The Sith Empress
by AJ Marks
Gaia stretched out from where she sat on board the Millennium Falcon. She was headed back to the academy from Coruscant and hitching a ride on one of the most famous starships in the galaxy. She looked around at her fellow passengers, which included the President of the Republic, Leia Solo and her three children, and two other senators.
She hadn’t spoken much with either of them and one she didn’t like much anyways and they both seemed to speak about concerns about the academy and what they might be learning. They were fearful of another Emperor appearing. Of course Han Solo and Chewbacca were up in the cockpit considering the ship was about to come out of hyperspace.
Gaia wondered what her master, Fie-Tel, would have in store for her once she returned back to the academy. She had mostly failed in her research and had little else to go on other than a name, Bri Lightner, and few visions of her and some other person who, she was told, were connected by more than love.
Looking down at the reports from Yavin IV she noticed that the academy might actually be in danger. The forces under Tavion were gathering and there was thought she might be making a move. She had visited the Force sensitive areas that were known and draining them. The biggest problem was there was no intelligence on what she was planning to do with this energy.
Gaia felt this current situation had nothing to do with what she had been researching. It wasn’t anything she really felt, but more like a gut feeling she got. With that thought she realized there was something else going on out there which no one knew about. With everyone’s attention on Tavion this other person was able to move around unseen.
“So, how far along are you with your training?” one of the senators asked her. She looked over recalling the man’s name, Ollo.
“Not that far, I’m not as strong as many others are,” she answered honestly.
“Well, our philosophy is even the strongest of us can be defeated by the weakest,” Ollo replied.
“Which is why your people fell so easily to the Empire when the Emperor took over,” the other senator said causing Ollo to bristle slightly.
“It also allowed them to gather a lot of intelligence for the rebellion ass the Emperor didn’t view them as a threat to his rule,” Leia stated speaking up from where she sat.
“I don’t know about that, but when it comes to the Force it always works in mysterious ways,” Gaia stated. “I’m actually better off now than when I joined the Jedi Order.”
With that she looked over at Ulti waiting to see if he would say anything.
“Interesting that you say you’re are better off now,” Ollo stated.
“My family is poor, and my mother and father had a hard time providing for three of us,” Gaia replied back to him.
“They should work then,” Ulti stated, a bit of conceding tone.
“They did,” Gaia looking him right in the eyes. “At least they had a job until a high profile politician made a bunch of new laws forcing the business to downsize.”
“Then they should look for a new job,” Ulti said, looking a bit uncomfortable now that Gaia and the others were looking at him.
“They might have if that same law hadn’t almost crippled the economy of my home planet making finding new work almost impossible,” she replied back to him.
“Then they should have left for anew area,” Ulti answered as if he had all the answers to their problems.
“They might have been able to if rates to leave hadn’t been raised so high,” Gaia stated wondering if the man had an inkling of how much damage he had done to the economy thanks to his promises to certain groups. “In fact, the politicians only seemed to listen to certain groups and ignored the citizens.”
Ulti stiffened as the conversation continued.
“In fact, certain investors were rewarded quite well for what happened, especially those of Intertravel Inc,” Gaia said to them.
They all understood that Ulti was a heavy investor of Intertravel Inc, and the laws passed were designed to harm, not help, most areas of the economy and despite heavy public pressure passed anyways due to local whitewashing of the truth.
“Really,” Leia said as she looked on.
“We did everything we could for the people of the planet,” Ulti replied like a typical politician, he had done nothing wrong in his mind.
Gaia felt a slight bump in the ship’s movement before Han announced they had landed. Gaia stood and headed out before stopping to look at Ulti once more.
“Your policies destroyed many more lives then helped. You can try to deny it, but the truth is there for you to see if you have eyes to see it.”
With that she walked off the ship and back out into the academy despite hearing the beginnings of a political argument between the three. She wondered if she had made a difference and hoped so but it felt good to get that off her chest despite everything in her Jedi training. Looking around she spotted Master Fie-Tel standing there waiting for her.
“Gaia, how are you feeling,” he said giving her a hug as a greeting.
“Fine Master Fie-Tel,” she replied back to him.
“And how did your research go? I received some information, but not a lot,” he asked her.
“Very little survived the purge, but I was able to find a name,” Gaia replied knowing it was the right track. “A Jedi by the name of Bri Lightner.”
“Yes, I am unfamiliar with that name,” he replied. “We were unable to find anything here either.”
“I’m not surprised,” she said, but had wished they could find something.
They turned at the sounds of children’s cries of ‘Uncle Luke’ and watched as Han and Leia’s kids ran to greet their uncle. Luke gave each of them a hug before greeting Leia and Han.
“I see that a couple of council members are here as well,” Fie-Tel replied looking on and noticing the two men standing not far away.
“Senators Ollo and Ulti,” Gaia replied and she could tell by Ulti’s stature he was uncomfortable about something. Privately she hoped her words had done some good.
“Have you been keeping up with the reports I sent you?” Fie-Tel asked her changing the subject.
“I read them on the way here, does Tavion really pose that much of a threat to the Jedi Order?” Gaia asked wondering if the reports were hyping something which wasn’t really a problem.
“We believe so,” he replied back to her, his tone indicating the seriousness of the situation. “Do you think you’re research is connected to it at all?”
“My feelings on the subject scare me a lot, but whatever the pull of this is, it’s full of the Dark Side and anger, but no, I don’t think this is connected to Tavion,” Gaia finally said.
“Then we need to keep our guard up,” Fie-Tel replied.
Gaia nodded wondering if they could survive against two threats at once.
“Um, my lord, where did this fleet come from?” Tyi asked as he and the others all looked on amazement that so many ships were in one spot and appeared to be empty.
“It’s the remnants of the Sith fleet from Darth Malak to be used against the Old Republic. He hid it from everyone, and now its found,” Jessica said to them as she looked out at joy at her fleet. “Soon it will be alive again.”
“I thought the fleet was destroyed by the Republic fleet at the end of the war, and the Jedi Civil war,” the captain said recalling some history of the past.
Jessica realized that at least one person on board knew his history, but didn’t know it all. “You are only half correct, at least what is written in history. Malak hid part of his fleet in case of an emergency. Those who knew were killed,” Jessica said to him, not telling him that the spirits of the Sith Lords led her here.
She watched as Tyi and the captain exchanged looks between them probably trying to figure out how she was told about them if everyone who knew about the fleet had been killed.
“But my lord, how?” Tyi finally asked finding his voice.
“I am a true Sith Lord, that is how I know,” Jessica stated. She had a feeling it would only enhance her reputation to the others and begin the legend of Darth Rizon.
“Of course my lord,” Tyi replied with a slight bow in her direction.
“Prepare a landing party captain, we’re going aboard one of the ships,” she said looking out and picking out a ship which was closest. “This one should do,” she said showing the captain which ship she had selected.
“Right away,” the captain replied moving off to carry out his orders.
Jessica felt the shuttle land on the ship and looked at the others with her. The captain had selected a group who knew something about a ship and if it was still able to e used or if it had rusted away and useless. She knew derelict ships could be rendered worthless but she felt these ships were still operational.
The group waited until the report from the atmosphere came back, there was a chance of some sort of toxic accident but it came back clean. They exited, the armed guards first followed by Jessica and finally the techs. The air was a bit stale, but breathable as they started to make their way towards the bridge.
The group rounded the corner and came across a droid unlike anything they had seen before. It reminded them of a large, giant, robotic spider. When it noticed them it immediately let out a screech and beep at them. The group raised its weapons ready for anything.
The droid opened fire with some deadly accuracy as one man quickly went done before any of them could return fire. They recovered quickly and took up covering positions and returned fire to discover the droid had some sort of defensive shield on it.
Jessica watched as another man went down and realized this wouldn’t do to have her men cut down from under her like this. Reaching out with the force she held the robot in place before crushing it. It was strong, but not stronger than her will.
The group watched before looking at the droid and then back at her. A few more were more than wary of her now with that display of power she showed. With a purposefully stride she walked past the group and headed towards the bridge, once there she felt they could control these things.
She also knew her men were not equipped to fight these droids, they needed ion weapons, not regular weapons.
“Make a note, on the next ship to take ion weapons,” she said to the leader.
“No problem, I’ll remember this,” he said to her.
The group continued down the corridor eventually encountering another droid which she easily dispatched with the Force and her lightsaber before any more men could be killed. They quickly found the bridge which was deserted for which they were thankful. The group looked on as several techs looked on at the controls.
“Reminds me of an Imperial class star destroyer,” one of the techs said obviously having some experience. “The droids should be able to be shut down here.”
“Then do it,” Jessica said to him watching as he ran through a few programs before announcing the droids were disabled, hopefully.
They continued looking around checking which systems were functioning and which ones were not at the moment. One brought up the power levels of the ship as Jessica walked over to him.
“What’s the diagnosis?” she asked.
“Everything seems normal, need to start up the main engines, there is some fuel as well. Things are running on auxiliaries at the moment,” he said to her.
“Perfect, take some teams and explore the ship a bit more, make sure there are no other visitors on my ship,” Jessica ordered to them. “The droids should be shut down now as well.”
The guards split up into several groups before heading out to explore the ship and report back in leaving Jessica, a few guards, and the techs on the bridge.
End part 13