May 21, 2020

Isaiah the Gray, Part 11

Part 10 (rest at the bottom):


Jimmy motions to the Away Pod. “After you.”

As an act of good faith, the three Gray, Captain Issac, Hanari, and T’Enora, enter the pod. Jimmy follows close behind. At the main hatch, Isaiah stops for a moment.

“Computer, please stay in close communication. We may need a quick evacuation,” says Isaiah to the AI.

“Understood Commander,” replies AI.

The Away Pod ejects from Defiant, hurtles past the Ulysses, and effortlessly penetrates the atmosphere. Looking through the main viewer, the great desert of Korriban looms large below. A few moments later, the pod gracefully lands on the planet’s surface.

As the gangplank opens, harsh sunlight reflects off the sand in the Valley of the Sith Lords. And at that moment, it becomes immediately clear that the sheer, incredible Force gravity of the area is overwhelming in intensity. As the group of five exits onto the sand, the insane density of Force is difficult to ignore.

The Dense Atmosphere

Captain Issac turns to Isaiah. “Our sensor readings did not indicate anywhere near this level of force intensity on the planet’s surface. Clearly, something is intentionally masking the area. We must proceed with great caution.”

Isaiah nods. “Proceed as you will, Captain Issac.”

“Hanari, T’Enora, please return to the ship and gather the marines for an expedition to the planet’s surface. That’s an order.”

“Captain, I must object!” replies Hanari. “It is far too dangerous for you to continue alone with these men. Especially here of all places!”

“I must agree Captain,” chimes-in T’Enora. “We must keep you alive if our mission in this cycle is to succeed.”

“Your concerns are noted and wise,” replies Captain Issac. “I will be protected here. You have my word. Now, please do as you’re ordered.”

Hanari and T’Enora, angry over their Captain’s decision, withdraw back into the Away Pod which, a few moments later, blasts off into the atmosphere.

“This place isn’t safe for them,” continues the Captain. “I’ll admit, it isn’t safe for me either. But the Force is telling me I must press on with the two of you. I pray this is not a fool’s errand.”

Isaiah looks to Jimmy C, concerned about his friend’s Force sensitivity, especially given what took place on Coruscant. But Jimmy appears steady, perhaps used to this feeling by now.

“Only time will tell. Let us proceed. I feel…a yearning in the valley,” says Isaiah.

The Valley of the Sith Lords

The three men trudge through the sun, sand, and dense Force-laden atmosphere into the Valley of the Sith Lords. As they enter, the sun begins to set and a magnificent crimson red fills the area with a potent red light.

Tombs litter the mountains on each side like anthills. Isaiah though seems fixated on a certain direction. Like a bloodhound on the trail of his quarry, Isaiah pushes through the cloud of Force energy with ease in his quest to find…whatever he’s institutionally following.

The Captain and Jimmy C don’t object and follow him throughout his twists and turns down the valley. Eventually, they find themselves in front of a relatively unremarkable mausoleum, especially in comparison to the splendor of the others.

“Strange. This one is unmarked,” says Captain Issac. “For a culture that revered its most powerful, it’s odd for a tomb to be unlabeled.”

“A punishment, perhaps?” asks Jimmy rhetorically.

The Unmarked Mausoleum

Isaiah is unflinching in his conviction that this place is their destination and enters without another word. Jimmy and Captain Issac cast half-concerned, half-impressed glances at one another before following him inside.

The tomb is dark and cold. The three men make their way inside, with nothing to light their way. As the last morsel of outside light is lost, the room is flooded with an immense concentration of the Dark Side of the Force. Captain Issac immediately falls to his knees and struggles to breathe. Jimmy does his best to maintain his composure but quickly releases a bellow of furious rage, his voice echoing off the walls of the empty mausoleum.

And yet, Isaiah is unaffected. He calmly turns to Jimmy and puts his hand on Jimmy’s shoulder, restoring his balance. And in that instant, Jimmy sees the dark-filled tomb for what it is: an ingenious amplifier of force energy. There are torches all over the walls which, instead of carrying light, channel the Force and amplify it as it moves through each conduit. With his remaining power, Jimmy unleashes a blast of Force energy and severs the connection between the conduits, restoring the tomb to a sense of normalcy.

Captain Issac’s breathing returns to normal. He stands and approaches Isaiah. “I have been alive a long time. And I’ve lived through many cycles. But no being I’ve ever encountered should be unaffected by this room. What are you, Isaiah?”

In his mind’s eye, Isaiah is in many ways the same as he’s always been. At this moment though, he’s concerned. Having led a life of painful drudgery, to be thrust into extraordinary power and to cause massive ripple effects across the galaxy with each action is at best disconcerting to him. But Isaiah, through force of will, maintains his stoicism.

“I wish I knew. I hope we help solve that here. Now, let’s keep going.”

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Part 8:

Part 9: