Chapter 3: The Past and the Future
The war had ended that night, and two days later, Master Tergis and I left for Coruscant, leaving my memories behind in sadness, trying as Zoran taught me: that even one person could make a difference. I tried to remember his last words to me and live by them because no matter how much I couldn’t believe I couldn’t, my heart would never let me give up.
“Very evocative J.C. I never knew that one could grow up so fast.”
I had been telling my story to a friend I had made on Coruscant, Raynar, one who became a good friend after Master Tergis died. He died three months after we had arrived trying to resolve border issues on Antion, leaving behind a legacy of diplomacy that was to last until a one of the Avalonian people died with it many years later. That’s another story that occurs years later.
Telling this story brought back the memories but I tried not to dwell on them. The dueling chamber was a place to practice and was one of the few places that drove my mind far from my memories. This day, Raynar and I practiced techniques, something that I never failed to do whether solo or with a partner. Lately we had been practicing to move in sync within the Force. It takes much energy and focus to maintain this stance and form. It was this we were practicing with an audience, that we couldn’t see, when I received a summons. This summons to the council brought a lurch that was unpleasantly familiar.
When I arrived at the council chambers, I thought it was for a minor infraction that turned serious. That was a common problem for me when I arrived considering that I had been educated by tribesmen that viewed the galaxy in a manner not consistent with the Jedi teachings and Master Tergis’ methods didn’t exactly conform either. Still I cleared my mind and became mindful of my thoughts when I entered the chambers. Master Kavar was the first to speak, “We have summoned you here for a reason Jacen,” he never called me by my initials like everyone else did.
Master Vash, one whom I respected greatly and had been more understanding to my adjustment, continued, “We have been in session and have decided that there is no one else who knows best.”
“What is it that you wish of me my masters,” I had always been respectful of the masters even when I disagreed with them over certain issues.
Master Vash continued, “As you know with the war with Malak, the situation has not been kind to the Republic. There has been a disturbance beyond the Outer Rim.”
“What do you wish me to do?”
Master Kavar spoke, “You are to go to there for this disturbance could create a second front that could be disastrous. There was a distress from beyond the Outer Rim possibly near your homeworld.”
I tried not to give anything away about my feeling or the unpleasant lurch I had felt when I was summoned. I agreed to leave immediately and went to my ship, The Sunrider, named after Nomi, a Jedi I had read of in the Archives. Before I left, I recalled the vision I had when I was young so long ago when I discovered courage.
The enclave had changed much where I docked my ship. No more were there apprentices and masters wandering through the gardens. Tergis’ garden that he grew had turned into a wild garden within the year after we had left. I left my ship within the enclave and sealed the doors with the codes, thus ensuring that my ship would not be disturbed and headed towards the dorp that Tergis and I had spent the first few months of my training. I found everything as we had left it when the militia told us to move to the enclave.
The first few weeks passed without incident as I attempted to integrate myself back into life on the plains. I made a friend with a rather quick-witted Mikkadoan originally from the capital, Pretora, named Morias. I called him Morrie and he was agreeable to calling me J.C. He showed me the changes around the Howesian port city. I noticed that the government had, if anything, increased the segregation policies on the tribesmen. I noticed the unfairness of the situation by an incident involving a Sotho tribesmen and the militia police now run by the Argonons.
Most of the Belosians where clustered in the few concessions in the port still open to them. Morrie told me that if the Argonons weren’t bound under the system rule of Avalon, that they would have gotten rid of all the utlanders, the foreigners along with the tribesmen. He said that the blery planet went to hell within a year. I sensed that something else was driving the despair of my homeworld. I was to learn later that a darkness was coming that would threaten the Republic and the galaxy along with one that would prove to be a lone warrior fighting that darkness.
It was during my tours of the port city and the others throughout the planet that I saw her. She was tall and graceful with head of dark brown hair and soft brown eyes. She was with some of her friends but I later learned that she had been watching me for a while. I was in a melee duel with an Argonon, one that I was reluctantly volunteered to be in. I had almost had my ear sliced off when I saw her. She was beautiful, the most beautiful I had ever seen.
My senses returned when I heard an all too familiar song. A group of the People had gathered and had begun singing the song of the Heart of the Guardian. I thought that I had escaped that tale spun by Zoran. It was a part of me that I sought to forget because of the painful memory of Zoran’s death that was associated with it. To see it brought alive told me that what Zoran had begun as a bit of false hope had become a legend among the People, for they believed that the one to deliver them from darkness had arrived. The past had been met and now it had become the way into the future.