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Old 10-02-2006, 11:31 AM   #13
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Mumbai
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Chapter 12: Polis Massa

“Damn!” Xydan heard himself curse as the smuggler vessel disappeared into hyperspace.
“Freeze target, location data now!” he ordered and got to work on his computer. The information on the smuggler ship, it’s course, it’s location of jumping etc. would be stored and calculations would be made. These calculations would guess the trajectory, landing sites, current location etc. Once the system reported a complete freeze, Xydan ordered his squad to move out and land in a jungle area, away from the city.
“We need access to the Galactic Databank. Our onboard systems don’t have any planets in that direction – or distance.” Jesqas reported.
“That’s the very edge of the damned galaxy! What’re trying to suicide?” Blade said enthusiastically.
“Cut the chatter. We’ll get to the RAS near here – the Bayonet. All RASs have access to the Databank. We’ll also contact Commander SOY-34.” Xydan commanded.
Without much discussion, the four fighters rose, gleaming in the moonlight. Nobody came in their way, and nobody questioned them in the RAS. They carried out the operation in the deathly silence they were known for.

A day passed since the jump had been initiated. Seliqa and Torrd spent their time meditating in the air, often upside-down. Wefive spent his time punching air, narrating war stories and such. He also experimented with the various tools and gadgets in his armour. He had found a flamethrower, with very little ammo, a gauntlet, a wrist-mounted grenade launcher, cooling systems, mini-organiser, and a tiny sonic weapon, that shot sonic waves in a 5-meter radius.
He was napping in the pilot’s seat when Torrd woke up. Torrd stretched in zero-gravity and flung himself towards the cockpit. Wefive, snoring without his helmet got up with a gasp when Torrd patted him.
“How close?” Torrd asked.
“Two parsecs.” Wefive answered, glancing at the astrogation computer.
Torrd nodded and somersaulted, much to Wefive’s annoyance.
“So, you’re an ARC. What was your mission on Crysm?”
“Just before leaving, we had received a private message that the Chancellor’s close to finding his new ‘apprentice’. Commander Soy had us get to base with Seliqa and then infiltrate a cavern swarming with droids. We did and Seliqa’s lightsaber went gung-ho. And then command tells us to get rid of the Jedi and return.”
“How many people were in your squad?”
“Some ten people, probably. A shame that I don’t remember.”
“You killed them?”
“Yeah, me and Seliqa. There was this sniper squad, but we evaded them. We stole a Separatist Airspeeder, new model. Then we go back to base and I pretend Seliqa’s dead. They’re about to send me for court martial on Coruscant or Kamino, but I got ‘em and luckily Seliqa got there with an ARC-170. Sweet fighter, that.”
“So you got to Onderon with that. Far-fetched, yet possible.”
“I’m surprised you’re not interrogating me about the Chancellor, or should I say… the Emperor of the Galaxy?”
“Please, fill me in on that one.”
“The order was given midway through the Wars. It was codenamed “Order 66”, and the order was, to kill all Jedi when they will betray – as prophesized by the Chancellor…”
“Hold up a second. Prophesized? His just a damned politician!”
“Yes, well he’s a Jedi damned politician. You see, he has Jedi powers. He was planning to having an apprentice, and said that it is crucial to the galaxy for him to have one. But a sacrifice must be made – the Jedi. The Jedi will oppose to this and they will ‘betray’ the Republic.”
“Anakin is his apprentice…”
“And that means we’re in deep danger. A guy like Skywalker against us is trouble. He’s that prophecy guy, right?”
“Right. The prophecy was wrong. Skywalker would not restore balance, or destroy the Sith. He was to destroy the Jedi. To restore balance in the galaxy without the Jedi. Where is the Chancellor?”
“Anywhere. He could be at Coruscant, or a secret base on some unknown planet, heck for all we know, he might be hiding in this ship…”
Torrd’s mind shook. He got a strange, unexplainable feeling and an idea – Wefive could be Palpatine. If Palpatine could mask himself mentally, then there was no telling what he could do. He could run illusions in minds – illusions that one is seeing what he shouldn’t. Wefive might be Palpatine, but Torrd could only see him as an ARC Trooper. The theory, although absurd was completely plausible. He decided to stay even more cautious with Wefive.
Wefive looked back at the console. The time was decreasing rapidly and drastic changes were taking place. Escaping the heart of the galaxy, the ship’s speed was increasing and was shooting faster through the vortex. The time fell below twenty-four hours, then twenty and fifteen, all in a few minutes. Torrd woke Seliqa up, who held on to the bar near the cockpit. The speed indicator was constantly increasing. Wefive adjusted it and the speed leveled out. Their destination was only a couple of hours away.
Seliqa strapped herself with a belt on the bed while Wefive and Torrd strapped their seat belts. A short, but loud beep signaled precisely two hours were left for the jump to end.
“Ever been to this place?” Wefive asked.
“No. Just heard of it.”
Torrd made a sharp glance at Wefive, noting his inquisitiveness. Wefive’s face didn’t move from the controls.
“Geography lessons. We go real in-depth. But then again, we force-sensitives can store much more knowledge than you can possibly dream of.”
“Why’d they choose this as an emergency point?”
“It was a Jedi secret. Some sixty odd years ago, there used to be one notable council member – Master Raphe. He was a Zabrak, ninety years old and very, very wise. He had a premonition that there will be a time when the Jedi order will be at the brink of death. It will never be destroyed, but will be near.”
“So… he randomly picked a planet?”
“No. At that time the Polis Massans arrived at Polis Massa and started archaeological digs into the asteroid colony.. Unfortunately, whatever artifacts they acquired from the rock, they were forcibly stolen by pirates, mafiosos and such. Their money was going down the drain and they desperately needed help. Borrowing some money, they got a ride to Coruscant and begged the council for help. The wise Master Raphe agreed to help them, but had one condition. The Jedi will clear the sector of all pirates and mafiosos, but when the time comes, the Massans will have to help the Jedi. The Massans agreed, the Jedi helped and everything went happily ever after… well, up till now, at least.”
Wefive only nodded.

A good two hours later, the vortex cleared, and the ship suddenly jolted out of hyperspace. Ahead lay a small mining colony. There were too many chunks of rock to count, which lazily floated in their quiet space. Only two more starships could be seen flying, both Jedi Starfighters. Soon enough, they got into communication with the Emmire. After receiving confirmation from Torrd and Seliqa, they handed over the landing co-ordinates for the Emmire. With Wefive piloting the ship, it did not take long for the Emmire to dock in the largest asteroid.
The loading ramp descended and out walked the trio. The dock was busy with workers, a few Jedi and of course, lots of ships. There were some 7-10 Jedi Starfighters and other ships of all sorts and sizes. But the one that stood out the most was the Tantive IV, docked away at one side of the gargantuan dock. It looked like a massive lightsaber handle, with tons of thrusters at it’s rear.
Seliqa knew the Tantive IV all too well. It had saved her life once when she was in an operation at Alderaan. A petty crime lord was trying to become popular by attempting assassinations on the senatorial representative of Alderaan – Senator Bail Organa. Seliqa struck the crime syndicate and killed the crime lord on his flagship. The crime lord’s assistant, upon realizing that the lord is dead, set the ship on self-destruction, and got out in his own ship after torching Seliqa’s fighter. Seliqa sent out a distress call and was helped out by the majestic Tantive IV itself.
“Senator Bail Organa is here.” She noted, gazing at the Tantive IV.
“OK, that’s great news. Alderaan’s with us. And if Alderaan’s with us, I bet a hell a lot of planets are with us.” Wefive said.
They strode to the door leading to the interiors of the colony. After a decontamination room, they passed into a series of well-lit corridors and rooms. After running wild in what could be best described as a maze, they finally reached a larger room with better furnishings. The floor was lined with black Desston stone and exotic plants lined the corners. Three sofas and two tables were in the middle of the room. Three Jedi sat on each of the sofas, discussing something when Seliqa, Torrd and Wefive entered.
One of the Jedi, a male Twi’Lek got up and looked at the two new entrants in delight.
“Torrd! Seliqa! Ganah Nuia!” he exclaimed in Ryl.
“Nice to meet you too, Sed. Who’s in charge here?” Torrd asked.
Wefive made a quiet approach towards Seliqa. “These Jedi make me nervous. I’ll be out at the ship if you need me.” He whispered. Seliqa nodded in reply.
“Master Kenobi and Master Yoda are here.” Sed informed, “They were the ones who set up this place. It’s been… three standard days since Order 66.”
“We’d like to speak with the Masters.” Seliqa said.
“They’re in the briefing room. This is a confusing place; I’ll help you out here. Follow me now.”
With that the pale white Twi’Lek turned around and walked to a turbolift. The door slid open and in went the Jedi. The turbolift then dropped a few levels downwards, into a corridor. At the end of this corridor was a large room, which was supposedly the ‘hub’. It was a huge room, with a dome on top. An incessant pit dominated most of the floor, with archaeological equipment in and around it. Strange beings were working inside, while others watched. A railing separated the archaeological ditch.
“The Polis Massans are mainly archaeologists. Don’t be surprised by such excavations in even the most formal areas on this mining colony.” Sed explained.
“What are they looking for in this asteroid?” Seliqa asked.
“Well, it’s believed that this whole asteroid colony was a planet – but was obliterated due to some unknown reason. These Polis Massans come from some planet in this system and start checking this place.”
“That’s an unusual motive for an alien species.”
They passed through more and more corridors and rooms, to reach another large room. Unlike other rooms, this one was occupied with more humans and Jedi. There were a few holo-maps, but no sign of Master Kenobi or Master Yoda. Bunches of people were huddled around the maps and discussed matters sincerely. Sed led Seliqa and Torrd to the end of the room and down a flight of stairs to another door. He opened the door and walked in. The door closed by itself.
The hall they entered was relatively dim, and furnished with a sleek, meeting table. It had bright lighting, omniholoviewers and other facilities. Jedi sat on chairs beside this table, chatting or discussing. Seliqa noticed the duo at the very end of the table – Master Kenobi and Master Yoda. Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, the ‘negotiator’ was nodding apprehensively at a Jedi. The enigmatic Master Yoda sat on side of the table, his head still as a rock. Yet the creases and wrinkles showed the old Master had seen much and that more was going on in his mind than what one would think.
Noticing that Seliqa and Torrd have spotted the Masters, Sed left their company. The two went towards the two iconic figures sitting at the end of the tables. Master Kenobi and the alien Jedi facing him were seemingly having a disagreement. Seliqa and Torrd took their seats beside Master Yoda. Master Yoda turned to face Seliqa, smiled and turned back. It took a while for Master Kenobi to please the Jedi, who eventually bowed and left. Master Kenobi and Master Yoda then turned to Seliqa.
“Seliqa Camman, if I am not mistaken.” Began the gallant Master Kenobi.
“True, Master Kenobi. This is Torrdemnon Wassi.”
Torrd bowed.
“It is good news that the two of you have survived. We will need all the help we can get, and with Jedi like you by our side, I doubt our failure.” Kenobi spoke.
“Master, we have been out of the loop. Evading clone troopers in two systems is a tough task, and we have been unable to get ourselves updated with the latest happenings.”
“Indeed. Let me tell you, then. You surely know of the Battle of Coruscant?”
“Yes, we had been informed of a strike on Coruscant and had been instructed to get to Coruscant as soon as the mission is complete.” Torrd answered.
“Well, that’s where the story starts. My former apprentice and I were on another world when we were called. Our mission complete, we headed in and received orders to rescue the Chancellor, who was held captive by General Grievous. We found the Chancellor, but also Count Dooku. In our duel against Dooku, I lost consciousness, but Anakin killed Dooku and not only did he save the chancellor, he also saved me from certain death. We then faced Grievous, who escaped and we had to land the burning ship on Coruscant. If it hadn’t been for Anakin’s landing skills, I doubt if we could have survived. Back on Coruscant, I was sent to Utapau to finish off Grievous. Anakin was left at Coruscant and got closer to the Chancellor. The Chancellor… he corrupted Anakin. And when Grievous was finished, the war was too. Palpatine would not give up his powers, and Master Windu tried to arrest him. Turns out Palpatine was the Sith Lord all along. He… brought an untimely demise to the great Master… and recruited Anakin as his Sith Apprentice. Anakin was not himself anymore, he was a twisted monster of hate, he was… Darth Vader. Vader was sent to Mustafar, for some reason. That’s about when Order 66 was executed. Palpatine, or rather Darth Sidious manipulated hundreds of minds in the Senate to bring about a revolution in the Republic. He claimed that the Jedi have betrayed him, that they tried to kill him and they were evil. I and Master Yoda evaded the Clones and got to Coruscant. Master Yoda tried to defeat Sidious, but the Sith Lord… was too powerful. I went to Mustafar to find my former apprentice. But he was a devastated being. He was… twisted, a creature of hate. I… had to kill him. There was no choice.” Obi-Wan spoke the words with remorse. “I… killed Vader. I watched him die, watched his body be incinerated, watched him hate me to his last breath. And then, I followed Master Yoda’s advice to establish a meeting point here.”
The conversation fell silent after Master Kenobi’s long explanation. Master Yoda had his sights downwards, as if he were regretting something. Upon Master Kenobi’s request, Torrd and Seliqa told him their story as well. Seliqa omitted Wefive from the story, but did not lie. Realising her story was incomplete without him, she mentioned the exploits of Capt. Wefive. Master Kenobi seemingly knew this trooper and had heard that the Captain had quite a reputation in the clone ranks.
“Be wary of the clone. To trust anybody, we cannot afford.” Master Yoda advised, speaking for the first time in the discussion.
The more important matter, of course, was the future. The past was gone, and Seliqa was more bothered about how the handful of Jedi can overthrow a massive Republic, or The Galactic Empire, as it was now called.

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