Through the almost complete darkness in the empty halls inside the Jedi Temple, Peter stepped quietly across the floor, keeping one hand gripped tightly around his lightsaber while looking over his shoulder repeatedly.
There was no telling if any Knights or Padawans would be up at the late hour as well, not to mention the guards who roamed the temple regularly. Peter had to stay out of sight, and move as quickly and quietly as possible, or this would take a turn for the worst.
The silence inside the Jedi Temple was almost as if all life on the planet had ceased. The only sound that could be heard was Peter’s racing heart, along with his incredibly heavy breathing.
With sweat dripping down his brow, Peter could only imagine what would happen if one of the masters had caught him roaming the halls past his bedtime, let alone what he was about to do.
Coming to the elevator which lead to the Holocron Vault, he brought himself down to his knees, slowly removing the control panel from off of the wall and placing it down on the ground, the faint clink of metal appearing more like a bang.
Peter froze, holding his position for a few moments, just hoping that no one would have heard him. When the temple remained silent, he resumed his work, taking his new Mechno-arm and beginning to feed it through the series of intricate wires that were buried within the wall.
Although Tony had taught him to perform these sorts of tasks, Peter needed to put the controls back in the exact way he found them, otherwise there would be no chance of success.
After slowly pulling away a single wire, Peter proceeded to push a series of buttons that were placed along the side of the door while also sending an electric pulse through the system via his prosthetic arm. Just then, the elevator door slid open, a dim light contained inside the area.
Letting out a sigh of relief, Peter got up off of the floor, ignoring the panel at the moment and instead stepped into the elevator and bouncing up and down in place with a mixture of excitement and nervousness.
He shouldn’t have been doing this. He was throwing his entire life away, and he knew it. But without Michelle, Peter never saw being a Jedi Knight as a life worth living. Even something as horrific as being beaten and enslaved as a child could be made bearable simply by being in her presence. Getting to smile at her from across the room as they worked. The chance to sleep beside her at the end of the day.
Peter truly loved Michelle, and he was no longer afraid to admit that to himself. That Sith had helped him realize the truth. Their relationship, despite not seeing each other for almost an entire decade, was something far greater than friendship. He couldn’t survive without her, and he was willing to do anything to save her.
As the door opened, revealing a room that was filled with thousands upon thousands of Holocrons that were shaped as small cubes and glowing a shade of blue that resembled his lightsaber, Peter felt a chill run down his spine, almost hearing wind as if it was whispering in his ear.
His instructors had mentioned Holocrons from time to time during his classes, claiming that the knowledge they contained were too sensitive for the selfish minds of the galaxy.
However, Peter didn’t know how he was to find what he was looking for. He didn’t even know what he was looking for. Maybe a scrap of information about Michelle’s whereabouts. Perhaps a way to gain power, something that would help him to achieve his goals. Whatever the case, he would know it when he saw it.
Once he took his first step, it was as if the Force pushed him to face the left, like it was leading him towards a certain Holocron. Trying to head in the other direction, the Force only pushed on stronger, and he was too weak to resist.
Closing his eyes, indulging this feat, Peter began to move forward slowly while being guided by the Force – or whatever was really controlling his actions at the moment. The wind whispering in his ear only grew louder, but was still too quiet to decipher.
Involuntarily, Peter raised his arm, feeling a small object fly into his hand not even a second later. Opening his eyes, he saw that the Holocron in his hand was far different from the rest. Instead of being a cube, it was a pyramid, glowing a deep shade of red with smoke appearing to radiate from it.
“I sense great fear in you, young Parker.” The voice echoed throughout the vault. “All of your pain. All of your suffering. The galaxy has not been kind to you, nor has it helped your friend. The Jedi abandoned Michelle, and you know this to be true.”
His eyes flashed yellow for a brief second, but disappeared as quickly as they had coming. Grip growing tighter around the Holocron, Peter nodded along, gazing into his reflection.
“You also have great anger in you. It gives you focus. It can grant you great strength, and your masters wish to prevent this. Master Fury does nothing but lie to you. Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, you gain strength. Through strength, you gain power. Through power, you gain victory. Through victory, your chains are broken. The Force shall free you.”
That was a series of phrases that Peter had never heard before. The Jedi never talked positively about passion, nor did they praise strength or victory. Not even freedom of all things. And that was what he valued the most. There was something about this peculiar Holocron. Just the way it spoke to him made him… happy.
“What about MJ?!” He asked desperately, voice breaking due to the mere thought of his best friend in pain. “How can I set her free?! How can I even find her?!”
The volume of the red smoke only grew, surrounding Peter around his boots and then raising up around him, completely clouding his vision from anything on the outside. Looking around frantically, he tried to move, but found himself frozen in place.
After a single flash of light, the smoke cleared, and he saw that he was no longer in the Holocron Vault that was deep within the Temple. Peter instead found himself inside what appeared to be a Hutt’s Palace. He was back on Tatooine, standing among a crowd of people shouting in a drunken pleasure with Republic Credits being passed around them.
It wasn’t just any palace he was in. This was a slave market, just like the one he was sold in all those years ago. Men, women, and even children, who couldn’t have been older than two, were placed in cages as if they were animals, being taken off to their new homes to serve their masters. Peter felt his hands begin to tremble, losing all feeling in his body as fear washed over him.
“Alright, settle down.” One of the Hutts announced proudly, holding his hands in the air until the crowd’s voice died down. “There are plenty more good slaves for you, and we only provide the best for our clients. Bring out the girl!”
Two droids then came out from the back room, carrying a little girl with dark skin and curly hair along with them, tossing her onto the stage. She was sobbing, clutching onto her arms that were riddled with fresh scars, tunic covered in a mixture of dirt and dried blood.
“MJ.” Peter gasped, wanting nothing more than to rush forward to help her.
It was nothing more than a vision, and he couldn’t do anything to save her. MJ was sold just mere days before Peter, although they were at completely different markets. She only ever spoke of it once though, and couldn’t remember how she got there.
“You can still find her.” The Holocron spoke once again persuasively. “Go back to your true roots. You must make Jaina suffer as you have suffered. Destroy the Hutts. You can stop all of this from happening to others. All that is required is that you give in to your anger.”
The smoke materialized from the Holocron for a second time, surrounding Peter by the feet and moving to cover his surroundings, cutting his vision off from the younger Michelle.
“Please.” Peter begged. “J- just let me see her. I need to know that she’s safe.”
Looking off into the distance of the red smoke, a figure in a black cloak stood tall, a hood pulled over their head as they walked forward slowly. Peter couldn’t make out any other details of their appearance though. It was merely a silhouette. All he knew was that it was a woman.
“Peter.” She spoke, voice trembling.
Just before her face was about to come into view, there was another flash, and she was gone. Peter then was left alone. Alone, just like he always was, still a slave to the Jedi Order.