Light vs. Dark
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A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…
Some worlds cannot be reached by any starship yet built. They exist so far beyond the known that most beings do not even perceive the small piece of imagination that such places occupy. Nevertheless, through the ages one such world has not gone unvisited despite its air never being fouled by the exhaust of a vehicle. To those few who have found this world, they call it the Nameless World and the few discovered places upon it share that simple moniker.
Upon the Nameless World a nameless mountain stands in a nameless desert, jutting up from a plain scorched flat by ancient forces that none were present to witness. For the few beings to have ever heard of such places, it is said that an ancient chamber lies at the heart of the mountain, its halls crafted by a tool that leaves no sign of its passage. Those who have explored these halls are forever changed by the experience for they come to understand mysteries that few even ponder. It is said great power sleeps in the halls – power to shape events throughout the universe. Power attracts the powerful, and often when two sojourners meet in these halls the power is contested and only one being can survive the encounter.
Darkness has held sway for an age but at last another has come to the Nameless World, a shining beacon of light. Crossing the desert on foot, he draws ever closer to the nameless mountain, the hood of his cloak pulled up to shield his eyes from the blinding glare of the sky, despite no sun. Clutched to his chest is a small bundle, tenderly protected. The soft hush of the wind is pierced by wailing but the man presses on urgently, cooing gently with a fervent hope his ward will be calmed by the pleasing sounds.
The child’s cries continue unabated and at last the man stops to crouch down. Careful to use his head and body as a shield from the glaring light, the man pulls back the lip of a blanket swaddling the baby he carries. Sensing a change, the baby pauses its wailing and opens its eyes to look up at his human guardian. The man gazes on the child, his son, and wistfully remembers his dead wife as her eyes stare back at him with wonderment. Brushing the baby’s forehead with his fingers, he continues to murmur softly to the child as his thoughts carry him back almost half a lifetime to another baby, another son who bore haunting eyes that were a reflection of his own. Lost in memory, renewed cries from the child return the man to the present.
Bundling up his son and holding him close, the man stands and continues his trek across the sands. After just a few minutes of walking, the baby grows weary from crying and falls silent, drifting into a renewed bout of sleep. As he continues ever onward, the mountain before him climbs higher and higher until he at last stands at an unremarkable but perfectly smoothed archway at the craggy base. The arch is tall enough for a star dragon to pass through and despite the wind and sand remains untouched by weathering. Sensing that he should wait, the man tends to his son while shifting his weight from foot to foot. Before long, a cloaked figure begins to coalesce from the shadows deep in the corridor beyond the archway shuffling closer with the distinctive air of one whose body protests at the notion. Despite the figure’s apparent slowness, it is only moments before he stands face to face with the traveling man. The figure doffs his hood to reveal the wizened face of a balding human man with piercing eyes. What shock white hair remained around the base of his skull was grown out in back and tied into a ponytail by a simple leather band.
Extending his arm, palm outward, the man speaks in an archaic dialect of Basic.
“You are too late. He is already here. Turn back to have any hope of doing some good in a place where you will not be powerless.”
The traveling man, holding his son close, keeps his gaze steady as he replies, “I have to try. It is my destiny.”
Almost reluctantly, the ancient withered figure nods and turns his palm upward in a gesture of askance. The traveler holds up his son and kisses his forehead. Before handing him to the man from the mountain he whispers in his ear, “The Force will be with you, always.”
As the ancient and withered figure gathers up the child, adroitly demonstrating the experienced hand of a parent, the traveler reaches down to unfasten a lightsaber from his belt. Looking at the weapon with a sardonic grin, again lost in memory, he hands his weapon over to the gatekeeper while patting him on the shoulder.
“Take good care of my son. Find a good home for him.”
“I will. But you should take your blade. You’ll need it.”
Bearing a faint echo of boyishness in his smile, he simply answers, “My weapon, I will not need it.”
Without another word, he turns and walks into the darkness. Behind him, nothing but a swirl of sand beyond the archway hinted that anyone else had been there at all.