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The assault on the Mandolorian compound started off well. Leeloo atop the Ferngiant moving foward to crack open the doom. Iraio, Kip and I working together to take out the turrets. It was all going according to plan. Until we got inside the dome.
The fighting was fierce and the animals Leeloo had called to aid us help to establish momentum but their numbers started to drop quickly as our enemies regrouped. The fighting was touch and go as the advantage switched back and forth repeatedly.
Through the chaos of combat I loss sight of Kip and Leeloo. It took a moment to spot Leeloo on the other side of the compound with Kip working from the whole in the dome. With Iraio with me we started to fighting my way towards Leeloo to try and work as a team. As we moved we saw Leeloo call out the commander. Then saw Leeloo go down. It was all I could do to get to her side to protect her along with a few low-landers. Additional aid came from Kip who was able to use the force and pull her to safety.
With the Base Commander in the fight the Nal-dobbians begain to drop. However we were able to stall him long enough for Leeloo to regain consciousness and ride back into the compound atop her giant mount. She then told it the cause of its pains was the base commander. With hand as large as a speeder it grabbed the Commander. Squeezing him until there was a audible crunch.
Although casualties were high, the day was one.
We allowed ourselves some time to celebrate but knew our journey was far from over. With defeat of the Mando’s we were allowed to view the pictorial histories and listen to the retelling. In the process we were able to identify possible landmarks on Arbra that could lead us to the cleansing site.In an acquired Mando shuttle we leave the moon for the Arbra itself. Leeloo opts out of flying so I take the helm. She has been worried that the ritual would “wipe” Kips memory of Redora. A thought Kip himself was so kind to put into her head. With a sigh, I assumed she wanted to attempt one more time to get him to confess what he knew. I was wrong. There was a much bigger issue that became apparent as a handful of Mando fighters intercepted.
The fighters did not fire right away but hailed us presumably seeking our authorization. We had not quite figured the comm system even if we did know the access codes so things escalated quickly. I tried to out maneuver them but I am no Leeloo and we take a few hits. I call Leeloo in to take the helm and that’s when I see fear in her eyes. The self doubt. The pieces come crashing in so fast that I was left stunned until another blast shakes me out of it.
I stand and tell her she is stronger than this. That she has been put in situations that would have been impossible for any say her, and its her skill that has allowed us to walk away when others would have perished. That we needed that skilled again to save us as only she can. With that I simply left the cockpit and ran to the engine room to start repairing the damaged shields.
Only a moment later and I could feel the inertia dampeners strain to keep up with Leeloo’s flying. She was doing her part, now I had to do mine and keep this bird flying.
Leeloo proceeds to make a combination of maneuvers, weaving in and out of trees and mile high crystals that I would never even have thought of. I miss most of the action but return for the final turns of Leeloo’s wild ride. A frightening testament to the Mando pilots skill is that they lasted as long as they did. However soon one by one they started to miss turns and crash. Working the sensors I did what I could to help call out proximities and fighter count. I was relieved when I saw the last ship exploded on the display. I smile at Leeloo and see she is still locked in fear and getting ready for another impossible turn. It takes several attempts to talk her down. I take the helm and she promptly gets up and gets sick.
I try to stay focused but concern clouds my mind for a moment as I watch her leave the cockpit. Iraio and I share a look but not knowing what to say I turn back to the helm and continue scanning for the landmarks and try to focus on the reason why we are here.
Some time passes but we do find the site we are looking for and I set the ship down in a city long abandoned and carved into cliffsides a massive chasm. The place is devoid of all life. Not a creature or critter stirs which only adds to the unsettling feeling. What happened here?
You can feel the weight of ages as we pass from room to room, hall to hall. We finally come to a type of Library with an automated librarian called VI 146. He gave us a history lesson of the place which was once ruled by the Sith. The lightside users eventually over threw their Sith lords and created the Cleansing Chamber to ensure they could purged the darkside from themselves and their children.
The system worked too well as the power source required balance in the force. With all the darkside being cleansed the Force Screen in the chamber failed and generations of negative emotions fueled by the darkside escaped. Destroying every living soul left on the planet.
As we listen intently we notice our shadows are not behaving as they should and soon we realize we are in grave peril. These shadows are spawn of the Darker with the ability to drain us of life and willpower. Fighting them proved difficult as there was no physical body for our lightsabers to touch. They were pure darkside and negative emotion. It took Willpower and the Force to effect them.
Leeloo has the idea to douse the lights which helps but does not solve our issue. Kip tries to get away once then does the second time leaving us in the room. We recover slowly from the attacks and I try to sense where Kip had gotten too. I am surprised to feel he had not gotten far. Once we catch up to him it is clear why. Thousands of these things can be seen wondering the halls. The remnants of a fallen people.
Together we move forward, taking out every light we can with the force. It requires us all to work together and even then some attacks get to us before we can more on. Still we press until a cave in separates me from the others. At least there are no shadows here. Or so I thought.
Here alone I entered chamber of golden stone. Quelsline, the stone that makes the Force Screen possible. It is here that I encounter multiple Leeloo. All with lit lightsabers and moving towards me. To survive and defeat the Darker’s Challenge. Relying on my training, and being honest with myself I passed his test and was able to strike him a blow that bought some time. Eventually I rejoined my companions and we made it the chamber. We got the system started just before the Darker appeared this time all anger and fury. Its wrath was terrible and nothing we did seemed to keep it at bay. We did managed to draw if down the hall and activate the screen behind it. However it was all we could do to keep the trap shut on it. I was able to counter its last ditch effort to free itself and it ripped into my very being because of it. I thought for a moment that would be the end of me.
Full caught in the screen it got pulled into the holding chamber where Leeloo stood. I could only spare a moment for concern for her before the screen hit me and a new battle began. Kip was on the other side of the screen exhausted but cured. It worked. By the Force it WORKED!! However the total of the Darker and what ever was in Kip was taxing the system. As I could feel the screen trying to purge me of my sin… my hatred… my anger… I could not be sure the screen could handle one drop more. Through the pain I fought to keep that darkness inside me. Kip recovered enough to see my struggle and turned off the screen freeing me.
Again the day was won. Yet we still have far to go.
This task completed we now return to the moon, said our goodbyes and made our way to crashed Rogue Star. After all we’ve been through, we still have a ship to fix. Or do we.
To our surprise Senator Cana exits the ship with a Sluissi mechanic repairing the hyper drive. Shock persisted when she told us her fathers flotilla was even now battling the Mandolorians in the skies above. Wasting no more time, we quickly boarded and head up. With covering fire we made it past the blockade and all jumped to hyper space and eventually back to Coruscant.
I had know doubt that my career has a Jedi was over, or at the very least I would be a padawan until I was full of grey hairs. Still I know if it were me, Kip and Leeloo would have done the same. That confidence does little to settle you when you are brought before the High Council. The fact I did not fully apologize for my action I believed served to seal my fate. Or perhaps it would have if not for my Master. Master Shi Leer was there for me, and spoke to the High Council on my behave.
We waited outside the High Council door while they deliberated which did not take long. I stepped forward and bowed before the Masters and resolved myself to my fate. I heard the words, hard them say I would no longer be a padawan. Then Master Andor’s saber ignited and I heard the buzz by my ear. Then the dull matted sound of something soft hitting the floor.
Then I heard those words I thought I never would. Rise Jedi Knight Corraun Jax.
Again it would seem the Force has more work for me to do.
It is difficult to frame up what the recent events have meant to me. Or the concerns I have for the near future.
Kip has been cured of his affliction but I know still carries the burden of his actions. I hope he can come to grips with the fact that it wasnt really him. Easier said than done I’m sure. Regardless I will be there for him if he allows it.
Redora is still loose in the galaxy and we currently are out of leads to her where abouts.
The Mandolorian threat still lingers and I have a few more scars now to remind me of them. I also MUST get back into the flight simulators if I hope to come close to their skill.
Then there is Leeloo, who seems to be struggling with a drive to find Redora that borders on obsession, and her new fear of flying. My hope is it was just Dark Kip’s influence Like Iario suggested and that she will recover as Kip does. Leeloo is the strongest Jedi I know and it pains me to see her in such a state.
Hmmm… and I guess there is also me. Again my failing appears, this time for me to read in this very entry. It seems I must again come to terms with some truths, as I did against the Darker.
That no matter how much I may wish it different, I have to realize that Leeloo is no longer a Jedi, nor does she wish to be reinstated. That she is happy with the path she now follows. That she is a Sister of the Force, and once Redora’s threat is over, she will return to Dathomir.
Then again, sometimes things can change.