Yoda looked out of his rounded portal. Hmmm.. strange vibrations in the force today. He sniffed the air, scenting nothing but the swamp's life breath, the great forces in balance made of the living and dying of millions of creatures large and small. All looked as it always looked, green, moldy and mysterious. Yet there were great changes. The force was disturbed by the entry of new lives, new powers into his world. Yoda considered what he sensed... nodding soberly..
Strange this was, Strange and disturbing. The currents of time had spoken not of this new eddy from beyond. Great power the oldest had.. great wisdom also.. but not a Jedi.... strange....strange was his force.... its aura the brightest blue
Sought him they did. Deep concerns in the eldest .... he stretched out his feelings into the life field around them. Anger and resentment the young ones had. Yes.. the sons of the elder... like and unlike the father. Out of balance those two were ..dangerous... YET... the force was strong with them.. ignored they could NOT be....
Yoda journeyed to meet them...
Achenar and Sirrus trailed disgustedly through the Dagobah swamp behind their father. Sirrus, in particular, was out of sorts.. Oh YES, Mother, what a marvelous idea! In his head he sarcastically envisioned the conversation "Why dont you take the boys camping, Atrus, let them explore a new age. One with plenty of things to study! A week out in the countryside will be good for their character." Sirrus snorted and kicked a curious serpent back into its tree. Its head rebounded off the bark, and it fled without bothering to hiss. Even it knew when it had met a more dangerous creature.
Achenar swung his scimitar with great skill... Vines, tall grasses, and small trees lay strewn along the pathway where he had passed... One poor crane slipped a little too close...SQUA---AACCCKKK.... Atrus turned back and looked back.
Achenar contrived to look innocent, "Yes, Father?"
"What was that sound?"
"I don't know, Father, should I make a note of it?"
Atrus looked uncertain for a second. He carefully examined Achenar's wooden expression.
Then slowly he nodded, "Yes, do that." Turning he moved on, "And be careful of the local wildlife. Let us not take more from this Age than we can give in return" Achenar made apish faces at his back and swung wildly at a patch of standing grass.. Something bleeped and was still.
Sirrus strode past his big brother as Achenar looked for its remains, curious to know what sort of creature he had just slaughtered.. As he slowly passed he muttered just in Achenar's hearing "Really, brother, that's disgusting!" Achenar grinned toothily.
Realizing they were not behind him, Atrus stopped and turned around. "Achenar, we have still some miles before we reach the area chosen for the encampment... You can study the fauna more thoroughly when we arrive...."
"AAHHH..." a maniacal voice echoed out of the reeds, "HHEEEE HHEEE HEEE.... Camp you where????"
Atrus stared his amazement.. as the small green dwarf struggled out the reeds. Shaking off his surprise, he reached out to assist. The wrinkled gnome swatted his outreached hand. "Help, I need not.. Worry not for me HHEEE HEE"
Sirrus arched a well-shaped eyebrow. GREAT, just great..the natives were repulsive and insane. This was going to be hell in green... And he thought Everdunes was bad...
"TEE HEE HEE... Follow ME!!! hehehehe ...Show you I will.. A good place..."
The ugly green troll waddled off into the undergrowth. Sirrus was totally unsurprised when his Father turned and followed him... Why does he always do that??!! These people could be headhunters.. or worse.. Amazing he's lived this long really... Sirrus knew he had no choice, he had to follow. He comforted himself that his dagger was close at hand..
Achenar fell to the rear, using the cover of greater distance to dispatch more of such flora and fauna as happened to be in reach... When he finally sought to catch up with the party, Sirrus snapped a vine in his face. Achenar looked his fury...
Bad this was, dangerous people were these... Yoda watched Atrus pick his way carefully and quickly through the swamp. The Jedi master read what he could of this quick stranger. This one.. many places has he been... star traveler. The way he held himself... like Obi-wan.. From a desert home he came.. yet wise already to the ways this world. Yoda deliberately quickened his pace, but found he could only slow his pursuer a little bit. Only by using the force could he escape. He was not ready to do that. A strange impression came to him. The force ...strong in his hands... Yoda finally led them to the safer paths where traveling was easier. To his home he would take them... See what could be learned...
The campfire drew thousands of eyes from the dusk, yet nothing broke into the peaceful clearing. Many a predator had learned the hard way not to trespass here. The boys and their father settled at equal distances around it while Yoda scuttled in and out of his tree home and from one person to another. He had insisted on feeding them dinner. They most politely ate the green slimey stew while Yoda rambled on.
"Good I found you, yes!!! Dangerous place this is!! Good to stay here...yes My Home this is!" Yoda offered to slosh out more all-things-dark-and-slimy stew. Even Yoda was surprised when Atrus accepted seconds. Yoda recovered quickly.
" Eat, eat, yes.. strong it will make you!!! HEE HEE HEE !!!"
Atrus was quite amused by his host's comments, and amazed that they could understand one another. For once, he had been able to thoroughly enjoy an Age from the viewpoint of a native without weeks of linguistics work. This would make his research much easier. There were too many species to get a complete catalog in a lifetime of study, but if this elderly creature remained friendly a good overview should be completed in mere days, weeks at most. It was just as well. His sons were quite uncomfortable.
As Atrus watched Achenar silently and slowly dump mud out of his boots, he felt a twinge of guilt. They had not expected this sort of outing, he knew. But since he had need of their skills and Catherine seemed to have lost patience with them, a lengthy botanical outing had seemed perfect. They had been patient and obedient to his will, but it was clear they endured only because they felt they must. A sense of frustration came over him. If only his sons would take the joy he did in these marvelous extremes! This Age teemed with life! Everywhere the sounds and smells spoke of a richness, a complexity of design no mere man could hope to create. This primitive landscape had been the most complex Age he had yet linked to. The variances in landscape and lifeforms included what he had written, and yet exceeded his expectations beyond any imagining. There was a curious sense of power in the air of this place that defied his efforts to analyze it. Dagobah Age was unique.
As the evening wore on, he quietly asked the old one about his life. Yoda tried to say little, but even from what he let fall Atrus learned much. The Old One plainly came from an old culture, and one that knew of great traveling. This Yoda spoke of traveling between worlds, of ships that traveled the stars, of empires that rose and fell. Atrus took notes of it all. The idea of these spaceships were especially interesting to him. How was it done? Was it a form of linking? Metal craft using large amounts of power...?
Yoda and Atrus spoke until the exhaustion overtook them, cautiously answering and not answering each others queries, learning ever more about each other. Satisfying it was to find so like-minded a one. It had been so long, thought Yoda.
By morning Yoda's viewpoint had changed. Help, he would. Train these young ones to the old ways. Respect they MUST learn, or dark would be their path...
Atrus was delighted when the wizened creature agreed over their breakfast of scrambled eggs to show them his home. He also spoke of tutoring the boys in this force of his. Atrus assigned Achenar to take notes of the Old One's cultural beliefs, while he and Sirrus cataloged the flora and fauna respectively. Achenar was not anxious for the assignment until a chance comment let him understand there was power to be gained, then he was all cheerful acceptance. In fact, he was in a hurry to get started, sooner learned sooner out of here, Achenar figured. Soon Sirrus and Atrus moved out of sight into the paths pre-planned by Yoda. Achenar turned and faced his tutor.
"So, when do we start?" he asked.
"Hee hee hee.. Now good is, " Achenar suddenly found himself up a tree.
“Whaaa????” He fell in the swamp.. SPLOAASSHH
That was Achenar's first lesson...
Achenar was upside down balancing painfully on his hands. As the blood rushed to his head, the Green one squatted in front of him swatting him with his cane when his attention drifted. Achenar had lost patience long ago.
"Anger, Impatience, Resentment, the dark side are these! Rid your mind of them or control you they will!
"How will this help me do those tricks of yours?"
Yoda swatted him on the nose.
Achenar collapsed and impulsively tossed a boot at the old shaman troll. He wasn't really surprised when it hit HIM in the head..
"Respect you must learn! Or Teach you I will not!"
A harsh screech exploded through creeping vines. A sound of things scurrying to the undergrowth sliding to the other side of trees flying out of reach. News like this party got around quickly! Even Yoda was dangerous these days. Sprained cranes, squished lizards, and horrified batbirds announced their progress as through the marshy swamp the boys stumbled along exhausted. Their Father had remained at the camp finalizing the week's discoveries. Sirrus huffed after Achenar. Upon his brother's back he watched the bouncing figure of Yoda. Achenar ALWAYS got along with these primitives, he muttered to himself.
He leaned on a branch and paused to catch his breath. It was then he realized that the eyes of a tree ray* peeping at him from the other side of the tree. He slapped at the rotten old trunk only to have it collapse under his hand. The hole tumbled into an old cave made as much by creepers and decaying lifeforms as rock. YUCK!!! there wasn't a surface not covered in slime. So this is where the dinner came from. Sirrus felt nauseous as he watched all the motion. A light appeared at the other end of the tunnel. A man formed in a Maintainer suit and walked toward Sirrus. Sirrus took out his long dagger and delighted in the sheen of it. It seemed to glow red. The figure paused... then turned and ran..... Sirrus laughed and gave chase...
Above him Yoda rested next to Achenar and shook his head. He could not teach these two. He feared they had learned too much as it was. He felt the nexus of the force grow dark as Sirrus attacked his better self... and won. Yoda sighed... reminding himself that his real hopes lay on a planet far, far away....
At last the journals were complete, Atrus sighed and relaxed into the curved wall of Yoda's house. They could go home now. Hopefully Sirrus and Achenar had learned much from this vibrant age. That Dear Old Sage had spent so much time with them. He smiled as he thought what tales they might have to share with Catherine. He began packing to leave....
*tree ray.. looks like a manta ray but rests in the branches of the swamp trees. Yes I saw something like it in "Empire Strikes back"