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"Outcast": Book 1 in the Fate of the Jedi series


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chapter 26:
 
The prison raid is the main news the next day.  Seff Hellin was identified, but everybody else wasn’t.  It’s obvious that Valin Horn was the objective.  Since the persons involved didn’t cause any deaths, it would appear that his confederates were also Jedi. 
 
Captain Harfard appears at the Temple, demanding to know where Hellin is.  Not being in on the plan, Master Hamner insists he doesn’t know and reminds him that they were told Hellin wasn’t in contact with the Temple.  They don’t know what his plans are.
 
Harfard tells him the next step will be implanting tracking devices inside the Jedi.  Hamner whispers a few quick words to him and Harfard leaves.  Kolir wonders what he said.  Dab, with his high-tech equipment, tells her that Hamner told Harfard he would be privileged to show him where they might implant the device.
 
He does tell Jaina that her position last night put her near the crime scene.  She could very easily be one of the mystery Jedi.  But his job is to expose truth, not speculation. He does wonder what she and Tahiri talked about last night.
 
He knows that he looks like Anakin, that she was his girlfriend and has been messed up ever since his death.  Dab also admits that he was smitted with her when he met her on Borleais all those years ago.  Jaina tells him he needs to stay away from her.  Dab doesn’t think he should be burdened with being treated like Anakin when he’s not.
 
Jaina heads down where the observers are not allowed to be to find Cilghal in the chamber housing Seff.  Cilghal explains it was obvious Jedi had grabbed Seff, but unwise of them to keep the news from the Masters.  For one, she is needed for her medical expertise and she is also the only one in regular contact with Luke.  He is on Dorin learning the scanner-blanking technique.
 
Though the Jedi are considered a militant order, they are different from the military in one important way.  They are expected to do what’s right even when it runs counter to orders.
 
Cilghal would like to know where Jaina’s parents are.  Since they were the first ones to see Seff in his condition, they may be able to tell if he’s degenerated further.  So far, she can tell that he does not have the ability to block the electroencephaloscan the way Valin could. 
 
He seems to be in a dream-like state.
 
Ben and Luke spend time digging out their quarters, exploring the caverns and talking to the other residents.  Ben thinks they need to leave.  Luke reminds him that Jedi exist to right wrongs and to keep the Force in balance.  Ben points out that they serve as models for attractive lines of boots, too.
 
The Baran Do are wronging people by keeping them here against their will and wronging themselves by pretending to be dead and following the paranoid Hidden One.  They’re rejecting life down here.  If Luke and Ben leave, the Kel Dor will continue to live this way.
 
Ben spends his time searching for the cavern secrets.  First, he wants to find out where this so-called trigger is located that will collapse the tunnel leading to the surface.  He finds one such above the Hidden One’s throne.
 
He finds another in the large hall where he trains with Chara.  There’s another in a dormitory where several of them sleep. 
 
In the training hall, Luke watches Ithia and Chara spar.  He also notes a young Kel Dor who says his name is Wyss.  He’s a servant here.  He is interested in learning to fight, but cannot because, as in life, so in death.
 
It would appear that they are all expected to be content with the skills they had in life.
 
Chara wins the matches, with Ithia admitting that she’s out of practice.  Luke tells everyone he’s too sore from shoveling, but may fight tomorrow.  He tells Ben that he has the answers they need.  Wyss and Ithia have provided them.  He is going to get word to the Hidden One to gather everyone for their renaming ceremony.
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chapter 27:
 
In the throne chamber, Luke admits he asked for a naming ceremony, but he and Ben will not be taking new names. Instead, he hopes that they will renaming some of the others here. 
 
They can start with renaming Chara his original name of Charsae Saal.  The Hidden One is wronging himself and the others, too.  The sages study and utilize the Force and the Force is the energy of life. Life is risk and energy.  By rejecting those things, they are rejecting the Force, depriving themselves of the right to teach it to the living. 
 
He points to Ithia who has stopped practicing because she has no need.  All energy and hope is drained from those who live down here.  Wyss gave up his young life to serve here and gets nothing in exchange.  He has no chance to improve himself or grow.
 
Their duty is to the living.  It’s a noble thing to want to save the Baran Do teachings and be prepared if there’s another purge.  There were Jedi who survived the last ones, too.  They scattered throughout the galaxy disseminating their knowledge.  The Baran Do are concentrated here where one toxic bomb or groundquake could eliminate the whole place.
 
Those that don’t will wither away, like Ithia or Chara whom Ben could probably take now.  In fact, he wagers that Ben can.  If he fails, this subject won’t be brought up again so long as he lives here. 
 
The Hidden One directs this.  Ben won’t use his lightsaber, as he doubts cutting the Kel Dor in half will prove anything to anyone.  The fight is intense and brings out the excitement in the others.  Luke smiles, knowing they are feeling for the first time in a long time.
 
When Ben wins, the Hidden One concedes Luke is allowed to complain all he wants, but he’s still wrong.  Chara doesn’t think so.  This boy was able to beat him because he had the will. This is something that is lacking here.
 
The Hidden One determines the Skywalkers are too dangerous to live here anymore.  It is not the Baran Do way to murder.  However, he’s told the surface that the two humans are dead so no more oxygen-nitrogen mix canisters will be sent down.  The air will do the rest.
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chapter 28:
 
His followers plead with him.  Ithia points out that their lives only have meaning here if the Baran Do are wiped out.  Otherwise, they are wasting every day. 
 
Knowing that Luke and Ben have caused a change that he cannot reverse, he tries to use the Force to bring weather against them.  He only exhausts himself.  He agrees to allow servants to learn and other concessions, but not to let the Skywalkers leave.
 
Ben decides enough is enough and uses the Force to release the triggering mechanism, collapsing the entry tunnel.  The Hidden One tells him that it will doom him and his father.
 
Ben is tired of the lies.  He points out that they will all starve because the food that is sent from above is needed to supplement their hydroponics. Otherwise, the leader would not have risked comming the surface for it and it being traced.
 
The Blast Doors are too big to be manufactured on this planet’s foundries and they’re too big to fit the very small tunnel.  The one they’ve been using for shipments really isn't necessary at all.  There’s a bigger tunnel elsewhere and it’s needed because the Baran Do do not have a technique to communicate by telepathy at all.  That’s why the Hidden One communicates with comlinks. 
 
When the time came, they would have taken the tunnels to the surface and begun spreading out to teach.
 
One of the followers explains there is a turbolift chamber above that will need maintenance before it is activated.  It takes only a few minutes work to reveal the chamber.  Luke tells Ben that he acted unilaterally.  The Hidden One might have changed his mind after a night’s sleep.
 
Ben believes that he wouldn’t have done that.  His resolution solved the problem without killing anyone and giving need information that was hard for people to hear but was necessary.  Sometimes the extra day isn’t needed.
 
He can’t be sure the Force led him to do that.  He also realizes that Luke had all this worked out, too. 
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chapter 29:
 
The Skywalker and a few explorers head up the turbolift into a chamber with several old speeders.  They uncover one and head out.  Luke tells Ben they will stay for a day or two, but the Kel Dor don’t need help.  Mistress Mong is able to handle things above, while Chara and Ithia will help those who were formerly dead.  They probably don’t want the Jedi to help right now anyway.
 
The Hidden One may find a new direction for his Order or he may send groups out into the galaxy.  Ben decides he’ll exercise his newfound freedom by taking off his breath mask, breathing in the helium-rich air and singing in a high-pitched voice.
 
A couple of days after the expedition into Kessel’s caverns, the last of them have detonated and things are different.  The groundquakes have stopped and the miners have started to return.
 
The bogeys have vanished, seemingly dependent on the machinery that had lined the caverns.  Though Tendrando Arms has been taken to task by the government for not consulting the authorities first, there seem to be no worries now.
 
Han determines that they are headed back to Coruscant so Allana won’t be frightened of some space ghost coming after her.  Lando raises a toast to Kessel and to his friends.
 
Ben and Luke leave Dorin to find several messages from Cilghal.  She’s reported some abnormalities in Seff Hellin’s brain scans that she can use to start off her research. 
 
A holorecording shows Wolam Tsers reporting that the Galactic Court has struck down the limitations placed on the Jedi by the Chief of State.  Several observers, pulled from their tasks abruptly, complain that they are needed.
 
Luke turns the volume down and starts to remind hi son not to be too excited.  Ben knows that there are still dangerous forces out there, but, on this day, he’s glad to be alive.
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End of Book I

 

  • The observers have been pulled...GOOD.  It was a stupid idea anyway and generally unworkable.
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