SW: TOR: Trust Me
(TL;DR Warning--This is L-O-N-G because, as Ricky says on "I Love Lucy", I've "got 'splaining to do!" Mood Music: Dmitri Shostakovich's "Waltz No. 2" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYhZVqODYsI If you read this, please post a review. Mach's gone!) :(
SW: TOR: TRUST ME
Part Nine of an Old Republic Tale by MsFicwriter
JEDI TEMPLE, GROVES OF REFLECTION, 1600 HOURS
After being so coldly dismissed by Master Karos, who had helped me to plumb the secrets of the Sith holocron, there was only one place to which I could flee in order to collect my thoughts. The Groves of Reflection near our Temple bore their name for good reason. As it turned out, however, someone was already there...
"Padawan?" asked Qyzen Fess, with a quick turn of his reptilian head. "Has sssomething happened?" With his clawed right hand, he motioned for me to sit with him near the fountain. I did so, folding my legs into a meditative position. I felt like crying, but didn't want to do so in front of him. Jedi were supposed to be above such uncontrolled outbursts of emotion, and I was afraid Qyzen would see it as weakness. Nevertheless, I could hardly keep my voice from trembling.
"It's Tamara: the girl I dueled. She's been using a Sith holocron, which we discovered on our crystal cavern expedition, to..." I blurted out my account of the past several hours, including finding the dead kognath queen. Qyzen's eyes gave a distressed flash at this. As I explained the story of Revan and his disappearance, the Trandoshan grew even more concerned. He remained silent as I told the rest of my tale, though he was itching to interject. When I finished, he hissed:
"A fellow Padawan of yours, who calls herself a Jedi, wishes to locate a Sith Lord, redeemed or not, and has utilized a Sssith instrument to try and do so. Why would she jeopardize her own position among the Order more than she already has by attempting to fight you to the death?"
"I don't know," I answered, my throat clenching. "Maybe she thinks that if she finds Revan, she can convince him to halt the upcoming war between the Republic and the Sith Empire. Either that, or Tamara wants power. Revan was--is--one of the most powerful Force users of his time. There's no one better to apprentice oneself to if one seeks complete mastery of it."
Qyzen gave a soft snort. "A foolish goal, and a foolish girl."
I had to pause and reflect on this before speaking again. "I agree," I finally said, "but only up to a point. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that Tamara wants to do the heroic thing and stop the war. Let's also say that she locates Revan."
"Granted," answered the Trandoshan. "However, what would compel him to try and end the war between the Republic and the Empire before it even ssstarts? He had a crucial reason for his disappearance, and therefore it must be strong indeed."
"You have a point," I conceded, "but he's a redeemed Sith Lord. He has found his way back to the Light, and so perhaps by intervening, he'd make the final amends for his past murders and atrocities. I hope Revan would consider that enough."
"Perhaps so, but perhaps not. I have committed my own share of wrongs, and sssomething tells me that for people such as Revan, they will never cease proving they're sorry. I have another question: Is he so potent, so mighty in the Force, that he can single-handedly avert a war that's been brewing for centuries? For all his strength and power, he is only one man. Given what we know about him, he'll be a crumbling shell emerging from cryostasis, if he still lives!"
Nodding uncomfortably, I tried to speak up in defense of Tamara--and Revan. "In these dark times, we have to do all we can to try and prevent disaster."
"Yes, but to risk one's status, and one's life, upon the proverbial shot in the dark? Trust me: if I were you, I'd rely far more upon those alive and present right now, including your Master Yun. Ssspeaking of which, where is he?" As if on cue, a tall and familiar figure ran across the rippling grass toward us. He carried a satchel for traveling.
"Per'dra!" he cried. I froze up. Master Yun never called me that unless he was saying goodbye for a prolonged period of time--or headed into mortal danger. "I'm sorry, but the time has come for me to depart for Coruscant. I would take you with me, Padawan, but I cannot. Not this time." As I raised an eyebrow, he continued: "These aren't simply negotiations, even highly difficult ones. If they were, you would be at my side. Those who will be with me, my contacts and allies, have planned lethal espionage missions while we're not in neutral council rooms, debating with Imperial agents."
Master Yun took a deep breath. "We want to discover what the Sith are truly planning, and may lose our lives in the process. I don't want you to lose yours."
Squaring my shoulders, I said, "I'm willing to take that risk, Master."
He looked pained, despite his efforts to suppress that emotion. "You may be willing, Padawan, but not ready," he replied. "Everyone else on these missions is either a fellow Jedi Master, a senior Republic official, or a top-level intelligence officer. Not all of us are going to be coming back alive."
I shut my eyes. "I understand, but that doesn't mean I agree at all..."
Taking my hands in his, he said, "I ask you to trust me in this. Master Karos will be your teacher for the time being, until--if--I return. For the good of the Republic, we must both lay our feelings aside so that war can be averted."
Opening my eyes, I whispered: "That doesn't mean I won't think of you." I meant miss you, but I decided to use more neutral terminology. "Be careful, and send out a message through the Force if you're in great peril."
"You might indeed sense one from me, but don't go playing hero and follow it." His hazel eyes were cold warning beacons. "If you do, you may be exiled from the Jedi Order for your disobedience." A pause. "Master Karos is waiting. She wishes to discuss further training with you."
"Am I supposed to trust her, too?" What?! Why had I said that?...
"Implicitly." Unreservedly, and without question. She was a Jedi Master, after all.
With that, Master Yun left for his shuttle, and Qyzen Fess and I were left alone.
"Let's go see what she has to sssay," said the Trandoshan, a bit warily.
One thing I always love to see in fantasy is the more human side of it, which you have captured very well. Believing ourselves to know better than our superiors and being willing to sacrifice just about anything to prove it, is something we've all experienced, whether we're right or wrong. Every fantasy world is ultimately populated by people, human or otherwise, and in the end, how believable you make them is what really matters.
*blush* Thank you so much! :) Something just felt "right" about this installment, and you helped me put my finger on it. ;)
I agreed with Alkoniu's comments when I finally read this
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