Title: The Journal of Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus, Jedi Action Hero (or Something) Author: Raissa Baiard Genre: adventure, humor, romance Characters: Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus, Noemi Bridger, Wren Ordo, Humookanukoopwaha Flhaskhalhoosa Timeframe: OT, 28 ABY Canonicity: AU, in the Marzra-verse continuity Synopsis: Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus, now a Jedi Sentinel, tackles his first big mission, infiltrating an archaeological dig in the Valley of the Dread Lords on Korriban, with the help of an unconventional team. Many thanks to @Findswoman, beta-reader par excellence. ——— Journal of Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus, who hopes you aren’t reading this in the event of his untimely death 01/07, 3305 LY Is this...is this thing on? [Tap-tap skreeeeeeee] Whoa! Okay, yes, I guess it is… So, uh, hi. This is the journal of Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus, which is me, obviously. I haven’t really kept a journal since I graduated from NLUPS—that’s Northern Lothal Unified Prep School for anyone keeping track—but since this is my first solo mission as a Jedi Sentinel, I thought it might be a good idea to have sort of a mission log, partly so I can have all the details for the Jedi Council at the end of my mission (assuming I live through it) and partly because...well, if I don’t live through it, I want Noemi to know what happened. In case I didn’t live through it, and you’re the one who found this journal after my unfortunate demise, Noemi is Jedi Noemi Bridger. She’s my girlfriend, though, really, I don’t think “girlfriend” is enough. You know all those Force-awful sappy terms they use in holo-roms? “Soul mate”? “Other half”? “True love”? Yeah, that’s Noemi for me. We’ve been together for three years now...well, together like romantically together. We’ve been best friends for a lot longer, since we were both little kids. We built our lightsabers together. We went through our Jedi trials together. We were even knighted in a double ceremony. So if you could get this to her somehow, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks. Anyway, since this is supposed to be my mission log, I guess I should tell you about my mission, right? I’m headed to Korriban, and if you haven’t heard of Korriban, you’re not alone. It’s basically a cold, dry wasteland with exactly one settlement. So there’s no reason you should have heard of it, unless of course you’re a Jedi. If you are a Jedi, then you’ve definitely heard of Korriban, and you can probably think of about a million planets you’d rather visit. Because if you’re a Jedi, then Korriban is synonymous with the Sith. Korriban (or Moraband or Pesagem or whatever you want to call it, because it’s had a lot of names over the millennia) was the home of the original Sith species. Later a bunch of Dark Jedi settled there, took over and declared themselves...dun dun DUNNNN...the Dark Lords of the Sith (egotistical, much? But I guess the Sith never were known for humility). The Dark Lords built a bunch of elaborate tombs there, so no one would forget how fabulously, powerfully evil they’d been after they died (usually at the hands of another Sith. They were also not known for playing well with others). Some of those tombs are still there, and, legend has it, so are some of the Dark Lords’ spirits. If you’re not a Jedi—maybe even if you are—you’re probably snorting right about now and saying, “Ronen, you have totally lost it if you believe that ancient Sith Lords are hanging around on Korriban, haunting their tombs. That’s just scientifically impossible.” Yeah, maybe it is, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. I’d probably scoff, too, except that I actually met a couple of ancient spirits when Noemi, Ben Solo and I were trapped in the Lothal Temple three years ago (fortunately, they were Jedi, because the whole thing was weird enough, and they were more or less friendly). So I’m inclined to give those ghost stories about haunted Sith tombs the benefit of the doubt. Korriban’s been all but deserted for more than fifty years now. Its only city is Dreshdae, which used to be the planet’s capital but now isn’t much more than a hardscrabble mining town with a couple of third-rate mineral extraction facilities. Turns out most beings don’t want to live on a desolate ball of rock which may or may not be haunted by freaky, evil ghosts—who knew? But suddenly this mining company no one ever heard of before, Chimaera Industries, has acquired mining rights for a large section of Korriban which just happens to include the charmingly named Valley of the Dread Lords—home to the tombs of some of the biggest and baddest of the Dark Lord big bads. And as if that wasn’t already suspicious enough, Chimaera has hired an archaeologist, a Twi’lek named Remiel Belloq, to conduct an excavation first so that any “priceless cultural artifacts” aren’t destroyed when they start mining. Yeah. Any Sith artifacts that still exist don’t need to be put in a museum and studied, they need to be destroyed with extreme prejudice before they can tempt someone down the path to the Dark Side. And that’s where I come in. My job is to infiltrate the dig, find out as much as I can about Chimaera and Belloq and why they’re suddenly interested in Korriban and its so-called cultural artifacts, and, most importantly, keep them from getting their hands on anything potentially nasty that would unleash doom on the entire Galaxy. Sure, no problem. I do this stuff all the time. No, seriously…. I’ve never done anything like this before. This is huge and I can’t believe the Council is trusting me with it. I was only knighted last year. Sometimes it still feels like “whose brilliant idea was it to make me a Jedi Sentinel, anyway?” (Oh, yeah...mine...and presumably the Force’s, too. What were we thinking?) The only thing I’ve really got going for me—the reason the Council picked me instead of anyone else—is this weird ability I’ve always had to make myself disappear. Not just the ability not to be seen— most Jedi can do some sort of “I’m not here; you don’t see me” Jedi mind trick on beings who aren’t Force sensitive, but I can actually make myself invisible in the Force. Handy if you’re dealing with someone Force-sensitive, like maybe evil Dark Side spirits. And I guess I won’t be totally on my own. I have a contact on Korriban: a Squib named Humookanookoopwaha Flhaskhalhoosa. (Yes, really.) He supposedly comes from a long line of famous Squib treasure-hunters. I hope he’s better than the silly name might suggest. He could be the most brilliant treasure-hunter ever for all I know, but I’d rather have Noemi by my side. Like I said, we’ve done all the really important things in our lives together, and, lame as it may sound, I feel like I’m stronger when she’s with me. Not having her with me on this mission feels like I’m missing a piece of myself, like I might as well have disassembled my lightsaber and left half of it at home. But the stories say those Sith spirits are attracted to Force-sensitive beings, and though I’ve made Noemi and me disappear in the Force before, it’s a lot harder than just hiding myself. And you wanna know what would be worse than meeting some hideous fate at the metaphysical hands of angry Sith spirits? Having that happen to Noemi. If anything happened to her, I’d never forgive myself. I hope she’ll understand that someday, even if right now she’s not very happy with me for leaving her behind. If you’re listening to this, Noemi, I hope it’s because I’m presenting it to the Council and not because, well, you know… But whatever the reason, I want you to know if there was any way I could have you come and keep you safe, I would. I love you, Noemi. May the Force be with you, always. Notes: Ronen‘s previous adventures are chronicled in (Not) The Ballad of Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus Korriban: should be a familiar planet for anyone who’s played KOTOR. According to the Wook, it has had several different names over the years, and was known as Pesegam in the time of Xim the Despot (ca. 25,000 BBY) and Moraband at the time of the Clone Wars. Humookanookoopwaha Fhlaskhaloosa: a member of the same illustrious Squib family as @Findswoman’s Gleebaloola and Deebeeneebeedee Fhlaskhalhoosa, and I sincerely thank her for letting me add him to the family tree. He is more or less named after the humuhumunukunukuapua’a.