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Sequel: A Last Good Bye

Reaching Through Darkness

The Dawners


The Dawners? Who were the Dawners? There was a slight shift in emotions that I sensed through the Force and then noticed everyone was looking at me. I realized I had mused my thoughts out loud. My cheeks went red and I found myself needing to move about. The crowd before me was one of mostly humans, dressed in rags of various colors of grey and brown. They were a sad, skinny crowd; each person had the look of hunger in their eyes or as I feared the hunger for me. I remembered the fact that my tight skimpy shirt tempted many eyes of men who had not had seen the presence of a female for some time. I sent out a warning through my Force bond to my master. He got the message and stood in front of me, protecting me.

“Oh yes, the Dawners, back from the days on Zabreen, my home planet.”

There was a murmmer in the crowd. Eyes narrowed and questioned my master. A large, fatter man than the rest stepped forward. His appearance was the best kept with clean, combed back hair of graying brown, tall muscular, his clothes were tattared, but clean and had once been hansom. He was the only one to have boots on, the rest had bound together bits of shoes or rags tied thickly on gnarled and bloody feet. His accent was far clearer than the rest and showed he had been educated.

“You claim to be Mirmo, our great leader of the Dawners, but we do not recognize you. Prove yourself.”

Nea took offense to the man’s words and stepped towards Mirmo with glaring eyes.

“I was the one who told you Mirmo was coming back and here I present him to you. My word should be enough.”

“Silence, old spicer. We respect you and your word, but it is he before us that I asked a question to and it is he who will answer.”

Nea grunted with disgruntlement, but stayed silent. The Force swirled around the room and centered on my master. Clashes of will were taking place and without the Force I wouldn’t have known. Mirmo bowed his head as if in deep thought and then went down on one knee. I heard him mumble some words that I had no idea what meant.

“Qea meno ye talos nu Fortalos sano Commandos.”

Those words were followed with a gasp of recognition and fear, for several of the men started moving back to the wall, as if to escape some horrible feat about to come. I tilted my head in confused. A sudden blast of the Force rolled off my master in powerful waves like the waves of a sonic blast, knocking everyone off their feet, except for Nea, who seemed to be unsettled by the Force, but still standing.

“I am Mirmo, the Force user, blessed by Liviani and known as the New Jedi. I serve, not lead. I protect, not fight. I live, not die. I rise with the dawn of hope and good to a new day, a new era, to a new way. That is the code of the Dawners.”

Master’s Mirmo’s voice was one like when he taught class, calm and quiet, demanding attention, and hinting wisdom. The effect he has on students was the same here in the room. People pulled themselves from the ground in a hurry. Faces rose to meet his eyes. Their glaze cleared and muscles flexed. Backs straightened in old remembered pride. The group moved in closer to Mirmo and to their selves.

“Aye, it is you Mirmo. Forgive me my leader; your appearance has changed quiet a bit.”

The man went down on knee like Mirmo did with a fist to his forehead. The rest of the men, including Nea followed the gesture of respect and obedience. I stood behind Mirmo, not sure what exactly was going on. I remembered my Master’s past and how he once led a group of rebels on his planet, but surely this was not them? How could heroes of the past fall this low? My answers were quickly found.

“Mirmo, if you would so kind, I think the group would like you to introduce the young lady you have brought with you.”

Mirmo smiled and stepped aside. He waved his hand to me to step forward so all could view me.

“This is my apprentice, Karen Nightingstar from the Jedi Academy. She is here to learn about the galaxy and about this planet. Consider her your little sister who is to be protected and looked out for at all costs. Her life is as valuable as mine.”

The man came forth to me and knelt before me. I stood still, uncertain what to do or how to act. I nodded to him when his eyes meet mine.

“My lady, I swear to the Force I will do everything I can to keep you safe. Not a harmful or evil hand will be laid on you as long you stay with us. It is an honor to have another Jedi in our humble group. Qea meno ye talos nu Fortalos sano Commandos. It means may the Force be with you in our language.”

I thanked him and said nothing else. The man stood and asked Mirmo if I was to take his place when he could no longer lead the group. I turned my head to my master, wondering what I was getting myself into.

“That will depend on Karen if she wishes to or not. But, let us not worry about that until that unthinkable day comes. Tell me, how did you all end up on this planet and uh, in this shape? I suppose you are the leader?”

“Yes, I am the leader. I am Vendice Neehatro, but everyone calls me Ven, as both of you can. You probably do not remember me since I came to be a Dawner in the last days that you spent with us. A temporary leader was voted on until a real leader could confirmed by their actions and character. I started leading several small successful missions and earned my title with popularity.

"The group lasted for another eight months after you left and then the government fell out of favor with us. They saw us a group with weapons, winning the loyalty of the population when the politicians could not do the same. We were a threat in their corrupted eyes and took away our power. The government formed a secret group to hunt us down and arrested us for being part of an illegal group. The people the escaped the hunters were forced underground again or off planet. Over time the group lost its meaning and dispatched all together. A lot of us turned back to the life we knew before: crime and poverty. I myself went back to the middle class that I came from, changed my name, got a fake id, and went back to working some meaningless job. Then a year ago the government officials had gone crazy, thinking we were reforming the Dawners again and started hunting us down. Many of our more spoken members were captured, questioned, and then murdered. I took this hint, found what little was left of the original group and got them off planet and to here where we would remain safe and unnoticed.

"What I forgot to remember was I was traveling with a bunch of criminals, who when given the chance, would do what criminals do. I moved them from one small planet that they knew well, but were also known well, to a planet they could run around in and get away with more crimes. Once I realized my mistake I cracked down on them and taught the men morals and discipline. The ones that survived my teachings are some of the toughest men you will have ever met, and also some of the best men despite their appearances. They might look like your typical criminals, but by the code, they would not even think of breaking the law unless I told them to and why.

"Sadly, in this city, it is hard to define our mission and how we would complete it. The criminal system here is not like the one on Zabreen. The system is far bigger, more complex, and hard to infiltrate. I have worked the men as hard as I can, but feeding them has become a problem and up until you arrived, I feared the future. You have no idea what your presence means Fortalos Mirmo.”

What a story. What a history, both inspiring and saddening. Mirmo never told me much about his mission on his planet of what had become of them. It sounded like after the death of his mentor he never looked back on his planet, and the planet suffered his neglect. I looked at my master to see what his reaction to this news. His head was down in contemplation and the features on his face spoke of sorrow for his mistake. When he spoke, his voice was soft as ever, but I sensed he used the Force to carry his words out.

“I am truly sorry for your troubles and I ask that you accept my apology for my absence. I have no excuse to offer other than I could not return to that planet. I did not want to be anywhere near the death place of our true, first leader. If you will accept my words, I promise to try to help you with your mission, but I am afraid I can not be your leader. I have sworn my energy, will, and focus with the Jedi Order, but as Jedi, I will do what I can to help you with your cause.”

Ven came close to Mirmo and embraced him fiercely. When he was done, he put his fist to his forehead.

“We would be more than honored to accept your apology and any help you could lend us. We offer you food and shelter, what little we can give.”

Mirmo put his fist to his forehead with a slight bow, accepting the offer. Ven offered us one more thing.

“There is a meeting tonight at the local canteen and we wish to invite you and your apprentice to come and meet the rest of the Dawners.”

Mirmo’s eyes flickered to me. I mentally shrugged, silently saying I had no feelings one way or the other.

“We accept. If you can give us the location we will be there.”

“Good. Oh and do not worry about clothing. It is an informal gathering.”

Mirmo nodded and both leaders gestured goodbye with their fists. Mirmo turned around and headed back through the stinky sewer tunnels and back to the cloud car with Nea and I following behind him.