There is another.
We arrived in Weto. The gratitude of a Hutt is… tangible, but it doesn't get you a Pass. We needed credits. I suggested the cantina.
I needed an ear to the ground, to touch base in this tower. It'd been a while since I'd had contact with the Dealers. Digger was still behind the bar – heard him talking to a pair of travelers when I heard the name Gemini Trill.
It was another one.
This is a sign, isn't it, my love? One of your Portents, an omen from your omnidimensional Force. Another Jedi, come to Tark after all these years. Like an errant sun devours planets in its wake, gaining mass, gaining strength with each new player, Light and Dark alike are drawn here.
We went with them, Ko and I. Stayed hidden, followed them, pressed them on intent. The truth of their situation was not difficult to ascertain – my patient wore the armor of the Hermitage, a move so insanely suicidal that it defied deception. I did what I could for the poor man, but it was clear they were being hunted.
The Black Hand is close. I can hear their boots when I touch the Force, my love. After all these years, I can still feel the fear, the loss, grasping inside my chest. I sent them away, the Jedi, the Jawa, the wounded guard. I sent them to Thane. Spirits only know if she'd remember me, or kindly at that. But it was the best I could.
I stayed behind, and for that, I was taken. I awoke in the care of Bamboc the Hutt. She told me things. Word was out there now. Word that we touched were coming, gathering, pulling more in day by day. The Empire is wise to offer credits. Make them hunt us. Make us run. Find us when we make our mistakes. She told me one of Them was here.
The conversation was short. Even buried in the floor we were on, I could feel the shudder of impact, hear the blaster fire. It was them. My… friends. Quroku blasting away from his transporter, Xiann slicing her way through the Dealers. They came for me.
Just before we made good our escape, Rato showed to us his truth. Such elegance in his deceit! How well he kept himself hidden from us, from the fear in his eyes to his silence in the Force. We owe our lives to the Spider – through her talents we leapt to the ground safely, embattled with this dark warrior.
The melee was swift and brutal. All of us struck hard, and struck well. Blow after blow, at fevered pitch. And just as the Rodian lost his leg, he screamed, and for a moment, my walls were broken. Across the galaxy they screamed, a dreadful choir of agony and rage.
I heard myself, the guttural cry that wrenched itself from me the day we said goodbye.
And then, all was dark.