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Old 05-26-2008, 07:35 PM   #1
Darth_Yuthura
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Shrouded in Darkness: Yuthura Ban's Tale

Following a bitter defeat by Revan, Yuthura Ban has abandoned the Sith and returns to the Jedi. As she struggles to find peace with herself, Yuthura is treated as an outcast and not accepted by them. Only Revan understands the selfless passion that would lead her back on the path she left so long ago.

Chapter 1: Surrender

I watched as Uthar had finally fallen. Everything had gone according to plan and I had become the headmaster of the Sith Academy. And yet, I couldn't enjoy my latest victory. I had intended to turn on the one who allied with me against my master, but I found that it was more difficult than I had anticipated.

I couldn’t stop thinking about all we had shared in the last few days. I told him of my reasons for becoming a Sith, but he reminded me a time before any of that happened. If I were to overcome my compassion, would I still have had any concern for the slaves I vowed to free? Did I really want to kill my friend?

Although I had no desire to fight him, I knew I had even less desire to be controlled through fear again. I knew what had to be done and proudly declared, “Uthar is dead, and a new leader rises to replace him.” I faced Trevelyan, “I’m proud of you. You learned the Sith code well.”

“A code that ends with betrayal and death?” he asked.

Why was it so difficult for me? Why could I not just bring myself to kill him? Could it have been that he truly cared what I did with my life? Only a fool would have killed an ally, but friends among the Sith? Could he have just been using me as I used my Twi’lek charm to rise above the ranks? There were too many possibilities and I was overwhelmed by so many unanswered questions. I felt I had no choice but to follow my original plan through. I couldn't hesitate to act, but what I intended to do was against everything that mattered to me.

I wanted so much to explain my reasons to him, but I knew nothing could justify my betrayal... and if I were to kill him, anything I said would have been irrelevant, but I tried to justify my actions. “That is the way of the Sith. When one’s power surpasses another, the weaker must yield... and I’m afraid that it will not be long before you surpass me. I... I can’t allow that. I’m sorry. I do truly consider you my friend and I hate myself for what I’m about to do, but... I told you there cannot be friends among the Sith. I’m sorry.”

I didn't know why I warned him. It would have been most prudent to just attack without warning, but I think I had been trying to convince myself to act. I knew in my heart that I didn’t want to seem like a monster to him and that he at least deserved a fair fight.

“Are you sure there is no other way than this? Are you willing to throw away everything you once believed in a blaze of hatred?”

“I... there is no other way. I should have kept you an arm’s length away; for both our sakes. Let’s... let’s just get this over with.”

I engaged my lightsaber, as did he. I took a defensive stance and waited for him to make the first strike, but he showed no indication that he intended to fight. He just stood, waiting for me to attack. He appeared saddened by my deceit. He must have truly cared for me, but I had already made my challenge. If I went back on it, I showed a weakness that would have been exploited. It was my hope that he would have at least made the first strike.

After what felt like an eternity, I finally acted. I swung with what usually was a powerful broadside strike, but it was easily deflected. I felt no anger towards him and could not bring myself to feel anything but... remorse and guilt. Why did I feel such emotions? Whatever the reason, I realized I stood no chance and was going to die. I had so much adrenaline channeling through my body that I couldn't feel anything. For the first time in years, I had been terrorized beyond reason. All I wanted to do was surrender to him, but I knew it was too late. I had already committed myself and I knew I could not win. And because I would have received no mercy either, I had to fight and die.

I forced a second swing that didn’t even hit his blade. In that moment, I almost felt ready to accept death, but against all reason, I kept struggling for life. As I tried to strike again, I had been thrown back by a Force wave and lost my lightsaber after hitting a wall.

The pain was intense, but it wasn't what kept me to the floor. I realized that I did not want to win this battle. I hated myself for defying everything I believed in and couldn’t bring myself to kill my friend. I knew that he was superior to me and deserved this victory. I also knew that I deserved death, but I was too much of a coward to accept it. I became desperate and wailed out, “Please, stop! I yield! You are superior to me. Please... I know I don’t deserve it, but please... don’t do this. I beg you... I beg you.”

I knew that in speaking such words, I would have only suffered a greater indignity before death, but at that moment, nothing seemed to matter. I knew death was going to take me whether I accepted it or not... and since having suffered greater embarrassments already, such indignities did not concern me anymore.

I was on my hands and knees with my face pressed against the floor. I was practically bowing to him as I had when I was a slave. I knew that I could still stand and fight if I wanted to, but I would have rather died than suffer such bedlam any longer. I just wanted everything to stop, but my life endured. A long moment passed as I laid on the floor with all the tears I've held back for four years being shed at once. Why have I not been struck down? Was he tormenting me?

I finally got an answer: the gentle touch of an open hand on my left shoulder. It was so gentle, yet it startled me more than a killing blow. The last time I felt such a touch was when I was found on a barren world almost a decade ago. It had been so long... I had forgotten the feeling. It was like I had been given something I had longed for all my life. It gave me some peace... some serenity.

Then he said something that shattered that: “Would a true Sith ask for mercy?”

He had hurt me worse than any killing strike ever could. He did intend to torment me before the end. All the terror and pain surged through me as I felt betrayed by his gentle touch. His words were so painful that I shrieked, “Please don’t torment me! If you’re going to kill me, just do it!”

He lowered himself to the floor and spoke softy, “If you ask for mercy, you have it. I would never kill a defenseless opponent. But... I must know; would a true Sith ask for mercy?”

I began feeling some relief, but remained fearful of what would happen after that. Somehow, I knew that his words were genuine and I asked “Why do you spare me? A true Sith would not hesitate to strike me down; especially after what I’ve done.” I raised my head to look him in the eyes. “You didn't come here to train, did you?”

He shook his head.

After a long moment of silence, I asked "So what happens now? I never imagined anyone would show mercy to a Sith."

"Yuthura, I don't think you ever wanted to become a Sith, did you? Why did you leave the Jedi and come here? Please tell me.”

I lowered my head again, more tears streamed down my cheeks. I then looked right into his eyes and told him as honestly as I could, “Those slaves... I wanted to free them. That’s all this was ever about. I was seeking a means to fight injustice... to turn fear against those who prey on those who couldn't defend themselves. The chains from the Sith code: to me, they have always represented what bound sentient beings and took away their freedom. I wanted to break those chains. The Jedi... they wouldn’t help me.”

“What? Why wouldn’t they?”

“They claimed that my feelings ran too deep... that I had to purge myself of all my anger and hate before I could help others. But if my... passion to free others were gone, would I have still cared about those slaves? I felt that I couldn’t let go of those feeling because they would always be a part of who I was. I think... I was afraid of losing myself. They claimed the dark side was evil, but it isn't so. Sometimes anger and hatred are so deserved and right. It was because of anger that I escaped Sleheyron. When I refused to let go of those feelings, the Jedi restrained me until I couldn’t stand it anymore.”

“Why did you join the Sith?”

“I wanted to use the Force so I could fight as I was meant to. The Jedi wouldn’t teach me, so there were only the Sith. I felt that I was unimportant if I could make a difference to so many others. I hated the life I had chosen, but I wanted so much to fight slavery that I was willing to do anything to end it. As the months passed, I began thinking about them less and less. It wasn’t until... you that I remembered why I first came here.

"You were right: all the things I wanted to do, all the wrongs I wanted to right... I haven’t done any of it. They just get farther and farther from my mind. This isn’t what I wanted to happen. I left the Jedi so that my resolve to fight slavery would be preserved. Instead, I used it to justify anything I did. " I dropped my head in shame. "This isn’t the person I wanted to become.”

Trevelyan moved his head closer to mine and whispered to me. “It’s not too late for you to change that. If you don’t want to be a Sith, then you should leave this place. You may not be able to change what has already been done, but you can change what is yet to happen. What you have forgotten... you can remember again. Those slaves still need help and you can still provide it. It’s not too late... it may even help you to find some peace.”

“Peace?” I don’t remember the last time I felt such a thing. Ever since I joined the Sith, I have never had to silence my emotions. My anger and hate have destroyed what little peace I have ever known. I have not felt as trapped on Sleheyron as I have on Korriban. Yet despite everything that had happened, I never realized how much I missed the Jedi. I never understood just how much I wanted to be free. Instead, I chose to become a slave to my pursuit of power... The longer I remained here, the harder it has been to live with myself. Then I thought, ‘There is no emotion; there is peace...’ I thought I understood that at long last.

After living four years with only anger and hate, I would have been a fool not to understand. The more I pursued my passions, the more trapped I became. The more I wanted to break the chains others have placed, the more I placed around my neck.

“Maybe that's all I ever really wanted was peace. My true desire may always have been to free myself of the memories that have plagued my mind and made it difficult to think about anything else. The Jedi tried to show me that.” I realized now that I have only made it harder to live with myself. I have only acted on what I sought to escape. The guilt I should have felt over the last four years has finally caught up with me. The tears I now shed were from the pain I felt in my gut. In desperation, I wailed “How can I expect to find peace now?! I’ve done so many things... hurt so many. I’ve defied everything that mattered to me; what am I supposed to do?!”

“You can learn to let go of your anger and hate. If you can free yourself of those emotions, you can become the person you want to be. The guilt you feel; it can only come from one who understands the suffering of others. If you feel it, it means that you have turned away from the darkside. I know you’ll choose to do what’s right.”

I lifted my head and looked into his eyes. “Who are you? I sense much of the dark side within you, yet you act out of the light. I knew from the moment we first met that there was something different about you; more so than I ever suspected.”

He gave a proud smile and replied, “Indeed. I am Darth Revan.”

“Revan?!” I was shocked to hear such an answer, but I knew it was true. It made sense how he could bask in the power of the darkside without loosing himself to it. “Yes, I should have known from the beginning, but you’re not the Dark Lord you once were, are you? You are Revan... and yet you are not. How can that be?”

“I’m still not fully aware of that. It may have been that the force lead me down this path. It may also be that I simply made a choice... as do you. If you wish it, you could come with me.”

I wanted so much to accept his offer, but I knew that I would only be a burden on him. I could not dare ask it of him. He has already given me more than I could ever return. “Believe me... nothing would honor me more greatly than to be with you, but I can’t be with anyone... not now. Not until I learn to deal with my guilt. You have your own destiny to follow and my presence would just interfere with what you have to do.”

“Don’t concern yourself with me. Whatever you need, I am willing to...”

I interrupted. “Only I can help myself at this time. You have done more for me than you will ever know, and I intend to do the same for you when I am able. Don’t worry about me; I’ll be fine. When I am ready, I will return to the jedi, if only to face my crimes. You have a destiny, my friend and I wish you well on your way to it. Thank-you; and may the force be with you.”

I picked myself up and limped towards the entrance to the tomb. I had still been in physical pain, but walked out as quickly as I could while trying not to show it. Revan just stood there and watched almost like a father watching his daughter taking her first steps. I knew that he had been smiling proudly at me, but I was undeserving of it. What happened here... what happened to me was entirely because of Revan. It is because of him that I found myself. It had been so long since I was free. I didn’t care how much I lost. All that mattered was that I broke the chains of the Sith from my neck.

Last edited by Darth_Yuthura; 08-09-2009 at 11:32 PM.
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Old 05-26-2008, 07:52 PM   #2
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Wow. That was pretty good. I enjoyed every part of it, and I think that there was some great words used. That may sound fuuny, but I think that you used words very well in this story. Good job.

Oh yeah, Welcome to LucasForums!

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Old 05-26-2008, 08:07 PM   #3
Darth_Yuthura
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I appreciate EVERY feedback that is given. If there are any criticisms, I would appreciate knowing what I should improve. I hope that readers will enjoy my perception of Yuthura Ban.

This story is well under way and I'll post new chapters on a regular basis for at least the next month... hopefully longer.
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Old 05-26-2008, 08:16 PM   #4
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I did notice a few typos though. Either way, I think that you should join this social group. I think that it would be perfect for you! I certainyl hoipe that you use this writing gift of yours! I will be looking foward to any more chapters!

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Old 05-26-2008, 08:29 PM   #5
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Excellent work here Darth_Yuthura and Welcome to the forums! This is a very original, emotional work. You have a lot of talent. Minor typos as said but no big deal. Keep up the excellent work.

P.S. I founded the group Rev mentioned and we would love to have you.



Viva La Resistance!

Last edited by HIGH ON PIE 14; 05-26-2008 at 08:44 PM. Reason: misspelled "here" oops
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Old 05-26-2008, 11:45 PM   #6
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Chapter 2: Abandoned

Dantooine

Following a short journey, I soon found myself before the Jedi Academy on Dantooine. Staring at the doors, I realized that I couldn’t bring myself to walk through. I had hoped that I would remember more about my life before the Sith, but memories didn’t return as easily as I hoped. Remorse seemed to be the only thing that was on my mind. How would they have reacted if I just walked in like I owned the place? How could I have faced them?

There was always some activity around the enclave. People strolling outside... minding their own business. I wasn’t even disrupting them, but they all noticed me. I suppose the tattoos gave it away that I was a Sith; a thing to fear. Within a few minutes, everyone was gone... I never realized how imposing I could be to those non-Jedi. I would have relished their fear not too long ago. Now... things were different.

I still could not build up the courage to face the Jedi. I almost decided that it was best just to leave. Before that could happen, the main doors opened and a fellow twi’lek came through. I recognized him, but I couldn’t trust my own memory. He came towards me and I knew that it had to be Master Zhar.

“We’ve heard rumors that the Sith were invading Dantoine. We didn’t know it was only you.” He opened with.

I was surprised to be approached so quickly. I didn’t have any words prepared, but I tried to respond. “Master Zhar... I didn’t know anyone was...”

Zhar interrupted my clumsy reply with, “We had not been expecting you so soon.”

I stared at him, confused.

“We were informed by Padawan Trevelyan to expect your arrival.”

“Padawan? You mean...” I almost said ‘Revan,’ but I realized that I might have exposed too much. He likely didn’t want everyone to know who he really was. “...he seriously expected that I would return?”

He nodded. “Please come in. You will attract less attention.” He extended his arm toward the enclave and I went on ahead of him. I still was fearful of stepping through and seeing friends that I had betrayed... masters I had ignored... How would they have reacted if they saw me walking on their sacred grounds? I would soon find out.

After taking the first step into the enclave, Zhar took the lead. “Please follow me.”

“Where are we going?”

“To speak with the council. I assume that’s why you’re here.”

I nodded. In truth, I had no idea why I came to that place. Maybe it was because I had nowhere else to go... nor would anyone else take me. The only ones I could turn to were there. Again, I put my fate in their hands.

Zhar took me through the main chambers where several padewans were meditating and studying. Almost every one stared at me as I walked by. I didn’t blame them... most have never even seen a Sith before, let alone within their citadel. I was growing more uncomfortable the further into the enclave we got. I felt vulnerable and surrounded. Rarely had I felt so much discord.

I got fearful that I would see my old master again, but I didn’t expect that he would have locked himself in one place for long. He preferred to be in the field, where the action occurred... not enclosed behind stone walls. I wish that I hadn’t turned on him so long ago. What would he have thought of me if he saw me?

Zhar had taken me to the council chamber, but I stopped just outside the entrance. I couldn’t bring myself to face their judgment. If they were angry with me, I would be imprisoned or exiled from the order permanently. If I were forgiven, I would feel guilty to receive their mercy as I did Revan’s.

“The Council is ready for you. Please come in.” Zhar said.

I shook my head. “I can’t. I’m sorry, but I just can’t face them. How can I expect forgiveness from them? I wouldn’t forgive me.”

“Yuthura, if you wish to return to the order, you have to face to Council. It will be all right.”

I slowly walked into the chamber and looked upon them again. Seeing the Council was much different from the last time I saw them almost four years ago. Although they haven’t changed much, I felt... older... almost wiser than I was then. I also felt as though I've diminished in their eyes. They were no longer looking at a foolish, young, slave girl. They were looking upon the face of their enemy.

Looking back at me were Master Dorak, Master Vandar, and Master Vrook.

Dorak was the chronicler of the Academy. He was the kind that took great joy in both learning and teaching. I imagined that he would be likely to support me simply for the sake of knowing about the sith from one who lived among them.

Vandar smiled at me as I entered. He was the closest to a friend I had besides my master, so it was not surprising to see him looking at me as he had in the past. He seemed to befriend everyone and not hold hard feelings toward anyone. If anyone would support me, it was him.

Zhar was the one responsible for training me as a sentinel instead of a guardian. He knew about my temper better than anyone, especially when I fought with a lightsaber. The only advantage I had with him was that he was a fellow twi’lek. He understood the blight of slavery on our people better than the others. He was a jedi, however. I had to assume he would be completely neutral on his judgment towards me.

Vrook would be the most difficult Council member to convince of my sincerity. He simply hated anyone who touched the darkside. He was arrogant beyond reason and considered me an enemy, even before I left the Order. He could not be reasoned with, so I had to be prepared to accept whatever he said about me and not react. If I could even return his anger with calm or pleasant responses, that may earn the support I need from the other masters.

I knew that in order to show my sincerity, I had to restrain my emotions. I just needed to convince myself that their words were irrelevant and my calm demeanor was critical. It sounded easy, but after four years of acting upon my emotions, this was going to require all of my will. I decided that the best way to face this would be to remember Revan. I must not fail him... I would control my emotions.

When I stood in the center of the room, I was sweating almost as much as I was when I was in the tomb of Naga Sadow. I wished so much to have Revan's support. I needed a friend more than ever. I regret so much that I didn’t make friends in the years I was here. Would even my master have believed me? I chose to be alone four years ago and now... I was alone.

Vrook was quick to provoke me. “You are either very brave, or very stupid, Sith.” He emphasized ‘sith.’

I did not react to his insult... I tilted my head forward and clearly displayed the guilt I felt. I didn’t have anything to hide... and I could not risk my sincerity being perceived as a trick, so I left myself exposed and vulnerable.

Dorak was quick to counter the insult. “Vrook! That was not necessary... and it was mean!”

Already, I felt a sense of relief. Vrook’s first words resulted in my favor because I controlled my anger. I knew that if I had to bow down and kiss their boots, I could do it.

Vrook responded. “My words did not mean anything to her four years ago. Why would they hurt her now?” Vrook glared at me, “And even it they did, it hardly compares to what she did when she betrayed us, her master, and the jedi!”

I opened my mouth to respond, but just remained silent... I was too afraid to utter the words anyway.

Vandar said “Yuthura, if you have something to say, please don't be afraid to speak your thoughts.”

I hesitantly defended myself. “I... just wanted to say... I didn’t betray the jedi, I just left. How did my departure hurt anyone other than me or my master?”

Vrook yelled back. “You went right to the sith... the enemy that is slaughtering thousands of jedi as well as countless millions!”

Zhar defended me again. “You are letting your personal feelings interfere with your judgment, Vrook. We are supposed to set examples for the students.”

Dorak added “You shouldn’t even be feeling anger, let alone displaying it. No one should have to reiterate the code to a master, should they?”

Vrook exhaled sharply and said “You’re right.” At that moment, I knew Vrook wanted nothing more than to strangle me with his bare hands. Instead, he faced me and gave a false apology. “I am sorry for my outburst. If you have something to discuss with the council, please go on.”

Suddenly, I felt relief. I realized that I controlled my desire to lash out at Vrook. I knew that I could control myself, so I began again. “Masters of the Dantoine Council, I have come before you to face your judgment in regards to my crimes against the Jedi. And, if you would...”

“A full confession!" Vrook stood up and faced the other council members. "Even she admits to committing crimes against the jedi. I don’t see how you can sit here and defend her?!”

Vandar replied “There is no emotion.” That was an insult to Vrook, and he took it hard... even I could feel his anger... his hate for me. I took his outbursts gladly, since it only helped to prove my intentions. No sith would take such insults and I wanted it to display it more proudly than my tattoos.

Vrook softly stated “She has admitted to crimes against the order, yet she wants us to accept her back after she betrayed us? I would like to know what the council intends to do about her.”

Zhar looked at me. “I would like to hear more about why Yuthura left the order and, more importantly, why she wishes to return.”

Dorak agreed. ”Yes, I also wonder why you decided to leave the sith. And why they allowed you to leave.”

I said “They did not 'allow' me to leave. It was because a jedi named Alex Trevelyan helped me to escape.” The council looked at each other. They new more but didn’t want to tell me. “He helped me understand why I left the jedi in the first place. He made me realize that I was not living for myself. When he asked me if anything has changed since I became a sith, I realized that I had lost all that I once valued.”

Vandar asked “What was it that you lost? Why would becoming a jedi help you?”

I began to remember Revan’s compassion and I began to feel the way I did back in the tomb. I controlled my emotions and began to speak again. “The reason why I left the jedi four years ago was because I wanted to stop slavery and I felt you were not willing to do anything about it. You wanted me to silence any passion I had to fight slavers... to not be angry at those who steal people’s lives... I wasn't strong enough to do that.” I started losing control of my feelings as I confronted the reason why I left the jedi. Speaking to the ones who I had abandoned was painful. “I didn’t want to be free of my anger; I wanted to do something about it. I wanted to feel peace by removing the cause of my anger... not the anger itself. Master Zhar told me that he wouldn’t train me as a guardian because of my rage.”

Zhar said “You wanted to fight slavery, I already knew that. It was the reason I recommended a sentinel’s path. A guardian would have only been capable of fighting with a lightsaber. That was not what would have best suited your purpose... you wanted to personally slay every slaver.

"Fighting slavery on a massive scale involved either the technical or diplomatic skills of a sentinel or councilor. I did not forbid from being a guardian for the sake of calming your anger... I did it because I thought it was best for you. If it was that which drove you to the sith, I am sorry for my part.”

Vrook said “You don’t have anything to apologize for. Whether or not her passion was justified or not, she betrayed the jedi. It was her choice alone. And given that there are no masters to apprentice her, it would make no difference even if her intentions were genuine. We have more important matters to attend to.”

I replied “But you need all the help you can get. I'm just asking for another chance to prove myself.”

Dorak said “I have to agree with Vrook on that issue. We are in a war and can’t afford to retrain you while there are so many who haven’t had one attempt. If this were under different circumstances, I would welcome you back, but for now, we don’t have the luxury of retraining one we can’t trust. I’m sorry.”

My heart sank as he said those words. My jaw dropped in disbelief. I knew that he gave me a very valid reason, but I didn’t care. Despite everything that had happened, I sealed my fate when I left the order four years ago. All that I ever worked for was lost. I felt as though my entire life had amounted to nothing.

All my hopes, ambitions, sweat, blood, tears, and pain were for nothing. The slaves I could have freed... the suffering I had endured on Koriban and Sleheyron... none of it mattered.

It was one thing to forget oneself, but to have a full life of hopes and dreams destroyed... it was worse than being a slave. It wasn’t a master that made me who I was. It was because of me that I was nothing. I could have been greater than I ever dreamed, but instead, I would always be nothing.

Vandar said “I think a vote should be in order to determine how to proceed.”

“Don’t... just don’t.” I said as I already knew the verdict. “I shouldn’t have come here.” Then I turned around to leave when I realized that I still didn’t know why Revan was on Koriban. That was something I needed to know. Why was the former Lord of the Sith working for the jedi?

I turned back to face the council again and asked “One last thing... that jedi, Alex Trevelyan... could you tell me about him?”

Vandar answered “Alex Trevelyan? He had only recently completed his training, but the force was stronger with him than most. I don’t know much about him personally.”

I knew Master Vandar was lying. He knew every student on a personal level to some degree. I often was surprised at how much he knew of me, despite rarely speaking to him. Vandar knew more than he was telling me.

“That wasn't the name he used.” I commented.

Zhar said “He must have just used a false name for his mission. Why does this one interest you?”

I started to raise my voice. “I know who he is... and so do you. What have you done?!”

The Council remained silent.

“If you don’t tell me what you have done, I will make sure that your secret becomes public.”

The council were full of fear, but none of them showed it to me. They looked at each other and Vrook told Zhar and Dorak, ”Disable the security system and seal the entrance.” Vrook faced me. “If we speak about this, none of it leaves this chamber.”

The council sat down in their chairs and gave me their undivided attention. There was a moment of silence until Vrook asked, “What do you know... about Revan?”

“I know who he is... that he is alive... and that the former Dark Lord of the Sith is working to advance your interests. Why is he helping you?”

“We can’t reveal that to anyone. It’s secret information that few are allowed to know. Even he was not aware of it.”

“What do you mean he ‘wasn’t aware of it?’ What did you do to him?”

Dorak said “As you know, when Revan was declared dead, everyone assumed he perished with his ship. In truth, he was severely wounded, but was rescued. When he was brought before the Council on Couriscant, there was no means to heal his damaged mind. Revan, the Sith Lord, was truly dead.”

I was shocked to hear that, but it still didn’t explain why he was working for the jedi. I asked “If his mind was destroyed, then what happened?”

Vandar continued “The jedi council gave him a new identity and a new set of memories. The one who you encountered was completely different from the Dark Lord you followed four years ago.”

I just came to a horrible truth: the one who convinced me to leave the sith was not a person, but a weapon. “You changed him. You manipulated him into doing your bidding! It wasn’t Revan that convinced me to leave the sith... it was a genetically programed weapon!”

“There was no way to save him. We had to...”

“You exploited him! You’re no better than the sith! How could I have been so blind?!” I shrieked in rage.

“We had no choice. The Dark Lord was too dangerous to revive.”

“You can't reject me because I've rejected you! I am now and will always be a sith! You will not control my destiny any longer!”

Having lost the last shred of my emotional control, I ran out of the council chamber. Everyone in the enclave looked at me in fear as I stormed out.

I was so angry, yet something was holding me back. Something had stopped me from attacking the council with my lightsaber and it was stopping me from killing every padewan I came by. If I wanted to hurt the council, I could easily have blasted them with force lightning, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Why did I not want to take revenge on these hypocritical shuttas?!

When I reached my ship, I just got behind the controls and took off with no idea as to where I would go... I just had to get away from this place. Anywhere was better than here. I went through the take off procedures and was soon in orbit.

By the time I was circling the planet, I decided that the only other place I could travel was back to Korriban. I didn’t have any other hyperspace coordinates anyway, so I punched them in and was soon at light speed. It felt better to be moving. It just seemed that there was nothing else to do. It did give me time to think about how all this all started.

Before that thing which used to be Revan entered my life, my path was clear. I must not allow the jedi to manipulate me any longer. I was confused for a time, but I know that I should never have left the sith. I am Yuthura Ban, Sith Master now and forever.

I must go back and take command. From there, I will be able to plan my next move. Once I’m back where I belong, everything will make sense again. I’m glad that the jedi rejected me, otherwise I would have doomed myself to be under the control of yet another master.


The Koriban Academy


As I entered Dresdae, I realized that something terrible had happened here. There should have been guards in the hanger and near the entrances, but none were at their posts. It wasn’t long before I realized the truth... without a leader... without me, they all turned on themselves. Everyone was dead... and I was responsible for it. I should not have abandoned them after killing their leader. Uthar may have deserved death, but the students certainly did not.

As I walked down the corridors and saw the bodies, I was not feeling grief or loss, but rather a sense of loneliness. I have lived alone for four years, yet it wasn’t until now that it really affected me. It may be because I chose to be alone instead of it being forced upon me.

One of the computer councils was alive with activity. I looked to see what needed attention and then I knew... Dantoine had been destroyed. The ones that rejected me were also dead. Everyone I ever knew was dead; and I still live. By all definitions, I have achieved victory, but never has it been so hollow... never has it tasted so bitter. What have I achieved? Who have I proven my superiority to?

As I came to realize that everything I once knew was gone, I lost all feeling within myself. Everything I've ever known... gone. I could not feel anything; I was numb to all my senses and feelings. For the first time ever, I felt free of the anger and hate that have plagued me all my life. They did not seem to matter anymore... I’ve learned to accept what I've been told all my life; I was indeed nothing. It just seemed so much easier to just not care anymore about anything.

As I drowned in the pain and anguish of it all, everything seemed to weigh upon me to the point that I couldn’t stand. I sprawled across the floor like an invertebrate. Darkness took me as I started loosing consciousness, but I no longer cared... or at least I didn’t think I cared about my own life anymore. I just laid there... waiting for insanity to overwhelm my mind.

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Old 05-26-2008, 11:58 PM   #7
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Very nice job! I am really enjoying this story so far. I think that it will be a great read! Keep up the great work!

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Old 05-27-2008, 09:09 AM   #8
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Wink Chapter 3: Derelict

I don’t know how long it has been since the darkness took me. I thought I had lost my sanity, but I began to feel myself again. I was slowly moving from the blissful sensation of unconsciousness to the harshness of reality. I could hear the humming of my surroundings, feel the warmth of the air around me, and I knew that I was still alive.

I was very weak... just lifting my head seemed taxing. As I stretched myself out, all the muscles in my body ached as though they haven’t been used in days.

My memories began to return as I realized everything that had happened in the last few days was real. I wanted nothing more than to return to my dreams, but I knew that I was not on Korriban.

I was in a bed... although not very comfortable, it was better than the floor. The room was made of metal and provided dim lighting. I was on a ship.

Thinking I was a prisoner, I raised myself from the bed and found that I was not shackled down. Lacking the strength to stand, I hit the deck very hard and very loudly.

Footsteps came running in my direction. Fear took its hold as I did not know where I was or what to do. Should I force myself to stand and defend myself? Should I just let whatever happens unfold?

Ultimately, I curled myself into a corner like a child trying to hide. When the door opened, a human stepped in and saw me through the darkness. Although I knew I was safe, I felt little comfort in seeing him again.

Revan grinned when he saw me, but it quickly turned to concern. “Yuthura?”

I just stared at him. I didn’t know who or what he was. The one who convinced me to leave the sith may not have been who I thought. Was everything that he told me a lie? I cautiously asked “Revan?”

“Yes, I’m here.” After a moment, he explained what happened. “I found you on Korriban... you were in a trance... I brought you on board.” He started to smile. “I didn’t know when you would come to.”

We just stared at each other for a long moment before he leaned over to embrace me. It felt wonderful to be held in his arms, yet I felt that I did not know him. “Yuthura, I’m so sorry.” he whispered to me.

I gently pushed him away and got to my feet. As I looked at him, I could not believe everything that has happened. He was the dearest thing to me, yet I did not see the man who became my friend. I desperately asked “Who are you? Are you Darth Revan, or were you just a weapon created by the jedi?!”

“What did the Council tell you?”

“They said that they erased your mind and programed a new identity. They manipulated you into doing their dirty work. It wasn’t Darth Revan that made me leave the sith! It was a genetically programed weapon of the jedi!” I shouted in rage.

“Yuthura, everything I told you... everything about myself...”

“Was a lie! They made you in their own image. Nothing that you remember was real.” I shrieked in anger. “You were never my friend! You just manipulated me! You made me leave the sith!” I began to sob. “And now they’re all dead.”

“I thought you wanted to leave the sith.”

“They were all I had!” I dropped my head in shame, but held back the tears from behind my eyes. “I hated them, but they were all I had. And now they’re gone.

“They turned on themselves because I was not there to lead them. When they needed me most, I was not there. I trusted you and you made me betray everything I was. Now, everything I ever knew is gone. The sith, the jedi, even my friend... never existed.” Tears began streaming down my cheeks and I stepped back to sit on the bed. My head hung from my shoulders and my hands covered my face.

After a moment, he sat down next to me and gently placed his right hand on my shoulder. “I admit that I am not Darth Revan, but that doesn’t mean everything I told you was a lie. The memories that the Jedi Council gave me are what made me who I am now. They are as real to me as yours are to you. I know that everything I remember for most of my life never happened, but the person who you called your friend... I, Alex Trevelyan, am here for you.”

I pulled my head up. “But how do you know that? How do you know that you haven’t been made for the sole purpose of serving the jedi? How do you know that you aren’t just being manipulated by them?”

“I simply do. It was not the jedi that made me who I am... well maybe they did, but from the time I was on Taris... everything I have done in the last four months was because I chose to follow what I believed to be right. The jedi didn’t give me memories that made me think as they do.
“I just thought of myself as an average Republic officer with dreams, desires, and emotions. Even now, after the training they gave me, I still have strong emotions and beliefs that no true jedi could ever have.”
He gently put his hand under my chin and made me face him. “It was because of those feelings that I went back to Koriban. The council didn’t want me to go searching for you, but I did. I, Alex Trevelyan, went looking for you because I cared for you... because you are my friend.”

I just stared at him for a long moment and somehow, I knew that he was right. The look on his face was the same look he gave me when he told me to leave the sith.
I no longer saw him for what I feared him to be. This man was the same person who I called my friend. When I wrapped my arms around him, it was as if he were all I had... and that it was enough for me.

As tears of happiness poured from my eyes, I whispered “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have doubted you. I was just so angry to hear what the council did to you.” I pulled myself away. “They had no right. When I heard they manipulated you... I just couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what to do.”

He smiled and assured me “It’s all right. I’m here. You’re here.” He stared at me for a long, passionate moment. “I know what the council said to you. I should have been there when you went to Dantoinne. I know that you genuinely want to return to the jedi. They should’t have rejected you. I won’t let them do so again.”

“Please... the jedi have made their choice. It would not have made any difference, but thank you.”

After another moment of silence, he asked a very basic question: “How are you feeling?”

“I’ve been better.” I sighed as I thought to ask a question to which I didn’t want to know the answer. “How badly is the war going for the Republic?”

“What?”

“How much longer can the Republic stand up to the sith? Last I heard... the sith were only weeks away from victory.”

He looked at me, confused and then exclaimed. “Oh! Malak has been defeated.”

I popped my head up in disbelief. “What?”

“Yes! After I left Koriban, we found the source of the Sith’s war effort. The Republic fleet disabled it and I defeated Malak.”

I almost giggled at my friend’s victory. I felt great relief at hearing such unexpected news. “You are wonderful.”

He was grinning, but it soon turned to anxiety. “When I heard that Dantoine had been destroyed... I was fearful that I sent you to your death. It was a great relief when I spoke with Master Vandar and learned that you had left before the attack. The way in which you departed...
“After that, I went searching for you. Koriban seemed the most likely place you would go. When I found all the sith dead, I thought you were among them... or that you had killed them all. I was surprised to just find you there uncouncious.”

“Thank you for finding me. I’m glad that I wasn’t too difficult to locate.”

“I’ll be meeting with the Jedi Council on Couriscant when we get back. Would you like me to speak to them on your behalf? I could be very persuasive.”

I laughed out loud as I understood exactly what he meant. If he could convince me to leave the sith, surely he could put even Vrook in his place... or no. He was killed on Dantoine.

“I would truly appreciate it. But if they don’t accept me then, I won’t have you fighting them on my behalf. I already owe you more than I could ever return. I don’t want you to be burdened by me. Agreed?”

“Agreed. I just ask one thing in return.”

“Of course. Anything.”

He handed me a set of black robes. “Please change out of that sith uniform. I’ll bet that you’ve had that on since you first left Koriban.”

We both laughed out loud at just how badly I smelled. With all that I’ve been through over the last several days, evan a twi’lek would not be pleasant to be around.

I took the clothes and he left, closing the door behind him.
I then realized that I was smiling. I’ve rarely grinned to the extent that it hurt my face before. Just a few days earlier, I was ready to die. Everything is still as it was, except for this one man. How could he, alone, make all the difference between bedlam and certainty?

No wonder Revan was so powerful. I have never met another who was as powerful or charismatic as him. I wonder what Trevelyan was like before his mind was destroyed. Or does he prefer to be called ‘Revan?’

After changing, I walked into the corridor to find Trevelyan preparing some food in a nearby compartment. I realized that I was extremely thirsty... I must not have eaten or drank anything in days. It didn’t matter as I was used to starving while I was on Sleheyron.

I walked into the kitchen and he handed me a plate with something on it. “Here. You must be hungary.”

“Thirsty.”

“Of course.” He quickly fetched me a glass of water and I snatched it out of his hand.

I was embarrassed at how selfishly I acted, but I was so thirsty and I gulped the water in just a few seconds. I went to fill the glass again.

Trevelyan stopped me. “Slowly. You don’t want to make yourself sick.” He then stepped aside and let me use the faucet.

I drank another two glasses at a steady pace as he just watched, smiling. I finally realized he was staring at me. “What?”

“You look much better in jedi robes. That uniform didn’t flatter you at all.”

I looked at him as if he had mistaken me for someone else. “Why did you give me this? I’m not a jedi... and I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t think of me as such until after it’s official. If it ever is.”

“Of course. It’s just that I didn’t bring along another change of clothes. That is my robe you are wearing. It may not be the best fit, but at least its clean.”

“Thanks.” I leaned up against a bulkhead and tilted my head back. After a long sigh, I asked “How long had it been since we were in Naga Sadow’s tomb?”

“That was about 9 days ago.”

I looked at him with great surprise. “That means I was in that trance for almost a week.”

Trevelyan waited for me to come to grips with how long I’ve been ‘asleep.’ “Yeah. I meant to ask you about that. You seemed to be in some kind of stasis. It looked like you were in a hibernation trance; supporting yourself almost entirely with the force. Your metabolism and breathing were minimal, but you were very much alive. What technique was that?”

“I don’t really know what I was trying to do. With all the sith dead and learning about Dantoinne, I felt... so lost. It was as though everything I ever knew was gone.”

“I’m sorry.”

I sighed. “Well, whatever happened... I thank you for rescuing me... again.”

“I’m just glad you’re all right.” He gestured toward the food that I still haven’t touched. “But you must be starving. I’ll stop distracting you.” He stood up and walked towards the door, but stopped to say a few things. “The quarters on the starboard side are yours. I will not enter them. You can have whatever there is to eat. It may not be the best food there is, but it’s hot.” He thought for a moment. “If you need me, I’ll be in the pilot compartment.”

I gave a very heartfelt thank-you and watched him walk out.

------

After I finished eating, I went to my quarters to get my mind around all that has happened in the last several days. The destruction of Dantoine and Koriban were still fresh in my mind.

After nearly an hour alone, I was having difficulty with my thoughts and wanted to see my friend again. He told me that he’d be on the flight deck, so I went there.

Trevelyan turned around to face me. “Feeling better now?”

I was feeling very insecure at that moment, but I answered. “Yes. I feel a bit more... centered.” Which was a lie, but not hidden very well.

“Is there something you want to talk about?”

“Only if you’ll allow it.”

He looked at me with surprise. “You’re afraid of me.”

I was embarrassed at how I let myself be so transparent. Although I’ve been exposed in front of my enemies more times than I want to know, never have my emotions been displayed so prominently. I was truly exposed. “Should I not?”

He lowered his brow. “I’m not Revan anymore. I don’t want you to be afraid of me.”

“What exactly do you want?”

He gave an exasperated sigh. “I don’t want you to be afraid of me. I want you to think of me as you had on Koriban; like a friend. I want to help you... do you at least believe that?”

I nodded. “Yes. It’s just that... I’ve always been suspicious of the intention of others. I... value your friendship more than anything else; I don’t want to lose it.”

“You know what the fear of loss leads to.” He took my hand and held it in his. “I value having you as my friend. I understand that the sith have significantly influenced your life. I want to help you get through it. Do you trust me enough to believe that?”

I reluctantly nodded. “It all comes down to trust, doesn’t it?” I sat in the co pilot’s chair. After releasing a sigh of exhaustion, I faced Trevelyan again. “While I was a sith, I rarely spoke the truth. I’ve learned to hear all and trust nothing. I’m trying to be as honest to you as I can, but it’s difficult to change old habits.”

Trevelyan looked worried and nervously asked “What you told me of your past, was any of that...?”

“No!” I softly exclaimed. “That was true. When I spoke of my reasons for joining the sith, you comforted me... you made me feel less alone. It eased my mind to know that I had good reasons for what I did. You made me remember things that I had forgotten. You’ve earned my trust long ago.”

“The feeling is mutual.” He said, trying to comfort me.

“No. You shouldn’t trust me at all. I betrayed you once, remember?”

“But you didn’t want to. You were caught between whether to side with the sith or side with me. I don’t hold any anger against you for that.”

I sighed in frustration. “Unless I have earned your trust, you should assume I’ll do whatever is in my best interests. Can we just leave it be?”

“As you wish.”

I looked forward into the vastness of hyperspace. “I’ve been thinking about what will happen with the Council tomorrow. What would I tell them that they don’t already know? Why would anything change their minds?”

“The war with the sith is almost over. Now that they don’t have to worry about Malak, they would be more forgiving. And because the jedi order has been severely weakened by the war, they will need all the help they can get.”

I looked at his eyes, then tilted my head down. “I think I’d be more trouble than worth. My emotions are so strong... I don’t know if I could ever be free of the anger and hate that I have relied on for so long.” I faced him again. “How do you do it? Not give in to your emotions?”

After a long pause, he laughed out loud, but quickly held it back. “I’m sorry. It’s just that... I’m not free of my emotions... far from it.” He took a deep breath. “I don’t think there is anything wrong with having feelings or emotions. They are often what drive change and action.” He faced forward. “And more often than not, I’ve acted on my feelings.”

I smiled as I understood what he talking about. “Like with me?”

He looked back at me and nodded his head. “I felt you were different from the other sith. You were the only one strong enough to see who she had become... and know that it was not what you wanted.
“Most people would delude themselves into committing terrible acts because they think it’s for a just cause, but not you, no. Despite all those years with the sith, you were able to turn away from them.”

I was feeling guilty at what Trevelyan was telling me. He speaks as though I have done the impossible. It was nothing more than realizing that I did not belong with the sith. I did not want his flattery.

He continued. “It took great courage for you to turn away from it. And that is why I respect you.”

I almost yelled “Please... don’t.” I took a long breath. “I have done so many things I wish I hadn’t done. I do not deserve your respect. I’m nothing special... please do not tell me otherwise. All I can do now is make reparations for what I have done. Guilt is all that drives me anymore. And I know that no matter what I do, I will never be free of it.
“Don’t give me your respect. Don’t tell me what I’ve done. You don’t know what I’m capable of. You cannot grasp what it is like to live in fear of death and humiliation every day. It was not enough for Omeesh the hut to simply own you; he took great pleasure in breaking young slaves and making them know that they belonged to him.
“Omeesh made sure that every one of his slaves knew that there was no escape... except death.” My voice began to break up. “And that’s what most of them chose. More of his slaves died by their own hands than by his.” I started to shed tears, but turned my head to hide them. “So few of his slaves were executed at his order. His brutality was so terrible that death was almost a thing to smile at.”

Trevelyan hesitantly asked “How did you manage to endure such... agony?”

“I was one of the lucky ones. I was one of his favorites, so I was spared much of the ruthless beatings and humiliation that were common among the other slaves. I lived long enough to watch all my friends die.
“Every one of their deaths made me hate myself because they were able to end their suffering. I was never brave enough to take my own life. Eventually, the pain of watching them suffer was too great. It was only then that I acted.
“When I had Omeesh alone in his chamber, I killed him. And as I drove that blade into his throat, it was the greatest moment of my life. But now... it frightens me. I can’t ever convince myself that what I did was wrong, but I know what I’ve done. I murdered him... and I enjoyed watching the life drain from him. I acted as he had... and I cannot convince myself that it was wrong.”
I looked directly into his eyes. “I could tell myself that I was doing it to help the other slaves. I could even think that it saved many lives, but that was not why I did it.” I confessed “I wanted to make him suffer for what he had done to me. I wanted revenge. The other slaves didn’t cross my mind.”

Trevelyan looked at me as if in shock. “Why are you telling me this?”

“You deserve to know exactly who I am. You have gone to great lengths to help me. For that, I am greatful, but you should know that I have done many unforgivable acts. I don’t want you to suffer because of me.”

He gently put his hand under my chin and pulled my head to face him. “That is why I respect you. That is not going to change, no matter what you’ve done.”

I got up to leave the flight deck when Trevelyan grabbed my arm to stop me. I was about to slap his it away when I saw those ****** eyes of his gazing upon me. I couldn’t bring myself to hit him.

“Yuthura, you’re my friend. I don’t want to see anything happen to you. If returning to the jedi helps you to find some measure of peace, then it’s worth it to me.” He released my arm and stood up out of the pilot seat.
“I know that you have done many acts that you regret. You don’t have to tell me about them if you don’t want to, but if you do wish to speak your mind, know that nothing you have done will affect my opinion of you.”

I nodded and turned around to return to my quarters.

Last edited by Darth_Yuthura; 08-09-2009 at 11:38 PM. Reason: errors in paragraphs
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:18 AM   #9
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There is something very nice that you have going here. It's refreshing to see the events in KOTOR from a different perspective. I particularly liked the scene on Dantooine with the Council. I always wondered how the Council would justify what they did to Revan.

I only have one word of advice: In chapter 3 when Yuthura and Revan are having they're discussion toward the end it looked like you broke up Yuthura's lines. I would say keep them together as one paragraph until the speaker changes. I think it will make the conversation easier to follow.

Oh, and is that a James Bond reference I detect in Revan's name?


"You'll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."

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Old 05-27-2008, 10:13 AM   #10
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Chapter 4: Sleepless

I received more replies in one day from this site than I have in months from... other places. I'm glad that this makes some fans happy. Just wanted to thank all of you.

Anyway, I'm trying to show the galaxy through Yuthura's eyes (With first person perspective). I wanted to show why she was willing to abandon her beliefs and follow Revan. He would have to be someone of great significance for her to abandon everything she had struggled for.

And to answer JediAthos: Yes. I chose the name of a Bond villain for Revan. His friends address him by Trevelyan as a compliment; not a formality.

------------

I remained isolated in my quarters for the rest of the evening. Trevelyan occasionally walked about the ship, but he respected my privacy. Although I would have liked his company, I felt weakened and didn’t want him to see me in this state. I had hoped that meditation could focus my thoughts, but I simply had too much on my mind. It almost seemed that the more I thought about past events, the harder it was to understand my deeds.

I knew why I joined the Sith; that much was obvious, but the reasons why I started thinking and acting like one... that I couldn’t understand. It frightened me as to how easily I learned to hurt others without giving it a second thought. I despised Omeesh for his wickedness, but I came to act exactly as he did. The only difference was that I did not take the sadistic pleasure in watching another’s suffering. I simply did what had to be done.

At first, I did only what I had to in order to survive among the Sith. I soon learned to regard everyone around me as a threat and not hesitate to strike at them. As I witnessed the heinous acts committed by my competitors, I was determined never to become one of them. It wasn’t long before my hatred was directed from slavery to the ways of the Sith.

As the months passed, my anger towards slavery had been twisted into a terrible form. It wasn’t long before I had to start violating my personal values in order to achieve my goals. The first time I murdered someone, I knew it was wrong, but I did it regardless.

When Uthar ordered me to strike him down, I ignited my lightsaber and raised it high above my head and held it there. I stalled as I tried to find a reason to justify my action, but I found none. My victim was not even a Sith; he was tied down and posed no threat to me. This was not a battle... it was an execution… a murder and I almost pulled back, but then I thought about the slaves I vowed to free...

People of countless races were bound by chains. Entire civilizations have been deprived of their freedom... and there I was, still worrying about the finer points of morality. It had to stop! I had to do whatever it took to ensure that no one else suffered as I have! Fighting the slavers... bringing them to justice... breaking their chains... THOSE WERE THE PRIORITIES!

Everything changed after that...

Maybe the Jedi Council was right to reject me. As much as I hated to admit it, Vrook was right. I was the one who chose to leave the jedi. It may simply have been that there was no turning back. It was I who chose to embrace the Sith; and I had to live with the consequences of that decision. What Omeesh did to me was unjust, but it didn’t give me the right to harm others in the same manner.

I checked the time and saw that it was already 00:21 the next day. I was surprised at how late it was. Trevelyan had long since been in his quarters and most likely sound asleep.

Then I got curious as to how well one such as he sleeps. Perhaps it would have given me some comfort to know that someone like him doesn’t lie awake at night like me.

When I came to his doorway, there was faint lighting, but just enough illumination to make out his face. One such as Trevelyan must have had more on his own mind than I, yet he looked so peaceful, so still, and so quiet. It was comforting to just watch him rest.

I’ve rarely been able to get a decent night’s sleep, even while I was with the jedi. The memories of Sleheyron continued to torment me as I could never forget the screams of pain... each time I had been violated... the voice of that hut still echoed in my mind. I frequently had nightmares that often woke me to a reality worse than the nightmare.

I still clung to hope that one day they would cease… somehow, watching this former dark lord of the sith gave me some. Much greater issues troubled him, yet he could still get a decent night’s rest. I envied him for that.

After a few minutes, I realized that I had to try and get some sleep. Tomorrow was going to be an important day, so I had to be rested and focused. When I turned to walk out of the doorway, I was startled to hear Trevelyan’s voice. “If you wanted to talk, I’m still awake.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to disturb you.”

He chuckled a bit and sounded very much awake. “You can’t disturb what’s not asleep.”

I turned back to face him. “Actually, there was something that I was wondering.”

“Yes?”

“Do you have trouble sleeping at night? Do your memories keep you awake?”

He sat up from his bed only in his undergarments; exposed from the waist up. Although I expected him to be in top physical condition, I never really thought about what he would look like without clothes. I tried to avoid looking, but I couldn’t deny that I was attracted. The definition of his muscles seemed as if he had honed his body to allow the greatest balance of musculature to flexibility. After a moment of staring at his chest, I pushed those thoughts aside and focused my attention back on his face. I did ask a question.

He answered, “It’s not the memories themselves, but how they came to exist. I know that my parents... not my biological parents... were a significant part of my life. I know they never existed, yet I cannot bring myself to accept that they never were. So much of who I am came from all these false experiences. It’s difficult to let them go despite knowing that most of my life was just a fantasy, but it’s difficult to accept the truth. All these people I’ve known…” He sighed and took a deep breath. “…it’s like everyone I knew had died.”

I nodded sympathetically. “I’m sorry.”

He looked away from me and shook his head. “But no one has died... they simply never were. I have accepted the truth and I know that the best thing is to let it go.” He looked into my eyes with pain. “I don’t want to let go of everything I thought I was. Those memories I was given are a part of who I am. I still feel love for my family, respect for my friends, remorse for acts I’ve never done. All of those emotions and feelings seemed to make sense. Before I ever learned the truth, I felt... normal. I had no reason to question myself because I thought I had an entire lifetime of experiences to rely on.” He sighed. “But when I learned that everything I ever knew was just created by the Council, all of that changed. I started doubting everything that I once knew because...” He paused for a moment to think. “Our experiences guild our principles and define who we are. We each have moral values that are defined by our experiences.”

“But after learning that your memories were created instead of lived...”

He nodded. “It was like everything I ever valued meant nothing.”

I took a knee in front of him. “When did you learn your true identity?”

“A few days before I arrived on Korriban.”

I was shocked to hear such an answer. “I don’t believe you.”

“It’s the truth.”

“How could you have coped with something like that in only a few days? If I learned that all my memories were made up... I don’t know how I’d have dealt with such a thing.”

He smiled at me. “Despite what happened, I did have some real values that didn’t come from my false memories. In the four months since my memories were created, I’ve done many things across many planets. Despite thinking of myself as nothing, I could see proof that I was still a real person. After learning the truth, my friends said they would follow me... they comforted me... and continued to look up to me. When they all told me it didn’t matter to them who I once was... I saw that the false memories did have a real impact on the ones that I cared for. Because it was important that I found the Star Forge, I was able to put aside my personal feelings to achieve a greater good. I knew I couldn’t let myself by distracted, or the Republic would have fallen.” He sighed deeply and leaned his head back. “But now that Malak has been dealt with, doubt has begun gnawing at me again. I’ve lied awake at night trying to sort through whether or not I should try to forget those false memories. I know that they aren’t real, but I don’t want to let go of them.” He shook his head. “It’s pathetic of me to keep embracing a fantasy life.”

I shook my head in denial. “I think you are far greater than you ever were as the Dark Lord. If you think any less of yourself because you have a full life of false memories... don’t. I think much more of you, Alex Trevelyan, than anyone I have ever met.”

“Yuthura, you don’t have to...”

“I mean it. Whoever you are...” I put my hands on his shoulders and declared to him “...It was you who became my friend. It was you who reached out to a lost sith and showed her what she had become. You convinced me to turn away from the dark side. I could not imagine anyone else who could have done that; jedi or otherwise. It was because of those memories that you became who you are now. Your memories may have been created, but if they serve to help you and help others... then I see no reason why you should forget them.”

He gave me a look of uncertainty.

I remembered something that I felt was appropriate for him. “We can never truly escape the past, nor can we rewrite it; hoping to lesson our pain. The best thing we can do is continue to learn and take from the past only that which is good and move on. Because ideals flow from the past, defining our present and shaping our future.”

He smiled. “You are wise... you know that?”

I shook my head. “That’s what my old master sometimes said to me. I thought it was the right thing to say.”

“Who was your master, anyway?”

After a moment, I finally answered. “Alfred Kolchak.”

“Do you have any idea what happened to him?”

I shook my head. “I should’ve tried to find out when I was on Dantooine.”

“Well when we reach Couriscant, you could find out then.”

After a long moment of silence, Trevelyan made a comment that made me feel better about myself. “When I look at my real friends... you, Bastila, Carth, Mission... it’s like I don’t want to cling to those false memories anymore. The more real friends I have, the less I think about my old life.”

I chuckled at what he said. “It’s been a long time since someone has called me ‘friend.’ I’m grateful that you still consider me as such.”

He continued to smile at me, but turned his head to look at the clock behind me. “It’s late. We should both try to get some rest.”

“I suppose that would be for the best. I hope you have a pleasant sleep... my friend.”

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Old 05-27-2008, 04:36 PM   #11
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Wink Chapter 5: The Homecoming

The Ebon Hawk:

Couriscant was among the most populated planets in the galaxy. With towers reaching kilometers into the sky, there was enough floor space to cover the planet a hundred times over. Unlike Dantooine, Korriban, or Sleheyron; this planet teemed with life. There were few places where one could truly find privacy.

From orbit, I saw what appeared to be a dead world. Everything about it was artificial; no forests, no oceans, no wildlife. It was unlike any other planet I’ve set foot on.

As I sat in the copilot seat, I must have had the exhilarated look of a child. The endless horizon of skyscrapers fascinated me; flying over them was thrilling. Each tower seemed independent of those around it, yet they all formed a corsage that made them seem indistinguishable.

Trevelyan had occasionally taken his focus off the piloting to watch me while I enjoyed the ride. I couldn't remember the last time I was so happy to just share the company of another. It made me wonder if I was so excited to see Couriscant, or that he was with me. I didn’t say anything... I just smiled back.

Before long, he pointed to something off in the distance; the Jedi Enclave. Although I’ve seen holo images of it, I could not escape how real and massive it looked. Within that temple was the beating heart of the Jedi Order... where the High Council decided the fates of many. It was there that my fate would soon be decided.

When we set down, I saw some people waiting near the landing pad; Trevelyan recognized them. “Looks like I’ve got a lot of explaining to do.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well... I didn’t exactly ask them if I could borrow the Ebon Hawk... these are my friends. Try to stay away from the protocol droid.”

“Why?”

“Uhh... It’s an assassin droid.”

I looked at him as if to ask why he had it.

“It was Revan’s. Not mine.”

“Ah.” Although that made even less sense to me, I didn't want to hear any more.

Trevelyan went down the boarding ramp first. I didn’t want to attract attention, so I pulled the hood of my cloak over my head so I could cover my tattoos.

He was greeted by Carth. I recognized him from Korriban. “Well, if it isn’t the thief who stole our ship. I’m sure you have a good explanation for why you left everyone behind while you went gallivanting across the galaxy.”

Trevelyan jokingly replied, “Hey... I spoke with Admiral Dadonna and she said that she’d take you back on her flagship. I thought you’d be flattered.”

“Hey, it would have been the Hawk if it were still part of the fleet.”

“Well, I’m sorry, but there was something I had to do. Besides, I didn’t want to interrupt your victory celebration.”

Mission threw in her complaint. “Do you have any idea how much Big 'Z' hated being left behind? I had to keep assuring him that you’d be back. I wasn’t exactly fond of that.” She pushed herself away from the wookie. “Here. You can have him back.”

The protocol droid addressed Trevelyan. “Supplication: Please do not forget about your loyal droid, Master. I cannot obey your orders if I am not there to receive them. Quarry: Do you know how many meatbags I couldn’t kill because you weren’t there to give the order? Would you like me to kill this one for you, Master?” It focused on me.

Trevelyan ordered, “No. You will not harm her.”

Carth and I did not ever meet before and me didn't recognize me. “So, what exactly did you have to do? Who is this?”

Trevelyan looked at me, but didn’t say anything. He was letting me choose if I wanted to introduce myself or remain hidden. I felt that I owed it to him to try and be pleasant to his friends, so I slowly pulled the hood from my head and faced them. “Yuthura Ban. Former head of the Sith Academy on Korriban.”

A long moment passed while everyone tried to make me out. I could see confusion, fear, and resentment in their eyes. I didn’t know what else to say. Some of them looked at Trevelyan as if he just adopted a kell dragon.

Carth replied “We were going to invite you to lunch, but if you have something else to attend to...”

Trevelyan looked back to me. “What do you think?”

“Don’t let me stop you. Like you said, you’ve got a lot of explaining to do.” I said with a sardonic smile.

He looked at me as if I were deliberately trying to brush off his friends... perhaps I was. Then he said something that almost commanded my loyalty. “You are welcome to come along. Please... for me?”

I hated it when he said that. I didn’t want to be among his friends, but I knew that he wanted me with him, so I reluctantly agreed.

-----

Trevelyan’s friends took us to a restaurant with a name I couldn’t read. I didn’t know how to judge it since I knew very little about the quality of restaurants. It did at least had a wide variety of foods across different worlds, so it was likely to have something I could at least choke down. I didn't believe it had anything I could enjoy.

We were seated among a very crowded area; loud and very lively compared to ‘The Drunk Side.’ The others didn’t seem to mind, but I hated the background noise. This was more unpleasant than I expected it to be and I wished I had not come along.

For the first fifteen minutes, the only one who did much talking was Trevelyan. He started off by introducing me to each of his friends and telling me a little about them. I had already known about Mission and Carth since they were on Korriban before, but not much more than their names.

At some point, Trevelyan started talking about his mission for the Star Forge and the roles each of his crew played in his quest. I was surprised at how significant the non-force users were to helping him escape the Leviathan, surviving Taris, and other tasks. I came to appreciated how capable people were with only their wits and training.

They frequently stared at me, but I did not look any of them in the eye. This whole thing was going nowhere and I just wanted to leave.

Juhani was the first one who directly spoke to me. “So, Yuthura... how did you and Trevelyan meet?”

It took me a moment to realize that I was being addressed. “I was the one responsible for admitting new students into the Sith Academy on Korriban. Trevelyan pretended to be a hopeful wanting to be admitted. I could sense that he was exceptionally powerful, but I was not convinced of his desire to join the sith." I cleared my throat and referenced my memory before continuing. "I told him that if he could get rid of five unremarkable prospective sith and give me their medals, I would admit him. There were so many pathetic students at the academy. I thought it was a brilliant tactic to siphon them out before they became my problem." I chuckled at what happened because of that. "I wasn’t expecting that he would use the mind trick to get them, but it was all the same to me. Five less students made my life easier, whether they died or were forced to leave... so I admitted him.”

An erie silence that fell upon them as they stared at both me and Trevelyan... probably wondering how he ever saw any good in me. I have to admit that they were right to wonder; even I didn't know.

Juhani eventually ended the silence to ask Trevelyan why he needed to enter the academy upon which he explained about the star map, the prestige contest, but did not mention my part of his story. I was appreciative that he kept what I told him secret. Although I had nothing to hide, I didn’t care to have my life story written and published on the network.

It wasn’t long before they asked about me. I explained how we planned to usurp Uthar and that Trevelyan made me understand why I joined the sith. I did not tell them about Sleheyron, however. By about the time I ran out of things to say, our food was served. When they began to talk about other matters, I was glad to not be the subject of their thoughts.

-----

Soon after that, Trevelyan took me to the Jedi temple. He instructed me to stay outside the Council chamber until he could explain the situation. I was very appreciative of what he was doing and hoped that this would be easy for everyone.

When he entered, I stood outside the chamber and waited for my friend to return with good news. I covered my forehead with my cloak; I didn't want others to see my tattoos or cause an incident. Before I faced the Council on Dantooine, I remembered that I was very nervous. As I stood there, I almost felt guilty. I didn’t expect that they could dismiss Trevelyan as easily as they could me. After all, what is more convincing than an ally and an enemy both telling you the same thing? They would have had no choice but to agree.

Soon, the chamber door opened and Trevelyan stepped into the hallway. “Are you ready?”

I looked at him for a moment and embraced him just long enough to thank him. When I let him go, he pulled the hood off my head, revealing all the tattoos. My headtails were also allowed to dangle freely, which I preferred to being wrapped around my neck.

Looking at me; he said nothing, but I think he silently told me that I looked beautiful. I didn’t know how to react, but I didn’t have time to think about that, for he stepped away and entered the council Doorway and gestured me to follow.

As I came into the sights of the Council members, I saw each of them react differently. Most of them looked with confusion. Master Kavar looked at me with pity. Master Zhar looked agitated.

Vrook stood out of his chair and roared. “We made our judgment clear! I told you that she turned her back on the order long ago. She can never be allowed back into the order!”

Trevelyan calmly spoke on my behalf. “Members of the High Council, I bring before you Yuthura Ban. For those of you who don't know her, Yuthura trained to be a jedi, but left the Order about four years ago. Since then, she has spent time among the Sith.

"The decision to turn away from the dark side was a difficult one, but she eventually came before the Council on Dantooine to beg their forgiveness. Her request to be retrained as a jedi was denied." He gave a subtle gesture close to begging. "Although I trust in the wisdom of the Council, I believe they were too quick to reject her. I come before you now and ask that you reconsider your decision.”

Master Vash was the first to speak. “Although your intentions are admirable, I do not wish to interfere with the judgment of the Dantooine Council. I do not know this woman... I would not be a suitable judge.”

Master Atris stood up and made her conclusion. “Anything that has been tainted by the dark side, especially a Sith, cannot be trusted. Whoever she was when she walked among the jedi is dead. Since then, she has gone against everything that we are. If I had the authority, she would be imprisoned for her crimes against life and her connection to the force be severed.”

That accusation... hurt. I never considered that I may have been punished to such a degree. The guilt I felt quickly boiled into a terrible rage. Instinctively, I tried to strangle her with the force. As I reached my arm out, Trevelyan grabbed my hand and pulled me by the other arm to make me face him.

Desperately, he pleaded. “Yuthura, don’t!”

That didn't calm my anger and I resisted, but the harder I tried to break away, the tighter his grip became. He was determined to keep me from striking another, then more than ever.

He moved his face within centimeters of mine and whispered. “They will never do such a thing." He let go of my wrists and gently held my shoulders. "Do you understand? There is no emotion...”

His assurance meant so much that I closed my eyes, trying not to cry, and nodded. “There is peace.” I gently pushed him away. “I’m sorry.”

All I wanted was to give in to that rage, but I knew that I couldn’t fail my friend again. I could not do anything to hurt him, so I restrained my anger, but could not open my eyes to face the Council again. I just tilted my head forward in guilt... guilt that I failed both Trevelyan and myself with that outburst.

Master Vrook was quick to act on what I did and grimly stated, “You see? How extreme her anger is? She cannot be controlled and would only pose a danger to others.”

I almost believed him. Even now I continued to act out of anger and hate... I could barely keep myself calm, let alone defend myself. I was grateful to have Trevelyan speaking on my behalf. “Bastila wasn’t much different when she returned... and she was only among the Sith for a week. Yuthura has been among them for four years. She is learning to restrain her anger. Given time, I’m convinced she will establish full control.”

Master Vrook again spoke against me. “You say that because you care for this woman, but you've never taught her... I have. Her temper was beyond control when she was first accepted into the Order. The anger within her would only have become more severe since then. I knew eight years ago that Ban should have been denied for training, but I was overruled. I still stand by my original verdict: We should never have attempted to trained her.”

Master Vash interjected, “But we did, Lamar. We chose to train her... and if this request is genuine, we cannot just dismiss it. We take it upon ourselves to aid anyone in need..." She turned her attention to me. "...and I believe that Yuthura Ban is in need.”

Vrook snapped back. “We don’t have the means! There are no masters who would accept her, even if we chose to believe her. The Order has suffered greatly since the Mandalorian wars and we cannot accept the risk that she would represent. If that’s not enough, Ban had already failed to become a jedi. Many haven’t been given the opportunity to train once.”

Trevelyan stepped forward. “I would train her.”

As he said those words, I almost gasped. I could not believe how far he was willing to go for me. He was not lying when he said that. If it were the only way, Trevelyan would have taken me as an apprentice. While flattered by his intention, I almost hoped he would be forbidden from training me. I already owe him more than my life and wanted to give something back; not receive more aid.

The Council stared at Trevelyan for a long, uncomfortable moment before Zhar broke the silence. “You have only been a member of the jedi Order for four months. You got a battlefield promotion to jedi knight while others would had to work years for that rank. In fact, I believe Yuthura knows more about the jedi than you. Your intentions may be for a good cause, but it could result in more severe consequences for both Yuthura and yourself.”

Kavar continued, ”Taking an apprentice is clearly not your intention, Revan. I know that you want to help this woman, but what you propose may only make matters worse. I would not allow such an apprenticeship to occur under these circumstances.”

Vrook intervened. “We cannot discuss this all day. This meeting was supposed to be between Revan and us. We can debate this at a more appropriate time. We have matters to attend to.”

“Yes. We will discuss this issue later.” Vash faced me. “Please leave the council chamber. We need to speak with Revan alone.”

I nodded my head and turned to leave the chamber. Trevelyan followed me to the door and told me to go to his quarters. I had no idea how long he would be with the Council and I had little desire to just wait for him.

Although upset that I did not get an answer, I was glad to leave that place. My emotions were so extreme that it was almost painful not to react. I was so angry at Atris for her judgment of me. How dare she?! She never suffered as I had... she did not have the right to think of me in such a way! I wished that I had crushed her throat, yet I regret that I tried.

I couldn’t wait for an indefinite period of time, so I chose to use the enclave’s training facilities. I could also vent my anger without attacking someone.

-----

I had entered a large dojo where I saw many padawans training with a single master. He was demonstrating some dual saber techniques with the students themselves, but I saw flaws in his blocking style that a student wouldn’t be able to exploit, but a master swordsman could.

I approached him and criticized the saber block he just showed the students. I told him that a skilled master could overpower his defense much easier than the student he was sparing with.

He responded to my criticism with a challenge. “You think you could break it? You’re welcome to try.”

I picked up one of the training sabers and smiled at the thought of making this master swallow his pride. I soon realized I had to take off my cloak and reveal my face. After a moment of hesitation, I just pulled the hood back and the tattoos were very apparent.

He stared at me for a few seconds, not knowing what to make of me. I wanted to assure that I wasn't a sith any longer. “They’re hard to remove.” Although my words didn’t make him any more at ease, he took a small bow; I did the same. “How would you want me to do this?”

He replied, “Just attack normally. The match will end when one of us hits the other. If my technique is flawed, surely you could hit me.”

I calmly declared, “Very well. Defend yourself.” Then I went at the instructor with a hard, downward thrust which he easily deflected. He swung his left weapon toward my head, but I easily ducked it. Then I went at him with a lance. He crossed both his weapons and directed mine toward the floor. In doing so, he exposed his entire left side to me.

I successfully landed a soft kick on his rib cage and I pulled back. “There. That block leaves you open to your opponent. If I had tried, I might have broken a few ribs.” I faced the students. “The saber is not the only weapon you have. It is often what attracts your enemy’s attention. Remember your hands and feet. Use them when they don’t expect it.”

I put the training saber down and walked away, but he asked if I could do a few more demonstrations for his class. Since I had nothing else to do, I got in front of the students and showed them a few of the tactics I learned from the sith. I also explained when to use them and how an enemy could counter attack.

I even did a few more sparing matches with the instructor to prove what I was teaching them. He was a better weapon master than I, but he had clearly not been exposed to sith fighting styles.

The students were very uneasy with me. I’m sure they’ve never seen a sith before, so it was odd to be taught by one. Some of the older padawans wanted to spar with me and learn more about the fighting styles while the youngest ones feared me.

The class ended about half an hour later. The instructor, who I learned was a guardian named Nevski, asked if I would spar with him some more. I found it flattering that he saw beyond the tattoos; so I agreed. I knew I needed all the friends I could get.

We continued for the next hour. During that time, Nevski asked about me and the sith, but I only told him what anyone else would have known. Whatever I shared with Trevelyan didn’t concern anyone else. I also described my tattoos and how I earned them.

He was surprised that I acted so calmly while fighting. I rather enjoyed going one-on-one in this manner, so I was able to maintain my self control. I knew that I was not fighting for my life, so I didn’t need be concerned with being his better. In the end, he was a superior swordsman, but I did make him earn every victory.

By the time we were done, I learned much from our duels. I never enjoyed sparing while I was with the sith, but against a jedi, I found it almost exciting. Nevski said that if I ever wanted to... I could ‘drop by’ during any of his classes. I wondered why jedi such as Nevski were not on the Council; he was more interested in knowing about me than judging me.

After he left the dojo, I came to the startling realization that Trevelyan had been watching us spar for some time. I didn’t notice that he was there until Nevski was done. That was very negligent of me to ignore my surroundings.

He came up with a calm smile. “I’m glad you found something to occupy your time... and that you made a friend.”

I looked at him with surprise. “Well, I wouldn’t say he was a friend. We just sparred for an hour.”

He smirked at me. “He said you were welcomed to attend his classes. Does that interest you?”

“He meant that I was welcomed to demonstrate what I knew of the Sith fighting styles for his class... not as a student.”

He laughed. “An instructor? Even better.”

“Well only if I’m accepted by the Council. How did that go? What did they want from you?”

“That was just a debriefing on my latest mission. I told them what I didn’t include in my reports to the Republic Senate. They also wanted you to come before them tomorrow.”

I looked away with my eyes half closed. “To officially exile me, I suppose.”

He put his hand on my shoulder and I looked back. “I spoke about how they intended to judge you. I convinced them that if you met the qualifications for a padawan, that your past deeds with the sith would not be used against you.”

I sighed. “What about my age? I would imagine that they’d prefer younger... less corrupted students.”

He lightly frowned and shook his head. “As long as you restrain your anger and don’t pose a threat to others, then they would not judge you by your emotions. And as long as you don’t disrupt the others, you would be allowed to stay.” He looked down and hesitated to speak. “As for training; they say that it will take time to evaluate you. If you show progress for controlling your emotions, then they will allow you to become my apprentice. That is if no one else volunteers.”

I stared at him for a long moment, not knowing if I want to tell him the truth. “Trevelyan, I don’t want you to have me as an apprentice. The Council was right when they said it would be... difficult. I’m not saying that I don’t trust you or think you can’t do it. It’s just that... I owe you much. I don’t want you to burden yourself again trying to help me. I know that you may even want to do it, but it would only make me feel more guilty.” I paused and tried to collect my thoughts. “I would give my life to protect yours. That is what the master would have to think, not the apprentice. Do you understand?”

He looked at me for a short moment. “That was not my intent at all. I thought that I would become your master in title only. The Council was right when they said I knew less about the jedi than you. What I thought would happen is that I would use my rank of jedi knight to accept you as my apprentice. Then you could be fairly judged by the Council. During your... apprenticeship, I could help you to control your anger... you could teach me everything you know of the jedi and sith. Through this arrangement, we would both benefit. If you still feel that you owe me your life, please consider this.”

I just stood there as I realized that I didn’t deserve what was being offered to me. I wanted more than anything to be with Trevelyan, but I just couldn’t believe what was going to happen. We’ve both done terrible acts... perhaps we are meant to redeem each other side by side. Trevelyan was powerful and wise. I felt I could not refuse him, even if I wanted to.

“I was your instructor on Koriban. I taught you how to lie, to deceive, to betray, and to act without remorse. I taught you how to kill.” I got on my knee. “If you will have me, please teach me how to live. I want to be rid of the anger and hate that has driven me all my life. I would do whatever you ask of me.”

He gripped my robe and pulled me off my knees. “Yuthura, please stand. I’m not your master. I will not have you obeying me. Do you understand?”

“I’m sorry. It’s just a habit.”

He held my hands and brought his face within centimeters of mine. “I cannot promise you what you ask. I can promise that whatever happens, I won’t let you be denied by the Council. You turned away from the darkside, despite everything that has happened. Few have ever turned away from such temptation... even jedi. I cannot let them dismiss you without knowing who you have become. If returning to the jedi will give you some measure of peace, I would gladly do this.”

I smiled and nodded. “Thank-you. But I need you to promise me something.”

“Of course.”

“If... I am still denied, please don’t fight them. I already owe you more than my life. Do not sacrifice anymore for me if I am exiled. I made a choice years ago and I must face the consequences. I will not allow anyone else to suffer for my actions. Will you promise me that?”

“I promise.”

Last edited by Darth_Yuthura; 09-08-2008 at 10:34 AM. Reason: Errors in text
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Old 05-27-2008, 05:18 PM   #12
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Nicel done! I enjoyed every second of those two chapters, and I CANNOT wait for more! Great job!

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Old 05-27-2008, 05:23 PM   #13
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Wow those were great chapters! I like how the story has broadened to include even more characters. It is very interesting to see the party's reactions to Yuthura and I'm glad that she was accepted by a least one jedi. This is a very enjoyable read. Keep up the good work!

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Old 05-28-2008, 08:24 AM   #14
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Thumbs up Chapter 6: Interaction

It was early in the evening. Trevelyan had invited me to share dinner with the rest of his friends. I was not fond of the experience we had earlier, but felt I owed it to him to try and fit in with others. He asked if I had any friends that I would like to invite. I said no, but he started asking about my former master from Dantooine.

“I checked the archives and found that Master Kolchak has been instructing here for the last three years. He survived the war.”

He grinned in almost utter glee. “That’s great! Have to talked to him?”

“My master and I... we didn’t part on the best of terms. I think it would be best if we didn’t open old wounds.”

Trevelyan looked at me, confused. “I think he’d be glad to see you again. I don’t know why you haven’t spoken to him yet.”

“The last thing he said to me was... that he despised me.” I collected my thoughts and tried to hide my true feelings. “It took me a long time to get over that. I’d rather just leave it be.”

My head had been down, but he put his hand under my neck to bring my chin up. I was still not comfortable with being touched… even then I flinched and pulled back. Trevelyan looked as if he were going to assure me that everything would be alright, despite not knowing for certain. Sure enough, he tried. “I think he just said that in the heat of a moment. I’m sure that he truly cared for you and was just angry when you decided to leave the Order... or join the Sith”

I looked straight at him and shook my head. “No. He meant what he said... and he had every reason to. I’ve spent the last four years hating him… his feelings were probably mutual. I think it would be best if we just forgot about each other”

“Do you still have him?” Trevelyan gave me some look with his eyes that I couldn’t describe accurately, but I believed he was expecting that I would answer like a jedi would. Problem was that I was far from the jedi he saw me as.

I waited for a long moment as I tried to convince myself that I was… jedi enough to let go of my feelings. In the end, I knew the truth and didn’t lie to myself or to him as I reluctantly nodded. I did, however have enough sense to realize that my hate was undeserved and tried to show at least that much to him. “I know that he was only trying to help me, but I still can’t forgive him.”

Trevelyan put his hands on my shoulders in friendly manner… at least gently enough that I didn’t flinch. After a few seconds of trying to comfort me, he asked what happened between me and Alfred when I left the order. Although I was willing to tell him things that I’ve never said to anyone, there was only so far I would go on certain subjects. “It’s complicated... and I’m sure it wouldn’t interest you.”

“I asked, didn’t I?”

His persistence was getting frustrating and I quickly went from my calm demeanor to an outburst of anger. “Don’t you ever get sick of asking me questions?! I don’t want to talk about it!” I slapped away his hands and turned my back to him. Although I expected to hear yet another demand for an answer, he remained silent. I soon knew that he would not let the matter go and try almost every tactic on me until I spit it out, so I just exhaled an exasperated sigh and turned back. “You’ll keep bothering me until I tell you. You’re too mulish.”

He gave me a proud smile and said, “It’s a gift.” That frustrated me even further.

“Fine! If you really want to know... the reason why I hated my master was that he restrained me more than anyone else.”

His somewhat prideful smile changed to genuine concern. He likely just expected an irrational answer that he could easily fix by. I could tell I tripped him up with a genuinely difficult issue, but he tried regardless, “Restrained you? How?”

I turned away again, but only to hide my facial expression as I delved into the past. “He would not let me choose my own path. I remember that I wanted to be a guardian, but he seemed more interested to mold me into his own image as a watchman. That in itself was not enough... he always recited the jedi code to me. He kept telling me that my anger was too close and that I was too dependent on such animal instincts...” I took a deep breath. “I know that he was only trying to help me, but I've spent the last four years hating him. I’m not comfortable with just crawling back and admitting that I was wrong… that often leads people to believe that they were right.” I shrugged my shoulders as if to say I didn’t know the answer, myself. “I was wrong, but so was he and many others… I just don’t want to open old wounds and ask that you respect that.”

He reluctantly nodded. “I just ask that you consider something: how do you think he feels about you… that you turned away from the sith?”

“I... hurt him when I chose to join the sith. I only wanted to see action done… to stop slavery, but he considered it a betrayal. I just wanted to leave the Jedi quietly, but he tried to stop me.” I started to feel tears forming behind my eyes and focused on calming my emotions, but the subject was painful to remember. “We started attacking each other’s beliefs… it escalated to lightsabers.” I inhaled very deeply and my voice began to break up. “He disarmed me and told me that Omeesh didn’t break me... I had destroyed myself.” The memories became too painful to hide, so I turned my back and tried to end the conversation. “If I wanted to damn myself... and you know the rest. Please… I don’t want to talk about this anymore.”

He extended his hand above my shoulder as if to comfort me, but held it there until he realized that the best thing was to give me privacy. He didn’t say anything else; he left me to deal with it alone.

-----

Later that evening, Trevelyan took me to a restaurant called ‘The Neutron Star.’ It seemed to be of a much higher quality than the bar we were at earlier. There, we rendezvoused with everyone from earlier today and a few whom I’ve never met before. He introduced me to the entire crew of the Ebon Hawk and tried to ease their perception of me. Despite the diversity of the people he traveled with, I was the most dissimilar of any of them. Even Trevelyan seemed to go better with the corsage of the Ebon Hawk’s crew than I.

Even before we were seated, Trevelyan began talking to his friends and maintaining a conversation about their journey. It was difficult for me to be part of it since I was not among them during their mission. It didn’t matter much since I barely payed any attention to what they were said anyway.

I couldn’t care less about Mission’s inept sibling that abandoned her and himself. There I was trying to make amends for my past deeds while that idiot kept receiving from the sister who should have thrown him to a pack of kath hounds… or left him to his own demise. Admirable as it was, Mission did him no service by bailing him out; he chose his path and should have been left to fend for himself. The only thing that kept me from saying that was how much I deserved to die at Trevelyan’s hand.

I noticed that I was not the only one who was silent for most of the event; Bastila, Juhani, and Zalbar barely uttered anything. They only spoke up when Trevelyan brought them into the conversation and only what was minimally necessary. I did catch that one of their crew was not present, but often Trevelyan did impersonations of a man he called ‘Jolee.’

The conversation eventually started taking a chronological pattern that went from one world to another in their journey. When they started talking of Korriban, Trevelyan insisted that I tell the story, since that was ‘my chapter’ of their saga. He didn’t seem to understand that I wasn’t fond of explaining how I betrayed him and took joy at the deaths of his competitors, but I told them what happened. I even told them of my reasons... it made most of them uncomfortable. If I had betrayed Trevelyan in such a manner, what was to stop me from doing an equally malicious deed? That likely was on their minds.

I did try to defend my actions though. “There are not supposed to be friends among the Sith. All too often, trust leads to betrayal and death.”

“That’s terrible! How do the sith coexist with each other?” Mission asked.

“They don’t. The strong survive and the weak perish. I was not really one of the strong ones... I just knew how to get those above to trust me... and when to betray them.”

“There is no honor in turning on allies. If you lack the strength or cunning to directly confront your enemy, you don’t deserve victory. Malak was inferior to Revan in almost every way… by turning on him, he only weakened the Sith by killing a great leader and stealing a title he most certainly did not deserve. It’s ultimately a self destructive method of life.” Canderous directed his comment at me, likely trying to invoke shame upon me.

I looked at Trevelyan, trying to change the subject. “How do the Jedi High Council get selected? I know that there are certain criteria they must meet, but I could see many more qualified to lead the Order who are ignored.”

“What do you mean? Who do you think could be better leaders than those who are most trusted?” Trevelyan asked.

“Trust isn’t everything; they must also have the experience… that’s part of where trust must be earned. Of all the Council, only one had actually taken a proper role in the Mandalorian Wars. Most of the others have not faced the cruelties of war, poverty, slavery, or terrorism. Instead, they spend most of their time isolated from the rest of the galaxy and are… quite literally ignorant of social problems that lie outside the Order. How can they be the ‘strongest’ leaders if they do not know about the conflicts in which they were chosen to handle?”

Bastila answered. “They are regarded as the wisest of the jedi because they have not been exposed to events that invoke emotions and impair judgment…”

I interrupted. “I think their judgment is impaired because they are isolated. How could one expect to lead if they do not know how to conform to their followers?” I asked.

Bastila replied with a tone of agitation. “What do you mean ‘conform to their followers’? If you had allowed me to finish my sentence, I would have said the Council are meant to stand apart from the other jedi in order to ensure their wisdom is not influenced by anything that would impair their judgment.” She made hand gestures that emphasized her point by using an imaginary scale. “They receive exceptional treatment that other jedi do not, but that is because they must be exceptionally dedicated to the code. We must be able to look upon them and trust that they know what’s best. They must also be able to act without having to give proof every time they make a decision. Their commitment to the Order should be proof enough.”

“That’s just what I mean.” I sighed and tried to explain just how flawed that last statement was. There is more to leadership than simply living by a code. The Council may be the most selfless jedi there are, but if they do not know war, lived among the impoverished, or understand the wickedness of slavery; how could they be expected to lead without such wisdom?”

Trevelyan backed my side of the argument, likely to appease me. “I agree with that assessment. I think that firsthand experience is critical for any leader. When the Council rejected the Republic’s request for aid, they should have known that the majority of the Order would have been strongly opposed to such orders… yet they never gave a valid reason for their judgment.”

Bastila loosely crossed her arms just enough to embolden her side of the debate. “The Council did. They didn’t believe the true threat had revealed itself and needed time to evaluate the situation. Then Revan and Malak went rouge and stopped that from happening.”

“That is a circular argument and you know it!” I suddenly shrieked in anger. She was clearly just a pawn of the Council or refused to understand their part in the last two wars. “It was because the Council refused to do what was necessary that Revan defied them. Even now, after all that’s happened, the Council continues to boast that Revan and all who followed him caused much more destruction than what the Mandalorians could ever have done.”

Canderous jumped into the conversation. “My people would have crushed the Republic if it hadn’t been for Revan. Had he not taken control, it is very likely that the Mandalorian Empire would have eventually occupied the Republic Core Worlds. Instead of hundreds or even thousands of worlds, less than a dozen were lost under Revan’s leadership.” He turned his attention to Bastila. “You might want to remind your Council that the worlds lost during the Mandalorian War would have been destroyed anyway, but their sacrifice safeguarded the entire Republic.” Then he sat back and crossed his arms in self-confidence. “Your Council has no right to scold Revan because he was not afraid to do what they could not.”

Bastila shook her head briefly. “It wasn’t fear that kept them out of the war; they simply believed it was more important to identify the true threat before we committed ourselves to yet another war so soon after Exar Kunn. They urged caution, but would not have allowed the Republic to fall… they knew the situation as well as anyone.”

Trevelyan went directly against that statement. “No, they didn’t… or at least there’s nothing I’ve seen which supports that theory.” He put his hands together to gesture for his explanation. “When the Mandalorians first invaded, the Republic requested the aid of the jedi. The Council rejected their request…”

Bastila interrupted again to defend the Council. I wanted Trevelyan to express his opinion without her disrupting him again and again. I hissed with resentment. “Be silent, whelp! Trevelyan is speaking; not you.”

Everyone’s eyes were on me again, but I was glad to have their attention. As much a sith I may have been, they at least saw that I regarded Trevelyan very highly and could stand for someone other than myself. My outburst was not appropriate for the situation, but I at least got a point across that I was still like a sith, but was still loyal to my friends.

Trevelyan looked more uncomfortable than anyone else. He looked at Bastila as if to silently say ‘sorry’ and then focused on me. “It’s alright. If Bastila knows something that I don’t, I welcome the opinions of all my friends.”

“She didn’t seem to respect yours; otherwise she would have let you speak it.”

Bastila explained. “Trevelyan was speaking of a very sensitive subject. That’s why I interrupted, not because I don’t respect his opinion, but because he must have faith in the Council. Debates such as these should be avoided because they spark intense feelings and are ultimately self-destructive.”

“Self-destructive? We were talking about a subject that’s been on everyone’s mind for only the last decade. I think that it’s important to analyze the past and consider the choices we made to better understand ourselves and where we are.” I lectured.

“Then why do you talk about the High Council’s decisions? Any judgment you make would be inaccurate because you don’t know the whole truth… and it’s not our place to cast judgment on them.” She claimed.

“Then who does?”

She was caught surprised by the question and tried to conjure an answer. “The jedi within the Order are ultimately the ones who the Council represents. They are to the Order like a master is to an apprentice. They are not judged as you think, but they ultimately take responsibility for the successes or failures of their teachings. Revan’s betrayal is a prime example of that.”

I was silent for a long moment, as were the others, but I didn’t believe she knew what she was talking about. “So… when the Council makes a mistake, the Order suffers the consequences?”

“Everyone is affected; not just jedi like…” She almost referred me as a jedi, but paused to say something else. “…everyone involved suffers the consequences. When Revan became a Sith lord, the Council faulted themselves as greatly as those who turned on them.” She started displaying signs of guilt and sadness tied to a source of anger that she kept well hidden, but it was there. “We… all of us… should have trusted in the their wisdom. It wasn’t Revan that brought all this about; it was because we didn’t give them the support they needed.“

She looked close to tears. Behind the anger within Bastila was extreme emotional trauma. When I believed she was going to start weeping, she shook her head as if to clear away unwanted thoughts and got hold of herself again. I tried not to stare, considering that I was going through the same phase as well, but it was difficult to imagine one so dedicated to the jedi to appear so fragile. I knew that she had gone through a week of endless torture under the brutal heel of Malak… likely beyond anything I’ve ever endured, but it was difficult to see her struggle to maintain self control.

Trevelyan tried to put his arm around her, but she pushed him away. Everyone’s eyes quickly shifted away from me, not all towards Bastila, but I was no longer the center of their attention. I could see the concern in some of their expressions, but Juhani and Carth diverted their eyes away as if to respect her feelings.

After a moment of silence, she reestablished her calm demeanor. Then she slowly stood out of her chair and pushed it under the table. Under her breath, she mumbled, “Please excuse me.” Then she turned her head in Trevelyan’s direction as if to part ways, but I think she had glanced at me… he was just in the way. I couldn’t tell for sure, but she appeared to make eye contact with me before turning to leave.

Trevelyan looked over his shoulder for a brief moment before he also got up to follow the young woman. He nodded at me and then to the others to silently excuse himself and went after her.

I didn’t like the silence that had befallen upon the others after he walked away. I knew that there was much weighing on their minds, but no one had the courage to just speak it. They were clearly not comfortable with me being in their presence without Trevelyan and I wasn’t very fond of their company either, so I also stood up to leave.

After pushing in my chair, I chose a direction and just walked away. Juhani was the only one to feign any concern for my departure. “Wait, are you leaving?”

I was clearly not following Trevelyan, so it would have seemed that I was just ditching them. I simply wanted to wait somewhere else until he returned. They didn’t want me among them and I didn’t want to be with them either, so I figured I’d pacify my time at the bar. “No… just getting a drink.” That was enough to satisfy the question and no one seemed to care one way or another… just as long as I was somewhere else.

As I walked through the crowd, I kept seeing the same fear that I’ve come to expect ever since I became a sith. It was nice enough for everyone to step aside when I walked by, but with fear often came suspicion and resentment. Master Uthar once said that it didn’t matter what everyone else believed… it was better to be feared than loved.

For some reason, that advice didn’t give me any comfort... if they didn’t matter, then what good was the fear I invoked? Although fear was better than persecution, I just wanted to ignore and be ignored by everyone else. I knew that wasn’t an option, given that I was an alien almost everywhere I go. The only place I knew that didn’t discriminate other races was where they discriminate those touched by the darkside.

After taking a seat at the bar, I sighed in great depression. I was under a lot of stress and extremely anxious about the life I have chosen. Either I would be forgiven and put back to work with everyone else looking down on me, or I would be rejected and be free to do whatever I wanted. As much as I would like the second option, I really just want to find some peace of mind. Only Trevelyan and the jedi could make that possible.

My back was to the bartender. “Can I get you something?”

I turned around and startled her. She didn’t say anything, but couldn’t move from her spot.

She asked a question and I gave my answer. “Romulan ale.”

She nodded and rushed to get my drink as if her life depended on getting it to my hand in ten seconds. I found it amusing to watch her make the fastest drink she’s ever done in her life. When she was putting a bottle back on the shelf, it wasn’t properly set down and pivoted around and fell. When she heard the bottle roll off, she gasped in horror.

I was aware of the accident, so I grabbed the bottle with the force and placed it back on the shelf. The Bartender was breathing heavy and relieved that it didn’t shatter on the floor. She handed me my drink. “Thanks. This is on the house.”

“On the house?”

“Yes. Thanks for catching that bottle; it would’ve come out of my salary.”

“Uh... thanks.”

She stared at my tattoos for a brief moment before returning to her duty and taking care of other customers. I thought about how terrible it must have been for someone to have to pay for drinks spilled, dropped, or other mistakes. That bottle was worth about 35 credits and she would have had to work an entire day to pay that off. The thing that I found maddening was that the restaurant likely paid 20 credits and charged more to make a profit.

I hated it when merchants try to cheat their customers or employees by paying debts with ‘store credit’ as I have heard. Legally, they have compensated the ones they’ve cheated, but in the end, the merchant comes out ahead. Hutts were among the worst merchants ever there were.

After clearing my thoughts, I took the ale and swigged it down. I was not much for the taste of the drink as I was for its potency, so it was downed in one gulp. Then I just waited with my eyes closed as if I were meditating. I was just trying to shut out everyone around me and seclude myself within the deepest recesses of my mind as the alcohol ran its course. Everything around seemed to drift away as if I were going into a trance, but I was just cutting myself off from reality.

Before I ordered my second drink, Trevelyan had come up from behind and sat in the barstool next to me. It had been about 10 minutes since he and Bastila walked away, so he likely had come to bring me back to the group. “Our food has been served.”

“I’m not hungry.”

He nodded and layed his arms in front with his fingers intertwined. I knew he was going to start spouting off about something he didn’t understand. “Do you want to leave?”

I raised my head at hearing such a direct question. That was exactly what I wanted to do, but I didn’t want to just explicitly tell him that I wouldn’t bother with his friends. They were important to him and I felt I owed it to him to get along. I couldn’t just ignore them, or even that would have been offensive. After staring at him for a moment, I felt that I at least needed to know how to deal with a significant issue. “Your friends only tolerate me because of you. I don’t think they want me there.”

He pivoted on the barstool to rest his elbows on the counter and face the crowd behind us. He looked so relaxed and so at peace with himself that I was envious that it came so easily. “They don’t know you. All they know is that you were a sith master. Surely you knew how others would react.” He turned his head to face me over his shoulder. “After they learned I was Revan, even my closest friends acted differently than before that. They’d known me for months and yet they were almost afraid to get into an argument with me.”

“I don’t think they fear me so much as they distrust me. That’s not what I have an issue with. It’s that they treat me like they would you, except that...” I sighed in frustration at not being able to describe exactly what was bothering me. It didn’t make sense even to me. “They obviously don’t trust me, but they trust you enough to...” I couldn’t explain it and got exasperated.

Trevelyan gently placed his hand on my right shoulder to provide me some much-needed comfort. “What did you expect? Surely you knew what you were committing yourself to.”

“I know, but I wasn’t really expecting so much difficulty with simply co existing with the other jedi. I had... assumed that I could leave my past life behind forever.” I sighed as if exhausted. “This whole thing is more difficult than I ever thought. There is just so much I have to overcome. I don’t know if I can make it.”

His arm extended from one shoulder to the other and he pulled me closer to him. Although he was trying to comfort me, I felt trapped by how he held onto my shoulder and batted his arm away. He understood and withdrew.

A long moment of silence passed before he kept the conversation alive. “I remember what you said about how you became a sith... you wanted to use the force to fight slavery. Is that still what you want?”

I lifted my head, having realized that I had forgotten that goal yet again. My mind had been so fixated on returning to the jedi that I had already forgotten about Sleheyron. “I think... I have to help myself first before I can help others.”

He nodded as if to silently tell me that’s exactly why I was on Couriscant. “Please come back to the table. Don’t worry about saying anything; the rest can talk enough for the both of us.”

I gave him a sardonic smile. “Your friends don’t want me there. I don’t want to be there...”

“I want you to be there. The High Council is still debating your acceptance and I want you to get as much support as possible from other jedi. If you don’t want to talk, then just listen and it could go a long way.”

I sighed weakly. “Very well, but I don’t want you pulling me into any conversation... agreed?”

“I won’t, but you are welcomed to speak of anything you want and I hope you do.”



Bastila had returned with Trevelyan before he retrieved me, so no one was absent from the event. Although there was constant chatter throughout the course of the meal, I had not participated and really didn’t pay any attention to what the others spoke of. There was a point when Carth spoke of his son, Dustil Onasi, but I was not addressed at all. I had not really wanted to be included, but being ignored was discouraging.

The food was much better than anything I’ve had in a long time, but I was anxious to leave after we were done eating. The wookie was the last to finish his course and I expected the event was over after that, but the chatter continued well afterward. No one had anything left to do but talk... and that’s what they did for half an hour before they finally came across a topic that I was interested in.

Carth had been discussing what he thought of Revan and Malak while the Jedi were still not involved with the Mandalorian wars. “I think that if there were a moment that I were really afraid of losing everything... not just my world, but for the entire Republic, it was when the Jedi refused to aid the Republic when they were needed most. The idea that the Jedi had abandoned us was almost like... they were too afraid to resist.” He had difficulty articulating what it must have been like to watch your heroes give in to fear. “I know that wasn’t what happened, but that’s what it seemed.”

Bastila answered to that. “The Jedi wouldn’t have allowed the Republic to be destroyed if we could help, but the Council believed there was a greater threat that hadn’t revealed itself. The Republic’s request for aid wasn’t ignored; they simply believed that rushing into battle was premature.”

“The Mandalorians had been threatening the Republic for almost a decade before they officially invaded. They had more than enough time to assess the threat; they weren’t going to stop until they were victorious or defeated. If it weren’t for Revan and the other Jedi, I don’t see how we could have held out; let alone beat them back.”

Bastila looked at him smugly. “I can’t deny that Revan saved the Republic from the Mandalorians, but through his conquests came another war that cost many more lives than the first and nearly destroyed the Republic.” She glanced at Trevelyan, but looked back to Carth. “He had redeemed himself, but ultimately caused much more harm than if he had trusted in the wisdom of the Council. In the end, the Mandalorian wars proved to be the perfect propaganda to rally other jedi to defy their teachings.”

I was almost infuriated at hearing such accusations against Trevelyan. I may have deserved to be told such things, but he certainly deserved more respect than that. My silence suddenly boiled into rage and I shouted at Bastila. “You are a damned fool! You have no right to make such judgments!”

Everyone’s attention was once again on me. Trevelyan was quite surprised to not only hear me, but to that I would start shouting. He must have assumed I went berserk and grabbed me as if to keep me from lashing out. I thought I was fully in control, but my anger went much deeper than I believed. “Please! Calm down!”

“Lies! She knows nothing of you!”

His grip on me tightened to become painful and he got out of his seat to pin me into my chair and was less subtle with his words. He commanded me, “Stop this! Restrain yourself!”

I don’t know why, but hearing him shout impacted me more greatly than when he had whispered to me in the Council Chamber. Instead of trying to calm me, Trevelyan restrained me... which could have escalated my fury even further.

After a brief moment of resisting, his shouting profoundly impacted me and reminded me of why I was being held down. Trevelyan was keeping me from lashing out again... he was holding me back because I couldn’t do it myself. And that thought was enough for me to regain control.

My eyes were closed and I was trying not to think of anything except to do as he wanted of me. There was almost complete silence except for the majority of the people seated elsewhere, but even several of them fell silent. It was a very unusual thing to feel peace such a time, but Trevelyan’s harsh words forced my anger back into check.

I felt him loosen his grip and then let go of me completely. I felt so helpless that I didn’t want to be with him in front of his friends. I felt so embarrassed that I didn’t want to reflect on him any more than I already have. Once he let me go, I slowly stood up and walked away. Everyone who had witnessed what happened stepped aside as I exited without saying another word. I was on the verge of crying, but held back my tears until I found solitude in the Enclave.

Last edited by Darth_Yuthura; 08-10-2009 at 12:07 AM. Reason: Revision
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Old 05-28-2008, 09:04 AM   #15
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Yet another nice installment, but I do have a question: It seems to me that "Revan" has chosen to embrace his alter ego rather than attempt to recover anything from his past. I was just wondering why you chose to portray him that way.

It's not a bad thing by any means...I was just curious.


"You'll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."

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Old 05-28-2008, 09:26 AM   #16
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Chapter 7: An Island of Tranquility in a Sea of Chaos

Revised Chapter 7: This is an original chapter to take the place of what's currently ahead. Any new chapters will simply be renumbered and revised as though the original. Odds are that there'll be discord between the last revised chapter and the original text, so don't assume I'll just leave the next chapter as it is.

Please leave feedback if you have comments or problems with this revision. Enjoy.

-----

I have often been told stories about the room of a thousand fountains, but never feigned much interest in the location. It didn’t seem anything spectacular... an enormous hall with running water channeling from a thousand spigots didn’t seem that remarkable to me. It was where jedi often went to meditate because the incredible flow of water masked the background noise of Couriscant.

On a heavily populated planet like Couriscant, the force aura from billions of sentient beings was very strong, but extremely chaotic. Although jedi could not normally feel the presence of a non-force user much more than a few kilometers away, the millions who were crammed within those few kilometers of the Temple created a background noise that made it difficult for a force-user to center herself.

The force to a jedi could be compared almost exactly like physical noise to an ear. Although you may have only a few sources of noise, such as traffic, construction, and people; it was more disruptive than hundreds of annoying sounds going on in an instant. While the millions around shut out all hope for silence, at least there wasn’t as rapid a change as could be expected if you were alone with a few individuals quickly changing from silent to shouting. When one shouted on Couriscant, it was eclipsed by the grey noise of everything else around.

Still, that grey noise wasn’t the same as genuine silence. Despite the background, there were constantly noises that peaked above everything else; sounds that could be discerned. It was just that it happened so often that people could just get used to it. Force users had a similar issue with background force noise. The influence that a population had on the force was always present and could not be masked as easily as sound. Physical noise could be reduced with noise-canceling devices; the room of a thousand fountains was the closest thing to silencing the force that came from outside the temple. Jedi often went there to center themselves away from the chaos of Couriscant.

For some reason, I felt that if ever there were a time I needed to center myself, it was after that little episode with Bastila. I was so embarrassed that I came so close to losing all control over listening to what she believed. I also had a lot of tears to shed and I thought I might have been able to cover them up more easily if I were surrounded by water. If anyone saw me, then they would just believe that I dunked my head into one of the fountains... not that I was shedding tears.

-----

The Temple was unusually empty; so vacant that I let go of my emotional control well before reaching the hall. Since no one was around to see me in such a pathetic state, I could leave myself open. If I were on Korriban, tears would have been the greatest thing to see in an enemy’s eyes. It wasn’t as significant anymore, but I still didn’t like showing off that I was emotionally broken. At least I was at liberty to do so without fearing being caught. What would a jedi have done if they saw me... pity me?

Once I was in the vast hall, I was astounded at the sight of what I’ve heard of, but never really have pictured. The experience was so intense that I almost forgot about the reason why I came in the first place. The sound of the rushing water was so soothing, yet so chaotic that it seemed like I had left reality and stepped into a... pleasant existence. It was like being drunk, but I was not shutting out my own thoughts.

All the water rushing around seemed to block the thoughts and feelings of everyone outside the room. The grey noise of the water was gentle on my ears while the disturbance of all the droplets splashing into the fountains clouded everything outside myself. The sensation was like I was alone, but not isolated from everything else as I was when I returned to Korriban.

I approached one of the largest fountains... it was an elaborate design that sunk into the floor like a pool. It had a nozzle in the center that towered over the center of the bowl. It spread the water like a blanket from the center to the edge... creating a dome that mirrored the shape of the bowl. It was a perplexing sight of emptiness over the surface of the suspended water and the transparent dome that encompassed the bowl. It was clearly not solid, but the water did not disperse like a waterfall until it hit the edge of the bowl and into the pool... I could even see my reflection in the transparent dome of running water.

I don’t know if I were mesmerized, or simply had too much to drink, but I stepped under the wall of water and into the fountain. The sudden temperature change left me gasping as what normally happened when one was submersed in water, but it was a strangely welcoming feeling. It almost felt like I was washing away the filth of the sith that my body was encrusted with.

The water was about 20 degrees Celsius, below a comfortable temperature, but it felt good when I felt the bite of cold after years of enduring the constant burn of Korriban’s hot, dry air. It also seemed to focus my mind like a literal splash of cold water on my body and soul. After several seconds, I couldn’t stand the feeling any longer and realized that I shouldn’t have drenched everything I had on.

I climbed out of the fountain and rolled onto my back as I realizing how stupid I was to just step into bone-chilling water without even taking off my cloak... I should have known I would be freezing without anything dry to wrap myself in. Everything I had on was drenched. Standing or walking felt even colder than just laying still, so I layed on my back and just let my mind go where it wanted. For some reason, the extreme cold was even more disorienting and left me wondering where Yuthura Ban was in all this.

Just a few days ago... more like two weeks... I was sure about who I was and where I wanted to go with my life. Then this human entered my life and developed an interest in me... I didn’t know if it was like an enemy examining another for weakness, but I felt almost comfortable telling him of who I really was. I had hoped that he would tell me I was doing the right thing, but instead asked if I believed the things I told him of... that compassion was why I couldn’t advance among the sith.

When I realized that it was because of compassion that I was holding on, I knew that I had lost myself. The question I wanted to know was whether it happened five years ago or when I was in Naga Sadow’s tomb. It might also have been that I never knew myself at all.

I didn’t know how long I layed there, but I soon heard footsteps approaching. When I realized someone was there with me, I forced myself to my feet, encumbered by the wet robes. After a few seconds of struggling to my feet, I was confronted by Master Vandar.

I could only imagine how I must have appeared to him... a fallen sith soaked from being in one of the fountains; the one who wanted to be a jedi. He must have assumed my mind was maladjusted... I was thinking that as well. I also couldn’t help but imagine looking like a child. Although I was compared to him, I certainly should have been more mature than how I presented myself.

He and I stared at each other for a long moment before he finally said the first words. “The fountains are to help jedi center themselves... I suppose we each have our own way about doing that.”

I didn’t know how he expected me to respond. He might have found it amusing, but he may have simply found me pitiful and misguided. I just kept silent and waited for him to scold or laugh at me.

He crossed his arms in a fairly relaxed manner and came closer as if to just chat. “Perhaps you just tripped and fell in?” He said in a jocular tone.

I didn’t respond.

He nodded as if I had answered. “I’m sorry, are you mute?”

After a moment of hesitation, I finally answered. “I... speak basic. You know that.”

He smiled as if glad that I didn’t have my voicebox destroyed and didn’t have to use more difficult methods to speak to me. “You didn’t say much when you addressed the Council today. I suppose I assumed that you had been punished when you went back to Korriban or something. You’ve barely spoken at all since you’ve been here.”

Again, I hesitated to answer. “I suppose that whenever I do, I’m either ignored or condemned for existing.”

“It’s not that simple. I admit that Masters Vrook and Atris were a bit too dismissive towards you, but that doesn’t change the fact that you willingly left the jedi so many years ago. To side with an enemy that went against everything the jedi stood for... that is not just something we can overlook.”

I let my head drop in shame, but nodded in complete agreement.

“But I would like to understand more about you... not so much your personal history, but rather who exactly is making the request to be retrained.”

“What? How do you mean that?”

He shrugged his shoulders as if to say ‘I don’t know... anything?’ Then he walked within a meter of me and stared at the foot of my cloak, dripping water onto the floor. “Have you been formally given quarters?”

I tilted my head down at the tiny master at my feet and shook my head very subtly.

He stepped back and placed his hands behind his back. “Then perhaps you would like to change into some dry cloths; and then we could talk further?”

I was not really in the mood to talk, but he did extend an invitation that would have been rude to reject, so I compliantly nodded my head.

“Then follow me and I’ll take you to some guest quarters.” He said as he turned to lead on.

I found it odd that he was offering to make me feel welcome at the same time that he likely intended to dismiss me when I met with the Council tomorrow. I didn’t like how he was so two-faced as to extend welcome, but secretly had no intent to deliver more than just a short stay for me at hotel. The temple wasn’t exactly that, but guests were always given the same services anywhere.

As I followed, I was irritated that we were walking at a very slow pace. I knew it was because Master Vandar was less than half my height, so I kept a proper respect and just let him lead on. It was bitterly cold to walk with soaking cloths, so I was anxious to just get there... but since I didn’t even know where the quarters were, I knew I couldn’t speak of my discomfort. Suddenly, hypothermia was not as desirable as before I got wet.

Then I came to wonder about the guest arrangement that Vandar had just provided. Did the jedi always have rooms, food, and clean clothing ready at all times? So I asked, “Master... from my experience, you always seem to have accommodations ready for everyone at a moment’s notice. Are there always quarters just ready for anyone, or have some just been prepared for me?”

He didn’t turn around or slow down. “There are always a few rooms always ready, but some things are readied only after the room is occupied. There won’t be any food; you’ll have to tend to yourself. There some change of cloths, but only very basic garb. We’ll provide, but this isn’t a hotel, so don’t expect for any exceptional treatment.”

I wasn’t intending to ask for more than the basics, but hearing him define the limitations was a bit unwelcoming... as if he expected me to ask for room service and expensive ‘goodies’ so that he could say the jedi are not to be taken advantage of.

When we were in front of one of the vacant guest quarters, he gestured to the door. “These will be where you will stay. You can change and remain or you can return to the hall of a thousand fountains. I’ll be there if you want to talk.”

I looked at him oddly. “You didn’t come here to stay?”

“I want to center myself in the hall... I am going to. If you wish keep talking, you may do so while I’m there. As for now, I assume you’ve been provided for?” He said in a very straightforward manner.

I felt brushed off just then. When Vandar had been leading me, I was not under the impression that he was just dealing with me so he could have his solace in the Hall. I thought that he wanted to speak to me, but then I realized that he was simply saying I could approach him if I wanted. Then I answered honestly, “I don’t want to be more disruptive; I just want to ignore and be ignored. Why is that so hard to find here of all places?”

He started walking away, but kept his head fixed on me as he spoke. “If that is indeed what you seek, Yuthura, then you have come to the wrong place; a jedi is never alone. If you wished to be ignored, then you should realize that your past actions have forced certain consequences upon you.” He turned his head away as well, but stopped a few paces and turned his attention back to me. “If you seek the jedi in order to leave your past behind, it would be no different than when you refused to let go of your anger from past deeds. If you won’t let go of your feelings for your past, then why would you expect others to do the same for you?”

I was suddenly enraged that he would compare me to Omeesh. “Because I didn’t hurt any of you! You act as though I personally turned on every jedi... the only one I indeed tried to kill is the only one defending me!”

The next moment was filled with thunderous silence... Vandar looked at me with almost a new-found respect, but more likely with greater admiration for Trevelyan. I assumed that Vandar knew about my treachery against the jedi who lead me away from the sith, but it clearly was not known just how much that was staked on me.

I had a few tears than poured from my eyes, but my forehead was still wet, hiding them like sweat streaming down my face. After nearly an eternal moment, I turned to enter my quarters and locked the door behind me. Somehow, I felt that if I were ever going to get sympathy from Vandar, I had to make him wonder why Trevelyan supported me. That way, he would look to him instead of me when he cast judgment.

I did not know whether to expect to hear my door chime or not, but I was left alone to my chaotic emotions. As much as Vandar was judging me, I knew that he was right about how I expected others to deal with my past if I continued to harbor anger and hate for past crimes against me. I did have my own crimes to deal with, but I still thought it was unfair to compare the anger for my actions as a sith to that of my anger for slavery.

Omeesh was dead, so my anger truly was directed at something I could not change. Before I stabbed him, that anger had a purpose, but afterwards... it was just poison in my veins. There might have been a purpose for fighting slavery, but that was not why I couldn’t let it go. I followed the darkside to try and burry that pain with hatred. Once I knew that couldn’t work anymore, I chose to do what I was afraid to all my life.

Master Vrook once told me that it was important to understand that all people were entitled to their opinions... and that I had to respect those beliefs even when I didn’t agree with them. He claimed that my feelings were unjust because I refused to respect something that I didn’t agree with. I didn’t simply ignore what he said, but I could never respect a belief that didn’t respect the rights of others.

Even after everything that’s happened, I would never accept that anger directed against slavers was unjust... people who didn’t respect the rights of their victims were as vile as the sith. I had never sunk to their level of apathy... never. It was important that everyone realize that I had never become a true sith because I never surrendered my compassion.

For all that I had become, I never crossed the line in which separated me from the evil I vowed to fight.

Last edited by Darth_Yuthura; 09-25-2008 at 08:34 PM. Reason: New Chapter
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:11 PM   #17
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Good addition there D_Y! I can't wait until the next chapter!

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Old 05-28-2008, 06:47 PM   #18
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Chapter 8: The Final Verdict

I had been awoken early the next day by Trevelyan; I had expected him shortly after the incident, but I suppose he didn't want to intrude upon me. That and he didn't know where I had gone. I had changed into a set of commoner's clothing last night. Not only were they dry, but at least I wouldn't hear how I wasn't worthy to wear the robes of the jedi.

When he first saw me, Trevelyan appeared saddened as though I had been stripped of the robe he gave me. I didn't exactly know how to explain that I got wet, so I just lied. "I'm not a jedi... maybe if I didn't show off the robe, they would be more receptive." It was a true statement, so he reacted like I had my head about me for the coming trial ahead of me.

"How are you feeling?"

I threw my head back, almost mockingly. "You know that you're the only one who ever bothers to ask me that. 'How are you feeling?' How do you think I feel right now?"

He stared silently for a long moment, likely expecting another outburst. "I could make a guess, but I'd rather know than make a false assumption. If you're angry, I would like to know."

That reminded me of the outburst last night and I was still embarrassed. "No." A long pause left me plenty of time to try and apologize, but I think that my expression showed enough remorse. "I didn't control myself very well."

He nodded in agreement. "I didn't understand... what set you off?"

"Bastila. She was being disrespectful of you... speaking of how you caused all the havoc of the war. I couldn't stand seeing her, another dark jedi, so... hypnotized into thinking you were to blame for everything." I held my hands like a beggar. "Weren't you offended by that?"

He gently shook his head. "Bastila is very fragile right now. I had believed you two would have had a greater respect for the other, but... I suppose that sith naturally distrust other sith."

"It's not that I don't trust her... well I don't, but I don't understand why she can be so dedicated to the jedi that she would be so full of anger and hate for you. You saved her from the sith... yet she thinks she can judge you?!"

He put his hands on my shoulders to calm my feelings. "Bastila had been traumatized by Malak into becoming a sith. She didn't turn by choice, so I'm not pushing her anymore... all her faith is in the jedi again, so I'm not going to risk her losing that. She needs to believe in the code."

"But she..."

He tightened his grip on my shoulders and drew his face closer to mine. He finished my sentence. "Had told me the same thing about you. I'm trying to save you both, but I can't afford to hold both of you by the hand if each are attacking the other."

"Attacking the other?"

He let go of me and stepped back. "Bastila is in a very fragile state and not thinking properly. I sense hatred for you through the bond we share... I don't know why, but it's there. That outburst intensified those feelings further and..." He sighed and turned his back as though to say something he didn't want to. "I thought you could go a long way if you approached Bastila and personally apologized to her and reached out..."

"Apologize?! I don't give a damn what she thinks! The feeling's mutual." I turned my back to him.

I felt a soft hand gently pulling to rotate me back to facing Trevelyan. "You have nothing to apologize for, but in doing so, you could show Bastila that you're not the sith she believes you to be. I know that she may be irrational, but that is because her mind is maladjusted. If you can take her verbal abuse and even comfort her through this... it could go a long way to showing the Council how serious you are about returning."

I felt as though I were being asked something that bordered the line of impossible. I have been asked to help the one who was bonded to my friend, but feared what would undoubtivly lead to a fight to the death. I didn't like Bastila, but I didn't hate her for the way she was. I didn't want to agree, but I felt that I was responsible for her discord. Although it wasn't deserved, I was spared, brought here, and couldn't just say no... no matter how much I wanted to. "Where is she?"

-----

Trevelyan directed me to Bastila's quarters, but he said that I had to be the one to confront her alone... his presence would have forced two sides to this situation. I wasn't very fond of controlling my will in the face of an adversary that I could not predict. Master Atris was at least dedicated enough to the jedi to be anticipated, but Bastila was... like me. That idea made me shudder.

When I rung the doorbell, I could sense her on the other side as she refused to answer. Bastila was just settled where she was and sensed that it was me outside the door. I didn't appreciate being scanned by her... jedi often didn't invade the minds of others for just seeing who was at the door. I didn't have to invade her mind since she stood out with her emotions very apparent.

After another ring, I knew she wasn't going to answer. As much as I wanted to walk away, I didn't want to delay this any longer. I put my hand over the lock and the combination was easy enough to decrypt with a small burst of lightning.

When the door slid open, I saw Bastila in a meditative stance clad with a nightgown that left her limbs completely exposed. Her back was to me, but she rose to her feet and came directly to the doorway, shoving a chair aside instead of just going around it. Rage was not going to start this well for me. "So you just break in without regard to my privacy?! That's petty; especially for a sith!"

Before she could shoe me out of the doorway, I calmly asked a counter question. "Is shutting out someone completely rather disrespectful... especially for a jedi?"

She got to the doorway, but didn't shove me away. I was not partially in the path of the door, so I wasn't an invader who had to be thrown out. She stared at me for a brief moment with a hate-filled expression before pressing the door control to close it between us.

I didn't hear her reset the lock, so I just waited for several seconds before the door opened again. This time, Bastila had covered herself with a cloak that more properly covered herself than before. She crossed her arms aggressively and demanded an explanation for why I was there.

I wasn't offended as I thought since she at least showed that she was listening. "I wanted to apologize for my behavior last night... and just now. I shouldn't have lashed out; certainly not at you."

She gave me an unattentive and almost dismissive expression. "Why?"

That caught me off guard. "What?"

"Why are you apologizing? You believed what you said then, so why are you withdrawing... because Revan told you to?"

"No..." I realized that she must have already known and wouldn't have believed anything I said that wasn't truth. I sighed in failure. "Yes, he did."

"Then what value do your words have if you don't mean them?"

I sighed again and realized that Trevelyan probably anticipated this and hoped that I would genuinely have to reach out to Bastila, or walk away more embarrassed than before. "I'm just trying to do the right thing. Trevelyan said that you... hated me. Why?"

"You were the head of the academy that trained jedi to turn against everything they were taught by their jedi masters. You were a sith master that poisoned the souls of many who could have been champions of the jedi. How can you even think that you could defect again? How can you even ask why? Are you that foolish to think anything you do could be enough to redeem for all that?"

For some reason, I was not flooded by guilt that might have come if anyone else asked me that. There was no guilt for me to feel. "I did not train anyone who did not already choose to become a sith. Everyone who I instructed chose to follow the sith teachings. Those champions of the jedi you refer to... they left the Order on their own."

"And ran straight into the arms of the sith! How many would you say you've corrupted? How many years has it been since...?"

I was getting increasingly enraged, but I sternly stood my ground. "I'm not going to debate my actions with you! I did what I had to... as did you." I crossed my arms as if to show my integrity. "You don't have the right!"

She stared at me blankly and was almost stunned at how I didn't shrink from her accusations and proved that I was not a 'fallen sith' like she was. Although it was fear that made me leave the sith in the first place, it was certainly not why I followed Trevelyan back to the jedi. Either way she took my message, I showed that I was stronger than she first assumed.

I was on the brink of smiling when I remembered that I was there to show that I was willing to support her through her current emotional turmoil. "I am willing to help you through your current emotional crisis, but you must properly ask for it. If you desire to be alone, then I will leave and expect the same from you."

She looked at me with guilt and just nodded before she gently said "thank-you." Then she closed the door once again.

Last edited by Darth_Yuthura; 09-26-2008 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 05-28-2008, 08:33 PM   #19
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That is too bad that Yuthura didn't make it back into the Order. Anyways, good chapter and keep up the good work!

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Old 05-29-2008, 08:53 AM   #20
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Thumbs up Chapter 8: The Second Trial

This is another original chapter for the revision. It is not a new version of an older chapter, this is completely original.

-----

After the confrontation with Bastila, I went back to Trevelyan’s quarters. He looked at me very with a stoic expression. “How bad was it?”

I tilted my head to the side as if not interested in hearing him ask a question he obviously already knew. “You tell me. You’re the one with the force bond.”

He shrugged his shoulders almost with shame. “I wasn’t expecting that she could have read me so easily. Since she turned, understanding each other through our bond has been difficult.” He sighed in disappointment. “At least it means she’s still making progress.”

“Good for her.” I whispered in a sardonic tone and turned my back to him.

He recognized that I was troubled. “Seriously, what happened between you two?”

A paced around for a few seconds as I tried to speak without anger. “I don’t know if I could trust anything she said, but she said she hated me for poisoning others and turning ‘champions of the jedi’ against the Order. She also tried to shame me with my deeds, but...” I turned to look in Trevelyan’s eyes. “... I think that she helped me deal with some of my guilt.”

He smiled and stepped towards me. “So you two are on good terms now?”

I shrugged my shoulders at the irony of his question. “Yeah right. When she tried to shame me, I realized that my crimes actually didn’t extend beyond those who I helped to corrupt.”

“What do you mean?”

I paused a moment to collect my thoughts. “I’ve helped Uthar train some of the best sith who went on to commit great atrocities. I remember one of my former students had command of a battleship that destroyed a city... millions dead. Master Javik... he was killed by, another whom I taught.”

He raised his hands to gesture for me to stop. “You didn’t commit those acts... it was them alone. You had nothing to do with Master Javik’s death. You weren’t there when that city was bombed.” Then he rested his wrists on my shoulders and against my neck. “You may have been responsible for who they became, they may have become true sith anyway...”

I finished his statement. “But I will not carry the weight of their crimes as well. I have my own to deal with.”

He and I shared a very tender moment as we got closer to each other. I didn’t know if he were just trying to comfort me or if I reminded him of his days as the Dark Lord, but he sighed deeply and slowly backed away. I almost expected that he was going to kiss me, but when he turned away, I realized that he was a jedi... I was just a broken sith that he was nursing back to health.

Then I shook away those thoughts and realized that it was respect that I felt... and he couldn’t possibly have been interested in me. It was just not possible, so I pushed those thoughts out of my mind.

When he turned to face the window, he leaned his head and arm against the glass to watch the ever-constant flow of traffic going around the temple. He let his mind wander somewhere else and forgot what was at hand.

“Hey! Jedi?” I said in a formal and direct way.

He quickly put his attention back on me. “I’m sorry. I was just remembering something... something of Malak.”

“I remind you of Malak? That’s flattering.”

He shook his head and frowned at the comment. “No... I was reminded of just how much harm he had caused to... everyone. I remembered that as he died, he was badly wounded and asked for mercy... much like how you did when...” He sighed in pain.

“And you accepted his plea?”

He shook his head. “No. His wounds were significant enough that he was disabled and no longer a threat, but he could have been saved if I had injected him with a shot of kolto. Instead I left him on the floor struggling to breath, yet still reaching out to me like his old master.”

“Begging for you to let him live?”

“No. He was admitting that I was the true master both as the Dark Lord and even more as a jedi. I think that he could have been turned, but at the time, I was just so...” He walked over to his table and pulled a chair out for me and he sat in the other. “He had murdered everyone on Taris, Telos, he brutally tortured Bastila, and had cruelly manipulated the force energies of fallen jedi... I just couldn’t stand hearing him surrender after all that he made himself to be.”

I looked at him with some fear in my tone. “What happened?”

He hunched over in his chair and rested his chin upon his wrists. “I didn’t kill him... I just let him die. But I took a perverted delight in taunting him and telling him that he lived too long and couldn’t beat me even with the Star Forge at his disposal.” He sighed. “I was glad Juhani wasn’t there to witness Malak’s departure.”

“Why?”

“Because...” He looked up at me and realized he didn’t want to confess or reveal any more sensitive details. “I’ve said too much. I don’t want to discuss that anymore.”

I nodded and didn’t think anything of what he said. Well I admit that it made me feel better to know that even one like him was not above tormenting the guilty. After all that he had done, I’m glad that Malak suffered at his end. If only his crimes could be alleviated as well...

Suddenly, I felt an eerie chill went down my spine. I almost smiled at hearing how Malak cowered in fear at his end, but then couldn’t escape that I had done exactly what he did and been given mercy when I asked it. Malak, who had been Revan’s closest friend for many years, was denied that request. My concern was clearly visible in the silence that followed.

“What’s wrong?”

“Why did you spare me and not Malak?”

“What?”

“He asked for mercy and you denied it to him. I understand why you didn’t give it then, but why did you give it to me? I would not have spared me.”

He smirked at that. “I’m not you.”

“Clearly you’ve proven that, but why did you spare me after doing exactly what Malak had?”

He closed his eyes as if I were ridiculous to ask such a question. When he opened them to give an assuring stare. “You and Malak were nothing alike. There is no point in looking back on what happened on Korriban. I don’t hold anything against you.”

“Why? You obviously took Malak’s betrayal personally and he was your closest friend from long before he followed you to the Mandalorian Wars. It was never my intent to use you against Uthar. How could you possibly have acted so differently against such... to such opposite...?” My question was so difficult to word that I couldn’t complete it. Frustration was clearly visible and auditable from what I couldn’t articulate.

He held his hand in front of, but not directly covering my lips. “Do you remember what you said before you attacked me in the tomb?” After receiving my silence, he continued. “You said you hated yourself for your deception. ‘I truly consider you my friend.’ Do you remember any of that?”

I nodded dumbly and cooperatively.

“If you were a true sith, you wouldn’t have said that... you would have just acted without giving it a second thought. I had my suspicions about your intentions before that, but after hearing you apologizing before that... it meant that you didn’t want to throw away your compassion any more than you wanted to hurt me.”

Although his words touched me very profoundly, I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed that he had read me so easily when I had not wanted to expose myself on Korriban. Although I was not as fearful of Trevelyan knowing about how I thought and behaved, I wasn’t comfortable hearing just how transparent I was towards him when I believed him a sith. Whether he was just that good or I was just that careless, it was uncomfortable to hear him describe how much he figured out on his own. What I told him was my choice, but what he discovered by how I acted. It made me feel smaller than I already was compared to him.

I was not proud to hear him describe how weak I was as a sith. Despite hating who I used to be, it didn’t make me feel better to know how pathetic I really was as a fallen jedi. There was no strength in taking a side without the will to back them.

“I was not a very good sith, was I?”

“Or you were so strong a jedi that you never lost your compassion... and could mascarade as one of them.”

I made an interesting observation. “And you, the Dark Lord... a true jedi came in and take the title away after only a few seconds.”

He nodded at the irony of it and then went into deep thought. “I still don’t understand why the Council was so dismissive of you. I would have believed they’d have been glad to see a sith master want to return to the Order.”

“Jedi hate sith... if there is one thing that they cannot accept, it’s the dark side. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised that I wouldn’t be accepted.”

“I definitely was. Your return would have only benefited the Order.”

I chuckled at the flaw in his logic. “Uh... I was not exactly the most likable padawan before then. The jedi don’t train adults because their beliefs have been formed and are difficult to reshape. I was past the age of acceptance with a firm mindset almost a decade ago... I think the jedi only accepted me then because I had nowhere else to go.” I kind of smiled as if finally accepting that they were right to dismiss me. “Believe me... four years of sith training hadn’t improved my qualifications.”

He didn’t understand what I was talking about. He thought I was simply being prejudiced, but I truly had little room in me for the ways of the jedi. “I wasn’t talking about that... I meant that the Council would have been able to strengthen its position over sith beliefs. Few who fall to the darkside ever turn back and the sith had attracted so many because of how many flocked to... Revan’s teachings.”

I found it odd that he referred to himself in the third person to avoid accepting responsibility. “You once believed in it yourself. Even you can’t deny what you once were... no matter how well you redeemed yourself.”

He sighed at the comment because I did not know the whole story behind him. “I am not Revan anymore... I already told you that I have no memories of before the Council programmed Alex Trevelyan upon Revan’s broken mind.” He frowned at me. “They say that I’ve redeemed myself after what I did as the Dark Lord... you can’t redeem yourself by losing your identity. I never went through a phase like what you going through because I don’t have anything up here...” He gestured to his forehead. “...to feel remorse because I was never Revan.” He turned his back on me to pace for a few seconds. “Does that make any sense?”

“I think so. Your former identity may not have abandoned the sith ways if he were given the choice.”

He smiled at hearing me say it in such a way. “Exactly! Yet the Council tells everyone that I am the Dark Lord who chose redemption after causing so many to stray from the Order. They make it seem as though Revan had chosen to come back... and those who still followed the sith teachings would be more inclined to follow him back to the light.” He looked at me with some degree of guilt. “Tell me... when I said I was Darth Revan, did that inspire you to leave the sith?”

I was astonished at what he was telling me. “Yes... it was like a stronger sith and a stronger jedi were both saying the same thing. What does that have to do with me?”

He rested his hands upon my shoulders as if to proudly promote me. “You are a genuine example of what the Council makes me out to be. You have chosen the jedi completely of your own accord they should have recognized that.”

I looked away with more trouble on my mind than before he had given me such praise. Although I understood his reasons for going to such efforts for me, I didn’t like hearing of the Council’s motives. “I think there was more to it than that. Whenever I hear of sith redeeming themselves, I know that there are many who actually reject the darkside than who are known. It’s always that great sith who turn back to the light are the ones who are recognized... those you’ve saved are only recognized through you.”

“What do you mean? I didn’t save you; you ultimately saved yourself.”

“What about your friend, Juhani? When she turned away from her own brush with the darkside, what happened after that?” I asked, hoping to get a better understanding of the other jedi who he traveled with.

“That is not something I discuss with others. You would have to ask her.”

“It’s not too intrusive; I just wondered if she had met as much hostility as I’ve encountered. How do I compare to others who’ve just fallen, but haven’t turned against the Order. What would I have to do to set myself apart from you?”

“What? You’re not making sense...” He held up his hands as if to gesture me to calm down. I was starting to get ahead of myself, so I shut up. “I don’t think anything about afterwards will make sense or help for the current situation. Whatever happens, I’ll not abandon you... just focus on the here and now, otherwise the future is irrelevant.”

“You’re right. I’ll not put more burdens upon you if I can avoid it.”

He closed his eyes as if agitated. “Just trust in yourself. Be honest with yourself and don’t lash out if they are wrong. Anger will only make it worse.”

I just cooperatively agreed and nodded. Then I nervously laughed to try and calm his doubts. “If anyone gets angry, it’ll be Vrook.”

He appreciated the joke, but clearly heard the emotion in my laugh and didn’t go along with it. I felt like a damned fool at that moment because I felt like I was already prepping myself for another failure... there was little confidence in my words and didn’t like escalating the tension, so I just stopped talking.

He stared at me as if to wonder why I was becoming such a nervous wreck. He didn’t seem to appreciate that it got more difficult for me each time I stood in front of the masters to hear them discuss my fate. If I had no control of the outcome, it would have been bad, but easy enough to accept. The fact that I had a limited degree of influence added an almost unbearable amount of stress that I had to deal with. He recognized that I needed to relieve some of it right then. “The Council won’t be in session for another few hours. You may want to relax before you see them again.”

“Alone I assume?”

He shrugged his shoulders again. “It is your hearing. I only stepped in so they couldn’t dismiss you again. The rest is up to you.”

I tried to smile to show confidence, but I was not sure if the Council didn’t truly intend to change the original verdict from the one on Dantooine. I just tried not to show how nervous I was. Trevelyan was a strong influence, but the Council rarely changed their judgment without good reason... I only hoped that Trevelyan’s endorsement was enough to do that.


With about three hours before my fate would have again been determined, Trevelyan took me to see the performance of some music group. I had little interest in music, but he insisted that I come along. I was flattered at simply sharing his company, so I gladly came along.

Couriscant was rumored to have a theater complex for every planet in the Republic near the Republic Capital city state. The representatives of all the separate planets agglomerated within a ring 100 kilometers wide with the Supreme Senate chamber in the center of it all.

The Ring of the Senate stood out from the rest of the planet because there were no buildings less than 100 stories. There were no corridors for transportation tramways or monorails separating the structures like an ordinary city. All movement within that 100 kilometer-wide skyscraper was underground or rail lines tunneled through the buildings with floors stacked upon any open corridors.

The architecture of this urban space was unlike any other on the planet. Instead of skyscrapers standing next to each other with a transportation line directing speeders and monorails at the ground, every tower was built into the ones surrounding it. Transportation lines were actually built through each tower, creating an elaborate network of roads intertwined with elevators and tunnels that seem like subways which are actually suspended 500 meters above the natural ground.

I originally feared that Trevelyan intended to go into that impossibly complex maze of towers, but the monorail we were on simply took us around the perimeter of the ring and to a much simpler collection of towers that were not designed to pack as many people within as little space as possible. It was a beautiful pattern of buildings made to be seen from the outside. It was were that music group was performing.

Shortly before leaving the monorail train, Trevelyan said that Mission and Zalbar had see the band on Taris and were one of the few to escape its destruction. “Keep your eyes out for them.”

“Wait... we are meeting them here? Why not at the Enclave?” I asked.

“We know where to meet. This city is easy to get lost in if you don’t know your way around. If you know where you want to go, then no problems should keep you from your destination. We are here and so will they. Just wait a few minutes.”

“Couriscant is impossibly difficult to get around. How do you knew all this?”

He pulled out a padd. “Just need to program a navigation tablet and it will tell you the name of the trams, elevators, and maps out the floorplan of the building you want. It’s easy enough to learn if you follow the directions properly... it’s all automated.” Then I saw him put the tablet in his pocket. “They’re here.”

I looked up to see the wookie and Mission among a crowd coming in our direction. “This place is amazing! It’s like the upper levels of Taris without the rich snots everywhere looking down upon us. Not everything is breathtaking, but it’s nice to see aliens not being shunned all the time.”

Trevelyan smiled at them and tried to respond, but the wookie roared before he could speak. [I remember the urban jungle of Taris... it was so filthy and artificial. This world is so much cleaner and the inhabitants tolerant to us... I might have enjoyed living here during my Exile.]

Trevelyan nodded at the wookie. “You could live here if you like, but I know you would like to return to Kassyk... it is your choice.”

[No. I honor my debts. Where you go, I will follow]

“Excuse me, but what’s going on?” I asked.

Mission answered. “Big ‘Z’ swore a life debt to Alec and they’ve been debating the issue ever since...”

‘Big ‘Z’’ roared at Mission, but directed his gaze upon me. [What I do with my life doesn’t concern you, Mission! Don’t speak of it again!]

She fearlessly defended her position; something I would not have done with a wookie. She was either braver or more foolish than Trevelyan. “Hey! You may not owe me your life, but I think that I deserve some consideration. Wherever you are, I’ll stick with you; but you don’t seem to notice I’ve been there with you through thick and thin. Doesn’t it matter?”

[I’ve proven that you matter, Mission. Many times, I’ve protected you when I told you not come with us. Don’t tell me that I don’t care about you!]

That seemed to impact Trevelyan more greatly than Mission. “Zalbar! You swore a life debt, yet when you know I would not accept your sacrifice... and I don’t want to risk losing either of you. I do not doubt your intentions, but please accept that I don’t want my friends to be in harm’s way needlessly. Whether you like it or not Zalbar, Mission is going to be between you and the ones pointing disruptors at me. Instead of you both being in their scopes, why not just let me handle myself and not have to worry about either of you?”

Zalbar looked at Mission for a moment before glancing at me and then addressing Trevelyan again. [I would, but I fear that you will keep taking foolish risks and will not be killed by the ones in front of you. At least if I stood behind, I would block you from the guns you don’t see.]

My jaw dropped at the implication. I was so enraged by being referred to in such a manner, but at the same time, I couldn’t deny that I had already acted like he had described. I couldn’t stand what he said, but knew he was right to suspect me.

Trevelyan had stepped between me and Zalbar, but I didn’t intend to prove him right about me. Mission had stepped away from the two and feared that I was going to go berserk again, but knew enough to not get involved in what she couldn’t handle. Her expression was more in fear of an imminent disaster than of me striking at her.

Trevelyan had his back to the wookie, but kept his eyes so that he had both Mission and I in view. “Don’t... say that... again. I will not have you with me if you provoke my other friends.”

[She’s...]

“Shut up! Not another word!” He shouted, desperate to keep him from escalating the incident further.

I was not so angry as he imagined... I guess that the truth left me more ashamed than angry. “It’s alright. He’s just trying to protect you.”

“I’m protecting him!” He shouted back to Zalbar. “I don’t want you to have to keep track of everyone around me! Why do I have to keep managing adults who can’t simply handle themselves, but expect me to solve their petty problems without so much as asking me before hand?!” He shouted in a rage I have not seen before. Although he was trying to avoid an incident, Trevelyan ended up acting like the sith and it stunned me to see such an outburst much like... unlike what I’ve come to expect from him.

He was fairly quick to realize that he was the one overreacting and Mission soon drew back in fear of her friend while I just stood in disbelief and guilt of causing him such stress. I didn’t know if I felt worse about what happened on Korriban or what was happening while I had been trying to make amends for that sin.

He was quick to calm himself, but soon turned to Mission and then to me to show an expression free of emotion. I knew as well as her that Trevelyan meant what he said and was simply hiding his feelings, but they were still there. I leaned myself to one side to get in eye contact with Zalbar and did something very cruel... I tried to reap false sympathy. “Don’t worry about Trevelyan, Zalbar... I couldn’t kill him even if his back were to me.”

Without hesitating, I turned around and left the three of them behind. Before he could stop me, I made a jump of about 20 meters to the monorail platform above us. That leap was unexpected and coordinated so I could get through the hatch of one of the trains before he could catch me. Although the area was crowded with people, I only ran over one Ithorian in those five seconds before the train was on the move again.

I didn’t know where the train was going to stop, but it didn’t matter as long as I was not followed. I wanted to leave Trevelyan feeling guilty so that the next time, he won’t be so hostile. I was not emotionally torn, so it was a cruel thing for leaving them behind with the fear that I was out there raising hell. More likely, Trevelyan was afraid that I had lost all control of my emotion and would search for me. I was just interested in leaving a bad situation so it wouldn’t get worse, so I removed my presence. His friends were also glad I was gone.

After a few hours of getting on and off trains, I eventually found the right one that lead back to the temple. It was not a complete waste of time though. It was fairly enjoyable to ride on the systems and watch the magnificent buildings as we rode through the intricate web of tracks that lead to almost everywhere on the planet. When I reached the right station, I felt much better than before I left the temple in the first place. By that time, I had already been late for my meeting with the Council. Trevelyan said it was my meeting, so I went there right away.


After rushing into the Council chamber fifteen minutes late, they were already discussing another matter went silent once I stepped into the room. Instead of being nervous, I was relieved after the rush to get back.

For nearly a moment of just staring, Master Vrook made the first statement. “You were meant to report here at 13:00 hours. If you can’t take this seriously, then why should we have this hearing?”

“I just missed a train. The transportation systems is complex... I would have been here on time.” I responded.

Master Vash spoke next. “We would have appreciated it if you contacted us to say you would be late.”

“I will next time.”

Vrook added. “If there is a next time.”

Vash objected to that. “I want this to be a civil and fair trial. Yuthura Ban, do you know why you are here?”

“There are many reasons why I am here. I know then all, but will need you to iterate the most relevant issues.”

Kavar stood up. “Yuthura; according to our records, you were discovered by the jedi at the age of fifteen and accepted for training by the authority of Masters Kolchak, Vandar, Vrook, and Dorak. Accepted by Master Alfred Kolchak to start your training under his guidance. For two years, your progress had been exemplary. Over the course of your third year, you’ve been disciplined 9 times for misbehavior and put on report twice for acting out violently towards fellow students.” He tossed the pad down on a table in front of him. “We do not have any records beyond that which would constitute a criminal act. Would you tell us of what has happened in the last five years since then?”

“What do you want to know exactly?”

Atris spoke. “It is time for you to admit to the atrocities you’ve committed since you defected to the sith.”

Vandar objected. “Atris...” Then he turned to me. “It is important that we know of your crimes, Yuthura. Much of what we know of the sith is only rumor, so we will not assume anything without confirmation from a reliable source.”

“What good would that do?”

Vrook stood up. “You have asked forgiveness from the Order... we want to know for exactly what you are asking forgiveness.”

I sighed in depression. “I abandoned the jedi so many years ago. I want to return and I’m willing to do whatever is required for acceptance. Just tell me what you demand of me and I’ll do it.”

Atris injected more false truth. “She won’t even admit to her crimes. I think that she simply was too weak to be a sith and cowered away when it was convenient. She’ll just do so again and not look back.”

I just let the lie roll off my back. The Masters just stared at me as though to study the one standing before them. I hated the uncomfortable silence that followed, but I couldn’t think of anything to break it except for a petty complaint. “Why do any of you think you have the right to judge me? I haven’t directly offended any of you.”

Vrook was quick to oppose that statement. “You lashed out at Atris the last time you were before us. You taught our own padawans to turn against everything that we were trying to protect. How can you say that you haven’t offended the Order?”

Master Kavar stood up to get everyone’s attention. “That’s taking it too far, Lamar. I believe she has a valid position here.”

“Haven’t you been listening?! This isn’t someone who simply failed, but went against our teachings! And what’s worse... she’s spread her own that were directly the opposite of the jedi. And through her students, countless others have been affected!”

I was getting upset by how greatly Vrook had stretched the truth, but Kavar actively put those accusations back in check. His willingness to listen was greatly valued and gave me some comfort. “You cannot hold a master responsible for the acts of their students. As for her influence on the Order...” Then he walked up to Vrook and spoke personally. “Anyone who turned to the sith chose their own fate. Coming before us to face judgment should be proof enough of what she says.”

Those words were not meant for my ears, but they almost made my heart soar. It mattered so much to know that at least one of them believed me and that he stood up to Vrook... it made me feel like I was not alone.

Vrook looked at Kavar as though he were an ignorant child who was not aware of how the galaxy worked or that there would always be injustice that they can’t correct. After a short moment, Vrook spoke something to Kavar through the force. I couldn’t read what was said, but I could get an approximate idea of what the thought was about. I believed it was a warning to Kavar as though he were doing something against his better judgment in order to achieve a greater good.

I could only approximate what was exchanged... Vrook was way too difficult to read, but Kavar’s mind was a bit more open. Describing how one spoke through the force was hard to compare to a physical sense, but like an actual whisper, the force had subtle tones that a skilled user could read. Unfortunately, it also left great uncertainty if I had misread the little signs that might not have had anything to do with greater ones.

For nearly thirty seconds of Vrook and Kavar standing up to each other in silence, eventually Kavar nodded slightly and withdrew back to his seat. I found it strange in the way Kavar turned around so that he didn’t face me directly until after he sat back down. That whole silent exchange between the two seemed to reveal nothing, but at the same time opened so much more than I ever considered.

When Kavar stood up, it seemed to cause great concern for the others. They didn’t show it, but I could tell that they didn’t appreciate that Kavar defended me like that. Because I couldn’t be sure of anything that I couldn’t understand for certain, I didn’t know if the Council was seriously considering me or if they simply had something they didn’t want me to know. Even if they did know something, it might or might not have related to me. I just couldn’t know.

After Kavar sat down, I felt like asking, but knew that Vrook certainly wouldn’t have spoken through the force if he didn’t want me to know. And if I had asked, he would have just told me what he wanted me to know. Instead, I tried to continue telling them why I wanted to return and hoped it mattered. “I don’t know why it is so difficult for you believe my intentions. Master Kavar said my presence shows my sincerity and he’s right. If I simply wanted to escape the sith, then what Atris said was correct, but it doesn’t explain why I returned here though. I may have had no where else to go, but I just...” I felt that I was loosing face by spouting off, but I felt I had nothing else left to say but what I really wanted above all else. “It was because of my anger that I was able to escape my life from Sleheyron. I could never have survived that horrible world if it weren’t for my anger and hate... it was what I always relied upon. It... hurts too much to keep burying my pain with anger.” I released an exhausted sigh and shrugged my shoulders as if to display how pitiful and misguided I felt. “I don’t care about strength and power and victory anymore... I just want to be free of all that.”

Master Vandar had his head down, but perked up when he heard me admit that. “You are not the only one who has to face such challenges, Yuthura. We had offered to help you before, but you rejected us. Now we must see to others.”

Where I had hoped for sympathy, I got none. Before I could fall into despair, I was given a glimmer of hope... something chimed within the room and Master Vrook tapped on an electronic pad in the right arm of his seat. He answered in an extremely grouchy tone “We’re in the middle of something... what is it?”

I head over an intercom a voice, but couldn’t make anything out.

Vrook looked extremely agitated. “Late, but yes, she’s here. And tell him that she has been behaving.” I lifted my head at realizing that I had left Trevelyan not knowing whether I was going to be all right. I felt a little better to hear him calling to check that I had not thrown away my future and missed my meeting with the Council. Vrook kept talking. “I thought he was scheduled at least an hour from now.” He listened to the person on the other end again and became even more irritated. “Then we’ll see him now. Show him in.” He looked at me. “We’ve got an ambassador who’s moved up his time-schedule. We’ll have to deliberate on this decision later. You’re dismissed.”

I didn’t understand how I fit in to that ambassador’s mind. “Why did he ask about me?”

Vrook leaned back as if to wonder why anyone considered me important. “That was Revan showing him in... he just wanted to know if you were given a fair trail before bringing him before us.” He waved his hand for me to leave. “We’ll deliberate on this later... leave us.”

Last edited by Darth_Yuthura; 09-30-2008 at 11:55 AM. Reason: Original Chapter Insertion.
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:18 AM   #21
HIGH ON PIE 14
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Wow that was great! Dont worry about there being no hack and slash action yet. You are introducing the characters and their opinions and thoughts quite well. I'm enjoying every minute of it. Keep up the excellent work. I am really looking forward to more!

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Old 05-29-2008, 04:43 PM   #22
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Chapter 9: A Slobberingly Drunk Twi'lek

The Republic consisted of more sentient species than I could ever count. This ambassador Vrook spoke of was one such species that I couldn’t Identify... a small, furry creature that was nothing like I expected. The majority of aliens that made up the Republic Senate were either humanoid or so strange that twi-leks seemed ‘normal.’ This creature was about the size of gizka and didn’t look like an intelligent being at all. S/he was cute, but I couldn’t let myself stare.

S/he didn’t appreciate me as much because I was just like the majority of the bipedal species that made up the Republic. A little ‘bunny-cat’ didn’t appreciate the presence of giants like we appreciated small animals of which we could hold and stroke. I knew better than to treat him in such a way; his bodyguards would not have allowed me near.

I had walked halfway through the tunnel to leave the Council Chamber when s/he came through the door on the other side. I did what I haven’t done in years... step aside for a non-force user. I’ve yielded to more powerful individuals because they were obviously not intimidated by me. Everyone else refused to get in my way because that’s it was natural to get out of a sith’s way rather than risk being disrespectful. Republic ambassadors didn’t do that for some reason and I knew not to assume otherwise.

The ambassador seemed less afraid than his bodyguards as he galloped by and the two humans kept their eyes on me uncomfortably hoping that they weren’t expected to stand up against a jedi in their own temple. Even after I had passed them in the hallway, they kept watching me.

After I reached the door on the other side of the chamber, I expected the liberty to let go of my emotional control, away from prying eyes. I wasn’t that glad to see Trevelyan waiting for me outside. Likely, he only used the ‘escorting the ambassador’ excuse so it appeared that he just happened to be there after I left the Council Chamber. Instead of making it explicit that he wanted to be there for me, he wanted to be in my path so that I could not ignore his presence... it was a defensive move that I understood very well. Whether you confronted an enemy or a friend, it was best to let them make the first move so that you could read their psychology and adjust to them.

I knew that he was just concerned and didn’t want to ask me anything directly, but I wasn’t going to be played like that again. I looked directly at him, but walked passed without a word. He didn’t appreciate being ignored. “What’s wrong?” He grabbed my shoulder just firm enough to silently order me to stop. “What happened?!” He said with some concern and frustration.

After that, I just stood still and didn’t turn around. “I thought that you didn’t want to have to manage me anymore. You have your own problems to deal with... don’t worry about me.”

He pulled me completely around by the shoulder and seemed to take my words as though I had admitted defeat. “What did they declare? Don’t tell me they rejected you again!”

I fought the urge to hold onto a false hope, but I held myself together to keep his in tact. “They didn’t make their final verdict. I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Well I feel that I have a right to know. I didn’t get any bad impressions from Vrook, so I want to know why you assume the worst.”

I stared at him for a while and decided that he was more important to save than I, so I declined his help to keep his fate autonomous from mine. “Stop trying to protect me. You’ve committed more for me than I ever deserved and I can’t escape what I’ve done... what I chose to do. I’m not going to hide in your shadow any longer.”

“You’re not hiding...”

“Then what the hell are you doing?! Ever since you entered my life, you’ve detracted me of all responsibility... I can’t do that anymore and neither can you!” I pleaded.

He was very saddened to hear me admit that I’ve become dependent on him ever since we met. All that I ever did that resembled a jedi was speak like one. I have not once had to prove that I was willing to stand up for the responsibilities of my actions. He had to leave me to my fate... for my own sake.


After nearly two hours of preparing for my impending exile, Trevelyan came by my quarters. Since I didn’t answer the Council when they called me for their final verdict, they contacted him instead. Although he wanted to be with me for the time during their deliberations, I wanted to get drunk more than anything else. The stress of the last few days was just too great for me to handle without alcohol.

After all that I’ve been through, I was not concerned anymore with the consequences that would come. The temple had a few bottles in store for its guests, so I just stole a bottle of black ale and didn’t bother with a glass. It was inevitable that I would hit the floor and not rise again.

When I woke up, I was still drowned and almost completely incoherent as he leaned over me. I didn’t remember inviting anyone, but he had become more concerned the more I smiled at him drunkenly. “D’you know that Master Uthar said that I was the most exciting woman he’s ever known? I think that’s the reason he made me his apprentice... no one would have rolled around in bed with him willingly. He was so pompous.”

“I guess you were right when you said I was foolish to try and save you. The moment I leave you alone, you get so slobbering drunk...!”

I lifted my head to make eye contact. “It didn’t matter anymore. I tried to be what you wanted, but they wouldn’t let me... they hate me...”

He held his hand behind the back of my head. “They don’t hate you...”

I shouted. “They hate me! They wanted me to lash out so they could kill me... they wanted me dead, but couldn’t execute me, so they wanted me to strike at them first.” I smiled drunkenly and proudly. “And I wouldn’t!”

“That’s right, you didn’t. That’s because you knew it was what you needed to do in order to return. You restrained yourself as I knew you could.”

“And it was all for nothing. I’m sorry, but I’m not as strong as you think.” I paused for a moment. “I don’t want to go through all that again. It’s over.”

He kept his eyes on me as though not shaken by any of that. “It’s not over. The choice to go on has been yours ever since I acted on your behalf. When the Council came to their final judgment, I told them that if they didn’t find you worthy, that I no longer wanted to be a jedi.”

I didn’t like where that was going.

“I threw my lightsaber on the floor in front of them and told them that I wouldn’t take it back until they accepted you.”

I closed my eyes and let my head hit the floor. After another sigh of exhaustion, I whispered back. “Still trying to protect me... even when I say not to. You’re a better jedi than I could ever be. I hate you... I hate how great you are... both as a sith and as a jedi. Nothing I’ve ever done has measured up to what you do as easily as breathing does to me.”

“You’re drunk. I should just let you rest and I’ll come back later. I’ll carry you to the bed.”

“No. I’m telling you truth. You don’t think... you just act for what you believe is right. The Council can’t stand how you set the standard that much higher for them. You are the reason why I came back... I owed it to you. Every time you sacrificed for me, I knew I had to be willing to give that much more in return. I don’t want any more escapes.”

He put his hand behind my head again to make me acknowledge something. “The Council talk about becoming a jedi like it’s a desirable life... you’ve sacrificed everything to come here. You have the discipline and the commitment... now it’s time for you to learn peace.” He smiled joyously. “If you want to repay me, then become a great jedi. Be the best damn jedi there ever was.”

I couldn’t help but wonder if he believed that it was possible that I could surpass him as a jedi. He didn’t say ‘best I could become,’ but ‘ever.’ If I could have, I would have done anything he asked, but there was only so much I could give. I could never provide what he just asked, but I was so drunk that I promised exactly that. From that moment on, I had committed myself to a promise that I had no intent to break, but knew I could never fulfill. It seemed the most appropriate way to repay my debt to him, but that was likely to never happen because I could not imagine ever surpassing him... his dedication to the jedi seemed to go beyond insanity.

-------

It was only a matter of time before the intoxicants wore off. He waited with me in my quarters as he waited to hear from the Council that they would not risk losing one as important as him simply because they didn’t want to retrain me. He said that I couldn’t possibly have been dismissed again because they couldn’t possibly have considered me too corrupted to risk losing the loyalty of the former Dark Lord. I guess that I was alright with that.

While I still had alcohol flowing through my system, he and I talked about some matters that I had never considered talking about. I was surprised how selfish I was to drop all my life’s problems upon him that I never heard spoke about his. Despite a lifetime of false memories, I wanted to know about how he came to be the person he was through that life.

He seemed flattered, but surprised that I asked. “Why would you like to know about my... past? Anything I could tell you never really happened.”

I smiled at him. “They’re real to you. I’d like to know how you came to be the man you are.” I rested my head upon my wrists almost like a child would at story time. “Come on. I told you almost everything of me. I’d like to know about where you came from.”

He chuckled and grinned before sitting on the chair next to me. “What have I to gain by it?”

I shrugged my shoulders. “If you wanted to, you could give in to your animal instincts. I don’t think you’ve ever been intimate with another, have you?”

He looked at me in shock, then understood that I was joking and we both laughed out loud. “How’d you come to that assumption?”

I stared at him as if we both knew why, but I said it anyway. “You’re memories were created by the Council. Could you see any of them...?”

We both let out another burst of intense laughter. “Yeah. I guess that I’m a virgin. That might not have applied to Revan, but I wouldn’t know.”

I rubbed his shoulders and around his neck. “I know that you’re not above that. If you want to, I’d be happy to...”

“No!” He said with no hesitation.

I pulled myself away in embarrassment. “It’s not like there is anything wrong with it. It’s not really that important or forbidden when you get down to it. It’s just a pleasant sensation that is only harmful if the other is coerced.”

He was seriously tempted, but still refused to do what he wanted. “Maybe. But I wouldn’t do it under the circumstances. I don’t want to needlessly do something foolish that would have lasting consequences.”

I shook my head as if to clear it of the thought. I was not thinking straight and it was not his way to just give in to his instincts. Maybe I was just more drunk than I realized. “I’m sorry, I guess that my mind is maladjusted.”

“Perhaps. I just want to try and get through this as smoothly as possible. Despite how it may seem, I don’t push the Council unless they leave me no other choice. Although they’re going to be stuck with you, you’ll have to keep yourself in check and avoid giving the Council a reason to turn you away again. Your former life as a sith... that’s over and you will have a chance to start over without having that held against your future.”

I couldn’t help but smile at hearing such great news. “Well whenever I slip away, I’ll have you there to stop me. That’s something you seem to do very well.”

He returned a very stern expression. “No. Once you’ve allowed back into the Order, you’ll have to abide to the conditions in which all jedi in training must follow. If you are committed, I will be there when you’re in trouble; otherwise, you will have to do whatever the Council demands.”

I was not expecting anything so... against what had been going on in the past few days. Ever since this began, Trevelyan had been defying the wishes of the Council. To hear him tell me to obey their wishes was a bit difficult to believe, myself. “And what if they’re wrong?”

He seemed to recognize that I asked a question with a difficult answer. “Sometimes, the greatest victory is a battle not fought, but don’t get into fights you’re not likely to win. I stood against the Council only because I knew they were wrong... I wouldn’t have been much of a friend or Jedi if I let them exile you when I knew there was something I could have done to prevent it. If you go out and do something to provoke them, then you’ll be on your own.”

My head felt much clearer than it was before. It had been about five hours since I downed that bottle of black ale and the intoxicants have mostly worn off. I was still weak, but in a much better mental state than before. “You know, I did ask about you and you never told me where you came from or what your life was like before the Jedi.” He and I had been facing each other, me sitting on my bed and he in the chair next to the table. “Were you raised on a world like Nar Shadaa, One of the Core Worlds, or was your life just as common as it could be?” I hunched over as if to gesture that I was listening to what he had to say.

He looked at me with great sadness and leaned his head towards the floor. “If you wish to know... I was born and raised on Coronet. I was from an upper class family who could provide a comfortable lifestyle. Throughout my childhood, I was unique... not special, but different from others of my age.”

“Describe your parents.”

He nodded. “Both were intelligent people. They sacrificed much for me and my sister. I respected my father in almost every way... he didn’t have a hard life, but he lived every day and taught me many of life’s most important lessons. My sister was much like him, but she was very selfish... I hated her for that. I was much like my mother. She and I were very smart, but we both had many bad habits and frequently had to follow my father’s example.” He paused for a moment. “At some point... I don’t know when... I came to realize that I wasn’t as significant to society as I once came to believe. After that, I couldn’t remain content to be just average... I wanted to be greater than myself and I knew that the only way I could was to use every opportunity I had for study and force myself to become my own worst critic.”

“How’d you come to joining the Republic fleet?”

He smiled. “I used to love war and weapons and the technology behind it all. As I got older, I came to realize that behind all the war, glory, and...” He sighed in disgust. “I was stupid to ever think in such a way, but I came to see that joining the military seemed the best way to force myself to become someone I could respect. I was qualified to become an officer and I felt I owed it to myself to do what it took to reach my fullest potential. I fought in the Mandalorian wars and was decorated for my courage 15 times.”

“Wow.”

He shook his head. “The battles didn’t really happen. The Council likely deposited several memories in order to train me before I ever stepped into the Academy.”

We stared at each other for a long moment. “How exactly is the Council going to accept me? Are they going to call me when they make their final verdict or what?”

“I don’t know. I was expecting that you and I would have been in front of the Council and that after they made their verdict, I would grandstand. I thought that throwing my lightsaber on the floor and saying that if you were not worthy, than neither was I... well it didn’t work out that way.”

“Then what should I do? Are they going to call me before them or is their decision already in effect?”

“I don’t know. I think that if we just wait, they will call you when it’s official.”

I stared into Trevelyan’s eyes for a long moment before realizing just how many times I owed my life to him. It was strange to me how another could care so much for me. Although strange, Trevelyan was not the first to make me feel like my life meant something. With all that has been going on in the last few days, memories of which I tried so hard to forget began to resurface.

It had been years since I had long forgotten the kindness of my former master, Alfred Kolchak. It seemed odd that I would have such reservations about remembering times before I became a sith, but happy memories were often tainted by the sense of loss. I knew that he was still alive and well, but I did not know if I would have wanted to start training with him again or if he would accept me back after what I’ve done.

I knew I was a coward, but I was not brave enough to face him and ask for his forgiveness. I did not want it from him and knew the only way to keep it that way was to either give him another reason to hate me, something that I didn’t want to do again, or never give him the opportunity to forgive me. It was a terrible thing to receive forgiveness because it made me feel inferior to the one offering it. Although I was, it didn’t mean that I wanted to keep reminding myself of it. I hurt him not just once, but many times... I did not want to do so again.

After letting my mind wander, Trevelyan brought me back to the moment. “I’m sorry, but I need to be leaving soon. I have an obligation that I need to keep and you seem to be alright now.”

I nodded subtly as I accepted that I must have inconvenienced him greatly with my drunkenness. “Go now. Go and save the Galaxy however you choose.”

Trevelyan smirked at the remark and stood up to leave. “Don’t you start that as well.”

“Start what?”

“Telling me that I can save the Galaxy. Although you meant it like a joke, I don’t want to keep hearing my name, ‘galaxy,’ and ‘save’ in the same sentence. I am not Revan and I don’t want everyone expecting nothing less than for me to save all life. Isn’t that a bit unreasonable to demand so much from a single person?” He walked to the doorway and stopped just after stepping into the hallway.

I followed him to say one last thing. “I wasn’t serious, but you do have the power to bring about change on a massive scale. You can do much if you wanted to.”

He stared as though acknowledging what was just said, but realizing the difficulties that come with such expectations. There was no denying that Revan had an enormous impact on the Galaxy, so Trevelyan’s potential was at least as great as his former self. I believe he was more concerned with the idea that he would forever be in the shadow of his former self unless he found a means to undo everything that Revan had set in motion. To escape that shadow, he had to surpass Revan.

In that moment, I saw something that seemed to torment him far greater than my past tormented me. I know exactly what I did as a sith and understood how I came to be the person that I was. Trevelyan likely had no idea what brought Revan to become the Dark Lord, but he knew that it happened once. Unlike me, he was left with only a clear outcome and a vague idea of how it happened in the first place. I knew how I became a sith and I knew how to keep it from happening again, but Trevelyan had no idea what could have caused him to become something so vile and no idea if there was anything he could do to stop history from repeating itself.

He nodded and smiled. “I’ll do my best. That’s about all we can do.” Then he stepped out of the doorway and it sealed itself behind him. The level of technological advance was clearly apparent by simply having an automatic door when a manual door on a hinge would be much more logical. Considering how Jedi try to stay away from advances in society, such as keeping traditional robes and architecture, they seem to upgrade the simplest, and often most unimportant, things like doors and comm. systems.

I was left alone again, but somehow, things didn’t seem as terrible as I dreaded. I felt safe for the first time in a long number of years because I knew that I had someone to turn to when I was struggling. There was never a time since the sith or on Sleheyron when I ever felt it was safe to have friends again. Omeesh went through slaves so fast that it was folly for me to get acquainted only to watch them break down or die.

Since then, I had shielded myself from others to assure that I would not suffer from losing loved ones ever again. Even on Dantooine, I never got close to anyone and was content to be ignored. The Sith... the reason was obvious. Now, after all that’s happened, I think I had finally realized that being alone was a worse fate. If there is nothing or no one worth losing, then what did I have other than myself? In the end, my fear of loss was what drove me to the sith, but only because I had nothing worth losing to begin with. Perhaps I can start off my new life right this time.

Last edited by Darth_Yuthura; 11-05-2008 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 05-29-2008, 05:49 PM   #23
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So Yuthura has been accepted back into the Order? I like how you describe the training grounds, the different obstacles. Little descriptions make the story just come alive, and I think that you have the skill to do that well. Great job with this chapter, and I am definately looking forward to more!

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Old 05-30-2008, 03:54 PM   #24
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Chapter 10: Forgiven

Despite getting a very restful sleep, I had another nightmare. Most often, my dreams were of Sleheyron and Omeesh, but the last few nights involved Trevelyan, and my old master. The latest dream was more unpleasant than frightening.

I was on Korriban and Alfred had come with me to the sith. At some point, I realized he was gone, but did not turn back to find him because there were Sith who stood between us. Only when I needed him was willing to go back, but when I turned around, all the Sith were already dead and he had left me alone. Near the end of the dream, I realized that he left me behind only because I did not follow him out of that place. If I had simply left him, I could have left that life behind by simply following him out.

The dream had been interrupted by the sound of my doorbell. I sat up, almost gasping for breath, and needed a moment to realize where I was. After the second ring, I shouted instead of using the comm. “Just a moment! I’ll be right there!”

I jumped out of bed and fell to my knee as I did not have enough blood flowing to my brain to avoid a blackout. I had lost almost 10 kilograms when I fell into that hibernation trance on Korriban and was still physically weakened. I was only starting to feel the effects of starvation, which happened only when I sprung into action after being inert for a long period of time.

Starvation was something I was used to, but rarely did I become dangerously underweight, so it was a surprise for me to black out like that. A few seconds later, I was fully aware again and rushed to dress myself before I answered the door.

It was Belaya, from Dantooine. We knew each other, but were not friends in any degree. “Master Zhar wants you to report to him... now. I am to escort you there.”

“Okay... why did he not contact me? Why send an escort?”

“The Council had gone out of its way to fit you into their schedule and they can’t afford to be burdened further. The least you could have done was attend when you were summoned. Since you apparently can’t keep a deadline, Master Zhar wanted me to ensure that you meet this one. Now come with me.”

I nodded and did as I was told.

-----


I was surprised to see Beyala at first, but knew that not all the Jedi that I knew from Dantooine were killed in the attack. Odds were that most had circulated in and out of the enclave over the years. That and the fact that only one of the Council on Dantooine perished gave me an idea of how many survived the attack. I never actually checked the number of confirmed dead, but assumed the casualties must have been fairly low based on those four who would hardly qualify for an accurate sample.

It was odd that I assumed so much with such little to base that on. I knew that the number could be as little as one, but there could have been dozens of lives lost in that attack. I felt I needed to know just how much of my past life on Dantooine remained, so I readied a question for Belaya, but she turned her head around to face me before I could ask. “Thinking of Dantooine?”

I was not usually one to appreciate having my mind invaded by another, but I was more concerned that I left myself open than that she chose to read my thoughts. “Invading another’s mind is not the kind of thing I would expect from a Jedi.”

“I didn’t have to. You’re thoughts were very apparent.”

“Actually, I was wondering just how many were lost in the attack. How many were there when it happened?”

She kept walking in front of me, but kept her head turned to keep an eye on me. “Since five years ago, the academy’s numbers had dwindled to less than half of what it was before the Sith. Thirty-seven Masters, Knights, and Padawans were killed... my master was one of them.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

She turned her head forward again. “I don’t want pity from you. ‘Sorry’ doesn’t mean anything unless there is a reason to have remorse.”

I sensed latent anger within her that was apparent both through the force and the tone in her voice. Beleya had a grudge against me that seemed more profound than simple predjudice of a sith. “What do you mean by that?” I said very commandingly.

She turned back to face me. “You were on Dantooine for only a few hours and right after you leave, the Enclave is bombarded by a Sith battleship. Doesn’t that seem the least bit suspicious?”

“Are you saying I had something to do with that?!” I shouted in anger.

“It’s obvious that it was you. You knew about the location of the ‘secret’ academy. You have already proven your loyalty to the Sith...”

“Yeah.. me and about a hundred others that became Sith! Malak knew of the facility... and he was the Dark Lord for god’s sake! What could I ‘possibly’ have been able to reveal that wasn’t already known?!” I got right in her face to emphasize my next point. “Even If could have; it also doesn’t explain why I keep coming back and making the same request I did the first time!”

“I think that you wanted to return, but when you were denied, you went back to the Sith. Before you did, you wanted to prove something to the Jedi... and you helped them counter our defenses.” She frowned at me with such anger and hate that it intimidated me. “Your ship was allowed to come through Dantooine’s checkpoints when others would have stopped. I think that you opened up the window for that enemy vessel to get through and take us by surprise. However they got through, you cannot deny that you are the most likely suspect of that massacre.”

I was about to object to the accusation, but knew that she had a valid concern. I knew that it was a fantastic coincidence that the attack happened right after I departed. I also couldn’t deny that it was rare for a Sith to ever turn back to Jedi, so I would also have been a remarkable coincidence stacked on top of that as well. Even I couldn’t help but recognize the circumstances.

I replied very meekly. “I suppose so. Maybe it was why they wouldn’t accept me, but that subject never came up until you told me just now.”

She looked at me as though I were not serious. “I find ‘that’ hard to believe.”

“It’s a fact. I never even considered that they thought I took part in that attack.”

She sighed in disappointment. “All they have are suspicions... not proof, but they’re still investigating how the Sith got through undetected. The truth ‘will’ be found.” Then she turned around again to continue leading me to Master Zhar... wherever he was.

Although I hated the accusation I was just given, I did not want to keep talking on the matter. I knew I was not responsible for anything, so there was no need to worry or defend myself. Belaya and I were never on good terms and it didn’t matter much to me what she believed. The loss of her master also must have lead her to cast blame on someone more specific than the sith. I knew what it was like to concentrate anger on a single tormentor because it was easier to hate an individual than an entire society. If it gave her some peace to hate me, then I did not have any problem as long as she did it silently. If she just left me alone, then Belaya could regard me however she wanted and it would not bother me.

-----

After we reached a hallway crammed with offices, I had an interesting perception of Zhar, not as a master perched in the High Council Chamber, instructing students, or mediating conflicts personally; but doing paperwork and reading through reports like a beaurocrat.

He had an office that was decorated with datapadds almost everywhere. The way in which they were neatly stacked gave his space an almost artistic look rather than just clutter on his desk and walls. The wall right next to his desk was wallpapered with pads in an interesting system that allowed for much greater organization with much less floorspace devoted to over a hundred of the pesky things.

There were a few actual decorations in the office, but the stacked pads on the floor next to his desk made for an interesting decoration as well. They were arranged in a rack that resembled one of Couriscant’s tallest towers. That tower had a 9-tube structure that dropped two at each of the building’s skylobbies. The rack in itself was a decoration of a sort, but it provided another system of order to hundreds of them. The ‘datapadd tower’ almost reached from the floor to the ceiling.

Master Vash was in the office with Zhar, but wasn’t sitting in a chair. When Belaya and I were at the doorway, she turned to greet us, or rather me mockingly. “You’re right on time. It’s good to see how punctual and committed you are.” I was not in a position to talk back, so I just let the sarcasm go. Before I could apologize, Vash faced only me. “Why do you expect us to take you seriously if you don’t take us seriously?”

“I... thought that... what’s going on?”

Vash looked irritated as she closed her eyes and turned away. Before answering, she told Belaya that she could leave. I suppose that she was only to assure I was brought here on time.

Master Vash paced in front of me, arms crossed and her head down. “I didn’t expect that you would just... forget a meeting with the High Council and be late for another when your future was at stake. Why should we believe that you really want to return to us if you don’t fulfill the most basic demands we asked of you?”

“I thought that you had already made your decision and that I was going to be rejected. If I had known that... it would have mattered...” I was frustrated because I still had no idea if the decision had been made. “Why have you summoned me here now?”

Master Zhar got out of his seat and stood next to Master Vash. “Yuthura Ban, the Council does not approve of your rebellious behavior during the course of this debate, but after further deliberations, we have concluded that the crimes you committed as a Sith were beyond our jurisdiction. Although they likely include murder, torture, and indifference to life; we do not have any proof of such crimes.”

Master Vash continued. “Your request to resume your training is granted. By the authority of the Council, you are assigned to Master Zhar.” She faced him. “You will follow his instructions and show him the proper respect of any padawan to a master. If you should defy him or the Order again, we will terminate your training permanently. Do you understand the terms I have given?”

“Yes... and thank-you.” I said sincerely and with a bow.

They both returned the bow and Master Vash bowed again to Zhar. “I’ll take my leave now. Good luck... to both of you.”

I found it odd that she used that word and that Master Zhar didn’t correct her. Luck was one of the few things that the Jedi and I agreed with. There was no power outside the Force influencing the law of probability, but I appreciated the sentiment. Vash then turned to leave the room without saying another word.

I and Master Zhar were both of the same species, but looking at him was very odd at that moment. It was as if looking at a mirror of everything opposite of myself, except what seemed most apparent to others. He likely was studied me in the same way, but likely wondered if I were the same foolish girl he once knew. Despite my pale flesh and tattoos, I think that Zhar had more sympathy for me because he understood how terrible my life had been since the last time we saw each other. Despite my crimes, he knew that I was more fragile than before the Sith.

He recognized that not only would I have to face my past, but that I would still be treated as an outcast among a society that emphasized mutual dependence. I hadn’t made many friends the last time I trained, but at least I could have been ignored. It would have been difficult with everyone knowing what I’ve done. I didn’t know whether I or not I should’ve tried making friends, given that no one would accept me.

Master Zhar and I stared at each other for a rather long moment, but I broke the silence. “So what happens now?”

“The circumstances here are extraordinary. You are technically proficient with the force, but are not at peace. That may seem a simple thing to correct, but it would mean having to leave behind the passion you’ve depended on for... a long time.”

“Have you ever done this before... freed a Dark Jedi from their passion?”

“It will be up to you for that to happen, but you must have the proper discipline and patience. You will be facing the same challenges as before under more difficult conditions. The reason the Jedi do not train adults is because their beliefs are so engrained that they are not open to the ways of the Jedi. You were not a suitable candidate because your beliefs were of the extreme opposite end of the scale.”

“I don’t consider my drive to fight slavery to be a very... Sith belief.”

“Your anger led you to become one of them.”

I shook my head. “My anger came from your inaction. If the Jedi gave a damn for those most in need of help, I would not have had reason for anger.”

“Already you are in denial. If you cannot accept what has happened, then you cannot change and grow.”

I crossed my arms. “I think the fact I left the sith would be proof enough that I have maintained an open mind, not to mention my compassion. Surely that’s proof enough that you’re wrong.”

Zhar retorted. “This is not in dispute! You asked to be retrained and your request has been granted. If you wish to become a Jedi, you must abide by the terms I give. Do I make myself clear?!”

I was startled at his outburst... for lack of a better word. I suppose he just wanted to grab my attention. I had not imagined a Council member, other than Vrook, to get angry in an instant. He did have a valid point though; I fell to the darkside and he stayed true to the light. He knew better than me what to do, so I nodded. “Yes, Master Zhar.”

“Then we’ll begin immediately.”

-----

Zhar led me to a large chamber where padawans would practice manipulating objects with the force. Within the massive, open room, there were various stations throughout designed to test specific attributes of levitation. Other chambers had more specialized equipment that tested rather dangerous force abilities, such as lightning and force repulse. Such tests could only be done alone, so they had their own designated areas. Unless a padawan were to be malicious, there was little chance of injury due to ineptitude.

One station had vats filled with sand, beads, and other assortments of objects. This was used to practice levitating a great number of tiny particles. The sand served to practice using the force as a mold... creating great sand sculptures that were otherwise impossible to build.

Alfred once had me create a kath hound out of sand and then animate it. Holding millions of grains of sand into a sculpture was hard enough, but making it come alive... some masters couldn’t make a convincing tentacle out of sand. Such skills were of little practical use because sand was much better to use in conjunction to a force whirlwind.

Another station had a table covered with lightsaber components. This was used to train Jedi to take apart and rebuild a saber quickly. It was a very useful skill to have if it’s damaged and you happen to have a replacement part on you. Of course, few Jedi ever carry spare parts, but you never know. My record was 15 seconds to replace a focusing crystal, but I had a very simple lightsaber design.

The most sophisticated of the stations was a large metal sphere attached to a tether. This was used to measure how much raw force a Jedi could exert on an object. I have never levitated more than 20 metric tons, which was about what an average Jedi could perform. When angry, I could lift almost twice that.

There were rumors that Master Vrook had lifted a 50-ton fighter during one of his missions. But he has never demonstrated such a feat, so I’m sure it was just a rumor.

I also saw a few dozen rocks that appeared to fit together, forming... something. It was like a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle which required all the pieces to be held together as while putting the next one into place.

My test on Dantooine involved an array of glass plates that I destroyed in anger. “You broke them, you will fix them” was what Master Kolchak told me. It was bad enough to put one object back together, but to separate the pieces from five other plates was much more difficult. I never did complete that task.

The last station was where Master Zhar took me. This was where Jedi trained themselves to use the Force in enhancing their physical abilities, such as jumping and running. There were various levels, outcrops, and ledges to practice jumping and landing. Surrounding the station was a 100-meter track where a Jedi could accurately measure how fast she can run.

I don’t know why I was taken to this training room. I already had a mastery of the Force. This place seemed too remedial, so I asked Zhar, “Why are we here? This facility is only used to train padawans in basic Force skills.”

Master Zhar explained, “In order to train you, I must first determine where you currently stand. Over the next two days, I will need to evaluate your current abilities. I then would know what you have learned in the last four years. That way, I wouldn’t have to teach lessons that you already know.”

“Even if I learned new skills from the Sith?”

“The teachings of the Jedi and Sith are similar. There is little purpose in teaching you what you already know. Are you ready to begin?”

I shrugged my shoulders. “What would you like me to do first?”

Last edited by Darth_Yuthura; 11-05-2008 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 05-31-2008, 05:20 PM   #25
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You did a good job with this conversation between Yuthura and Vrook. I'm glad she was able to keep her cool and stand up to that over-inflated windbag. A great addition to the work. Keep up the good work!



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Old 05-31-2008, 05:37 PM   #26
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I agree. We can tell that Yuthura has changed, and I think that that conversation between Yuthura & Vrook really showed Vrook that she has changed, and is serious. Another great chapter!

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Old 05-31-2008, 07:44 PM   #27
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Post Chapter 11: Jedi Training

Over the next two days, Master Zhar had me exercising my force abilities to their limits. He started by having me perform very general feats, such as the force jump and moved on to others that required extreme concentration. The healing trance was among the more difficult abilities he had me perform, but considering how little peace I had within me, I was fortunate to perform it at all.

I passed every test he subjected me to, but never mentioned how impressive some of my skills were. It almost seemed like he wanted me to fail his evaluation, but I had to remind myself that these exercises weren't to measure whether or not I mastered all the skills to become a jedi; it was only a test.

During one of our breaks, Zhar and I sat next to each other to talk about my performance. The subject soon changed and for the first time, he and I began speaking as people rather than a master to an apprentice.

“You instructed me for a time while I was on Dantoine. Could I ask what you thought of me during those years?”

“I don’t think you would like hearing it any more than I want to speak of my opinion.” He replied.

“I'd really like to know how I was like then. And It’s not like I’m going to react badly to the truth.”

He chuckled. “I've seen that temper of yours. So you'll understand if I decline to...”

“Please.” I said in a very gentle and sincere tone.

He stared at me for a moment and then nodded. “When you were first brought to Dantoine, you were actually a very suitable candidate for training... but the anger you harbored... that was different. How old were you when you were admitted?”

“I was told 15... well past the age of acceptance. I still don't know how I got in.”

He looked forward and collected his thoughts. “Would you be surprised to know that former slaves are among the most suitable candidates to become jedi?”

I looked at him. “That would surprise me, yes.”

He leaned forward and rested his elbows on his knees to rest his head upon his wrists. “Think of it... the jedi emphasize that we live for others... not for ourselves. Slaves are, in many ways, taught the same way. Most children have to be trained to think and act to believe that. We don't have to train freed slaves as significantly because they've already been through that.”

I leaned over to hold my head on my wrists like Zhar. “I never thought of it that way.”

I always assumed that slaves were the hardest individuals to find peace. I never considered that Omeesh may actually have been training me to be a better jedi... how very demeaning.

“There was something else that weighed in your favor.” He sighed. “Your former owner... I was told that he was especially cruel to you.”

I started blinking back tears from the pain of my memories. It was odd that no matter how much I knew of the cruelties I’ve witnessed, it was still painful to speak of them. “Omeesh... he enjoyed... hurting his slaves. He took pleasure in breaking young slaves and making them know that they belonged to him... life and soul. I was one of his favorites, so I was spared many of the cruelties that claimed the lives of others.” I raised my head as if to fully grasp how many like me had perished to that single worm. “Dozens, maybe a hundred individuals have had their lives snuffed out by him. Sentient beings like me... murdered.”

Zhar tried to draw my attention away from the sadness I was embarking upon. “It is best not to relive such memories. You should keep your mind focused on the present.”

“The present comes from our past. If we forget where we were, we lose track of who we are.”

“I meant that you should try to avoid thinking of Sleheyron. You have known only torment and pain from that place and there is no sense in remembering such things unless you want that to be part of you forever.” He suggested.

I leaned back against the wall and crossed my arms loosely and with little confidence. “That’s the thing. I don’t want to forget the injustices that have been done to me because I know that they’re still happening everywhere. Omeesh is dead and I had a life far greater than anything before that.” I sighed. “He’s dead and all who have hurt me are dead, but there are still so many like him who must be opposed. My anger is for the injustices that people like me suffered. I have been saved... they have not.”

“That is very much how you spoke before you turned to the sith. Anger is a destructive emotion and often causes more harm to the self as to the ones who wronged you.”

I looked over at Zhar and touched the scared areas of my face as if to remember the way I had let the darkside take its toll on me physically. The scared, pale skin was only a minor thing, but it was a physical testament to the destructive nature of the Darkside. The real wounds I felt came from within my soul, but were a part of me and could not be felt as easily.

Then I realized that Zhar could have told me better how he saw the Darkside taint my soul in the time before I became a sith. “Master Zhar... what was I like in those years before I left the Jedi? Was I always like I am now, or was there a time when I showed great promise?”

“I would not be the best judge of that. I could say what I’ve observed, but can’t vouch for much more than what I’ve seen you do.”

“Please tell me.” I gave him my undivided attention.

He paused for a moment, but sat back and began. “Despite your anger, you seemed to have all the characteristics of a Jedi. When you were accepted, it was like we didn't need to push you... you were driving yourself.”

“What changed?”

“After only...” He faced me. “How long did you train on Dantoine?”

I turned my head to recount. “About three years.”

“I remembered a time when it seemed you found peace with yourself. For the first two years, you seemed very content where you were.”

I chuckled. “After eight years on Sleheyron, anywhere would have been a paradise. But Dantooine was different... It was almost like everything that my old life was not. I felt... like I was important... valued. Before that, I was regarded as nothing to Omeesh.”

He started to look at me grimly. “I remember that there came a point several months before you departed when... that peace began slipping away from you.”

That caught my attention. “What do you mean?”

“You began to act more hostile and were more objective to what we were trying to teach you. That anger, which I thought had been extinguished, began to resurface. At the time, I thought it was just a phase, but it continued to swell. Was there an event that changed all that?”

I thought for a moment. “I think I was content with the jedi because I was glad to be away from Sleheyron. After a time, I think I began to feel guilty for those I left behind. I was ashamed that I had so much and they were forgotten.”

“For almost a year, I watched as you became more and more discontent with the Order. Master Kolchak once said it pained him to watch you lose a little peace every day. He knew that you were trying, but something was holding you back. I advised him not to restrain you... that it was something you had to do yourself.” He dropped his head in guilt. “Maybe that was a mistake.”

I was almost consumed by sadness. I didn't remember much of my fall to the darkside. I thought that it happened after I became a sith, but it was actually a slow process that began almost a year before I had left.

“Maybe there was no way around it. My anger was what allowed me to kill Omeesh and escape Sleheyron. It may be that I can never be free of it.” I faced Zhar. “Is that why you denied me when I returned?”

“There was more to it than that, but it doesn't matter anymore. You have been accepted and I'll do the best I can to help you, but you must be willing to forgot much of what you’ve learned or you can’t learn peace.”

I nodded. Then I was hit by a question that I never considered before. Zhar was a male twi’lek with beliefs almost opposite of mine when he was accepted into the Order. “One last thing... at what age were you accepted by the Jedi?”

“I was twelve.”

“Did you think and act like any twi'lek male by that age?”

Zhar chuckled and smiled at me. “I think I know what you're about to ask. When I was accepted into the Order, I was assigned to a female master.” We both laughed out loud. “She didn't take too kindly to the disrespect I gave her, so she told me that females were the dominant sex within the enclave.”

After laughing harder, I asked how he took it.

He kept laughing as well. “It wasn’t just a simple lie, she went so far as to tell all the women within the enclave to treat me with the same respect I would have given them. For about two weeks, I was treated exactly as I would have to a twi'lek female. I eventually learned the truth, but she said that if I ever showed another female the disrespect I showed her, I would be put through that again.”

I kept laughing. “Did it work?”

“I went through that ordeal a few more times, but yes.”

We laughed one more time before Zhar started staring at me. It surprised me, but he was smiling... I rarely see him smile. “What?” I finally asked.

He kept staring, but looked almost in awe of me. “You've changed so much in the last four years. I don't know if I could say it or not, but your experience with the sith... I think you’ve grown much in that time.”

“I suppose I had to see where my anger could lead before I could learn to let it go.”

He shook his head. “It's more than that. I think I understand why Revan fought so hard for you. Your experience with the dark side could make you a very wise Jedi.”

I can't believe I've earned Zhar's support as well. I must have had a dumb smile on my face, but it felt so good to know that I'm making progress on my road to redemption. Just hearing his praise was like music to my ears. Maybe the Council was not biased, but just judged me before they saw who I had become.

-----

At the end of the second day, I got into a heated shouting match with Zhar... this time was about my Force talent. I may have improved since before, but I was still far from perfect. According to him, I still relied on my passion to fuel the Force. To him, peace was the only way to master my emotions and myself. At some point, he asked me demonstrate what I could do with sand and I smiled in anticipation.

Although it's been years since I've even seen a kath hound, I remembered how hard I worked to properly create one for Master Kolchak. I waved my arm toward the and pulled out about 100 kilograms of sand, which was molded it into a body. From that body came a head, legs, and then a complete sculpture was made. It almost came naturally to me; I was amazed how much easier it was than the last time I did it.

Zhar took a close look at the sculpture. “Very impressive. Your ability to hold all these particles in their place is remarkable.”

It was not my intention to animate the sculpture, but as Zhar complimented my talent, I wanted to show off what I could do. The sculpture slowly began to mimic a real kath hound as I started to manipulate the sand with greater concentration. It almost came naturally for me to maintain the shape while moving the limbs and head. All those sand grains had to be held very delicately, but the sheer number of particles was extreme.

I squatted towards the sculpture and extended my arm to pet it. It behaved as I willed it, rubbing its head against my hand. It almost looked and acted like it had a life of its own, but its every action was controlled by me. It was taxing, but I wanted to show what I was capable of.

Zhar looked in awe at the animated sand creature. “Astonishing. I have seen few who have mastered a skill such as this. Creating and holding a shape with the force is difficult enough, but animating it requires extreme delicacy.” He took his attention off the sculpture and looked at me almost with pity. “But you are still relying on your passion to control it.”

“What difference does it make?”

He looked at me as if I asked an obvious question. “It always makes the difference.”

I lost my concentration and the kath hound fell apart. When I looked sadly upon the pile of sand, I felt as if I were struck down. “I showed you what I was capable of. You said, yourself, that you were impressed at what I could do. I did exactly what was asked of me. Don't complain about how it was done.”

“You wish to become a Jedi. For that to happen, you must learn to restrain your emotions. I know that it is difficult, but you must realize how important it is to be free of passion. That was why you were so vulnerable to the darkside.”

A surge of anger erupted at hearing him speaking of something he didn't understand. I hissed at him. “Considering what I've turned away from, you are in no position to judge me!”

He replied very calmly, “I'm not judging you... I'm simply telling you what must be done. We are not obligated to help you... if you wish to be accepted back into the Order, you must follow our ways. If you are not willing to change yourself, then we can't force it upon you.”

I turned my back to Zhar and crossed my arms. I was exhausted and stressed. Manipulating the Force for great lengths of time was not my greatest attribute. I let my body language tell him that I've had enough.

He remained silent for a moment before excusing himself. “I'll end the session here. I won't be able to train you tomorrow, so I would advise you to meditate as much as you can until we meet again. And try to be more open-minded the next time.” Then he turned to walk out of the room. “If you want to build another lightsaber, the components on that workbench are at your disposal.”

I asked, “And the crystal?”

Zhar looked in deep thought for a brief moment. “It is your choice. You could continue training as a sentinel, or you could choose another path if you want.”

“That still doesn't answer my question. Where do I get a focusing crystal?”

“Speak with Master Vrook. He brought several from Dantoine.” Zhar exited the training room.

I was so enraged by his last words. 'Open minded?' I'd love to see him try to turn away from the darkside and say that again. He never had to face the same injustices that I have. He has never been treated like property... it poisons your soul with hate and fear. He could at least be a little more understanding.
After venting my anger on some of the equipment, I realized that I now had to confront Vrook if I wanted to get a focusing crystal.

Last edited by Darth_Yuthura; 11-05-2008 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 05-31-2008, 08:27 PM   #28
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This is a great advance in the story. Juhani and Yuthura interaction is quite good, you have captured Juhani's personality IMO. Yuthura going from ostracized to leader of a mission was unexpected but I like it. Also the whole tatoo thing at the begining was a good little tidbit.

Obviously Vrook spread the word that Yuthura dont take no crap through the council...or maybe they were nice cause they needed her...either way, its nice to see them respecting Yuthura for once. Keep up the excellent work - here you get a smiley afro guy and some well deserved

~HOP



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Old 06-01-2008, 12:25 AM   #29
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I continue to be impressed by the way in which you've written this. As other authors will tell you, myself included, writing in the first person can be very difficult, and you seem to do it well.

I agree with the above statement about how you've captured Juhani's personality, and I thought that the conversation between Vrook and Yuthura was very well done.


"You'll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."

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Old 06-01-2008, 12:25 AM   #30
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So, Yuthura is in charge now?

Another great chapter, and I can't wait to see what happens next!

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Old 06-01-2008, 05:17 AM   #31
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This is looking awesome so far!

Can't wait for the next chapter.




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Old 06-01-2008, 01:18 PM   #32
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Post Chapter 12: That's 'Master' Vrook to you

Of all the Jedi I have met, Vrook Lamar was the only one who acted more like a Sith than I did. Men with a sense of pride beyond arrogant shouldn’t have been allowed in the Jedi Order. He most certainly didn’t belong on the High Council.

Master Vandar once told me that Vrook didn’t hate me... that he was just critical of all his students and I didn’t stand out. Although I respected Vandar’s wisdom, I knew he was wrong. Even before I left the Order, Vrook hated me and he went out of his way to display it. How could he have been allowed to think and act in such ways? The expectations for Council members should have been higher than those of average Jedi.

I still remembered the first time I was taken to Dantooine... even then he was against me. If it were up to him, I would have been rejected me before I even began. But while he was busy scolding me, the other masters actually took the time to understand why I was so full of anger and hate. My treatment at the hands of Omeesh didn’t seem to matter and from his perspective, I was on the path to the darkside ever since I escaped that place.

I had hoped that turning away from the sith would have been enough for him to simply leave me alone. Instead, he took some sick joy in condemning me whenever he could. In some ways, he was worse than a sith... because Vrook believed he was always right and all who opposed him were wrong.

When I got into the doorway, he gave me a very rude look. “What do you want?”

“I need a focusing crystal for a lightsaber.”

Vrook released a very agitated sigh. “A lightsaber is a Jedi tool that you are not deserving of...” he turned toward some plasteel boxes on his left side “...but I will give you a crystal. I suppose you are taking the path of the Jedi guardian this time?”

I have always been disappointed that I was not allowed to choose my path before. Vrook knew that I wanted to take the path of a warrior the last time I trained to become a Jedi. I did not know if I should have abandoned my training as a sentinel, though. Since I became a sith, I've come to understand the value of developing useful skills in piloting, engineering, and computer technology. The Force often coupled well with developed skills.

The path of the councilor was not an option for me. I didn’t have a talent for solving problems with words as Trevelyan or Master Vandar. And Vrook probably wouldn't allow for one such as me to be a representative of the Order. I truly did not want to confine my training to only one class... all I wanted was to become a Jedi. All I wanted was to find a way to let go of the hate that lead me to become what I always despised.

Vrook began searching through some boxes. He did not face me when he asked, “Maybe you want to stay with a red crystal?”

“Violet.”

Vrook exhaled in frustration. “Those are among the rarest crystals, but I might have one.” He resumed his search. “You never were one for our traditions. What path are you taking, anyway?”

“I haven’t chosen a path, Vrook.”

He abruptly stopped what he was doing and turned to face me. “You will address me as 'Master Vrook.'” He commanded.

I felt a sudden urge to make him swallow his pride. I knew that if he wouldn’t treat me with respect, I had to establish some leverage over him. I wanted to provoke him into getting angry so that I could make him realize that I had no concern about what he thought of me. “I will...”

He turned back to his search.

“...when you start acting like one.”

I saw the fury swell within him as he came towards me, but I did not flinch. When he was right in front, he yelled “How dare you! If you think you can hide in Revan’s shadow, you are wrong!”

I spoke very calmly, but remained stern. “I’m not hiding behind anything. I’m simply stating a fact: you do not act as master should, or at least you don’t when it comes to me.”

Vrook stopped shouting, but continued speaking with anger in his voice. “And what would you know about such things? You’ve never been one yourself.”

I gave Vrook a proud look and replied, “I was the second head of the Academy on Korriban. I know what it means both to instruct and to lead. Furthermore, I have studied under two great leaders to learn from their example. I properly addressed them as Master Kolchak and Master Uthar.”

“Learned by their example?” He chuckled as if to insult me. “Didn’t you turn your back on both of them as well? You betrayed everything Master Kolchak taught you when you turned to the Sith. You say you turned away from the Sith and then killed this... Uthar.” He chuckled and smirked at me. “You haven’t learned from them. You just followed what is in your own best interests.”

“Master Kolchak was a great man. He had taught me right from wrong if I had listened. As for Uthar... he was a great leader for the Sith. I hated him, but even enemies can respect one another. Had Uthar been in Malak’s place, I’m convinced the sith would rule the galaxy.” I crossed my arms. “If you think that being on the High Council earns you respect, you are wrong. I’m not acting out of defiance, though. We are both flawed individuals. The difference between us is that I recognize my deficiencies.” I gave Vrook a very mean glare. “I’m trying to purge myself of the darkside and you are making it more difficult than it already is.”

“Those were the consequence of becoming a Sith. I had warned you, yet you took the path of least resistance...”

“I know!” My anger erupted at hearing him continue to judge me even then. “I know what I did! Not for a moment did I relish becoming a Sith.” I paused to calm my rage. Vrook remained silent and allowed me enough peace to finish speaking. “I suffer the consequences of that decision... every day. I’m just trying to leave the past behind me once and for all. I can’t afford to fight you as well. If you must hate me, will you at least keep it to yourself?”

He looked insulted, but only because he wouldn’t admit such a thing. “I don’t hate you. I just...”

“You despise me! Almost every time you've ever spoken to or about me, it was demeaning. If there is one thing that you are biased against... it’s the Darkside.”

Vrook gave me a look that almost seemed compassionate; it surprised me. “You’re right. I shouldn’t say anything. It’s not like you’ve ever listened to me before.”

I was almost content to leave it at that, but I felt that I had to try and reason with him. As much as I hated him, I needed him to leave me alone and I felt the only way for that was to at least earn a degree of respect. “I’m willing to listen, but you have to be willing to understand me. Despite everything that has happened, I still think that my feelings for slavery is a virtue. As easily as it could lead to the darkside, emotion can drive us to improve ourselves.”

“Do you know why jedi are not suppose to form attachments to others? It is to prevent the fear of loss.”

“Loss and emotions are not the same thing.”

“Perhaps not, but whenever a Jedi has something of value, there is always a fear in losing what he... or she treasures. A Jedi has to be selfless, but even concern for others is not always a virtue. It can influence one's judgment. You of all people should know that. Was it not your drive to end slavery that lead you to the Sith?”

“It was also what lead me back to the Jedi.”

Vrook and I stared at each other for a long moment. I think that we both learned more about the other in the last few minutes than in three years on Dantooine. I didn't look at him with hate, but with a greater understanding that I represented everything against his beliefs. He may have come to realize that I simply had a different sense of right and wrong from him. Although we still harbored strong feelings against each other, I think that we had achieved a degree of understanding.

Vrook broke the silence. “I... have some work that I must complete. Perhaps we could continue this at later time?”

“Yes, of course.” Vrook turned towards his desk. I spoke up and properly addressed him “Master?” He turned around, recognizing that. “The crystal?”

“Of course.” He found the right container, removed a box, and searched through it. He then handed me a violet crystal. “What happened to your old lightsaber, anyway?”

“It’s either rusting somewhere on Dantooine, or Master Kolchak has it. I’m not really sure.”

After putting away the box, he approached me. “You still haven’t spoken to him... why?”

I waited for a long while before answering. I suppose I didn’t know that, myself. “I... hurt him when I chose to become a sith. I would prefer not to open old wounds... and I don’t want to discuss it further.” I bowed to him. “Thank-you for the crystal.”

Before I could leave, Vrook kept speaking. “Did you know that when you were first on Dantooine, that Master Kolchak’s recommendations were not in your favor?”

I lowered my head in sadness. “I am not surprised. He had every reason to assume I was a lost cause.”

“When you came before us a few days ago, we asked him to participate in your judgment personally.” He kept silent for a moment while I turned to face him. “Instead, he withdrew his prior recommendations that otherwise would have been used against you.”

I stared at Vrook for a long moment. “What do you think I should do?”

“It is your choice. I’ve spoken to him and he said that it was up to you to decide if you wish to be reacquainted or remain estranged. He will leave you to make the first move.” He moved to his desk and sat down. “If that’s all, I have work to tend to.”

I bowed. “Of course. Thanks for the crystal.”

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Old 06-01-2008, 02:06 PM   #33
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Wow! That was a great chapter. I think that you did a great job with it. I liked the flashbacks that Yuthura had about Omeesh. I find it sad the she used force wave on the innocent nurse. That might have undone all that she worked for...anyways, I think that that was an awesome chapter, and please to keep up the great work!!

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Old 06-01-2008, 04:58 PM   #34
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Earlier I stated that I would release new chapters for at least a month. I should have let readers know that I wasn't expecting to release a new chapter every day. I am currently at the end of the 'finished' chapters and may have to start releasing new chapters less frequently. Although I have a significant amount already written, I would like to keep a reserve on hand for a steady stream of regular updates.

In regards to the last chapter: I want to get the point across that Yuthura still is very instinctive and has faced the fact that even in a moment of great triumph, she may be too psychologically damaged to ever be a true jedi. This will be fairly prominent over the next two or three chapters.

If I should release a lot of updates at once, don't assume that it's how fast I can write. I am open to suggestions for future chapters and I'd be glad to adapt a simple idea and make a story out of it. My thanks to all who reply to the story(It really lifts my spirit to see others out there who read what I post). I especially like those who are willing to criticize elements of the story. The only way to improve is to recognize where there is a flaw.
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:12 AM   #35
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Thumbs up Chapter 13: A Deep Breath Before the Plunge

It had been nearly a month since my return to the Jedi. I’ve noticed my flesh has almost completely healed since I stopped using dark force energy. My skin has returned to the rich violet that it once was. The face was not quite how I remembered it from five years ago. It was not just the tattoos... I felt that I looked decades older.

Many of the Jedi told me that I should have my tattoos removed; that I should not bear the marks of beliefs I wished to forget. Master Vrook said that with them, I would always be perceived as a Sith to others; and be treated accordingly.

Trevelyan said they were more beautiful against my violet skin, which has become much richer. He likely thought that I would have looked less like myself without them. I suppose that I would look like any other twi’lek to him. I myself found it difficult to distinguish one human from another had it not been for their hairstyles. If Trevelyan were bald, I certainly would not recognize him so easily. It was only natural that different races were more difficult to recognize, so I wanted to be more distinguishable to my friends. Despite that reason, I knew he did not want me to bear the scars of my old life. It may have been a mistake to continue wearing them, but I wanted to remember. I hated the Sith, yet they were a part of who I had become. I may have one day decided to remove them, but for the present, they stayed.

Although still in training myself, I’ve been working with Master Nevski and his students. Since I was the only one with firsthand knowledge of Sith fighting techniques, I shared what I knew with his padewans. It felt good to be instructing again; it was like being a master again.

It also allowed me to bond with others. Nevski and I often talked about matters outside of the classroom. I learned that he had been a jedi all his life, so he didn’t understand how I struggled with the dark side. We shared a drink on occasion, swapped amusing jokes now and again, but weren’t much more than casual acquaintances.

I have come to learn about the bond that Trevelyan shared with Bastila. I felt very hurt that the kiss we shared on Korriban, which had meant so much to me, was nothing more than business to gain leverage over me. Even simple infatuation would have been enough, but to know that there was no chance to escalate our feelings further... it seemed to leave our friendship meaning less than before. And since I began training again, I’ve not actively sought him out, but allowed him to share my company when he chose.

Master Zhar had continued training me whenever he had time, but with his duties as a Council member, I’ve had to learn much of what I needed in my own time. At first, he was very strict and demanding, but as I progressed, the criticism slowly died down. Because I had turned against the Jedi, my original rank of padawan was not restored upon my return. It wasn’t until I earned their trust again that I could be called that.

When I first came here, I feared that I would have the most difficulty with losing the thoughts of strength, power, and victory. Although they were frequently on my mind, I found that it’s been more difficult to deal with the subtleties of interacting with others. Although I could turn to Trevelyan when I needed help, I knew that I couldn’t rely upon him because he was not my master. I’ve still not confronted Alfred, although we have gazed upon each other from time to time.

He had changed very little from the last time I remembered, but there was something about him that looked different from the man who had taken me for his own so long ago. I was still fearful of him because I knew I hurt him more greatly than I had myself four years ago. I didn’t want him to see what I had become... at least not until I had done something that could give him reason to want me back.

I’ve also interacted with Trevelyan’s friend, Juhani, on a fairly regular basis. Like me, she struggled with the darkside. Within her was an anger that I didn’t frequently see in other jedi, so I felt a little better knowing that there were others who have overcome the same kind of anger I have. Despite trying to learn more about her, she was as closed-mouthed as me. I suppose she still didn’t trust me, but I don’t hold it against her. I wouldn’t trust me either.

-----

Early one day, I was called before the High Council. Nevski was waiting outside the chamber when I arrived. “Yuthura? Are you also here to see them?”

“Yes. Any idea what this is about?”

He shook his head. “No, but I’ve been told to arrange for someone else to teach my courses for the next few days. I must be here for a mission briefing.”

I chuckled. “Maybe they want me to teach your students while you’re gone?”

He gave me a small smile. “Perhaps.”

About a minute later, Juhani arrived as well and I turned my attention to her. “I suppose you haven’t been told what this is about?”

She shrugged her shoulders. “I was just told that if I had any obligations, that I should take care of them before leaving.”

“Leaving?”

“Maybe they’re dispatching all of us on a mission.” Nevski inquired.

The thought of having some real responsibilities made me excited. Perhaps they were finally coming to trust me? Then I cleared my mind of the thought; this could have been anything. And then an uncomfortable thought came to my mind... if this were a mission, then it was going to be a dangerous one. You don’t send two guardians and a sith out unless they were meant to be in the line of fire. Maybe this was how they intended to...

I shook my head as if to disperse my thoughts. I could not let myself come to conclusions before anything was known. Whatever happened would happen in the fullness of time, so I needed to keep my thoughts on the present.

Shortly after that, a male human in a Sith uniform exited the council chamber. He noticed my tattoos and stared at me while walking by. I was suddenly filled with terror; not of the man, but what he might have represented to me. To the Sith, leaving was considered traitorous and traitors were treated worse than their common enemies. As of before he saw me, the Sith believed that I was killed alongside Master Uthar. Now that I’ve been seen, that Sith would likely have been to report a traitor spotted among the Jedi. It wouldn’t have been long before they learned of my presence. I couldn’t allow that.

Juhani and Nevski both saw my fear and after the sith went around a corner, Nevski asked “Did you know that man?”

“No... but he may have known me.” I pursued him.

“How would he... Yuthura, where are you going?” Juhani tried to ask, but I had already started walking away.

“Following him. I can’t allow him to leave.” I answered without looking back.

Juhani placed her hand in front of my shoulder to hold me back. “He wouldn’t be able to walk freely here unless he were a guest. Besides, we need to see the Council.” I gently brushed the hand away and kept walking. She came after me. “Do you intend to kill him?!” she quietly exclaimed.

“If I have to.”

“We should speak with the Council. There must be a good explanation for why he’s here.”

“I can’t let him go if he’s seen me.”

“Why? What is going on?” Juhani sounded almost desperate to know.

I swiftly turned to face her. “The Sith do not know that I‘m still alive... let alone here! I need to keep it that way.” I turned around again, but was held back by both shoulders.

“He was with the Council. You can’t just kill him!” She commanded.

I tried to maneuver myself free of her reach, but I ended up trapping myself further into her grip. “Let me go! If he reports me to the Sith, they’ll hunt me down!” I shouted desperately Juhani managed to lock her arms around me, restraining mine so I couldn’t resist. She was much stronger than she appeared and I couldn’t break free. I was phobic to confinement and instinctively struggled to free myself. I would have used the Force to break free, but the panic I was in made it difficult to throw her off. “The Sith will find me! I can’t let him go!”

She lifted me off my feet and desperately tried to calm my fears. “You don’t know that! What if he doesn’t? What if you’re wrong? Are you just going to kill him? Another of your victims?”

‘Another victim?’ Those words tore through my soul. I knew she was right... I couldn’t just play judge, jury, and executioner... I did not have the right. I didn’t even consider that he may also have turned away from the Sith. Then I thought of Trevelyan and what he did for me. If he acted like me, I would have been dead a dozen times over.

I surrendered to those words and stopped struggling. “No... I don’t.”

She slowly eased her grip and lowered me to the floor. I sat against a wall and buried my head in my hands. I was ashamed of what I intended to do... and how the thought of killing came so easily to me.

Shortly after that, Nevski came running down the hall with Masters Vash and Zhar behind him. He saw me on the floor and exclaimed “What happened here?!”

Juhani gestured them to be silent, which meant much to me. She whispered to them about what I was about to do... and that I restrained myself.

Master Vash moved beside me and placed a hand on my shoulder. “That man was Shar Gorlov. He wanted to defect from the Sith and has provided us with information in exchange for protection.” I raised my head to face her. “We weren’t expecting that he would wear that uniform here... or that you would run into him. We’re sorry.”

I shook my head. “No. I should have controlled myself better.” I leaned my head back against the wall. “I suppose I’ve never truly confronted my fear of being caught by the Sith. I almost murdered another because of it. If it wasn’t for Juhani...”

“It’s alright.” She replied.

“No, it’s not alright. It’s just so hard to restrain myself every moment of every day. I struggle with emotions that I cannot overcome. I once thought I had moved above fear, but I never realized how much I should fear myself... what I’m capable of.”

Zhar kneeled in front of me. “Fear is often a good thing. It’s one of the reasons why Revan thinks so highly of you and Juhani. Despite your fears, you both confront them more often than most people. That is something I’ve also come to respect.”

I stared at him in surprise. “I just confronted it and failed. How could you say that?”

Juhani answered for him. “Real courage is not the absence of fear... it’s confronting it. Sometimes, we overcome it. Sometimes we fail. But you didn’t surrender to it.”

I gave her a small smile. “Are you sure you’re not a councilor?” I chuckled.

She chuckled along with me. “I can just imagine my Cathar temper would probably do the trick. Diplomats would have to agree with me for whatever I tell them to do... if not, fear always works. Is that what you mean?” We all laughed at the joke.

Zhar spoke to Vash. “How should we proceed with this?”

“Let’s just ask her.” Vash faced the three of us. “We intended to give you an assignment... are you alright?”

I nodded and stood up. “Yes. I’m ready to do my duty.”

-----

When we entered the Council chamber, Vash said we had a minor disagreement and it just got too intense. The other masters knew it was about me.

Kavar stood in front of us and began the meeting. “We’ve received information from an informant that the Sith war effort has been getting desperate for very basic resources. Food, minerals, medical supplies, fuel... their stockpiles are becoming depleted. As a result of this, the Sith have started dealing with worlds for these resources in exchange for weapons, computer equipment, droids, and any other goods that we take for granted... but that more primitive cultures are willing to pay a premium to acquire.”

“So the Sith are now trading away their war materials for food. That sounds like good news.” Nevski said.

“Maybe for us, but for many of the worlds they are trading with, such advanced weapons and ships could wreck havoc to an otherwise stable system. One of these worlds is an important source of Endurium to the Republic, Kuril. This world has a bipolar balance of power between two separate states, Tupilov and Kitech. These two have maintained a relative peace with each other since the Kitech are negotiating to become members of the Republic. The Tupilov choose to remain independent, so they can and are choosing to trade a significant quantity of endurium for weaponry that would no doubt be used to eradicate the Kitech.”

“Okay... so what exactly is our part in all this?”

“The Sith and Tupilov have made a trade arrangement that cannot be done quickly. For the course of a week, the Sith have provided the weapons in advance so that while the Tupilov gather their stockpiles of endurium, they can be trained to use them. There are three bases where the Tupilov are keeping the weapons and the Sith would not allow them to distribute them until after they receive their entire payment of the endurium.”

Kavar grabbed three pads from a table and handed them to us. “In three days, the Sith will be sending cargo ships to receive their payment and then the deal will be done. Your mission will be to destroy those weapons so that the deal will fall through. We do not have much time, so you will have to brief yourselves en route. Each of you have skills that will be essential for this job, but you should be ready to deal with unexpected challenges. Do whatever you must to prepare yourselves, but you will need to depart within the next two hours.

“A ship is waiting for you in the main hanger. All the equipment you should need is aboard. I’m sorry we couldn’t provide you with more time to prepare, but it will take two days to reach Kuril and then you only a twenty four hour window or less to take out the three targets.” He paused for a moment and then faced me. “And... Yuthura Ban will be in command for the duration of your mission.”

I originally was looking at the pad Kavar handed me, but my head snapped up at what I just heard. “What?! Is this some kind of joke?”

Atris grimly stated “Sadly, no. Success depends upon you coordinating the efforts of the other two. And only you can perform the role.”

Kavar put his hands on my shoulders. “I know we’re asking a lot, but we need your abilities for this.”

I was almost in panic, but I hid my doubts as best I could as I looked at the other two. “If they will follow me, I will do it.”

Juhani looked very saddened, or very worried about my ability to command, but nodded. I think she did it only because the Council said I was in command. I didn’t deserve such loyalty, but I had her obedience.

Nevski really didn’t have much confidence in my ability to command either... and my latest episode didn’t inspire him with much confidence. As a true Jedi, he faced the Council and said “I trust in your wisdom and will do the best that I can.”

“Thank-you. Both of you. I won’t let you down.” I faced Master Kavar. “I will need you to tell me as much as possible. Why exactly have you chosen me for this?”

---------


We were en rout to Kuril aboard a Republic G class special operations fighter. It was about 15 meters long, 6 meters wide, and was about a third the size of the Ebon Hawk. It was made up of three compartments: in front was the flight deck with the cargo hold directly behind and crew quarters in the back. There was an engine nacelle on each side of the ship at the root of stubby airfoils.

For our mission, this ship has been stripped of all non-vital systems, such as the laser cannons and hull plating. We required one proton torpedo launcher with a magazine of eight torpedoes, shields, hyper drive, but nothing else. This ship had to sneak through enemy sensors and its energy signature had to be as light as possible.

I sat the crew down in the cargo compartment to brief them on the upcoming strike. I felt my command over them was extremely provisional, so I tried to be as delicate as possible with it.
“From what Master Kavar has told me, there are three strongholds that we must destroy within a given window of time. Each one is powered by a single fusion reactor and is heavily shielded from an air attack. To destroy all of them, I must infiltrate each base and retrieve the frequencies of the shields protecting them. This would allow us to destroy each reactor with a single proton torpedo.”

Nevski sat back in his chair, almost relaxed. “Sounds simple enough.”

I gave him a very serious stare. “There is more to it than that. The Sith stationed at the bases are likely keeping close watch on the other two... they haven’t yet made the trade, so the weapons are still Sith property. We must not be discovered until we have every shield frequency, otherwise the other bases will be on full alert and infiltration would be impossible. Once our attack begins, we must strike all three bases within a matter of minutes. Furthermore, we are meant to destroy Sith property, so we must ensure that when the weapon caches are destroyed, the Tupilov can’t claim the Republic dealt a crippling blow to them. If they complete the trade with the Sith, they could claim that the Republic attacked them... and not Sith weapons that happened to be on Kuril.”

“Wait, I don’t understand why we have been selected. Why were you chosen to lead this mission?” Nevski asked.

“I know that it must be odd that you two are asked to follow my lead, but it is because we each have skills that will be important for our individual roles. Juhani is skilled with force stealth.” I addressed her. “It will be your job to take out the guards between the ship and the bases without alerting security. You must also maintain a clear path for me back to the ship. We must go in and get back as quickly and quietly as possible.”
“Nevski, you are going to have to modify each proton torpedo so that they can penetrate the shields. You will also have to land the ship within a kilometer of each facility using only minimal power to thrusters. This ship’s energy signature should be small enough that we can get through undetected, but it would require a skilled pilot. That is your role.”

I stood up in front of them again. “Stealth cannot be compromised for any reason while I infiltrate the first two bases. On the third, Juhani will return to the ship while I’m in. If there’s not enough time for me to return, I will transmit the third frequency and you must start the bombing run without me.”

Nevski protested. “You mean destroy the third facility while you’re still inside?”

“We must destroy the weapons before the Sith arrive to collect their payment. If the deal falls through, the Sith may try to steal the endurium. It would simply be best to destroy the weapons and everyone involved before the Sith cargo ships arrive. Their sensors could detect our vessel, so it would be best to make it look like a deception by either side. That way, they will never want to trade with the other again.” They looked at me with unpleasant surprise. “I intend to be out of there before you start your attack run and meet up with you afterwards, but we should try to be out of there without being discovered.”

Juhani addressed me. “This sounds like a very dangerous mission. Are you sure that only three of us can pull it off?”

I didn’t think so, but I had to show the courage that they needed. Fear was contagious, so I tried to avoid showing any. “We can do this. As long as we remain hidden and ahead of schedule, we can stop these weapons from falling into the wrong hands.”

Nevski also stood up. “If I were to fire upon these bases, I would be killing thousands of people. Has the Council even considered that we’d be committing mass murder?”

I sat down. “As a matter of fact: they have. By killing thousands, our actions would save millions.”

He shook his head. “For a greater good?”

“If you wish to think of it like that.” He turned away from me. “Nevski...” I gently rotated him around to face me. “...this is to stop a mass slaughter from happening. If we don’t do this... if you don’t destroy those bases, the Tupilov will have an advantage over the other side which will result in millions of deaths. The Sith would also get the resources they need to continue their war against the Republic. We must destroy those weapons while they are still in the Sith’s possession. Can I trust you to do your job?”

He sighed and then nodded. “Yeah. I know what has to be done. I should run through some simulations before we get there.”

I nodded. “Very good. Dismissed.”

He walked out of the compartment and to the flight deck. When the door closed behind him, I sat down and sighed in exhaustion. Juhani stared at me for a long moment. “What?”

“Why did the Council choose you to lead a mission where millions of lives are at stake? Why did Master Atris say that it could only be you who could lead?”

I stared at a bulkhead for a long moment before I answered. “Kurillians are immune to the Jedi mind trick. In order to get information, the infiltrator must use... other means.” I stood up and crossed my arms. “I have a rare gift that allows me to absorb not only a person’s life energy, but knowledge as well. If I needed an access code or a means to bypass security, I could get information quickly and efficiently.”

She looked down as if saddened. “How do you feel about this?”

I picked up the pad. “Master Kavar seems to have figured everything out, himself. There are not going to be any hard choices to make. All things considered, this is little more than a blue-milk run. He might as well give this to a first year padawan!” I threw the pad across the compartment and dropped back into my seat.

She looked as if I were going to go mad with rage. When I didn’t, she stepped in front of me. ”The Council would not put so much at stake unless they trust the one they put in command. Millions of lives will depend on the decisions you make. You shouldn’t take this lightly.”

Juhani was a friend, but I didn’t know if she would go through all this without at least hesitating to follow me. “Juhani... do you trust me?”

She didn’t answer.

“It’s alright... I wouldn’t trust me either.”

“Whether I trust you or not is irrelevant. You are in command and I will follow your orders to the best of my abilities.”

“I’ll not yet you down. If not for the mission, then for Trevelyan.“ I assured her.

I went to pick up the pad I had thrown and retired to the crew quarters. We had two days to reach Kuril, so I had plenty of time to go over Kavar’s battle plans.

Last edited by Darth_Yuthura; 11-05-2008 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:30 PM   #36
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Wow, that was a really good chapter there Darth_Yuthura. I like how you described everything, and I can't wait to read more. Good job!

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Old 06-03-2008, 11:46 PM   #37
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Ah well done! This battle between Yuthura and Alfred was well described. Before the chapter when Yuthura, Juhani, and Nevski were on their mission, you said that you were not quite satisfied with it. My suggestion is to be to add more depth to the battles. Yuthura killed the gaurds effortlessly but battles are more exciting when there is a struggle. You showed this excitement in chp 13.

I'm glad Mission is starting to come around. After all, Yuthura and her are the twi'leks of the group, certainly they have things in common that the others do not. Keep up the hard work because its producing great results!

~HOP



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Old 06-03-2008, 11:55 PM   #38
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Cool Guy Chapter 14: Desperate Measures

We arrived in orbit around Kuril with about four hours before our first target was under the cover of darkness. Juhani and I were going through our gear, testing everything we would carry. We both had a pair of interface goggles to locate mines and provide night vision. Although we were capable of using the Force to navigate through the dark, I wanted to ensure we had every advantage we could get. We both slipped on black body armor, tough enough to give us some protection, but not heavy enough to encumber our freedom of movement.

I was provided a Defel stealth generator to wear around my waist. It was powerful enough evade both sensors and prying eyes, but the field worked both ways. I would be shrouded in darkness while I was cloaked, but only within the base would I have to rely on the Force to navigate. With only an hour’s supply of power, I could not afford to use it any more than I had to.

I also was provided a security breaker that I placed on my left wrist. The unit would be my means of going from one sealed area to the next. On the other arm was an Echani personal shield. The odds of it doing me any good were slim. If I got past security, then I had no use for it. On the other hand, if I were caught, Sith weapons would beat it down in seconds. Had it been anywhere else on the planet, their standard projectile weapons may have been easier to stop with a Mandalorian power shield.

Juhani did not require much more than her lightsabers, but I insisted that she be equipped with a stealth belt and Echani shield generator as well. Since she would not be infiltrating the bases, she didn’t have to travel light.

Nevski would have remained with the ship for the duration of the mission. Although capable, he was not required for anything more than taking off and landing the ship. His piloting was required to get us through undetected. Other than that, his presence would only increase the risk of us being discovered. Our ship did not have a cloaking device, but it could camouflage with its surroundings.

By the time Juhani and I were equipped, I was greatly concerned that I may have been leading all of us to our deaths... so much depended upon me. Then I pushed the thought aside... I couldn’t be second-guessing myself now. I had to show courage, not fear. Fear was contagious.

I got in front of them and gave one more pep talk... I think I did it more for myself than for them. “Juhani... Nevski... I know that you have doubts about my ability to command. And although the last thing I should do is show doubt, I feel you must know the truth. I’m greatly concerned about what will happen during the next 16 hours. I know that the stakes of this mission are high, but as long as we all do our jobs, we will succeed. For whatever my word is worth... I assure you that I won’t let you down. This is the first time I have been entrusted with people’s lives and I have no intent to lose that trust.” I went up to both of them and placed my hands on their shoulders. “Millions of lives will depend on us. Keep that in mind, but don’t let fear interfere with your judgment.” I turned around, but realized I forgot something. “One last thing: I’m glad to be here of all places. You two have made my acceptance into the Order much easier. For that: I thank you.”

They smiled at me with great confidence. I couldn't be sure if it was genuine or if they just hid their true feelings that well. The last few hours were spent preparing ourselves psychologically for the task ahead of us. Very little more was exchanged among us.

-----

We were about 10 minutes away from our first target, I went into the front to see how Nevski was doing. “How are we coming in?”

“We’ve got a problem... the sensor systems around the base are not what Kavar anticipated in the battle plan. They must have obtained type 14 sensors from the Sith as well. We can’t get through undetected.”

“How do you know that?”

“Kavar’s battle plan anticipated that they were still using EMP systems. The ship could have slipped through those, but not type 14 sensors.” Nevski said.

“Is there anything that could be done?”

“We either have to land ten kilometers further from the landing sights than we intended, or cut power completely. Then we’d have nothing to control our descent, let alone take off again.”

“We can’t land that far away... how heavy is the ship?”

“This ship is about 20 metric tons. Why do you...?” He realized what I was thinking. “Are you suggesting that we levitate the ship all the way to the landing sites?”

“Have you ever tried it?”

“I’ve never been able to perform such a... delicate operation. I could move something as large as the ship, but I couldn’t pull off such a landing without causing damage to critical systems... or harming ourselves.”

“Harming us?”

“Yes.” He looked at me as if I couldn’t understand something so basic. “The ship is mostly hollow and trying to move something like this involves applying the Force to key locations that can handle the stresses. If I tried to take hold of anything inside, I might tear open a fuel tank, harm one of us, or crush a computer system. And that is simply holding the ship, not performing a landing.”

I leaned my head back as I realized I had to be the one to do it. Here’s where Alfred’s training came in handy. If I could animate a sand sculpture, then surely I knew where to hold the ship’s superstructure so it wouldn’t tear apart from the hull. “Get out of that chair, Nevski. I’m going to take us in.”

“Wait, you’re saying you can do it?” He stood up from his seat, but didn’t move aside. “You seriously can take full control of the ship and land us without destroying us?”

I put my hand on his shoulder and pulled him out of the pilot’s chair. “I guess I’ll soon find out.”

Juhani had been in the compartment behind us, but the hatch was open. She exclaimed in protest as she came to the flight deck. “Wait! Are you seriously considering trying to take us in without power? Are you that confident that you can manage that?”

“Size is meaningless to the Force, remember?”

“That’s all well and true, but that depends upon our level of control. Do you seriously believe that you can take us all the way to the base without losing your concentration and land us safely?”

“And take off unpowered?” He and she both stared at me. “We have to get out of there undetected as well.”

I dropped my head from the frustration of what I had to do. Suddenly, I realized that I displayed fear when I should have been showing confidence, so I moved into the pilot’s chair to make it look like I was just sitting down. “I’ve never tried, but if anyone can levitate the ship, it’s me.”

“Yuthura...” Nevski got to my side and on a knee. “We can’t just resort to something like this without considering other options. Take us up and we’ll figure out another way to penetrate the defenses.”

“We don’t have time. You said we need to go in unpowered... that’s a solution.”

“But can you do it? Can you...?”

“If you have any bright ideas, I’m listening!” I shouted in anger. When he didn’t give an answer, I gave a direct order. “Then shut up and strap yourselves in.”

Juhani looked at me as though I just offended her personally, but nervously got into one of the seats behind me. Nevski took the co pilot’s seat next to me. “We’ll need to cut power at least 10 kilometers away from the perimeter of the base. You should take us in high and fast so it’ll make it easier to land. Our speed will provide lift and you can sacrifice altitude for speed.”

“When we get close to the landing sight, you two may need to help me slow the ship so we don’t crash. I’ll hold the ship steady, but you two may need to harness our speed so we don’t overshoot the landing sight. Understood?”

They both nodded. Nevski prepared to power down the ship in-flight. “Approaching ten kilometers. As soon as we power down, you will have to take us the rest of the way. I will not power up again unless a crash is imminent.”

“Understood.”

“Powering down in three, two, one...”

Suddenly, all flight systems went dead and the pilot controls were dead. We started descending, but glided for a few seconds before the Force took its hold through me. In order to tap the force energy I needed, I had to fall into a trance that cut myself off from the rest of the galaxy. Although I would not be aware of events around me, I would be able to complete the task I set out for. During that time, I often relived the memories that caused me great anger, hate, and hurt.

I focused all my anger for one of the last vile acts that Omeesh committed against me. My friend, Nenya, was a victim because of an act I committed. I should have been the one punished, but Omeesh thought it more amusing if my friends were the ones to suffer for what I’ve done. He had turned everyone I ever loved against me and it still wasn’t satisfying enough for him. I despised everything about him and I wanted him dead! All that ever mattered anymore was hurting him for every beating he ever gave... every friend he murdered...

-----

My thoughts were interrupted by Juhani’s yelling. “We’re down... it’s over. Yuthura!"

I was gasping for air when I came to. I was exhausted by the concentration I needed to land the ship. After catching my breath, I asked, “Nevski... how did we do?”

“You did very well at controlling our descent. We were only a few hundred meters above the ground when we had to harness the ship’s momentum. It was amazing how accurate you were.”

I sighed in exhaustion and leaned my head back. “Good. At least we know we can do it.”

“You look terrible. Maybe you should rest...” Juhani suggested.

“We don’t have time.” I got out of my seat. “Nevski, start working on those proton torpedoes. Have them ready to program at a moment’s notice. Juhani, we need to get going.”

----

The area around the first stronghold was a jungle infested with bugs, but very few animals. My lekku were completely exposed to biting insects, and I had to keep myself from reacting to their stings. I was still tired from the landing, but could keep myself focused on the surroundings.

Juhani extended her arm to hold me back. “Mines. They are not strategically placed, so we can go around them.”

“Maybe, but if they are scattered about, it would mean we would not have a clearly defined path. Can you fuse the detonators without blowing them up?”

She didn’t face me. “Maybe, but I wouldn’t do it just for the sake of it. If I blast them with too much electricity, they will explode. I don’t think we should risk attracting attention unless they are in the way.”

“I don’t have any explosives with me. If you can, could you disarm a few? It doesn’t matter if you blow out the detonator, but I’d like to have something with me that can be used as a distraction or whatever explosives are good for.”

She shrugged her shoulders and pulled off her night-vision goggles. “I’ll try to short-circuit the fuses.” She reached out and shot a fan of electricity that hit the mines, but nothing went boom. Then she extended her arm and pulled the mines from where they were laying and directed them to levitate in front of me.

I took the three mines suspended in the air and slipped them into whatever pockets I had to spare. “Thanks. I wonder why we didn’t have any grenades in our inventory.”

“Jedi don’t use grenades. And this is a covert mission. There should not be any guards patrolling this area, so we should quicken our pace.” I nodded. “I’ll go ahead of you. Tell me if you sense any patrols.”

She went on for about 300 meters, disabling every mine we came across. We couldn’t proceed much faster than we could run, so I had some time to rejuvenate my Force energy. As we came across a clearing, I sensed others were in the area. Juhani felt them as well and lowered herself to the ground. I got beside her and whispered “Two guards ahead. I’ll take care of them.”

I reached out to snag them with the Force, snapping their necks with a gruesome sound. The path ahead looked clear, but there was still another sentient being in the area. “Juhani, stay down. There’s someone up ahead.”

I switched on my infrared goggles to search for a heat signature, but couldn’t locate him. I had no choice but to fall back to Juhani’s position in the trees. “I sense a sniper, but can’t locate him. We may have to go around.”

“That would take too much time. Let me go up ahead and I’ll find him.” She requested.

“Be careful. We can’t be seen... that is our first priority.”

She focused her mind and used her force stealth abilities to hide from anything with eyes... even I couldn’t see her. After she went ahead, I meditated again. I wasn’t sure if I could push my abilities to lift the ship another four times in addition to carrying out my duty.

It was strange for me to know that I couldn’t do what was required to complete the mission, yet not be worried about the ultimate outcome. I should have been greatly concerned about what would happen if we were discovered, but I almost felt comfortable with the idea... if we were discovered, it didn’t mean that we were dead. If discovered, I no longer had to go into the other two bases.

Then something about that thought left me with a sickening feeling. If we were discovered, there were going to be many lives lost and I would have gotten the blame for the mission failure. Jedi don’t execute for failure like the Sith, but that didn’t mean I would have welcomed their harsh words. All I had to do was push myself to the limits of my endurance for one day and it would all be over. Still... the next few hours were going to be hell.

Almost by reflex, I jumped to my feet running after I felt the spark of life ahead get extinguished. Juhani became visible again and I met up with her. “We’re almost there. The shield perimeter is just ahead.”

“Great job. Keep the path clear and I’ll be back as soon as possible.”

She checked her watch. “We’re ten minutes behind.”

“I’ll worry about that. Just keep the path clear!” I switched on my stealth generator and moved in.

----

There was a checkpoint in the shield that allowed passage into and out of the facility. I couldn’t afford to wait for a guard to pass through, so I used my lock breaker to open the doorway and got through the security systems.

The main entrance seemed too fortified to get through undetected, so I searched for an alternative means of infiltrating the compound. I was already about almost fifteen minutes behind and hadn’t even found the shield generator yet. When I didn’t sense anyone nearby, I lowered the shroud of the stealth field to find another way inside. Even these fools needed air conditioning, so I took advantage of the air ducts.

With a thought, one the grate was open and I leapt up to the opening before anyone caught sight of me. I had to assume this area was not riddled with sensors, so I didn’t reactivate the stealth field. It also much easier to see with my eyes again, so I started down the shaft and looked through each vent for some idea as to where I could locate the generator. Around one juncture was a massive power conduit. The most likely place to find critical systems would have been near one of those, so I followed it to its source.

Fortunately, of the three paths the conduit took, I followed the it to the shield generator. I half expected that I was going to run into the power generator or a maze of junctures that would have taken an hour to locate the right path. The control room to the generator had to be near, so I switched my generator back on and slipped through an opening.

There were guards everywhere, so I had to be especially cautious where I stood. I was in pitch black, but I could feel the life energy of everyone around. Even though I was cloaked, there was always the possibility that they would see the light refracting around me. The stealth field worked by bending light around the user, but it was never perfect. The more sophisticated Defel generator I had was among the top quality, but moving distorted the field because it could only process so much input from the surroundings. When still, the field was perfect, but the more I moved, the less perfect it became. I would have preferred to take it slow, but I was so desperate for time that I had to move at an uncomfortable pace and just not run into anyone. I could sense them, but they couldn’t see me at all.

When I finally found the shield control room, there were too many people around to decloak, so I had to create a diversion... somehow.

I didn’t have the time! I needed the shield frequency and couldn’t spare a moment, so I focused my mind and tried stunning the engineers who were at their stations. Three fell to the floor, but the fourth was unaffected by my mind trick. I heard him speak after he saw his companions hit the floor, so I dropped my cloak and grabbed him with the Force by the neck, effectively silencing him. Unfortunately, I had gripped too hard that it snapped his neck. I was only trying to shut him up and hold him where he was, but I had just erred.

A dead body was a clear indication of an intruder. The only choice I had was to hide the corpse and hope they wouldn’t notice for at least a few hours. The air vent was the best place, but I lost even more precious time disposing the body.

To get the shield frequency, I needed an authorization code, so I touched the forehead of the chief engineer and began draining his life energy. With it came memories, many of were of little use to me. I was surprised at the garbage floating in the guy’s mind, but I got some useful info on the situation of the trade that was going to take place. There were a few sith posted in each of the bases that acted as instructors to train the Kurillians on how to effectively use the advanced weapons.

I believe the Sith wanted to take advantage of the situation by giving an enemy of the Republic an edge over the other side. Kuril was a Republic world, but half of the population did not agree to become part of it. The Tupilov created great discord among the other side because they had conflicts that did not involve the Republic, yet they had the protection of the Republic fleet. They essentially were both protected by the fleet from outside threats, but were not allowed to interfere with their internal conflicts.

Naturally, the Sith would have wanted to have those on the Republic’s side wiped out so that the Tupilov could become independent, or worse allied with the Sith. If this trade were to go through, it would most likely happen... I had to stop that from happening.

It took a few minutes, but I managed to extract the info I needed, which included the precious access codes. I had not realized it, but I was decloaked and in sight for a long time without realizing it. Before I reactivated the field, I entered the code into the main computer and found what I needed: a frequency of 527 mark 459. I put it into my data pad and logged out before reactivating the field again.

I checked the status of the cloaking device and saw I had less than ten minutes of power remaining. I needed to get out of sight as quickly as possible, but before I left, I revived the engineers. While they were waking up, I clouded their minds so that they didn’t realize that they were unconscious just a moment ago. When I heard them resuming their duties, I assumed I was successful and they did not notice one of their comrades was gone.

-----

I crawled back through the vents and got to the shield checkpoint again. Juhani was waiting for me at the edge of the sensor perimeter and my stealth field went down just moments after I was clear. As we began running toward the ship, I knew what she was going to say and I just answered before she could ask the question. “I know. We’re twenty minutes behind, but I got what we needed.”

“I took out another patrol while you were in. The path is clear, so we should run as fast as possible.” She stated.

After the intense sprint, we were back on the ship. The instant we closed the hatch, I yelled “Nevski, get us ready for takeoff!”

“We can’t power up, remember? We will take off whenever you’re ready. Once outside the sensor range, we can power up. Until then...”

I got into the pilot’s seat. “Yeah, yeah. Just strap yourselves in and power up as soon as we’re clear. I’ll get us out of here.”

When I was ready, I concentrated all my thoughts onto the ship and where the critical points of the superstructure where I would focus the Force upon. I did not want to focus on the more delicate components that could be crushed or torn away. The landing gear were the ideal places to focus on and I slowly began to lift us off the ground. The more I concentrated, the less aware of the real world I became and soon fell into a trance.

-----

When I focused my mind on another moment of extreme anger, I relived a time when Omeesh wanted to watch me shriek in agony. He had me whipped by a shock lash for as long as it amused him. It was the most intense pain of my life because I was not allowed to pass out when the pain became too intense. The drugs I was injected with ensured that I would stay conscious for every last moment of it. He only ended it when I couldn’t scream anymore.

What infuriated me most was that these kind of injustices were allowed to happen and those who committed the crimes were never punished. Huts took such sick pleasure in watching my people suffer... they had to pay for their crimes! I desired so much to kill every single one of them! I could not allow that to happen again!

I had the power to change the galaxy and I was just as guilty for not stopping them. I hated myself more because I wasn’t dealing out the death and punishment they deserve! Why couldn’t I have just been able to forget the pain of my past and move on? How could anyone abide by such cruelty?!

-----

When I regained consciousness, I released a painful shriek and fell forward in my seat. After a short moment, Juhani pulled me back up and showed great worry in her eyes. It was a comfort to see that she was concerned about my well-being. “Yuthura... you can’t do this again. It is straining you beyond what you can handle.”

I was breathing very heavily and couldn’t keep my head up. “We have no choice... If we don’t... we’ll be detected... and we’ll...”

She placed her index finger over my lips to silence me. “It’s all right. You should rest now.”

Nevski turned to face me. “Yuthura, we must find another way to do this.”

“There is not... you said it yourself... we can’t land... unless we use... our Force power.”

“You’re no good to us in this condition. You are the only one who can infiltrate the remaining bases.” He said.

I thought of what else could be done to accomplish the mission. There had to be a way to save some time or effort. Finally, I came up with something. “Nevski... I need you... to do something for me... When I’m retrieving the shield frequency... in the next compound... you need to find a way... to disable their sensors... without attracting attention.”

He began to object. “Any kind of attack would alert them to our presence...”

I raised my hand. “No. After we land, you need to go in with a stealth generator and cause a sensor glitch... a diagnostic... anything that would allow us to launch normally at the next base.”

“I should go in with you.” Juhani suggested.

I shook my head. “No. Your Force stealth ability can’t fool electronic sensors. That and you have little skill with computers... no offense.” I leaned my head back in exhaustion. “What’s our ETA?”

“Eighteen minutes.” Nevski stated after checking his console.

“All right. I need to have my stealth belt recharged.” I reached to remove the device from my waist, but Juhani took care of that for me. Then she took it to the back to recharge the power cell. “I just wish I could do the same for myself.”

“Can’t you? Aren’t you able to drain energy from others?” Nevski asked.

“Life energy.” I corrected. “I am very much alive, but drained of Force energy. Draining life from others detracts from the very energy I’m lacking.”

“Yuthura, if you can’t do this...”

I raised my arm. “Please don’t argue anymore. I’m not going to let half a world be destroyed if I could stop it. Please just let me rest.”

I could not imagine that I could push myself so hard for people I didn’t even know; maybe who didn’t care about what I did with my life. For some reason, I couldn’t turn away from this. I began to doubt that we would succeed, but I couldn’t let Trevelyan or myself down. I had to make this work.

-----

“We’re three minutes out. I’m going to have us go in at full speed to minimize the time I must keep the ship level. We might end up skidding to a stop, but the terrain is grassland.” I said as we approached the second base’s sensor range.

Juhani was watching me nervously as we came closer to T-minus zero. “Don’t strain yourself this time. Nevski and I should help you support the ship as well.”

“You can’t. I have to do this alone because I’ll be controlling the ship’s course and descent. You two need only to slow us to a stop once we’re over the landing site. Before then, I must take full control without any other influence.”

Nevski turned his head to the left. ”Are you ready for this?”

“Not really, but it’s not like we have any other choice. You just do your job. I’ll worry about mine.” I concluded the conversation.

Nevski started powering down the ship’s systems. “We’re nearing ten kilometers. Cutting thrusters... now.”

-----

I lost myself to a moment I hated while I was among the Sith. After I had become Uthar’s second, we often rolled around in bed. Although we hated each other, it didn’t stop us from giving in to our animal instincts now and again. Although he was everything I despised, I enjoyed those late-night sessions with him.

One night, shortly before Trevelyan crossed my path, we got down to business after the excitement was over. “The recruits we’re getting are becoming less worthy than their predecessors.” I complained.

“I’ve been teaching here for six years. They’re no different than the last class.” Uthar said.

“They’re getting dumber, more wild, less devoted... Surely you’ve noticed?”

“Yes, I have. Perhaps they are following your example?”

“What?!”

“I had been expecting that you’d start using other tactics than... this. I’m not a fool to think you’re doing this other than to advance your goals. If you think that I wouldn’t be expecting you to usurp me, then you don’t deserve to beat me.” He stood up and began dressing himself.

“If you already know that, then why do you bother with me?”

“I enjoy being with a beautiful woman. I also enjoy watching you demean yourself.” After he got on his uniform, he looked back at me. “It’s all you’re good for. That’s why I’ll always be the master... I don’t have to bring myself to such depths as you to beat my enemies.” He got in my face. “You’re just a whore... and you’re powerless against me.”

-----

This time, I awoke more peacefully. I could barely focus on my surroundings and was of no use to the others. “How are you?” Juhani asked.

“I’ll live. How was the landing this time?”

Nevski turned around. “We came in pretty hard, but all major systems are still online. Are you all right?”

I unfastened my seat harness and stood up. “We are still behind schedule. If we can...”

Nevski gently pushed me back into my seat. “You... are staying right here. We will clear the way and you can catch up. Until then...”

I nodded. “Rest. I won’t argue with you on that.”

Juhani placed her hand on my shoulder. “We’ll contact you when the way is clear.” When the two of them exited the ship, I threw my head back and fell asleep the instant I hit the headrest.

----

I was asleep for nearly an hour before I heard the comlink. “Yuthura? Are you there?”

I pivoted my head to find the comlink laying on the panel in front of the co-pilot’s station. I extended my arm and grabbed it. “Yeah. I’m on my way.”

“Nevski is already inside.”

-----

My run through the second fortress went without incident. Nevski managed to arrange for a sensor diagnostic to take place during the time we would take off. To ensure we would not miss the window of opportunity, he gave me 90 minutes to go in and get back... I did it in 70.

For the twenty minutes of time we had before the sensors went down, the three of us had a casual conversation.

“So Yuthura, tell me about Master Zhar. What is he like as a Master to a single apprentice?” Nevski asked.

“He’s... very strict about how I use passion to fuel my connection to the Force. He doesn’t get angry like Vrook, but he doesn’t allow me to progress to the next level if I don’t do a task with a mastery of peace.” I explained. “I can do something just as easily with passion as you could through peace, but if I use passion to accomplish my goals. Even if I succeed, he would just say ‘again.’ That gets frustrating.”

“Quatra never forced that upon me. Often I used anger to fuel my connection to the Force, but she said it was alright as long as my feelings did not influence my actions.” Juhani said.

I made a sound of interest. “Any chance I could train with him?”

“She...” Juhani emphasized. “...already has her hands full with three padawans. I don’t think she’d be able to take on another.” She said almost jokingly. “Who was your master... from before?”

“Master Kolchak.”

She raised her head upon hearing the name. “He’s still around. Why aren’t you with him?”

I didn’t answer.

Nevski looked at me as though he’s seen a ghost or something. “You’re Master Kolchak’s apprentice... the one he lost... to the Sith.”

I raised my head in surprise. “Yes... you sound as though you didn’t know.”

He shook his head. “He never spoke of you by name. In fact, he never really did speak of what happened before he settled on Coruscant.”

“You know him?”

“He and I are acquainted. He’s always been somewhat of a mystery to everyone. Never was willing to speak of his past. We’ve heard rumors that he had taken an apprentice, but nothing in his records indicated what happened before he came to Coruscant.”

I looked at Nevski with an odd sense of respect or something. “There are no records that I was his apprentice? Or that he was my master?”

He shook his head. “They often don’t have records of that... in order to isolate each Jedi from those that could be a liability. It was not unusual for that, but Alfred... he never really admitted that he ever took an apprentice. He was always very sensitive to the master/padawan relationship, which was where the rumors of a lost apprentice originated.”

I pulled my head back in surprise. I had no idea that Alfred and I were shrouded in such mystery. I would have assumed he’d not speak of me, but that he pretended like I never existed... that was painful to know. I turned my head away to hide my feelings from their sight. “I suppose that he wanted to forget me and move on with his life. That was the best thing for him to do.”

“I don’t think he ever did resume his life after that. For the first decade of his service, he was a great Jedi Watchman. Always traveling from one place to another and giving hope and serving justice to those who needed it.” He looked at me, very saddened. “Then he came to Coruscant and took up teaching in a classroom. Unlike Master Vrook or Zhar, he didn’t have much enthusiasm and had really just kept to himself. That was a far cry from the Jedi he used to be.”

I stared into Nevski’s eyes with a great feeling of shame running through my thoughts. “I didn’t want to hurt him. I was just doing what I thought was right.”

“I’m not judging you. Master Kolchak knew the risks when he took you as an apprentice. Whatever happened to him after you left... it was ultimately his choice to make. He chose to his path, not you.”

“But it was because of me that he...”

Juhani jumped in. “This is not the best time to talk about this. We need to be ready when the sensors go off-line.”

Nevski was in the pilot’s seat this time around. He turned forward and checked the clock he had set. “The diagnostic is scheduled to begin in three minutes, twenty four seconds. We’ll know when they go down and should have a window of five minutes to power up and get out of range. Then Yuthura just has to take us in one last time and we’ll not have to worry about being detected after that.”

I leaned my head back and felt like I could fall asleep, but I soon was alerted to a new disturbing realization. I heard Nevski almost cry out in panic. “The countdown has ended, but the sensors have not gone off-line!”

“What?”

“I set the sensors to shut down at exactly this time, but they are still operational. It did not work.”

“What if the timers are off? Could it have just been delayed or something?”

“No. They must have discovered what I did and stopped the diagnostic... damn!”

Juhani asked, “Then what do we do? Go back and shut them down?”

“There’s no time. I have to take us up again.” I said.

“Can you pull that off two more times?” Nevski asked.

“I don’t think so, but I have no choice but to try.”

“If you can’t do it, then we can’t risk...”

“I’m taking us out of here! We can’t afford to lose any more time... we’ve only got a few hours to reach the third installation and leave the planet before the Sith transport ships arrive in orbit.” I got myself ready to take us up again and concentrated all my focus on lifting the ship. “We’re going up, so either strap yourselves in or we will crash.”

“Hold on! Don’t just...”

“Shut up! You’re breaking my concentration!”

Last edited by Darth_Yuthura; 11-05-2008 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 06-04-2008, 12:24 AM   #39
Rev7
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Helpful! 
It is good to see that Yuthura and Alfred are on the same page now. I like how you added in the necklace. I think that was a great description, and I am really glad that Yuthura kept it. Yuthura has really changed, so has become wiser, stronger, and smarter. I like where you are going with this story!

Marvelous job!

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Old 06-04-2008, 08:57 AM   #40
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Wink Chapter 14: Extreme Measures: Part two

Resuming from the last post, this is the second part of 'Extreme Measures.'

-------

I put all my thoughts on the most defining moment of my life; when the strength of my anger conquered pure evil.

I had watched as all my friends have died and I have learned to avoid making attachments to others who would inevitably die as well. Omeesh had spent years trying to break me... although I refused to surrender to him, I knew that it was only a matter of time before I would bow down and do whatever he asked. I have suffered so much pain... so much humiliation that it hurt just to live.

One night, I was left alone with him in his bedchamber. I came to realize that if he were gone, maybe the pain would stop. I took a knife he had been using and leveled it at his throat. A surge of adrenaline coursed through my veins as I drove the blade through with all the anger, rage, and hate of a thousand lifetimes.

His eyes opened, but he couldn’t speak. He just gagged on his own blood and slowly suffocated. I moved myself to his ear and whispered “Never again will you hurt me.” As he choked on his blood, I smiled for the first time that I could ever remember and I savored every moment of his suffering.

----

I was screaming in agony for a long time before main power had been restored. I had collapsed forward and fell into tears. I had never come to understand just how much Omeesh had hurt me. I knew that I would never see justice for what had been done to me or my friends.

With every fiber of my being, I hated Omeesh, but could never be free of him. He may be gone, but the memories would always continue to hurt me. It may have been that realization that was making me cry, but I was physically and mentally taxed.

Juhani held me in her arms and let me cry on her shoulder. Nevski also did what he could to comfort me, but it did very little to ease the pain. The last time I’ve had a moment like this was when Master Kolchak found me on that desolate planetoid. I remember his gentle voice telling me that he would not let anyone hurt me again. Although I greatly appreciated having them with me, it was not enough to make me forget that the mission was doomed at that point.

After a long period of silence, Juhani spoke very softly to Nevski. “You may have to take command now.”

He shook his head. “I can’t. Without Yuthura, we can’t slip through the sensors. I know that I can’t take us in. I don’t have her... delicate touch with the Force. We’d lose the ship if I tried to put us down.”

“Then what are we to do?”

“We’ll just have to take out the two bases that we can and hope the Tupilov will not continue with the trade. They...”

“No... we have to take out that last base. If we don’t the Sith could just re-negotiate for the Endurium... or steal it... or something. We need to leave nothing for either side to have. The Sith would think the Tupilov stole the weapons and destroyed the bases to cover their tracks. The Tupilov will think the Sith backstabed them. They will blame each other and both enemies lose.” I explained.

“Yuthura, you can’t pull off another landing in your condition, let alone get the last frequency. Even you can’t deny that.”

I breathed heavily. “You’re right. I can’t.”

“Then we should attack the two bases with the modified proton torpedoes and leave. The original plan might still work if they don’t know that a Republic ship was responsible. We’ve already done much more than would be enough to disrupt this trade. We should not risk endangering it all if we know you can’t get the third frequency.” Nevski declared.

I leaned my head back and tried to come up with another solution to the problem. There had to be a way in which I could get the last shield frequency that didn’t involve landing the ship without power. Suddenly, a wild idea came that just might have been crazy enough to work. “Nevski, how far do we have to be from those sensors before our energy signature can be detected?”

“Ten kilometers, but that’s the maximum limit of their range. We might be able to reach five or closer, but the risk of detection increases the closer we get. What are you suggesting?”

“We have an environmental suit among our stores of equipment. It could act like a space suit, is that right?”

Juhani answered. “Not quite. It could work in a vacuum, but it would only keep the one wearing it alive for a few minutes before they freeze to death. What are you thinking of doing?”

I paused a long moment before I made such a bold proposition. “If Nevski were to take us over the base, ten kilometers overhead, I could jump out wearing the suit and I can control my descent much easier than if I were controlling a 20 ton ship.”

“No, you can’t possibly expect us to go along with this. We would not be able to rescue you once you’ve jumped out. And there is no telling if you would be able to perform such a feat. We’re talking about a jump from at least 10,000 meters without a parachute or anything to break your descent.” Juhani protested.

“Do you think I don’t know that? I could get in much faster, transmit the frequency to you and get out before the compound explodes. After that, you can pick me up and we all can leave this place forever.” I said.

Nevski and Juhani looked at each other, not knowing if to let me try such a stunt. Juhani shrugged her shoulders. “If you want to try it, I can’t stop you. Trevelyan would not let me hear the end of it if you die, though.”

“Just say you were following your orders.”

She looked at me almost as though she expected the worst. “I just hope you know what you’re doing. I’ll get the suit ready for you.” She moved into the back compartment.

“I’ll not be able to drop you directly over the base, so you’ll need to control where you land and try not to attract attention where you chose to hit the ground. I’ll take us there now. And I’ll have to depressurize the back compartment, so get Juhani in here once you’re ready.”

“Understood. Have those proton torpedoes ready. When I transmit the last frequency, I’ll get out of the base as quickly as possible. Wait for me to clear before you come back to bomb the last target.”

-----

I was in the environmental suit and looking down upon my target. From 10,000 meters, the facility was still very massive, but it was about to get much larger once I made the jump.

“You can still back out of this. No one will think less of us if you don’t want to try it.” Nevski said over the intercom in the suit.

“I’m sure I can do it. I just need you to be ready when I signal you with the last frequency. I will see both of you soon enough.” I cut communications before they could say goodbye and just leaped out of the open hatch.

At first, I was almost thrilled at the experience, but soon realized just how quickly the ship above me was shrinking from my sight. In only ten seconds, the 20 ton ship looked like an insect before it moved beyond my sight. I suddenly realized just how fast I was accelerating towards the surface.

The air was thin at such a great altitude, so my terminal velocity was much greater there than near the surface. It didn’t mean much to know I would slow down as the air got thicker because I came to realize just how fast I was falling. I must have been dropping at 300 km/hour and still accelerated.

I did not use my Force abilities yet because I would have wasted the precious little energy I had if I did it before I reached terminal velocity. As I fell, I extended my arms and body to get as much wind resistance as possible, which slowed me down drastically, but still I was getting scared at just how fast I was going.

After terminal velocity was reached, I knew that I would only slow down from that point, but watched my altitude get lower and lower much faster than I had expected. When I was at about a thousand meters above the ground, I started breaking myself with the Force, but found it was more difficult because of the cumbersome suit I was wearing.

When I realized that I wasn’t going to break myself in time, I knew I had to get rid of the suit, so I released a Force repulse... shedding the suit from around me. The sudden change in pressure on my body was harder than I expected, but it almost seemed to give me the drive I needed to harness my fall. Before, I was just slowing myself as much as was comfortable, but then I brought and extreme amount of stress on my body as I dropped below two hundred... excruciating G-forces below 100 meters... then I positioned myself to land on my feet... and felt myself hit the ground. Although painful, I knew I had not broken anything when I collapsed onto my back.

For a very long moment, I just laid there, letting my body adjust to the conditions at ground level. I had just made a 10 kilometer jump and survived without a parachute... they need to include that from now on.

When I heard activity going on in the distance, I realized that I landed inside the base’s perimeter and was in plain sight. Standing up was painful, but it was something I could work through. The stealth field generator had not been recharged when I had the opportunity, so I had very little power left to work with. I sprinted to the main entrance uncloaked and with very little Force energy to aid my speed, but I got through without being seen.

-----
Once inside, I engaged my stealth field, but found it was almost impossible to sense anything around me. I had almost exhausted my Force energy and had to be much more careful this time. I couldn’t reach the air vents without dropping the field, so I had to try and make it through the base without running into anyone in the hallways. I was being reckless with what little I had to work with, but I was desperate to get what I needed and get out before the stealth field died on me.

I was over an hour behind schedule when I started, but the fall made up for the lost time. I still had to move as fast as possible to find the shield control room. Each base was of a different layout, so there was no way to know if I could reach my destination in time. I could hear soldiers preparing themselves and their equipment for battle, adding even more pressure and obstacles to avoid while I moved through the base. I felt like I had just walked into the jaws of hell and kept going in the wrong direction, but I had no choice. I was desperate to end this.

When I was finally in the control room, I dropped my stealth field and simply killed everyone in the room except the chief engineer. I didn’t care about being discrete at that point. When I tried draining his lifeforce, I found I was too weak. He grabbed my neck and threw me against a wall. Normally, I could have just gotten up and defended myself, but I struggled to stay awake.

Then I heard him activate a comm system and alert security to my presence. “I’ve found a Sith spy! Deck four, section forty! They’re deceiving us! Repeat: Sith spy...” I threw my lightsaber and cut him to pieces, but knew I was too late. Everyone was going to be on top of me shortly.

I got back on my feet and ran to the control terminal. To get the shield frequency, I just inserted my lock breaker into an open slot. It didn’t matter at that point whether I was breaking in since alarms were already blazing. I grabbed my comlink and contacted Nevski. “I’ve been discovered! Start the bombing run now... I’ll transmit the frequency when I have it.”

“If we don’t have the third frequency, I wouldn’t...”

“Start your attack on the other bases first! When you have the last frequency, return here to finish the job! I’ll try to get out before then!”

“What if you’re...”

“Start the bombing run now!” Two guards armed with assault riffles came into view to my left. Given the dead bodies laying at my feet, they didn’t bother to demand my surrender, so they started shooting on sight. I activated my lightsaber just in time to block the shots, but I didn’t deflect them back to their source like I intended.

After nearly being hit by their own shots, they took cover behind a corner and started firing volleys and ducking for cover. I didn’t have time to wait for a clean shot, so I just reached out with the Force and grabbed one of their guns and directed it at the other’s foot. When the guy realized he shot his own ally, he let go of the gun instinctively, not knowing I still had control of it. Instead of hitting the floor, the weapon spun around in the air and eventually pointed at him.

After hearing the body hit the deck, I looked back at the terminal and got what I came for. I grabbed the comlink, “Nevski, the frequency is 384 mark 671. I’m getting out!”

-----

I knew the place was going to be crawling with guards quickly, so I ran through the nearby corridor. When I reached the door, a squad of soldiers had already started firing at me from behind. I tried deflecting their shots, but got hit in the leg. My armor protected me against the second blast to my side.

I managed to get the door open and crawled through before seeing two grenades coming at me. I reached out my arm and managed to close the door before they exploded in my face. After hearing the explosions, I jammed the door shut with my lightsaber and fell to the floor in exhaustion. In that precious moment, I injected myself with a battle stimulant and checked the shot I took to my leg. While painful, it was only a flesh wound. I just had to tough it out.

When I heard the soldiers trying to get through the door, I jumped back on my feet and started running wherever I could. Four more guards tried to cut me off, but I shot them with a blast of electricity. I knew it was a mistake to waste what little Force energy I could muster, but it was done.

When I reached the main entrance, soldiers were already pouring through that room faster than I could kill them. I saw an opportunity to get through the entrance, but I needed more than just my lightsaber against all those blasters. After activating my personal shield, I was getting ready to make a leap of faith before I confronted by two more soldiers that appeared from another hallway.

I should have just taken my chance when I could, but they pinned me down and started shooting with everything they had. Although I deflected their shots back at them, I took several more from the soldiers near the entrance. The shield saved me from certain death, but by the time I had ducked from their sights, it had burned itself out.

Without that shield, I could no longer go forward, so I had to fall back and find another way out. More soldiers started coming in from behind and cut off my only means of retreat. Their blasters started blazing, but I had no means to dodge the shots because the only way I could go was towards the source. I deflected as many as I could, but couldn’t keep it up... I was doing whatever I could to block the shots that I didn’t care where they went as long as it wasn’t me they hit.

In desperation, I threw my lightsaber towards them and jumped back. My hope was that before I hit the floor and became a still target, that my lightsaber would take them out. When I was on my back, I heard the saber cutting through flesh, but I didn’t know how many I got. If even one were still standing, I was dead.

When the lightsaber hit the floor, I heard silence. I lifted my head to confirm that I had killed all four with that desperate throw. Every instinct told me to take a sigh of relief and relax, but I knew that I was not out of danger yet. I pulled myself to my feet and grabbed my lightsaber before I started running again.

I ran back down the hall from where I came and made a right turn, but soon found myself at a dead end. My only means of escape had been cut off, so I needed another. When I attempted to cut through the wall with my lightsaber, I realized the duracrete wall must have been over a meter thick. The other walls were clearly laced with fuel and power conduits, so I couldn’t cut through them without blowing myself up. There was no way out except through dozens of fully equipped soldiers. My only defense against them was a lightsaber, but I knew I was doomed. After exhausting myself to the point of collapse, I took my final stand here.

I positioned myself around a corner to allow me some cover, but it didn’t keep grenades from being thrown near my position. I was deflecting their shots as best I could with the lightsaber, but since I couldn’t see my enemies, I was just redirecting missed shots from one blank wall to another. There was no point in it, but if there was even the slightest chance of scoring a hit... at least that’s one more I take with me.

There were too many of them and it was only a matter of time before I found myself in the blast radius of a plasma grenade. I just stared at the red object as it rolled closer to me, but my reflexes weren’t telling me to dive for cover. When it detonated, the fire bomb singed my left lekku and face. My cloths were scorched, but nothing serious came to the rest of my body from the flames.

I was knocked to the floor, also deafened by the sound and couldn’t summon the strength to stand. I managed to look over my left shoulder and suddenly felt a terrible pain erupt in my left chest. I pulled myself out of the line of fire, but the damage had already been done.

As I tried to inhale, I choked on blood. A hole in my chest left my rib cage shattered and punctured the lung it was supposed to protect. The pain was excruciating and only got worse. I knew that I couldn’t possibly escape death this time. I wanted to end the pain, but lacked the strength to reach my lightsaber and finish it.

Blasters continued firing for a long time after I had fallen, but I noticed that they began dying down. When they fell silent, I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t dead. Darkness took me, but I was not unconscious. That must have been what death felt like, but it was nothing like I expected.

Although I couldn’t open my eyes, I could barely hear over the ringing in my ears a woman’s voice. “No... no!” I felt a gentle touch on my neck. “She’s alive, but dying... No! We must stabilize her before she can be moved.”

“If we don’t get out of here, we’ll be overwhelmed!” came a man’s voice.

“If we move her, she’ll die... and we’ll have killed her.”

A moment passed. “Give me your lightsabers. I’ll hold them off as long as I can. Hurry!”

I could hear her whispering to me. “Please hold on... just a few more minutes.” The pain in the left side of my chest was going away as the gentle touch of her hand relieved the hurt. “Almost... and an injection of dilaphin should be enough for now... Done!” Then pain returned when I was flung over her shoulder. “I’ve got her. Just watch my back.” When the pain became too intense, I finally passed out.

-----

The ringing still echoed in my ears, but I could hear the rumble of a hyperdrive and the breathing of another. I couldn’t feel my body; I was numb. As I stretched myself across the bed, I groaned as if in pain, but because I was drugged, I didn’t feel anything.
I heard her voice very softly over the ringing. “Careful! Your internals are barely being held together. Keep still.”

I opened my eyes and saw Juhani hovering over me. I was having trouble breathing, but there was no pain. I spoke very weakly, “You... came for me.” I saw a nasty wound on her right shoulder. “You should have that treated.”

“With what? We used everything we had to keep you alive.”

I lifted my head off the pillow and saw Nevski beside her. “You were there as well. I told you to bomb the targets.”

“They were. I programed the computer to make the bombing run automatically. Since I didn’t need to be aboard, we decided to rescue you.”

“What if... something went wrong?”

“It was a risk I was willing to take.” Nevski stated.

“As your commanding officer, I should reprimand you for that.” I laid my head back and closed my eyes. “As a friend, I thank both of you. What’s the prognosis?”

Juhani grimly stated “You took two blaster shots to your left ribs. You have a punctured lung which will likely have to be replaced. You suffered second and third degree burns to your arms and lekku. There was also shrapnel throughout your body that I’ve been able to remove.”

“Thank-you.”

She smiled at me. “Other than that, how do you feel?”

“Like I was ripped apart and had my internals stuffed back in.” I chuckled and coughed up more blood.

“Careful! You’re only breathing on one lung. I stabilized your condition, but you’ll have to take it easy until we get you to a kolto tank.” She grabbed a towel and wiped away the blood.

“When will we be back?”

“We’re 18 hours away. You should rest now.” Nevski answered.

“Wait... what happened on Kuril after we left?”

She looked at me very sadly. “The Sith had intended to double-cross the Tupilov in the first place. They stole much of the Endurium that had been prepared for the trade. They had effectively planned ahead on how to take what they could and leave the Tupilov with nothing.”

I sighed in great frustration. “All that for nothing.”

Nevski spoke up. “No. We were able to prevent one side from being eradicated. The people of Kuril will have to settle their problems by themselves. By destroying the weapons and turning the Tupilov against the Sith, we may have gained another ally against a common enemy.” He leaned over me. “You’re a hero. You understand?”

“You’re a hero.” Juhani added.

I chuckled weakly. “We were in this together. Besides, you were the ones who saved me. Remember?”

They both kept smiling at me. “You should rest now. We’ll take care of you.”

It felt so rewarding to hear myself called a hero. It made me smile to know that I made a difference to so many. This must be how Trevelyan feels which gives him such peace. I turned my head away and let myself fall into a blissful sleep.

-----

When I was woken up, I didn’t want to get out of bed. Juhani told me to sleep just a while ago; now she’s forcing me to get up?

“We’re back now. We have to get you to a kolto tank, so get up and we’ll take you the rest of the way.” Nevski said.

I leaned forward and saw that I was in my underwear. It didn’t bother me that I was exposed, but I didn’t like others seeing the bandages throughout my body. “Where’s my robe?” Juhani handed it to me. She even offered to dress me, but I could do it myself. The two gave me some privacy and I saw the extent of the damage. My left leg was covered with cuts and open wounds from a fragmentation grenade. My left lekku was bandaged almost completely. I was glad that I was numb to the pain, or I might have been screaming like I was on Sleheyron.

After I got dressed, I was able to stand up and went through the door. The two placed my arms over their shoulders and carried me down the loading ramp. When we emerged I heard great applause from everyone in the temple. They had gathered in the hanger to welcome us back. It made me smile. “They’re honoring us?”

Juhani smiled at me. “It’s you, Yuthura. They honor you.”

I was offered a stretcher, but I didn’t want to show weakness, so I tried walking on my own. I managed only got a few steps before collapsing. They caught me before I landed on my face and Juhani said that they would not think less of me if I accepted the stretcher. I looked at the crowd and then nodded.

As I was being carried through, everyone gathered around me. I heard nothing but compliments and praise. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I felt like I was no longer an outcast to them... that I have earned their trust again.

“Congratulations.”

“You’ve become a true jedi.”

“You were great.”

Kavar walked along side me. “I’m sorry you were put in that position. You were brilliant to come up with a solution to those advanced sensors. Many lives were saved because of you.”

“Thanks. That means a lot.” I replied.

“Welcome home.” Vash said.

I caught sight of Dustil Onasi. He hovered over me. “I can’t believe I once called you ‘master.’ To think you would turn to the jedi? That made me laugh.”

I smiled very cheerfully. “So you came all this way to ridicule me?”

“I really didn’t have anywhere else to go. The Father said you had come here and I guess I had to see it for myself.”

“And...?”

“How could one as wicked as you be accepted by these people?”

“I shouldn’t have been... I was forced upon them. They would accept you if that’s what you want.”

He shook his head and smiled at me. “If you think I’m calling you ‘master’ again, you’re wrong.”

“You never did on Korriban. I would have killed you for such disrespect, had Uthar not found it amusing.” He laughed out loud. “You think I’m joking, don’t you?” He looked at me more seriously, then backed away. He understood that I was stating a fact. If Uthar hadn’t stopped me, I would have made an example out of him.

“You’ve not only met my expectations, but you’ve far exceeded them.” Vrook stated.

“I could think of no higher praise than that.” Zhar stated. “I don’t think any more training is required for you. You’ve been nominated for the rank of jedi knight and we’ll hold a ceremony after you recover.”

Despite all their praise, I was almost desperate for Trevelyan. I wanted to see him more than anyone else. I grabbed Master Zhar’s arm and pulled him towards me. “Where is Trevelyan? Is he here?”

“He is currently on a mission of his own. He has been informed of your success and should be back in a few days.” He replied.

-----

I was taken to the medical facility within the enclave. There was a surgical suite, a kolto tank room, and a patient recovery area. Unlike other facilities, the jedi mainly employ sentients for the medical staff over droids. This is probably just another tradition of the order.

I was carried into a private room with a single kolto tank and a medical bed. A female human nurse was left to tend to my wounds. Before I could be treated with kolto, I had to remove my cloths. I even had to take off my top so she could remove the bandages covering my ribs.

As I was laid on the bed under a bright light with my breasts exposed, it brought back many unpleasant memories of Sleheyron. The chastisement chamber was often filled with slaves stripped of their clothing so they could be beaten and humiliated for Omeesh’s amusement. This was like being in that horrible room again.

When she began removing the bandages from my lekku, I couldn’t stand it anymore. The lekku were the most sensitive part of a twi’lek’s body and I wouldn’t let another handle them again. I let out a force wave and threw her hard against the wall.

I gasped in horror at what I had just done. “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to...” She was not moving. I rolled onto the floor and crawled over to her... she still had a pulse, but I may have just broken her neck. “Help! Someone, Help!”

Two others heard my call and rushed in to help. “What happened?!”

“I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to...!”

She grabbed a comlink. “We need a medical team in here now! We need to get her into surgery!”

I was still half naked and in despair at the thought of having killed yet another innocent. When the team entered the room, the two nurses carried me to the kolto tank; I was still a patient after all. I was sedated, despite being too weak to put up any kind of resistance. I soon lost consciousness.

Last edited by Darth_Yuthura; 11-05-2008 at 06:33 PM.
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