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Old 02-16-2006, 03:59 PM   #20
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Chapter 6: ‘Night School’ and Choices
When I returned from my trip to the waterfalls, I contacted Morrie and relayed a plan on a night school. As usual, Morrie gave his reasons for it being a bad idea and that the planet was going into a sarlacc pit, ending with an agreement to and an enthusiastic response to help. We laid over possible locations and the methods of how to convince people to let us use the facilities. The best choices were the posh Belosian and Mikkadoan schools since most of the staffs and especially the heads were inclined to be liberal. I agreed to do the talking.

I had learnt during my research that Master Cronus was still living here at the port town in the merchant district and was head of the posh Belosian private school called Lords of the Realm. I hadn’t seen him in eleven years and I was surprised that he was still alive. When I met up with him for a light luncheon, I learnt that the Jedi left the enclave and went into hiding given the turn of events or they went to help their counterparts in the Republic. Those that went were not heard from again, at least until the threat to the Jedi were revealed at the battle on Onderon and Master Kavar left for Dantooine. Master Vash, I learned much later, that a Sith Lord had killed her on Korriban, a place that I had only heard of in passing. Master Cronus himself hid in the form of a teacher and taught the students that walked through his door about the benefits of inclusion of the tribes in governmental affairs. It was under this guise that I presented the plan.

After we ate, I began to lay out my plan. He listened with his usual quiet manner until I had finished proposing that we could use one of the study rooms since no one was around. He then responded, “This is Argonon law that we live under now young one.”

“Yes master.”

“You are asking me to break that law and possibly jeopardize the survival of the school,” he had a look of concern but I knew that he was also considering the options of this plan I was proposing.

“I know that you teach what you once taught me, that inclusion and not exclusion was the key to survival. How can the tribes be included if they can’t read or write Basic?”

“I quite agree with J.C. but in the end you are talking about only a dozen to be taught. Really, how much difference will that make?”

“The waterfall begins with but a drop of water. Look what comes from that my master.”

“Very clever. I can see that Tergis’ intelligence and diplomatic skill were not lost on you. I’ll give my consent for you to use the study room near the side gate, behind the gardens,” he got up out of his chair and motioned me to follow.

We walked through the school grounds as he showed me the gardens and the gate and the room. At the side gate, he revealed a key that he placed in my hand. I could sense and see that he was worried about what I was going to do so I listened to what he had to say, “I hope your thoughts are clear on this matter. You know that it is the way of the Jedi to aid when we can, provide counsel, but this idea that you want to do could spell trouble. I hope you thought carefully on your choice to help the People. You have a gift, as all life does and it differs with each one.”

“I will be cautious master. I understand.”

“Though I am concerned, I sense that you have a destiny before for you. This choice may be the one that sets you on the path towards that destiny. Now go and be careful.”

I left through the side gate with the key tucked safely into my utility belt. I went to where Manda worked as an assistant driver for the prison work gangs, supervising them in their work. I waited until I could speak unnoticed by the armed guard that watched to make sure that no one thought to run off. I informed him that I had secured a place to have our night school. He couldn’t show his smile but he let his feelings be known by saying in Lordean, “Thank you Kirabaros,” and he began to sing the song about the Heart of the Guardian. The work gang realized what was going on and began to sing the same song. I still couldn’t fully believe in the myth but I let the workers be as I left quietly to go find Michaela for she was going home today from her boarding school.

I was waiting behind the trees when school got out. She was walking with one of her friends when she saw me. She became excited and walked right up to me telling me that she had great news, “J.C. I’ve figured it all out about the dinner. Father won’t have time to say no. He won’t let me miss it and there is no one else. I have a whole speech prepared, do you want to hear it?”

Anxious to get my news out I replied, “You won’t have to. Manda asked to start a school and the head of the Lords of the Realm school gave me permission to use the study room. We are starting tomorrow night, will you join us?”

“Tomorrow night? The dinner is tomorrow night and we’ve already planned for it.”

That was true we had planned to attend together. Being a Jedi first I weighed the importance of both and found that the school was to come first.

I didn’t realize that I would hurt her feelings when I replied, “Michaela, this is important.”

“Well the dinner is important to me.”

I tried to placate her, “I thought you would understand. I have a responsibility to the People.”

She became angry, “All I understand is that I am not attending the most important dinner,” and she flounced off to the speeder taking her home. I tried to explain but she left, rather angry and I watched her leave for her home. It left me feeling confused and hurt. I thought that she would be supportive because of her experience in the township. It was then I remembered that part of love; love causes pain.

In spite of what happened Morrie and I started the school. At exactly 1900 hours he brought Miria and sixteen others who were proficient in Basic. I remember that it was raining and rather cold. It was so dark; I couldn’t see the police watching us. As planned, the study room was empty near the gardens. Everything looked near perfect.

We started with the basics of pronunciation in the vowels and sounds within Basic. Morrie was my point man, meaning that he would point at the letters while the group recited. We were interrupted once, by Michaela who, came in offering her help. She was soaked in her evening gown from the rain but she was a willing helper and never looked better.

It turned out that she ran out on her father before going to the dinner with a childhood friend of hers. She told me that her father was going to accept the premier’s offer and join the cabinet because of some residential plan involving the townships. She had become angry that her parents and their friends were jovial about their bigotry. She had ended up blowing up and declaring that she wouldn’t hate like her father. When she told me this, my heart warmed to her. I told her that a hatred as deep as her father’s takes many generations for it to dissipate and even then it never completely goes away. Hatred was like a vein in its place in the galaxy and the Force, I told her, and that veins, like the roots of trees run deep. We said nothing more about it though I became concerned at what her father might do.

Morrie and I were summoned the next morning to Master Cronus’ office. I felt stirrings deep within me and an old feeling of apprehension was returning as I walked in and stood in front of the head’s desk. Master Cronus introduced the two police, “This is Colonel Stratton of the police and his aid Sgt. Sigun.”

At the mention of his name I turned around and there he was, the Judge. Older and taller, I could see that he had not changed much in appearance. Seeing him brought back the memories of the tortures he and his council tried and did inflict on me. I didn’t have long to look for Master Cronus was telling Morrie and I that they had come with the purpose to close the night school.

Baffled I asked if they could do that.

The colonel was not a completely patient man and said that they did have the authority while being polite as if this were merely a social call. Master
Cronus had no choice but to comply and did so by decreeing, “The night school will be disbanded until further notice.”

“Permanently headmaster.”

“Yes of course permanently,” and Master Cronus watched as they left. Tvark followed behind like a proper officer but there was no mistaking the sneer and the look of hatred that was meant for my eyes alone. He had that look only one other time, the time he sentenced me to death.

After they had left Morrie asked, “Is that really the end of it sir.”

“For the moment I’m afraid that it is.”

I chose the moment to speak, “Master, if we let them get away with it on our own grounds, it will never change.”

“History disputes you J.C.”

“History tends to take too long.”

“Yes I know. It is also never kind to those who try to hurry it.”

Realizing that Master Cronus felt defeated by this I asked if there was anything else. He dismissed us but held me back to tell me that I was welcome to the enclave at the Koron port to be a teacher. It was a small consolation but I felt frustrated but calmed down as Morrie and I walked across the gardens, planning our next course of action. I told Morrie that the sergeant was indeed Tvark and about the look he gave me. During our time together, Morrie and I shared a great many things about each other, telling of life experiences. I had made Tvark sound like a school bully for I had never really become comfortable telling him about my days at the boarding school and orphanage. That day however was different and I filled in the gaps of how Tvark and his council viewed him and I.

We also switched towards planning what to do about the school. Morrie was the one who asked me if the gardens of the enclave were still accessible. He pointed out that the enclave was as good as any place to hold the school. I knew that the bay where I had stored my ship some months before was secured and that the other rooms of the enclave were readily accessible. Morrie and I both agreed that the former gardens would be better due to the space it gave. As we made plans, I was coming to realize that I had crossed a boundary that I could never turn back from. We had chosen to wage war against the system that sought for so long to subjugate the peoples of Mikkado to their will. We were choosing not the path of violence but that of education. I had begun to realize that Master Cronus was telling me that I would have to make choice.

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