A Star Wars FanFic adapted from the play-by-post forums of Force Journey RPG, and featuring the contributions of a fellow player. Originally written between 2011-2012.
Reithon Harowa awoke suddenly, gasping for breath! Rivulets of sweat trickled down his face, eyes desperately searching his surroundings. Buttons, controls; an instrument panel. The swirling vortex of hyperspace glowing on the other side of the anterior window pane. He had awoken from a bad dream, only to find that he was still in that very nightmare.
Just under a year ago the Republic had been transformed into the Galactic Empire, and with it, the decimation of the Jedi Order. No one could have foreseen the treachery that was in store at the conclusion of the Clone Wars. Nothing could protect the few surviving Jedi from the wrath of the new Emperor. Now everything Reithon had ever known was gone; everyone he’d known was dead.
He slouched in the pilot’s chair of the Sentinel-class landing craft; the same that he had commandeered and barely escaped death on Asylum — the supposedly secure Jedi safe house world. But the Empire had found them, regardless. Now he was alone.
A soft, bubbly voice snapped Reithon from his stupor. Turning around, he looked at the infant child laying in the nearby seat. The dark haired child was a handsome one, with warm large brown eyes. The latest arrival to Asylum, this Force-sensitive babe had arrived with nothing but his name: Delvin.
Reithon smiled, taking a distracting pleasure in knowing that he had been able to save the child. His voice broke as he spoke, “You’re right. I’m not alone, am I?”
He picked up the surprisingly contented child and looked back out the view port.
“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you. I promise…”
As the landing craft’s ETA meter begin to count down the minutes to their arrival, Reithon considered his next step. He had been exceptionally fortunate to have made it thus far, but the odds were still pressed against him. He would have to act swiftly if he expected to survive the next few days.
Their destination: Grizmallt, a sprawling ecumenopolis within the Core Worlds, known to be one of the largest and most prominent industrial centers in the galaxy. Among these industrial powerhouses, was one in particular: Bankan Security Systems. An intergalactic developer of corporate security. But it wasn’t the company Reithon was after; it was the man behind the company…
Dr. Chote Bankan: founder and chief executive of BSS, accomplished business man, philanthropist, entrepreneur, innovator… and ally of the Jedi Order. He was the lead architect behind a vast Jedi safe house network, the same that included the compound on Asylum where Reithon and his companions had been hidden away for approximately a year.
Asylum had failed. But, Dr. Bankan was still a valuable and trustworthy proponent of the Jedi. Although he had grown more and more reticent on his position since the Empire came to power, Reithon knew better.
It was his — and Delvin’s — best chance for survival; that is, to once again seek out Dr. Bankan’s assistant. The crucial factor: time. By now, it was likely that the Empire had found clues at Asylum concerning the billionaire businessman’s allegiance. Reithon could only hope that he could reach Bankan before the Empire did.
The ETA meter read one minute until return to light speed. Reithon braced himself for reentry, also making sure Delvin was securely restrained.
This was it.
“Dr. Bankan, I have compiled the resource expendature data for the safehouse network in the Outer Rim,” Carpa announced, glancing at the data on the screen of his handheld tablet. “We’re running below budget at about twenty thousand credits. Practically untraceable.”
There was no reply. Bankan had little time for him, though perhaps that was a good thing; the less he knew about his own Jedi-sanctuary operation the better. All Carpa knew was that this was his job description, and he was getting paid good money to do it.
It didn’t hurt that Carpa was an avid Jedi supporter. Some would even call him an enthusiast–had they any conclusive evidence to make that claim. He was secretive in his interests. He’d spent many hours looking up Jedi lore and histories in Grizmallt’s libraries, and even done some in-depth digging after Order 66, which had allowed him to gain this specific job. The memory of that horrible day was still fresh in his mind.
“I will try to reduce costs further, dig up friends to give us free utilities, perhaps. It was a productive day, sir.”
Carpa Triam bowed curtly and exited the doctor’s office. He went to his desk and computer terminal and began giving short voice commands to the interface. The work day was almost done, and he had managed to scrounge up two thousand credit’s of savings and funnel them back into the company. He chuckled to himself. Perhaps he would get a promotion.
The foundry world of Grizmallt grew steadily larger as the Sentinel-class landing craft made approach. Thousands of tiny objects, soon distinguishable as starships, created an ever shifting shroud about the planet’s atmosphere. The densely urbanized cityscape, with a billion points of light, was half hidden beneath a smoggy grayish cloud cover. The splendor of industrialization.
Drawing near to the planet’s atmosphere, the ship comm suddenly sparked to life and a monotone voice came through. “Imperial vessel, this is traffic control. Please detail your landing vector.”
Clearing his throat, Reithon responded. “Requesting coordinates for the corporate headquarters of Bankan Security Systems.”
An extended moment later. “Coordinates are being transmitted. Please follow the designated sky lane until you reach said vector.”
“Copy that, Control.”
Reithon breathed a sigh of relief and then activating the auto-pilot. He had been working out what to say, trying to sound authentic as possible. Apparently, he had succeeded.
Within a few minutes the landing craft dropped down from the upper to lower sky lanes, soaring just above the sea of skyscrapers. One structure, taller than most of those surrounding, loomed ahead. A large, bold company logo, with Aurebesh lettering, labeled the structure as the Bankan Security Systems.
The craft directed itself to the upper levels of the building, where several landing pads jutted out from it’s flat face. Taking over from auto-pilot, Reithon guided the Sentinel onto the nearest pad.
Reithon waited, staring out the view port thoughtfully. The next step begins…
The next morning Carpa Triam walked down one of the many hallways within BSS headquarters, his favorite stimulant beverage in hand.
Carpa was fully aware to the importance of his position, although others wouldn’t suspect as much based on the size of his office. Perhaps not to BSS exclusively; yet undoubtedly, to the Jedi fugitives whose lives were dependent upon his furtive efforts and financial planning. He understand the secrecy: the bogus reports, the fake position title, all the manipulation and allocation of resources. Still, some days he hoped for more.
He opened the door to his office, but stopped.
“Good morning, Carpa.” The human within was a tall, thin-shouldered man, dressed in an expensive dark green suit. He was middle-aged, with spots of gray in his shortly trimmed hair. His name was Mr. Trahan Devouer, executive director of BSS, operating directly under Dr. Bankan himself. “Punctual as always. An admiral quality, to be sure.”
Carpa had no reason to think unfavorably of the man; he was friendly, more than willing to interact with his subordinates, and had a benign enthusiasm for the company. And yet, there was something unsettling about Devouer’s eyes– piercing, calculating, surreptitious. Perhaps Carpa was just being paranoid…
“What can I do for you, Mr. Devouer?” Carpa asked politely.
“I was called in early this morning by security,” began the executive slowly. “Last night an Imperial shuttle arrived on the landing platform. And a single, cloaked figure was recorded attempting to infiltrate the building.”
Trahan shook his head, and stepped closer–voice quiet. “No, I don’t believe so. Security confronted the individual, who happened to be carrying with him a small child. He said that he just wanted to see Dr. Bankan, that he meant no harm. That it was urgent.”
Trahan paused. “Listen, Carpa, I’ve come to you, because–with Dr. Bankan away on business—you’re the one to handle such a matter.”
Carpa frowned. He couldn’t possible know–“Why me?”
“We both know what you’re real function here is.”
So he did know. Somehow he knew. Cautiously, Carpa dared ask: “What would you have me do, sir?”
Trahan Devouer stepped over to Carpa’s personal computer, bringing up live video feed from one of the conference rooms. There within was a young man with profound red hair and wearing clothing very similar to a Jedi–sitting, and waiting. “I had him moved from security to avoid attention. You must go to him, Carpa. Figure out what his intentions are. Help him.”
“Where’s the child?” he asked, staring at the feed, drawing out one of his many questions.
“Being cared for by a company nurse.”
“And what about the shuttle?”
“Taken care of,” Trahan replied without missing a beat. “I had it flown out to one of our private warehouses in the old city district.”
Carpa Triam looked to Trahan and then back to the video feed. This was it, he realized. This was where he had the chance to make a difference. “Take me to him…”
Reithon had been waiting in the conference room for over two hours now.
He had spent most of the night in a holding cell while security personnel made dozens of calls to their superiors. For most of the time, he had been trying to wait patiently while attending to the young child with him. For the length of the trip the youngling had been acting extraordinarily well behaved; now though, he was becoming agitated, moody, and Reithon was no expert in child care.
Finally, with little else instruction, Reithon was guided away from the holding cell and into the conference room. The child, Delvin, was cared for by a called-in nurse, who remained in the room at Reithon’s request. He didn’t trust these people completely; not yet, anyways. Not until he made contact with his only known ally: Dr. Chote Bankan.
No one explained much of anything to him as he waited. Only that someone would be attending to him soon.
He waited, and waited. Slowly his impatience grew and he began to regret having ever come here. What if it turned out to be a trap? Would he be turned over to the Empire? What would he do then? Would he be able to escape? And with the child?
Reithon began to pace. The nurse watched him nervously, the child cuddled in her arms, once again asleep and contented after being fed.
Carpa walked through the door of the conference room, his heart pounding excitedly within his chest. After the horrible genocide of the Jedi Order at the formation the Galactic Empire, he had almost given up hope of meeting a live Jedi. Nevertheless the enthusiast and staunch loyalist he was, Carpa had jumped at the position Dr. Bankan had offered him. And now his dream was manifested.
There within were two adults and a child. He recognized the woman present, who was a company nurse that had been called in earlier. In her arms was an infant human, of which had reportedly been brought by the third being: Carpa’s primary interest and immediate attention shifted to the Jedi.
At first appearance, the Jedi was not what he expected. When Carpa tried to recall the vision of a Jedi Knight in his mind’s eye, he imagined a strong, heroic figure; bold, charismatic, and powerful. But the youth before him seemed none of these. In fact, he seemed quite ordinary. He was of an approximately average height for a human male and had a slim figure, wide shoulders, but thin limbs and waist. His face was just as narrow and pointed, dark eyebrows overcasting his blue-green eyes. Weariness and fatigue were drawn across his ruddy face, a lack of confidence dressed him with greater success than his own ragged robes. Unkempt mahogany hair, with considerable length and curl, dominated his crown. One hand slid slowly to a portion of his belt within his outer garment.
“It’s okay, I’m a friend.” Carpa said softly. “A friend of Dr. Bankan.”
At the mention of the accomplished philanthropist and businessperson the Jedi seemed to lax his agitated reach. Carpa offered an encouraging smile before continuing his attempt of dialogue. “My name is Carpa Triam. I work for Dr. Bankan. You can trust me.”
Carpa gestured for the Jedi to sit down, himself taking a seat. The Jedi did so, hesitantly, and then Carpa asked him for his name.
“Okay, Reithon. Listen… I know you’re been through a lot, and I want to help you.”
“I want to see Bankan.”
“I’m afraid that isn’t possible. Not right now anyways. Dr. Bankan is away on business.” Carpa continued. “But while he’s gone it’s my job to help you. As you know, Dr. Bankan has always been a staunch supporter of your order. His moral standings are austere and permeate this corporation. Anything you need, just name it.”
The Jedi, Reithon, paused to consider Carpa’s offer. “I want arrangements to be made for the child’s safety.”
Carpa looked over at the human infant. This Jedi knew as well as he did that the Jedi purge enacted by Emperor Palpatine was sordidly thorough: none were to be spared, not even the innocent younglings. Carpa’s suspicions were confirmed, then, in suspecting the child as Force-sensitive. “It’s as good as done. Now, I have accommodations prepared. I’m sure you could use some rest. Is there anything else?”
Carpa stood up to lead him out. “When you’re all rested, however, I’d like to hear what happened…”
“Okay, but he stays with me,” Reithon added, referring back to the infant. “I appreciate your help, but he’s my responsibility. I won’t let anything happen to him.”
Carpa nodded. “I understand, Reithon.” And with that he gestured for the nurse to follow them with the child.