• Jesus Armenta

Star Wars: Acts of Redemption Part 2

They saw several ads for hands needed on the moisture farms. “What if we try to go hide on one of those farms?” asked Barriss. “Bad Idea”, said Ahsoka, “they hire by contract. Once you sign, you basically belong to them until the contract is up. And besides, they can make you do any kind of work, including the kind that can get the empire’s attention in a bad way”. “I see” said Barriss as they paced along the Cantina looking for any other opportunities. Surprisingly enough, there were ads placed there offering jobs for smugglers. “Isn’t it a little dangerous to offer illegal jobs so openly?” asked Barriss. “Nah”, said Ahsoka, “the only reason they post these offers here is because the empire almost never sends storm troopers here. Even they find it too dangerous to be in here”. As they looked at the wall with all the offers for bounty hunters and smugglers alike, they found two ads that the found very disturbing. It was a bounty for them. A bounty for either their demise or capture. Ahsoka and Barriss looked to each other in fear, but didn’t say a word. They were still concealing their identities under their hoods, so it was unlikely they would be found. It wasn’t a problem for Barriss, who was a Mirialan and they almost always cover up anyways. But Ahsoka’s people are not the same. So she would have to extra careful. Barriss and Ahsoka exited the cantina very quietly. After their wanted posters were posted, people started to turn eyes on them. It wasn’t every day one sees a Mirialan and a Togruta walking together. It wasn’t long before the storm troopers were alerted to their presence. As the two were walking down the street like as if nothing was out of the norm, Barriss ran up to a speeder and hid behind it to eavesdrop on a conversation between storm troopers, Ahsoka went to a store to buy new outfits to disguise themselves. “Captain, have you heard the latest news?” asked a storm trooper sergeant, “there are rumors of two surviving Jedi that flew from Coruscant all the way out here”. “I don’t know that much about it, other than that it has been confirmed” replied the captain, “so stay on the lookout sergeant”. “Yes sir” said the sergeant. As Barriss finished listening to the conversation, another storm trooper snuck up behind her. Ahsoka stood at the entrance of the store watching in horror. “Hey”, said the trooper, “what do you think you’re doing?”. Barriss was in shock, but she didn’t want to show that she was in shock. If she gets caught, it’s over. Then Barriss remembered something: she could try to use a force mind-trick. Barriss held her hand out and started using the force. “I am not the one you are looking for” said Barriss in a stern voice. “You, uhm, are not the one I am looking for” said the trooper. “The two Jedi delinquents were spotted in Mos Espa” said Barriss. “The two Jedi delinquents were spotted in Mos Espa” said the trooper. “You will alert your comrades to their presence there” said Barriss. “I will alert my comrades to their presence there” replied the trooper. “Me and my friend are free to go” said Barriss. “You and your friend are free to go” replied the trooper. After that frightening encounter, the trooper ran off to inform his superiors and Barriss walked back to where Ahsoka was like as if nothing was out of place. “You almost scared me to death” said Ahsoka. “Trust me”, said Barriss, “I was too. What did you buy anyways?”. “Just some new outfits to at least disguise us from here to the ship” replied Ahsoka. When Ahsoka showed them to Barriss, she wasn’t impressed. They were Zygerrian slaver uniforms. “Are you crazy?” asked Barriss frantically, “We might as well waltz onto an imperial star destroyer while we’re at it”. “They were the only ones I could afford” replied Ahsoka, “but we’ll at least blend in to everyone here”. Barriss didn’t have the time, or the reasons, to argue with her. She agreed. While they were changing in the store, they started to hear yelling outside. Barriss got changed quickly and went outside to hear what the yelling was about. “Trooper” shouted the storm trooper sergeant while he was on commlink with the ISB, “who told you the two Jedi were in Mos Espa?”. “Uhm”, said the trooper in a confused voice, “a girl who was sitting over there told me and, I don’t know, somehow she convinced me that they are in Mos Espa”. “A girl told you?” asked the sergeant angrily, “that’s your response?!”. “Yes, she told me that they are in Mos Espa” said the trooper, “I don’t know sir, this green skinned girl is just sitting there behind that speeder and tells me that ‘she is not the one I’m looking for’ and I was just confused form that point on, and then she tells me”. Before the trooper could finish, the sergeant stopped him. “Come again trooper?” asked the sergeant, “a green skinned girl? Did she look like this?”. The sergeant held up a picture of Barriss. “Yes sir” said the trooper. Immediately, the ISB ordered the sergeant to kill him. He wasted no time in carrying out that order. Barriss looked on from a distance in shock. Ahsoka soon joined Barriss and the two started walking back to their ship. Barriss was still in a lot of shock from watching that trooper’s execution. If it was the grand army of the republic, she would’ve never carried out that order. Barriss walked back to the ship quickly, with Ahsoka right next to her. But as soon as they arrived in the hangar, a group of storm troopers immediately opened fire on them. Barriss and Ahsoka hid behind a wall to cover themselves from the volley of blaster fire. Barriss and Ahsoka grabbed their blasters and started shooting back, but when they looked into the hangar, they saw that they were blocked off. At the same time, the trooper in command received a message from the inquisitor. “I want them alive” said the inquisitor. “We have to look for another way” yelled Barriss. The two ran out of the hangar and out into the street, but there was already a platoon of storm troopers waiting for them. In no time, the storm troopers that were out in the street opened fire on Barriss and Ahsoka and the two of them made a run for it. Eventually, the barrage of blaster fire that was reigning on them was too much and they were forced to draw out their lightsabers to deflect the blaster bolts that were coming their way. “That’s them alright” said the storm trooper sergeant. As Barriss and Ahsoka made a run for it, they encountered more storm troopers who started firing on them. Eventually, they were forced into a back alley with no way out. The storm troopers soon started to close in on them. Barriss and Ahsoka fought hard to hold their ground. But soon, the storm troopers were starting to close in on them. “what do we do?!” shouted Ahsoka. Barriss, usually having a response, remained silent. For the first time, she couldn’t think of a solution. She simply, de-activated her lightsaber and began to meditate. Ahsoka was frustrated at having to see that. “Really?! Now? Are you kidding me?!” yelled Ahsoka. But as Barriss was meditating, she felt a familiar presence nearby. “I sense, something” said Barriss, “a familiar presence”. She didn’t know who it was exactly, but she tried to get through to him with the force. As the storm troopers closed in on Barriss and Ahsoka, a hooded man jumped in between them, with a blue-bladed lightsaber ignited in his hand. Almost immediately, the troopers opened fire on the hooded man. Barriss jumped up and couldn’t believe what she was seeing. “Run!” yelled the hooded man, “Run! Get out of here now!”. Barriss and Ahsoka complied and ran as fast as they could back to their ship. When they got to their hangar, they found it free of storm troopers. “We can’t just leave him” said Barriss. “I know” said Ahsoka. Almost immediately, they went into the cockpit and took off, and headed straight to where the strange hooded man had engaged to storm troopers. As they flew over the battle zone, Ahsoka ordered R6 to get on the ship’s tail gun and to start opening fire on the storm troopers and ordered Barriss to get on the nose gun while Ahsoka tried to get close to the hooded man to allow him to get onboard. As Barriss was shooting storm troopers from the nose gun, her attention turned to the sky as she saw a group of TIE fighters close in on them. “Ahsoka” Barriss said frantically, “I think we need to get out of here”. “One minute” replied Ahsoka. At the last moment, Ahsoka closed in near the battle zone and lowered the ramp to allow the hooded man to jump onboard. After he boarded, R6 and Barriss shot down all the TIE fighters that were pursuing them and Ahsoka flew the ship out into the desert. After they were a good distance away from Mos Eisley, Barriss and Ahsoka went down to the galley to see who the man was that saved them. He might be a friend, but he also might secretly be working for the empire. They went into the galley with their lightsabers drawn, and they asked who he was. “Now, now”, said the hooded man, “surely we don’t have to resort to fighting”. The hooded man pulled his hood back and revealed himself. Barriss and Ahsoka were in total shock by what they saw. It was Obi-Wan Kenobi. “It sure is nice to see you two haven’t killed each other yet” Obi-Wan said humorously. “Master Kenobi” said Barriss as she looked in shock. “I’m glad to see you two are alright”, said Obi-Wan, “and by the looks of it, more than alright, it’s nice to see you two can still be friends”. As Obi-Wan put his lightsaber away, he looked around the ship. “I suppose you got my message about not returning to the Jedi Temple” said Obi-Wan. “Barriss returned briefly, she went back for Ventress’ lightsabers” said Ahsoka. “To keep them out of the hands of the empire of course” Barriss said nervously. “Why of course, I’m sure none of us want that, now do we?” said Obi-Wan. “So”, said Ahsoka, “what brings you this far out into the Outer Rim?”. “Unfortunately, too much” said Obi-Wan, “there is a Jedi Master named A’Sharad Hett who, shortly after Order 66, went into hiding and resumed his previous life among the Tusken Raiders. Now, he’s leading them like their warlord, not something a Jedi should do. He’s going about and attacking farms and settlements. I have to put this at an end before he hurts more people, or himself”. “I’d always wondered where Master Hett had gone to” said Barriss. “Yes, but there’s something else”, said Obi-Wan, “remember the message I sent out five years ago, and I spoke about a new hope emerging?”, Barriss and Ahsoka nodded yes. “Well, he’s right here on Tatooine” said Obi-Wan, “I’m watching over him until the time is right to challenge the empire. He’s only a little boy now, but when he’s ready, I’ll know” said Obi-Wan, “for now, we must trust in the force and we have to stay hidden. We cannot draw too much attention to ourselves”. “We understand” said Ahsoka. “So I guess this means no more using lightsabers” said Barriss. “exactly” said Obi-Wan. After that their little meeting, Barriss and Ahsoka left Obi-Wan in his hut in the middle of the desert and took off. The two knew that the empire was already on to them and they couldn’t risk drawing attention to themselves. Instead of leaving the planet, they flew further into the desert and hid out among the canyons and dunes that roamed endlessly across the landscape, the vista of the desert only broken occasionally by Jawa sandcrawlers or bantha herds. After they landed the ship in the desert, well away from any settlement where the empire could be, Barriss got out and walked for a little bit outside the ship while Ahsoka stayed inside to make repairs on the ship with R6. After walking for a bit around the ship, she stared out across the desert and looked at the two suns setting in the distance. As she watched the suns set, she closed her eyes to try to meditate for a bit. She breathed in and out very slowly as the desert winds blew her hair across her face. It was a big difference being in the quiet desert wastes over being in the crowded and noisy streets of Mos Eisley and Coruscant. No blaster fire, no storm troopers shouting orders, no people trying to get from one place to another, and no sound of lightsabers clashing and deflecting blaster bolts. It was calm, peaceful. It had been years since the last time she could be at peace. Or almost to that. She still sought to redeem herself for her bombing of the temple and framing Ahsoka for it, even after she had forgiven her. While she was still meditating, the wind kept blowing her hair across her face, but she ignored it. Even with sand blowing in the wind. As she stood there, relaxing under the now diminished rays of the two suns while they were setting, Ahsoka came out of the ship, with two trays of food in her hands. “Mind if I join you?” asked Ahsoka. “I’d be delighted” said Barriss. Ahsoka handed Barriss one of the two trays and the two sat down on the roof of the ship enjoyed their dinner, while watching the two suns set in Tatooine’s horizon. It had been a very long time since the last time the two could sit together and enjoy a meal. They had expected to be able to finally catch a break and return to peace keeping duties after the clone wars, many Jedi did. But for the vast majority, that peace came in the form of a gruesome death. Barriss thought and wondered why, in spite of her actions, she had been spared from order 66, and if there were any other survivors. As Barriss thought this, Ahsoka sensed what she was thinking and reminded her to be mindful of her feelings, it could send her on a path to the dark side again. Barriss thanked her and put her tray aside when she finished eating. After they both finished, Ahsoka led Barriss down into her cabin and cleared some space from one of the bunks so Barriss could have a place to sleep that night, Ahsoka’s hoarding of many items from throughout the galaxy had left her cabin pretty crowded. Shortly after getting settled down, the two turned off the lights and went to sleep.

Later that night, as Barriss slept, she had a disturbing dream. No, not a dream, a nightmare. She had the darkest and most terrifying vision she had ever seen in her whole life. She saw a dark, mysterious being go to a moisture farm and kill its inhabitant family and kidnap their young child. She then saw this child undergo the most brutal of Sith training, and be tortured by Sith lightning under the brutal instruction of the emperor. “No, no”, mumbled Barriss to herself while she was sleeping. After undergoing the horrendous torture, she then saw that child grow up into a terrifyingly brutal Sith apprentice, and began the slaughter of surviving Jedi, both Jedi she knew and didn’t know, and their apprentices who they were mentoring in a desperate attempt to keep the Jedi Order alive. After killing off the Jedi, she then saw the Sith apprentice defeat Darth Vader in a duel and used both his own lightsaber, as well as Vader’s, to decapitate him, earning him place at the Emperor’s side. She then saw the death of countless beings, and whole planets destroyed by a large, powerful energy beam coming out of a spherical shaped super-weapon. Finally, Barriss had had too much, and she woke up in a cold sweat, breathing heavily. Barriss looked around frantically, she saw Ahsoka, still peacefully asleep in the bunk next to hers, unaware of the horrible nightmare Barriss envisioned. Barriss climbed out of her walk and limped to the ship’s lavatory. When she went in, she turned on the lights and opened the faucet. She washed her face with the water several times and looked in the mirror. Her eyes were extremely bloodshot. Barriss washed her eyes again and when she looked in the mirror again, she noticed a yellow sliver forming around her naturally blue eyes. As Barriss looked closer to see what it was, Ahsoka saw her looking in the mirror, and noticed the horrified look on her face. “Barriss?” asked Ahsoka tiredly, followed by a yawn, “what’s wrong?”. “I, I”, Barriss stuttered her speech a little bit, “ha-ad a n-nightmare”. “Are you ok?” asked Ahsoka. “No”, replied Barriss, “I think it was a vision”. “What did you see?” asked Ahsoka. “I, I saw”, Barriss was trying not to tear up, “I saw a strange warrior kill a family of moisture farmers, and I saw him kidnap their son and then took him to the Empire to be trained as a Sith. It was awful”. Barriss collapsed with grief, unsure if it was merely a nightmare, or a vision. “This youngling”, Barriss said, “I think he might be the child, the new hope, Master Obi-Wan spoke of”. “If he is captured by this mysterious warrior” said Ahsoka, “then the galaxy will have no hope against the empire. What should we do?”. “This warrior”, said Barriss, “he was strong in the dark side. We won’t stand a chance against him. We have to go to Master Obi-Wan. He’ll know what to do”. Barriss knew that neither her, nor Ahsoka, would have a chance against this mysterious warrior. Neither her, nor Ahsoka had ever reached the level of knighthood, so their training was very limited. So Barriss thought it best to have a fully-fledged Jedi Master take care of this situation. Shortly after, Barriss and Ahsoka restarted the ship and flew to Obi-Wan’s hut to warn him of the coming danger. While Ahsoka flew back to Obi-Wan’s hut, Barriss sat next to her with her head hanging, still traumatized by the vision. But when they arrived, they found no sign of him. He wasn’t inside, he wasn’t attending to this moisture traps, he wouldn’t even respond to his commlink. But as they paced around inside, they set off a recorded message that Obi-Wan had left for them. “Barriss and Ahsoka, this is Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. If you’re watching this, I have either brought Master A’Sharad Hett back to the light side and redeemed him, or I am currently engaging him in the desert. If you needed me, I will not be able to help you at the current moment. Good luck”. Barriss and Ahsoka didn’t like the message at all. “No, no, no, no, no” said Ahsoka, “what are we going to do now?”. Barriss thought long and hard about what they would have to do next. “We’ll do it” said Barriss. “What?” asked Ahsoka. “We’ll engage this mysterious warrior. Once we begin to fight him, I’ll turn his attention on me and you will go to that moisture farm and warn them of the coming danger”. Ahsoka was shocked and saddened by her response. “But Barriss”, said Ahsoka, “He’ll kill you”. “Then I will have finally paid for my actions against you and against all the other Jedi”. Ahsoka didn’t like what Barriss had said, but they had no other choice. Barriss hugged Ahsoka and the two hugged each other tightly, with tears streaming down both of their faces, knowing of the price that would have to be paid if there was ever to be a day when the galaxy could once again, taste freedom. They wasted no time in boarding the ship and flying out to where Barriss saw her vision take place. “I don’t know exactly where” said Barriss, “but it’s close. Keep flying in the heading I give you and I’ll let you know when we’re near”. Ahsoka complied, but before she could do anything, a powerful explosion rocked the ship. Ahsoka struggled to keep control, to keep her dying ship airborne. But it was to no avail and the ship was brought to a fiery landing in the already scorching desert. They were knocked out for what felt like hours, but as they regained consciousness and staggered out of the wreckage with their lightsabers drawn, they saw a storm trooper carrying a T-7 ion disruptor that had just been fired, and the inquisitor, Olmon Sadiph; with his red lightsaber drawn staring down at Barriss and Ahsoka, undoubtedly, the dark warrior from Barriss’ vision.

After Barriss and Ahsoka climbed out of the wreckage and saw the mysterious presence before them, they had no doubt that it was the mysterious dark warrior from Barriss’ vision. They did not say a word. It was dead silence. The only sounds were the humming sounds produced by their ignited lightsabers. “I sure hope I didn’t delay you from anything, did I?” asked the inquisitor. Barriss and Ahsoka didn’t respond, they held their ground with their lightsabers drawn between them and the inquisitor. “How about an exchange?” asked the inquisitor, “How about you two put your swords down so we can avoid a confrontation?”. “We’re not making deals with you” said Ahsoka angrily. “I surely hoped it wouldn’t have had to come to this” said the inquisitor. After Ahsoka and Barriss positioned themselves in defensive stances, the inquisitor used the force to blow sand into them and blocked their view of him. While the two were coping with their near-blindness from the sand, the inquisitor lunged forward and brought down his lightsaber onto the two, and engaged them in a duel. After the sands cleared, Barriss and Ahsoka launched attack blows onto the inquisitor, but to no avail. As they were fighting, the inquisitor continued to adapt to every single strike Barriss and Ahsoka could launch on him, until finally, he began to effortlessly return the attack to them. He forced them, Barriss armed with her blue bladed lightsaber and Ahsoka with her two white bladed lightsabers, to assume defensive stances. His skill was far more advanced than theirs, despite only having a single lightsaber. Eventually, he began to taunt them and began to become familiar with their fighting techniques. “Interesting”, said the inquisitor to Barriss, “it seems to me that you trained under Master Luminara Unduli”. Barriss and Ahsoka were in shock by what they heard. “H-how, could you know?” asked Barriss worryingly. “Your Mirialan Masters only take Mirialan apprentices such as yourself” replied the inquisitor as he assumed a defensive stance, “Master Luminara favored Form III close quartered combat, similar to what you are trying to imitate very poorly at this moment”. Barriss felt insulted by what the inquisitor had said, but Ahsoka intervened. “Barriss, don’t!” yelled Ahsoka, “he’s trying to provoke you into falling for the dark side, it’s what he wants!”. “Do you honestly think I don’t know who you are?” asked the inquisitor to Barriss, “wielding that nightsister’s lightsabers back on Coruscant?”. Barriss worried expression intensified after hearing him say that. He knew she had wielded Ventress’ lightsabers. “Ahh yes, now I see” said the inquisitor, “It was you who orchestrated the bombing of the Jedi Temple, wasn’t it? And after you bombed it, you killed Letta Turmond to keep her from spilling out that you bombed the temple, and then you had this Togruta here framed for the bombing and her death”. Barriss tried to cancel out what he was telling her. She worked ever tirelessly to avoid falling back to the Dark side, with the memories of the Temple bombing clear in her head as day. “You yourself said that the Jedi started the clone war” said the inquisitor. “No”, whispered Barriss. “That the Jedi were the villains of the conflict”. “No” said Barriss ever louder. “And that you all deserved to be put on trial”. “No!!” yelled Barriss at the top of her lungs as she struggled to avoid the torment. “Good, good” said the inquisitor, “your hatred, your anger, it’s making you stronger, it gives you focus. The Jedi are all dead. But the dark side remains, and you know it. You’ve already embraced it before”. Finally, the torment was too much and Barriss began to collapse. “Barriss!” yelled Ahsoka, “don’t listen to him! You’ve changed, and you’ve proven it!”. Ahsoka’s words were enough to get Barriss back on her feet. She held her lightsaber in front if her, with the blue blade shining vertically across her face. The yellow hue that had built up in her eyes from embracing the dark side disappeared, and the blue returned to her eyes. “I’ll never join you” said Barriss confidently. Ahsoka and Barriss then swung their lightsabers over their heads and onto the inquisitor’s, and their three blades locked onto his. “Well if you won’t join the dark side” said the inquisitor as he held back Barriss and Ahsoka, “then perhaps your friend here will”. The inquisitor then force-pushed Barriss away from him and into the wreckage of the ship, knocking her out. Ahsoka was left to face the inquisitor alone. As they fought on the sands, streaks of red and white flashed against the back drop of the sky. And the clashing sounds echoed across the landscape. “Well now, youngling”, said the inquisitor to Ahsoka, “have you given any thought into my offer?”. “Never!” yelled Ahsoka as she continued her volley of strikes against the inquisitor. Barriss was only meters away in the sand, knocked out, lying motionless and breathing slowly. The volley of strikes between the inquisitor and Ahsoka gradually intensified, growing faster and faster. Finally, the strikes had gotten so fast, that the inquisitor found an opening and used it to his full advantage. He returned his strikes with speed and power, until finally, his lightsaber managed to graze Ahsoka’s leg. Ahsoka screamed out in agonizing pain from the lightsaber burning her leg. The terrifying scream was enough to wake Barriss up. Seconds later, Ahsoka was on the ground, injured, and the inquisitor struck her again. This time, in the arm. Ahsoka screamed in agony again. Ahsoka could no longer fight, her lightsabers lying in the sand next to her deactivated. Barriss struggled to get back on her feet. As the inquisitor lifted his lightsaber over his head to strike the killing blow on Ahsoka, Barriss used the force to jump at the last minute and ignited her lightsaber and blocked the inquisitor’s killing blow to Ahsoka, with only inches to spare. “Very courageous of you” said the inquisitor to Barriss, “But it looks like your friend isn’t able to pep-talk you any more”. Barriss stared down to Ahsoka, still lying in pain from her injuries, and back to the inquisitor. The inquisitor and Barriss stared at each other, walking in a semi-circle around each other, waiting for the other to strike first. Barriss used this moment to her advantage and, using the force, picked up one of Ahsoka’s lightsabers and ignited it. Now, with blue and white bladed lightsabers in both of her hands, she launched a volley of strikes down on the inquisitor. The inquisitor repelled every single strike with his own lightsaber. Flashes of red, white, and blue shined against the back drop of the sky, while the clashing sounds of lightsabers rolled across the landscape. Barriss intensified her strikes. Going faster and faster. The inquisitor effortlessly repelled the strikes. Eventually, Barriss began to get the upper hand and the inquisitor began to move back to avoid the strikes. What started with effortless attacks soon became desperate counter attacks by the inquisitor. Eventually, Barriss was able to force the inquisitor to move back into the wreckage of the Corvala and soon had the Inquisitor cornered in the wreckage. Barriss then swung both of the lightsabers overhead and they were barely blocked by the inquisito. As Barriss and the inquisitor forced their lightsabers into each others, the inquisitor gave Barriss a smile, an evil smile. The inquisitor pushed a button on his lightsaber hilt and out of the bottom of the hilt, a second blade sprang out. Now with a double-bladed lightsaber at the ready, the inquisitor returned the attack to Barriss and the inquisitor began to launch ever-quickening attacks. Soon, it was becoming too much and Barriss began to move back to avoid the barrage of strikes that were befalling her. “If you only understood the power of the dark side”, said the inquisitor. “What power?” asked Barriss, “there’s nothing to it. There is no power, only cowards embrace the dark side. You have nothing to teach me. I know what the dark side is like, it’s nothing short of nothingness”. An enraged inquisitor took one of his hands and pointed it at Barriss. Seconds later, he unleashed a fury of Force Lightning on Barriss and sent her flying across the sands. Barriss found herself on the ground, gasping for breath, but while she stumbled to get back on her feet, the inquisitor picked her up from the neck with the force and started choking her. Barriss dropped the lightsabers and put her hands on her neck, struggling to breathe. “Painful, isn’t it?” asked the inquisitor, “One can only imagine how Letta must’ve felt when you silenced her”. Ahsoka, a good distance away, tried getting back up on her feet, with her other lightsaber ignited. The inquisitor, not wanting to engage Ahsoka again, dropped Barriss and unleashed a torrent of force lightning on Ahsoka. “Are you watching?” the inquisitor asked Barriss, “well pay attention, I’m about to demonstrate the full power of the dark side”. As the inquisitor prepared to deliver fatal levels of force lightning on Ahsoka, Barriss jumped up, with her lightsaber in her hand lunged towards the inquisitor. The inquisitor stopped shocking Ahsoka and reignited his lightsaber to engage Barriss once again. Barriss fought desperately to end the duel, until finally, the inquisitor found an opening, and tapped one of his lightsabers blades against Barriss’ shoulder. Barriss screamed in pain as the red blade moved across her shoulder, unsure if her arm had been cut off. As she laid in the sand, with tears starting to build up in her eyes from the agonizing pain, the inquisitor unleashed another torrent of force lightning to incapacitate her further. Finally, the pain had exhausted her so much, she couldn’t keep screaming. As she lay, almost motionless in the sand, the inquisitor kicked her lightsaber away from her. “Are you still awake?” asked the inquisitor to Barriss. Barriss responded by trying to get up off the sand, but was unable to. “Good” said the inquisitor, “because I’m not going to kill you yet. First, I’m gonna kill your friend, and I’m going to make sure you watch”. Barriss started to tear up a little from hearing this. As the inquisitor deactivated his lightsaber and pointed his hands to Ahsoka, Barriss jumped in between him and Ahsoka to try to block the force lightning and stuck out her hand, knowing the cost for saving Ahsoka’s life would be her own. But as the inquisitor delivered the fatal dosage of force lightning, Barriss felt nothing. When she opened her eyes, she saw a glowing ball of force energy in her hand. The inquisitor was puzzled by what he was seeing. He tried again, even stronger this time. But the lightning simply went into Barriss’ hand and stayed there. Barriss looked up at the inquisitor, who had a puzzled look on his face, and smiled. She then returned all that force lightning back to the inquisitor who, having a limited knowledge of the dark side so as to not become a rival to the existing Sith, was unable to defend against the force lightning and was blown to oblivion. Soon after, Barriss collapsed to her knees in relief and crawled over to Ahsoka to try to heal her injuries with her force abilities. But as she was working on healing Ahsoka’s injuries, the injuries she sustained herself were too much, and she collapsed next to her in the sand, with the wreckage of the ship just meters away and the inquisitors lightsaber near them. Not long afterwards, Barriss woke up in a state of panic. She had no idea how long she was out for or where she was. As she was about to scream, a calm voice stopped her, it was Master Obi-Wan. “Barriss”, said Obi-Wan, “try to relax”. “Master Kenobi” said Barriss as she looked at him, “where’s Ahsoka?”. “Relax”, said Obi-Wan, “she is safe. She is sound asleep right over there”. Obi-Wan pointed across the room to a bed next to Barriss’. “Where are we?” asked Barriss. “You’re in my house” said Obi-Wan, “and don’t worry, you are perfectly safe, both of you. But I need to know what happened”. Barriss was listening. “How did this end up near where I found you two?” Obi-Wan asked as he held the inquisitors lightsaber. “The Empire” said Barriss, “they sent this warrior after us. I don’t think he was Sith, but he was trained in the dark side. And he was too much for us. I had a vision the other night. I saw him, in this vision, kill off a family of moisture farmers and then took their child away to be trained as a Sith. And we thought this child was the new hope you spoke of, we didn’t want him taken away, and neither me nor Ahsoka wanted to fight him. So we came here to warn you but you went after Master Hett, and, and…”. Finally, Barriss couldn’t take it anymore and she began to break down. “Now, now” said Obi-Wan, “it’s alright. You’re both safe now. For now, try to get some rest”. Barriss complied and she laid back in her bed and went to sleep. Obi-Wan then left them and went into another room. He sat down and began to meditate on what had happened. “I don’t know”, Obi-Wan said to himself, “if the Empire is after force-sensitive children, then I don’t know how I can protect him any longer without compromising myself or the Jedi Order. Without him, there’s no more hope”. “Why do you worry so? Why do you lose faith so quickly?” a mysterious voice asked Obi-Wan. “Who is it?” asked Obi-Wan. “You don’t remember me? The one who mentored you for all those years?”. “I’m sorry, I’m confused” said Obi-Wan. “It is I, Qui-Gon Jinn” said the voice. “Master” said Obi-Wan, “it sure is relieving to hear your voice”. “There is always hope my friend”, said Qui-Gon, “you yourself said that in time, a new hope would emerge”. “yes”, said Obi-Wan, “but that was before I knew that the Empire was sending inquisitors”. “And how does that change things?” asked Qui-Gon, “you saw yourself that there’s always a way. That Mirialan girl betrayed both her friend and the Jedi Order. Anyone at the time would’ve said that she’s guilty and beyond redemption because she turned to the dark side. But despite all the odds, she not only redeemed herself, she saved her friends life, the lives of the moisture farmers, and she saved your child of hope from a terrible fate. And she also proved it is possible to return from the dark side, when there is goodness in heart”. “Now I see”, said Obi-Wan. “Even if this child isn’t the hope you want him to be” said Qui-Gon, “remember there is another”. “Remember my words, there is always hope” said Qui-Gon as he left Obi-Wan alone in his thoughts. Obi-Wan thought long and hard about what Master Qui-Gon had told him, especially when he told him that it is possible to return from the dark side, and not just for Barriss. And that’s when Obi-Wan realized that his fallen apprentice might still have a chance of being redeemed. After Obi-Wan finished meditating, he went back into the other room to check on Barriss and Ahsoka. “Were you ever able to get through to Master Hett?” Barriss asked Obi-Wan. “Unfortunately no”, said Obi-Wan, “He doesn’t seem to be near the dark side, but I wasn’t able to get through to him. For now, I made him swear never to return to this planet again”. “I see” said Barriss. Shortly after, Ahsoka woke up. “What? Where am I?” asked Ahsoka. “You’re safe” said Barriss, “we’re at Master Obi-Wan’s place”. Barriss found the strength to get out of bed and went over to Ahsoka and started using her healing abilities to heal what was left of Ahsoka’s wounds. Obi-Wan smiled at seeing this and reminded him that there was always hope. Obi-Wan thanked Barriss for saving the child of hope and also told her that he felt relieved now that she had redeemed herself. After they had both recovered from their ordeal, Barriss and Ahsoka mounted a Bantha. Before they left, Barriss went to Obi-Wan one last time. “Master Obi-Wan”, asked Barriss, “By any chance, can you tell me the child’s name?”. Obi-Wan whispered the child’s name in Barriss’ ear. After that, Barriss climbed onto the Bantha and rode off into the distance with Ahsoka. Feeling good that they had saved somebody who would be very important for years to come.

The End

Epilogue: Not long after their ordeal with the inquisitor, Barriss and Ahsoka once again went to Mos Eisley to look for work that could benefit them and be harmful to the empire. “Are you sure this is the right place?” Barriss asked Ahsoka. “Who knows what kind of work they could give us”. “Don’t worry”, said Ahsoka. There’s plenty of work here if you know where to look”. As they were walking around Mos Eisley, they went into the Cantina to see if they could find work there. They paced around the Cantina to see if there were any ads offering work, or if anyone was there who might be hiring. Eventually, they sat down at a table with a Correllian pilot who might be able to help them. But he didn’t really offer anything good. In fact, Barriss and Ahsoka saw him as nothing short of an indebted smuggler, who was behind on payments. They even saw a Rodian Bounty Hunter named Greedo warn him that he was behind on some payments. But the smuggler simply reassured him. Barriss and Ahsoka were not impressed, even after his Wookiee copilot tried to reassure them. So they walked out and tried to look for other work they could do. But as they walked out of the Cantina, Ahsoka received a call on her commlink. When she responded, they were surprised by who it was. It was from Senator Bail Organa. “Hello my friends” said Senator Organa, “it sure is nice to see you two are ok. I hear you two are looking for work that could stick it to the Empire”. “What do you need us to do?” asked Ahsoka. “For now”, said senator Organa, “I need you to stay put. Also, pick code-names so that the Empire isn’t after you directly”. Ahsoka thought long and hard about which name to pick. “Fulcrum” said Ahsoka. “I choose Fulcrum”.

Check back next Tuesday for another chapter of Jesus Armenta's ongoing fan fiction saga!

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