The Darkest Dawn

Hope, Betrayal, and Redemption: A personal correspondence

Coded Message to Tatooine Sent from Kuati Shipyards

Tides turn very slowly in wars. However, when examined under the political and social microscope we use to scrutinize these events, more often than not one moment proves to be the turning point; when the pendulum of momentum reaches its peak and changes direction in favor of the other side. I believe we have come to that moment, yet only time will prove me right. Before I divulge into the recent events that have caused me to make this controversial and hopeful claim, I hope you can indulge me in a side note that has been on my mind ever since; in doing so, we will work our way to the final destination of you rejoicing in my hope and me reveling in its validity.

How does one measure success?

This is the question that has plagued me since returning to Kuat from our most recent excursion to the jungle landscape of Yavin 4. Is success measured in tangibles? Can it be weighed and scaled by comparing losses to wins, positives and negatives?

Dax, Illyanna, Telekrin and I disembarked from the Nexxus Torrent outside an ancient Force User temple at the southern pole of Yavin 4. I choose to call the temple Force User instead of Jedi or Sith, as it is uncertain as to which originally built it. The four of us ventured in only to be separated by a suspicious and well timed cave in; Dax, Telekrin and I on one side and Illyanna on the other. We decided to press on as our mission was more important than any one individual. Inside we located what we were searching for, but it was being guarded by an extremely nasty assassination droid. Needless to say we were able to negotiate an understanding with the droid and uncover the artifact we were sent to find. What we found was no artifact but in fact a person; a very bright person, a very shiny awe inspiring individual. It was none other than Luke Skywalker himself. The Jedi Grand Master, who we all thought was dead, was once again in our midst bathing us in his radiant aura of self assuredness and light. It was the hope that we needed, that the Galaxy needed for us to survive.

We emerged from the temple feeling tired but renewed only to find that my apprentice and one trusted friend had betrayed us. She was fleeing toward a speeder bike as two crimson guards bore down on us. She has been working for the other side the entire time she was with us. My heart broke. I tried to chase her down through the jungle but her ability to augment machines through the force allowed her the ability to escape. Too quickly was I elevated to Jedi Knight. I knew that. I always have. Yet in the times we’re living in it seemed right, almost the only thing to do. I tried to live up to the standards of the Jedi Order, and live my life walking down the narrow righteous path. Almost simultaneously I was given a padawan, an apprentice of my own. It was too much. I was too young and she was already too powerful for me to help. I was but an apprentice myself and didn’t have the knowledge or the wisdom to sniff out her treachery. I put my trust in her and my faith in the Force and hoped that I would be able to work it all out. My trust was betrayed and my faith has been shaken. I’ve tried to get over the unnerving feeling of seeing her flee and run from those she had not two hour previous called friends. The worst part is it has made me question my other loyalties, the other people I call friend, associate, ally, brother. Who among them will betray me next?

It is no secret that my brother has been walking a darker line these past few months. Some things have happened to him that I would reserve only for the darkest of my enemies. It is not the terrible misfortunes that have befallen him that guide him on his path, but his inability to see the error of his actions. Everyone around me has already given up on him. I have stayed true because he is my brother and we are Jedi. I will not abandon him to the darkness. When Dax saw Luke Skywalker live and in person, something about him changed. His demeanor lightened, and his face seemed fuller more full of life. Not to mention that disconcerting scar on his shoulder and neck started to subside a bit. I believe the return of our Master has shaken him, and has started to open him back toward the path righteousness. I continue to have faith that he can take it the rest of the way and completely restore his honor.

So was our mission a success? We rescued Luke Skywalker, and Dax has started to turn and come back toward the light. Yet we were betrayed by a close and trusted friend, who could have helped put an end to this at any time. In a system of positives versus negatives, I guess you’d put it in the win column. However, for me, losing my apprentice not only figuratively but also literally is huge negative. It makes me sick to think if I had just been able to catch up to her, or shoot her down, this could all be over. It may have been a win for the New Republic but on a personal Tripp Dunerunner level it was a loss.

Our next mission has been laid out for us and is simple, stop darksaber. Though the mission is clear, the way in which we do it is clouded in mystery. This is something I will take time to meditate on in hopes the Force will be able to guide us in our actions.

I write this to you mother because I am not sure what will happen next. I am not fearful of my destiny I wholly embrace and welcome it. I just felt that someone else should know what was happening here. And I wanted you to know that no matter what you hear about Dax, you heard from me that he is doing the right thing. Everything’s going to be ok, and we’ll talk again soon.

Love,

Tripp

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The_Horse

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