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View Full Version : [Fic] The Last Casualties of the Mandalorian Wars


Darth_Yuthura
04-19-2009, 07:57 PM
Here is the Exile's trial by Darth Yuthura. This is my entry for this month... which is the first time I've admitted anything in one of these competitions. Hope you enjoy.

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Describing the Force to one who couldn't sense it was a difficult thing to do. It was like describing a sight to the blind or a sound to the deaf. It was like a sixth sense to Jedi... as different as smell was to sight, yet it seemed to touch upon them all. It was odd to have seen so many around who had only their eyes and ears, living their lives as though it were perfectly natural... I envied them. I had come to appreciate what they could do without the Force than what I could do with it. Because without it, I struggled not to break down before I could be healed.

Sight often had been the most significant of my remaining five senses. Some Jedi have learned to rely on the Force more than their eyes, but the Force could never replace your eyes for reading or appreciating a work of art. Light could not be sensed through the Force, so a Jedi could never fully substitute any sense with the mitochlorians in their cells.

Hearing was often a neglected sense, but it resembled the Force much more than sight. When you heard a sound, you could only approximate where it came from and despite its limitations, you almost instantly knew danger when you heard it. Unlike eyes, we could not simply block out unwanted noise because our ears were always active. At least I could still shut my eyes when I wanted to.

Even the loss of hearing due to auditory shock reminded me of the Force. I found it debilitating to not be able to hear while battle had been raging on all around me. Despite still being able to see and feel everything else around me, blaster fire somehow didn't look the same without the sound. A wound felt different without hearing the sound of the explosion or the footsteps behind me that usually came before the pain.

The Force was much like sound because it was always active, but being deafened to everything seemed far worse than any unwanted noise could ever be. The Force had been my most important sense and I couldn't hear it anymore. There was no pain, yet it felt like I hurt all over. I felt only frightened, deafened, and small. It had been for that reason that I returned to confront those who believed I had betrayed them. I didn't want them to see me like I was, but there was no one else I could turn to.

When I walked down the hallway and entered the Council chamber, only five of them were present, including Vrook. At least with them were Atris and Kavar, who knew me and would have believed what I did was for the right reasons. The question of whether or not they would help me depended on them knowing that I wasn't the one who betrayed them.

When I stood in the center of the chamber, I felt much better just seeing Kavar again that I smiled for the first time in a long while, if only briefly. He maintained a very stoic face, which indicated feelings that he didn’t want me to know. Without the Force, I couldn’t sense anything from anyone beyond what they chose to show me.

Atris, who had begged me not to follow Revan all those years ago, displayed to me a very smug and contemptuous stare. I knew I left on bad terms with her, but I would've imagined a decade of friendship would would have endured what we went through. She was the only one not hiding anything... she wanted me to know that she felt superior now that she was on the Council. Of all the nerve!

After a moment of standing before them, Vrook spoke out in that same tone he used as if just going through procedure. “Do you know why we summoned you here?”

“I came of my own accord... not because you summoned me.“ I did not let him believe that I was still under their control. I wanted to show that I had been willing to face my crimes. I didn't want it to seem that I just came crawling back when things got difficult, but I knew that was a lie.

Vrook sat back in his seat. “That didn’t answer my question. Do you know why you’re here?”

“I do... but I would like to know what you expect from me. Is this a trial or a debriefing?”

Master Vash gave me an answer. “Alexandra Tydings, you were in command of the Republic Fleet that caused the massacre at Malachor V...”

“It was a battle! A battle between two opposing fleets. And yes, I was in command of the Republic fleet.” I corrected.

Atris shouted out against me. “You murdered millions who didn't participate in that battle! It was a massacre... one of which you are responsible for!”

It hurt to hear her attack me like that, but at the same time, I knew she was right. I knew millions of innocents would have died because of the mass shadow generator, but I believed it was better to sacrifice them than to have billions die as the war would have drawn on after that. Malachor V had been a means to end the war and safeguard the lives of many by sacrificing the few.

“It was not by choice that Malachor V was the system we used for the mass shadow generator, but necessity. It was the only system that we could've drawn enough of the Mandalorian fleet into a single engagement. They chose to enter a sovereign Republic system, knowing the contingencies of war.”

Vrook took over. “We are not here to debate military tactics. That weapon was an atrocity and should never have been built, yet you are also the one who ordered it built, are you not?”

“I did, but in...”

Atris went on the offensive again. “That was a war crime. There is nothing that could have justified such an act. I don’t understand...”

I did not allow myself to be interrupted. “It ended a war! Hundreds of billions of lives were at stake and the attack on Malachor V prevented all of them from dying in a long, drawn out war!”

Master Kez Kae Ell entered the debate. “That comes back to the heart of the matter. The Jedi are guardians of the peace. Your call to war undermined all we have worked for.”

“War was upon the Republic, whether you chose to get involved or not. When the Mandalorians committed the first overt act of aggression, the Republic asked for aid and you ignored their request. Revan did not.”

“And you just thought rushing into battle was the answer? Every...” Vrook started, but was cut off.

“We waited for the Council to take action far longer than we felt was prudent. I waited for you as long as possible, waiting for you to aid the Republic. In doing so, you allowed the Mandalorian threat to become even more dire as the Republic Fleet was being beaten back.”

“And now, because of you, the reputation of the Jedi is stained with the blood of the victims of Malachor V.” Kez Kae Ell said.

“I’m not going to get into a circular argument, but I won’t have any of you believe that there was a better means address the Mandalorian threat.” I declared.

Atris countered my argument with a rationale she really did not understand, herself. “You didn’t take the time to evaluate the threat and Revan’s defiance forced us to deal with him instead of the Mandalorians. Had you and the other fallen Jedi not supported him, his crusade would have died in its infancy. Now he controls almost a fourth of all the Jedi who were once loyal to the Republic.”

“You were not part of the Council then Atris... so be silent." I faced Vrook and Vash. "Do you [i]think[i/] that I wanted to go against you? Do you believe that I wanted to go to war, let alone leave the Order behind. I didn’t want to follow Revan, I wanted to support Master Kavar. Had Kavar been selected to lead the Jedi effort, Revan and Malak would have stood alone without a standard by which to gather followers.”

“So is Revan your master now? You stood under his standard from the very beginning. Even after casting you aside, you still defend him.” Atris sat back as if satisfied.

“I stood with Revan for as long as he fought the Mandalorians. Once they were defeated, I left him and came back...” I looked each one in the eye. “...I never wanted to leave the Order, but the Mandalorians had to be stopped. Now that the war is over... I have returned to face your judgment.”

Vrook snapped back at my sincerity. “You came back because you lost your connection to the Force! You would never have returned otherwise.”

“No!” I knew that it was not the only reason, but it was the most important reason to me. After a sigh, I spoke the truth. “Yes... but that wasn’t the only reason. I intended to return anyway.”

Master Vash replied. “If you are sincere about that, there are questions that we need answered. Revan and Malak are still gaining support from other Jedi, but we do not know where they have gone or what their plans are. You were within their circle and should be able to tell us everything we need to know. First: what is the true reason that Revan's forces ventured beyond the Outer Rim?”

I was not informed of anything planned beyond the war and didn’t know such answers. “I was never aware of such plans. It was not to pursue fleeing Mandalorian forces, I can say that much.”

Vash looked disappointed. “I find that difficult to believe you weren’t included in such a significant operation. Moving a third of the Fleet couldn’t be directed by any one man; wouldn’t he have included his closest lieutenants in such plans?”

“Yes. And no, I was not told of any plans because I was longer within his circle. Surely you can’t sense any deception from me.” I said confidently.

When they didn’t answer, Zez Kae Ell asked the next question. “Rumors have been spreading that Revan and Malak have been feeding teachings of the dark side among the Jedi who continued to follow them. Are those teachings Sith? If so, where did they acquire such knowledge?”

“I don’t know.”

“She doesn’t know.” Vrook said mockingly.

“If I knew, I would tell you. Whatever they’re doing now was never discussed with me. I thought all of it was going to end when the war was over.” I said with desperation in my voice.

Zez Kae Ell was not swayed. “Well then why don’t you tell us what you do know?”

I thought a long moment before I could think of something fitting to that question. “Revan and Malak are convinced that they saved the Republic from the Mandalorians. They believe that you, the Council, stopped being Jedi when you started believing yourselves to be more divine than the entire Order.”

“It is Revan who had stopped being a Jedi, as did everyone who betrayed us.” Atris declared to me.

“To fight in the war was no betrayal. I never forgot my teachings, even at Malachor. I did what had to be done, or billions more would have perished. Had I not, I could no longer have been a Jedi.”

“You stopped being a Jedi long ago. If you believe that you can evade the consequences of your actions by returning here, you are wrong. In defying the Council, helping Revan wage war, and committing mass murder over Malachor V; you have rejected everything that we stand for.” Vrook declared.

I felt as though a dagger had been plunged into my heart, hearing those words. After everything that I sacrificed, they intended to cast me aside and make me the scapegoat for everything that's happened. I was not so concerned of exile as I was in loosing the Force forever. Such fear made me put my hands together and lower my head to beg. “Please... don’t do this. I need your aid.”

“You have brought this upon yourself. Considering what you’ve done, you are fortunate to be able to walk out of here.” Zez Kae Ell said.

"Yes! I know that I brought this upon myself! I was wrong! Please... help me."

"You will face the consequence of your actions. We will not grant you asylum for what you've done." Vrook said, void of any sympathy.

“Please! Exile me... imprison me if you must, but don’t leave me like this!”

“No. She would just join Revan again. If she’s beneath his gaze, he’ll leave her behind.” Atris justified.

I turned to face my once-loyal friend and shouted, my voice breaking up. “Shut up! How could you say that?!”

Atris looked upon me pitifully, but remained silent. Then sat back in her chair, arms folded as if to show me her contempt and superiority. I couldn't understand why she was being so cruel to me then of all the times. How could she have been so angry at me?

Kavar had not said anything all that session and I couldn’t believe he would stand for any of it. I got in front of him to know if he had turned on me like Atris, or if he was just letting things happen without being a part of it. I brought myself to eye level and asked softly, “Master Kavar... please help me. Please tell me at least that you believe me.”

Kavar’s stoic expression began to break and he looked up to the other masters as if to silently ask them to reconsider, but he turned his gaze back on me. Then he showed a very pained expression and said he was sorry.

I was close to tears, blinking to keep them hidden. There seemed little point anymore, but I didn’t want that to be the last thing they saw of me. I moved back to the center of the room and waited to hear their final words.

Zez Kae Ell started the final verdict. “Know that there is no going back on this decision. You have shut us out and so shut yourself out to the galaxy.”

Vash stood up and got in front of me to say it directly. “Alexandra Tydings, you are exiled from the Jedi Order. You will not be held on trial for your crimes, but you are banished from here and every other Jedi outpost.”

Those words made the tears I was holding back pour from my eyes and stream down my cheeks. It was so painful to have lost everything that mattered to me. Jedi were supposed to have nothing to lose, which was why they didn’t allow love or close friendships, but even then they had the Force. I was left alone and blind with nowhere to go and nothing of my life left except the memories to remind me of what I once held most dear.

I turned around to leave that place forever, but before I reached the door, I heard Vrook’s voice again. “There is one more thing... your lightsabers... surrender them to us.”

No, not quite everything. All I had left were the two lightsabers attached to my belt, but I had been ordered to surrender even them. That command filled me with such fury that I shot around and shrieked, “I’ve already given everything I had! How can you ask for more?!”

Vrook stood up and took Vash’s place near the center stone. “A lightsaber is the symbol of the Jedi, a title you are no longer worthy of. Give them to me.”

I stared at him in disbelief. Although I didn’t really have much sentimental value for my lightsabers, they were all that I had left and I was determined not to lose them. I got in Vrook’s face to defy him one more time. “I’m exiled, remember? I don’t take orders from you!”

When I turned around to walk away, I heard that geezer’s voice again. “You will not carry anything of the Jedi out of here. If you do not give them up willingly, they will be taken from you.”

I turned around when I got to the door to the chamber and pulled out the weapons, but not activating them. “Then you’ll have to take them, or let me leave.” I turned back one last time and went down the hallway, waiting for Vrook to stop me, but nothing happened.

When I was at the opposite entrance, I heard someone coming behind me and I was going to defend myself... there was nothing left to lose anymore. When I activated the sabers, I turned back and crossed their green blades in front to threaten... Kavar? I guess that he intended to try and convince me to give them up, but I was determined not trust him again.

He was taken by surprise and almost ran right into the blades. “Alexandra...! Please don’t do this.”

“Why didn’t you defend me?! How could you and Atris betray me?! I never offended either of you... how could you...?!” Saying those words were painful. Kavar was my friend and when I needed him most, he again chose the Council over me. Just the thought made me weep intensly and as I broke down in tears. My arms lost all their strength, pulled down by the weight of the sabers. I lacked the strength to hold them at all... slipping from my grip and blades retracting before clattering on the floor.

Kavar had brought me into an embrace, if only to let me cry on his shoulder. He still regarded me as a friend and somehow, just knowing he still cared meant more than anything else... even if he wouldn’t defend me. He helped me into a room beyond the Council’s sight and sat me down on one of the benches before taking a seat next to me.

For a long moment, there was a painful silence worse than any I've ever felt. It was almost as though because there was nothing that could be done, there was nothing that could be said. I looked deep into his eyes with my tears clearly visible. “Please... I’m desperate. Living without the Force... it hurts.”

“I’m sorry, Alexandra, but we can’t help you.”

“Can’t... or won’t?!” I explaimed with my voice breaking.

He put his hands on my shoulders as if to keep me still. “We can’t... because we really don’t know what happened to you over Malachor V. We don’t even know how you’re still alive.”

Hearing such things almost increased the magnitude of the pain. The only thing that has kept me alive was the hope that I would hear the Force again. Even that hope was dying. “But why are you sending me away? Because of Malachor? I was just trying to save as many lives as possible.”

“I’m... not at liberty to discuss it. I’m sorry.”

“Do you think that makes it easier for me?! That it’s for a good reason... but that you won’t tell me what it is?” I shoved him away and stood up to shriek with all the anger I had within the remnants of my soul. “That’s exactly what they said before the Mandalorians invaded... and look what happened! Look how many of them followed Revan!”

He stood up and held me close as he rubbed my back and shoulders as if he were my master. He then whispered into my ear, “Once, you told me that the Council lost so many of their followers because they never explained the reason for judgment. You said it was foolish to assume your followers would blindly follow whatever orders you gave. Do you remember that?"

I nodded, my head against his shoulder. "All reason said they were wrong, but they just told everyone to stay calm. Never did they justify their wisdom."

"What if you heard a friend telling you?” He pulled me back to look into my eyes. “Would you trust me enough to believe there is good reason for why we do this? Would you believe me if I tell you that this is in your best interests?”

I showed no confidence to him. How could he expect me to believe such a thing?

"If we could heal you, I would stop at nothing to help you. This isn't meant as punishment... if ever you are to heal, it's not here."

I stared at him as though it would be the last time we would see each other. The sadness in his eyes seemed genuine and I realize that exile was just as painful for him as it was for me. I don’t know why, but I felt that there had to be something left worth holding on to. If Kavar said this was for the best, I had to believe he was right, or all hope was lost. Although it was not a thing to value, hope was often all anyone had to hold on to. If there was anything in store for me in my future, it was more than what I had at the moment.

I embraced Kavar as if to say ‘yes’ in a way that mattered. “I wanted to cast my weapons aside and walk away for the last three years. Maybe now is the time for that.” I forced out a chuckle.

He smiled as if to show confidence in a moment of utter gloom. Neither of us were genuinely happy at that moment, but we tried to assure the other that it was alright. “I’ll keep your lightsabers safe. If you should find the Force again, they'll be waiting for you."

I took the lead and went through the outer door, where my lightsabers had been dropped and I took them both, ready to use them one last time. I didn't how how many deaths were brought by my weapons... I didn't know how much blood was on them, but the blood of two more were about to be added to the list... the two most important to me. The two that were trampled upon by the very ones I wanted to protect.

Kavar followed close behind as we entered the Council chamber, but when he extended his hands to officially take my weapons, I activated them and plunged the blades of energy into the center stone, destroying the symbols of ‘truth’ and ‘justice.’ The Council did not have the right to bear them any more than I had the right to bear my lightsabers. I couldn't help but feel as though I were destroying what they represented, but I was well aware that they were not recognized and that I was making the stone tell the truth.

I let go of them and the blades retracted again, hilts tumbling to the floor so that the last casualties of the Mandalorian Wars would forever be remembered. I turned to my shocked friend and spoke calmly, almost to gloat. “I’m sorry Master Kavar, but it doesn’t change what's happened here today.” After a brief pause to etch his face into my memory, I was ready to leave. “When you heal the stone and your hearts, perhaps then I will return."

I never looked back after that.

Tysyacha
04-25-2009, 07:23 PM
Incredible! This is a perfect model of the scenario I have always wished for in KOTOR II when the hologram of the Exile's trial is shown. The prime strength of this story is the way you caused me, the reader, to vacillate between the Council and the Exile. Whose side was I really on? Whom did I believe was the "good" guy in this story, and the "bad" guy? In the end, I decided that both the Exile and the Council were right, but for completely different reasons. Good show, Lady of the Sith! 8/10

machievelli
05-15-2009, 05:40 AM
Read

Burnseyy
06-04-2009, 09:00 AM
Yet another brilliant story, here. (: it really gave a better feel for what actually happened in that scene - you said all the things I wanted to say in the game!
I hope to see more of it.

Starsword
06-04-2009, 10:01 PM
Excellent piece, really gathers all of the feelings that were left broken before KOTOR I. Hope to see more of this.

Darth_Yuthura
06-19-2009, 06:19 PM
Sorry about the long delay. Thanks to those for reading. This is one of my favorite writings because it articulates so much of what I would have wanted to see in the original scene.

This actually was meant to be the last chapter of 'Prior to Exile,' but due to the lack of interest for that story; I just decided to abandon it. Instead I think 'Destined to Live' would have much more potential, both for the Exile and a KOTOR III conclusion of a sort.

I will occasionally have flashbacks to echo the Exile's time in war and just assume I would rather not be bound to follow events up to the KOTOR series. It's time to move forward.

Insignia_Enithma
06-20-2009, 07:51 AM
Wow, that was amazing. I notice a few msitakes and noted them in my ehad. The only one that comes to mind now was "I was logner in his circles" isntead of "I was no longer in his circles". It was very well put together.

HIGH ON PIE 14
06-21-2009, 02:37 AM
An extremely satisfying piece DY. This is more what the game should have been like though the game could never capture the emotion you did in this piece. The council members seemed to have fairly different initial impressions on the Exile. Initially she thought Kavar and Atris would be her allies yet Kavar did not supporther in front of the council. Atris was her worst enmy in there. Ininitially the exile seemed to most dread Vrook and of course she was right about his views.

Also the pillat at the end was a brilliant idea because not only was it symbolic of the death of truth justice; but also because there was actually a pillar in the game. You took a seemingly random object and gave it meaning.

I tend to agree with the exile over the council because while the council made many good points it seems their arguement is not very tangible and is based more on emotion than rationality. Certainly they made a good point about the deaths the exile caused but much of their arguement was based in "we are trying to see the deeper threat." Judging by how their other operations such as Katarr went, I'm would not put much stock in their abilities.

Over all its a great piece DY. :thmbup1: Sorry for my lateness in responding.

~HOP

Darth_Yuthura
06-21-2009, 03:20 AM
Also the pillat at the end was a brilliant idea because not only was it symbolic of the death of truth justice; but also because there was actually a pillar in the game. You took a seemingly random object and gave it meaning.

I tend to agree with the exile over the council because while the council made many good points it seems their arguement is not very tangible and is based more on emotion than rationality. Certainly they made a good point about the deaths the exile caused but much of their arguement was based in "we are trying to see the deeper threat." Judging by how their other operations such as Katarr went, I'm would not put much stock in their abilities.

Actually, I must give credit to Machievelli for the pillar. He came up with the Exile destroying the symbols and I reacted in the same way.

I did take it one step further by taking 'truth' and 'justice' and calling them the last casualties of the Mandalorian war. I believed that the Exile's trial was the last official act made in regards to the first war and that the Council brushed them aside in order to address the conflict that followed.

As for Malachor V... I had originally intended for this to be the last chapter of a story that won't be completed. I was going to have her become more involved in using Revan's tactics and fearing that she was going to be regarded as a war criminal throughout the story. After Malachor V, Malak torments her by saying the rest of the Galaxy knew about her part in the massacre. Just as she lost the Force, hearing that she had been declared a war criminal seemed to complete her suffering.