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Old 03-09-2006, 03:30 PM   #4
machievelli
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The Monk

He was tired. The cane he had carried as an affectation for 200 years was for the last five decade a necessity. He had traveled across half the galaxy to be here in this place at this time not from any solid reason. He was directed by the feelings of what his fellow monks had only begun to explore.

His home planet was unknown to these bustling people of a hundred or more worlds. This was something his race had agreed to back in their dim past when the Others struck at them. A primitive people, his forebears had hidden, something they had been quite good at. Able to disappear where there was no cover.

It had not worked with the Others. Huge creatures three times their height, the Others had tracked down and killed almost 80% of his people back then. They had been driven it seemed by a fury that never abated until finally they had fallen on each other in this fury. Why they had not simply destroyed the planet had never been understood. They had come, slaughtered, left few artifacts, and departed all in the space of a century.

The inquisitive secretive beings that had survived had discovered a wonder among the wreckage. An engine that moved itself through space as if the distance was not important. It had not been understood for almost a millennia, but his people were long lived, so that wasn’t the problem it might have been for more ephemeral beings. They worked on this interesting device at the same time working on their own minds. Something about the race had been a danger to those long ago enemies. Something that the remainder shared had been their salvation.

The engine was finally mated to a ship, and they traveled outward. They had no computers, and didn’t need them. The strength of what an old sage had called mind-glow drew them, and they moved toward it cautiously. Slowly, as if scouting for an enemy, they moved deeper into the Galactic darkness. They came across worlds shattered into ruin by their ancient enemy. Others battered until only remnants survived of their native populations. Others where the peoples that lived there had been transplanted for some unknown purpose. On each a single one of their people stayed. Concealing themselves they learned what they could.

They were still excellent at hiding. Invisible unless they wished to be seen...

Until one day on a planet where a native child had walked right up to the observer and asked what manner of creature he was. Stunned, the observer wished to flee, but something of the child’s wonder fed a yearning in the observer he did not even know existed before.

The young boy had taken what he took to be his new pet home, and the observer discovered that the boy was unique. A child of another race that held within him the same abilities his own people had. To touch that, that Force that seemed every present in the galaxy.

They grew to be friends, and when he discovered that his ‘pet’ was not only intelligent but sentient, the boy concealed this for fear that others might take him away. Together they explored the inner workings of their minds, found new places where each touched the Galaxy in ways no one else around them understood.

The boy began to drift away from his own society. He became an outcast, though only because he made others around him uncomfortable. They settled in the mountains overlooking the village of Knossa, and together they studied even harder. Some few began to make a pilgrimage to the rude shack they called home. Most came, and left confused. But a few stayed to learn.

In the fullness of time, the boy, now an old man died. His successor, named what was now a cloistered monastery after him.

A millennia ago that was now. The monks had spread very little. The jangling of the outside world bothered their search for the inner soul of all beings, and few liked leaving their cloister. When that first observer was ancient, and finally died, another of his race appeared to take his place. Always they kept their home concealed.

Dor was the fourth of his people to become a monk and join the order. Now he knew he would be replaced, because what he was about to do would end his life.

The auditorium was huge, stuffed with beings, all looking toward the podium where a human spoke. Dor stopped, looking down the steps. He knew the name of the man. Shoorilik, professor of hyper-physics of the premier university on Correllia. Behind him, looking very uncomfortable, were two younger beings also humans. Sighing, Dor surveyed the steps between him and the center, and began walking down a step at a time.

“...No one knows who they were.” Shoorilik said in answer to the question from a reporter. “All that is known is that there are copies of these engines, some working, and some not, on over 100 of the known worlds. The engines have been studied for almost two millennia without understanding a thing about their inner workings.

“However research on Coruscant over 100 years ago found a way to duplicate the effect on a larger scale with the development of the hyper-space cannon drive. But making them work as they sit, that has been impossible up until now.”

“But my readers do not understand what hyperspace even is!” A red Twi-lek complained. “Or how a hyper-cannon works.”

Shoorilik sighed. considering your readership, you’re people don’t even understand how the sun comes up. He wanted to say. “Hyper-physics is not for everyone. But we have created a visual demonstration for you. Lights.”

The lights dimmed, and in the center of the room above the professor’s head, a model of a hyper-cannon appeared. “A hyper-cannon focuses energy on what we call the Landau wall, the junction between our four dimensions, and the other eighteen believed to exist in current theory. The wall is like a piece of elastic, stretching ahead of you as you push.”

On the screen, a man was pushing his hand against a sheet or elastic, the fabric deforming and holding until he had leaned all of his weight against it, but remained unbroken.

“This is what traveling between our stars was like before the invention of the hyper-cannon. The more force exerted trying to gain speed, the less acceleration you are able to gain because the wall stretches, keeping you within 4D space. However discoveries on Coruscant showed that these still functioning engines would propel objects faster than light, meaning the Landau wall did not apply.”

On the screen, the man had taken a knife, and pushed the blade easily through the elastic.

“The way a hyper-cannon works is simple. A ship approaches it at a set vector and speed. The hyper-cannon’s capacitors are charged to a level necessary to break the Landau wall, and translation occurs.”

The bright bead approached the model hyper-cannon, and as it reached the filaments left by the capacitors, the breech, suddenly the bead stretched until it was a rod which vanished out of the cannon‘s muzzle.

“Well said, Professor.” Another reporter, human this time said. “However that doesn’t explain why it is easier to travel here from Brentaal than it is from Coruscant.”

“Space differently bends in some places.” All eyes turned to the stairway, when a wizened tiny figure approached. He paused in his descent, leaning two tridactyl hands on his short cane, green ears flicking back and forth. “Structure like paper weaker which is folded and bent.” He looked around blandly. “Corridors this makes between some stars, and others not.”

“An excellent theory, Doctor..?”

“Doctor am I not. Monk of Monastery of Jedi I am.” He replied. “Brother Dor I am called.”

Shoorilik looked confused. “This meeting is for scientists and the press, Brother Dor. Why are you here?” He worried because half a dozen crack-pot cults had condemned the test that was planned because it violated the will of whatever god they worshiped.

“Crack-pot I am not.” Dor said, seeing the flinch, and smiling. “Brotherhood of Jedi exploring unknown are interested in.”

“I have never heard of your order, Brother.” A reporter commented. “Jedi?”

“Founder of the order he was. Name we took memory to honor.” Dor looked down. “Only seat down there is. If I may walk continue?”

“Please.” Shoorilik motioned toward the seat. “To continue, the monk’s theory does explain a lot of what hyper-physicist see in the ease with which transit can be made on the three routes so far explored. To use his own analogy, you follow the fold of the paper from Brentaal to Corellia, but have to cross the fibers of it from Coruscant.

“Back to our subject, thanks to a young genius here at the Corellian Hyper-space institute named Koori Deralo, we believe that the first actual human designed hyper-drive is ready for test.”

“But it is within a ship, instead of surrounding it!” A reporter, this one Kubaz protested. “It is a violation of hyper-physics-” He spun glaring at the small figure still toiling down the stairs. “If you are going to speak, don’t mumble!”

Dor paused. “Violation of intelligence that you speak of that know you do not.” Dor said loud clear. “Original engine not outside ship. Unless miniscule creators were.”

There was a ripple of laughter.

“Again our friend the monk is correct. These were found inside vessels, some of them massive, discovered on a number of worlds. They had to have driven those vessels, therefore the effect must extend beyond what is known to us.

“Student Deralo is credited with finding a way to fuel an engine and rebuild parts that had corroded beyond use. With his modifications, we believe that a small ship will be able to travel without using hyper-cannon.”

“Fuel is what?” Dor had finally reached the floor, and was finally seated.

Shoorilik blinked. He could have sworn the little being had been twenty meters away from the seat only a moment ago.

“Hydrogen fusion with the plasma directed into the engine through shielded baffles.”

“Work it would. Like hammer hitting nutshell with. But will work well.”

“So glad you approve.” one of the young men commented.

Dor looked at the boy. So this was the one. “Name you have I may here?”

“Darshan Solo. I’m going to fly the ship.”

“Elegance problem is, not complaint. When alone is hammer you have, it must suffice.”

The meeting went on for another hour. Finally the last questions had been asked and answered, and the reporters surged in a body toward the exits. Darshan stood, then loosened the braid that held his hair, shaking it out into an ebon sheet.

“Chosen has destination been?” He looked down. The only ones in the crowd not moving were himself, Koori and Dor.

“Yes it has. Why?”

“Go with you I must.”

“You’re out of your tiny little mind.” Darshan retorted then stormed out.

“With you I shall go, little human.” Dor said.


'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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