The Great Disaster
On Coruscant, Padawan Reath Silas and Jedi Master Jora Malli pursue and capture pirates attempting to steal building supplies. Walking through a marketplace afterwards, Malli springs the news to her bookish apprentice that they will be leaving the capital of the Galactic Republic for the frontier. Reath is horrified, as she predicted, but she is unswayed by his plea not to leave, telling him that he needs to find balance within himself, and staying on Coruscant where he can always do what he enjoys is not the way to do it. Malli poses a question to her apprentice: Why can no one cross the Kyber Arch alone? When he realizes the answer, she says, he will understand why they are going to the frontier.
Some weeks later, Reath is at a farewell party thrown by his friends, having stayed behind to finish a historiography class at the Jedi Temple instead of following his Master to the Starlight Beacon. Slightly tipsy, he leaves later than he planned, making it to the appointed docking bay with only a few minutes to spare. However, no one else is there. An explanation is provided by just-arrived Jedi Knight Dez Rydan, Jora Malli’s first Padawan, who explains that their original transport broke down and a replacement had to be arranged. Reath is surprised to see him, as Dez had been on a mission on Zeitooine. The third Jedi to arrive is Orla Jareni, notorious for having recently declared herself a Wayseeker to operate independently of the Jedi High Council. Last to arrive is Master Cohmac Vitus, a noted scholar and folklorist who has written footnotes in many of the books Reath has read. As Jareni and Vitus have a strangely tense discussion about their previous experience with the sector of space they will be travelling to, Reath cannot imagine why any of the others would voluntarily travel to the frontier.
The replacement transport, a small cargo starship called the Vessel belonging to the Byne Guild, arrives. The Jedi are struck by the ship’s small size, confused by its name, and confounded by Leox Gyasi, its memorably eccentric captain. Copilot Affie Hollow is confused because she thought they were picking up a group of monks. Even more baffling to most of the Jedi is the ship’s navigator, Geode, a Vintian who looks like nothing so much as a large rock. After the Jedi’s bunks have been set up, the Vessel departs Coruscant and jumps into hyperspace. While en route, Affie and Leox discuss their passengers, having never been into the Core Worlds before and so knowing little of the Jedi Order. Reath is envious of the older Jedi’s seemingly boundless self-confidence. However, Dez is thinking about how he’s not sure what he would have done if he had stayed on Zeitooine any longer, and Orla and Cohmac are both mulling over bad memories from their past, from the Eiram–E’ronoh crisis.
The journey’s relative calm is abruptly shattered when hyperspace suddenly starts becoming turbulent. As Leox and Affie attempt to keep the Vessel on its heading, they discuss the alarming fact that the inexplicable debris tearing its way through hyperspace looks an awful lot like the Legacy Run, a Byne Guild ship that Scover Byne, the guild’s head and Affie’s adoptive mother, occasionally travels on. A crisis ensues when the Vessel is grazed by a piece of debris, leading Affie and Reath – whose completion of a basic mechanics course makes him the only one of the Jedi with recent experience – to hurry to fix the ship’s coaxium regulator back in place. Leox sets the navicomputer to find the quickest path out of hyperspace, as increasing amounts of debris block off more and more paths into realspace. When the Vessel drops out of hyperspace, it is in a location far from civilization, leading Affie to wonder to herself why the ship had those coordinates programmed. News shortly arrives over the comms that hyperspace routes have been shut down galaxy-wide, meaning the Vessel is stuck. Affie notices a signal beacon within the system, but Orla immediately tells her not to respond, reminded of a trauma from her past…
Twenty-five years earlier, Padawans Orla Jareni and Cohmac Vitus are piloting a T-1 shuttle through hyperspace. They and their Masters, Laret Soveral and Simmix, have been assigned a mission to help two planets which had previously rejected the Jedi and Galactic Republic. Eiram and E’ronoh have been at odds for longer than anyone can remember over the hyperspace gateway in their shared system, but now, royals from both planets have been kidnapped. The mission is an opportunity for the Jedi in many ways. On the lost moon between the two worlds, Lord Isamer of the Directorate crime syndicate berates his underlings, who kidnapped Monarch Cassel of E’ronoh and Queen Thandeka of Eiram, because Thandeka is only the consort and he wanted Queen Dima, the actual ruler. Cassel, who is reputed to be somewhat unintelligent, attempts to state that Thandeka will do for leverage, finding their denigration of her as “useless” is rude, to her irritation. When Isamer’s minions detect the approaching Jedi shuttle, the Lasat has them send a message from the communications array of Cassel’s ship to lure them in. He envisions a glorious future for the Directorate, since the Hutts came to him to pull this job. When Orla and Cohmac pick up the supposed distress signal, the Umbaran immediately answers that “The Jedi are on our way. Hold on!” But then Laret arrives on the bridge, pointing out that they can’t confirm the signal was from Cassel. Space seems to blaze with light as the shuttle is shot down.
The space station
Reath decides to heed Orla’s advice and not respond. Affie wonders if it could be pirates or Nihil, and she and Leox are persuaded to explain the recently-dangerous and mysterious marauders. When the Jedi step out to get Cohmac, Leox reminds Affie and Geode that the Vessel is definitely not carrying any less-than-legal cargo at the moment. When Cohmac arrives in the cockpit, the group analyzes the signals they’re picking up to find eleven starships in the vicinity. The ships include cargo haulers, passenger transports – one with at least two hundred people onboard – and ships crewed by Mizi and Orincans. The final ship, the one that sent the original signal, is a puzzle, with components from multiple kinds of ships. Contacting the ship, they reach a young woman named Nan who explains that it’s just her and her guardian, and she’s thrilled when Cohmac introduces himself as a Jedi, here to help. When Leox widens the sensor field, it’s discovered there’s an old space station in the system. The news comes at an opportune time, as Leox also discovers that the system’s dying star is about to violently flare, and the station is the only nearby shelter.
The Vessel approaches the spherical station, and Reath recognizes it as having been built by the ancient Amaxines. Leox agrees the station is ancient, but says it probably isn’t abandoned because its power is on and its coordinates were in the navicomputer, suggesting Affie ask her adoptive mother why that is. The sensors light up with the news that a solar flare will arrive in just four minutes, leading Reath to jump on the comms and order the other starships in the system to shelter at the station immediately. Most of the ships make it, but Nan’s ship suffers engine trouble, so the Vessel heads out and snags it with a tow cable, pulling the other ship to safety just in time. Boarding the station, Reath, Dez, and Affie find that the central globe is overflowing with plant life, sustained by light from self-generating power banks and maintained by 8-T gardening droids. The two Jedi also find some strange statues which give them sinister feelings. Affie, meanwhile, spots abandoned tools which suggest the station has been visited relatively recently. She keeps the discovery to herself, wanting to talk it over with Leox and Geode.
The other stranded ships begin docking at the station, given directions by the Jedi. Cohmac, meeting Nan and her guardian Hague, wonders what degree of poverty led to the design of their ship, which appears to have been patched together from several different models. Nan, a short young woman with blue streaks in her dark hair, is awed by the vibrant plant life, which Hague agrees is like her terrarium. The Jedi invite them to make themselves confortable on the station while they start boarding the other ships. Nan expresses curiosity about the Jedi, and Reath wonders if she’s trying to flirt with him. Affie explores the station while the boarding is occurring, discovering a storage area above the central sphere with coded symbols actually handwritten on the walls, and dates ranging from thirty-two to six years ago. Among the symbols, Affie is unsettled to find the logo of the Byne Guild. Orla and Cohmac inspect the ancient statues, which Cohmac surmises represent gods. They both sense a connection between the statues and the dark side. Suddenly, they are pulled into a Force vision: Orla finds herself struggling against gale-force winds and sees a bright light which only fills her with horror. Finding Cohmac, he says with utter clarity that the vision was a warning.
Meanwhile, Reath finds himself dealing with would-be looters as a fight breaks out. Affie, arriving in the midst of the chaos, is nearly abducted by a man in a red scarf, but the criminals find the diminutive Nan an easier target. The four Jedi leap into the fight, and Reath rescues Nan by cutting off one of the red-scarved man’s arms after giving him a warning. Cohmac brings an end to the fight through spectacle, levitating several meters in the air and loudly demanding everyone stop. He doesn’t for a moment think this will be the end of things…
Twenty-five years eariler, Cohmac comes to in the wreckage of the T-1 shuttle, shot down onto the salt flats of the lost moon. Orla also wakes up as Cohmac casts out his senses with the Force: Master Laret is fine, but there’s a hole where Master Simmix should be. Not wanting to believe his senses, Cohmac heads toward the back of the ship before encountering Laret, who confirms it. Cohmac finds the body of Simmix coiled up in the wreckage, and regrets not insisting that his master mind his own safety better. In the caves, Isamer orders some guards to check for survivors at the crash site, mindful that the goal of the job, as outlined by the Hutts, was to definitively turn the people of this region against the Jedi and Republic. Cassel expresses hope that the Jedi will still win, but Thandeka is skeptical. The three surviving Jedi enter the moon’s caves, Laret hoping that anyone who finds the site will assume Simmix was alone. Cohmac notes some carvings of large serpents in the walls which seem important, and turn out to portend large white serpents present on the moon when one attacks the trio.
Dez is filled in on Cohmac’s vision, and the Jedi discuss what potential connection to the dark side the statues might have. Noting that there was some kind of intelligence behind what he faced, Cohmac dismisses the idea that the plants are connected, assuming the statues are some kind of warning beacon. However, they are still trapped there. Reath has trouble with those sheltering at the station, who act ungrateful and constantly bicker, refusing to share supplies. Nan, however, backs him up, asserting that none of them know how to share. Leox also gives Reath a hand, noting that given the situation, they’re lucky to be stranded there, which persuades the bickering representatives from the ships to offer assistance. Talking with Dez, Reath asks how the man whose arm he cut off is doing. Orla, who is overseeing that, orders the man and his crew to leave immediately after the medical checkup is finished. Cohmac takes some time for meditation, wondering if the division between the light and dark sides is natural.
Affie joins a party led by Dez, which also includes Reath, Nan and one of the Mizi, to scout the lower levels of the station. Descending into the depths, which show signs of disrepair, Affie is holding onto the plant roots which are abundant in the passage when she notices that one of the 8-T droids is approaching her. But more arrive, and it becomes clear the droids are attacking the scouting party for being a threat to the plants, which forces them to retreat. During the hasty exit, Affie gets a scrape from a thorn on one of the vines, before shooting the roots on Reath’s suggestion, which starts a fire and distracts the droids. Once they’re out of the tunnel, it becomes clear that Affie has been poisoned by the vine. Dez, alerted to Affie’s condition, is able to retrieve the correct antidote from the Vessel. After Affie has rested, she tells Leox about the code she found upstairs and its connection to the Byne Guild, believing it’s connected to some kind of conspiracy against Scover Byne. Leox is skeptical, pointing out that Scover almost certainly knows about the station’s existence since its coordinates were in the Vessel’s computer. Affie doesn’t believe him and storms off.
Orla and Cohmac talk about the parallels between their current situation and the Eiram–E’ronoh crisis, only to be pulled back into a vision. Reath, on patrol in the station, is also reeled in, finding himself in a dark forest being confronted by a blue lightsaber blade wielded by someone trying to kill him. The attacker leaps forward and kicks him in the chest before swinging their blade before Reath comes back to himself in the station. The Jedi confer in the Vessel’s communications area, discussing what the idols are, what they may be containing, and the meaning of the warnings. They decide they need to investigate the lower levels before doing anything else. On the second attempt, Reath comes up with the idea of having all the members of the exploring party carry small potted flowers to dissuade the Aytees from attacking them.
Thus equipped, the party is able to safely reach the lower levels, passing the deactivated energy shield. Searching the passageways after the group splits up, Affie finds more of the spacers’ code, as she expected, but is stopped short by a symbol that appears to refer to the Kestrel’s Dive, the ship flown by her long-dead biological parents. Elsewhere, Reath and Dez find a large circular door. When the Jedi Knight approaches the door, it suddenly flips on its central axis, knocking Dez off his feet and spinning him to the other side. Dez does not respond, and Reath can only watch as the room vibrates and light beams through slits in the walls. A grinding sound reminiscent of engines starts up, and Reath sees Dez wordlessly shout in what appears to be pain, leading Reath to try unsuccessfully to open the door. The light flares even more brightly, and when Reath opens his eyes again, Dez is gone, but he can see two helix rings: incredible power sources used for hyperspace travel, but possessing a tendency to malfunction and create energy surges powerful enough to disintegrate humans down to the atoms.
Cohmac senses that something is wrong, and when he and Leox reach the atrium, Reath tells them that Dez is dead. Orla, still composed, says a few words after learning the news. Affie, meanwhile, has the symbols she saw below on her mind. Later, while everyone else is preoccupied, Reath returns to the lower levels to inspect the site of Dez’s death only to find Nan also poking around, explaining she’s not sure if Dez is really dead. Searching together, Reath asks Nan how she became Hague’s ward, and she explains that her parents died about two years ago. She adds that Hague used to be a brilliant commander, and she’s happy to be learning from him, leading Reath to assume that she hails from a military family. They find a control panel, which they assume to have been used for system maintenance, as well as an airlock, and Nan suggests that Dez may have been launched into the vacuum of space without a ship. Upon returning to the upper levels, they find a celebration going on: hyperspace travel is still limited, but those stranded at the station have received word from the Supreme Chancellor that they are free to leave and travel home.
Twenty-five years earlier, Cohmac fights giant serpents in the tunnels of the lost moon, silently grieving his dead master, Simmix. Master Laret, meanwhile, senses that the hostages are hidden somewhere in the network of tunnels, leading the way after the area is cleared. Isamer, annoyed about the low ceiling of the cave, becomes angrier with his incompetent underlings when they tell him they found a body, pointing out there are probably more Jedi in the area. Cassel expresses hope that the Jedi will rescue them, and Thandeka notes that he has more faith in them than she does, but he points out that it was her world of Eiram that asked for their assistance. Orla feels sympathy for the snakes that they are killing in self-defence, but her master criticizes her for not bringing her full combat skills to bear against them. She wonders if she is failing to hear the Force when it speaks to her through her instincts.
Return to Coruscant
Orla meets with Leox and Geode to discuss evacuating the statues from the Amaxine space station. Leox is concerned about transporting a primordial source of evil but Orla reassures him that she and her Jedi colleagues can find a safe way to contain the darkness so that they can transport it safely. Orla also discusses the matter with her Jedi colleagues Master Cohmac and Reath. Reath believes that the statues were placed on the station to contain the dark side and that they are the source of their dark visions. Cohmac believes that the statues should be removed from the station since their containment is failing and that the darkness they hold could break free. The three Jedi agree to Master Cohmac’s proposal and he takes the lead.
Cohmac is still haunted by the loss of his Master Simmix since the Jedi Order did not allow him to grief properly. Orla reassures the older Jedi that he did nothing wrong and that the Jedi Order also shares in those mistakes. After bringing the statues into a storage area aboard the Vessel, the three Jedi use their Force powers to bind the idols within a sphere of light side energy. Meanwhile, Affie focuses on obtaining information on the smugglers’ codes. Leox also confides his concerns about transporting the idols with his flight companion Geode. Before leaving with the idols, Reath and Nan part on friendly terms and promise to cross each others paths again.
After Affie boards the Vessel, Leox and Geode take the ship into hyperspace with their Jedi passengers and their dangerous cargo. Cohmac reassures Orla and Reath that the crew have been able to plot a safe path back using information transmitted by probes sent from Coruscant. Back in the cockpit, Leox reassures the younger Affie that he is safe for her because he has no interest in sex and reproduction. Affie also hopes to reunite with her foster mother Scover Byne once they have completed their journey.
In a letter, Reath confides his doubts about his assignment to the frontier to Master Jora Malli but later changes his mind and deletes the report. Shortly later, the Jedi aboard the Vessel receive a distress signal from the Cerean carrier Journeyman. Reath convinces a reluctant Affie to dock with the damaged ship’s airlock in order to rescue the people inside.
After boarding the Journeyman, Cohmac uses his lightsaber to dislodge a metal beam lodged into the ship’s blast shield controls, allowing the passengers to move to the escape pods. Reach also rescues a Wookiee child before using the Force to clear fire away from the corridors. The Jedi put out the fire long enough for a Republic transport to tow the carrier to Coruscant.
Trouble at home
After returning to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, Master Cohmac informs the Jedi Council of the death of Jedi Knight Dez Rydan during the events of the Great Hyperspace Disaster. Cohmac is still angry at the loss of Rydan but holds his tongue. Later, Affie discovers that her foster mother Scover Byne has arrived on Coruscant with three rerouted Byne Guild ships carrying sealed cargo. While Orla watches the dark side idols being transferred to the Shrine in the Depths for purification, Reath reunites the Wookie child with her parents at the spacedock infirmary. There, he learns about the death of Master Jora Malli during the Great Disaster.
Reath aggressively spars with a training droid in the Padawans’ training area, almost beheading the droid. While reflecting over Master Jora’s death in a meditation chamber, Master Adampo invites Reath to attend a Jedi briefing on the Nihil threat. At the briefing, Reath recognizes Nan and Hague’s blue streaked hair and scarred warship as evidence of their Nihil affiliations. Affie also meets with Scover, who tells her to conceal a certain cargo for the next few days until the hyperspace lanes reopen. When Affie asks Scover about the Guild’s secret coded communication, Scover denies there is any corruption in the Guild and claims that the written code is standard piloting protocol. Cohmac and several Jedi including Poreht La, Tia Mirabel, and Giktoo Nelmo attempt to exorcise the dark side idols at the former Sith shrine.
While resting at Coruscant’s luxurious Alisandre Hotel, Affie discovers that the Byne Guild is using indentured workers while reading through their coded communications. Affie shares this information with Leox including the discovery that her parents were indentured to Scover. Affie tells Leox that Scover uses the Amaxine Station as a means of facilitating the transportation of their indentured workers. Affie’s parents died when their ship attempted to do a dangerous manoeuver while using a tenth of its usual fuel.
Back at the Jedi briefing, Reath tries to convince a skeptical audience that Nan and Hague are Nihil. He seeks leave to return to the Amaxine Station in order to investigate the pair. Masters Rosason and Adampo deny him permission on the grounds that he needs to take time to deal with the trauma of losing his master and the travel disruption caused by the Great Disaster. Meanwhile, the Jedi Masters’ attempt to exorcise the dark side elements within the statues fail. Cohmac and Orla realize that the statues were not holding the dark side within themselves but were keeping the dark side presence on the Amaxine Station at bay. By removing the statues, the Jedi had freed the darkness.
Twenty-five years earlier, Cohmac confides about his grieving from the death of Master Laret with Orla. He ponders on the contradiction between the Jedi practice of masters and apprentice forming a partnership while expecting them not to become attached. In a flashback scene, Master Laret leads Cohmac and Orla to a cave where the kidnappers are believed to be holding their hostages. Meanwhile, the hostages the Eiram queen consort Thandeka and the E’ronoh Monarch Cassel decide to put aside their differences and negotiate.
Meanwhile, Masters Adampo and Rosason experience a change of heart and decide to allow Reath to choose his next assignment. Reath resolves to return to Amaxine Station and confront Nan and Hague about their ties to the Nihl. Elsewhere, Affie researches Republic law and discovers that the Republic had much more stringent rules about what indentured people could be required to do. She discusses her findings with Leox and Geode and proposes confronting Scover with the information in order to force her to back down. To prepare for their showdown with Scover, they decide to obtain black market weapons for the Vessel in the event of a confrontation with Scover’s forces.
Seeking to make amends for their mistake, Cohmac and Orla decide to bring back the idols to Amaxine Station. Cohmac shares his findings about the idols with Reath. Though the Jedi Council has not given Reath leave to return to the space station to seize Hague and Nan, Cohmac points out that nobody has in fact forbidden him to travel to Amaxine Station. Cohmac invites Reath to come along with him and Orla to help put back the idols in order to imprison the darkness inhabiting Amaxine Station. Orla hires the services of Leox and the Vessel to transport herself, Cohmac and Reath.
Though Leox is transporting illicit spice, Orla lets him go since he has been an invaluable ally. Exiting hyperspace, the Jedi and crew of the Vessel find a Nihil warship orbiting the Amaxine Station. When the Nihil warship orbits the far side of the Amaxine Station, the Vessel takes the opportunity to move into orbit, allowing the Jedi and Affie to travel to the station with thrusters. The tethered idols are released into zero gravity space with the Jedi guiding them into the space station.
Upon entering Amaxine Station, the Jedi spread out to search for Nan and Hague. While exploring a tunnel where he believed Dez had died, Reath finds himself trapped inside a hyperspace pod that takes him to an unknown world inhabited by the Drengir, Force-sensitive sentient plants that draw upon the dark side of the Force. While Affie spots the Nihil Nan inside the station, Cohmac and Orla stumble upon several ravenous Drengir.
Meanwhile, Reath learns that the Drengir he has encountered are a group that have escaped the Amaxine Station and hope to link up with their brethren aboard. The Drengir leader reveals that the ancient Amaxine warriors had built the Amaxine Station to wage war on them and conquer their world. However, the Drengir took over the Amaxine Station, which they turned into their new base. Though they had sent out parties to wreak havoc on other worlds, none of them had returned. The Drengir also reveal that Dez Rydan is still alive and was the first traveler whom they had encountered in a hyperspace pod. Dez’s captors inject him with a substance that drives him into a mindless rage.
Meanwhile, Cohmac and Orla learn that the Drengir have been imprisoned by the Sith on Amaxine Station for centuries. During a fight, they discover that the creatures are capable of regenerating. The Jedi manage to evade the Drengir after several 8-T droids proceed to prune the sentient plants. While searching for information about the Byne Syndicate’s codes, Leox warns her that the Nihil are going to board the station. Leox tells him to escape with Geode but he is determined to stay behind to provide an escape craft for her and the Jedi.
Under the drug-induced Drengir influence, Dez attacks Reath with a lightsaber. Following a lightsaber duel, Reath manages to use the Force to send memories of Master Malli to break his brainwashing. While helping Dez into an escape pod, Reath asks the Drengir on the uncharted world if they are connected to those on Amaxine Station. Learning that their brethren on the station are alive, the Drengir decide not to kill them and allow the two Jedi to depart on one of the transportation pods. The Drengir take the other transportation pod, intending to reunite with their kind. Reath and an incapacitated Dez return to Amaxine Station.
Battle on Amaxine Station
Cohmac and Orla flee towards the airlock but are held at gunpoint by Hague, who confirms his Nihil affiliation. He intends to kill the Jedi and obtain the secrets of the station in order to gain points for his Cloud. Hague alerts his Nihil comrades about the Jedi presence. Meanwhile, Affie uses a thermal detonator to bomb the docking ring connecting Amaxine Station with the Nihil warship, killing numerous hoarders. Cohmac and Orla take advantage of the explosion to seal themselves behind emergency blast doors in the outer ring.
After escaping the Nihil, Affie is contacted by Leox who warns her to leave the station. Affie complies but is determine to salvage as much of the Byne Guild’s encrypted codes as she can in order to expose their use of indentured labor. Meanwhile, Reath uses the light side of the Force to hurl a pod carrying several Drengir through the tunnel, destroying the craft and killing the occupants. Reath struggles with Master Jora’s injunction against killing but rationalizes that he was acting in self defense. Reath soon reunites with Cohmac and briefs him about Dez’s drug induced state and the station’s automated hyperspace pods. The two Jedi resolve to stop the Nihil from getting access to the station’s hyperspace pods, fearing they could be used to attack the Republic.
Concerned about Affie’s safety, Leox tells Geode to man the ship while he heads out to rescue her. Leox soon reunites with Reath, Cohmac and the incapacitated Dez. Due to approaching solar flares, Reath volunteers to activate the station’s shield generator in order to protect their ships. While traveling through the Amaxine station’s corridors, he encounters Nan, who confirms her Nihil affiliation. Nan tells Reath that she joined the Nihil because they offered a better life for her family. Despite Hague’s orders to kill the Jedi, Nan spares Reath since the Jedi saved her but warns him not to cross her path again.
While Leox searches for Affie, Reath overhears the Trandoshan Nihil leader telling his subordinates to capture the Amaxine Station so that the Nihil can use it as a mobile base for staging future attacks. Realizing that the Drengir are also interested in the station for the same purposes, Reath resolves to deny the station to these belligerents. Cohmac helps Dez aboard the Vessel where they are met by Geode. Meanwhile, Leox finds Affie, who is struggling between her desire to bring justice to the indentured pilots and her loyalty to Scover. Leox convinces Affie that it is not her job to save Scover’s soul and to escape with him while they still can.
Elsewhere, Orla reunites with Reath. Resolving to make amends for her mistakes, Orla convinces Reath to help her destroy the idols in order to prevent the Nihil from taking over Amaxine Station. The two are soon joined by Leox and Affie, who are also briefed about Orla’s plan. After sending the two pilots back to the Vessel, Orla and Reath use their Force powers to free the Drengir aboard the station. The Drengir attack the Nihil, leading to a fierce battle which provides a cover for the Jedi to flee back to their ship. Back at the ship, Leox, Affie, and Cohmac discover that Drengir vines have wrapped themselves around the Vessel, preventing them from escaping.
After destroying the idols, Reath returns to the transportation pod ring where he intends to fire the pods into space in order to prevent both the Nihil and Drengir from using them. He sets the pods to travel to unpopulated worlds, planetoids and asteroids. Leox contacts him via comlink, warning him about the vines threatening the Vessel.
In a flashback scene set 25 years ago, the younger Cohmac and Orla accompany Master Laret through several cave tunnels in order to reach the hostages. Meanwhile, the hostages Cassel and Thandeka decide to put aside their political differences and work together to draw the Jedi’s attention. While the pair are trying to break free of their restraints, the Jedi storm the cave and battle with the kidnappers. In desperation, Isamer attempts to shoot Thandeka but Cassel uses his body to block Isamer’s blaster bolt, sacrificing his life to save Thandeka. Master Laret kills Isamer with his lightsaber and rescues Thandeka, who is grateful to Thandeka for his sacrifice. Internally, Cohmac struggles with his grief over the death of Master Simmix. Following the rescue of the hostages, the Republic authorities use the information inside the kidnappers’ cave to take out the Directorate’s top leadership. However, this plays into the hands of the Hutts who had engineered the kidnapping in order to eliminate an underworld competitor.
Back in the present, Reath discovers that a large airlock is connected to the Amaxine Station’s arboretum area. In order to help the others escape and to prevent both the Nihil and Drengir from taking control of the station, Reath opens the airlock, causing the belligerents to be sucked out into space. Reath himself is almost sucked out but is saved by Geode, with the sentient rock using his body to block him from being sucked out into space. Reath is able to seal the airlock and restore the station’s environmental controls. Reath’s actions cause the Drengir vines trapping the Vessel to shrivel and die. Surveying Reath’s actions, Orla concludes that he preventing hostile forces from acquiring control of the Amaxine Station and threatening the Republic.
While traveling back aboard the Vessel to Coruscant, Master Cohmac and Reath attempt to heal the incapacitated Dez but their attempts are unable to drive out the toxins in his bloodstream. Leox manages to treat Dez by applying some spice wrapped in soft leaves to his chest, causing him to breathe easier. During the journey, Reath and Cohmac reflect on the consequences of their unauthorized action, with Cohmac wondering whether their role in denying Amaxine Station would be enough for the Jedi to pardon them.
Back on Coruscant, Affie meets with Scover, who is relieved that the apprentice pilot survived the unauthorized trip. When Affie says that the Guilds’ pilots lives are worth more than profit, Scover says that the pilots must choose to balance between the risk and reward. Based on their conversation, Affie realizes that Scover is willing to endanger the lives of her indentured pilots for profit. Despite the privileges and power that Scover showers upon her, Affie decides to listen to her conscience and seek justice for the indentured pilots.
Later, Masters Orla, Cohmac and Padawan Reath attend a disciplinary meeting with the Jedi Council. Speaking on behalf of the Council, Master Adampo explains that the Council has decided not to punish them since their rogue mission denied enemies of the Republic access to a valuable strategic resource. However, he warns that future rogue actions will be treated more harshly. Following the meeting, Adampo speaks with Reath, asking him if he is ready to resume his training while leaving it up to him.
The following day, Affie reports Scover Byne’s use of indentured labor to the Republic authorities in Coruscant, leading to Scover’s arrest and a major investigation into the Guild’s shipping operations. As a result of the investigation, the Byne Guild is dissolved and the ships are considered the individual property of their senior officers. While Leox now owns the Vessel, he decides to give control of the ship to Affie. A grateful Affie keeps Leox as her captain.
Reath also meets with his friend Dez, who has been released in hospital. Since the Drengir have damaged his connection to the Force, Dez decides to take the Barash Vow. Reath is still undecided about his own Jedi path. With the help of Geode, Orla buys a personal starship which she christens the Lightseeker. While Orla chooses to leave the Jedi Order and travel through space, Cohmac chooses to remain with the Jedi. Cohmac later accepts and invitation from Reath to become his new master. Reath has gained a new sense of respect for Cohmac as a result of their adventures on Amaxine Station.
Several weeks later, Starlight Beacon is officially opened. The opening ceremony is attended by several prominent Jedi, Republic and various planetary representatives and officials including Avar Kriss, Elzar Mann, Stellan Gios, Sskeer, and Burryaga Agaburry. Reath is also present and reflects on Master Jora’s passing. One of the speakers is Queen Thandeka of Eiram who gives a speech emphasizing connectivity and acknowledging the sacrifices of her former opponent Monarch Cassel and Jedi Master Simmix. Cohmac and Reath then depart for a grand feast.
Meanwhile, Nan informs the Nihil leader Marchion Ro about the death of her guardian Hague and numerous Nihil when Amaxine Station’s airlock was opened to space. Nan survived because she returned to the lower tunnels to make sure they were clear of other Drengir. Ro exonerates her and blames the Jedi for the death of their Nihil comrades. He vows that the Jedi will pay. Despite the powerful abilities of the Jedi, he says that the Jedi and Republic should fear them in return and vows that the Nihil will destroy the Jedi.
Planets / Locations
Amaxine space station
8-T gardening model
Orla Jareni’s lightsaber
Jora Malli’s lightsaber
Reath Silas’ lightsaber