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Old 10-18-2005, 06:54 PM   #41
Flamehart
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I'm personally thinking on going back to first person, I just felt a little more comfortable telling the story through Strider's eyes. The only problem I had was a feeling of redundancy, but I'm pretty sure I've got a way to narrow it down. I'm sorry for the confusion but I just wanted to try third person out for part of a chapter and see how it played out. I'll probably sift back to first person for the second half of chapter 5.




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Old 10-19-2005, 05:38 PM   #42
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Alright... I'm waiting for the next part oh and thanks for what you said about my story being alright



Formerly known as "Miracle"


No puedo olvidarte
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sal de mi piel...

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Old 10-19-2005, 06:32 PM   #43
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Well just so you all know, I've started the second part in third person, I've been playing around with it a bit more come up with some ideas that I could pull off better in third person than first, I'm thinking I'm going to stick with it.




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Old 10-19-2005, 06:36 PM   #44
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Old 10-20-2005, 12:08 AM   #45
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Okay, there's too much to tell in this chapter that I can simply just seperate it into two parts, so there's going to probably be a part 3 and 4 for Chapter 5, here's part two, I've been working on it all day since 4:15 PM and I just finished it a few minutes ago.
----------------------------------------

Chapter 5
Shift of Power
Part 2


It wasn’t long before Strider and Jayde were properly fitted for urban combat in terms of armor. The two Jedi were escorted through the underground resistance base to a tram. They boarded the tram and waited as it sped through fairly nondescript underground tunnels. Finally, they arrived at a station several miles away from the resistance base. There were resistance soldiers all over the place. As Strider and Jayde exited the tram and began to walk up the stairs to the surface, they saw more and more soldiers around the station.

As Strider and Jayde reached the surface, they felt the blast of the hot winds on their skin. Blaster shots, explosions, and sounds of human, or alien, agony were heard off in the distance.

Strider turned and looked at Jayde, and spoke in a loud enough tone to be heard over the winds, “Kyron used to have calmer weather. This is blistering heat…did the Sith screw up the planet that badly?”

Jayde nodded and replied with remorse in her tone, “I’m afraid so, Strider. Hopefully the planet is not beyond restoration, however. We’ll have to see if the Senate is willing to invest on it if Kyron decides to return to the Republic. Keep your mind focused on the task at hand Strider. I don’t want your personal feelings about the outcome of the planet to interfere with what needs to be done, my apprentice.”
Strider nodded, “Don’t worry, master. I have focus on what needs to be done. Kyron’s result does not anger me. It’s who did it that does, and since he’s not here, I consider myself rather level headed right now.”

Jayde nodded, but before she could respond there was a large explosion heard rather near by. Strider made eye contact with her and they shared a nod.
Strider stepped forward and addressed one of the nearby soldiers, “Sergeant, I need you to dispatch me with as many men as you can spare so we can assist some of the men already out on the field.”

The sergeant turned and looked at Strider like he was crazy, “You must be insane. We’ve already lost well over thirty men to each security checkpoint. Being there’s six in the city, that’s one hundred and eighty men lost already. We don’t have much to spare.”

Strider looked at the sergeant for a moment, and then realized he didn’t recognize him as a Jedi due being fitted with armor. “They didn’t have two Jedi helping them take over those six checkpoints, now did they sergeant?”
The sergeant blinked, saluted, then replied, “I apologize, sir, I did not recognize you. I’ll dispatch you with twelve of our best stationed at this point, they should do more than well enough to assist you.” He turned around and shouted some commands to some soldiers idling in the tram station. Twelve soldiers ran out and formed up next to Strider and Jayde. The sergeant spoke to them, informing them who they would be taking orders from.

Jayde nodded at the sergeant in thanks, then spoke to the twelve men, “Split up into two sets of six. I’ll lead one set; my apprentice Strider shall lead the other.”
The men wasted no time, and formed up next to the two Jedi. Strider and Jayde gave each other a reassuring nod before they set off into the capital city of Kyron.


Strider was able to identify the type of weather, after a bit of thinking. “Most of the regions of Kyron have been nearly stripped to nothing but desolate wastelands, and many are as much of a desert as the one the capital city was built on…This is definitely a sandstorm, caused by sand from the city outskirts, and from whatever regions may have been stripped to nothing but dirt” Strider devised. Dirt was kicked up by the wind and was flying everywhere. It was a very gritty, limited visibility battlefield. A Sith artillery could have been standing twenty feet in front of Strider and he wouldn’t have seen it.

He had his lightsaber on and out as he traveled with his six men. Jayde and he had split up awhile ago at a street intersection. It wasn’t long before Strider caught up to the resistance members at one of the security checkpoints. It couldn’t be described in much other way than a brutal blaster holdout. Both sides were exchanging blaster fire through the blinding grit. Occasionally a howl of pain would be heard if someone on either side got hit with a blaster bolt to a weak point in their armor. Several stray shots came their way, as Strider and his men took cover with the rest of the resistance troops. Strider stood up and closed his eyes, so as not to be distracted by the sand. He entrusted himself to his abilities once more.

The Sith soldiers saw the Jedi stand up and step out from behind any of the barriers, lightsaber drawn. They were hesitant to fire at first, and then realized there were no resistance men covering him. They opened fire on the Jedi, figuring he couldn’t block a majority of them at once.

They were wrong.

Strider’s arms moved in a blur around him, leaving an afterimage of where they were last with each deflection. The Sith continued their barrage of fire, hoping this Jedi would get tired. Strider kept walking forward slowly, deflecting shot after shot. His arms were beginning to tire, until suddenly the Sith suddenly took cover again. Strider lowered his saber, his arms feeling rather heavy from the muscle strain. Suddenly, he sensed something coming, and rolled to the side behind a small barricade near some resistance soldiers. Just as he rolled, a Sith artillery blast had fired and the large blaster bolt emitted from it had passed where Strider was standing moments before. The blast hit the ground a few meters behind the resistance soldiers and exploded.

The soldiers’ morale was broken in a heartbeat. None of them were expecting to face any Sith artillery, and seeing something they weren’t prepared to deal with certainly wasn’t making them feel any better. Strider tried to bring them under order, and shouted at them, “I’ll draw fire. As soon as they open up, I want you men to move in and take down the soldiers, we’ll work our way to that artillery and take it out!”
There was no way the Sith soldiers had heard this conversation over the blasting winds and the now constant firing artillery. Another round hit the wall next to where Strider and four resistance soldiers were huddled. Debris and shrapnel were sent flying over their heads, followed by shouts of terror from the soldiers nearby. There was a brief moment of deafness from the blast as Strider had covered his face for a moment, and then opened his eyes to look at his fellow soldiers. Sound was slowly returning to his ears, and was starting to make out the sounds of the blaster bolt firing there at the checkpoint, and the sounds of battle far off were also returning to his ears. His hearing was back to normal before long, and he could see the blast hadn’t helped improve their morale any at all, and decided if he was going to make his move, it better be now while they had some sense of priority left in their mind for the mission.

The Sith were waiting. As soon as Strider was up and running, they opened fire. Strider swung his lightsaber in a brilliant display as he ran to the side, deflecting bolts out of harm’s way. Shortly after, the resistance soldiers peered over their barricades and opened fire at the Sith with what little courage they had left. Many of their blaster bolts hit home, the Sith soldiers letting out screams of pain as they fell.
By this time, Strider had almost sprinted to the other side of the street. As he began slowing down his pace, he heard something in the distance. It was the sound of the next artillery blaster bolt coming at him; it seemed as if it was in slow motion to him, almost able to make out the sound of the bolt tearing through the gritty, sand-polluted air. Strider quickened his previously slowing pace; it wasn’t long before he was along the side of a building. He leaped and ran along the wall as the artillery blast collided with the wall behind him. He lost whatever momentum he had on the wall and landed on the ground. Shortly after impact with the ground he collapsed, apparently the impact of the blast had shaken him up. Strider pulled himself groggily to his feet, knowing he couldn’t stay still for too long. After all this time he still hadn’t identified what kind of Sith artillery it was, whether it is a tank or a weapon emplacement. He heard the sound of another blast from the Sith artillery being emitted, tearing through the air, and instead of going at him, it flew right past him, well off target. Strider tried to figure out what on earth it was firing at, but then realized too late what had happened. “Blast!…That last shot wasn’t aimed at me…the resistance soldiers had gotten up and tried to move forward…it’s firing at them now…I’ve got to do something if I want more than decapitated limbs of former soldiers fighting alongside of me,” he thought grimly. Strider got up and started to proceed forward slowly. He kept near the side of the building, and hoped that he wouldn’t be detected providing he stayed out of an open area. It wasn’t long before he could make the shape of the Sith artillery. It was a design he wasn’t familiar with, and was seemingly firing off explosive blaster bolts of some kind. Of course, Strider didn’t consider himself an expert in the field of blaster technology, so there wasn’t any way he could logically explain how any of it worked. Another round fired off back at the security checkpoint, and he could only hope that the soldiers had taken cover from the attacks. Strider decided now was the time to make his move. He ran up the side of it, lightsaber held ready, and cut the entry hatch to the weapon open. Inside were three Sith soldiers and an officer. They all turned with an expression of surprise written all over their face. Strider wasted no time in removing them and rendering the panels inside the weapon useless.


This was apparently the last of the opposition, as the sounds of gunfire immediately near Strider and the checkpoint had ceased. The level of urgency seemed to have dissipated, and Strider felt a bit of calm come over his body. He had accomplished capturing the first security checkpoint. He realized they had to succeed in capturing all of them, but he rested easy knowing one of them was secured. He walked back towards the checkpoint, finding many of the soldiers he had seen when he arrived still alive and well, now securing the checkpoint. Strider heaved a sigh of relief, glad that the efforts weren’t in vain. Many of the soldiers were smiling and congratulating Strider for his accomplishment. Strider simply nodded, and thanked them for the support. He helped them set up a perimeter around the checkpoint and make sure it was secure. All the time he was wondering about his master. He had a connection with her, and could still tell she was doing well, but suddenly a thought crossed his mind.

“How could I doubt her? If she could beat me with a lightsaber, considering all the things I can do with one, she’s more than capable of handling a dozen or more soldiers with blaster rifles…In fact…I almost feel sorry for the Sith for what they’ve gotten themselves into.”
---------------------------------

And so ends part two of God knows how many parts this chapter'll be split up into. I just wanted to get some stream of updates going so you all won't get bored. I'll start working on part three tomorrow, and it will most likely be in Jayde's perspective about what's going on on her end of the mission. I probably won't get that update done until Friday, unless Thursday proves to be a rather productive day as today was

Hope you all enjoy this part.




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Last edited by Flamehart; 10-20-2005 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 10-20-2005, 06:39 PM   #46
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Great again, you're really good...keep it up



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Old 10-20-2005, 06:57 PM   #47
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Thanks for the encouragement. If you people have any constructive criticism, let me know what it is. I'd also like to know some things you all liked about it, so I know what's currently being enjoyed and what parts I need to make more enjoyable.




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Old 10-20-2005, 09:55 PM   #48
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Well I like the story... had a piece of sentence correction to offer, but forgot exactly what it was or where the sentence was... but ya, you really know how to keep a person interested in your story... good amount of action. Just remember that it can't all be action. If it is, there's no story and the reading gets tiresome. A few well timed discussions and breaks in the fighting enhance a story very nicely.


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Old 10-20-2005, 11:14 PM   #49
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Of course, but if you noticed the first part was mostly all dialogue, and the rest of the parts is mostly the takeover of Strider's homeplanet, so there's going to be quite a bit of action scenes and there's not much I can do with it. The end of this mission isn't the end of Part 1 though, and Strider isn't so singleminded here because he's rather concentrated on the fact he's dealing with his home planet. When he gets back to the temple and participates in less personal missions, he'll be more like his casual, opinionated self. I realize the lack of dialogue could make the action scenes overdone and too abundant, but it's basically just because this was mostly a war they got themselves tied into. It's like Lord of the Rings...lots of dialogue, then about an hour of battle, then more dialogue lol I'll try to include more dialogue here and there between the action scenes. There'll definately be more dialogue once Strider and Jayde are back together for part 4. Part 3 will probably be what Jayde is doing on her end, and Part 4 will probably be when they team up after all the checkpoints have been secured and they move on the Sith capital ships.




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Old 10-27-2005, 11:16 PM   #50
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Schoolwork's had me bogged down, but part 3's done. It's considerably shorter, and I was rushed to get it out the door because I had a limited window to work on it. Part four will be spectacular, if I can get everything in my head on paper without forgetting any of it this weekend. Expect part four sometime this weekend or next week.
----------------------------------------
Chapter 5
Shift of Power
Part 3


Blaster fire ripped into the metallic walls of the building that Jayde and her troops were next to. Several bolts ricocheted off, but went harmlessly in another direction. The soldiers took extra precaution to stay out of the way in that scenario. When the resistance soldiers took cover again while the Sith returned fire, one soldier took a grenade from his belt, pulled the pin, and threw it in a sideways arc over the barricade they were ducked behind. Jayde waited for it, and as soon as it exploded, she was moving. The explosion deafened most of them with the usual high pitched screech and blurred vision, but Jayde simply relied on her instincts and the Force as she ran through the upturned dirt and debris from the explosion of the grenade. It wasn’t long before she was in the middle of four Sith soldiers. They realized she was there and turned to fire on her.

Unfortunately for them, Jayde was faster. She kicked out with her left foot in an arc, knocking one gun clean from a Sith soldier’s hands. She turned her body so her right foot was now in front, and kicked the Sith soldier’s shin in. As he leaned forward from the impact of his leg slipping from under him, she swiftly ducked down to avoid blaster fire from the other three soldiers, moved her back underneath the slipping Sith soldier, then flipped him over her back towards the other three soldiers, his torso taking the blaster shots from the other three. “One down, three to go,” she thought as she leaped from her crouched position at a second Sith, sweeping her foot sideways at him and making contact with his neck, knocking him across the ground.

A third soldier was behind her, he attempted to deal a blow to the back of her head. Jayde leaned to the side as his fist flew over her shoulder. She grabbed his fist with her left hand and pulled the Sith forward, bringing him close enough for her to hook her foot around the back of one of his legs and jerk forward, causing him to lose his balance, then jammed her right elbow into his torso, sending him crashing into the ground. The fourth soldier was backing away by now, attempting to fire while do so. Jayde ran at him, dodging shot after shot, then moved close to the building wall nearby and leaped up, running along side of the wall. Several shots peppered the wall near her; she leaped off the wall and landed on the ground behind the fourth Sith soldier. Before he could turn, she reached forward and in a swift twisting motion, snapped his neck instantly. He crumpled lifeless to the ground, and Jayde moved behind a structure support before the remaining Sith soldiers near the other barricade realized what happened to their comrades.

It didn’t take them long, and blaster fire kept Jayde pinned where she was. During all this, the resistance members had been focusing on firing at a third and fourth group of Sith soldiers hiding behind barricades at the security checkpoint. She ducked down to make sure nothing would come close to hitting her, and tried to focus on the second group of four Sith soldiers behind the second barricade. She closed her eyes and listened to the sounds around her. She drew her focus specifically on the four soldiers, nothing else.


Suddenly, she heard a pin being pulled from their direction amongst the blaster fire. She heard the sounds of the bolts being emitted cease, and heard now the sound of the grenade coursing through the air. Jayde stood up and ran out from her cover behind the structure support and ran towards the four Sith. They raised their rifles to fire; the grenade was still going through its path in midair. Jayde drew the Force around her and used it to give her a temporary burst of speed towards them, leaping in the air. Jayde delivered a spinning kick in midair, making direct contact with the grenade, sending it soaring back towards the Sith. As soon as the grenade hit the ground amongst them, its fuse was up and exploded. Jayde hit the ground and rolled to avoid the debris and shrapnel. She moved to a kneeling position just in time to see a third group of Sith stand from their barricade to open fire. Jayde drew her lightsaber hilt and ignited her violet blade. She deflected the blasts while moving towards cover. The resistance members made their move here. They had already dealt with the fourth group of Sith, and now focused their fire on the third group, who were too busy focused on the dark-haired female Jedi, and fell swiftly from the blaster fire from the resistance without realizing what hit them. The sounds of combat were calming. Jayde lowered her lightsaber blade, looking towards the other men. They talked amongst themselves as they spread out to secure the checkpoint. Jayde let out a sigh of relief. They had successfully cleared the area. Her comlink went off and she answered it, to be greeted by a familiar voice.


“Master Averre?”


Relief flooded through Jayde to hear that her apprentice had made it through safely. She had heard over the radio from one of the resistance soldiers that there was a Sith artillery at that checkpoint, and was relieved to hear Strider managed.

“Master Averre, are you there?” came his voice again.

Jayde brought it to her mouth and replied, “Good to hear you’re alright Flamehart, how’s everything on your end?”

“Pretty good, I’d say. I had a bit of trouble with some Sith artillery of an unknown model, but I managed to dispatch of it. How’d things go there?” Strider asked. His tone was articulate, but he seemed to be struggling for words, as if the battle had drained him of energy.

“You sound tired. You’ve secured the area, correct? Take a few minutes to rest. I’m sure you’ve been running around to nearby area to interfere with the movement of Sith reinforcements,” she said, knowing all to well Strider’s manner.

“You know me too well, Master. I’ve got two soldiers here who’re going to escort me to the hangar here in a bit,” he informed.

“Strider, are you sure you’re ready to take on a Sith battle cruiser? I mean, we haven’t covered that area of training yet,” she said jestingly with a smile.

A laugh was heard over the comlink, and then Strider’s voice rang in with a reply, “Of
course, Jayde. See you at the hangar?”

“I wouldn’t want to miss out, so yes. See you soon, my young apprentice,” she replied, hooking her comlink back on her belt.

Two of the soldiers came over to Jayde, saluted, then stated in a firm voice, “We have orders to escort you to the hangar to meet up with your apprentice and a small regiment to invade the Sith battle cruisers forming overhead. Are you ready to leave?”
Jayde nodded and replied, “Yes, let’s get going. The sooner the better.”
---------------------------------------




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Old 10-28-2005, 02:32 PM   #51
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great great great... you're very good I wish I could write like that....



Formerly known as "Miracle"


No puedo olvidarte
sacarte de mi
respiro, no puedo
me ahoga mirarte,
pensarte
sal de mi piel...

Belinda - Sal de mi piel
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Old 10-28-2005, 07:26 PM   #52
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That's really nice to hear. Let me know what you all like and dislike, so I know what to fix or what to add.




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Old 11-11-2005, 06:56 PM   #53
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Well so far I haven't found a thing I dislike, I like it all, you haven't continued though, sorry for keeping you busy too with the RPG.



Formerly known as "Miracle"


No puedo olvidarte
sacarte de mi
respiro, no puedo
me ahoga mirarte,
pensarte
sal de mi piel...

Belinda - Sal de mi piel
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Old 11-13-2005, 10:07 PM   #54
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Haha it hasn't been the RPG that's been keeping me busy. Very cool signature and avatar by the way.

Life bit me in the butt, so I'm beating it back with a tire iron or something now. I have been working on part four, believe me, and it's progressing nicely, I just haven't gotten around to finishing it and posting it. Maybe if I get time to work on it tonight, I'll give it a go.




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Old 11-17-2005, 01:48 PM   #55
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Life has a way of occupying you more than you'd like to be occupied. I know... so does school... my Thanksgiving break is going to be spent with my homework. Update when you can and not a second before


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Old 11-17-2005, 06:55 PM   #56
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Story hasn't budged since I touched it last weekend. Life's been beating down on me, namely some social life issues (gotta straighten some things out with a very close friend), and school's been giving me a large workload...on top of that, been taking care of getting a job interview taken care of, so I've got a buncha stuff coming. I will update this weekend, and possibly again over thanksgiving break.




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Old 11-17-2005, 06:56 PM   #57
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Don't worry take your time, I'll still be here when you're ready.



Formerly known as "Miracle"


No puedo olvidarte
sacarte de mi
respiro, no puedo
me ahoga mirarte,
pensarte
sal de mi piel...

Belinda - Sal de mi piel
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Old 11-22-2005, 09:10 AM   #58
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I worked dilligently on the story for an hour and a half last night, and it moved along quite well. I type at 150 words per minute, and when I'm thinking that fast too, the story moves right along, but I hit a few choke points where I just had a case or two of writer's block. If I commit another hour, I should have the update done by today.




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Old 11-22-2005, 08:34 PM   #59
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Still working on it..expect an update later tonight or early tomorrow morning (Most probably tonight. I really don't want to work on it tomorrow :P)




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Old 11-23-2005, 01:06 AM   #60
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*Huff...Huff* Yes I know I'm late..only by a few minutes though...Here it is! The final part of Chapter 5!
--------------------------------------------

Chapter 5
Shift of Power
Part 4



Strider was calm as he was escorted to the hangar. He looked around the rather empty, abandoned town with only slight disdain. It had been years since he had been there last. “These streets used to be bustling full of people…the buildings were magnificent…the city at peace. Now I’m here, probably ‘round 15 years later, and the place is a mess. It’s amazing what simply joining the Jedi Order did to the planet…to think that my action caused so much trouble for this planet…” thought Strider.

After awhile of tossing this idea around his head, Strider soon came to feel guilty for the fate of the planet. He was starting to believe that it was his fault, that he alone had caused the damage that had been done to his home world. His hand gripped tightly around his lightsaber hilt, his knuckles turning white before long. They crossed several blocks, Strider’s focus seemed to have faltered, having lost track of which directions they’d been going.

It wasn’t long before the sounds of warfare were once again upon his ears. Strider snapped out of his daze. As they neared the hangar, the sounds of combat became louder; blaster fire could be heard being exchanged, with the shouts of men falling in battle ringing out above it. Strider knew immediately what was going on. “There’s a struggle between the resistance and the Sith for the hangar…” he muttered. One of the squad members heard him and nodded in acknowledgement. They burst out into a sprint in order to get there in time to help.

The Sith had the hangar guarded rather well. They were well armored and equipped with heavy weapons, against the resistance’s light armor and blaster carbines. Strider’s men opened fire as soon as they were in sight, moving in to assist their fellow soldiers. Strider ran alongside them, deflecting shots that came their way. “This looks like it’s gonna be tough…” he thought as he counted the Sith in the hangar. He estimated well over fifty.

Strider got on top of the blaster-resistant steel stands covering the resistance, serving as cover for the soldiers, and leapt forward, somersaulting in the air and landing in the midst of the fray. He swung his lightsaber in all directions, his arms a blur as he deflected incoming fire from Sith soldiers. After a brief cease in fire, Strider took off running towards one of the groups and swung his lightsaber horizontally, decapitating the Sith in half. He spun his blade by his side, then proceeded in performing a swift upward vertical strike, cutting the barrel of the heavy repeater off, then proceeded in swinging downward in a diagonal strike, bringing the second Sith down. The third Sith, he held out his hand and yanked it backwards. Suddenly the Sith felt a sweeping wind underneath his feet and was pulled off the ground towards Strider. Strider stepped to the side and stabbed downward as the Sith flew past him feetfirst from the Force pull, driving the blade square through the Sith’s chest.
Strider whirled around and deflected two more blasts from some distanced Sith soldiers. As he did so, he began to notice the Sith moving in their position. They were moving to surround him, in an attempt to trap him. Blaster fire started raining heavily on him, and he had to deflect blaster bolts on his way towards another metal cover to hide behind. He was breathing hard, looking around in all directions, sensing the Sith closing on his position.

The sound of an igniting blade was heard, and shortly after screams of pain from Sith soldiers were heard amidst the sounds of searing slashes and bone-snapping noises caused by breaking of limbs. Strider used this moment to leap up over the cover he was using, do a twisting flip in the air, and landed facing Sith soldiers. He swung with a powerful horizontal sweep, taking a few down; as he did so he spotted Jayde not too far away, fighting her own share of soldiers with incredible ease. He began to fight back against them as well, taking down Sith after Sith with incredible agility and strength. They ended up fighting together, their moves with their lightsaber, the leaning, ducking, jabbing, deflecting, slashing; all of it, made it seem like an elegant dance that went on for quite a bit of time. Finally, with some now reinforcing fire from the resistance soldiers, the Sith began to fall swiftly, until finally the hangar was clear of all enemies.


Strider looked at his master, exhausted. Jayde looked over and smiled at him, obviously proud and impressed with his performance. “You handled yourself rather well, my young padawan,” she stated, deactivating her blade and placing it on her belt. Strider did the same, and simply nodded. “Of course I handled myself well, they weren’t very challenging and I’ve spent too much time in the training chambers,” thought Strider to himself, not saying this towards his master so as not to sound overconfident in his ability to her. Instead, he simply replied with a light bow and a, “Thank you master.”

The resistance took over the hangar and set up a perimeter of defenses to prevent the hangar from being retaken. A few mechanics began to work on a few of the Sith starfighters, prepping them for flight. Jayde took Strider aside for a moment, speaking with him.


“Are you sure you didn’t overexert yourself? I don’t want to bring you up there with me if you’re too tired,” she questioned in a concerned tone.

“I’m fine, master. I’ve used far more energy before; I just have some things on my mind that’s causing me to use more energy than intended. I have my demons to deal with,” replied Strider.

“Want to talk about it? We have a few minutes,” offered Jayde.
Strider sighed. This wasn’t exactly something he wanted to share, and Jayde knew it. On the other hand, she’d get him out of it one way or another, he thought, might as well get it done and over with now.

“You seem less like yourself, more focused on the goals of this mission than your usual self-minded, ‘I’ll do things my way,’ self. What’s up?” asked his master in a worried tone.

Strider sighed. He ran a finger through his black hair. “I can’t help but feel responsible for what happened here, master,” he said, regret in his tone.
Jayde tilted her head, and asked, “And why do you say that?”
Strider sighed again. He looked away, looking out the hangar and at the city, then drew in a deep breath before speaking, “Kyron would never have been involved in the Republic if Jedi had not discovered me here. Kyron would never have been involved as one of the first battlegrounds between the Jedi and the Sith… Kyron would not have had to suffer such death and pain, if it wasn’t for me...” he said, letting out his breath and trying to relax.

Jayde walked up next to him and put her hand on his shoulder. “Strider…you are not to blame for the events that happened here. If it weren’t for your Jedi training, you wouldn’t be able to be here to fight back against the Sith, because with or without the Republic, it was still a flourishing planet and therefore was a target to either side. This wasn’t your fault. Don’t blame yourself. You’re an extremely talented pupil, and I can only wonder how extraordinary you’re going to be when your training is complete. That is incomparable to anything you would have been if your potential had been left undiscovered. Don’t let that go to your head though. You are powerful; I won’t deny you knowledge of that. You will achieve great things, but don’t let these thoughts drive you to expect too much of yourself. You’re only mortal, and although the actions of those Jedi and the people of this planet set these events into motion, there’s a high likelihood that even without your inauguration into the Jedi Order, the Sith would still have attacked.”

Strider sighed, resisting the urge to slam his fist down, he turned and faced Jayde, responding angrily, “But there’s plenty chance they might not have been attacked either, Jayde!”

“Relax, Flamehart,” she said concisely, not trying to invoke anger from her apprentice.
Strider took a deep breath, and then continued calmly after regaining his composure. “Don’t you see? Kyron wasn’t even in the Archives of the Jedi Order until those Jedi, guided by the Force, landed there and discovered me. When they were identified and then later joined in the Republic, the Sith obviously gained knowledge of it and found out it’s potential as a planet to harvest to nothing for resources.”
Jayde sighed, then placed one hand on Strider’s shoulder and looked at him in the eye. “Strider…think about what you said. Did you not claim that the Jedi found you through guidance of the Force due to lack of prior knowledge of the planet’s existence?” she questioned.

“Yes…?” Strider replied, confused by what she was getting at. “Oh Lord. She found something to use back and I’m probably not going to have a reasonable, legitamite, or concrete evidence to support another argument back,” he thought to himself.
Jayde continued, “So is it not possible that, if the Jedi had not arrived, took you into the Order, and then later inaugurated Kyron into the Republic, that the Sith could have been guided to you through the Force, found out about Kyron, and inaugurated the planet into the Sith order?”

Strider ran a finger through his hair. “I hadn’t thought about it that way,” he thought, and his expression clearly showed this.

His master tilted her head and looked at him, “So the question is, would you have rather been taken into the Order, trained as a Jedi to fight against Evil such as the Sith, and have to fight back against the Sith to retake your home planet, or would you rather have been undiscovered by Jedi, and instead by this point, be a Sith Apprentice under the influence of the Dark Side, massacring innocent people and crushing the resistance we’re currently fighting with?”

Strider looked around at the resistance men, an appearance of some familiarity in his blue eyes. “There are many here, from seeing the name, I recognize as former neighbors or childhood friends. I haven’t said anything to them because many do not recognize or remember my name,” he said, “It’s good to see that many were able to escape the Sith’s wrath.” He paused for a moment, another lingering thought, “I still haven’t heard anything about my mother…” he thought to himself.

Jayde looked at him. She could sense his lingering thoughts, but could not read them in his clouded mind. “Is there more bothering you, my apprentice?” she asked softly.
“My mother…” he muttered, looking around. “I haven’t seen her since I arrived…my father claims that she joined the resistance. I’m going to ask about it providing she’s still alright after this rebellion against the Sith…” he trailed off.

Master Averre nodded. An engineer waved them over soon afterwards. Jayde and Strider began to walk, and his master put one arm around Strider, guiding him towards their ships that they would take to combat against the Sith.


When both Sith interceptors were in flight, Strider spent a few moments familiarizing himself with the maneuverability, agility, and weapon potency of the ship. Jayde was flying wingman to him. “She’s not much of a pilot,” he thought to himself, “I may be spending more of the space time covering her until we dock with the Sith warship than dealing with incoming targets. Then again…I’ve never seen my master fly, so I have no idea of her competence behind a stick…” he finished his thought.

When they broke the atmosphere and got into space, they could see a battle already commenced between the Kyron resistance and the Sith. Strider and Jayde flew their ships past and towards the battle ship that was stationed just a bit north of the space battle. Very little attention was paid to either of them. When they were in vicinity, they sent their requests to dock to repair and reload, and they were accepted without question. As soon as the ships were docked and the hatches to the ship opened, Strider and Jayde leapt out and began attacking the Sith in the hangar.

They began clearing the floor of the room, working together, a unified fighting force. It wasn’t along before the alarm went off and several Sith soldiers came along the walkways hanging from the ceiling above them, firing off at the two Jedi. Strider’s arms moved swiftly, deflecting the bolts around his master and him while Jayde continued to attack the ground Sith. It wasn’t long before Strider drew his spare lightsaber off his hook and began deflecting with both, his arms moving so swiftly it created a magnificent blur of blue and green around Jayde and him, not a single bolt came close.

It wasn’t long before the ground was clear, and both Jedi leaped up into two separate narrow walkways on the ceiling and began dispatching of the Sith. Strider had put away his second saber and continued slashing and deflecting his way through their squad on the walkway. Jayde stuck to hand to hand, using Sith soldiers’ bodies to either guard against other blaster bolts, or knocking them off the walkway to their impending doom upon contact with the metal floor below them. It wasn’t long before the both of them had completely demolished the Sith force on the walkways, and leapt back down and proceeded to find the hangar exit door.

They managed to find their way into the main hallway of the battleship. They heard gunshots in the distance. The other boarding parties had made it. They moved on, intending to clear the way for them to make planting the demolitions easier. They fought several small groups of Sith soldiers and droids, but nothing too challenging, and they were moving right along.

As they made their way through, Strider began to feel more and more like he was himself again. His discussion with his master was settling rather well with him, and was beginning to feel better about everything. They soon got to the bridge. Before entering, they both paused. Jayde looked at Strider. He sensed it too. There was a strong Dark side presence in the bridge. Suddenly the door opened and they both turned to look in. A dark, robed figure was standing ahead of them, and several Sith were walking around the bridge of the ship. The cloaked Sith turned and lowered his hood, revealing a man bearing a familiarly striking resemblance to Strider. His eyes were that of a bright yellow, corrupted by the Dark Side.

Strider recognized him instantly, and spoke boldly, stepping into the bridge while doing so, “So you’re the one behind all this, father. The man we captured in the city hall, I presume he was merely a decoy?”

His father smiled wickedly, “If there’s one thing the Jedi didn’t take from you, it was your intelligence, son. You’re definitely fast to catch on. I could tell while I watched your capture of that decoy that you weren’t fully convinced it was me behind those bars, speaking to you.”

Strider gripped his fist tightly, and then asked, “So, if that’s the case…Where is mother?”

“She’s dead. She tried to turn against me when I turned, and I struck her down. This showed the Sith how willing I was to go to any lengths for the power I sought,” he replied with a wicked grin.

Strider growled, his lightsaber was in hand and activated. Jayde started to come in behind him but the bridge doors suddenly slammed shut before she could get in. The other Sith in the room seemed to pay no mind to the two force users in the room, going about their business piloting and controlling the ship’s functions. Strider’s father’s red blade was ignited, and the two of them began making their way across the bridge to the middle.

They stopped and faced each other. His father’s eyes looked at him with sick cruelty and wicked amusement. Strider gazed back, hatred in his eyes.

“I can smell the anger in you Strider…give in to it, let it fuel your strength,” he taunted, smirking at him with some hidden intent.

Strider realized what he was trying to do, and suddenly his expression turned to some form of amusement. “You know, Gerric,” he said, using his father’s name. “I’m glad I left Kyron when I did…” he started to say.

Gerric shot back before he could finish, “Because of your departure, the Sith discovered our home and took it over. You are all to blame for what we have done to Kyron,” in an attempt to anger Strider.

Strider laughed sarcastically. “At least by leaving I didn’t turn into one of the Sith.” He pretended to examine his father, and continued, “I’ve always heard the Dark Side makes you ugly. Being I look a lot like you, I have a pretty good idea how bad I’d look if I did join the Sith.”

His father growled and struck with his lightsaber swiftly. Strider’s hand jerked just as fast, blocking the attack as if by second nature. Strider looked at his father with just a bit of confidence. “What drove you to become a Dark Jedi, Gerric? I don’t recall you being gifted in the Force,” he asked.

Gerric growled, “Address me by my title as a respectful son would do, if you’re going to speak to me. As for my Force potential, I suppose if my son could be Force sensitive, he had to get it from his parents, and I knew your mother was weak and worthless so it couldn’t have been her.”

Strider responded, “My father was a respectable politician and noble, not a lord of the Sith. My father died four years ago in the Sith conquest. I owe you no respect; you ruined your own image. And as for your self proclaimed ‘force sensitivity…” You have none. I can sense it now. Younglings at the Temple have more Force potential than you. You were tricked by the Sith,” he said tauntingly.

Gerric roared in anger and advanced at Strider with a flurry of attacks. Strider walked backward slowly, deflecting each one. Their blades moved in a magnificent mix of blue and red, although it was clear Strider knew well more of what he was doing with his lightsaber than Gerric. Gerric, however, was physically more built than Strider, and delt a hard blow. Strider attempted to block it and his saber was knocked clean out of his grip, deactivating and scattering across the floor.

Strider backed up, not knowing what to do. He was thrown into the wall by a strong Force blast emitted from Gerric’s hand, who chuckled and used the Force to pull Strider’s lightsaber to his hand. Strider grunted and pulled himself back up.
Strider’s eyes suddenly widened. At the same time, there was a sound of searing flesh. He shouted in pain, and turned to look at where the pain was coming from. He saw the blue blade of his own lightsaber driven into his left shoulder. He felt the heat increasing. He managed to reach forward and pull the blade out of his shoulder. He deactivated it. Gerric gave him a cruel smile. He had thrown Strider’s own lightsaber at him. Strider growled, activating the blade in his right hand. He leapt forward and began swinging ferociously. Gerric barely was able to keep up and backed up as he defended against Strider’s swift blows. Gerric delivered another hard strike, being Strider was only holding his blade with one hand, it threw him off balance. Gerric took this moment to impale his blade into Strider’s right leg, and then swiftly withdrew it. Strider screamed in pain and fell to his knee. He looked up at Gerric, who merely looked back down at him and smiled. “It is wise of you to kneel before me, my son,” he said, cackling at him.

Strider lowered his head, his face sweating, his teeth gritting from the pain, and his body aching with fatigue. “What to do, what to do…think Strider…” he thought to himself. Suddenly his vision began to fade in and out. “Am I blacking out…?” he wondered to himself. He felt his body getting weak. He was barely able to stay awake. His vision went black, his eyes closed.

Gerric nor his crew had any idea what to expect. Strider was still in his kneeling position, his head lowered and eyes closed. Gerric looked down at his son curiously. He laughed. “He must have lost the will to continue the fight. Guards, take him to the detention bloc-…”


A sudden blast rocked the ship. The demolitions crew had apparently done their work. At the same instant, there seemed to be a surge of the Force around Strider. A large, invisible force suddenly sent everyone in the bridge into a wall or across the ground. Gerric pulled himself back up and stared, confused as to what just happened.

Strider’s blue blade suddenly reignited and he was back on his feet, he swung at Gerric. Gerric raised his hilt and activated it just in time to block. He made eye contact with Strider. Strider’s eyes appeared to be a pale blue, instead of their usual dark. His expression was neutral. For a moment, he seemed to have a ghostly white glow about him. Gerric pushed him back and struck as hard as he could. Strider parried and slashed swiftly twice. Gerric’s left arm fell to the ground, shortly followed by his right leg. Gerric howled in pain and dropped his lightsaber and fell to the ground. Strider put his blade to Gerric’s neck, looking down at his father. He deactivated the blade of his lightsaber and merely walked off towards the blast doors to exit.

Just as he got close to the door, the white aura around him seemed to fade, and his eyes returned to their normal hue. The bridge door opened and Jayde was there. She saw Strider and blinked, unbelieving at how he was still standing with the wounds on his shoulder and leg. “What happened to you Strider…?” she asked frantically.
Strider opened his mouth to answer, nothing came out, he closed it again, then gazed at his master for a minute. That was the last thing he saw before feeling the cold, hard metal against his body…


Strider awoke what seemed to have been a lifetime later. It had only been several minutes in real time. He found himself in a Sith transport that the demolitions crew had arrived in. He looked around, familiarizing himself with his surroundings. He saw Jayde helping the crew get in safely from the attacking Sith soldiers. The entry ramp closed and the transport was off. Strider could see out one of the windows as they departed at high speeds away from the Sith battleship. For a minute, he could sense the fading life Force of his father. Moments later, the whole ship exploded from the rest of the timed explosives going off. Strider felt a very small vacuum, barely an echo, in the Force as his father died with the ship. He looked away, trying to shift his position. He grimaced as he did so. His body ached with pain in his leg and
arm. “How am I alive…?” he wondered to himself. He looked up and saw Jayde walk over and sit next to him.

“Good to see you’re alive,” she commented, looking at him with an expression clearly telling she had been quite frightened for his life.

Strider could only give a smirk in an attempt to indicate it had been nothing, but Jayde obviously knew better. He knew she would ask, so he decided to share what happened now anyway. “My father was on that bridge…When the bridge door closed behind you, we dueled…some comments exchanged, and he managed to drive a lightsaber through my shoulder and leg,” he said, grimacing at the thought, and the pain. “It was after that I felt myself black out…then when I opened my eyes, I saw myself facing my father again, but I didn’t really know what was happening…like I was spectator of my own body as it acted on the will of the Force…” he ended, seeming kind of bewildered by the whole turn of events.

Jayde looked at him curiously. “You think the Force took over when you blacked out?” she asked him. She had never heard of such a thing, and this was new to her.

“That’s what it kind of felt like…” he responded.

Jayde sighed and patted Strider on his shoulder. He hissed in pain and winced, growling, “Holy kell dragons…that hurts…,” under his breath. Jayde jerked her hand back, realizing which shoulder she had just patted.

“I’m sincerely sorry Strider,” she apologized quickly. Strider shrugged, and looked at her in the eyes. Jayde heard a voice in her head, saying “We’ll continue the rest of this conversation back on Coruscant…” She realized Strider was speaking to her in her mind through their connection in the Force, and nodded in response. She pushed back his head against the headrest behind him. “Get some rest. We’ll get some kolto put on those wounds or something when we get back down to Kyron.”


The planet was almost peacefully quiet as they returned. When they were brought back to the Kyron resistance’s headquarters, Strider was immediately taken to the medical wing, while Jayde went to report the success of the attack. It wasn’t long before Strider was actually on his feet again, although walking with a considerable limp, came into the meeting hall to hear the end of the briefing, and to report the possibility that all, if not just one, of the men they took captive were decoys. The resistance council leader personally thanked Strider and Jayde for their assistance. His earlier pompous nature seemed to have faded upon seeing the potential of Strider and Jayde in combat, and was much more humble to them now as he spoke to them.
“We will work diligently to get Kyron back to the way it was,” the council leader assured to Strider. “If you would like to stay and help out with the restoration effort, that would be much appreciated,” he offered.

Strider nodded, and looked at the council leader, “I would be more than happy to stay and assist the effort, but I’m afraid our mission here is done. I will however, put in word to the Republic to send aid and supplies here to better help your efforts. I’ll be sure to come back one day to see how the progress has been coming.”

The council leader bowed to the both of them. Jayde and Strider bowed back, and were escorted back to their ship they arrived in. As they walked the streets to the hangar, they already saw free civilians walking about, as if their normal lives had just started once again.

As they walked to the hangar, Strider discussed with one of the escorts about suggesting to the resistance council to search the other territories of Kyron to make sure no Sith were left behind. The soldier nodded, making a note of it, and continued to guide them to the hangar.


Jayde and Strider boarded their ship. Strider got comfortable in the co-pilot’s seat, being in no condition to pilot due to injuries. Jayde looked over at him for a minute, then commented, “You handled the mission exceptionally well Strider, although I fear a part of you took control over you for the first moment of your encounter with your father,” she lectured as she brought the ship off the ground and blasting off into space.

Strider shrugged, “You said it yourself master, I’m only human. I’m going to have some conflicting emotions, and that’s a devil I’ll have to deal with one day won’t I? To answer your fear, yes I give in to anger for awhile. When he started talking about it though, about the Dark Side and everything,” he paused, “I wasn’t really paying attention to everything he said, you see,” he added, then continued, “I realized what I was doing, and sought some sort of inner calm to bring myself back to a more…neutral emotion,” he finished.

Jayde nodded, obviously impressed. She set the hyperspace route for Coruscant, and then continued. “You handled yourself well then. I’ll let you take a bit for break when we return to the temple, but as soon as you’re in condition for training once again, I’ll start regularly teaching you more of my knowledge,” she stated.

For a moment, Strider was confused. He looked at her, and asked, “All of your knowledge? I thought just hand to hand?”

“That’s what I said at first…but I think progressively teaching you everything I know before you take your trials would definitely be most wise,” she responded.
Her apprentice smirked, and responded with amusement. “Why? Are you growing senile to the point you think you’re going to forget what you know, so pass it on before it’s forgotten?” he said with chuckle.

Jaude smiled at his jest, and then replied, “No, Strider. I know that neither of us will live forever, and there’s much I know that I would not want to fall by the wayside without being carried on by my apprentice, and my apprentice’s apprentice.”

Strider raised his eyebrow, then said jokingly, “Whoa now, who says I’m having a padawan? I mean, I’m a handful enough as it is I’m sure, I wouldn’t want to run into myself when I become a Master and then have to train a mini me.”

Jayde smiled, then replied, “Strap yourself in Strider. We’re on our way home.”

Strider turned his head to face the cockpit. He watched as all the stars in view from the cockpit in front of him blurred into streaks as the ship entered hyperspace.




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Old 11-23-2005, 02:59 PM   #61
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Great, I love the whole father/son conflict, and what took over him? It's so good, I want to know more



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Old 11-23-2005, 08:59 PM   #62
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Thanks for the comment. It was a rush getting the thing out, I was supposed to be off by 12, parents were getting ticked, I was trying to finish it up, and I did. I'mma take a few days break, then work on chapter 6.




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Old 11-24-2005, 12:39 PM   #63
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Yep... another good chapter... this story is really giving me some good insight into how to write Flamehart/Craig in Sith Hunters. Keep it up.


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Old 12-02-2005, 06:38 PM   #64
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Chapter 6 is in the works, just thought I'd let you all know so you know that it's coming soon.




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Old 01-04-2006, 11:46 PM   #65
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Bah..been a month and I haven't updated the story once. I want to apologize to anyone who was expecting the chapter to come soon. I haven't had time with Christmas holidays and New Years, and being merely 16 I've got alot of other problems occupying my life that've been, s'cuse the language, hell to deal with. If anyone's still looking forward to this, know that I guarantee I'll finish it, I just haven't had a timespan long enough to work on it lately. Just thought I'd post a notice so no one thinks I've given up or anything.




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Old 01-13-2006, 09:43 PM   #66
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Sounds like you're in touch with reality... some things take priority over others... I'm nearly 20 and still figuring that out


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Old 01-13-2006, 10:03 PM   #67
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Well, on the bright side, over my christmas break I managed to put in several hours of work on it, and it's coming along great. I'm really seeing my writing evolve as I work on this when I get time, I was writing along, progressing through the story, then halfway through I thought, "Hey, this is a more than acceptable chapter to write about <something here>, ill stop here and go back and add that."

Stresses in my life have also calmed down quite a bit, so I think this weekend I'll be able to put some more time into it. It's a three day weekend as well, so I'm looking to get very near to this chapter's completion if I can devote some time to it each day.




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Old 01-20-2006, 07:37 PM   #68
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YAY! Can't wait for more Flamehart....I just love this story



Formerly known as "Miracle"


No puedo olvidarte
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sal de mi piel...

Belinda - Sal de mi piel
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Old 01-20-2006, 07:47 PM   #69
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I'm working on it when and where I can. Shouldn't be too long. I've taken it a habit to start writing parts of it at school, so I can simply transfer it to the text document when I get home.




Check out my fictional novel writing project, Immortal Judgement, at my dA page.
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Old 01-20-2006, 07:52 PM   #70
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Well cool, we'll be waiting anxiously for it



Formerly known as "Miracle"


No puedo olvidarte
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me ahoga mirarte,
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sal de mi piel...

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Old 02-08-2006, 11:23 PM   #71
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Well, it took longer than I'd hoped, but it is FINALLY here. All names and locales are original of course, since this is a fanfiction, except any references to actual canon locations, just wanted to clear that up before any fanboys/fangirls attacked me for using fictional locations :P Here is ALL of Chapter 6. I really didn't want to release it in parts like I did 5, and I again tried to make the conversations more "deep" and "thought out," although there are some cliché choke points, you can't tell me you wouldn't expect it, after all, it IS the Jedi and their fortune cookie teachings.




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Old 02-08-2006, 11:25 PM   #72
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Chapter 6
A Time for Healing and Bruises



Strider was more than relieved to be back at the Jedi Temple. He had spent a maximum of three days in the medical center, and was already back on his feet. Jayde was impressed, and scheduled their first training session for the next week. Strider agreed to it, and spent much of his time meditating and relaxing his body in preparation for the training.


At the first day of the next week, they had their first training session. They met in the training chamber early in the morning. The shutters were closed, but Strider had seen on the way there that the sun hadn’t risen from the horizon yet. Strider yawned. He would have much rather slept in, but waking up early wouldn’t limit his performance at all. He was still a bit disoriented as well; his hair was a mess, and he was still trying to straighten out his Jedi robes as he walked into the chamber. His eyes seemed half open, and he didn’t appear very attentive.

Jayde raised her eyebrow when she saw the groggy, messily dressed Strider walk into the room. “You sure you’re still capable of training, Strider?” she asked him with an amused tone.

Strider shrugged, “I can manage,” he said simply.

Jayde laughed slightly, “I mean, I already knew you were going to get floored, but this makes it almost too easy,” she jested.

If Strider could have raised his eyelids higher at the challenge, he would have. He shot back, “You don’t know that, Master. I’ll have you know I’m even more deadly when I’m half asleep,” he said as confidently as he could in his tired tone.

Jayde smiled. “Right,” she replied. She crossed to her side of the room. Suddenly her attitude shifted on the dime. Again. “Okay now listen up. Today you’ll learn some basic defensive moves. Basically, I’m going to teach you how to take your opponent’s attack and turn it against them. This consists of simple blocks and throws,” she explained. “Take your first shot Strider,” she instructed.

Strider raised one eyebrow. He was still half asleep, and merely walked forward and threw a simple punch, not with much force, but enough to work with.

Before he knew it, his arm was in Jayde’s grip and the next second he saw the ceiling, then shortly after he felt his back collide with the ground of the training room. Strider grunted and got back up. “Well…that woke me up,” he thought to himself. He swiftly got up and did a spinning kick. Jayde shifted her foot slightly, catching Strider’s foot with ease. Strider rolled his eyes and rolled backwards, then moved to a standing position. He ran forward and punched twice at Jayde. Jayde blocked the first strike, and then grabbed the second. She twisted his arm, turned, and flipped him over her shoulder.

However, Strider managed to catch on. He landed on his feet, then after freeing his arm delivered a backward kick. Jayde took a few steps back and the kick stopped just short of her, she grabbed it and jerked back, wrenching Strider from his feet and landing him back on his back. Strider let out a grunt as he felt his back once again become acquainted with the floor.

“If she wasn’t a girl and if she couldn’t mop the floor with me…I’d have so run her off by now like the other masters,” he thought to himself.

Jayde sighed. “Strider, stand up,” she ordered.

Strider, just in spite, stayed on the ground a bit longer. “I think you broke my back, master,” he said humorously, then started to get up.

Jayde shook her head, then looked at him, “Strider, hit me,” she said simply.
Strider blinked. “She’s gotta be kidding,” he thought. “You’re joking, right?” he asked her. Jayde simply shook her head. Strider let out a sigh, not exactly quite expecting this, and threw a punch straight for Jayde’s face.

His fist stopped short half an inch from her face, his arm had plenty of room to extend farther, but it wouldn’t, as if he was stopped by something unseen.

Jayde shrugged. “Figured as much…Try again,” she said concisely.

So again, Strider attempted to hit her, and again, and again. Each time, it seemed as if something was stopping him from fully making contact with her, and she did not budge nor flinch. Strider then decided to get smart, and replied to his master, “Okay, well this isn’t working, how about you try hitting me?” he suggested. Jayde rolled her eyes.

Jayde’s arm had moved in a flash, almost evident only by the sound of her fist contacting with Strider’s chest, sending him back into the wall with such unbelievable force. Strider let out a groan of pain. “Well…that didn’t work as well as I’d hoped…” he grunted.

Jayde laughed slightly, then explained to him, “Strider, were there any morals your parents taught you that stuck to you?”

Strider shook his head in an attempt to reorient himself, then thought about it, flashing back to his past.

Strider is in his house, being scolded by his mother regarding his “conduct” towards a female around his own age. She’s giving him one of those good morals speeches, telling him about being a gentleman, not being rough with women, among other things. The kind of talks Strider usually doesn’t like listening to, even at that age. At this age, as it was prior to him joining the Jedi Order, he didn’t comprehend its importance whatsoever. It wasn’t until he had made friends in the Order that happened to be female, that he understood its significance.

Jayde was able to see him searching his mind, awaited his answer patiently

Strider broke his silence, and replied, “Its silly…my mother raised me not to be rough towards the opposite gender. That can’t be it though, you asked me too, so I shoul-…”

Jayde interrupted, and finished for him, “Shouldn’t be able to do anything to me. Your morals are holding you back. You’re refusing to do what I ask because your upbringing conflicts with it. Nothing wrong with it, it’s not a bad thing at all. Just know that as a Jedi, you’ll have to learn to be a bit more impartial to the opposite gender in a potentially challenging situation. Now, let’s change the stakes a little, and see what happens to those morals given the situation changing.” She unhooked her lightsaber from her belt and activated the blade.

Strider’s eyes widened, “Hey now, let’s not be rash,” he replied, “Jayde I’m sure there’s a better way of getting a point across than with a live blade!” he exclaimed, moving back. Jayde moved forward and struck forward with her lightsaber.

It was almost as if suddenly, everything Strider believed in that moment vanished from his mind. Strider’s reflexes were automatic. As soon as the blade came at him, he moved just to the side, grabbed her hand, and elbowed her in the stomach. Jayde let out a shout of surprise and pain. Strider’s foot hooked around the back of her leg and jerked back, pulling it up. He then swiftly moved it around to the front and kicked down on the same leg while it was up, knocking her to one knee. Strider kicked to the side, knocking her blade out of her hand and sending it tattering across the floor. He breathed hard and stepped back quickly away from Jayde, surprised by how he reacted.

“What did I just do…?” Strider asked, stunned by his own actions.

Jayde held her stomach as she stood back up, and replied, “Apparently, if your life is on the line, the morals step aside and let you do your work, I see. Although you didn’t seem quite sure of what you were doing, you did do what you had to in order to disarm me.”

Strider took slow breaths, then looked at her, and then said in a “smart” tone, “Well how does that help me? I mean after all, if I can’t hit you when I’m not in danger, which means I‘m screwed if I’m fighting a female in hand to hand.”

Jayde shrugged, “You have to simply convince yourself that your opponent’s own hands are deadly enough weapons, then. You saw what I did to you with one blow,” she concluded. “Try again,” she offered.

Strider struck again, knowing full well he was able to hit her now. His fist was about to contact when Jayde blocked and countered with a strike of her own. Strider blocked and backed away. Jayde nodded, seeing Strider was able to put her suggestion into use, “I think that’ll conclude today’s lesson. You seem to be catching on incredibly faster than I expected, we’ll try a sparring session later this week to see how fast you can catch on,” she stated to him, patting him on the shoulder. “Go get some rest now, I woke you up rather early,” she said. As she walked out, she waved her hand in the direction of the window shutters. They slid open, revealing that the sun was just barely coming over the horizon now. Strider groaned, just now realizing exactly how early he had gotten up.

As soon as Jayde left the room, using the Force to levitate and recall her lightsaber back to her hand, Strider turned to look out the window for a moment. He gazed in the direction of the slowly rising sun, watching its light slowly illuminate the tall, magnificent structures of Coruscant. He turned around and looked into the training room, and thought of something. “Might as well, while I’m awake,” he said to himself. He walked into the middle of the room, waving his hands at the shutters and closing them with the Force. The room was dark once again. He ignited his lightsaber, it’s blade shimmering a navy blue in the dark room, and then spoke loud and clear, “Activate lightsaber training drones. Start training session number twenty-five, difficulty number ninety-two. Increase difficulty with each successful session completion.”

The computer replied to his request. “Record the score?”

“Yes.”

“Difficulty levels set unusually high. Consequence of failure may be severe burns and require a trip to the infirmary, are you sure you wish to continue, Jedi?”

“Yes.”

Seventeen drones appeared in the room, each one equipped with rapid firing blasters.

Strider pulled a cloth from inside his tunic and wrapped it around his eyes, blindfolding himself. Once again he heard the computer’s voice chime in.

“You wish to do this test blindfolded, Jedi?” the computer-intercom voice asked.

“Yes.”

“Deactivating room lights, initializing stealth protocols on drones,” finished the computer’s voice.

The lights shut off. Strider couldn’t even make out the glow of his lightsaber through his blindfold. He closed his eyes, simply to remove the temptation to remove his blindfold, and held his weapon ready, waiting for the first strike. He concentrated, immersing his mind in the Force. The feeling it presented when he did so was always awe-inspiring to him. It felt almost as if his reflexes and senses were increased by a hundredfold. He could hear the slight sound of the drones floating around him, and knew exactly where each of them was positioned. Finally, after what felt like an eternity of waiting, the first blaster bolt was ejected from a drone on his left. His lightsaber moved swiftly to deflect it, knocking it back at the drone it came from. The drone didn’t expect the response time from Strider, and was destroyed. He smirked slightly in satisfaction at the sound; however this caused him to be drawn out of his sense of concentration. The other droids’ stealth protocols indicated that this action meant that their stealth maneuvers were useless, and the droids began opening fire from different directions.

This was the part Strider was waiting for. He went back into his state of concentration. Once again he felt the overwhelming feeling of his senses sharpening and reflexes quickening. Strider seemed to step foot into time itself; everything had slowed to a crawl, while he moved at almost standard speed. His blade met each low-powered blaster bolt as it arrived slowly, knocking the blasts all away effortlessly.

From the droid’s perspective and from the recording camera’s perspective as well, the scene was quite different. Strider was seen moving at what seemed an impossible speed to block each blast as they came, not having to move but a little from his current position to block each one. On the recording, and to the droids, he was moving so fast to block, it almost left afterimages of his hands in their previous location to deflect the previous bolt. More and more drones came to replace the ones that fell, the computer chiming in to say what difficulty level he had achieved with each completion. He progressed to difficulty number ninety-six before lightsaber-wielding drones were dispatched as well as the blaster ones.

Although he couldn’t see his opponents to know that’s what he was up against, he was able to hear the sound of multiple lightsaber ignitions, coming from objects without a life Force. He was able to piece together the sounds with a mental image of the training room in his head, and knew where each droid was. Strider hadn’t quite considered he’d be up against these kinds of opponents, but thought of it as another challenge to overcome. As one droid began to strike at him with a training lightsaber, he realized he had to not only block that, but then deflect the bolts of most likely anywhere between ten to twenty turret drones, then about three to four lightsaber strikes from lightsaber droids.

However, he was ready for it. He blocked the lightsaber droid’s blow, moved his blade with incredible speed to deflect bolts coming from two different directions, back flipped to avoid another strike from the first drone, then at last whirled around and sliced hard, disabling a second lightsaber wielding droid. He could feel the sweat drenching his robes. He was getting tired, and fast. He deflected more bolts, and then spun around to block two blows from the first lightsaber droid again. He leapt over the droid and slashed backwards, cutting the droid down, and then brought his blade back up swiftly to deflect shots in all directions, taking down the remainder of the drones.

As Strider requested at the beginning, the difficulty level raised and more started to appear, but consequently, Strider was starting to grow weary. He wasn’t able to move as fast, his body was tiring, his muscles aching. He managed to deflect several blasts, but was now forced to resort to rolls or other evasive maneuvers to avoid them. However, he was determined to finish this training. His breathing was heavy; his chest rising and falling slowly, appearing to be crushed by concrete on his shoulders. After another evasive roll and some deflective swings, he lifted his sweat drenched body to his feet.

“Relax Strider... Breathe... You can do this...” he told himself in his head. There was a part of him he had to reach. When faced with the strength devouring effects of fatigue, there was somewhere in his body where fatigue would never reach until tapped into. It was like an inner core within him, swelling with untapped and reserved energy. He searched inside himself until he found it.

It felt now as if he had stepped in front of a giant fan powered by turbolift engines. He started to feel what seemed to be a refreshing, cool sensation swell inside his body, his veins felt cooled and his blood as if turned to ice. His body moved with renewed energy, deflecting bolts and decapitating drones. Another hour passed, and finally Strider collapsed onto both of his knees, his lightsaber deactivated, and nearly ripped the cloth blindfold away from his eyes. The computer registered this as a queue to end the training program, and did so automatically.

A transparent holographic screen shot up to the ceiling and spanned horizontally before Strider. It showed the top recorded training scores from the temple’s records, which most never exceeded past difficulty level 40. The computer scrolled to the top of the list and began keying in his name and record.

Time Duration: 3 Hours, 30 minutes, 27 seconds.
Student
Strider F.
Training #
Final Test (#25)
Start Difficulty Level
Level 92
End Difficulty Level
Level 100 (Final)
Score: 100% Completed. Time Per Level = Approx. 26.30 Minutes
Combat Rating: S
Defense Rating: S
Efficiency Rating: S
Technique Rating: S

Strider let out a breath. Finally, after all his training, he’d achieved the level he wanted to be at; straight S ratings across the board. His body was now exhausted, his energy reserves were depleted. His breathing was uneven, and his voice was weak as he spoke to the computer. “Save session under my training regimen…I wish to train under these conditions again at a later time.”

The computer replied in an emotionless tone, “Training session saved. Is there anything else, Jedi Flamehart?”

“That’ll be all,” he replied. He stood up, barely managing to bring himself back to his feet. His legs felt like rubber, and his arms felt like every muscle and bone had been surgically removed and replaced with some sort of mush.

As he went back to his room, his body heat felt as if it was starting to feel the equivalent of the surface of Mustafar. He thought this would be a long week, consisting of healing and bruising, at the same time. When he got to his room, he dropped on his bed and instantly fell asleep.

Strider awoke a few hours later, the sun was now up, and the breakfast meal would be served soon. He got up and dressed into his robes, noticing a few bruises from being thrown around by his master, and a few burns from his training session. He straightened everything out and waved his hand at the door, opening it, as he picked up his lightsaber from his nightstand.

Strider walked out the door and looked around at the empty hall. Most of the students probably had already started making their way towards the mess hall. He went to the lift that would take him to the right floor. He opened the metallic silver turbolift when it arrived and stepped in. Just as he was about to close it he saw a fellow student trying to rush to the lift. Strider pressed a button and the sliding door froze in place and slowly eased back. The fellow trainee nodded thanks to Strider and stepped in.

The apprentice was about 17 years old, shoulder length brown hair, hazel eyes, and a slim build. The explanation for the availability of a description was obvious. Strider had been paying attention to her. Her name was Cylia, and he remembered her from working with her on several occasions before, when the Council had paired Sylvia and her master with Jayde and him.

Cylia smiled at Strider, and then said softly, “Thank you for waiting…The other turbolift is a good running distance from my room, and I didn’t want to have to go all the way to the other side of the student dorms to get to it.”

Strider nodded, and replied, his voice sounding somewhat tired still, “No problem, Cylia. I know how that is, I’ve had to do that a few times myself.” As the turbolift ascended, there was a discomforting silence between the two of them. For some odd reason, it felt awkward for him to be standing alone in the turbolift with her, but on many occasion during missions they were split up from their masters. They were often left alone together to solve things by themselves on their end and things always seemed to work naturally between them, but for some odd reason things were never quite comfortable or natural between the two of them outside of a mission or training
environment.

“You sound a little tired, did you not get any sleep?” she asked curiously.

“I got sleep, it’s just…well, let’s just say a rough training session I had the other day…kinda wiped me out a bit,” he said, trying to avoid the topic. She had gotten onto him before when he had started his rigorous training schedule about how it wasn’t “healthy for his physique,” and he shouldn’t push himself so hard. Just then, though, he remembered something.

There was also another strange occurrence that happened each time they ran into each other alone in the temple… Like a curse, a coincidence, or possibly just the mysterious workings of the Force.

“Guess we’re going to be assigned to another mission together,” said Cylia, in an attempt to break the silence between the two of them as the turbolift continued traveling from the student dorms to the mess hall. That’s what the strange occurence was: Every time they ran into each other, outside of training that is, they ended up being called together with their masters to meet in the council chamber, and were assigned a cooperative mission of some kind.

“Maybe it was just coincidence all those times…”

“Strider, it’s happened twelve-…”

“Thirteen,” Strider corrected, turning his head to look at her.

Cylia rolled her eyes and continued, “Okay, thirteen, but my point is, things don’t coincidentally happen thirteen times. I’m pretty sure the Force is doing it intentionally, bringing us together before each mission so we know what to expect later in our day.

“Well, that could be it, I mean, we are in a Jedi Temple, and this is the Force we’re talking about here. This turbolift could freeze in this shaft, we get a call from the Council telling us Sith are raiding the temple, and I wouldn’t bat an eyelash,” he stated hypothetically.

“Careful Strider, could possibly well happen, tomorrow is never a promise,” she replied in a solemn tone.

“Oh c’mon, now you’re sounding like my master…” Strider said.

“I’m serious Strider…you say that lightly, but with current situations that could very well likely happen. You know better than I that one has to expect the unexpected,” she said to him.

Her tone was much more serious, now, Strider noted, and he changed his attitude about the whole thing. The last thing he needed was to end up on bad terms with Cylia before going on a mission later that day with her. “I understand what you’re saying, Cylia. But I mean, everyone’s been so edgy since the Jedi and Sith war started, I’m just trying not to be like every other moody person around here. Yes I know we’ve lost a lot of good Jedi, yes I know it’s been hard times lately, but being upset about the whole thing solves nothing.”

“So you don’t mourn the deaths of your fallen allies?” she asked, looking at him harshly.
Strider sighed, knowing this conversation wasn’t going the way he wanted it to, and replied back, “I do, but I don’t show it on the outside, because mourning solves nothing. We can’t let their death be in vain by standing around crying about our losses.”

Cylia’s expression seemed to soften. “I see what you’re getting at. I’m sorry,” she said in a low tone.

The turbolift came to a halt. Strider let Cylia step out first then followed, and responded to her apology, “Don’t be…I heard about what happened to a lot of our friends, and I understand that it’s hard, but I’ve always been one to keep moving and make things.” He paused to think of an example, then continued, “Why else do you think you nag at me all the time when we come to a point where we have to stop and think about what we have to do next before acting?”

Cylia smiled at this reminder. They proceeded to getting their morning meal and sitting at a table. Sure enough, halfway to their meal they were sent a message on their comlinks telling them to meet their masters in the Council Chambers after they finished their meal. Cylia looked up at Strider and asked, “This time, will you listen to me instead of bursting into a room of fifty-five Sith Soldiers and trying to make up our combat strategy as we go?”

Strider chuckled as he remembered this event vividly. What a magnificent battle it was too. Although he took out most of them, Cylia had her fair share of kills too. She was relatively powerful in Force powers, not a lightsaber combatant, and had used several protective Force techniques that he had never seen nor heard of before. Her master was mostly a Force user, and she learned a lot of what she knew from him, but never focused as much on lightsaber combat as she did on study of different applications of the Force. She had to learn several lightsaber techniques from Strider in training sessions. When she wasn’t conjuring Force miracles in that battle, she was combating the Sith side by side with Strider.

“I guess I’ll try not to jump to conclusions so often,” he said, smiling at Cylia. He received a rolling eyes response, and merely just grinned and shook his head. They stood up as they finished their meal, and went to the council chambers to see what was needed of them.

As they arrived, their masters were waiting outside. They both bowed respectfully to their masters, and before long were asked to enter the Council Chamber.

Strider had been inside the Council Chamber many a time, but the view from this tower never ceased to amaze him. Along the walls of the chamber were large spanned windows, giving an incredible view of the skyline of Coruscant. The reflection of the sun off the towering skyscrapers of the city, and the outstanding glimmer of the shining metal of the Senate building were breathtaking. The masters and their padawans walked to the center of the chamber and both bowed. The Council members acknowledged them and they stood back up straight. Strider tried not to be distracted by the brilliant spectator view of the outside architecture of Coruscant, and drew his focus to the topic at hand.


“Once again, you two will be assigned on a cooperative mission. You will be assigned to the planet of Secerros,” said one of the masters.

“It’s a small planet just within Republic regions. They submitted a petition to join the Republic earlier this year, and now that finally their inauguration is occurring, there is some instability on the planet about whether or not the citizens want to follow through or not,” spoke another to Strider’s left. “Your job is to go there to keep the peace. Not silence the resistance, just keep the peace. If you must, to get the resistance to calm down, try to persuade them with the benefits of joining the Republic. If the political leader there decides to withdraw their decision to join, then you are to return here. Nothing more we can do.”

“You’re sending us on a diplomatic mission?” Cylia asked, “Is there something else?”

“A wise question,” spoke one of the other council members. “We believe the resistance that is attempting to prevent the planet’s inauguration into the Republic may possibly be allied with the Sith. It is just suspicion and speculation at this point. The resistance is mostly youth, which caught our attention when we received this report. The Sith most likely target the younger audiences, ranging from children to teens, simply because they’re easier to turn to the lures of the Dark Side. The easiest way to infiltrate and find out what is really going on, would be to allow your apprentice, Master Averre, and yours, Master Vien, to “join” the resistance and gather intelligence from the inside. You two will focus on the political leaders and keeping the peace. It is likely the pair of you will encounter each other at one time or another…”

“So we’ll have to act as if we have no former acquaintance with each other,” finished Strider, anticipating what was coming next.

The master nodded, “Yes, your masters must act as if they’ve never seen you before when around the other resistance members. This is a risk, as you can only imagine what may have to occur, so take caution. This is a risky mission, and the political fate of the planet rests on your actions. Your ship leaves in one week. You have the time until then to train, prepare, and rest. May the Force be with all of you.”
Strider and Cylia, along with their Masters, all replied, “May the Force be with you also,” and bowed. They then left the room and headed to the lifts.

Jayde turned immediately to talk to Strider, “We have one week…we’ll spend some more days training with melee, since you obviously won’t be able to draw your lightsaber on Secerros without giving away your allegiance with the Republic. We’ll have another session tonight, alright?”

Strider merely shrugged, already knowing he wasn’t getting another alternative, and so he voiced that opinion. “Not like you’re giving me much of a choice, Master,” he stated with some humor in his tone.

Jayde merely smirked and replied, “Good observation, my apprentice. You’re right, there isn’t much of one.”

Cylia laughed softly, and looked over at Strider and said, “Good luck, try not to get too many bruises.”

Strider just shrugged at this, he didn’t seem so enthusiastic about it, but at the same time, he wasn’t disproving of it either. He was rather exhausted, was all, from his morning training exercise, and didn’t know how well he’d perform. He turned to look towards his master, and was quite startled to see her penetrating green eyes gazing directly at him. He tried to suppress his surprise and merely inquired, “Yes Master?”

Just then, the elevator door opened at Master Vien and Cylia’s stop. They both exited the lift, bidding the other two Jedi farewells and leaving out of sight. The lift then continued to the next stop for Jayde and Strider.

“Nothing…It’s just, your bearing, demeanor, and posture; you seem exhausted. We didn’t train for that long last night. You’re not having any sleeping problems are you?” she asked worriedly.

Strider quickly shook his head. He sighed slightly, the burden of his crack of dawn training session now heavy on his chest. “After you left I thought it would be an opportune moment to try and catch up on some of my lightsaber technique and training,” he said, “I’d previously been doing unrecorded matches so no one would know how severely and how roughly I was training myself, but last night I did a recorded one just to see just how much my training paid off…” he trailed off.

Jayde immediately changed the course of the turbolift. Before long, they were back in the training center. Strider sighed, knowing exactly what she was going to do. She exited the lift, with an extraordinarily long and powerful stride.

“Oh man... What’s she gonna think of it? She’s oddly quiet all of a sudden, and a stride like that can’t be a very good sign... I’m screwed,” Strider thought.

Jayde stepped into the middle of the room. Strider walked in as well, but stood a bit of a distance away. The shutters were open now that it was daytime. He took a moment to admire the view outside, just to take his mind briefly off whatever was to come next. It wasn’t as splendorous as the view from the Council Chamber, but still permitted an outstanding view of the city.

Jayde waved a hand towards a console on the wall. Within moments, a large holographic screen appeared before her. “Show most recent training score results,” she commanded. The images and characters on the holographic screen began moving fast, going through the system and bringing up the results. The results showed the bottom most score, and started scrolling up. “Show me the top 10 scores,” she stated. Immediately, the holographic screen scrolled up and slightly expanded to show all 10 names. Strider’s name rested in its abode at the top of the list. The score was unbelievably higher than the rest before it, and Jayde couldn’t believe it. Since there was no record of his previous training sessions, it almost looked like his unbelievably high score was due to tampering of files. Jayde turned and set her leveling gaze at Strider. “Did you honestly earn this score, or did you tamper with the system, Strider?”

Strider blinked. This wasn’t something he was exactly expecting, but now that he looked at it, he couldn’t say he blamed her. His score was unusually high. He answered as honestly as he could, “I earned the score, Master. I did not tamper with the system whatsoever.”

Jayde let out an exasperated breath. Strider could see in her expression that she believed him, but she just wasn’t quite sure what to think. “Does the Council know?” she asked slowly.

“No, Master. I did this session shortly after we finished our melee training. The computer should still have a recorded video of the actual session,” replied Strider, trying to back up his testimony.

“Video can be altered. I’m afraid if the Council gets wind of this…they’re going to have to ask you to repeat the training run,” she said.

Strider let out a heavy sigh. He didn’t think he had the energy to, but he knew she was right…


Jayde addressed the council about the issue at hand as soon as possible. Just as she predicted, they judged it would be best if he repeated the trial to prove validity of the event occurring. They were able to sense Strider’s weakness as if it was a slowly degenerating spirit. He was exhausted, and they could tell he must have pulled off some extraordinary feat to drain him so. “We’ll hold the session two days from now to allow Strider to rest. If you’re going to give him any training, Master Averre, do it today. He’ll need the rest of the time to recuperate if he’s going to repeat such a feat,” said one of the masters.

Jayde nodded in agreement. After the meeting, she then told Strider to meet her in the training room in two hours. Strider nodded and took the lift down to the student dorms. On his way to his room, he saw Cylia walking his way in the corner of his eye.

“Strider!” she called, “I heard that you had to go to the council for something. Is everything okay?” she asked worriedly.

Strider managed to nod a little. He didn’t exactly like the idea of repeating the training exercise, and he did look a little pale at just fathoming the thought of having to do it again. He was able to bring forth a reply in the form of a weak voice, “Yeah…everything’s fine…” He handed her a data disk, on it containing a hard copy of his training video. “My master took me for some hand to hand combat training early this morning…after we finished, I decided to do some different training of my own. Well they think that after seeing my results that the records could’ve possibly been tampered with since it was an “unsupervised” session. The video is on that dis-…”

Before he could even finish that sentence, Cylia grabbed the sleeve of his tunic and dragged him to her dorm. She let go and entered her room, coming back out later with a holographic projector, and then inserted the data disk. The video playback showed the intensity of the training session. She played it on fast, so they could get through it quickly, but even at that speed it was evident to see the punishment

Strider had put himself through to accomplish this feat. Her eyes were slightly wide, her face tense. Her head slowly lifted to look back at Strider, her hands losing the grip on the holographic projector and the disk shaped object fell to the ground with a rattling clang.

“Cylia?” Strider inquired in a low tone. His eyes were filled with worry, and quite frightened at what her next possible reaction would be. “Please don’t let her be angry for pushing myself like that...” he thought to himself.

She looked back up at him, “You pushed yourself this hard…and now…they want you to repeat it to prove you did it?” she asked incredulously.

“That’s…pretty much the idea,” he responded wearily.

“But…why? Can they not sense you are not lying?” she inquired.

“I would assume they could, but seeing is believing, I guess they say,” he replied.

“Strider…it’s suicide!” she exclaimed.

“I did it once…I can do it again,” he replied rather emotionlessly. Strider started to turn away and head back to his dorm. Suddenly though, he felt almost frozen in place by something, as if some sort of electric charge had suddenly passed from his right shoulder to both of his legs, immobilizing his feet. He turned his head slightly and saw Cylia’s hand on his shoulder.

“You push yourself too hard Strider…you don’t have to prove anything, I mean, you know you did it, why prove it to them?” Cylia asked. “It’s a simple training session.
Nothing drastically important,” she added.

“Because by not showing them after they’ve become suspicious about tampering, it would make them think their system was possibly vulnerable and I managed to get into it. It’s more trouble I get into than it’s worth,” he explained.

Strider turned around to look at Cylia face to face. His liquid blue eyes met with Cylia’s hazel eyes, unable to meet his gaze and seemed to tremble shyly.

“I just…I’m worried. I’ve seen you do amazing things Strider, and there are times I just wonder how all that power hasn’t gone to your head yet…surprised you haven’t become consumed by your own impressive ability…I’m worried that you’re doing this out of pride, for your reputation, not to prove you did it,” she said sullenly, lowering her head slightly after.

Strider blinked. He never thought of it this way, and he could see how she could see it from that point of view. Thoughts begin to swell in his head, questioning his own reasons for desiring to re-demonstrate his ability to complete the training session.

“Am I really doing this for proof? Or am I becoming full of myself because of my abilities? Surely it’s not pride...maybe impulsive behavior...but not pride.”

He came to his own answer, and placed both of his hands on Cylia’s shoulders. This seemed to set off something in her head, as her face seemed to jerk back up as fast as a turbolift. She looked up at him, her eyes filled with a sort of fear for his choice.
“This isn’t about pride or my reputation. It’s to simply prove I could, and did, do it,” he explained reassuringly. “Now, as for impulse, I can’t say my decision isn’t impulsive. You know me, it might possibly be,” he said jokingly with a smile.

Cylia nodded at his response, and smiled upon hearing his jest. Then suddenly, her arms flew around Strider and gripped him tightly. “Thank you, Strider. I’m sorry for doubting, I knew you’d make the right decision.” Her arms released him and she backed off, her face flushed to a scarlet color. “Sorry,” she said quickly.

Strider didn’t take the embrace to mean anything, given how close friends they were, and just smiled in response. “No need to be sorry. Thank you for saying that, actually. I never really saw it from that perspective,” he replied thankfully.

* * * * * * *




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Old 02-08-2006, 11:26 PM   #73
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Strider let out a grunt of pain. His leg had just been jerked out from under his body and his chest forced down, causing a resounding thud on the hard floor of the training room. He reared back his feet and leapt forward feet-first, landing back in a ready position.

Jayde wasn’t holding back this time, and Strider could tell. He wasn’t anywhere near as experienced as she was, but it was as if with each move she made, knowledge flooded into Strider’s head like a roaring waterfall. Jayde came at Strider again now, fooling him into thinking she was going to throw a punch, and instead delivered a side kick.

Strider was ready for this one, or so he thought. He managed to grab a hold of her foot, but this was only the beginning of his mistake. Strider was about to twist her leg to spin her to the ground, but before he could even fathom it, Jayde pushed off the ground with her right foot, bent her left knee, and delivered a driving kick to Strider’s chest, knocking him onto his back, and freeing her left leg from his grasp.

“The possibilities are nearly endless, Strider. You have to expect the unexpected,” she preached, then moved her foot off his chest. “You alright?” she asked.
Strider nodded, and climbed to his feet. Just as he did so, Jayde did a sweeping kick at his feet. His spine made acquaintance with the floor once again with another resounding thud.

Jayde offered her hand this time to help him up. Strider took it and was pulled to his feet, but this was another mistake. Just as she pulled him up, she kicked one of his shins out from under him then drove her elbow into his back. Strider was once again reintroduced to the solid ground of the training chamber, but this time his chest and the left cheek of his face met the ground rather than his back.

Strider groaned and began to get back up. Jayde was about to speak and he quickly interrupted, coming off as a little frustrated, “Yes Master, I realize I have to pay attention…”

His master raised her eyebrow, and then responded, “Careful Strider. Your f…” but was once again interrupted.

Strider replied, with a hint of mock in his tone, “My frustration will cloud my judgment. My clouded judgment will cause me to make irrational decisions that lead me down the path of the Dark Side.”

Obviously not amused by Strider’s mockery, Jayde delivered a swift kick to his shin. Strider’s foot slipped back, but kept his balance. Dread flooded over his mind as he realized what he’d done, and the earlier frustration disappeared from his mind as swiftly as it had come. All in just a half second’s time, he wiped his mind of everything and concentrated on the next thing coming.

The next thing that came was Jayde’s foot to his gut. He quickly lifted up the leg that had slid back and blocked with his shin. Jayde was surprised at his reaction, and delivered a blow to his chest with her left fist, her foot still on his shin. Strider crossed his arms in front of him and blocked her punch. The force of it knocked him back, causing Jayde’s foot to fall from his shin. He then moved one hand down swiftly to grab her hand locked between his two arms. His other hand shot forward and hit her in her gut, shortly after his foot kicked forward at her shin, just enough to cause her foot to slide back. Strider then turned and pulled Jayde’s arm over his shoulder and hoisted her off the ground, flipping her over his shoulder.
Jayde however, managed to land on her feet, much to Strider’s dismay. She twisted around, her arm as well, and managed to pull free of Strider’s grip and struck with her right fist.

Her apprentice was ready, though, blocking with his left hand, then while holding onto her fist, leaped up and faked a kick with his left leg, then kicked forward with his right. His foot contacted with Jayde’s shoulder, causing her to stumble back and fall over.

Jayde tried to get up, but just as she did, Strider did a sweeping kick. She managed to jump over it, but Strider improvised just the same and from his position on the ground, kicked upward with both feet, and hit both her legs, causing her to fall face-down back to the ground.

Just as Strider hopped back up to his feet and readied himself for Jayde’s next move. However, Jayde held up her hand and called the session to an end. He blinked and stood back straight. When Jayde got up, they both bowed to each other respectively.
Jayde was the first to speak, “I saw your surprise after I hit your shin, and I noticed how quickly you cleared your mind and prepared for what next came. Don’t get frustrated Strider, falling may be frustrating, but as you saw just now, the longer our training went, the faster you were able to detect a counter technique to fight back with.”

Strider nodded and said in response, “I apologize for my attitude; I was merely getting frustrated with my own lack of performance.”

Jayde nodded and replied, “I understand, Strider. You expect too much from yourself though, and that kind of pride in your ability can lead to several things. I’m not referring to the Dark Side, but that is a possible path, but many Jedi who realize they have great potential begin to overestimate their ability and underestimate the situation they face.”

Strider took this to thought and then replied in a thankful tone, “I understand, Master. Thanks for veering away from the traditional ‘leads to the Dark Side’ cliché. The teachings often just say, ‘Don’t do this for it leads to the dark side.’ The way you explain it helps me relate to the lesson personally and adjust myself accordingly.”

Jayde smiled, and then said proudly, “I’m glad you realize that. Also, I was impressed by how you adapted to the fight that last round, you’re definitely getting the hang of this faster than I ever expected.” She paused for a moment, thinking, and then spoke her thought, “As for how I decide to inform you, I don’t quite agree with the redundancy of the teachings myself, which is why I try to make the situation a little more personal. This is probably also why they don’t want me on the Council.”
“I thought they wouldn’t let you in because you were too young?” Strider asked, now curious, given this new information.

“That’s what they told me,” Jayde replied. “But as we know, the Council is often elusive in their real reasons for making their choices, and I haven’t been a master long, but I’ve been a master long enough to know that my views differ from theirs, and they know it,” she finished.

Strider nodded, “I get what you mean. Even from my experiences, they were never quite straightforward with me but I could estimate their underlying reasons for their decisions.”

Master Averre nodded to him. “Now, go get some rest. You’re going to have a hard afternoon tomorrow, you need as much energy as you can get,” she advised.
“Yes, Master.”


* * * * * * *


At first the image seemed to be a fuzzy, unfocused lens. As it began to sharpen, the outline of the floor of the Council Chamber began to be visible. Soon, the silhouettes of the chairs were visible, and the edges of the large windows sharpened as well. Afterwards, the details in between began to come into focus. The designs on the Council floor, the seats of the Council members, the metallic walls and ceiling, and finally, the magnificent view of the Coruscant skyline. The perspective began to rotate, giving a full three hundred sixty degree view of the room, before finally coming to a halt overlooking the room from a balcony-like seating near the door way.
The bodies of the Council members faded into view, starting from the feet and slowly accumulating up to the torso, and finally the head. Shortly after their arrival, another body seemed to appear, assembling from the head down. It was a blue-eyed male with rather messy black hair donned in the traditional Jedi garments. This man was Strider, and he was standing before the Council alone. Master Averre was nowhere to be seen in the room. There was a peculiar silence, before finally one of the council members spoke.

“Strider Flamehart, step forward,” boomed the voice of one of the masters.
Strider stepped forward into the center of the room. His expression was neutral and carried little emotion; he seemed ready to face the consequences for some unknown actions of his.

“You are fully aware of your actions, and you are fully aware of the consequences of those actions. We are already particularly sure of what we will sentence upon you, but first, do you have any explanations to justify what you’ve done?” asked the head council member.

“I am fully aware, and I do know the consequences. As to my explanation, I have none. There is nothing to excuse what I have done, so instead I, knowing my chances of such a thing are already futile, ask for a chance at redemption,” replied Strider in a firm voice.

“You have fallen far, Flamehart. We don’t know if we can ever trust you within these walls again, and it would take you quite some time of service with the Jedi to prove your redemption. Although no Jedi is beyond redemption, you have done much, and I believe if our teachings failed you once, it is likely they will fail you again after such a swift transition back from what you submitted to,” spoke one of the masters.

“Yes, you have done much that would convince us that converting back would be time consuming, and possibly have little to no affect on the darkness that already resides within you. You are still too close to the Dark Side. It would be dangerous for the other students to allow you to train once more within these walls once again,” said another master.

“You have indeed fallen too far, making you too great a risk to be readmitted into the Order so soon. Your petition for redemption will only be valid after you have spent an extended period of time away from the temptation of the Dark Side and have proved you can commit selfless, honorable acts to assist either the Jedi or the Republic. The Council is in agreement, and our previously agreed judgment has proved to be the best course of action. Strider Flamehart, from this moment on, you are hereby exiled from the Jedi Order. As such, you are required to forfeit your lightsaber,” decreed the head council member.

Strider’s face remained emotionless as he removed his lightsaber hilt from his belt. He activated the blade, which caused most of the Council members to reach for their own hilts warily. Strider just gazed at the deep blue resonance of his blade for a moment, before deactivating the blade and handing it over respectfully to the head council member. He seemed awfully calm about all of this as he bowed, then left the Council Chambers without another word.


* * * * * * *


Strider bolted upright to a sitting position in his bed, body soaked in sweat. “Was that a dream…?” he asked himself. He looked around his room to reassure himself, and sure enough, he saw his own lightsaber hilt sitting on his nightstand and several datapads, disks, and a holographic projector scattered about the room and many other personal items signifying he was still in his room at the Jedi Temple.

He let out a sigh of relief. Everything was well. It must’ve been a dream, and he could only hope that’s how it would remain. He lay back on his bed, taking in a deep breath, his chest swelling to maximum capacity, then exhaled, his chest shrinking back to its normal proportion. He leaned over and checked the time. “Still too early in the morning,” he told himself, and rolled back over into his bed. As he did so, he noticed just how much he had perspired and removed his undershirt, revealing a rather toned torso with a few minor scratches, burns, and bruises from the recent training sessions. He lay back onto his bed and closed his eyes, then allowed himself to fall back into a deep sleep.


* * * * * * *

The image of Strider’s room faded into view, slightly blurry from the aftereffects of recent sleep. He could vaguely feel his body being shaken by an unknown force. His vision soon focused, and was quite startled to see the outline of the face of a close friend shaking him to consciousness.


“Wake up Strider, you don’t want to sleep in too late or you won’t have time to be ready for your training encore later this afternoon,” spoke a soft, female voice.


Strider’s view slowly sharpened and focused and soon identified this friend as Cylia. His eyes widened, his hands darting to pull the covers tighter around himself. “What’re you doing in a male’s dorm? What are you, a peeping tom?” he demanded.

Cylia couldn’t help but laugh softly, and then inquired jokingly, “When did you get so modest?” She rose from her kneeled position, then said, “I’ll wait outside, then,” and stepped out of Strider’s room.

Strider couldn’t help but feel quite disoriented about the whole thing. “She walked into my room!” he thought to himself, rising from his covers and dressing into his tunic. His fingers wrapped firmly around the lightsaber hilt on his desk, then secured the hilt onto his belt. Just as he stepped out of the room and started to turn down the hall, however, he was pulled to an immediate halt by Cylia.

“You look like a ravaged mess, Strider, turn around!” she exclaimed. Strider knew he wouldn’t have a choice, but then again, he hadn’t looked at himself since he woke up either. He turned around to face Cylia, who immediately began running her fingers through Strider’s hair in a, what seemed to be for her, a systematic fashion, making sure to remove the “pillow-hair” appearance from Strider’s locks. “There, you look better now,” she complimented, then said, “also, I couldn’t help but notice your hair is…well…”

“What? My hair’s what?” he asked.

“Well, quite soft, for a male’s hair, and for something so messy all the time,” she finished.

Strider merely shrugged. “Is it a big deal?” he asked.

“Not really, just noticed, that’s all,” she answered.

He shrugged again, and this time turned and headed down the hall to the turbolift. Cylia followed, on another occasion she would’ve let him go, thinking he needed the time alone to concentrate, but she noticed something odd about him right now, like something was afflicting his thought process. “Strider, please stop for a moment,” she requested.

Much to her surprise, given his stubbornness, he did stop. He spoke, but he didn’t face her. “I had a dream…a horrible dream. I dreamt that I was exiled from the order. For what, I don’t know, but in some way…the Dark Side was involved. I don’t know what it was all about…I don’t know why, I just know, I was exiled in my dream for something…it just…it seemed so real…,” he explained, his voice seeming slightly choked.

Cylia moved in front of him and looked Strider in the eye. His deep blue eyes seem to have lost their usual firmness and focus, and now they trembled in fear and confusion. She tried to think of something to say to encourage him. She reached up and put one hand on his shoulder, then spoke, “Strider…You’re the most amazing person, friend, and fellow Jedi I’ve ever met…I knew from the day I met you that you would accomplish great things. I’ve seen you when you focus your mind, you can do anything…so focus on being what you want to be Strider.”

Strider’s eyes seemed to lock with hers for a minute, their firm and focus returning. “Thank you Cylia…Your confidence in me is encouraging. Normally I’m rather independent and I don’t need such outside influence to help keep me going but…I’ve come to realize, from both things you’ve said and my master, that I push myself too hard and that the things that happen around me effect me more than I know.”

“Glad I could help,” replied Cylia. “Now, go show those Masters what you’re capable of, Strider,” she encouraged.


* * * * * * *

Strider had started his session almost immediately upon entering the training chambers. The masters had secured a blindfold over his eyes, and they loaded the session he had apparently saved during his previous session. An hour had already passed and had already well completed the starting difficulty level and the one after it, and now proceeded to finish the current one he was on. His finesse, strength, and skill were impeccable, and he took down each of the drones flawlessly, all the while maintaining a nearly perfect defense, visible only as deep blue blur swarming like a hive of angry bees around his body, deflecting bolts as if he knew where they would hit before they did. More and more time passed, the Masters, including his own, Jayde Averre, became increasingly impressed with his ability and adaptation to the changing conditions of the battle.

Finally as Strider got to the final stretch, with approximately three rounds left to go, he began to show some signs of minor fatigue. Just as the Council Members started to get ready to call the session to an end, Strider’s speed seemed to pick back up. He began fighting with a renewed strength, his lightsaber once again moving in a blur, so fast it was difficult to even trace where its previous position was.

At last, Strider ended the session by decapitating the last drone in the head by leaping overhead, slashing down, then as he flipped back to land on his feet, deflected the remaining blasts back at the drones, disabling them. He landed in a kneeling position, deactivated his lightsaber, and then pulled off his blindfold, his body drenched in sweat, his dark blue eyes gazing right at the masters, carrying an expression almost certainly saying, “I told you so.”

The score updated. Almost exactly the same as before, with some minor time differences, otherwise the overall scores were the same.
The head council member turned to Strider and spoke in a firm voice, “Incredibly well done, Padawan. You’ve set a score never before seen by any master who has ever served on the Jedi Council. This score will be hard to beat, and it will go down in the archives as one of the most impressive records ever set by a Jedi of your age and rank in history.”

Strider stood and bowed deeply before the masters, then responded, “It is not something that I believe should be recorded just yet, Masters. I haven’t completed my training yet, and I wish to have an opportunity to complete more levels than just a mere 8 before I feel I’ve accomplished what I set out to complete.”

“Patience, Strider. We’ll update your records as you accomplish them. No need to be too ambitious. We’ll be watching your progress personally and be sure to keep your information up to date. This way the others around you will see how you are developing and possibly be able to learn from your actions. However, Strider, do not let this ability cloud your judgment, and be mindful of the temptations that will enter your mind as you become more aware of what you are capable of. Such thoughts will lead you down a dark path. We can only point you in the right direction, Flamehart, it is you who must decide to walk the path of the Light or Dark,” said the head council member conclusively. With that, the masters adjourned the session, Strider bowed before all the masters, who bowed back, and the council departed. Jayde walked up to Strider and said softly, “I’m truly impressed, Strider. I mean, I knew you were impeccable with lightsaber technique, but I’ve never seen anything like that. No wonder you were tired several months back. Were you training for that?”

Her apprentice nodded and said in response, “Yes, Master. I was trying to condition
my body for the extended period of combat. Obviously, I still haven’t gotten it down as I get tired before the end is up.”


Jayde shook her head and put one hand on Strider’s shoulder. “My padawan, you expect too much of yourself. You are truly impressive, so have patience. I believe you will become a great Jedi Master in time,” she complimented.

In response, Strider bowed respectfully back. “Thank you for the praise, master. It means a lot to me,” he said. “What should I do for the rest of the day, Jayde?” he asked.

“Get some rest, Strider. We have a mission coming up soon, and you need all the rest you can get after this.”

* * * * * * *




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Old 02-08-2006, 11:37 PM   #74
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Well, theres all of it. If someone finds an inconsistency with the posting, please let me know so I can fix it. I found out my chapter was 14,000 characters above the allowed limit so I had to split it up, and I just hope I didn't part of the same thing twice :P

As for the story itself, if you find anything that doesn't flow together, make sense, or needs more background explanation, or any other constructive criticism, please let me know so I can fix it when I revise. Thanks in advance and I hope everyone enjoys!

Sorry for the quadriple post admins, I simply couldn't fit it all in the same posts!




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Old 02-09-2006, 12:55 AM   #75
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... wow! That was good.


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Old 02-09-2006, 05:59 PM   #76
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Thanks, glad to know that a fellow writer is finding my work good, considering I only just recently started writing...well...don't have time to go look back at the first post of this thread, but I didn't start getting back into writing until I started on this, so I'm glad to know that it's still quality work.

If you have any suggestions, comments, etc. please let me know, so I can fix them as I continue to work.

This chapter took...lemme count...ah, 18 pages. It's slightly, and I do mean slightly, like by three fourths or some other fraction, longer than Chapter 5.




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Old 02-09-2006, 06:52 PM   #77
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WOW...That is good I had to print it all and take it to school with me to read it all. But it's so cool. I love it you're one great writer Flamehart I love your stuff



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Old 02-09-2006, 10:05 PM   #78
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Wow, that means a lot to me to hear from you two, thanks alot. Are you serious you had to print that? I'm sorry if I wasted 18 pages of ink! I'm going to try to work on chapter 7 as soon as I can. Glad to know everyone's enjoying the story so far. I apologize for any clichés that may be present, I mean after all they are Jedi, I try to veer away from the traditional stuff as much as I can, but some parts you just can't help because that's there nature




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Old 02-09-2006, 10:12 PM   #79
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I say don't worry too much about 'changing' the Jedi to be less cliche... they are that way because that's how GL wrote them... are you gonna second guess GL


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Old 02-10-2006, 07:22 PM   #80
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Well, the way I see it, and I would've probably been cast out of the Order in blasphemy if I was a Jedi and I said this, but I believe the Council basically passes their judgment based on whats most convenient for them, and in KOTOR2 the game, you kind of see this side of the Council, so I'm kind of motivated to portray that part of them, since this story is based around KOTOR's time era right now, 4000 years in the past.




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