Somewhere in the belly of the ship, a low hum started. In the supposed bridge, a blue light on one of the consoles started to flash on and off. Back in the ship, everyone stopped and looked around.
"Was it something I did?" Tiberius whispered, taking his finger from the button he pressed to call the lift.
"The lift doesn't seem to work, so I'd say no..."
"Then what was it?"
"I don't have a clue, but I am sure not happy about it."
Gaidal listened very closely to the sound. "I have heard this before..." he mumbled.
Uzbad and Macron noticed a string of lights activate on a nearby panel. The ship lurched, and a low hum reached them through the deckplates. The exit remained sealed, and the ship was activating it's hyperdrive.
"Uh oh," Macron groaned into his comlink. He was interfaced with the ship's datalink, and the news was bad. "I have no idea where these coordinates are. We could be going anywhere. My best guess, however, is the Unknown Regions. I guess you all have noticed, this thing's taking us somewhere."
Uzbad meanwhile was searching for the ship's log. He located an archaic data storage device that appeared to be it. Uzbad tinkered with it a bit, and then the device activated. It was audio only, and the voice sounded human.
The last entry was patchy and garbled. "The speaker mentioned something about the Black Nebula and then fades out," Uzbad spoke into his comlink. "And the registry is corrupt, but I see at least one Jedi name and a date. This ship is... at least a thousand years old, maybe more."
Macron thought a moment. "Black Nebula.... but isn't that an area with lots of collapsars and ion storms?" Uzbad nodded.
Macron noticed the stars seem to stretch out into prismatic streaks. The hyperdrive had been activated by the ship's computer, with all of the Dark Jedi aboard.
Tiberius and Ban saw the engines power up, and begin a hyperjump right before their eyes. The hyperdrive looked old, and unstable.
Gaidal had spotted some bones near the lightsaber he found, wearing rotten brown robes.
The situation had gotten very interesting.
Gaidal felt uncomfortable with the current situation. He knew this sound, he knew this ship, and he knew the troubles they were in. Darn, what did Tiberius and his investigation team. Gaidal took another look at the long gone Jedi.
“Look”, Gaidal mumbled, “here is a completely decomposed corpse of a Jedi.”
“Well, I found something too”, Drodik (formerly known as Ossus) mentioned and he showed the lightsaber covered with blood. Gaidal looked at it and inspected the blood. Meanwhile, Drodik looked at the lightsaber hanging on the belt of Gaidal.
“You have a… a lightsaber?”, he asked confused.
“Yes, and I know I may not wield it, because I’m no Dark Jedi Knight”, Gaidal sneered, “but it is of no use anyway. It’s a ‘souvenir’ from my former Jedi Master. By the way, the blood is very old, almost ancient.”
“A souvenir? Did he give it to you?”, Drodik continued.
“No, I took it from him. Killed him with his own saber. The Jedi are always so very weak and predictable. He never knew what was coming, that I was about to come for his head.”
Gaidal showed a disgraceful grin.
“It’s no longer mine already, because I promised it to that lovely Dark Jedi Knight Desdemonea as a token of our mutual recognition. She may wield it, and she can most likely fix it. It has no further meaning to me anymore. The only interesting fact is that I killed a couple of Jedi and Padawans with it in order to escape. The saber was also my favourite weapon during my period as a criminal on Nar Shaddea. In the final confrontation with a Jedi, just before I found and entered the Brotherhood, this saber got heavily damaged during the battle. Look!” Gaidal ignited the saber and a shiny, yellow blade came out of the saber. A few seconds after its appearance it started flickering and vanished in thin air.
“Well, enough of all this joking around. We have to go to the others. You heard the humming sound? It means we’re about to have a lot on our minds”, Gaidal mentioned, while he attached the lightsaber to his belt again.
Drodik and Gaidal ran back to the others. They found Semyon and Koi waiting at the main entrance of the ship, where their transport was attached to the ship.
“What’s the rush?”, Semyon asked with a bit of curiosity in his voice.
“We have to get away from here”, Gaidal stated, “and there is little time to talk right now. Let’s just say that we’re in real danger now and I have reason to believe that Tiberius and the others did something foolish! There is a problem, because we can’t go into the direction we came from; it’s a dead end, because of some kind of force field. We have to take the middle direction and need to find the storage room, I guess that’s probably the safest place. Are you coming with us, Semyon?”
Semyon nodded and everyone looked at the silent Koi. Gaidal wanted to ask him as well, but Koi just nodded and prepared his weapon. They were with four of them and started walking into the middle corridor.
Gaidal got more and more worried. He knew exactly where they were. The architecture, the structure, the design; everything matched. This was truly a Kyandrian ship. First, he thought it was a ship from one of the five Armada’s that left the desolate and almost unbearable planet of Kyandria. No, this ship didn’t belong to these Armada’s. It looked all the same, but wasn’t the same. This ship looked older, a archaic and ancient copy of the later models. The prophecy. It was true. Old men always said that the Kyandrians came as colonists with their ships (which they called ‘arches’) to their later homeworld and would leave with ships eventually. All ten Clans were there more than a thousand years ago, but only nine would actually land. The tenth Clan never believed that Kyandria would mean the end of the search for a new planet. No, they remained in orbit and left just after all the other Clans were settled. The ship was never seen again and it left known space beyond the borders of the Outer Rim. The Usita Clan and their ship expected to be lost forever. Gaidal never believed these stories and prophecies, but this was the ship already. This was the ‘Usitan Overseer’, but there was no sign of any crew or colonist. The original crew had to be dead, because living over a thousand years was quite impossible. But what happened with the crew and the colonists? Were they really always searching for more knowledge and interesting life forms and specimens? He had to know more about the journeys of this ship. The humming stopped somehow.
The group got to a dark part of the corridor. Lights were flickering at the end, so they had to be cautious. Koi gave a signal that everyone had to stop. Gaidal looked at the soldier in front of him and knew it was a good thing to have him around. They always die first, are expendable and loyal as hell. He sneered behind his mask and wondered where the Sith Warrior went that Koi was talking to in the ‘Song of the Krath’. Well, probably not very interesting.
“Why do we have to stop, trooper?”, Semyon asked without hesitation.
“Danger dead ahead, sir”, Koi declared.
“Well, look at that”, Semyon laughed, “it can talk!” he was hoping for a response, but Koi kept his mouth shut. Interesting and wise, Gaidal concluded. Koi looked at him and brought up an idea.
“We’ll have to go one by one; it’s safer that way. The only thing we need is a first volunteer, sir.”
“I’ll go”, Drodik stated, “I have nothing to loose!” Drodik. Always sceptic and seeing all the bad things of life, the dark side, etc. At least he was good company with his good sense of cynical humour. Naturally, he was expendable as well. Drodik looked at the others one more time and disappeared step by step into the darkness of the shadows. The others could hear him walk. Suddenly, he stopped and a voice came out of the dark corridor.
“What is happening?”, Semyon yelled at Drodik, “are you hurt or something?”
“Nope, I stepped on a hidden panel under a tile. I can feel it’s moving. What do I do next?”
“Wait and see what happens”, Gaidal said to him.
A lot of noise came from within the entire ship, like something was getting prepared for a big event. Interesting once more. From out of nothing the humming sound started again, and four small laser canons came out of the ground nearby. They targeted for the three waiting members of the group and started firing at them.
“I think the defence perimeter is getting online because of the hidden panel”, Semyon mentioned, while he was trying to find some cover and continuously ducking because of the laser shots.
“MOVE!”, Koi screamed at the others and they started running through the dark corridor.
“That involves you as well”, Semyon yelled at Drodik, when he walked by him. The group ran for their lives, because in the entire corridor canons popped out of the ground and started aiming for the four persons there. Gaidal suddenly stopped at a sealed door at his left.
“Give me some cover fire fast”, he groaned at Koi, who started firing at the canons with his DL-18 blaster . Gaidal grapped a small Sith assasination pistol and fired at the entrance device. The door went open and Semyon and Drodik, who were standing behind Gaidal, could enter the room immediately. Gaidal went into the room, shortly followed by Koi.
These were the chambers of a high placed person, Gaidal could tell. He took off his helmet and looked at some of the paintings on the wall. All were showing battlefields and fearsome warriors. Drodik was sitting behind a great desk on a huge chair
“Seems like this room belonged to an admiral, Gaidal!”, he smiled and laid his legs and feet on the table.
“No admiral”, Gaidal corrected him without betraying any emotion, “It belonged to the ‘Usitan Commendatore’, the highest person in the Usita Clan. You could compare him with an ‘admiral’.”
All the others, except Koi who was reloading his rifle, looked at him with their mouths wide open.
“It’s a bit of a long story…”, Gaidal started. He felt really bad, because he had to tell the others the truth. He remember the orders of Godo Nurok and knew that this ship was no opportunity any longer. Getting out of here was the only option available now.
“What happened?”, Dyl'Jo'Ban asked Tiberius.
“I have no clue my Rodian friend; I was just trying to activate to lift, but it seems like nothing works here”, Tiberius replied.
“Maybe we get out of here”, Ban stated in his poor Galactic Basic.
“Interesting thought, Ban. Hold that thought for a while!”
Tiberius walked to the door and when he came closer it just closed. He tried to open it with the nearby panel, but it remained dead and gave no response or reaction. This was becoming annoying. Ban came to the panel and made sure Tiberius was out of the way. He grabbed his rifle and fired at the panel. It was destroyed, but no reaction.
“I guess we’re trapped”, Tiberius concluded and started sitting on a computer panel, “so let me think of a plan to get out of here.”
“You know what humming sound is”, Ban asked.
“I need to think quietly in order to come up with a plan.”
Ban grumbled and walked to the other end of the room and started polishing his rifle. Suddenly he saw something moving in the corner of his eye. It looked like something walked out of the wall! No, that couldn’t be, ban thought. Maybe a cloaking device or something? Probably. He looked into the same direction, but nothing there anymore. Should he mention it to Tiberius or not? Nope, Ban would give him some time to think.
Out of nothing two laser canons came out of the ground, started targeting for Ban and Tiberius.
“Seems like one of the others activated some defence mechanism, my dear Rodian. Maybe it was a boobytrap, but I’ll get to that later when we meet our companions once more.”
Heavy knocking on the door followed a loud growl. Uzbad and Macron tried to look at each other in the sudden darkness of the room. The knocking got heavier and it seemed like something was desperately trying to get in and was succeeding.
“Seems like we have a visitor”, Uzbad concluded with a grin.
“We should welcome him”, Macron followed.
Both of them prepared their weapons and got ready to attack.
Deep in the belly of the hyperspacing ship, big doors opened without a sound. From it, droids emerged, some large, some smaller, some dangerously armed and some obviously made for serving or repairs. One after the other, they begun to spread through the ship, following some unknown programming. Not one known model was among them, but they were old, albeit unused. It was just too bed that age had no influence on their functionality.
Ban cocked his rifle instantly and opened fire on the nearest contraption. Three scarlet bolts thundered through the air and impacted against the dulled carapace that the droid employed as armour. The first two bolts merely chewed into the armour however the third bolt burst through the weakened armour and impacted the delicate circuitry inside causing the sentry to explode. Rolling along the floor Ban came up on his knees and unleashed another triple burst which saw the destruction of the other droid. Looking over his shoulder he saw that Tiberius hadn’t moved an inch through the whole ordeal.
“Good work Rodian, now get out of the way and let’s find where these tunnels will take us.”
“With all due respect I shall go in first, my senses are somewhat more acute then yours.” Ban buzzed.
Looking at the Rodian with obvious distaste Tiberius waved him forward and Ban knelt onto his haunches and crept into the shaft.
The shaft was dark, damp, echoey and seemed to stretch out for ever. Holding his rifle in one hand Ban began to crawl slowly insectile eyes wide open and assessing all that happened. After a few tens of minutes of crawling they came to an intersection.
“Left here.” Said Dyl
“I can feel cooler air coming from that direction.”
Turning left Ban continued the crawl until he saw a grating in the floor, popping open the cover Ban dropped out of the shaft and was closely followed by Tib.
“See told you we had to go left.”
“Look around Ban” Said Tiberius a nervous edge entering his voice.
It was at this time that Welsh noticed the red gleam from many a photoreceptor and the whirling of droid servos…
The kncoking abruptly stopped.
Uzbad stood and thought for a moment.
"Wait!" He said loudly.
"What?" Macron asked, sounding curious.
"I just remembered another 'Black Nebula'! It was a criminal syndicate, formed after Prince Xizor's death. (the leader of the Black Sun). Some guy decided to form his own organization. He called it the Black Nebula. It only lasted about half a year, but maybe they tried to take over this ship."
"Interesting. Maybe that is what happened."
"I guess we'll have to find out."
"That is if we ever get out." Macron said in a grim voice.
"Any idea's on how to open those doors?"
"Would I be asking if I had any?"
"Doesn't Gaidal have a lightsaber with him?"
"So he could cut through those doors."
"I guess so."
"You guess so. Of course he could!"
Uzbad pulled his comlink back from out of his robes and spoke into it.
Yes?" a staticy voice replied
"We need you at the bridge ASAP."
"I'm on my way."
"Bring your lightsaber."
"Why wouldn't I bring it?"
"I don't know. Just bring it."
"Alright, alright. I'm coming."
Then a knocking sound could be heard at the door, a different knocking than before, a metalic knocking. Uzbad sat on the floor and stared off into space, literally, as Macron paced around the bridge.
- The ship still hummed with activity after it had been launched out into space through the random hyprdrive system. The ship had grown cold and was freezing.
This part of the ship Drodik was in must have suffered a temperature drop from the heating system. Or had it been something else. Drodik could'nt feel anything through the force coming from the corridor except through one particular door. He could feel an aura coming from within. He knew he had to go through the room, he had to venture through the entrance and discover what was behind the door. Drodik had decided to patrol the area while the others took their shift at exploring the ship.
Drodik could no longer stand it. He knew that if he abandoned his post he would have trouble with the rest of the crew. But to no avail Drodik began to walk toward the feeling he had. There was no direct way of seeing where he was going but he felt the force enigmating from a corner down a sharp turn in the corridor. As he continued to walk Drodik thought to himself
He continued to follow the force. Drodik stepped over a round disk in th floor and a red force field spread across the corridor in a flat vertical beam that spread through the entire coridor. Lunging up in to the air Drodik grabbed onto a beam on the ceiling, Just barely missing getting severed in half. He clenched to hold himself upon the beam for if he were to fall he woulfd die and be disintegrated to nothing. He could feel his comlink slipping from within his belt. It continued to slip, finally it plumeted toward the forcefield and immediately disintegrated.
Drodik continued to hold on but to no avail he began to lose his grip. He clenched as hard as he could but he still was falling. At last his grip gave way and he fell toward the force field. At the last second the timing on the forcefield de-activated the field and Drodik hit the floor of the ship. Reluctant that he was alive he had no way to tell anybody where he was. Sure of himself he pressed on toward the room with wihich he was being attracted to.
He finally arrived to his destination, and could see the door's controls. The controls were in a different language and could'nt understand them. He messed around with the controls and finally the door opened. It led to another corridor only about ten feet long. The door to the second corridor was motion detectable and it opened in a flash as soon as he was within ten inches. The door opened and to Drodik's astonishment he saw two rows of about twenty four Jedi in each row. On instinct and habit Drodik did'nt even noticed he had already unsheathed his Kielthorn Katana. He resheathed his blade and walked toward the nearest jedi. They were all in containers of bacta. They must have had some kind of major accident or they are here for preservation. There was a small box next to each of the jedi's tanks.
Drodik opened the container of the Jedi he was inspecting. Inside there were four items there were: A lightsaber, Robes, utility belt, and a blaster. Drodik held the lightsaber in his hands. He activated it and out sprang a blue bladed beam of light. He waved it around walked over to one of the tanks. He stuck the blade into the tank and out gushed the chemicals. The Jedi's body hang there on wires and tubes. Drodik used the lightsaber to cut away at the tank. The clear glass of the tank fell and shattered. Drodik sent the blue blade back to within the saber and stuffed it into his belt. The jedi's body hung there as Drodik inspected it even further. He took the body off the systems and to his astonishment the jedi opened its eye's. Drodik backed away from the male jedi, the jedi stared at Drodik and Drodik could feel that the jedi knew he was a sith.
Unfortunately the Jedi closed its eyes and was finally dead. Drodik stood motionless as he contemplated in his mind what to do next. He finally came to the conclusion that he should leave the bodies alone. He came to see what was attracting him but why had the others not felt the prescences of the forty eight now forty seven jedi. Without a clue on how and why these Jedi were alive and why, Drodik walked to the center of the room sat down and meditated the problem.