Campaign of the Month: January 2012
Star Trek Late Night
‘If’ is just a quick way of saying ’We’re Doomed!’
What doesn’t kill you still tends to mess you up!
|Latinum, Bar (¤20,000)||Travel Pack||2|
|Latinum, Strip (¤1,000)||Travel Pack||15|
|Latinum, Slip (¤10)||Belt Pouch||70|
|Credits (¤1)||Belt Pouch||10|
|Armored Bracers||Phrik Composition|
|Lightsaber, Red||In Concealed Back Sheath|
|Lightsaber, Yellow||In Concealed Back Sheath|
|Lightsaber, Red||Short Saber|
|Ferengi XRay Shades|
|Fire Paste, Tube||1 Decaliter, 10 uses|
|Lighter||500 lights, Disposable|
|Clothes, Set (x3)||Heavy-Duty|
|Lightsaber Kit||See Below|
|Training Remote (x2)||Marksman-H|
|Crystals, Bondar (x4)||Green|
|Crystals, Mephite (x4)||Blue|
|Lightsaber Casings (x5)|
|Lightsaber Power Cells (x8)|
|Pressure Grip (x4)||Parts|
|Cell Recognizer (x4)||Parts|
|Canteen (x2)||Condensing, Water-Purification|
|Food Rations||1 week|
|Glow Rods (x2)|
|Breath Masks (x2)|
|Filters (x24)||For Breath Masks|
|Atmosphere Cannisters (x12)||For Breath Masks|
I don’t really remember my parents. Not that I wasn’t loved or cared for, but the Order comes for us when we are so young – but that’s for later. Would it surprise you to learn that the first time a saw a sky – a proper one – was at the age of six? You see, I was born on the city-world of Taris, where my family lived in the Lower City. That’s where all the aliens and ne’er-do-wells lived; and, like my family, the poor.
I don’t really know how or why my family was on Taris – I know we weren’t natives. We were probably refugees from one of the countless brush wars or skirmishes in the Outer Rim, or perhaps even running before the Mandalorians. Whatever the cause, I spent my early youth in our small apartment in the Lower City, surrounded by so many examples of life that it could boggle one’s mind. I suppose that’s why I never adopted the human-centric attitude that so many Humans from the Core (and the Upper City) develop – I had too many friends of other species that I never really saw the differences – we were all just kids having fun.
The one thing that stands clearly in my mind are the Jedi. There was a small enclave of them on Taris, in the Upper City. They’d only be spotted occassionally, but they spent more time securing the Lower City than the actual authorities. There was one Jedi – Zayne Carrick – that I admired very much. He was always trying his hardest to capture law breakers, but he always had time to talk to me and my friends.
When I was 6, Zayne brought another Jedi, this one older, and calmer – I thought he must be a Jedi Master at the time. His name was Sen-Udo Mal; he was a Cerean and at the time I didn’t realize how my life was about to change. After speaking to my parents for a time, he called me into the room and stared at me for a time. He then turned and nodded to my parents, and as he left, he told them he’d be back on the morrow. That night, my parents told me I’d been accepted as a Jedi! So many emotions – anticipation, happiness, sorrow, fear – flashed through my mind that I was dizzy.
The next day, my life as a Jedi began. Master Mal arrived and took me to the Upper City, where I saw the sky for the first time. After a short journey, I met the Masters of the Taris Enclave, was welcomed into the Order by Zayne, and put onto a transport with Master Mal to make our journey to Dantooine, where my training as a Jedi would take place.
The first step of becoming a Jedi, the Initiate stage, is a communal experience. One Master, in this case Master Vral, taught a small group of us the ways of the Order, taught us the Code, and started fundamental training in using the Force. My group, or ‘clan’, had about ten students in it, the most important of which were Mical, who quickly became a good friend, and Bastila, who (initially) annoyed the hell out of me. She was considered a rising star in the Order even at the age of 5 – something she never let us forget. She was talented, but she had a habit of pointing out mistakes to others, even before the Master had a chance to speak.
So I studied, and learned. Mornings consisted of Force studies, leading into the midday political science classes and the study of the histories of a thousand worlds and cultures – stories I had never heard and found absolutley fascinating. Following midday meal, physical activity was mandatory the part of the day I looked forward to the most. Of course, in addition to classes, we were required to set aside time for five mandatory meditation sessions a day – at first I hated those, but as time passed I grew to enjoy those moments of absolute stillness as much as I enjoyed the exercise of running across the plains of Dantooine.
Eventually we were given our first lightsabers – training models, meant to teach but not maim or kill (they still hurt when you got hit, though). If Bastila was the most centered of us, I was the best with a saber in my hands. I’d win most of my sparring duels, and even occassionally get an audience of Jedi Knights and Masters – events that inevitably lead to my being warned against pride by Bastila.
Five years later, at the age of 11, I was deemed ready for my Initiate Trials. The Trials consisted of three main tests: a demonstration of knowledge of the Jedi Code, observation of meditation and dueling techniques, and fluidity in Force wielding. I passed my tests and was accepted as a Padawan by Master Sen-Udo Mal, who was an accomplished lightsaber duelist. I was pleased to learn that Mical and Bastila had also passed their Trials as well.
Shortly after I had started my tutelage under Master Mal, news started filtering in from the Outer Reaches that the Mandalorians had returned, and were attacking the outlying planets. The news shocked the Republic, and much discussion could be heard throughout the Enclave and the homesteads, but my training continued. News also reached us of the massacre of the Padawans at the Taris Academy. My childhood idol, Zayne, had gone to the Dark Side and killed the rest of the Padawans – a price had been put on his head and the Masters of the Taris Enclave were hunting him. That news, especially, caused me some grief, though I couldn’t truly believe it of my one-time friend.
Master Mal was a consumate duelist and honed my skills well, but he was a Cerean, which means my other duties dealt with logic and a rational approach to problems. To that, part of my training involved helping the farmers and homesteaders by patrolling for renegade Mandalorians and dealing with the various petty crimes that occurred throughout the colony. I was fair at this activity, but as Master Mal pointed out – repeatedly – I was too enamored of chasing down the criminals that wanted to run, and too often (at least at first) leapt to the wrong conclusion.
A year after I became a Padawan, the news arrived of the Mandalorian massacre of the Cathar people, and the near-destruction of the planet of the same name. Two Jedi, Revan and Alek (later to be known as Malak), called for the Order to intervene in the war and to aid the Republic against the Mandalorian invaders. Though the Council ruled against intervention, Revan and Malak decided to go to war, and many Jedi followed them. My Master was one of them.
I of course followed my Master to the war. Mical’s Master, who would become the Jedi Exile, also went to the War, but she wouldn’t let him follow her. At first, since I was only 12, I served primarily as a courier when needed. The remainder of my time was spent aiding my Master in various tasks, though I was never allowed to join in a battle. I was present at the Battle of Myrkr, where the Republic lost over 2,000 soldiers in one day of fighting; it’s unknown how many Mandalorians were killed that day. My time was spent making certain that medical supplies got to where the needed to.
The Mandalorians eventually captured Taris, and I feared for my family. Master Mal kept me grounded, however, we carried on. The Mandalorians had captured the planet of Iridonia, and the Republic intended to relieve the population. My job was to again help with supplies, but the Mandalorians cut off my unit and I was forced to fight. There is nothing so terrifying as war – the blood, the screaming, the adrenaline. Your eyes sting as the flying blaster bolts burn the metal and air around you and the acrid smoke fills the air. Captain Fareel, my unit commander, held us together as the Mandalorians attacked – she rallied us, read the Mandalorian tactics, and countered at precisely the right time. I don’t remember how many soldiers I faced that day, and I am grateful that Mandalorians wear full armor – I don’t have to remember their faces. I learned later that our actions that day helped divide the Mandalorian lines, which helped the Republic to win the battle and free the population. Many Zabraks joined the Republic forces after that day.
I fought in that war for the next two years, mostly skirmishes, but a few full-on battles. I sorta became the unit mascot after Iridonia; after all, I was only 12 at the time (not that my age would have stopped a Mandalorian from killing me). I grew to like the comraderie of a soldier’s life, and enjoyed myself as well as I could. I did a lot of growing up over those two years – had my first (of many) drinks, learned how to gamble, even had my first woman (she was a soldier, she was older, and that’s all I’m gonna say on that matter). When I was 15, three years after we’d left Dantooine, the War was about to end. We all knew it – the Mandalorians were on the run, and Revan and Mical’s old Master were brilliant strategists. Revan lured the Mandalorians to Malachor V and a massive fleet battle ensued in orbit.
Revan himself was delayed outside the system by a Mandalorian scouting party. He eventually arrived at Malachor and entered the fray, but he was late and the Mandalorian fleet was far from defeated. He was able, however, to draw Mandalore into a direct confrontation, and eventually struck down the Mandalorian leader in single combat.
I was part of a fighter wing at that battle, and as we pressed the attack I could sense a growing hunger, a desire to kill every Mandalorian in the system. I was nearly killed because of the distraction, but a near miss with a chunk of spinning debris will do wonders for one’s focus. I cleared my mind and continued the attack. The Mandalorians were in disarray, and we pressed our advantage. I shot down four Mandalorian fighters that day, and was closing on my fifth when my fighter ‘slid’ toward the planet. I don’t know how to really describe it, but the planet was collapsing in on itself. Ships from both fleets – Republic and Mandalorian – were drawn into the planet as it’s very core collapsed.
The shock of so many people dying, and the annihilation of a planet, caused me to lose consciousness. When I came to, I was in the medbay of the Endar Spire, which was headed back to the Republic. My Master, Sen-Udo Mal was aboard, but he seemed distant. He told me Mical’s Master had lost her connection to the Force, so close to the source as she was – it was a fate I couldn’t fathom.
When we arrived at Dantooine, the Council judged us. Master Mal was heavily reprimanded, and would be sent to the distant planet Onderon to help the new monarchy there. Before he left, he convinced the Council to allow me to take the Trials – after all, as his Padawan, I was bound to follow him, and it was his failure that brought me to the War, not mine. I will be forever in his debt for that act; a year later, I passed my Trials (surprising old Master Vrook, I think) and became a Jedi Knight.
After the Battle of Malachor V, Revan and Malak had taken a third of the Republic fleet and gone into the Unknown Regions. Shortly after I attained knighthood, they returned, now as Darth Revan and Darth Malak, Lords of the Sith, and leading a large Sith fleet invasion into the Republic. With them were many Jedi, now Dark, whose side I had fought beside against the Mandalorians.
This time, the Council acted faster. I was again thrust into war, but this time I was better prepared. For two years I fought, again earning the trust and friendship of the soldiers I fought beside. Eventually, I was recalled to Dantooine. The Council had a plan: a small task force of Jedi, led by my old classmate Bastila, would board Revan’s ship and attempt to capture the Sith Lord; I would take part in that mission.
Bastila, myself, and the other Jedi managed to get aboard the flag ship. We fought our way through the ship and encountered Revan on the bridge. He was as confident as I remembered (if a little shorter). He managed to kill two of us, but we were getting the upper hand when the ship exploded around us. Malak’s ship had fired at his commander’s in an attempt to kill us and Revan; he nearly succeeded. Revan lay unconscious on the floor, badly wounded. Bastila used the Force to save him while I searched the computer quickly for an escape path. Our remaining companion had been killed in the explosion, but Bastila and I managed to escape the ship before it exploded, taking Revan captive and returning him to the Council at Dantooine.
After an all-too-brief reunion with Bastila, I returned to the front. En route, the ship I was on detected active sensors in the Nyriaan System, an unimportant location with no strategic value. Curious, we diverted and discovered a number of Sith vessels in orbit. We attacked, and I joined the fighter wing again. I was forced down in the battle. I set my beacon and waited for retrieval. As I watched the Sith vessel, the Dying Sun, break apart as it entered the planet’s gravity well, I noticed a crystalline shard lying in the dust. Investigating further, I found a few small artifacts used in the study of the Force, similar to those I had used so long ago – only these were apparently of Sith origin. I looked around for more, but was unsuccessful. The rescue ship was coming in, so I prepared to depart but was determined to return later. I also made a mental note to speak to Mical about this; he’d gone on to become quite the historian, with a particular knowledge of the ancient Force traditions.
The Sith had captured Taris. The Council had learned there was a Resistance movement on the planet, and since I was born there, asked me to go in and see if I could lend a hand. I hired a smuggler to get me to the planet, where I made contact with Gadon Thek, leader of the Hidden Beks. We raided the Sith where we could, and even made some forays into the Under City, where the poorest dwellers of Taris dwelt. Under Sith rule, the Humans of the Upper City seemed to have gotten worse in their attitudes against non-humans.
One major factor in harassing the Sith Occupation forces was a young Twi’lek scoundrel, named Mission Vao. Even in the darkest times, this girl could brighten up a whole sector with her good humor and absolute optimism. She had a friend, named Zaalbar (a Wookiee), who was the biggest person I’d ever seen, even towering over the few Gamorreans I knew. The two of them were the best help I could have asked for, with Mission’s less-than-legal skills a handy counterpoint to the pure physical brawn that Zaalbar brought to the table.
One day, information came that the Black Vulkars (the Hidden Beks biggest rivals and suspected Sith sypathizers) were holding an improtant Republic prisoner. They’d be putting her up as a slave as their part of the prize in the annual gang swoop races. We were trying to come up with a plan to save the prisoner when Carth Onasi, a true hero of the Republic, turned up with a man I recognized as Revan. They confirmed the existence of the prisoner, and Carth suspected it might be Bastila, who had survived the attack we had seen in the skies a few days earlier.
To make a long story a little shorter, we eventually rescued Bastila (though she tells it a different way), and I helped get them in touch with a Mandalorian mercenary who claimed to have a way past the Sith blockade. I still had work to do on Taris, but I wished them luck and sent them on their way. Wish I hadn’t – the Sith started to bombard the planet, apparently intent on killing Bastila. I barely managed to escape the planet in a stolen Sith cargo transport, along with a handful of survivors.
We traveled to Dantooine, where I informed the Council what I knew. I learned that Bastila and her crew had already been here and left on a mission for the Council. I spent a few weeks at the Enclave, recuperating and taking some time to meditate on the Force. The Sith attack, while not a surprise, still came earlier than expected. The Masters barely managed to get off the planet in time (I came close to carrying Master Vandar bodily), and we still lost far too many friends and comrades.
Master Vandar informed me to plot a course for a nearby system, where we met a Republic fleet. A communication from Carth had reached the Fleet, and coordinates were given where the Sith Fleet was headquartered.
When we arrived in the Lehon System, we were immediately attacked by a swarm of Sith fighters. They were beating us badly, when we learned that Bastila had turned to the Dark Side and was using her Battle Meditation to defeat us. Master Vandar told me to choose a handful of Jedi to storm the Star Forge (the source of the seemingly endless Sith fighter craft, capital ships, and war droids) in an attempt to capture Bastila and return her to the Light, or failing that, to kill her to ensure the victory of the Republic.
We fought our way through I don’t know how many Dark Jedi and Sith droids. Revan lead the way, with the Cathar Jedi Juhani at his side. We encountered Bastila, and Revan was able to bring her back to the Light. As Bastila turned her Battle Meditation against the Sith, Revan fought and killed Malak in single combat. The Sith War was over.
The Enclave was relocated to Yavin IV. After a year of helping establish the new academy, I returned to Nyriaan to further investigate the Sith relics I had had discovered there. All I found was an old tomb that had apparently been cleaned out by earlier tomb robbers. My interest was piqued, however, so I decided to travel to Korriban to study the remains of the ancient Sith and Rakatan civilizations that remained there.
I spent a year traveling the galaxy, roaming from one ancient Force site to another. Occassionally, I was joined by Mical or Bastila, though mostly I traveled alone. On the planet Dathomir, while investigating the presence of rancor, which were also on the home planet of the Rakatan, I was attacked by Sith. They struck from nowhere, and only the training Master Mal had given me allowed me to survive that ambush. For the next four years, these attacks would occur, forcing me to constantly move. I spent time on Korriban, Nar Shadaa, Tatooine, Yavin, Ryloth, and Manaan, just to name a few of the places I was forced to move between.
Eventually, the attacks stopped. Many Jedi had died from the Sith attacks, but the Order persevered. Since the Yavin Enclave was operational again, I decided to return. Master Vandar was there, as was Bastila. I offered to help out with the Initiates, aiding Master Bindo in lightsaber instruction. During my time there, Satele Seto caught my eye, and I decided to take her as my Padawan as soon as she passed the Trials.
We traveled the galaxy as I trained her in the ways of the jedi and the Force. We saw many sights and discovered countless wonders, both natural and mnufactured. Two years into the travels, we were leaving Rodia and were bound for Kashyyyk, where I hoped to be reunited with Mission and Zaalbar. We’d taken passage on the Freerunner, run by a ‘free trader’ and his crew. A hyperspace accident caused us to fall into realspace. Before anyone could react, space seemed to fall in on itself and a large vessel the likes of which I’d never seen appeared. The captain of the Freerunner took evasive action but we were caught in the ‘tidal forces’ of the space phenomenon and got sucked to a different location.
We emerged in a star system, in close vicinity to a planet no one recognized. We were trying to work out our situation when two ships just appeared on either side of us. The pilot panicked and made a short, uncalculated hyperjump. Well, if we weren’t lost before, we were truly good and lost now.
We spent several months traveling and discovering we were so far away from the Republic, they had never heard of it. There was a Hynerian Empire, ruled by a diminutive Hutt-like species. There were Centauri, a decadent species that were similar to Humans. Romulans, who were apparently the species whose system we had first appeared in, and who ruled a vast Star Empire. There were many races and many planets, but none that were recognized by anyone on board the Freerunner. Eventually, we made our way to Citadel Station, a free port of immense size where species from all over the galaxy converged for many reasons. That’s where I first found out about the ongoing Empire War, and the destruction of the planet Sinza’kora Prime.
Well, since there was a war going on, the crew of the Freerunner decided to try their hand at smuggling – war meant shortages, shortages meant smuggling, and smuggling meant currency. With no other direction available, I decided Satele and I would stick around. For the next couple of years, we did whatever odd jobs came up, some less legal than others. If I’m being entirely truthful, training Satele suffered somewhat during this time, though it never ceased.
On one trip, we arrived at the station called Deep Space Nine, on the edge of Bajoran and Cardassian space, and maintained by the Federation’s Starfleet. Since the Federation was at war, there was lot of military personnel on board the station, but that didn’t bother me. I had long ago learned to keep my sabers hidden, and to dress as any other spacer. Like most people uninitiated into the ways of the Force, the Empire War had made anyone using a lightsaber or demonstrating skill in using the Force a target. I went with Satele to the only cantina on board the station, a place called ‘Quark’s’, run by a Ferengi of the same name. Across the Promenade from the bar was a temple to the Bajoran Prophets.
I wandered in and looked around. A Bajoran Veddek, Tai, approached me and we engaged in a discussion of faith and philosophy. It struck me how much the Bajoran faith was similar to the ways of the Force and the Three Pillars I had left behind long ago. I was determined to recenter myself again, but couldn’t risk doing so in an area so populated by Starfleet personnel. Though risky, I broached the subject with Veddek Tai, who suggested I travel to the Vulcan monastery of P’Jem. So I spoke to the captain of the Freerunner, departed from the crew on good terms, and booked passage to the monastery for myself and Satele.
When we arrived at P’Jem, I spoke with Soketh, the leader of the monastery. It struck me how much he was like Master Sen-Udo Mal, and how much he wasn’t. Cereans believed in the application of logic, much like Vulcans, but they didn’t give up their emotions. Still, my Master’s teachings served me well (yet again) and we were accepted and allowed to stay, though in the capacity of guest only. That more than made me happy, and IU started to apply myself to training Satele once again.
I spent many nights in discussion with the several monks, and while not a lively place, it was peaceful. Over the course of a year, Satele trained, and then passed her Trials, becoming a Jedi Knight. She was so proud that day, and we held a quiet celebration – we didn’t wish to upset our hosts. She left shortly after that to make her own way in the galaxy. I hope our paths will cross again.
I spent another year at P’Jem, taking part more and more in the meditations and activities, helping in the garden and doing whatever jobs needed doing. Let me tell you, no species in the galaxy has a drier sense of humor than a Vulcan; they can be downright hilarious when they want to – they just don’t want anyone else to know about it. But eventually my wanderlust started to get the better of me. I took passage on the next ship that would take me, and wandered the galaxy to see where the Force would take me.
I heard that the Empire had been forced to retreat into the Uknown Territories, where they’ll certainly have to deal with the Hynerian Empire and their allies. I noticed more and more species that I recognized, but they seemed as lost as I was. Then the Federation passed the Anti-Jedi Laws, so I figured I’d better get out of Federation Space. I was headed back to Citadel when a Starfleet Task Force confronted me as I was leaving a cantina. I tried to talk my way out of the situation, but they had strong wills. After scanning me for something they called ‘midichlorians’, they arrested me as a Jedi. I overheard one mention that the informant’s data had proven correct, and that he should be paid.
So, that’s how I wound up here in this wretched hive of scum and villainy. What’s your story?