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Old 05-09-2009, 10:18 AM   #15
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 161
Chapter 4

The speeder stopped next to a small house in the outskirts of the town. The man parked it inside a small garage and led the Jedi into the main house. It was a simple construction, consisting of a living room/kitchen, one bedroom, and a bathroom. The living room was furnished with a couch, an armchair and a holonet device. The kitchen held all the usual kitchen furnishings, but nothing fancy. The man nodded at the Jedi to sit down. Johra threw himself onto the couch, but Bao-Dur shook his head and stood still.

“We will not be of any trouble,” he said, and cast a look at his Padawan, who immediately sat up straight.

“No trouble at all, master Jedi,” the man said and bowed a little. “My name is Joran, by the way. Joran Zarturus.” Bao-Dur nodded.

“My name is Bao-Dur Lumar, and this is my Padawan, Johra Ulgut,” he said and pointed at Johra.

“Nice to meet you.” Joran bowed again. “I'll go get you some clothes to cover those up.” He pointed at the lightsabers and walked into the bedroom. Johra leaned forward.

“So, what do we do to get off this rock?” he asked.

“We'll have to go to a cantina and find someone who has a ship. But we'll have to do it quick. Something is wrong.” Bao-Dur kept casting nervous looks at the bedroom door.

“What? What's wrong?” Johra asked, he too looking at the door.

“Probably nothing. Don't worry about it.” Bao-Dur looked back at his Padawan and smiled reassuring, but the smile didn't reach his eyes. Johra shook his head and looked away. Joran came out of the bedroom again, carrying two large ponchos. He gave one to each of the Jedi, who put them on. The worn-out ponchos hid the lightsabers and Jedi clothes, making them look like ordinary travelers or mercenaries.

“Thank you for your kindness,” Bao-Dur said and bowed his head. “We will try to find a pilot who will take us back to Coruscant, and we would be grateful if you directed us to the nearest cantina.”

“No, master Jedi, I cannot,” Joran said. “The storms are still strong out there, so you have to stay inside. It'll be over by tomorrow.”

“Well, tomorrow we might be over,” Johra muttered under his breath. Joran didn't seem to notice. He smiled and put his hands together.

“I'll go make us some Tanque tea,” Joran said and rushed over to the kitchen. Johra and Bao-Dur sat down in the couch and waited.

“What do we do now, master?” Johra asked quietly, while Joran rushed around in the kitchen. “We cannot stay here until tomorrow.”

“Patience, Padawan,” Bao-Dur said and patted Johra's shoulder. “We will be off this planet by tomorrow, and then it's straight back to Coruscant. Trust me.” Bao-Dur smiled and turned his head to Joran, who had come back with a tray holding three cups of steaming hot tea. He put the tray on the table. They each took a cup.

“I thank you again for your kindness,” Bao-Dur said and smiled at Joran, who shook his head.

“I am only repaying what I owe to the Jedi. At least, I will owe to the Jedi, once you save the planet that is.” He smiled. Bao-Dur coughed, not knowing what to say. In fact, their main target at this point was not to save this particular planet. As long as the council did not decide to send a fleet, they were merely stuck here to await the storm to pass. Joran, noticing the tense air in the room said: “Drink up.” Johra and Bao-Dur looked down into their cups, and saw bits of roots floating around. They forced themselves to drink a little before putting down their cups again. The two Jedi stood up.

“I think we'll retire now,” Bao-Dur said. “It's been a long day, and we need some rest.” Joran looked surprised, since they had just started drinking, but he collected himself fast and stood up.

“Of course. Let me just set you up with some blankets,” he said and went into the bedroom. After a minute he came back with two thin blankets. He put them on the coach.

“I hope you don't mind that I take the bedroom?” he asked Bao-Dur.

“Of course not,” Bao-Dur answered humbly. “We have already taken enough from you.” Joran smiled. He wished them a good nights sleep and went into the bedroom again. Bao-Dur sat down on the couch and held up the blanket.

“This is really thin,” he said to Johra, who sat next to him. Johra nodded in agreement. “Well, I guess we'll have to use the Force to keep us warm. Get off the couch, I'm sleeping here.” Johra stood up and sat down in the armchair instead. He knew that protesting would be useless.

“Well then,” Johra said, leaning back. “Good night.”

“You too, Padawan.” They turned the lights off and lay as comfortable as they could, and Johra fell asleep after just a few minutes. Bao-Dur was still awake for awhile, making sure nothing happened, but even the Jedi Master couldn't resist the beauty of the dreamland, and so he fell to sleep.

“Johra, come on!” Johra heard someone shout. It was a girl, that he could hear. He looked ahead and saw Karnah, with her Jedi clothes and training lightsaber in hand. Her long black hair fell smoothly over her shoulders.

“We have to show the masters our skill with a lightsaber,” she said and ignited the blue saber. Johra remembered this to be the day when Bao-Dur made him his Padawan, a full member of the Jedi Order. He was twelve years old at the time. He ignited his saber and attacked Karnah. It was an even fight, and even though Johra attacked in the most unpredictable ways, he could not get around Karnah's guard. He did a fast flurry, delivering many strikes to Karnah, scraping her skin a few times, but nothing major. She counterattacked, and Johra had to throw himself back to avoid the lightsaber. He attacked again, jumping up in the air and striking down hard. They ended up in a saberlock, Johra being the stronger one, so Karnah was leaned backwards. She pushed him away with the Force, something you were not supposed to do right now. Johra crashed into the wall, unharmed and attacked again. He unleashed a Kata, striking many fast strikes upon Karnah, who had to jump back. Johra took pursuit, not noticing that everyone else had stopped fighting. The two fought for what seemed like ages, no one could gain the upper hand. They saberlocked again, but now the power was even, and no one could overpower the other. Then Karnah kicked Johra back, making him land on his back, and his lightsaber rolled away. Before he could get it, Karnah pointed her lightsaber at his neck.

“Do you give up?” she asked. Johra nodded. First now they noticed that everyone was looking at them in awe. Two of the Masters came forward, one of them was Bao-Dur. Karnah helped Johra up, and they both turned towards the Masters and bowed their heads.

“That was an impressive display,” one of the Masters said, Johra remembered he was called Ryos Talbrot. “I will take you as my Padawan.” He held out his hand to Karnah, who grabbed it immediately.

“Thank you, thank you,” she said gratefully. Bao-Dur turned to Johra.

“And I will take you as my Padawan,” he said and stretched out his hand. Johra took it and they left the room. He turned his head to see Karnah, smiling widely. He smiled back at her and they separated.

Suddenly, the vision changed. Johra was on the planet Relixius, in a battle between the Sith Empire and the Republic. He was nineteen. Beside him was Karnah and her master. Blaster bolts were flying from both sides, killing many on both sides. Johra blocked the many blaster bolts coming at him. He ordered his squad to move forward, under the protection of his green lightsaber. The squad moved out of the trench and advanced at the Sith positions. The first Sith trench was just a few meters away. Johra jumped down, cutting off a Sith troopers head. The squad followed, blasting their rifles at anything silver. Johra cut down another one, and saw that Karnah's squad had followed. Once her squad arrived the Sith were broken, and tried to retreat to the next trench, but the Republicans shot them down as they ran. A few trenches away, Johra saw that Ryos was pinned down by a squad of Sith troopers and a Dark Jedi. Karnah looked the same way as Johra. Ryos was all alone against the Dark Jedi and the Sith Troopers. Johra, knowing it was too late for Ryos, tried to stop Karnah from running to help her master, but she ran anyway. Johra gave a quick order to the captain, and he jumped up from the trench and ran after Karnah, deflecting blaster bolts as he went. When Karnah arrived, Ryos was already dead, so she attacked the Dark Jedi. The Dark Jedi was taken by surprise, but he soon recovered and began to attack Karnah. The Sith Troopers didn't fire, scared of hurting their master. Karnah's eyes were covered in tears, and she was weak from the shock of losing her master, so the Dark Jedi had almost overpowered her. Johra let out a battle cry and jumped into the battle, cutting down two Sith Troopers. He cut down another, and the whole squad attacked him. He killed three more, reducing the squad to two men, who ran away in fear. Johra attacked the Dark Jedi, who was about to deliver the final strike to Karnah, and unleashed a Kata against him. The Dark Jedi could not block it, and now he lay in pieces on the ground. Karnah was lying on the ground, tears streaming from her face.

“Come on,” Johra said and pulled her arm. “We have to get out of here.” He managed to get her moving, and he pulled her back towards the Republic base. As they ran, Karnah was shot in her leg. She fell down again, almost pulling Johra with her.

“Leave me!” she screamed. “Do not sacrifice yourself for me!” Johra still would not give up on his childhood friend. He lifted her up, using the Force to help him, but he could not move fast enough with her. The Sith troopers were on the offensive again, hoping to gain their lost territories now that the two Jedi was fleeing. Johra saw his squad running over to him.

“Somebody get her to the base!” he shouted, and two soldiers carried her away. “Captain, report!”

“Sir, the Sith have pushed us back again, we must leave this sector.”

“What about the other sectors?”

“We do not know, but we have to retreat, now!” The squad ducked as a large laser bolt flew over them, making a crater in the ground a few meters away.

“You are right, retreat!” Johra shouted and started running. Two of the soldiers were killed by blasters on the way back to the base, but the rest of the squad got in unharmed. The base commander stood inside the bunker, ready to report.

“Go ahead, commander,” Johra said as the started walking to the command center.

“The Sith have pushed us back on all fronts, and Master Bao-Dur just gave the order to retreat.”

“And Karnah?”

“She is fine now, and on one of the shuttles.”

“Good, make sure everyone retreats,”

“Yes sir.” The commander walked over to a console, while Johra walked into the small hangar. Of the five shuttles in there, he immediately sensed which on Karnah was in, and so he got in that one. He went into the mainroom, and found her lying on the bench. She smiled faintly as he entered.

“Are you alright?” he asked and sat down next to her.

“With the physical, yes, with the emotional, no,” she answered and sobbed a little. “What will happen to me? My Master is dead, and I'm already nineteen, no master will want to take me.”

“Of course they will, you are one of the most skilled Jedi I know, Karnah.” Johra's voice was reassuring and his eyes were the same.

“You think so?”

“I know so.” Johra smiled. “Now, get some rest.” He stood up and walked over to the cockpit door.

“Johra?” Karnah asked. Johra stopped, he sensed what she was going to say. “How fared the battle?”

“We lost.” Johra sighed and opened the door. He walked into the cockpit.

Johra woke up in the armchair the next morning, and found Joran running around in the kitchen and conversing with Bao-Dur. The sound from the storm had lightened up, so Johra drew the conclusion that it was over. He stood up and stretched a bit before walking over to Bao-Dur.

“Good morning,” he said tiredly.

“Good morning,” Bao-Dur and Joran said simultaneously.

“I'm making tea,” Joran said.

“Good.” Johra was tired, and didn't have the energy to complain about it. As Joran ran around in the kitchen, Johra took Bao-Dur aside.

“So, can we go to the cantina after breakfast,” he asked. “I want to get off this rock as soon as possible.”

“Patience, Padawan,” Bao-Dur answered. “But yes, after breakfast.” They each took a cup of Joran's disgusting tea and drank, strangely enough, with more appetite. They were served regular bread for breakfast. After everyone had eaten, Bao-Dur stood up.

“I thank you once more,” he said. “But now you really have to show us to the nearest cantina.”

“Yes, of course,” Joran answered, seeming like he had gotten used to the Jedi's company, and was sad that they were leaving. He opened the front door and walked out, with the Jedi in tow. They walked a long bit into the slummier parts of the city, and they saw the people and buildings change from richer and cleaner, into dirty beggars. After a few minutes of walking, they came to a large cantina.

“Here it is,” Joran said. “I'll go back to my house now, and you can come back later to give back the ponchos.”

“We will, sir,” Bao-Dur answered and Joran left. The Jedi walked in. Inside, the cantina was filled with a strange smoke, and everywhere sat people looking like bounty hunters and smugglers. Johra and Bao-Dur split up and looked for a pilot. Johra didn't have much luck, and everyone he asked seemed to be busy, or they didn't have a ship. He sighed and sat down at the place they entered. After a few minutes Bao-Dur joined him.

“No luck?” Johra asked his master, turning towards him. Bao-Dur shook his head.

“You?” he asked, and now Johra shook his head. “Return to Joran's place and wait for me there, I'll look a little longer.” Johra nodded in agreement, and once again they separated, Johra exiting the cantina and going back to Joran's house. He saw that the streets were now full of patrolling Sith, to the locals utmost annoyance. Johra kept in the shadows, making the walk back take longer, but he arrived unharmed. Immediately as he entered the door, he sensed something was not right. He held his hand on the lightsaber and slowly walked in, the door closing behind him. He looked around the living room. He heard a lightsaber ignite, and he turned around to see a hooded female figure leaping out towards him, red lightsaber in hand. In a split second he brandished and activated his green blade, just in time getting it up to block the cut. Taltrin, whom he saw was the one who attacked him, was on top of him, trying to force his lightsaber down on his throat. She had the advantage, since he was caught by surprise, and she was about to kill him, when he used the Force to violently push her into the wall. The hood fell off her face, revealing an emotionless face. Johra leaped over to her and used the Force to make her dropped lightsaber fly into his hand. She was on her knees when he held his lightsaber close to her neck. Her face was still emotionless.

“Why?” Johra asked. “Why did you turn to the Dark Side?!”

“You do not know the power of the True Sith. Soon, the Republic will be nothing, and the Jedi even less. You will all die.” Johra's eyes filled with tears. He had to kill his childhood friend, but he would not let emotion get in his way. He raised his lightsaber for the final strike, when he saw something was happening to Karnah. She started shaking violently, and Johra stepped away a few steps. And then, suddenly, emotion returned to Karnah's face, and then she fell down. Johra sensed the Dark Side aura around her was gone. He ran forward to check her pulse, she was alive. He lifted her up and carried her to the couch. He laid her down, and sat down next to her. He knew she was back.

In the cantina, Bao-Dur had found a suitable pilot to take them to Coruscant, and he exited the cantina to find Johra and give him the news. Outside, he saw an armored man walking towards him, two blaster pistols by his side. The man drew the pistols and fired them rapidly at Bao-Dur. In a second, Bao-Dur had brandished his lightsaber and activated it, deflecting the shots. The man, probably a bounty hunter, continued to fire his blasters, force Bao-Dur further and further back. As he deflected the bolts, Bao-Dur knew he could not break the steady stream of fire, and so used the Force to push the armored man away. He ran away towards Joran's house, looking back to see the Bounty Hunter running after him. The commotion had caused the Sith troopers on patrol to notice the Jedi Master, and they too followed him. He ran into a nearby alley, and deactivated his lightsaber, hiding in the shadows. The Sith troopers were confused, and continued to run, but the bounty hunter took another way. Bao-Dur noticed it was the way to Joran's house. He sneaked up behind him, and activated his saber close to the mans neck. The man kicked him away, but as he did so, Bao-Dur managed to rip off his helmet. The man turned around to him. It was Joran!
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