Chapter 2

When the bird landed, the peace enforcer forced both Ezio and Leonardo down a metal ramp and onto the steps of a great stone building with enormous columns and towers. Dozens of men and women, both human and otherwise, walked around and conversed. Oddly enough, most, at least those who were adults, wore long brown robes that trailed on the ground. As Ezio and Leonardo looked around in wonder, a green-skinned, black-eyed man with tentacles on his head approached. He had a shiny, silver-colored rod clipped on his belt.

"Gentlemen, welcome. I am Qylan Gai. Welcome," Gai gestured with his hands, "to the Jedi Temple."

"Ciao. I'm Ezio. And this is my friend Leonardo."

"Oh, we know all about you Messer Auditore. And you as well, Messer da Vinci. Trust me gentlemen, you are not here by accident or some sick twist of fate. You are here for a reason. Though what that reason is, I cannot garner through the Force. It's clouded and muddied, as if you can't be subject to it. No matter. Master Marek has instructed me to retrieve you and take custody of your weapons." The smile on the aliens face was pleasant but stoic, firmly asserting his authority.

"Oh, well I don't have any weapons. I'm an artist. And I abhor violence. Filthy and disgusting actions."

"Well," Ezio said, "you can't have my weapons. I'm in a strange place inhabited by frightening creatures and for the first time in my life, I am scared."

Gai looked at him for a moment, seemingly considering alternate methods of taking the weapons, but finally just gave a curt nod, a small movement that barely ruffled the tentacles on his head. He turned and walked off, and Ezio and Leonardo hurried to catch up. They passed between pillars and through doorways, passing humans and strange creatures. Many looked human, yet all were oddly colored. One was horned and had black and red tattoos on his face, while another, similarly to Gai, but to a lesser extent, was lightly colored green and had two tentacles springing from her head. She looked more human than Gai, anyways. But there were many humans. They continued into the interior of the building, with Gai, where large statues composed of a metallic rock stood with narrow swords drawn.

"Ezio, have you ever noticed strange abilities when you were exploring Italy? Any…special powers?" Gai asked as they proceeded through the main hall.

"Well, yes, actually. I seem to be faster and stronger than most people. And I can… see things. Hidden markings and doors are not beyond my sight, and I can tell the loyalties of any individual if I look hard enough."

"Yes, these are all attributes that Force-sensitive humans from Earth seem to possess."

"Eh, excuse me," Leonardo said, speaking up, "but you said 'Force-sensitive humans from Earth.' Are we not on Earth right now? And what is this 'Force' that you speak of?"

"The Force," Gai continued, "is an all encompassing energy field that permeates all life in the galaxy. It binds us together, all of us, and like gravity, all life has a connection to all other life, no matter how weak. And those of us in the galaxy that are aware of the Force's presence and can manipulate and consult with it are called 'Force-sensitive.' And you both are particularly powerful. Now, as for the problem of whether we are on Earth, the answer is simple: We are not."

"Okay," said Leonardo, "but then where are we? And how come I've never experienced these powers for myself?"

"Well, you both have been transported to the planet Coruscant in the year 2021 ABY. More specifically, you're in the Jedi Temple." Gai stopped at a lift. The cylindrical doors slid open with a slight wave of his hand.

"Okay," said Ezio, "but then how did the other humans get here?"

"Well," Gai began, "unbeknownst to most humans in the Galaxy today, and a topic of much controversy, is the homeworld of humanity. Thousands of millennia ago, humans originated on a rocky, blue-green world they called Erydaie-Gaiea. It had one moon, pockmarked Urada-Luun. After several millennia, they reached an advanced level of technological understanding and implementation, to the point where they could manipulate temporal holes in the time-space continuum. So, they set off throughout the galaxies, looking to rule the universe. However, before leaving, they created new beings, similar to themselves, to serve as sentinels on Erydaie-Gaiea. That is your people Ezio. On Earth, you know these humans as the First Civilization. You worshipped them as gods. However, when they arrived here, they found that their technology couldn't cope with the energy of the Force. So they reverted to simpler lives: agriculture and early industry. Lo and behold, they became enslaved to the Infinite Empire, which introduced them to Force-bearing technology. And, long story short, thousands of years later, humans are now the most influential and numerous species in the galaxy."

"Alright, that seems reasonable." Leonardo replied. "But how do Ezio and I fit into all this."

"I'm not exactly sure. But Master Marek and Master Yuugee both predicted your arrival. However, despite hundreds of millennia of technological experimentation and development, the galaxy's greatest minds have yet to recreate First Civilization technology. So, for now, you are stranded here."