Star Wars: Darklight

by AB

Chapter 18

His Own Lightsaber forged.

Volun whistled hidden behind a tree. Two troopers near him looked this way and that trying to discern where the whistling was coming from. "Focus on the stones there." Tern pointed at a location a few meters away from them to the right. "Focus on the stones and move them." Volun saw the place Tern was whispering to him about and shook his head.

"It is too far." Volun whispered back.

Tern rolled his eyes. "Distance and size matter not, all things living and inanimate objects are surrounded and encapsulated by the Force. Use it and you can move anything from those stones to planets. Now, please try." He replied calmly.

"How? You realise that I have had no training right? I've only known about my sensitiveness to the Force since…my mum and you died and without knowing how I unleashed a Force-wave." Volun whispered back.

"Close your eyes and picture those stones in your mind, then move them." Tern instructed him.

Volun sighed. He, Tern and Lavos had gone down to the surface of Nar Shaddaa with a battalion of soldiers to destroy Darth Gore's secret lab before the new experimental cores could be used in Sith ships and give them an advantage over the Coalition.

The soldiers had drawn away the bulk of the Sith Forces stationed in the laboratory giving Tern, Volun and Lavos an opportunity to sneak in undetected. If Volun could move the stones and make the troopers move to investigate. Truth be told Tern could singlehandedly kill both men with ease but he wanted to help Volun start to discover his new Force-abilities.

Volun sighed and closed his eyes trying to picture the stones in his mind. He extended his hand out in their general direction. A few seconds later the stones started to shake mildly. A couple of minutes later one of them moved a few inches on the forest floor.

"I can't, okay? I just can't." Volun whined.

"Try harder, it is in you. You are awakened to the Force, allow your emotions to guide you, feel it coursing through you." Tern replied with the same calm voice.

"Fine! Agh!" Volun shook his hand violently. One of the stones flew right across them smashing up against one of the tree trunks.

"Who goes there?" One of the troopers brought his blaster closer to his face and went to investigate close to where Lavos was hiding behind two large boulders.

"Weird…there is no…" The trooper started saying when a bright green blade penetrated the smaller of the two boulders and came out from his back. Before the other two troopers standing in front of the concealed secret entrance could react Tern Force-threw them up in the sky and then back down to the ground before smashing them up against some trees.

Volun and Tern jumped out from behind the trees they had been hiding and ran to the dazed troopers slicing them with their lightsabers. Tern had "borrowed" Darth Gore's lightsaber until he could forge his own. Wouldn't be long now.

Tern boomeranged his lightsaber at one of the troopers decapitating him while Volun jumped at the other trooper impaling him to the ground below from his stomach. He then dragged the lightsaber up slicing him in half.

Volun screwed up his face in disgust. "Eeeeww this stinks!" He complained.

Tern almost giggled. "What did you expect? You just lightsabered a guy in half."

Volun shrugged poking his tongue out at him.

"If you two can control of yourselves we can blow this to kingdom come? Yes?" Lavos teased them.

"Are you sure you're okay with this?" Volun asked him.

"Are you serious? We are in the middle of a secret mission in a Sith-controlled planet and you're asking me this?" Lavos was astounded. Volun just shrugged with an impish smile.

"I am okay with this yes. I mean it is a little strange and I am sad we…you could not reciprocate my feelings but I cannot be mad at you. You are too cute for your own good." Lavos gave Volun's behind a playful smack at his protruding buttocks making the boy yelp.

"You guys coming?" Tern called out to them from the lab's secret entrance.

An hour later they exited the lab making their way to their shuttle.

"Corporal, package is delivered. Make your way to the shuttles." Tern notified the battalion leader before tuning in to the fleet's frequency. "General Atos package has been delivered, expect bright sun in T-5 minutes." General Atos had orders to send the Coalition forces in after the lab had blown up to secure the planet before moving their fleet to meet the rest of the fleet in Ord Mantell before attacking the Sith Forces in Illum.

The shuttles had just exited the planet's atmosphere just as the explosives in the lab's fusion reactor exploded setting off a chain-reaction.

"Begin land assault." General Atos ordered the assault forces. Tern, Volun and Lavos joined them in the second day of the assault. Three days later the Sith Forces had either surrendered or were dead.

"Tell your men to rest, General for tomorrow we fly for Ord Mantell." Tern told him through the coms. He was sitting on the floor of his room in the cruiser with Volun sitting on the bed's edge.

"Where's The Pilgrim?" Tern asked him. They had not had much time to talk since his return.

"Back in Tatooine…I…" Volun trailed.

"I understand. I think we should make it into our "flagship" and rename it. It would do both the morale of the men and you good. I think." Tern told him. His hands on his knees, his eyes closed.

"Rename it? Into what?" Volun asked, surprised.

"The Indomitable." Tern answered.

Volun lay back on the bed. "I miss her…"

"I…I am sorry. I will complete my promise to you. After Illum I will." Tern told him.

"I know. I like the name." Volun replied. "Are you going to come to bed?"

"No, I need to meditate. You should as well. Connect with the Living Force." Tern wanted to lie next to Volun more than anything yet he knew he had to meditate a few hours each day.

"Okay." To his surprise Volun rose from the bed and sat like him on his knees with his hands on them next to him.

Three days later they arrived in Ord Mantell.

"What is The Pilgrim doing here?" Volun asked puzzled.

"The Indomitable," Tern corrected him. "Is here because I asked Alkon to fly it over three days ago."

"I guess…but…" Volun mumbled hesitantly.

"You can do this. I am right here with you." Tern understood Volun's predicament.

"Okay." Volun held his hand smiling. They entered The Indomitable greeting Alkon and Garos. "You are alive I see." Alkon stated.

"Yes."

"No getting rid of you eh?" Alkon teased him.

"Not that easy no."

"Ah well. Hopefully the Sith will not resist as much as you. Don't know how many times I can save the cutipie's cute bum." Alkon quipped.

"Alkon I need you to change something." Volun told him ignoring the tease.

"What?"

"The name. It is The Indomitable now."

"Good name, I like it. The Pilgrim did die I suppose and from me it an Indomitable will arose." Garos declared.

Alkon and Volun nodded. "Garos, equip seismic mines instead of photon torpedoes for the next fight." Tern told the pilot.

"Sure, why?"

"Because…Illum cannot be a prolonged fight and we cannot lose many fighters or ships. This fight we'll win by deceit and trickery.

They were in one of the cruiser's hangar bay inspecting the fleet, going from ship to ship. Tern wanted to make sure every ship was battle-ready and to acquaint himself with all the Captains, Generals and high-ranking officers in the Coalition.

"Tern, there are some people I want you to meet." Volun told him. Tern turned round to see Hara, Varog, Karos and Karos with Lavos walking towards them with about a dozen men and women. Tern could tell that all of them were Force-sensitive.

"Tern, these are some of the Jedi Knights from Tython." Volun offered an introduction.

"You are Tern Amargo?" One of them, a male Mon-Calamari. Asked him.

"Yes."

"Interesting. I sense in you great power in both the Light and the Dark Sides of the Force and yet I sense no will of yours to turn…to the Dark Side? How is this possible?"

"I…have embraced who I am, what I am and my emotions but I allow nothing to control me. Not my emotions, not any of the two sides of the Force."

"Is it possible? Could we have understood the prophesy of the chosen one wrong? I am Katosh Val." The Mon-Calamari man answered offering his name.

"Prophesy of the chosen one?" One of the other Jedi asked Katosh Val.

"So have the Jedi joined the Coalition and the cause? The fight against the Sith?" Tern asked before Katosh Val could answer his fellow Jedi.

"No, I am afraid the Order has not joined either the Coalition or the fight against the Sith. I do not know why. I do not care who is leading us against the Sith, I'll fight. I and my fellow Jedi Knights and Padawans you see here have decided, after the Coalition liberated Tython to join your ranks against the wishes of the council. For that we are also exiled from the Order." Katosh Val answered him.

"I see. I intent to liberate Illum and use the cave temple to find my lightsaber crystal. The one denied to me before, but I am exiled from all Jedi planets and holdings under penalty of death. Will you stand in my way or try to make the council's command true?" Tern asked seriously.

"We will stand with you, not against you." Katosh Val assuaged Tern's fear before turning his head to his fellow Jedi. "The prophesy of the Chosen one states that, In the time of greatest despair, a child shall be born who will destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force. Maybe we have…misinterpreted it." Katosh Val iterated the verses of the prophesy of the Chosen one.

"I was not exactly born…I am no chosen one, I am no Sith'ari but I will bring balance to the Force. For now, I have a task for you all since the Jedi in Illum are not as likely to allow me to roam the planet and I need to visit the crystal cave." Tern walked with them to the cruiser's bridge outlaying to them what their role in the upcoming battle of Illum would be.

"We'll get it done, Force-Listener." Katosh Val replied bowing his head. The others followed him and a corporal showed them to their sleeping quarters.

"General Atos, connect me to the Captains, Generals and Commanders of the Coalition fleet." Tern ordered the General.

A few seconds later the cruiser Dantoine's bridge filled with holographic figures of the various ship Captains and high-ranking officers of the Coalition.

"A new path begins today. I am going to end the Force Wars that have been plaguing the galaxy for the past sixty millennia. Our first order of business is to liberate Illum…and to kill Darth Solus." There were gasps from the soldiers in the bridge and the holographic figures.

"Here is the plan of attack." Tern briefed them for the next thirty minutes. He knew they would not like his plan even though it was a simple yet daring one.

Three hours later the fleet departed Ord Mantell for Illum. Kaa'ara, Volun and Tern were in The Indomitable while the others had their posts in other ships.

"We'll arrive in a few hours. We should get some rest." Tern told them going for the sleeping area of the cargo ship.

"Ever since I freed myself from that…machine I find myself in less desire to sleep. I want to experience." Kaa'ara replied.

"Experience what?" Tern asked her.

"Emotions, feelings, places, everything I missed the thirteen years I was a slave for the core of the Life-Eradicator." Kaa'ara's voice was not sad. It had a certain amount of anger towards her captors and a spark of defiance, of hope, of desire.

"Live through this mission and you can experience all of it…we can experience some of it together if you want." Tern replied looking at her. It was the first time since his return Volun detected hope in his eyes. "As brother and sister."

Kaa'ara looked at him. Her lips forming a warm smile. "Yes, I would like that and don't worry, the machine of the Master of his Master could not best me, he won't." Kaa'ara gave him a nod and left for the cockpit.

"She likes sitting in the cockpit and looking outside." Volun informed him.

"I see. Are you coming?" Tern asked him.

"Do you not have to meditate?" Volun inquired hopeful for a non-positive answer.

"No, finished for today and I want to be with you. I've missed you so terribly much." Volun replied making Volun's face lighten up with a bright smile.

"So you are no longer angry at me?" Tern asked, his voice playful.

"I wouldn't go that far." Volun teased him. "But you are on a very good path to redemption. I think if you express how sorry you are in an…oral manner it will go a long way towards me forgiving you." Tern giggled and grabbing Volun by his hand he led them to the room they had once shared six months ago.

Four hours later they jumped in orbit around Illum.

The fleet engaged the Sith Forces while The Indomitable flew straight for the planet's surface.

"Launch a seismic mine…now." Tern told Garos as they flew right past a Sith Orbital base. The seismic mines had been configured to explode five seconds later or if they were fired upon. So if even if the enemy fired at them they would not escape.

The Indomitable entered Illum's atmosphere just as the seismic mine exploded causing severe damage to the orbital base before the base's fusion reactor gave out from a secondary explosion near it sending shock waves and a bright flash of light.

"Land us by the entrance of the crystal cave. Katosh Val should not be far away." Tern told Garos before tuning the ship's communicator to broadcast to all frequencies.

"Remaining Jedi of Illum, we are the Coalition and we are here to liberate Illum from the Sith, if there's any of you left now is the time to make your stand. Katosh Val, a Jedi Knight from Tython will start his offensive from the twin peaks in the north continent." Katosh Val would actually start his offensive from a canyon base the Sith had set up in the southern continent but Tern hoped it would draw some of the surface-based Sith forces to the north and spread them out.

Katosh Val had a double objective. Lead the offensive in the surface of the planet and keep the remaining Jedi away from the crystal cave.

Garos landed them according to Tern's instructions.

The entrance of the crystal cave lay before them as awe-inspiring as ever. The ice covering it.

"Twice I've been here now…only now you are going to give me a crystal." Tern waved his hand at the entrance melting the ice away.

"Volun come with me, time to find you a crystal. Kaa'ara you know what to do once he gets here?"

"Yes, brother. He won't know what hit him. Go, forge your lightsaber."

"Lightsaber? No, Forcesaber." Tern disappeared into the crystal cave. Volun followed him. The ice started forming up again. In an hour it would fully close.

"We are to face ourselves and the cave and find our crystal." Tern told Volun before sitting down cross-legged.

"What are you doing?" Volun asked him.

"I have not the time to face myself or the cave. I have done this already once, now the cave will bend to my will. You should start exploring the cave though." Tern answered him.

Volun shrugged and walked off to one of the corridors.

"What am I supposed to do here?" Volun wondered walking down a path full of stalagmites.

"Face your fears, brother." A voice he knew all too well came to his left.

Volun tried powering up his mother's lightsaber only to find it was missing. "I…I am not afraid of you." Volun told the apparition of his brother.

"You should be. I should have killed you in your crib, and I would have done so a few years later if it had not been for that bitch you called mother." Dath Solus' apparition told him.

"Why do you hate me so much? I did not ask our mother to leave your father or to have me." Volun clenched his fists.

"It is your fault as much as hers and I have killed her so I will now kill you." Darth Solus' apparition powered up his lightsaber.

"If I am to die here…I am taking you with me!" Volun, in a move of despair, launched himself at his brother swinging his fists at him.

To his surprise Darth Solus vanished into thin air.

He continued walking until he reached an underground lake glimmering with crystals and bioluminescent organisms.

"This is beautiful." Volun whispered under his breath. There was a small dune in the center of the shallow lake coming above the surface. Volun gasped at his mother's figure there waving at him smiling.

Tears falling down his cheeks he ran across the knee-deep lake and up the small dune.

"You have grown so much, Volun. You have learned to face your fears and you can appreciate beauty. I am proud of you my son." His mothers' apparition told him before vanishing.

Where her feet had been Tern saw a crystal glowing purple. It felt almost like as if the crystal was calling to him. He bent to his knees taking hold of it. He brought it to his face examining it for a few moments before placing it in his pocket.

He walked back to where he had left Tern almost at the cave's inner entrance. Just as he was about to turn around the corridor he saw two different light sources go out, a black and a light one. It didn't make sense to him but there was no time to think on it.

He felt his brother's disturbance in the Force.

He had arrived in the surface of Illum.

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