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Old 11-26-2005, 04:19 PM   #1
machievelli
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Acceptance

A brief intro to another SW book I hope to sell. I just came up with the idea the other day and it bugged me until I wrote it.

Acceptance


In the beginning...

“Come out little girl.” A voice said. It wasn’t a harsh voice. In fact it was kindly. But Twyna pulled back farther into the cubby space she was hiding in. Kindly Voices weren’t always good people. She knew that from bitter experience.

She clutched her toy to her flat chest, and whimpered.

“I am not going to hurt you child.”

Probably another lie. That was what most people with kindly voices said just before they did hurt you. She stared at the black boots that framed the entry to her hidey hole. Whoever it was, he hadn’t tried to drag her out yet. Of course thanks to her toy he would find that a painful experience. At 11, Twyna had finally learned to fight back.

The man knelt, looking in. “I understand that you are afraid. Maybe we can talk a bit? I promise I won’t come any closer.”

She relaxed, but only minutely. She knew the depth of the space to within a millimeter from hiding here for the last five years whenever BIG people looked for her. But it wasn’t deep enough to stop a determined BIG person from reaching in and dragging her out.

The life support plant was starting to labor. There had been a lot of noise earlier, and the ship felt dead except for that one vital piece.

“The ship is dying.” She whispered.

“I know it is.” The man said gently. He sat cross legged and looked at her patiently. “That is why you have to come with me. When it stops, the air will go. You’ll die.”

“Don’t care.” She sniffed. “Death might hurt less than life.” She tried to pull farther back.

“I promised not to come any closer, didn’t I?” He asked gently.

“Big people lie. They lie all the time.”

“I will never lie to you.” He replied. His face was old, but looked kindly. But again a kindly face didn’t mean a kind heart. Her finger convulsed on the switch on her toy, and an amber beam shot from it, humming in the air. She’d used it to kill the man who was hurting her. She hadn’t even known she could. But once she had discovered the power to protect herself, she had used it until this. The ship torn up around her, all of the BIG people aboard that had hurt her dead.

“Where did you get that?” He asked. The amber beam didn’t scare him as it had the others. He looked at it as if he’d seen them before.

“Go away. Leave me alone. Or I will kill you like all the others.”

“Talk to me. Tell me why you killed the others.”

“They hurt me.“ She shrugged. “They hurt me all the time. Ever since I was little. Hurt me until I made this.”

“You... Made that?” The man asked. His head cocked as if curious. “How did you make that?”

“Was easy.” Twyna snapped.

“Tell me.” He asked again.

Twyna didn’t see what was so important about her toy. “No.”
The man reached down, and lifted a handle from his belt. A blue beam shot out, and he looked at the beam, then at the amber one she held. Then his blade died. “This is not easy to make. It takes special... skills. Tell me how you made it, please.”

Haltingly she told him. The handle had been from a broken machine in the engine room. The crystal inside it had been from the booty of one of the raids the Big People had made on a planet halfway across the galaxy. The latticework inside it had been...

But how had she made it? She looked at the toy. Then flicked the switch so the blade died again. It wasn’t as if she even knew that much about what she was doing when she did. It had just felt -

-right.

“I understand” He said softly. “I had one of these that belonged to someone else. Making one of your own is the last step to becoming a Jedi.”

“They didn’t like Jedi.” Twyna whispered. “They said that ever since the Empire fell the Jedi were mean now. They were stopping them from doing what they wanted to do.”

“That is what we do.” The man said. “We hunt down those who are bad, and we stop them.”

The blade snapped out again.

The man noticed it, but didn’t move. “I didn’t say you were bad, little girl. Why does that bother you?”

Twyna wanted to explain. That BIG people said you were bad even when you hadn’t done anything. That they HURT you in ways that were... wrong when you were bad. But she bit her tongue.

“Why do you think you are bad?”

“I’m not!” She hissed.

“But they said you were didn’t they.”

“Yes!”

“What did they do when they said you were bad?”

“Not telling.”

Come on. We’re just talking, right? After all...” He waved at the ship around them. “It isn’t like they are going to do it again.”

”They would put me in a room. Then a someone would come in and want to... do things. If I cried I was bad. If I didn’t cry when they wanted me to, I was bad. If I did everything they told me to do, I was bad. If I didn’t do everything they told me to do, I was bad.”

“I think I know what you mean.” The face grew angry, but somehow she knew he wasn’t mad at her. Then it was gone. He was calm again. “No one will ever do anything like that again to you, ever.”

“How do you know?” She asked plaintively.

He shook his head. “I don’t. But I will never let anyone touch you again unless you chose to let them. As long as I am alive and close enough to see you I will keep you safe.”

She shook her head. Her mother had died, and he hadn’t been there to help her. They had put the collar on her and he hadn’t been there to help her. They had done... things to her and he hadn’t been there to help her. Why did he think he was going to help her now?

“I understand you’re afraid I won’t help you. That I wasn’t there before so why should it be any different now?” He shook his head. “I don’t know why bad things happen, but Jedi try to stop the bad things from happening to anyone if they can.”

His wrist com bleeped and he lifted it. “What?”

A man’s voice answered him. “Someone went through this place with a light saber and a bad attitude. Bodies everywhere, and they’ve been hacked to pieces. Haven’t found the wielder yet-”

“I did.” The man replied. “I’m talking to her right now.”

“I’m on my way.”

“Take it easy. It’s a girl of about eleven standard years.”

There was a pause. “Did you say an eleven year old did this?”

“With a lightsaber she made herself.”

“So Jaden wasn’t a fluke.”

“I told you, Kyle. The Force will find a way to help if someone needs it.”

“Well I saw the boudoir they had set up. If they had an eleven year old in there they got what they deserved. We haven’t got a lot of time here, you know.”

“Understood. But I won’t leave her.”

There was a sigh closer to a raspberry. “All right. I’ll get some breather masks in case this takes a while.”

“It won’t.” The man lowered the com-link.

The life support plant was starting to sound like her mother did right before she stopped breathing. Twyna whimpered again.

“Come out, child. The bad times are over. I have much to teach you.”

“Teach me? Some of Them wanted to teach me!”

He shook his head. “You made the lightsaber. Would you like to learn how to use it properly?”

“No! I can use it! I can kill with it!”

“Yes you can. But these people didn’t teach you that there are times when killing isn’t the only answer. That hurting is not the way to live. I can teach you that, and never have to touch you.”

With a final sigh, the life support plant just... stopped.

“If you want to die. Really want to die. I won’t stop you.” He said gently. “But there are other people like you in the galaxy. People who have been hurt, and need someone to help them. I can help you. And in time, you can help them.”

She considered that. It was a weighty thought for such a young mind. Others being hurt like she was? “Can I really?”

“Yes. But you will have to come with me.”

She slid forward. The man stood and moved back, allowing her to stand on her own. “Follow me.” He walked down the passageway, and she followed him. They came to the airlock, and she saw another ship across a small docking ring. A man with a beard stood there, looking at them.

“We need to go now!”

“Just a moment.” The man waved toward the bearded man. “This is Kyle Katarn. One of my associates. I am Luke Skywalker. And you are..?”

“Twyna.”

“Twyna.” Luke said with satisfaction. “This is the Raven’s Claw. Kyle’s ship. Now go strap yourself in, and we’ll take you to a place where you can learn to help others.”

“’Kay.” She slid past them, sitting in an acceleration couch.

“Luke.”

“No time, Kyle. Let’s get out of here. Back to Yavin. I think we’ve just gained a new student.”

The men moved to the controls, and Kyle hit the thrusters. Behind them the wrecked ship tumbled silently.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile

Last edited by machievelli; 09-25-2006 at 05:29 PM. Reason: color change
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Old 11-28-2005, 07:47 PM   #2
JediKnight707
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Seems pretty good so far, keep it up, I like it

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Old 11-28-2005, 08:29 PM   #3
Alkonium
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Interesting, to say the least.

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Old 11-29-2005, 12:20 PM   #4
machievelli
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I got hung up because when I introduced the man talking to her as Luke Skywalker, I suddenly realized that I hadn't read that section of the Universe!
I am unsure if she should be in the Jedi Academy trilogy, or after that when Mara Jade married Luke, or anything!


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 11-29-2005, 01:34 PM   #5
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that matter aside the chapter was still good
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Old 11-29-2005, 01:44 PM   #6
Rain128
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just out of curiosity didnt luke have a green or Viridian blade at the end of RotJ??
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Old 12-01-2005, 11:13 AM   #7
machievelli
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see! Shows what I know.

Any help here would be appreciated. Does anyone have a list of characters from the end of the Jedi Academy books? The only two I have are Jaden and Rosh from the Jedi Academy game


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 12-01-2005, 07:01 PM   #8
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Yeah, I've only played Jedi Academy or

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Old 12-12-2005, 01:53 AM   #9
machievelli
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The Academy

The ancient Massassi temple hulked in the depths of it’s clearing. The only sign of life was a single person sitting in a tailor’s seat on the pinnacle. She breathed in deeply, meditating. Mara Jade had what might be called a checkered past. Training when she was young as a dancer made every gesture fluid.

Then an officer of the Empire raised to Imperial Hand, a position making her every action the will of the Emperor himself. With the power of life or death over all she met.

No one questioned the orders of an Imperial Hand. When they were chosen they were immediately sequestered, trained and hypnotically processed until all orders from the Emperor were obeyed without question. If she had been told to go to a planet and execute every left handed red haired man with a mole on his cheek between 18 and fifty standard years, she would have done it.

Then had come the Rebellion. She had been sent on missions, a lot of Rebels and those she might as perceived as such died by her hand or command. She had been feared and hated.

When the Emperor had determined that Darth Vader would join with his son Luke Skywalker supplant the Emperor and rule the Galaxy, she had been sent to kill young Skywalker. Fate saved him on Tatooine, and then the Emperor had died. But that does not stay an Imperial Hand.

It wasn’t until Mara killed the clone of Luke Skywalker that the compulsion had been broken.

Now? Mentally she shrugged. Talon Karrde still needed a good right hand woman. Learning about the Jedi and growing in the force was interesting, but still she felt adrift in life.

A ship entered the atmosphere, and she automatically looked at it. A modified Koensayr BTL-S3. Called the Y wing, this model had the drooping nose of a Rekantha bird with a sleeper cabin.

Raven’s Claw.

She smoothly flowed to her feet. She walked down the steps toward the landing pad.

Ahead of her, Raven’s Claw cooled, metal pinging as the temperature bled away. The hatch was already open, and Luke was standing there talking with a young girl. She paused, watching.

Luke was like that. He treated everyone he met as if he thought they were important. He would address a class of students at the Academy as if it were a foregone conclusion that they would succeed. A pity it wasn’t true.

“In a moment we will go to the Academy, and get you started.” He said. Then he raised his head, cocking it as if he was listening to a silent voice. “Hello, Mara. Back again?” He turned, and she looked into those eyes again.

Even when she had been compelled to kill him, she had felt that spark. She wanted to reach out, capture it, learn what it was, but she resisted. “Hello, Luke. Just made a supply drop for you.” She looked down. The girl was watching her distrustfully. “And who are you, little girl?”

She had tried for a friendly tone, having never really gotten on with children. The girl reacted to her tone, but in reverse. The girl stepped back, and her eyes flicked around her as looking for an escape route.

“She won’t harm you, Twyna.” Luke admonished. Mara noticed that Luke hadn’t tried to touch the girl, and wondered why. “Twyna, this is Mara Jade. She was a student here for a while.” He looked back at Mara. She wondered if he felt that spark as well, but the rigid control of a Jedi stood up to even her trained instincts.

“Hello, Twyna.” Mara looked back at Luke. “We had some problems getting the crystals you asked for. But everything else is there.”

“Good. And how is the Smuggler’s guild coming?”

She laughed. Only Luke would make an illegal organization sound like just another New Republic voting block. “Very well. Pretty soon we’ll be the largest merchant fleet in the Republic.”

“Ah, success.” He answered dryly

“Yes. Business has been good.” He nodded, but there was a slightly sour look. “Luke, we promised not to carry slaves. Cut us some slack.”

“You’re right of course.”

Mara had seen the girl tense at the mention of slaves. Had she been one? “We don’t carry slaves because we don’t approve of the practice.” She explained to the girl. “To make someone property diminishes us all. In fact Lando and Karrde are planning a raid on a Black Sun slaver‘s operation some time next week.”

The girl relaxed a bit.

“I enjoyed seeing you again. Don’t wait so long to come back.” Luke said. “Come Twyna.”

They walked away. Mara watched him, and felt a pang of sadness. Maybe-

“He really cares about you.” She turned to face Kyle Katarn, who was leaning out of the cabin of Raven’s Claw. “He walks on clouds for days after he’s seen you.”

“How can you tell?” She asked tartly.

“Stay around him long enough, you’ll start to read his little signs. His eyes glitter a bit, and his step is lighter.” Kyle climbed down, then closed the hatch. “The kid worries me, though.”

“Why?”

“We found her on a derelict. She was used by a lot of people from what I downloaded from the computer.” Mara’s face grew cold. Kyle nodded. “Yeah, like that. She made her own lightsaber and went on a rampage. Fifteen dead.” He held up a datapad, then handed it to her silently. “I made your group a copy. I think the Wild Karrde and Lady Luck might want to visit the organization sometime soon.”

“If I have a say Jade’s Fire will be there too.” She motioned toward where Luke had gone. “How is Luke going to take that?”

“Mara, he’s good at holding it in, but he’s not that good. If he knew I was giving this to you, he’d be upset, but not as much as you might think.” Kyle shrugged. “He’ll hate that they had to be removed, but he’ll understand why.”

“I wish I knew what he was thinking.” She murmured. “It’s frustrating.”

“Why? Because he won’t sweep down like the hero in a romantic holo-novel and sweep you off your feet?”

She laughed. With her training, someone doing that might end up dead before she understood that he intended romance. “No, I can’t really see Luke doing that. Can you?”

They shared the laugh. “I had best be going before I do something stupid myself.”

“For your sake, and his, why don’t you just this once?”

“Not in my nature.”

“More the pity.” Kyle watched the woman walk away. He turned back to his ship, and began tinkering.

Jaden Korr relaxed into the tub with a sigh of relief. He had just returned from Dathomir where he had been trying to track down rumors that the Nightsisters had been reconstituted. For a man it was a hellish assignment. The Witches of Dathomir considered anything male as slaves. Lucky for him the present day leader had taken a personal interest in him.

Luck! He snorted lathering his hair. After that assignment he needed a few days rest-

The com panel bleeped and he glared at it sourly. “The first law of communications.” He growled standing. “When a body is fully immersed in water, someone just has to call.” He stormed across the room, slamming the annunciator. “What!”

“Jaden, I need to see you immediately about your next assignment.” Luke Skywalker’s voice replied.

“Damn! Give me a few minutes, Master Luke.”

“I’m sorry. Were you asleep?”

“No I was in the bath. I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

“Take your time. A clean Jedi is a happy Jedi.”

Jaden snorted, and returned to the tub.


Teacher

Luke looked across the jungle outside the Academy’s Massassi temple. He closed his eyes, feeling the life that abounded. The planet was teeming with life from the smallest worm to the herds of huge Koorti birds. He could feel them, see them as lights that moved, bred, lived and died without ever raising their heads to the stars.

Behind him he felt another presence. He turned to face Jaden Korr. Luke remembered him as a bristly young man with his own lightsaber and an attitude to go with it. The mission to permanently seal Marko Ragnos’ tomb had made him a premier Jedi.

“Yes, Master?”

“Jaden, I feel that you need a little down time. But at the same time, I feel you also need something to do.”

“Can’t have it both ways.”

“How are you with children?”

“Terrible.”

“Then think of this as a growth experience. Kyle and I found an eleven year old girl on a derelict in the Minos system. The people who held her had been selling her services to those who might want that kind of thing.” He noticed the tensing in the younger man, nodding in reply to the unspoken question. “At some point in the last days aboard, she built her own lightsaber, as you did.”

Jaden looked at the double-saber he carried. His old saber had been destroyed during the investigation of the followers of Ragnos, and he had built this one to replace it. But he remembered the half dreamlike state from when he built the first one. “She must have felt a great need.”

“Considering what had been done to her for three or more years, that need was truly great.”

“Three or more years?” Jaden’s eyes flamed. “They brutalized her for that long?”

Luke nodded. “She herself doesn’t know how long. She built her saber, and when someone came to use her again, she acted.” Luke sighed. “Fifteen people dead, the ship wrecked. From what I saw she attacked anything that even reminded her of the situation.”

“Not everything.” Jaden demurred. “You didn’t go through it, and neither did I. But kids in that position soon blame themselves. If she had felt that any of it was her fault, you would have found sixteen dead aboard. Any idea who was running the op?”

“Kyle was able to get some of the data from the computer. They were freelancers working for the Black Sun Cartel on occasion. All of the data is in our archives now.” Luke walked down the steps, stopping before the younger man. “Will you train her?”

Jaden considered. “Some of it will be rough. Part of what she needs to learn is that she can depend on other people. It’ll be rough for the first few months, but I think I can handle it.”

“Then come, meet your student.”

The inside of the temple had been refinished to modern standards, though a lot had been left as it was. Built first by Naga Sadow over five thousand years ago, they had been updated when Exar Kun had occupied the planet four thousand odd years ago, and again less than 20 years ago when the Rebellion had used the planet as a base. Conflicting technology styles formed a hodgepodge on the walls.

As they reached the mess hall, they heard an angry shout, smashing, then a lightsaber activating. The men ran, bursting into the room.

Twyna stood with her back against the wall, her saber singing. Facing her were two other students. Both were almost twice her age. One of the tables had been flipped against the wall and lay in a shattered pile. One of the boys dripped liquid broken pottery and stew meat. Luke stopped, hands clasped behind his back. “I think I deserve an explanation.”

“Master-” Began one of the young men. Luke held up a hand to forestall him.

“Twyna, please shut it down.” The girl glared at him, then at the boys. The blade died, and she moved along the wall away from the younger men. “You were saying Tono?”

“We had come in from practice. The girl was at the table eating and Kade picked up her lightsaber. Next thing we knew she flipped the table against the wall, smashed her bowl on his head, and snatched it back.”

Jaden looked at the table. It had been made of local Kervorin wood, almost hard enough to be used as hull plating. The hundred odd kilos of table now lay in shattered pieces. He looked to Luke silently.

“Explain yourself, Kade.”

“I just thought it was a practice saber!” Kade blurted. “I just wanted to see how it was different from the one I use in practice.”

“Twyna made the lightsaber she carries. You both know that a Jedi’s lightsaber is a part of them. Something you do not touch unless they allow it. Kade, you owe her an apology.”

“I’m sorry, kid-”

“I am not a kid!”

“Twyna, it is an expression. Most people call anyone younger than them kid on occasion.” Jaden said. “I’ve been called it and worse in my time.”

“As have I.” Luke added. “Now you owe Kade an apology, Twyna. He wasn’t going to steal from you. He was just curious.”

Jaden could see the fire of rebellion in the girl. Then she sighed. “Sorry.”

“I think you need to get cleaned up Kade. We have business with Twyna so may we have some privacy?” The older boys left, looking back at the trio that remained.

“Twyna, this is Jaden Korr. He built his own saber just like you did a few years ago. I have asked him to be your teacher. Is that all right with you?”

The girl looked at Luke, then at Jaden. The small amount of trust she seemed to have for Skywalker was absent. “When can I help people?”

Jaden looked across the room. He closed his eyes, and pictured the table sitting as it should have been. He heard a gasp from Twyna, and he opened his eyes. The pieces of the table had reformed, and moved to where they had been. “When you can put the table back as it was, you will be ready for the next step.” He released the force, and the pieces fell in a heap. “It is always easier to destroy than to fix something. To help people, you have to be willing to fix things first.”

Learning

The next weeks were both frustrating and exhilarating to the girl. She learned to direct the force, to leap twice her height from a flat footed stance. To run all day through a course mixing distance and height jumps that would have tired her out in minutes before. To pull things toward her, or push them away with nothing but a thought. To wield a lightsaber with enough finesse to cut a sheet of paper from a pad.

What she couldn’t figure out was how to fix the damn table. It had been removed from the dining hall, and every time she went in, the empty space shamed her. The table had been moved to an adjoining room, where she could try at any time to ‘fix’ what she had broken.

The other students still kept their distance though she could tell a lot of them wanted to ask her how it felt to actually make your own lightsaber.

She didn’t have the fine control of the force Jaden had shown, holding each piece where it belonged. She had the brute force part down, able to haul or shove away a ton or more. But holding dozens of pieces exactly where they belonged was not only tiring, it was frustrating.

After two months she despaired of ever succeeding.

She shrieked in fury, and the pieces flew aside. One hit the wall and shattered into even more shards, and she collapsed to her knees, wanting to cry.

There was a hesitant knock and she spun to face the door. A young boy, maybe fifteen or so stood there. Mali something. Drossi. She recognized him, but had never spoken to him.

“What are you doing?” He asked.

“Jaden says I won’t be able to help others until I learn how to fix things that are broken.” She waved angrily at the table. “I broke it, now I have to fix it.”

“May I?” Mali motioned. She waved at the debris angrily. The boy came over, and gently lifted the piece she has just shattered. He looked at it critically. “You know, glue would fix this right up.”

“Glue!” She threw her hands up. “I can’t use glue!”

“Why not?”

“Jaden said-” She stopped. “He said I had to fix what I broke. That until I know how to fix things, I can’t help others.”

The boy grinned. “Did Master Jaden say you had to use the Force instead of glue?”

She mentally ran the scene through her mind. The table intact with just the force holding it. When you can put the table back as it was, you will be ready for the next step.

It is always easier to destroy than to fix something. To help people, you have to be willing to fix things first.

“Oh, it can’t be that easy!”

“Why not?” Mali chuckled. “Have you ever noticed that the Masters always talk about restraint when using the force? Use it, but don’t use it too much?” He set the piece down. “When you face the Trials, you’ll have to use not only the force but your brains. Anyone could blow their way through a problem with force or weapons.”

“You’re right. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. You’re Twyna, right?”

“Yes. And your Mali Drossi.”

“Guilty as charged.” He struck out his hand. She flinched back, and he lowered it. “Sorry if I have offended you.”

“Oh no! It’s just, I’ve been hurt a lot. I get nervous and scared when people try to touch me.”

He smiled gently. “You don’t have to be afraid of anything here. And it doesn’t bother you to touch other people if it’s your choice.“ She looked at him quizzically and he looked down. Her eyes followed. As she had spoken to him, explaining her problem, she had reached out, catching his hand in hers. Now she was holding it with both hands in a tight grip.

She let go, stepping back fast. She clutched her hands as if they might take a life of their own.

“Hey, no problems.” Mali said. “If you’d like, I can help.” He motioned toward the table. “The glue has to set, you know.”

She found herself smiling. “I’d like that.”

Three days later, Jaden stood looking at the repaired table. He walked around it critically, then looked at the pair that faced him.

“Who said you could ask for help, or receive it?” He pointed at Twyna.

“If I may?” Mali asked.

Jaden rounded on Mali. “Silence. Who said you could help her?” Jaden asked harshly.

“He offered, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without help!’ Twyna cried out. She looked as if someone had slapped her for greeting them.

He walked over, leaning on the table. He looked at Twyna. “You’re my student, so you start. What did you learn from working on this project?”

“That the force is not always the answer.” She whispered. “That sometimes the mundane ways are better because they are more personal and just as efficient.” She waved hesitantly at Mali. “That sometimes you need help, and it isn’t a shame to ask for it. That some people will hurt you, a lot will ignore you, but some will help when asked.” She shrugged, grinning slightly, “Or like Mali even before they have been asked.”

“Mali? Anything to add?”

“That using your head is more important than using the force.” He motioned toward Twyna. “To take into account the feelings of those in pain, and help them past it.”

Jaden glared, then slowly the glare faded into a smile. “Well done, Twyna. Well done, Mali.” He clapped his hands sharply, and look at the table again. “Now can you cooperate enough to put it back where it belongs?”

The children grabbed the table, but it was too heavy for them to move by hand. Jaden smiled, motioning Mali to move over beside Twyna. “Now all together, lift!”

Months past and Twyna grew apace. She found her abilities with the force growing, and soon she stood before Master Skywalker.

He had a distracted air, but she knew that he always seemed a bit distracted. He was carrying the formation of the Jedi order and at the same time trying to bolster the fragile New Republic with every breath. She didn’t see how he had enough hours in a day or days in a year to do all that he had set for himself.

“Jaden tells me that you are progressing very well. Soon you will be ready for the Jedi trials.” Luke said.

“Really?” She wanted to swell with pride, but knew that like all such emotions, it could lead to the dark side. “If he says I am, I will have to take his word for it.”

Luke smiled. “But before you take them, Jaden has a mission I have assigned to him. I would like you to accompany him.”

“Of course, master.”


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile

Last edited by machievelli; 09-25-2006 at 05:40 PM. Reason: rewrite
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Old 12-12-2005, 03:01 AM   #10
RobQel-Droma
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No wonder you're the critic here... You should certaintely be the person to judge other peoples stuff. This is nice.
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Old 12-13-2005, 12:25 AM   #11
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^I was gonna say that Rob! Great work Mach, show these folks how to write like a pro!


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Old 12-13-2005, 12:40 AM   #12
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Go back and reread the second section. While i had written it, the dining hall sequence didn't ring true. I figured it out, and fixed it.
You see, just because you HAVE the force, doesn't mean you need it to FIX something


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 12-29-2005, 12:31 PM   #13
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Learning
The next weeks were both frustrating and exhilarating to the girl. She learned to direct the force, to leap twice her height from a flat footed stance. To run all day through a course mixing distance and height jumps that would have tired her out in minutes before. To pull things toward her, or push them away with nothing but a thought. To wield a lightsaber with enough finesse to cut a sheet of paper from a pad.
What she couldn’t figure out was how to fix the damn table. It had been removed from the dining hall, and every time she went in, the empty space shamed her. The table had been moved to an adjoining room, where she could try at any time to ‘fix’ what she had broken.
The other students still kept their distance though she could tell a lot of them wanted to ask her how it felt to actually make your own lightsaber.
She didn’t have the fine control of the force Jaden had shown, holding each piece where it belonged. She had the brute force part down, able to haul or shove away a ton or more. But holding dozens of pieces exactly where they belonged was not only tiring, it was frustrating.
After two months she despaired of ever succeeding.
She shrieked in fury, and the pieces flew aside. One hit the wall and shattered into even more shards, and she collapsed to her knees, wanting to cry.
There was a hesitant knock and she spun to face the door. A young boy, maybe fifteen or so stood there. Mali something. Drossi. She recognized him, but had never spoken to him.
“What are you doing?” He asked.
“Jaden says I won’t be able to help others until I learn how to fix things that are broken.” She waved angrily at the table. “I broke it, now I have to fix it.”
“May I?” Mali motioned. She waved at the debris angrily. The boy came over, and gently lifted the piece she has just shattered. He looked at it critically. “You know, glue would fix this right up.”
“Glue!” She threw her hands up. “I can’t use glue!”
“Why not?”
“Jaden said-” She stopped. “He said I had to fix what I broke. That until I know how to fix things, I can’t help others.”
The boy grinned. “Did Master Jaden say you had to use the Force instead of glue?”
She mentally ran the scene through her mind. The table intact with just the force holding it. When you can put the table back as it was, you will be ready for the next step.
It is always easier to destroy than to fix something. To help people, you have to be willing to fix things first.
“Oh, it can’t be that easy!”
“Why not?” Mali chuckled. “Have you ever noticed that the Masters always talk about restraint when using the force? Use it, but don’t use it too much?” He set the piece down. “When you face the Trials, you’ll have to use not only the force but your brains. Anyone could blow their way through a problem with force or weapons.”
“You’re right. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. You’re Twyna, right?”
“Yes. And your Mali Drossi.”
“Guilty as charged.” He struck out his hand. She flinched back, and he lowered it. “Sorry if I have offended you.”
“Oh no! It’s just, I’ve been hurt a lot. I get nervous and scared when people try to touch me.”
He smiled gently. “You don’t have to be afraid of anything here. And it doesn’t bother you to touch other people if it’s your choice.“ She looked at him quizzically and he looked down. Her eyes followed. As she had spoken to him, explaining her problem, she had reached out, catching his hand in hers. Now she was holding it with both hands in a tight grip.
She let go, stepping back fast. She clutched her hands as if they might take a life of their own.
“Hey, no problems.” Mali said. “If you’d like, I can help.” He motioned toward the table. “The glue has to set, you know.”
She found herself smiling. “I’d like that.”
Three days later, Jaden stood looking at the repaired table. He walked around it critically, then looked at the pair that faced him.
“Who said you could ask for help, or receive it?” He pointed at Twyna.
“If I may?” Mali asked.
Jaden rounded on Mali. “Silence. Who said you could help her?” Jaden asked harshly.
“He offered, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without help!’ Twyna cried out. She looked as if someone had slapped her for greeting them.
He walked over, leaning on the table. He looked at Twyna. “You’re my student, so you start. What did you learn from working on this project?”
“That the force is not always the answer.” She whispered. “That sometimes the mundane ways are better because they are more personal and just as efficient.” She waved hesitantly at Mali. “That sometimes you need help, and it isn’t a shame to ask for it. That some people will hurt you, a lot will ignore you, but some will help when asked.” She shrugged, grinning slightly, “Or like Mali even before they have been asked.”
“Mali? Anything to add?”
“That using your head is more important than using the force.” He motioned toward Twyna. “To take into account the feelings of those in pain, and help them past it.”
Jaden glared, then slowly the glare faded into a smile. “Well done, Twyna. Well done, Mali.” He clapped his hands sharply, and look at the table again. “Now can you cooperate enough to put it back where it belongs?”
The children grabbed the table, but it was too heavy for them to move by hand. Jaden smiled, motioning Mali to move over beside Twyna. “Now all together, lift!”
Months past and Twyna grew apace. She found her abilities with the force growing, and soon she stood before Master Skywalker.
He had a distracted air, but she knew that he always seemed a bit distracted. He was carrying the formation of the Jedi order and at the same time trying to bolster the fragile New Republic with every breath. She didn’t see how he had enough hours in a day or days in a year to do all that he had set for himself.
“Jaden tells me that you are ready for the Jedi trials.” Luke said.
“Really?” She wanted to swell with pride, but knew that like all such emotions, it could lead to the dark side. “If he says I am, I will have to take his word for it.”
Luke smiled. “But before you take them, Jaden has a mission I have assigned to him. I would like you to accompany him.”
“Of course, master.”


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 01-23-2006, 08:23 PM   #14
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I've enjoyed your story thus far, machievelli, and look forward to the next chapter or two when you're ready to post. Another great setup for a story where the plot could go either LS or DS. Will Twyna give in to her fear or will she be willing to let go of it?

I do have a nit-picky question about the table though, something that just kind of stuck out to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by machievelli "Teacher"
It had been made of local Kervorin wood, almost hard enough to be used as hull plating. The several hundred kilo table now lay in shattered pieces.
Quote:
Originally Posted by machievelli "Learning"
The children grabbed the table, but it was too heavy for them to move by hand. Jaden smiled, motioning Mali to move over beside Twyna. “Now all together, lift!”
Personally, I equate several hundred kilograms to mean anywhere from 400-700. And it kind of struck me that it would still be very difficult for the three of them to move a table of that weight by hand unless they were using the Force. You do a great job in illustrating that Mali and Lyna are on one end and Jaden on the other but I'm still thinking that they have a minimum of 200 kg to lift on each side. Seems really heavy to me unless they're dragging it or using the Force to augment their strength. Like I said, real nit-picky but I just thought I'd bring it up anyway because maybe you would be interested.


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Old 01-30-2006, 11:06 AM   #15
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Hai Wan, I noticed that after I wrote it, and changed it, but not here.
Sometimes I'd just like to know that someone is paying attention. The table in the revised version is only 120 kilos.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 01-31-2006, 10:15 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machievelli
Sometimes I'd just like to know that someone is paying attention. The table in the revised version is only 120 kilos.
Umm, so I trust that my noticing the table weight shows that I paid attention when I read your story? I assume that most writers on this forum are looking for constructive criticism for their stories but am never quite sure. The majority of the feedback I've seen is more "rah-rah" than anything else. I may enjoy a story but if I notice something that strikes me as odd or nonsensical I think I should let the writer know. The cool thing about this forum is that readers can communicate their questions and get further clarification from the writers. Just imagine if mainstream authors had a similar process in place, like I could ask Tom Clancy a question about one of his books and get an answer back. I know it's not really feasible because of the deluge of reader questions he would get. He most likely couldn't answer them all. But still, on a small scale like this I think it's pretty cool.


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Old 02-04-2006, 01:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hai Wan
Umm, so I trust that my noticing the table weight shows that I paid attention when I read your story? I assume that most writers on this forum are looking for constructive criticism for their stories but am never quite sure. The majority of the feedback I've seen is more "rah-rah" than anything else. I may enjoy a story but if I notice something that strikes me as odd or nonsensical I think I should let the writer know. The cool thing about this forum is that readers can communicate their questions and get further clarification from the writers. Just imagine if mainstream authors had a similar process in place, like I could ask Tom Clancy a question about one of his books and get an answer back. I know it's not really feasible because of the deluge of reader questions he would get. He most likely couldn't answer them all. But still, on a small scale like this I think it's pretty cool.
One of the reasons I asked for and took over this job is that you're right. I was always ticked when people would say 'good work' but be unwilling to give anything remotely linked to criticism. As I told Darth333 I worked briefly teaching a creative writing class at a local civic center. I discovered that a lot of newbie mistakes are committed by people even older than I am, and I don't see it as being negative to correct them.
One of the worst is when the idea just doesn't fly. I went to a site (NO I WILL NOT TELL YOU WHERE) where a Sith Lord turned Anakin into a woman using the force, followed by a rape scene. Lucky for the author that was before I started this column.
The next section of Acceptance follows...


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 02-04-2006, 01:57 PM   #18
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Nar Shadaa

Jaden ran, leaping across the gap between the building ledge and a passing air-car. The pilot had time to scream at him before he was gone to the next building.

idn’t like this when it happened on Coruscant. I like it even less today grumbled inwardly. The pack of toughs that worked for Nardo Lanci hurled weapons blasts and invective at him. The only weapon that reached him was the invective. Jaden waved gaily at them, then ran along the ledge, looking toward where his ship sat. A few more minutes...

He leaped onto a passing garbage scow, and waited as it trundled down the side of the building. When it made it’s turn, he leaped across two floors below the landing stage. He straightened his cloak, and ran toward the lift to the landing stage above him.

As the elevator opened, he sighed, raising his hands. Five beings watched him, each with a weapon aimed at him. He scanned them carefully. Like a lot of criminal gangs, this group was an egalitarian mix. An Aqualish, two humans, a Twi-lek, and a Gran. They were in a semicircle facing inward.

“Lanci doesn’t like people messing around in his business.” One of the humans said. “He especially doesn’t like Jedi messing around.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.” Jaden said.

“Yeah, for as long as you’ll live. Five seconds after he gets here is my estimate. ” The human thumbed his com-link. “Got him.”

In the distance, one of the lighted vehicles became a paired set of lights, green on the right side, red on the left. In a few seconds it was close enough to see the Baruk Industries limo they were attached to. It slowed, and set down on the landing stage. The door opened, and three more beings climbed down. One was a Rodian, the other two humans. The larger of the two humans waddled forward. Everyone had the right to overeat. From the 250 kilos he weighed, this man had abused the privilege.

“Well Jedi, you’ve led my men a merry chase.” He wheezed.

“I hope they enjoyed the exercise.”

“Oh they do few things because they enjoy them.” The man disagreed. “But they are happy to know that having you run them around town ends with your death.” The Rodian beside the door stiffened and folded silently.

Jaden looked around the seven beings still watching him. “You know this is what I anticipated.” He motioned toward the men facing him. “You can be predictable, Lanci. With the proper stimulus.”

“Oh really?”

The human behind Lanci just disappeared. Jaden could see one foot twitching. but nothing else.

“Yes. You see, you tend to react predictably when people stiff your businesses. So when someone like me walks in, buys 1500 credits worth of spice, then walks out with the money and the drugs, you tend to get, shall we say pensive?”

“Oh do go on.”

“Like when it happened a couple of years ago. The smuggler from Ord Mantell who went missing with that shipment.”

The Gran looked around, then settled back against a crate. Jaden could see the wire tied to his wrist holding him up.

“Yes, he was fun.” Lanci agreed.

“But not as much fun as the ones you have tracked here at home, eh?” The human on the far left opposite the Gran caught his throat, then staggered back a couple of paces.

“Yes, I do so love the hunt.”

“And you know that the local authorities won’t let you be arrested let along come to trial here. How much do you have on the Oligarch I wonder?”

Lanci laughed. To his right the other human shook his head, weapon dropping to aim at the ground as he folded. “Oh enough that no court on the planet would ever convict me.”

“Which is why we set ourselves up as bait.” Jaden dropped his hands to his belt. “To bring you personally to a landing stage where we can get you off planet.”

“Oh spare me the histrionics. Just kill him please.” When the fusillade he had expected didn’t happen, he turned to his right. The Twi-lek had a wide-eyed expression as he fell forward. The young girl behind him grinned, and the silent tranquilizer gun hissed. Lanci caught at the dart in his thoat then folded forward.

“What did I tell you about shooting at some
one?” Jaden admonished. “Always aim at the center of mass.”

“With all that blubber it would have taken him a week to figure out it was supposed to put him to sleep.” She retorted.

“I stand corrected. Well done, Twyna.”

“Tell me again how you are training me.” The girl had filled out in the last six months. She was still small and wiry, but it was the body of an athlete now, not a starveling.

“Every apprentice has to learn to stand on their own two feet. At least those that have feet.”

“But what about teaching me what to do and how to do it?” She snapped.

“It’s simple really.” He pointed at the weapon. “Don’t point it unless you intend to use it. Point and pull the trigger. Don’t get you hand in the way. What is so hard about that?”

“But you didn’t do anything but stand there!”

“Yes I did. I made sure I had their full attention, which meant they weren’t paying attention to you.”

“But I did all the work!”

“Yes, and I had to stop myself from laughing as you took them down. That was very well done.”

“What would you have done if I hadn’t been here? Pray?”

“Probably.”

She shook her head in disgust, but Jaden could detect a small smile. Twyna had grown confident enough with the Jedi and the other students at the Academy that she no longer went off like a trembler mine when someone got close. Touching her without warning could still get you hurt, but at least she warned people now instead of just hitting them. She looked at the crime boss they had captured. “Now how do we get this ton of lard aboard, oh Master?”

“Remember the force training I have given you. Just pick him up.”

The girl blew out a snort, then looked at the huge man. She couldn’t see moving him with a forklift! “It’s all well and good to say the force can move mountains, but I haven’t seen you moving any yet.”

“That’s because I usually go around and over them.” He admonished. “Much cleaner that way. Now just reach out with the force-”

“Spare me the apprentice crap.” She lifted a hand, and the body lifted, then she flung him toward the ship. He fell, rolling in the boneless manner of the heavily drugged.

“Now Twyna, he can’t stand trial if he is dead. Can he?”

“Why should I care?” She pushed with the force, and the body rolled up the ramp into the ship. There was a bleeping tirade from R9J7 as the body fetched up against a bulkhead. “After what you saw in his records-”

“Twyna.” The tone stopped her. “Yes he is a slaver, among other things. But we can’t very well roll up his organization if he’s dead now can we?” She shook her head. “Think of the slaves we can free when he is interrogated.”

“I have.” She looked at the man, and fury burned in her eyes. “I just wish I could be the one-”

“No. Don’t even think about going there, Twyna. The dark side beckons, and you’re putting on your running shoes!”

She sighed, and nodded. All of the present masters had told her about their own struggles with the dark side. Luke and his Father, Kyle and his fall, return to the Jedi then almost falling again. Jaden and his problems with Rosh. She thought of the Dark side as something always there, like a shadow in a room with only one lamp. As a child the shadows were her only friend. Where she hid. Now they were the most danger. She understood that she had come so close herself when she had killed those that had hurt her.

“Emotions are good in their place, but to use them to direct the force is wrong. When you are angry you are not thinking, you are feeling. That is all well and good for those without the Force but for those with it such is a subtle trap."

She walked aboard, grabbing a litter, and rolled the body into it, then activated the anti-grav, pushing the mass toward the cell they had jury-rigged. The stasis field kicked on, and she glared at him. “We’ll find them all, or so help me I will interrogate you myself.” She promised.

The CEC YT1400 was a disc like all of the 1000 series products of the Corellian Engineering Corporation products. Unlike the YT1200 which had the cockpit on the left hand side or the YT1300 which had it on the right side the cockpit rose like a gooseneck lamp in the center of the forward mandibles looking like a hooded snake about to attack. Jaden was already in the pilot’s seat, warming the ship up.

“When do I get to fly the ship?”

“When I let you.” Jaden answered. “The Sable Griffin is my ship, not something we got from the Jedi.”

“But I know how to operate it!”

“There you go again. The Griffin isn’t an it. A ship is always she.” He looked aside at her. “Maybe I don’t want anyone touching my best girl.”

She sighed as the ship rose on her thrusters. It (No, she) swooped forward, climbing steeply.

“Do you know the most important thing about flying?”

“Not hitting the ground.” Twyna replied.

“No. You have to love your ship. All the training in the world doesn’t help when you don’t love her.”

Twyna shook her head. “Let me know when the wedding is.” She leaned back, closing her eyes.

Jaden smiled.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile

Last edited by machievelli; 09-25-2006 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 02-04-2006, 08:30 PM   #19
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An excellent read. I liked how Twyna stealthed her way around and took out each of the henchmen all while Jaden kept Nardo busy jabbering. Nardo never saw it coming.
Quote:
Originally Posted by machievelli "Nar Shadaa"
Everyone had the right to overeat. From the 250 kilos he weighed, this man had abused the privilege.
No doubt. This made me think of a human version of a Hutt. If he kept eating like that maybe he would have evolved into one, heh-heh.


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Old 02-04-2006, 08:54 PM   #20
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Very good update, keep it up!
BTW, did that guy eat a hutt? I think it would be very had to get to 551 lbs.


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Old 02-04-2006, 10:41 PM   #21
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The record is 1070+ pounds. Now my question is;
Did I say he was human?


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 02-05-2006, 12:08 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machievelli
The record is 1070+ pounds.
Doesn't make it any easier.
Quote:
Originally Posted by machievelli
Did I say he was human?
Yes, you did.
Quote:
Originally Posted by machievelli
The larger of the two humans waddled forward. Everyone had the right to overeat. From the 250 kilos he weighed, this man had abused the privilege.


Let's kill ourselves.
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Old 02-05-2006, 03:29 PM   #23
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you remembered!


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 09-25-2006, 05:50 PM   #24
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edited to bring it back up to where I left off. Now that I am out of the old stuff, anyone want me to continue with this one?


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
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Old 09-25-2006, 07:15 PM   #25
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Old 09-25-2006, 08:37 PM   #26
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Sure!
I second that motion!


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Old 09-26-2006, 01:10 AM   #27
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Absolutely!

By the way, I noticed a few words left out at the beginning of that section.

"Didn’t like this when it happened on Coruscant. I like it even less today, he grumbled inwardly."


I'm really enjoying it, by the way. You seem to have a carefully thought through storyline you're following. That's one of my weaknesses, as you may have gathered by my 'author's note' at the beginning of chapter 5 of my 'Vessa' story. And as I indicated before, I'll definitely keep reading this if you keep writing.


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Old 10-03-2006, 12:42 PM   #28
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The trials: New version

“You are ready for the Jedi trials.” Luke told her. Twyna felt the thrill she had before, but at the same time almost a year of being taught by the Jedi came to the fore. She saw Master Skywalker looking at her. Would he decide she wasn’t good enough yet?

He walked to a door, pointing. “Through that door is your trial.”

“My trial?” She asked.

“Back when the order was larger, the trial was an important mission, and failure sometimes meant death.” He explained. “However these days any such mission is also too important to simply hand to an untrained child, and most are so dangerous even one of the full fledged Jedi might fail, so it is closer to murder than I can accept. So I have created a trial just for you.”

She considered what he had said. He had taken the time to make her very own trial...Should she be impressed by the effort or terrified that the one person that knew her had rigged the test? He watched her quietly.

“What if I want to wait?” She asked.

He looked at her, smiling that same small smile. “Twyna, what makes you think you would be forced to take this test? I said that you were ready. Not that you had to do it.”

“But...” She looked at the door. “I’m afraid I’ll fail.”

Luke reached out, his hand gentle on her shoulder. Of the people here, only he and Jaden could touch her without permission. “We can’t always win.” He told her. “If we did the Jedi would not have been destroyed almost a dozen times throughout history.

“But we have to try. Sometimes we will fail, sometimes we will die. But if we don’t try, the enemy wins always.” He shook her gently. “You could stay and be a teacher instead.”

She snorted in derision. The problem was that with only about a couple of dozen or so Jedi, most of them on missions, the teaching at the Academy was of the catch and catch can variety. Everyone with a skill had been dragooned into it at one time or another. Kyle was good with the basics of how to use the force, but like Twyna when she had begun, subtly was not his method except when he dealt in practical joking. She had laughed when he’d accidentally caused all of the toilets to back up explosively earlier that year.

Jaden was good when it came to the actual fighting styles, and she’d learned a lot from him there. But he tended to go for broke. Where she came up with intricate plans like their take down of the mob boss on Nar Shaddaa, he would have probably leveled the building he had been in.

Twyna had found that she was a sneak and scoundrel. When an older boy here had been calling her names, she had been the one that slid a mec-serpent in his bed. It wasn’t dangerous, the snake was venomous, but the poison was closer to a bee sting. But it was highly aggressive, and watching him run through the halls with a 30 centimeter snake chasing him had been the high point of the evening.

The low point had been when she had to explain that she had literally talked the snake into sleeping there. The next thing she knew, she was called upon as a teacher. It wasn’t an easy skill to learn, and she had almost loosed much larger animals on the dunderheads she had as students when they couldn’t seem to get it.

So okay, she had little patience with those who couldn’t seem to grasp something that simple. After all the entire population of Onderon knew how the Beast Riders did the same thing!

“I don’t think I’m cut out to be a teacher.” She replied dryly.

“Really.” Luke looked at her, and she could have sworn that he was smirking. “Just because you almost inundated your class in viper hawks?”

She’d forgotten about that. She had been concentrating on calling a single viper hawk to sit before her class last month, and instead she had caught one of the fertile females. It had been at the height of estrus, with the pheromones to match, and every male for several kilometers had charged after her. So instead of a single hawk, they had several hundred.

“That was an accident.”

“Well you could teach that trick you have with machines-”

“Oh gods, no!” She laughed helplessly. Not long after she had arrived, she found she had a knack with machines. When she had been aboard the ship long ago, she had been able to make machines work or not work by tapping a bulkhead near them. She couldn’t explain how it worked, but it did. When she had gotten here, she had been walking down a hall past a flickering light the first week after she had been here, and she had merely looked at it, tapped the wiring leading to it, and it stopped flickering. One of the other students had seen her, and asked her to show him how she had done it. It was actually quite simple, and he had shown others.

A lot of others.

Suddenly classes were being disrupted all over the compound as bored kids would cause lights to flicker, go out, or in one rather abrupt case, explode. They had traced the source, and she had been told firmly not to teach it to anyone else outside of an organized class.

Luke watched her, and now she knew he was grinning. She raised her hands shrugging. “Do you really want that to happen again?”

He smiled. “Not really. But it is a good skill for escaping from a stasis tube.”

“If you don’t care what happens to the ship.” She agreed. The one test they had made, having Twyna in a stasis tube had caused the complete rewiring of the ship afterward.

“Then maybe the safest thing to do is have you take the Trials, so if anyone else’s ship gets blown up, it is some bad guy’s.”

“Okay, okay.” She said. She looked at the door. “What do I do?”

“Walk through the door.”

She sighed, then went to it. The door had been magnetically locked, and for a moment, she thought he had been joking. But no. The trials were supposed to test your skills, right? She used that knack, and the magnetic lock slipped, the door hissing open.

The passageway beyond felt... wrong. Her lightsaber lit, and she walked into it. The door hissed closed behind her. Then a dozen light turrets popped down, and she found herself automatically deflecting the blasts. She began sending them back, each blast reducing the attack until only smoking wreckage remained. She walked down the passage, and opened the next door. she smelled a choking gas, and reached within her, her body adapting. Then she walked into the room. There were three doors, but none of the opened at her touch. They had been mechanically locked. Above the doors, she could see keys dangling, and she went to the first, leaping up to take the key down. It fit the lock, but the door only revealed a switch. She threw it, but nothing happened. She went to the door opposite the one she had entered, retrieved that key, but again, there was only a switch. That one caused the first switch to snap back upright.

She went to the last door, and again found only a switch. That switch did nothing.

She closed her eyes, feeling with the force. It was an intricate puzzle box with her inside it. The left switch had to be thrown, then the right switch, then the center switch to open...

She found the door in the floor. She went down the stairway it revealed, into another passage below her. That passageway led to a five meter wide pit that went straight up almost fifty meters. Every five meters or so, there was a ledge in a staggered pattern on the edges.

She glanced at them, then using the force to augment her muscles, leaped to the first one. They weren’t that wide, and she caught at the stone wall, finding a handhold. Then she leaped up and across to the next and then up to the next.

She crawled over the edge of the pit, looking around. There was something familiar about where she was. Her foot crunched, and she looked at the litter of bones on the ground. She hunkered down. looking at them. They had been picked clean by the insects that lived on the planet, but the scarring on the bones themselves told her it had probably been something a viper hawk would eat.

But for the bones to be here... She slowly looked upward. Viper hawk nests, Lots of viper hawk nests.

After her accident earlier in the year, Twyna had studied the viper hawks. The viper hawk was a social creature, and they lived in nesting areas on the edges of mountains and in the taller trees. The average colony was between seven and ninety nests.

From her slow look this was the nest half a kilometer from the Academy buildings. She had actually surveyed this nest complex.

From the air.

The problem was, viper hawks were fiercely territorial. One wasn’t too much of a danger to an adult human.

A couple of hundred could be lethal.

She stood, and began calming herself. If she ran, they would be startled, and attack. If she stood here, it was only a matter of time before one of them decided to investigate the odd thing in their midst, and if it became alarmed, they would attack. Moving meant she might alarm them and again, an attack would commence.

No options.

She began moving slowly, careful not to step on any of the brittle bones at her feet. In some places that meant she would have to backtrack.

It took longer to pass through the nesting area to safety than she had spent on the entire course up to that point. She reached the woods beyond, and paused. That last hour had been nerve-wracking.

She followed the path on, coming to a straight run of perhaps 100 meters with stone walls on either side. Her head cocked. Something about it... She looked up, and there on the edges were the other students, watching her calmly. Then something clicked. She looked back as a large rounded boulder came loose, landed in the channel created by the walls, and began to roll toward her.

“Run!” Someone shouted. She turned, and took off like a rocket, charging down the channel. The footing was treacherous, and she gasped as she stumbled once. If that rolled over her they could just fold up her remains and bury her in an envelope! Above her the others had knelt, and as she passed, each put out a hand as if to help. “Jump up!” They shouted. “We’ll catch you!”

She ran, terror rising, then suddenly she leaped, catching a hand, and found herself pulled over the edge as the boulder rolled past. She found herself in someone’s arms panting with terror. Only after she was safe did she look at who it was.

She hugged Mali hard.

There was shouting, some of it derisive as they stood there.

“Not bad.” Kyle Katarn commented coming from the brush nearby. “A lot of desserts changed hands over this.”

“What?”

“We told the others what the last test would be.” Kyle commented. “Almost everyone thought you would have gone a bit further down, where there’s a narrow ramp. The ones that thought you’d actually trust someone bet you’d grab a hand.”

“But I almost got killed!”

“Oh really?” Kyle pointed toward the bottom end of the corridor. The boulder was rolling back up the channel, albeit not as fast as it had descended. As it passed, the three young men pushing it waved, and kept pushing.

“Foamed Pyro-plastic.” Kyle told her. “It would have hurt, but kill you? Nah.”

“And how did you bet?” She looked up at Mali.

“I waited for odds before I bet. I am going to get sick eating nothing but dessert for dinner.”

“You!” She leaned up pecking him on the cheek. “I get some of it!”


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 10-04-2006, 12:23 AM   #29
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I like what you've written so far, mach. Jedi don't become full-gledged Knights until their early 20s or later, but accuracy isn't everything.


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Old 10-04-2006, 01:05 AM   #30
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A good read, machievelli. I felt like the transition between the capture of Lanci on Nar Shadaa and this chapter about Twyna's Jedi trial was rather abrupt.

Nice explanation for the difference between Jedi trials in the Old Republic and the current version of the Jedi Order. Much more rational and understandable. There is something to be said for the old way though since in many cases it was a matter of do or you won't come back to say you failed.


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Old 10-04-2006, 12:09 PM   #31
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I like what you've written so far, mach. Jedi don't become full-gledged Knights until their early 20s or later, but accuracy isn't everything.
I was just considering the events in the Jedi Academy Game where Jaden goes from untrained neophyte to Jedi is what eight missions? But you're right, I'm going to have to add about 100 pages between Nar Shaddaa and where I am at the moment.

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Nice explanation for the difference between Jedi trials in the Old Republic and the current version of the Jedi Order. Much more rational and understandable. There is something to be said for the old way though since in many cases it was a matter of do or you won't come back to say you failed.
But then again you weren't sending untrained or only partially Jedi on missions as you do in Jedi Academy either. I think the entire premise is 'can they handle it alone'. Of course, if I make this the equivilant of just one more test, I can probably leave it as it is.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 10-04-2006, 03:47 PM   #32
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I was just considering the events in the Jedi Academy Game where Jaden goes from untrained neophyte to Jedi is what eight missions?
It was a little odd, but he did pass the Trials in a sense on Vjun. He proves his skill by defeating three Dark Jedi, and passes the Trial of Skill. He sort of passes the Trial of Flesh when his friend falls to the dark side. He passes the Trial of Courage by fighting against difficult odds. And for LS players, he passes the Trial of Sprit on Taspir by resisting the dark side.

He only does complete three of the m on Vjun, but Luke had his Jedi Order do things more quickly than the old. Twyna might not be fit to become a Knight since she still hasn't dealt with her anger, though.


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We will be great failures one day, you and I
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Old 10-04-2006, 11:24 PM   #33
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He only does complete three of the m on Vjun, but Luke had his Jedi Order do things more quickly than the old. Twyna might not be fit to become a Knight since she still hasn't dealt with her anger, though.
Then couldn't the same have been said of Anakin Skywalker?


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Old 10-04-2006, 11:27 PM   #34
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Then couldn't the same have been said of Anakin Skywalker?
There were no signs of anything evil in Anakin then, only his love for his mother.


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We will be great failures one day, you and I
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Old 10-04-2006, 11:58 PM   #35
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I had an extra line in my previous quote that may have distracted from the statement I was questioning.

You believe Twyna may not be fit to become a Jedi Knight because she hasn't dealt with her anger and found inner peace, correct?

I see many similiarities between Twyna's current stage of development and Anakin Skywalker's. After all as a padawan he only slaughtered an entire tribe of Tuskens, including women and children, because they killed his mother. Of course none of the other Jedi knew of his action but as far as we know Twyna hasn't done anything along those lines so I see her and Anakin in much the same light. Anakin went on to become a Jedi and there isn't any reason to think that Twyna is any less prepared than Anakin was.

And where do you see signs of evil in Twyna?


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Old 10-05-2006, 01:28 AM   #36
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Well, she killed a whole ship of people and acts somewhat aggressively to other Jedi. Mach has made no indication that she's made peace with her past, so she doesn't seem like someone I'd want as a Knight.


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We will be great failures one day, you and I
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Old 10-05-2006, 10:31 AM   #37
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Well, she killed a whole ship of people and acts somewhat aggressively to other Jedi. Mach has made no indication that she's made peace with her past, so she doesn't seem like someone I'd want as a Knight.
We have a girl that went from a homicidal little kid to one that went on a mission with an adult man alone, worked with someone to repair a problem she had caused, and in the final test did grab someone's hand instead of trying to escape on her own.

I agree she hasn't dealt with that anger yet, but she isn't a vest-pocket nuclear weapon any more.

Besides, I myself have admitted the story is going too fast.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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