And war comes….
He was in trouble, and he knew it. The ship was shaking itself apart around him, the hull was on fire, and he had only the sensors to rely on to determine if he’d even come out of hyperspace in the right place.
Jedi Master Ion Qel-Droma forced himself through a calming breath and looked over at the two little astromech droids beside him. “Emergency procedure X-377-119! Download, now!”
The two little droids went dark and still as their electronic minds downloaded into the backup computer, many decks below them. That was one thing done, and he had only minutes to do the rest before it would be too late. Ion hit the emergency transmit button on the control board in front of him, and felt the button sink under his touch as the control panels started to melt. They must be in the atmosphere already, burning up on entry. The screen in front of him flashed “COMMUNICATION FAILURE” just before the screen exploded in a shower of sparks. The antenna must have melted off already.
With a curse, Ion flung himself out of the bridge and down the corridor towards the lifts, feeling the heat nipping at his heels. He thrust out a hand and a lightsaber seemed to just appear in it. With one swipe, he cut through the support cables and threw himself into the lift, feeling the world drop out from beneath him. Reaching out with the Force, he forced the doors to the shaft open on the appropriate floor, and with perfect timing he threw himself out of the car and through the open doors as the lift hurled downward to crash at the bottom, many floors below.
Rolling with the impact, Ion felt his shoulder give, reminding him that he was far too old for this, the lightsaber dropping from fingers no longer able to hold it. He forced himself to his feet and deeper into the Jedi Sanctum he’d built inside his ship. The walls here were triple reinforced, laced with stone and minerals gathered from across the galaxy, and yet even here the sweltering heat threatened to overwhelm him.
Dropping to the floor, he allowed his body to shut down, even as he cast his mind and spirit out to the force. Drawing it around him like a shield, he reinforced the walls of the Sanctum, silently praying they would hold together long enough to deliver his message. Then, gathering all of his strength, and drawing deeper than he even had before he cast outwards.
And Ion Qel-Droma screamed his warning to all that would hear.
At Shay Memorial, Admiral Indiana Bridger looked up as first one, then another sonic boom sounded. She stuck her head out the window of her office, looking up to see the massive, burning form of the Dreadnaut cruiser streak across the sky. An instant later, she felt her feet knocked out from under her as she was assaulted by a wave of pure force energy, too loud and too anguished to make out the details. A mouth suddenly dry managed to whisper. “Ion…”
At the Bridger Compound, Ari Bullian was heading outside to go ask Tag Rendar something as what looked like a comet burned by in the upper atmosphere above.
Tag looked up with a confused look before they were both knocked to their knees by the wave of agony that washed over them.
Minutes later, far to the south, Bobby and Kingston Drake were standing on the front porch of the Drake Ranch, watching the ball of fire in the sky approach, it was nearly half the size it had been when it passed over Shay Memorial, now. Like the others, and every other force-sensitive on the planet, they were all but knocked off their feet by the force of Ion’s last, sustained force-cry.
No one was there to witness it, as what remained of the ship’s wreckage slammed into the southern polar ice cap with the force of a large warhead. No one was there to witness as the red-hot metal twisted and screeched, rapidly cooling as it buried itself hundreds of feet down into the glacial ice. There was only Ion, still calling out, his final cry unending.
Far, far away on distant, cold Kartuiin, General Garan-Dur bowed his head, feeling the contact of the Jedi Master, and somehow knowing it would be the last time they felt each other’s presence. Feeling a gentle touch on his shoulder, he looked up at Governor Tegan Dargan-Canelle, his alien eyes unreadable, but his face unmistakably sad. Opening his mouth, no words came, and he closed it again. Taking a steadying breath, the warrior of two eras managed only a whisper.
“They are no longer coming, Governor. They are here.”
- Post by Wyvern
For the full archive, please see the Early Annals of the Vong War.