main
side
curve
  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Before - Legends Prophecies

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by CaraJinn, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Author: CaraJinn
    Era: Jedi Apprentice time period
    Genre: Adventure, slighly AU
    Characters: Tahl Uvain, Bant Eerin
    Summary: During two previous missions Tahl Uvain had learned to know about the Jedis' prophecy about a chosen one who will bring balance to the Force. Encouraged by her Padawan, Bant Eerin, she decides to take a closer look at the old prophecy.
    Author's notes: Story has also been posted on ff.net and AON. The first chapter have some references to a couple of other stories I've written, but hopefully I'll manage to send Tahl and Bant out on an adventure of their own. And as usual - I'm only enjoying the galaxy of Lucas and Disney.

    ......

    Chapter 1: Confusion

    "Prophecies," Tahl Uvain complained, "they are simply multiplying like a pair of lab rodents. I thought one 'Chosen One' prophecy was more than enough and now there seem to be two. Force alone knows how many others there are circulating the galaxy. I'm officially getting a headache."

    "Master, you're rambling!"

    The quiet but yet stern comment from her young Padawan made her stop the whining for a moment, looking up at her with unseeing eyes.

    "I'm sorry, Padawan. I just had to get it out of my system for a while."

    "You want me to get you some tea, Master?"

    Bant Eerin was unperturbed by her Master's complaints, but sensing what the answer might be she headed for the kitchen without waiting for an answer.

    "Yes, please. Make it two. You need one too for being patient with me," Tahl instructed.

    A few minutes later the two women were comfortably seated on the couch, each with a steaming mug of tea in their hands.

    "What's all this about 'Chosen Ones'? " Bant asked curiously, "I mean, I heard the verse coming from the holocron Obi-Wan and Master Jinn found on Prakith but I don't get this 'chosen stuff'? "

    Tahl sighed.

    "That was not much of an answer," Bant prodded.

    "I know, but it's complicated," Tahl sighed for the second time.

    "How?"

    Despite her calm and modest demeanor, Bant was not one who would give up so easily.

    Tahl sighed for a third time.

    "I shouldn't really tell but on the other hand, you're my Padawan and as such you have the right to know at least some of it. But before I say a single word, you have to promise me one thing: Don't tell anyone, and least of all Obi-Wan or Qui-Gon."

    Bant looked up from her tea. She'd been watching the deep brown surface of the liquid with far more interest than it was worth.

    "Why? Is it something that could be dangerous to Obi-Wan?"

    "I'm not sure," Tahl refrained from sighing for a fourth time, "I don't think so, but what I know or think I know are only hypotheses and maybe not even that. It's more of guessing, I think. But it would be very disturbing for Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon if they knew and I don't want to stress any of them with these assumptions of mine."

    Bant nodded thoughtfully.

    "You have my word, Master. I won't tell anyone until you give me permission to do so."

    "Well, then, go get us some more tea. This will be a long evening."

    This time a full kettle of steaming tea was brought to the table - well placed on a heater.

    "Do you remember that shortly after Obi-Wan had been apprenticed by Qui-Gon he was hurt during their first mission together? It was a mere accident. They got engine trouble on their ship and had to land on Stewjon, which is Obi-Wan's home planet. During their short stay Obi-Wan was injured so he was unconscious when they came back home."

    Bant nodded: "I remember that."

    "Shortly after that the Council, or rather Master Yoda and Master Windu asked me to go to Stewjon and investigate Obi-Wan's background and see if I could find some traces of his family and if that might have something to do with him being attacked. Or at least that was what we believed had happened. I did reveal that, it was partly because of his family background, but it turned out to be a mere misunderstanding. There's no more danger for him coming from Stewjon. However, I tracked his family and actually met his grandfather, a very nice elderly man. We searched the library of his…uh…castle and found an old prophecy which had been in his family for centuries."

    "Castle?" Bant chimed in.

    "Yes, actually," Tahl confirmed, "but that has nothing to do with the prophecy. Or if so, just briefly. Anyways, from Stewjon I continued to Auratera, and if someone suggests that you go there, then run. As hard and fast as you can - in the opposite direction. I've never ever been to such a Sithspawned hellish place, and I'll never set my feet on that planet again."

    "Why? Does it have something to do with Obi?" Bant asked curiously.

    "Let's say I realised that there is a possibility that the prophecy is linked to Obi-Wan somehow. And, no, I'm not going to tell you the details about my visit to…that place. It's best forgotten by everyone."

    "So Master Yoda and Master Windu know?" Bant wanted to know.

    "Yes, I told them in my debriefing after the mission, but it has less to do with the prophecy, than with…other things."

    "But I still don't get the 'prophecy' thing," Bant said frustrated, "exactly what is it?"

    This time Tahl seemed confused.

    "Don't you know the old Jedi prophecy about the Chosen One? The one who shall bring balance to the Force?"

    "No? Should I?"

    "Isn't that a part of history classes anymore? When we were initiates that was the most exciting part of the entire year and we spent the week after hearing about it discussing it and what it meant. And then we forgot all about it, " Tahl concluded dryly.

    "No. Never heard about such a thing before, and I actually enjoyed history classes, so I would have remembered," Bant informed.

    "Weird. I thought that was taught to any new…oh… those sneaky left it out because they didn't want Obi-Wan to hear about it. Surely that's what happened. Oh well, as I said the prophecy itself is very blurred and hard to interpret but most who have tried agreed that it tells about someone who is going to bring balance to the Force. However, nobody has really been able to tell what that means."

    "But what about the prophecy you found, Master?"

    "That's another story indeed, or rather it may very well be the same story. I'm not sure, nor are Master Yoda or Mace. Let's see if I remember it well enough…"

    Tahl was ransacking her memory for a moment and then she recited:

    From the land of the suns he came
    Born of the light, bore light within.
    For peace he did fight,
    his weapon the word.
    Balance he kept, blazing the sword.

    When darkness has fallen, again he will rise.
    Bearer of light, the darkness will fight.
    Brothers two, one bright and one dark
    Against darkness his presence again lits the spark
    Restore the balance of day and of night.


    "Such was the prophecy I found on Stewjon," she said. "I'm pretty sure I remember it correctly."

    Bant's face witnessed of deep thoughts.

    "That sounds much like a prophecy, yes," she said. "but it seems to be more or less the opposite of the one we, I mean Obi, found?"

    "That's what I'm thinking too," Tahl confirmed. "The prophecy I found in the castle seems to be telling about someone who is the bearer of light while the other one is talking about someone who has fallen under the spell of the Sith Lords. Yet they seem to be eerily alike, and somehow interconnected. What I cannot figure out is if they're talking about the same person or if there are two persons involved in this. Whatever 'this' may be."

    Bant took another sip of her tea. It had turned cold long ago but she didn't really care.

    "Master?" she said tentatively, "I guess we cannot find out where Obi's holocron came from or who made it, and you just said that the Stewjon prophecy was found in the castle so the background for that isn't entirely known either?"

    "Well, that is not entirely true, I believe the latter is a warning of things yet to come."

    "That's the general idea when it comes to prophecies," Bant said, unusually sourly. "Master, would you mind if we, or I, spent some time in the archives and searched to see if I could find where or when the Jedi prophecy came into our archives? "

    "After all," she added with a mischievous glimpse in her eyes, "I didn't learn about it in my history classes so I assume it's my duty as a Padawan to make up for that…uh…little miss?
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Super start with Tahl's summation of 2 prophecies which may or may not be linked =D=
     
    AzureAngel2 and CaraJinn like this.
  3. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Chapter 2: Past Tense

    The Jedi Temple's archives was one of Bant's favourite places in the Temple. She loved every bit of it. She loved the monumental shelves packed with reading pads and old flimsiplast memos. She loved the slightly dusty atmosphere and the calmness and hushed whispers of the huge main room. She loved the small booths where one could curl up reading on one of the quite sparse days without lectures or training.

    Whom she didn't love quite as much was Jocasta Nu, the recently appointed Master of the Archive. Master Nu had always been quite strict and pedantic and after her assignment she'd become quite territorial. Bant actually found her a bit scary.

    Yet, she had to ask for the documents related to the 'Chosen One' prophecy. She'd spent the last couple of days searching the document files of the archives and finally realised that the most interesting documents from the era where the prophecy was written had to be tucked away in one of the locked departments of the archives. In the more public areas she just found some ordinary datapads with reference to the prophecy, stating that someone would be born who would bring balance to the Force. Obviously this being would come from a world with two or more suns. And that was about it, nothing more to be found. So she concluded that there had to be some more. After all this prophecy was found worthy to be referred to in the history lessons even though the pads gave less than few details.

    There had to be more to it, but it was simply no way she could get to the older documents without Master Nu's blessing.

    So she straightened her back and proceeded towards Master Nu's desk where she was graced with an almost regal nod.

    "Master Nu? I wonder if you could help me out? I'm working on an assignment related to the prophecy about the 'Chosen One' and I found that some of the oldest writings are located in archive B21-4 and that one is locked. Would it be possible to get access to the archive for a day or two?"

    "I beg your pardon?"

    Madame Nu's expression would have been comical if Bant hadn't felt like a Sith in the Garden of Thousand Fountains.

    "I would very much like to see the documents related to the 'Chosen One' prophecy," she repeated politely.

    "Aren't you a bit old for that assignment, Padawan Eerin?"

    Uh-oh, Bant hadn't seen that one coming.

    "Yes, Master Nu, but as you know Master Uvain has a great interest in old documents and I guess it's rubbed off on me, so I would like to investigate a bit more in depth than we do in classes."

    It wasn't a lie. Not really. They didn't necessarily make in depth investigations as initiates.

    "I say, young one, if you can bring me your Master's permission I will let you see the documents," Madame Nu declared.

    "Yes, Master. I will go and ask Master Uvain at once."



    Tahl could feel her Padawan's mood in the moment she entered the door. Obviously the visit to the archives hadn't gone too smoothly.

    "Bad luck?" she asked sympathetically.

    "You could say that," Bant sighed, "Master Nu wants me to bring your permission. If so, she will allow me to see the older documents."

    "I see. I think maybe I'll give her more than that, you'll have to bring me!"

    "But Master, some of the documents may be handwritten. Won't it be difficult for you to read them? You cannot make your reading list translate handwriting into palpable characters. It's not standardised enough."

    "We'll figure out something," Tahl declared unperturbed. "But it has to wait until tomorrow. I have a feeling that we will spend some time there when we finally get in."

    The following day they met in the Grand Hall. Tahl had long ago learned to find her ways through the Temple and meeting Bant was an easy task. She could sense her mild and caring Padawan's life force anywhere by now.

    Bant was almost bouncing when she weaved her way through the crowd of passing Jedi, whom mostly were on a steady course towards the refectory.

    "No mid-day meal today, huh?" Tahl joked.

    "Later," Bant confirmed, "unless you're hungry, Master."

    "No, I'm good, I was just joking," Tahl confirmed and the two women turned towards the Archive entrance.

    Bant soon noticed that getting access to the 'sacred vaults' was much easier when one brought one's Master. Master Nu was the personified friendliness when she saw Tahl. Obviously the two women knew each other well.

    On their way back towards archive B21-4 they chitchatted merrily to each other. Bant even thought she saw a smile on Madame Nu's face. A miracle!

    "Do not forget to use gloves when you touch the old flimsies and documents," Master Nu admonished, "there's a dispenser over by the wall."

    Tahl nodded: "We know the rules. We'll be careful."

    And with that they went to work. Tahl connected her reading pad to the archive terminals and went to work. Bant occupied the other one.

    Two hours later they were both quite discouraged. No references, no manuscripts, no…well…nothing. There wasn't any more in depth information to be found.

    "This is annoying," Bant mumbled. "A prophecy like that must have created some interest, at least when it was collected or discovered or whatever happened. It cannot have come from nowhere?"

    "Maybe the Force placed it here in person?" Tahl grumbled. "No living being seems to have."

    The room became quiet again. Only the soft clicks of fingers towards keyboards could be heard.

    Then Tahl looked up: "I've got something. Kriff it, I knew it had to be something there."

    "What did you do?"

    A smug grin appeared on the Noorian Master's face: "I searched with 'Auratera' and 'prophecy'. I still don't know if it is that prophecy, but at least there is something. But it seems to be very old. Go see if you can find location B-214-579 somewhere?"

    Bant dived into the archive references and then stood up and went towards a corner of the room. A moment later Tahl heard a quiet 'help'.

    "What is it?"

    "It's on the upper shelf," Bant complained, "I'm a water species, I'm not supposed to climb mountains. Nor shelves as high as said mountains…"

    "Take it as a part of your training," Tahl said dryly, "after all Ihad to learn to swim."

    The sound of a ladder being pulled across the floor could be heard and some seconds later a creaking sound revealed that someone was climbing the ladder.

    "…567…575, 576, 577, 578….there it is…. Now I just have to get down from here unharmed, hoping…atchoooo….that my gills haven't been stuffed with dust."

    The descendent went well, and soon she appeared by their shared working table again.

    "I've got it, or rather I've got the box that was stored at the location you found."

    "Right," Tahl said energetically, "gloves on. Let's see exactly what you discovered."

    The contents of the box was a disappointment indeed. The most exciting part about it was that it contained real old fashioned paper. Bant lifted the few sheets up in a state of awe.

    "Master, it's not flimsi. It's real paper. Shouldn't it have been better preserved?"

    "It should," Tahl confirmed, "we must inform Master Nu as soon as we've read them. If they're still readable that is."

    "A valid question," Bant said, "I can see some kind of writing and I….yes…it seems to be some kind of archaic aurebesh. "

    With great care she lifted the old sheets up from the box where they've been resting for centennials and spread them carefully out on the smooth tabletop.

    "I…oh, it seems to be a letter," she finally said.
     
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Great reading about their persistence and a very intriguing find. Tickled about the descriptions of Jocasta Nu, being such a stickler. :p
     
    AzureAngel2 and CaraJinn like this.
  5. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    I wonder what they are going to find eventually.
     
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  6. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Chapter 3: The Letter

    "A letter?" Tahl exclaimed, "To whom?"

    "No idea yet," Bant mumbled, "it seems like someone has only shuffled these sheets into the box and put them away. It's a mess."

    She continued moving the paper sheets around on the table with great care.

    "Master Nu will kill me if I destroy any of these papers."

    "And me too, for good measure," Tahl comforted, "be careful, Padawan."

    "That did not exactly help, Master."

    Tahl chuckled. Her young Padawan had to learn to tackle stressful situations. This was as good as any.

    "There it is. I think I'm beginning to get them in order. He…or she…is actually writing a letter to his mother."

    "What?" Tahl was honestly confused.

    "It's true. This page starts with 'Dear Mama' "

    Tahl gaped. She was well aware of the Jedi Order's resistance towards attachments, even though she knew that they hadn't always been quite as rigid as noe. These documents really had to be old. She tapped her fingertips impatiently towards the table.

    "Read it out loud," she ordered. "I cannot feel anything with gloves on and I don't dare to risk Master Nu's wraith falling upon me. I may need the archives later on."

    "Yes, Master."

    Bant drew a deep breath and pulled the first sheet carefully towards her. Then she began to read.

    Dear Mama,

    I know I promised to write you regularly but it has been a while now and I apologize. My life has been most eventful since the last time I was allowed to visit you and I ask you to bring my greetings to Papa and to my siblings as well. You are always in my thoughts, before I go to bed.

    I'm sorry to tell you that my dream of becoming a full fledged Jedi Knight did not become true. My Master realised that my skills were better off with the pen than with the sword so they have decided that I shall become one of their historians. It is a weird feeling, because it is not what I always imagined but I can feel the truth in my doing so. The Force is telling me that this is the right path for me. A couple of months ago I was on my first solo mission after…well…being knighted. It's more of a honorific title though. My missions will be more about gathering information and writing it down than wielding a lightsaber.

    But, back to the mission.

    Did you know that the Order has several Temples scattered around the galaxy? Most people don't. I was a rather old initiate before I learned that myself.

    My first solo mission went to the city of Jedha. Isn't it weird how the name reminds of the one of the Jedi Order itself? I was asked to go there to meet some of the refugees from one of our other Temples. Something happened there but the Order doesn't know what. At least not here on Coruscant. I think.

    So I went. It was a very long, very boring and very uneventful journey.

    Jedha City, now that is something else.

    Jedha is one of the moons surrounding the planet NaJedha. I have no idea why someone or whom decided to place a Temple on such a small place but the city that has grown around the Temple is quite impressive in it's own way. It's not by any means as big as Coruscant. I sometimes feel that Coruscant is about to digest the entire planet's surface, but Jedha City is a real city. The areas surrounding it is mostly desert. At least what we could see as our ship came in towards the spaceport was sand, sand and even more sand. It didn't take me long to discover that I don't like sand. It's rough and harsh and it covers everything.

    But back to the city itself. It's a very lively place. Obviously people live from trading (I still wonder where they get all the goods from) and there are bars and cantinas on almost every corner. The people there are friendly and outgoing and they seem to be on good terms with the inhabitants of the Jedha Temple. On Coruscant the regular inhabitants look upon us with something that seems to be a mixture of awe and fear. They seem to think that we're distant to them. On Jedha it's another story. The Jedha Knights are often to be seen out in the cityscape and the frequently visit the tavernas.

    The Temple itself is located on a small hill in the centre of the city. It is overlooking the city as a kind and friendly grandfather and when people in the city are in need they go to the Temple and get help there. The Temple has gardens and healers and scientists. They even run a hospital downtown. Their knights are much more integrated in the daily life than we are here on Coruscant.

    I came to the Temple late in the evening and I was immediately followed to a small room which would be mine for the stay. The refectory was closed but a kind soul had brought a plate of bread, fruit and cheese so I had a nice evening meal before going to bed.

    The next day I was shown the Temple and the archives here are really amazing. The upper level is the general archive where everyone has access. There actually is a part of it bordering to the circumference of the Temple where the citys inhabitants have access. The more closed parts of it are found beneath the surface, deep into the core of the hill on which the Temple is build. I think the entire story of the moon must be kept here. I could probably dive in and return to the surface as an old man if I were given the opportunity.

    "Oh, I really would have liked to see those archives," Tahl interjected.

    Bant looked up: "Do you think they still exist?"

    "They might. I have never heard anything about Jedha, so there may still be a Temple of some kind there. Please continue to read, Padawan. This is interesting from several points of view."

    Bant continued.

    But I had a job to do. I needed to find the refugees from Auratera. To my confusion there weren't refugees in plural, there was one - a red haired male human with a haunted look. Somehow he gave me the impression of feeling the weight of the entire galaxy on his shoulders.

    And unfortunately for me he was very secluded.

    When I finally met him he resolutely refused to talk to me. At least about Auratera. He just stated that he'd left the place and his order due to a harrowing experience he'd had. And that was it. No more would he tell me.

    Do I need to say I was disappointed? And I got the impression that he was really a stubborn one. During daytime he disappeared into the lower level archives and in the evening he emerged again, saying nothing about what he'd been studying. I silently wonder what it is.

    I began to overlook his 'touch me not' demeanour and invited myself to sit down with him for the evening meal in the refectory every evening. He was a polite and well educated man so he didn't protest but still he was very quiet. However, slowly he began to open up about his life on Auratera. It seemed like their order was functioning very much in the same way as our own on Coruscant, but instead of having one Master assigned to one apprentice masters and apprentices were paired for each single mission.

    Yet he would not speak of his experience before he left the planet.

    Not until one evening. It was on my third week in Jedha I suggested that we'd go for an evening stroll into the city. I swear it was not my intention to lure him with a drink, but we ended up in a bar and I offered to pay for a drink for each of us. It was a lovely evening with little wind (and thus little sand) and we decided to sit out.

    I guess somehow he had gained some confidence in me because after the third drink he began to talk. What I heard was a totally unbelievable story about an earthquake ruining large parts of the Temple forcing the Order to abandon it. As they left my friend had asked to be left behind here on Jedha because he knew about the archives here and he wanted to do some investigations. At this time he was becoming a bit incoherent and so was I, but I can remember he told me a very unbelievable story about an old hermit in a cave and good and evil forces fighting in the cave. Obviously the hermit had told him a story of how a human would be born, predestined to restore balance of the Force some time in the future.

    I was, honestly, very confused by the entire story. The drinks didn't exactly help. I find it very hard to believe that the Force ever will become unbalanced. After all it is in everything so it's pure being is balance. But yet, his story seemed to be important and before I collapsed in my bunk that night I wrote down some key words about his story. Now I curse myself for not writing it in full there and then. I will never drink alcohol again as long as I live. It is blurring ones thoughts. On the other hand, without the drinks I may never have heard his story, confusing as it may be.

    When I woke the next day he was gone. The Knights told me that he had left in the morning intending to catch an outbound flight. He had thanked them for their hospitality but left no word on where he was heading. It was a huge disappointment to me, because I would really have wanted to get some more details to his story - in a sober mode.

    I hurried to the spaceport but there had been several outbound flights that morning and nobody were willing to tell me any names so I could not track down where mye friend was intending to go. I had to go back to Coruscant with what I'd assembled of information so far.

    I'm pleased to say that my mission report was granted some interest from the Council and tomorrow I'll be leaving with an investigation team bound for Auratera. I'm a bit nervous but that place cannot be as bad as my friend told, so I'm really more excited to get an opportunity to see it with my own eyes.

    "And there it ends," Bant concluded.

    "He must have slept off and never sent the letter," Tahl guessed, "and I assume that he never came back from his mission either. Else the letter wouldn't have been archived here."
     
    AzureAngel2 and GregMcP like this.
  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Very interesting find indeed and I believe that's correct about the fate of the letter writer [face_thinking]
     
    AzureAngel2 and CaraJinn like this.
  8. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Chapter 4: A New Mission

    "What are we to do now, Master?" Bant asked. "There's nothing more in the box except a couple of personal belongings. A piece of sandstone by the look of it, and a lightsaber hilt."

    "So, at least he had a lightsaber," Tahl mused. "I guess that won't help anyone now. Let's ask Master Nu to get down here and leave the letter to her so it can be preserved for the future. I'm not sure, but maybe it's wise to leave it be down here. And then we must talk to the Council, or more specific, Mace and Master Yoda."

    The two women rose and went slowly up the stairs from the archive section an set off for Master Nu's desk where they were rewarded with an icy glare when they referred to their findings.

    "Are you absolutely crazy?" she asked. "Didn't it once occur to you that the papers could have disintegrated into dust after so long time? You should have called me at once."

    "Master," Tahl said and bowed slightly, "if we'd done that, would you have let us read the papers?"

    "Absolutely not!"

    "Exactly," Tahl confirmed, "that's why we didn't do it. We were careful. The papers survived and you have been informed about papers you didn't even know was there. Win-win. Besides - we did use gloves."

    And with that they left the archives.

    Bant managed to keep a straight face until they were well outside hearing range before she burst in a giggling fit, very much inappropriate to a Padawan.

    "Oh, Master, you should have seen her face," she finally managed to get out.

    "I felt it," Tahl said dryly. "Jocasta Nu is one of my oldest friends here, but still - after she became Master of the Archives she seems to have lost quite some of her sense of humor."

    "Did she ever have one?"

    "She did, actually, but it seems to have dried off. Must be the dry climate in the archives?" Tahl concluded.

    The two women were safely in their quarters before they discussed their findings again. Both of them had a vague feeling of disappointment. Despite finding a first hand story of how the prophecy of the chosen one came to the archives, they felt no wiser about it's true origin, except that it seemed to be a simplified version of what Tahl silently named "The Auratera Prophecy". She even had an idea of how that had been created but yet she didn't have the faintest idea of what it actually meant and how it possibly could be linked to the "Prakith Prophecy". It didn't make things easier that she didn't really want to worry her Padawan about the details of her Auratera experience. It was far too confusing even to herself.

    "What do we do now, Master?"

    Bant was the first one to break the silence.

    Tahl frowned: "I don't have a clue. Or rather, I have the beginning of an idea but I fear that Mace will go all ballistic when I mention it, and Yoda will probably follow suit. How would you like a mission to Jedha, Padawan?"

    "Jedha? You mean where this knight was? Like, asking to see their archives for real?"

    "The very same. Since I may have some problems reading handwritten documents you will have to accompany me there so Mace and Yoda will have to accept that you know at least something about the prophecies."

    "Oh, that would be wonderful, Master. I would so much like to see those archives. And the city."

    "No tavernas for you, young lady," Tahl admonished with mock sternness.



    Mace Windu did not go ballistic by the thought of Bant and Tahl going to Jedha. He did, however, almost elevate from his council seat when Tahl informed him and Yoda about her progress or lack thereof in the 'prophecy business'.

    "You did what?" he growled.

    "Yes, I did tell Bant some of it. And yes I accompanied her down into the archives, and yes again - I intend to bring her with me to Jedha. After all I may need some help with handwritten documents."

    Master Yoda was somewhat more composed.

    "Tell your Padawan, you did, hmmm? Friend of Obi-Wan's she also is. Tell him she will not, so sure of it you are?"

    Tahl nodded.

    "I am. She has a very high moral codex, more than I ever had…"

    "So true," Mace said, gritting his teeth.

    "She will not tell Obi-Wan anything. Most of all because she care for him like a little sister does about her older sibling and she understands that being potentially linked to a prophecy would possibly make him more insecure of his place than he already is. She has, however, great interest in the archives and she will do a fine job accompanying me there."

    "But why, exactly, do you want to go there in the first place?" Mace sighed.

    "You know all about my trip to Auratera. At least all that I can remember. You know that if my…experiences there bear some truth in them, then we should seek all the knowledge we can about this or these prophecies to be prepared for what may come."

    Yoda's ears drooped, and the old Master nodded in silent contemplation.

    "Unfortunately right you are. More about this we should know, before the day we needto know. Go to Jedha you may, and bring your Padawan with you. But nothing of the true intent of this journey must Obi-Wan know. Make sure that your Padawan also understands this."

    "Settled it is, then," Mace Windu sighed. "Go to Jedha and seek whatever useful information you may find in their archives. I'm afraid you will have to go by public transport since your Padawan isn't old enough to do the piloting, but I'll grant you a compartment for the both of you. I'll inform the cashier to send with you enough credits in case you have to rent a room outside the Temple. I don't know whether they have guest quarters or not."

    "Thank you, Mace," Tahl nodded softly. "I knew you would understand my point of view."

    And with that she made a deep bow and left the Council Chamber.

    ….

    The spaceport of Jedha City was a busy place and despite her abilities of navigating by means of Force signatures Tahl was actually glad that Bant was there to serve as her eyes. There were simply so many people around that even with a perfect sight it was hard not to bump into someone.

    "This place is busier than the refectory when they have gorka berry cheesecake for dessert," she hissed.

    "No worries, Master, we'll soon be out of the crowd," Bant comforted.

    She was right. A few moments later the two women were out on the walkway and the crowds had diminished considerably. Tahl drew a deep breath of relief.

    "Can you see the Temple? According to the letter it should be on a hill and if this place hasn't grown the same way as Coruscant has, then it should be possible to see it from almost anywhere in the city."

    "No-o," Bant muttered reluctantly, "I cannot even see the hill. Wait a minute Master. Don't move. Stay just here."

    And with that she disappeared.

    A few minutes later she was back again. Tahl stood at exactly the same place as she'd been left.

    "Maybe I could start a new career as a living statue?" she mused.

    "You'd better not, Master. I do not want to be an apprentice statue," Bant retorted dryly. "I was right - the hill and the Temple is on the other side of the spaceport. I'm afraid we have to go straight through it again."

    "Oh, no," Tahl sighed exasperated, "not down there again."
     
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Wonderful commentary on Jocasta Nu's loss of humor and Tahl was able to persuade Windu and Yoda of the need to go to Jedha. I love Bant's reactions to everything. She tickles me. ;) Jedha is definitely an interesting place to scour for more clues.
     
    AzureAngel2 and CaraJinn like this.
  10. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Interesting story! The two have a nice dynamic. I’m looking forward to seeing what they discover in Jedha.
     
  11. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Chapter 5: Jedha

    Tahl managed to get through the crowd once more without stepping (or being stepped) on by someone. Once they were out on the other side of the Spaceport Terminal the crowd diminished noticeably again and even the air felt lighter.

    "I can see the Temple from a distance," Bant said, "I believe we should be able to walk there in half an hour or so."

    "Let's go then," Tahl concluded.

    After all there was no use in wasting good money on transport on such a small distance. Bant hadn't taken into consideration the plan of Jedha City. On the contrary to the space lanes on Coruscant all transport on Jedha took place on ground level and since the city obviously was old the streets turned out to be a maze of narrow streets without walkways, open plazas where goods were sold from small booths and even some streets that came to a dead end.

    It was kind of frustrating actually. Particularly since the tall buildings made Bant lose sight of the Temple.

    The 'short walk' took almost two hours and the evening sun was bathing the cityscape in an amber light when they finally stood outside the Temple entrance. An old fashioned doorbell was seen to the right of the huge gate and Bant pulled the string. A deep rumbling chime could be heard from the inside.

    "There's no subtle approach to this place," Tahl said dryly.

    Light footsteps could be heard from inside and a hatch in the gate opened.

    "How can I help you?" a polite voice asked.

    "Good afternoon," Tahl greeted, "I am Jedi Master Tahl Uvain from the Jedi Temple on Coruscant and this is my Padawan, my apprentice, Bant Eerin. We have come to ask permission to see the archives of Jedha Temple. If you could lead us to whomever that might grant us access we would be grateful."

    The hatch closed and a few moments later the huge Temple gates opened.

    "I will take you to the Grand Master of the Temple. He will be the one to give access," the guard informed. "Please follow me."

    The halls of Jedha Temple felt calm and soothing after the intense and lively buzz in the spaceport and in the city itself. Tahl could feel a pleasant chill from something that apparently were massive stone walls and the slight echo of their footsteps informed her that there were lots of open space around. The distant murmur of voices coming from the surroundings told her that this was no empty place like Auratera had been. Then a new door opened.

    "Master Tenyo, we have visitors who wish to see our archives. Master Tahl Uvain has come all the way from Coruscant with her Padawan Bant Eerin to visit our archives."

    The voice greeting them was warm and welcoming: "From the Temple of Coruscant you say? Welcome, Master Uvain and Padawan Eerin. We don't often have visitors from your Temple nowadays."

    Tahl could hear a soft click as the guard left the room and closed the door behind him.

    "It's a pity," she agreed, "our researchers have obviously been otherwise occupied recently."

    "May I ask what your field of interest is?" Master Tenyo asked. "It would help me to advice you to the right person. Our archives are quite vaste for someone who are unfamiliar with them."

    Tahl drew her breath. This would be the more complicated part. Somehow she felt like a lunatic when talking about the old prophecy with someone outside her inner circle at home.

    It took her 10 minutes to retell her story. When she finished the room fell silent for a little while and for once she'd really wished that she was able to see the Grand Master's face. He was the one to break the silence.

    "An intriguing story indeed. That prophecy is not one we know well here, but it is clear to me that you will need to see the old archives. It really seems to be a while since your unnamed knight was here. But as the Auratera tragedy was several centuries ago, you should definitely start with that era. However, there will be a problem as most of our material from that time is handwritten and I take it you cannot so easily read that? "

    Tahl nodded.

    "You're right. That's one of the reasons why my Padawan is accompanying me. She can see where I don't."

    Master Tenyo contemplated the answer for a little while and then he grabbed the comm: "Aena, please call for young Îmwe. I have a mission for him."

    Tahl raised an elegant eyebrow.

    "We have a youngling in the Temple who is more than average interested in old stories and ancient myths. I will assign him to be your assistant during your stay. He can help you searching and help your Padawan read the old documents," the Grand Master explained. "He's been assisting the archive staff for a period of time now and he can surely help you find the right places to search."

    "We are grateful for your help," Tahl answered sincerely. "I'm sure young…îmwe will be of great help to us."

    A knock on the door could be heard and Master Tenyo invited the visitor in.

    Bant looked curiously towards the door.

    A young boy came walking in with confident steps. There was an air of serenity surrounding his slight frame and his face was open and friendly with striking pale blue eyes in a tanned face. He stopped in front of the Grand Master's desk and bowed politely, first for the Grand Master, then for Tahl and Bant.

    "Good evening, Master, I was told that you had an assignment for me?" he asked.

    Tahl was stunned. She felt the boy like a soothing wave in the Force. There was a calmness following him that she wouldn't have expected from such a young boy.

    "Master Uvain, this is Chirrut Îmwe. Despite his young age he knows our archives very well and I'm sure he will be of help for you. Chirrut, Master Uvain and her Padawan Eerin has come here to search our archives of old prophecies related to the incident on Auratera. The Jedi knows a prophecy about a 'Chosen One' who will bring balance to the Force and they are searching the origin of this prophecy. I take it that you might have interest in helping them search?"

    "Yes, Master, that would be a very interesting task," Chirrut answered.

    "Good, when that is settled, I would like you to take Master Uvain and Padawan Eerin to our guest quarters, unless they have other accommodations in place? Our guest rooms aren't luxurious but yet they are quite comfortable."

    "No, Tahl," confirmed, "we haven't arranged anything yet, so we appreciate your generous offer very much. It will save us a lot of time."

    Chirrut îmwe turned towards Tahl and gave another polite bow: "Welcome Seeker, please follow me. I will do whatever I can to help you in this matter."
     
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  12. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Wonderful descriptions of the Temple. =D= Grand Master Tenyo and Chirrut ... what wonderfully courteous, serene presences they are, and helpful as well. Tahl probably feels relieved her story about the Prophecy was received without a lot of questions. [face_thinking]
     
    AzureAngel2 and CaraJinn like this.
  13. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Chapter 6: Seeker

    The door to the Grand Master's office had barely closed behind them before Tahl let out the question: "Seeker? What do you mean?"

    Chirrut Îmwe's clear blue eyes met her own with a steady glance.

    "You are a seeker, are you not?"

    "Well, yes…I guess I am, but you made it sound like a title, or as if I were expected to come here. Or…someone were? "

    "Oh, yes. That… Well Master Uvain, I once read a story down in the archives saying that in the times when the balance between light and dark is about to change a Seeker will appear. Somehow your question about those prophecies seems to fit with the old story. I'm sorry if I have upset you."

    Tahl felt slightly dizzy. Silently she had to admit that the boy had a valid point. She had somehow taken upon herself to seek the truth about the old prophecies' origin and as such she might appear a seeker to those who didn't know. Well, actually she was among those herself. She really didn't know much, but after her visit to Auratera and the meeting with the old man…ghost…whatever he was there, she had felt this urge to find the truth and maybe somehow be able to deflect the somber future that he had talked about.

    She really had to get a grip. If she wasn't careful she would end up in a shadowy land of could be, could be and can't be and lose her connection to reality. For Force's sake, she had a Padawan to care for. So she just gave the boy her most calm and friendly smile instead.

    "No worries young one. I wasn't upset, merely curious. I've been named many things in my life, but never a seeker. Please take us to the quarters the Master so kindly offered us. It has been a long day and we'll be up early tomorrow."

    Their quarters were modest with only a bed, a desk with a chair and a nightstand, the latter attacking Tahl's little toe with a fierce wooden leg.

    "Kriff it, not again!" she swore and heard her Padawan's hearty laugh.

    "I'm sorry, Master, I hope you're not really hurt. It just reminded me of one of our first meetings."

    Bant made a good attempt on sobering up and Tahl' couldn't avoid letting out a small chuckle herself.

    "Oh, you're right. I kept stubbing both toes and shins when you were first assigned to be my companion and help me cope with the blindness."

    "You were quite insistent that your table was trying to attack you whenever you came close to it, Master. I'll be in the room next to this. Just comm me if you need anything. Do you remember how to find your way to the 'fresher?"

    "Out the door and then two doors and one column later turn to the left," Tahl memorised, "I'll manage, thanks. Let's get to bed and have a good night's rest before we begin our research tomorrow. Chirrut was going to pick us up here and bring us to the refectory at seventh hour so let's be ready before he comes."

    She could hear Bant's soft "Yes, Master" and a muted click from the door and she knew she was alone.

    True to his word Chirrut Îmwe picked the two women up at seventh hour sharp the following day and brought them straight to the refectory. From what Tahl could figure out it was arranged similarly to the one back home, with small and large tables spread out in a huge room and with a desk where various nutrients were served. She settled for two slices of freshly baked bread, a cup of tea and some fruit. From the sound of it her Padawan was filling her tray with a hearty meal of various sea food. Well, the girl was still growing and they hadn't been eating since they arrived on planet more than 12 hours ago.

    While they were still eating she asked their guide: "How are the archives arranged? I assume we should start searching for information about a millennia back in time. Since there is a Sith temple there it certainly was inhabited before the Sith were extinct. But is it possible to search in terms of time periods?"

    "Yes, Master Uvain, we can do a search where we make cross references between time and names if you would like that?"

    "That sounds like a good start, and please…since we're going to work together, let's just drop the formalities. My name is Tahl, and that's it."

    "Yes, Master Tahl."

    To Tahl's great relief the Jedha Archives were huge and less cramped than the Jedi Temple's so she could move quite freely without bumping into tables (and in particular their legs) everywhere. It didn't mean she had to, though, instead she settled down in front of a terminal with one youth on each side. She pulled up her rather old fashioned reading list which transferred plain aurebesh to geometrical forms that were more easily readable by her finger tips.

    "Let's share the work between us," she suggested, "if Bant and I start searching for everything related to Auratera and Jedi, you may start searching for old lists of visitors to the Temple at Jedha. Somewhere you should be able to find our mystery Knight and link him with someone having a name that resembles Kh'enbi. At least that's what the family name is like now, but it may have been spelled differently in older days."

    "Yes, Master Tahl."

    And with that the trio began to work.

    ….

    Four days later Tahl knew more about Auratera's geological and social history than she'd ever wanted to know. She knew about people moving in and out of the Jedha Temple. And she realised that a large Archive was both a curse and a blessing. There was a lot of information gathered there, and thus a lot to search as well.

    She was fully aware that searching for information was a meticulous work but yet…there were simply no trace of the information she was looking for.

    The mystic letter writing knight was still as nameless as he'd been back in the Jedi Temple and no traces were to be found of the first Kh'enbi visitor either.

    "Kriff it," she mumbled through gritted teeth, "you have to be mentioned somewhere. You cannot hide forever even though it's centuries since you were a living being."

    "Is she always like this?" Chirrut asked after the third eruption of frustration.

    "Not always," Bant answered blithely, "only when she's set her mind to something and it doesn't give the desired results."

    "Quiet, the two of you," Tahl grumbled, "let's take a break. Go out into the gardens and get some fresh air or do something else for a couple of hours. I'm going back to my quarters for a cup of tea. Let's take the rest of the day off and maybe we have some new, fresh ideas when we meet again tomorrow morning.

    And with that she rose and strode out of the room.

    Bant couldn't restrain herself from chuckling at the obvious lack of patience in her Master.

    "She may be right. Maybe we'll see it clearer tomorrow after an evening off and a good night's sleep. Let's clear the desk and call it a day."

    Chirrut just nodded.

    They quickly cleared their working area and Bant yawned.

    "Force, I'm tired. I think I'll follow Master's suggestion and spend some time in the garden before I go to bed. I've had pads and papers up to my gills, literally spoken," she sighed.

    "May I join you, Padawan Eerin," Chirrut asked politely.

    "But of course," Bant smiled, "unless you have other things you rather want to do."

    He just shook his head.

    ….

    The Temple Garden was beautiful in the slowly cooling air as the heat of the day faded. As they strolled through the gardens Bant saw multiple flowers and trees she didn't know from the Temple back home. A soft smell of flowers whirled around them as the daylight slowly disappeared and the darkness surrounded them as a soft velvety blanket.

    As they leaned towards the branches of a huge Mano'ora tree Chirrut gazed up at the sky and the twinkling stars that slowly came into view.

    "There they are", he sighed softly, "the twins of Darkness and Light. Anera and Awan."

    Bant startled.

    "What? What did you just say, Chirrut?"

    "I said…oh…do you really think that….? No?"

    "Yes! Well maybe. What did you call the second star?"

    "Awan?"

    "Yes…"

    "You don't think that your search is linked to the old bedtime story? Do you?"

    "Bedtime story? What has that to do with anything?" Bant sighed, "But the Kh'enbi's we're looking for has names that pretty often ends with 'wan and we are after all looking for something that balances darkness and light. At least that's what we think. Let's sit down and please tell me your bedtime story, Chirrut. I want to hear the full story."
     
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Digging through the archives has been frustrating so a break definitely was a good idea, and seems to have led to a strong clue (accidentally?) through the bedtime story. [face_thinking]
     
    AzureAngel2 and CaraJinn like this.
  15. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Chapter 7: The Twins of Darkness and Light

    Bant settled down on a low hanging branch of the Mano'ora while Chirrut made himself comfortable on the ground, leaning his back towards the trunk and still gazing distantly up to the twin stars in the sky.

    "I guess it's only a children's story but I've always thought it beautiful even though it's sad," he said dreamingly. "I think they tell us the story so that we can understand that there is balance to be kept in everything."

    "Tell it to me. Please?" Bant encouraged.

    "Well, yes. So the story goes:

    Anera and Awan were born a long long time ago on a planet that doesn't exist anymore. They were born as twins, Awan being a couple of minutes older than his sibling. From their earliest childhood they were inseparable as only twins can be. Where one was seen, the other followed. Always. But there the equality stopped.

    Awan was golden and bright as the suns, with a mild personality that matched his looks. He had hair as red-golden as the sunset and eyes that resembled a calm blue-green lake. He was soft spoken and thoughtful and light seemed to radiate from him wherever he went. If a dispute was rising somewhere, even as a child he was called for because with his calm words and friendly manners all sentient beings felt soothed by his presence.

    His sister, Anera, was his true opposite. She had black curls that framed a pale face. Her eyes were as golden as the twin suns of Tatooine and her temper was legendary, both within and outside their family. She had a fierce love for her brother, but her tantrums when he didn't want to play her games could be heard all over the neighbourhood. She was sparkling with love and warmth in one moment, but in the next she could be as icy and cold as the winter storms of Hoth.

    Together they were balance.

    Together they showed humanity's best and worst sides.

    Together they were love and passion, calmness and patience.

    And as such they lived in harmony until their thirteenth lifeday. That's when their world abruptly changed. Nobody knows what caused it. Nobody knows what really happened. Their planet died and it's population with it.

    Only one person knew. Their father.

    He possessed the twins combined strength, and their weaknesses. Because where strength can be found, so can weakness. His greatest weakness was his love for his children and the night before the catastrophe he sedated them and put them in two escape pods destined for the same location. He knew there were too few pods on the planet to make everyone flee, and he knew that even if he spoke of what he had foreseen nobody would believe him, because such is humanity: very few believes in disaster before they truly experience it.

    But something went wrong. The coordinates in one of the pods had been set wrong and thus his children were shipped off to different destinations.

    And such was it that when Awan woke of the artificial sleep the sedate had caused, he woke on a green beautiful planet with life singing in it's very soul. He felt at home at once. Only one thing was very very wrong. He didn't know where he was, and far less did he know where his sister was.

    He managed to get out of the pod and soon realised that the planet was inhabited by numerous small clans that lived among the mountains and lakes. They were all fighting each other on every possible occasion. The appearance of 'the stranger from the sky' made them stop the bickering for a period. With his good looks and mild, yet stern, demeanour they mistook him for a God descending to their planet to end their internal wars. Within the first three years on planet he had roamed vast areas to find Anera, but she was nowhere to be found. Nor were there rumours of any other 'God from the skies', but in his wake people decided to bury their hatchets and try to live peacefully together.

    Such he brought peace and prosperity to his planet.

    As years went by he met a young women from one of the leading tribes and they fell in love. By appearance she was the opposite of his sister, but in her soul she had some resemblance. She was stubborn, headstrong and had a glowing temper, but she was also friendly and kind.

    They were elected as the planet's ruling King and Queen and under their leadership the planet continued to thrive.

    As more years went by they became happy parents of a boy who was strikingly resembling his father, though the stubborn streak in his mother's personality was his heritage from her. They only got one child.

    As the boy grew his father apparently managed to refrain from searching for his sister. He took his new role as King and father seriously and developed a close relationship with his son. The harmonic family life came to an abrupt end when the Queen suddenly became ill and died. Awan was grief stricken for several years but kept on doing his duty. The day after his son had celebrated his 25th life day Awan abdicated and his son took over the throne.

    Through the years Awan had never stopped missing his sister, his second half, and as his son grew old enough to become the new ruler he wanted to fulfil his quest for her. He left his son and the planet that had become his new home and where he'd had many happy years with his little family.

    He roamed the galaxy but his sister was nowhere to be found. Not until the day he heard a story of a warrior queen on a small outer rim planet, with hair as black as the lava stones of Mustafar, a skin as white as Hoth's snow and eyes that glowed as coal.

    That day he knew his sister was still alive.

    He set off to the planet where she'd last been seen.

    He came to the planet in the sunset. There was a tension in the capital that was almost palpable and he soon learned why. Rumours had it that the forces of the Warrior Queen from the stars were gathering and that they would soon march towards the capital.

    The rumors were right.

    The day before Awan had planned to leave the capital to search for his long gone twin, the enemy forces gathered around the city walls. The attack came swiftly and surprisingly quietly.

    Awan joined the defenders of the city and soon he was fighting on the city walls with the other inhabitants, trying desperately to keep the attackers from invading the city. On the third day, in the third large battle he met his equal. An armour clad attacker was swinging his sword towards him and Awan found himself fighting for his life on top of the city walls. The attacker was a formidable opponent but throughout his life as Monarch Awan had maintained the fighting skills he learned when he and his sister had been taught the arts of sword fighting in their childhood. He had learned well, and new skills had been added to the old ones. After what felt like hours of fighting he finally saw a chance and took it. His sword slid smoothly under the attackers lifted arm and penetrated his chest. The attacker fell and Awan could hear him struggle for breath behind his helmet as he drew his last breaths. Filled with sadness he bent down and removed the helmet which had covered his opponents face and dark, curly hair with a few white stripes flooded out. Two golden eyes, clear as suns looked upon him, but he could already see the light dimming in those two orbs which he hadn't seen in more than a quarter of a century.

    'Sister', he whispered with a lump in his throat, 'Anera?'

    'Brother?' her voice could hardly be heard above the sounds from the battle surrounding them. Still it felt like they were alone on a desolated place where nothing or no-one could reach them.

    Awan knelt down and took off his own helmet and their eyes met in a final moment before she let out a soft sigh and her eyes closed for the last time.

    An overwhelming feeling of sadness flooded Awan's mind. 'No,' he whispered to himself,'you were my sister Anera. I loved you.'

    And in that moment his heart stopped beating and he fell forward, partly covering her dead body with his own.

    On the deep black night sky two new stars were lit: One golden, shining with a soft warm glow and one, equally sized, sparkling bright white with a shadow of black in it's middle.

    That is the story about the twin stars Anera and Awan."

    …..

    Bant drew a shivering sigh: "Oh, Chirrut, that was beautiful. And sad."

    She wiped off a silvery tear that was trailing down her cheek.

    "Finally they found each other, even after so many years. And they were reunited again even for a moment."

    "Yes."

    it took a few moments before she was able to speak again.

    "It is probably a myth, but Awan sounds so very much like my friend Obi-Wan back home. I wonder if there may be some truth behind the myth? But Obi doesn't have any siblings though. We have to tell Master Tahl about this in the morning. Maybe she is able to draw something out of this story. After all we're myth hunting right now."

    "Speaking of which," Chirrut added, "it must have taken longer time than I intended to tell the story. I think we should retire for the night and get some sleep, then let's hear what your Master thinks about it tomorrow morning. After all it's just a story told for the young ones."

    Bant nodded. "Master will know. She always does."
     
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  16. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    A heart-stopping story indeed with who knows what layers of truth underneath? [face_thinking] Sad that they were separated initially but each were able to fulfill a destiny of helping a world thrive ... until :eek: If only the combatants hadn't worn helmets, he would've recognized her sooner. @};-
     
    AzureAngel2 and CaraJinn like this.
  17. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Chapter 8: Myth and Logics

    'Master' didn't know. When Chirrut had retold his story (though in far less poetic terms) over their breakfast, Tahl felt like her head was spinning. It didn't help much that she felt the two youths' eyes on her. By the Force, she was the grown up and she was supposed to know what to do.

    She didn't have a clue. Hopefully they thought that she was merely thinking of the best way to proceed their investigation. Which in a way was true. It just wasn't …the full truth as she had no idea of what to do next.

    Finally she forced herself to speak.

    "That was a beautiful story, Chirrut, and I do see the resemblance between Awan and 'our' Obi-Wan," she said.

    Then she became quiet again. This prophecy 'stew' was a mess of incomprehensible and vague stories from a past she wasn't even sure had existed, and still they somehow seemed to be intertwined.

    "This is weird, and it doesn't fit together," she finally said. "It's just too much."

    "What is?" Bant asked

    "There are too many dying planets," Tahl explained. "Your story has some resemblance with the origin of the rulers of Stewjon, Chirrut. Their family history also tells about the first King being an off-worlder. However, he came by his own. He wasn't shipped off by his father, that's for sure."

    "But what if there is a true story behind it all and time and retelling has changed it?" Chirrut shot in, not yet willing to give up this fascinating adventure.

    A contemplative silence fell over the group.

    "Stewjon's first King was said to be an off-worlder," Tahl repeated thoughtfully, before turning quiet again. "What if he actually was sent to Auratera? To the Temple there. The twins' father may have known about it and decided to send the twins there - to be raised in safety…"

    "…and then he missed completely," Bant continued. "He may have thought he plotted the coordinates for Auratera and succeeded for Awan, but he must have mistyped something and plotted the wrong destination for Anera."

    "From there the story of Awan and Anera is failing," Chirrut chimed in, "Awan came to the right destination and was raised in the Temple of Auratera, but the myth didn't quite catch that little detail so when the Auratera Temple collapsed he set off to the Archives of Jedha, which was well known already in ancient times and from here he chose a new destination, presumably to find his sister."

    Tahl nodded thoughtfully: "We may have something there. It doesn't sound very likely, but on the other hand - it's not like we've found any other good clues so far."

    And with that the trio returned to the archives again.

    When they sat down at their regular place Tahl spoke again: "I believe we have to change search for a while and maybe focus more on the galaxy and the planets, than on interplanetary history. If we assume that Awan's home planet blew up more than a millennium ago then let's search for planets within a reasonable distance from Auratera which has blown up or otherwise become damaged."

    The two youths nodded and bent over their terminals.

    Bant was the one to find it.

    "Master? Chirrut? I think I found something…"

    Her two companions looked up at her.

    "Tell us," they said in unison.

    "There is, or rather was, a small planet called Khenara which disappeared from the interplanetary charts a little more than a millennia ago. If you look at the 2nd quadrant of the map adjacent to the map where NaJedha is found you can see there is something that resembles an open space between the planets. In older maps Khenara could be found in that open space - look here…"

    Tahl cursed the maps silently as she keyed in the necessary information. Reading planetary maps by her reading list was something completely different than reading plain aurebesh. She managed somehow to find the place Bant had mentioned. Chirrut's fingers flew over his keys simultaneously and a small gasp escaped him when he saw the position Bant had mentioned.

    "You're right. A planet is missing there. Or one of the maps are wrong, presumably the old one."

    Tahl's mind went racing. If there had been a planet there and it disappeared after a disaster, so be it. There was definitely little to be done about what happened a millennium ago, sad as it was for the inhabitants. So there was no use in trying to find Khenara. That much was certain. They had to find another way. To what she wasn't entirely sure anymore. Initially she had wanted to investigate Obi-Wan Kenobi's roots and then she seemed to be followed by old myths and prophecies popping up all over the galaxy. And then again, there was that old man in the cave…

    Her brow furrowed in concentration. Hunting myths was all well and good, but she needed to find their origin and track them from there. If one for a moment assumed that the mythic Awan actually was a real person, and if he later was to become the first of the Kh'enbi line of Kings on Stewjon, then he must have been the one who had left Auratera after the earthquake. According to the unnamed Knight in the Jedi Temple Awan had stayed for weeks in the Jedha archives searching for something, but what? And how did the story of his death come to the archive?

    She sighed - first things first. The being he most likely would have searched for at that point in his life would have been his twin sister, Anera. He would possibly have been following the same logics as Bant had done. He must have realised that his father had mistyped a part of the co-ordinates when he hastily had entered them for Anera's pod.

    Kriff it!

    This might take a while. A long while, if she wasn't lucky.

    "This will take some time," she sighed, "Chirrut, can you please see if you can find more exact co-ordinates of the place where Khenara was? I think we need to use that as a center and then let the computer calculate the co-ordinates to known planets with almost the same string of co-ordinates as those which Awan's father would have entered in the pods. He hit the target with Auratera but for the other planet where Anera ended up, he must have typed one or two digits wrong - let's hope it's only one… If we find a hit for where Anera could have been sent, then we know where to search next. Bant, can you please do me another favour? Try to find the original manuscript for the Myth of Awan and Anera. Someone must have seen their death and written it down, else the myth would just have disappeared throughout the centuries."

    "Yes , Master. I'm on it," Bant confirmed, while Chirrut was eagerly investigating the holomaps appearing in front of him.

    …..

    "I've found it," Bant proclaimed after several hours intensive search. "It seems like the story about Anera and Awan was recorded by Awan's grand son - or great grandson - I'm not entirely sure. Obviously Awan's son wondered what had happened to his father and one of his descendants decided to solve the puzzle. He must have managed because on his way back from wherever it was he stopped here and updated his predecessor's saga. Unfortunately he didn't once mention where he heard the story of Awan and Anera's death."

    "So much for that clue," Tahl sighed, while eagerly creating a search string to extract potential planets based on Chirrut's coordinates for the lost planet of Khenara and the newest holomap's coordinates for Auratera.

    "There! This should work, but I assume it will take a little while to run the program, let's go and have our evening meal while it's searching."

    The two youths eagerly agreed and together the trio left the archives.

    When they came back after the evening meal the search was still going on and the screen blithely informed: "Calculating."

    Tahl managed to refrain from cursing loudly. No reason to disturb the youths' impression of 'stoic Jedi Master'. Her inner cursing must have affected the hard working machine because in the very same moment they had decided to leave and go to bed and let the computer finish it's work throughout the night the text on the screen changed: "Calculation completed."

    "It's finished," squealed Bant, "let's have a look."

    Tahl turned and found her seat again and her fingers tapped the keys rapidly.

    The list that came out was surprisingly short. Only 5 planets were listed and from them only one stood out as likely to have a similar course from the imaginary starting point of Khenara, with exception of two small digits…

    Bant's already large eyes widened even more.

    "Oh, no," she sighed, "not that. Not there!"

    Tahl chuckled sympathetically: "Yes, Padawan. I'm sorry to say we may have a winner."
     
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  18. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Wonderful extrapolation and strategy to narrow the search, which thankfully was successful. I am amused and intrigued by Bant's reaction; sounds like a type of place she wants to avoid. ;) [face_thinking]
     
    AzureAngel2 and CaraJinn like this.
  19. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    You always suck me straight in with your stories. It is like being caught by a straw from a very nice milk shake with many surprises in it.

    I like the relationship between Tahl and Bant plus that they have tea together. There are two interesting prophecies and also a treasure hunt of some kind takes place, bringing us to Jedha. And there is Chirrut Îmwe... :D

    I hope that I can read this story more regular, because my on-line time is very limited these days.

    But your writing is always worth sitting in front of the laptop screen... because one travels straight on to a galaxy far, far away.
     
  20. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Judging by Bant's reaction, I am guessing that the planet in question is A) a desert world, B) a hotspot for the Dark Side, or C) both.
     
  21. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    It most certainly is.

    Thank you so much. That's what I'm aiming for when I write.

    Well guessed :D
     
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  22. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Chapter 9: Dustball

    "I'm sorry, Padawan," Tahl said again, "the planet that has the best statistical outcome for being the one where Anera ended up is Tatooine. As you may se Anera's and Awan's father may have punched those two digits wrongly. Apart from that it's very much like the coordinates to Auratera."

    Bant sighed.

    "I know a desert planet is not something that you're biologically suited for," Tahl comforted, "so maybe we shouldn't go ourselves. We can discuss it with Mace and Master Yoda, maybe they will send another team."

    Bant blushed. Her ordinary salmon pink skin colour changed to a very, very deep crimson.

    "Oh no, Master. I'm a Jedi. I will go where duty and the Force leads me," she said firmly, "even if it's a fried desert world like Tatooine."

    Tahl chuckled. "You're a brave woman, Padawan mine. But we haven't yet decided to go there, have we?"

    "But we will," Bant stated dryly.

    During this small Master/Padawan debate Chirrut had been following them with partly sad and partly longing look in his eyes. Tahl couldn't see it but she felt the longing of more adventures radiating from the boy through the Force. Would it be appropriate to ask the Maste of the Temple if he could join them? Would it be safe to bring another youngling to a Hutt infested planet in the outer rim?

    If Master Yoda ever heard about that he would probably flay her alive, and use the remaining parts for his infamous stew.

    But she really felt tempted. During the last days the boy had proven his worth. He was a fine mixture of levelheaded, philosophical and keen on new adventures. If they made just a short trip and stayed away from the cities, then…maybe…?

    "Chirrut, Bant - can you please take a look at the map and see where the coordinates are and find the nearest large city of some size which appears to be old enough to be the place where the final battle between Awan and Anera might have taken place?"

    The youths went to work with renewed enthusiasm and soon their answer was ready.

    "It seems to be a place called Mos Eisley," Chirrut informed. "I found a picture of it too but I cannot see any wall surrounding it."

    Tahl nodded thoughtfully: "Yet, the sand is very abrasive and cities tends to grow, so most of the walls may have been demolished throughout the centuries and the city would most likely has been much smaller back then."

    Chirrut went back to work. Tahl could feel his intense focus on the task.

    Bant was the next to speak.

    "Master? I can see something in the outskirts of the city. There are some shadows there that forms, well…not a complete circle but something that might have some kind of circumference around…something."

    She let her voice trail off, realising fully how vague her explanation was.

    "…and the break in…it…may once have been a gate in the city wall," Chirrut suggested hopefully.

    Tahl nodded thoughtfully, torn between the urge to follow the lead they had found and the need to protect her Padawan. Yes, a Jedi Padawan had eventually would wind up in dangerous mission every now and then but usually they would be older and more experienced than Bant was now. She really had no idea of what to do next. If she'd only been responsible for herself the answer would have been easy, but she wasn't.

    She decided to sleep on it and make her final decision tomorrow.

    "Let's tidy up here guys, and call it a day," she proclaimed, "I'm not quite sure what do do next so I need to meditate. You have the evening off."

    ….

    The 'meditation' did not take place in Tahl's chamber. Instead she went to speak to the Master of the Temple.

    Master Tenyo was as forthcoming as he'd been at their arrival.

    "So, Master Uvain, you found what you were searching for?"

    "I did, at least to some extent," she confirmed, and explained their findings.

    "Interesting, very interesting," Master Tenyo nodded. "And now you want to ask if you can take young Îmwe with you to Tatooine for further investigations."

    Tahl was fully taken aback.

    "I…what…well, yes, but he is so young."

    "He is," Tenyo confirmed, "but he's also very skilled in staff fighting. Actually he's one of the finest combatants we have in that age group and he does very well towards older students as well. He could be of use to you if you chose to go to Tatooine. Just promise that you will find a good transport to sent him back home in when the mission is over. It would, actually, be good for him to see something outside the Temple and we encourage our students to get some experience outside before they're too old. The could be a good opportunity for him."

    "If you're absolutely certain, we would very much appreciate to keep young Chirrut in our company for a while longer," Tahl said gratefully, "I will do all I can to get him back home safe and sound, and my main aim is to keep out of trouble on this mission. My Padawan is yet too young for the most dangerous missions as well. It will merely be investigations among the citizens to try to find out if there are some myths or legends about a spaceship bringing an offworlder many centuries ago, and check if there once was something that resembled a civil war in the area."

    "Please come to my office tomorrow morning, and I will inform Îmwe about your kind offer," Master Tenyo said.

    And with that the matter was settled.

    …..

    Next morning Master and Padawan were let in to Master Tenyo's office. Bant had tried to make her Master break any news on their plans since before breakfast but Tahl had just smiled and admonished: "Patience, Padawan. Patience."

    Immediately after they had entered the office, Chirrut Îmwe was joining them. The boy looked both nervous and hopeful.

    "Good morning, Master Uvain, good morning Padawan Eering. And welcome to you, Îmwe. Master Uvain and I had a most interesting discussion about your findings yesterday and we concluded that it would be wise to ask you if you would like to join Master Uvain and Padawan Eerin on a trip to Tatooine?"

    The boy blushed slightly.

    "Yes Master, absolutely. Are you really willing to let me go? And Master Tahl and Bant would really like me to come along?"

    Master Tenyo chuckled: "Yes to both questions, young one. The decision is yours alone to take. Be aware that despite Master Uvain has promised to keep you safe, we know that Tatooine is a planet with many lurking dangers so you need to be certain that you would really like to join them. And bring your uneti-wood staff. It may come in handy if the mission turns out less peacefully than we hope."

    "I'm going!" Chirrut declared with youth's infallible certainty in his voice. "Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity, Master Tenyo and Master Tahl."
     
  23. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    I loved Bant's reaction to Tatooine: oh no! :p Tahl's concerns about each youth are well-thought out and natural considering the environment they'll be going into. I applaud Master Tenyo's confidence in Chirrut's abilities and courage, and Chirrut is just as enthusiastic for the adventure as one would expect. ;)

    =D=
     
    CaraJinn likes this.
  24. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Of course it's Tattooine. Why am I not surprised?
     
  25. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Chapter 10: Stones

    Bant was a less than happy Padawan. She almost adored her Master and she was willing to travel to galaxy's end with her, but she really, really, really wished that galaxy's end had been somewhat less dry than Tatooine. A bit less dusty would have been good too.

    "My gills are stuffed," she complained as the trio disembarked the ship in Mos Eisley Spaceport.

    "Good you don't have to rely on them here," Tahl said dryly, "you have lungs too."

    And then, with a softer mien, she pulled a small scarf out of one of her pockets.

    "Here, tie that around your neck. It will protect your gills to some extent."

    Bant nodded gratefully: "Thanks, Master. I should have thought of it myself."

    Tahl chuckled and squeezed her Padawan's arm fondly.

    "That's one of the many reasons for going to missions as a padawan, -you'll have to learn how to handle harsh environments."

    "Where are we going, Master Tahl?" Chirrut chimed in.

    "Shh, both of you. Please try not to 'Master' me while we're here at least. There are too many prying ears and I assume that we aren't too popular among the ruling beings here. Let's try to disappear in the crowd as much as we can. We don't need more trouble than the climate can offer."

    The two youths nodded obediently. They agreed wholeheartedly in Tahl's approach. Being on such a remote planet on a real mission was adventure enough, they didn't need trouble with the Hutts.

    "Now, Chirrut, please take us to the place where you believe the city wall once must have been."

    Chirrut looked down at his pad and his brow wrinkled in concentration: "We're about here now so if we go through the narrow streets there we should be heading straight towards it. Uh-oh… Let's not go there."

    "What is it?" Tahl asked.

    "There is a Hutt coming this way."

    The three friends weaved through the crowd, slightly deviating from their original course, when Tahl suddenly startled and in the next moment someone bumped into her left shoulder.

    "I'm sorry, Ma'am," a young voice said, "I was in a hurry and didn't really notice you were coming. I'm so terribly sorry. I didn't mean any harm…"

    Tahl felt something nudging her through the Force, something strong and powerful and yet…not there. It was like the owner of the voice were radiating a peace and calmness she'd hardly experienced before, and yet…there was something strong, almost violent there.

    "No worries," she said lightly, "I'm fine and no problems from my side."

    "Oh, thank you Ma'am, thank you so much. I was split from the party of my Master, Gardulla the Hutt in the traffic outside and I need to catch up before the ship takes off, else my tracker will explode."

    "Your wha…?" Bant began, but before she could finish the question she was stopped by her Master's not very Jedi-like elbow in her ribs.

    "You better hurry then," Tahl encouraged the young woman. "Run if you must."

    The dark haired woman disappeared in the crowd while Tahl tried to figure out what had actually happened. There had been something about that woman… Then she noticed her Padawan's unusually inquisitive presence.

    "Master? What was that?"

    "I'm not sure, Padawan. I think the girl must have been one of the Hutt's slaves. Slaves are often marked with a chip and if they come too far from the control unit the chip may explode," she explained, "so that's why I wanted her to catch ups with the Hutt. She simply couldn't be left behind."

    "A….slave?" Bant sounded as she was close to being sick.

    Tahl nodded. "Yes, slavery is a part of life here on this planet."

    Chirrut had been standing quietly by their side during the exchange of words but now he chose to speak up.

    "Ma…Tahl, there was something about her. She was shining. I mean, not literally, of course but she felt…important somehow? How come if she were a slave?"

    "I don't know, Chirrut. I really don't know, but I felt something too. Unfortunately there's nothing we can do for her, so let's try to find the place on your holomap."

    But even as she spoke she knew she was wrong. The woman had been important, very important. She just couldn't figure out how or why.



    3 hours and many, many steps later they concluded that finding a position on a map was easy. Finding something that was hidden under centuries of piled up sand was worse. Especially when they couldn't even start digging for it. Tahl could sense a growing impatience among her young charges and she didn't feel particularly patient herself. They had walked back and forth the area where the old city wall should have been without seeing anything that stood out. They simply had to give up.

    "Let's return to the ship," Tahl sighed. "If there's anything here we aren't able to find it."

    Bant sighed as well, but Tahl wasn't able to say in this moment whether it was a relieved or exasperated sigh. They decided to take the shortest route to their ship, take off and then find a desolate spot in the desert for the night. They didn't want to leave the planet yet but still they wanted to get away from Mos Eisley before they drew too much attention.

    "Tahl?" Chirrut asked, more timid than usually, "I'm hungry. Would you mind if I bought a muja fruit in one of the booths on the market place?"

    "By all means," Tahl said, "please do, and buy one for Bant and me too. We're also hungry. I'd forgotten to eat. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to starve the two of you."

    Chirrut felt it too undignified to run, but he set a straight course towards one of the booths on the market place. Tahl and Bant followed at a more relaxed speed. Chirrut was about to finish his deal buying three surprisingly fresh fruits from the old man behind the desk when Tahl and Bant approached.

    Tahl felt something stir and on pure instinct she stepped forward to grab the fruit that for some reason had decided that now was as good time as ever to roll down from the pile of fruits for sale. She should have learned by now that stepping forward in cramped areas was not a good idea.

    "Ow," she mumbled when her left big toe hit something rock hard in front of her (the rolling fruit was saved though). It didn't really hurt but she felt a bit annoyed at her own clumsiness. The old man responded compassionately.

    "What happened? "

    "Oh, I just stubbed my toe towards something when I stepped forward," Tahl explained while handing the muja back to it's rightful owner "I'm totally OK but it surprised me."

    "I see," the old man's eyes glittered with a mixture of amusement and pity, "I managed to break one of the legs of my booth yesterday and I didn't have time to repair it, so I got up early and took this spot since the stones from the old city wall has approximately the right height. I'll fix it tonight."

    Tahl almost gaped, and she had a clear feeling that the two youths did the same.

    "The old city wall?" she repeated, fully aware that she didn't appear overly intelligent in the moment.

    "Yeah, back in the old days, even older than I," the old man began with a glimpse in his eye, "Mos Eisley was surrounded by a city wall. There are some remaining stones from the old wall which appear sometimes when the wind blows the sand away. Mostly they're covered though, but a full fledged sandstorm came in yesterday evening and this time it blew the sand away from the wall. Of course the city has grown beyond the old walls during the centuries. I bet the market place wasn't located here back then."

    "Interesting," Tahl responded. "When did the wall break down? Was there a war or something like that?"

    The old man shrugged: "Nah, the wall was partly made of sandstone so most of it has simply been destroyed by abrasion of wind and sand during the centuries. Some of it's base was made of more solid rocks though, so that's why there is some stones still to be found. It was originally built to protect the city towards Tusken raiders but I think it only came to use once when the Warrior Queen attacked the city."

    "Warrior Queen?"

    Tahl was now fully aware that she sounded like a Ghamorrean parrot, but she had to get as much information as she could. She'd never in a moment thought that Chirrut's shopping would have lead to such good results.

    The old man chuckled amicably. "It's mostly a myth I think, but it's said that a millennia ago, or even more, the city was attacked by well organised Tuskens lead by a warrior queen with flaming eyes. It was said that she united the Tusken tribes and wanted to end the fights between Tuskens and humans. She had the most peculiar way of doing so, I think."

    "I understand what you mean," Tahl agreed, "it doesn't sound very peaceful."

    "It wasn't. They attacked in the night and the fight went on for hours until the Queen was suddenly killed by a stranger. He was said to be an off-worlder but nobody really all, we consider it only a myth which we tell in dark evenings."

    Tahl nodded.

    "And this so-called warrior queen, was she an off-worlder too?"

    "Again, nobody really knows. Legend says she was human," he snorted, "but I don't believe it. Humans and Tuskens don't interact well, so my guess is that she was some kind of Tusken too. The Tusken forces had made their way up from the Wastes, it's said. Not much to find there though. Only Tuskens, krayt dragons and the occasional sarlacc," he chuckled.

    "The Wastes?" Tahl was back in parrot mode.

    "Mhm, it's called Jundland Wastes. It's south of Anchorhead. There are some moisture farmers down there on the edge of Jundland Wastes but no human in his right mind goes into the Wastes. It's too dangerous for people there. The Tuskens are ruthless beings when it comes to intruders in that area."

    "Well, thanks for the mujas and the storytelling. We'd better be on our way back home," Tahl concluded. "It was nice meeting someone with that much knowledge about the city's history."

    And with that they left.

    …..

    Their ship was surprisingly cool compared to the heat outside. Obviously the heat hadn't managed to break through the insulation which usually protected them from the cold space. Tahl was incredible grateful for that, and so was Bant. Being used to the heat of Jedha, Chirrut was considerably less worse for wear.

    As soon as the hatch was closed behind them, Chirrut asked the inevitable question: "What now?"

    Tahl could feel the youth's eagerness to fulfil their self-defined mission combined with a certain amount of anxiety of what might come.

    "I think," she said slowly, "we've learned a lot today. The old man's story confirms to some extent the story about Anera and Awan, or at least what we know about it. I should think we're ready to head back."

    An almost palpable feeling of disappointment spread in the small ship.

    "But, Master," Bant complained, "we haven't found proof yet, have we? Not really."

    "I promised to bring you back safe and sound,"Tahl said slowly, "and you heard what the old man said. Tuskens may be dangerous to people and Jundland Wastes seems to be their territory."

    "But we have the ship." Chirrut tried, "We can easily escape…?"

    Tahl sighed: "Let's have a sweep over the area then, and maybe seek out one or two of the moisture farmers. Maybe they have some good stories to tell? We don't necessarily have to go into the Jundland Wastes itself."

    The relief in the cabin was almost as palpable as the disappointment had been a couple of minutes before.

    "Let's go!" Bant stated. "I do not want to stay in this terrible city for a moment more. Even Tuskens have to be better than this place. At least they don't take slaves. Do they?"