“I did it. Because I've come to realize what many people in the Republic have come to realize, that the Jedi are the ones responsible for this War. That we've so lost our way that we have become villains in this conflict, that we are the ones that should be put on trial, all of us! And my attack on the Temple was an attack on what the Jedi have become: an army fighting for the Dark side, fallen from the Light that we once held so dear. This Republic is failing! It's only a matter of time”
It was a dark night in the Republic Capital of Coruscant. There had been many nights like it before, but this one was different. It was filled with betrayal, injustice, hatred, and hypocrisy. The Clone Wars had raged the galaxy for three years now, and the war had taken its toll on soldiers and civilians alike. Even the Jedi were not unaffected by it. Some grew restless and angry at the war. Some saw it as black and white. Some, however, saw it as a horrible extreme. Jedi Knight Barriss Offee saw the war as nothing but a violent and meaningless conflict started by the Jedi, and went too far to prove it. She saw the Jedi Order as a dark shadow of its formal self. Instead of trying to keep the peace in the galaxy, they have become combatants; generals leading the conflict. Ordering their clone troopers to attack. Offee became so disillusioned with the Order, that she attacked it at its very heart: the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. But her attack on the temple never corrected the Order, if anything, the only thing she accomplished was becoming what she swore to destroy: a Jedi fallen to the dark side. To make matters worse, she put the blame on her best friend, Ahsoka Tano. She trusted Offee with her life, and Offee betrayed her. It wasn’t until Ahsoka’s master, Anakin Skywalker, finally engaged Barriss Offee in a duel that she was finally forced to confess her crime before the Galactic Senate, just as Ahsoka was about to be pronounced Guilty and sentenced to be death. Ahsoka had been expelled from the Jedi Order for the attack on the temple, an act she didn’t commit. She even testified before the Jedi Council to try to prove her innocence. But the council, blinded as they were, refused to listen, and had her expelled from the Jedi Order. When the council realized that they were wrong, they offered to let Ahsoka return. Not only as a Padawan, but as a knight. But Ahsoka had already realized that the council didn’t trust her, they never did. The only one who had stood up for her was her master, Anakin. So she rejected the offer, and walked away. With both her and her master in tears.
Barriss Offee was imprisoned shortly after testifying before the senate. After serving some time in prison, she was brought back to the Jedi Temple to answer before the council in the chamber of judgment. “Barriss Offee, how plead do you?” asked Master Yoda. “Guilty master Yoda” Barriss replied coldly. “Do you realize what you’ve done? How much destruction you have caused? Six Jedi are dead because of you!” replied Anakin Skywalker as he was being held back by the Temple Guard. Anakin was still very angry at Barriss for betraying Ahsoka and setting her up. But before Anakin could get near Barriss, a pair of temple guards held him back and escorted him out of the chamber. It was dark in the chamber of judgment. The only lights that were shining were the lights shining on the Jedi Masters who stood overhead in judgment, and on the accused Barriss. As the Jedi Masters discussed as to how Barriss would be punished for her actions, an anxious clone trooper requested to be admitted. The Jedi Masters briefly halted their meeting to hear the trooper’s report. The clone trooper reported of a Separatist invasion of Felucia. Jedi Masters Aayla Secura and Shaak Ti were in desperate need of reinforcements. Jedi Master Kit Fisto suggested that Barriss be spared for the time being and that she be sent to assist Secura and Ti to allow herself to be redeemed through her actions there. He pointed out her past selflessness, and that she was willing to give her life for others. Master Plo Koon also pointed out that there was no way they could punish Barriss for the crime without putting her or themselves on a path to the dark side. The Council agreed and they headed back to the chamber of judgment to inform Barriss. Barriss agreed to the mission, and took the first flight out to Felucia. While on Felucia, Barriss assisted Aayla Secura and Shaak Ti in whatever way she could. Mostly, she was there serving as a healer, a skill she learned as a Padawan. She helped to heal wounded clones during her time there. But she was not exempt from combat duties, and on multiple occasions, needed to utilize her skills with her lightsaber. One day, while she was fighting a battalion of battle droids, clone commander Galle, Offee’s second in command, received an order from Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. “Commander Galle”, said Palpatine, “It is time. Execute Order 66”. “Right away sir” replied Galle. Offee returned back to Galle and ordered him to fire on a battalion of battle droids while she led the charge. Commander Galle complied. But not only did he turn his AT-TE on the droids, he turned it against Barriss and gave the order to fire. Within seconds, Offee was engulfed in a ball of flame. She jumped out of the fireball before being too grievously injured. At first, she thought Commander Galle had miscalculated the AT-TE’s shot. But as she was about to go back and confront him, she felt a disturbance in the force. She knew something was very wrong. She followed the source of this disturbance through the jungle of Felucia. When she found what was causing this disturbance, she was horrified at what she saw. She saw Aayla Secura collapse to the ground. The Twi’lek had been gunned down by her own troopers. Commander Galle didn’t fire in her direction by accident. He was trying to kill her. Barriss ran through the jungle, staying out of sight of the storm troopers. But it was no use. She fought tirelessly to stay alive. Blocking blaster bolts with her lightsaber. But as hard as she fought, she was still shot in the arm, and dropped her lightsaber as a result of that injury. She ran through the jungles of Felucia. Staying out of sight of the clone troopers. When night came, she was hit with a very sudden depression. Almost like as if a stake pierced her Mirialan heart. She was feeling her fellow Jedi being hunted down and killed all over the Galaxy. She especially collapsed with grief when her own master, Luminara Unduli, was gunned down on Kashyyyk. That same day, the Galactic Republic ceased to exist. Palpatine, who had now revealed himself as the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, had reorganized the Republic into the Galactic Empire, effectively putting the galaxy under direct control of the Sith. Sidious sent his apprentice, Darth Vader, to wipe out the Separatist Council on Mustafar, and officially ended the clone wars. Order 66 had labeled the Jedi as traitors. All throughout the Galaxy, they were hunted down and killed by Vader and the newly formed Storm troopers. Many Jedi were massacred, very few were left. When morning came, Barriss snuck into a base and was able to get back into her ship. Before she left, she grabbed Aayla Secura’s holocron and took off. While she was flying out of the Felucia system, Secura’s holocron became active. It was getting a message from the Jedi temple, advising all Jedi that the war had ended and that they were to return to the temple immediately. She set a course for Coruscant and launched into hyperspace. While she was in hyperspace, the holocron became active again. It was receiving yet another message. It was from master Obi-Wan Kenobi. Instead of saying to come back to the temple, he instructed all surviving Jedi to stay away from the temple and to go into hiding. Barriss couldn’t believe what she was hearing. The Jedi Order, which had stood for over a thousand years had fallen. But there was no time to grieve. Her original mission to be sent to Felucia to redeem herself was over. Now, the battle to survive, and keep the Jedi order alive, had begun. Redeeming herself, which she still sought to do, would have to wait.
“This is Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. I regret to report that both our Jedi Order and the Republic have fallen, with the dark shadow of the Empire rising to take their place. This message is a warning and a reminder for any surviving Jedi: trust in the Force. Do not return to the Temple; that time has passed, and our future is uncertain. We will each be challenged: our trust, our faith, our friendships. But we must persevere and, in time, a new hope will emerge. May the Force be with you, always.”
-Master Obi-Wan’s Final Message
Everything was gone now. The joy of friends, the halls of the Jedi Temple, even the wisdom of the Jedi Council. All of that was gone now. The Republic, along with the Jedi Order, had fallen. The Clone war, a deceptive and manipulative plot by the Sith to spread the Jedi far throughout the galaxy had gone according to plan. The Sith were in control of the Galaxy. The Jedi still branded as traitors, with troopers still ordered to execute them on the spot. Barriss Offee had gone into hiding in the underworld of the Galactic Capital, Coruscant. Offee could not forget the damage she had caused. Every one she ever knew in the Jedi Order was dead. In order to survive, she had to forsake the Jedi ways, as if she hasn’t already done that. Instead of wielding her blue-bladed lightsaber that she lost on Felucia, she wields a blaster and, if it has to come to it, Ventress’s red-bladed lightsabers, which she recovered from the Jedi Temple to keep them from being used by the Empire. Now, she works as a Bounty Hunter, with her client based out of Alderaan. Her client had hired her to kill a target in the Coruscant underworld. Her client also warned her that the target was especially dangerous. But Offee reassured her client, telling them that there wasn’t a target she couldn’t handle, or so she thought. As Barriss walked down the dirty and congested streets of the underworld, she looked around. Where there used to be clubs, bars, and food stands, there were now vacant and broken down lots, abandoned for many years now. Everywhere you went, no matter what, there were always Imperial storm troopers. Always ready to carry out the Empire’s deeds, and more often than not; bully and harass citizens of the Empire. Storm troopers and probe droids were everywhere. Always on the lookout for acts that could be considered treasonous to the Empire, as well as Bounty Hunters that were hired by the Empire to hunt down and capture or kill fugitives or runaway slaves. Barriss saw on multiple occasions, walking through the underworld, groups of Trandoshan bounty hunters beating Wookiees, accused of being runaway slaves, before turning them in to the storm troopers. Barriss was disgusted by this, but what could she do? If she even just pulled her hood back and revealed herself, the Empire could be on to her, as they still had access to the old Jedi records and they would know who she was. Barriss held onto her hood tightly as she walked past a group of Trandoshans beating a Wookiee, and moved along. Everywhere she walked, she could see signs of Imperial propaganda encouraging citizens to join the Imperial Army. With all the poverty and suffering the Empire had brought, it was no surprise they could rely on this extensive propaganda to make citizens enlist, because they’re too short of any options. As Barriss walked along, she caught a view of her target. She couldn’t see her targets face at first; they were wearing a hood similar to hers. So she just followed the target from a distance away. When she saw her target enter a Bar, she followed the target inside and sat near them in the Bar, trying to stay unnoticeable. But as Barriss entered the Bar, she sensed something about the target, something very familiar. Almost as if she had been with this target at some time before in the past. As Barriss sat there on the bar-stool, puzzled in her thoughts, an Ithorian Bar tender came to her and asked if she wanted anything. “Anything you have available” replied Barriss. Her attention soon turned to the Imperial broadcast that was playing over head above the Bar. The Broadcast, not surprisingly, was just another round of Imperial Propaganda. It talked about how the Empire had triumphed over the Confederacy of Independent Systems 5 years earlier in the Clone Wars, and how the Jedi faced justice for starting the war. Barriss just watched the broadcast with disgust, but soon felt saddened when she saw her own Master, Luminara Unduli, get slaughtered by her own troops on Kashyyyk in the broadcast. Barriss felt very saddened by having to watch that. She had not known of her master’s true fate until now. A single tear went down her cheek as the Mirialan sat in the Fetal position on her bar stool. During her time as Luminara’s Padawan, she saw her master as emotionless and uncaring. She almost hated her master, or so she thought. She had never gotten to say good bye to her Master, and the last thing that Luminara had heard about Barriss was that she was the one responsible for the bombing of the temple. Barriss knew this and she cried even more until she sensed another being in that room undergo that same grief. “Who else, in the entire underworld of Coruscant, could know about Master Luminara?” she thought to herself. She then turned her attention back to her target who was walking out of the bar, as the target walked out, they brushed their forearm against their face, almost as if trying to wipe off tears from their cheeks. “Is it possible?” Barriss thought to herself. She wasted no time. She paid off the Ithorian bar tender and followed after her target, determined to know who they were. Barriss put an apparatus over her mouth that disguised her voice. “Hey wait”, she called out, “I want to talk to you”. Her target turned slightly and started walking away faster. Barriss followed suite. But soon, they started running. As Barriss was chasing down her target, her client called demanding to know what the progress was. Her client had gotten impatient. “Let me remind you that this bounty is over 1500 credits” said the client to Barriss via the Holo-transmitter, “if you fail me, I’ll see to it that no other client hires you again”. Barriss simply turned off the Holo-transmitter and continued her pursuit. Eventually, Barriss had her target cornered in a back alley. “Stay away from me!” shouted the target in a familiar voice while pointing a blaster at Barriss; a female voice. Barriss pulled out her own blaster at her target. “I don’t want to hurt you” said Barriss. The target didn’t care, she simply fired on Barriss and hid behind a trashcan, Barriss did the same. Eventually, Barriss gained the upper hand and the target was forced out into the open. Barriss expected her to surrender, but instead, she pulled out a vibro-sword, similar to the ones that were used by Commando droids during the clone wars, and started deflecting the blaster bolts, similar to a Jedi. Barriss pulled out a similar vibro-sword of her own and the two engaged in a duel in that back alley. Both fought viciously, Barriss’ sole intentions now only being to know who her target was. Barriss quickly overpowered her target and disarmed her; only demanding to know who she was, the target was still wearing her hood so she couldn’t see her face. Barriss expected her target to surrender, but she was dead wrong. Instead of surrendering, the target pulled out and ignited a pair of white-bladed lightsabers, a standard length lightsaber and a shorter shoto, and charged at Barriss. Barriss steered clear out of the way, and dodged every single strike of her target’s blades. “Don’t! Put those away! The Empire will be onto you!” cried Barriss as she continued to avoid the strikes. Barriss still had the lightsabers of Asajj Ventress on her, but didn’t want to pull them out of fear of getting the Empire’s attention. Eventually, Barriss found an opening and used her vibro-sword to cut off her target’s hood. She was shocked by what she saw: it was Ahsoka Tano, the very Jedi she betrayed five years earlier when she put the blame on her for bombing the Jedi temple, it was also in this very underworld where she engaged Ahsoka in a lightsaber duel when the clone troopers were hunting her down. “Ahsoka” said Barriss calmly. “Who are you and what do you want?” asked Ahsoka angrily. Barriss didn’t say a word. She took the apparatus of her mouth and pulled back her hood. Ahsoka was astonished and angered by what she saw. “It’s me” said Barriss. Ahsoka didn’t say a word, she simply gazed into the Mirialan’s blue eyes with her lightsabers still drawn. “Let me talk, let me explain” said Barriss, “I just want to talk. Look, I know what I did was wrong. I see that now, please let me speak”. Ahsoka didn’t say a word. She just stood looking at Barriss in mix of shock and anger. “You”, said Ahsoka. She then proceeded to striking down both of her lightsabers onto Barriss, Barriss dodging the strikes with inches to spare. “Ahsoka, please don’t do this”, said Barriss, “we need to get out of here before they see us”. “Why should I trust you?” asked Ahsoka, “All you did was kill all those people and then put the blame on me! Nobody believed me!”. Ahsoka continued her volley of strikes until she had Barriss cornered behind a dumpster. As Ahsoka prepared to deliver the killing blows, Barriss pulled out and ignited the red lightsabers she stole from Ventress all those years ago and blocked Ahsoka’s strike. “You still have those?!” asked Ahsoka, “and you still expect me to trust you?”. Ahsoka continued her volley of strikes, Barriss blocking every single one with the red lightsabers. If Master Luminara hadn’t taught her Form III close quartered lightsaber combat, there was no way she would’ve survived Ahsoka’s barrage of strikes, especially with Ahsoka tapping into her dark side. But as the two girls were fighting in the back alley, the clashing of lightsabers caught the attention of Imperial Storm troopers, who had found them fighting. “There they are”, said the commanding trooper, “Blast them!”. Soon, Barriss’ and Ahsoka’s attention went from fighting each other, to kicking down some trash cans in the back alley and using them to block the storm troopers fury of blaster fire. Barriss put away her lightsabers and proceeded to pulling out her blaster to fight back the storm troopers. Ahsoka just sat angrily next to Barriss on the ground. “Well” Barriss cried out, “are you gonna help me or not?!”. Ahsoka didn’t reply, she just sat there. “Ahsoka, we need to work together to get out of this!” yelled Barriss. “Why should I trust you?” asked Ahsoka. “Because there is absolutely no way, either you or me are getting out of this alone”, said Barriss, “You either trust me so we can work together to get out of this, or we can face ‘justice’ from the Empire!”. Ahsoka thought long and hard. “Well?” asked Barriss, “are you gonna help me or not?”. “Fine”, said Ahsoka, “I have a ship about 3 blocks from here. We can use it to get out of here and get off this planet”. “That’s excellent” said Barriss. “But you’re gonna hand over your weapons to me once we get on that ship” said Ahsoka. Barriss, not having any real options, agreed. Ahsoka proceeded to grabbing a thermal detonator from her pouch and tossing it at the storm troopers. Seconds later, the detonator went off and the storm troopers were on the ground. Barriss and Ahsoka took advantage of this and started sprinting to Ahsoka’s ship. When they arrived in the hangar, they found the ship sitting in its landing zone with an Astromech droid making minor repairs on the ship’s hull. “R6!” shouted Ahsoka to the droid, “get the engines hot, were leaving!”. Ahsoka got on the ship first. As Barriss was about to get on, Ahsoka stopped her. “Weapons first” said Ahsoka. “Do we seriously have to do this now?” asked Barriss. Seconds later, the storm troopers found them. “Fine, here!” said Barriss as she handed Ahsoka her lightsabers and blasters. Barriss then got on the ship, and seconds later, took off. Barriss joined Ahsoka in the cockpit. “We’re not out of the woods yet” said Ahsoka as she piloted her ship out of the underworld. As the ship cleared the underworld and started heading into Coruscant’s upper atmosphere, a group of TIE fighters began pursuing and blasting them. “R6”, said Ahsoka, “get the hyper drive started up”. The Astromech droid R6-S1 proceeded to starting up the ships hyper drive. But very soon, all the blaster fire from the TIE fighters was starting to have effect on the ship and a Star Destroyer had joined in on the pursuit. “Shields are gone” said Barriss as soon as the ship’s deflector shield had gone offline. “Not for long” said Ahsoka as the ship jumped into hyperspace. “We made it” said Barriss. “Not quite” said Ahsoka. Ahsoka made a hand signal to R6 and the droid proceeded to shocking Barriss unconscious.
The skirmish between Barriss and Ahsoka had not gone unnoticed by the Empire. The storm troopers Ahsoka attacked with her thermal detonator were merely knocked out, not dead. An imperial security bureau officer was sent to investigate and immediately started questioning the storm trooper in command. The ISB officer was very angry, failure was not tolerable in his eyes. How could the storm trooper let a pair of young non-human girls cause all this trouble and get away? Why didn’t he do more to stop them? As the ISB officer was questioning him, the troopers reply left even the officer in shock, a not so very easy thing to do. “They were using lightsabers sir” said the storm trooper, “they were fighting each other, and deflecting all the blaster bolts we fired at them, well, either that or they were shooting back”. The officer didn’t know how to respond. He reported the failure to his superiors and explained to them the situation. The High members of the ISB knew how to respond. They sent Olmon Sadiph to go and talk to the storm troopers and the Officer. When he arrived, both the officer and the commanding storm trooper were in shock by what they saw: It was a Devaronian male wearing an Imperial uniform of some kind and a lightsaber on his belt. “You gentlemen did well to call me” said the Devaronian, “my name is Olmon Sadiph, I am an inquisitor in service of the empire. Now, what seems to be the problem?” asked the inquisitor. The commanding storm trooper explained the whole situation to the inquisitor. He told him that the two delinquents were Jedi survivors openly wielding their lightsabers in public. He also told the inquisitor that they got away on a Correllian freighter and they succeeded in jumping into hyperspace. “They got away sir” said the storm trooper. “Not for long”, said the inquisitor, “right before they made the jump to hyperspace, one of the TIEs launched a tracker that attached itself to the hull of their ship. Once they come out of hyperspace, we’ll know where they are and I’ll be on my way to meet them”. After the inquisitor finished briefing the storm trooper, he got a message from another imperial agent. Saying that his master wanted to make contact with him. “Get the shuttle fired up and fly us to the surface” said the inquisitor to the agent, “I want to send a clear transmission”. The inquisitor boarded his shuttle and flew from the underworld of Coruscant up to the surface. The inquisitor then kneeled as his holo-transmitter made contact with his master: Darth Vader. “What is your bidding master?” asked the inquisitor. “The Jedi are nearly destroyed” said Vader, “Our task is nearly complete. The Jedi are all but gone now, you have done well in doing your part in eliminating the galaxy of the Jedi. But I have another task for you. If this Empire is to stand, we’ll need an entire legion of inquisitors for generations to come. You will find all force-sensitive children in the galaxy you come across and you will bring them to me for training. If they refuse, you are to terminate them immediately and any surviving Jedi who could train them. They must not become Jedi. This is not only my order, but my Master’s order as well”. “And I will see to that it is done my lord” said the inquisitor as Vader terminated the transmission. The inquisitor proceeded to ordering the shuttle pilot to put the ship in orbit and to have the hyper drive ready. Back on Ahsoka’s ship, Barriss woke up with her entire body in pain, pain she sustained from R6’s painful electric shock. She was in the ship’s galley, lying on one of the booth seats, with Ahsoka sitting next to her, with an angry expression on her face. She looked at Ahsoka with both fear and curiosity. Why did the Togruta decide to take her on her ship, only to knock her out with painful electric shocks? “Ahsoka” said Barriss weakly. “What do you want?” asked Ahsoka angrily. “I just want to talk”. Ahsoka rolled her eyes in frustration. “Look”, said Barriss, “I know how stupid it sounds now. I know that what I did was a horrible, horrible thing, and not a minute goes by when I’m not thinking about that. When I don’t have Letta’s face marked in my brain. Or any one of them for that matter! Look, I just wanted to talk to you. I just wanted to tell you that I’m sorry”. Tears started to build up in her crystal-blue eyes. “I’m so sorry Ahsoka, I could never tell you enough how sorry I am. I’m not asking you to forgive, I just ask that you listen to my apology. I’m sorry for all the people that I hurt, I’m sorry that I almost tried to kill you earlier today, and I’m sorry that I set you, the most loyal and faithful Jedi that I’ve ever met, set you up for that horrible crime you didn’t commit and didn’t deserve to be framed for. I’m so sorry Ahsoka”. As Barriss tearfully gave her apology, she noticed a burn mark near Ahsoka’s shoulder. It must have been from their lightsaber duel earlier. “Ahsoka, let me heal you” said Barriss coldly. Ahsoka complied and she lifted her sleeve from her injury. Barriss used her healing abilities to try to heal the burn mark she left on Ahsoka earlier during their lightsaber duel. Tears were already pouring down her cheeks and her petite frame was already near the fetal position while she was still healing Ahsoka’s injury. Ahsoka was starting to tear up too. She knew that Barriss’ apology was sincere. Barriss looked up and stared into Ahsoka’s blue eyes. “Look, I know you don’t believe my apology, but I mean it from the bottom of my heart” said Barriss while she was still crying, “and I swear, I would never let any harm come to those that I care about”. Ahsoka sat there silently, listening. Even she couldn’t keep herself from crying a little. Ahsoka reached out for Barriss’ olive-skinned hand and held it in hers and pulled her closer. Ahsoka looked in Barriss blue eyes and stroked her beautiful black hair a little. “B-Barriss” said Ahsoka, “I forgive you”. Barriss jumped up and hugged Ahsoka strongly upon hearing this. The two former Padawans sat there on that bench and embraced each other. They sat there for what seemed like hours, in their ship travelling through hyperspace to the other side of the galaxy. The Mirialan and the Togruta sat there embracing each other, Ahsoka reminding Barriss that she forgave her while Barriss cried her eyes out. They had been separated for five years now, maybe now they could be friends. “Come on” said Ahsoka, “I have something”. Ahsoka led Barriss to her cabin and showed her a collection of artefacts and knick-knacks she found over the years following the end of the clone wars. She had B1 battle droid heads hanging from the ceiling. She had several holocrons on her desk that she collected to keep them from falling into the hands of the empire. She even had clone trooper helmets that she found and collected over the years. “One of the advantages of not being a Jedi anymore” said Ahsoka, “is you’re free to have possessions now”. Barriss looked around Ahsoka’s room in astonishment, to see all the artefacts from the clone wars, from though out the galaxy, even from the Jedi temple. But as Barriss was looking around, Ahsoka showed her a small box. Big enough to hold a pair of shoes or boots. Barriss at first thought it was a shoebox. But as Ahsoka opened it, Barriss looked on in amazement. “I found this on Felucia a few years ago, I recognized it immediately”. Ahsoka pulled out a polished metal hilt with a pair of dials on one side and a pair of black rings encircling the top and bottom of the hilt. There was no question as to what it was: It was Barriss’ old lightsaber. Ahsoka handed Barriss the lightsaber and told her to give it a try. When Barriss ignited it, she saw the blue blade jump out of the hilt almost instantly. With the blue light of the blade flickering as she held it. She moved the lightsaber around through the air and listened to the static hum the blade produced. The hilt was suited for her and her alone, for she had built it herself as a Padawan. It fit perfectly in her grip. When she turned off the lightsaber and looked inside the hilt, she found the very Kyber Crystal she harvested herself on Ilum with her master. She started to remember what Master Luminara told her about the crystal, the force, and the Jedi, and how they were all intertwined. “The crystal is the heart of the blade. The heart is the crystal of the Jedi. The Jedi is the crystal of the force. The force is the blade of the heart. All are intertwined”. “I just ask for one thing in return” said Ahsoka. “what is it?” asked Barriss. “That you never wield Ventress’ lightsabers again”. Barriss complied and both she and Ahsoka jettisoned the lightsabers from the ship while it was still moving through hyper space. Ahsoka gave Barriss a tour of the ship. She told her that she was starting to get involved with a rebel movement to try to undermine the galactic empire. She got the ship as payment for a bounty she collected. There was a rebel who was working on Alderaan and he proved to be nothing short of a double agent and told the empire sensitive information regarding the rebel group he was working for. Eventually, Ahsoka was hired to capture the traitor and bring him to Lothal so another group of rebels could deal with him. As payment for her efforts, she received a Correllian light transport she named theCorvala, after the capital on her homeworld of Shili. When Ahsoka asked Barriss who had hired her to hunt her down, she played a recording on her holo-transmitter and Ahsoka knew all too well who it was: It was Tarkin, recently promoted to being governor of the Outer Rim. When Ahsoka was undergoing her trial on Coruscant for bombing the Jedi temple, Tarkin was the leader of the prosecution and called for her to be executed. So it was clear from the start that Tarkin wanted her dead, because she represented a threat to the empire just with her very existence. Barriss and Ahsoka wasted no time at all in trying to chart a new course. They were originally heading for Alderaan. But with the Empire on their tail, they couldn’t risk it. Instead, they fly right past Alderaan and Corellia and headed straight for the Outer Rim, for Tatooine.
At the time, Ahsoka and Barriss didn’t know that they’re ship was being tracked. They thought they had gotten away from the TIE fighters entirely, but they were greatly mistaken. The ISB officers initially wanted to pursue them the moment they came out of hyperspace, but the inquisitor thought otherwise. He told all imperial forces to wait for them to touch down and wait after they get out of their ship and are a good distance away from it; to give Ahsoka and Barriss the impression that nothing was out of the norm. Eventually, the Corvala came out of hyperspace just above the atmosphere of Tatooine. Even from space, it was an amazing sight. The entire planet was covered in an enormous desert, every patch of the surface. From space, no large bodies of water were visible. “I have a feeling it’s gonna be hot down there” said Ahsoka. “I suppose” said Barriss, who came from the frigid ice world of Mirial, so she was not in any mood to set foot into the blazing desert, scorched under two suns. “Do you think the empire is this far out?” asked Barriss. “This far out in the outer rim?” asked Ahsoka, “more than likely”. “That’s a comforting thought, thanks” replied Barriss. As they looked down on the surface, they looked for a good place to land. “What about there?” asked Barriss pointing to Mos Espa on the cockpit monitor. “Nah, I know there’s too many troopers there” said Ahsoka, “there was a smuggling bust on a bunch of pilots and the whole city is under lockdown. Maybe here”. Ahsoka pointed to Mos Eisley on the monitor. “I guess it’ll have to do” said Barriss. Immediately, the ship flew over the space port of Mos Eisley and started to look for an available space to land. The city of Mos Eisley was not very good looking. It wasn’t as bad as the underworld of Coruscant, but it was as nice as the cities of Rodia or Naboo either. Most of the occupants engage in less than honorable occupations. Some work as slavers or bounty hunters. Some are smugglers. Some, are even fugitives wanted for everything ranging from fraud, to murder. The empire is starting to take control of the planet that up until recently, had been controlled by the Hutts. Storm troopers already maintained a presence there, and they were as disliked and unwanted there as anywhere else in the galaxy. Eventually, they found a vacant hangar and landed the ship there. Barriss gave Ahsoka a hooded gown to that would help her to deal with the extreme heat, and would help cover up her identity. After Barriss and Ahsoka got changed, they lowered the Corvala’s ramp and got off. “R6, stay and watch the ship” said Ahsoka to R6. The two left the hangar and walked out into the street. Unbeknownst to them, the tracker that was planted on their ship back on Coruscant had become active and it started alerting imperials to their prescence. Almost immediately, the inquisitor gave the order to his shuttle pilot to set course for Tatooine and soon after, entered hyperspace. Mos Eisley wasn’t that different from the underworld of Coruscant. The empire’s prescence was starting to have its effects on the inhabitants. The two watched many merchants get arrested simply for not having their goods registered with the empire. Trandoshans were also on the lookout for anyone that could be a runaway slave. Ahsoka explained to Barriss that it wasn’t as bad as it looked. She told her that there was money to be made working as bounty hunters for private individuals, it was still a risky business, but not as risky as working for the empire. Ahsoka led Barriss into Chalmun’s Cantina and looked for any jobs posted on the walls that might be available to them. Every now and then, new jobs would appear, followed by jobs or bounties being removed.
Check back next Tuesday for another chapter of Jesus Armenta's ongoing fan fiction saga!