“From the journals of Ekafti Acomar, 19 B.B.Y. (before the Battle of Yavin):” After fighting Imperial Stormtroopers, Krevaaki zealots, young but dangerous Ssi-ruuk, clones, and Mandalorians, my companions and I found ourselves on Nar Shaddaa, the Smuggler’s Moon.
To rescue Tootu Anga, a Duros dancer and mother of Oong Bak, we had posed as the “Seven Deadly Shadows,” assassins intercepted by crime boss Soona the Hutt. We exchanged Soona’s feathered headdress for Tootu, but Tharg Thargsson had charged at kidnapper Bal Grainer and revealed the Rodian fixer to be a hologram.
Three IG-86 sentinel droids had us in their sights as Garolos Banku Nuruolos readied his blaster. I told Oong, Tootu, and Tark Agros to leave. Tharg tried to persuade fellow Gamorrean guards Flarg and Snarku to switch sides.
The three sentinels opened fire, killing Snarku and shaking Tharg. Thayne Highlander ignited his light saber and ran to a larger droid, but it had an energy shield. Ari Sundar reached through the field with her claws to grapple the droid.
Once — and future? — Jedi Garos blasted one IG-86 before switching to his two red light sabers (confiscated from Sith clone Bela-Trepada, but that’s another story). Mechanic Oong tried to rewire the blast doors, but to no avail.
I used Battle Mind to help recent padawan Thayne fight, while Flarg joined Tharg in destroying one droid. Garos destroyed another, and Thayne managed to deflect some blaster fire but was still injured.
As scout Ari held onto the larger droid, Tharg finished it off. Thayne used his light saber to cut through a blast door, and we held our breath as the corridors of Bal Grainer’s palace filled with knockout gas. Garos hoped to pursue his Rodian associate rather than leave another enemy to haunt us, but we were outnumbered and had successfully rescued Tootu Anga.
At least Tharg sent the headdress back to Soona, and we had attempted to fulfill our side of our bargain with the Black Sun criminals. We were all relieved to depart on the B6Z1, the fast ship of Tootu’s betrothed Kass Tani.
Kass dropped us off at Bakura, pilot Tark’s homeworld, where we had left the Lucky Strike . On the way, Thayne had another vision of the Jedi of 25,000 years ago. Aliza, the daughter of Jedi master Djem So, was no longer mute. She told Thayne that she had been saved by a Jedi with tattoos.
Aliza also said that we should follow the Sanctuary Route, from Cattamascar to Chiss space, to save other children and bring forth the prophesied “chosen one,” who would bring balance to the Force. I meditated on Thayne’s words and sensed a great disturbance in the Force from the heart of the galaxy. The Dark Side was spreading from Coruscant.
According to my holocron, the Aurabesh-tattooed Jedi described by Aliza matched a Jedi Knight named Ebo Chun-Wai, who disappeared with Master Pir Jelani in the Unknown Regions 6,000 years ago. I agreed with Thayne that we needed to visit Garos’ home space to find missing clone Ramoca Alara and help the Jedi.
However, we first had to get back to our own ship. Bakuran security officers Capt. Blaine Harris and Anya Foravis had impounded the Lucky Strike in connection with Juris Keel, an android infiltrator we had uncovered.
I used Mind Trick to keep our ship from being searched, and we learned that Keel had been working with insectoid Verpine and had traces of hfredium from mines on G’hro. After some debate, we agreed to help Capt. Harris investigate in return for a refurbished HWK-290 freighter.
The Hawk would enable us to get to G’hro (and Cattamascar) more quickly, while the Lucky Strike would serve as a decoy for Imperial and Black Sun pursuers. Harris provided cover identities and promised potential armaments.
We returned to Cattamascar, where we found the Grand Pelgar Hotel repaired after we had saved it from plunging uncontrollably through the planet’s center. The Zenazi monastery was a scene of carnage. Kurtzen monks had driven off the Krevaaki, but many had died in battle.
Hierophant Inif Cundertol was nowhere to be found, but Ari tended to scholar Moross Sapan’s wounds. He said that Cundertol had fled with a girl during the Krevaaki attack. According to Sapan, the hierophant took her to the Sanctuary Route for her own safety.
In addition, Sapan identified the light saber of Shin-Wu Sorotai, Thayne’s late master, as a forcesaber from the Force Hounds of the ancient Rakatan Empire, which predated the Old Republic. We dropped the sage off at a medical facility related to the Grand Pelgar on Cattamascar’s surface.
We continued on to G’hro, where scoundrel Garos posed as a trader captain. We saw Conjo fighter craft, red hfredium ore for ship hulls, and the Boku settlement surrounded by forest. Flight controller Carga Elix gave us limited visitation rights.
We were accosted by two fighter pilots, a Bakuran human and an Illwizzt (a red elephant-like species), Brco. They turned out to be associates of Capt. Harris sent to help us, supposedly against piracy. From our past dealings with Bakura’s cabals, we knew that we’d likely find something more complex and sinister.
Brco explained that both he and the Imperial forces were being kept out of the mines, but the local security could be outmaneuvered if Conjo fighters entered four shafts simultaneously. Our best pilots would have to coordinate, while the rest of us conducted reconnaissance.
Brco took Tharg in the lead craft, followed by Garos and Oong. Thayne and I went third, with our best, Tark, and Ari last. We flew into the mountain, narrowly evading sensors and lasers.
Inside the central chamber, we saw a control center rather than mining operations. I recognized it as the place from which Juris Keel had watched Thayne and Shin-wu fight their last battle together before Order 66 was given, outlawing the Jedi.
Ari spotted red-scaled Ssi-ruuk warriors. Our reptilian friend had defected from her people, who were drawing life energy from victims to power ships and droids. Garos, Thayne, and I all sensed three Force-using entities, but they felt unnatural.
We got out of the fighters, and Thayne and Oong checked the security monitors. They saw more Ssi-ruuk troops, Verpine, and a Juris Keel-model android, as well as three large cyborgs powered by enslaved Kurtzen monks. We ran to our ships, but they held us with tractor beams.
Tharg and Brco’s Conjo fighter was disabled, and I assisted Thayne by using our guns. Tark flew around, as Ari destroyed two of the battle droids. Garos and Oong had left but returned to help us fend off the slavers.
Tharg blasted at the footsoldiers, while Brco made hasty repairs to his fighter. Garos and Oong shot at the third cyborg, and we made a narrow escape. Brco transmitted our findings to Capt. Harris, who would make sure that the Bakuran authorities dealt with this growing threat.
While traveling along the Shirotoku Way, Thayne had another vision. Clone Ramoca could be the “chosen one, not born of the father,” so we had to save her to save the galaxy.
According to the holocron, the only other heirloom light saber similar to Shin-wu’s was that of Thayne Cerulian, which had passed to Sifo-Dyas and then to Count Dooku and Gen. Grievous. As Master Yoda might say, mysterious are the ways of the Force.
With Garos’ help, Tark set a course for the Sanctuary Route. I’m glad my friends agreed to help us rescue Ramoca. May the Force be with us — always!