandedly
“-regardless of the fact that they don’t know what shape or form it may come in.”
“there is also the explorer Kane Neboulous who wants to open up this vault simply to see what might happen …”
Kotan brings his hand to his temple and groans softly.
“Not one of all these fools consider the fact that if somebody imprisoned something inside a living, thinking, massive station at the edge of known space, it might be for a good reason?!”
“Even my own comrades, are drooling at the thought of power and forbidden knowledge that migh be a potential outcome if we fail. Am I the only one that understands how silly this is, how reckless it is to throw oneself off a cliff before checking if, you can in fact, fly?”
He composes himself after the last outburst and after a while leans back against the wall.
“I’m starting to see where all of this is leading, and what I must do to stop it … "
He sits in shadows for a long time, eventually he speaks and makes a small gesture.
“May the force be with us all.”
“Sssh, he aproaches, the Betrayer-Saint, the King of Fools, seeking answers that he doesn’t want to hear. Get ready, yes yes, a venerable wise demeanor is what he craves, like so, and so.”
The old Ithorian turned away from her tinkering and sat herself in the middle of the small room, waiting patiently while talking to herself, eventually she grew still.
By the entrance a tall man slid out of the shadows, his long dark hair hanging down loose, his eyes haunted over the black beard that framed his jaw.
“Ah, the young man comes carrying a question, and a heavy one at that.”
“You were expecting me.” the man both stated a fact and asked a question as he stepped closer, the old crone merly nodded.
“The rule of two.” the man started, wringing his hands as he looked around the room, almost expecting it to have changed since his last visit. “It is the law between apprentice and master among the sith, there can only be the two … what if the apprentice takes on her own apprentice when the master is away?”
The old woman chuckled “It would make quite the mess if the master returned, uncertain where any loyalties would lie, who would turn on whom.” she snorted. “But you know this bit young Kotan, ask me what you’re really here for.”
Kotan kneeled in front of Majora, gripping his knees he closed his eyes and hissed. “How much will it cost? How far will it go? Who must I sacrifice if I try this?!”
He opened his eyes and stared at the crone, his eyes serching for hope or truth.
Majora Unataithi opened her left hand and red light from the kyber crystal in her hand spilled across the room, covering both of them in it’s glow.
“Everything Kotan, you could lose everything, but you could save everything as well.”
The young man rocked back as if he’s been struck, his eyes on the crystal, they sat there for along time.
Eventually he asked ,“How do I start? what must I do?”
“She will seek you out and offer you power after you do these two things; first pick up the crystal.” the old gnarled palm lifted up between them. “but know that if you do, you have to take the second step too, no going back halfway young man.”
Kotan held his hand over the crystal, after a minute he took a breath and picked it up. “Ok what now?”
“Now Kotan Blen, you must kill me.”