“Aah, finally!” Shamila dropped herself on the comfortable bed in the room the Kaminoans had prepared for them. “This feels so good!” She grinned at her Master who sat on the opposite side of the room his eyes closed. He didn’t reply. With a worried look Shamila sat upright. “Master? Are you al…” She then noticed the lightknife in his hand and recalled what he had told her about the weapon, and the spirit it now housed. Relieved she dropped herself back on the bed and stared at the ceiling. Everything seemed so strange. From a hectic confrontation in the slums of Nar Shaddaa to a relatively calm uneventful stay in the caves of Dantooine. Then back to bustling Nar Shaddaa, into an unexpected vicious space battle, and now, less than a day later, almost as if none of those things had happened, lying a on a bed in a place with more peace, comfort and luxury than she had witnessed even during her days in the Jedi Temple. What is going to happen on Kessel? No matter how hard she thought, she could not picture how things might turn out from here. From an Imperial attack leading to another fierce skirmish here in the halls of this very cloning facility and the end of their plan to build an army as well as their lives, to the sudden death of the Emperor himself rendering the Empire headless and throwing it into chaos: for all she knew everything was all possible now. Even during the Clone Wars things had not been so turbulent and unpredictable as they were now. With a deep sigh she closed her eyes, trying to enjoy this peaceful time here as long as it lasted.
‘The death of three of us, years before our leaving the Order, made us realize how vulnerable even we could be. More and more died as the war against the Sith dragged on, and new members joining was a rarity. If things would continue like this, if we would not find a way to survive, then it would be a short matter of time before our group would be eliminated completely and the forces of the Dark Side would be able to grow stronger.
The youngest among us, my Padawan Vadi Cin, who was as brilliant as she was idealistic, approached me one day. Carrying several manuscripts from the Temple’s archives under her arm she enthusiastically told me she had found a solution to our problem and that I should bring together the others. And so I did, always curious about the marvels she would think up on nearly weekly basis; some of them virtually unreachable with the means we had, some capable of changing the Galaxy. It did not take long before she had once again proved her brilliance with the concept of her latest plan. Several of the manuscripts showed blueprints of a machine capable of cloning people, created many millennia ago. “Master Tha’ci, fellow Shadows.” Vadi said “Through long research of this ancient but highly advanced cloning technology as well as their further possibilities, I have found the solution to end our group’s continuous decay. Here I have…” She took out another manuscript, this one with notes and sketches much more recent. “The path to immortality!” Some looked sceptical, not too surprising with such big words, big even for Vadi’s standards. But most, realizing the indeed impending end of or group, were more than willing to give this already well worked out plan a chance.
We knew the Order would be far from approving of our plan, so we went to Dantooine, where we could realize everything in secret. With Vadi’s blueprints and her brilliant mind we managed, within a mere two years of thorough planning and hard work, to finish the first of the machines in which those of our group who would prematurely meet their end could be cloned. And over the years we built about twenty more to keep our ways alive.’
‘Wouldn’t they have to be taught everything they had learned anew?’ Vhiran asked. Tha’ci’s story of the cloning facility she mentioned earlier had greatly caught his interest.
‘And that leads me to the beauty of our cloning cylinders.’ The Traveller’s voice sounded excited in the Jedi’s mind. ‘When one of us would die, we were able to take cells from their body. With those cells we could begin the cloning of the deceased, and thanks to my apprentice’s thorough research, we were capable of not only restoring their body, but all their memories until death with them. Some clones showed cases of light amnesia, but nothing we could not deal with. All in all, the project was a tremendous success and we managed to go on for many years, until….’
‘Correct. By the time we finished our first cloning cylinder, only nine of us were left, save those in training. Over half were slain by Bane, with very slim chances of recovery of their bodies, and I don’t know what happened to those who were left. As for the facility, if it hasn’t been discovered, it may still be there. I wouldn’t mind a short look some of these days…’