The cruiser Blazing Dawn drifted slowly through the quite calm of space as the crew moved to their destination. The crew however, wasn't as calm as they watched scanners and displays that monitored the dark expanse that surrounded them.
One Ensign studied a monitor closely as the Twi'lik lieutenant moved around "See anything Ensign Ando?" the male human shook his head. "No ma'am." The Twi'lik nodded and motioned for him to continue on. A male human with reddish-brown hair paused as the lieutenant approached. "Nothing yet sir." The human nodded watching the crew with grey-green eyes. "Keep watch. I'm not certain yet but I believe whatever is coming will appear soon." The lieutenant nodded, "We shall sir."
"To be honest I don't think we are going to find anything" a human said walking up. "I wouldn't be so certain" the red headed human said closing his eyes. "Several ships went missing within the past few months. Something happened to them." The lieutenant said as she stepped down from the platform to join the other two humans. The newcomer wearing a matching lieutenant rank shrugged. "The crew is talking about Mandalorians you know. Personally my money is on slavers or pirates. And not to cast aside your abilities Master Jedi but I don't see much on the scanners nor much we're going to find."
The Jedi shrugged. "I sense that we shall see who is right, although I do hope that we can avoid confrontation." He said walking off into the hall. He made a few turns and opened the door to a small spartan room. He moved quietly as he saw his companion, a Mirialan male who sat silently on his bed, his eyes were closed and his hands sat loosely in his lap.
"Is there something wrong?" he asked looking up. The Jedi flinched a little. "My apologies; I did not mean to disturb you Ridu." The Mirialan smiled, "No need to be sorry. I was just meditating. Although I should ask if you are alright. I sense you are a bit stirred up." The human nodded as he sat cross-legged on his cot. "I'm afraid that is correct. I've been a bit off while on the bridge. I guess I let the worries of the crew get to me. I shall be fine. I'll just meditate for a bit." He replied. Ridu nodded. "Remember, there is no emotion…" the human smiled "there is peace." He completed as he closed his eyes and began to meditate.
Time drifted by slowly as the Jedi meditated together.
Suddenly their eyes snapped open as the ship rocked. Ridu turned picking up his lightsaber. "The crew is under attack. We need to go help them." He said turning to find his friend already standing up, the ship rocked again and a high pitched squealing alarm filled the air. "One would wonder how the crew thinks with an alarm such as this." Ridu said.
His companion smiled, "It might be meant to annoy the invading party." He said half jokingly as they moved quickly to the bridge. Ridu smiled then turned grim. "This is most disturbing," he said turning to his companion but the look on his face showed he didn't need to say anything. His companion already knew that there was no disturbance in the force before the first strike.
They quickly entered the bridge. Ridu's eyes met the Captain. "I don't know what happened!" the Twi'lik said turning, "There was nothing around us then suddenly there came the attacks." Ridu's companion turned to the captain and laid a reassuring hand on his shoulder. "Calm yourself. No one can help anyone if they are running around like a raging Gundark." He said. The Captain nodded and stepped back taking a deep breath he calmed himself. "The ship was suddenly attacked; I've never seen anything like this. They are using weapons I've never seen before."
"Captain!" The lieutenant from before climbed the stairs to him. "They are boarding!" The captain looked confused for a moment. "They are attempting to board a ship they are trying to destroy?" Ridu paused for a moment. "They could be slavers or pirates taking prisoners or slaves. I would say hostages but no ransom demands have been made." The captain turned to the Lieutenant standing up, "Sir! We have reports of two groups on board. They seem to be going room by room. Some of the crew are being captured, others killed." Ridu looked to his companion. "This does not make sense" the captain exclaimed. "Taking prisoners I can see. Outright killing I can see but both?"
"This is confusing to be sure. Looters, Killers, and Slavers. The three don't normally co-exist." Ridu nodded to his companion. "This is not normal."
"You are right my friend. The three normally don't co-exist. Normally you find one maybe two but defiantly not all three. What do you think it means Ridu?"
"I think it means they are trying to cover their tracks for something else. Let's split up. I will meet you at the escape pods. We must try to save as much of the crew as possible."
"Right. See you there."
Ridu took off headed to engineering. The human took off headed for the crew quarters. Upon rounding a corner the Jedi found debris blocking the passage way. Calming his mind he let the Force flow through him and with some effort shifted the debris around creating a stable archway. What greeted his eyes beyond was unlike anything he had ever seen. The crew beyond had been mutilated beyond recognition. Faces had been removed and bodies dismembered. It was a horrifying scene. There were still some looters present and they looked up to see him. One of them grinned.
"Lookee, lookee boys we found one of em. Boss 'll pay us goodun for this Jedi!"
"You may have found me but you will not keep me." Said the Jedi pulling his lightsaber off his belt with the force and igniting it.
With a calming breath he let the Force flow back through him again. Listening to it he fell into a rhythm and pattern with his breathing and set himself. The first two pulled blaster pistols out and the third a strange blade he had never seen before. As the two opened fire he easily began to deflect the blaster shots off of his Lightsaber. The third charged in and the Jedi pirouetted to the side and swiped his blade across where the midsection of his opponent should have been. He hit nothing but air as his opponent dove over the blade bringing himself up in a roll. The Jedi launched himself through the air immediately towards the blaster wielders. With a quick swipe to the left one was down. He rolled to the side and brought the blade up and the tip impaled the other. With that he brought the blade back over his shoulder in time to block the swipe of the third thug aimed at his back. He kicked out empowering his leg with the Force. He heard a thud and felt the thug fly away. He then shut down his lightsaber and reached out with the force. He tore the blade from the hand of the thug and then threw him hard into the opposite wall. The thug hit the wall then the floor and stayed there half conscious and cradling an arm which had suddenly and rather abruptly acquired and unnatural bend at the elbow.
The Jedi sighed and looked around at the carnage. He realized that what he was seeing was deliberate. The victims had all been mutilated in approximately the same fashion. There was symmetry even to the way the looting had been done. This was far too organized for just a random attack. It was being done with near military precision. He doubted he would find anyone alive here. All who would have been able to flee had done so. Reaching out one last time with the Force he looked for surviving minds but found nothing. With another sigh and a shake of his head he took off for the escape pods.
Reaching the escape pods he met back up with Ridu. "I didn't find any survivors. I found many mutilated victims. It's wrong though."
"Mutilation is always wrong my friend," replied Ridu.
"No I mean this feels too precise for pirates or slavers. The bodies had all been mutilated exactly the same by different people. Even the looting was done with precision. This feels like military."
"I noticed the same my friend. Come we shall take separate escape pods."
"I don't think it's worth it. We are in the middle of no where. Even if we cloak our presence from that ship where will we end up?"
"The Force will guide us my friend. We shall enter trance to enhance the distance we can go."
"Very well Ridu. May the Force be with you."
"The Force be with you my friend. I will see you back at the Temple. Remember 'There is No Death,"
"There is the Force. So long Ridu."
With that the Jedi climbed into the pod and allowing the Force to flow through him…..and knew no more.