"SYSTEM ERROR: Hyperdrive damage, exiting hyperspace now!" screamed the ship's computer.
"Blast" Jayden said as the white streaks out side the canopy of his Jedi starfighter reversed to a serene starry void. He gazed out the transparisteel canopy and noticed a bluish planet off to his left and nearly behind him. "Well, at least we survived the jump and I'm not in the midst of the war anymore. R4, scan coordinates. what system are we in?" After a series of beeps and whistles, the ships computer responded in place of the red droid sitting in the nose of the fighter, "System unknown, coordinates unavailable, star patterns match nothing in the known galaxy."
"You must be joking." he said as he brought the small fighter around to face the planet. "Then what planet is this?" he asked.
"Planet does not match any known system. Data inconclusive."
Jayden was regretting having the voice programming loaded into his starfighter. He thought back to when he had asked Dak to install it. He would be laughing hysterically if he could see me now, he thought. "Run diagnostics and perform a scan of the planet, I'd like to know if it's habitable before I try to land."
"Confirmed. Beginning planetary scan and system diagnostics."
Jayden sat back to relax and meditate, it had been a nerve racking course of events. He remembered being sent on the mission with his master, their starfighters flying so close they could have touched. The mission sounded simple, find and take out the flagship of the separatist army and destroy the shields and drives, leaving it open for boarding. there was very precious cargo aboard that ship, but he hadn't been told what it was, only his master, Faerin Xonn. But it was not to be, as soon as they left hyperspace everything went wrong. It was almost as if the Separatists had been waiting on them. they met with droves of vulture droids immediately, breaking through the first wave they headed for the flagship only to be met with more resistance. Their shields were fading fast. Victory became impossible.
"Fall back . Retreat." came the order from Faerin.
"But Master.." he started to object, "the mission."
"I'll handle it, trust in the Force Jayden, and Run!"
That was the last thing his master said to him. Jayden saw his starfighter become a fireball in the next instant and felt his master's presence in the Force vanish. The next few moments were a blur, he remembered feeling the force flow throught him as he squeezed the trigger, letting two proton torpedos go in the direction of the flagship. Still guided by the Force, he punched a random set of numbers into the navicomputer and activated the hyperdrive. his craft turned away from the battle and the pinpoints of lights that were the stars began to streak toward him.
Jayden was jarred out of his reverie by the computer's mechnical voice, "System diagnostic and planetary scan complete. Which results would you like first?"
"Planetary," he said as he noticed the planet was getting closer.
"Planet is habitable. Surface air is condusive to human respiration. Many habitations exist on the planet's surface along with a wide variety of life forms. No significant electrical discharge found."
"Wait, what? No electrical discharge? What about reactors, power grids, anything." jayden said as he sat up straighter.
"I'm sorry, readings indicate no significant form of electricity exists." the computer repeated.
"And why is the planet getting closer? I didn't order you to begin a descent."
"Would you like the system diagnostic results?"
"Yes! You infernal computer!" Jayden snapped.
"Hyperdrive damaged, Inoperable. Primary drive damaged, inoperable. Shield generator damaged, functional. Weapons systems, functional. Flight control system damaged .."
"So we're a floating paperweight, is that it?" Jayden interrupted, "Wonderful, can we at least land safely?"
"Chances of successfully landing in this condition are four hundred, twenty-three thousand and seventy-eight to one."
"Divert all remaining power to forward shields and reverse thrusters and hope to be headed for water." Jayden said as the ship began to enter the planets atmosphere.
"I don't see why we need to go to the earth kingdom now. We need to find a water bending master first, don't we?", Sokka complained from the back of Appa's saddle.
"Yes, but we will need more supplies. It'a long journey to the north pole." Katara replied.
"Yeah, I know but.."
"Whoa! It's a shooting star!" exclaimed Aang from his seat atop Appa's head.
"But it's still daylight," Sokka said," and it won't even get dark for a while."
"I know, but look!" Aang said as he pointed at the fiery streak surging across the sky ahead of them.
"It looks like, it's falling," Katara offered.
"Let's check it out!", Aang yelled and steered Appa to follow the star's earthbound path.
And still elsewhere... on the deck of a metal ship.
"Look, Zuko!" A short paunchy gray-haired man exclaimed, pointing at the sky.
"What? Where? Is it the Avatar?" Prince Zuko asked as he drew out a spyglass.
"Even better, a shooting star. Quick Zuko, make a wish," the old man said as he closed his eyes and put his hands together.
"I don't have time for wishes," Zuko said exasperated, "I'm looking for the Avatar! Besides, that's just a meteorite. Shooting stars come out at night, it's not even noon yet. Stop wasting my time , Uncle." Zuko turned around and strode away angrily, barking orders at the crew to change course.
"Does that mean, that my wish won't come true?", Uncle Iroh asked pausingly, a dejected look across his face. "And I was really looking forward to finding a good jasmine tea at our next port." Drool appeared at the corners of his mouth as he gazed starry-eyed at the free-falling meteor, which was getting ever closer to the horizon.
Just then, a bright green flash seemed to shoot from the bottom of the meteor causing the ocean to erupt beneath it. A giant plume of water shot skyward like a great hand reaching out to grab the meteor from the sky and drag it down into it's murky depths. General Iroh's eyebrows shot up in surprise, followed quickly by an almost comical, offset look of confusion, and finally narrowed with mild suspicion.
Jayden called upon the force to hold the steering yoke straight as the planet surface rapidly approached. "These starfighters have the glide characteristics of a free-falling bantha! Fire reverse thrusters, maximum burn. Ready forward laser cannons, I want just enought energy for one shot, need to break the surface tension of the water"
"Impact imminent . System error. Impact imminent"
"Can it! I know we're gonna crash."
"Surface impact in ten seconds. Nine seconds. Eight seconds. Seven. Six. Five. Four..."
The ship lurched as the laser cannons fired. The surface of the water beneath the ship exploded.
With an even more explosive splash the starfighter hit the water. Coming upright from its nose-down dive, the starfighter leveled out slightly underwater. Jayden grabbed his re-breather from his utility belt. "Open the emergency supplies kit compartment." No response. He reached up and punched in a code on the instrument panel and saw the compartment in the nose open, its contents floating up and out. Putting his rebreather in his mouth, he drew out one of his twin lightsabers and ignited its deep saphire blade. It seered through the transparisteel canopy in no time, letting water rush in. Jayden knew he had to equalize the pressure before the hatch would open. he extinguiished his lightsaber and reattached it to himself and waited for the cabin to fill with water. It filled quickly and he pulled the emergency hatch release and the canopy floated free. He extricated himself quickly from the sinking starfighter and swam to the surface.
Once he had reached the surface and cleared his vision he noted the amount of wreckage floating around him. He visually scanned the waves for his emergency kit which was floating a short ways away and swam to it. It had a strap connected to it which he wrapped around his body, then swam for the nearest piece of wreckage that was big enough to hold onto and hopefully float for a while. Once there, he began contemplating what to do next. There was no land to be seen in any direction, only one sea going vessel to be seen on the horizon, but it seemed to have turned away. Was that a dark plume of coal smoke rising from it?, Jayden wondered to himself. Finally, he submitted himself to having to rely on the force to get him out of this one.
Aang, Katara, and Sokka all saw the flash of light from the shooting star, or falling meteorite, whatever it was, and the following explosion in the water.
"What.. was that?" Sokka asked with a dumfounded look on his face.
"I don't know, but it couldn't have been good." Aang responded as they flew lower above the waves. Within minutes, they got close enough to see the remains of something floating in the water.
"There's someone in the water!" Katara shouted, "Looks like whatever it was destroyed their boat."
Aang brought Appa back around and landed with a splash in the water and began swimming toward the wreckage.
Jayden couldn't believe his eyes as a giant six-legged, white bantha-looking creature flew over his head and began circling back around. Just when he thought he was going to be lunch, he noticed a small human figure sitting atop it's head holding a pair of reins. You've really lost it now, Jayden, he thought to himself. The creature splashed down in the water and began swimming over towards him. Well, any rescue is better than none at all, the Force smiles on me once again.
Once Appa had swam close enough to the person in the water, Aang retrieved his staff from the saddle and held it out to him. The man in the water grabbed onto it and Aang pulled him in with some help from Sokka. Once he was in the saddle, they were able to get a better look at him. He was a young man, a few inches taller than Sokka, with shoulder length black hair pulled back on the top and the rest left to hang freely. He was dressed in light tan clothing that looked a bit peculiar with a dark brown robe a few shades lighter than black worn loosely over everything. There were small pouches attached to his belt and a pack hung across his back.
They gave the man a few moments to catch his breath then Aang asked, "Are you alright? Anything hurt or broken?"
"No, I don't believe so," he answered in a calm voice between breaths, "Just my pride, i guess."
"Yeah, I bet," Sokka interjected loudly,"what kind of luck to have your boat hit by a meteorite in the middle of the ocean , right?"
The man looked up at him slowly with ice blue eyes and began to chuckle, "Fate laughs at us all at one time or another. I'm just lucky you came along when you did. Thank you."
"That's ok, we were chasing the meteorite anyway. I wanted to see what it was exactly, but i guess it found you before we could find it." Aang responded.
"So it would seem. Ah, forgive me for being so rude, this ordeal has made me forget my manners. My name is Jayden Sorne, pleasure to make your acquaintence." Jayden said offering his hand.
Aang reached out and shook it saying, "Well, I'm Aang, and this is Sokka and Katara, and my Sky bisons name is Appa."
"A Sky Bison you say, certainly a sight to behold. I've never seen anything like it, except a bantha, and they don't fly. Or have six legs."
"They are rare, Appa here might be the last one ali.. Ow!" Sokka broke off as Katara kicked his shin.
"It's okay, Katara," Aang said softly, "I know he may be the last of his kind." A look of depair floated acros the young airbenders face before being replaced by his usual smile. "So, which of the four nations are you from? I'm guessing Earth Kingdom, right?"
"I'm sorry, four nations?" Jayden asked.
Yeah, the Earth Kingdom, Water Tribes, Fire Nation, and Air Nomads", Aang said as he counted them off on his fingers, "I'm an Air Nomad and Sokka and Katara here are from the Southern Water Tribe."
"I see, well, this is the first i've heard of any four nations. I must be much farther from home than I thought."
"Never heard of the Four Nations?", Aang shot a confused look at his friends.
"You're not some kind of Fire Nation spy are you?" Sokka asked accusingly as he studied the suddenly bizarre traveller.
"No. As I said, I've never even heard of these nations. Truth be told, i'm not even sure where I am. Tell me something though, why are you afraid that I'm a spy?"
"I'm not afraid. Who said I was afraid?" Sokka nearly shouted, coming upright from his sitting position.
"I apologize," Jayden said in a calming tone, hands held out in a placating gesture, "your voice sounded very concerned"
Katara interjected before Sokka could reply, "Forgive my brother, he can be a hothead at times. The Fire Nation started a war with the other three nations over a hundred years ago. They still haven't won, but they control a lot of the land now. We just need to be careful who we talk to. Especially since we're travelling with the Avatar." Katara motioned toward Aang.
"Katara!", Sokka shouted, "Don't tell him everything. We can't be sure he's trustworthy!"
"It's alright Sokka," Aang said, "I don't believe he's a spy. He's just an unfortunate traveller whose boat got destroyed by a meteor. And as the Avatar, it's my duty to help people. Besides, I can't explain it, but i feel a deep sense of calm about him. I'm sure he doesn't mean us harm."
Sokka sat back and crossed his arms. "Alright Aang, if you say he can be trusted, fine. But," he turned his attention toward Jayden, "if you betray us, you'll be sorry."
"Agreed," Jayden stated flatly, " but if i can ask one more question, what's an 'avatar'?"
Sokka slapped his forehead with his palm making an audible smack.