Author Notes: Aprox. 130 ABY Original Characters Mentions of classic characters Mentions to canon events Alternate Universe concept Things are different Just started writing, needed to be creative, so here we go.. Zafii Coruscant didn’t look like it does in the old holo’s. Years of war had turned its surface as ugly as it had always been underneath. One-hundred and fifty standard years ago it stood as the centerpiece of the galaxy; the capital of the almighty republic and the home of the Jedi Knights. The contrast between a planet not fit to inhabit a mutant womprat and the ostentatious military transport she was arriving on, would appear farcical in most circumstances. But this isn’t an ordinary circumstance. The Supreme Master had given them categorical direction on what they were to recover. Additionally, this was Zafii’s team now; after the accident that claimed Master Calsiin. It certainly was not the way she wanted to be promoted. She truly cared for Master Calsiin; as if she had trained Zafii since she was a padawan learner. But she’d have to let Master Calsiin move on to the netherworld of the Force and not dwell on the past. She had to look after Cole and Kyn. Those two nerf-herders would be lost without her, Zafii was certain of that, if nothing else. In Zafii’s opinion, the two young Jedi Knights had been bolstered to their status much too young. If that weren’t bad enough, they were brothers by blood and she was sure that’s why they always ended up in horrific situations. They were always trying to one-up each other as if anyone would be impressed by such bullheadedness. “Sixteen and fifteen,” Zafii scoffed to herself. “I couldn’t even pull off a simple mind trick at eighteen and they were appointed fully fledged Jedi Knights.” Zafii looked over at the two brothers as they psyched themselves up for the mission. The transport was getting close to landing on the surface. It had been two years since the pair had been promoted; any day now she could expect them to start growing up. At least that's what she tried to convince herself of. They needed to listen to her. She was three years older. That meant three more years of experience. They would be wise to mind her. “Hey Bash Brothers, we aren’t going to into battle. Calm, peace…” “Peace, serenity, meditation.” Cole finished. “Don’t forget uh… what am I forgetting?” Kyn attempted to continue. “The old ways, the old ways. Enough Zafii!” Cole snapped out of his mocking tone. Zafii turned to face him square as alarms notified them to the transport attempting to land momentarily. “I’m the leader of this team now and if you don’t want to end up like Master Calsiin, you’ll listen to me. She could still be alive and if she had listened to me she would be. Don’t forget, you two also almost got your rear ends charred off if it wasn’t for me.” “You might be the leader when we are on missions but we all have a right to follow the Jedi path in our own way.” Cole reminded her. “And in what way do you find a way to center yourself when you are slapping yourself upside the head? You are too bloodthirsty, Cole. Your behavior doesn’t seem to fit any of the seven codes of the Jedi Order.” Zafii argued. “I do things my way, you do things your way. I always follow orders when it comes to the missions. Whether that was from Master Calsiin or from the members of the Supreme Council. I do the right thing, Zafii. Don’t make me out to be some sort of Sith-spawn.” Cole fired back. The transport shuddered as it made its final landing. The three Jedi Knights held on as it became inherently obvious that they had landed on the uneven ground. “You two shut up, I’m tired of you arguing all the time. Might I remind our leader that we are here to find a certain Holocron.” Kyn chimed in. Zafii shook her head to snap herself out of the argument she was having with Cole. She’d be sure to continue her scolding of his reckless ways later. He had so much potential, she didn’t want to see him waste it. “Right, the scavenger who claims to have found the item in question is less than two kilometers away,” Zafii said, looking at a holoprojection of the planet’s surface. “I guess we couldn’t get any closer in the transport.” Cole stormed over to the door and punched the locking mechanism a little too hard. Ash and death flooded Zafii’s nostrils as the air from the planet’s surface infiltrated the transport. “Let’s go.” Cole hopped out, a lightsaber in his right hand. “Always looking for a fight,” Zafii commented. “Hey, don’t get so upset you forget your breather.” Zafii grabbed an extra breather and Kyn followed suit to catch up to Cole. Coruscant's yellow star waning in the distance made the sky appear ablaze at sunset. All visual evidence pointed to an apocalypse having taken place. Indeed it had, only over the measure of many decades. Zafii and Kyn put their breathers on with a bit of effort. The devices opened up from a small rectangle into airtight goggles and a breathing piece. Zafii forced Cole’s into his left hand. “Here,” Zafii grunted through the mouthpiece. “Put it on, that’s an order.” Cole to his word of not disobeying a mission order put it on as well. The three made their way to a chasm in the earth. The only way was down and they made out a makeshift ladder that appeared to be an entrance and exit for the beings who dwelled beneath the planet’s surface. “So everyone just lives underneath?” Kyn asked. “They have too,” Zafii educated. “Look around, they can’t survive up here long. They come up here to scavenge from the deceased rich and elegant. Even after so many years, they find things that interest traders. Maybe they could survive a couple of hours with a top of the line, fully charged breather. I doubt they have top of the line here. Everything these people have is used, whether they found it or traded for it. The concept of new isn't something they likely comprehend.” “I can’t imagine the pay off is much incentive for traders visiting here,” Cole added. “Wonder why they do it.” “Why don’t these people help themselves and leave? Why do they stay?” Kyn wondered. Zafii began to climb down the makeshift ladder and answered, “We’ve been to a lot of crumby places around the galaxy hunting for these things and this is the first time you’ve asked why people would live there? They probably know nothing else and were born here. Plus getting off planet costs you one way or another. Don't have the credits, how about a splash of indentured servitude if your lucky and just downright slavery if your not. Even if you got off, where would you go? They’d still be destitute and would just end up someplace just as awful or worse, dead. At least they have a way of life here, even if it doesn’t look like much to us.” At the end of their descent down the ladder, they found an alley lit with street fires. Some of the fires were contained in large metal barrels while others just trash piled on the ground, resembling a campfire. Around some of the fires, humans, and aliens were gathered. “It’s too damn hot to be gathered around those fires,” Kyn noted. “It’s almost the only source of light down here.” Cole corrected. On that, Zafii pressed a small button on her breather and her goggles went into a night vision mode. Kyn followed suit but Cole, as Zafii knew, didn’t need night vision goggles. His skill in the Force allowed his eyes to see better than any artificial technology could. “What do your Jedi eyes see!” Kyn jokingly said. “They’re taking the Jawa’s to Jabba’s Palace,” Cole said with a chortle. “How many times have you two seen that blasted holovid?” Zafii asked rhetorically. They continued down the alley and all three felt the presence of others converging on them. They didn't say a word to each other, they didn't need to. When they were all focused and in tune, their bond through the Force allowed them to know everything they needed to about the other two's thoughts. "You three are dressed much too well to be slumming down here on Level Two." A raspy voice said from the shadows. The figure came out from their side, flanked by two others. Soon they were encircled by no less than twelve rough looking locals coming from all angles. Zafii couldn't place the species of the one talking. His blood-red skin and scarred face didn't scream pleasantry to her though. All three Jedi looked very much like Jedi of the age. It was unmistakable no matter what part of the galaxy you were from. Their glinting, sometimes bejeweled armor. Contrary to assumption, the armor was very light so the Jedi Knights could be agile, as well as protected. Many wore Force imbued greaves, gauntlets, chest, and shoulder armor. The materials came from some planet Zafii couldn't remember the name of. Perhaps she had never been told or had she just never asked? It polished to a shine like durasteel. It was just as strong against piercing but as flexible as a spandex. The Supreme Master of the Jedi Order, along with her Supreme Council wanted their Jedi Knights to look the role they truly played in the galaxy. Cole and Kyn loved to deck out in the mysterious armor, while Zafii relied on even more flexibility if she had to fight. She never wore spaulders. Even though she knew it made no sense, she said it weighed her down. "They don't even bother covering up with a cloak." Another man in the group chimed in. "This is a flashy bunch," the red alien said. "Three very young and brash Jedi... padawans? Where is your master, little ones? A Jedi hasn't been seen on Coruscant for nearly a quarter century and here stand three pups." "Little ones? Pups?" Cole gave him a crossed look. "Let me handle this," Zafii began to say. Kyn ignited his lightsaber, it was harsh and dark blue. A blue that burned so furious it looked like it wanted to combust into the hottest fire known to the galaxy. Everyone took a step back but Kyn calmly lowered the blade to the ground. Zafii watched wide-eyed as Kyn stuck the point of the blade into the ground and sparks flew. "Kyn!" "You see this, gentlemen?" Kyn announced as he drew a circle around himself and his companions. "This is the line in the sand, you cross it, you die. We are Jedi Knights, the rulers, and police of the gal....." The three Jedi fell. The three Jedi landed. They landed hard. Zafii was sure her back had to be broken. They landed on a level below, as Kyn had mistakingly cut them through the floor of Level Two. "You really are an idiot." Cole proclaimed. "That was intentional," Kyn gasped, sitting up as he checked his head for blood. "My lightsaber! That was intentional. That was you trying to be a hard man and looking like a fool. What else is new?" Cole barked. "Enough, both of you," Zafii ordered. "Look, we are on Level Three... Six?" They looked above and saw just how far they had dropped. They hadn't dropped one level but four. Levels Three, Four, and Five, didn't seem to exist anymore. "I need a vacation," moaned Kyn, as he stood up. "Luckily the Supreme Master gives us the best of the best armor, I think that saved me some broken ribs." "Luckily the Supreme Master..." Cole mocked. "You have a problem with the Supreme Master, Cole?" Kyn asked. "Of course not, but I get so tired of you gushing over her all the time. It's a bit weird. She's probably three times your age." Cole replied. "It's not like that but she does look great, the Force has really made her appearance stay young. I heard she's nearly seventy standard years, and look at her. She looks even younger than Zafii." "Thanks," Zafii rolled her eyes. "Well, Knight Pilas, what now?" Zafii shot Cole a dirty look for the way he addressed her. She took out a small device from her belt and activated it. It projected a holomap and a red beacon showing their target location. They were right on top of it. "It seems the Force works in mysterious ways. Kyn's mistake has landed us precisely at our meeting location." "MISTAKE?!" Kyn exclaimed. There weren't as many fires on this level and Cole was letting Zafii know, that he didn't feel much living around them either. "Maybe one or two people on this level and it goes on for miles and miles," Cole reassured the other two. "Pssst..." "Hello?" Kyn called out. "We're looking for Adoy," Zafii announced. "Are you Adoy?" "Come on out, Yoda backwards. Give us Master Yoda's Holocron that you found and we have the 75 million Jedi dataries and a ride off this planet for you. Just as we agreed." Cole said. "Don't be mean," Zafii said. "I mean, it wasn't that clever. He found Master Yoda's Holocron and he gives himself the code name, Adoy." "With 75 million credits you can buy new, better names," joked Kyn. "You can buy mine, for just 19 easy installments of 5,000 credits." In the shadows, the three Jedi watched and listened as the figure came closer. They could actually see the Holocron in the darkness. It was illuminating itself but nothing around it. Not even the hand holding it. "The credits first," a robot-like voice commanded. "Come on out so we can see you, please. I am Jedi Knight, Zafii Pilnas of the Supreme Jedi Order. We oversee, regulate, and protect the galaxy but we do not deal in the shadows." Zafii explained. "We just want back what is rightfully ours. Credits mean nothing to us but that Holocron belongs at the Jedi Temple, with our master." Zafii wasn't interested in taking the Holocron by force but she would if she had to. She had never failed in recovering a Force relic on a mission yet, today wouldn't be her first. This is what she was born for. A different voice answered. It was softer and younger. "Will you take me with you?" A young girl, no more than twelve standard years stepped into the light, holding out the Holocron. "Master Yoda..." Cole mouthed, referring to the Holocron with a lustful gleam in his eye. "We can get you out of here, sure, that was part of our deal," Zafii answered. She made the call to her pilot on the transport to prepare for take-off. The girl made to lead them out of Level Six. "I know a way to the surface," Adoy announced, confidently. "Nah," Kyn shook his head, looking up from where they had fallen. "I can see the surface." "Can of bantha milk." Cole nodded with a smirk. Zafii groaned and held her hand out to the younger girl. "Don't be startled," Zafii warned. "Startled?" Adoy asked. With that, the three Jedi Knights and Adoy were on the surface again, a transport hovering nearby. "Wha...What just happened?" Adoy pleaded, the short-lived confidence eradicated. "Oh, we're really good at Force jumping," Kyn laughed, running to board the ship. With that, Zafii, Cole, Kyn, and their new mysterious companion were off. The transport headed out of Coruscant’s scorched atmosphere where it planned to dock with The Sinless.