During their conversation, the Follower of Kooroo declared to Mer that he should kneel before him and accept him as his Master, since he is on his planet as a guest after all. And that together, they would plan and bring the Empire down, once and for all. Mer refused and a duel ensued, in which the Follower of Kooroo proved that he was not much of a match for the solemn scholar Jedi. The first sign of Mer’s superiority in the use of a lightsaber was a precise hit that practically dismembered the Follower’s left arm a few inches after the elbow. Seeming unaffected by his immediate wound, the Follower howled in rage and called upon the Dark Side, willing Mer to die. Mer resisted, feeling his breathing cut off for a split second and replied with a vertical slash that could have cut the follower in half. However, instead of dealing the killing blow, Mer stopped his lightsaber’s blade a mere inch from his face and ordered the man: “Yield. Let us end this without resorting to violence. Or Death.
This caused the Follower to suffer a “Moment of Doubt”, as the Jedi was clearly in a superior position and yet refrained from killing him and claiming victory. Mer’s Force of Will was so strong, that the Follower fell to his knees, discarding the lightsaber he was holding and begun to cry and sob for a few seconds, before blissfully giving in to his wounds and falling unconscious. Acting with haste, Mer picked up the man and the man’s dismembered appendage and made sure they were safely stowed away in the confined space of the Argonaut. The Light Side had won that day and now it was time to finish his exploration an head back.
Making arrangements with the survivors – who were far more cooperative now that the “Monster” was defeated – he made sure that the four who wanted to leave would be easy to locate and contact in order to reclaim the Follower’s ship, if he had need of it. The rest – a Sullustan family of five and the Ithorian – decided to stay on Gelgelar, being their homeworld.
Heading back to the Resurgence, Mer and the Follower, now properly introduced as Freeja Saar, have a conversation about the Way of Peaceful Resolution, the manuscript in Freeja’s possession which is written by the Wise Man of Kooroo and which contains Freeja’s teachings before he was lured by the Dark Side. To Mer’s trained intellect, the “Way of Peaceful Resolution” is very compatible with some of the Jedi Order ideals, imposing a more strict adherence to pacifism and resorting to violence only as a measure of self defense and only in a manner that will not kill or maim, but will simply stop incoming blows – hence the use of the quarterstaff. From the sum of the manuscript, a devoted individual would be able to learn several important Jedi teachings, as if they had a mentor.
Arriving at the Resurgence, Mer still has 11 days left before the Freedom’s Messenger is expected to arrive in Socorro. He requests Sam to let Devron know he should return to the Resurgence immediately when they land in Socorro and he himself remain behind, aboard the Resurgence, to further discuss and learn about Freeja’s Way. Freeja spends the first few days in a bacta tank, undergoing extensive surgery to reattach his “disarmed” appendage.
Meanwhile, on Socorro, things go as planned. The modified Corvette “Freedom’s Messenger” exits Hyperspace and performs a landing in Cjaalysce’l – Caelli-Merced’s privately owned city and shipyard facilities. There, the crew is sent over to Vakeyya with speeders, leaving behind only Lofryyn – the Wookiee Chief Mechanic – and Dominic. These two, together with the tech-heads of Caelli-Merced begin the 10-day-long work of restoring the craft to optimal condition for the low-low price of ONE. MILLION. Credits as agreed 2 months ago.
Arriving in Vakeyya, Devron meets with Fred and Sam, is briefed on Mer’s request and leaves immediately for the Parmel Sector where the Resurgence currently remains, taking Edward with him to send him off to continue his mundane training. There, he is briefed by Mer on the whole story of Freeja Saar, including the fact that the Wise Man had two more apprentices that are currently “somewhere” in the Galaxy. The two Jedi decide they should investigate the locations of the other “Kooroo” temples, even if they are just a scam, and also locate the two more apprentices in case any of them has also fallen to the Dark Side and represents a threat to the rest.
All these, are events that will transpire in future chapters …