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Old 11-10-2006, 03:06 PM   #2
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Chapter 1


Six months earlier...

"Kevannis!" The voice was sharp and startled Jast out of his thoughts. "Understand that, when you face Sith, you face death. In light of that, you cannot be daydreaming so constantly."

Jast frowned at the speaker. "I'm sorry Padawan, but I don't know your name." He stared at her for a moment before continuing. "I was instructed to wait here until my dueling trial-master should arrive."

"Your dueling trial-master is here," was the quick reply. "My name is Reibé Vailar."

"Is this some kind of joke?" Jast demanded incredulously, getting to his feet and approaching Reibé. From his height of six feet, he towered over her by nearly a foot. "You can't be more than seventeen!"

"Run my name through your head until you understand," she told him, staring directly into his eyes and somehow managing to be intimidating, even from her short height. Jast did as he was told and took a step back.

"Sith Hunter?" he gasped. She nodded.

"Their leader," she agreed. "Lesson number one; never underestimate your opponent, no matter what they look like."

"I am sorry, Hunter Vailar," Jast said, bowing slightly. "As I have never seen you before, there is no way I'd have known..."

"You should be sorry for yourself," Reibé interrupted. "That you were arrogant enough to assume I was nothing more than a student."

She circled him slowly. "How are you with a blade?"

"One of the best," Jast answered immediately. "None of the other padawans can..."

"Begin," Reibé cut in. Before Jast quite understood what was happening, he found himself flat on his back, a burnt-orange lightsaber blade in his face. Shaking her head slowly, Reibé deactivated her saber and reached out to help Jast stand. He refused the hand, calling on the Force to spring back to his feet.

"Lesson number two; always be on your guard," the Sith Hunter told Jast. He laughed.

"What, I'm still learning?" he retorted. Reibé looked at him disapprovingly.

"A person is never done learning," she answered. "Even I, after 300 years of constant training and fighting. I'm sure there are things I can learn from you."

"I doubt it," Jast was quick to say. Reibé merely smiled.

"Everyone has something to offer," she said. "What are you good at, Jast?"

"Dueling," Jast answered immediately. Without a word, Reibé activated her saber once more. Jast switched on his blue saber and attacked. They sparred for a few moments before Reibé spoke.

"Lesson number three," she said. "If you can surprise your opponent, do so."

With that, she activated the second blade of her staff, cutting at Jast's legs with it while blocking his sideward slash. Surprised, he jumped up and back, avoiding her blades entirely. Before he had time to recover, she was on him again, saber flashing at him almost too quickly to catch. Still trying to retreat, Jast barely managed to deflect the majority of her blows. The ones he missed singed his clothes, proving exactly how much control this woman had.

Suddenly, Jast, tripped and lost his grip on his lightsaber. It skittered away across the hard floor and Jast again found himself staring at a burnt-orange blade. A few moments passed and Reibé still kept her blade in his face. Finally, she pulled away and again offered her hand to him. Again, he leapt to his feet, calling his lightsaber to his hand as he did so.

"Understand this," Reibé told him, "you will not likely find yourself in combat with one as well trained as I am."

She attacked slower this time, allowing Jast the time to consider her attack strategy and counter it. Then, she surprised him, deviating from her former strategy and attacking him in an entirely different way.

"Lesson number four; be prepared for anything," she said. "Don't get so caught up in routine you don't see your opponent's movements have changed."

"Reibé!" a voice called from the door. She turned.

"We are needed?" she asked. The man at the door nodded.

"Tanith Vessa," he answered. Reibé groaned and hurried toward the door, deactivating her lightsaber and hooking it to her belt.

"Schutta won't give up!" she growled, rushing out the door.

"Did I..." Jast called after her.

"You pass!" she yelled back to him, already out the door. "You pass!"

Moments later, Master Vanzin entered the room to find Jast sitting at its center, staring into nothing.

"I passed," he said quietly as his master approached him.

"Sith Hunter Vailar has a powerful voice," Vanzin chuckled. "The entire Temple knows. Congratulations... Knight Kevannis."


Mom tells me I need brain food... but if writing ain't that, I don't know what is!

My work in progress:
Hidden Histories: The Galaxy Hacker

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