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In the Desert

<From Banshee Boardwalk>

Revan was hoping to get rid of his sweat and get somewhere a bit more cooler but instead found himself in the heat of a sweltering sandy desert. As if that wasn’t bad enough the sun was still high in the sky and despite the tracks he couldn’t really see anyone around, what water and food he had wouldn’t last him long out here. He began following the footsteps, when they finally he forked he chose right. The sand was not something he enjoyed at all, it got into his boots and seemed to cover everything, nevermind when the wind blew it got in his eyes.

Just when he was wishing for the Green again despite its monstrosities he stepped over a dune to see a small town. Buildings made of the same colour as the sand made up a small settlement but Revan could see people as well as Camels and some other strange large furred creature with horns. He immediately made his way over hoping someone could help him.

As he approached a number of folk turned to look at him, instead of rushing to help however they seemed to run away, in a few short moments most of the town was running from him. Some charged up with overly long weapons and pointed them at him.

“Come no closer!” Yelled a man that Revan guessed considered himself the closest this town had to a soldier.

“I am merely seeking assistance with direction, do you perhaps have a map?” Revan asked.

“Your kind aren’t welcome here, they bring only pain and suffering.” He said angrily.

“My kind?” Revan asked not understanding.

“Primes, they bring only trouble with them wherever they go, we wish to remain free of such problems.” 

“I could really do with some water.” Revan said hoping they would at least give him that.

“Lower your weapons immediately!” Came another voice causing Revan to glance up.

“I said lower your weapons or you will be arrested.” Said a woman in grey armour surrounded by the white armoured soldiers of the Empire.

The civilians lowered their weapons as soldiers stepped forward to relieve them of weapons. The woman in grey combat armour stepped forward extending a hand.

“I’m Colonel Salvel, welcome to Mos Sil, what brings a Prime out this way?” She asked him.

“Just passing through, was hoping for directions and some water.” He said not sure how he felt about more Imperials after what happened at the Green.

“Such things aren’t free out here, but I do happen to know who you are Revan.” 

Revan had already almost fully unsheathed his weapon when he noticed they had not raised their weapons. “Why aren’t you shooting?

“The Greens can be a hard and difficult place, I’m quite sorry if your last run in with the Empire wasn’t so good, I however see it as a chance to be the one to mend such mistakes.” “Welcome to the Endless Dunes, this verse is under Imperial control and as such we try to govern things in a more calm manner, of course every verse has its problems.”

“Ok, I’m listening, what is the Empire doing here, what are you doing here?”

“This verse is largely uninhabited but has been fairly useful in the Empire’s production of advanced technology that as you know far advances anything else in the Omniverse, we gather the raw resources here and the people that live here benefit from the technology we can offer.” “As for why I’m here personally, that’s a little more difficult to explain, please come this way and we can talk over some cool liquids.”

Revan sat at a table in the local cantina doing his best to ignore the Stormtrooper guards as he listened to The Colonel. She appeared somewhat nice but he knew she must have been through some battles to be at the rank she was.

“I’m here to discover a lost artifact, something buried in the desert long ago, we don’t have much to go on except sightings of some strange structures in the desert that no one knows where they came from.”

“What kind of artifact exactly?” Revan asked interested.

“A mask that is said to control the very desert itself, on its own it sounds like nothing but reports have come in that there have been a lot of strange disappearances in the area, so the Empire has decided to send me in charge of this small detachment to investigate.”

“So what does this do with me?” Revan asked sipping water from a glass.

“Well you would be earning your keep, plus from your previous journey we can summarise you are heading for Coruscant next, it would be easier for you to get in if you were accompanying us.”

“It sounds dangerous.” Revan said bluntly, if there had been disappearances then clearly there was more than just sand at work here.

“I could also offer you some Imperial credits for your help, I’m sure you’ll need them in Coruscant this time.” 

“Alright I’m in but how are we getting there?”

“By Bantha.” She replied with a smile.

Banthas journeyed across the Dunes as Revan did his best to not think about the raging sun, the Imperials offered him whatever he wanted short of shade to rest in, eventually sunset began to befall them and the air went from red hot to cold that began to shake his bones much like the Frozen Fields once did.

“You should consider getting advanced armour, it really helps support body temperature in extreme conditions.” She said.

“Isn’t your exposed face cold?” Revan asked.

“A bit but I could always cover it if I wanted to.” She said before holding up her hand to stop the Bantha caravan.

“There it is.” She said, Revan looked and saw a large sandstone pyramid reaching high into the sky.

“That’s actually quite amazing, where did it come from?” Revan asked.

“Some say Omni built it personally, some say the first beings in the Omniverse built it and used to live here, either way it was here before the Empire, and we take pride in knowing everyone.”

The journey continued to the Pyramid where the Banthas were let loose and the Stormtroopers began unloading various types of gear that Revan didn’t recognise in the slightest. One Stormtrooper that appeared higher in command approached the Colonel.

“Pyramid is sealed Ma’am what do you want us to do?”

“Breach it.” She commanded

An explosion rocked the entrance to the sandy pyramid blasting a hole to form the desired entrance. The Stormtroopers aimed their blasters forward as the dust cloud swept over them. As the dust settled the sand covered troopers moved into the room. Revan coughed as he and the Colonel entered into the pyramid structure, inside however was just empty walls. 

“Not much here.” Revan said wondering why there was no obvious way from here.

“Clearly not the welcoming type, blow another hole!” The Colonel shouted annoyed.

Another explosion breached the wall revealing a corridor covered in gold and hieroglyphs that almost blinded Revan as he waved an arm in front of him to block the light while his eyes adjusted. 

“That’s what we wanted, move in.” The Colonel ordered as Revan and the Stormtroopers pushed inward.

Revan saw pictures on the wall showing pictures of a strange child looking being, Revan knew this to be Omni. He didn’t know if the Empire knew who Omni was but he chose not to ask right now, the Imperials seemed to want to push onward more. They came to two tunnels, one went up and another that headed downward.

“We go down, that’s where it will be.” She said leading them all down further into the depths of the pyramid. 
Golden walls soon turned into a crude rock cavern as the lights that the Imperials brought with them was all that allowed them to see. Soon they found themselves in a large room full of a number of golden objects, it might have been a storage room but at the far back was a raised platform where sat a strange looking box.

The Colonel moved toward it with haste, stepping up the steps of the raised platform she stood over it and gazed upon it. Revan stepped up beside her and also looked upon it, it had symbols and markings and at the top was a picture of the mask that was spoken of, some sort of long eared canine like creature with a snout.

“The mask must be in here.” She said running a gloved hand along the aged metal box.

“Ma’am we’ve found the mask.” Came the voice of a trooper.

Revan and her both turned to see where they were, surely enough as they walked over there was a glass display case. The mask was black with gold eyelines and a blue winged insect on the forehead. 

“Smash the glass and take it.” She ordered.

One Stormtrooper hit the glass with the butt of his rifle but the glass didn’t break at all. Another aimed his weapon and fired and the glass seemed to absorb the blast.

“What’s going on?” The Colonel demanded to know.

“Ma’am force seems unable to breach the containment vessel.” The Stormtrooper said hiding his annoyance far better than his superior.

“Revan, here’s your chance.” She said ordering him to do it for her.

Revan stepped forward toward the golden glass box, he pulled out his sword and tried to hit the glass with his hilt but it did nothing. 

“Step back.” Revan said as he swung the sword at the glass, it bounced off without a crack.

“Prepare some more breach charges.” The Colonel ordered furiously.

“Wait, perhaps force isn’t the answer here.” Revan said stepping forward and placing his hands on the glass.

The glass seemed to warm to his touch, the glass began to melt as ice melts to heat. Soon there was no barrier between Revan and the mask and he was able to grab in and grasp it. Pulling out the mask he looked at it closely, the mask itself still had a warm touch to it. Next thing he knew a Stormtrooper grabbed it off of him and immediately shoved it into a metal container.

“Thank you Revan, our task here is complete we will head back to the settlement and prepare for our journey to Coruscant.” The Colonel said smiling satisfied that she got what she wanted.

“We leave now, seal the entrance on our way out.” The Colonel lead the troopers toward the exit.

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