We find this week Naat who had already introduced us to his desert vacation home. This time, he takes us in this PVF among the skyscrapers, on a planet from which only two species of origins have survived: Coruscant. For the occasion, he prepared a short text for us with a writer friend of his: Nathalie Dau, I let you discover this very nice "little" story! A PVF halfway with fan-fiction this time?
Enlisted among the coalition troops who fought the Revanites on the moon Yavin 4, I had survived without getting the slightest scratch. This was not the case with my best friend, so badly ill he had been rushed to Coruscant, in the fortress of Naat, where the two greatest doctors in the galaxy had agreed to look into his. case.
I had asked to stay informed. After all, I am also his hierarchical superior: my concern seemed doubly legitimate to me. So much so that when my holocom vibrated, it didn't surprise me. However, it was neither my friend and subordinate, nor a medic who appeared before me like a shroud ghost of pure energy, but a mysterious hooded Jedi, who demanded that I report to the fortress without delay.
I obey. A taxi brought me to the foot of the outside elevator. I borrowed it and soon came out into a particularly solemn hall.
"Hi "a C2-N2 protocol droid immediately exclaimed in a butler's outfit, whose metallic voice took on characteristic stiff inflections."You will be very kind to place your weapons and explosive devices on the counter provided for this purpose. Don't worry, they will be returned to you when you leave our beautiful fortress."
I had no idea to protest. Two colossus colossi, stationed on either side of the entrance, seemed firmly determined to enforce the instruction. Their primitive savagery contrasted with the sober yet refined luxury of the place. Two masterpieces were very well highlighted by the purple glows of a large Ilum crystal. My soles trod on splendid blue carpets that muffled the sound of footsteps. As no one told me where to go, I relied on the pungent smell of the kolto and thus reached the ultra-modern and reputable infirmary where my friend was being cared for.
Yet, to my surprise, it was neither lying in any of the beds nor floating in the regeneration tanks. My worry suddenly swelled. I approached a doctor, inquired about my friend.
"It's not for me to answer you, captain. The information is classified. Confidential. Come out, please."
Distraught, I returned to the hallway. Sofas hung with yellow silk stretched out their arms to me, but I scorned them because a senior officer suddenly sprang up in front of me and yelled in my face:
"Debriefing in the meeting room. Now !"
I had no choice but to follow him, and was greeted by a strangely silent and quietly seated crowd. These faces were familiar to me: they were the men and women in my unit, all Yavin 4 veterans. Most were human, other aliens, but all seemed in awe, as I was, by the stained glass windows and other interlacings of glass, light and color that decorated the place. It felt like a modern temple. All eyes were on the speaker's desk, placed on a platform like an altar. Behind them flashed the screens of control consoles and the large digital data towers. My mysterious hooded jedi stood slightly back, under a giant fern palm. As I took my place in one of the seats, he didn't even give me a look. I shrugged my shoulders, thinking that they would end up explaining to me the reasons for my summons. I also watched for the opportunity to question who it is about my friend. And suddenly, to my amazement, his face sprawled across the screens.
"That man", confided the speaker into his microphone,"was deeply affected by the events that took place on Yavin 4. First, we suspected the influence of radiation emitted by the Emperor when he manifested. Each of you remembers, or was aware of, that immense column of purple light that set the sky ablaze. However, we were wrong. His ailments were linked to a more intimate metamorphosis, awakened by his contact with the ancient relics found in the Temple. To be honest, the one you knew no longer exists."
A great shiver seized me. I thought about the rakghoul virus and the damage it had already caused on Taris and elsewhere. Was my friend suffering from a similar ailment?
"The main purpose of today's meeting, the speaker continued, is to evaluate each other. We have to make sure that you yourselves have not been reached.
- But I'm fine ! cried one of the seated soldiers. Not the slightest symptom of anything!
- For now, friend. But nothing says that the evil did not creep into you, in a state of stasis, only to reappear when you least expect it. Your comrade was in the front line, he's the one who picked up the biggest of the relics, but all of you touched him or at least looked at him."
This time it was an icy sweat that flooded my spine.
"We will summon you, one after the other, before the Jedi Council, the only one able to assess your condition. While waiting for your turn, you can wait here, or go to the cantina. I imagine that after what I have just taught you, a little drink will not be refused!"
Too stunned by the news, I do not react immediately. The room slowly emptied and I remained there alone, lost in my thoughts. Even the hooded jedi had left the place. So I let my gaze drift haphazardly from the stained-glass windows, drawing a strange comfort from the liveliness of their brilliance and the symmetry of their forms. Then, after a time that I cannot estimate, my stomach growled. In turn, I got up and went to the cantina.
It was small, and I appreciated finding it less full now than most men had deserted it to appear before the Jedi Council. My turn would not be long. Do I have time for a bite to eat? To swallow a cocktail? Tempting it all, I slumped into one of the large sofas, patted my order on the console in the table. Soon a small server droid rolled over to me and I unloaded his tray. I noticed the lockers stored against a wall, and thought they reminded me of a tourist spaceport left. I had nothing to put in there, but I tried to guess what they could contain. In vain. I turned to a holographic sign of a Twi'lek dancer. To contemplate it, I came to regret that none of these attractive creatures were present: the sight of their sensual undulations could have perhaps been able to divert my mind from the disturbance which agitated it ...
"To you ! ”a hoarse voice announced, which made me jump.
I recognized the mysterious jedi. His aura of authority was such that I jumped to my feet without even finishing my cocktail, and hurried after him.
We climbed a curved staircase lined with datacrons. At the top, the Jedi Council Chamber, both serene and impressive. I was asked to stand in the center of the circle of armchairs, where an elegant fountain lapped.
"Should I enter the water?"I wondered.
We laugh. A woman slipped: "Another one who cherishes symmetry."Then I was assured that I was not a compass point, and that a position beside the curb would be quite acceptable.
Then they deployed their powers. The Force streamed over me, penetrated me, analyzed me. I was scared. To be altered by this energy. And what these people could find in me. To show nothing of my anxieties, I remained firmly planted on my legs, arms at my sides, my gaze fixed on the horizon. Through the bay window, I saw abundant foliage, and the Holocron of the Old Masters which whirled with the majesty of a planet. And beyond, it was Coruscant, its airspace always cluttered with speeders and taxis, the mass of its disproportionate, vertiginous towers ...
"No, one of the Council members abruptly concludes. This one was not affected either.
- Pity, replied the woman earlier. We are so few ... One more would have been very appreciable. Even if they are difficult to train, at this age ...
- In any case, that confirms what I said from the beginning: the relics alone are not enough. They awaken to the Force only if the individual already carries within him a certain potential.
- Strength ?"I stammered, upset."But then ... My friend? His metamorphosis?
- Flagrant", croaked the mysterious jedi, finally removing his hood. And there, despite the growths of flesh which now took the place of a beard, I recognized the one I had cared about so much ... and who, since my arrival in this fortress , had had fun at my expense, but I was so happy with his good health that I was unable to hold it against him.
"Guess I'm no longer authorized to give you orders, soldier! I say smiling. Am I at least allowed to hug my old friend, or does the Force make it resistant to this kind of touching?"
Her voice had cracked, her face changed, but her laughter exploded as loud as ever, dispelling all my fears.
"What if we discussed it around a table in Dejarik?"he proposed.
I accepted with joy. Force or not Force, some things, obviously, could not change.
What I took away from this visit: I think that is what you will have remembered above all also: the stained glass windows. I had already had the opportunity to see them in "teaser" during the visit of Tatooïne, and they always seduce me as much, I myself stung the idea for one of my fortresses! Other than that, the boardroom is quite nice as well, as is the cantina layout. We find a care to place each decoration precisely and a lot of research in it. This is most pleasant.
If it made you want to visit it, head to the public list on Battle Meditation!
Do you also want to share with us Your Fortress ... that of your guild maybe? You can then contact us for that!