The Resurgence drifted silently through space, traversing the Unknown Regions, occasionally making short jumps through hyperspace to throw off any forces that might be following them.
Tor sat cross-legged on the floor of a small room across from Master Denia. The two Jedi had spent several weeks in this way, or slowly wandering the ship, discussing the Force, how to use it, its philosophy, and what it represented. Moppo occasionally joined them but Tor had given him several other tasks as part of his training, knowing that he needed to focus with Master Denia and explore some of his troubling thoughts.
Tor had been glad to reunite with Master Denia after the troubles he had seen while in the company of his new friends. He sought to learn more from her, to gain an understanding of the events that had transpired.
As they had meditated on one of the first days they had been reunited, Master Denia’s brow furrowed slightly as she concentrated. “I sense the dark side within you, child,” she commented softly.
Tor cast his gaze at the bulkhead below. “I know, Master. I was unable to resist its pull. My-my people…they were murdered by the Empire. The entire planet turned to a smoking ruin of glass and death. When I felt the tremor in the Force and realized what had happened, I-I could not control my anger. Not after the purge of the Jedi as well. And when I found the one responsible…I killed him, Master. Fueled entirely by rage and anger. I fell to its tempting call.”
Master Denia paused for a long while, deep in thought. Finally, she brought her eyes to Tor’s. “I felt the disturbance in the Force as well. It was like nothing I had ever known before. And something that I too wish that I could not have to remember.”
Tor looked into the distance scornfully. “I shall never be able to forget, Master. My species’ memories are long lived. And we remember each thing as if we were still in the moment, able to feel the pain and senses of those who were actually there.” Tor closed his eyes tightly. “And I will forever remember what I did while under the control of my anger.”
“Your species’ ability is sometimes a grave one, child. But it may also be a gift as well.” Tor looked into Master Denia’s eyes. “The dark side will always be with you now, Tor. Once it has claimed a hold, it will always be present, whispering its evil intent to you, trying to bend you to its will. Your memories will never let you forget that. Hold on to them. Use them to bolster your resolve. They will remind you of what the dark side can influence you to do. Do not dwell on them, but be mindful of their presence. They will guide you. The light side will not abandon you if you do not let it.”
Tor returned to his meditation, and along with Master Denia, they lost themselves to the Force.
“Tell me, Master,” Tor said as he and Denia walked through the ship days later. “The Force flows through each of us in a different way. I can feel its pulse, but there sometimes seems to be an undercurrent that I can’t reach. Some further depth to be explored. What does this mean?”
The two stopped at a viewport and looked out at the billions of stars that populated the galaxy. Moppo, sensing that this conversation was not meant for him, moved some distance away, respectfully gazing out of a different viewport.
Master Denia seemed to be thinking deeply about her answer. Still looking out at the stars, she spoke. “The Force is like a river, Tor. It flows swift and powerful. Each of us is like a rock within the river, all connected by its current. Those who do not feel the Force are like pebbles in the river, not immune to it, but not able to perceive the wider world they live in.” She turned away from the viewport to look at Tor. “Those, like the Jedi, who can feel the Force are like larger rocks. We are large enough to alter the flow of the river, channeling it into different paths. Each of us is different, the various lines and shapes of our rocks changing how we interact with the Force. Your own rock may be larger than my own, or shaped in a way that is far different than mine.” A troubled look seemed to cross Denia’s face. “Your question is a valid one. But it is one that I don’t think I can answer.”
Tor’s fur rippled as he thought deeply about the implications of what Master Denia had said.
“I must warn you though, child,” Denia said softly, breaking Tor from his reverie. “The dark side is like a stain that runs through the river. If the rock is large enough, or shaped in a certain way, you will find that you may find yourself encountering it more often than you’d like.”
Denia turned back to the viewport as Tor stared at the floor, his face a mask of concentration and thought. After a minute, Denia turned and placed her hand on Tor’s shoulder. She too, had a troubled look. “Nothing more will we cover today,” she said in a near whisper. “Now is a time for contemplation.” She patted his shoulder once and turned, heading back through the ship. She passed Moppo and guided the youth away with her.
Tor paused before looking through the viewport. The stars still shone brightly, but the blackness of space seemed deeper than before, and Tor felt a certain unease, the view no longer providing a sense of peace and comfort like it had before.
On the fifth week of their journey, Tor again sat with Master Denia, both stretched out to the Force. Tor could feel the soft vibrations of the ship as it moved swiftly through hyperspace.
“Stretch out with your feelings,” Master Denia coached. Tor increased his concentration. A moment later he felt a change in the vibrations of the ship as it came out of hyperspace in a new sector of the Unknown Regions.
As he focused his thoughts, his mind suddenly encountered a puzzling presence. He sharpened his thoughts and turned them to a nearby bright spot that had appeared quickly into his mind. An image resolved in Tor’s mind of a small planet. On the planet he could see a bright glow that emanated from a small spot on one of the continents. “Master?” Tor asked, seeking confirmation from Denia.
“I sense it also,” she replied softly. “Be mindful. Concentrate.”
Tor obliged, winding his way towards the bright spot in the Force. As he concentrated, he felt a strange sense of depth. Its touch was comforting but elusive. Familiar but dangerous. It beckoned to him in a quiet way, urging him to explore but in a hushed warning tone.
After several long minutes, Tor slowly retreated his mind from the planet and back to the Resurgence. He opened his eyes to find Master Denia looking over his face.
“Master,” Tor said in a puzzled voice. “There is something nearby. A presence in the Force.”
“I too saw the glow in the Force.”
“It called to me,” Tor whispered.
Denia nodded almost imperceptibly. “This place spoke to you, Tor. I did not hear the voice the way that you did. There is something there that you must find.”
“I felt odd when exploring it through the Force, almost as if the Force could not tell me if it was light or dark.”
“You must be ready to accept what may be waiting for you, child. Until you are, the Force will be unable to guide you to the knowledge you seek.”
Tor rose swiftly. “I must explore this,” he said as Denia also stood.
“I know,” she said, a look of understanding in her eyes. “I will go arrange for the Captain to bring the ship close to the planet.”
Tor nodded. “Thank you, Master. I will prepare our things for the trip.” He moved to begin organizing the few supplies that were in the room, picking up two small packs.
“Oh no, child,” Master Denia said in a quiet voice. “I cannot go with you.” Tor stopped and turned to look back at the Jedi Master. She gazed back at him. “This place has called to you and you alone. The Force has led you to this place. There is nothing for me to gain there. But you have questions, questions that I am not able to answer. This place may hold the answers you seek, but beware. You may not like what you find.”
Tor looked at Master Denia for a long time before slowly nodding his head. “I-I understand, Master.” He began packing again as Denia walked from the room, an uneasy presence seeming to fill the room after she left.
Tor stood in the hangar of the Resurgence at the foot of a ramp leading to a small shuttle. Master Denia approached from a nearby lift tube, Moppo close behind. “Are you ready, child,” she asked as she approached.
Tor met her eyes and nodded. “Yes, Master.”
“Good,” she replied, looking over the shuttle. “I will look after Moppo and continue his training here on the ship. You will most likely not be able to communicate with us once you are on the planet. The Resurgence cannot stay here and wait, they must continue to jump throughout the Unknown Regions so they cannot be tracked. I’ve arranged for the ship to be back in this system in four months.” She met Tor’s eyes with a hard stare. “Until then, you will be alone. Do you understand?”
Tor nodded again. “Yes, Master,” he repeated, although quieter this time.
Denia inclined her head, deep in thought. After a moment she turned back to Tor.
“You must be mindful of the Force, Tor. Trust your instincts. Concentrate on the moment. Feel, don’t think.” She nodded in a definitive way and Tor picked up his pack. “The Force will guide you, child.”
Tor started up the ramp. As he reached the top he turned to look back down at Denia and Moppo. “Be mindful of Master Denia’s teachings, Moppo. She is wise and powerful and can teach you much.” Tor’s gaze met both of theirs in turn. “May the Force be with you, Master,” he said and turned quietly into the ship.
The ramp began to rise with a hiss, steam coming from the underside of the shuttle. Just as the ramp was nearly closed, a soft whisper broke through the noise.
“May the Force be with you, child.”
Tor sat in pilot seat of the cramped shuttle. He began the take off procedure, hitting several buttons and easing on the repulsors. He was no pilot but he knew enough to get him to the surface of the planet. Plus, he had picked up a bit of know-how from being near Kelyn and Bariss for so long.
As he thought of his friends, Tor hoped that they were safe and having less trouble than he was.
After a moment, Tor turned his attention back to the task at hand. He eased the shuttle across the hangar and out through the magnetic field. He drifted away from the ship for a moment before cutting in the sublight engines. Halfway towards the planet, Tor turned the shuttle around, bringing the Resurgence back into view. He watched the ship drift slowly through space. Suddenly, it sped up, seeming to elongate before disappearing into hyperspace. Tor felt Master Denia’s presence in the Force speed away with the ship, quickly vanishing into space, leaving nothing but the emptiness of space behind.
Sighing and knowing there was now no other choice, Tor turned the shuttle towards the planet and approached it, aiming for the continent that he had seen through the Force. As the shuttle broke through the atmosphere, Tor immediately was assaulted by a storm that the sensors hadn’t registered.
The shuttle was thrown around violently as huge gusts of wind blasted into it. Lightning flashed outside the viewport as Tor struggled to control the shuttles rapid descent. Warning alarms blared as the ship told him he was dropping perilously close to the surface of the planet. He remembered a trick that Bariss and Kelyn had talked about on a few occasions. He quickly cut in the repulsors at full power and killed the engines. The shuttle bounced on the repulsors but was still thrown around by the wind. Tor was unable to see anything through the viewport except swirling gray mist. He stretched out with his feelings, sensing how far below him the ground was. Still buffeted by the wind, he slowly began lowering the power on the repulsors, bringing him lower and lower. He extended the landing gear and lowered the repulsors to nearly zero.
Tor gritted his teeth as the shuttle connected with something solid, sending a hard impact through the cabin. The shuttle bounced, slid, and tumbled across the landscape. Tor could hear snapping and crumbling as he collided with trees and rocks. Finally, the shuttle came to an unsteady stop with a loud bang. Tor checked the instruments and miraculously he saw that nothing was terribly wrong. He shut down the engine and looked again out the viewport. The storm seemed to be lessening quickly, as if its sole purpose was to make his landing difficult.
He gathered his pack and lowered the ramp. He stepped out and was met with the sight of dense jungle. The storm was nearly completely passed, the clouds passing from the sun. Light streamed through the foliage, creating a bright mist with the moisture left from the storm. As the mist settled, Tor was immediately reminded of Felucia. While not as brightly colored, the jungle was dense and wild just like Felucia’s was. Tor sealed the ship and began to move through the jungle, letting his feelings guide his steps.
Tor trudged through the jungle for hours. The environment fought against him, and several times it nearly stopped his progress altogether. Eventually, Tor reached a small clearing and sat back against the trunk of a large tree. As he did, he stretched out with his feelings, trying to sense the presence he had discovered in space.
He felt the strange presence in the Force, but it was fluctuating and elusive. Tor could not determine which direction the presence was coming from. He couldn’t discern whether he was outside of it or in the midst of it. Tor’s brow furrowed in frustration as he concentrated.
It was at that moment that the jungle crashed in upon him.
Tor’s eyes flashed open as he saw branches, vines, and various plants fall violently towards him. He stood quickly and braced himself, reaching out to the Force and holding out his hands. The branches and vines whipped around him, slashing through his clothes and scratching deep lines through his fur and skin. The wind roared in his ears and the branches and vines creaked and snapped loudly, yet underneath it, Tor thought he could hear a sort of low laughing or cheering.
He struggled, trying to use the Force to push back against the onslaught. The cheering intensified and Tor heard a massive rumble followed by an intense cracking and snapping. He looked up and saw a massive tree the size of a space freighter come falling towards him faster and faster. Tor raised his arms and pushed back against the tree, the Force fueling his actions. The tree slowed, but it was barely noticeable. Tor marveled at the power that was being wielded against him. The scope of it was incredible, seemingly exponential.
Tor concentrated as much as he could, drawing as much of the Force to him as he knew how. He strained against the tree, pushing back with all the effort he could. Tor gritted his teeth and slowly, the tree came to a stop about ten feet from Tor’s head. The smaller branches and plants fell to the ground and the laughter and cheering immediately stopped, and was replaced by a growing chattering.
Tor struggled under the massive tree. He shifted his hands and the tree moved to the side at a slow pace. Once it was far enough away, Tor let go and the tree crashed to the ground, sending a small rumble through the earth. Sweat ran through Tor’s fur, and he breathed heavily from the effort of moving the tree. The chattering had died away, and Tor knew that whoever had been making the noise had moved away.
He looked around and suddenly saw a being materialize from the foliage. Tor tensed, preparing himself for a fight, but he sensed no malice from the being.
As it approached, it revealed itself to be a humanoid. It had a deep aqua colored skin covering an athletic body. The six fingers on its hands were long and dexterous. It had stiff hair that almost appeared to be long spikes in colors that ranged from red to blue. As it closed to within a few feet of Tor, he saw that is also had large eyes with deep purple irises.
“You have much power in you,” the being said. “But you have no sense of control.”
Tor was astonished that the being was speaking Basic here in the Unknown Regions. “You have knowledge of the Force?”
The being levitated a rock from the ground into his hand. He looked at Tor. “I have knowledge of what you call the ‘Force’. What you have is no knowledge of a greater realm of possibility. That is what I truly know.” He turned and began to move away into the jungle at a slow pace.
Tor followed a few feet behind. “The Force is a powerful ally,” Tor said, defensive about his abilities. “What is the knowledge you have?”
The being stopped at the edge of the clearing, next to where the jungle became congested again. The trees and plants suddenly split fiercely down the middle, creating a wide path into the jungle that went on for some distance. He looked back over his shoulder at Tor, a deep look in his eyes that spoke of tremendous wisdom. “My name is Chukal. I can tell that you have been gifted with knowledge, despite it being incomplete. But more importantly, I can see that you have potential, which is why you will follow me and why I will teach you what I know.”
Tor inclined his head at Chukal, knowing that he had found the presence he had sensed with Master Denia. He looked at Chukal, knowing that the road ahead was going to test him beyond anything he had known before, but knowing that he would push through it, that he had no other choice.
Tor stood upon a rocky outcropping, halfway up the side of a small mountain. Chukal stood several feet away, watching him work. Tor looked at a large group of rocks that rested on the rocky hillside. He stretched out his arms and called to the Force, struggling to hurl the boulders across the landscape like Chukal had been demonstrating for a week. He strained, closing his eyes in concentration, and felt himself get a hold on the rocks. Tor thrust his hands to side, trying to launch them as hard as he could. He opened his eyes, expecting to see the rocks flying into the ground as great speed. What he saw was the rocks tumbling slowly for several yards before coming to a rest again.
He sighed, disbelieving his lack of progress. He turned to Chukal whose face was downcast.
“I can’t do it, Master,” Tor said breathlessly. “I can move things with the Force, but to constantly generate that kind of power…it’s too much. I don’t have that much capacity for the Force in me.” He leaned against a nearby boulder, breathing heavily.
Chukal shook his head slowly, disappointment etched on his face. “It’s not about generating power. You have the potential for that power within you already!” He paced around the outcropping with an air of impatience. He grabbed Tor’s shoulder with one hand and with his other, pointed one of his long fingers into Tor’s chest. “You are not one vessel for the power, but many! You must think of it like a water cup.”
He moved to the edge of the outcropping, gesturing with his hands as he looked out over the landscape. “You fill up the cup with the power, yes. This much is true.” He turned back to face Tor again. “But what you fail to realize is that there is more than one cup! The more you know about the power, the more cups you are able to fill! Each technique and ability adds another cup, and each one can be filled. What you must learn is how to see these different cups in your mind. To realize that they exist and that they are in your possession! Once you can do this, you will see that you will be able to transfer water from one cup to another as needed, fueling what you are trying to do.” Chukal sighed and moved towards Tor, his skin almost seeming to glow in the fading light. “The more you learn about the power, the more it can give back to you. That, is what you must learn.” Chukal sighed and turned away, slowly walking down the side of the hill back towards the jungle trees.
Tor stared after him, trying to make sense of what his new Master had told him. After several minutes he turned back to the boulders and stretched out with the Force, sweat rolling through his fur and a groan of exertion coming from his gritted teeth.
Halfway down the hillside, Chukal stopped and smiled as the sound of a large boulder hitting the ground harder than it had all day reached his ears.
Over the next two months, Chukal showed Tor numerous things, trying to expand his views, trying to make him connect with the Force in new ways that Tor had not previously thought of. He showed Tor how to move through the jungle swiftly and fluidly, without disturbing the jungle itself. He showed Tor how to survive in the harsh mountains and how to survive the huge storms that arose almost instantly and were devastating in their ferocity.
Tor was making progress, but he still felt like he was missing something, some further possibility that he was barely able to graze with his fingertips.
He followed after Chukal, who was leading him somewhere they had not been yet.
“What will we be learning today, Master?” Tor asked as they moved through the trees.
“Today I will show you that you don’t need to think so much in order to achieve what you want. You need to push past the last blocks that you have.” He looked over at Tor. “You must unlearn what you have learned.”
Tor slowed slightly as Chukal’s words reminded him of Master Yoda, now presumably dead somewhere with the thousands of other Jedi who had been lost in the purge, all centuries of knowledge lost along with him. Tor felt a remembered sadness over the loss of the Jedi, realizing that his newest course of education was not an assignment that could be chosen, but a choice born of necessity. There were no other teachers for him, no other paths that could answer the questions he had. There was a time when he would have gone to the Jedi archives to search for other Jedi who had felt this same way. Then perhaps he would have talked it over with one of the Masters, maybe Master Mundi or Master Plo. But these options were no longer available. Tor looked ahead to Chukal. Chukal was his archives now, his source of knowledge. His understanding of the Force was far different than anything Tor thought he would have found at the Jedi Temple. He wondered how these new teachings would alter his development in the Force. He vowed to be sure to chronicle all of it when he completed his holocron someday, preserving everything that he had seen and learned for future Force users to access. He sighed as he realized that his holocron would be the only document to educate people in the Force since the Temple had been destroyed.
Lost in his thoughts, he barely noticed Chukal slowing down. Tor could see an opening in through the trees. “Are you prepared?” Chukal asked him as he stopped walking.
“Yes, Master,” Tor said, preparing himself for whatever brutal test Chukal had prepared for him.
Chukal nodded and stepped through the last of the trees, Tor following close behind.
The glare from the sun blinded Tor momentarily and once his eyes adjusted, Tor was shocked by what he saw before him.
Several small to large huts lined the clearing, made from simple materials. Around the entire space, small children of Chukal’s species ran and played, laughing joyfully. Tor took a step farther into the clearing and looked closer at the children. As they moved about, they would extend their hands, lifting and tossing small items with the Force, throwing them to each other, or tagging each other with clods of dirt. Some were using the Force to augment their physical abilities, leaping into the trees and racing around the clearing. They never stopped to rest, just continued on using the Force and playing.
Tor turned to Chukal, awestruck. Chukal was beaming, his purple eyes twinkling in a knowing way. “Come, come. Let’s go speak with them,” Chukal said, urging Tor forward.
As they came to the center of the clearing, the children all gathered around Tor and Chukal, excited to have others to play with. They pulled on Tor’s sleeves wanting him to join their games. He looked to Chukal who nodded. Tor let the children pull him off into a game of dirt throwing. He stretched out to his feelings and let the Force flow through him, lifting up small patches of dirt and tossing them around. He smiled, letting go of all the things clouding his mind, and allowed himself to become a vessel for the Force, the light he had felt from space filling him.
Hours later, Tor sat in the middle of the clearing, breathing hard after running with the children all day. The children and Chukal sat nearby, some still playing around the area. They were talking with Tor, going through some of the highlights of the day.
“How do you go so quickly from one thing to another,” Tor asked. “No rest in between. Straight from throwing around chunks of dirt to racing through the trees.”
The children laughed. One spoke up. “Silly! Each one let’s us do the other! The power never stops running if you don’t let it!” The child laughed as if he had told a very funny joke.
Another slightly older one piped up. “The more we know, the more it fuels each other thing. We weren’t playing, we were learning.”
Chukal let out a deep chuckle. “Truly wonderful the mind of a child is.”
Tor opened himself up to the Force, searching his feelings, and as he thought about what he had seen and done that day, and what the children had told him, he knew that they were right. He closed his eyes and as he did so, he could picture the many cups that Chukal had spoken of in his mind. He saw the bright glow of the Force filling each one, and as he focused, the glow began to travel freely between them.
Tor opened his eyes and found Chukal looking back at him with a small smile. Tor stood and looked around at the children. “Thank you,” he said to the children with a smile. “I had a lot of fun today.” The children seemed very pleased by this. They all got up and began to run around again, laughing and cheering louder than they had all day. Tor brought his gaze back to Chukal.
“Master,” he said, a determined look in his eyes. “I’m ready.”
Tor and Chukal spent the following weeks throughout the jungle and mountains, Tor advancing by leaps and bounds each day. Now that he could see the many vessels through the Force, Chukal was able to show him how to effectively and efficiently transfer the Force between them.
Soon, Tor was able to nearly seamlessly transition between powers, fueling them to be even stronger by funneling the Force from one vessel to another. Chukal would often look over his work with a look of satisfaction and pride.
Sometime later, Chukal again led Tor through the jungle. After several hours, they came to an area where there was a large mound of debris, large tree trunks and boulders, along with various other items piled high. The two stopped and surveyed the area.
“This is your last test,” Chukal said somberly. “Your ship is here. The storms have buried it.”
Tor looked at the large mound and could now see a hint of the small shuttle underneath it. He looked over the massive amount of debris covering it. It was a lot, even with the progress he had made in the last few months.
“I can’t help you,” Chukal said, taking a few steps back. “If you are ready, if you have learned what you came here to learn, then you will move it all. Focus. Visualize the flow of the power. You will succeed.” With that he backed away a little further, sitting patiently on a fallen tree.
Tor looked again at the mass of debris. He closed his eyes and stretched out to the Force. He felt his way through the Force, tracing the outline of the shuttle buried deep beneath the debris. He extended his senses outward, slowly encompassing the trees and rocks covering the shuttle. He focused, accessing the vessel in his mind that would allow him to move the objects. Tor brought the other vessels he contained within him into view, each full to the brim with the glow of the Force. He began to channel the Force from each vessel to him, preparing to fuel his efforts. Soon, the cup he was using was as full as it could be. Tor began to secure his grip on the mass of objects, feeling for the grip he would need to shift the mass. As he did, he realized that he didn’t have enough capacity within his cup to power his attempt.
Tor gritted his teeth, not giving up. He focused, and did something that Chukal had not taught him. He increased the size of the vessel he was using, increasing its capacity. He began to pour every ounce of the Force from each other cup into it, draining them and filling the one he was using ever higher. His grip tightened on the mound and it began to shake, ripping new roots from the ground and snapping bark off of the tree trunks.
Tor strained. He pulled every bit of power from himself as he could, just like Chukal had shown him. He then accessed his Jedi teachings, stretching out to the living Force and pulling in the Force from around him. He combined his two teachings, using them both to become a conduit for the Force.
Tor’s eyes snapped open as he felt his grip clamp down on the mound. He raised his hands and the debris followed, shaking and rumbling its way from the shuttle, branches and rocks snapping and crumbling. Tor raised the tons of debris until the shuttle was totally exposed. He moved his arms and the mass flew through the air until it fell to the ground a distance away with a crash that made the ground tremble and sent flocks of birds flying away from the area.
Tor let out a breath that he hadn’t realized he’d been holding. He turned and saw Chukal standing next to the fallen tree, his mouth open in an awestruck smile. He approached Tor, beaming widely.
“You are ready, Tor,” he said proudly, his purple eyes sparkling. He put his hand on Tor’s shoulder. “You exceeded any of my expectations. Perhaps I should not have been so judgmental of these ‘Jedi’ teachings you spoke of.” He chuckled softly. “Our time has come to an end. You have learned all you can from me, and now it is time for you to return to your own place in the galaxy.”
Tor nodded and looked at the shuttle. He looked back at Chukal. “Before you go,” Chukal trailed off as he reached behind his neck and untied the necklace that he wore there. He held it out to Tor. It was made of a tough looking sort of twine, and was populated by several long claws and brightly colored beads, the largest of which sat in the middle, an entrancing blend of blue and green, a small burst of orange at its center.
“This is the mark of completion for your training,” Chukal said as Tor gingerly took the necklace from him. “It is the highest honor that I can give you. It has been passed from mentor to student since long before any time in memory. I want you to have it.”
Tor gently tied it around his own neck. As soon as he had, it immediately felt like it had always belonged there and he felt a warmth from the Force as it settled into place.
“Take it and carry it with you in your travels,” Chukal said, smiling warmly. “Remember what you have learned here, it will serve you well.” Tor put his hands on Chukal’s shoulders and Chukal did the same to Tor.
“I won’t forget what you’ve taught me, Master. I’ll try to come back someday and tell you how it helped me.” They released their grip and Tor walked towards the shuttle. He keyed the ramp to open and as it hissed open he faced Chukal again. “The power will fuel you, Master,” Tor said, using the traditional phrase that Chukal had told him. “And thank you.”
Chukal smiled back. “May the Force be with you, Tor,” he said, smiling broadly. Tor grinned back as he walked up the ramp and it began closing behind him.
Tor began the preflight check and started the engines. He eased on the repulsors and the shuttle rose off the ground, shaking loose the dust and dirt that had covered it since his arrival. As the shuttle rose higher, Tor saw Chukal sitting on the same fallen tree, looking serenely after him. As he brought the engines online, he waggled the shuttles wings as he sped off.
As he moved across the landscape, he passed near the clearing where he had met the children. They were still there, playing again. As he flew over, Tor took the shuttle in a loop and he saw the children raise their arms, cheering. He chuckled and took off again, and as he did, the children leaped into the trees, following him as far as they could. Tor turned the ship towards the sky and burst through the atmosphere into space, the planet shrinking into a twinkling green orb behind him.
He moved away into the middle of the system, settling back into the chair. Mere moments later, an alarm beeped on the console. Tor sat up and suddenly the Resurgence popped into space a short distance away. Tor smiled. “Master Denia sure has impeccable timing,” he said, keying in the codes to land the shuttle.
As Tor stepped down the ramp into the Resurgence’s hangar, Master Denia and Moppo were waiting for him, a smile on their faces. Tor and Denia bowed to each other and Denia put a welcoming hand on Tor’s shoulder.
“Welcome back, child,” she said warmly. “It’s good to have you back.”
“It’s good to be back, Master,” Tor said, returning her smile. “I’ve learned so much.” He looked down at Moppo. “And I hope you have as well, padawan.” Moppo smiled widely, his eye stalks stretching upwards, clearly glad to have his Master back.
Denia’s fingers brushed the necklace around Tor’s neck, inspecting it. “Yes…I can tell that you have gained new knowledge. I could sense it as soon as you landed.” Her face wrinkled as she focused for a moment. “You have a new presence about you. A depth in the Force.” She smiled widely again. “I’m glad that you found what you were looking for.”
The three moved off into the ship, Tor beginning the long story of the training he had received from Chukal. After some time, they found themselves in front of the same large viewport where Tor had discussed feeling that there was something more for him to learn. As he looked out again with Master Denia, telling his story, Tor felt none of the uneasiness that he had felt the last time he had stood here. He felt confident and eager to reunite with the rest of his friends and to continue their mission against the Empire. Tor also thought of the holocron and his goal to complete it. He had much knowledge to impart upon it and he now felt confident that he would be able to succeed.
At that moment, the floor hummed and vibrated, and as Tor, Denia, and Moppo looked out the viewport, the stars elongated and the Resurgence shot into hyperspace, carrying Tor forward towards his next adventure.