Starverse

1-Rude Awakening

In which we escape from slavery, and discover ourselves to be in deep danger

Kumaara’s Journal, Day 27 of Typhoon Season (Alia Reckoning)

I don’t truly recall what happened. For much of this day, I have wandered about in a haze, a prisoner to a confused mind. This must be what it feels like to lack sentience; I abhor it.

I awoke chained to a twilek. Like myself, she was dressed in a simple thermal shift and leggings, and we were surrounded by corpses. We were outside, in a clearing with a number of large buildings; it was clearly a mining camp. There were other corpses scattered here and there. We could hear someone calling for help, and so we rescued first ourselves (by application of a rock to chain) and then found the source of the cries.

The twilek is named Zondra, and she seems quiet but capable. Liosinath, whom we found to be the source of the cries for help, is an Arkhanite and a doctor. He is one of the rare pure-bloods of his people, and was being kept as a slave (although one kept to perform medical work, it seems). I found that they touch the Force as well, though I do not believe they do so by perfect sentience. They do not show the signs. Liosanath denies doing so entirely. He is either frightened or ashamed of admitting it. I don’t believe that he uses his powers subconsciously, as his control in healing one of us later in the day was too precise to be accidental.

With some searching, we also found two others: a togruta by the name of Shaar’ra Ti, and a diminuitive, furred humanoid by the name of Ygo. Shaar’ra Ti is fit and acrobatic, and talented with the blades she carries. In contrast, the small humanoid with big eyes wears the gear of an engineer or mechanic. They were antagonistic at first, and Shaar’ra Ti (like so many non-sentients) required an application of Voice to make her understand the futility of violence upon our persons.

We discovered that something had blown out the electronics in the camp, and drained the energy cells of very nearly everything in the camp. So, we struck out for the power generator to get it going again, but not before Zondra stopped by the old slave barracks to retrieve what I believe is one of the focusing crystals I have heard that the adherents of the fringe religion – the Jedi – use in their notorious lightsabers.

Along the way, we encountered a massive, ferocious catlike beast called a XXX (see The Bestiary Beyond Alia, Manasvinii Archives). The fight was over relatively quickly – like most beasts, it was easily crippled by the manipulation of its pain centers, and between Shaar’ra Ti’s knives and my own Vilaksana training, we managed to wound it sufficiently to drive it off. By this time, Ygo (who has snuck away and got the generator active again) had reactivated the security fence, which nicely fried the beast.

During this battle, I also noticed Liosinath wielded his own innate gifts to bestow powerful healing on Shaar’ra Ti while she fought the XXX. Fascinating indeed.

It was at this point that I noticed a strange figure – a silhouette only – moving near the power generator. Then, I lost consciousness briefly. I am at a loss to explain this.

We then raided the Guard House, retrieving the belongings taken from us when we were enslaved. Shaar’ra Ti recovered an impressive set of blades, while Zondra gathered her lightsaber once more. Unfortunately, it wasn’t working, though Ygo – who recovered his tool sets and other paraphenalia – claimed he could get it working with some effort.

Ygo’s computer system – with a holographic-based AI interface that the little creature calls “Mom” – revealed to us that a vehicle was crashed nearby. It was a cargo-speeder that we might possibly use to get to the only spaceport we could see on the map. Doing so, however, would require something of a trek. It would be nearly nightfall by the time we got there.

The trek there was several hours long, with most of us walking while Ygo trundled along, repairing the lightsaber as we went. He seems very fascinated by the thing; like most of us, I suspect he’s never seen one before. I feel as though I may have been cramped or otherwise restrained from motion – I wonder how long I’ve been enslaved? We arrived to find that the speeder had sped over a cliff. We scaled the cliff-face, and Ygo looked at it and declared that he couldn’t repair it. Unfortunately, he needed some parts, but he knew where to get them – back at the hygiene system at the camp.

Dark had fallen by this point, and we were forced to walk back in the darkness. The others seemed too dainty, too selfish or perhaps too squeamish (I didn’t bother to ascertain) to carry the short furry one. Considering that he had a means of seeing in the dark, and I did not, it seemed only natural that I should carry him, while equipped with the goggles. Thus, we set out.

The creatures of the jungle were plentiful. I could tell there were small creatures moving rapidly through the underbrush, but found something strange – I could not sense them at all. It was as though they did not exist in even the least meaningful way to my senses; even droids have more presence than these creatures did.

Unfortunately, we stumbled into the midst of their breeding ground, and Liosinath stepped into a nest, crushing several of the eggs with his boots. Suddenly, the horrors became very angry and attacked us. Ygo suddenly gave a squeal of delight, ignited the lightsaber (a touch closer to my head than I was comfortable with, I admit), and threw it to Zondra. We found fighting them was nearly futile, however, despite our ability to decimate them handily. I found myself at a disadvantage fighting them – they were utterly immune to all manipulations of the Force, an ability that extends not just to their persons, but to a short proximity from their bodies.

I’m fairly sure these creatures are XXX, which I have only heard of in rumor. I shall search the Manasvinii Archives when I return to Alia.

Nonetheless, Liosinath recognized our inability to sufficiently win this conflict, and fled. I noticed that they nearly all gave chase. He’d not managed to harm any of them during the attack, and I could see no reason why they would give chase, other than the fact that he was the one who destroyed some of their spawn originally. I used my gifts to snatch the boot with which he’d stumbled into the nest from his foot, nearly knocking him over.

Thankfully, they followed the boot, intent on savaging the thing that had caused the damage – their inability to understand even the fact that the boot was an instrument wielded by someone else demonstrates their complete lack of any kind of sentience. Even stupid animals can differentiate between the club and the one who wields it.

We arrived back at the encampment shortly after midnight. Though the place stinks to the skies, we have found safe haven within the structure, along with food and even the means of showering. I am not a vain creature, but I admit to taking undue pleasure in a shower after so long without.

We are returning to the crash site with the repair materials Ygo requires tomorrow first thing. I am going to meditate this evening, and see if I can recover both my memories and my Center.

Inama Nushif. She is Eternal. She is the Great Mind. I am the Great Mind. I am Eternal. Inama Nushif.

Journal Entry Addendum

As I meditated this evening, the cool perfect presence of the Great Mind was denied me momentarily. I dreamt of a place with several cages. They held other beings like Ygo. I could understand their speech, but not that of the human that was in the room with them. He was clearly a slaver of some kind, and they his slaves.

He then took one of them – the one whose appearance I noticed matched that of the holographic interface Ygo calls “Mom” – and sold her to a silhouetted being. I could tell that this being was the same one that had haunted my visions this day. I have begun to suspect something is strange and relevant about this entity.

I also suspect that this dream isn’t one I’m having, but one that I’m somehow tied into that Ygo is having. I shall speak of him in the morning. Right now, there seems to be some kind of conflict brewing between Shaar’ra Ti and Liosinath.

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