The heavens were open in a brilliant array of stars the night Jaiko Kenobi crash-landed on Stewjon. Y’sanne remembered she’d been standing on the observatory mapping the stars when she’d seen the red streak light up the sky. She’d imagined it to be a stray comet from the nearby asteroid field until she caught a glimpse of the burning ship outlined in the moonlight. When it crashed into the nearby canyons, the explosion could be seen from every part of the city. Y’sanne quickly assembled a team of natives to search through the wreckage for survivors. She’d been the one to find him in the field a few miles away, crawling out of a small escape pod with that easygoing grin she’d come to know so well. News of his arrival spread planetwide overnight, and he was quickly assimilated into the tight-knit community. He’d decided to stay, make a fresh start.
That was two years ago. Since then, he and Y’sanne had fallen in love, married, and built a life together here. A life which the plague was now tearing apart.
“Excuse me? Governor Y’sanne?” the voice if the intrepid young scientist came through the delicate escape of recollection Y’sanne was gathering around herself.
She raised her chin from its resting place on her hand. “Yes?”
“You alright? Only, you look rather tired.”
Y’sanne sighed. “I am tired, Karan.” It’s what happens when your people are dying of a plague and there’s nothing you can do to fix it.
“I’d try and be reassuring,” Karen peered into the microscope on the desk in front of her, “but I’m a little short on optimism after going through your reports. You’re right. It is not behaving at all like any virus I’ve seen. It’s almost… dormant. Yet very much not! And its molecular structure is-”
“Incomprehensible,” Y’sanne finished for her. “I know. It’s almost like it isn’t even biological. But the complexity of its components, the speed at which it procreates; it wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t biological.”
Karan rubbed her chin. “I’d like to do some tests with my own equipment. Perhaps we’ll get some new information that-”
The com link on Y’sanne’s wrist buzzed, blinking green.
“If further testing will illuminate the problem, do it.” She pressed the button. “Yes?”
The voice on the other side was all static. “The Jedi has returned, ma’am. Should I send her up?”
“No, I’m just about done here,” Y’sanne replied. “I’ll be stopping by my office on the way down. Send her there.”
The static went silent.
She turned to Karan. “If you find anything, contact me immediately.”
“Will do,” Karan said. “I hope Master Singh caught the culprit.”
“Me too,” Y’sanne said, rubbing the worry lines on her forehead, and left the room.
Why? There had never in the history of Stewjon been a terrorist attack in Geona before today. She understood that the people were restless and terrified, but why would they vandalize the supplies sent to help them? Could it be that there was a deeper threat to their peaceful little planet than just the plague?
The Jedi would have answers.
“Y’sanne.” The voice startled her, and she turned to find Jaiko trotting to catch up with her. “There’s a lot on your mind, my love.”
She smiled tiredly. “What was the giveaway?”
“Well, you did just walk right past me.” He took her hand in his, concern in his blue eyes, and brushed a strand of hair from her forehead. “You’re working too hard. You need rest.”
“I can’t rest,” she said. “The problems are just stacking up.”
“Master Wolf was telling me about the attack on the spaceport. You weren’t hurt, were you?”
She shook her head. “I haven’t received reports of the injured yet, but the Jedi was there to protect me. I don’t understand. Why would anyone want to attack us?”
He shook his head. “People do stupid things in a moment of fear, even in this quaint corner of the galaxy.”
“What am I to do? It cannot be tolerated.”
He rubbed his chin. “From what I can tell, it was an isolated incident. But even so, I’ve offered to help the Jedi investigate the site where the attacker went down.”
They both turned in the direction of Y’sanne’s office. “And you and Master Singh met how?”
“Along the way,” he said with a chuckle. “Needless to say, I’m gonna need a new shuttle.”
“That old thing finally died, did it? I told you not to get too attached.”
“Yes, but I was hoping I could make it last for a few more trips.”
“You’re a part time mechanic, not a miracle worker.”
They reached the office, and Jaiko hurried to open the door ahead of her. “You know, I do try,” he said, flashing a grin.
Master Singh was waiting inside, hands clasped behind her back. Y’sanne crossed to her desk, and sat in the chair, putting a hand to her abdomen. Jaiko came to stand behind her.
“Sit down, if you will,” Y’sanne said, gesturing to the chair. “I hope you’ve found answers as to why my spaceport was the target of a terrorist attack.”
“That is a question I was hoping you would answer for me,” Singn replied, remaining on her feet. “You don’t have any enemies, do you, Y’sanne?”
“You think the attack was a personal affront to me?”
“I’m looking at all options, Madame Governor. It could have been random, but I highly doubt it. These things are usually done for political reasons.”
“No. Our government is too simplistic to participate in such strife.” Y’sanne rubbed her forehead again. “Were you able to identify the attacker?”
“It was male. But whoever it was fled to the canyons. It was too dark to investigate further. That’s why I was hoping you would have some idea who it was.”
Y’sanne shook her head. “I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help.”
“I’ll need to make a report to the Jedi council immediately. They’ll know what to do.”
Jaiko cleared his throat. “It may not be possible. Since we contacted the Jedi the first time, communications have been… well, limited.”
Y’sanne glanced back, her brow knit in concern. “What do you mean? Why haven’t I heard of this?”
“I should have told you, I know,” he said apologetically. “But I was trying to fix the problem myself. I didn’t want to worry you.”
Singh suppressed her irritation. “How limited?”
“I think…” he took a deep breath. “I have reason to believe that our off-planet communications are being blocked.”
“Blocked?” Y’sanne echoed. “Who would do that?”
Singh folded her arms over her chest. “If I can’t get a message to the council, my entire mission here is in jeopardy.”
“You represent the council, don’t you?”
Singh nodded, swallowing, and Y’sanne again noticed how young she was. “That is true.”
“What do you think we should do, then?”
A beeping from Singh’s com link saved her from making an immediate reply.
“One moment,” she said, and pressed the blinking red button. Turning over her hand, a mini holo of Captain Grottil materialized above her palm. “Captain. Your report?”
“I’ve done an extensive sweep of the damage done to the ship,” the captain’s voice flickered mechanically. “It appears to have been a deliberate attempt to take out the ship’s engines.”
“What was the damage?”
“That’s the weird part.” Grottil’s face told the situation was a step above weird. “The only thing damaged was the engines. The crew, the supplies; they’re all fine. They weren’t trying to destroy anything but the ship.”
The Jedi came to the conclusion herself. “They were trying to keep us from leaving. Thank you, Grottil. See what you can do about repairs.”
“I’m afraid we can’t repair it without replacing the entire engine and getting all new casing for half of the ship. I’ve sent some of the crew to look around. They aren’t selling anything close to the parts we need here.”
“This just keeps getting better and better,” Jaiko said with an exasperated sigh. “Well, maybe I can take a look at it. I know a bit about modification.”
The holo Grottil turns to face Jaiko. “Sorry, have we met?”
“Oh, no. Jaiko Kenobi, at your service.”
“My husband,” Y’sanne offers.
“Any help you can give, sir, I will be eternally grateful.”
The holo disappeared, and Singh let her hand fall to her side. “How is Karan’s work with locating the origin of the virus?”
“Nothing yet, but she’s only just getting started,” Y’sanne replied. “She’s brilliant, your friend. I think I could learn a thing or two from her.”
“Has she started on her hazmat suit yet? It’s pretty genius.”
“Actually, that was her first demonstration.” Y’sanne held up her palm to show the silver chip resting against it. “I’m wearing one right now.”
Jaiko raised an eyebrow. “Ladies, I love the scientific connection going on here, most of which goes way over my head, but I think now is when we should decide our next move.”
Y’sanne’s humour faded. “Of course. You’re right.”
He grinned. “Such a burden, I know.”
“What about this communication problem?” Singh asked. “Is there any way to fix it?”
“Well, the communication’s tower is a place to start, I should think. No?” Y’sanne looked at Jaiko for confirmation.
“Yes and no,” Jaiko replied. “I’ve already tried to jam the interfering frequency from there, but there isn’t enough range. The source of the interference is more powerful than our primitive technology. I’ve also tried to trace it, but I still can’t tell whether it’s coming from somewhere on the planet or from orbit.”
The Jedi thought for a moment. “Perhaps you’re looking at it wrong. Finding the source is key, yes, but there is a way we can get out a signal.”
“We have a couple of the stronger transmitters on the ship. If we plant them around the communications tower set to the same frequency, we may be able to get out a one way transmission. I’ve heard of it being done before.”
Jaiko crooked an eyebrow. “Crafty. Now we’re getting somewhere.”
“I approve,” Y’sanne agreed. “But don’t let it leave this room. We don’t yet know what we’re dealing with, and I won’t have our enemy getting wind of this.”
“Agreed,” Jaiko said.
Singh nodded. “Alright. I’ll send out the transmission, but I’m going to need help planting them. We’ll only have a small window of opportunity before they’re set.”
“I’ll come, then.” Y’sanne rose to her feet, but swayed.
“Out of the question,” Jaiko said, putting a hand to steady her. “I know you hate it when I tell you what to do, but you need rest. You’re almost nine months pregnant and you haven’t had a good night’s sleep since you took over this job.”
“If I don’t do it, who will?” Y’sanne replied. “Who can we trust?”
“I have to say, I agree with Jaiko,” Singh said. “These people, whoever they are, may have it in for you.”
“So you want me to hide?”
“No.” Jakio planted a kiss on her forehead. “I want you to rest. Recover your strength for what tomorrow may bring. And make sure your bodyguard is present at all times.”
She gave in with a sigh. “Alright. But the moment you find a location, alert me.”
“I will personally.” He turned to Singh. “What about these transmitters?”
Singh gave him a surprised look. “I thought you were going to help Grottil.”
“The ship can wait until tomorrow. For now,” he gives Y’sanne a reassuring smile, “my planet needs me.”
The Jedi didn’t seem overly impressed. “Try to keep up,” she said stiffly, and turning, she left the room.
“Everything will be alright,” he said, resting a hand to the side of his wife’s face. She melted into his touch. “I won’t let anything happen to you or the little one.”
“A bit dramatic, aren’t you?” Y’sanne asked.
He shrugged. “You just make sure our little girl is safe.”
“I’m telling you, it’s a boy,” Y’sanne said with a laugh.
He grinned. “We’ll see.”
He kissed her gently, then turned to follow the Jedi. When he was gone, Y’sanne sank back into her chair. Out of all of the uncertainty and chaos, there was one thing she knew for certain; Jaiko would travel the galaxy and back for her. And she knew in that moment, she’d do the same for him.