Plain Text Transcript
Personal Journal, Jedi Knight Q’aleane Ren
4 Elona, 123 ABY
“The Promised Land”
I just want to take a moment to marvel at the location I just wrote down… “The Promised Land”
A millennia old legend made real right in front of me. A part of me should be afraid of the part about never leaving. Then again, lets be realistic. I have never given into believing it when someone tells me never. A fact that my head is just now deciding to remind me of. I am sure Q’ayla is mad as hell at me right now. But more on that later.
Today was supposed to be a vacation. We had arrived on Taris, reported to the council and taken care of all of our duties. So of course what do I do on my time off? Try to track down a grey holocron. As is the way in the force, our actions became entwined in another’s.
A Padawan named Alema apparently had become infatuated with a local gang member. And in a turn that would no doubt horrify some of the academy, it is even a non-force sensitive. I should take the time now to assure anyone reading this that it is my personal belief that the various bigots who think that a non-force sensitive can never understand the limitations put upon us can go soak themselves. As for the increasing movement in our order that Jedi have no business with love, I think they miss a fundamental fact that in addition to Jedi we are normal sentients. Does love complicate things, yes. Does love sometimes lead to hate and suffering? Yes. Can the inverse also be true. Yes. It is said that even master Skywalker was brought back from the Dark Side not by meditation but by love.
Nothing we do that is worth doing is free from risk. If we are to fear everything that could lead to ruin or pain, we would never do anything new. We would never discover the deeper mysteries of the force, never discover new planets, new people, never live.
And there is my head once again reminding me of the irony of the above statement. Perhaps I should get back to the story, for story it was as the spirit of story and legend seemed color the force today.
So as is the way of these things in stories, the young lovers decide to spend time together in private, away from the disapproving glare of both Jedi Master and young ruffians alike. Best left out of the stories, as well as this narrative is what they were doing spending time together, but I think you can guess.
Also as is the way of these things in stories, they decided to pick the galaxies most stupid, dangerous and just plain most inconvenient place for everyone to have their dalliances. You see not far from their meeting place lay a door, a door that had been closed for centuries. A door behind which a grey holocron lay buried. A door that lay hidden as much because of its location as it was hidden because of the beasts that laired near it.
Another millennia old legend spoke of a disease on Taris. One that could transmit by injury and change the diseased into something else. A monster. A rackghoul. It turns out, talking to Irsin, that an even older legend out of the Sith reveal that the rackghoul disease was actually created in the force by a Sith Lord Karness Muur who desired a self-propagating army. He created an amulet that could transmit the disease and make all the resulting descendants in the disease his slaves. The last recorded information about the disease outside of Sith legends is from the time of the Jedi Civil War. It is told that the reborn Revan had spent some time combating the disease in the undercity while helping the unfortunates therein to find “The Promised Land”.
Now is where my narrative is going to go a little sideways due to the number of footnotes I have to apply here. You see “The Promised Land” was a legend of that time of a place where refugees could go to be safe but never leave. And as with all things in the force… coincidentally lay behind the very door mentioned prior. The door guarded by Rackghouls, the door that lay a scant cave-wall away from where our young lovers dallied.
I hope you can all see where this is headed.
So not to lengthen things more. They got curious, as they always do, and as always happens while observing the door, fell decided to go towards the door instead of back, got beseiged by the mythical monsters, fought their way to the door were horribly injured and escaped, closing it behind them.
That’s where we came in. As I was planning an expedition to search that very area. Q’ayla’s student, whom she was to spar with, didn’t show up. After calling her Master, it became clear that the Padawan was not studying as she had originally claimed and had in fact checked out a speeder. A speeder that was tracked to the very area of the undercity that contained two lovers (one of which should be obvious was the student), a door, some monsters and a whole lot of legends.
Never one to leave a fellow Jedi in distress and also never one to let coincidences like this lie, we decided to search for her.
Which led us right to a cavern full of Rackghoul variants (I will be attaching notes about the biologicals, but suffice to say they seemed sexually dimorphic where the originals weren’t and given the population size I would suggest they probably had some capabilities of procreation), a door and the legends that lay behind it.
In what I am sure a true storyteller would turn into an epic battle won by a sliver and guided by fate, but in fact was a bloody mess that luckily we got through without contracting the disease, we cleared out the Rackghouls. I fear that unless their genetics are darmatically variant, that this could not be a sufficient population to maintain itself based on genetic diversity… so I doubt these were the last of the Rackghouls. Future problems aside, we came to the doors. The doors had a simple sentience puzzle (a puzzle that goes by many names throughout history but I know simply as the towers) and a warning: “Those who pass within, will never leave.”
Of course we entered.
Now as soothing as the feel of pen over paper is and as unusual. My head is starting to hurt a bit so I am going to gloss over some parts. Before entering, I warned the academy of a possible Rackghoul infestation. They got started on resurrecting old histories for a long lost cure, lost due to the untimely obliteration of Taris during the Jedi Civil War. I took tissue samples.
The door was, as expected, “The Promised Land”, the Padawan was infected and quarantined, the medical equipment was substandard, I was able to slow down the disease, I was able to talk to ship who was able to relay information and arrange for my genetic equipment to come along with the data the academy was able to scare up. I was able to sequence the difference and manage to keep the patient alive long enough for the academy to synthesize a cure and fix the Padawan. In the middle of all this I got a headache.
That last part needs some elaboration as even though I know she isn’t watching right now I can feel the spirit of my sister glaring at me even as I write this.
While attempting to juggle about 10 things, my sister was out seeking for the all important way out. A way out whose secrets were held in the accounts of a Jedi that had lived here long ago. Thats right another legend inbound. The Jedi was none other than Revan’s lover and partner Bastilla. And the creator of the holocron we sought. So at some point somehow my sister found Bastilla’s grave. Force only knows how as I was a bit pre-occupied . But there she was in awe and reverence for one of the Jedi’s most important legends. And tasked with desecrating her grave to find a holocron.
Needless to say she wasn’t looking forward to this.
So I thought I could help, and learn a bit more about our bond, and test the edges of one of those “Never” scenerios we spoke about earlier all in one fell swoop. You see I have attuned to the Vegere holocron. Only one person can be so attuned. It allows me to locate these holocrons. So I thought, hey let me try and connect up to my sister and as me using her presence and senses key into Vegere’s holocron and find Bastilla’s.
It worked, and I will no doubt never live it down as it caused a /massive/ feedback loop. Neither my sister and I were able to function for quite some time after that. It disrupted my work more than going out would have, but I couldn’t know that at the time. Luckily I have experienced worse pain and eventually was able to gain some semblance of control. My sister wasn’t as lucky, isn’t as lucky.
She has been uncomfortable with the bond since it has intensified because of the influx of too much information. As someone who focuses to the external world for information, she was unprepared for the amount of internal information fed to her, from my mind and from the ship mind I am constantly linked with. I think I might have made things worse. In my zeal for exploration and frustration at having to do too much and wanting to be expedient, I think I may just have cause my sister more pain then she has ever experienced before. It does confirm that I was right to hold off that part of my mind that holds the memory of my training under the embrace from her tho. I am not sure she is ready to remember that much pain.
I am not entirely sure I am.
In the end, this pain does appear to be temporary as even now it is waning. I am hoping my sister can sense it wane as well but it might not be below her pain threshold yet. If I could concentrate more I might be able to do more to alleviate it but it is taking everything I have to muffle it as much as I have and still stay functional.
In the end, my sister now holds Bastilla’s holocron. I am sure we will persue that shortly. The Padawan is cured. The information on the new strain of Rackghoul disease is in the hands of the academy.
And we are all trapped in “The Promised Land”.
If I can allow myself to muse a bit, I like this place. For all that it lacked the tools I needed to accomplish my goal, it has something that I think has been lost on the galaxy to the galaxy’s loss. It has paper.
Our order has since its founding had “better “recording methods, from holograms to holocrons, we have been able to record movement, sound and even thought. But somewhere along the lines no one seemed to ask the question, “does it all help”? One of my most precious memories as a young Padawan was sneaking into the special collections in the archives and reading, not on datapad, not from holocron, but from paper something called “meditations on the Force”.
We talk about freeing the mind from emotions and thought and letting wisdom come, but here in front of me was a tool where the only thought and emotion were the ones encoded in the writing of the Master who wrote it. There was no focusing on what the speaker looks like, or sounds like or even thinks like. Only the words on paper and the quest for meaning.
That was the very day I started to question the traditional interpretation of the force. That was they day I truly started to understand the force for myself.
So when presented the opportunity, I decided to seize it and do this journal in paper. I don’t think I can keep it up as it is time consuming, but I don’t think I will abandon the media altogether either. But for now this is all my addled brain can process so I close, not with a command to encrypt and store, but a blotter and a careful folding and storing of my thoughts in physical form.
In the Force,
Knight Q’aleane Ren