His face stared back him. Identical, in every way except for the malice and contempt. It was him should he ever join the Dark Side. The Dark Clone was his opposite…he pointed at Starkiller.
"I'm coming for you."
"I know." Said Starkiller back to him.
"My Master doesn't like to leave his business unfinished." The Dark Clone reached forward again with his hand outstretched. "I'll find you wherever you are." The connection broke between them…but the Force wasn't finished with him yet.
Starkiller saw a few faces, kids he did not recognize in front of a home on a world that certainly wasn't this one. Only the certainty that he should go there permeated the vision.
"Go there you must." It was Yoda's voice. He turned and saw the diminutive but powerful Jedi standing there.
"You never told me who you were when we met." Starkiller said to him lifting an eyebrow.
"Need to know you did not," replied Yoda. "And now as you said before…to the ends of the Galaxy if you must. And certainly you must. But what is required is not the ends of the galaxy, but the edges of the Empire."
"I don't understand." Said Starkiller.
"Meet him you must if the Dark side is to fall. There is no chance otherwise."
"No, yourself, or who you used to be. Him." The Dark Clone, there was no one else who could match that description. Understanding began to dawn on Starkiller. But he could not see the complete picture.
"Famous you will never be," said Yoda again. His voice sounded sad, almost regretful.
"I never wanted that," said Starkiller thinking of Juno. "I have to leave her."
"No," said Yoda, "She must go as well. What you have done not many will know but alone you will not be." He smiled and vanished. Starkiller drifted into an uneasy sleep. Juno was the last person he would ever want to endanger but it seemed that the Force was requiring just that.
The two men walked the length of the hallway. There was one long window letting the light in from the stars into the dimly lit hall as they walked the length of it. One was older with his white hair done up in a topknot, the other was a young man with brown hair cut short, hands clenching at his sides as he made a decision.
"Kota, I have to leave." Starkiller faced his friend, and master although you would never say their relationship had ever been one of master and Padawan. Starkiller had long been trained in the Force before Kota had ever met him.
The Older Jedi General had been preparing for a raid. He'd kept Starkiller's return a secret. Very few people knew he was alive. Even Juno had taken a reprieve for the moment after being debriefed by Princess Leia. Claiming the need to recover from her injuries, but promising to be ready in the moment she was needed, Juno Eclipse effectively had taken a back seat. There were no ships currently ready for command at the moment and she'd made it known she was content to pilot the Rogue Shadow for the time being. Her absence was noticed and felt the most by General Ackbar whom she'd recruited. The General hadn't dug too deeply, a fact that Starkiller remained grateful for.
"You can't run boy! We have a war, if you haven't noticed." Kota wasn't happy. The last time he'd said this to him, Starkiller had immediately returned for him after having a vision and they'd gone off to rescue Juno from Darth Vader together.
Starkiller hated what he was doing but he didn't feel like he had a choice. This was the path that was laid out before him and he was going to have to walk it.
"You don't understand. The dark clone is still out there." He tried again.
This sobered Kota up quickly. "Are you sure? I thought we destroyed them all." He paused. "You really believe there is another clone out there?"
"Vader escaped…" Starkiller took a breath. "He didn't escape alone or without help."
"Yes, but he was assisted by a Bounty Hunter." Kota crossed his arms, not really wanting to believe that Vader had cloned Jedi users but the evidence was standing in front of him telling him to reconsider.
"You know the Bounty Hunter wasn't the only one who assisted him."
When the General didn't respond, Starkiller continued. "I know he's out there." He paused. "Kota I've seen him. I need to draw him away. He's far more powerful…No one here stands a chance against him. Not even you."
Kota bristled at this. "I know I told you a Force vision this strong was probably a true one before…"
"He will come for me." Starkiller said firmly. "You guys will have Vader to deal with, but the clone will come for me. I've seen it. Vader is not going to just let me get away. He's always got a backup plan. He's always been one step ahead of us. Trust me when I say this. He is going to send the Dark clone for me." He paused again. "You know he doesn't like to leave things unfinished. He's meticulous, almost obsessively tying up loose ends, and always likes to be in control. He'll see this through until the end."
Kota said nothing. In the past he would have railed against Starkiller whenever the two differed on missions. He'd certainly done that on multiple occasions. While he knew the dark clone had existed he was not ready to admit it. They'd known the clone was one way of destroying the legacy that the original Galen Marek had left behind but for some reason the clone hadn't been seen by anyone living.
Kota finally nodded…his face grim. The truth of what Starkiller was saying dawned on him. "May the Force be with you, boy." The last word was said with more affection than Starkiller was used to hearing, the last time he'd heard it from Kota it had been filled with derision and sarcasm.
Starkiller started to turn away when Kota stopped him. "Juno?"
"She's coming with me."
He nodded again, grimacing. "I'm losing you both."
Starkiller nodded, turned away and then turned around and awkwardly embraced the Old General. Kota who had never been one to give hugs returned it just as awkwardly. Neither had ever been the hugging kind. They broke apart and Kota raised his eyebrows at him.
Starkiller smiled and said, "She's rubbing off on me."
"Do you know how this will end boy?" Kota said suddenly. In Starkiller's mind came the echoing voice of Juno when she'd ask him, no his template, the same question aboard the Rogue Shadow. "Will I ever see either of you again?" Again, he could hear Juno's voice asking the same question.
He shook his head at Kota not trusting himself to speak one last time. Kota nodded at him. He understood the pull the Force had on Starkiller. As much as he wanted to use the boys power against the Empire he could feel the Force drawing Starkiller elsewhere. The whispers of a new hope to face Vader had started as well as the rumors of other surviving Jedi coming out of the shadows. But Starkiller's path lay elsewhere and for whatever reason Kota knew he would have to let him go. Not that he had to like it. But he also knew when Starkiller's mind was made up there was no turning back.
He turned and walked away. A single tear slipped down the old general's cheek before he wiped it away and straightened his shoulders. They were both rubbing off on him. But he had a raid to plan. And they had their own much more dangerous quarry to flush out.