.... And then he awoke reborn.
Jez felt his consciousness reach forth back into his mind and the soft scratching’s against his soul. A pulsing energy started in his chest and he reached up and placed a palm on his forehead. It was burning hot. He took a deep breath and felt the Hunger start to creep back into his limbs.
He was shaking slightly as he opened his eyes. He was on the ground at an old campsite. Torn shelters and broken plasteel cylinders littered the area. His environmental surroundings were strikingly similar as always. Darkened, abyssal…. The very air seemed strangled in on itself. It was a struggle for even the wind to speak any words that did not involve death or despair.
“You are back,” said a voice.
Jez turned and noticed the hooded form a tall, thin being standing just ahead of him.
“I never left,” he said.
“Yes, you did,” replied the being. It was no mistaking that the fragile old voice belonged to an old woman. “I felt for some time that you would not return from your journey; though fate, as it seems, has granted us both an opportunity.”
“Opportunity for what?” asked Jez.
“In time,” replied the woman.
She let the words hang in the air whilst she watched Jez continue to survey his surroundings; swapping his lightsaber from one hand to the other. He then looked directly at her and asked, “who are you?”
“Me? Why I am but a messenger. A humble teacher in hopes to find a pupil that can stand up and face the challenges ahead.”
“I didn’t hear a name at all…”
“My name is Traya.”
Jez gazed at this seemingly fragile old woman in front of him. She was hiding something. Something other than her power, because Jez had sensed it as soon as he had woke. It was only now that he realized that the subtle hints that escaped the barrier were coming from her. He kept silent however.
It was then his stomach turned and his limbs tightened. He gasped in pain.
“You need to sate your hunger,” said Traya.
“It gets bigger every time I do,” replied Jez.
“As it should,” she answered. “You are getting stronger. But this new found power is alien to you, so if it is guidance and answers you seek, and willing to follow a lead for a while, you will come with me.”
“And what guidance could you possibly offer me?” asked Jez.
“More than what you have known in the past few years.”
“I don’t trust easily.”
“And you should not; most of all to someone you only just met.”
“Then how could I trust you?”
“Because everything I tell you is a lie.”
Jez brought his knees up to his face as a sudden pain erupted in his stomach.
“I can help you,” said Traya. “And in doing so, you shall help me.”
“What do you want from me?” said Jez through gritted teeth.
“Nothing that is short of everything. In time, all questions you ask shall be answered, however, one thing remains. There is a large group of Mandalorian’s as I have previously said, camped near here. They are in our way and need to be moved for us to pass. I am too weak for such an immense task. You shall destroy them, and in turn, replenishing what strength you have lost in the process.”
Jez scratched his forehead in annoyance with the cryptic’s. She was certainly a Jedi; or previously had been. “Fine!” he hissed in agony. “Just tell me where they are!”
Karn Udrina, the Captain of his squad of Mandalorian’s were camped in the foot of a large cliff. It was right in the crevasse of two adjoining walls, so each angle was covered. They would be able to spot any approaching sentient's. Unless they came from above of course.
He looked up just to make sure…
“No sign of enemies, sir!” reported one of his officers.
“Good,” he replied. “There’s bound to be some Jedi and Sith scum lurking about in these ruins of a planet. I don’t want anythin’ sneaking up without our knowing.”
“We’ve set motion sensors one click on each side in the gridded plan for the camp. They won’t get anywhere near us without a nice warning.”
Karn nodded. “Well done. Now go get some rest.”
The officer saluted and went back to his duties before it was time to sleep.
Karn sat on a cylinder that was propped against the cliff face and rest his back against the rock. He pulled out a tiny projector and sighed. His wife and two kids smiled and waved at him and he couldn’t help but smile back. These last few dark days hadn’t been easy, but it will be worth it once he got back home to hug his wife, kiss her again and be able to talk to his son and daughter once again.
He closed his eyes and thought of the days he missed the most.
It was then that the man in black landed next to him…
Jez looked down from below at the Mandalorian’s. They had set up motion sensors along the perimeter on the ground below, but they didn’t take the effort and time to place one from up here.
Unfortunate for them…
He noticed the other five that were wandering through the camp and one, the golden one, standing off to the side, leaning against the cliff right below him.
Jez smiled and gathered the Force around himself.
He leapt from the cliff and used the Force to control his descent, and focused most of it on his feet, cushioning his landing so even though he landed right next to the Captain, the Mandalorian made no sign he had heard Jez’s sudden appearance.
He ignited his lightsaber and had it piercing through the armour and the Captain’s chest before anyone realised what had happened. Even when they had retrieved their weapons, Jez had already Force gripped one and sent him flying into the cliff face at bone crushing velocity whilst deflecting shots back at the others. With the three left, he somersaulted over to their position and grabbed one by the throat whilst defending against the others.
He threw the one he had aside, gathered the Force and Pushed them has hard as he could, only to grab them mid-air, the Force of the pull doing severe damage to their internal organs and flinging them towards himself as he held his lightsaber at the ready. Body parts fell like grotesque and horrid rain.
Those two lay lifeless. But the other three, there was still life left in them; even the Captain with the wound in his chest was still alive. Jez stood in the very centre of the camp and focused his strength. Then he felt it. The Hunger. The air pulsed and the wind was electricity itself; Jez could feel their life force leaving their bodies and seeping into his pores. The power he gained was growing exponentially.
He was losing breath and once again he fell to his knees as the amount from the three bodies consumed him and gave him more strength than what he knew to do with.
His vision darkened, and with a final smile of victorious satisfaction, Jez fell into a glorious slumber.
.... To be continued.