Thread: [Fic] Prior to Exile
View Single Post
Old 10-13-2008, 11:47 AM   #13
Darth_Yuthura
Banned
 
Status: Banned
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Vienna
Posts: 1,585
Current Game: KOTOR III
Chapter 3: Putting the Genie Back into the Bottle

I was filled with discord and concerned that the war I have been dreading for years could erupt at any moment. Before I had addressed Alek, I was in a mindset that there were at least two or three months before the volcano finally exploded. After that, I was left with great anxiety and feared that those few months of peace would have to be sacrificed because there would be no time to make preparations before the first shot was fired.

I tried to debate the matter in my mind by asking ‘what if’ questions and trying to account for all the factors involved to make a decision. I kept coming to the same end results... the Republic Fleet wouldn’t respond quickly enough to confront a Mandalorian invasion force before dozens of planets are ravaged in the opening days of hostilities. There was no outcome I could think of where the Senate would choose to transfer a significant portion of the fleet to those systems most in need of defense.

No matter how much I tried, there were always going to be too many issues to deal with them all at once. Politics seemed to trump everything because the conflict of interests stopped progress from being made. Instead of trying to unify everyone in the Republic under one standard, many senators have divided the interests even further by making demands that benefit them at the expense of another.

The problem I saw which eclipsed everything was Couriscant. Everyone on this planet lives in peace and luxury while worlds like Chin’taka are in poverty and constant fear of being overrun by the Mandalorians when they invade. Few really compare Couriscant’s importance to that of the impoverished worlds not among the Core Systems, but they are not as interdependent as citizens I was filled with discord and concerned that the war I have been dreading for years could erupt at any moment. Before I had addressed Alek, I was in a mindset that there were at least two or three months before the volcano finally exploded. After that, I was left with great anxiety and feared that those few months of peace would have to be sacrificed because there would be no time to make preparations before the first shot was fired.

I tried to debate the matter in my mind by asking ‘what if’ questions and trying to account for all the factors involved to make a decision. I kept coming to the same end results... the Republic Fleet wouldn’t respond quickly enough to confront a Mandalorian invasion force before dozens of planets are ravaged in the opening days of hostilities. There was no outcome I could think of where the Senate would choose to transfer a significant portion of the fleet to those systems most in need of defense.

No matter how much I tried, there were always going to be too many issues to deal with them all at once. Politics seemed to trump everything because the conflict of interests stopped progress from being made. Instead of trying to unify everyone in the Republic under one standard, many senators have divided the interests even further by making demands that benefit them at the expense of another.

The problem I saw which eclipsed everything was Couriscant. Everyone on this planet lives in peace and luxury while worlds like Chin’taka are in poverty and constant fear of being overrun by the Mandalorians when they invade. Few really compare Couriscant’s importance to that of the impoverished worlds not among the Core Systems, but they are not as interdependent as citizens believe. Couriscant is densely populated, so it would obviously have to import all its food and energy from other systems, but there is almost nothing that it returns to the Republic other than being a hub for transportation and economics. It took advantage of the less fortunate worlds because it was more critical than a boarder world like Chin’taka, so it took priority.

If the citizens on Couriscant were to simply realize that they had life so easy because the worlds that were under threat were being exploited. It sounded harsh, but the Republic was greatly divided between the Core Systems and non-Core Worlds. Despite the democracy and despite being unified under one banner, the Republic was very isolationist with members putting their own interests before that of the state.

The warships orbiting Couriscant were of no use to anyone unless it was expected that all the worlds between them and the Mandalorians would be occupied first. They were so selfish to hoard such assets when they were needed above Ambria, Chin’taka, and Juvex. If war was inevitable, it made more sense to create a fortified perimeter along the Mandalorian boarder so that instead of throwing other worlds under the bus, the fleet would just as effectively stop the threat thousands of lightyears away. It was tactically the best way of protecting the most territory with the fewest warships, but economics and politics again overtook logic.

I knew it wasn’t as simple as all that, but it was just impossibly difficult to manage such an elaborate system as the Republic and keep it functioning, let alone to act in unison for a common interest. The problem was that the interests of Couriscant did not involve addressing a threat that they likely would never have to worry about. If the citizens realized that losing a few hundred planets would mean having to pay more for energy and the goods imported from other worlds, then that would be enough of a reason I would think. Even then, they don’t really consider the consequences of others would directly affect them. The whole issue with the Mandalorian threat was depressing to think about.

-----

Master Kavar was not the one who instructed me, but I felt we were as close as any pair could be. Had he not been a Council member, I would have relished learning the ways of the jedi under his guidance. Although Master Negato was also a great master, he and I never were as close as I felt to Kavar. He and I seemed very alike in the way we thought and acted, but it was in our ability to analyze problems and come up with solutions that we kept conversing back and forth over the years.

Whenever he had the time, we spent time sparing while talking about anything and everything. It was as if we attacked with both weapons and words at the same time. Recently, however, he has not had much time for sparring, but he said I could still come by and talk to him while he went through the endless paperwork that he was buried in.

I was surprised just how much it lifted my spirit to see him in his office with all his attention to the datapadd he was working with. It was as if there was nothing other than what he had in his hands. That was one of the things I admired about him... he knew how to block distractions and only focus on what was important to the situation. Although I would have left him to his work, I really felt I needed advice right then, so I got in his doorway and he addressed me before scarcely looking up from his work. “How is Alexandra today?”

I don’t know why, but the grim expression I wore had vanished and it just seemed comforting to see Kavar, so I smiled... if only to not let my grim feelings be contagious. “Could be better... but then I could worse. So I’m satisfied. What is Master Kavar’s mission today?”

He chuckled, still focused on the datapadd, but pulled his head up for a few seconds to talk to me directly. “I’ve been presented with a battle plan from a Senator in regards to... you know about that proposed Republic fleet deployment to Cathar and Serocco. I heard you stood up to Alek and dissected the flaws without even seeing this.” He gestured to the pad in his hand. “I must say I’m impressed because even when I first saw this, it would have taken me a lot longer to realize that the Mandalorians would not have gone head on into a fleet engagement where all the advantages were on our side.”

I had taken a seat and intended to go into detail about that, but had a chilling realization. “Wait... how did you know about that?”

“I got this from one of the senators. He wanted to get my feedback on the proposed...”

“No, I mean how did you know that I stood up to Alek?”

His eyes wandered briefly as if wondering why I even asked. “Atris told me about it. Although you were right, I wouldn’t have done that...”

I sprung out of the chair and was almost taken by panic. “Atris!” Then I went for the door and quickly turned back to bow to Kavar. “I’m sorry, please excuse me.” Then I turned into the hallway before he could say “Of Course” and turn back to his work.

Atris spread gossip faster than anyone, so I had to intercept her as quickly as possible before she could ruin everything... now I’m acting to help keep Alek and Revan’s deceitful plans secret. The thought made me uncomfortable, but I tried to nurture my moral sense of right and wrong by telling myself that I was just cleaning up a mistake that I made. If I had not been so defiant, I did not have to chase down Atris.

-----

I knew Atris was in the Jedi Archives because that’s where she spent almost all her free time... head buried in books almost as often as she logged onto the network. Despite the fact that she had gone to Master Kavar after the lecture, I guess it was instinct that I assumed she didn’t have elsewhere to go... I was right.

I found her going through one of the shelves of the paper book section, looking for something specific when she caught sight of me. A gave me a dumb grin. “Alexandra... I think this is the first time you’ve ever been in here.” She meant the book section and not the archives altogether.

“I’m not here for an ancient book. How many people have to talked to since the lecture?”

“What?”

“You told Master Kavar of how I stood up to Alek. Have you said that to anyone else?”

“No. Why?”

“Because I was wrong. I shouldn’t have gone in front of everyone and publicly humiliate him.”

He crossed her arms in a relaxed and almost jocular way. “I thought it was about time that someone stood up and put him in his place. He was being disrespectful of the Council and you brought up a good point. War is not our way.”

“I embarrassed myself just then and I don’t want that to become any more public than I already made it. Can you please assure me that you won’t speak of it again?”

She looked at me as though I were being coerced or threatened. “What did he say to you? Why are you suddenly saying the opposite of what you meant before?”

“We spoke of military tactics, something that doesn’t interest you, and I was wrong about what I brought up earlier. I just don’t want to leave people with the implication that I knew better than Alek.”

“I think you were right. You said that the Republic wasn’t ready for war and even if they were, it was better that the others not believe war to be the best solution. The Council would never be moved by such rubbish either.”

I put my hands on her shoulders. “Please! Please respect my wishes and don’t speak of what happened again. I was wrong and I had embarrassed myself in front of a lot of people. I don’t want to have that be remembered.”

“So are you on their side now?”

That question had been nagging at me lately, but I knew that I had not chosen a side. I was just keeping both options open. “No. I just regret what I did and don’t want it to be in the minds of everyone else. That is all.”

There was truth in my words to some degree, so there was no deception in my voice or through the force. Atris calmly raised her hands and closed her eyes to gesture a sort of innocent expression. “I won’t breathe another word of it.”

“See that you don’t.” I said commandingly as I turned away and marched out of the archives, leaving Atris behind. I wasn’t trying to be inconsiderate, but I was pressed for time before the genie could not be put back into the bottle.
Darth_Yuthura is offline   you may: