The Gray Enter
Corban flashes a gentle smile. “There is nothing to turn to – the Light side is always there. If it puts you at ease, I will stay silent on the subject moving forward.”
Jimmy shakes his head. “Typical Jedi.”
AI’s voice comes over the intercom. “Commander, Captain Issac requests permission to board immediately.”
“Permission granted,” responds Isaiah who nods to Jimmy.
The former mercenary makes his way down the hallway and to the main boarding hatch. A few moments later, the steel doors unfurl themselves, retracting into the bulkhead to reveal the leader of the Gray, Captain Issac.
“Jimmy. It’s been too long,” says a smiling Issac.
“Captain,” says Jimmy, tipping his imaginary cap.
The two men make their way back to the central meeting area. Zero-You glares at Isaac from across the room. “Another Force user? Great. Really great…”
Captain Issac shakes his head but then looks to Corban. He can’t help but be surprised. It’s been so long…
“AI,” says Isaiah, “at your discretion please take us to the location listed on Corban’s special microchip. Maximum speed.”
“Understood Commander,” says AI. “We’re now on our way. Estimated time of arrival: three hours forty-two minutes.”
On Our Way
“Gentlemen, we will return shortly,” says Isaiah to the ship’s guests. “Please make yourselves comfortable.”
Isaiah and Jimmy withdraw to the Defiant’s bridge.
“What do you make of this Jimmy?” asks Isaiah.
“Things are starting to add up,” says Jimmy. “But it feels like we’re still missing something. Think about it: your life up until a week ago was mundane to the extreme. And now we find ourselves at the center of some test passed down by our ancestors over the very nature of the Force itself. That’s quite the shift. Almost the polar opposite.”
Isaiah nods as he considers Jimmy’s perspective.
“I get how I got here – you,” continues Jimmy. “But how do you fit into all this? And why? It is hard to trust anyone’s perspectives because they all seem so incomplete in answering that question.”
Isaiah takes a few moments to meditate and reflect. “It’s been in the back of my mind that this whole experience feels like a dream or a fantasy,” says Isaiah. “But I admit the depth of what’s been conveyed to me through the Force would be impossible to feel and know in a dream, right? This all has to be real. Our trust and respect, has to be real. And if that’s true, I come to the same questions that are on your mind: Why me? Why now? And how do we get back the control of our fate? It feels as if we’ve been swept away in the tide.”
You May Remember Me
Back in the main meeting space, Corban and Captain Issac are seated opposite one another.
“I sense you’ve not been with them since their journey began,” says Corban. “Tell me stranger, who are you?”
Captain Issac smiles. “You may remember me, Keeper. But that was ages ago; perhaps you’ve forgotten?”
The look on the Blind Jedi’s face morphs quickly to shock. “Issac…? But I felt you die, the Force drain from your body. How…? Why?”
Captain Issac hangs his head as if reliving a terrible memory. “Fate really is a fickle thing, Corban old friend,” he says. “It’s starting to become clear why we’re all here.”
“What do you mean?” asks the Blind Jedi.
The Captain caustically laughs. “We’re being played. But I don’t mind; it’s for the best.”
“I don’t understand,” responds Corban, confused as ever.
“Yes you do my friend,” says Issac. “The test of the ancient orders is real. We are living out their grand experiment. The Jedi, Sith and…the Gray.”
“That’s it!” says Corban in an odd mix of surprise, excitement, and almost disappointment. “That’s how you’re alive…you took the Vow. You’re a Gray now, aren’t you Issac?”