"I know R6! We're coming in too hot!" The light freighter's cockpit began to fill with smoke and a control panel exploded with sparks as the lone Jedi began coughing and losing consciousness, the last thing that he thought before blacking out was "First a blind jump from the Empire, now I'm going down on some Force forsaken planet!"…
On Berk…As the teens landed Astrid, by chance, looked up, and her jaw dropped. Everyone present followed her gaze and saw a bright light in the sky getting larger and brighter with each passing moment! It was heading straight for the forest outside of the village!
Then with a large boom it impacted and sent shockwaves through the ground so powerful that everyone in the village was toppled over. Gobber got up and yelled "What the hel was that!?" at which point all the teens were all mounted and flying over to the crash site.
"Hiccup!" yelled Stoick, uselessly, as his son was already out of earshot, so he and Gobber began to run to the impact site, where they knew the teens were headed.
Impact Crater…"What is that?" asked Fishlegs, they were all speechless, it was like nothing they had ever seen before.
"I don't know" said Hiccup, meteors weren't common but… this was no meteor, for one it was solid metal, far too large to be meteor, and it was colored weird, with red and white stripes, oh, and lots of burns.
"Maybe it's from Valhalla" suggested Astrid with a shrug of her shoulders
"…Hiccup" Stoick finally caught up with the group breathing heavily, then whispered "What is that!" with awe.
To which Hiccup simply answered, "We don't know dad, we just don't know"
Everyone jumped as they saw movement through a large sheet of what appeared to be glass on the front of the…whatever it was, Toothless readied a plasma blast deep in his throat, and Stoick started to draw his sword but Hiccup yelled out "Someone's trapped in there!" as a grimy, bloody hand showed through the glass almost pleading for help.
Gobber and Stoick both hit the glass with Gobber's prosthetic hook and Stoick's iron sword. Very much surprised when it didn't break, a plasma blast from Toothless however did the job and blew a hole in it, and out fell a man in brown and off-white robes, leather boots, and who had his greying-brown hair in a ponytail and close-cropped goatee.
Everyone was so shocked that they did nothing until the man groaned out something about "The dirt tastes nice" at which point Stoick and Gobber hauled the man up by his armpits and they all hobbled off to Gothi, the village healer, before this man…whoever, and whatever, he is, dies from his wounds.
Gothi's Shack… "Oh, what happened?" groaned the strange man three days later and everyone jumped up, startled, as he regained consciousness. Stoick readied his sword and everyone drew back in apprehension as the man sat up and said "Oh…Force, what did I do last night…" and his eyes sprang open and he said loudly "Wait…where am I?!" and looked around slowly, at which point everyone was equally apprehensive, though Hiccup had the first word.
"You…you're on Berk." He said "Who are you? And where did you come from?"
The man stared at Hiccup, gauging him with such intensity that Hiccup felt as though his soul was being bored through. Though at an angry growl from Stoick the man averted his gaze.
The strange man tried to get up but fell down with a gasp of pain, clutching his side, at this point worry overrode caution as Astrid and Hiccup ran over to the man and helped him into a sitting position on the bed.
The stranger took a few breaths and looked over to the two teens, at which point he said "Thanks" breathily, and then after a furrow-browed pause said warily "My name is Salak Danliev, and I am a Jedi" at no response but confused stares the man thought to himself "These can't be Imperials, or I would riddled full of blaster bolts by now"
Then Fishlegs asked "How did you get here? What's a Jedi?"
The man stared in a curious manner and responded "I was on the run from three Star Destroyers and made a blind jump into hyperspace, my ship was badly damaged and I… I can't remember anything after entering your planets gravity welllll…wait, you don't know what Jedi are?"
To which Hiccup replies "Wait…planets gravity well? You're not from this planet!? How's that even possible!" now everyone was staring at the man, Salak, with caution and more so, fear.
Salak was thinking "They mustn't have discovered hyperspace yet, which means that the empire has no sway here, thank the Force!".
"My ship…the big metal thing, allows me to travel through the space beyond your atmosph… uh, the clouds; as for what Jedi are," he straightened up and looked at them with serious, yet aged, eyes "For over a thousand generations the Jedi were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic, before the dark times, before the Empire." He almost spat out the last word then asked, "Where is my Lightsaber?"
Now everyone was staring at him, as if they hadn't been before! They would have dismissed him as a raving lunatic if he hadn't fallen from the sky. Astrid was now the first to respond to his query with "What in Thor's name's a lightsaber?! Oh, wait, your things are over there" she said pointing to a pile on a nearby table.
Salak was pleased to see his lightsaber again and reached out his palm towards it, everyone gasped when the small tarnished metal cylinder rose through the air and flew to the man.
"What kind of sorcery is this?!" bellowed Stoick pushing Hiccup and the other teens behind him protectively, and pointing his sword at Salak who simply said, "Not sorcery, The Force" and then clipped the small tube to his belt "Wait…you probably don't know what the force is either…right?"
Fishlegs then stammered "W-what…what is the Force?"
Salak then said "To best describe it, the force is an energy field created by all living things, it surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together. Some people, known as Force Sensitives can tap into this energy field and use it to perform extraordinary feats of power, such as levitation, foreseeing the future, and commanding the very forces of nature. It, like all else, is divided into good and evil, though we refer to them as the light side, which I and all who adhere to the Jedi path follow, and the dark side, which those who have fallen follow…the dark side is an awful place of hatred and fear…"
Salak shuddered involuntarily "I…I'm sorry, where are my manners, I have yet to thank you for saving my life, and to whom do I owe the pleasure of speaking?" he said with a sudden, respectful tone, bowing as much as his recent injury would allow
"I'm Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third" Hiccup said, voice laced with wariness "This is my father Stoick the Vast, Astrid, Ruff, Tuff, Fishlegs, Snotlout, and Gobber" he said pointing to each of them in turn while they all eyed Salak cautiously, who turned to them as a group and bowed again, saying "May I see the remains of my vessel?" before grabbing his outer cloak from the table and putting it on, though struggling with the left sleeve as he had two broken ribs.
On the way to the wreckage…Why were you running from this Empire?" asked Stoick tersely.
"I am a wanted man; all Jedi are after The Jedi Purge" at that everyone stopped in their tracks and turned toward Salak with shock and fear. Stoick pushed himself in front of Hiccup protectively and said "Why are you wanted! What'd you do!?"
Slightly taken aback Salak said "The government of my people was The Republic, but it fell and as its prime defenders we, the Jedi, were labeled as conspirators and dissidents and have all been hunted down and killed, many by those who we once called friends…" this left everyone in a state of profound shock, what kind of place would turn its back on people like that and kill those who they had once called friends?
"I'm sorry Mr. Danliev" said Hiccup sincerely, to which Salak sadly replied "Please, call me Salak". Even though they had just met this man they all had a strong feeling in their guts that they couldn't place that told them that he could be trusted.
At The Ship…No good! No good!" growled Salak as he rummaged through his battered ship's remains, occasionally grunting and tossing something useful into a small pile outside his ship. "Hyperdrive is down, weapons offline, power core damaged! This could take months! If ever!" he looked over to the shattered remains of R6, then he kicked a bulkhead in frustration and climbed out of the wreckage with grease smeared on his face.
He looked over to the meager pile of supplies that he had scavenged and then to the small group watching him with curiosity and said "Well, fortunately my ship is not beyond repair, but it will take months of work before it is spaceworthy again…if ever." He sighed and continued "Luckily I have enough survival supplies to camp out nearb…"
"Wait!" Hiccup interrupted "You've got to stay with us in the village, we can't let you camp out here with all the wild dragons…"
"Wait" this time Salak interrupting "Dragons?" he said curiously, at which point Hiccup motioned to the trees and Toothless, Barf and Belch, Stormfly, Meatlug, and Hookfang crept out cautiously. Quite to his credit, Salak blinked, and pointed to the newly revealed Dragons, asking "Dragons?"
"Yes?" answered a cautious Astrid
"Well, they are indeed a sight to see" he said. "Though with a name like Dragons, I should have rightly known what to expect." He ended with a small chuckle and then slowly walked up to Toothless with palms out. Toothless shrinking back and everyone, especially Hiccup, tensing.
Then Salak let calming waves of the Force emanate from him, everyone felt it and he placed his hand on Toothless snout, Toothless then releasing a small coo.
At that everyone released the breath they didn't realize they were holding, and Salak and Hiccup got grins on their faces, "Amazing" said Salak "Master Dralling will never…" he ended suddenly and grief flooded from him as his shoulders slumped as everyone drew back from the intense feelings of sadness radiating off the Jedi.
"Who's Master Dralling?" asked Gobber shaking off the intense emotional wave.
Salak breathed deeply and said slowly "He was my master, Cin Dralling, my teacher and closest friend…he was killed along with everyone else I've ever known during The Jedi Purge, all the Jedi have been killed…I am the only survivor, the last of my kind…"he simply trailed off staring at the ground.
Everyone was basically in shock, asking themselves what it would be like to lose everyone and everything you knew, and to be truly alone? "I…I'm so sorry" stuttered Hiccup, who had known plenty of loss in his life and could relate.
"It's alright, I was chosen from among those at the temple to flee with knowledge of the order, so that one day I may rebuild it…but still, every Jedi I knew, Yoda, Jocasta, Obi-Wan, Anakin, Mace, Mundi, Dara, Terrwyn. All of them…dead…I saw many of them cut down myself, by those soldiers we had once commanded, and trusted, they betrayed us, and we've paid the ultimate price…not even the younglings, the children survived"
At that he was interrupted by eight gasps and a few choked sobs, which prompted him to turn his head and look at the Viking's whose faces showed nothing but horror and grief for this man who had lost everything.
"How could they kill children?" asked Snotlout in disbelief, "They were ordered too, they didn't even have to think about it, they just did it." Salak simply answered
"I'm so sorry for you Mr. Danliev" Astrid said sniffling in a very un-Astrid like manner and imagining how it would feel if everyone on Berk was killed and she was left all alone.
Salak guessed what she was feeling and looked guilty, saying "I'm sorry I forced this knowledge upon you…I shouldn't have made you feel…"
At that Stoick raised his hand and responded "No, you have every right to grieve, and you can stay with us on Berk for as long as you require, for you have suffered enough."
"Thank you" Salak said quietly with a smile and then added "But it is not like they are gone for good, for they are in here" he pointed to his heart "And as the Jedi code says, 'There is no death, there is only the Force'."
He added with a slightly bigger smile and walked over to Astrid who was still sniffling a little and knelt down to her level saying, "Do not let my past cloud your future, use it as a lesson to treasure each moment and rejoice in those around you."
Then with everyone feeling a little more uplifted Salak gathered his supplies in a standard military issue Republic backpack and they made their way to the village.
At the Village…Everyone" Stoick yelled, "This man has come from the skies above and beyond, and he will be stayin' with us for some time" and was interrupted by many gasps and some fierce mutters before continuing with "He has suffered greatly, he has lost his entire, uh…tribe! We will do everything to make him feel at home while he is with us!" with the end of Stoick's brief speech people began to nod.
Stoick turned to a heavily laden, as his backpack was rather heavy, Salak who said, "My thanks again, I have nothing to give you and you still welcome me with open arms, and for that, again, I thank you" and Salak bowed with respect.
Then Stoick replied "I cannot imagine the pain you must have gone and are going through and you can stay with Hiccup and myself for as long as need be".
Stoick motioned for Hiccup to come over, and for the first time Salak noticed that Hiccup had a prosthetic leg, something he really should have picked up on before. Stoick then asked "Hiccup, please help Salak get settled in at our house"
"Sure dad!" Hiccup said as he motioned for the other teens to come over and asked Stoick "Can my friends help?" to which Stoick chuckled thoughtfully and said "Sure" and with that walked off to finish more of his Chiefly duties.
Salak looked at the teens and smiled before saying "Lead the way". On the way across the village Salak's curiosity got the best of him and he asked "Hiccup…how did you get that" pointing to his prosthesis.
At that everyone stopped and looked down sadly and Salak knew he had hit on a touchy subject, then they related the tale of how Hiccup had shot down Toothless weeks ago, been shunned and mocked by everyone, befriended the dragon that he shot down, been disowned by Stoick, and killed the Red Death whilst losing a leg.
Salak listened to the tale impassively, then at its conclusion said, "You have known much hardship in your recent past my young friend, but you seem to have weathered your battles exceptionally well."
Salak then quipped "Well, that was truly a tale for the ages, but it is getting late and even though I'm a master of the Force I still need food" at that everyone laughed and they led him to Hiccup's house where he deposited his things in a spare bedroom, and then followed them to the great hall for dinner.
At the Great Hall…So Salak?" asked Hiccup who, along with the rest of the teens, Gobber, Salak, and Stoick were sitting together "I'm kinda wondering what exactly did you do in this Republic, and you mentioned 'The Jedi Purge', what exactly was that?"
At that Stoick fixed a stare on Hiccup and hissed "Hiccup! Don't bring something like that up!" At which point Hiccup looked down embarrassed and ashamed.
But Salak said as he thoughtfully chewed on a piece of bread "No, it's fine. As a Jedi I was a peacekeeper, a mediator, and in my case, a warrior, I led an army of clones" and looking at their blank, confused expressions began to explain to the group of what a clone was, which admittedly was a rather hard concept for them to grasp, but once they had a basic handle on it he continued… "We were fighting the Separatists, a group that wanted to separate from the Republic and become their own government, hence the name 'Separatists', normally I'd let them go without bloodshed, but they were under the control of a Sith Lord. An ancient enemy of the Jedi a user of the Dark Side of the Force, and everyone in the Order knew that they had to be stopped."
Salak continued "As for the Jedi purge" he sighed audibly "near the end of the war our supreme leader, the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic, betrayed us. It turns out he was the Sith lord who started the entire war so that he could come to power. He issued an order which made all of our troopers execute their Jedi commanders and turned the proud Republic into a cruel Empire…does that answer your question?"
As everyone took this in Astrid asked "So, this 'Supreme Chancellor' he's the bad guy?"
At this Salak grimaced and said "The worst. Chancellor Palpatine" he spat the name "Was once a senator from the peaceful world of Naboo, but was secretly a Sith lord, Darth Sidious, and he started a war in which untold billions upon billions died, including every other Jedi to my knowledge just so that he could have power. He is a monster of the very highest order."
This shocked everyone, they had never been able to conceive of someone who would kill so many just for power, it was almost unthinkable to them. "Who would kill so many for power?" asked Gobber, voicing what everyone was thinking.
"A Sith" Salak replied "They are practically the Dark Side in mortal form… But off this dreary subject, do you have any other questions?"
At this point Ruffnut asked "Yeah, what's a lightsaber? We heard you ask about yours earlier…what exactly is it, I mean it looks like a fancy club."
At that Salak chuckled and said while unclipping it so everyone could see and examine it as he used the Force to hover it above his hand, "It is the ancient weapon of a Jedi, we build them ourselves during our training. It could be compared to a sword, but one with a blade made of pure energy contained in the hilt…I don't want to alarm everyone else, so let's go outside and I'll demonstrate."
With that he got up and everyone followed him outside to where the dragons were sitting near the village center eating fish. "This is a lightsaber" Salak said unclipping his weapon, again, and igniting it with a snap hiss, at which point everyone could see the brilliant yellow blade that now surged forth from the cylindrical hilt he was holding.
"Awesome!" shouted Ruff, very much liking the bright light… kinda like fire
"Yeah, really cool!" said Tuff, thinking the same as his sister
Then Hiccup asked, "What can it do?" reaching forward to touch the blade.
But Salak pulled the lightsaber back saying, "Don't touch the blade, it is hotter than the sun and will cut through anything, metal, rock, and, yes, especially flesh." At which point Hiccup jerked back his hand and looked at the handcrafted weapon with a certain amount of reverence. "Here let me show you" Salak said before walking to a nearby boulder and carving a deep channel into it, astounding every single one of those present.
"Wow" was all Gobber could say, honestly never having seen anything like it in his life, "How do you learn to fight with it?" asked Astrid, ever the martial enthusiast.
To which Salak replied "We are trained from infancy in the ways of the Force, and we spend years perfecting our lightsaber combat skills, I happen to be of the Sentinel class of Jedi, and am also a battlemaster, and was thus the prime choice to rebuild the order, since I know almost all there is to know about lightsaber combat."
"Could you teach us?!" asked Snotlout eagerly.
"No…wait" He reached out a hand toward the group who was now wearing puzzled expressions "Interesting… you see only those who are Force sensitive can be trained with the lightsaber. Yet, it appears that you younglings may be, um…Jedi material."
With that everyone stared at Salak like he had just grown a second head and Fishlegs asked quizzically "What do you mean, exactly?"
Salak replied "I mean that with proper training, which I could provide, I will be able to instruct you in the ways of the Force and teach you to be Jedi, with your help we can rebuild the order"
"So, you mean that we could be Jedi, and use lightsabers!" asked Astrid with equal amounts of awe and enthusiasm.
"Yes" Salak said "if your chief and parents allow me to instruct you, I mean…in the traditional order you would have all been considered far too old for training, but I never put much faith in that old dogma, I only follow the code."
At that everyone looked at Stoick for his approval "Well…I don't know…" said Stoick, teetering on the edge
To which Hiccup almost pleaded "Please dad! I want to do this! And if we can help Salak regain some of what he has lost then shouldn't we at least try?!" that pushed Stoick over the edge and he said "Well…I suppose that it could be no more dangerous than dragon training, so as long as you will all be safe…then you have my blessing"
At which point Hiccup and all the other teens ran up and hugged a shocked Stoick and then looked to Salak, and Hiccup asked, "When do we start Salak?"
Salak replied "Firstly, in the order it is customary to call your teacher 'Master' and for him to call his students 'Padawans' and secondly" he said with a wry smile "We start first thing in the morning, I will need a place to train you…"
Gobber then interrupted with "You can use the old Dragon Ring for your training."
Salak then replied, "It's settled then, tomorrow morning we get some things from my ship and you will all lead me to this ring, so I can begin your training!" then the teens all let out a shout of "YES!" and then they all ran to their houses to tell their parents and try to get tomorrow to come as fast as scientifically possible.