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Darkness Rises, and Light to Meet It

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~ 4500 BBY

The Force was at turmoil. Out in the Outer Rim, very far from the relative safety of the Galactic Republic, terrible things were happening.

In that time, Sith were roaming freely in the Galaxy, each and every one of them intent on wiping the Jedi out once and for all. This dire time was the period when a Sith Lord, Scar, rose to power.

He learned the ways of the Sith at the Academy on Dromund Kaas, then not long after he left the planet, he began his quest on murdering as many Jedi as he could. During the years, Scar collected a small fleet of Sith warships and a handful of devoted Sith acolytes, which fact made him all the more dangerous.

Now, after long years of preparation, Scar was about to launch an attack on the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine. For a long time, even he was reluctant to attack the Jedi on their own planet, but after one of them murdered his mate, Scar got fed up pretty quickly. He’d had enough.

He would wipe these Jedi scum out, even if it would be the last thing he did in his life.

The Force knew that if nothing happened to prevent it, Scar might very well succeed in his evil plan of exterminating the Jedi. If not stopped, Dantooine would only be the beginning. After the destruction of the Enclave, he would proceed to ransack the Temple on Coruscant and Ossus, going from planet to planet until no Jedi left. And the Force couldn’t let it happen.

So the mysterious, ever-present energy field with its own will decided to do something about the situation; that’s how it found five remarkable people in a galaxy far, far away, and transported them to Dantooine to form a Jedi strike team of them, hoping that they would be able to stop the rising Sith Lord.

These five people would have nothing but vague memories of their life in their own world; they would be a part of this galaxy, keeping only their names. Their life now belonged to the Force.

However, even the Force didn’t know what would happen if they fail; but most likely they would die a painful and gruesome death, and the Galaxy would sink into an age of darkness. So it was everyone’s best interest that this strike team succeeded.

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Well, that was one hell of a nightmare..., Jeremy thought as he jerked awake onboard the ship he and his Padawan Gabriel managed to acquire for the journey back to Dantooine.

The two Jedi were summoned back to the Enclave in the middle of a mission, quite abruptly and without any further explanation; Jeremy had a pretty bad feeling about this. He knew that the Council didn’t abort missions without a good reason, not especially the missions of Jedi Watchmen. They were the fraction of the Jedi knights who were spread in the Galaxy, helping and protecting those who needed it the most.

“What’s the matter, master? Bad dream?” Gabriel asked, not without worry; Jeremy’s bad dreams had the tendency to be somewhat prophetic.

“Something like that...” the older Jedi muttered, rubbing his tired eyes. “Are we there yet?”

“Soon. If you look out of the window, you can already see Dantooine” came the answer, and the Padawan indeed glanced outside at the green planet longingly.

Jeremy couldn’t suppress a fond smile; it was indeed a long time since they hadn’t been at home. In fact, they left Dantooine almost two years ago, when he took Gabriel as his Padawan after the boy’s master had died on a mission that went terribly wrong. Gabriel was only eighteen, and the event left him shocked and most probably scarred for a lifetime.

If Jeremy hadn’t taken the kid, he’d most probably have ended up in the AgriCorps, for not many Jedi wanted an emotionally wounded and at the time quite unstable Padawan. Jeremy didn’t particularly want, either, but he was there when Gabriel was found, he watched the kid growing up, and he became quite fond of him. So when he heard the whole story of the tragic mission, he didn’t even think before he spoke, claiming Gabriel as his first apprentice.

“What was your dream about?” he heard suddenly, and when he turned his head toward the voice, he saw Gabriel’s curious and a bit worried greyish-blue eyes.

Jeremy shrugged, not really wanting to talk about it.

“I don’t remember” he finally answered, and it wasn’t entirely a lie, for he indeed remembered very little of his dream: only a pair of blazing, deep golden eyes and a vague face with a prominent scar on its left cheek remained in his memory.

He didn’t know who it was, but the memory of the golden eyes sent a cold shiver through him; they were the eyes of a Sith.

When Gabriel put down the ship on the Enclave’s private port and they finally left it, heading toward the building, Jeremy’s only desire was a hot shower and a long, undisturbed sleep, but unfortunately for him, a Padawan greeted them at the entrance. She delivered the urgent message from the Council that he and Gabriel were summoned immediately.

“Thank you” Jeremy said, forcing a more or less friendly smile, then he changed direction, walking toward the Council meeting room, with Gabriel on his tail.

He felt that his Padawan was nervous, most probably thinking that he’d done something wrong, and the Council was about to reprimand him. The boy had had insecurity-issues ever since the tragic and sudden loss of his former master.

“It’s going to be okay” Jeremy murmured, letting Gabriel catch up to him and rubbing the kid’s back comfortingly.

Gabriel relaxed almost immediately, melting into the older Jedi’s touch. Jeremy was quite a touch-addict, and there were many who shared this particular addiction of his, including his own Padawan. They found comfort and strength in each other’s closeness and touch, and there were no such Code or Jedi master that could change their mind.

When they stepped into the room, Jeremy saw that the Council was far from complete; in fact, only master Fairash was present, a dark-skinned human male with dark hair and eyes as black as obsidian. However, there were three other knights in the room, Jeremy knew only two of them, Liam, an incredibly strong master of the Living Force, and Gérard, a Jedi guardian and the best two-weapon fighter Jeremy had ever met.

The third, a tall, thin and bald man with sharp hazel eyes and short, greying beard, was completely unfamiliar. He stood in the farthest corner, arms crossed; his whole body language communicated defiance and very strong will, and Jeremy sensed a kind of darkness around him. Liam most probably sensed it as well because he cast wary glances at the stranger; so he didn’t know who it was either.

Jeremy spotted the hilt of a shoto, a short lightsaber on the man’s belt, so he was undoubtedly a Jedi, but he simply didn’t look like one. He wore dark, fitting clothes instead of robes, and he carried two long vibrodaggers, each hidden in expensive leather sheaths.

“You’re a Shadow” Jeremy said when the revelation struck him.

The man just nodded slowly, somewhat bored.

“Name’s John” he offered and said nothing more.

Jedi Shadows were pretty much like legends for most of people, even for ordinary Jedi. Their task was to hunt the Sith down and kill them all, one by one. They were the most skilled, scariest assassins that lurked in the Galaxy; only their Sith counterparts, the Sith Assassins, were a match for them. The mere fact that the Council summoned a Shadow was a proof enough that there was some serious shit going on.

“Why did you call us back?” Jeremy asked master Fairash, already fearing the answer.

“The Council has a very important mission for you; for all of you. This five people that are presented here right now will find the Sith Lord Scar and stop him, whatever it takes. He’s planning an attack on the Enclave even as we’re talking, so it’s your utmost priority to get to him before he gets here. If he succeeded here and destroyed the Enclave, the Jedi are lost” Fairash explained, but Jeremy barely heard him; the mention of the Sith’s name was like a kick in the guts, and it brought back the fragments of his nightmare.

In this moment, he knew without doubt that he saw Lord Scar in that dream.

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"Are you okay, master?" Gabriel asked, creeping closer to Jeremy and stroking his back to get his attention, much like Jeremy did with him not ten minutes ago.

"Yeah, I'm alright. Just tired" the older Jedi muttered, trying to concentrate on the meeting.

"There's something you're not telling us" Liam said, looking at Jeremy curiously. "However, I have a feeling that it's important for this mission."

Jeremy sometimes wished his friend would've been a bit less... insightful. Liam's strongest talent was his keen perception. He always knew how people around him felt, and it was downright impossible to lie to him. He just knew it; he never called anyone on it publicly, but he always knew it. Jeremy learned this in the hard way.

So now he took a deep breath and began talking.

"On our way back here, I had a... nightmare. Or at least I thought it was that, but I don't remember much of it. Only... only a pair of golden eyes and a face with a scar on the left cheek. When I heard this name, Scar... It's just triggered this memory, that's all. Sorry."

Liam stepped closer and patted his shoulder comfortingly. Jeremy smiled tiredly at his friend, but while doing this, he noticed the funny glances master Fairash and the Jedi Shadow John cast at him. He chose not to react to it, and fortunately, the two went along.

"You're departing immediately. You can rest on the way to Dromund Kaas" master Fairash said, aiming the last sentence at Jeremy.

"Dromund Kaas? But it's a Sith world! There's no way we can land there without getting ourselves killed in the process" Liam protested, clearly baffled and perhaps a little bit afraid.

Jeremy couldn't blame him. No Jedi in his right mind would have gone to Dromund Kaas, not especially with the task of killing a powerful Sith Lord. He couldn't even imagine what was on the Council's mind when they came up with this plan. It sounded outright suicidal.

"Leave that to me" John said with a scary glint in his eyes. "I can get us into Kaas City without anyone even realizing it. Besides, not even one Sith scum would expect a Jedi trying to infiltrate its lair on Dromund Kaas. That makes them much less aware of external threats. They fear each other the best on that planet, not us. They're in fact more vulnerable to us there than anywhere else."

It seemed logical, still, Jeremy, and clearly Liam as well, had their reservations. However, on the other hand, they were Jedi. They were trained for this in all their life, and they knew that it could happen at any given time that they had to give this life for the greater good. And Jeremy accepted that, as well as Liam.

"We'll do everything to stop Scar" Jeremy said. "But Gabriel must stay."

"What? No!" the Padawan exclaimed, forgetting for a moment how he was supposed to behave.

Jeremy looked at him sharply and a bit angrily, which anger rooted in his worry for the boy's safety, but Gabriel stood his ground, keeping the eye contact with his master, unflinching.

"Master, I know how you feel, but... I'm a Jedi, too. I can't run from danger, not especially when you're about to dive head-first into it. I can't just sit and wait, knowing that you might very well be killed in any moment. Please don't make me stay!" the Padawan pleaded, and Jeremy wanted to hug and shake some sense into him at the same time.

"Fine" he choked out, not risking to say any more than that.

"It's settled, then. May the Force be with you" master Fairash told them, and an hour later the small team was walking through the Enclave's port toward John's personal ship.

The Shadow's ship was an artwork in itself: long, sleek and very fast, equipped with strong shields and a first-class cloaking device that made the ship practically invisible even from a point-blank range. Even Jeremy had to admit that with a ship like this, they indeed had a chance to get to Dromund Kaas unnoticed. However, John clearly sacrificed firepower for speed and stealth, for his spacecraft lacked any serious weaponry.

“If someone does see us and sends an army of fighters to shoot us right from the sky, we don’t stand a chance in a fight” Gérard commented, seeing the unsettling lack of guns.

“Who said I want to fight? It’s much better to disappear and lash out again when nobody expects it” John shrugged, not minding for a second the other’s somewhat offended look. “Besides, there’s no sensor in the Galaxy that could see my ship. I went pretty far to make sure of that.”

Gérard was about to ask, but Jeremy shook his head slightly, thus saying that it’s maybe for the best they didn’t know too much about the Shadow’s exploits. They boarded the ship, which was as neat and nice in the inside as was on the outside.

“Make yourselves comfortable, we’re taking off in ten minutes. You make a mess on my ship, then you unmake it as well” John said before he headed toward the cockpit.

The four Jedi huddled together in the one passenger-cabin, and despite being sickeningly worried about the mission ahead of them, soon Jeremy couldn’t help drifting off, only to be haunted by the scary golden eyes of a Sith Lord.