Youth Wars Part III: A New Age
Erk activated his hologram in his private quarters. He dimmed the lights, practically switching them off; he then closed his eyes for a moment, then opened them back up, his eyes aflame with a burning yellow and black. And right then, a very familiar face popped up; suddenly, Erk smiled underneath his mask.
"Kaiyah Lomax." Erk chuckled. His friend Kaiyah was a female sith, close to him. She was shorter than Erk, by a few inches; she was young, much like Erk himself. She was unscarred, but experienced in combat, in many ways similar to Erk. "It's been a while."
"Things have been tough on my side. How are things on yours?" Kaiyah asked.
"Well, 'things,' are the reason I called; there are some Jedi we have been assigned to kill."
Kaiyah moved her head back, recoiling slightly. "Now?"
"The time has come sooner than expected, but yes. The master has forseen destruction in the future and seeks to change our fate."
Kaiyah smiled and nodded in approval, then asked, "When do we start?"
"Meet me at these coordinates." Erk said, pressing a button under the hologram. "And we'll need some backup as well. Bring the others."
POUND POUND "Everyone, be calm! We shall have order in the Senate! I understand your concern, but we won't be able to do anything if all we do here is quarrel."
"We must act now! This so-called Empire has officially declared war; it's only normal we retaliate!"
"Two attacks in a week! This all but confirms the return of the Empire. Only they would be so repetitive." A Yuuzhan Vong senator exclaimed.
"What do you suggest we do now? We've already lost many in the recent attack; the trouble we've had on Kamino has limited our options on growth in Republic militia." Calista interrogated.
"What happened on Kamino?" The Yuuzhan Vong Senator asked.
"The- the base was overrun by an assassin."
"Oh! A single assassin could take on a single Republic attack squad, led by your husband, the governor of the Republic?" He asked with obvious sarcasm.
Reminded of her husband's last message to her, Calista hesitated, her face dimming slightly, before answering, "-
Other Senators pushed on, "Answer!"
The room roused up. "I knew it!" "We must act now!"
"How do you suggest we do so?" Calista asked. "We do not know where they hide. Even if we did, we do not have enough to lead a direct attack on their base. We, are not, ready!"
"Perhaps I could be of assistance." A voice called. The entire room shushed as their attention diverted to him. "I am Jedi Master Dex Inigo. Lieutenant Governor, I know things about your husband, such as his battle tactics and his danger to any threat of his. A person of his intellect can help figure this out. Might I inquire where he is?"
A moment of thought passed through Calista's mind. "Last I heard from him, he was headed to Kamino. He may be on his way back now."
"Interesting. May I ask about his mission?"
"I'm sorry Master Jedi, I know nothing of his mission. Despite being his wife, he always kept mission details secret."
"Why would he do that?" The Vong Senator asked.
"Because, he doesn't want me worrying about what may happen to him."
"I might say he's being considerate, but I know you both are capable of taking care of each other, so why-"
"Why don't I go with him? Why doesn't he let me in on what he does? Well, unlike him, I'm not force-sensitive, and am prone to danger more than he is. And my job is here. I have to be here for whatever happens."
"Now that we got that under the shoe or, however that goes, this only begs one question: what can we do now?" Dex asked.
A complete silence overtook the crowd. They all -mostly- agreed that they needed to act, but they knew not how they could; they had much to think about.
"Lieutenant Governor! A word?" Dex gave a short bow as he passed Calista.
"Certainly, Master Jedi."
"There's just one thing that doesn't add up to me. How could one assassin take on your husband? What is it the assassin has that he doesn't?"
"From what I've gathered, I think who overtook the base was a sith."
"We know it's a sith, but other than that, it's unidentified."
"Well, this only begs one question: How many more sith are there?"
Exar brought their stolen chip form Erk, and slid it into their holographic projector. Aang and Jo were present for this event as well. "We ready for this?" Exar asked eagerly. Aang and Jo nodded in response. After a moment of buzzing and flickering, a board of information popped up.
"Gold mine!" Jo exclaimed, reading through the information.
"Pretty much just military info. Not seeing anything location-wise, but still... pretty helpful, I guess." Aang said. "Where are the masters?"
"There's been some kind of feud going on in Coruscant the past few days; they're there right now, trying to help settle things." Exar replied.
"For it to be taking this long, it's definitely more serious than we thought." Aang said.
"What could be more serious than another war?" Jo asked. "This might be the third war this century."
"Fourth, Jo." Exar reminded, rather strictly.
"Forthwith we must do something to prevent it." Jo joked, earning eyerolls and a single sarcastic chuckle.
"Aang," Exar called, "What's the current status of the Republic's army?"
"That would leave us in two tight spots. We could be on the verge of another war, but we don't have any resources to fight in it."
"Corellia. They have allies that can help." Jo pointed out.
"They used the spare forces they had to help us already; we can't ask for more favors from them." Aang stated.
"Well... how can we get an army?" Jo asked.
"Exar, any chance you could rally up soldiers on Datho-"
"Well I'd like to know why the Republic doesn't have enough to stand."
"Becuase they really haven't had a need for one in years." Jo answered.
"That doesn't make sense. That's actually pretty stupid. We should always be ready for war."
"After the First Order died, and this Republic was established, we thought we had killed off every serious threat. Much like the ancient clone troopers, the Resistance was disbanded, and the Jedi Order was formed; every secret force-sensitive came from out of the shadows and joined. With Jedi, who needs blasters?" Exar pointed out. "But the government makes bad decisions all the time. With the Jedi all over the galaxy, there were barely any people to help people during," He took a dramatic pause,"The drought." Exar reminded. 'Yeah, not too many people were interested in helping the Republic after all the little help they got. They did all they could, but people won't accept a little anymore.'
"Have you been studying?" Aang asked.
"Guys, look!" Jo pointed to a file on the hologram.
"What?" Exar asked with a monotone, but a little confused.
"Here," Jo said opening up the file. "It says that all they hav- had was only about two fleets worth in their army."
"That's surprising." Aang said.
"No think about it. How much have we fought in the past week?" Jo asked.
"About... two fleets!" Exar said, his tone raising in enthusiasm.
"Boom!" Jo exclaimed with flamboyant swings of his arms.
"Well in that case, I'd say this is a cause for, at least a small celebration." Aang said.
"Let's hit the cantina." Exar suggested.
"Hold up! Are we gonna get-" Jo started.
"No! No no no!"
"Phew." Jo breathed quietly.
"Now first, we should let the masters know." Exar said, contacting them on the hologram.
"Oh yeah. We're not making the same mistake again." Aang agreed.
Soon, Rye, Erickson, and Viran appeared in view.
"Nothing bad at all. We're just letting you know that we're heading to the cantina for a bit, to celebrate our little victory."
"What? Are you gonna-"
"No! We're not."
"Good. You almost had me there." Rye said quietly. "But I wouldn't do so just yet. This new Empire has pretty much declared war on us, and we don't have any resources to fight with."
"Well neither do they." Exar replied with a big grin.
Erickson and Viran just looked down and laughed for a bit as Rye said, "I'm tempted to ask." with a grin.
"Um... where are you?" Exar asked.
"We're heading back to Kashyyyk; we're almost there."
"Well in that case, we'll wait until you get back to leave; we're gonna show you something amazing."
"I look forward to it."
"How do you suppose we defeat them now? We just lost almost our entire army!" Erk almost freaked.
"Just calm down. We may have lost our army, but they lost their advantage." Jayko replied, taking out the sith holocron.
"What good would that do for us?" Erk asked.
"Help me open this holocron, and see." Jayko said, sitting down and setting the holocron in front of him. Erk sat an equal distance from the holocron, across from Jayko. They outstretched an arm and the holocron started floating, and glowing. Every tip twisted off the pyramid and floated alongside it.
"What now?" Erk asked.
"Go further." Jayko told him. They focused harder and the holocron got brighter. And it kept getting brighter. Then it died down as something was seen emerging from the top. It looked like a pure white glow, then it dimmed only slightly so they could see a unique-looking red crystal.
"A kyber crystal?" Erk asked.
'Seriously?' Jayko asked in his head. "It's a holocron crystal. Only this kind is most rare. This one not only contains the memories of the owner of the holocron, but it's connected to him as well. It will let us know when it is near."
Erk was confused. A dead sith lord's holocron crystal to let them know when a dead person was near. Erk then wondered if he was actually dead. 'Wait. Jayko said 'him' and 'it', referencing the same person.'It' means one thing' "The wraith?"
"Precisely. With this crystal, we will know when it is near. And we can defeat it."
"You didn't think this through did you? You don't have any special force powers, like I do. And I don't even know everything there is to know about my power. So how am I supposed to learn how to do something like destroying wraiths before we are completely wiped out?"
"You don't have to worry about that. Our master has a plan."
"Involving the crystal?"
"The crystal will help us find the wraith." Jayko said, placing it inside a crystal ball which will magnify its glow. "We just need to leave it to him to figure it out. But for now, you need to complete your mission and kill the Jedi."
"I got that the first hundred times you brought it up. Don't worry, like I said twice, I have friends to back me up."
"Then get to it."
"I already have."
As Rye, Erickson, and Viran entered their Kashyyyk temple, Exar and the team were there to greet them.
"What is it you have?" Viran asked.
"If you'll follow us." Aang replied with a grin. The leaders were led to the meeting room where the hologram was up and showing.
"What is this?" Rye asked.
"This, is our key to victory." Jo replied.
"It's a chip we stole from Erk, to be more specific. Luckily, it's not rigged with a tracker, and it also contains some very helpful information. Mainly military info." Aang expained.
"Well, good job then."
'It's a chip I stole.' Jo reminded himself.
"Is that all?" Viran asked.
"No. As you can see," Exar said, pointing to the list on the screen. "They only had two fleets-worth of an army collected; we fought and defeated that much in the past week."
"Though who's to say everything we didn't defeat in the first fight was a part of the most recent attack? There could still be some left." Erickson pointed out.
"Some!" Exar emphasised. "Despite not having that much to fight with, we could still easily win this."
"But then, there's Erk and Ben's son." Aang reminded.
"What's two sith against an army of the Republic? We have plenty of Jedi with us... why don't we have more Jedi on these kind of missions anyway?"
"Because if anything was to happen, we're going to need all the Jedi we can get." Rye responded.
"Ah." The team said in unison.
"Anyway, the odds of them winning are very slim. I'd say things are looking very bright for us." Exar then proclaimed.
"Well that does seem like a cause for celebration. Take Viran and go relax." Rye then commanded.
"Wouldn't have it any other way... Anymore." They all shared a laugh.