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Old 08-10-2006, 09:29 PM   #1
JasraLantill
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[FIN]Master's Night Out {Shortie Fic}

Master Minor stifled a yawn as he watched his Padawan, Rogget, deflect the bolts from the training droid with his training saber. Rogget wasn’t bad for a young Padawan in his first saber training session. He hadn’t yet missed deflecting a single bolt, but the droid was on the lowest setting and the session was progressing rather slowly. Minor glanced up at the chronometer on the training room wall. Ack! I’m going to be late! he thought. Making a command decision, he pushed a button on the droid’s remote control he had hidden in his robes. The droid came to a sudden stop.

“What?!” Padawan Rogget frowned with disappointment. “Master, the training droid… it just stopped!”

“Hmm….” Minor walked over to the floating droid and tapped it with his finger. “Excellent observation, my Padawan. Must be a minor malfunction. Nevermind. We’ll get it fixed and try again first thing tomorrow morning.”

“But, Master…”

"You have performed your task well, my Padawan,” Minor said, placing an arm around Rogget’s shoulders and guiding him towards the exit. “Now, erm...you go and meditate for a while. Start with the ‘Jedi Code’, then the ‘Values of Discipline’, and… oh, then ‘The Nine Ways to Tuck your Tabards in your Obi.’”

“Nine ways?” Rogget frowned. “But I only know two.”

“Then you have much to meditate on, my Padawan. Off you go now.” Minor smiled, then gave Rogget a gentle nudge in the direction of the Padawan dormitories. “I've got a...a special Council meeting to attend."

Rogget frowned slightly with confusion. “Yes, Master,” he said slowly.

As soon as Rogget was out of sight, Master Minor’s smile dropped and he sighed with relief. “Finally!” He pulled his hood over his head, and hurriedly walked out of the Jedi Temple and into Coruscant City just as the sun was beginning to set.

His destination wasn’t far, but Master Minor took great lengths to avoid being seen. He kept to the more shadowy side of the streets he walked, kept his hood covering his face, and made sure that his tell-tale lightsaber was well secreted under his robes. Finally, at the end of a narrow, poorly lit back alley, he rapped once on one of the side doors. Then twice. Then once again.

Nothing happened.

Master Minor rapped the same combination again. Still, nothing happened. Finally, after the third time, a slit in the door slid open, revealing only a pair of eyes. As the eyes looked him up and down, a gruff voice said, “What do you wa…. Oh. It’s you.”

“Let me in,” said Minor.

“But that wasn’t the secret knock. It’s twice, then once, then twice.”

Minor heard a sound in the alley, and turned his head one way and then the other to see if anyone was coming. “Would you just let me in before someone sees me out here?”

There was a sigh. “You all agreed that everyone would use the secret knock this time. No knock, no entry.” And the slit abruptly closed.

“Sith’s Blood,” Master Minor muttered.

“Passwords were last week,” the muffled voice called from the other side of the door.

Minor let out an exasperated sigh. Then he knocked twice, then once, then twice.

The door opened. “Oh! Master Minor!” the burly bald doorman greeted him with a mostly toothless smile. “How nice to see you again. Your party is waiting for you in the back room.”

Master Minor rolled his eyes, but followed the doorman down a narrow corridor to another door. As the doorman opened it, a cloud of cigar smoke billowed outwards and upwards.

“Minor!” several voices greeted him in unison from the middle of the haze. “Glad you could make it!” said another.

The smoke cleared revealing a dimly lit room with a small bar at the back and a large round table with a hanging lamp above it in the middle, around which three other Jedi Masters sat holding cards in their hands and one with a cigar in his mouth.

“Erm…your usual, Master Minor?” asked the bartender as Minor approached.

“Yeah,” said Minor. “And would you throw in a packet of crisps while you’re at it? I’m bloody starving.”

“What? Didn’t you like the bean curd pate with steamed cress they were serving in the dining hall today?” the Twi’Leki Master Ki’Antee Roesae asked from the table as he threw his ante into the pot in the middle of the table.

“Ugh!” the Nabooan Jedi Master Aacro Bern sitting across from him grimaced. “Don’t tell me you did?”

The dark-haired cigar smoking Corellian Master Fiecro Joss blew out rings of blue-gray smoke into the air. “Ach, Bernie, you know as well as I do that Rosy’ll eat anything, as long as it’s free.”

“I’ll just stick to nourishment I can identify by sight, thank you very much,” said Master Minor. He picked up his Corellian ale and packet of crisps and headed for the empty seat at the table.

“Waste not, want not, I always say,” Master Roesae said wagging a finger in the air. “By the way, can you pass me those Zorgang nuts, Bernie?”

Master Bern shoved the bowl of coloured nuts across the table. “So, Minor, what happened to you today?”

“Yeah,” said Master Joss. “We were beginning to think that you weren’t showing up. We’ve already played the first hand.”

“Sorry. First Saber training session with my Padawan today.”

“Ah…” the other Masters said together.

“Rogget’s not the worst Padawan I’ve had, but, damn, that boy is slow!” Minor complained. “Yesterday, it took him six hours to levitate himself, a single chair, and a book. Six hours! Made me miss the opening of the Light Opera last night. And I had front row tickets, too.”

“Well, all Padawans appear to get slower as we get older,” said Master Bern. “Five credit ante, Minor.”

“Oh, yeah. Right.” Minor dug in his robes and tossed his credits on the table. “Who’s dealer?”

“Bernie,” said Master Roesae.

“No, I dealt last hand,” said Master Bern. He placed the deck of cards in front of the Twi’Lek. “It’s your turn.”

“No, it’s your turn,” Master Roesae said, slightly passing his hand through the air.

Master Bern’s eyes narrowed. “No, it’s your turn,” he said, waving his hand in the air in a similar manner.

“No, it’s…”

“Oh for Galaxy’s sake!” said Master Joss, as he used the Force to slide the deck to himself. “I’ll deal!”

Master Bern and Master Roesae exchanged sly, secretive looks.

“I saw that,” Master Joss growled, as he dealt the cards. “And, by the way, you two’s Force Persuasion is about as subtle as a Bantha in glass shop. My Padawan can do better than that.”

“Oh, please don’t mention Padawans and Banthas in the same breath,” said Master Bern. “Mine’s been at me all week to show him ‘Beast Control’.”

“Bah! Useless power anyway,” grunted Master Joss, as he fanned his hand. “Never works right.”

“That’s what I tried to tell him,” said Master Bern. “So I said to him, ‘How about I teach you Force Whirlwind instead?’ But, you know what he did?” Bernie snorted. “Handed me a note from the Infirmary Nurse saying he’s exempt from Force Whirlwind lessons.”

“No!” the other three said in disbelief.

Master Bern nodded with affirmation. “Yeah. Claims he suffers from vertigo and Force Whirlwind would make him nauseous and dizzy.” He shook his head and rolled his eyes. “Whatever happened to the good ‘ol days where you could take your Padawan up to the pinnacle of the Jedi Temple and say, ‘Right. You practice your levitation here, and I’ll wait down below in case you fall.’”

“The Council’s new Padawan Protection Order, that’s what,” said Master Minor.

“Bah. Useless order,” said Master Joss, chewing on the stub of his cigar.

“Exactly,” said Master Minor. “I mean, none of the Council even have Padawans anymore, so what do they know about training them.”

“Well, I’ve got a Padawan tale that tops even that one,” said Master Joss. “Ready? Today, my Padawan, asked me, if I could show him… wait for it….” He paused. “The Niman form.”

There was silence. Then the four Jedi Masters erupted with laughter.

“You’re kidding, right, Joss?” said Master Minor, wiping a tear from his eye with the sleeve of his robe.

Master Joss was laughing so hard he could only shake his head.

“Oh, oh, that’s a good one, Jossie!” Master Bern finally managed to say. “I’ll have to remember that when I speak at Master Pietrauno’s retirement roast next month!”

“Ah…Padawans,” said Master Roesae, finally catching his breath. “They never fail to surprise you. Why only this morning mine said that he was only late for meditations because he was practicing his Force Speed in reverse.”

“Wish mine would learn Force Speed period,” said Master Minor. “I’ve told him again and again how to do it, but he just never listens.”

“Padawans never listen,” said Master Bern. “Always have to try things out for themselves.”

“Well, experience is the best teacher, I always say,” said Master Roesae.

Master Joss chuckled. “You only say that because you’re total crap at teaching.”

Master Minor nearly choked on his ale, then slapped Master Bern on the back to help him from choking on his.

“I am not… crap,” Master Roesae blustered. “I’m merely… meticulously pedantic.”

“Right,” said Master Joss with a quick roll of his eyes. “Your bet, by the way.”

Master Roesae examined his cards for a very long moment. A very long moment.

“Okay, okay. We all get the point,” Master Minor broke the silence. “We’re all sorry. You’re not crap. So will you stop being meticulously pedantic and bet?”

Master Roesae smiled, then placed his bet in the pot.

“What’s the hurry, Minor? You worried that your Padawan might yet get the hang of Force Speed and come looking for you?” Master Bern asked him.

“Ha!” Minor scoffed. “No. I sent him off to mediation before I left. Jedi Code, Values of Discipline, and ‘The Nine Ways to Tuck your Tabards in your Obi.’”

“The Nine Ways?” Master Bern asked. He looked askance at the two other Jedi Masters. “But there are only two.”

“I know that, and you know that.” Minor grinned “But he doesn’t. It’ll keep him occupied for hours.”

“Oo-ooh! Do I sense a hint of the Dark Side in you, Minor?” joked Master Bern.

“Nah. Just boredom.” Master Minor drained the contents of his glass, then motioned to the bartender for more drinks all around. “So…,” He rubbed his hands together, then picked up his cards. “Are we playing or what?”

“Some of us are,” Master Joss said, raising his eyebrow at Master Roesae.

“Great! Then I’ll raise you, five credits, my friend.” Master Minor threw his credits into the pot with a clink. “I’m feeling lucky tonight!”

*********

It was early in the morning when Master Minor staggered back to his room in the Jedi Temple. He had only just laid down on his bed, when there was a knock on his door.

Sighing, he reluctantly got up and answered it. It was his Padawan, Rogget.

“Yes, Padawan?”

“Master, it’s morning.”

Minor looked around, then gave him a deadpan look. “Yes, Padawan. It is indeed morning. Another one of your excellent observations."

“Well, you said we would continue with my saber training first thing this morning.”

Minor let out a tiny sigh. “Yes, Padawan, I suppose I did.” His head was thumping from drinking too much Corellian ale last night. “How about I teach you something else this morning?” He managed a grin. “How about a Force power?”

Rogget brightened. “Force Whirlwind?” he suggested.

“Erm…no.” Minor swallowed back bile at the thought. “Not Force Whirlwind. How about a more…useful power. Beast Control, perhaps. That’s a good one.”

“Beast Control?” Rogget’s brow wrinkled with doubt. “But I heard that was a useless power.”

“Nonsense. Whoever told you that just isn’t doing it right. Look, you go on ahead to the training room, and I’ll meet you there in a few minutes.”

A few minutes later, Master Minor appeared in the training room holding a Gizka in his hands.

“A Gizka, Master? But they’re not at all dangerous beasts.”

“Yes, well, you have to start somewhere,” he said, placing the Gizka on the floor. “Now, I want you to concentrate on making the Gizka think it’s tired and relaxed.”

“How do I do that, Master?”

“Like this.” Master Minor laid down on the floor mats, and closed his eyes. His Padawan soon did the same.

Minor let out a deep cleansing breath. Now, this was the way to train after a night out at the pub.

“Master?”

“Yes, Padawan.”

“The Gizka is asleep.”

“Then you are doing well, Padawan. Keep it up.”

Of course, Minor knew that the Gizka would be asleep. The temperature in the training room was too cold for it to remain active for very long.

There was a small tap on the training room door. Without waiting for an answer from within, the door opened and Master Bern popped his head into the room. “Beast Control?”

“Yes,” replied Minor, without even cracking an eye.

“Yeah, me, too. Next door. Oh, and there’s another ‘Council’ meeting, same time, next week.”

“I’ll be there.”

“Good.”

THE END


Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)
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