By Ron Winter
Admiral Ciaran Storm stood watch on the bridge of his flagship. He
enjoyed this time, as long as it was peaceful. His Alliance Star Defender
class vessel, the StarStorm, was the flagship of the Storm Fleet. Despite
the fact that his peaceful watch was to be interrupted, he was to be
overjoyed for the same reason.
He heard the beeping from the comm station. "Sir," the communications officer reported, regarding the beeping signal that all on the flight deck
could now hear. "I've never seen this frequency used before." Storm had
been striding to the station before the comm officer had finished. "It's
Alliance, but not one I have ever seen."
"I have specific instructions, ensign," Storm replied, noting the
frequency and code. He took a data pad from the ensign, keyed in coordinates
and returned it to him. "Head for these coordinates. Close all viewports.
This is top secret, ensign."
"Aye sir," the ensign stated, looking perplexed.
"Don't worry, ensign," the admiral told him with an uncharacteristic
smile. "This is a positive event." He strode away, heading for his office.
It worked! He thought to himself, still smiling. They did it! His
elation changed to solemnity, suddenly.
But at what cost, he worried.
Space is quiet. But if sound could travel in the void, the opening of
the portal between dimensions would have been an echoing, thunderous din. A
corona of red, ethereal fire, highlighted by speckles of white energy,
exploded outward as several vessels exited into normal space.
Dral Warthen stood on the bridge of the Alliance Star Cruiser Fury. The
Alliance Star Defender Justice traveled alongside him. A few other vessels
were destroyed in their war with the Monitors. The Imperial Star Destroyer
Stalker broke formation and moved to a position to enter hyperspace.
Dral could not believe his hated enemy, the Sith Lord Vordis, had
sacrificed his life for their success. Nolan Talsiir had taken over command
of the Sith's vessel. Alliance Intelligence had strongly suspected Talsiir
had also been the dark hunter and assassin known only as Shade. It was also
suspected that this dark wielder of the Force was the Emperor's Hand. The
Imperial craft was flanked by a smaller black painted vessel, the ship of
Tolan Modranai, a self styled mage who had been the Imperial Senator from the
planet Chronos. The man was pure evil, just like Talsiir. But after Vordis'
death, Dral felt an even stronger darkness from the mage.
The ISD's engines flared and the Imperial vessel was gone. In a way,
Dral was glad they had departed. Working alongside Imperials had become
difficult to stomach and a dark sider like Talsiir even more so.
Dral reflected on their odyssey. Luke had discovered that an
extra-dimensional threat endangered hyperspace travel as well as sentient
life in their universe. Luke gathered people together who he had discerned
through the Force to be the ones best suited for this mission. A spy had
come to a Jedi stronghold and was discovered. The spy, an operative for an
extra-dimensional race called the Monitors, after interrogation, produced the
conceptual designs for a drive system capable of transmitting vessels and
sentients to the dimension where the Monitors originated. The group
discovered that the plans for our dimension included making hyperspace
inaccessible and then to release their strange energies into our space, the
result of which would destroy all energy, matter and sentient life. Their
dimension would basically usurp ours.
The mission cost them dearly. Lord Vordis sacrificed himself in
Palpatine's name. And then there was Luke. Dral shuddered. Even though, in
some strange way, there had been more than one Luke Skywalker, this was
Dral's Luke, his dear friend who like a brother to him, also died saving
their galaxy. Upon his death, Luke shared his secrets, his knowledge with a
lost Jedi that was held captive by the Monitors since before the collapse of
the Old Republic. All that remained of who Luke was, now resided in this
Jedi's mind. Another Jedi named Cardan Nerise also perished and gave his
knowledge to this Jedi, named Moradin Katar. Nerise had studied the secrets
of the Jedi temples of Zoric, a world that had been destroyed by the Empire
many years ago.
They would all have to deal with the ramifications of leaving our galaxy
like they did. Their departure was sudden and there was no time for
good-byes or explanations.
At least there was an upside to all the deaths. The enemy was defeated
and there would be no reason to ever return there. He had to breath in
deeply. Home at last, he thought !
His thoughts returned to his home galaxy. Dral knew the Trasiir had all
but splintered apart while he was gone. They had been squires and protectors
to the Jedi Knights but many of his number departed service even before he
left. Whether he was to reform his order or not, he wanted to know what had
happened to his friends. And for that matter, what had become of his family.
Dral had also been the Avatar to the Celestial Dragon of Order. This was
still complicated to him but he could feel how disorder had plagued this
galaxy since he had been gone. He recalled the pain he felt when he had left
our dimension so many years ago. Dral knew the Dragon had not been able to
make the transition to extra dimensional space. He wondered where it was.
He spread his senses out, wondering of Arcturus, Sybil ^¿¶ and Rachel.
And they would sense his return ...
Moradin Katar sat in his temporary quarters on the ASC Fury. He was
trying to assimilate all of the information that had been uploaded to his
mind through the Force from the deceased Luke Skywalker and Cardan Nerise.
There were feelings behind certain things, for a sister and a brother in law
as well as for a wookie friend. He felt the strong bond that had been lost
between Nerise and a dark side woman. He found himself thinking on how this
whole situation started many years ago.
The Clone Wars had just started, as well as the Jedi Purge. A shape
shifter had infiltrated a senator's entourage and Moradin's task was to
capture the infiltrator. Somehow, it got the better of him during a final
Moradin awoke in a craft and soon that craft went through some kind of
turbulence accompanied by flashes of red and white light from outside. He
did not know it at the time, but he had just traversed a bridge between
dimensions. He fell back unconscious, until their ultimate arrival.
The shape shifter brought Moradin to his masters, a race known as the
Monitor's. They were behemoths, large humanoids whose flesh was bleach
white, decaying and they used large elaborate technological armored suits to
keep their destructive energies contained. Behind the eyes, it always seemed
there was something fowl there, smoldering. They never spoke anything
understandable, preferring to have underlings translate.
Moradin was held prisoner for many years. His physical form was tested,
as well as his command of the Force. Eventually, he pieced together that the
Monitors had perfected the spacecraft drive that could traverse dimensions
and the shape shifters had started an infiltration of different political and
military bodies in our dimension. Within the last year, they had implemented
technology that endangered hyperspace travelers and in some instances, small,
remote regions of our galaxy were destroyed.
Then within the last few months, his meditative dreams seemed to finally
contact someone. Anakin Skywalker's son, ironically, was to be his savior,
as well as the galaxy's.
Moradin had wished Luke had survived the deadly encounters with the
Monitors. A Jedi Knight from Zoric, Cardan Nerise, a scholar of old, lost
Jedi forms, was also a casualty of the war. Cardan and Luke's spirits moved
on but their knowledge lived on in him.
If I can focus enough with all of this knowledge and these memories
bombarding me, he thought. Moradin was a Jedi Guardian, a knight of combat forms. He had lost the lust for adventure and other selfish pursuits long ago as a Padawan. But he excelled as a man of action. Moradin was usually an excellent bodyguard. Now he needed to become more of a scholar, especially since hearing of the fall of the Republic and the dark side's rise. But despite this Moradin was looking forward to meeting the Jedi of this age and to help them in any way that he could. Even the others that returned from this odyssey knew they had returned to a changed galaxy. Time, as always, would tell ...
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