Summary: The Clone Wars rage across the galaxy. The Jedi find their numbers stretched to breaking point. The Force slips into Darkness... (Action/adventure short story with original characters and a few familiar faces) The Justice of the Jundland Chapter 1“I HAVE A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS,” Padawan Maya Qwan murmured as the Nu-class shuttle’s engines fired up, ready to lift them away from Tatooine’s deserts. The slender teenager placed a hand on Flint’s shoulder and said, “Wait.”The clone commando sighed and aborted the take-off sequence. “What?”“We’re missing something important here. I feel there is some deeper plot, some greater menace. This rescue mission is not over yet.”Flint removed his helmet and said, “What do you mean?”“Jabba wouldn’t have just used the professor as a servant on his barge, and the Darksiders can’t have just kidnapped him for that. He’s too… valuable…”She glanced over her shoulder at the little blue-suited aliens. In the passenger section of the Nexu, Professor Maneeli languished on a medical couch. His fellow Polis Massan, Dr. Xam, fretted nearby. Upon hearing Maya’s words Professor Maneeli straightened.“I fear you may be correct,” he said, or rather thought – using the Polis Massan method of mental signal transfer akin to telepathy. To Maya it was as if he had said the words out loud. “On the way here that red-skinned fiend, Tekken, took pleasure in informing me I would be compelled to work on some ‘farm’. To what purpose, I can only speculate…”Maya nodded as her suspicions were confirmed, “Then what happened?”“I think there was some breakdown in negotiations with the Hutt – I was not privy to the entire conversation, but matters became complicated, I was claimed by Jabba’s thugs and then Tekken was hoven into the dungeon too!”Sitting nearby, Kitster raised a hand meekly.“I worked at Jabba’s palace… I heard things,” said the ex-guard.“Go on,” said Maya.“That Lord Krell and Tekken were here on behalf of some other organisation – they had a deal with Jabba, but kept the identity of their employers close.”“The Confederacy,” Maya scowled as pieces of the puzzle began to fit.“Maybe they rented this farm from Jabba for some operation? Something they wanted to hide?” suggested Kitster.“Do you know where it is?” said Maya.The tall man shook his dark-haired head. “I heard others talk about a ‘farm’ at some secret location. I’ve never been. I think it’s somewhere out beyond the Jundland Wastes. I don’t know what went on there, but I think Krell was not just into slavery; all kinds of dark business.”“We need to get there,” decided Maya. “I’ll bet that’s where Tekken will go.”“Alright, wait,” cut in Flint. “A secret Separatist base? This time we need back-up.”Maya looked at him. “We have very little time…”Flint consulted a data-screen and skimmed through order transmissions.“Let me see. We’re on Tatooine… Tatooine… Ah. This is interesting. Castellan.”Maya peered over the soldier’s shoulder. “The Castellan System?”“Castellan’s not a system, it’s a ship – an Acclamator-class battleship. And it’s due in to Kamino for re-supply.”“So?” said Maya. "I know a couple of good friends of ours currently based on the Castellan, and look: Kamino is only 22 hours from here…”Marker and Blanco. The ARC 3-1 unit reunites. Maya smiled. “Alright. You go to Kamino. Will they be kitted up and ready to go?”“An ARC team is always ready to go, Commander. But we can just send a request…”“No. No transmissions. I don’t want whoever is out there to know we are onto them,” said Maya. “Take the Nexu, pick them up, then get back here.”Flint said, “Understood. And… what will you do?”Maya appealed to Kitster. “Do you think you could find this farm? I know it’s a lot to ask after everything, but…”“I’m in!” Kitster did not hesitate. “I’ve lived here all my life. I’m sure I could find it. But… we’ll need transport. The Jundland Wastes are not to be traveled lightly, and there’s a lot of no-man’s-land between here and Anchorhead.”Maya fiddled with her credit chip of useless Republic currency. Kitster produced a pouch of coins.“Oh no, you can’t…” Maya started.“I’m leaving this dust-hole anyway. I have no need for Tatooine currency.”“Will it be enough to buy a speeder?”Kitster frowned, peering into the purse. “It’ll have to be.”Maya checked the equipment belt that cinched the short purple tunic about her narrow hips. Then she headed for the disembarkation ramp. “Then we have a plan. Flint, you get the team. I’ll go with Kitster and scout out this ‘farm’.”Kitster grabbed his polearm weapon and scampered after her as the ramp closed and the attack shuttle lifted off..