December 10, 2020

Isaiah the Gray, Part 30


I’d Ask You The Same Thing

At the end of the hall, at the base of the Gigantic Sarlacc pit, Isaiah comes across Jimmy. He’s still hunched over, exhausted from the sheer density of Force energy in the area. Jimmy looks up at Isaiah and smiles, stubborn as ever.

And yet, Jimmy knows something is different in Isaiah. “You okay?” he asks, drawing in deep gasps of air in the process..

“I’d ask you the same thing,” says Isaiah in reply. “Let’s get back to the ship. Our work is done here.”

Jimmy proudly stands up straight, doing his best to pretend such an exercise is easy. “After you,” he says.

Isaiah furrows his eyebrow, suppresses a smile, and props Jimmy over his shoulder. And together, they slowly but surely climb out of the darkness of the Sarlacc pit.

The Desert Sun

The blistering sun of the Tatooine desert immediately reminds Isaiah and Jimmy where they are. And as they take their last movement onto the sand, Corban, Zero-You, and Isaac approach.

“I assume you’re okay?” asks Isaac, trying to mask the concern in his voice.

Isaiah stands, brushing off the sand from his jacket. “As good as can be expected. We’re done here,” he says before noticing Roshannon Darek’s ship. “Well, almost done. Did you find anything on-board?”

“No lifeforms on-board,” says Zero-You. “But we did find numerous different pieces of equipment that would be atypical for the Sith.”

“Such as?” asks Jimmy.

“It’s true that the Sith do hide when it suits them,” pipes-in Corban. “But this ship has advanced integrations with stealth systems that rival even our Defiant. It appears its primary purpose was to stay off the grid.”

Isaiah takes a long, hard look at Roshannon’s ship. What was she up to? He searches his memories, hoping to pluck out an answer from Roshannon’s spirit.

A few moments later, Isaiah marches to the base of its gangplank. The Defiant’s crew curiously half-circle him, wondering what he’s up to.

“Zaren!” yells Isaiah into the ship’s belly. “Come meet us. The time for hiding is over!”

The ship is still. The Defiant crew looks to one another, puzzled.

“Roshannon wasn’t able to interface with the Catalyst. I’m sorry, Zaren,” says Isaiah expressing genuine sorrow.

The Man in Black

A tall man, dressed in black with an odd set of goggles dangling around his neck, emerges at the top of the ship’s gangplank. The Defiant crew is shocked; they had done a thorough search of the ship!

“Tell me what happened,” says the man, his face wracked with pain as if he already knows the answer.

Isaiah reaches out his hand and bridges a connection with the Force between their minds. And through that tunnel flows the memory of Roshannon’s demise, the integration of her spirit into the Jedi Catalyst, and Isaiah’s absorption of its essence.

A flood of emotion overwhelms Zaren as he nearly drops to his knees, knowing his love has passed on.

“Roshannon’s essence is within me now, Zaren,” says Isaiah. “The time for running is over. Come with us. And find your peace.”

The emotion and memories though are too much for Zaren. And even he, of prodigious Force powers of the mind, cannot control the emotional deluge within. Like a bomb building in his inner world, rage, grief, and despair swell to the point where his head is on the verge of literally exploding.

Isaiah though, through the incredible power of the Force, dispels the storm in Zaren’s mind. As the figurative clouds clear, Zaren drops his head, resigned to the present in which he’s found himself. “Where are you going?” he asks in a defeated, monotone voice.

“Away from here. Now, will you come? Or stay among the hunted?” answers Isaiah.

“What will happen to her?” asks Zaren, referring to Roshannon’s ship.

Isaiah turns to Zero-You. “Activate the self-destruct sequence. Ten minutes, silent countdown.”

A flash of anger crosses Zaren’s face as Zero-You moves up the gangplank and into the ship. But again resignation as to his fate, especially as he’s able to sense Isaiah’s overwhelming power, overtakes his feelings. Zaren nods. “Lead the way,” he says.

A few minutes later the crew, and the valuable materials they were able to scavenge from Roshannon and Zaren’s ship, are on-board the Defiant.

“Take us away,” Isaiah says to AI over the intercom.

As the Defiant breaks through Tatooine’s atmosphere, with Zaren looking on through a window, Roshannon’s ship explodes, leaving little doubt as to its fate.

“Come,” says Isaiah to Zaren. “There is much for us to talk about.”