In the Dark
Chapter 6: The Temple of the Ascended
"So let me get this straight," Jack said. "We're going to this… Wiquox 4 or whatever—"
"Wu'Iwuox 4," Daniel corrected.
"Whatever. We're going there… based on a dream?"
"We've done that sort of thing before, sir," Sam said. "We found the Tok'ra the same way, remember?"
"Jedi often have prophetic dreams," Luke said from the pilot's seat of the ship they were on. "I've had a few myself…"
They were currently aboard one of the Academy's shuttles, en route to the Temple of the Ascended on Wu'Iwuox 4. Luke had just entered hyperspace after leaving the Yavin system.
"We've got a ways to go," Luke stated. "The coordinates take us around the edge of the galaxy instead of through it… it takes longer and goes through a lot of unexplored space, but it's safer."
"If we went through the deep core, we'd pass near a supermassive black hole. That'd be fairly dangerous, even if we did simply pass over it."
"Soo…. Why are we doing this again?" Jack asked.
"If Anubis Ascends, he'll have influence over the entire known Universe," Daniel said, shaking his head. "The Temple of the Ascended is the one place where he can achieve that without the Others interfering. The Others have no influence there. There's too much Dark Side power."
"So we gotta get there first?"
Daniel nodded. "If we can… Anubis could've already found it by now."
"Great," Jack muttered. "Talk about depressing."
"What then, Daniel Jackson?" Teal'c asked. "If we do not arrive in time, we may be too late to stop him."
"Father mentioned that he and Obi-wan had another plan in case that happened," Luke said.
"Oh good, Plan B," Jack quipped. "…Wait… isn't your father dead?"
"He Ascended when he died. Most Jedi do."
"I thought that Ascended beings weren't allowed to interfere on the physical plane?" Sam said.
"True, but Jedi are a special case. Also, Father has visited me and my sister in the past, usually just wanting to talk. I don't think the Others would have a problem with that, especially since he didn't know us that well in life."
"He visited you recently, then?"
"Just last night. I suspect he came to warn be about this as Revan had warned Daniel. He probably didn't anticipate that I would be awake when he showed up."
"Who is this 'Revan' anyway?" Jack asked.
"I'm not entirely sure… I know she's a Sith Lord who saw the error of her ways and returned to the Light Side… but almost all records of her are gone so I don't know much else."
"She was alive several millennia ago, I think. In the time after her death—and especially with the destruction of the Jedi Order by Vader and Palpatine—all records of her existence would be obsolete. Some of them would have vanished altogether."
"Would Master Vodo have known of her?" Daniel asked.
"No, I'm fairly sure she lived after he died. But, we should discuss this later. She'd probably tell us about herself if she wanted us to know."
The group fell silent. Daniel stared out of one of the windows at the swirling blue of the hyperspace tunnel they were in.
"You okay, Danny?" Jack asked.
"Yeah, just… a little homesick…"
"I know the feeling," Jack assured him, a slight smile on his face.
"Daniel," Luke said, "you said that Wu'Iwuox 4 was a jungle world, right?"
"…There's going to be a lot of wildlife that we're not familiar with," Luke said. "We'll have to be on our guard at all times." He stared out of the window as well. I just hope we're not too late to stop Anubis…"
Several hours and a few debates later, Luke pulled the ship out of hyperspace in the Wu'Iwuox system, home to several dead planets and few gas giants. One of the dead worlds had about ten moons, a few of which looked inhabitable, but only one that appeared to be similar to Yavin 4.
"There," Luke noted, pointing out the window at the blue-green orb that orbited the lifeless fifth planet of the system. "Looks like that's the one we're looking for."
"Looks like home," Jack stated. "Only fewer continents. …And a lot smaller," he added as an afterthought.
"I think I've found a good place for us to land. I'll take us down to the surface and we can find the temple. Hold on."
As it turned out, the moon had a thick atmosphere. Still breathable, but thick. Their landing was a bit rough as a result. They landed intact in a clearing near a large stone structure that Daniel assumed to be the Temple of the Ascended.
"One more thing, before we leave," Luke said. He picked up a pair of blaster rifles and handed them to Jack and Sam. "I'm not sure how much damae your machine guns will do to any hostile wildlife here, so you'd better take these."
"Nice," Jack said, examining the blaster Luke had handed him.
"Let's get going, we don't have any time to waste."
They stepped out into the humid landscape, glancing around for any signs of danger. "Looks like the coast is clear. Come on," Daniel muttered.
"No, wait…" Luke held out his hand. "Daniel…"
"…I feel it… what is that?"
"What is what!" Jack hissed.
"Shh…" Luke cautioned. "There's something dangerous… ancient… nearby…"
A roar sounded and a large, puce-coloured, horned and sightless beast stormed out of hiding.
"What the Hell!" Jack yelled.
"Terentatek," Luke said. He ignited his lightsaber and stepped back. Daniel did the same. The terentatek swiped at the two Jedi with its enormous claws, knocking both of them backwards with tremendous force.
"Ow," Daniel muttered. The both stood up again as the beast charged.
"Cover us!" Luke yelled. He swung his blade at the terentatek as it lunged. Daniel ducked the swipe aimed at him and retaliated with a quick flurry of attacks. Luke attacked again at the same time, swinging his blade in series of swipes that chained together fluidly. Jack, Sam, and Teal'c provided cover fire with their blaster rifles and staff weapon. Finally, the terentatek fell with a final roar. Daniel and Luke panted, already worn from fighting the beast.
"What was that thing?" Sam asked as both Luke and Daniel lowered their lightsabers but didn't switch them off.
"A terentatek," Luke said. "They prey on Force users, Light Side and Dark Side alike. I don't think they're native to any one planet… they can usually be found in places with a strong Dark Side Force Aura. We should be especially careful now. Daniel and I will probably draw more of them. We need to get inside the temple quickly, although that's certainly no guarantee of safety. Come on."
They had only taken a few steps when a ghostly apparition materialized before them. They halted. Daniel blinked a few times.
Revan nodded. "Come on. I'll lead you to the temple. Watch your step. There are traps all over the place."
"One moment," Teal'c said. "I found this attached to our vessel." He handed Luke a small, circular device.
"What is it?" Luke asked, taking it from Teal'c and examining it.
"'Tis a Goa'uld tracking device. Anubis likely had it placed on the ship when he attacked the Academy."
A horrified expression crossed Luke's face. Revan stood where she was for a moment.
"He knows where the planet is. Sith spit, I did not anticipate this. Follow me!" She ran off in the direction of the temple. Luke dropped the device onto the ground and pressed the heel of his boot on to it. There was a soft crunch as the device gave way. They followed Revan into the temple, only to come face-to-face with an entire battalion of Jaffa, each with staff weapons pointed in their direction. Revan disappeared and Luke and Daniel raised their lightsabers, ready to defend themselves.
"Jaffa, kree!" Anubis commanded from somewhere behind the platoon of Jaffa. Several of them parted to make way for their master. "Ahh, SG-1. I should have expected you to come. You led me right to the place you wanted to protect. I thank you."
"You're welcome," Jack spat, sarcastically. "Not."
Anubis ignored Jack's comment. "And… Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, is it? I see you have recovered from the wound Kar'auc inflicted on you…" He slowly circled Luke, examining him critically. "I expected someone… else, somehow. You are younger than most Jedi Masters of the past."
"Age has nothing to do with ability," Luke responded, the very image of calm.
"I suppose not," Anubis conceded. "But, Jedi Master or not, you can do nothing to stop me. Nor can the Others."
"We're not the Others, though," Anakin's voice said. "So we can."
Anubis turned around. Anakin was seated, cross-legged, on the altar in the centre of the room. Revan, a tall, aged man in Jedi robes, and two small, greenish aliens with large pointed ears surrounded him.
"If you thought the Others would sit by and let you Ascend again, you were gravely mistaken," Revan said.
Anubis laughed. "You can't do anything! Or do you not know what happened to Daniel Jackson when he tried to attack me?" He gestured to Daniel.
"Well, yes, but we have permission," Anakin said. "The Others are desperate, you see. They don't like you."
"Probably because you're… well, evil," Revan noted.
It was blatantly obvious that they were getting to Anubis. He pointed at SG-1 and Luke and snapped, "Jaffa! Kill them!"
The Jaffa charged at the group. Jack and Sam levelled their blaster rifles at them and fired several rapid shots. Teal'c fired his staff weapon as they approached the others. Luke and Daniel cut down all but Kar'auc in a matter of seconds. They were completely taken aback, however, when Kar'auc tossed aside his staff weapon and ignited a double-ended, yellow lightsaber.
"He's a Dark Jedi!" Daniel said, surprised.
Anubis laughed. "Kar'auc has been my apprentice for several years now. I will leave him to deal with you two." He turned to face the five Ascended Jedi before him.
Without hesitation, Daniel used Force Jump to leap past Kar'auc and swing at Anubis. He was once again taken aback as Anubis ignited a red lightsaber and parried his blow.
"You never learn, do you, Daniel Jackson?"
Daniel glared and attacked Anubis again, their sabers meeting in mid-air once more. Luke fought Kar'auc vigilantly on the other side of the room, but Kar'auc's double-bladed lightsaber seemed too much for one man to handle.
Keep him distracted, Daniel, Revan's voice said in his head, and this time, it sounded distinctly female. We'll go ahead and force him to descend, but make sure he doesn't notice us.
Right, Daniel acknowledged, gritting his teeth and parrying a blow by Anubis.
The fight continued, with each at their fiercest. Daniel suddenly noticed a white hot glow behind Anubis, who turned around as he sensed the building power.
"The Other's can't force you to descend here, so we will," Anakin said. "You won't be Ascending again. Ever." All five Jedi dissolved into white-hot light, blinding Luke, Daniel, Jack, Sam, and Teal'c. The light faded away with a loud bang and a quick gust of wind. Daniel blinked a few times as his eyes adjusted back to the normal lighting. Of the five Ascended Jedi, only Revan and Anakin remained. Anubis and Kar'auc were both unconscious on the floor. Daniel knelt down and removed Anubis's hood and mask, revealing long black hair with a gold weave worked into it and pale skin.
"Well, that's over with," Revan sighed.
"Sorry we couldn't warn you guys earlier. Obi-wan wouldn't let us say anything until Daniel's training was finished," Anakin said.
"It wouldn't have done much good if we'd gone earlier," Luke said, sighing. "He intended to follow us here the whole time, and Daniel wouldn't have been ready."
"True. And sadly, this won't be the last time you face him. He'll undoubtedly vow revenge of some sort when he wakes up," Revan noted, with a chuckle. "Anyway, we have to go now, but we'll be keeping an eye on both of you."
Luke smiled. "Thanks for your help."
"You're welcome, and may the Force be with you," Anakin smiled back at Luke. They both disappeared.
There was a moment of silence before Luke said, "Let's get going. I know the four of you are rather homesick, and I myself am anxious to get home as well."
"Amen," Jack muttered.
Blue-white light illuminated the Yavin 4 'Gate room casting all present in an eerie glow. SG-1 retrieved the last of their supplies and stepped onto the platform, turning to face Luke and his students.
"Thanks for everything," Daniel said. "Our stay was… interesting, to say the least."
Luke chuckled. "You're welcome back at any time, of course."
"Yeah, I know. Oh, that reminds me!" Daniel removed a spare GDO from the pocket of his vest. "General Hammond said to give this to you. It'll send a signal to us so that we know it's you and you won't have to hold open the Iris."
"It's called a GDO," Jack commented. "Stands for 'Garage Door Opener', as is our military's cryptic way."
A ripple of laughter spread around the room. Daniel smiled and shook his head before shaking Luke's hand.
"I'll be in touch," Luke said.
"Same," Daniel responded. With a final wave, he and the rest of SG-1 turned around and passed through the wormhole back to Earth.
To be continued in… "Powerlust II: Song of the Executioner"