A New Order - Chapter 22
All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
I do not own Harry Potter or Star Wars, and I make no profit from this work of fan fiction. I am in the debt of its actual owners as they have been the creators of worlds of fiction that millions have enjoyed. All Hail to JKR and GL!
I'm back in the saddle after a long and entirely unavoidable writing hiatus - so without further ado let's get the story rolling!
Warning: There is a brief, non-graphic reference to sexual assault and dark ritual in this chapter. It is notdescriptive, but I feel that it's fair to warn readers.
As a special request for an avid fan of this fic I've included a "Cast of Characters".
Jedi (Known Survivors)
Jedi Master Yoda
Jedi Master Cin Drallig
Jedi Master Stass Allie
Jedi Master Ki-Adi-Mundi
Jedi Master Shaak Ti
Jedi Master Kollus
Jedi Master Moris Tel-Thall
Jedi Master Kel-Tor
Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi
Jedi Master Sian Jeisel
Jedi Master Siri Tachi
Jedi Master Adi Gallia
Jedi Knight Serra Keto
Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker
Jedi Knight Kel Nar
Jedi Master Moris Tel-Thall
Jedi Master Kel-Tor
Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi
Jedi Master Sian Jeisel
Jedi Master Siri Tachi
Jedi Master Adi Gallia
Jedi Master Tera Sinube
Jedi Master Luminara Unduli
Jedi Archivist Jocasta Nu
Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker
Jedi Knight Kel Nar
Jedi Knight Aayla Secura
Padawan Kai Justiss
Padawan Barriss Offee
Padawan Ahsoka Tano
Padawan Javit Cord
Padawan Zett Jukassa
Padawan Norlan Quill
Padawan Marlyn Shay
An Additional 7 Padawan Learners
Haven – Named Residents
Talia Tal-Shin – Force Ghost
Darth Vectivus – Force Ghost
Adept Harry Potter – Leader of the Adepts
Adept Luna Lovegood – Leader of the Adepts
Archivist Witch/Adept Hermione Granger
Wizard/Adept Ronald Weasley
Wizard/Adept Sirius Black
Wizard/Adept Remus Lupin
Jedi Master Djinn Altis
Jedi Healer Alyssa
Jedi Knight Ash Jarvee
Salara of the Bright Cave Clan
Yanara – Elder of Bright Cave Clan
Adept Velath Cha
Jedi Knight Callista Masana
Jedi Knight Hanna Balest
Jedi Knight Soran Thell
Jedi Master Ravis Thesa
Jedi Padawan Sahdra
Ret – Follower of Palawa
Lerhra – Follower of Palawa
Amelia Sto-Nar – Vahla Follower of Palawa
Darth Sidious/Chancellor Palpatine
Aralina Silk – Deceased Sith Agent
Asaji Ventress – Sith Acolyte
Dravian – Dark Jedi/Sith Agent
Sev'Rance Tann – Sith Acolyte
Oh and please remember – This is AU people.
"Hermione, what's wrong?" asked Luna as she pulled the door open.
"We've got aproblem."
The Burrow - Earth
Arthur Weasley made no effort to hide his relief as he walked into his kitchen after speaking to Ron and Hermione.
"Well, Arthur?" asked Amelia. It was not that she didn't trust her subordinate, but she wasn't sure why she was in his kitchen.
"How much do you know about muggle science?"
Amelia adjusted her monocle, "I've done the required accreditation training the same as you."
Senior members of the department of magical law enforcement were usually put through specialist training that was meant to help them understand the non-magical worlds policing. Most full blooded magical's needed it to understand the policing opportunities inherent with 'mundane' science.
"I...I'm not entirely sure how to begin explaining."
Amelia was by no means slow, "I'm assuming that this has something to do with the disappearance and return of Harry Potter and Luna Lovegood."
Arthur nodded, "There is a lot more to the story and believe me it's, well it's going to be hard to believe but well I'll let Harry explain."
Amelia watched as Arthur placed a large device on the kitchen table and began to manipulate what were presumably its controls. A few moments later a flickering image of Harry Potter appeared.
The image of Harry gave a small, polite bow, "Madam Bones…I'd be happy to explain thetechnology, but we are rather short on time at the moment. Arthur tells me that there have been some sightings that you are looking at. Before we deal with the situation, I need to explain some things to you…."
Amelia Bones was, thanks to her job rather difficult to shock but as Potter explained she felt overwhelmed. Civilizations in space, alien refugees and what sounded like the start of a war. "So what do we do? If they truly have flying craft and advanced weapons as well as their version of magic I doubt we can easily stop them."
"Now for the good news I think. If the fleet are who I think you most likely are not looking at an invasion or anything nefarious. They truly are refugees or perhaps exiles. Either way they are looking for somewhere to settle."
"Can't we ask them to move on, go somewhere else?" asked Amelia.
"Of course and if I'm right, they should do so. I'd suggest however that you might want to meet with them," the image of Harry made a placating gesture as a frowning Amelia opened her mouth to speak. "I might not share all theirbeliefs, but the Jedi and I do share enemies. For them to survive they'll need assistance."
"What sort of assistance are we talking about?" asked Amelia. The Wizarding world was still recovering from Voldemort's recent rebirth and final demise and was not in a position to offer substantial financial help.
"I'm sure they'd welcome agricultural supplies and thelike, but specifically they need warding where ever they do settle."
"The Sith, our shared enemy are capable of a limited form of scrying so basicwardingshould afford them a great deal of protection from detection."
Amelia considered Harry's words for a few moments before answering, "The goblins are expensive. They are the best but, well I'm not sure how they'll react to such a …unique offer Mister Potter. Basic warding magic is relatively commonplace, so maybe that might do. Although if we use ministry warders we might not be able to keep it quiet."
Harry's image turned to look at Arthur causing Amelia to raise an eyebrow in surprise at the sophistication of the device given that it obviously allowed Harry to see who he was talking to.
"Arthur, please use the Potter vault to pay for anything the Ministry may balk on," said Harry before turning back to Amelia. "I know I've explained but it truly important that we move quickly if the Sith were to find Earth it would be a disaster. Considering that they want the Jedi exterminated and if they discovered the magical world, it would be seen as a similar threat."
Amelia Bones was a survivor of two underground wars and had no intention of being dragged into a third conflict. "I understand Harry what do we need to do?"
Jedi Master Yoda listened intently to the message being broadcast on a number of channels in slightly accented basic. He had been looking at the data around the mysterious Force shielding scattered across the third planet when the message had started.
"This is minister Amelia Bones I am seeking to communicate with the fleet at the edge of our solar system; please respond... This is minister Amelia Bones I am seekingto communicate with the fleet at the edge of our solar system; please respond..."
With a slight adjustment, Yoda sat up straighter and opened a channel.
"Jedi Master Yoda this is."
A moment later the image of a middle-aged human male appeared, "One moment please."
"Thank you for replying Master Jedi," replied a familiar voice as his image appeared above the holocom.
"Harry...surprised I am," said Yoda as he considered the Force Adept.
"I have been asked by my government to discuss your needs."
"Your homeworld this is?"
"I'm sure that you had already deduced that fact Master Jedi," Harry calmly replied.
"Know our situation you do," said Yoda as he studied Harry's unsmiling image.
"Yes I do, and I'm willing to help you in ways you might not suspect, but there will be a price Master Jedi."
"A price," echoed Yoda with a frown as he unconsciously twisted his glimmer stick in his hands. 'Had he misread the young man?'
"You will lead your fleet away from Earth; my people are for the most part unprepared for such a meeting and would be unable to repel an attack from enemies that you would bring to their door. In return, we will offer you the support of our healers, raw materials and more importantly people who can create protections to hide you from the Sith."
"Extracted a price he did," said Yoda as he joined the senior Jedi that remained on board in the cargo hold that now served as their meeting room.
"A price," echoed Adi Gallia.
"Stay away from his home world we must for the aid we seek."
"I mean no disrespect here but how does a teenager speak for an entire pre-hyperspace civilization?" asked Siri Tachi.
Stass Allie sighed, "That has yet to be fully established, but it may not matter if he has alerted those he trusts.
Cin Drallig cleared his throat before giving his opinion, "I know that there have been doubts, but I believe that we can trust the adepts on this. Remember they have allied themselves to Altis and his people and they were at least partially responsible for our survival."
"Hmmm, allies I believe they are but risking much on their words we are."
"The future of the order," acknowledged Luminara Unduli, "Perhaps we should accept the terms. We needed the assistance and given our current situation we should be trusting the Force to guide our actions."
Yoda straightened, "Then accept we will, a new destination however we shall need."
Arthur Weasley watched the night skies nervously as he waited for the "shuttle" to appear.
"There it is," said Bill.
Arthur looked to where his eldest son was pointing up at the evening sky. The ministry wizards and witches that stood waiting were soon whispering as the bus-sized shuttle descended.
"Are you ready Arthur?" asked Rufus as the shuttle landed in the middle of the large field.
"As I'll ever be," replied Arthur as he squared his shoulders.
A few moments later a section of the shuttle folded down amid a cloud of steam in the cold evening air. Out of the steam three figures appeared, two men and a woman slowly walked down the ramp. At the bottom, the woman and one of the men halted leaving the final figure to slowly make his way over.
Jedi Master Cin Drallig bowed his head politely, "I bring greetings from the Jedi Council."
Cin Drallig could feel the Force swirling around him as he entered the tent, but he was still stunned as he entered a large furnished room. A room that could not have been contained in the small canvas tent. The Force or whatever they were doing it was Force based but unfamiliar.
"Please Master Jedi take a seat," said the balding man in his strangely accented Basic, Arthur Weasley he believed was his name had been the first to speak for his party. He radiated a kind of good-natured friendliness even as he tried to maintain a more formal demeanor in front of his apparent superiors.
Cin sat as the woman opposite him did the same.
"Master Jedi this is Minister Bones, the head of our section of the government," continued Arthur as he went to stand by the side of Minister Bones.
"Arthur, please take a seat, you are by far our most knowledgeable man on this," ordered Minister Bones with a smile and a gesture toward a seat.
"Thank you, Minister," said Arthur as he took the offered spot at the table.
Minister Bones leaned back in her chair as a no-nonsense expression appeared on her face, "I understand Master Drallig that your people are in search of a safe haven."
Cin felt a moment of relief; he had feared that he was going to be stuck with a political hack and mired for days in diplomatic talks. It appeared that Minister Bones was not so inclined.
"Arthur has been in contact with a friend that has explained your situation in detail. I will need to verify his information he has raised a number of very valid points," Minister Bones sat back in her chair and locked eyes with Cin. "I am afraid that if you had any intention of stopping here, well we would deny any such request. However as I said we are not unaware of your situation and we will help in so much as we are able."
Cin studied the man and woman opposite him sensing their Force presence…they were guarded, as was to be expected but there was no deception there, no dark shadow. "I would be happy to share with you what I can Minister. May I ask with whom you have been communicating?"
Minister Bones raised an eyebrow, "Lord Harry Potter of the House of Potter is a friend and ally. A friend who is well versed in the larger world…ah well, perhaps that should be larger galaxy. I was lead to believe that you were aware of his contributions."
"We have met Minister," Cin nodded his head as he spoke acknowledging his awareness.
"Good that should speed up matters. I believe that you need to garner resources as well as see to the warding of your new home. Arthur has suggested that our warders may have the skills to assist you in the security aspects as long as you can provide for their transportation. I trust that you both will be able to reach an agreement. As for your supplies, there are ways we can assist there…"
Cin felt a sense of relief as Minister Bones outlined the help her people were willing to provide. Food, plants, preserved goods, as well as essential medical supplies, were certainly going to be helpful.
"…Now our astronomers have been looking over our star charts and comparing them with those from our mundane colleagues, and we have found a system that seems to contain a likely planetary body. I've had the department of mysteries look into it, and they agree that it is in all likelihood a viable planet. Now what was the name," the Minister looked down at her notes. 'Ah yes, Gliese 667 Cc."
Ron took a sip of his tea as he sat back on the lounge, "Dad will make sure they get the help they need without learning anything they shouldn't."
Sirius shook his head as he looked around the gathered group of friends, "Which is a good outcome, but it still raises the issue of the Jedi Council knowing where Earth is. If they decided that they needed new Jedi you can't tell me they wouldn't at least consider Earth's potential as a recruiting ground."
Luna lifted her head up from where it had been resting in Harry's lap, "We know, and we'll have to plan for it in case it becomes an issue."
Harry smiled as he focused on running his fingers through Luna's hair before shifting his attention to the others, "We need to keep our focus on our mission. We need to preserve what we can from the chaos."
Hermione nodded in agreement, "Haven is thriving, but Harry is right most of us can't sit here and let everything else go…well go to hell."
Ron grinned at his partner, "Language Hermione."
"Shut it you, I still think Harry's idea of small teams is the way to go. We can cover a lot more ground that way and still leave Haven running efficiently and well-guarded," stated Hermione. "With Palpatine in charge of most of the republics military it won't be long before he's solidified his power well enough to begin tracking down Force sensitives not to mention the Jedi who remain. Things are going to get worse before they get better."
Remus sighed as he took a sip of fire whiskey, "We knew things would get bad, but it's not all doom and gloom. The Jedi escaping is no doubt a blow to the Sith. He knows they are out there somewhere, and that's got to worry him even with his victory."
"And we need to be out there soon too," said Harry
"So who do you think for the teams?" asked Hermione.
"I've got some ideas on that," replied Harry "We'll run them past Altis in the morning,"
"How many teams?" Altis asked Harry and Luna when they had finished a quick breakfast.
"I was thinking three, for now anyway," replied Harry. "Luna and I will lead our team. I'd suggest that the other two to be mixed teams."
"Some of my people may be interested," mused Altis "I'd put a call out for volunteers however I think we both know that we will get more people than we need."
Harry grinned, and Luna rolled her eyes before her expression turned serious, "I think we have more than enough on our plates for everyone to be kept busy. These contact teams are critical but so is the work done here."
Altis nodded in agreement, "We can't let people forget that. So do you have a set plan?"
"Not yet," replied Harry "But we are working on it." In truth, Harry had been hoping for some insight from the Force but apart from a few vague feelings of urgency neither he nor Luna had received any guidance. Hermione had found some very interesting references in her growing archives but nothing solid.
Altis studied the two adepts for a moment before nodding, "I understand, in some ways we've been almost spoiled. We've received guidance again, and again…perhaps it might be a good thing for us to find our own way for a while. We will always have the living Force to guide us." Altis paused for a few moments before continuing. "I did have one request, however."
"Anything my friend," replied Harry.
"I have some Padawans who could use some field experience."
Outer Rim – Clone Fleet
Sev'rance Tann meditated.
She could feel her control of the Force strengthening as she focused on sensing the correct path…she welcomed the painful, burning sensation from deep within as her mind opened…
…Her 'Master' training a young man, using pain and pleasure he twisted his victim's perception with his mastery of deceit and manipulation…Praising his apprentice as he spoke of readiness to take his rightful place…
…A human male spun and gestured sending a ball of energy at a human female, who deflected it away with her lightsaber before leaping at the man, her long hair trailing behind her as she bore him to the floor. The wrestling soon turned passionate and soon they were making love…
…Obi-Wan Kenobi at the controls of a ship talking to Anakin Skywalker…
She tried to focus on her quarry, but the image faded…
…The blond human woman from her other visions writhed and arched her back beneath her dark haired lover as she apparently climaxed…then looked directly at her and winked as her lips twitched into a smile…
Sev'rance returned to normal consciousness with a start feeling oddly aroused.
With a frown, she considered what exactly had just happened. The blond was likely the female Adept Sidious desperately wanted to be killed. Her lover was no doubt the other. To sense her though…she must be a Force seer or something similar if she could perceive a Force Vision especially while she was being entertained.
With a grunt, she rose from her knees and stretched. Regardless her meditations had not shown her what she had needed. Both the Jedi and the mysterious Adepts remained elusive. Sidious wanted results; it was what kept her alive, for now as he trained his true apprentice. The game was most complicated; he used her; she used him…for now anyway. Once she had enough power her search for a suitable patriarch would begin and then, once a suitable mate was found to provide her with Force strong children…well, then Sidious could burn for all that she cared. Her family would rise from the ashes and retake its rightful place among the ruling families of the Chiss Ascendancy.
Sev'rance reached out and touched the comm panel, "Yes Captain."
"Our probes have spotted a vessel that is on our watch list."
Sev'rance waited a moment, but the fool didn't continue, "And?" she prompted.
"It's a ship that matches a vessel that escaped a blockade in the Sierianan System. It appears to be drifting; the probes have reported that there is significant damage showing on the hull."
Sev'rance frowned as she considered her options. A single ship that may harbor a Jedi was not a guarantee of a lead but in the absence of any clearer guidance from the Force it would have to do.
"Prepare my shuttle; I will see to this myself while you continue sensor sweeps and analysis of the probe data."
"Yes, Admiral," acknowledged the captain.
Sev'rance entered her private refresher and quickly stripped off her uniform and underwear. Her meditations had left her tired despite her ties to the Force, a situation that could impact on her effectiveness. Before stepping into the ultrasonic shower, she considered her naked form in the mirror. She was still lithe and well-toned. Her breasts were full, and her curves were still feminine, still attractive, strong and desirable ...yet she still bore the faint scars the Jedi had inflicted on her. She traced one darker blue scar that ran from her hip to her breast and remembered the burning pain, the fear and anger…as she dragged herself to a shuttle with her blood staining the ground. She had been close to death that day, but she had survived and she had learned well the lesson the Force had provided her. The strong survive, and the weak perish.
Harry looked over at Luna, who nodded, "We are clear."
Harry activated the Hyperspace engines, and the Lily left the asteroid field concealing Haven behind. Their first jump was a short one, an uninhabited binary system that was far from most hyperspace routes.
"I've got this, go and get something to eat," said Luna.
"I'll get you something," said Harry as he stood and leaned over to kiss Luna on the cheek.
The galley seemed to be hosting the rest of the crew, "We all good?" asked Harry as he opened the cooler.
Velath simply nodded before returning to reading the maintenance manual for her newest possession, her lightsaber. Next to her the Altisian Padawan Sahdra played with her long blue hair and watched Velath read.
Seated at the other end of the table Ret and Salara were quietly discussing fighting styles.
"Well team we are on the way," announced Harry. "This first jump will put us nice and out of the way of anybody who might be looking for us. We've got about two hours or so of downtime."
"Do you think we'll run into pirates?" Sahdra asked Velath.
Velath shook her head, "If the system we are headed for is uninhabited. I doubt we'll run into anyone."
Sahdra looked a bit disappointed but the brightened up, "Do you want to train with your lightsaber? I'm wicked fast, and I'd love to help you learn."
Velath shrugged, "As long as we use training settings I suppose it would be okay. We can use the cargo bay."
The Zeltron girl smiled and stood up, "I'll go get changed!"
Salara raised an eyebrow as Ret grinned at her, "I think we have time now for a demonstration."
Outer Rim - Ghtroc 580 freighter.
Jedi Master Moris Tel-Thall cursed as the engineering systems failed to offer even a glimmer of help. They had escaped the Republic cruiser they had encountered, but the damage to vital systems had obviously been bad enough that they dropped out of hyperspace only minutes before systems starting failing. Now they were in the orbit of a nameless planet in an uninhibited system identified only by an alphanumerical identifier. It was also a system that was suffering some sort of spatial disturbance that was intermittently buffeting the ship and frying more of the electrical systems.
"Sir?" asked Sprinter.
"Get everyone together," ordered Moris.
"On it General," replied Sprinter.
Jedi Master Sian Jeisel entered the cockpit with a frown creasing her feline face, "Sprinter getting everyone together?"
Moris nodded as he sat in the pilot's seat.
"Bad?" asked Sian.
"We've run out of options."
The Devaronian Jedi Master absently stroked the fur that was slowly re-growing on the side of her face, "I see then it looks like we must seek new alternatives."
"The long range communications array is completely gone. We have limited short range audio, but that's about all."
"Maybe twenty hours and that is if we switch off everything else, and that's a generous estimate."
"Hmmm, what about the local system?"
"Devoid of life, nothing even close to being able to support life."
Sian nodded, "Then we must tell the others, my friend. We have no choices left, save to trust in the Force."
Sirius Black grinned as the Wookie Gunner dropped out of Hyperspace after their first jump, "I can't believe you got us here in one piece."
"How, no sorry why does Remus put up with you?" asked Alyssa as she continued to check systems.
"Charm my dear Jedi, pure charm."
"Well, why don't you go and check in with the others?"
"I could do that from here!" complained Sirius.
"Your point is?"
"Ouch, but nevertheless I shall do your bidding," replied Sirius as he stood and offered the Twi'lek an extravagant bow.
The rest of the team was in the crew mess looking at a monitor that was showing what Hermione had managed to find in her research. Which Sirius knew wasn't a lot.
"No although we may want to look over the older historical references from the archives. Some of newer ones are contradictory," replied Callista as she touched the screen to zoom in on an image. "This image was taken on Tukara Three just over four hundred years ago by a Republic exploratory team."
The image was of a clearing in a forest where stood a large stone building its entire length covered with a huge carved stone fresco. As Callista zoomed in on a section of the image, it showed a long-fingered humanoid with a shield fending off a figure that looked to be attacking with lightning.
"You think its Force lightning?" asked Sirius.
"It could be but what's interesting is that Tukara Three and every other habitable planet in that system suffered some catastrophic event. Initial scientific surveys ruled out a solar event or any sort or system-wide change. Xeno-Geologists eventually decided that it must have been a solar event after all and that the systems two native sentient species must have been eradicated."
"I am sensing a 'but,'" said Sirius.
Callista smiled and touched the screen again, "But this was an image found by Hermione. It was taken by a republic mining survey ten years ago."
The same stone building appeared. The plant life was gone with nothing but gray, dead ash visible but the building still stood. Callista zoomed in once more.
"No fresco," said Amelia Sto-Lat. The Vahla leaned forward to study the image. "It's been removed not destroyed."
"So the question is by whom?" asked Sirius. "It could be rogue archeologists."
"It could be," admitted Callista. "But look at this."
A new image appeared, "This was taken by a security droid and circulated after an altercation escalated. A crewman from a merchant's vessel was saved from being stabbed in the back by this man. Note the hands and you can just make out the shield on his back. He apparently lifted the attacker into the air and threw him into a wall. Spaceport Security assumed he was a Jedi although he denied any connection and left before he could be questioned."
The alien shown had the same long fingered hands.
"It might be," admitted Sirius. "I guess that is why we are here isn't it."
"We are about to make our next jump," announced Alyssa from the cockpit.
"You had better get back Master Alyssa doesn't sound pleased." said the youngest member of the crew.
Sirius grinned at the Altisian Padawan Lem Ravat. The teenager had accompanied Callista at the request of Altis. "Actually Lem, I think she's warming to me," Sirius wiggled his eyebrows.
Sev'rance Tann felt a ripple of warning in the Force as she was thrown forward as her shuttle reverted to relativistic space. Frowning she considered what the expensive scanners were telling her. There was some sort of electromagnetic interference being generated by the local star. It wasn't enough to be hazardous to her shuttles systems, so she ignored it and focused on the merchant ship that was slowly tumbling through space.
She studied the data on the screen once more. The ship certainly seemed a match to the one reported. A more detailed scan showed that there were faint life signs. Perhaps the crew might still live despite the lack of energy emissions. It was highly unlikely that they even knew that she was here given the top of the line stealth capabilities of her ship.
Considering her options, she paused as she felt another, stronger ripple in the Force.
The Wookie Gunner
Alyssa frowned at the turbulent exit from hyperspace.
"Woah, what was that?" asked Sirius.
"Some sort of interference from the local star…I think….Sith Spit hold on!" warned Allyssa the ship yawed as the artificial gravity tried to compensate. "It's coming in waves hold on I'm backing us off."
They were well clear of the system when the disturbances stopped.
"Ever heard of anything like this before?" asked Sirius as everyone crowded into the cockpit.
"Nothing that fits, the readings are very strange, look at this." Alyssa brought the image of an asteroid onto the scanner screen. "Watch what happens when the next wave hits."
The wave passed over the asteroid that was entirely unaffected.
"Why would it be unaffected?" asked Amelia.
Lem reached over and adjusted the controls, watching the data flow over the small screen before looking around, "It's only affecting technology."
Callista studied the readings, "You may be right Lem."
Alyssa shook her head, "Wait…look the interval between waves is increasing and…I think, yes they appear to be growing weaker too. That is odd; it can't be natural, can it?"
Callista readjusted the scanner to long range and began scanning again as she tried to confirm that the odd waves were 'receding'. "Oh…wait, we have one, maybe two ships inside the area affected by the waves."
"Can we tell if there is anyone on board?" asked Sirius as he tried to make sense of what the scanners were showing him. He had done flight training with Altis, but his lack of scientific training was a liability in this type of situation.
"I think so, we've got a ship…yes, we have a ship it is well within the area of effect. It is hard to judge if there is anyone aboard. It looks like it is almost entirely powered down."
"Do we know if it's a republic ship?" asked Amelia.
Callista shook her head, "Not without their identity beacon, although what readings I have are consistent with it being a merchant vessel."
While the rest of the crew talked Alyssa was studying the other readings, "The waves seem to be further decreasing in frequency and strength. I think we are seeing it dissipate."
"So we can get closer?" asked Sirius.
Callista studied the readings once more before answering, "If we are quick, logically the effect should take time to peak…we can approach, attach a salvage cable and maneuver to pull the ship free of the system."
Sev'rance Tann grimaced as she sensed the presence of other Force users, no doubt Jedi. Her shuttle was surprisingly well armed for its size, but she was currently not in any position to attack. Whatever the energy pulses were they had done extensive damage to her systems, in particular, the ships networked systems. At least her stealth systems remained operational. Time was of the essence now.
Closing her eyes, she concentrated and reached out to the Force to shape a bubble of dark side energy to mask her Force presence.
"It's working," said Alyssa as she carefully piloted the Wookie Gunner toward the edge of the system.
The ship rocked as the waves again began to increase in power, but it was clear that they would clear the danger area before the waves reached dangerous levels. Once they were clear the salvage cable was released. Then Alyssa and Callista carefully maneuvered the ship so that the airlocks connected.
Sirius gathered his crew as they made their final preparations, "Alright let's be careful, Amelia you and I will go first. We'll call in any casualties to Alyssa and Callista. Lem, you man the cockpit and keep an eye on things."
As the hatch opened Sirius and Amelia immediately noticed the stale air and the cold.
"Life support has obviously been off for a while look at the frozen condensation," said Amelia as they moved into the crew area.
Sirius raised his wand and cast the life detection charm getting a faint result from engineering, "This way."
Amelia reported their progress to the others as Sirius led the way. When they reached the engineering section, they found it was sealed off by a closed hatch.
"It's warmer than the other bulkheads," reported Amelia.
"Let's get it open."
It took a combination of magic and strength to force open the sealed hatch. As it ground open, they were confronted by a pile of bodies. Sirius knelt and checked the first and was surprised to find a pulse.
"Get Alyssa here quickly we have survivors," he called out.
"...they rigged the life support systems to run off the remaining electrical power just in this room and used the residual heat from the power plant to stay warm." The image of Sirius shook his head. "They were lucky, bloody lucky according to Alyssa. A few more hours and they would have had it."
"So what are you going to do now?" asked Luna.
Sirius shrugged, "That's the question isn't it, we could always drop them back to where the Jedi are holed up. Alyssa says they'll need proper medical treatment before they can go anywhere. Severe Hypoxia and hypothermia are just as dangerous here as at home. If we'd been aboard the Talia with a medical droid to help, Alyssa...one or two might have been okay to transport but this many we either need to get them to a trustworthy medical centeror..."
"Back to Haven," finished Harry. "From where you are Haven's the best, safest option."
The image of Sirius nodded, "Well I guess we can get back to our mission later."
"Are we ready?" asked Harry as turned to face the others.
"Whenever you are," replied Luna with a bright smile.
The others nodded, and Harry opened the hatch to reveal a clearing in what looked to be a forest of blue fern-like trees.
"Welcome to Voltis Three," said Harry with a gesture toward the trees.
Luna grinned at her partner, "According to the archives there were reports of an underground society of Force-sensitives. The local population is very leery of any Force users; they have been demonized by the population so it makes sense that they would hide."
"So we need to be careful about using our abilities," added Sahdra.
Ret considered the surrounding forest, "If they still exist how will we find them? From the sound of it the locals are not going to respond well to us asking for directions."
"I'm going to see if I can scry them out or at least get a sense of where to start asking questions," explained Luna. "All reports of the Force users here ceased almost five hundred years ago. At least that is what the records we could find are showing. There was even a study done by a republic Xeno anthropologist, but nothing has been found."
Salara looked thoughtful as she considered the briefing she had received for their mission, "Hermione's briefing mentioned that they had the ability to create illusions. Strange as it may seem to me but could they be hiding using this ability? Even the most powerful of the Dathomiri elders would struggle to maintain such power for long."
Ret shrugged, "I have heard of a similar skill used by the Fallanassi on Lucazec. They are known as the Adepts of the White Current and were recognized by their ability to immerse themselves in the Force and use it to hide themselves from sight. Once long ago the followers of Palawa sought them and their knowledge out as part of our studies into the Force. We found them, but we were politely rebuffed as they were dedicated pacifists and unwilling to share their secrets. If those here are using similar abilities, we shall struggle to find them without Luna's skills."
Luna felt her consciousness-expanding as she embraced the Force.
The feeling of connection to the living Force was beyond her ability to articulate. She could see life as it flowed around her always moving, connecting and entwining with every other living thing. It was everything that was, or shall be and yet she instinctively knew that she comprehended a tiny component of the living Force. The barest hints of what the Force was…yet it was enough to allow her to seek out the answers she required.
The Jedi had never truly mastered what they called flow walking Force scrying was a lost art among them, and the Sith's corrupted technique was dangerously flawed, relying on brute strength, bending…forcing the connection. Darth Vectivus had come close to perfecting the technique that Luna now used. She had the ability to open herself to the visions using Harry as an anchor to stop her becoming lost among the myriad paths that she would transverse.
Images flow past as she lets the Force guide her
…a native of the planet feeding a child….a merchant extolling the virtues of his wares…a guard is stealing a kiss from his wife as he ducked out the door…normality…order…An enormous animal like a cross between a bear and a tiger stalking an antelope-like creature among the fern trees…a shadowed figure peering into an alleyway...
Luna concentrated on the figure she sensed rather than saw…
…shadows wrapped around the figure as it moved forward seeking something, careful to avoid the lit places…
…A young woman carrying a basket of fruit looked around in fear as she sensed something…a predator in the shadows…
Luna frowned as she felt an echo in the Force of the twisted illusions that the hidden figure used to overpower the mind of his victim. She watched as a young man stepped out of the shadows and gestured for his victim to follow…
She watched as the last of the men finished with the brutalized young woman…unable to act as the last man slit the woman's throat, and each of her attackers stepped forward to dip their fingers in the blood and paint a symbol on their forehead…A cavern in a northern mountain…dark passages are running deep under the city…
She could feel her power waning, and so she reached out for her anchor and found him. His Force presence unique and comforting it was showing her the way home.
However, she needed more; she needed information so after making sure that her link to Harry was strong she headed north.
Luna opened her eyes to see Harry watching her with an expression of concern on his face. She gave him a nod as she slowly rose to her feet. "Gather the others love I think we need to rethink our mission here."