By Larry Yoakum III
The Jedi Jim Takan walked through the streets of Kala on the planet Windong. He had been a full Jedi Knight for two years now, and was pondering whether or not to take on an apprentice. Since the legendary Master Skywalker restarted the Jedi Order seven hundred years ago, the order has flourished to the size it was in the days of the old Republic. Jim, a dark haired human from a human colony on Sullust, was the apprentice to the Jedi Master Qui Gon Solo for his first years among the order. Now, he was a knight.
Windong was a busy industrial planet in the system next to Hoth. Many citizens passed by. A rodian argued with a trandoshen. A group of jawa students walked with a bith science professor. It was an interesting mix.
Then it hit Jim. A disturbance in the Force. He couldn’t tell exactly what it was, but he knew it was following him. A group of beings. He could sense strong Force abilities. Jedi? Dark Jedi? Or maybe worse, Sith. They haven’t been active since the days of Palpatine and Vader. Jim decided to make his way back to his YT-2500 Cruiser. Keeping his brown robe tightly around him, he strode back in the direction of his ship.
Four dark beings watched the human Jedi walk faster in the opposite direction. They were clad in the dark robes of Sith warriors. Sith were much worse to the Jedi Order then regular dark Jedi. A dark Jedi was merely a Jedi who gave in to the dark side. A Sith was a force user who practiced the black magic teachings of the ancient Sith race. These particular Sith were trained by a master who discovered the ancient teachings and took it upon him self to bring the Sith back. He went by Darth Moloch. He wasn’t with his students now, but back in his secret stronghold in the Unknown Regions.
The Sith took the ventilation system to beat the Jedi back to the docking bay.
Jim Takan reached the hanger that held his ship, the Light Racer. He felt a dark blanket drop over him. Turning around, he saw his stalkers.
Four short beings in black robes. Tim placed his hand on his light saber handle. The four adversaries took back their hoods revealing their faces.
How could creatures such as Ewoks become dark side users? By nature they should all be good. It’s as ridicules as seeing a Gungan Sith or a dark Jedi Jawa. The one who appeared to be the leader growled at him and began speaking in their Ewok language. Then, realizing that Takan couldn’t understand what was being said, he switched to Basic. “So, Jedi. You are alone here. No apprentice. It was as our master told us. Yes, we have a master. A powerful one. He discovered hidden data disks from the ancient Darth Sidious. Yes, I see by your face that you know of that name.” The Ewoks all laughed. “He sent us after you to kill you as a final test to us.”
“So,” Takan smirked. “I see the Sith still practice cowardice. Your master, hiding far away, and sending four of his minions against one man.” The Ewoks visibly tensed at the calling of their master a coward.
“Do not speak that way of our Darth.” All four of them ignited their sabers and jumped high into the air towards the lone Jedi. In response, his own saber sprang to life, and the combined sound of the lightsabers filled the chamber, the steady hum growing louder. Two of the evil Ewoks landed behind Takan and the other two landed in front of him, each swiping their weapons simultaneously. Jim Takan jumped and did a backward double flip and landed almost twenty feet away. One of the Ewoks, this one with light tan fur, took off his black robe, revealing a warrior’s pelt of the various animals of Endor’s forest moon. He was also the most muscular of the four attackers. He pointed to Takan and shouted “Yub yub!” He jumped towards Takan and landed a few feet from him, saber swinging towards Takan’s neck. The blow was easily blocked by the combat experienced Jedi Knight.
“Little man, do you really think you can handle me?”
They traded blows. “Do not look differently at be because of my size.” Takan swung the lightsaber downwards towards the Ewoks skull, and the little Sith dropped to his knees and rolled backwards, landing upright and kicking Takan in the shin. “Didn’t the famous Master Yoda say ‘Judge me by my size, do you? And well you should not, for my ally is the Force?”
“Don’t be trying to quote the Jedi teachings to me, you scum Sith.” They continued to trade blows, and the other three Ewoks watched, the leader staring intently at the fight. The fighting Ewok held his hand out and Force pushed Takan backwards into the rear wall. The Jedi slammed hard into it, his saber falling out of his hand. The Ewok picked up the Jedi’s saber and put it onto his belt. The other three Ewoks stood by their companion and started a slow walk to the downed Jedi.
Takan could sense their approach. He instantly calmed himself, letting the Force flow through his being. The peace and serenity flooded into his body and he let his mind go into the cockpit of the ship. He started the engines. The Ewoks stopped and turned to the ship, seeing its lights come on. Takan flipped his legs up and landed on his feet, then quickly jumped over the Ewoks towards his ship, pulling his lightsaber from the Ewok’s belt and finally landing on the newly descended boarding ramp. The Ewoks ran towards the ship as the ramp closed and it began ascending upwards towards the sky. Only one Ewok made it to the ship before it was too high. The same on that attacked him and stole his weapon. That Ewok jumped high onto the wing. Takan tilted his ship to the left, causing the enemy to loose his balance and fall. The Sith Ewok landed on a pole, impaling himself. With that, Takan’s ship blasted off into the sky.
The three remaining Ewoks surrounded the dead impaled body of their comrade. The lead Ewok took the deceased’s lightsaber. The surviving Ewoks turned and walked out of the hanger. The leader stopped for a second, closed his eyes, and caused the corpse to burst into flames.
“What do we do now, Wurluck?”
Wurluck, the leader, shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know. But I know I’m not looking forward to telling Darth Moloch about Kracket’s death.”
Takan flew his ship, the Light Racer, at its highest speed away from the world of Windong. He calculated coordinates for Coruscant so he could inform the Jedi Council of his attack and the possible rise of the Sith. As soon as he punched the button, the lights flickered and his hyperdrive malfunctioned. It was too late to cancel, and his ship entered hyperspace to an unknown destination.
The Light Racer came out of hyperspace in an unfamiliar system. He used the Force and discovered that he was in the Outer Rim. He wasn’t very far away from Tatooine.
He decided to head to the desert world and set down for repairs. Maybe he could contact the Jedi Council and have them send someone out here. This information is too important to wait too long.
Deep within the unkown regions, on a world dubbed Belial by it’s discoverer Darth Moloch, stood the stronghold of the Sith. Castle Moloch was built in secret by slaves taken from a nearby planet. They weren’t intelligent creatures, animal class brains. Only good for taming, so technically it wasn’t slavery. It was domestication. Either way it didn’t matter. Soon all worlds would be made into servants of the Sith. And Darth Moloch would continue with an empire that was started long ago by his ancient predecessor Darth Sidious and defeated by the son of that Sith Master’s own apprentice and a rag tag group of criminal scum.
Moloch sat and meditated, his face hidden by the dark hood on his Sith robe. No one saw his face, not even his minions. As Moloch sat on his golden throne, he sensed the approach of his newest disciples. But one was missing. He called out to them. “My Ewok warriors. Come quickly!” The three Ewoks stood before their master. “Where is Kracket?”
Wurluck kneeled and spoke. “I am truly sorry master. He was slain by the Jedi Takan.”
Moloch snarled. “And the Jedi. Did you kill him as well?” Before the Ewok could respond, Moloch knew the answer. He held his hand out and lightning shot from him, slamming into the two Ewoks flanking Wurluck, striking them dead instantly. “Perhaps it is because I have given you incompetent help, Wurluck. Go alone. Go find the Jedi. I want him dead. Is that understood?”
Wurluck nodded. “Yes, Master Moloch.”
“And Wurluck, if you do not kill the Jedi, you had better never return to this world. Or surly I’ll have your skull upon my throne.”
As Wurluck left the chamber, others entered. All of them were the minions of Moloch. A Jawa, in a black robe instead of the usual brown. A tall auburn haired human man. A Gungan who welded a double bladed lightsaber, a weapon not seen since the legendary Sith Maul served Sidious. Moloch ordered them to report.
The Jawa Sith, named Yudu, spoke first. “My master, my people on Tatooine told me of a ship that recently landed outside of Mos Katee. It is a YT-2500, like the one the Jedi Takan flies. And a human fitting his description used the holonet to call the Jedi Council on Coruscant.” Moloch smiled behind his hood. He already knew that the Jedi was on Tatooine. “How do you wish to proceed, Master Moloch?”
“Have a sandcrawler find him. Surround him with your Jawa brothers. He can’t possibly kill them all before finally succumbing to death himself. You are willing to make that sacrifice for the Sith?”
Yudu bowed. “I will lay down my own life for the progress of the Sith.”
“Excellent. If only those idiot Ewoks had the dedication that you three have. Report Rahn Tarken.”
The human kneeled. “Master, I have slain the three Jedi on Sulon as you ordered. The bloodline of Katarn is no longer alive to fight for the Light Side.”
“Excellent Tarken. Report Noss Noss.”
The Gungan kneeled. “Master, mesa wipen out all da Jedi Padawans en Bespin’s training center. Thesa die quickly and nobody saw mesa.”
“Of course Noss Noss. It helps having you, for no one would suspect a Gungan Sith. Your stealth and cunning is a benefit to our cause.”
Yudu spoke next. “Master, shall I return to Tatooine and lead my Jawa’s against Takan?”
“Good idea. Go. Kill him.”
Takan sat in one of Mos Katee’s many taverns. He ordered a small drink. One wouldn't hurt, and may help to clear his throat of all the dust that this world had floating around. He had contacted the Jedi Council and they were sending some Jedi to aid him in getting off of the planet. They would bring a new hyperdrive, and one of them was an expert mechanic who could install the device. Takan could go to a local dealer, but not even a Jedi could always tell who was going to rip you off.
His thoughts were interrupted by blaster fire. Taking his saber he left the bar. A Jawa sandcrawler was driving up the road. It stopped several blocks from the bar, and out poured dozens of Jawas.
Takan could sense malice from them. First he was attacked by Ewoks, and now Jawas. What next, Ugnaughts? Takan felt something hit him in the head. It was a small pebble. He turned around and saw another Jawa on the roof of the bar. The little robed being jumped and landed in front of his fellow Jawas, facing the Jedi.
The Jawa said something in his own language and the other’s pulled out vibroblades from their robes. With another command, all of the Jawas rushed Takan.
His saber was quicker than the Jawas’ blades. He took a few cuts to the leg, but he killed about twenty of the Jawas before they backed off, awaiting orders from their leader. A body of a slain Jawa lay before Takan, and curiosity got the better of him. He used his foot and gently pushed the hood off of the creature. Its skin was green and it had long pointed ears that were folded back on its head. It was a face similar to the pictures of the long dead Jedi Master Yoda.
Yoda was a Jawa? Who knew?
The lead Jawa pulled a lightsaber from his robe and ignited it. “You know, you are the first being to see the face of a Jawa and live. But I will soon change that.” The Jawa jumped at Takan who met the Jawa’s blade with his own. The presence of three others came into Takan’s senses. The three surviving Ewok Sith that had attacked him hours earlier.
The fight lasted only a few minutes. It ended with the Jawa loosing his left hand to Takan’s blade.
Three beings stepped out from a nearby building. Two humans and one Gran, the three-eyed, goat faced inhabitants of Malistar. They were Jedi that Takan knew. One of the humans, Will, was an apprentice to the best friend of Master Qui Gon Solo. The Jawas all backed away seeing new Jedi join in the battle. The Sith Jawa picked up his severed hand and fled into the sandcrawler, which turned around and drove off at high speed.
Will ran up to Takan and shook his hand. “Jim, how’ve ya been? What’s going on here!”
“I’ll explain what I know while we fix the hyperdrive. Hey Yee Res, you still a master mechanic?”
The Gran grinned. “Yeah, and you still owe me a pod race.”
“Well, let’s get to it. The sooner we get to the Jedi Council the better.”
While they helped in fixing the hyperdrive, Takan explained what had happened to him in the last several hours. Will told him of the recent attacks on Jedi. The Jedi Knight Fren Katarn and his two young children were found dead in their home on Sulon. At the Bespin Training Center, the entire group of apprentices were slaughtered. On Hoth, the Jedi Ambassador was found beheaded in his quarters at the Republic Base. And now they were after Takan. It seemed that if the Sith were rising again, and they were following in the footsteps of Palpatine by slaying the Jedi. It was the Jedi Purge all over again.
Returning to the Jedi Council was imperative.
All the centuries it took to rebuild the Jedi Knights. All the sacrifices made by the galaxy. All the young knights dead. Takan felt sick. For such a new knight, he was greatly intune with the Force. Even as a child he was in almost complete harmony. When his uncle died, seven year old Takan felt it all the way across the galaxy to his bed in the Jedi Academy. There were many bloodlines wiped out in this new purge. The Katarns, the Calrissians, the Jinns, and the most devistating of all, the Solos and the Skywalkers. The last surviving member of the Skywalker blood was gone, too.
Lawson Skywalker, Jedi Master and senior member of the Council. Takan felt it was better that he had died, though, than be converted into a Sith Lord. That was the terrible fate that befell the Legendary Luke Skywalker’s own son, Kitster.
Jim Takan stood before the remaining members of the Jedi Council and awaited their response to his report. The new senior member was Master Nindo, a half-Rodian, half-wookie. Finally, Nindo spoke. “It theems that our greateth fear ith now a reality. Thomewhere in thith galathy the evil thith are rithing.”
“Yes, master,” Jim responded. “And the fact that they have Jawas under their control must mean something.”
Another council member, this one a Devorian, spoke up. “Did you know that the famous Master Yoda was a Jawa?” Everyone turned and looked at him. “Well, it is true.” He buried his face in his chest and became silent.
Another member of the council, a human, spoke to Jim next. “Knight Takan, we want you to go to the unknown regions and search out this menace. You will take a small group of Jedi with you, several of them padawans, and a platoon of the Republic’s finest. The senate has approved the use of one of their warships under the command of Admiral Kast, my brother-in-law. This operation will be mainly under military jurisdiction. However, if evidence of the Sith shows itself, then the command will go fully to you, Jim. Do you think you are ready for this task?”
Jim Takan bowed his head in respect. “Yes, master. I am ready and I will not let you down. I will discover the identity of this new Darth.”
Master Nindo bowed his own fur-covered distorted rodian’s head in return. “May the Force be with you, my friend.”
Jim walked from the chamber and whispered to himself, “Yes it certainly may.”
The army of ewoks marched down the square, holding flags bearing the Sith Skull, worn centuries ago by the infamous Boba Fett. Jim was being dragged by a Huttea, a genetic experiment gone awry long ago when an evil Duro scientist tried to mix a Hutt with a rancor and ended up with a brown Hutt that had four legs.
Jim sat up abruptly, covered in sweat. He strained to remember what had happened. The last thing he could remember, he and a group of Jedi were flying into the unknown regions. Now he was here, laying in a field of debris and wreckage. The burned bodies of several Jedi lay about him. Searching with the Force, he could find no trace of any of the Jedi. He only could sense on thing. The same thing he felt not too long ago when the Ewok sith attacked him, but this was a lot more powerful.
The sound echoed in his brain.
He deducted that he was on the hidden world that contained the new Sith Lord. But what was Moloch. It clicked in his mind. Moloch. Darth Moloch, the new Dark Lord of the Sith. In the long tradition of sith lords, such as Naga Sadow, Exar Kun, and the pioneer Darth Bane, who started the policy of only two sith at a time. Darth Moloch changed this when taking on seven apprentices. Four ewoks, a gungun, jawa, and a human. That number was now four, since one Ewok was killed by Jim Takan, and the other two were killed by Moloch. Wait, how could Jim know all this. The Force was giving him a good amount of information about this new threat. Jim found a quiet corner behind the broken star ship and meditated on the events of the day.
To Be Continued…