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Thread: Scion of Darkness ~ Episode One: Fear Leads to Anger
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:12 AM   #41
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Tawnos burst into the alley, blaster drawn, senses stretched to their limit with the possible threat of returning junkies. He scanned the alley quickly, and located two shapes huddled together against the wall at the far end. He moved in, his back against the opposite wall, weapon at the ready. He strained his senses to their maximum, forcing his conscious mind to let go of his fear and uncertainty. He cycled through the input from each of his senses, eliminating that which he could identify. First was the sound of his own breathing, which was deep and quiet; next went the flickering hum of the Rancor's Breath sign, along with the deep, droning bassline from the music within. After only a moment, all that remained was a rasping sort of wimpering, which he recognised as belonging to his sister.

He dashed forward, holstering his blaster as he knelt down next to his friend and sister. "Are you alright?" he asked, signalling to Osay and Celeb to secure Lite's condition. Osay rushed forward the young woman's side, while Celeb remained at the mouth of the alley, keeping an eye out in case any more spice thugs decided to turn up.

Gherion looked up at Tawnos with unfocused eyes colored with a quieted anguish. "I'll be fine, but I don't know how Ashalle's doing."

Ashalle simply stared at the ground, her eyes unblinking, her body shivering uncontrolably despite the warm Retalian air that always accompanied the dawn. She was pale and clammy, and her skin glistened with a cold sweat. Tawnos removed his jacket and wrapped it around her shoulders, pulling her to her feet gently before offering his hand to Gherion.

He watched his sister as she fought to maintain the contents of her stomach. He had never seen her like this before - she had always been calm, collected, and cool headed, whether she was quiet at home, or dealing with overbearing males hoping to score on her. He had never seen her look so helpless, so in need, nor had he ever felt such a powerful connection to her.

"How's Lite?" he called over his shoulder, tearing his eyes from Ashalle and speaking directly to Osay.

Osay was kneeling beside Lite. She glanced up at Tawnos and replied, "She'll be fine, but she'll have a nasty headache once she wakes up." The teenager pushed her blonde hair behind her ear and glanced at Ashalle. Osay shuddered and returned her eyes to Lite. She felt weak and scared when she looked at Ashalle. She hadn't felt that way for years. Oh, how she hated that feeling!

"Well, it'll be better if Erussa is around for that bit," Tawnos replied, still helping his sister stay on her feet. He glanced down at the ground where she was staring, and realised what she was staring at - the bodies of the two men she and Gherion had been forced to slay to defend Lite. He caught Gherion's attention, and silently asked him to take his place supporting Ashalle.

He moved over to the two men, and knelt over their bodies. He recognised his sister's dagger sticking out of the nearest one's neck, and with a firm tug removed it. He wiped the thug's blood on his own clothes, and slid it akwardly into his own blaster's holster. He hesitated for a moment before reaching into the thug's pockets. He pulled out a handful of lint, as well as a half dozen credits and a handful of death-sticks, which he snapped open. He moved to the other thug, and did the same, finding another dozen credits, a few more death-sticks, and a spare blaster-pack. He pocketed the blaster pack, destoryed the drugs, and rose. "We should get out of here," he said. "These guys may be common street thugs, but they may have friends."

Gherion trudged towards Tawnos with Ashalle's arm around his neck, supporting her as best he could. She was walking, if with a half-lucid mechanical gait that proved to be more instinctual than voluntary. He, too, was pale as a ghost, his eyes slightly more sunken, his cheekbones more pronounced. It had been 13 years since he'd seen death, and though he was strong enough to keep moving, it had taken its toll. He needed rest. "We should probably take as many back alleys as is possible, to avoid being seen. We're certainly not the healthiest looking bunch right now, and that could very well make us targets."

Osay glanced at the bodies on the ground and replied casually, "They and some of their buddies have been trying to get a few credits off of me several times for the past few weeks. Their gang's after me now 'cause I killed a couple of their friends who got a little too--forward. Now they'll be after us all. We need to stick to the lit areas with lots of people until we get to a more civilized part of town." Osay looked up at the others, hoping that one of them was about to pick up Lite. Tawnos was supporting his sister--that was understandable. Her eyes turned to Gherion. Hmph, no help there. He looked as sick as a dehydrated gizka. Apparently she was the only one in this group who didn't falter at the sight of death. She gave an impatient sigh and slid her arms under Lite's back and legs, and she stood with a slight grunt as she said commandingly, "If we get waylaid by some people, I need someone to take Lite. The rest of you run while I create a diversion, and I'll catch up later."

Tawnos eyed her for a moment, then turned his gaze to Ashalle, who had pulled herself out of her daze and had become somewhat more lucid, pushing away slightly as she attempted to stand on her own power. "Take it easy, Sis," he said in an uncharacteristicly gentle tone.

She shook her head to clear her vision, and wiped her mouth with the back of her sleeve. "I'm fine..." she said shakily. "Help--" she closed her mouth for a second, and steadied herself against Gherion before continuing. "Help Osay with Lite. I'll be okay."

Tawnos cast her a wary look before slowly moving off, looking pointedly at Gherion. His pale and haggard young friend's face was set into a stern grimace as he nodded. "I've got her, don't worry."

Tawnos nodded in return before turning to Osay and offering to help with Lite.

Osay gladly passed Lite to Tawnos and rolled her shoulders. "Thanks, Tawnos." She joined Celeb at the mouth of the alley and glanced around as if making sure no one was waiting for them around the corner. After a few moments, the girl turned to the rest of them and said quietly, "Come on. We don't have much time." She walked out of the alley, silently hoping that her companions would be quick enough for them all to get out of here in one piece. Osay had been ambushed by this gang three or four times before, and they were probably going to get ambushed on their way back to the main city. She stretched her long, slim fingers and had a horrible thought. What if her companions decided to play hero and try to help out instead of run like she'd told them to? Then she'd have to defend some other people as well as herself! She was sure Celeb would run if she told him to, but she wasn't too sure about Tawnos - he was arrogant, and staying behind to help her fight with Lite clinging to his back sounded exactly like the noble, stupid thing he would do. Hopefully, Lite would stay unconscious long enough to keep him occupied. As for the others... Gherion and Ashalle didn't look like they could stomach another fight anyway.

Last edited by The Doctor; 10-24-2008 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 10-24-2008, 04:38 PM   #42
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Osay quickly walked down the street, her five companions close behind her. They were about half-way to safety now, but Osay knew that didn't mean they could relax--not by any stretch of the imagination. She dropped back beside Tawnos and asked quietly, "Does Lite show any sign of consciousness yet?"

"Not yet," replied Tawnos, shifting Lite's weight in his arms slightly to get a better look at her face. Her eyes were fluttering slightly, and she was drawing deep, rattling breaths, but she didn't appear to be conscious.

Osay glanced back, then she whispered, "We're being followed."

Gherion mimicked her motion and glanced quickly over his free shoulder, his grim visage unaltered by the act. "If we can see one, then there are probably others in the shadows."

Tawnos shifted Lite's weight again, the better to take a quick look around. He could indeed hear a shallow breathing, however distant, that was not created by any of their group. He cast Osay a silent look and nod, then turned to the others. "We should pick up the pace. We need to get out of here while we have the chance."

Osay's eyes darted around. Up ahead, she could see five or six familiar forms coming towards them. Three more were coming in from across the street. There was only one way left to go. She hissed, "They're hemming us in. Follow me, quickly!" Osay ducked into an alley on her left. She pulled out her datapad and started accessing a file as she sped up.

Tawnos sped up and fell into step beside her. "I'll pass Lite to Celeb, and stay behind to give you a hand - you'll need all the help you can get against this many scumbags."

Osay cast him an angry glare and snapped, "You get out of here with the others! I've handled these guys before, I can do it again!"

He opened his mouth to argue, but with one more sour look from her he sighed and nodded. He managed to slide Ashalle's dagger from his blaster holster and handed it to her. "Never know, could come in handy," he said. "Lead on."

Osay almost told him that she had two knives in her boots, but she decided not to say anything. Might as well let him think he was helping. She tucked Ashalle's dagger into her belt and replied, "Thanks. Got it!" Osay showed him the datapad. "I've managed to hook my datapad up to the PGS, the Planetary Guidance System. I have it set to guide you to my apartment. The door's locked. The access code is 8307. Lock the door behind you, and you'll be safe. I'll give this to Gherion, he has a free hand." She nodded towards a side alley up ahead. "Up there. That's where ya'll will make a run for it." Osay glanced over her shoulder. "We should make it with just enough time to spare."

Gherion took the datapad and examined it carefully. "Looks like we're not very far, when we're out of sight, a fast jog should get us there in five minutes." He looked at Ashalle, and spoke in a quiet, soothing voice, "Can you manage it?"

Ashalle nodded, looking rather nauseous but determined.

Tawnos turned back to Osay before following the others. "We'll wait for you for an hour, at most. If you haven't joined us by then, I'll come looking for you."

Osay replied confidently, "I'll be back before that hour is up." She stepped into the side alley, pressed herself back against the wall, and whispered fiercely, "Now!"



It is all that is left unsaid upon which tragedies are built.
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Old 10-24-2008, 10:54 PM   #43
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The others broke into a slow jog. Osay watched them for a moment, then her head snapped back towards the opening. Her ears pricked, and her heart rate rose slightly. She knew where they were. There were ten--no, twelve of them coming down the alley from the direction she'd come. Eight more were running in from the other end of the alley. Perfect, twenty guys. This was more than she usually handled. Osay smiled slightly. It was a good thing she knew this part of town so well. This narrow alley was the only way to get to her apartment, at least without going a few miles out of the way. They'd have to go through her to get to the others. She bent to the side and slipped her hand into the back of her boot. Her fingers wrapped around the handle and pulled the vibroknife out of the boot. She straightened and pressed herself against the wall again, her knife at the ready. They were almost here. The girl tensed and silently counted as the distance closed. Three...two...one...

Osay's knife plunged into the heart of the first thug to come around the corner. She flicked on the knife. Hundreds of tiny vibrations ran up and down the blade, sending blood flying into Osay's face and onto her hair and shoulders. The girl yanked the knife out of the man's chest. She instinctively ducked, somehow avoiding the blaster bolt that flashed through the air where her head had been. Her knife flew from her hand, into the face of the Mirialan who had fired the shot. Osay darted back and to the side; she was on her feet in an instant. Her forearm flew up and blocked a man's forearm as his knife descended on her head. She pushed back, spinning under his arm. Her other hand went around his head. A sharp jerk was all it took to snap his neck like a twig. Osay whirled to meet the next two, both of them obviously junkies from their wild eyes and sallow faces. Her hand slammed into the right one's chest at just the right spot, and a few of his ribs cracked. The girl gave a cry of pain as the other junkie's fist hit her in the jaw. She allowed herself to stumble back out of the way of his other fist, and then Ashalle's knife sliced across his throat.

Osay was a whirl, her hands flying, causing necks to break, throats to crush, bones to shatter. She felt like she was moving without thought, feeling strength and power flow through her, making her feel as light as air. Her hand found its way to Ashalle's knife again, and it cut patterns through the air as her hand skillfully guided it to its target. Suddenly, Osay stopped in mid-motion, the knife in her hand dripping red. There was one left. He was behind her. His knife was slashing at her. She started to turn to defend herself, but it was too late. The razor-sharp blade cut her upper left arm to the bone, then it scraped up the bone two inches. Osay gave a blood-curdling scream as intense pain flooded through her, almost throwing her into shock. She mindlessly reversed her spin, keeping the knife from cutting more of her flesh from her. The girl went three hundred sixty degrees around, causing Ashalle's knife to slice all the way through his trachea.

Osay fell to her knees, and she numbly dropped the knife to the blood-stained ground. Osay, get control. Slow the bleeding. she told herself. Her shaking hands managed to rip a four-inch wide strip from the bottom of her shirt. Now, around the top of your arm. She twisted the strip into a rope, and her right hand got it around her arm and into a slip knot. Pull it tight, as tight as you can. Don't mind the pain. Osay screamed again as she yanked the end of the bandage as hard as she could, cutting the blood off from her arm. She somehow tied it off without loosening it, considerably slowing the blood flowing from her arm.

You have to get to your apartment, now. Tawnos can help you. Osay mumbled, "Have to get to Tawnos." Her hand groped on the ground until it found Ashalle's knife, then she stumbled to her feet. Numbly, her feet took one step after another, then another, and another after that.

Ten minutes later, Osay's clammy hand slammed Ashalle's knife into her apartment door, point-first. Her cheek pressed against the cold metal. She muttered, "8307." The door didn't budge. She repeated it, louder this time. "8307!" There was a click, and the door opened. Osay fell inside, covered with blood, cold sweat, and tears.


Chapter 12 of A Soul Adrift is out.

Short stories:
T'katlu: On the planet Felucia, a young apprentice of the Dark Side thinks back to the beginning of her training as she lies in wait for her prey...

All the Time: After four years in the Unknown Regions, the Exile returns to the known galaxy to visit an old enemy.

Broken: A master of the Dark Side finds himself about to lose the one thing he cares about--and he will do anything to stop her from endangering herself.
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Old 10-25-2008, 12:01 AM   #44
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((Archon, you weren’t available tonight, so I’ve taken the liberty of giving Celeb a few lines, just to keep him prominent. If you’d rather I didn’t, let me know and I’ll edit them out accordingly.))

Tawnos felt a surge of intensely dark emotion grow in his stomach, sending a shiver down his spine. His mind flew inexplicably to Osay, and he somehow knew that he was going to have regretted not staying behind to help her. He lay Lite on the couch, and forced his still absent sister into the chair by the window.

He turned to Celeb, who he expected would be the only one of the six of them apart from himself who would come out of this outing relatively unscathed. “How’re you doing?” he asked.

Celeb considered for a moment, again taken aback at being addressed directly. “Uhm... I’m alright,” he said, looking around at the others in their group. “Kind of wish we could have been there for the attack - maybe taken some of the heat off those two,” he jerked his thumb towards Gherion and Ashalle, who were positioned at the window.

Tawnos cursed again. “Me too,” he said. “I should have been with them, at least - she’s my sister. We may not be the closest siblings in the Galaxy, but it’s still my job to watch out fo--“

Another shiver ran through his spine, this one colder than the first. He spun around, blaster at the ready, as the door to the apartment opened. After a second’s hesitation, he noticed that it was Osay. And she was hurt.

All caution and pre-tense forgotten, he dropped his blaster on the floor and rushed forward. She collapsed into his waiting arms, gasping for breath. He threw inhibition to the winds, picking her up off her feet altogether and literally carrying her to the other side of the room, placing her gently on the empty bed. She continued to gasp for breath.

“Celeb, find me something to use as a bandage - and a few towels or something too, so I can try to mop her up a bit.”

He bent over her as Celeb dashed around the room. “It’s ok,” he said quietly, using his hand to wipe the blood off of her face. He looked her up and down, taking in her wounds and injuries.

“How is she?” asked Celeb, handing Tawnos a number of cloth towels and a bottle of a disinfectant agent. He doused one of the towels in the liquid. “I think it’s more exhaustion than anything... she’s got a few scrapes, but the worst of it is definitely her arm. It looks pretty deep...” he said quietly. “I have a basic knowledge of human anatomy and emergency first aid, but nothing to deal with a wound like this. There’s only so much I can do...” He bent over her again. “I need to clean your wound,” he said, trying to sound soothing. “This is going to sting, but there’s nothing I can do about that.”

Gherion walked over to the group tending to Osay and withdrew a small spray capsule filled with a bright green liquid. He still looked ready to collapse himself, but he was standing, and moving with enough confidence that he wasn’t too much worry. “Use this on the wound. It’s some allergy medicine I take, numbs whatever it comes into contact with to alleviate any pain caused during a reaction.”

Last edited by The Doctor; 10-25-2008 at 12:33 AM.
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Old 10-25-2008, 03:41 AM   #45
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Osay struggled to remain coherent. Talk. She needed to talk. She forced a slight grin and asked in a raspy voice, "So, anything happen while I was gone, or did I have all the fun?"

Tawnos chuckled, despite the seriousness of the situation. "Yeah, it looks like you got selfish on us," he said. "But you took a beating. From what I can tell, you've lost a significant amount of blood, and this looks like it's already been infected. We need to get you the proper treatment, before it gets any worse."

Osay winced. "I think I agree with you." Her hand rose, her fingers still wrapped around the handle of Ashalle's knife. "Here's your knife. You were right, it did come in handy." She glanced at it and added, "Sorry I didn't have time to clean it off. Kinda messy..."

He took the dagger and slid it into his blaster's holster again. "I think Ashalle will understand," he said, grinning. He looked at her for a moment, his face suddenly grim. "You should have let me stay behind."

Osay shook her head. "Nah. That passage was too narrow for two people to fight well."

"You saying I'm fat?" he asked, trying his best to distract her from the pain while he tended to her wound.

Osay pulled in her breath sharply as Tawnos gently cleaned her wound with the disinfectant. She growled, "No. If you were, I would've brought you along as the shield."

He laughed, despite himself. "Guess that's a step up from how you thought of me a few days ago, eh?"

Osay croaked out a short laugh. "Yea, you could say that."

He doused more disinfectant on the cloth he was using before replying. "Well, if it means anything, you've redeemed yourself in my eyes since we first met, too."

Osay smiled distantly. "Always good to know one less person in the galaxy hates you." She let out a sharp gasp as the cloth touched her again.

"Yeah, well... sometimes I get a little... carried away with my persona - the mask I through up. Used to be I just used it to hide, but these days I use it to... push people away." He looked at her oddly. He realised with a chill that he had never talked about this with anyone before, and reeled himself under control again. He cleared his throat. "So, yeah," he said, suddenly uncomfortable. "I just... want to say sorry. For being an ass."

Osay bit her tongue hard before answering, "Apology accepted. While we're on the subject, I'm sorry, as well."

He shook his head. "Don't worry about it," he said, slowly dabbing at her wound again.

The girl suddenly remembered something. "Is Lite awake?"

Tawnos glanced over his shoulder, where Gherion was now tending to her. "No yet, no," he said. "She's still out cold, but she's not in any immediate danger." He turned back to face her. "Which is more than can be said for you," he muttered, returning to her arm.

Osay grimaced as he lightly dabbed her arm. That knife she'd been cut with had probably been filthy. She needed to clean out her arm, preferably quickly instead slowly, like Tawnos was doing it. The girl's jaw tensed. She'd had enough of this. Time to get the job done.

Osay reached over herself with her good hand and grabbed the bottle of disinfectant from beside her head. Before Tawnos could stop her, she poured a good part of it into her wound. Osay screamed in agony as the stinging fluid ran across her exposed nerve endings and muscle tissue. She dropped the bottle a few moments later. Her nervous system twisted from the shock. Osay's hand caught Tawnos's wrist. She gasped, "Don't leave me!" just as she passed out.

Tawnos was momentarily shocked by Osay's sudden outburst. Not sure whether he had heard her right or not, he shook off his confusion and cursed. "Damn woman..." he muttered, tossing aside the now nearly empty bottle of disinfectant. He wrapped a fresh cloth around her arm, and tied the makeshift bandage tight. He checked her over one last time. Satisfied that she only had the one serious wound, he sighed and rose from his crouched position at her side. He rubbed his eyes, a wave of exhasution breaking over him, and spoke to the room at large. "We should head back," he said. "Celeb, you take Lite. I'll carry this one," he continued, indicating Osay. "And Gherion, keep an eye on Ashalle for me." He carefully reached beneath Osay and lifted her from the bed, taking the top-most sheet with her. "The sooner we get back to Erussa, the better..."


Chapter 12 of A Soul Adrift is out.

Short stories:
T'katlu: On the planet Felucia, a young apprentice of the Dark Side thinks back to the beginning of her training as she lies in wait for her prey...

All the Time: After four years in the Unknown Regions, the Exile returns to the known galaxy to visit an old enemy.

Broken: A master of the Dark Side finds himself about to lose the one thing he cares about--and he will do anything to stop her from endangering herself.
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:52 PM   #46
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The group of young Jedi spent the rest of the day slowly making their way between Citydomes, trying to keep inconspicuous - a difficult task to accomplish, the group being in the shape they were. With one of their number unconscious, another bleeding profusely, and another two looking as if they could lose consciousness at any moment, they had a hard time avoiding detection as they snuck through the network of underground caverns that connected the mighty domes that dotted the landscape.

By the time they reached the entrance to Erussa’s compound, the sun had risen and begun its descent, and despite the completely artificial weather conditions, Tawnos was still uncomfortable warm as they began their ascent to the hidden turbolift entrance to the compound. He had already discarded the bedsheet that he had taken along with them when he had picked up Osay, which despite its light, thin fabric had been quite warm. He turned to Celeb, who alone looked as if the ordeal of the past few hours hadn’t had any serious effects on him.

“How’s Lite?” he asked, panting slightly.

Celeb looked over at his shoulder, which Lite’s head lay on, eyes closed tensely, as if she were having some dream, or was in some pain due to her injury. Celeb looked back at Tawnos with a barely visible smile, “She’s...fine, still out, and seems to be experiencing some pain, but altogether she’s fine.”

He nodded, then turned to Gherion. “How about you guys? You doing ok?”

Gherion looked up blearily at Tawnos, Ashalle at his side. She had regained a small portion of her strength, and during the journey, Gherion was doing less and less of the supporting. In fact, they were almost holding each other up equally now. “We’ll be alright. I wish I were stronger, then I wouldn’t slow you guys down so much.”

Tawnos didn’t reply, as the ascent up the makeshift stone pathway began to steepen, and his berathing more laboured. After what seemed like more than an hour’s worth of climbing, they reached the hidden entrance. Tawnos shifted Osay in his arms, freeing up his right forearm to activate the concealed elevator shaft. After a moment of silence, the stone in front of them parted, and they all managed to squeeze into the rather cramped pod. The door sealed behind them, and the lift began its descent into the bowels of the planet.

=-=-=-=-=

They met Erussa at the bottom of the elevator. Without preamble, he led them into the medical bay, where a number of beds had already been prepared for patients. Tawnos let Osay down gently, and Celeb placed Lite on the bed next to him. Neither Gherion nor Ashalle had been able to get much further than the two beds closest to the door. Tawnos turned to Erussa.

“Lite is ok, for the most part. She was attacked by spice junkies, but we managed to get to her in time to stop them doing too much damage - but Gherion and Ashalle took a beating doing it. Osay bought us time to get to safety, but she got hurt bad.”

Erussa swooped over to her, examining her. He placed his hand over her wound, and closed his eyes. A pained look crossed his face, and he began to breath heavily. He withdrew his hand, and Tawnos saw that Osay’s wound looked considerably less enflamed. Erussa leant against the bed for a moment, then straightened.

“The medical droids will tend to her wound, and bring her to consciousness.” He turned to Celeb. “Please, return to the entrance and ensure that it has been properly sealed.” He returned his gaze to Tawnos. “Tell me what happened.”

As the droids cleaned and repaired Osay’s wound, Tawnos relayed the story of their morning to the older man, from their decision to split up to their journey down the elevator. He chose to leave out his conversation with Osay while he had tried to tend to her wound at the apartment - he didn’t feel the others needed to hear it, and made a mental note to ask for a private word with Erussa when the next opportunity arose. He couldn’t explain why, even to himself, but he was sure that he needed the old man’s guidance on the matter, and not that of Gherion or his sister.

By the time he reached the end of his account, Osay began to stir. She grumbled incoherently for a moment as the medical droids moved to Lite, and Erussa, Tawnos, and Celeb gathered around her bed.

“Calm, child,” said Erussa softly. “Your wound has been properly cleaned and tended. You may experience some discomfort for a few days, but it should heal completely. How do you feel?”

Osay squinted her eyes in the light and stared at the old man for a moment, then her face registered a look of recognition. She replied hazily, “I feel fine.”

Gherion turned in his bed to look at Osay, his face etched with a sunken, deathly tone, but he smiled regardless. “Those heroics of yours nearly cost you your arm, but you saved our skins.”

Everyone was intent on making sure Osay was ok - they didn’t notice that Lite was awake until they heard the crash of metal as a medical droid went flying. They turned to find Lite, fully concious and alert wielding a piece of the droid as a weapon. As the other droids came near her, she batted them away as if they were those annoying sensor balls at the Academy.

Lite was standing in a rather agressive position and her eyes looked as if they held a dare in them, almost as if she were daring the droids to lay a hand on her. She kept a firm grip on the droid part as she noticed the group. She spat out, “Where the blazes am I? Are you the perps who tried to rob me?”

Osay’s eyes narrowed, and she sat up abruptly. She threw her legs over the edge of the bed and snapped, “No, we’re the perps who saved you!”

Ever suspicious of people in nature, Lite waved the droid part into a more comfortable position. She replied, “Oh yeah? Hardly looks like you are better off than me.”

Tawnos stepped in front of Osay, blocking them from each other’s view. “Look, I know this has to be confusing,” he said to Lite, slowly moving forward, his hands held up slightly to indicate that he wasn’t a threat. “My name is Tawnos. How are you feeling?”

“I’ve been better,” Lite admitted. She still didn’t release the part. She didn’tk now who to trust. “Right now I want out of this bantha pit.”

Ashalle spoke first. “We’re just like you,” she said kindly. “We’re students from the Academy. We were sent by Erussa to find you, and bring you here.”

Propped up haphazardly against the back of his cot on the other side of the medlab, Gherion smiled slightly, the effort of doing such a simple thing seemingly draining him. “I’m sure you’re probably scared and unsure of our intention. We felt the same way when we came here. But hear us out. Hear Erussa out.”

“What I want is to be out of this joint.” Lite was not in the mood to listen to people - she wanted offworld and wanted out of there.

Tawnos turned as Erussa placed a hand on his shoulder. He nodded gently, and Tawnos stepped aside, allowing the old man to approach Lite. He did not raise his hands nor his voice as he drew closer. “I know you’ve been through a great deal in the last few days,” he said, ignoring the fact that she was now only a few feet away, brandishing a large piece of metal at him. “And I understand your anxiety. But you have nothing to fear here. My name is Erussa, and I have brought you here, along with five of your peers, for a very important purpose.”

Lite still brandished the weapon. “Oh yeah? Well ‘Erussa’, you can put me back where you found me. I want out of here. Now!”

Tawnos stepped forward once again, taking up position next to Erussa. “Look,” he said, taking a vastly different tone with the young woman than their Master had done. “We’re not going to hurt you. But we can’t let you go, either. We need you.”

“I don’t need anybody. I just want to get out of this place and burn sky.” She waved the droid part, “I’m not afraid to use this and I’m certainly not afraid of you.”

Osay had stood up and gained her balance. She stepped in front of Tawnos and replied tersely, “Then you can certainly be afraid of me. If you even attempt to attack any of us, I will be more than happy to disarm you, up to and including breaking something to make you shut up! Now sit down and listen to Erussa while he explains all this!”

Tawnos put a hand on her good arm, and caught her eye. “As I recall, you had your own doubts about all this when it started out too, and I didn’t start threatening to break your limbs if you didn’t listen.” He turned to Lite. “Please, just hear us out.” He moved foward slowly, his hands held out in a gesture of peace. “No one is going to hurt you, I promise. Just hear what we have to say, and if you still want to leave, then...” he sighed, cast a look at Erussa, and continued. “Then we won’t stop you.”

“You’re not going to hurt me? Well your girlfriend there seems to think otherwise,” Lite replied to the boy who spoke. Then to the girl she asked, “You afraid to let the boyfriend be a man?” She believed him partially, but her tendency to distrust everybody won over. The only thing that mattered was her survival.

Osay restrained her temper and said in the calmest voice she could manage, “As Tawnos has recently pointed out, I wasn’t exactly thrilled when I was brought here, either. Listen to Erussa, just for a second, okay?”

“This isn’t a hostage situation, Lite,” Gherion announced with a timid voice, now out of Lite’s range of vision. “You’re not in danger and we’re not interested in keeping you here against your will. Anything we’d want from you would involve your cooperation, which means that, if you still want to leave after you listen to Erussa, then we have no more use of you.”

“How do you know my name? I don’t recall ever giving it.” Lite’s temper was rising and she didn’t want to lash out but if it meant her getting out then so be it.

“We’ve... been looking for you,” replied Tawnos. “Listen, it’s going to take some time to explain. Now, if we wanted to, we could gang up on you and disarm you, no problem. We’re four on one, and we’ve got another man on his way back down any minute now.” He reached out his hand. “Give that to me.”

Lite looked at the boy with suspicion. Common sense told her that he wasn’t going to hurt her. Heck if he had wanted to, he would have done it already. Carefully and slowly she lowered the weapon into his hand. “Ok. What’s the guarantee you won’t gang up on me?”

Tawnos turned to Erussa, not sure how to go on. Erussa smiled kindly, and the students moved back, giving the old man room to step forward. “I assure you, no harm can come to you while you are in this facility. My name is Erussa. I have brought you here before me to teach you the ways of the ancient Order I have pledged to bring forth in this new era - all six of you, though I must say that you did cause the most... shall we say, ‘trouble’, in finding you.”

“Glad to hear it...” muttered Lite under her breath. Out loud, she said “Ok, so... what ‘Order’ are you talking about?”

Erussa hesitated for a moment. “It is my intention to train you in the ways of the ancient Jedi Order, to prepare you for a mission of great importance to the Galaxy.”

There was silence, all six of them watching him intently. “I fear that information about this mission must wait until you are ready,” he said slowly. “First, your training must be made complete.” He tilted his head, as if listening to something before speaking again. “But alas, it is getting late.” He turned from Lite to face the rest of the group. “You all did very well. Gherion, Ashalle, I would like to request that you remain here overnight. The rest of you would do well to retire to your quarters.”

Lite snorted. “I still want answers,” she said sharply.

Erussa nodded. “If you will retire to your quarters, I will be there shortly to answer any questions you may have.”

She glared at him, but agreed. She pushed her way through the door ahead of the others, and they all made their way to the living quarters.

Last edited by The Doctor; 10-27-2008 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:56 PM   #47
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All was silent in the medbay as Gherion sat with his arms around his knees, staring into the pitch black of the room, the only light seeping through the gaps around the exit, framing its oval shape in a perfect white line. As his eyes adjusted to the dark, he inspected his surroundings, the healer droid deactivated in the corner, its instruments sitting next to it in neat rows on a short table. Hours recently, that same droid had patched up a few minor wounds, and administered medication for the shock Ashalle and himself were experiencing. Osay had been treated for her severe arm wound, but had no mental issues to deal with and did not need constant monitoring, so she was sent to her quarters. Gherion and Ashalle were not so lucky, however, and Erussa ordered them to a night in the medbay after the ordeal with Lite. There were four beds in the room, and he had opted for the bed directly left of Ashalle, though he had little use for it. Gherion rarely slept, and with his current mental state, the prospect of falling into a slumber was wholly impossible. His mind returned to the visions of his father as he fell forward to the ground, his mother screaming, his sisters standing perfectly still, staring at him blankly. For the first five years following that day, Gherion’s life had been haunted by those images, yet as the memories of killing left him, his psyche had come to ease, and he had found peace in himself. Now that he was once again face-to-face with bloodshed by his own hand, the images were back, and he could not remove himself from them.

Gherion knew that to be a Jedi, he would have to end the lives of others to make the world a better place. There were few things he yet understood of the Force, but he knew from personal experience that the tiniest change in direction caused tremendous ripples in the lives of everyone involved. Strike a key point, and you heal the galaxy, or fracture it irrevocably. He just had doubts, in himself and his abilities to predict what he must do to act out the will of the Jedi. To bring peace and order, as opposed to meaningless bloodshed. He turned his head slowly to the right and saw that Ashalle was also sitting up in her bed, staring into empty space. Gherion felt closer to her than anyone at the time, even Tawnos, because she had felt the same pain that he had, while the others had seen death and remained relatively unharmed emotionally. For them it had been more difficult, and though Gherion did not know her reasons for trauma, he saw in her a kinship that transcended any omnipotent “Force”.

“They would have killed us.” The half-Echani whispered as quietly as he could in the dark. He did not wish to startle her, but he felt the need to say something.

She didn't move, apart from tightening her hold on her own knees as if trying to pull them inside herself. Her face was tear stained, and her eyes were unfocused and staring off into space. The image of that man lying limp on the ground, with her dagger jutting out of the back of his neck... she had never even been in a real fight before - sure, she had taken self defense classes as a 16th birthday gift from her over-protective father, but had never had to use them before; yet her reaction to the thug's attack had come so quickly, so naturally... she hadn't even thought about it, she had merely acted on impulse. She opened her mouth to speak, but closed it again, not sure what to say. Then it all came spilling out, a recitation of the mindless monologue that had been streaming through her head for hours now.

"I've never killed before," she began, the words streaming out of her of their own will. "I've never even really fought before, I mean, not any further than a jab to the stomach, or a pop in the nose of a guy trying to get cute with me. I've carried that dagger for years now, but I've never been forced to use it before, and I just pulled it out and lashed out. I could have just knocked him cold, I could have smashed the hilt into his skull and given him a concussion, but I just... killed him, stone dead, and I don't know why I did it. I can't get the image out of my head - just a pool of blood, his limbs twitching randomly every once in a while..."

Gherion slouched forward tiredly, revealing that even though his body was rested from the past few hours, his mind still felt the pain of his action. He was dealing with it far better than Ashalle, and was sure to learn to deal with what he had done and would undoubtedly do as a protector of the galaxy, but it would take time. He paused a moment, searching for the right words, then sighed and hid his face in his hands. He had killed before, but he had no way of telling her, so he opted to avoid the situation altogether.

“I’ve never gotten used to death, and I never wish to, because if a time ever came that watching another die was easy for me, I would be a perversion of who I truly am. Seeing it, causing another’s demise, making it happen… It’s horrible. I know that it had to be done, that it was my survival at stake, yet as I witnessed him slip away, watched that spark of life leave his dark and troubled eyes, I can’t help seeing all those that cared about him, those that had loved him and he had loved in turn, regardless of his addiction or his deeds, or what he had, in his weakness, become. Every life has a family, and perhaps they are dead, or perhaps he had nobody to love at all. But I can’t help but feel that with every existence I end, others grieve and suffer for years in repentance for what I had done.”

The doors opened quietly, though Ashalle still jumped about a light-year as they broke the stillness. Her eyes already adjusted to the dark after many hours now lying awake, she quickly realised that it was Erussa. He swept calmly into the room, stopping at the foot of her bed.

"How are you feeling?" he asked warmly of them both, a kind smile gracing his features.

Gherion tried to return the smile, but did so unsuccessfully. He stared down at his hands, whiter than they typically were, and opened his mouth to speak. For a few moments, no sound escaped, and then suddenly, words flooded out. “I had forgotten what it was like to end a life, and I’m terrified of what the future means if I am to become a Jedi Knight, protector of the galaxy, destroyer of evil. Destroyer.”

Ashalle burst into speech before Erussa could reply. "It can't be like this. If being a Jedi means having to kill, even in battle, I... I don't think I can. I'm just not cut out for this sort of thing..."

Erussa held up a hand, and they both trailed into silence. The smile had slid from his face, to be replaced by a calm, serene expression, his aura radiating a peaceful. vibrant intelligence. "Calm, Apprentices." He was silent for a moment, taking up position between their beds and perching on the edge of Ashalle's. "To take the life of another being is... far more difficult than it would appear to be," he began, his voice gentle. "The act has been portrayed as one performed in passing, having little to no effect on the being committing the act. The truth, however, is that taking a life is a far more painful task than that."

"But... it gets easier, right?" whimpered Ashalle, almost pleadingly. "I mean, you get used to it, don't you? After a while..."

Erussa shook his head, adopting a sad yet strangely stoic look. "I'm afraid that I know from personal experience that taking a life is never easy, even under the most strenuating of circumstances," he said. "It is when it does become easier to kill that one loses themselves, and will inevitably fall to the Dark Side."

Gherion took a deep sigh, staring into nothingness for a moment. “… I understand from certain holo-novels that there were other factions of Jedi who did not seek battle, who were diplomats and negotiators, understood how to fight, were trained in the Jedi arts of saber combat, but did not focus on it solely to carry out their work in the galaxy. Have I read correctly?”

Erussa nodded. "There were many different classes of Jedi over the millennia. The Arbiter was the most extreme of the type you speak of, completely avoiding direct battle and focusing solely on negotiation, diplomacy, and peace keeping. The Paxist class, though it only existed for a handful of centuries, were highly regarded as keepers of the peace across the Galaxy. All these types were considered part of a single class: the Jedi Consular."

Gherion nodded slowly. “I think that will be the path I take in my training. A less combat-intensive career, so I’m not thrown into death on a large scale. Yet… I will face conflict again before my life is over… and I will kill again, of this I am certain, but… I can’t get past it. Sure, they have fallen, become twisted and evil, but what of their families, of their loved ones that have earned no malice, but will suffer all the same?”

Erussa again raised his hand. "You must not mourn those who perish at your hand, Gherion," he said. "Rather, rejoice at their passing, for they then become one with those that they have loved, and have loved them. There is no death; there is only the Force."

Ashalle spoke next. "No matter how many times I end up doing it, I'll never be able to justify killing," she said softly. "To take the life of another seems so... vile. Cruel. But... if what Gherion said earlier was right... that means that as the Jedi return, so will their enemies. Those who'll do anything they can to hurt the innocent. I can't let that happen. I won't let what I did tonight happen again."

Erussa bowed his head. "The most difficult of tasks taken on by the Jedi Order is the destruction of the Dark Side, and the security of the Light. There have been many Jedi, particularly in the latter years of the Order, who chose to take it upon themselves to pull back the shroud of the Dark Side, and return those who cower beneath it to the Light." He bowed to her once more. "A truly noble path, Ashalle; that taken by the ancient Deist sects, and the Knights of the Protectorate class. These Jedi were classed as Sentinels, devoted to the destruction of the evil within the darkest beings in the Galaxy."

She nodded slowly. The colour had begun to return to her cheeks, and her eyes had all but dried up. "I killed that man, when I could have let him live. It was a mistake, and one that I'll carry with me for the rest of my life. I won't let it be repeated. Not if I can do something to stop it."

“Perhaps the best way to achieve that is to learn the ways of the Jedi. To learn ways to avoid conflict and resolve situations without death, or hone combat skills to the point where we can incapacitate enemies, not kill them.” Gherion looked at Ashalle, what little color that was taken from him flooding back to his features. “Never forget our mistakes, and learn never to repeat them.”

Erussa smiled. "Your words show wisdom greatly beyond your years, Gherion," he said warmly. "But you must not become enthralled with visions of power, or grandeur - ambition, while at times admirable, can lead to arrogance. Becoming too sure of your own abilities will lead to recklessness. You must always be mindful of the Living Force, and see it clearly, without allowing emotion to cloud your judgment."

Gherion smiled and nodded. He felt at ease with himself, given a fresh new outlook on death, and saw that his future was not hopelessly stained with the blood of innocence. The images of his past faded away, and he felt calm, collected, oriented in his path and optimistic in his future. He looked over to Ashalle, who looked much better, nearly 100%. Erussa had a magical quality about him, a Jedi art no doubt honed in the centuries of his life. “Thank you… Master?” He said hesitantly, unsure if the title was premature.

Erussa waved the title aside. "There have been many in my lifetimes who have insisted on referring to me as 'Master'. Please, do not feel as if you must do the same. It has been many years since I've felt the propensity for such things. 'Erussa' will do nicely, though whatever you are most comfortable with is acceptable."

“Erussa, then.” Gherion shot his eyes toward Ashalle before looking back at the Jedi. “I think we’re going to get some sleep now, if that’s okay with you.”

Ashalle nodded, taking a deep, cleansing breath. She managed a small smile. "Thank you, Erussa," she said, her voice much calmer and more natural than it had been.

“Oh, of course, of course.” The aging man smiled sheepishly as if slightly embarrassed, striding towards the door. “I must have lost track of the time, and you both must be very tired. Rest well; we have training on the morrow.” With a final smile, Erussa turned and left the room, closing the door behind him, enveloping the room in darkness once more.



It is all that is left unsaid upon which tragedies are built.

Last edited by Adavardes; 10-27-2008 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:48 AM   #48
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In his quarters, on his bed, Celeb was still, lying quietly, barely breathing. It was a funny sight though, he was so tall, so "big", if you could all it that, that his legs draped off of the small bed and onto the desk at the foot of the bed, which was made for people and species of more average sizes than he himself was.

Celeb pondered the events that had played out recently. They had been sent out into small groups, Gherion and Ashalle in one, and Tawnos, Osay, and Celeb in the other, which seemed fitting actually, because the other two were less "physical" people, and the group he had been in, including himself, were more "physical". Although Celeb didn't look it, he was quite strong, and had been trained to be 'capable' throughout his young life.

"Oh well," Celeb muttered to himself, cycling over the events that occurred after their travels through the seedier parts of Retalia. And then, their was death. Indeed, he out of all the others had kept a more level head, this was not reason either; Celeb knew death, he'd seen it on 'cargo' transports, death by starvation, disease, suicide were the more common things he'd seen of death itself, murder less-so, but still, he'd seen it, heck, he wasn't all too ashamed to say he himself had killed in times past, but unlike other people, his killings were not out of self defense, or instinctive reaction to live, no he'd killed to survive, sometimes just to have one less person trying to get his food. We're talking years ago though, in his adolescent years, when he was getting shipped around like some piece of machinery, or an animal. That was why he'd been so calm, so collected, so very used to the lifeless corpses that were witnessed by four other young people, most, he was sure, were not used to it, although they portrayed more calm than he thought that they could stomach. Yet still, from what he did see of Gherion, and Ashalle's stomach contents, not all could could be so emotionally reserved.

Celeb then thought over the fact that four people, all, he was sure, were human, were talking to him, even asking for his opinion on matters! It was quite new to him, and he was uncertain whether these newfound 'friends' would develop anything of a relationship with him because of who he was, what he was, what he looked like, and what he'd done in the past, and what he was in the past. The whole situation was new to him, and would take him some time to get used to, and most importantly of all, take him time to see where everything, went from this point on, whether these new acquaintances would become more, and whether their devotion to the cause at hand, and himself would last, or be eroded by the stone-destroyer itself, time, of course.

'Friends,' Celeb pondered in silent thought. 'It's been so long since I've called anyone that, and it'll be awhile yet. I need to learn more of them, study whether they accept me or not, before I call anyone "friend", Celeb brooded, memories of his past flooding in, and then sinking away in moments as he closed his eyes, and shifted his feet, which were uncomfortable laying on the desk at the foot of his bed.

"We'll see," he muttered to himself, crossing his arms, his ears perking up at some unseen thing that he detected.

The door chimed, and after being permitted to enter Erussa stepped in, smiling as Celeb met his gaze. "Good evening, Celeb," he said. "I merely wished to thank you for your actions today, and perhaps discuss any questions you may have at this point."

Celeb closed his eyes once more, staying perfectly still, he uttered, "I didn't do anything....I committed no great actions. I watched an alleyway, I carried some girls, and I stayed quiet, like I have always been told to do. I did nothing special, as usual...." Celeb trailed off as he realized he was rambling to an almost complete stranger. "No questions," he finally iterated in a quiet, and somewhat embarrassed voice.

Erussa perched himself on the edge of the bed, a thoughtful expression on his face. "From what I've been told by Mr. Rashel, he instinctively attempted to garner your opinion on more than one occassion."

"What does my opinion matter? Mr. Rashel had Osay too, from what I gather, they have a steadier relationship then he and I do. Goodness, the guy barely knows me other than by appearance," Celeb stated hesitantly, his chin burying itself into his chest, his eyes still closed.

Erussa shook his head. "Despite his reluctance, Tawnos is undoubtedly a powerful leader. He instinctively knows of your inner uncertainties, no matter how hard you may try to hide them. He feels it is his responsibility to make you feel welcomed - to validate your opinion in your own eyes."

"Why? I'm responsible for myself, why should he feel it necessary to make me welcome to the others? I'd rather have their honest opinions of me rather than a facade pulled up by someone else who they themselves like, and trust..." Celeb trailed off. "Anyway, my opinion needs no validity, I speak when I am spoken to, and I tell the truth...No opinionation, just fact, that's how it's been for me," Celeb replied more willingly this time.

"The six of you are bound together, Celeb," replied the old man, leaning forward. "Your are all responsible for each other. You must learn to trust in your allies, and they will in turn learn to trust you. Your feelings serve you well, but you must not allow them to impede the relationships that you must necessarily create with these other five Jedi."

"Trust is something earned, not given, am I right Old One?" Celeb asked, opening his eyes and looking into Erussas. "How have I earned their trust? I did nothing when I could have done something. I could have fought with Osay. I could have treated Lite, or Gherion, or Ashalle, I'm a 'Jack-Of-All-Trades', or so I have come to be known as. As for me trusting them, well, I can only say I'm alot like that Lite girl, I have, 'people' problems," Celeb told Erussa. He paused in thought, amazed at how much he was telling the old man.

"Consider, for a moment, your preferred course of simply 'doing as you're told', as it were. What is it that gives you the desire to do so? Are you simply willing to obey the orders of whomsoever gives them?"

"What is it?" Celeb reiterated to himself, furrowing his thin eyebrows in thought. "I-Uh...I have been.....'taught' to do as asked, and told. I-Err, have no real desire, I just do," Celeb admitted, a tinge of sorrow in his voice. "So yes, I do obey the orders of whomsoever gives me orders."

"So, if, for example, your adversary in battle were to order you to stand down and allow him to carry on with his devious task, you would step aside and allow him to continue unimpeded?"

Celeb almost fell out of bed at the statement Erussa made, it was, to his own surprise, quite funny. But Celeb regained his composure quickly and looked at his feet as he uttered what was permanently etched into his mind, "'We are to obey our orders without pause; we are to obey our 'leaders' absolutely; we are to carry out said orders until completed to the exact 'T'; we are...." Celeb trailed off once more, shying away from his past, which he was bringing up. "Yeah, I could see Tawnos' leadership skills too. That's why I obeyed. No I wouldn't obey an enemy, I was taught otherwise. But you get the picture," Celeb said broodingly.

Erussa nodded. "As I said, your feelings serve you well. Tawnos is an admirable man - each of your companions are, as are you. You must learn to come to terms with your past, and truly come to trust your companions. Without trust, your Knighthood will fail, and the Galaxy will be lost."

Celeb pondered these words, "Does the galaxy really need me? Wouldn't it be better off without one more Jedi...All I'd do is step on the other's toes."

Erussa shook his head. "The six of you are a balance for each other. If one of you should fall, the entire fabric of what you represent will be incomplete. If one should fall, the other five will fall into chaos."

This statement was deep in Celeb's opinion, and they hit home for him, at least in a relative manner. He closed his eyes once more, focusing on his surroundings, "I have no great concerns for Jedi, or the galaxy, or people for that matter, so what does it matter to me?" Celeb didn't allow Erussa to respond, "I would be everyone's downfall, I'll tell you that. I lack care for things, wouldn't that make me the most susceptible to darker impulses, especially if I gained the power that the Jedi wield?" Yet again Celeb waited for the moment Erussa was trying to respond to speak, "No, I wouldn't, because I'm the one that's got obedience etched into his brain. So I can see that you've seen my inner machinations, and deduced the same thing. I like you Old One you're like me in some ways, but I still don't trust you, and I feel you've deduced that too, but we'll leave it at that," Celeb finished his monologue, pausing to think for a moment. "I'll try, even if I don't truly trust them, and they don't like me for being who I am. I'll be the backbone, or glue, I'll hold things together as long as I have the strength and will," Celeb looked into Erussa's eyes, his observatory gaze picking at the old man's own wizened eyes. "Just give me the order Old One," Celeb said, a tiny fraction of a smile coming across his face.

Erussa smiled. "Very well," he said. "But first, a warning: do not allow the nature of this group, and therefore the necessity of your involvement, lead you down the path of arrogance. The dark side has many guises, and it is easy to become lost within your own passions. Be mindful, my young pupil."

Celeb smiled at this, "I understand, but what passions I have are only to obey orders...that's all I've really had in life to be passionate about, but I will watch my actions."

Erussa nodded, and stood. "Excellent. Then I shall bid you goodnight."

"Wait, what of my training Old One, you never mentioned that. What would I become if I were to be a Jedi? This is something I have pondered, even before you brought us all here, I'm not ignorant to stories of the Jedi after all, I can read," Celeb asked and stated, uncertain of how things would be done to become a Jedi, would it be like his training in the past?

The old man pondered his question for a moment. "For one such as you, placement within a class of the Order is difficult. You look down upon violence for its own sake, but you also understand that it can be an important ally." He thought for a moment. "There are a handful of old Jedi sects that viewed the power of the Force as an aid to their natural talents. One in particular seems to stand out when considering your own temperament - that of the Jedi Templar; an obscure class, rarely selected but by those who seek a quick and expedient end to conflict, without resorting to unnecessary violence."

This wasn't exactly the answer Celeb had been asking for, but it would suffice, because as he heard the name of this Jedi Class he seemed to instantly know about it, as if it had always been within the confines of his spirit, or genetic makeup maybe. "Um, thank you Old One, I believe I should take some time to ponder our conversation, as I won't be sleeping tonight, for-" Celeb paused looking at his feet which were still on the desk at the foot of the bed, "-multiple reasons." Erussa nodded. "Then I shall leave you to your thoughts. Goodnight."

"Goodnight Old One," Celeb said, closing his eyes and spreading his other senses outward, burying his chin into his chest, his arms crossed, he dwelled on his thoughts, and the words the strange ancient man had said to him. He wouldn't sleep at all that night, it wasn't in his nature anyway.


"But in you...I see the potential to see the Force die, to turn away from its will..."
"You are beautiful to me, exile. A dead spot in the Force, an emptiness in which its will might be denied."
"But no Jedi ever made the choice you did. To sever ties so completely, so utterly, that it leaves a wound in the Force..."
"I would have killed the galaxy to preserve you...You are more precious than you know..."-now...it's verbatim!-A quote from Darth Traya (Kreia)
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Old 10-28-2008, 02:02 AM   #49
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Tawnos draped his leather jacket over the back of the only chair in his room, and pulled off the dark red shirt sticking to his chest and back, despite the undershirt he was wearing beneath it - though it as well was clinging to him as if glued to his skin. A slight pain shot through his knees and shoulders as he tossed the shirt into the clothing receptacle - they had been stiff all day, having to carry Osay through the cavernous depths of the planet to get back to the facility. Ignoring the pain, he cast a half-hearted glance at the small bathroom to his right, contemplating a shower. He certainly felt filthy, but simply didn’t have the energy to bother.

He fell onto the bed, not bothering to finish undressing quite yet. He rubbed his eyes with the palms of his hands, then slid them up to ruffle his hair. It hit him suddenly that only this time yesterday, the biggest problem he had going was making sure he showed up for his classes on time, and dealing with his sister trying to make up for lost time. The events of that night seemed like an eternity ago, and the day between them was nothing but a blur. He had never thought he would have been able to deal with such events - being kidnapped, dodging spice junkies, carrying unconscious companions through the darkest parts of the world that had been more of a home to him in the short time he’d spent there than Gwellin ever really had. Yet he felt he had handled the day fairly well, all things considered - he had even managed to make it through unscathed.

His thoughts turned to those of their little gang who hadn’t been so lucky. His own sister, who he had always seen as somewhat sheltered and innocent, had been forced to not only fight for real for the first time in her life, but had also been forced to take the live of another sentient being; Gherion, who feared and detested violence above all else, had been forced to lower himself to commit the very act he loathed beyond all others; and Osay, who’s pride and fiery passion had led to grave wounds that, had Tawnos not been able to patch her up before bringing her back to Osay, would have cost her a limb, or worse.

His mind began to dwell on the events that had taken place in the apartment. The unnatural desperation he felt when realising the true nature of his sister’s condition; the dark look that had nested itself on the face of the man who had become almost something of a friend to Tawnos after such a brief time; and Osay... the ball of dark emotions that had pulsed within his chest after they left her, as if he could sense her own fear, and anger, and pain. Then there was the taste of bile that had assaulted his mouth when she had stumbled into the apartment, her arm nearly severed and her at the shoulder. He had never experience quite the same kind of fear that he had as he sat at her side - nor had he found himself so willing to do so in a very long time. And he didn’t like it.

A soft chime met his ears, and he rose, ruffling his hair once more. “Come,” he called, casting a glance at his tired, drained-looking reflection.

The door slid open with a quiet hiss, and Erussa stepped into the room. He smiled before speaking. “Good evening,” he said pleasantly, standing just inside the door. “I thought I would check in before allowing you to retire for the night.”

Tawnos sighed, and nodded. “It’s been one hell of a day...” he muttered, more to himself than anything else.

Erussa chuckled appreciatively. “Your exhaustion is understandable - you performed your task admirable today, Tawnos.”

“Well, we didn’t exactly come out of it scot-free,” he said darkly.

Erussa nodded. “Indeed. However, I was referring to yourself specifically.” Tawnos gave him a questioning look, and he continued. “You are a charismatic young man, Tawnos. You have then unique quality that ensures people pay attention to what you have to say, regardless of their personal feelings for you. You are a natural-born leader, whether you are aware of it or not, and you have already demonstrated your abilities today. The others listen to you, and obey your commands simply because you have naturally garnered their respect.”

Tawnos considered for a moment. “I’m not so sure that’s true,” he said slowly. “I mean, sure, I got a bit commanding today, but they didn’t ‘obey’ me - they just... realised that it was what needed to be done. The fact that I asked them to do it has nothing to do with it.”

Erussa shook his head. “But you see, it is the very fact that they know the words you speak are truth that proves you to be a leader. They believe what you say, simply because of the conviction in your words and the charisma enveloping you.”

Tawnos nodded slowly, beginning to understand what he meant. “But... I don’t want to be a leader,” he said, flushing slightly. “I’m not... good at it,” he said, somewhat embarrassed.

“Tell me, Mr. Rashel,” said Erussa, moving into the room and taking a seat at the head of the bed. “When you look at your companions, what is it that you feel? Take Celeb for example: when you see him, and interact with him, what do your feelings tell you?”

“Well... I guess... I see him as a... dark, serious man. Troubled.”

Erussa shook his head. “You misunderstand - not what you see, what you feel.”

He looked at the old man sidelong, and spoke. “I feel... desperate. A dull, deep seated ache for acceptance. But... also a fierce pride, and strong sense of independence.”

“Excellent!” said Erussa emphatically. “And how do you react to these feelings?”

“I... guess I try to help. I tried to get his input a few times, when we were in a bad spot. I tried to include him; be a kind of... catalyst for him with the others.”

Erussa nodded. “And that is what makes you a leader. Your deep seated desire to bring those around you together, and make them part of a greater whole.”

Tawnos considered Erussa’s words for a moment. The very idea of being the leader of such a group, of being the one of the other five would-be Jedi looked to to take on the responsibility of guiding their team towards whatever destiny Erussa had in store for them, wasn’t something he was sure he was comfortable with. He wasn’t entirely sure of the validity of Erussa’s points - while the others certainly had seemed to obey his instructions today, there was absolutely nothing to say that they would continue to do so. Particularly Osay, who seemed to take particular pleasure in giving him a hard time about anything she could.

He put that aside, however, as the thought about Osay brought to his attention another matter he had meant to discuss with the old Master.

“There’s, uhm... something I’d... like to discuss with you, Master,” he said, the last word tumbling out before he could stop himself. Erussa ignored the term, and motioned for him to continue. “Well, it’s... something of a... personal concern.”

“I assure you that nothing you say to me shall leave these four walls.”

Tawnos nodded, took a deep breath, and continued. “Well, it’s... it’s about Osay. When we first met, we were... to put it mildly... ‘contrasting personalities’.”

Erussa grinned slightly. “You were, in a word, ‘at each other’s throats’.”

Tawnos also grinned. “Yeah, I guess you could say that. But this morning, after we found Lite, I was tending to her wound. We were talking - just pointless banter, that led to both of us apologising. And... before she passed out, she... She made a fairly... odd request.” Erussa looked at him with a politely questioning glance, but Tawnos had the feeling he already knew exactly what she had said. “She said... ‘please don’t leave me’.”

Erussa nodded in silence for a moment. Then, “So, you believe that she has formed an emotional connection to you?”

Tawnos stuttered for a moment. “So--Sorry, uhm... I’m not... good with this kind of thing. Uhm... maybe? I don’t... I don’t really know how to... to put it into words...” He stopped for a moment, gathered his thoughts, and pressed on. “I remember my mother always saying that the strongest of positive emotions tend to spring from the most negative; that strong anger, or hate, often breeds the stronger forms of compassion, and... attraction. And... I feel... drawn to her, in a weird way. We don’t get along, but I feel as if... we were brought together for a reason. Something bigger than whatever it is you have in store for us. But... tied to it, somehow.” He laughed. “I’m not really explaining this very well, am I?”

Erussa gazed into his eyes for a moment, and Tawnos once again felt as if he were able to see into his core. When he spoke, it was a slow, careful tone. “I fear you are travelling dangerous waters, Tawnos,” he said. “Emotion is one of the most mysterious forces in our Galaxy. A Jedi must always be on guard against their emotions - your feelings can be a useful tool, but you must always be mindful of how they influence you. You cannot allow them to cloud your judgement. A Jedi must be serene, and at peace.”

“But... in order to make peace with my feelings, I have to understand them first, don’t I?” he asked. “I can’t resolve them until I know what they mean, and where they’re coming from.”

Erussa smiled. “Your wisdom serves you well,” he said. “It is true that in order to make peace with your emotions, you must first know where they are seated. But as you search your feelings, and seek out their source, you must be strong, and not allow yourself to be controlled by them. The answers will come in due course - do not allow yourself to be dominated by the search for their core. It shall be revealed to you when the time is right.”

Tawnos nodded. “I understand,” he said. “Thank you, Master. I appreciate your guidance.”

Erussa smiled kindly. “I am glad I was able to put your mind at ease.” He rose from his seat. “I must bid you good night,” he said, making his way back to the door. “I must see to our newest guest.”

“Right. Goodnight, Master,” he said. He hesitated for a moment, then continued, uttering a phrase he had wished to speak since he had first read it as a child; the phrase that had spurred him to learn as much as he could about the Jedi, and made him yearn to become a Jedi. “May the Force be with you.”

Erussa smiled at him from the door. “And also with you.” He turned, and the door sealed shut behind him.
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Old 10-28-2008, 02:25 AM   #50
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Osay wrung her hair out over the sink. Ah, it felt good to have a nice hot shower after all that had happened earlier. She flipped her wet hair over her shoulder and strolled across the room to her bed. Now all she needed was some sleep, and she'd be as good as new. The girl took off her bathrobe and unconciously straightened her camisole, then she turned out the lights and lay down.

The door chimed softly, announcing that someone wished to enter. After being half-heartedly invited to come in, the door opened and admitted the bald-headed frame of Erussa. Despite the darkness of the room, a small smile was visible on his face.

"Good evening, dear," he said quietly. "I do hope I didn't wake you."

Osay grimaced inwardly and replied with a sigh, "No, you didn't." She stood up and pulled on her bathrobe again. "What is it?"

The old man moved into the room. "I have just had a conversation with Mr Rashel," he began, taking a seat at the small desk perched near the foot of the bed. "He sought my guidance in a matter concerning a conversation the two of you had after the climax of your rather exciting adventure this morning."

The girl crossed her arms. "Really? And just what did Mr. Rashel tell you?"

"He informed me of the nature of your relationship when you first met, as a matter of fact," he said, his eyes watching her intently. "As well as the apology you shared for the initial attitudes you took towards each other." His eyes seemed to grow brighter as he said, "He then told me about your rather... startling request just before you passed out."

Osay's cheeks reddened. "As far as that--request goes, you must understand that my mind wasn't exactly working on all thrusters. It was a slip of the tongue." Her back straightened. "And as far as our attitudes towards one another, I'd think you'd be happy that two of your students aren't at each other's throats anymore."

He was silent for a moment, still examining her closely. "I was indeed slightly worried about your personal differences, and I am quite pleased that you have set them aside for the greater good." He leant foward. "And I also understand how one can say things they don't fully mean under such stress as what you were subjected to." He gazed at her a moment, as if teetering on the edge of saying something, then continued. "But I also understand how the emotions of a young, undisciplined mind can often lead them down a path they are not fully aware they have embarked upon until it's too late."

Osay stared at him blankly for a few moments, then she uncrossed her arms and held up a finger. "Wait a second. Are you saying that I'm getting a crush on Tawnos Rashel?"

Erussa shook his head. "I would not be so bold as to make such a statement," he said simply. "However, I feel I must caution you on the dangers of emotion. While your feelings may be a powerful ally at times, they can also cause great strife, for both you and those around you. 'There is no emotion - there is peace." She gave him an odd look. He took a deep breath to gather his thoughts, and continued. "Emotions must be understood before they are acted upon, and it is a young Jedi's duty to explore their feelings. Unless a Jedi can confront their thoughts and feelings, they will never achieve peace. Emotions... are not to be overcome, or denied, but rather understood and dealt with. While your feelings for Tawnos - whatever form they may take - may be understandable, you must face them, understand them, and make your peace with them. Emotion must not take away your peace."

Osay smiled. "Don't worry, Erussa. I promise I'll keep my feelings in check."

The old man smiled, and rose from the chair. "I am glad to hear you say that," he said. "This is an important lesson to learn. I'm certain that you will be forced to face great adversity together - all of you." He moved towards the door. "But I believe I have taken enough of your time tonight, my dear," he said. "I shall now bid you good night."

"'Night." The door closed behind the old man, and Osay was left to herself once again. She shook her head. What had possessed her to say something as dumb as 'Don't leave me'? Hmph, it sounded like a line from a cheap holo-novel. Osay gave a deep sigh and took off her bathrobe again. If Erussa had gotten the impression that she wanted Tawnos to be anything more than a friend--oh, no, what if Tawnos had gotten the same impression!? She really needed to talk to him tomorrow.


Chapter 12 of A Soul Adrift is out.

Short stories:
T'katlu: On the planet Felucia, a young apprentice of the Dark Side thinks back to the beginning of her training as she lies in wait for her prey...

All the Time: After four years in the Unknown Regions, the Exile returns to the known galaxy to visit an old enemy.

Broken: A master of the Dark Side finds himself about to lose the one thing he cares about--and he will do anything to stop her from endangering herself.

Last edited by Endorenna; 11-15-2008 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:28 PM   #51
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What the blazes have I gotten myself into? Lite was pacing about in her assigned room not comfortable with the fact that she had put herself in the hands of people she didn’t know; people convinced that they were on a mission to save the blasted galaxy, as if she cared.

I should be on a freighter off this lousy world. Not in some place with five brats and an old man!

Lite continued to pace. She let her eyes wander around looking for any and all potential means of escape. It was a habit cultivated from her years at the Academy, looking for ways to get out of the dormitories and the grounds without the guards looking. It was how she had managed to escape when she wanted out.

Why am I here? I ain’t nobody special.

Even though Lite was anxious to be on her way and alone, a part of her wondered why she was brought there. No one in the Academy, certainly not the professors, said she was special or capable of anything. Ever since she entered, she learned her lessons but so disliked authority that they said she would never amount to anything. They always thought of her as unruly yet here were people who said she was worth something.

It was worth the stay to find out why. However if they tried to make her do things she didn’t want to do, then she was out of there. Rules for followers. She was not one of them. She made her own decisions and lived with them. That was how she was. “And don’t think that I won’t leave if I don’t like it!” she voiced out loud.

“I’m quite certain I believe you,” said a voice from the door. Erussa stepped in, his arms clasped behind his back and his brow furrowed slightly.

Lite made an impolite snort and asked, “And why do you think you can sneak up on everybody?”

“It was not my intent to startle you,” he said softly. He moved into the room, though the door remained open behind him. He gazed at her for a moment, then, “There’s no need for hostilities, Lite,” he said, “I assure you that I am not your enemy.”

Lite had watched him leave the door open. She wondered if that was a sign of trust in that she was free to leave if she wished. The cynical side of her said that the old man was afraid of what she might do to him if he didn’t let her go.

His responses had been soft and gentle, like a parent soothing a petulant child. Lite wondered if he used that voice on everybody as she answered rather rudely, “Promises and then once you think you have a good thing going, you get backstabbed.”

The old man raised his hands. “No one here wishes to betray you. Your fear and mistrust are understandable, but unfounded.”

“I’m not afraid of anything least of all you,” Lite retorted, “A person looks out for number one and that number one is me. So give me your little speech and leave me alone.”

Lite was never that rude to anyone before and she knew it. She still resented the fact that she was not asked to come wherever she was. The fact that she was unconscious escaped her as she sat there with her fiery green eyes snapping and watching Erussa.

Erussa gazed at her, a dark expression crossing his face. “Your thoughts betray you, child,” he said, his voice reflecting the look on his face. “I feel I must remind you that it was I and your fellow students that in fact rescued you from the alleys of the South Quarter. You would do well to remember that and adjust your behavior accordingly.”

“Or what? You going to make me? Your little kath pack may have saved my neck but I don’t owe you anything.” Lite’s temper was up and as it were she could throw a punch. She didn’t like being told what to do if it curtailed her freedom and it showed. “The only thing I owe you is a thanks and then I’m gone.”

“Your anger will only serve to make matters worse. I assure you that if you attempt to harm me, you will not escape this facility unharmed.” The old man’s voice was growing stronger and louder as well, and his blue eyes turned ice cold. “You must learn to control your temper, child, or it will one day bring you into things you cannot escape.”

“Bold talk from a Jedi,” Lite retorted, unabashed by the old man’s voice getting louder, “Thought they were peace pushers.”

Lite didn’t move but continued to stand. She managed not to lose her temper as she stared straight back at the old man. She then asked, “So what are you trying to pitch to me.?”

Erussa moved along the perimeter of the room, still staring intently at Lite. “You are needed Lite,” he said much more calmly than before. “You do not realize it, but you have a great destiny before you. I can help you become more than you ever believed possible- but you must allow me to do so. You must let go of your anger child, or it will lead you down a path of destruction.”

Lite’s eye never left Erussa as he move around the perimeter of her room. She stood still and quiet listening. She didn’t believe in the whole destiny thing but the idea of becoming something more was appealing. After all people thought she wouldn’t amount to much and here was a chance to prove otherwise. She raised a brow and looked at Erussa. In a calm voice she said, “You can teach me but I don’t buy the destiny crap. People make their own.”

Erussa nodded. “Then come. I can teach you how to control your passions and turn them to your advantage without losing control of them.”

Lite nodded and sat on her bed. “I’ve got the whole night.”

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Old 10-29-2008, 01:29 AM   #52
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The day began early for the six young would-be Jedi. They were roused from their various sleep stages early in the morning, and after a quick breakfast of sorts were escorted by droids to a large, dark room that seemed to be in the centre of the compound. There were 6 stone chairs running along the circular wall, all facing inwards towards a large open space. Erussa stood in the middle of the room, his arms stretched out in greeting.

“Good morning,” he said warmly. He indicated the stone chairs. “Please, be seated.” He waited for them to be seated and comfortable before continuing.

“It is somewhat ironic, in a way, that you have been brought here - you have been brought out of one world, from a place of learning, to an entirely new world, one that you did not know existed. Yet still, you are brought into this world through another place of learning, housed beneath the world you once knew. To prepare you for the lives you will lead from this day forward, you must be taught and trained in the ways of the ancient Order that you will henceforth represent and uphold.

“Before you learn to channel and use the Force itself, you must first take steps towards understanding it. In order to do so, you will need to know of the Jedi Code, as it has been taught for countless millennia, passed on from Master to Padawan for generations. The five tenants of the Jedi Code have guided the destinies of the greatest figures in the Order’s history, from Grand Masters Yoda and Skywalker, to the Knights of the Recession, to the Knights of the Old Republic.

“The first of these tenants is perhaps the most difficult to understand. Many Jedi have been led down the path of the Dark Side, not heeding it words: there is no emotion, there is peace. The emotions of the sentient mind are one of the least understood aspects of the Galaxy. Many of the Galaxy’s brightest minds have attempted to explain what they are, where they come from, and why they exist in the first place. Many of those outside the Order see this tenant as stating that a Jedi is immune to the workings of his heart; that they do not feel happiness, or anger, or anguish. But that is not the case.

“For the Jedi, emotions serve as a powerful tool. They allow us to be objective through subjectivity - seeing the Galaxy as through the eyes of a being outside the Order, who does not feel the flow of the Force. To see the Galaxy from both this and through the eyes of the Force are important to the life and work of a Jedi Knight.

“In order to use their emotions, a Jedi must first come to understand them - for if one gives in to their emotions without first understanding how to control them, they risk becoming a tool of the Dark Side. It is the responsibility of every young Jedi to search their feelings, and make peace with them before allowing themselves to tap into their power. Emotion must not be allowed to detract from one’s sense of peace.

“The followers of the Dark Side, however, would have you believe differently. Of the many variations of the Sith teachings that have existed over the years, one aspect has remained consistent: the belief that one’s power must come unimpeded from their emotions. They allow their emotions to run rampant, and must surrender their control in order to continue fuelling their command of the Force.

“The Sith philosophy can easily begin from that of the Jedi. Emotions are an ever-changing force, constantly shifting in ways that even the wisest of Jedi cannot easily predict. What begins as something greatly beneficial, can quickly become a violent reaction that lures one unknowingly down the path of the Dark Side. A Jedi must always be mindful of their feelings within the living Force, or risk losing control and sacrificing their peace.”

He fell silent, and gazed out at his pupils. “Do any of you have any questions?”
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Old 10-29-2008, 05:31 PM   #53
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Gherion took a moment to collect his thoughts and organize what Erussa had just taught him into his own mind. This experience had a very significant level of excitement to it, and at times Gherion felt as if he had been vaulted back hundreds, even thousands of years, sitting before one of the old Grand Masters and learning the basics of their ancient Order. Indeed, he could not see that scenario being of much better quality for nostalgia and giddiness than this one, but Gherion remained composed and processed the lesson. If he was to become a Jedi, then he would devote himself to knowing everything, possessing all the comprehension that he could and devouring each single lecture like the precious drop of golden essence it was. He would not be a Jedi of battle, and so he would have to focus all his efforts on learning the mysteries and philosophies of the Force, which was not at all a painful prospect. He loved philosophy, and craved Jedi knowledge, so the future was very bright for the half-Echani, very bright indeed. He looked over at Tawnos, his friend of only a few days, and realized that if there was anyone in this entire galaxy that he would want by his side in Jedi training, it was him. The man had a passion for this parallel to Gherion, and he would no doubt be a powerful ally. The philosopher wondered to himself what class Tawnos would take.

As Erussa finished speaking, Gherion raised his hand, but did not wait to begin his reiteration. "So, what you're suggesting is that emotions are a powerful current that lie in the depths of all sentient beings. That, if done properly, much of a Jedi's strength and perception is drawn from that current, allowing us to feel stronger in the Force overall, and see the 'living Force', as you call it, more clearly. It bolsters our connection with the Force, as well as gives us the power to see lives relatively untouched by the Force. But it works the same way as a sort of river current. It can be used for relative importance to what it is, but, if mishandled, can drag you under."

Erussa nodded. "As I have said, you show a wisdom beyond your years."

“Yes, thank you…” Gherion said, not paying much attention to the compliment, “And what of grey Jedi? You mentioned the Jedi and Sith philosophies on emotion, but I’m curious as to what the philosophy of a Force-User unattached to either religious sect was like.”

"The idea of the 'Grey' Jedi is one that has been greatly misunderstood throughout the ages. Jedi of the 'Grey' persuasion are not necessarily that different from those who follow the path of the Light - nor of the Dark. Grey is not a middle way, chosen as a balance between the two Orders. Rather, a Grey Jedi is merely an individual who was once associated with the Jedi Order, though has chosen to sever ties with the Council. There is no single set of teachings dedicated to such an alignment."

Gherion had suspected as much, but had asked to make sure. He wanted to understand all sides of the Force, not just from one view. It had seemed, during his years studying the remains of Jedi history the rest of the galaxy had access to, that he had only been receiving two stories from perspectives limited by codes and tenants. He had nothing against the Jedi code, found it to be admirable, time-tested, and would follow it to the tee, but he felt that he needed the contrast between all perspectives to truly understand each facet of this all-powerful, all-binding Force. Knowing that there were other perceptions, individual interpretations based on years of galvanization culminating in a severance of ties with an order of Force-users, was a widening of knowledge that gave Gherion the ability to view all sides of the story, and recognize that these teachings were not meant to be absolute, but were subject to a change in version fitting each Jedi Knight. To a certain degree, of course.

“I have one more question.” Gherion said, thinking back to the night before the kidnapping, and his proverbial time with Jolee Bindo, “I know from my studies that several Jedi Knights, even before the dissolution of the Old Order, fell to the Dark Side, but managed to redeem themselves. Can you tell me how that was typically done, and what lead to such a drastic change of heart after falling so far?”

As Gherion spoke, he cast his eyes over to Ashalle, who was watching him speak, a smile creasing the edges of her mouth. Gherion was not sure why she was smiling, as everyone else was wearing serious composures, most likely thinking to themselves, intently watching Erussa as if entranced by his presence. She, however, was starting straight at Gherion, and in the back of his mind, a familiar sensation of closeness tugged at him, reminded him of what they had endured together that nobody else here could truly understand. A warmth embraced him, something pure and invigorating, but all too brief. Gherion pulled his mind away and focused it on Erussa, who looked as if he was about to speak. He could not afford distractions and did not register the emotions for longer than a few seconds before dismissing them to the back of his psyche.

Erussa considered for a moment. "It is difficult to say," he began. "You have perhaps learned of the fall and redemption of one Anakin Skywalker, also known as Darth Vader - it is indeed one of the most legendary tales in history. Lord Vader was redeemed through his strong feelings towards the young Jedi Luke Skywalker, his son. The act of rescuing his son from the clutches of the Dark Lord Sidious, coupled with his own remorse over betraying his own flesh, broke the hold of the Dark Side and returned him to the Light.

"But such an act of redemption can only occur when rooted in deep, positive emotions that by their nature simply refuse to fuel the sinister influence of one's Dark power - and again, such emotions are rare, and generally tend to form only between two beings both extremely powerful in the Force, allowing for their strength to break the power of Darkness."

“So, it requires another strongly solidified in the Light Side of the Force to help redeem one that has fallen to darkness?” Gherion stroked his beard, his mind perusing Erussa’s elaboration.

Erussa nodded. "The Dark Side of the Force is indeed powerful - but it is a corruptive power, twisted and evil. There does come a time when one becomes too consumed by the Dark Side that even the most prevailing and devoted Jedi cannot redeem them. But if they can forced to see the horror of their actions through the bonds that tie them to one devoted to the Light, then there is still hope."

Gherion nodded, smiling. “That’s all I wanted to ask. I think I’ve got this.” After a nod from Erussa, Gherion pulled out his datapad and began copying notes from memory, jotting down only the ones he felt required specific emphasis. The Jedi code would be alive and well, Gherion would help make this so, and in doing such, he would help heal the galaxy.



It is all that is left unsaid upon which tragedies are built.
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:00 PM   #54
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Tawnos listened intently as Erussa spoke of the Jedi Code. He already knew the Code, of course, though had been able to find very little information on its meaning, most of it having been lost along with the rest of the Order's teachings. He knew, however, that the popular idea of the cold, unfeeling Jedi was false; that because of the nature of their power, they often felt emotions far deeper than most others through their near-physical tie to the Galaxy around them.

As Gherion fell silent, Tawnos raised his own hand. Erussa acknowledged him, and he moved forward in his seat as he spoke.

"What's always mystified me about the Jedi Code is the hand-in-hand idea that Love is to be forbidden. Surely such an emotion couldn't possibly be a bad thing? I mean, Jedi are encouraged to love all forms of life, are they not? Why then is falling in love seen as so dangerous?"

"What you must strive to understand is that Love itself is not what poses the risk to a Jedi's peace; rather, it is the attachment inherent within Love that poses the risk. When that attachment is forcibly broken, emotions such as grief will inevitable threaten to consume the Jedi in question."

"But doesn't the Order teach the idea that death is a joyous occassion?"

Erussa held out a hand. "Patience, young Padawan. We will discuss that particular aspect of the Code when the time comes." He smiled. "Though your thirst for knowledge is admirable."

Tawnos nodded, even though his question had not been answered to his satisfaction. He still didn't understand. In his mind, Love served to save one from the lure of the Dark Side, not lead them towards it. Even in the legends of Darths Vader and Sidious, it had been Love that had redeemed Lord Vader, and destroyed the power of the Emperor; Vader's love for his son had brought him to return to the Light, not served to condemn him.

He pushed the matter from his mind, and leant back in his chair. Perhaps he would understand in time, as their lessons progressed.
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Old 11-06-2008, 10:24 PM   #55
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Osay shifted to a more comfortable position as Tawnos asked his question. That reminded her, she needed to talk to him later--privately. She jotted down another mental note about it and returned her attention to the lesson. Erussa had already talked to her about the whole 'emotion' thing last night, so she didn't have any questions, but maybe he'd say something to help consolidate the concept in her mind. It was kind of disconcerting; she would never admit it to Erussa, but she hadn't had real peace of mind for years. Maybe her emotions were her problem. Though no one could see it, she was always angry, not at others, but at herself. If she hadn't--

Osay flinched slightly and stopped that train of thought. Boy, Erussa was sure right about emotions taking away peace! Maybe it was the memories causing the emotions she needed to deal with. But how could she deal with something like that? She'd never told anyone what had happened; she'd never been close enough to someone. But one thing was for sure. She'd have to be pretty stinkin' close to somebody to tell them what had happened, and she had no desire to get that close to anyone! Huh, Lite or Celeb were the only ones who might understand, and she didn't particularly like either of them. Oh, whatever. She'd just have to get over it and move on.


Chapter 12 of A Soul Adrift is out.

Short stories:
T'katlu: On the planet Felucia, a young apprentice of the Dark Side thinks back to the beginning of her training as she lies in wait for her prey...

All the Time: After four years in the Unknown Regions, the Exile returns to the known galaxy to visit an old enemy.

Broken: A master of the Dark Side finds himself about to lose the one thing he cares about--and he will do anything to stop her from endangering herself.
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:14 PM   #56
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Erussa bowed his head. "But that is enough for today. Go now, reflect on what I have told you, and we will continue your training tomorrow." He bowed once again, and the stone door slid open. They rose from their seats and left in single file.

=-=-=-=-=

Tawnos stepped out of the shower in his quarters, making a point to avoid eye contact with his reflection as he wrapped a towel around his waist. His mind was brooding on the lesson Erussa had given them that day, and on the one question he had that Erussa had not, for whatever reason, answered. He certainly wasn't planning on entering any kind of romantic relationship in the forseeable future, and he seriously doubted he ever would - not considering how mistrustful he was, particularly of the opposite gender. But the idea of being categorically denied the opportunity didn't sit well with him.

He pondered for a moment on what the old man had told them of the Sith teachings. From his own studies and what Erussa had told them that day, he gathered that what eventually led a follower of the Dark Side astray was their submission to their own passions - the devotion of every bit of emotional energy to the satisfaction of their lust for power. If one used their emotions to fuel their command of the Force, but kept good intentions at heart, wouldn't they be able to remain in control? So long as one wasn't concerned with power alone, perhaps channeling emotion to fuel the Force was in fact a more natural way of commanding their ability than that preached by Erussa - and ultimately, a healthier way of dealing with one's emotions.

He thought more on this as he re-dressed, tossing his shirt into the refresher and donning just his undershirt, intending to try get some sleep. He tossed the used towel into the refresher as well, and fell onto the bed, his eyes closed but his mind still spinning restlessly.

What could one do to put to rest emotions that they had no control over? He certainly couldn't help but feel protective of his sister, despite their strained relationship, nor could he deny the powerful hold that Osay seemed to have over him; he rarely trusted women at all at the best of times, and upon meeting her for the first time he seemed to react to her as he did to all females. But the more time he spent in her presence, the more he felt drawn towards her, in much the same way Gherion had described himself being drawn to all five of them. Then there was Gherion himself, who Tawnos already felt he had known his entire life, despite having met him merely a matter of days ago.

He was brought out of his reverie by the sound of someone calling at the door. He groaned hismelf into a fully conscious state, sat up, and habitually ruffled his hair. "Come in," he shouted.

Osay opened the door and stepped inside, her hands clasped behind her back. She immediately noticed that he was sitting in bed. "I'm sorry, I didn't realise you were asleep. I'll come back another time." She turned to leave.

"No, no, it's fine," he said, moving to the edge of the bed and indicating the chair at the desk. "Have a seat, if you'd like," he said. "What's up?"

Osay walked in a little farther and replied, "I just wanted to clarify something. What I said a couple nights ago when I got knocked out--I can't believe I even said that."

He shifted uncomfortably for a moment. "Yeah, uhm... I've been wondering about that. What exactly, uh... what exactly did you mean when you asked me to..."

Osay interrupted, "I was in far more pain than I'm used to. I didn't mean to say 'Don't leave me'. It was merely a reflex, and I sincerely wish I could take it back."

Tawnos nodded slowly, staring pointedly at a spot on the floor. "Well, if it's any consolation, I sinverely wish I could take back hearing it..." he said with a small grin.

Osay smiled. "Perhaps we could forget about it?"

He cast her a sidelong look for a moment. "That'd be great," he said, also forcing a smile - though provately, he really wasn't sure if he was going to be able to forget it. Aloud and still smiling, he said, "Yeah, let's just pretend it didn't happen."

Osay took a step back. "Thanks for understanding. I was really afraid that came across in the wrong way." She gave a slight laugh as she added, "Erussa seemed to think so. Again, sorry for bothering you. Guess I'll see you tomorrow."

"Yeah," he said, standing and following her a few steps towards the door. "Have a good night."
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:54 PM   #57
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Gherion held his hand steadily poised above the grid on the side of the dejarik table, looking at the holographic figures and working out various stratagems in his head. For a while after Erussa’s lessons on the Jedi Code, Gherion had spent time alone in his quarters, writing in his journal about how eerily similar the morals, values, and ethics of the Jedi were to the lore he had read. They were guardians of peace and goodness, without passion or desire, decency and wholesomeness implanting itself in their wake. The code was clearly not just a way to live life with the power of the Force in your hands, as it undoubtedly was: it also doubled as a weapon against the darkness in us all. If one took the code seriously, followed it to a certain degree, then their dark selves were thwarted. The Half-Echani wondered how many years of refinement the code had taken, and how many revisions had been made. He surmised from the way that history had followed the Jedi, and from his studies on key figures in the Old Jedi Order, that this was an ancient and relatively unaltered mantra that had made the Jedi that valiant force against the vile Sith for so long.

Their philosophies for seeking out knowledge mirrored this dedication in many ways, and without such things, devotion to the light would be nearly impossible. They constantly sought knowledge in the most unlikely of places, looking at every situation as a way to learn, and seeing themselves constantly for validation in their loyalty. Arrogance had no place in their methods, as they only saw themselves as children in their wisdom, no matter how learned or scholarly they became. The humility that this entailed had been pointedly relevant to Gherion, who recognized that though he held similar ideas in seeing knowledge in all things, he had traits of self-importance that would be ingredients for conflict in later days, when his training as a Jedi would progress even further. This imperative sensation lead Gherion to gain a more humble mental demeanor since the second lesson with Erussa.

Tiring of typing, however, he had ventured into the small entertainment room, where a pazaak table and a dejarik board lay, in addition to various other methods of diversion. A simple viewscreen in the corner showed various news announcements all across the galaxy, rambling on about new additions to the Alliance, and other minor stories. All was normal in the galaxy, except for six young men and women who had been kidnapped and given the heavy burden of being Jedi. Tawnos had been playing a game of dejarik by himself, and offered to play Gherion. The young philosopher had picked up on the game very young, when he first started in astrogation on small cargo freighters. Due to his keen intellect and swift wit, he had mastered it rather quickly, until nobody wished to play him. Tawnos, even though they were only two moves in, had shown that he, too, was exceptionally adept at the game, and would give Gherion a run for his money, so to speak.

Gherion finally decided on a move after five minutes of deliberation, and typed in the command. He caught Tawnos in a fork, sacrificing his best piece, but putting his opponent in a considerably difficult situation: a calculated risk, but a profitable one. Tawnos cursed under his breath, running his hand through his hair in his near-trademark way, leaving it standing up at the top. He typed in a command of his own, moving his more important piece out of danger, but leaving the second open to an attack - an attack it didn't stand a chance of surviving. He watched helplessly as his piece was mauled by Gherion's, and vanished in a flicker of light. Gherion looked up and smiled triumphantly, but the grin vanished almost immediately as he looked at Tawnos. Over the past few days, Gherion had been noticing that his intuition, which he now knew was some sort of Force sense, had been growing stronger, and could tell him the moods of those around him if he concentrated hard enough. Gherion could sense troubled thoughts from Tawnos, and shockingly, he hadn’t needed to concentrate at all, signaling to him that his friend was in emotional turmoil of a high degree.

“I get the feeling that something’s bothering you.” Gherion blurted out, not catching himself in his thoughts.

Tawnos looked up from the board, his eyes dark. He was silent for a moment, then spoke. "It's... not something I'm comfortable talking about. No offense."

Gherion shrugged, then cast his eyes toward the board. As he considered his next move, he stroked his goatee stoically before speaking. “I’m no expert on solving problems, but I do know that it can’t be healthy to bottle it up. I think you know you that I’m not exactly the gossiping type, and getting it out of your system could be very therapeutic.”

Tawnos watched as Gherion's piece moved into a maneuver intended to draw out his more useful pieces. He reacted without thinking, and moved a more mundane piece in the way. "It's... Osay," he said, once he had finally worked up the courage to say it out loud. "I'm finding myself..." he struggled to find the words. "I'm thinking about her when I should be focusing on something else. I've caught myself watching her when I don't mean to."

“Hmmmm…” Gherion sat forward abruptly, and performed a feint on the board that left Tawnos’ most valuable piece open for attack next turn. “Well, you two have been getting along quite well since the night of our first mission. You think that might be part of it, that some sort of feelings might be blooming from that newly forged friendship?”

Tawnos shook his head, taking advantage of the opportunity and moving a piece forward - on his next turn, he would have Gherion's most valuable piece set up to fall. "That's just it, I... I don't know. And until I do, until I understand what it is that's causing this, then... I can't get over it. I can't settle it in my mind, and put it to rest."

“Well, you remember what Erussa told us about emotion. ‘There is no emotion, there is peace’. You and I know better than anyone that Jedi typically didn’t have families or loved ones. It’s not that it wasn’t done, it just made the road ahead much easier to remove those factors from their lives, and we both know that many Jedi connected by love didn’t last long before they became Sith.” Gherion performed a rarely seen gambit, catching Tawnos’ piece with two flanks and destroying it completely. He smiled before continuing. “I think that, if you plan to face these emotions, seek validation or explanation within yourself, you should do so with the attitude that no matter what, you will not give yourself into them.”

Tawnos considered for a moment. "The old Jedi idea that emotional attachments were to be avoided has always been... hard for me to wrap my head around. The Order encouraged compassion, and a love for all life - how can one love something, or someone, without becoming somehow attached to them? How does one prevent such attachments from forming?"

Gherion stroked his beard thoughtfully, staring at the ceiling. “I think the danger of love is not the act of loving, but rather, the pain of loss or rejection. Jedi are trained to let go of that which they fear to lose, yes, but love for another can be more powerful than any training against it. The grief of losing a loved one, or the pain of being told by another that they do not share your feelings, could send you spiraling into darker thoughts, darker emotions, and inevitably, the Dark Side.”

Tawnos looked up from the game board. "You must do a lot more reading than I thought. How exactly do you know so much about the Jedi, and their ideas of love?"

Gherion grinned toothily, the first one he had ever portrayed to Tawnos. “Well, just before Erussa brought us here, I was reading about a man named Jolee Bindo. A grey Jedi who had left the order of his own accord, because he had been denied a punishment he felt he deserved. You see, in his journal, Bindo described the Jedi policies on love in context with his own life. When he was a padawan, he fell in love and trained a woman far too old in the ways of the Force, but during a great war, she turned on him, and tried to kill him. He survived the encounter, turned away from the pain and loss of love, and went before the Jedi to be punished. When they refused to give him that punishment, because of the value of what he had learned, he left.”

Tawnos reflected on Gherion's story for a moment. Then, "That doesn't really help me understand how to avoid attachment - if anything; it just proves that it's possible to remain objective even when emotionally attached to someone."

“Actually…” Gherion pressed a quick command into the dejarik table, moving a piece back in defense. “It tells us that no matter what we do; love will leave its scars. And Jolee Bindo was exceptionally strong in the Force and the Light Side to remain as unscaved as he was. At the very least, giving into love could lead you to leave our group, and, quite honestly, we need you.”

Tawnos sighed, noticing Gherion's trap too late - no matter which piece he moved, he'd be opening his larger pieces to attack. "Maybe," he said slowly. "But... I can't help think 'what if?'. I mean, me 'falling', or leaving for any reason depends solely on the prospect of being hurt by my feelings. But... what if I'm not? What if they come to fruition?"

“And what happens if Osay happens to die? If she falls to the Dark Side herself? Fighting the evils within yourself is a task already putting anyone in constant struggle, but to add that much extra internal conflict is more than any person should bear, at least if they intend to use the Force.” Gherion used a smaller piece to attack Tawnos, taking out a simple pawn to elongate the game. He did not want to give Tawnos a reason to cut the conversation short. He wanted to help.

"So you're saying that even if there is a chance of her... reciprocating, that it wouldn't be worth the risk?"

“No. I don’t pretend to understand love, or what risks it’s worth. But I will tell you that should you choose to pursue it, then you may start walking down a road you can’t turn away from. Just remember that, and if you ever feel like you need someone to talk to about emotions you can’t control, don’t be afraid, or too prideful, to contact me.” Gherion smiled, and finished the game in a whirlwind gambit, the last of Tawnos’ pieces falling to a brutally efficient flank. “At least, unlike Erussa, I’m on the same page you are.”

Tawnos gronaed as his piece fell to Gherion's, and the board fizzled out at his defeat. He rubbed his eyes, and cast a glance at his time piece. He considered for a moment, a grin stretching across his face. "Best three out of five?"

“Why not.” Gherion nodded happily, starting another game. He considered for a moment about Tawnos’ feelings, and sensed in their future a touch of darkness that did not fully manifest itself to him, but gave the young philosopher a heavy clump in the depths of his stomach. He was not trained in the Force properly, however, so he did not see what was growing in Tawnos to the extent of understanding it. He instead chose to force the notions out of his mind, and focus on the next game of dejarik.



It is all that is left unsaid upon which tragedies are built.
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:09 AM   #58
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(I'm a bit confused with the dialogue here. In most RPs I've done, we only post for our own characters)
Celeb watched from the other side of the room as Tawnos and Gherios went at it at the Dejarik table, content to watch and not join them. He never really was the social type. Sure, he trusted the lot of them, but he still felt unable to really connect with any of them that well, though he did like Ashalle a bit. "Next it'll be best four out of seven." He commented on the game.

(I warned you I make short posts)

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Old 11-20-2008, 10:16 PM   #59
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For multiple reasons that I don't feel like discussing at this point in time, this RP is no longer running. For anyone who's followed the story thus far, I will be re-starting it (yet again) on my own - or potentially with a partner, I haven't decided. Stay tuned to the Coruscant Entertainment Centre for information.
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:45 PM   #60
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Anybody that was avidly following this thread when it was so rudely cut down in its prime, go to this link for Scion of Darkness, now bigger and better than ever!


Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's home to work I go!!
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:07 PM   #61
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Thanks, Anduril, the redirect - as well as your enthusiasm -are much appreciated.
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