CHAPTER 9

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While they were in hyperspace, Venar, Carth, and Bastila each took shifts watching the cockpit while the rest of them took some time to eat, sleep, and clean themselves up a bit. Venar had taken the first shift watching the cockpit and after an hour of boredom, Carth came to take over.

"Where are we heading anyways?" Venar asked Carth as the latter took the co-pilot's seat.

"Dantooine," he replied, "Bastila said there's a Jedi enclave there. Apparently, some of the High Council is currently stationed there."

"Alright, well, keep the ship in one piece while I'm gone."

"Somehow, I feel like I should be telling you that."

"You're probably right." Venar walked out of the cockpit down the hall to the crew quarters. Zaalbar was snoring on one of the bunks and Mission was cuddled up with him. For a moment, Venar wondered what it would be like to have your own personal Wookie as a pillow. Then he remembered that Wookies don't believe in bathing or grooming. Venar took the bunk across from Bastila, glancing over to see her sleeping peacefully under the blanket. Even when she was sleeping, she looked like she was scowling. Still, she looked serene and... before he finished that thought he wondered if Jedi could read minds in their sleep.

He laid down on his bunk and tucked himself under the covers. He rested his head on the pillow but found himself distracted by the sleeping Jedi across from him in the other bunk. It was odd but he felt pulled to her in some way, as if they were drawn to each other or connected to each other in some. He could feel it in the air around him almost as if it was something tangible and not just a mere feeling in his heart or a thought in his mind. It felt as if an outside source was drawing them together, somehow.

He turned over and faced the blank hard wall of the ship. It was strange, but for the first time in his life he felt like he belonged somewhere. He belonged here, with these people, on this ship. He had spent countless years wandering the galaxy aimlessly, taking on odd jobs here and there but ultimately without a real home or group of people that cared about him. He knew it probably wouldn't last, but he felt at home with these people, as strange and different as they were.

His thoughts soon carried him off to distant worlds, remembering planets he had visited in the past, people he had met. He could never remember the names of the planets he had been to or the people he had met, but he remembered them all the same. Yet, it all seemed like his whole life had been building to this, joining the Republic, the Endar Spire, meeting these people. Maybe Bastila was right, maybe the Force was involved...

Two Jedi walked through tall brown grass against a backdrop of a dark, gray, and foreboding sky. A light breeze licked the air. The first Jedi wore long brown robes that flowed in the wind. His head and face were covered by a hood a red and gray Mandalorian mask. The other Jedi, a tall bald man with blue tattoos running along the top of his head, wore a slim fitting brown tunic and pants.

"Revan," Alek said, "I can feel it, we're close."

Revan and Alek walked through the field, a clap of thunder sounding in the distance. A gust of wind swept through the plains as they made their way along further over to a sloping hill. They climbed to the top of the hill and as they looked down they saw the ancient ruins. Strange stone pillars were placed sporadically throughout the area below. Further out, carved into a smaller hill, was a stone entrance of some sort sealed by a large heavy stone door.

The two Jedi made their way down the first hill into the ruins below. Upon closer inspection, they saw the pillars held all sorts of strange markings and patterns. The stone was a dark color, almost black with a tinge of purple. They had never seen anything like it. They approached the entrance at the smaller hill, slowing their pace as they made their way to the large stone door. They stopped in front of it. Revan began pacing back and forth, as if pondering what to do next.

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