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Eternal Darkness

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Eternal Darkness

  

 

                Confusion and fear reigned supreme in the northwest corner of the Jedi Temple. The echoes of blaster bolts and the smell of ozone permeated the corridors and turbo lifts. Periodically a breaching charge would shake the marble floors to their durasteel core, sending shards of the ornate vaulted ceiling raining to the floor.

Padawan Saa Ashaal had to find her younglings: Meeya and Chib, the male and female Zeltron twins she and her Master, Stass Allie, rescued from slavers on Malastare. Before Master Allie had left for Saleucami, she left Saa with a single responsibility: the welfare of the younglings. Tholothian to Tholothian… Jedi to Jedi, Saa vowed to watch over the twins. She would not fail her Master.

                The ornate columns rattled on their foundations with a larger blast originating somewhere above. In the same instant, the blaster fire grew an octave louder, and the thud of hundreds of boots carried through the Jedi Temple.

                Saa stopped running. At the intersection of two main corridors, she placed her light saber aside and knelt on the Corellian travertine. Exhaling a deep breath, she immersed herself in the Force. Saa felt the souls of an entire legion of Clone Troopers flooding into the temple like a fearsome tide; breaking at the wave’s crest was a large, looming presence: conflicted and dark.

                Much closer, a deck below, two tiny pink beacons of light hid in a utility locker: the twins, and they were terrified. Saa sensed that Meeya and Chib could feel the danger just as she could.

                There is no emotion, only peace.

                Saa projected comfort to the twins before breaking into a sprint for the nearest turbolift. As the doors closed, the Padawan could see the blue accented armor of the 501st Legion boil into the passageway.

                When she reached the utility closet, she cast the door open with the Force, causing its hydraulic pistons to explode into a steaming mess. Nestled behind the shelves were the Zeltron twins: Meeya and Chib. Upon seeing their friend Saa, their sobbing faces brightened with hope.

                Saa! We knew you’d come! – the dimunitive pink twins spoke with their thoughts. Only four standard years old, their telepathic abilities of their species were fully developed. Involuntarily, glands from their skin released a powerful pheromone, which amplified Saa’s love for the children. Saa never saw the harm in allowing herself to love the younglings, after all, the Zeltron pheromones made non-attachment impossible. It was also the reason Zeltron slaves were prized by the sex trade, a fate Master Allie and Padawan Ashal saved them from.

                Saa knelt to embrace the twins, each darting from their hiding place.

                “We have to go, younglings. Danger is afoot.” Saa said.

                Where will we go? Meeya replied silently, her large, watery eyes beaming emotion straight into Saa’s core.

                “Deeper into the Temple,” Saa paused, probing the Temple layout with the Force, “We will go to the archives. It will be heavily defended.”

                We love you Saa. The younglings thought in unison.

                “Time to fly children. The Force will make your little legs fast, use it. You must keep up.”

                We will

                “Remember Master Yoda’s teachings, trust in the Force.” Saa replied as she stood.

                We are ready.

                Saa ran.

 

                When they arrived at the doors of the Archive, Jedi Master Jocasta-Nu stood at the head of a dozen temple guards. Archiving droids zipped about the scene, piling benches and tables in front of the turbolift doors. Saa used the Force to toss Meeya and Chib over the barricade, before somersaulting the obstacle herself.

                “How close is the enemy, Padawan?” Jocasta called out to Saa.

                “Two decks above us Master.” Saa replied as she ran towards the group.

                A loud detonation shook the floor above as if to correct the Padawan’s answer. Master Nu looked at the guards to her left and to her right, giving a deep, affirmative nod.

                As one, they ignited their lightsabers. The bright blue blade lit by Master Nu shone at the center between the many golden double blades of Temple Guards.

                “Get behind us younglings. We are your shield.” Master Nu ordered.

                Swiftly they obeyed, Saa guiding the twins through the massive doors, up the crimson carpeted steps and into the cavernous rotunda at the center of the Jedi Archives. There were others about, though no Master Jedi. Younglings, corralled by several Padawans and a single Temple Guard sheltered amidst the monumental architecture. The closest person was a Sullistan Temple Worker in blue maintenance coveralls. He clutched a Blaster pistol as he crouched behind a column, ready for whatever came through the tall double doors.

                “Sir, can you look after these younglings while I assist Master Nu?” Saa asked.

                The Sullistan looked at her for a moment, blinking twice with his wide eyed stare before nodding enthusiastically and reaching out with a caring arm for the little pink twins.

                “Thank you Sir. I know you will look after them well.” Because their pheromones will make you, she choose not to add.

                Why are you leaving us?! Chib projected.

                Don’t leave us Saa, Please! Meeya echoed.

                “I am not leaving you. I am defending you with Master Nu. She needs my help.”

                No! Please!... Stay. The twins though together, harmonizing their telepathy while wafting the scent of love and adoration. It was a powerful combination, but not powerful enough for their purposes.

                Saa kissed them both on the head and turned to face the lone Temple Guard.

                “Who attacks us, Padawan?” The masked guard asked, his double bladed light saber still hooked to his belt.

                “Republic Clones.” Saa replied.

                “But why?” He asked

                “I don’t know, there must have been some kind of coup. I sense a dark presence with them, something I have never felt before. The fog of war is thick in the Temple. Guard these younglings with your life. They are mute for some reason, but they speak none the less.”

                “It shall be done.”

                As Saa turned to dash down the main stairway, the double doors were thrust open, tearing from their hinges as they were sent careening into the tall stacks of archival holotapes and data drives. Master Nu and several Temple Guards were thrown backwards into the Archives amidst a cloud of debris. Saa watched as a dark, hooded figure materialized in the gloom of dust and the flickering emergency lighting. Saa had never sensed the Dark Side before, but she recognized the cold, harsh power emanating from the figure. In one hand he held a blue lightsaber, the other hand he raised, pointing ominously into the archives. On cue, hundreds of Republic Clones poured in around him. The troopers forming a white and blue cascade of plasteel and blaster fire.

                Saa turned back, but it was too late. The group under the rotunda scattered, and the few defenders left prepared for a final stand. Blue energy bolts zipped by Saa’s head and impacted the columns of the rotunda.

                “Lets go!” She shouted to Chib and Meeya. The Sullistan herded the twins toward safety. Saa sensed an inbound blaster bolt, and in a single fluid motion she ignited her light saber and swatted it away. Now sprinting with the green blade lit, the group passed the Temple Guard, who’s golden blades spun and flickered imperceptibly fast: blaster bolts reflecting back towards the influx of Clones.

                At the base of the central stairs, Master Nu and two other Temple Guards held their ground, deflecting bolts from all directions. The hooded figure ordered a squad of Clones armed with heavy blasters to fire down on the defenders. The Clones opened with rapid automatic fire, raining deadly energy down on Master Nu and the Guards, faster than they could deflect.

                “Fall back!” She ordered, “I will cover your retreat.”

                First the Guards, then Master Nu turned to run up the stairs, deflecting the incoming fire as they went. A bolt caught one of the Guards in the leg, the successive shots stitching along his back as he fell.

                The second Guard flew backwards as he crested the top of the stairs, his feet leaving the ground as the force hurled him towards the Clone Army. The Dark figure threw him to the soldiers as if tossing meat to a pack of gundarks. The Guard clattered to the floor and was immediately surrounded by Clones of the 501st. Eight troopers opened fire in unison, unloading on the Temple Guard at point blank range.

                Saa ran to Jocasta Nu’s aid, helping her to fend off the rapid fire onslaught.

                “We must go!” Master Nu panted, “Hurry!”

                “Go where?” Saa asked, rotating her green light saber through 180 degrees, stopping three times to block as many bolts.

                Master Nu panted heavily, the Force alone sustaining her aged muscles: “Anywhere but here.”

                Joined by the last remaining Temple Guard, the group fled into the archive corridors. The other defenders; Padawans and Temple workers scattered, only to realize that the Clones were entering the Archive from every direction.

                The Sullistan bubbled out a few words to Jocasta, fighting his lungs for the breath to speak.

                “What did you say Dell?” Master Nu Responded.

                Dell Grude spoke again, blindly firing a few blaster shots over his shoulder.

                “Very well, lead the way my friend.” Jocasta motioned to the Sullistan, who took the lead and turned the group towards a utility lift not meant for sentient beings.

                An entire shelving unit, which towered from the first level to the second, groaned as a thermal detonator rocked its foundation. The creaking monolith sagged and fell, holotapes spilling from its shelves, crashing to the floor in an explosion of sparks and blue energy. The unit crashed into the next of its kind, which miraculously held, creating a tunnel under which the group fled.

                Dell Grude explained his plan to Jocasta, talking as much with his hands as his full lips and jowls.

                “Younglings, we are going deep into the Temple. It is my hope….

                Blaster fire briefly interrupted the old Master.

                “… my hope that we will find a place to hide. Mr. Grude works in a facility in the Temple sub levels, he can guide us.”

                “Master Nu,” Saa began, “We cannot fit in that lift.

                The Temple Guard hit the controls for the lift with his elbow, revealing a small cage for moving material. A couple of rapid swipes with his double bladed lightsaber sent the cage crashing down the deep shaft.

                “Sometimes Younglings, violence is the answer.” Master Nu smiled. I will go first and buffer the Twins with the Force. Mr. Grude, please see them into the shaft after me.”

                The Sullistan nodded just as the Clones reached the far end of the shelving tunnel.

                “Guard, Padawan Ashall: you know what to do!” Jocasta ordered.

                “Yes Master!” The Guard and Saa Ashal spoke in unison, stepping forward to cover the escape.

                Jocasta Nu slipped into the shaft, reaching out with the Force to slow her long fall.

                Dell Grude took Meeya in his arms.

                I’m scared

                Dell was taken aback, Meeya’s telepathy carrying her words straight into his brain. The Sullistan shook off his surprise and planted a gentle kiss on the youngling’s head, before tossing her down the shaft.

                Meeya would have screamed, had she not been a mute.

                I don’t want to! No!

                Chib excreted his pheromones at maximum levels. Thankfully, the Sullistan was immune.

                Down the shaft Chib went.

                Jocasta Nu reached the bottom of the shaft, many levels below the Archive. The wreckage of the utility lift was pressed flat by the velocity of its impact. Jocasta operated the datapad, unlocking the lift doors with a sudden woooosh. Stale air and must greeted her senses.

                The Old Master took a deep breath and sighed. She closed her eyes and held her arms outstretched. In the same second, Meeya and Chib slowed to a stop, hovering just above Master Nu’s upturned palms. Jocasta stepped onto sub level III, exiting the shaft just before Dell Grude came sliding down a hydraulic line, coming to an awkward and painful stop.

                “I am not familiar with this Sub Level Mr. Grude. Can you enlighten me?” Jocasta asked as she placed the twins onto a cushioned bench with the Force.

                Dell nodded excitedly and relayed the nature of the facility in which he worked. Behind them, the ricochet of blaster fire echoed through the utility shaft as Saa landed just before the Temple Guard finished his controlled slide down the hydraulic line Dell had used.

                Both Saa and the guard dove onto the floor just as a cacophony of enemy fire struck the bottom of the shaft behind them. As Saa stood, the shots ceased, and down the shaft clanked a dozen thermal detonators. Padawan Saa Ashal’s brow furled in anger at the sound. She let out a growl as she clenched her fist, sending each detonator streaking back up the shaft to explode in the faces of the Clones who had thrown them. With the detonation came a muffled tremor from high above, and down rained debris, weapons and Clone parts. A full helmet hit the deck and rolled out from the shaft in finality.

                The Temple Guard hit the controls, shutting the shaft doors. Lighting one of the two golden blades on his light saber, he began to heat the joint where the doors closed, effectively welding it shut.

                The expanse before them was nothing like the vaulted ceilings and the colonnades of the Temple Ziggurat. This was a machinery space, low ceilings, exposed durasteel and girthy cables in exposed lighted conduits. There were no windows, and no obvious exits.

                “Master Nu,” Saa asked as she checked on Meeya and Chib, “What is this place.”

                “We are in the auxiliary machinery space of Sub Level III. Our friend Mr. Grude maintains the machinery here, even though it has been a dormant space for several decades. This section hosted an archaeological project.”

                “Jedi Archaeology?” Saa asked.

                “No my child, it was not even a Jedi Project. We lent this space to the University of Coruscant, they used it as a staging area for explorations beyond the deepest levels of the Temple.”

                “The Spire?” Saa asked.

                “Very good Padawan Ashal, your Master would be pleased. The natural rock spire this Temple was built on is unusually strong in the Force, we call it a Nexus. It was a very sacred place for the ancient Coruscanti. The University used this space to catalogue and preserve artifacts dating from the time of this planet’s original inhabitants.”

                “Like this one.” The Temple Guard spoke. He shown his lightsaber over what appeared to be some kind of totem, preserved in carbonite. The wood grain of the totem was broken only by the rearranged bones of ancient humanoids, inlayed into the totem. Extinct creatures were also incorporated into the artifact in a like manner; every bone of their skeleton rearranged into a fearsome and artistic pattern.”

                “It’s beautiful.” Jocasta admired.

                What is happening?

                The group turned to face the twins. One of them had spoken into each of their minds directly.

                “What remarkable younglings you are. I can sense the living Force in you both. What are your names?”

                Meeya

                Chib

                “Younglings, you have been very brave. Even with all of my knowledge, I am at a loss to explain tonight’s events. We have been attacked by Republic Troops at the command of a Sith Lord.”

                “How is that possible?” Saa interrupted. The Guard turned from the totem artifact and crossed his arms, listening intently.

                “My vision is clouded by the Dark Side, but his presence was undeniable. When you encounter the Dark Side, especially in someone so strong, it’s like basking in the light of a sun that robs you of warmth, rather than radiating it. It’s like a cold star, and it is unsettling to say the least.”

                “We have to stop him. We have to find out who he is and exact revenge for this outrage!” Saa exclaimed, tears building in her eyes.

                “Revenge Padawan? No, not revenge. If we seek to do this Sith Lord harm, it will be for justice.” Jocasta lectured.

                “Two words for the same thing!” Saa replied.

                “Careful, Padwan. To the Dark Side such a path leads.”

                Jocasta looked Saa in the eyes, reaching out with the Force to calm her. It was then that Jocasta realized just how strong the force was with Saa Ashal. She suspected the Padawan would never be on the level of Master Windu or Master Yoda, but the strength within her would make her a very powerful Jedi, Certainly council material.

                “We must learn the identity of the Sith Lord.” Saa insisted.

                “Know that, we already do, Padawan.”

                “Who?”

                “I fear, one of our own has fallen. Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker.”

                The color drained from the Padawan’s face, replaced with chilling despair.

                “Saa, perhaps you could see to the younglings. I’d like to speak with Dell and our Temple Guard about their knowledge of the layout here. We have defenses to plan.”

                “Yes, Master.” Saa said, still disturbed by the news.

                Dell and the Temple Guard followed Jocasta further into the machinery space, out of earshot from Saa and the twins.

                “What I am going to tell you both is not easy, but for the sake of the Jedi Order, you must listen and you must obey. The only explanation for this attack is an attempt to exterminate the Jedi. No one would ever attack this Temple if they knew the Jedi could seek reprisal. Even as we speak, I can feel the loss of my colleagues across the Galaxy.”

                “But why?” The Guard asked.

                “This is a Coup within the Republic. The nature of which is irrelevant to us now. This forgotten sub level may buy us some time, but if my body is not among the dead, Skywalker and his Clones will come looking. I must return to face our attackers.”

                “The histories will sing of your valor, Master Nu.“ The Guard said.

                “What is your name Temple Guard?” She asked.

                “Kup’raa’achemo, Master Nu.” He replied.

                “Kup, no one will be writing this history, if we do not act to preserve the Jedi Order.”

                Kup looked at the Sullistan, who nodded solemnly, “We are at your service Master.”

                “Here is what you must do.”

***

                Hours passed since Jocasta Nu returned to the battle, and it had been almost as long since the last explosion or volley of blaster fire reverberated into the sub levels. Dell raided the employee break room to provide nourishment, and the twins now slept in the arms of Padawan Ashal. With Master Nu departed, no one could understand the Sullistan’s speech, but he apparently could understand them.

                “How old are you Padawan,” Kup asked.

                “Seventeen standard years. Why do you ask?” Saa replied.

                “I suppose if we make it out of this, the Jedi might accept this ordeal as your trial and grant you the rank of Jedi Knight.”

                Saa laughed darkly, “I don’t suppose they will have a choice. There won’t be enough of us left.”

                Kup nodded, and turned back to his vigil. It was disturbing to see such darkness in the Padawan. Her bright blue eyes and dark skin gave her people such a distinctive and beautiful look, but to look upon Saa now was like watching a wonderful, bright piece of art turn ominous. He supposed there wasn’t any other way to react. Their entire way of life was being wiped out.

                The opening doors of a turbolift in an adjacent machinery space alerted Saa, the Guard and the Sullistan. Dell took the sleeping children and placed them in a durasteel crate, hidden from the line of fire. Kup and Saa took up positions hidden behind structural beams in the narrow hall. Their first hope was that this was a rescue… their next best hope was that the overpowering numerical advantage of the 501st would count for nothing in the narrow hall.

                They waited, preserving their element of surprise.

                Beams of light stretched from the tangent hall, each beam growing finer as the intruders approached.

                Kup and Saa exchanged glances: Clones.

                A squad of Clones rounded the bend, approaching their position. They were ARC Troopers, elite reconnaissance troopers used to fighting alongside the Jedi, not against them. Saa and Cup allowed the Arc Troopers to pass them before leaping from cover and igniting their weapons.

                Saa lit her saber straight through the back of the nearest Clone’s head, and with a quick swipe of her wrist, sliced the heavy blaster of the next Clone in two. Kup’s lightsaber spun in a fury; a master of weaponry of all kinds, the Guard was able to decapitate, amputate and otherwise segment the clones into so many harmless pieces before the first soldier could react.

                Like moths to a flame, the battle drew more clones. Saa could hear them calling for backup on their com links. It would not be long before the entire 501st were called down upon their heads.

                It would not be long before they were face to face with the fallen Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker.

                A fury of blaster bolts assaulted the Guard and the Padawan, their respective green and yellow sabers deflecting bolts back in the direction of the clones impossibly fast.

                “Dell! The blast doors, now!” Kup hollered over his shoulder. The Sullistan fired one more shot with his pistol from behind a crate before hitting the controls of the fire doors, temporarily sealing off the Clones from the survivors.

                A final bolt streaked between the doors before they closed, knocking Kup’s mask to the floor. The Temple Guard clutched his face in his hands, and took a few precious moments to regain his composure.

                “Kup! Are you hurt?” Saa asked. Dell was calling out the same, only in incomprehensible Sullist.

                “I am fine.” Kup lifted his head to reveal his deep blue skin and solid red eyes. A burn from the blast has scorched his cheek a deep purple mosaic of veins and capillaries, but the Chiss was otherwise uninjured.

                “Where are the twins?” Kup exclaimed.

                As Saa turned to look for them, Kup bludgeoned the Padawan over the head with the back of his lightsaber, knocking her out cold.

                Kup put a hand on Dell’s shoulder, “Hurry friend, we don’t have much time.”

***

                Pain registered first, as Saa floated back up from the depths of unconsciousness. Her head throbbed mercilessly, and as she attempted to lift her hands to rub her bruised skull, she found them immobile; shackled above her head. Panic quickened her pulse and forced her eyes open. She was upright. In her face, working feverishly she saw the Chiss Temple Guard and the Sullistan, their names escaping her at the moment. Beyond them the closed blast doors were glowing bright orange, and continuous thuds indicated the 501st was about to come through.

                “What’s ….happening?” Saa whispered.

                The Sullistan stopped, unsure what to do now that she was awake.

                “Keep going, they are almost through. We have to finish.” Kup ordered.

                “Finish what?” Saa asked.

                “The final order of Master Jocasta Nu.” Kup replied. Beyond them, Saa saw Chib and Meeya unattended, standing in the middle of the room. The twins also noticed that Saa was awake.

                What’s happening?

                What’s happening?

                Are they hurting you?

                Where is Master Nu?

                I’m scared.

                I’m scared.

                What’s happening?

                “The Twins are terrified!” Saa exclaimed before she asked any further questions, “Go to them.”

                “There is no time Padawan Ashal.” Kup replied as he made a final adjustment to the machine surrounding Saa.

                “What is going on, what are you doing to me?”

                “The Temple has fallen and the Jedi are being exterminated. In order to preserve the order, you are being frozen in carbonite and dropped into the Coruscanti Catacombs in the mountain spire this Temple is built upon. You will escape the menace which now holds us under siege, and in time you will be found. Your Force presence will be overshadowed by the Nexus which exists in the spire, hiding you from the Sith. Master Nu has no way to know if any Jedi will survive this purge, but she does have a way of ensuring that at least one will. You are our only hope.”

                “No! Not me! The TWINS! Can’t you see how strong with the Force they are? Can’t you feel it? Save them!” Saa shouted, struggling against her bindings.

                The Sullistan reached up to remove Saa’s traditional Tholothian headdress, allowing her long raven locks to spill about her shoulders.

                “The Force is with the Twins, but they are not that strong. Their telepathy is an evolved feature of their species, they also release pheromones to compel affection in others. These are mere parlor tricks, not the will of the Force.”

                A large slab of molten durasteel let go from the center of the blast door. A blue lightsaber poked its way through the remainder of the thickness and rapidly began to cut away what remained of the blast doors.

                “I may never be found, don’t freeze me Kup! The catacombs are miles deep and nearly endless. Please Kup… don’t freeze me!” Saa began to sob.

                “If you stay, you will die with us.” He said with finality.

                Saa wept openly and loudly as the Chiss Guard approached the controls.

                Dell spoke excitedly at Kup, gesturing towards the control consol.

                “What.. I don’t understand…. Oh, curse this machine. How much more power do we need to operate it?” Kup exclaimed.

                The Sullistan pointed to a gage.

                “Shut all other systems down, now! Lights, ventilation, everything! Hurry!”

                “…Kup….Dell…Please!” Saa cried from her restraints. Dell tore open the auxiliary breaker panel and began tearing out fuses. The room plunged into darkness, the fans stopped, and somewhere a computer’s backup power gave of a lonely beep.

                A round cutting of the blast doors fell to the floor loudly: the Clones were through.

                Kup looked at the gage, which still had not reached the full power required to conduct the carbon freeze, it was however, very close. The darkness was lit by blaster fire and tactical flash lights, blazing wildly in the dark.

                The power gage was not climbing. This was the best they were going to get. Kup caught glimpses of the beautiful, sobbing Padawan in the erratic strobe light of battle. His red eyes fixed deep into her blues.

                “The Force will be with you Saa Ashal, always.”

                Kup hit the carbonite release.

                The machine worked, yet a full 50% slower than it would have at full charge. In the fractional moments that remained before the Padawan was fully incased in the cold metallic cocoon, she witnessed the death of Temple Guard Kup’raa’achemo, shot in the back by Clones of the 501st. In the same instant, a blue light saber cut the Zeltron twins down, their tiny bodies rearranged into four tinier pieces.

                Horror, sorrow and anger washed over Saa. Her eyes wide, her brow furled, her face took on a horrid mask of anger. Her brain sent the signal for a deep, long scream; but it failed to reach her vocal cords before the carbonite closed around her.

***

                Vader was through the breech. He pressed on with annoyance, clearing the temple was taking far too long. He almost tripped over a pair of younglings before casually swatting them into oblivion.

                “The room is clear Sir!” A Clone Commander informed Vader.

                “Very well, Commander.” He replied, “You may take your troops to the next level. Eliminate all survivors.”

                “Yes, General Sky…. I mean Lord Vader! Sir!”

                Darth Vader dismissed him with a wave of his gloved hand. As the clones cleared, one of them hit the emergency lighting switch, bathing the machinery space in a crimson glow. Vader approached the hissing machine he had seen activated amidst the fire fight. It was a carbonite unit, and in its metal grip, a freshly encased humanoid. Her face was bent into a snarl of pure rage, her eyes open and her hands bound. A lightsaber hung at her side.

                As Vader took a step closer, a slothful grip wrapped itself around his ankle. A survivor, a Sullistan, clutched Vader’s boot. Wounded, and near death, the maintenance worker was putting up an admirable effort.

                Vader crushed the life out of him with the Force.

                Turning his attention back to the frozen Jedi, he examined the features further, recognizing a Padawan he helped tutor shortly after his own Padawan departed the Order. Vader reached out, placing a hand on Saa Ashal’s petrified forehead.

                Vader jerked away. The brief contact had been so intense, it had startled him. It was as if her final thoughts of venom and hatred were frozen in place, existing in a state of permanence within the Padawan’s brain. Hibernation or not, the raw emotion of the last moments prior to her freezing were resonating with the Dark Side, perhaps a function of the Force Nexus deep below.

                Vader knelt on the floor and meditated, searching his experience, knowledge and training for an answer. Within minutes the answer came to him:

This is an attempt to preserve the Jedi Order.

The longer this Padawan resonates with the Dark Side,

the more powerful she will become with the Dark Side.

She will not be a time capsule to preserve the Jedi,

But one to preserve the Sith.

 

                Darth Vader stood, opening his yellow eyes to examine the anger in Saa’s face once more. This eternal, perpetual anger, frozen in time and space would continue to resonate with the Dark Side of the Force and be sustained by the Nexus Spire in the deep, indefinitely.

                With one robotic finger, Vader depressed a switch, dropping the carbonite object down a shaft intended to elevate artifacts from the deep.

                Someday, a life time…a century… possibly several thousand years from now; Saa Ashal would be found…

…and on that day, a powerful Sith would be born.