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Old 06-22-2008, 10:57 AM   #81
Darth_Yuthura
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Current Game: KOTOR III
Chapter 24

I had forgotten to set my clock last night. I was alerted by Master Vrook to be in the war room almost exactly when the mission briefing started at 8:00. I rushed to dress and dashed through the halls. To save time, I skipped the elevator and jumped three levels through the main atrium. In the end, I was ten minutes late.

I tried to sneak in quietly, but when Vrook saw me, he stopped the briefing to ridicule me. “Everyone! I’d like you to welcome our newest jedi knight... walking in ten minutes late!”

Everyone’s eyes were on me. I just took an empty seat.

“When the briefing is over, everyone here will be disciplined in a manner your squad leader sees fit.” Vrook stated.

“Hold on. What are you doing? Everyone here reported here on time. I’m the only one who should suffer the consequences.” I protested.

“What if their lives were in your hands? Would you, alone pay the price?” Vrook strolled across the room as if about to make a lecture.

“If their lives were at stake, I wouldn’t have been so reckless.”

That infuriated Vrook and he trotted across the room to stand right in front of me. Before he could start shouting, Master Kavar broke it up. “This can wait for another time. We have to get back to the briefing.”

Vrook gave me a look of disappointment. He wanted to slap me down, but couldn’t anymore. “We’ll discuss this later.” He turned back to the front of the room and gestured for Kavar to continue.

“Our purpose is not so much to participate in the coming battles, but to show the Republic troops that jedi are fighting alongside them. They’ve suffered terrible loses and their morale is low. We are to assist them in any way we can.”

One of the other jedi spoke up. “Are we expected to lead troops when battle comes?”

“We will. You should also be prepared to tend to wounded, repairs, and anything else to assist.” Kavar answered. “You’ve each been assigned to one of three groups. You will continue the briefing with your assigned commander.”

Vrook stepped forward. “Those under my command will follow me to training room 2. That includes you, Ban.”

I sighed in despair. This was going to be even worse now that I would have to report to Vrook. I could work with anyone who was reasonable enough to follow. Despite my last confrontation with him, Vrook was going to make this harder than it had to be.

-----

After following Vrook to training room 2, he came up with a suitable disciplinary measure for the group. The room was set up as an obstacle course, so he had everyone run through it without using the force. He also made sure to remind everyone that I was the one responsible for making them go through it. "The consequences of one affects all." He said.

I was angry because he was turning the others against me. I didn’t know any in my group except for Beleya, and she already had issues with me. This made her look at me with even more scorn than before. I even offered to run the course five times for them, but Vrook wanted to ensure that they suffered and I was blamed.

The run took the five of us almost ten minutes and I was not quite as fit as I thought. I was second last and out of breath when it was over, but I was ready for another battle when we were done.

“Alright. We can proceed now.” Vrook gestured the others to follow him for the rest of the briefing.

I stood my ground. “Where are you going?” I asked Vrook.

“What?” He turned around.

I gestured to the obstacle course. “You haven’t gone through, yourself, so begin.”

He slowly walked towards me as if to laugh at my insubordination, but kept silent. “Have you not learned anything from this?”

“My actions impact both myself and... ALL those in my group.”

“Then what are you doing?”

I got in Vrook’s face. “I’m waiting for you to run through the obstacle course, so get going.” I ordered.

“Very well. Your defiance has earned you and your group another run through.” Vrook responded.

I crossed my arms. “Are you claiming that you are not a part of this group? If you are not willing to go through the course, then why should they?”

“I am your superior and commanding officer for the upcoming mission and I’m ordering you to desist with this immediately!” He shouted.

I shook my head. “You know nothing of being a leader. It’s a good thing that Revan took command during the Mandalorian Wars because you suck at it!” Then I turned around and tramped out of the room with no hesitation. I knew that by saying such a thing, Vrook wouldn't take it seriously unless I left him one jedi short. Sometimes, words can't make the point unless they're backed by action.

-----

At the time I said it, my defiance towards Vrook seemed so right. It felt so good to turn my back on Vrook for such a minor reason, but it was not done out of anger... well not because I was angry. It was because someone had to tell Vrook that he was wrong and I was not afraid to do it.

As I looked back on my defiance, I soon realized that I was throwing away my promotion to Jedi knight a second time. All because Vrook refused to run an obstacle course? As strange as it seemed, I would have regretted letting it pass even more.

A leader had to lead by example. If Vrook was going to punish everyone for the act of one... that meant EVERYONE. If he was too weak or too arrogant to follow though with his own punishment, then he was no better than a Hutt. If he were a jedi, he would have been the first to run the course. Instead, he set a bad example for all jedi and showed that the Council was above everyone else.

As I looked down from one of the balconies above the main atrium, I knew things would have been so much easier if I were willing to yield to people like Vrook and Atris, but I couldn’t abide by what they stood for. The Council was weak and all the jedi would have followed them to their deaths if it was not for Revan. Admirable as their loyalty was... it was no reason for good people to sacrifice themselves over ignorant tyrants like them.

I was staring down for about ten minutes before Alfred arrived and took a place next to me. After a moment of sharing the view, I made the first statement. “I thought you had a class to teach.”

“Vrook contacted me.”

I chuckled at what he must have said. “Are you going to ask my side of events, or do you trust him implicitly? Everyone else seems to.”

He shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t think he would lie...” Then he looked at me with sympathetic eyes. “...but I'm sure he didn't speak the whole truth.”

I nodded in concurrence. Alfred knew how to tell the truth in a way to suite both sides fairly. “What did he say?”

“That you openly defied him and were disrespectful of rank.”

I nodded in agreement. “I arrived at a briefing late and Vrook disciplined everyone in the briefing room instead of just me.”

“That’s not uncommon. It’s supposed to teach individuals that they are not the only ones who suffer for their actions. If a group suffered the consequences, individuals would become more determined to do what was necessary.”

“Vrook did not follow through with it, himself. He made us run through a training course without the force and he just stood there and watched.” I looked directly at Alfred. “He was every much a part of the group as well, but he thought he didn’t have to suffer the consequences too. When I insisted that he run through the course, he ordered that everyone go through again.”

He shook his head in disappointment.

“This wasn’t about what just happened in the training room. I don’t give a **** about that. It was about a Council member believing he was above the other jedi. I wanted Vrook to realize that he was defying the very foundation upon which his leadership was built. If he thinks that he was above the rest, then he has been corrupted by his authority and must be removed.”

He released an outburst. “By whom?!”

That startled me. “By their followers. We must be the ones to tell the Council when they are wrong and make them accept that they represent the Order... not themselves. The Order must also realize that the Council does not have supreme power over them.” I sighed and hesitated to say one last thing. “The reason why they opposed Revan was because he was a threat to their authority. It happened well before the end of the Mandalorian wars that he was declared a traitor.”

“That’s enough!” He shouted.

Suddenly, I felt a terrible fear. I had hoped that Alfred would have understood my reasons, but even he was implicitly loyal to a corrupt Council. It was almost as if I could no longer trust him anymore. The thought seemed to leave a terrible void where there was once great trust.

I tried to calm his anger and assure him that I had good reason for my actions. “I’m not trying to be a nuisance. I’m genuinely concerned about the future of the Order. The Council... the ones who lead the jedi must hold themselves to a higher standard than the others. Doesn’t this matter to you?”

He held my shoulders and put his forehead against mine. “Of course it does, but you matter to me more. I know that you’re doing what you believe is right, but it's creating a rift between you and the Order. You alone can’t change the system. All you can do is try to be the best jedi you can. Once that happens, then you will have the influence you need to bring about change.” He took my hands into his own. “Please go back to Master Vrook and apologize for what you did. It doesn’t have to be genuine, but make it sound sincere. Then follow his lead and don’t question him again. If you can reason with him, that would be better, but please don’t throw away your future for this.”

It was terrible to hear him ask that of me, but I knew what I had to do. My cause was just, but I didn’t have the influence to challenge the Council. To the others, I was just a sith trying to make amends for my past. If I kept getting in the Council’s way, they would not allow me to stay within the Order... even with Revan’s support.

I gave Alfred a very grim expression and nodded.

-----

After that, I went back to training room 2 and waited for the briefing to end before confronting Vrook again. When the other four jedi walked passed, three looked at me with scorn. Beleya looked at me differently than before, but I didn’t know what she was thinking. Vrook was still in the room and preparing to depart when I entered.

He waited for me to say the first statement, but I kept silent. After a moment, he asked what I wanted. He didn’t seem angry, but spoke at me very pitifully.

“I wanted to apologize for what I said to you earlier. You were my superior and I overstepped my boundaries.” I said as pleasantly as possible.

He looked away and started walking to the entrance. “You’re lying. You feel no remorse for what you did earlier.”

“Then what do you want, ‘Master’ Vrook?”

He understood that I emphasized ‘master’ to show disrespect. “I want you to either follow me like all the other jedi, or leave the Order. There is no middle ground for you anymore now that you're a jedi knight.”

“Not yet... I’m still a padawan until tonight.”

“That’s a technicality. You knew that the light side was the more difficult path, but you chose to follow it. You have to respect your superiors if you want to succeed. The Council has tolerated a lot from you, but its patience has reached its end now that you are a knight. If you don’t respect the chain of command, you won’t survive here.” Vrook explained.

“Master Kolchak taught me that it was important for me to stand for what I believed to be right. Are you saying that the Council overrules the jedi teachings?”

“Part of the jedi teachings involves respecting your superiors. You believed the darkside was the means to end slavery before you left us five years ago. If you had listened to your master, would you have fallen to the sith?” He said in a sympathetic tone.

“I was wrong about that, but I don’t think I’m wrong now.”

“You think that Revan was right to wage war against the Republic? You think that the Council should have done it instead?!” He asked.

I stood up to him. “Revan joined the Mandalorian Wars because you wouldn’t. If we had followed the Council instead of Revan, the Republic would have been crushed. One in four jedi followed him and you declared them traitors because they defied you... not because they became sith! Have you ever considered that it was not Revan that was responsible for all that? Maybe it was because they believed you were wrong. Are you saying that all those jedi should have trusted you more than themselves?”

“You know nothing of war! What makes you think you know better than any of the Council?”

I sighed in frustration. “You’re right. I don’t.”

He nodded as if to say ‘good girl.’ “Then maybe this assignment will give you some wisdom.” He handed me a data pad. “Familiarize yourself with all the medical expertise and technical specs on the equipment from this pad. You’ll be expected to help with a variety of tasks.”

“What about tonight?”

“If you’re willing to accept the responsibility, then we’ll knight you then. If not...” He tried to walk out.

“Are you ever going to run through the obstacle course like everyone else?”

He turned around in frustration. “Why do you have to complain about such trivial things?”

“You made everyone suffer for something I did. Unless you think you are above the rest, you should go through it like everyone else. If you wouldn’t hold yourself up to your own standards, then why should we?” I crossed my arms in defiance.

He looked at me as if to slap me down again. Then he took off his cloak and started going through the course.

It was so satisfying to see him finally acting like a master should. I felt the urge to just watch him go through alone, but then I decided that I could earn some more respect. After a few seconds, I started the run again to beat him through.

When I was running beside him, he looked at me in confusion. “What are you doing?”

“You assigned another run for my insubordination. I hadn't done it.”

“I didn’t make the others go through a second time. You abandoned them.” He said as he started climbing a rope.

“I don’t shrink from my responsibilities. Besides... this only makes me stronger.”

He looked at me and smiled in a way that I found very gratifying. I almost think that he looked at me differently, but I may have been mistaken.

-----

When I entered the Council Chamber, the room was lit with only torches. The windows were blinded and the Council were hooded and kneeling around the center of the room.

I had requested that Atris not be a part of my ceremony and she was glad to be absent. Usually, a padawan’s master would ask an oath from her, but I felt that Trevelyan had as much right to be a part of this as Alfred. They took their place at the front of the circle and I got in the center.

Master Vandar took off his hood and stood in front of me. “Please kneel, Padawan Yuthura.”

I did as I was told and also placed my lightsaber in front of me.

“The path of the Jedi is a difficult one. Despite the temptation of the darkside, it is appropriate to declare that Yuthura Ban has earned the right to be known by all as a jedi knight. This I, Master Vandar, declare.”

As he returned to his place in the circle, another stepped in front of me. “I, Master Zhar declare Yuthura Ban a jedi knight.”

“Through extreme courage and dedication, Yuthura has fought the darkness within herself and defeated it. I, Master Kavar, decree that she be known as a jedi knight.”

“I, Lonna Vash, declare that Yuthura Ban be known as a Jedi Knight. She is a credit to our Order.”

“I, Vrook Lamar, declare Yuthura Ban a jedi knight. She will bear all the privileges... and the responsibilities of that rank.” He said the last part in a cheerful manner to remind me of it instead of forcing it upon me.

Trevelyan got in front of me and gave me a very proud smile. This was one of the most rewarding moments of my life. “We are ultimately responsible for the acts we commit. All that another can do... whether it be a master, a king, a friend, an enemy... is influence our choices. We are the ones who must chose our fate.” He kneeled before me. “Act for what you know is right, even if it leads to your death. That is your oath.”

For a long moment, we stared at each other. At first, I didn’t know that he seriously meant what he said, but I understood why he asked it of me. “I will.”

He stepped back and Alfred came before me. “An oath is as strong as the trust of the one making it. I ask no oath from you. Trust is earned by our actions... not our words.”

Alfred stepped back into position and all the Masters took out their lightsabers and saluted me with them. Alfred proudly said, “Stand, Yuthura... a Jedi Knight.”

This was one of the greatest moments of my life. I couldn’t hide my grin of utter happiness. I got to my feet and pulled my lightsaber to my hand to salute.

Trevelyan started clapping in applause, but realized that he was not supposed to. Before he stopped, two of the masters joined him and then the entire chamber was echoing with it. I must have been blushing like a little girl, but I’ve felt so few moments of utter happiness like this. I savored it for as much as it could be worth.

-----

After it was over, I thought that Trevelyan was going to take me up to his quarters to make the evening complete. When we reached them, I was met with an unusual feeling of disappointment and flattery... Trevelyan had prepared a surprise party for me.

When I showed up, everyone started clapping for me. About 15 people were crammed into this tiny living space. I didn’t want to have to squeeze in as well, but they came to congratulate me.

“I’d like everyone to welcome our newest jedi knight!” Trevelyan declared. The applause then became deafening.

I grabbed him by the collar and pulled us back into the hallway. “I asked you not to have a celebration for me. What’s with this?”

He gave me an ‘innocent’ expression. “This was more for them than anything else. I also thought you’d enjoy something like this for a change.”

“Well, you’re wrong. I don’t want to cram myself into a tiny room filled with all these people.” I said.

“They’re your friends and they want to congratulate you. You should try to enjoy the party.”

I shook my head and stepped away. “I don’t like parties. And I don’t like being in tight, crowded places.”

He dropped his head in disappointment. “What if were in a larger space? Would that be better?”

I thought about it for a moment. “A little.”

He smiled. “Then I’ll see if I can get everyone to the main atrium.”

-----

With everyone spread across a wider area, I was more willing to socialize. Everyone I knew congratulated me while some wanted to discuss more serious matters.

I found Juhani and thanked her for helping me realize why I was impacted by Nar Shadaa. It turned out that she also struggled with the dark side as I have. I could understand the anger she held for losing her home world, but I believed there was more to it than that. It was like she was bearing a wound that would not heal.

“Did you have any friends on Cathar?” I asked.

“I was only a baby when the Mandalorians destroyed it. Since then, I’ve held very few. Even when I was among the jedi, I kept to myself.”

I nodded. “On Sleheyron, I used to have a number of friends. We had nothing but ourselves, so we tried to watch out for each other whenever we could.” I felt hurt, but wasn’t close to tears. “I lived long enough to see them die and I came to understand it was in my best interest to not make new friends.”

“I’m sorry.”

I sighed and then took a sip from my glass. “The habit stayed with me. It wasn’t until Trevelyan came along that I was willing to open myself to others again. I’d forgotten what it was like to be able to trust in another.”

She nodded. “Why do you address him as ‘Trevelyan?’ I would have imagined you would call him by his true name.”

I smiled at what I knew that she didn’t. “From his point of view, he’s been ‘Trevelyan’ all his life. Though his memories are false, they are real to him. He even has memories of his earliest years where even his mother addressed him by his last name. Forgetting all that would be difficult. Do you think you could stop thinking of yourself as ‘Juhani’ if you were told that your entire life was a lie?”

She looked as though in deep thought. “I suppose.”

I stared at her for a moment. “Do you still have trouble dealing with the dark side?”

She was clearly embarrassed by the question. “Sometimes.”

“It’s nothing to be ashamed of. You’ve only fallen to it for a few days... I’ve let it control my destiny for almost five years.” I assured her.

“It’s always there. I find it hard to find peace because I’ve fallen to it once and have come dangerously close to falling to it again." She sighed. "When I encountered the man who murdered my father, I tried to kill him.”

She looked like she was about to display some unpleasant emotions, so I moved us to a more secluded area. Although it would have been best to end the conversation there, I wanted to try and help her as she helped me. “You said you tried? What happened?”

“Revan restrained me before I could do it.” She was holding something back and I hoped that she wasn’t about to reveal something best kept secret. “The Mandalorian confront me and Revan, offered to buy me from him, and Revan said I was my own person. When worse came to worse, the man took out a blaster and started shooting. Revan disarmed him, but even after losing his hand, he was still dangerous. He started taunting me about the night he murdered my father and how he tried to buy me off the slave market...” Great rage was building within her. I tried to comfort her, but she shrugged me away. “I wanted so much to kill him, but Revan wouldn’t let me! When I broke free of his grip, I tried.”

“What happened after that?” I asked.

She stared at me with an expression I couldn’t make out. “He did it himself.” A long, silent moment passed. “He murdered the Mandalorian so that I couldn’t.”

I was shocked at what I was hearing. The thought that Trevelyan had murdered someone... it was not easy to hear. “How did that impact you?”

“I hated him for it!” She screamed. “He said it was for the best, but he cheated it from me!” Juhani turned away and tried to hide it from me, but she was in pain. She hid it well... I was surprised that she wasn’t in tears.

I got behind her and gently tried to comfort her again. She didn’t push me away this time. “Are you still angry at Revan for that?”

“I can't. He wouldn’t have done it if it weren’t for me.” She sat down and thought for a moment. “I’ve never murdered another... I don’t know what it’s like.”

“It depends on how the murder was committed.” I sat across from her. “When I killed Omeesh, I tried to justify that I did it to save myself and many others like me. The truth is that I wanted to make him suffer for what he did. You may think me a monster for saying it, but I’m glad that I killed him... I wouldn’t have been satisfied to have another do it.”

“Then you understand.”

I shook my head very erratically. “No. There is more to it than that.” I stood up and paced to collect my thoughts. “I’ll never know how my life could have been different if I hadn’t done it. I might never have fallen to the sith.” I kneeled before her. “Trevelyan may have kept you from suffering that fate.”

She sighed from discord. “Do you regret killing Omeesh?”

She already knew the answer, but wanted me to verify that she was deprived of revenge. “Killing him was the right thing to do, but I regret that I was to one to do it.”

She looked at me as if I just lied to her. “You said you wouldn’t have been satisfied to see another kill him. What was it?!”

I almost felt like a master as I prepared to tell her about the origins of my hate. “If you’re asking me to say that revenge would have given you some peace... it wouldn’t have.”

“How would you know? You haven’t been deprived of it.”

“That’s correct. I know what it does.” After a moment, I told her about my path to the sith. “When I was on Sleheyron, I despised Omeesh. When I saw an opportunity to get rid of him, it was the greatest moment of my life up to that point. I thoroughly enjoyed killing him and savoring my revenge.
“But it didn’t end there... I soon wanted revenge on not just him, but every hutt.
“When I was rescued by the jedi, I came to hate slavery. That hate may have been just, but it emerged where it hadn't existed before.
“Then I began to hate the jedi for their inaction. I felt that they were trying to purge me of my anger. I resisted because I was more interested in dealing out punishment than trying to heal myself.
“I tried to kill my master for following them. He was trying to protect me from myself, but I felt he was confining me from making my own choices.
“After that, I turned to the sith because they told me everything I wanted to hear. I hated them for what they represented.
“Eventually I hated myself for becoming the very evil I wanted to destroy.”
I held onto one of her hands. “Trevelyan may have deprived you of revenge, but he may also have deprived you of all that would have followed it. Do you still feel cheated?”

She stared at me with an expression that seemed to speak volumes. I could tell that I had said enough and that it was best for me to leave her alone. She was hiding grief and had to deal with it in private.

I slowly walked passed Juhani and closed the door behind me. Although I was trying to help her deal with her darker side, I ended up helping myself more.

Last edited by Darth_Yuthura; 08-01-2008 at 01:58 PM. Reason: Corrections
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Old 06-22-2008, 03:07 PM   #82
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I found Juhani and we had a very serious conversation about the High Council.
This was the only mistake that I found.

Another powerful chapter! It seems as though Vrook has changed a lot with his attitude toward Yuthura. I am glad that Yuthura kept her word, so to say, and ran another time with Vrook. I am also glad that Vrook ran one.

Great chapter, and I am glad that Yuthura is now a fully-fledged Jedi Knight! Keep up the amazing word Darth_Yuthura.

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Old 06-22-2008, 03:36 PM   #83
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Nice to see Yuthura helping Juhani out, and I'm glad that she is a jedi knight. So Vrook is coming around and actually being a little more humble?...wow. I'm glad that she stood her ground. I think that in all times of the Order, too many blindly follow the Council. They were ment to guide and represent thte order, not rule them.

Good work here! Just curious, who were the other people at her party, because you said there were about three dozen? I got the impression that not many people in the order liked Yuthura. Anyways this is a great addition, keep it up.



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Old 06-23-2008, 07:47 AM   #84
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This was a more complex chapter. I originally had a scene where Revan embarrassed Yuthura by the Council not allowing a party in a public area. As much as I liked the emotion and the rift that formed between the two, it wasn't in Revan's character to be sloppy with that kind of thing. I'll try to make the corrections from this.

to HOP: The number of invited guests was more like 15 (Ebon Hawk crew, Nevski, Ross Senegal, Master Vash, Master Zhar) Other jedi came by to simply congratulate her. Alfred is absent, but will be back with Zez Kae Ell in the next chapter.

I wanted to display how the Council has become corrupt throughout the story. (Yuthura's exile at the beginning will be explained by Zez Kae Ell in the next chapter. The Atris incident. The Council's response to Revan's defiance.) I want to show that there was a good reason for why the jedi order will fall apart.

QUERRY: Why don't indentations and italicized words copy over from a word processor to the forum? When I try to use them, the text boxes won't respond properly or the command doesn't work. This makes it difficult to organize new lines and paragraphs. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

Last edited by Darth_Yuthura; 06-23-2008 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 06-23-2008, 05:57 PM   #85
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You have to use the tags for italics, and I don't think that indentations work. Actually I'm wrong. Look here for the codes.

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Old 06-24-2008, 07:24 PM   #86
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I just finished reading the last three chapters...and I have to say I continue to be impressed with your writing and the story that you're telling. I particularly liked how you portrayed Yuthura after Nar Shaddaa. I think you conveyed her feelings well through her actions.


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

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Old 06-25-2008, 01:29 PM   #87
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wow.. i just finished reading all the chapters up to this point. Quite a read. Amazing story and really fun to read. Yuthura is a bit too emo for my liking but hey... she did suffer through alot of trauma.
Overall great work and I will absolutely keep reading
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:17 PM   #88
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Yuthura and Revan



[IMG][/IMG]

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Old 06-25-2008, 06:32 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura View Post
I'm also quite the artist. This still is incomplete, but stand by for an updated finished copy with Yuthura's tattoos and lightsaber hilts complete.

<image snip>
Wow! I have to say that is pretty impressive. You are a great artist, and I look forward to the update.

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Old 06-26-2008, 08:36 AM   #90
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More Art

This takes place after Yuthura has her tattoos removed.


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Old 06-26-2008, 12:41 PM   #91
JediAthos
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wow...those are pretty good Yuthura for being "incomplete"


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

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Old 06-26-2008, 11:21 PM   #92
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Agreed. Nice update.

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Old 06-27-2008, 03:32 PM   #93
Darth_Yuthura
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Chapter 25: Escalation

When I returned to the party, I was trying to find Alfred. I had not seen him since my ceremony. Before I could, padawan Senegal approached to congratulate me. I didn’t want to be bothered by him again, but I felt I needed to know why he took such an interest in me. If he were attracted to me or simply wanted to learn some of the DS abilities; at least I would understand.

“Congratulations, Jedi Yuthura.”

“Thank-you, Padawan Ross. How much longer until you expect to become a knight?” I replied.

“I’ve been catching up in training, but I still need to be apprenticed for another few months before that could happen.” He wanted to ask the same question as last time, but silently implied it.

Now that I actually had the option available to me, I seriously considered taking someone under my wing. Before, I just didn’t give him a second thought, but now that I’ve seen how far I’ve come in just three months... However, I needed to know more about him. “Ross... why do you want me to take you? What is it about me that stands out from the others?”

He looked at me, confused. “It would be an honor to study under one who faced the darkside and turned away from it. I’ve asked a few other masters and knights. They are either not instructing or they’ve already made their selection.”

I gave a sarcastic smile. “And I was the only one left? Thanks.”

“Master Zimmer said he would take me, but he’s like Master Vrook. I’ve been holding out on you for the last month.”

I sighed heavily. “If you want me to take you, I need more than that. Why are you asking me?” I spoke up in a threatening manner. “Don’t generalize and don’t even think of lying to me.”

That startled him more than I would have thought. He remained silent for a moment and looked away as if embarrassed. Then he took a deep breath and gave me his answer. “It’s because you remind me of one of my people’s greatest heros, Vincenza.”

“Vincenza?”

He nodded. “She was a religious figure, but a real person. According to the legend, she had a family that was captured by a warlord when he sacked her village. She vowed to rescue them by whatever means she could.”

“Go on.”

He looked at me and I could see that this meant something significant to him. “Vincenza was believed to have rallied all of her neighboring villages into uniting their efforts against the warlord. She brought several nomadic tribes together to form a single nation and she was selected to lead them. The warlord was eventually defeated and Vincenza found only her daughter in the aftermath. The rest of her family was killed.”

I nodded. “How close does this tale correspond to the history?” I asked.

“I don’t know. This was about 500 years ago.”

I was getting interested in the story and was saddened to hear about the death of most of Vincenza’s family. “What happened after that?”

I could see tears behind his eyes. “Vincenza nursed her daughter back to health and promised she would not let that happen to anyone else ever again. When she was well enough, Vincenza rallied her army again and created a single dominion across the continent. She destroyed all the warlords like the one that murdered her family and brought peace on an amazing scale.”

I was trying to smile, but I got a terrible feeling that something was about to ruin a wonderful tale. He looked very sad as he said of a great achievement.

He continued. “When Vincenza returned from war... she learned that her daughter had taken her own life. Because she sought to protect everyone else’s family, she had neglected her daughter.”

This was becoming painful to hear. I could see some of myself in the woman he spoke of, but I had to hear more. “What happened to Vincenza after that?”

He took a deep breath. “She could heal an entire civilization, but she couldn’t heal the pain within her heart. She disbanded her army and made all the preparations to maintain the peace after she was gone. Although she had done terrible acts during her campaign, Vincenza said that nothing was worse than the pain she inflicted on her daughter. She couldn’t have prevented the rest of her family from being killed, but she knew she could have saved her last child.”

That part of the tale... hurt. I don’t know if it was the tale, or that he saw me as Vincenza; I started crying. I knew that I had inflicted great pain on Alfred in the same way. It must have hurt him more than I ever realized.

My sobs must have made Ross uneasy. He tried to comfort me. “I’m sorry. I didn’t...”

I extended my arm to silence him. I asked him and he told me what I wanted to know. After a moment, I dried my eyes and controlled my emotions again. “Don’t mistake me for the woman you just described. I can see certain similarities, but even then... I don’t want you to follow me as if I were like a religious figure or something.”

“I’m not that naive. I know you’re not Vincenza, but I do respect you as much as I would her. I was told that you turned to the sith because you wanted to end slavery. You turned away when Vincenza did not. That’s why I would want to study under you of all people. I want to learn by the example of one like Vincenza.” He got on a knee and held his hands together as if to plea. “If you won’t take a padawan... I’ll not ask you again, but if you would... I would do whatever it takes to meet your expectations.”

He was dead serious about what he said. He genuinely wanted me to accept him... I needed to know if I could before I gave an answer. He looked ridiculous on the floor, so I pulled him off his knee and looked him in the eye. “I don’t know if it would be allowed. I would need to speak to a Council Member first.”

He smiled in great anticipation.

I raised my hand. “That doesn’t mean ‘yes.’ I need to know if it would be allowed.”

He nodded and was very anxious about the answer I would bring back.

-----

Master Vash had come by the party to congratulate me, so I chose to ask her. “You should get those tattoos removed. Your garb is at least... tolerable, but the marks of the sith should go as soon as possible.”

“Yeah, I know. I have a question about the privileges that my new rank provides.”

“Yes?”

I paused for a moment. “Can a jedi knight choose a padawan at any time, or must the Council appoint the union?”

She knew what I was suggesting. “The Council must make the final decision, but the request of the two would be considered. Do you already wish to train someone?”

“He wishes for me to train him. I would accept him, but I don’t know what the Council would say to ‘me’ training anyone.”

She stared at me for a moment. “Who do you have in mind?”

“Padawan Senegal. He needs someone to apprentice him for another year... two at the most. Would there be any problems with that?”

She stared at me again. “I don’t think the Council would reject that arrangement if you are both willing and he’s had at least five years of training.” She got in front of me as if to make a speech. “Even then, it would be a huge commitment. I can’t emphasize the liabilities you would face if you agree to accept an apprentice. You would not only have to be able to handle yourself, but another. Do you seriously believe you are ready for that?”

I wanted to say ‘yes.’ I tried to say it, but when she asked me the question... I knew I had to be stronger than I was before I could take another’s life into my hands. Then my better judgment was clouded by the thought of denying something that may benefit us both. He wants me to train him... I’d be fond of having a ‘disciple’ following me around. I looked up at Vash. “Yes.”

She didn’t seem convinced of my answer. “We will have to speak to him about it as well. If we think it’s in your best interests, then it could be arranged after you return from the front lines.”

I felt some relief. A part of me liked the idea of instructing again, but I did not know what I was getting myself into. There was still so much that I have not considered before now. Would I be able to trust him to take care of himself? Would I have to constantly worry about him acting instead of thinking? I’ve never seen him in action before... was he capable enough by my standards?

All these questions would seriously influence my choice to become a master. If I wasn’t sure of my own abilities, then the last thing I should have done was entrust another’s life into my hands. I wasn’t willing to do that to myself or to him.

When I got back to Ross, I did not hide what I was feeling. He looked down in disappointment. “They wouldn’t allow it?”

I sat across from him. “No. This is my decision.”

He looked as though a part of him was shattered. He was holding back tears. “Why?”

“I’m not ready to take responsibility for another. As much as I would like to have one who looks up to me, I can’t afford the additional burdens that come with it. I know that you are not fond of my answer, but you must accept that I’m not prepared for something like this.”

He stood up. “Is that final?”

I looked at him as though I were about to deny him something that he truly wanted. I didn’t have to heart to kill this dream of his. I personally liked the respect he had for me and I didn’t want to do anything to lose it. “How much longer can you wait before you are assigned a master?”

“Two weeks.”

“You’ll have my final answer then.” I declared.

“I’ve been waiting for a long time already! Why won’t you give me a definite answer?” He sounded desperate.

I looked at him with as much sympathy as I could display. “It hasn’t been easy for me here. Taking an apprentice would mean that I would have to be able to look out for not only myself, but another. If I don’t think I can, what else would you have me do?”

He nodded. “You’re right. I’m sorry.”

I put my hand on his right shoulder and tried to say something else to comfort him, but I knew there was nothing I could do. All that I could do was encourage him to hold on a little while longer.

When I looked up, I saw Alfred had joined the party. I still felt like a needed a mentor, so I went to him as I always have.

“Already working for the rank of master?” He said with a smile.

“What?”

“I overheard some of your conversation.”

I took a deep breath. “He wants me to complete his training.”

“What do you think?”

I watched Ross as he left the party. “I had not considered taking an apprentice so soon, but now...”

“What’s changed?” He asked.

“If I don’t chose to accept him now, he would not be available later.”

“You chose to take the safest path.” He said.

I looked back at him. “You don’t think I could do it?”

He shook his head. “Yuthura, this is not the time to concern yourself with a padawan. Whatever you decide... Ross will come to accept in the fullness of time. Right now, there are greater matters at stake. I need you to get Zez Kae Ell’s lightsaber.”

“Why?”

“Because he will want it back after he tells you what he promised.” Alfred smiled. “He’s in my quarters and is ready to see you.”

Before he could leave, I wrapped my arms around him. “Alfred... I’m so sorry for abandoning you.”

He batted me away. “We’ve already been through this. I’ve forgiven you.”

I shook my head. “I had not... truly understood what it must have been like to watch me turn against everything you taught me. It must have been very painful for you.”

“Yes it was. However, I don’t think any less of you for what you did. You were under the influence of the darkside, but you eventually overcame it. That makes all the difference to me.”

“Still... I regret what I put you through. I do want to make reparations for what I’ve done.”

He smiled again as if he became prouder of me. “Zez Kae Ell is waiting for us. We should go.”

-----

After collecting the lightsaber, I went to Alfred’s quarters and came across the two of them laughing. It made me smile to hear Alfred enjoy a good joke. He had a sense of humor, but only laughed at the most clever ‘bits’ in the galaxy.

The two were clearly friends. That would explain how Zez Kae Ell knew to give me a bottle of black ale the last time we met. I never told Alfred about my habit, but I had expected that he would know. He likely also knew about me and Trevelyan, but I wouldn’t say anything unless he confirmed it first.

Alfred opened the door before I could press the chime. “Please come in.”

I entered and saw Zez Kae Ell standing up from the table and extending his hand. “Congratulations... Jedi Yuthura.” After shaking, we all sat down at the table. Alfred and I were opposite of Zez Kae Ell. “Should I get down to business?”

I took out the lightsaber and put it in front of me. “Please tell me what has the Council’s been keeping secret.”

Alfred stood up. “Maybe I should leave you two alone for this.”

“No. This concerns you as much as it does her.” After Alfred sat back down, Zez Kae Ell continued. “First, I need to know what you’ve been told. Why did the Council reject you when you returned? What reasons did they give?”

“Vrook said that there were no masters available to train me. And that the Council was more interested in training one who has not been given a single chance than attempting to retrain a failed jedi.”

He nodded weakly. “There was more to it than that. When you turned away from the sith, it startled the High Council. Few ever turn away from the darkside. Most do so under... extraordinary circumstances.”

“Extraordinary circumstances?” Alfred asked.

“Yes. You’ve been told that once a jedi starts down the dark path, it would forever dominate their destiny. There have been exceptions to this rule, but virtually every one occurred under very favorable conditions. It was believed that a jedi who fell to the darkside could be saved if they were rescued quickly and if they were once true to the light before they fell.” Zez Kae Ell explained.

“And I disproved that?”

He shook his head. “There was more to it than that.” He looked away to think of something. “Yuthura, I need to ask you something and I need you to tell me honestly... did you truly fall to the darkside?”

I was shocked by the question. It scared me into thinking that I would rather not know what he was going to tell me. “Yes. Why would you ask that?”

“When? Describe to me how you fell.”

Alfred interrupted. “What’s this about? I don’t think there would be any reason to assume she would fake something like that.”

Zez Kae Ell answered. “I’m not suggesting that it was a ruse. The Council does not believe that Yuthura ‘fell’ to the darkside. I’m asking her to confirm whether or not it’s true.”

They stared at me for a long moment as I tried to grasp what I just heard. “I... never really thought of it. It just seemed to happen over a long period of time.” I stood up and paced around the room. “I suppose when I killed Omeesh shortly before being accepted by the jedi in the first place.”

Alfred shook his head. “It couldn’t have. When I trained you, I saw you strive to become a jedi for a long time after that. If you had fallen then, it would have taken its course immediately.”

“So what are you suggesting?” I asked.

He remained silent for a moment. “Are either of you familiar with the potentium theory?”

“No.” I said.

“I know of it, yes.” Alfred answered.

Zez Kae Ell spoke to me. “It has been something that’s been greatly debated by the Council in recent months. It challenges the very foundation of the Jedi Order.”

“How?”

“The theory explains how force alignment is inherent to the one who wields it... that force energy is not inherently good or evil... that there is no light or darkside. That it all depends on the one who uses it.”

“Wait...” Alfred looked at me. “Are you suggesting that Yuthura...?”

“The Council seriously believes it to be so.”

I was confused. They spoke of something that I was not familiar with. “What are you talking about? What does that mean?”

“The potentium theory is a very serious matter. It has existed as a theory, alone, with no definite proof that it is true. The reason why the Council rejected you was because you could very well be proof that Potentium was fact.”

“So what if it is?”

Alfred answered. “Let’s just say that the Council would not take to kindly to that. It could mean that all the jedi teachings may be fundamentally flawed.”

I began to feel sickened by the thought that I could unravel the entire Jedi Order. “How could I, alone... how do I prove any of that?”

“Because you have also demonstrated something else that should not have been possible. According to jedi teachings, certain force abilities can only come through peace... the healing trance and battle meditation, for example. Others, such as force lightning, could only be done with intense emotion. The Council does not believe you are restricted by those limitations.” He explained.

“How did you come to this conclusion?” I asked.

“According to Master Kolchak, you started exhibiting unusual abilities in the months before you left the Order. You used passion to perform feats that other jedi could only perform through peace. The Council believed it worked both ways.”

I didn’t understand what he was saying. Much of what I was hearing contradicted what I already knew. “I’m sorry, but I don’t see what’s so significant about that. I’ve seen Master Vrook use force lightning and I’ve been told Jolee Bindo was also capable of such feats. Revan as well.”

Zez Kae Ell sighed in frustration. “Yes. Master Vrook can harness lightning, but he would have to focus on intense emotion in order to do it. Force users often focus on one side of the force spectrum or the opposite. When a jedi becomes more at peace, it becomes easier to perform a healing trance, but it becomes more difficult to use lightning. The same goes for a sith in the opposite direction.” He stood up and paced around for a moment. “As for gray jedi, they don’t focus on mastering either side of the force spectrum. They remain neutral in the force, but never achieve their fullest potential as ones like Malak or Vandar.”

I nodded. “So where do I stand among them?”

“You seemingly defy the force spectrum. It’s like you achieve a mastery of both sides of the spectrum the more you gravitate to one side or the other.” He said.

“I don’t understand.”

“I’m afraid it’s something that I can’t explain. The truth is that we don’t know the extent of your abilities.” Zez Kae Ell said.

“Then why haven’t I been told of this? Why haven’t you tried?”

Alfred spoke up. “This gets back to the potentium theory. The more you demonstrate your abilities, the more you would disprove the jedi teachings.”

I stared at Alfred in horror. “You knew of this?!”

“Not until you returned to the jedi. I knew that there was something significant about you in the Council, but I didn’t know what. When you were accepted back into the Order, Master Zhar was assigned to you in order to ensure that you would return to the light and abandon your dark side abilities.” He looked away. “He believed that once you found peace, you would refuse to tap into the darkside again.”

“Wait! You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about! You say I’m...”

Zez Kae Ell interrupted. “You’re right... we don’t. All that the Council knew was that you were a threat to their teachings. They feared what you may have represented; and they wanted to avoid confronting the matter altogether. For that, your request to be retrained was denied. The only reason why you’ve been accepted was because Revan would not allow it. He forced them to accept the risk you posed.”

“But if the knowledge of this could prove dangerous for the Order, why did you reveal it to us?” Alfred asked.

Zez Kae Ell faced me. “If the jedi teachings are indeed flawed, it is better for us to know sooner than later. I give you this knowledge because you deserve to know the truth...” He faced Alfred. “...and if you are to retrain her, it is necessary for you to know as well.
“The knowledge I have given you is yours to do with as you will. If you share it with the High Council, it could have serious repercussions on the order. If you wish to keep it secret, it should be your choice... not the Council’s.”

I dropped my head. This news angered me, but I was too tired to react. At first, I thought that the Council rejected me because I’d fallen too far to be redeemed. This news alleviated guilt, but brought great disappointment. My opinion of the Council has dropped so low that I no longer got angry... just disappointed. All I wanted at that moment was to be by myself, so I tried to end the meeting. “Is there anything else that I should know?”

“I believe I’ve told you everything you needed. If you have questions, I’ll answer them.”

Alfred put his arm around me and tried to comfort me, but I gently brushed it away and stood up. “I’ve heard enough. Thank-you.” I gave him his saber staff.

Alfred interrupted. “Are you sure? You have nothing you wish to ask?”

I didn’t take this well. The last thing I wanted was to hear more. “I don’t care. Please excuse me.”

-----

When I returned to my quarters, I didn’t break open a bottle. I needed to think through everything that’s happened. I’ve never felt so much anxiety in my life. For the first time I could remember, I had more worth losing than myself. I knew I had to act, but did not know what to do.

In the darkness, I sat on my bed with my head buried in my hands. I just couldn’t escape the irony of everything. I have come so close to finding peace, but I feared that it would always be just beyond my reach.

After about ten minutes of solitude, I poured myself a glass of Cornelian ale. When I took a gulp, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Although I knew myself better than anyone, I saw something different. I looked more closely at my reflection and just studied myself. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I just stared at the tattoos... the eyes... there was nothing. When I started taking another gulp of my drink, I saw it.

I stared at my reflection with the glass in my hand... it sickened me. Trevelyan didn’t drink because he claimed alcohol didn’t solve anything... it just allowed us to forget our problems. I looked at the woman in the mirror with contempt and threw the glass, shattering both. I couldn’t stand the sight of myself anymore. “Never again.”

Suddenly, a flood of thoughts began to come to my mind that I have never considered before. When I returned to the jedi, I was prepared to face the reality that I didn’t have the power to change things as I once thought. I had to brush that aside and realize that I did have that power... but it would only come if I did what was necessary to make it happen.

If the Council was not going to save the Order... then it was up to me.

-----

I made a mistake earlier today. When Padawan Senegal asked me to apprentice him, I lied. I knew that I was capable of training him, but lacked the confidence I needed.

I don’t know how, but when I threw that glass away... I realized that my confidence was as strong as I was willing to make it. Doubt was an enemy that I had to be rid of. And I knew what I had to do...

It was early in the night, so I rang the door chime without hesitation and without second-guessing myself... that was what a leader would have to do. When the door opened, it was a roommate who greeted me. “Can I help you?”

“Is Padawan Ross here?”

Upon hearing my voice, I saw him leap out of his bed and come to face me. “Jedi Yuthura.”

I smiled in a strange way that he couldn’t quite make out, but I was not hesitating... I wanted to remember this moment. “I just wanted you to be aware that I would expect nothing but excellence from one who studies under me. Are you prepared for such hardships?”

Just as his face lit up, one of Ross’s roommates found this amusing. “Hey guys! Look who’s trying to snag Ross in her web?”

I stepped around Ross and got directly in front of the roommate. I gave him an ‘evil’ little smile and he knew that he made a mistake. I waved my arms and softy said “Boo.” It was enough to make him flinch.
The others chuckled at his reaction. I grinned and put my hands firmly on the shoulders. “Forget you, Ross. I think I’ll take this one instead.”
I’m sure the roommate knew I was only joking, but he backed away in fear. That got everyone else laughing, even Ross. I faced him. “Why don’t we go into the hallway?”

When the door closed, he was trying to hide a smile, but not very well.

“Don’t get too excited just yet. I’m willing to take you, but you would have to meet my expectations.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Unfortunately, you won’t be able to prove yourself until I return from RS 159.”

“RS 159?” He asked.

“Yes. Sith forces have invaded three systems and I’m being dispatched to RS 159 tomorrow. It’s uninhabited, but the refueling station makes it critical to striking deep into the Republic. I’m expected to be gone for about a week... maybe longer.” He tried to ask a question, but I answered it first. “When I return, I’ll work with you. If you meet my expectations, then we’ll go from there. I’m telling you this now because you will need to prepare yourself for when I get back. The matter is not if, but when you will have to prove yourself.”

His look of joy turned to anxiety. “What exactly would you expect of an apprentice?”

“Normally, I would tell a sith student to figure it out for himself. That wouldn’t suffice now... my expectations are different than the others.” I looked away and went into deep thought. “I would like you to prove to me that you’re willing and able to act for what you know to be right.”

He looked at me as if my demand was too simple to consider. In a way, there was nothing more to it than that. It also meant being willing to die if the stakes were high enough. I’m not surprised he asked for clarification.

“It means not lying, cheating, or treating others less than you would treat yourself. It means not being afraid to face adversity in order to do what you know to be right.” I put my hand on his shoulder. “If you can prove that to me... or are working to achieve that... then you should have nothing to worry about.”

He nodded nervously. “Sound simple enough.”

I smiled and shook my head. “It’s not.”

“Right. Out of curiosity, what caused you to change your mind?” He asked.

I sighed from guilt. “I lied to you earlier tonight about my ability to instruct. I just didn’t want the responsibility of having to look out for another. When my master found me after I escaped Sleheyron, he didn’t want to train an apprentice. He wouldn’t have desired to train one like me, but because I was so isolated from anyone else... everything he spoke of was so new to me, that I felt I couldn’t trust anyone other than him.” I looked toward the floor in great sadness. “There came a point when he was faced with a decision: take on an emotionally unstable, angry little twi’lek under difficult conditions... or go on with his life, knowing I would eventually fail.” I looked back to Ross. “He sacrificed much of himself for me.”

He sighed as if he had just coerced me into taking him. “If you’re saying you don’t want to...”

“If Master Kolchak had done that, I would have failed without him. If Revan had thought that, even after I tried to kill him, then I would be dead. I can’t accept their sacrifices unless I was willing to expect the same from myself.”

He nodded, not knowing what to say. He clearly didn’t appreciate being compared to me, but wasn’t willing to say it.

“Here’s an opportunity for you. Do you agree with my reasoning?”

He was very nervous, but he didn’t lie. “With all due respect, no.”

“Why not?” I asked.

“You just said you didn’t want to take an apprentice. At least that’s what I think you said. If you don’t want to apprentice me... I don’t want to inconvenience you.”

I was about to give a quick response, but saw a chance to teach a lesson now... one that every great jedi would follow. “When you wake up in the morning, do you feel like just staying in bed and pretending you are ill?” I answered it for him. “Of course you do. Why then do you report to your instructor instead?”

“Because it’s demanded of me.”

“But why not make it easier on yourself whenever you can? It’s because you may enjoy having a day to yourself, but once it’s over... it’s spent. However, when you choose to make the sacrifice, you strengthen yourself for more important rewards later.” I put my hands on his shoulders. “This is a sacrifice that I choose to make. If I didn’t... it would be the same as if I chose to stay in bed this morning.”

Of course, I was in bed this morning, but it was beside the point. I did it by accident, not because I was lazy.

Ross bowed to me. “Thank-you. I’ll try not to let you down.”

I nodded. “That party might still be in progress. You are welcome to come.”

“It’s one in the morning! How long do those things last?”

I was not aware it was so late. It surprised me that I had lost track of time. Suddenly, I realized that I just dragged all the roommates out of bed in the middle of the night. “Oh... I’m sorry for waking you and your friends. I should have kept track of how late it was before coming.”

He chuckled. “I wouldn’t mind waking up for this. Neither did any of the others... except maybe Koval.”

“Still, I’m sorry. We both should get to bed.”

He bowed again. “Yes, Master.”

I would have told him about not addressing me as ‘master,’ but it was only a joke and it really didn’t matter one way or another. Besides, that’s the kind of thing Vrook would have done.
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:31 PM   #94
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So Yuthura is going to have an apprentice?

I am enjoying every single chapter that you have made. You have done a great job, and I cannot wait until there is more! Nice work!

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Old 06-30-2008, 02:47 PM   #95
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Chapter 26: Revan's Memories

Despite getting to bed very late, I woke up fairly early. It was 5:00 AM and I felt a little better than I usually would that early in the morning. Usually, I would just turn over and go back to sleep, but I decided that the next two hours were not worth wasting, so I got myself up and put them to use.

As my memories of yesterday returned, I recalled what Zez Kae Ell told me. At first, I was so far beyond anger that I didn’t react. I couldn’t explain it, but the truth hurt me in a way that it didn’t inflict pain. I suppose I was so used to their hypocrisy that I come to expect disappointment.

It did alert me to realize that I didn’t have the power to change the Council... but it was because I didn’t deserve it. If I would demand that the Council be above the standards they place on other jedi, then I must put myself above their standards. Otherwise, my demands would mean nothing.

I threw that glass of alcohol away because I was more eager to remove the cause of my pain than to continue shutting it out. I had packed three bottles of ale to take with me to RS 159, but I removed them from my bag. The thought of drinking that stuff again was no longer satisfying... I should have been dealing with my problems from the start.

A jedi knight’s robe was delivered to my quarters and I decided to wear it. My garb was only a minor issue, but if I were to make an impact on myself, I had to present myself properly to others. If I couldn’t influence the Council, then I had to earn the respect of their followers. Only then would I have the power to instigate change. Revan knew it and he played the Council like fools when he attracted a forth of the jedi to go with him to war. Now it’s my turn.

-----

In addition to the new robes, I covered the tattoos on my face with the dermal paste... hiding them for now. When I saw myself in one of the large shards of my shattered mirror, it was strange to see a ‘perfect jedi’ staring back at me. That was what I had to become before I had the power to influence the strong.

On Korriban, my twi’lek qualities only took me so far. I couldn’t overcome Uthar because I didn’t change my tactics. To overcome the Council, I had to have support. For that, I had to earn it from as many other jedi as possible. Their support would either force the Council to play by their rules or lose their authority.

Sounds easy, but becoming a ‘perfect leader’ like Revan involves pushing myself harder than ever before. Every moment I am given will be used to its fullest... starting with some exercise in the simulator.

Instead of smashing droids, I set the program to extreme levels of difficulty with nearly impossible goals. Instead of taking joy from success, I was determined to learn from my failures and eventually become strong enough to reach the levels that seem beyond my reach.

The last time I used the simulator, I was ridiculed for having destroyed so many droids. Although the jedi had always been supplied with what they needed, needless waste was discouraged. This time, I set myself to complete my runs ‘without’ destroying anything... adding difficulty and forcing me to adapt to tactics that I wouldn’t have tried otherwise. I was hit dozens of times with painful stun lasers and it was taking its toll on my body. They weren’t lethal, but a concentrated treatment could be fatal, so I ended it earlier than I had hoped.

I had about four hours before I needed to report to Vrook in the hanger, so I decided that it was best to catch up on the sleep I missed. Before I got back to my quarters, Trevelyan caught me. He displayed the nicest smile at the sight of me in knight’s robes and without tattoos. He must’ve thought they were removed as he gently moved his hand across my forehead where they should have been.

“They’re not gone, just hidden.” I said.

“You look good as a jedi knight. I thought you hated the robes.”

“I do, but it’s expected of everyone.”

“Do they fit properly? I thought you said they were restricting.”

I smiled to silently answer. “I guess not everyone’s as flexible as me.”

“Well if they’re a hindrance, then you should keep with what works best with you.”

I gave him a proud grin as if I had him around my finger. I know that I didn’t, but it was an amusing thought. “I think we both know the real reason... just say it.”

He shook his head. “Yes... they’re more flattering than robes yes, but because they restrict movement, there is a legitimate reason to keep with the twi’lek garb. If you wore a cloak, no one would notice.”

I scoffed. “Why not ask me to fight naked? It’d certainly distract enemies... it’d distract you.”

He didn’t know how to react to that comment. I was beginning to frustrate him. “Just go with whatever works best. Aesthetics are irrelevant unless they influence others, which is an advantage you have. If you have to fight... to **** with traditions. If it’s all the same to you, then try not to stand out from others.”

I wrapped my arms around his neck. “For a man who turned a fourth of all the jedi against their teachings, you don’t clue in to certain implications very well.”

He grabbed my arms and brushed me off him. “I’m not Revan anymore! Stop measuring me to him... I don’t have the skills or the abilities he once possessed. I am aware of that and don’t have to be reminded again and again.”

His reaction startled me and I realized that I could not discuss under the current conditions. The first time we slept together, it was a mutually special experience. Now I was intending to use my body as a weapon again... on the man I loved. Only this time, my intent was not to exploit him. I simply wanted him to be relaxed before I could talk to him about more sensitive issues.

I wrapped myself around him again. “We have a few hours before we have to depart. Bastila is gone. Why not spend some time together?”

He looked at me as if he knew I was throwing myself at him more easily than usual. “I don’t think it would be best. When we did... it was like a spiritual moment for me. I wouldn’t...”

I pulled myself back. “We’re both adults... not undeveloped children to be ordered about. There’s nothing wrong with giving in to a temptation every now and again. Give me a very good reason why you would deny such a little thing like sex and I’ll respect your wishes.”

He opened his mouth to say an answer, but one really didn’t exist. He stared at me for a moment while I watched the wheels turning in his head. Then he chuckled. “If you hate the robes, maybe you should slip into something more appropriate?”

-----

Like so many times before, I went through the experience with a goal on my mind. When Trevelyan and I were finished, I got down to my business. “You know that despite not being him, you still have much of Revan’s potential?”

He turned his head. “I’m aware of that.”

“Have you been recovering memories of your former life? Can you describe the person you once were in any degree?”

“I’ve frequently been recovering memories, but I periodically have the Council reinforce their mental blocks so that they don’t all flood back.”

I sat up and stared at him in horror. “You’re actively restraining memories of your former life?”

He gave me a serious stare. “I don’t want to be like that monster again. I don’t want any part of him up here.” He tapped his head.

I was outraged at what he just said. “You... you’ve been making an issue about me facing my memories and not forgetting my past. You’re doing the same thing!”

“No I’m not. You’re memories are a part of who you are... Revan’s memories are not a part of me. I’m not changing myself by restricting them. You would have been lost.”

I shook my head hard and the blanket fell from my neck, revealing my breasts. Trevelyan appreciated that I was more interested in talking than covering myself again. “You’ve already been altered when the Council blocked your memories. You should allow them to return naturally.”

“No. I don’t want those memories... I don’t want to risk falling to the darkside again.”

I frowned. “What if I asked it of you?”

“Why?”

“Because you asked the same from me.”

“I asked you to preserve yourself. You’re asking me to do the opposite.” He protested.

“You are not... I’m not asking you to detract from who you are. I’m asking you to let your former memories return. They wouldn’t detract from who you are... they’d enrich you.”

He looked at me as if insulted. “You once told me that I shouldn’t be ashamed of having a lifetime of false memories. Are you saying I should now?”

I sighed. “Not of the false memories. You should be for refusing to face your old life.”

“Revan is too dangerous to return. I’m not doing it because I’m a coward... it’s for the sake of you, the jedi, and myself.”

“Revan would not return... you would not die... you would change the same way you would through real experiences... your real memories. Are you saying you would cling to your false memories and ignore real experiences?”

He dropped his head in guilt. I knew I got through. Then he looked at me again. “You know that Revan likely would have hated you?”

“But you, Alex Trevelyan, have a different opinion. If your feelings for me are genuine and deserved, then they won’t change. If not... I can live with that.”

He dropped his jaw as if I just implied that I didn’t value his feelings for me. “How dare you.” I felt an extreme surge of anger building within him. “I saved you, brought you here, forced the Council to take you back, stood by you when no one else would... and none of that matters?! If it weren’t for me, you would have died in that tomb alongside Uthar! How dare you question my loyalty?!” He pulled the blanket off me. “Get out!”

I tried to defend myself, but he wouldn’t hear it.

“Get dressed and get out!” He ordered.

I did as I was told. Although he was angry, I knew that it would pass, so I just remained silent and did as I was told. When I was fully dressed, I got into the doorway and turned back to say something. “You claim that you don’t want to cling to your false life, yet when you are presented with legitimate memories... you don’t accept them. You cannot deny who you once were... Revan. That was your true self at one time. How can I trust that Alex Trevelyan’s feelings for me are genuine if he clings to a fantasy life and rejects a real one?”

He still looked at me with anger, but I know that he couldn’t reject my reasoning. I turned to leave and tried not to cry, but I knew that I had pushed away the one that matters most to me.

I tried to convince myself that it had to be done, but it didn’t make things any easier. Trevelyan had to realize that his false life was detracting from who he was. The Order needed proper leadership if it were to survive. As much as I love Trevelyan, he is not Revan and must allow his memories to return. If I am fortunate, I would still be able to influence him and make him see things my way. With Revan’s support... or me supporting Revan, the Council would lose much of their authority.

I still had about two hours left and I felt that Alfred should know of what I was planning to do... all of it.

-----

“I don’t understand. What you intend to do... it almost sounds like revenge.” Alfred said.

“Zez Kae Ell said that the Council was willing to get rid of me because I represented something that challenged jedi beliefs. If the force depends on how an individual uses it... rather than there being a light or a dark side... then the Council was actively defying their own code.” I replied.

“What do you mean?”

“There is ignorance. They have refused knowledge. All I intend to do is discover what they’ve refused to accept, themselves. Then I would pass it on to others to do with as they choose.”

He shook his head in frustration. “If you do that... if you attempt to teach potentium among the Order... the Council would do whatever it takes to stop you. I know it’s extremely hypocritical of them, but that’s the way things are. You shouldn’t try to challenge them on this... you may have justice on your side, but you would lose.”

I smiled very confidently. “Revan was able to challenge the Council and he was only one man. How did he do it? He couldn’t influence them, so he targeted their followers. He earned enough trust and respect to make them go against everything they were taught. That is how I intend to challenge them.”

“Yuthura... I think you’re trying to bite off more than you can chew. You speak of earning respect as if it’s something anyone could take. It would involve...”

“I intend to set an example for the Council. As of yesterday, I am never going to drown myself in alcohol again. I am wearing the robes that are specified. I have covered my tattoos for the moment and will soon have them removed.”

He smiled at my meager accomplishments. He likely expects that I am taking this too lightly... I know that becoming a role model requires extreme sacrifice, but considering what I was able to accomplish in a day, I was off to a good start. “That’s great to hear, but it’s much more than that...”

“I know what has to be done. I’ve only scratched the surface, but I’m determined to do what it takes to save the Order. If the Council can’t do what must be done... then it’s up to me.” I declared.

He rested his head upon his fist. “Why you?”

“Because no one else will.”

He looked down with great sadness. “How can I help?”

I shook my head. “I’m telling you this so that you are braced for whatever may happen because of me. I would not ask you to get involved.”

“I’m already involved.”

I shook my head again. “Alfred, I was never your burden to bear. I know your feelings for the High Council and the chain of command. I know you desire no part in this, so don’t.”

He stood up and got behind my chair to rub my shoulders. I was under the impression that he was trying to relax me before delivering bad news, but he was just comforting me. “When the Council excused Atris for provoking you into a fight, I was angry that they would excuse something like that. I encouraged you to let it go because there was nothing to gain from fighting the Council on the issue.”

Before he could continue, I told him that this was the same thing. If I were smart, I would just let the issue go and continue with my life.

He got in front of me to enforce his next point. “This is ‘not’ the same. It is one thing to excuse the guilty, but to punish the innocent is another.”

I smiled at the irony of his reason. “But I was not exactly innocent... was I?”

He nodded. “You may have been a sith, but you genuinely wanted to return and the Council would have rejected you one way or another. I can’t stand for that.” Then he crossed his arms. “If I can help you to stop crimes such as that, then I’ll do it.”

“You would seriously support me on this?”

“As long as it’s in the best interests of the Order, then yes. If I don’t agree with your practices, then I won’t.” He stared at me for a long moment. “If you go against what I believe to be right... I will try to stop you. Is that fair enough?”

I nodded.

“So what do you intend to do next?” He sat down across from me.

“In about an hour, I’ll have to report to the hanger and spend the next day traveling to AR 159. I need to collect some reading materials.” I said.

“Is there anything I could do while you’re gone?”

“If you could... I’d like to find out about other activities that the Council has kept silent. I would like something to back my claims if they have done something illegal or immoral.”

“You’re asking me to obtain classified materials and give them to you. Isn’t that stepping over the line?” He asked.

“If there is proof of other crimes, then they have already stepped over the line. Don’t jedi have the right to know what their masters are doing?”

“If you resort to activities such as this, you would be acting just as the ones you say are corrupt. It doesn’t matter if they are guilty or not... I don’t have the right to reveal classified info.” He raised his hand to keep me from objecting. “But... that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to point you in the right direction when I find something. There are sources other than the jedi archives where you can get what you need.”

I smiled. “Thank-you.”

“Master Zez Kae Ell is still here. He won’t leave for Nar Shadaa until tomorrow, so if you need to ask him any more questions, you should...” He was interrupted by the door chime. “Enter!”

The door slid open and Trevelyan slowly walked in and stared at me with... I think embarrassment. “Am I interrupting?”

Alfred welcomed him in. “Please come in. Would you like some tea? Water?”

“I was hoping to speak with Yuthura.”

“I could step into the hallway if you like.” Alfred suggested.

“It’s alright, Alfred. I think we can bring this to a close.” I said.

Alfred saw the discord between the two of us, but didn’t say anything. “There is one last thing.” He walked into the bedroom to retrieve something and came back within a few seconds with my old lightsaber in his hand. He put it on the table in front of me. “I want you to take this. If you’re going to the front lines, you should carry another in reserve. I even refitted it with a violet crystal.”

I stared at the old weapon for a few seconds before picking it up and igniting the blade of light. After disengaging it, I embraced Alfred. Trevelyan was in the corner of my eye and he smiled at the sight of a master and his apprentice sharing a tender moment. “Thank-you. I will see you again in a few days.”

After letting go, he stared at my face for a moment to appreciate how I will look once the tattoos are removed forever. We nodded and I turned to walk out the door with Trevelyan leading the way.

Once it slid closed, I stood with my arms crossed and waited to hear what he had to say.

“Can we speak in a more secluded area?” He said.

“I would like to you what you intend to say first. What is this about?”

“Why do you want Revan’s memories to resurface? Why did you not speak of this until now?”

“Because I didn’t know you were actively keeping the memories from returning... genuine memories. I’ve always thought of you as Alex Trevelyan because that’s the only life you’ve ever known. You are just as much a person as Revan was, but you have to face a fact. You would be better off to have your genuine memories in addition to your false life.”

“Revan was an evil man. I don’t want to think or act as he did. It’s not...”

“If you had lived his life...” I sighed in the frustration of trying to explain it to him. “You had lived his life. You had come to believe the same things the Revan has. What troubles you more? Is it that know know you’ve gone down that path and could again? Could it be that Revan had good reasons for what he did?”

I just touched a nerve and he looked like he was going to hit me, but I didn’t flinch... I knew he wouldn’t go that far.

I tried to get closer to him, but he stepped back. “Why does this upset so greatly?”

“Can we discuss this somewhere other than the hallway?”

I nodded.

-----

We went back to his quarters and I suspected that I was going to be thrown out again. After sitting down across the table, he stared at me... almost with contempt. I could understand why he would, but I hoped he would come to see reason.

“This isn’t the best time to leave off with an unsettled personal issue. We need to have our minds clear when we depart with the rest of the jedi. I’ll just say what’s bothering me... when I warned you that Revan’s memories could lead me to despise you... it didn’t seem to matter. I couldn’t believe you could think in such a way... I couldn’t believe you’d disregard everything I had done for you.”

“Do you really think I would forget a little something like the one who went to unreasonable lengths to rescue me from the sith and myself? Do you think I would spit on that?”

“You didn’t say it directly, but yes. How did you say it? If I genuinely loved you, then nothing would change that? If not, then it’s all the same to you?” He scoffed in disgust. “I want the truth... why do you want my memories of the Dark Lord to resurface?”

I stared at him for a moment as I tried to understand it, myself. “Act for what I know is right, even if it leads to my death. That was the oath I had made to you. That is what I believe is right.”

He looked at me as if I lost my mind. “How can you, of all people, possibly think that?! Why would you ask it of me?!”

I stood up and shouted to get the point across. “Because the Council did not have the right! Revan didn’t die when Malak fired in that ship... it happened when the Council wiped your mind!” I calmed myself and sat back down. “They are your real memories and I don’t want to see you... incomplete anymore.”

He dropped his head in doubt. “It’s nice to know how you think of me.”

I shook my head. “I don’t think of less of you for clinging to a fantasy life... you had nothing else.” I stood up and got on a knee beside him. “I don’t like that you are refusing true memories that you should not have been denied.” I looked at Revan to plead for him to do the right thing. “On Korriban, you showed me truths that I had forgotten. Not once have I been upset to have learned of what I had become. Will you please let your true memories return?”

He sighed as if he wanted to deny what I asked, but couldn’t. “You know the Council wouldn’t like that?”

I just stared at him to silently say that I wouldn’t accept anything other than ‘yes.’

He nodded. “But I can’t deny who I was anymore. It’s never been a matter of ‘if’ I could fall... I had.” He stared forward. “But if I do... it would mean waking up a different person... a second time.”

I shook my head again. “We are never the same from one moment to the next. The memories should gradually return and you would change as if you just lived them.”

He gave me an unconfident smile. “I hope you’re right about that.” He looked at the clock. “We’ve still got about an hour before we need to depart. We should be ready by then.”

I stood up and answered. “I’m already prepared. I’ve nothing planned until then. Do you?”

He looked at me in disbelief. “I think we’re resolved. I would rather just leave things as they are.”

I nodded. “Of course. Forgive me.”

“There is nothing to forgive. I just think we could continue when we return.” He said.

-----

After collecting my gear, I reported to the hanger about fifteen minutes before departure. Masters Kavar and Vash were waiting near one of the ships along with a few of others.

When I approached, Master Vash spoke up. “I’ve taken over for Master Vrook. You’ll be reporting to me.”

“Very well.” I replied.

“Padawan Senegal will be serving under your advisement... not mine. Do you understand?”

“Hold on. What’s going on?”

“Padawan Senegal has volunteered to go with us on this mission. The Council has granted his request.”

“I thought the regulations prohibited Padawans from being dispatched to war. How did this come to be?”

“He volunteered, is capable of handing himself, and we need all the help we can get. If you wish, you could start training him, or he’ll be under my command as well.” She stated.

“You mean he is currently my apprentice? Why wasn’t I consulted on this?” I protested.

“He is not your apprentice at the current time. If you wish to train him and he will follow you, I think this would be an appropriate way to determine how well you two would interact before it is official.” Vash said.

I shrugged my shoulders. “I was expecting to have a week before I started with him. AR 159 is not the best place to start training him... it would detract from my efforts and I have never been in a war zone, myself. I think this is a bad idea.”

She gave me a confident smile. “Ross is not a raw recruit. He can take care of himself, so you shouldn’t have to worry too much about his safety.”

“Then what’s my purpose if he’s already got the training down?”

She chuckled almost as if to mock me. “You’d be surprised how much he has yet to learn... and I’m sure you have much you can teach him.” Then she walked back to Master Kavar and continued their prior conversation.

Revan had walked in while I was talking to Vash and he collected his group around another ship. He was a distance away, but I saw him make eye contact and nod to me... likely giving me a silent goodbye. We couldn’t do anymore in front of these people, so that meant as much to me as a kiss or an ‘I love you.’

I have never been to war and I felt as I had on Nar Shadaa before I walked into Fasa’s palace. I hated to admit it, but I was very jittery. Had I been with Alfred or a friend, I think I’d feel much more confident. At least Vrook wouldn’t be giving me orders, but I truly didn’t know enough about Vash to have an opinion.

With about ten minutes before launch, I was surprised to hear a familiar voice. “Ross Senegal reporting for duty.”

Vash turned to face him. “I’m glad to have you with us, padawan.” She turned her attention to me. “Yuthura... how would you like to proceed?”

I stared at Ross’s expression of anticipation and anxiety. He gave a very ‘puppydog’ face, but it didn’t work on me. “I’ll take responsibility for this one.”

Vash nodded. “Very well. Ross... Yuthura will be under my command, but you will take your orders from her. If you encounter any problems, you should bring them to me. Are there any questions?”

I was feeling very uneasy about this. At the same time I’m going into unfamiliar territory, I would have to navigate through while setting a proper example. It is said that a leader always knows the answer even when she doesn’t... to give confidence to her followers. I try to keep away from that by having the answers as much as possible, but I knew little of war. I feared I would be lying to Ross very frequently during this.

He noticed it by my expression. “Master Yuthura... are you alright?”

“What?”

“You look very nervous.” Vash commented.

I faced him. “Ross... this is the first time I would be in a war. I seriously wouldn’t recommend that you follow my lead. The truth is that I don’t have the experience for you to trust me.”

He grinned. “Then perhaps I can take the lead?”

“What?” I didn’t get the joke.

Vash stepped in. “Ross has seen his share of wars. If you can’t trust yourself, then trust him. Teach him what you know, but remember to listen. This is meant to enrich both of you, not just your student.” She extended her hand to me. “Good luck to both of you.”

After we shook, Ross corrected Vash. “There is no luck, Master Vash.”

She stood by her sentiment. “I beg to differ... but only because luck is little more than the right or wrong combination of opportunity, preparation, and confidence. The better prepared you are for the trials ahead, the greater your opportunities will become. It will be up to you to build the confidence you need to work together. Remember that the harder you prepare, the better your luck will become. Even if your luck does take a turn for the worst, realize that it is better than if you trusted on luck alone.”

I think that was the kind of advice I needed at that moment. I didn’t have the confidence I would need, but it was something that I had control of. I lacked the preparation, but could rely on Ross for what I couldn’t do on my own. I was staring an opportunity in the eye. All in all... I may have been given some much-needed luck.

I smiled at Ross. “I suppose there’s nothing like on-the-job training.”

“I’m honored to be serving under you, Master Yuthura.” He said as he bowed to me.

“Don’t address me as ‘master’ again. The hate the term.” I said.

He looked at me for a moment before connecting the term with slavery. “Of course. I’m sorry.”

I was already getting frustrated with this kid. He was always sucking up to me and apologizing for minor things that aren’t problematic. “There is nothing to be sorry for. It’s what you’ve been taught and I understand that. I’m not going to go berserk at a simple mistake or an inconvenience, so don’t be afraid of that.”

Before I could continue, Master Vash started shouting to the group. “Everyone is assembled. Let’s get on board the shuttle and we’ll depart. Yuthura... you are our pilot.”
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Old 06-30-2008, 05:50 PM   #96
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Very nice job. I am surprised that Sengal is going on this mission though. I look forward to seeing what comes out of this mission for the both of them.

Revan is getting soft, due to Yuthura. I also look forward to see what comes of their conversation after Yuthura returns from her mission.

Great chapter, and I think that the things that you want to convey, are being well...conveyed. :/

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Old 06-30-2008, 07:21 PM   #97
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Thanks, but I had intended to display Trevelyan as a very strong person at the beginning who was like a perfect role model, but I don't think I did too well with that. I had intended for Yuthura to start out as completely dependent on Trevelyan... learn to handle herself... and eventually switch roles where she would have to be the role model.

I suppose that I could accept that Trevelyan was never that strong to begin with, but as his true memories begin to return, he'll slowly withdraw from Yuthura and they both allow their relationship to dissolve. Although I like the two of them together, they get weaker the more they care for the other. From this point in the story on, Revan will start addressing himself by his real name.
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Old 06-30-2008, 09:46 PM   #98
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No, you didn't portray Revan as a perfect role model, but then again he really souldn't be. Wow, there are going to be some big changes with Tre- I mean Revan. I hope they can still be friends at the end though.

Interesting that Senegal is going on the mission, but I like the idea. Out of curiosity, why did you replace Vrook with Vash? Did she just fit in better or what? I'm not complaining mind you , just wonderin why. Except for Zez, in TSL I always got the impression that Vash was a reasonable enough person, considering she is one of the council. It will be interesting to see your take. Not like grouchy old Vrook.

Overall these last two chps were very good. I'm looking forward to the Revan and Yuthura discussion after the mission. Keep it up.



Viva La Resistance!
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Old 06-30-2008, 11:15 PM   #99
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I originally had Vrook because he would cause great discord in the war zone. Because I won't have an opportunity to switch masters, I wanted to open the possibility for Yuthura to have a friend on the Council who agrees with her that the Council stepped over the line with Revan. Since Vash hasn't made much of an appearance in the game, I could create a personality of my choice.

As of this point... the Council believes that Yuthura doesn't know about the potentium theory. She is keeping that to herself. I think that it would be nice to see at least one of the Council members admitting that she wronged Yuthura, Revan, and the Exile. And to discover that Vandar(who see greatly respected) would have been against her.

Maybe I spilled too much info, but that's why.
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:14 AM   #100
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really great so far!
i'm still like way behind on the first few chapters, but still.
it can only get better.


"If God is a DJ, then life is a dance floor, love is the rhythm and you are the music."



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Old 07-06-2008, 03:44 PM   #101
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Chapter 27: A Matter of Leadership

The trip to RS 159 took about seven hours. After leaving the Enclave, our group docked with the hammerhead-class ship, Akagi. It would take us the rest of the way. I was given my own quarters as well as access to limited areas of the ship. After jumping to hyperspace, I took Ross to one of the cargo bays. Although it was not the best place to train, the cargo hold had enough open space to avoid the feeling of claustrophobia.

“Since we will be expected to assist Republic troops as soon as we arrive, we won’t have time to get aquatinted. Are you ready to begin?” I started off.

He bowed. “Yes, Master.”

I gave him a sour look. “Master?”

“Yes... Yuthura I’m sorry.”

I exhaled in frustration. “Listen... instead of saying you’re sorry, I’d prefer that you simply not repeat the mistake. If it’s just habit, I won’t take offense. I’m just reminding you that I don’t like being called ‘master.’ That is all.”

“Of course. I am ready to begin... Yuthura.” He bowed again.

“Before I start, I need to lay out some ground rules. First: You will not be expected to obey my every whim. I want you to think and act for yourself. Remember that I am not always right and neither is the Council. If I give you an order that you don’t agree with, I want you to tell me if you think it’s wrong.”

He was quick to object. “That’s not viable. The chain of command is in place for a reason. If you tell me that I can disregard orders when I’m under your command, you lose your authority.”

“What if I act in a manner that you know is wrong? Would you still follow me?”

I stared at me and told me what I wanted to hear instead of what he would have done. “You’ve earned your rank above me and that makes your orders overrule my opinions. I would follow your orders because you know better than I.”

I gave him a look to indicate that I was dead serious about my first official command to him. “I order you to go to the bridge and kill everyone there.”

He stared at me as if he knew that I wasn’t serious, but wasn’t quite sure what I expected him to do. He just kept silent... hoping to hear me belay the order, but I didn’t. Although he would not have done what I asked, he wouldn’t stand up against me.

I waited long enough to see that he wasn’t going to act. I was hoping that he would protest, but at least he wasn’t absolutely blind to authority. “I gave you a direct order and you are required to follow it. Why do you hesitate?”

“Because this is an exercise and I know you wouldn’t give an order such as that.”

I shook my head. “I just did. Are you going to defy me?” I said in a threatening manner.

I was driving some fear into him. He ignored everything he was taught and answered me. “I would not follow such orders.”

I grinned at that answer. “Then you’re learning. If you had followed the chain of command blindly, you would have been forced to do as I ordered. Because you knew that this was an exercise and that my order made no sense, you did what you knew was correct.” I crossed my arms in confidence. “Still respect the authority of your superiors?”

He nodded. “I understand what you are trying to tell me, but I still think it’s important to respect the chain of command. You did not become a jedi knight without proving that you had the skills and the wisdom of that rank. I don’t have your experience, so I would trust your orders over my personal opinion.”

I got in front of him to begin again. “I do not intend to train you to follow the jedi code. If you want to learn from me, I will teach you to act for what you believe to be right. As you train, we will have many conflicts because we won’t agree on many things. When we have a disagreement, it will be my responsibility to convince you that I am correct. If I can’t, then you shouldn’t follow me. Is that understood?”

He raised his hand. “I think I understand what you’re saying, but in practice, it can’t be done.”

“Alright. We disagree on this.” I sat down on one of the cargo containers. “I gave my reasons. Convince me with yours.”

He got in front of me as if to give me a lecture. “If we are in combat and you require that certain actions are done without delay... you can’t afford to have me argue with you.”

“That has merit, but you realize that I’ve never been in a war before... Master Vash says you have. Are you saying that you would trust me more than your own experiences?”

He smiled proudly at the complement I had given. “Master... Yuthura, I appreciate that you would take my opinion into consideration, but I’m prepared to follow your orders without question. If I don’t agree with you and there is time to argue, I will let you know. If there isn’t time, then I’ll not question you. Would that be acceptable?” He asked.

I nodded. “I suppose this kind of arrangement comes with experience. For now, assume that I don’t have any authority. Trust is earned, not given away... do not forget that.”

He nodded. “Can I give you some feedback... about being an instructor?”

I laughed at the thought that he would have the grounds to criticize me. I have instructed for at least three years while he had nothing under his belt. “Alright. Let’s hear it.”

“I appreciate that you’re trying to make this easier for me, but I know it’s not supposed to be. This how you instructed on Korriban.”

“Of course not. One sith student was the same as the next and I never took only only one under my wing. I also haven’t started with one who has been trained to your extent. I’m trying to give you some autonomy because you are more capable than a raw recruit. Would you prefer that I have you sit by and watch, or would you like to serve alongside me?” I said as I crossed my arms.

“I’ll do my best.”

I smiled. “I expect nothing less.”

-----

After a few hours of discussion, I felt more confident about this arrangement. He was a bit too yielding when it came to concepts we didn’t agree on, but I pushed him to try and challenge me whenever he thought I was wrong.

Although it was not the sith way to show weakness, I’ve come to embrace another practice. If I have flaws, myself, I weaken myself by ignoring them or even convincing myself that they are strengths. If my padawan can prove to me that I’m wrong, then I cannot deny that he is stronger than me in that particular regard. It benefits neither one if he accepts everything I teach him as fact and disregards his own wisdom.

After about four hours, I thought that the next best thing we could do is have lunch together and get to know him more personally. I would have gone over his service record before we left, but I wasn’t prepared to have him with me for this mission. I was expecting to ask him a lot of questions.

“So how did you become a jedi?” I asked.

“My father was a Republic pilot. At some point during the Mandalorian wars, he was discovered to be force sensitive. At the time, I was about 8 and my sister was 12...”

I interrupted. “You have a sister? Is she also in the Order?”

He was silent for a long moment. Obviously, something had happened to her. “I’m sorry... I should keep silent.”

“No. We were both accepted. I was trained on Couriscant and she was trained on Dantoine. Although we were not allowed to keep in contact with the other, I tried to keep track of her.” He rested his head upon his wrist. “When the Mandalorian Wars erupted, Alastria followed Revan.”

That most likely meant she either fell to the sith or was lost. “I’m sorry to hear that.”

“What I found most difficult to understand was why she never asked me to join her. Although we weren’t allowed to talk to each other, she and I secretly kept in contact. I would have imagined that she’d have at least asked me... she never even told me that she was leaving. I had to hear it from her master.” He explained.

“Do you know what happened to her after that?”

He shook his head. “Probably turned to the sith like everyone else who followed Revan. Or she died in the war... it doesn’t matter.”

I saw that this was a wound that hasn’t healed. As much as I wanted to assure him that things would be alright, I knew that I shouldn’t try to give him hope. His sister was not a part of his life anymore and he had to accept that.

I tried to help. “Alastria made her choice. You should accept that your fate was not bound to hers. It may sound cold for me to say this, but you should forget about her and concentrate on only what you can influence.”

He stared at me for a moment. “Do you know if there is any way to determine if she had indeed become a sith? I suppose it would give me some closure to know if she died in the war or turned to the darkside.”

I shook my head. “Ross... I want you to keep your mind on the present. This is not the time for distractions. Knowing what happened to her would not change things, so it’s best to just assume the worst unless you have good reason to assume otherwise. Just assume that she’s gone and not a part of you anymore.”

He nodded. “I should only concentrate on what I can influence.”

I smiled slightly. “So you’re a councilor, but you’ve seen war before. How did that happen?”

“Master Vadim was a guardian. He brought me along so that I could get first hand experience of battle. He said that it’s too easy to make choices when one doesn’t know what their soldiers have to go through. Only two of the Council have seen war first hand... Masters Kavar and Vash.”

I had wondered why Vrook had been replaced. That answered my question. “You’re master seems very wise. Why aren’t you with still with him?”

He looked at me as if to silently ask ‘what do you think?’

I nodded. “I’m sorry to hear that.” He just stared at his food and barely touched it. Although it was just military rations, I knew he had to keep his strength up. “Ross, I know it’s not the best food, but you should take what you can get.”

“I’m not hungry.”

“You won’t get fat. And you might not get the opportunity to eat later.” I gestured to the food, but he wouldn’t touch it. I was getting agitated. “It’s only a minor issue, but I will force this slop down your throat if you don’t do it yourself. I’m sure you would rather be spared the indignity.”

He gave me a smug smile. “Didn’t you say that you were not my master? Isn’t it my choice?”

I sighed at the irony of this. He knew how to use my generosity against me. Perhaps if I were more subtle... “Please don’t make an issue of a minor thing. I want you to be prepared for whatever is expected or not expected to come. A stomach ache is better than stomach cramps... I would imagine you’d have learned that by now.”

He stared at me as I have at Vrook, but he did as he was told.

I knew that he wasn’t very happy with me, but I was glad that Ross complied. It was better to be over prepared than be without an advantage. Food was not as problematic as it once was in war, but it was still critical. On the rock we were going to, there would be no plants or animals, so foraging was not an option.

When he had finished eating, he looked at me as if to silently tell me that he was irritated. I felt that my authority over Ross was very fragile and I wanted to make it as easy as possible while not being too soft. “I wasn’t trying to be like Master Vrook. I want you to be as strong as possible for the task ahead. You should take advantage of every break you get, no matter how small.”

He didn’t look convinced. “That contradicts jedi ways. If I did that, then I would just be looking out for myself. Are you saying that I should just ignore everyone who asks for help?”

I smiled at what I was about to say. “It’s more complicated than that. You make preparations ‘before’ you commit to a goal... not after you’ve started. Now that we are about two hours away, you should be rested, fed, and relaxed while you have the chance. You can’t ensure that you’ll have another chance later. Would you agree?”

He nodded. “So now what?”

“You do whatever you wish until we arrive. When we land, we’ll hit the ground running. Be prepared.”

“I’ll return to my quarters.” He said.

“Alright. Be in the hanger by 18:00 hours.”

He bowed and left the mess hall. I noticed that he left his tray behind, but it wasn’t worth nagging about. Before I could take them to be cleaned, I heard a familiar voice behind me. “Trevelyan’s right about you. You have wisdom, but you have some rough edges.”

I turned around and saw him. “Canderous? What are you doing here?”

“I’ve been recruited by the Republic. I found an opportunity for war and I accepted.” He sat next to me without asking and I was not in the mood for small talk.

I was insulted by what he just did. If he felt he could just act as he wanted towards me, then he had no respect for me. “You did not ask if you could sit down. A sith would not have allowed such disrespect.”

“But you’re not a sith anymore.”

I stared at him with the coldest eyes I could. “You just acted because you believe me to be weak. You will show me proper respect.”

“Alright! I’m sorry.” He sighed. “Most jedi wouldn’t have said anything. I’m glad to see you haven’t gone soft.” He faced forward. “As I was saying, you seem to have the makings of a great leader, but you don’t know how to handle authority.”

I stared at him for a moment. “What’s this about?”

“I saw how you handled that kid. You did have a good point when it came to preparation, but what you just did... you acted like his mother.”

I frowned at the insult.

“I’m just offering you some criticism. Didn’t you notice how he reacted?”

I leaned my head back in frustration. “You know nothing of teaching jedi, yet you know know better than I.”

He shook his head. “I know about leadership and what it takes to make others follow you. You have talent, but you need to understand how to present yourself to your followers. If you treat them as equals, you gain respect, but lose authority. You must choose which you need more.”

“I was hoping for both.”

He took a sip from his glass. “That requires time. The best thing for you would be to exercise your authority first and demonstrate that you know what you are doing. As you prove yourself, he’ll learn to trust you implicitly.”

I nodded. “Can I ask you a question?”

“Of course. It just doesn’t mean I have to answer it.”

“If you were under the leadership of one you perceived to be corrupt, would you respect the chain of command, or would you move to have him removed?”

“Corrupt is a quaint term. If your leader is the strongest among you, he... or she would have the power to make the rules. If his subordinates have a problem with it, they must either follow them... resign... or challenge him for superiority.” He explained with full confidence.

“So if you were lead by one who broke his own rules, that wouldn’t matter to you?”

“There’s more to it than that. A leader has the right to do whatever he wants, but that doesn’t mean it’s in his best interest. The more ‘corrupt’ he becomes in the eyes of his people, the more times he will have to deal with followers challenging him for command.” He looked me in the eye. “Our Mandalore was the greatest warrior among my people, but even he could not afford to be challenged every day by inferior adversaries... it would whittle away his strength. So he followed the will of our people as much as possible.”

“Surely there were times when he acted for his own benefit more than for the benefit of your empire.”

“Absolute power corrupts absolutely as you would say. Mandalorian had absolute authority among my people, but if he exercised it... he risked being challenged by those that wouldn’t follow him. To keep the will of the people behind him, he had to convince us that it was for the interests of the empire. If he had the strength to do it, he could order anything of us. If he didn’t, he was replaced by the one who defeated him.”

I nodded. “That sounds much like the sith, but we... they declared that we must all strive to be the strongest in order to lead. My master, Uthar, knew the danger of great leaders being usurped by pathetic ones like Malak.”

He smiled and nodded in agreement.

I continued. “I am currently dealing with a problem in the leadership of the jedi. I don’t believe the High Council are going to be able to keep the Order together. I don’t have the power to challenge them, but I’m convinced that the system of leadership has to change. The jedi within the Order need to realize that they are not controlled by the Council and the Council has to see that they don’t have absolute authority over them.”

“Apparently they do. Most of the jedi within the order wanted to join the Mandalorian wars, but your Council overruled all of them.” He said.

I smiled as I saw a way to turn his logic against him. “Do you think the Council was right to ignore the Mandalorian threat?”

“Of course not! They were fools to ignore us. Your Order would have crumbled if it was not for Revan. He took command because he knew what had to be done.”

“So the Council did not deserve the power to command. If you say we should respect our leaders, then are you saying the jedi were wrong to defy them?”

“No. The jedi should have forced the Council to do what was required... or replace them.” He said.

I nodded. “It still has to be done. The problem is that they are too powerful to overthrow. How would I go about doing it?”

He looked at me with newfound respect. “You intend to stand up to them? You, alone, intend to take command?”

“Not alone. I am trying to get as many jedi as possible to back me instead of them. My question is this: how would I gain the support I need and take it from them?” I asked.

He sighed. “Why did so many jedi support Revan when he broke away from the Order?”

“Because they believed the Council was wrong.”

“Why him?”

“Because he earned enough respect to draw a fraction of the jedi to follow him.”

“Then you seem to know what you must do. Just be aware that many have died trying to take the title of Mandalorian. Don’t attempt anything until you know you are ready. Until then, you should acquire your strength in secret and you may even do well to turn them against each other.”

“You make it sound easy.”

“Understanding it is simple. Carrying it out is another matter.” He declared.

I looked at him for a moment. “Do you think I could do it?”

“I don’t know enough about you to make a judgment one way or another. Trevelyan thinks highly of you, but I don’t put that much faith in his opinions anymore.”

“Why not?”

He looked at me as if to give me a long-winded story, but I wanted to hear it. “When I first fought by his side, he wasn’t a jedi... but he was impressive. He didn’t have the fighting spirit of a Mandalorian, but I respected him. After he became a jedi, he was even more capable as a fighter, but avoided a fight whenever he could. Even then, I respected him more than I had before.”

“Then when he learned his true identity?” I asked.

“When I was told that he was Revan, I had no doubt that it was true. In battle, he seemed almost invincible. As a leader, he commanded respect from all who served him. After he learned his true identity, he wavered for a few days, but came to embrace the truth. I followed him with newfound respect and he lead us to victory against Malak.” He sighed in depression. “Then when it was over, he began rejecting Revan and all he once was. He was one of the bravest men I’ve ever known, but Trevelyan was too afraid to face who he once was. As far as I’m concerned... he’s not Revan anymore. He’s... confused.”

I nodded and realized that I likely had a major part in that. I was the one who told him that it was alright for him to believe that he was Alex Trevelyan. I should have encouraged him to accept the truth.
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Old 07-06-2008, 07:29 PM   #102
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So Candy's along for the ride? This was another well written chapter. Yuthura seems to have clear goals, but it seems she does not quite yet know how to deal with Ross. She has little patience for his "righteousness". Their personalities are very different. I guess it will take time for them to get used to eachother.

The Canderous talking about Revan part at the end was especially interesting. Can't with to see what surprises the war zone brings! I got very immersed in that chapter, keep up your good work!

~HOP



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Old 07-06-2008, 09:37 PM   #103
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One of the things that I've been doing was adding aspects of the real world into the fiction. One critical thing I've focused on is leadership skills. The only reason I put Canderous into the last chapter was for the sole purpose of speaking to Yuthura about her own capabilities and what a 'neutral' person would say about the Council.

If anyone would like advice on adding 'wisdom-like' content, certain religions can offer great tips. Example: from the book of James "We who teach will be judged more strictly." This was not where I got Yuthura's statement of the Council setting a higher standard for themselves, but it is almost the same thing.

It may sound strange, but the greatest thing in fiction may actually be reality. The more sophisticated or elaborate the details, the better. If you have a profession that can relate to the story... if you know much about engineering or science... try to weave them into the plot.

I'm a geography major in college, so I could create a reasonable explanation for why Korriban became a desolate wasteland. Because there were no nucleogenic particles in the atmosphere(no dust), the planet could not produce rain. No particle exist because there is no volcanic activity. The reason for no volcanic activity is that one of the sith lords did something to extract the geothermal energy.

This is an example of using what you know to add detail to a fiction and I hope that it made sense to you. If not, please ask and I'll clarify it as best I can.
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Old 07-07-2008, 01:56 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura View Post
One of the things that I've been doing was adding aspects of the real world into the fiction. One critical thing I've focused on is leadership skills. The only reason I put Canderous into the last chapter was for the sole purpose of speaking to Yuthura about her own capabilities and what a 'neutral' person would say about the Council.

If anyone would like advice on adding 'wisdom-like' content, certain religions can offer great tips. Example: from the book of James "We who teach will be judged more strictly." This was not where I got Yuthura's statement of the Council setting a higher standard for themselves, but it is almost the same thing.

It may sound strange, but the greatest thing in fiction may actually be reality. The more sophisticated or elaborate the details, the better. If you have a profession that can relate to the story... if you know much about engineering or science... try to weave them into the plot.

I'm a geography major in college, so I could create a reasonable explanation for why Korriban became a desolate wasteland. Because there were no nucleogenic particles in the atmosphere (no dust), the planet could not produce rain. No particle exist because there is no volcanic activity. The reason for no volcanic activity is that one of the sith lords did something to extract the geothermal energy.

This is an example of using what you know to add detail to a fiction and I hope that it made sense to you. If not, please ask and I'll clarify it as best I can.
I totally, 100% agree with that statement. Those are what make the best fictions and stories. I really enjoyed this chapter, and I am just getting more and more immersed in this story as more chapters are produced. It really is an amazing story, and can teach you a few things in the 'real world'.

I am glad that Yuthura see's the corruption of the Council. Someone has to. I think the conversation with Canderous was executed perfectly. It is always good to know the opinions of other.

I kinda laughed at how Yuthura was 'parenting' Ross. (In a good way, that is. ) I think that Ross and Yuthura will have a great Master, apprentice relationship. Nice job with this chapter. It was cool to know a little bit more about you too.

~Rev

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Old 07-07-2008, 10:15 AM   #105
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I stared at me and told me what I wanted to hear instead of what he would have done. “You’ve earned your rank above me and that makes your orders overrule my opinions. I would follow your orders because you know better than I.”
Nice addition of the Candyman. Only noticed an apparent error or two. You seemed to be using the adjective Mandalorian instead of the noun Mandalore in a few places when speaking of their leader. That and "I" instead of "he" above. About all the constructive criticism I have to offer on this installment.


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Old 07-07-2008, 02:21 PM   #106
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Makes sense to me DY. Thats what Tolkein did with Lord of the Rings and look how that turned out. While most of that stuff was not actual reality he made the details as realistic as possible. He even wrote the whole elvish language to make it seem more real.

I like the Korriban explination, seems very possible...very real, excellent. Also forgot to put in my last post: Yuthura teaching Ross to not be a pawn of the council is great. I love the whole Yuthura against the council thing. Just thought I'd throw that in there.

@Totenkopf: ... starts singing * the Candyman can*

~HOP



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Old 07-07-2008, 04:00 PM   #107
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what i've read so far is coming along really nicely.
you're keeping it realistic, and enjoyable at the same time.


"If God is a DJ, then life is a dance floor, love is the rhythm and you are the music."



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Old 07-16-2008, 03:44 PM   #108
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Chapter 28

RS 159 was just a big, dead rock. With an oxygen/argon atmosphere, it could at least support life. There was little to no water on the surface, a blazing star overhead during the day, extreme temperature declines at night. There was almost nothing about this planet that had any significance to the Republic. It was just a rock that happened to be near an important hyperspace rout, making it an ideal location for a refueling depot.

The Republic had established a station during the Mandalorian Wars to refuel warships traveling from the Republic core worlds to the Outer Rim. During the Sith War, it was not a tempting target; not enough to commit an assault force to take it over. Since the Sith advance was proceeding at pace, a refueling depot was not required. Since the Star Forge was destroyed, it had become much more desirable.

The Sith’s limited forces were not enough to fight their way to the Republic core worlds; they needed an alternate hyperspace rout. However, the fuel depot had to remain intact if the hyperspace rout could be of any use to the Sith. An orbital bombardment was not an option, so the battle would be decided on the ground.

The station was surrounded by only about a thousand troops, although the standard complement was 2500. The station’s defenses were also damaged and would have to be bolstered. I’ve been told that on top of seven jedi, the Akagi was also delivering much-needed food, water, munitions, and medical supplies.

-----

Our shuttle set down in a hanger. After we exited the ship, Master Vash was greeted by several poorly-dressed officers and soldiers. Their uniforms were tattered and dirty. The men looked like they haven’t shaved in weeks. I could also see in their posture that they’ve been through a lot.

The commander shook Master Vash’s hand. “I’m Captain Fujita. Welcome to RS 159.”

One of the men behind him added, “What’s left of it.”

“Master Lonna Vash of the Jedi Order. I’m taking command of the defense force.” She replied.

“I’m turning command over to you. Use whatever men or resources that you need to protect this facility.”

“Where should we deposit your cargo?” Vash asked.

Fujita gestured to one of his officers. “Mendoza will show you.”

Mendoza was under a lot of stress and had great hate in his eyes. “Yeah... yeah... just what we need... heal us, give us new uniforms, rearm us, and keep us here.” He went up and yelled at Master Vash. “Why can’t you get us off this rock?!”

Fujita got between them. “Keep your place!”

I saw so much anger in Mendoza’s expression... I didn’t know where such emotion came from. “I’m sorry, Master Jedi. Should I take you to the drop-off locations?”

Vash turned around. “Hayashi, go with Mendoza. You will organize the deliveries. Get the medical supplies first, then bring in the other equipment as you see the need to do so.” Vash then turned to the rest of the group. “I want everyone here with medical experience to tend to the wounded. Yuthura and Beleya, I want you to lend your aid to the mechanics and repair the defenses wherever you are directed. Padawan Senegal, if you can assist Yuthura, then stay with her. If not, then tend to the wounded as well.”

Fujita turned to his men. “My people will stay with you to escort you to wherever you need.” He gestured to his men. “You four will take the jedi to the medical stations. You two will help these three in here. Master Vash, I assume you want to be shown around the base?”

Vash turned to us. “You all know what to do. Follow your escorts... they all know the base better than us. We are here to help and to show these soldiers that they don’t stand alone. Do your jobs, but be prepared for battle. You will have to lead if and when an attack comes. Dismissed.”

The entire group separated and I was left with Ross, Beleya, and our two escorts. We were in a hanger and there were many vehicles that had to be repaired, but no one was tending to them. “What do you need me to do?” I asked one of the escorts.

“Our system for repairs and maintenance has broken down. We’ve been told to repair whatever is damaged using whatever is available. We have a few fighters in this hanger that need work, but the mechanics don’t have the parts they need to make them airborne.”

I nodded. “I could take a look.”

The second escort added, “We also have some speeders and artillery that are damaged. They’re in another hanger if you need me to show you.”

Beleya volunteered. “I’ll see to them.”

When she and her escort headed out, I faced Ross. “Do you have any experience with repairing ships?”

“I’m afraid not. I’ve never worked with anything more complex than a speeder bike. How did you come to learn about these?” He asked.

“A fighter is too complex for any one person to know how to repair everything, but I do have some skill with computer systems... remember? I think you should go help Beleya. Odds are that they would have swoop bikes or battle droids that are in need of maintenance. I’ll see what I can do with these ships.”

He nodded. “What should I do if we come under attack?”

“Defend yourself first. If you can help others, then do so, but don’t enter combat unless you must.”

“Yuthura, I’m more than capable of defending myself. If a battle should erupt, I will engage the enemy. That’s one of the reasons why we’re here.” He said.

For some reason, that reminded me of what Canderous said earlier. I realized that I had to trust Ross to take care of himself and trust in his ability to protect others. As much as I wanted to know he would not be a liability, I had to let him decide how he would engage the enemy.

I put my hand on one of his shoulders. “The soldiers will look up to you for hope. Your first priority in a fight is to protect them... understood?”

“Yes, Yuthura. I’ll do my best.” Then he bowed and was lead out by the last escorting soldier.

There were about seven fighters here... none of them looked like they could fly. The hulls were riddled with battle wounds and some needed to be reassembled. I didn’t know how I would be able to repair even one ship, but I had to try.

I examined the remains of one fighter and was surprised to find that the ship has been collecting dust and would have been rusting if there was any water to oxidize the metal. This fighter wasn’t just damaged, it’s been out of commission for weeks... maybe months. When I looked at the others, I saw the same thing. None of these ships were flyable! Why have they just been sitting in the hanger when they were needed for battle?!

As I kept looking around, I saw that I was not alone... there were about thirty mechanics sitting around. Six were working on one of the fighters that was almost battle-ready, but the rest of the group was doing nothing. I was angry at how these lazy ****** were wasting time when they needed to prepare for war.

I walked over to them and shouted, “I don’t know if you’re aware of it or not, but there is a war in progress and we’re going to need these fighters in the air. Why aren’t you working on them?!”

A female human stood up. “Excuse me, Master Jedi, but we’ve been waiting for replacement parts to come in. Without them, we can’t start the reassembly process.”

“These ships have been just sitting here for weeks! Don’t tell me that you haven’t ordered the parts you needed!”

She was afraid of me and looked like she thought I was going to hit her. “We did... they’ve never come. The base hasn’t been resupplied in three months. I’m sorry.”

My anger did not diminish, but it was no longer directed at them. It was the ******* that didn’t provide these people with what they needed. I calmed myself down and spoke in a normal tone. “Three months?”

She nodded. “The Republic’s forces have been stretched thin and we were told to make due with what we had. We tried to salvage what we could from the wreckage of downed fighters, but there was only so much we could use.”

“You had to salvage wreckage?!” I almost shrieked.

“We had nothing else. We’ve been able to put three fighters back into the air because of it, but I don’t think we can do much more unless your ship delivered the parts we requested.” She said with hope in her voice.

“I’m sorry. Our cargo was limited to food, ammunition, and medical supplies.”

She sighed in great disappointment and sat back down with the rest of her group. “I’m sorry, Master Jedi. There’s nothing we can do without replacement parts.”

I looked back at the fighters and came to a conclusion. “If you were to scrap one or two of these, how many fighters could you have armed and ready?”

“We’ve already considered that, but Captain Futija made it clear that we couldn’t afford to sacrifice any more fighters. And we can’t just remove a critical system... we would have to disassemble the whole ship to remove an engine or a flight computer. Odds are that we wouldn’t be able to reassemble any ship we take apart, even if the parts do come in later.” She said.

I stared at the fighters to make a point. “I don’t know about you, but I see no fighters flying right now. I think that one complete ship is worth more than a hundred of these. I want you to to determine how many fighters you could have operational with what you have. Disregard the loss of the ships and figure out the best way to get as many operational fighters available.”

Before I could turn around, she objected. “I’m sorry, Master Jedi, but we can’t do something like that without Captain Fujita’s authorization.”

I nodded. “Master Vash is now in command... and yes, I’ll have her authorization. Get your teams ready to begin when I return.”

“Yes, Master Jedi.” She said.

Before I turned around again, I noticed that one the male mechanics was wearing a cast on his left arm. I went up to him. “What’s that?”

“I injured myself about a week ago. My arm was caught between a bulkhead when it was removed from the hull.”

“Why hasn’t the bone been regenerated?”

He looked at me in surprise. “There weren’t enough medical supplies. I was just a mechanic... and it wasn’t life threatening.”

My jaw literally dropped at the explanation. I couldn’t believe that the Republic would allow such things to happen to it’s forces. I’ve never healed a bone before, but I decided to try. “May I?”

He nodded and unwrapped the arm. The bone was visibly out of place and I realized that I would have to reset it, otherwise it would heal improperly. I looked him in the eye. “I need to reset the bone, but it would be extremely painful. If you would let me, I could put you in a stasis trance to avoid the pain. Otherwise, you may have to wait for another hour for the medical supplies to be delivered.”

“Are you saying you could heal me? Here and now?”

“Yes, but I would have to put you in a stasis trance before I reset the bone. I’m just offering you the option of getting this done sooner than later, but you may prefer more conventional treatment.”

He nodded. “Thank-you. What do you want me to do?”

“Just lie on your back and you’ll soon lose consciousness. After I reset the bone, I’ll have to bring you back before I can regenerate it. It would be even more painful then, but I could alleviate it as the bone regenerates. Let me know if you want to begin.”

He got on his back and extended his arm. “I’m ready.”

I focused my mind and cut off the mechanic’s mind from the rest of the galaxy... he was unconscious. As I prepared to reset the bone, everyone was gathered around as if to witness me perform a miracle. I have to admit that I liked the feeling of being watched like a god or something. The last thing I wanted was to make a mistake.

I got in position and pulled on the arm to its proper position. The sound of the partially healed bones breaking was sickening, but it at least wasn’t inflicting pain on the victim. Although the nervous system was sending signals to the brain, it was not registering... yet. I pressed against the flesh around the bone and determined that it was in its proper position.

Although I should have taken him out of the stasis trance first, I decided to start mending the bone to alleviate as much pain as possible before I needed him to give feedback. When I brought him back to reality, he was groaning, but not as he would have if I had brought him back first. “It’s alright. I’ve reset the bone and it’s healing itself. How does it feel?”

He leaned his head forward and watched as force energy was sown into the arm. “It’s not as terrible as I thought it would be, but it still hurts.”

“Just give it a few minutes and I’ll be done.”

“This is remarkable. Thank-you for doing it.”

I looked at the other mechanics just standing around, but I wasn’t concerned with them. They didn’t have anything else to do, otherwise I would have told them to get back to work. At least they were silent.

When I believed I had succeeded, I put some pressure on the arm. “Do you still feel any pain?”

He laughed in disbelief. “The pain is almost completely gone. That’s amazing!”

“Move it around. See what you can do.” I told him.

He lifted the arm, moved his fingers, flexed his muscles, and smiled at me. “You did it! It still feels a bit sore, though.”

“That’s because you haven’t used it for a week. You’ll just have to live with that for a while as your muscles regenerate.” I said with supreme confidence.

Everyone looked at me with awe after what they just saw and I savored the moment for a while before I had to get back to the task at hand. “Alright, everyone. I want you to be ready to start on these fighters. After I get the authorization, we’ll be taking one or two apart and using the components for the rest. If you were impressed with what you just saw... you’ll be impressed with what I can do to speed up your work. Who’s the chief mechanic?”

The female mechanic who I addressed earlier stepped up. “I am. Natsha Lovanna.”

“Yuthura Ban. I’m here to assist, not take over. You are still in charge, but I’ll help in any way I can.”

“Thank-you, Master Yuthura.”

I bowed and began my search for Master Vash. Since communications were jammed, I couldn’t contact her via comlink. I had to find her and get authorization directly.

-----

The defensive perimeter was a terrible mess. Wounded soldiers with tattered cloths were on station clinging to their riffles like they were hanging on to their lives. I’ve never seen Republic soldiers in such terrible shape before. It wasn’t just their physical condition, but their was extreme hate in their souls that didn’t come from standard military conditioning.

When I passed by one of the medical stations, I saw a cargo shuttle unloading supplies. Mendoza and a few others were unloading it by hand and I thought I might be able to solve two problems at once.

More was going on here than I was aware of and I believed Mendoza would tell me if I gave him a reason to talk to me. “Would you let me deal with this?”

He had a container in his hands, but set it back down and got out of the way. “By all means.”

I focused the force on a few of the containers and moved them from the shuttle to where they were stacked in the center’s supply room. “You’re name is Mendoza... isn’t it?”

He responded with hate in his voice. “Yeah... what of it?”

“When you spoke with Master Vash, you tried to say something to her. What was it?” I asked.

He stared at me as if I just asked if he committed a crime. “Nothing.”

I looked directly at him. “It didn’t sound like nothing. You were desperate to leave, why?”

“We’re not supposed to be here!”

I finished moving the medical supplies I was suspending and paused for a moment. I wanted to hear what he had to say. “Why not?”

“We were supposed to be rotated off the front lines after 90 days.” He inhaled sharply. “That was over a month ago... and we’re still here!” He gestured to the cargo I had stopped moving. “Are you going to do this or not?!”

That startled me. I could not imagine a Republic soldier shouting orders with no consideration that I was doing him a favor. I got my attention back onto the job and kept silent.

He crossed his arms as if he were a commanding officer watching his minion doing his will, but he soon released a sigh of guilt. “I’m sorry. You’re not the one who kept us on this rock. I just can’t understand why the Republic doesn’t pull back if they’re not going to defend this place properly.”

“The refueling station is critical if...”

“They could just blow it to **** for all I care! That would keep the sith from launching a strike against the Republic. Instead, they left us with the burden of keeping it away from the sith. If they wanted this refueling station so much, they should have properly supplied us with what we needed to get the job done.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. How long have you been here?” I asked.

“I’ve been here for almost five months. We were supposed to be rotated off the front lines after 90 days. When Admiral Dodonna ordered the assault on the Star Forge, our replacements were killed in that battle. And since we weren’t considered a priority, all reserve troops were stationed at more critical locations. We had to stay where we were.” He got in front of me. “How much longer will we be expected to remain here? Is there anything you can do?”

I looked at him with a sympathetic expression. “I wasn’t aware that you’ve been under siege. I’ll speak to Master Vash and inform her of your situation. I don’t know what good it will do, but I’ll try to make her take action.”

I moved the rest of the cargo into the medical station and nodded to Mendoza. He seemed appreciative. “Thank-you. We had some cargo droids that needed to be scrapped because the battle droids needed repairs. Since we didn’t have them, we’ve had to move almost everything by hand. This is much appreciated.”

I bowed to him. “If there’s anything I can do, let me know.”

“Don’t worry about us, Jedi.”

As he got into the cargo shuttle, I began looking around at the soldiers who were manning their positions. I could see why they had such hate in their souls. After watching over half of their unit killed over the course of five months, there was no reason for them to be hopeful. They’ve been forgotten and it was up to me to make sure they were remembered.

-----

When I approached the operations center, where Vash was expected, I was surprised to hear her shouting in extreme anger. I didn’t imagine that anyone other than Vrook would shout in such a way. Although I didn’t want to eavesdrop, I was interested in hearing what she was saying to Captain Futija.

“I’ve done the best I could under extreme circumstances! The Republic wanted this facility intact, but they didn’t help us until this last attack was already over. I had to make a choice and I had nothing but orders to hold down this station... and I did.” Futija declared.

“Two hundred men died because of it! If they had succeeded, the fuel tanks would have ruptured and the facility would have been lost anyway.” Vash stated.

“We were given an impossible order! We couldn’t defend the station with what we were given. It was inevitable, but I’ve held us together the best I could. If we followed the standard operating procedure, we would have been lost a month ago.”

Before Vash could reply, she felt my presence and came to me. “Yuthura... can this wait?”

“I just needed your authorization before I could carry out some repairs.” I said.

She looked at Fujita and then back to me. “What do you need?”

“I would like to scrap two of the fighters and use the components to complete the other ships.”

Fujita stood up. “Absolutely not. We need every fighter we have... we can’t afford to lose two more.”

I crossed my arms. “Without the parts, the fighters will remain on the ground. The mechanics say they’ve had to salvage scrap from wreckage to do the job. As you said... you need every fighter you can get.”

“There are still downed fighters that we have yet to salvage. With your aid, we could finally recover what you need from the wreckage. I want those cargo shuttles to do a recovery mission after they’ve delivered the supplies.” Futija declared.

Vash was against that. “Those downed fighters you speak of are dozens of kilometers away. It’s also likely that the sith have surface to air missiles in the area. It would be too dangerous to launch a salvage mission.” She faced me. “You may go ahead and scrap what you need to repair the remaining fighters.”

Futija released an exasperated sigh and left the room.

The two of us were both uneasy with the situation and she gestured for me to sit down across from her desk. “You look like you have something else on your mind.”

I sat down and asked a question of which I didn’t want to hear the answer. “You and Futija were just talking about a mutiny... weren’t you?”

She nodded. “How did you know? I wasn’t aware of it until just now.”

“Because these people have been left alone for months without any sign of hope. It seemed the most logical thing for them to do.”

She shook her head almost violently. “There’s nothing logical about that. A group of workers tried to sabotage the fuel pumps and nearly fractured the main fuel storage tanks. If fuel had escaped, the facility would likely have been destroyed.”

I looked at her very seriously. “Master Vash, I think that was what they intended to do.”

“Why? Why would they do such a thing?”

“I think they wanted to destroy the facility, but not to ignite the fuel. If destruction was imminent, the Republic would have been forced to rescue them before the station was lost.” I stood up and gestured her to look out the observation window. Outside were a several of the soldiers manning their posts. “Do you see them? Those soldiers have seen over half of their unit killed. They’ve been alone for months and they believe that they’ve been abandoned.”

She nodded in agreement. “I’m aware of their situation, but they will only have to hold their position for a little while longer. They need all the confidence we can give them.”

I was infuriated with what she just said. I’m supposed to know nothing of war, yet Vash acted like the morale of the men didn’t matter. Even I knew how significant that was. “No... you don’t understand. That act of sabotage was a warning. These soldiers can’t simply be clothed and healed... they need to be shipped out of here!”

“We don’t have the means! Republic forces are stretched as thin as it is. These people are just going to have to tough it out for a little while longer. They’ve held on for five months... they can hold out for another few days.”

“Every day is harder than the one before. They can’t be told to hold out for a little while longer... that’s what they’ve been told for the last two months. They won’t improve until they are taken away from this place.” I stated.

“Once Master Kavar’s troops have done their job, then the soldiers here will be rotated off the front lines.” She tried to put her hand on my shoulder, but I shrugged it off. “Yuthura... you have frequently credited Revan for the acts he committed during the Mandalorian Wars. This is exactly the kind of thing he would have done.” She said.

I almost shrieked at her justification. “And yet you do the same thing! You can’t attack Revan’s methods if you use them, yourself!”

She looked at me and realized that there was more going on than Revan’s tactics, but she didn’t know what it was. “We... the jedi did not know about the situation here until only a week ago. If we could, we would see to it that these soldiers are relieved, but we don’t have that luxury.”

I harrumphed. “You call it a luxury? I call it gross negligence and dereliction of duty. These men and women put their lives on the line and their commander forces them to either fight back or die in the line of a duty they aren’t obligated to fulfill.”

I stared out the window with great distress on my mind. Master Vash gently pulled me to face her. “What happened here was beyond your control. You can’t change the way things are... the best thing you can do is try to help them as much as possible. They can’t go anywhere... they will accept that. Just focus on your job and try to give these brave men and women the hope they need to survive.”

“Hope it something they’ve forsaken long ago.”

She stared at me as if she wanted to say something to comfort me, but there was nothing else to say. “You just focus your efforts on getting as many fighters airborne as possible. The sight of air support would go a long way for the troops.” She picked up a data pad and put her orders in writing. “How are you and Ross coming along?”

“He’s much different from the sith I’ve trained. My problem is that he respects the chain of command too much.” That allowed us to chuckle.

“Yeah. Ross should be an easy apprentice for you to instruct. Why did you decide to take him, anyway?”

Although I was interested in speaking to Master Vash about less serious matters, we had important things to accomplish. “Master, we could talk about this later. For now, we have a lot of work to do.”

She nodded and gave me the data pad. “The sith haven’t committed their forces to a single, major strike. You can expect skirmishes of up to a few hundred troops. Be prepared for an attack at any time.”

“How many sith troops are there?” I asked.

“I’m going to hold a briefing for all the jedi and officers tonight at 21:00. At that time, we will discuss strategy.” She concluded.

“Very well, Master Vash. I’ll see you then.” I bowed and went back to start doing some repairs.

Last edited by Darth_Yuthura; 07-16-2008 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:41 PM   #109
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Nice addition to your story here Darth_Yuthura. I couldn't even begin to imagine what it would be like if I were stuck on a planet for five months without proper supplies, and being nearly forgotten. That is just so hard to seriously imagine. I'm glad that the Republic is finally taking action about their situation. As I said, nice addition.

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Old 07-19-2008, 01:54 PM   #110
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Chapter 29

After nearly an hour of work... with my help, of course... two of the fighters had been completely disassembled and the needed parts were ready to be installed within four of the remaining ships. Since the two fighters weren’t going to fly again, the hull plates and other useful parts were also going to be used.

Due to the lack of droid assistance, I was recruited to maneuvering the heaviest components into position while the mechanics fastened them into the ships. It seemed simple, but only because major repairs, such as for ships, required two phases. The first phase was placing the parts, which weighed tons each. The second phase was connecting the systems to the rest of the fighter. The second was the most delicate and was where the technical skills were needed. The first phase was so easy, that it was like putting together a 3 diminutional puzzle.

Since there were no droids to assist, I was responsible for most of the grunt work. That was fine by me, but I was hoping to work with the computer systems as well. I wanted to show the mechanics that I had some skills to offer as well. The mechanics haven’t been exposed to the conditions that the soldiers have, so interacting with them was rather enjoyable.

Chief Lovanna was directing me on the removal of a wing from one of the scrapped fighters when Ross came in. He saw that I was distracted and kept silent as I slowly shifted the undamaged airfoil and set it down. The mechanics were amazed that I was able to detach all the fiber optic cables and electronics while I was removing the wing.

When the wing was settled on the floor, Ross asked if I had anything for him to do. I didn’t know what he had to offer, but I didn’t count on him being able to do the grunt work of a fully-trained jedi. I also didn’t like the idea of putting these valuable parts in the hands of an inexperienced padawan. I knew I was capable enough, but it was taxing, even to me. However, I wasn’t going to just dismiss his assistance out of hand. I believed it was better for him to come to his own conclusion rather than me telling him.

I turned around. “Many of these components weigh a few tons. Are you capable of lifting such weights and holding them in position long enough to be fastened?”

“Of course. It shouldn’t be that difficult.” He said with utter confidence.

I was in an awkward position. I wasn’t fully aware of his capabilities, but I didn’t think he could do it... I didn’t think any padawan could. However, I wanted to see if he was just being cocky. He may indeed be capable enough, but I didn’t want to take any risks. I wanted to see what he could do, but I didn’t want to take any chances. I asked Natasha to have him try to position a damaged engine in one of the scrapped fighters. He wouldn’t know that it was just a test, but I wanted to see if he had it in him.

Natasha had an engine that didn’t have any visible damage, but it was beyond repair. She told him to position the engine and hold it there while she and another mechanic would fasten it to the ship.

Ross looked at me nervously, but wanted to prove to me what he could do. Then he focused his attention on the engine and lifted it off the floor... I could tell he was struggling. Although his hold was far from stable, he did get it in position. When the mechanics needed him to start shifting the engine by centimeters to get it properly aligned with the nacelle, Ross was already struggling to hold the engine in one place. Moving a huge mass a few centimeters was too difficult for him, but he kept trying.

When the engine was perfectly aligned, the mechanics got a few bolts attached before Ross lost control of the engine. When it hit the floor, the front turbo shaft detached completely from the rest of the engine and scattered pieces everywhere. Ross was very shocked and thought he had ruined a valuable component because we was too confident. “By the force! I’m sorry! I thought I had it... I didn’t mean to...” He couldn’t say anything else and was holding his hands as if to beg for forgiveness.

I was convinced he learned his lesson, so I put my hands on his shoulders to tell him. “That engine was already on the scrap heap before you touched it. This wasn’t a real task... I just wanted to see what you would have done under live circumstances.”

“You mean... you expected me to fail this?” He said as if insulted.

“I wanted to see what you were capable of. What if this had been real?”

He dropped his head in shame. “I thought I could do this... I really did.”

“Observing and actually following through are completely different. This was just a test, but next time it might not be. No damage had been done... don’t be ashamed. Just remember this so you can avoid having it happen again.”

He nodded his head, still uneasy about what just happened.

I asked him another question. “Were you doing this because you seriously believed you could do it, or did you want to impress me?”

He sighed. “Impress you.”

“If you want to impress me, show me control and discipline. I like one who recognizes their deficiencies over one who rarely makes mistakes.” I decreed.

He looked at me as if I didn’t know what I was talking about. “I don’t understand.”

“Tell me... what is your opinion of Master Vrook?”

He turned his head away to try and come up with the right way of sugarcoat the truth. “I respect him. He knows what he’s doing. I admit that I... don’t consider him a friend, but I understand why he was so harsh to me.”

I admit that I didn’t understand that, myself. “Why is that?”

“Vrook... is like a drill sergeant in the military. He’s not a nice guy to serve under, but that’s what makes him so effective.”

“Effective?!”

“Drill sergeants are supposed to push you to your limits. Always angry, insulting, and never satisfied. That’s what Vrook does... he forces improvement by pushing his students to be all they can be.”

I shook my head. “I’m sorry... I should have asked a more specific question. Vrook is a good instructor... I won’t deny that. I meant to ask if you believe him to be an effective leader and one you should look up to.”

He looked at me as if I were asking him a dangerous question. I think he knew that I was trying to turn him against the Council. “Do you look up to him?”

“I’d like to know your answer. Then I’ll give you mine.”

“The truth is that I don’t think I know enough to have a suitable opinion. I would trust a master’s opinion over my own on matters that I don’t fully understand. They have experience... I don’t.”

I nodded. “So when you were seeking a master to complete your training, was I recommended by another?”

“No. In fact, Master Atris and Master Kolchak advised against you.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Alfred advised against me? That was hurtful to know... and I didn’t hide it very well.

Ross looked at me with concern. “Are you alright?”

I nodded. “Yes. It’s just that... Master Kolchak... instructed me while I was on Dantoine. I didn’t think he would have spoken against me... maybe not for, but against me?”

“It’s wasn’t like that. He just said that you were adapting to the jedi and couldn’t afford to take on a padawan so soon. It didn’t seem like he didn’t trust you... he just said that you couldn’t be encumbered by an apprentice while you were still in training.”

I guess that the pain was eased by those words. It made sense and even comforted me to know Alfred knew how difficult it was when I returned. I released a deep breath and nodded. “So why did you go against them? I know why you asked me, but why did you go against the advice of those who had experience?”

“You remember about Vincenza? I’ve looked up to her all my life... I wanted to live up to her example. When I learned about why you returned to the jedi... you seemed so much like her. Only you took it one step further... you turned back when she kept going forward.”

I was almost embarrassed at the compliment, but it felt good to hear that another looked upon me so highly. I think I would have been blushing if I were a human.

“Despite what the jedi have taught me, I held on to many of the beliefs that I held from my old life. Vincenza was almost a symbol of sheer determination... when I had to do something that I didn’t enjoy or found difficult... I used to think ‘What would Vincenza have done?’ Then it didn’t seem to matter what was necessary... I did what she would have done. And...” He looked uncomfortable as he was preparing to ‘say a mouthful.’ “...I didn’t care whether all the masters advised against it. I wanted to follow your example more than I wanted to be a jedi.”

Suddenly, I realized that his respect for me was something irrational. As much as I liked having it, I had to put those feelings back in check. “Don’t say that. Don’t think it. We had this conversation before and I told you not to think of me as a symbol. If you do, I will stop training you.”

“Why? Because I respect you?”

“No. Because...” I didn’t know exactly why, but I knew that he has lost perspective of himself and his future. “Have you ever considered that you are not supposed to be Vincenza? Maybe you’re not supposed to be like me. Maybe you’re supposed to be exactly who you are.”

He crossed his arms as if in defiance. “Since when have you been the philosophical type?”

“What?”

“You speak as if we are destined to a specific fate. Do you believe the force has a will? Do you believe we all have a fate that we cannot change?”

This kid was clever... I could almost see him as Revan must have been before the mind-wipe. He was going to challenge me on this issue... and I knew I was going to lose. I didn’t know why, but I knew he was going to outflank me.

He continued. “Supposed to be? I’m sorry, but ‘supposed’ is like truth... it depends on the perspective of the individual. You were supposed to be a slave in the eyes of the huts. You were supposed to be Exiled when the Council denied your request to be retrained. Revan was supposed to accept the will of the Council when they forbid the jedi from entering the Mandalorian Wars. Master Atris said you were supposed to die when you turned on Revan.” He stepped up and positioned his head in the way that Trevelyan had when he showed me affection... this was wrong, but I didn’t know how to react. “I’m sorry, but ‘supposed to be’ doesn’t mean much to me.”

I had forgotten what point I was trying to make. And I felt it was best to just drop this matter. I needed more advice from Master Vash before I could proceed with this argument. “I’m sorry, but there is another matter that we need to discuss. We should continue this debate later.”

“Why? Because I’m winning the argument?” He said in a jocular tone.

I shook my head. “No. Because there are more important matters that must be dealt with. Are you aware that these people have been held on this moon for five months?”

“Five months? I knew that they’ve been through more than I was lead to believe, but...” He sighed. “Many of the wounds I treated were weeks old. Have they been without food or medical supplies for that long?”

“They’ve been living off combat rations for some time. As for the limited supply of kolto... only dire injuries have received treatment. One of the mechanics had a shattered bone that couldn’t be treated because they couldn’t afford to use what little kolto was left for a non-life-threatening injury. I don’t know how this could have been allowed to happen.” I said.

“I’m no expert on war, but I may be able to explain. The Republic military is in terrible shape. When you only have so many resources to go around, there will be an unfortunate many that won’t receive what they need.” Ross explained.

“But there are regulations that are supposed to prevent troops from being left here for an unknown period of time. Doesn’t this violate those regulations?”

“Yes it does...” I tried to reply, but he wouldn’t let me interrupt. “...however, it happens because there are not enough resources to meet certain standards while waging war. In order to supply enough ships to destroy the Star Forge, many Republic worlds were left vulnerable to attack by remnant sith forces. In order to have enough kolto for the rest of the military, these people were deprived of their share. Because there weren’t enough troops to fight, these soldiers were left here and their replacements sent to other locations.”

I smiled at him... although I hated his explanation of the situation, I thought highly of the fact that he understood war better than most who would become a councilor. Then my smile turned to concern. “Aren’t the commanders who commit these kind of acts court-martialed?”

He shook his head. “In war, there is nothing more important than victory. If acts like these help to make it possible, then the ends justify the means. Even these soldiers who suffered because of it would understand that it is for a greater good.”

“You mean all those who died because of it? Would they tell you that it was for a greater good?”

“If these men had to choose between a death for the Republic or a life under the sith... which do you think they’d choose?”

“They didn’t die because of the sith... they died because their commander didn’t take them off the front lines. Do you think they’d gladly die by the hand of their commander and not their enemy?” I asked.

He stared at me for a moment and thought about my logic. “You’re exaggerating. When these soldiers signed up to fight, they accepted the risk of death. They knew that their lives were going to be in the hands of a superior officer and they agreed to that arrangement.”

“They agreed to fulfill their duty before signing on. All this... the last two months were beyond the duty they were obligated to fulfill. Any soldier that died in the first three months died in the line of duty. Every death after that was because their commanders didn’t rotate them off the front lines.”

Ross nodded and didn’t object. Although I was right, there was nothing it could do for the soldiers who have been wronged. “That may be the way things should be, but that’s not the way they are. These troops are here and they need to hold together to stay alive. Psychological trauma will pass, but they need to keep defending this station... or they will die. They may have been wronged, but now is not the time for them to fight their superiors. Would you agree that the first priority is for them to stay alive?”

I sighed in frustration of the situation. “Yeah. I know what must be done.” I stared at him as I had with Alfred after he taught me an important lesson. I laughed at the irony of the student becoming the instructor.

“What? What’s so amusing?” He asked.

“Kid... you have a way with words. I’m still surprised you would ask me, of all the others, to apprentice you. You’ve got virtues that I respect and I’d be glad to have you along on a mission.”

He grinned and slightly blushed at hearing those words. Ross was flattered to hear me compliment him. “Thanks.”

“So... it’s almost night. You should expect to respond to an attack at a moment’s notice. I need to get back to work.”

He looked at the fighters now under repair and realized that he should try to find something that he could do to help out. If there was nothing that required jedi talent, then it was best to wait rather than exhaust effort on minor tasks. Cleaning rifles may have been easy, but even a jedi would be mentally exhausted after doing it long enough. It was best that he just stay ready for when the time came.

When he nodded and started walking away, I asked him a simple question. “What exactly will you do doing?”

“I’ll find something.”

“There might not be anything you can do right now. If you want to relax or get something to eat, that may be the best thing.” I suggested.

“I don’t know if you realize it, but there are more jobs than there is labor. I will...”

“One of them is defending the troops when battle should emerge. That’s more important than anything, so don’t compromise your strength by doing very trivial tasks.” He turned back to face me. “Unless there is something that would require your abilities, then you should take it easy until you’re needed.”

Ross wanted to make a good impression, so he was eager to work. However, he was also receptive to my advice and asked if he should take a position with some of the soldiers on the defensive lines.

“Alright, but I want you to be careful around them. They may be Republic soldiers, but they’ve been traumatized by the last few months. Don’t speak to them unless you must.”

“Why?”

“What exactly would you speak about? Home? Family? They have to keep their minds on the job at hand. Unless they bring up a subject, avoid talking about anything that could cause emotional turmoil. Understood?”

He looked at me in a grim way, but he understood. “I’ll be on the northern side of the defensive line near the antiaircraft turret. If you need me, I’ll be there.”

I nodded and he went to take his position. I had to take mine with the mechanics. If we are fortunate enough, we may have two fighters armed and ready by tomorrow.

Last edited by Darth_Yuthura; 07-19-2008 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 07-19-2008, 02:26 PM   #111
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You should get some sort of permission and publish this as a true book.
This simply rocks, is so cool, so inspiring! I wish I would've replied sooner.
You just inspired me!
Good luck!
I wish I would've had a same good start as you...
Hm! From now one I'll go for the highest standards!
Thanks you really inspired me! Thank you very much!


*Note: Chapter 8 is out!*
[Fic] The war of the ancients, seen through the eyes of one young men, as he walks the road of destiny... The Triumvirates War

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Old 07-19-2008, 03:22 PM   #112
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Wow... I hadn't read any of this before, but I your work is great. I liked how Yuthura tested Ross...

It might just be me, and this is the first one i've read, but it seems that they're both filled with uncertainty and insecurity, and that those shared sentiments are helping them.

But, I did notice one teeny tiny spelling mistake...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Cleaning riffles may have been easy, but even a jedi would be mentally exhausted after doing it long enough.
Now, if you'll excuse me, i've got to go and read the 28 previous chapters...






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Old 07-19-2008, 03:24 PM   #113
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Thanks. I'm glad to know that this has had an impact on at least a few others. When I had used first person perspective, I almost rewrote the first 10 chapters of the story in third person. I'm glad that it was not only enjoyed, but that it inspired.

I was inspired by Yuthura Ban and felt the character deserved a story of her own. At first, I was just writing about a great character, but I realized that I could add much more depth to this by applying actual psychological and religious concepts. You may have noticed that I strongly emphasized the subject of leadership.

Overall, I wanted to display that we have the potential to become whatever we choose. How we become our 'ideal selves' depends on our actions, both significant and small. The first step towards greatness is knowing our flaws and acting to correct them. Greatness is founded upon self-discipline and dedication.

P.S. thanks AK
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Old 07-19-2008, 06:17 PM   #114
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Very nice addition. I really like how Yuthura tested Ross. I think that it is looking very good.

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Old 07-19-2008, 11:47 PM   #115
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You know what? Not once has anyone quoted anything from my story. Not once!

Only twice to quote mistakes. Am I to believe that NOTHING stands out from the story? Is there nothing worth quoting?
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Old 07-20-2008, 01:16 AM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura
Ross nodded and didn’t object. Although I was right, there was nothing it could do for the soldiers who have been wronged. “That may be the way things should be, but that’s not the way they are. These troops are here and they need to hold together to stay alive. Psychological trauma will pass, but they need to keep defending this station... or they will die. They may have been wronged, but now is not the time for them to fight their superiors. Would you agree that the first priority is for them to stay alive?”

I sighed in frustration of the situation. “Yeah. I know what must be done.” I stared at him as I had with Alfred after he taught me an important lesson. I laughed at the irony of the student becoming the instructor.

“What? What’s so amusing?” He asked.

“Kid... you have a way with words. I’m still surprised you would ask me, of all the others, to apprentice you. You’ve got virtues that I respect and I’d be glad to have you along on a mission.”

He grinned and slightly blushed at hearing those words. Ross was flattered to hear me compliment him. “Thanks.”
I haven't done it because I like every part in the chapter. If I quoted the whole thing, well...you know. I REALLY, REALLY liked this part though.

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Old 07-20-2008, 09:07 AM   #117
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This fic is REALLY coming along well.

Can't wait to read the finished thing.
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:28 AM   #118
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Ahem the problem isn't that nothing in your story isn't worth the quote...
The problem is there would be too much to quote ^^


*Note: Chapter 8 is out!*
[Fic] The war of the ancients, seen through the eyes of one young men, as he walks the road of destiny... The Triumvirates War

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Old 07-20-2008, 11:32 AM   #119
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Thanks. I didn't realize until a while later that quoting is quite difficult... at least for me. I take back what I just said, but thanks Rev7 for indulging me. I try to word each paragraph carefully... I guess that the lack of quotes is a good thing. If nothing stands out, then that's what a story should be like.

I actually would like to thank everyone for not quoting me. If you would like to see similar phrases or elements more often, then say so. I'll try to add them where I could.
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Old 07-23-2008, 07:48 PM   #120
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Chapter 30 The Bitter Taste of War

I had formed a good relationship with the mechanics. Although Natasha was the chief, I was the nucleus of the repair efforts. After scrapping the first fighter, there were enough spare parts to get two of the others airborne. Natasha had us replace an engine, a laser cannon, an airfoil, and a few hull plates. The shield generators on the two ships were intact, but only had a few minutes of use before they burn out.

By sunset, the new components were set in place and we began putting the fighters back together. To save time, I was constantly moving from one of three ships to do the grunt work while the mechanics did the delicate tasks. I was confident that we’d have the first two fighters ready by tomorrow. They weren’t much, considering that fighters were offensive, not defensive, vehicles. At least they could serve as reconnaissance vehicles. Unfortunately, they weren’t airborne soon enough to warn us of the impending attack.

In the distance, I heard explosions and knew it had to be an attack. Natasha ordered that the mechanics take shelter in the station, but many didn’t have that luxury. I had a job to do.

When I left the hanger, I saw all the reserve troops getting out of their tents and running to the armories. I was surprised that the troops didn’t keep their weapons with them at night. In the time it took to reach the armory and run back to the battle, precious time and effort is wasted.

The troops on duty remained at their stations, but all who normally weren’t would reinforce those that were under attack. After I saw armed soldiers running out of the armory, I came to realize that they were running North. This attack was on the northern line... were Ross was.

After a moment of fearing for him, I pushed the thought out of my mind. He knew how to take care of himself and I couldn’t afford to have another person to worry about. I sprinted as fast as I could to reach the northern defensive line.

After about a minute of running, I finally saw laser fire in the distance. Then I saw a green lightsaber among the chaos. At least I knew beyond a doubt that he was alive. I followed that saber like a beacon and was closing in on the fight. I reached for my lightsaber and almost forgot I had two hanging from my belt. Although they were virtually identical, I took a few seconds to decide which one use.

I still had reservations for my original saber. It was what I used when I attacked Alfred. I had no sentimental value for the one I recently built, so I wasn’t afraid to lose it. I’ve never used two weapons before, so now wasn’t the best time to have both. In the end, I grabbed the one I haven’t used in years. Perhaps I would feel better about it if I used it to protect others. It was almost as if I could redeem the lightsaber while I redeemed myself.

When I finally had the saber in hand, I kept following the green blade and was close enough to see that Ross was behind some cover. Although he seemed to be handing himself well, I still wanted to be at his side for mutual benefit.

Shots were coming at me from several sources and I was more concerned with deflecting them away than deflecting them to the ones shooting at me. It was almost natural to me, thanks largely to the intense simulations I’ve been practicing with. The enemy troops were not clearly visible to the eye, but I could sense approximately where they were located. There were only a few hundred of them as well as several pieces of artillery... this was only a skirmish... not a full scale attack.

Ross was fully engaged with the battle and didn’t notice me until I was right beside him. We quickly fell back to behind one of the barricades. “They have artillery. I don’t know how to defeat these armored vehicles. They took out the turrets with the grenade launchers. Small arms can’t penetrate the armor.”

I took a look at the battlefield and where the enemy tanks were. I ducked behind the barricade and faced Ross. “We’re going to have to work together on this. Can you penetrate the armor with a saber throw?”

“I could, but I’d leave myself dangerously exposed.” He said.

“When one of them tries to get through, I want you to try and take it out from a distance. I’ll protect you.”

“They enemy tanks have grenade launchers. The troops may have seeker missiles. Can you protect me from those?”

“Grenades... yes. I’ve never dealt with seeker missiles before. What should I know about those?”

“You short-circuit the guidance system. Can you do that?”

I nodded. “You mean I can’t deflect them?”

“They lock onto a specific heat signature. If a missile is locked onto an individual, it will not easily be spoofed or follow a different target. Some versions even can adjust to avoid obstacles in order to reach their target. Seekers have to be destroyed... don’t try to use them against the enemy. Grenades you can throw back, but not missiles... understand?”

“Yes.” I said.

“I’ll follow your lead.”

I turned my attention back to the battlefield and saw two armored hovercraft closing on one of the adjacent barricades. I looked back. “Two of them are on the right... about 100 meters away. You should take the lead... when you make the throw, I’ll get between you and them.”

He nodded. “Let’s go!”

We ignited our sabers and he sprinted with me closely behind. There were blaster shots coming in from multiple directions and I realized that I couldn’t cover us both from both the troops and the tanks simultaneously. I shouted as we ran. “Ross! This is too intense for me to handle... fall back to cover!”

There was another barricade near where we were and he went right for it. Unfortunately, one of the tanks got sight us and open fired with their grenade launcher. Before taking cover, myself, I waited as the projectiles flew in our direction. Although they would not have landed near our position, I force pushed three rounds back to their source. If the gunners saw their rounds coming back, they would switch to lasers and hold their grenades.

Somehow, one of the tanks suffered a direct hit. It was not destroyed, but it did switch to lasers. I then followed Ross behind the barricade and used the time I bought us. Lasers wouldn’t penetrate the barricade, but grenades would have gone right over it.

Ross was full of fear and I knew I had to figure a means to destroy the tanks. He had to have confidence that we could stand up against these juggernauts. “Listen... we’re going to follow the same plan as before, but after you make the throw, I need you to be in direct contact with me. I could protect us both, but we need to be as small a target as possible. When you make the throw, get directly behind me but don’t restrict the movement of my arms. Will you do that, or should we try something else?”

“If you think you can, I’ll do it your way.”

“Whenever you’re ready...”

“Let’s go!”

Ross jumped over the barricade, leaving me several meters behind because I ran around instead of over it. Again, there was heavy fire all around and I could even see the soldiers through the darkness. As much as I wanted to start deflecting their shots back to their heads, I had to protect Ross.

When we were twenty meters from the first tank, he made the throw and I got right in front of him. After feeling his arms around my waist, I knew I had to maintain this position and couldn’t dodge these shots... I had to deflect ever one directed at us perfectly.

Ross directed his lightsaber at the first tank and it went right through the pilot’s compartment. I was surprised just how easily the blade of energy tore through the armor, but it was effective. When the shower of blood and sparks dissipated, I expected to see the saber coming back, but it kept going towards the second tank. This wasn’t what I expected and I knew the longer we were standing still, the more blasters would be firing at us. When I started seeing grenades coming at us, I was desperate to get out of there. I screamed, “No! Just one tank!”

“It’s right there!”

“I can’t cover us!” I quickly grabbed my reserve saber and put it against his hand at my waist. When I lifted my head back up, I saw a grenade coming right at us and I barely was able to deflect it away before it exploded only a few meters away. “I can’t cover us... take my saber and fall back!”

I saw his green blade drop to the ground. Without question, he ignited my reserve saber and he fell back to the barricade with me close behind him. He was angry, “I could have taken out that tank! Why did you...?”

I softy interrupted him. “More blasters fire at us the longer we stand in one place. I almost missed that grenade that exploded near us. Are you willing to try that again?”

He nodded. “We don’t have much choice. I’m going after my lightsaber as well.”

“We’ll destroy the tank first and then get the saber. I’ll follow you.”

He jumped over the barricade and I saw a sith trooper going after the lightsaber, which was laying on the ground, still engaged. “Ross! Get behind me use your green saber to destroy it. Two wamprats with one shot!”

He disengaged the violet saber he was holding and got behind me while he took control of the green blade. It started twirling, decapitating that sith soldier and punched through the armor, releasing an impressive shower of sparks and an explosion. As the saber cleared the flames, the blade had disengaged and only the hilt returned. Obviously, it had been damaged and I hoped that it could be repaired.

After taking cover again, Ross looked at his lightsaber and I saw the battle scars all over, but only the one on the power cell was more than superficial. It was disabled until a new power cell could be fitted.

“I guess you’ll have to stick with violet for a while. It can be repaired... don’t worry about it.”

He had his eyes fixed elsewhere. “Beleya is here.”

“What?”

He pointed. “Beleya... she’s over there”

I looked and saw another lightsaber in the distance. “We should get to her.”

Before I could start running, he grabbed me. “We should be protecting the troops. We should be spread out... not next to each other.” He objected.

“There are other tanks out there. I need to know how she intends to deal with them.” I faced him. “Stay here and protect the troops. If a tank comes at you... don’t face it alone.” After he nodded, I started my way across the battlefield and was close to Beleya’s position before I heard the scream of a seeker missile approaching.

I saw it moving towards Beleya’s position and she ducked for cover. The missile likely would have impacted the barrier and done no harm to her, but I wanted to ensure that it wouldn’t. I reached out and emitted a small burst of lightning at the missile. After it was disabled, the missile hit the barrier harmlessly. Although dead, I didn’t want one of those around any more than a grenade. I just threw it back at the sith forces... maybe I could hit one of them on the head.

Beleya looked agitated that it was me who stopped the missile. She gave me a very weak thanks. “How did you do that? When I tried to deflect those things, they either detonated prematurely or kept tracking me.”

“You have to take them out. Either fry the guidance system or force it to hit the ground.” I said as I moved to cover beside her.

“Are there any others?” She asked.

“Ross is on the other side of the battlefield.”

She looked at me as if I violated the jedi code. “You’re not supposed to leave your padawan to fend for himself in dangerous situations.”

“We don’t have time for that. How would you go about destroying these tanks?”

“Ion grenades.”

“I assume you have some?”

She grabbed a belt that was laying on the ground. Only one ion and two adhesive grenades remained. “I got one tank, but the collateral fire is just too extreme. I don’t know how to get a clear shot.”

I took the belt and took the adhesive grenade and thought of another strategy... the sticky material may be perfect against the grenade launcher. One hit on the grenade turret and it might be enough to backfire.

She saw me grab the wrong grenade. “That’s an adhesive grenade. It won’t...”

“I know what it is. It may be useful if it hits the right place.”

“What do you have in mind?” She asked.

Before I could answer, a grenade had landed behind the barrier... only a few meters away. I was surprised that I didn’t sense it and hesitated to get rid of it. Although I managed to force-push it away, I did so only a fraction of a second before it detonated. The sound was deafening. There was a brief flash followed by pain, but I was still alive.

My ears were ringing and it took a moment to realize what just happened. I felt my left shoulder and saw the blood on my hand. The wound was painful, but it was better than if the grenade exploded right behind us. It took a moment for me to realize I had to keep my guard up... I was still in a battle and vulnerable. Suddenly, I remembered seeing Beleya between me and the explosion. I quickly got up, expecting the worst.

It wasn’t what I feared, but very close to it. Before the grenade exploded, Beleya covered her head with her left arm. If she hadn’t done that, she would be dead. The shrapnel tore deep into that arm and her chest, but she was still alive.

I was about to throw her over my shoulder, but I realized that I had to take out the tank which fired that grenade. If it was close enough to launch it, then it was too close and had to be taken out before I could fall back. I ignited my lightsaber again and grabbed the belt with the grenades.

I jumped out from behind the barrier and found myself in the path of the tank, only about 10 meters away. It opened fire with its laser cannons, but I force jumped out of their path, not only dodging the bolts, but landing on top of the vehicle. I wanted to see what I could do with the grenades I had with me.

The tank’s grenade launcher was mounted on a turret to the side... that was my target. A misfired grenade would destroy the weapon and cause damage to the vehicle. I pulled the pin on an adhesive grenade and stuck it down the barrel.

Before jumping off, I realized how stupid that was. Since I was already on top of the tank, I might as well try to destroy it altogether. I pulled out my lightsaber and was about to deliver a killing blow, but I remembered the explosion that came after Ross’s saber punched through that last tank. I hated these things! I had to take it out without killing myself in the process.

It finally dawned on me not to attack the tank, but the drivers inside... they don’t explode. I couldn’t see them, but I could sense exactly where they were within the vehicle. I drove the lightsaber into the pilot compartment, killing the ones inside. Although there were others in the back, I didn’t want to bother with them. I destroyed the control panels to ensure the tank would never move again.

After a moment of satisfaction and relief, I knew I still had to tend to Beleya... and fast. When there was a clearing in the battlefield, I fell behind the barricade and examined her injuries.

Her wounds were consistent with a frag grenade. The left arm was torn up badly by shrapnel, but it was better than her head. It didn’t cover much more than that... there were severe wounds across her chest that it couldn’t treat. Because the shrapnel buried itself within her flesh, I could not give her a kolto injection or use the healing trance until it was extracted from the flesh.

With the force assisting me, I ran as fast as I could with her flung over my shoulders. The closest medical station was a great distance away and I also had to avoid blaster shots while I moved through the battlefield.

When I cleared the blaster fire, I ran away as others were moving towards the battle. There were so many running in my direction that I was concerned about a collision. Fortunately, the soldiers went around me when they saw the wounded Beleya being carried back. I was almost given a path completely free of obstructions.

One of the other jedi, Hayashi, was running to join the battle when he was shocked to see Beleya flung over my shoulders. He turned around to follow me. “What happened?!”

I kept moving, but answered. “She’s wounded badly. I have to get her to a medical station.”

“Let me take her. There is a...”

I was not interested in going back, so I refused the offer outright. “I’ve got her! Just keep going!”

“Where’s your padawan? Did you leave him behind?”

“I had no choice! If you find him, please keep track of him. I’m going to return as soon as I get her to safety.”

“I’m on my way. May the force be with you.” Then he turned around to join the battle.

-----

I was still mentally exhausted from all the chaos and didn’t want to go back, but Hayashi reminded me of my duty to Ross. Even if I wanted nothing more than to move myself out of danger, I had to push forward... this time for Ross. Next time, I would have to be willing to do it for myself... any member of the Council, except Atris would do the same.

When I reached the station, I cried out. “Medic! She needs immediate attention!”

I looked around the station and saw that no one was there. There were beds and equipment, but no one to operate. I had no idea where the infirmary was located within the station, and there was no time for me to find it. Despite my lack of medical knowledge, I had to try and save her myself.

It was a very sickening feeling to imagine having to repair something or treat someone without knowing what you’re doing. I knew she was too close to death to consider moving her again... I was the only chance she had.

I carried her to one of the surgical beds and set her down gently while I was debating in my head whether I should attempt to save her. I could very well end up killing her because of my medical ineptitude. If I didn’t act, she would die... I had to try and save her.

I examined the medical supplies that were now available and searched for the instrument I needed. I didn’t know what it was called, but it was designed to locate and remove metal fragments without significantly damaging the flesh. It seemed simple to operate, but it required a delicate hand that I may not have.

I located about seven metallic signatures with the scanner and started by removing the fragment closest to her heart. I wanted to start injecting her with kolto, but could not afford to have regenerated flesh form around the fragment.

I carefully maneuvered the instrument and slowly extracted the fragment from the first wound. I was under a lot of pressure, but felt some relief. I at least knew that I could work the instrument well enough to complete the job... once the shrapnel was removed, a kolto tank would do the rest. For now, injections would have to due.

After an agonizing few minutes, I had removed three fragments, but I feared that she was going to die before I was done. Before I began searching for the fourth fragment, I heard someone come in. I turned around and visibly sighed when I saw that it was Master Vash. She wasn’t a physician, but I know she’s treated injuries like this before.

“What happened?” Vash said while running to the surgical bed.

“Fragmentation grenade. You’ll need to treat her... I don’t have the skills needed.” I extended the surgical tool for her to take.

She grabbed it and started scanning for the remaining fragments. I was waiting anxiously to hear whether or not I made a difference to her chances of survival. Vash was quick to ask if I injected her with kolto. When I told her that I have, my heart sunk.

“You’re not supposed to use kolto until all the shrapnel has been removed. Kolto affects the regeneration of all the wounds, not just the ones you’ve treated.” Before I started displaying what I was feeling, she told me what I needed to hear. “It’s not going to kill her. I just need to act quickly.”

As I saw Master Vash hovering over Beleya, I could sense great fear within her. She wasn’t displaying it, but I knew how much pressure she was under. I don’t think I would have looked so calm under the same conditions... she was naturally hiding her true feelings. Simply watching her, I understood why the jedi would follow her without fear or doubt. Despite my feelings for the Council, I came to respect her.

Only a great leader could value a follower so much that losing her would affect her so greatly. In all my hate for slavery and all my desire to free those who suffered as I have... I felt so small compared to her. Just watching her was almost mesmerizing.

After a moment of staring, Master Vash kept her eyes on what she was doing, but still knew that there was a battle in progress. “Yuthura, I’m sorry but I’m going to have to ask you to get back out there... they need you. I’ll take care of Beleya. Please go.” She said in a very calm, yet persuasive tone.

I don’t know why, but I suddenly wanted to return to the battle. Before, I was looking for any excuse to get out of danger... now I almost felt like I couldn’t stand being anywhere else. I didn’t say anything. I just bowed and did what I was told.
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