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Old 04-20-2006, 08:17 PM   #2
machievelli
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Confrontation

Breia Solo wasn’t sure what was the biggest mistake. Coming home, staying more than a few days, or... Becoming a Jedi Monk.

Breakfast was always the worse. Mother would not have left for her office yet, Father was working at home, and she didn’t have any missions assigned.

The pity was the worst though. Breia Sookor Bai Echana, master of the Coruscant Monastery had looked at her, with pity. How she could tell that a woman without sight was looking at her with pity had been was unclear.

Little one, you need some time to yourself.

But Master, I must go have something to do! There are dozens of missions that must be handled-

All true. But the last mission was... painful.

Pain is part of life, Master. I can’t just sit here and think of how my Master died.

Yet if you do not listen to me and do as you are bid, that is exactly what you will do. His death was regrettable. However I have studied all of the reports. From both you and the surveillance systems. The odds were that neither of you would walk out alive. Thank the force you did.

But if I had moved a bit faster. Not hesitated-

Might have been is never something to examine too closely. Whatever you might have done is unimportant. You made a decision. It was neither right nor wrong. It was and is what happened.

I know. But my hesitation killed Master Werron.

No, the Noghri did. Did your hesitation lead to his death? I think not.

You have always been unwilling to punish me, Master.

Why? Because you bear my name? Because you are the daughter of good friends? No. I have been as harsh as you needed. No more, no less. Now you have a choice. You may go to the mother monastery of Ossus for a time. There are those that can learn from you. This ability you have with machines... It is frightening to one such as me even as it is astonishing and wonderful.

It frightens you?

I spent my early life learning the song of steel, how to hear it, and adjust it to perfection. Now this would make everything I learned before I was 20 worthless. It is no longer the song of the steel, but wave fluctuations, and sonic modulations. Soon the weapons I made will be curious artifacts of a bygone time. Perhaps not long after I will join them.

Master you cannot die!

Padawan, death is nature’s way of telling you your to stop doing that. When I die it will be my time. As Master Werron knew. It is the opinion of the Council that you will take a two week sabbatical. Either you will go to Ossus, go on vacation, or go home.


Breia had chosen the one that seemed least painful, or so she thought at the time. It had been a rough decade at the Monastery. Learning how to forge her own sword, to move silent and unnoticed. To use that Force that existed to do things that were magical to the uninitiated.

But first had come the interest she had discovered in music which had blossomed into an interest in sound itself. Finally the breakthrough. The sword she now bore was the crowning achievement. A blade that used directed sound to turn any blade into a blade like the Jedi Monks used, and had used for over two decades.

Part of the problem had been that metallurgy had progressed. When those who would oppose the Jedi originally had faced the new weapon their armor had been useless. Now there were signs that composite armors with woven sections of monomolecular cloth had limited but not negated that weapon. A blade no longer merely sliced through them, but had to cut as would a normal blade. Her new design, a vibrating metal blade with sonic vibrations to cause material to vibrate away from it seemed to be the answer. One of the Masters had called it a vibroblade.

But when it came time to use it for the first time she had hesitated, as if she were a first year Apprentice unwilling to try her blade on the flesh of another. She knew it would slide through the flesh as easily as it had sliced through 20 centimeter battle steel in demonstrations. But for some reason she had hesitated.

And her Master had died.

Her father Darshan Solo grunted as she entered the dining room. He had a stack of fanfold readouts that were almost a third of a meter thick on his right side, and as he ate, he would flip the pages by. CEC was having a rough year. The Kuati yards had started to produce a new model of medium transport, making the entire newly designed ships of the same class by CEC obsolete and overpriced. Her godfather Koori Deralo had spent months redesigning the ships and the factories to make them faster and cheaper. A lot of workers had been laid off because the new fully automated systems had made them redundant.

But Darshan and Koori had agreed that they couldn’t merely throw talented men to the four winds. Between them they had found other jobs for a lot of them. But the acrimony of the few that refused other work was wearing.

Her mother Holani came in. Like her husband, she had her own work. But hers was on a pad with bloodthirsty threats engraved on the casing, and a print scanner to tell not only if she was authorized, but to notify the CSS if someone tried without that authorization. She smiled lightly at her daughter, kissed Darshan on the cheek, and sat, pulling the plate of eggs and pancakes to her. Breia wondered where her mother put all the calories. All her life she had fought gaining weight. She took after her father in that. The once rail thin young man had become a stocky middle aged man. But her mother could eat as if there were no tomorrow, and not gain a kilo. It was frustrating.

“So, what have you planned for today?” Darshan asked, looking up from the paper without moving his head.

“I was going to go to the museum. Get my head straight, father.”

“What is the problem now?” He leaned back, picking up the cup of tea. “Still having problems with that sound sword of yours?”

“No, Father. I worked out what was wrong.” She shoved the remnants of meat and egg around on the plate. “I just need to think about where my life is going.”

“Heavy thoughts for one your age.” Holani commented. She poured cream into her tea, adding enough sweetener to stun a diabetic. She didn’t drink tea, she drank a warm tea flavored milk shake every morning.

“It’s that last mission. I heard-”

“You heard what, father?” The tone was not light in any way. Wars had started with that tone of voice.

“Breia sent me a letter-”

“Oh she did.” The tone went even flatter. Cities had died when men gave orders in that tone of voice. “What did my dear master have to say?”

“Breia.” Holani looked up. “It’s not polite to interrogate your father. Let him finish a simple statement. Then you can rip out his liver.”

“You’re not helping, mother. Well?”

“You were in the postscript. She has been asked to mediate a labor dispute here on Corellia. She said in passing that if you liked, she would come by and spend some time with you.”

“That does not answer my question.”

“She said the last mission was rough. Your master died, and you thought it was your fault-”

The silverware Breia had been holding slammed down as she stood. “I am an adult, Father. You and Breia can’t seem to get that through your thick heads but I am quite capable of mulling over what is wrong with my life without parents and teachers getting together to discuss it!” She threw her napkin down. “I am going out. I will be home when I decide to be home.”

“Breia-”

“Just for once I am going to do what I want father! If I want to get falling down not sure of who took to bed drunk, I will. Is. That. Clear?”

Holani set down her cup. “We have been informed, my daughter. Do what you will.”

The girl stormed from the room. Darshan almost stood to follow her, but Holani motioned for him to stop.

“Darshan, we can’t live her life for her.”

“But she’s in pain, Damnit! Can’t Breia see that?”

Holani sighed, picking up her cup again. “Our daughter is grown, my love. As much as we might want to shield her from life, she is an adult and can make any decision she wants, no matter how stupid that decision is to us.” She sipped. “We didn’t have this much angst when Koori went into the Academy at 14.”

“Yeah, but Koori was only 200 kilometers away. He could come home for dinner any time he wanted to. But Breia had to go to Coruscant. A week away by ship.”

“The Master explained that to us at the time.” Holani commented.

“I understand that having a doting parent there every second near enough to intervene would affect her training. I understand that without that training she would never become what she has. But my love they stole my daughter from me at six, and returned that!” He waved toward the door. “She is our daughter, and I love her, but... She isn’t the child she was.”

“Of course not.” Holani poured and mixed her tea, taking her time to think about what to answer. Finally she sipped. “She takes after me, just as Koori took after you. To her a ship is something to fly, and she does it well. But it is not the be all and end all that it was to you. I have always been the kind that would unscrew the inscrutable. You knew that when you met me. She sees everything around her as patterns of this Force they go on about. She know that somehow if she reaches out at just the right point, she can change the galaxy.

“But seeing it and knowing how to fix it is always different. How many times have I been frustrated from work and couldn’t explain why to you?”

“Too often than I care to think about.” He admitted.

“Yet I spring back. She will learn to spring back, Darshan. Trust me on that.”

“I do.” He whispered, sitting down again. His hand groped across, and found hers. “It’s just... I always had in my mind what I would do as a father. I couldn’t protect my children from everything, but I swore to try! I can’t bear to see her in pain.”

“Nor I. But as Breia told you, this is something she must work out for herself.”

The communications annunciator sounded and Holani reached across. “Solo here.”

“Miss Solo, we have a sealed communication from Captain Koori Solo.”

“Send it on.”

“Ma’am, it’s not for you. It’s addressed to Breia Solo.”

Holani’s eyes showed nothing. “Send it on, I will get it to her.” She inserted a common pad into the slot, and caught it as it popped out. “I will catch our daughter. Darshan my love, why don’t you go test fly something. I hear the new Saber will be quite a handful.”

“I’m sure you did, since I told you.” He waved. “Go. I will pretend I am a complete idiot and don’t notice anything until she’s cooled her jets. All right?”

“The man I love finally learns some tact.” Holani kissed him gently.

“Tact. That’s a word in the dictionary between tacky and tardy, right?”


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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