For 17 years he had lived without it. Now he could feel it again, like water running through a river. Though weak he knew it was there, around him, going through him. The Force, it had returned to him. The smile he wore looked as if it would split his face apart. He looked at a cup sitting upon the sink. Moving his hand outward he stared at the cup and calling upon the Force to let the cup come to him. It didn’t move. Still he stared, concentrated on the object, picturing it in his mind. Then, suddenly the cup flew off the sink straight at him landing gracefully into his hand. Ones again he smile, “I still got it.” He whispered cheerfully.
Placing the cup back on the sink, he marched into the refresher and looked ones more into the bathroom mirror. He long white hair and shaggy bear were still there, but his eyes were different. They no longer had despair and sadness in them. They had changed, they had the look of a warrior who had seen many battles. Now he knew, he knew what he must do. He would take up the mantle he cast away so long ago. He would become a Jedi ones more!
He began reflecting on his past remembering his training as a Jedi. The Jedi Council said he was prodigy and would become a great Jedi. They were right about that, his connection to the Force was strong, and his skill with a lightsaber were one not to underestimate. When he had past the trial and become a Jedi Knight he requested personal training from the Jedi battlermaster, Cin Drallig. Through the intense training given to him by the battlemaster Vince had learned almost every lightsaber combat. Almost every style but not all. It was cut short due to Order 66. Yet from the Forms he did master he formed his own unique style. Cin Drallig even said that if he mastered all seven he could be the next battlemaster. A compliment Vince had accepted with great happiness. If the Order was still standing, could it have been possible if he could become the next battlemaster? Possible, but he would never know now. Nevertheless, he would not let these thoughts cloud his mind anymore. His concentration would be focused on here and now. He would not be mindful of the future, he would be mindful of the Force.
He scoffed at remembering what they did to find Jedi. They would search for Force sensitive infants by checking there midi-chlorian. Stupid, just stupid, the Jedi weren’t scientist, and political figures. They had been guardians of the galaxy. Keepers of the peace and justice. Now, they were nearly driven to extinction. Midi-chlorians had been something they had taken to their grave, something he was thankful for.
The Force was... well the Force. The Jedi had defiled it by splitting up into four different pieces. The living Force, unifying Force, cosmic Force, and physical Force. Also it certainly wasn’t microscopic bacteria living inside beings. The Force was an energy field created by all livings things. He began to remember his master’s words ring in his ears.
“The Force is inside us, but it is not midi-chlorians. It is in everything, it surrounds us, binds the galaxy together. I am Jedi, but I put my trust in the Force.”
He chuckled, clearly he took his master’s words to heart. He put his trust in the Force.
Putting the memoires aside he began to formulate a plan on what to do. First, he defiantly would need to clean himself up a shave and haircut would work, then he had to get off Dantooine and get in contact with the Rebel Alliance. He would be a valuable ally to them, no doubt they could use the power of a Jedi on their side.
Darth Sidious better known as The Emperor would no doubt have an army dark force users at his command. Dark Jedi, and other nasty enemies he would no doubt have to face someday. The biggest question was, would he be ready to fight them? He knew he would be no match for Palpatine, or his apprentice, Darth Vader.
His brow furrowed at the thought of Vader, he knew no doubt who he was. He knew who was behind that black armor. The betrayer of the Jedi, Anakin Skywalker. He loathed him, despised him, he wanted to cut his head off and stick it on a pike and show it to the galaxy! No, he shouldn’t think like that. He was a better man them him. He wouldn’t become evil like he did. Releasing his balled fists, he inhaled a breath of air and let it loose letting his negative emotions slip away from him into the Force. As much as he hated Anakin he knew he couldn’t defeat him, he was too powerful to fight alone. Though he just might give that clunky cyborg a good challenge. He smirked at the thought of that. If he did have to face Anakin, no, Vader, he would make sure he wouldn’t be easy to strike down.
Exiting the refresher he started gathering up his belongings for the journey into the city tomorrow. When the next day did arrived he made haste to the city and to his surprise he found that many people were still celebrating. Apparently the new of the Death Star’s destruction had be a massive moral boost to those who wanted to see the Empire fall. He shaking his head with amusement he arrived at his first destination. The hair salon, these people would clean him up. Entering the building he walked straight up to the counter and cleared his throat to catch the counter top person who happened to a young lady. When she looked up she greeted him with a joyful smile.
“Hello old man Vince,” She greeted. “Surprised to see you here.”
Vincent chuckled. “Well I’m not that old young lady, I’m only 42. I just haven’t had the time to clean up but now I do.” He slapped some credits onto the counter. “I hope you wouldn’t mind if I get one here do you?”
She smiled pleasantly. “Certainly, right this way.” Taking the credits she led him over to a chair were a worker waited. “Shina look who’s come for a cleaning.”
Shina, a Bothan let a sly smirk come to her face. “Old man Vince.” She spoke a little excitement in her voice. “I’ve always wondered when you’d come in here. Today’s your lucky day, were gonna clean all that shaggy hair off you. How would you like it?”
Vincent chuckled, it seemed everyone only knew him as “Old man Vince” It was quite hilarious to think about it. “Well I’d like a clean shave of all my bear please, and short cut of the hair, not buzzed, just shortened.” He asked while sitting himself on the seat. Then he closed his eyes and awaited for the cleanup he should have gotten so long ago.
“Aw, you sure you want this magnificent hair cut? I think it makes you look like a manly warrior.”
Vincent couldn’t help but let loose a laugh. “Shina, are you flirting with a 42 year old man?” He was answered with a “yes” and then hair cutting commence. Feeling that this could take a while he decided to start a conversation. “So did you hear about what happened?”
“Who hasn’t? The Rebel Alliance destroyed the Death Star at Yavin 4. That’s a big blow to the Empire. This proves that they can be defeated and the Alliance has shown it isn’t not just a band of rebels but a fully fledge military group. I do hope they defeat the Empire they have brought too much death and destruction to the galaxy. The destruction of Alderaan has proven now vile they are. I still can’t believe people support them. Let alone believe in what they say. I always knew they were evil. My mother was alive when the Republic was reformed into an Empire. How she hear about the Jedi Order trying to overthrow the Republic Senate. That was no doubt a lie. The Jedi would never do something as evil as that. They were the ones who protected the innocent. The Emperor and his goons like Darth Vader will someday fall.”
Vince was silent taking in her words letting a smile form. “Yes…someday they will…” Minutes pasted till at last the Bothan finished. Opening his green eyes he stared back at a face he hadn’t seen in a long time. The big snow white bushy beard that covered his lower face was now completely gone, not a single spec of white hair was spotted on his now clean chin. His mid back length hair was now cut short to just above his shoulders. Spotting a hair tie on the counter he took it and pulled his hair into a ponytail. He loved the new look it suited and with his hair pulled back he had a clear vison of everything in front. “I love it. Thanks for the cleaning Shina.” After receiving a thank you he left.
“Look its Vince.”
“He looks good with that new look. It suits him.”
“He sure is the handsome one without all that hair.”
The Jedi Knight laughed at hearing the different descriptions about his new appearance. He knew people would be surprised by his new look. He got a couple waves and flirty winks from woman who pasted him. With his features cleaned up he would need to stock up for the journey to join the Rebel’s. Armor and blasters would help him. Even though he was a Jedi he felt armor and blasters were as much help as a lightsaber. As one man had said to him a year ago in the cantina. “Hockey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side.” Oh how right he was; Jedi had been killed by blasters during Order 66. Plus the time for lightsabers were over, blasters were the new thing now.
Turning a corner he spotted the shop he was looking form. A small show named “Spot on arms” he had pasted the building many times seeing customers go in and leaving with weapons and armor that seemed to be very expensive. Hopefully he could get a good buy here. Entering the shop he saw weapons and armor fill the store. The weapons ranged in the thousands in different shape and sizes, from knifes to rocket launchers. He let a whistle escape his lips shocked at prices for some items.
50,000 credits just for a rocket launcher.
There was no way he would be able to pay for some of these items. Approaching the store clerk he sent a friendly smile to him and spoke. “Hello good sir.”
The clerk replied with crooked smile showing crooked and a couple missing teeth. “Good day to ya son. What can I do for ya?”
“I was wondering what I could buy here. I’m a little low on credits and lots of the prices are expensive.” Vincent removed his wallet and placed the last of his credits onto the counter.
“Hmm.” The clerk hummed while he counted out the credits poured onto his counter. “Well form this much I’d say about 1560 credits are left son. What exactly are you looking for perhaps I can help?”
Vince gave a smile and answer the man’s question. “Certainly. I’m looking for a blaster pistol and some durable armor to protect me.”
“Hmmm blaster, and armor eh?” The clerk repeated stroking his beard in though. “I got loads of blasters for you. Pistols, blaster, rifles. What kind you want?”
“The kind of pistol that can help me survive on the Outer Rim.”
The clerk chuckled. “Well I got lots of those. If you going to the Outer Rim how about going for the one everyone chooses for there, the DL-eighteens. It’s practically man’s best friend out there, though I doubt you’d want one. What about the Model 434 heavy blaster pistol: nicknamed “deathhammer” for its heavy durasteel plating and deadly fire capability which rivals that of some blaster rifles, or my personal favorite the DL-44 heavy blaster pistol. That gun has saved my life many times when I was a smuggler.”
Vincent was very impressed by the weapons especially the Model 434, and DL-44. He had seen the DL-44 in action many times during and after the Clone Wars. He could by that, but the 434 seemed like an ok weapon. Although DL-44 did pack a bigger punch when hitting its targets. As he looked up to speak to the clerk about the weapons his eyes spotted a pair of sleek pistols hanging on the rack behind. “What about those?”
The clerk glanced over his shoulder and chuckled at the pistols his customer was pointing too. “Oh those? There LL-30 Blaster pistols. Belongs to a Duros, uh blue skinned and wrinkly too. Dressed in a brown cloak and hat. He called them “Persuaders” for what reason I don’t know. Sold them off to me for 10,000 credits and that is the exact price they will be sold at.”
A blue skinned Duros wearing a brown cloak and hat. He had a pretty good idea who this Duros was. Said Duros was quite the persuader to sell his weapons off for 10,000 credits. With the reputation he had in the Clone Wars he should have sold them for a higher price or keep them. 10,000 was a big bummer to the Jedi. There was obviously no way he could get both pairs but maybe he could make a fair price to get at least maybe one of them. “Say,” He started hoping his skills in persuading would help. “Could it be possible to sell maybe one of those for 500?”
“Sell one!?” The Clerk barked in surprise at the question. “That Duros who sold em to me said that whoever bought those weapons would buy both. He said those pistols served him well and whoever got their hands on em would take both not one! Plus there’s no way I’d sell them that low of a price.”
“But those LL-30’s couldn’t possibly be that famous or expensive. Rare yes, but that expensive? I’ve seen other LL-30’s sold for about at least 400 during the Clone Wars.”
“The Clone Wars? Oh, are you a veteran of that war?” The Clerk asked in surprise. He looked at the white haired man again then gasped. “Hey now I recognize you face. Your that guy everyone calls “Old man Vince” I’ve seen you pass by the store couple times. Never thought I’d see you here all cleaned up. Why the new look anyway?”
Vincent shrugged. “Well, uh, I just thought that it was time to travel the galaxy and try a new look for ones. Yes I am also a veteran of the Clone Wars. I was…” He trailed off not wanting to reveal he was Jedi.
“You were one of them non clone officers weren’t ya?” The clerk asked which was answered by a nod. “Yep, I saw a couple of em during my smuggler days. It must have been rough to hear about the Jedi Order trying to betray the Republic they swore to defend. Those damn Rebels are gonna pay for what they did at Yavin! Every day people come in saying the Rebels destroyed the Death Star and they got what they deserved. Pft, damn Rebel sympathizers. Someday there gonna pay. Just like the Jedi. They’ll have pay!”
The Jedi frowned at the clerk. Obviously he was an Imperial supporter. Though he could possibly pray on that support. “Yeah, the Rebels are gonna regret doing that. They can try all they might but in the end they’ll end up in their graves like the Jedi. It was traumatizing for me when I heard about the Jedi trying to overthrow the Republic. That’s why my hair is white.”
“Poor guy.” The clerk said sympathy in his voice. “I feel ya, all those poor men aboard the Death Star are now all dead. Their families must be heart broken and now there probably cursing the Rebels for their husbands, brothers, uncles, nephews, and grandpa’s deaths.”
A long silent filled the room till the Clerk cleared his throat. “I…I have a son you know. He went off to the academy to become an officer in the army. He just graduated and will be coming back to see me soon.” His frown changed into a proud fatherly smile. “I always knew he could pass. I said “son, you’ll make a great officer in the Empire, and they’ll be proud to you amongst their ranks” I said that the day before he left for Corulag Academy.”
Even though the man supported the Empire Vincent smiled too. He was a father and fathers should be proud of their son. “Congratulations. I hope your son makes a safe trip back to Dantooine.”
The clerk chuckled. “You’re too kind Vince. Still even if you’re a veteran of the Clone Wars, and a supporter to the Empire. I can’t sell you the LL-30’s there too expensive. I’m a business man and need money to keep my store open.
This was getting to be a big problem to the Jedi. There was no way he was going to get those weapons no matter how hard he tried. Even though LL-30’s good he knew he wouldn’t get them unless…he could try a Mind Trick but that would be irresponsible of him. Plus what if he had a strong mind? Then he would be revealed as a Jedi. Throwing that plan out the window he racked his brain and then sighed. He still needed a weapon for his journey plus armor. Sighing in defeat he spoke. “Well if I can’t get the LL-30’s what would you suggest?”
The clerk smiled. “The DL-44 is the best weapon there is but I’m just giving suggestion to you son.”
“Yes, indeed. I’m gonna explore the armor section and think about what type of blaster to get.”
“Go right ahead. The armor is over there.”
Vince nodded and began his adventure through the store. Reaching the armor section he scoured the wall to find an armor that was a good price and durable enough against blaster shots. So far he couldn’t find any. Returning to the clerk he made his choice and paid for the DL-44 pistol and a durasteel plated medium armor costing 1000 credits. Although it was expensive and leaving him with only 60 credits it was worth the payment. Now at least his upper body would be protected by armor.
“You know I should warn you son.” The Clerk said stashing the credits into the cashier register. “You should watch out. The Empire did set up an outpost on Dantooine, now with what happened at Yavin. They’ll probably be sending a whole army to protect the planet.”
Vincent flinched. He had forgotten the Empire had sent a force here in search for a Rebel base and if what the clerk said was true… “What about the people here? If the Empire takes control of the planet and the Rebel’s want it back...”
“I know,” The clerk replied with a sigh. “But no one is safe when war comes knocking. This a galaxy wide spread war. Millions if not billions more are gonna die because of this blasted war for freedom that the Rebels are waging against the Empire. Though I do admit destroying Alderaan was wrong, however the planet was sympathetic to the Rebellion’s cause and with everyone celebrating here on Dantooine I’m sure it will too join them.”
Vincent stayed silent. Thought he didn’t approve what he was saying the clerk was entitled to his own opinion. Putting a face smile he gave a thanks and departed the store with calls from the clerk saying “Long live the Empire! Long live the Emperor!” which the Jedi was honestly not happy to hear.
Returning home after his shopping he packed his backpack for the long journey that could possibly take him to the edge of the known galaxy. Looking into his bag he double checking the items, clothing, food, water. Everything was there and he had everything on him. Well, almost everything. There was one last item he needed. Entering his bedroom he walked over to the draw opened the desk and withdrew a long wooden box. Within this box was an item. No. A weapon used long long ago. Opening the box it revealed a 30 centimeters long silver cylinder shaped stick with gold on one end and thick black rectangles on another end, and a red circle on one of the black rectangles. This, was a lightsaber. It was his lightsaber used last time when the Jedi Purge began. Now after sitting in a box for 19 years it would see action ones more. “Well old friend. You and I are gonna be partners ones again."