‹ Prequel: The Hidden Truth
Sequel: A Last Good Bye

Reaching Through Darkness



The meeting room was dominated by massive heavy wooden table, darkly stained and reeked of stale beer among other smells I did not want to describe. The air was fogged with a dense cloud of a grayish blue smoke that hung around eye level when standing. The source of light was two light fixtures, naked and dim, barely able to shine through the layer of smoke. Around the table were eleven men. Some of these men were dressed in rags, who had not groomed themselves for weeks, with fierce, dangerous looks in their dark, untrusting eyes. The other men spoke of riches and lives of luxury. They were heavy, dressed in bright colors, covered in jewelry, beards trimmed, and seemingly cheerful and caring. All, I was sure, had blasters, even if not displayed. I would have not trusted either group with my life.

Our presence was unannounced and few men bothered to glance at us. I ushered my apprentice to two chairs at the far end of the room, where the light was dimmest. The talk was low and decentralized. Each man had at least one mug, most taking a sip every few seconds, others simply held onto their mug while nodding at the talker. I reached out into the Force to test the mood of the crowd. Feelings of seriousness, worry, and greed came through. This was not just another meeting, but one meant to get something done. I just hoped the plan went with my own plan.

My thoughts were interrupted when the heavy duracrete door opened and two men stepped in. These were important, powerful men. I could tell because the room went instantly dead silent and eyes flew from their mug or listener to the two men. In truth, all eyes skipped over the first man to the second in the back. My experience told me the taller, heavier, meaner man always entered second and always was the more important one. The first man was small, slim, fast and strong. I ventured a guess that the first man acted as a body guard and a personal assistant. The two men stepped forward, with the little man standing to the right, near the table, giving the big guy some room.

“Thank you, gentlemen for gathering here tonight.”

The big man’s voice was loud, booming with confidence and power. He clearly was the leader of some large gang. He was covered in expensive jewelry and had silk, purple robes for clothing.

“I am sure you all are well aware that I only invite leaders of gangs, so let us all understand we are equal under my eyes”

Ah, so the men at the table were under his power, which suddenly increased his power and respect by ten

“Let us all free ourselves of possible advantages over others and surrender our egos to my assistant here.”

This phrase generally meant give up your weapons so you can not start a problem and I do not have to kill you first. Any man who refused to give up his weapon or tried to conceal a suspected weapon would be at best hurting for a long time. At worst, dead and no one would say a word about it. The short assistant made his round with a crate, being filled with an assortment of the usual weapons as well as gas containers and small tubes of clear liquid. When he came to us I looked at Karen to warn her to not fret, but to be cooperative.

“Hand it over Missy.”

I looked at the assistant to attract his attention. Once he looked at me, I gathered the Force and focused a stream of the limitless energy dead on his mind, surrounding his brain with my will, and firmly suggesting to him to accept the girl was harmless and pretty as a feather. I extended my awareness to the rest of the men and convinced them of the same thing as well that we were not Jedi. The assistant took the suggestion well without resistant and spoke to her in a quiet, polite tone.

“Miss, sorry I had not noticed your gorgeous glowing beauty there. I’ll move on if you’ll excuse me.”

My blushing apprentice said nothing as instructed, but silently nodded. I let go my grip on his weak mind. I pulled back my cloak to reveal to two lightsabers we were carrying and gave them to the short man. Normally, I would have used the Force again to bypass this procedure, but tonight was one were earning the trust and respect of other gangs was more important than holding onto a lightsaber that could easily be retained with a bit of telekinesis. To my relief, no one had said anything about the lightsabers, and only a few eye brows had gone up. The boss had a look of mild inquisitiveness and suspicion, but I sensed no urgent threat from him.

The man finished his duty without another word and stored the crate by a corner where he stood guard over them. He mutely stood in the left hand corner by the door, mindlessly staring at us. I noticed he had not collected any weapons from his boss or had put any weapons of his own in. This further proved the bigger man was far more powerful than the group combined.

“Now on to business. We are here today to discuss the downfall of the black-market’s economy. Ever since that new law has been passed by Senator Delila Y’tul, it has become harder and harder to ship, deliver and sell our goods as we all know too well. Profit decrease has been seen world wide as well as our suppliers. I have asked you all to be patient and bare this short term problem out, but it seems that Y’tul is stronger than we thought. So today, I hold a meeting to talk about what course of actions we leaders of the underworld should take to keep our buyers happy.”

His voice was calm and reasonable, opening the door for anyone to freely speak their mind, but the room stayed silent. Men sat there, starting at the table or the walls, unwilling to make eye contact with the boss, sipping their mugs to excuse themselves from talking. Strange, how these men were so silent and obedient under this one man’s eye. I studied the boss in further detail to try to understand who he was, but the Force had nothing more to say on the subject. The boss noticed my attention, but did nothing. I started to suspect he knew who I was, but decided to keep it to himself.

“Drec, you are the leader of the Dark Prey and my resources tell me you have taken a serious hit in your profits when before the law you were doing quite well. Surely, you have had time to mull over the situation and have come up with a few ideas of your own.”

By the look on his face, Drec was not very happy to be called on. He reminded me of a student who had forgotten to do their homework and had hoped they could get away with this when they had no idea what the teacher was talking about.

“Well sir. Uhh I, I mean Dark Prey have been trying to work with the police you see-”

The boss sighed and interrupted him.

“I do see. I do all too well. We all know bribery of the police forces does no good unless you are inserting your own police members. It just encourages the upper level police to become corrupt and bring government attention to us. No, this is not a good answer. Zek of the Red Claws, your gang has done fairly well in coping with the new law. What is your secret to success?”

Zak was one of the richer looking men and did not look happy to give out his secret. He hesitated before speak as if to balance his options and their rewards.

“A few months before the law was passed, we had decided to donate some of our profits to some of the schools in the area. We then made a big deal about it, dressing up nice and appearing in public about it. We got some hungry news reporters who were dying to report anything to make a deal about this. So the police had decided to back off on watching our activities as long as we keep donating to schools.”

The boss nodded in approval.

“I like that idea, but we can not all use it. Lenoky of Pink Death, what is your idea?”

The meeting went on for another hour like this. The boss commented on each idea, but in the end, liked none of them. I noticed many of the men had run out of drink and were getting antsy to leave. Everyone had been called except for us. The boss made eye contact with me.

“I have called on everyone that I know, but you sire, I do not. Tell me, who are you and what leader of what group?”

I told him that I was the original leader of the Dawners, a group made up of petty thieves and drug dealers that banned together to restore peace and economic prosperity to my home planet. The official group leader of the Dawners as now Ven and the group was connected to Nea.

“Yes, yes, I know these names you mention. You are the famous Mirmo. Also, a Jedi I see. Oh, yes, I knew from the moment I set yes on you. You had that all calm look that the Jedi are famous for. And what man brings his sweet, pretty daughter or date to a meet like this? No, I knew this was not your daughter and since you were a Jedi, this was your apprentice. So Master Mirmo, what do you, with all your precious Force and wisdom, propose we should do?”

Had I not had the experience in dealing with these types of egoist people, I would have found the man highly annoying and rude. Yet, I did not because I knew this was all a show of power over another person. I drew on my years of meditation and patience to keep a level, calm voice, replicating his.

I told him that because I am a Jedi, I had power. I power not earned through fear or through battle, but through respect. I had the power of Luke Skywalker and Leia Solo, thus having the power of the government itself. There were many way in which I could use this power, but as a Jedi, I chose to use this power to help others. I was not some high class, rich sob, who looked down on the poor or spent my time thinking of ways to screw over the poor. I saw the gaps between the poor and the rich. I understood that drugs and crime are as much of part of life as breathing is. I proposed to use my power to help the poor, who were be suppressed by the rich through this new law, having a harder time finding the goods they needed to live with. If the group would allow it, I would go to the senator and convince her to change the law if possible. I could make no promises, but I was more than willing to try.

“Hmm, peaceful, honest negotiation by a Jedi, representing us. Very interesting. Men, what do we think?”

The room was silent. Some men shrugged their shoulders. Others continued to stare, dazed, at the walls. The rest mourned their empty mugs.

“If there is no argument against this idea, then I rule we let this Jedi go ahead with this idea. There is one thing though. If you use this position to take advantage of us or to misrepresent us, I will personally have you hunted and killed as long as it takes. I will swear to the black code of the ancient thieves to destroy your order of Jedi and I will rape, torture, and slowly kill your apprentice. Do I make myself clear?”

His eyes had narrowed. His body had stiffened with power and anger. His voice was cold and hard as durasteel. I nodded calmly, accepting his threat. I had no intentions of hurting his gang of gangs.

“Very well. Good luck and as you Jedi say, may the Force be with you.”

He turned around and left. The rest of us got up and walked over to the crate of weapons, slowly claim our own. Karen was silent and pale. I wondered if she was bothered by that threat. There was no need to be upset, but Karen was new to all of this and would need guidance and talks. Only if there was time to talk. This mission was a busy, fast pace one, with no time for decent, meaningful talks. I felt bad, but there was nothing to be done. She would just have to manage until the moment came.

I took our lighsabers and clipped them to my belt and walked out of the room. Karen spotted Nea and I signaled to him it was time to leave. He put down his beer and walked a bit uncertain to us. I sighed and knew I would have to drive back tonight. Nea led us slowly in his semi drunken way back to the car and took the passenger seat. Karen climbed in the back and I took the controls. The ride was silent back. Each person was alone in their thoughts. Even through our bond, I sensed Karen withdrawn. I told myself she was tired and would be ok in the morning. She would have to be. When we got back to the apartment I sent Karen to bed and I took a seat in Nea’s living room. I wanted to meditate and plan out tomorrow’s events.