With the knowledge that within a year they shall likely be bound towards the Outer Rim Sadukka system, the party decide to spend a year out engaging in solo activities, with the new Jedi Knights taking their first solo steps in their new roles, and Tal Eran deciding to travel for a while aboard the Skylark.
Tal spends the year networking and building some useful contacts, with 4 being of import; the first is a Bothan information broker called Freijj who resides upon Corellia, the second is building a greater rapport with the benevolent Hutt Prello on Tattooine, and the third being a mercenary captain called Vos Morlak based on Nar Shaddaa (and leader of a powerful mercenary company). The fourth is more complicated, given that in a Sabacc game on the Smugglers Moon he lost an almost unloseable hand to a Scout/Bounty hunter called Meshara Raaril. His only recourse was to surrender a %25 stake in his own ship, and now he shares the ownership of his ship with the competent and wry Cathar. She also gets along famously with T3-X2 as well, to add insult to injury. He does the odd spot of work and help for his small network of allies, even running a couple of smuggling runs to the resistance on Taris (both his and Vos’ home world) providing weapons and so on. From the Bothan he also hears that the Rodian Bounty Hunter Chido still holds a massive grudge against Tersha, and like all vengeful Rodians aims to collect…
Speaking of Tersha, she spends the first part of her year first visiting Alpheridies (the Miralukan homeworld) to study wit5h the Luka Sene, a Force Sensitive Miralukan Movement. There she learns more of her people and culture and also some new ways to view the force and the world about her. She then travels as a lone Jedi Knight, finding things to do and becoming familiar with the new role she has.
Jaric Morandin spends much of his year doing what all good Guardian Jedi do, namely fighting injustice and scouting for signs of Darkside influence. In Nar Shaddaa he hears of the official parting of the ways between Gunseng and Sorcha Vardarrin, he also hears that Korriban (the Sith homeworld) is a very bad place to visit and makes the guess that perhaps the Ragged Figure shall end up travelling there. He rounds off his year by instructing younglings and Padawans in lightsaber techiques.
Fowmaral indeed does take on a Padawan to train, and the promising and precocious Padawan Xiola Blu becomes his charge. With her in tow, he assists around the Praxeum for about 6 months before leaving with her to show her a little of life outside Arboa, taking in such sights as Corellia (good) all the way to the war torn ruins of Iridonia (not so good). As a Consular, he acts with wisdom and imparts advice and help to those who ask or need it. A good year is had by him.
The party are all reunited again to attend the low key ceremony of Harramis Datshara becoming a Jedi Master (something he can no longer put off). They are all made aware that the Sadukkan government has consented to the creation of a permanent Jedi presence in their system, and also a Republican military presence to be officially stationed there too. Big concessions from the proud Sadukkans it appears. Harramis is to be the Jedi Master posted to Sadukka, along with his new Padawan Hana Lightfoot (whom the party saved some time ago from Sorcha). Also of note is that the Hammerhead cruiser at the head of the 26 ship Republican fleet (10 Cruisers and 26 freighters and other support vessels) is the Liberator, the posting of their great friend Kayla Pek. Hopefully a happy reunion will be in the offing.
They are told that the Republic fleet will be departing from the CEC shipyards at Corellia soon, and so they decide that travelling and arriving separately from the fleet will show the Sadukans that Jedi and Republic are not the same thing (to allay some tensions perhaps). This being said, they leave to time their arrival at the Sadukkan Jump Buoy in advance of the Fleet; this will allow them to scout ahead of the fleets own advance scouts.
The 4 day journey in hyperspace passes, with the Jedi becoming acquainted with Meshara and her reasons for being on the ship. The ship carries the party, Xiola, Meshara, Harramis and his Padawan Hana along with the crew of droids and the various items and supplies a Jedi enclave may need.
They arrive at the Buoy after an uneventful journey; the Buoy is important as it holds updated coordinates for ships to traverse the Megaeran Corridor, the passage through the hazardous Megaeran Cluster nebula, making any journey to or from the Sadukkan system a 2 jump affair. Once there T3 starts checking the Buoy for charts, and is disturbed to note that the charts have been subtly altered, ensuring that any ships bound towards Sadukka using these records will likely come to a grim end within the Cluster. Using the enhanced ship sensors, Tal detects 6 fighters and 2 capital sized ship lying on the outer edges of sensor range, all on low power use to mask their presence. This immediately has the ship and her compliment suspecting Mandalorians.
Tal raises Captain Leo Vaxos (the Liberators captain and leader of the fleet) on powerful Holo, and he alerts the wily Corellian officer of his findings. Captain Vaxos tells him that an advance squadron of scouts accompanied by 2 Foray Class blockade runners are about 4 hours away from the Buoy in Hyperspace, and the rest of the fleet is a day behind them. Amongst the squadrons pilots is Kayla. Captain Vaxos asks Tal if there is any way he c an get more intel on the nature of the hidden shipd, as it would help the incoming patrol prepare for what could be a very difficult situation; Tal says he’ll see what he can do, and the Skylarks travellers start to form plans…