SW: TOR: ATTACK AND DEFENSE
Part Four of an Old Republic Tale by MsFicwriter
JEDI TEMPLE, TYTHON, TRAINING ROOM, 1625 HOURS
(Author's Note: Sithspecter is more than correct...)
You're very late, Padawan Yllari--or, should I say, Per'dra?"
Tamara pronounced my name with cold derision, her lips curled into a sneer. It seemed that she wore this expression more and more often these days.
In order to focus my rival's mind on something other than her disdain for me, I decided to agree with her. "You're right," I said matter-of-factly. "You said to convene here thirty minutes ago, and I did not. I'm surprised you waited."
"I'm not. When I challenge someone to a sparring match, I never back down."
"Neither do I." I stepped forward. "Which training saber do you prefer?"
"I'll take two single blades, and you? You're weakest with the saberstaff. Since you did not arrive at our appointed time, your forfeit is to use it." Upon pronouncing this verdict, however, Tamara paused. "On second thought, I have an idea. We're edging closer to open war with the Sith Empire every day. Our enemies aren't going to wield weakened weapons, or those with which they train instead of fight. I now propose we use full-powered sabers."
My throat clenched. "We don't spar with those, Tamara. You know as well as I do that our regular blades are lethal. They're tools for a Jedi, and right now I don't think either of us is in a position to utilize them safely. We're looking to let off some steam, and that's why we should save them for actual missions."
Tamara smiled. "You know what? I think you're scared. Scared I'll scar your pretty little face, or make you join that Trandoshan in medbay! Did you think I didn't notice him come in? You and Master Yun were practically dragging him between the two of you, like you would a wounded beast. Pathetic! Better if you'd neutralized him then and there, right where you found him."
This time, my jaw dropped. "I can't believe what you're saying! Jedi have compassion on all living things, even their enemies. It's true that his kind and ours haven't always gotten along--in fact, many Trandoshans are bounty hunters--but that doesn't mean we kill them unless they attack first. Even in self-defense, the first principle is to wound and disarm your opponent!" Suddenly, I raised an eyebrow. "Have you completely forgotten? What's gotten into you? Into us?
We haven't exactly been friends, but--!"
"Enough blabbering." From the belt around her waist, Tamara flicked out the silver hilt of a lightsaber--a real one--and ignited it. "It's time to fight."
Leaping backward with a slight push of the Force, I cried, "Stand down!"
"Not a chance. Either concede or defend yourself, wretch..." With her ebony hair flying, Tamara advanced on me with a ferocity I'd never seen from her before. Only Master Yun utilized such attacks, and even then, he'd only been fighting with training blades! This situation was entirely different. If I wasn't careful, Tamara could kill me. Would
kill me, if her tactics were powerful enough. Did she really loathe me that much? I surely didn't want to find out...
Without looking at which hilt I was now choosing, I ignited my own weapon. The saberstaff!
Shuddering visibly, I tried to project an aura of calm through the Force, for my own benefit and for Tamara's. Peace,
I thought. Let the Force flow through our bodies and make us both stop.
Standing my ground, I braced myself for impact as Tamara crashed into me. Three times, her one violet blade ground against my two silver ones, and three times she failed to hit me. I blocked each barrage of blinding heat and light as best I could, stepping backward and retreating. Defending.
"What's wrong with you?"
Terror seized control of all my senses.
My fellow Padawan continued to crowd me. "Ever since I upgraded my saber with a new focus crystal, I've become better and better in combat. Hardly anything can stop me now, especially since Master Karos has been teaching me new techniques." She whirled around and executed a fierce kick, missing my head by mere inches. "Do you give up? You're weak, and I'll prove it."
A new focus crystal...?
"Wait!" I cried, thrusting my saberstaff into the air with one hand. I balanced it straight above Tamara's head, and if I wished to, I could send it sailing down. However, I would never..."Listen. Certain gems we've been using as focus crystals are tainted. Trust me."
You just want to avoid losing. Which you won't," she hissed.
All of a sudden, our lightsabers winked out and whirled away from us both...