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Old 04-30-2006, 11:17 AM   #81
JasraLantill
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Pottsie, I'm afraid it won't be for a few days at least. I write my chapters in Word, then paste them on LF, so that's why it looks like these were updated so quickly. In reality, I don't type quite that fast, let alone edit that quickly either. (Like to have it sit for a day or two, and then come back to it to edit with a fresh perspective.) But rest assured the break between updates will not be as long as the last one.


Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)
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Old 04-30-2006, 11:29 AM   #82
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I write mine in Word as well.
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Old 05-03-2006, 06:49 AM   #83
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Great job Jasra! Nice to have you back Dangit, why does the hot chick Kye have to be the bad guy? I know she is Covanni. Oh well, great updates Jasra. Can't wait for the next one. I am really starting to enjoy Ithra's character by the way. And you did a very nice job with Mission in this update as well.


Some other really awesome Fanfics: Hidden shades of grey By JasraLantill, The Adventures of Jolee Bindo By Jae Onasi[/size]
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Old 05-06-2006, 06:36 AM   #84
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Thanks, RP! Glad you enjoyed it. Hopefully, I'll be able to update it this weekend.


Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)
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Old 05-06-2006, 01:06 PM   #85
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Please do, I'm beginning to think you're 'pulling a Forcefight'.


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Old 05-15-2006, 02:51 AM   #86
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Many writers here are sort of doing that. Including me.
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Old 05-15-2006, 11:40 AM   #87
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yeah, and everyone else except the n00bs
Great work till now, Jasra, sorry i didnt check out before. just one thing: the jedi weapon is spelt LIGHTSABER


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Old 05-17-2006, 05:59 PM   #88
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Chapter 12--Part 1

((Yes, RC, the American spelling would be 'saber'. But here in the UK, it's 'sabre,' just like 'center' is 'centre', and 'theater' is 'theatre'.

Anyway, I've finished another part of my story. Apologies to everyone for not posting sooner, but it seems the battle with Darth Reallife is neverending.))

~~~~~~~~~~

“Try it now!” Kye shouted to Carth from the Ebon Hawk’s engine room.

“What?” came his muffled reply from the other end of the ship.

Kye hung her head. “Try! It! Now!” she repeated slowly and more loudly. With a trying expression on her face, she looked over at Mission, who was holding a hydrospanner in her hand, like a nurse assisting a doctor. “Men,” Kye sighed, and Mission snickered.

“Old and hard-of-hearing men,” Mission added.

“They're even worse,” Kye commented. The lights on the control panel on the hyperdrive came on, flickered, then died. “Crap.” Kye scrambled up from her position on the floor underneath the open panel. “I’ll be right back,” she said to Mission as she headed for the door. But in the doorway, she paused, and gave a look over her shoulder. “Give me a shout if the lights on that panel come on and stay on, okay?”

“Okay,” Mission said, grinning, as she was being allowed to help.

Kye hurried towards the cockpit, dodging T-3 on his way back to the engine room as she passed through the main hold. “Hey? You finished with that patch panel already?”

T-3 let out a series of whirr and whistles

Kye stared at the droid, then raised an eyebrow. “I take it that’s a ‘yes’?”

The small droid bleeped once.

“Thanks,” and she continued to the cockpit area.

Carth had his head and torso buried inside one of the open panels, trying valiantly to install and reconnect the severed connections on the new control module, and Kye could only see him from the waist down. She stood there for a moment without speaking, appraising the view.

"Damn," she heard him murmur. "Can't reach it."

“Maybe it's because your trousers are a bit too tight,” she commented, unintentionally startling Carth and causing him to bump his head on the inside of the console.

“Ow!” he grunted.

“Sorry. Didn't mean to startle you. Problem?”

“Yeah,” Carth said, as he extricated himself out into the open. “I can’t seem to get that last circuit connected.”

“You need to use a telescoping vibra joiner in order to….”

“I don’t have a telescoping vibra joiner.”

“Hmm. Then what about attaching a vari-tune spatial connector to the end of the…”

“Don’t have one of those either,” he interrupted her again.

Kye raised an eyebrow and placed her hands on her hips. “What kind of engineer are you?” she asked incredulously.

“I’m not an engineer. I’m a pilot.”

“Oh,” she said flatly. “Well. That explains it.”

“Explains what?”

“The lack of tools, the cocky attitude, the tight trousers, and your total inability to hold a reciprocating penetrator the right way ‘round’ on the first go. You know, if it wasn’t for me, you could have poked your eye out holding it like th….”

“Look,” he said testily, “if I want your opinion, I’ll ask for it!”

“Yeah? Well, if you want to get off this planet anytime soon, then you’d better start asking!” She sighed. “I should have just sold that piece of junk someone called a ship to Zug and hitched a ride on an ore freighter. They may be slow, but at least they move.”

“You think you can do better?” Carth stepped aside and motioned to the panel with his arm. “Be my guest!”

Kye knelt down and crawled underneath the console, and after a few knocks and bangs, the sparking of a fractional welder, and the buzzing sound of a hydrospanner, Mission’s voice shouted from the Engine Room. “Kye, the lights are on! And they’re staying on this time!”

Kye scrambled out from underneath the panel and stood, looking Carth in the eye. She slapped the hydrospanner in his hand. “You’re welcome,” she said to him. “Now, think you could manage putting the panel back together while I finish checking for leaks around the hyperdrive manifold?”

“Yeah. I think I can manage that,” he grumbled sourly.

She gave him a curious look. “I’m sorry. I really don’t mean to be so condescending. You know, Carth, it’s not a sign of weakness to admit you need help. Everyone has different things that they’re good at.” She grinned. “I mean, I’m total crap at flying. Well, take offs I can do. Landings aren’t great, but I seem to manage. But the bit in between? That’s the part that gives me bother. I’ve no sense of direction whatsoever. Even with the aid of a navicomputer,” she added.

Carth’s expression softened a bit. “Is that how you ended up here?”

Kye grimaced with uncertainty. “Yeah. Sort of.” She grinned. “Certainly didn’t come here for Degos V’s irresistible charm and sophisticated metropolitan lifestyle.”

Carth grinned in return. “I’ll put the panel together. Just let me know when you want me to start ‘er up.”

“I’ll send Mission up to tell you,” she said, backing her way out to the corridor. “Give her something to do. Besides, being as you’re old and hard of hearing…,” she added, with a wink, then turned and headed for the Engine Room.

“Hey, you tell Mission that you’re not much younger than me, you know!” Carth called after her.

“Yes, I know,” she called over her shoulder. “But I’m prettier and more fun, so that makes up for it in her eyes.”

“In mine, too,” Carth muttered appreciatively.

Just then T3 whizzed into the cockpit, bleeping incessantly to get Carth’s attention.

“What is it, T3?”

T3 plugged his service arm into a nearby port, and in an instant one of the panels indicated that the loading ramp was being lowered.

“They’re back?” Carth asked the droid.

T3 whirred and bleeped, confirming that Rade and rest of the crew had returned. Carth headed through the main hold to meet them, but Jolee had beaten him to it.

“It’s about time!” Jolee said lightheartedly to the group. “Carth was beginning to get worried.”

“So, did you find it?” Carth asked, pointedly ignoring Jolee’s quip.

“The only thing we found were some dead Mandalorians and more questions,” Rade replied.

“And a decent restaurant,” Ithra piped.

Rade, Bastila and Canderous all paused and stared at her in disbelief.

“Well…?” Ithra shrugged sheepishly. “I thought it was decent.”

Purposefully ignoring Ithra, Bastila turned her attention to Carth. “Anyway, we think Co’Vanni is now headed to Onderon with the Gem.”

“So that’s where we’re going,” Rade added. “Is the ship ready?”

“Just about,” Carth replied. “Oh, there’s something I need to tell you before we take off. We’ve picked up a….”

Just then, Mission appeared from the corridor. “Carth? Kye said to tell you that…” She paused, and grinned at Rade. “Oh, hey! You’re back! Find anything interesting?”

“Who’s Kye?” Canderous asked, catching Mission’s reference to an unknown person.

“Our passenger,” she answered matter-of-factly.

“Passenger?” Rade raised his eyebrows and looked first at Mission, then Carth. “Since when did we get a passenger?”

“Since I made a deal for the parts we needed,” Mission said, beaming proudly. “Without having to spend even a single credit. Isn’t that right, Carth?”

Carth’s face began to flush. “Erm… yeah. That’s right.” He met Rade’s eyes with trepidation. “That’s what I wanted to tell you about,” he said to Carth. “She’s actually been quite helpful in…”

She’s?” Bastila said, giving a disparaging look at Ithra. “Our passenger is another she?

“And a pretty ‘she’ at that,” Jolee added with a wink, adding to Carth’s growing embarrassment.

“Yeah, well, she’s a pretty good mechanic as well,” Carth said somewhat defensively. “I hate to admit it, but I don’t think I could have done all of the repairs without her help.”

“Speaking of help, Kye’s ready for you to fire up the engines,” Mission said to Carth. “And she said she’ll stay there and monitor the engine for a while and let you know if there are any leaks. Not that she’s expecting any, but just to give you peace of mind so you’ll relax a bit and not worry so much.”

“Give me peace of mi…?” Carth cleared his throat. “Erm…right. If you’ll excuse me,” he said to the others, “I’ve got engines to start. Bastila? I’ll need you at the navigator’s station, just to keep an eye on things.” He headed for the cockpit, and Bastila followed.

“So, about this passenger…” Rade said to Mission.

“Her name’s Kye,” Mission beamed. “And she’s great! She doesn’t treat me like a kid—let’s me help her and everything. I like her.”

“Uh-huh.” Rade lifted an inquisitive brow. “And where have you promised we would take our ‘passenger’?”

“Onderon,” Mission said frankly.

“What a coincidence,” Canderous commented dryly. “That’s just where we were going.”

“Really? Great! See, I knew things would work out!” Mission said with a satisfied smile. “Kye said Queen Talia has commissioned a lot of restoration work, so there’s lots of jobs there right now.”

Just then, the engines began to hum.

“We’ve got power, people!” Carth said over the intercom. “Next stop, Onderon!”

Rade looked at Ithra. “Think it’d be better for you, and safer for the rest of us, if you made yourself comfortable in the dormitory, rather than the cockpit this time.”

Ithra nodded bashfully. “Alright. I’m feeling like I need a rest anyway.”

“I’ll go check on Kye,” Mission said. “See if she needs any more help.”

As Ithra left for the dormitory, and Canderous and HK headed for the cargo bay, Rade sidled up to Jolee. “So, Jolee, what do you know about this Kye?”

“I know she wants off this planet,” Jolee answered. “And I know she’s pretty good with mechanical things. And I know she’s not at all bashful about saying what she thinks. And, most importantly, I know that she’s lifted Mission’s spirits. She’s been pretty down without Zalbaar around.”

“I know.” Rade stood quietly for a moment. “I can’t feel this Kye’s presence onboard the ship,” he said, frowning slightly.

“Neither can I,” said Jolee. “Damn strange, but, like I told Carth, it’s happened to me before. Not with a human, but…” He shrugged. “Maybe she’s not human. I don’t get a sense through the Force that she’s dangerous though. Even without sensing a Force signature, if she were trouble, I’d expect we’d know it.”

Rade nodded. “Still, once we get underway, I think I’ll have a chat with her.” Rade headed for the cockpit.

~~~~~~~~

“So, any problems?” Mission asked Kye, just as they both felt the ship leave the ground.

“None so far,” Kye said, keeping a close eye on the emissions monitor she held in her hands. “So, who boarded the ship? I heard voices in the main hold.”

“Just Rade and the others,” Mission said.

“Rade? He’s the captain?”

“Yeah,” said Mission. “He and the others went out looking for this Gem thing.”

Kye’s brow raised ever so slightly, but her eyes didn’t leave the monitor. “I thought you said they were exploring the mines for cortosis?”

“Erm…well, now, I didn’t exactly say they were looking for cortosis,” Mission admitted. “But they were exploring. Don’t think they found what they were looking for though. Otherwise, we’d be heading back to Jantessa get Big Z.”

“Jantessa? Nice place, is it?”

Mission snorted. “Oh, no way! Everyone there is all...I don’t know. Too clean. Too rigid. Too many rules and regulations, and… I mean, they classified Big Z as an illegally imported pet. A pet! He’s a Wookiee. Whoever heard of a Wookiee as a pet!

Kye grinned softly. “And they wouldn’t let him leave with you?”

“No. And they kept Juhani, too.”

“Juhani?”

“She’s a Cathar. You know what they are?”

Kye nodded.

“Well, they classified her as a ‘pet’, too. Even though she’s a Jedi!” Mission rolled her eyes.

“A Jedi?” At this, Kye looked up. “You didn’t tell me that you travelled with a Jedi.”

“Didn’t I?” Mission said innocently. “Huh. Guess I’ve gotten so used to them, it doesn’t seem to matter to me as much.”

“Them?”

“Yeah. Juhani, Jolee, Bas….”

“Jolee’s a Jedi, too," Kye said pensively, though more in the manner of a statement than a question.

“Yeah. Well, sort of. More like an ex-Jedi, now, I guess.”

“I see,” Kye said, her eyes reverting back to her monitor. “And Bas? Who’s he?”

“He’s a she, actually,” Mission corrected. “Bastila. I used to think she was really stuck up and all when I first met her, but she’s not so bad, once you get to know her.”

“So, you travel with three Jedi,” Kye commented. “Interesting.”

“Four,” said a male voice from behind them.

Kye turned her head, and her body tensed as she saw Rade standing in the doorway.

“Rade, meet Kye, our passenger,” Mission introduced. “Kye, this is….”

“Rade Chano,” Rade finished for Mission. “Captain and ‘Jedi number four.’” He stared at Kye curiously for a moment. “You have a problem with Jedi?”

“Not normally.” She eyed him up and down for a moment. “You have a problem with non-Jedi?”

“Not normally,” he replied in kind.

“Good.” She then smiled. “Nice to meet you.”

“So, Mission tells me that you want to go to Onderon.”

“Only if it’s not a problem,” Kye replied. “There’s work there, but if you’re not going that way, just drop me off in the first port you come to. I’m not picky.”

“It just so happens that by strange coincidence, that’s exactly where we’re going,” Rade said with a hint of suspicion in his voice. “We’re looking for someone.” He paused, waiting for a reaction from Kye. None came. “Someone called Co’Vanni,” Rade continued. Still nothing. “Ever hear of him?”

“Sure,” Kye said plainly, to Rade’s obvious surprise. “Co’Vanni runs the Miscreant Miner. Best restaurant in Oasis. That’s common knowledge.”

Rade’s brow lifted. “So, you’ve met Co’Vanni?”

“Well… I’ve eaten at the restaurant. And I’ve met Horace.” She paused. “Of course,” she added as an afterthought, “it’s hard to miss Horace. He’s huge. Nice guy though.”

Rade stared at her for a moment.

“Something wrong?” Kye asked, before returning her eyes to the monitor.

“Maybe,” Rade said, eyeing her over. “By the way, do you know that you don’t give off any detectable Force signature?”

“A what?”

“A Force signature. Every life form gives off one. Every one but you, that is. Why is that?”

“You’re the Jedi,” Kye said, without looking up. “Aren’t Force thingies are supposed to be your department?”

“Strange, though, don’t you think?” Rade pressed her.

Kye shrugged. “If you say so. Personally, I don’t have much use for ‘The Force.’”

“What’s with the interrogation?” Mission asked Rade. “Kye’s only here to help us and you’re treating her like she’s some sort of criminal or something.”

“Actually, Mission, he has every right to interrogate me,” Kye said. “After all, I’m a complete stranger. As far as he knows, I could be a criminal or something. And as captain of a ship, it’s his responsibility to keep his crew safe.”

“Are you a criminal?” asked Rade.

“Now, that’s a fairly ambiguous question,” she replied, her eyes still focused on the monitor. “I mean, one person’s criminal could be another person’s hero.” She gave him a sideways glance. “I mean, are you a criminal? Before today, the last time I heard someone mention the word ‘Jedi,’ it was in the same breath as the words ‘mass destruction’ and ‘Darth Revan.’”

Rade’s expression darkened.

“So ‘criminal’ is a matter of perspective,” Kye continued. “Don’t you think? What you really should be asking is do I have any intention to do you or your crew any harm.” She turned off the hand-held monitor, and looked up at Rade. “And the answer to that is ‘no.’”

“Good,” Rade said, although not convincingly. “We should reach Onderon in a few hours. I’ll be in the cockpit if you need me.”

“Great. When you get there, you can tell Carth that the hyperdrive is working fine and there are no manifold leaks. But I’ll set T3 to continue to monitor for them. Just in case he was worried.”

Rade nodded and left for the bridge.

“C’mon,” Mission said. “I’ll show you the cargo bay and introduce you to Canderous.”

“Another Jedi?”

“Nope. A Mandalorian.”

Kye snorted and rolled her eyes. “You know, Mission, you’re an alright kid,” she said as she followed Mission out of the engine room. “But you’ve got some strange taste in friends.”


Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)
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Old 05-18-2006, 01:28 AM   #89
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A good Chapter. I bet Kye and Mission will become friends.

I'm from the UK as well, but I spell saber like the Americans, but I spell favourite and humour in English (UK).
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Old 05-18-2006, 07:10 AM   #90
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Great chapter Jasra. Although I still hold to my theory that Kye is Co'vanni. She has to be a force user of some kind. And she has to be able to shield that fact from Jedi. She is still a mystery to me. I can't wait to see the next part. Keep up the great work.


Some other really awesome Fanfics: Hidden shades of grey By JasraLantill, The Adventures of Jolee Bindo By Jae Onasi[/size]
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Old 05-18-2006, 01:48 PM   #91
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Actually, different spellings of words in English (i.e. color v. colour) is a wonderful way of expressing an accent if you so desire.

You have an excellent story line so far and I very much look forward to future enstallments.
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Old 05-18-2006, 08:30 PM   #92
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Thanks for the compliments, guys! I'll try my best to upload the next chapter sooner than I did the last one. I'm not setting a deadline, as Darth RealLife likes to do sneak attacks, but I'll do my best to get something up within the week.


Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)
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Old 05-19-2006, 08:09 AM   #93
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great work with the new chapter, Jasra, i like Kye's attitude with Carth . keep it up.


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Old 05-24-2006, 08:50 PM   #94
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Chapter 12-part 2

((Ok, well not as long as some of my other chapters, but it's something. Enjoy!))

~~~~~~~

“Something’s odd about our passenger,” Rade said as he returned to the bridge from engineering.

“And this surprises you?” Bastila asked, as she input the final co-ordinates for Onderon. “All of our recent ‘passengers’ have been odd.”

“No, our previous passengers weren’t ‘odd’,” Rade said. “They were deceptive and sneaky. This one is…” He turned his head and looked behind him suddenly, as if expecting to see Ithra eavesdropping. But no one was there. “I can’t feel her through the Force,” he continued. “Can you?”

“No,” said Bastila. “But Jolee said that there are some creatures in the Galaxy that don’t give off a Force signature.”

“Creatures?” Carth looked up from his console. “I wouldn’t classify Kye as a ‘creature.’” He grinned slightly. “Well, not in the way you mean ‘creature.’”

“Are you sure?” Bastila asked, her mouth twitching up in a tiny, sardonic grin. “She could be a shape-shifter. Maybe, in her true form, she looks something like Zalbaar.”

“Ha, ha. Very funny,” Carth replied dryly. “You’re just jealous because there is another beautiful woman on board.”

“Yes, this part of the Galaxy seems rather prolific with them.” She looked at Rade. “Very odd, indeed, for such an isolated and remote place.”

“Carth," Rade asked, "while you and she were fixing the ship…did Kye go into any details on exactly why she wanted to go to Onderon? Besides the obvious ‘there’s work to be had there,’ I mean.”

Carth shook his head. “No, not really. In fact, she was pretty enigmatic about it when I asked her.” A moment passed, and then Carth frowned. “But, now that I thing about it, there was something I thought was strange.” He looked at Rade and Bastila. “She has a lightsabre.”

Rade’s brow rose. “Does she now?”

“Told Mission and me she got it off of a trader, as I recall.”

Bastila grinned smugly. “She didn’t happen to mention the trader’s name, did she?”

Revan thoughtfully rubbed his jaw. “Yes…like Krex, perhaps?”

“No, she…oh, now, wait a minute,” Carth said hesitantly. “You’re not suggesting that she’s the one Krex pointed us to? Co’Vanni?” He shook his head. “No way.”

“She’s going to Onderon. Co’Vanni is going to Onderon. She’s reluctant to talk about her past. Co’Vanni is so mysterious, we couldn’t even get a description of him. Or her,” Bastila mused.

Carth vehemently shook his head. “If she was this Co’Vanni, why would she have stayed aboard the ship?”

“Carth’s right,” said Rade. “Co’Vanni would have to know by now that we were looking for him. Her. Them.”

“And the best place to hide is in plain sight,” said Bastila.

“What about the Gem?” Carth asked. “If Kye’s this Co’Vanni person, she’d have the Gem. And I certainly didn’t see it.”

“You searched her?” Rade asked.

“Well…no, but….” Carth paused. “But… didn’t Ithra say she would be able to sense the Gem if it was near?”

Bastila sighed. “Yes. She did.” She looked at Rade. “And even though I still don’t trust her, I don’t think she could have kept something like that to herself. If the Gem was on board, she would have told us by now.”

Rade nodded. “Still…there’s something not right here.”

“I’ll say,” said Kye’s voice from behind him. “You’ve got a crazed assassin droid in your cargo hold. Carth, what kind of Jedi are you travelling with?”

“Suspicious ones,” Bastilla said acidly.

Kye gave her a disingenuous smile. “Ah, you must be Bastila. Mission told me you could be… irascible, for lack of a better word.”

“Irascible?!” Bastila exclaimed, frowning. “I am nothing of the sort!”

“Whatever you say,” Kye said, with a tongue-in-cheek grin. “Anyway, Rade, about this…droid in the cargo bay.”

“HK? What about him?”

Just then, a single shot of blaster fire could be heard in the main hold, followed by a loud thud.

“Canderous!” Mission screamed. “No!”

“Assassination protocols activated!” HK’s voice echoed up the corridor.

“HK, stop!” Mission could be heard shouting. “Hey, Jolee! One of those Jedi stasis fields would be handy about now!”

“He's got a glitch, that’s what,” Kye said, rather calmly for the situation. “A big glitch.”

Rade pushed past Kye, and raced down the corridor, followed closely behind by Bastila and Carth.

Kye looked around the cockpit. “Erm…is anyone going to fly the ship?”

She heard the sounds of a struggle down the corridor as the crew tried to subdue the renegade HK.

“No?” Kye said to no one in particular. She shrugged, and then went to the pilot’s control station. She looked at the panel, then frowned. If they didn’t jump into hyperspace soon, they would have to recalculate. And that would cost them precious time. Her fingers tapped a few keys. A beep sounded. A light flashed on, then off again. “There. That should do it,” she said to herself, and she stepped away from the control station and then padded down the corridor to see what was going on. “Hyperspace in three minutes, and counting.”

HK was now being held in a stasis field—two, in fact—and as Jolee and Bastila concentrated on keeping the rusty red droid immobile, Rade concentrated on trying to fix him.

“Damn that Berland!” Rade muttered. “I knew he did something to sabotage HK!”

At the mention of Berland’s name, Kye raised a stealthy brow. But something of greater interest had caught her eye. Canderous--laying on the deck, unmoving, with Mission hovering over him. She crossed through the hold, and knelt next to the fallen Mandalorian.

“HK just went…berserk!” Mission exclaimed in horror to Rade and the rest of the group. “We were just starting a game of Pazaak, and… and…” She looked up at Kye. “I… I don’t think he’s breathing!”

With a calm expression, Kye took up Canderous’ wrist in one hand, and laid her other on Canderous’ forehead, then closed her eyes.

“Got it!” Rade said, and extracted a tiny chip from HK’s chassis, no bigger than the moon on his fingernail. “Had this not been glowing red hot, I wouldn’t have even noticed this!” He nodded for Bastila and Jolee to release the droid. As soon as they did, the Ebon Hawk lurched into hyperspace, and HK-47 teetered, then fell flat to the deck on his back.

“Hey! Who jumped us into hyperspace?” Carth asked, seeing as everyone but Ithra was in the main hold.

“I did,” Kye said. Her eyes opened, but her hands remained on Canderous. “Remote jump. Don’t worry. I didn’t do any calculations on my own.”

“Observation:", said HK. "Master? I appear to have suffered a minor malfunction culminating in my being in the slightly awkward position of not being able to regain my vertical positioning. In other words, I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up.”

“You’ll be fine,” Rade said, using the Force to quickly lift HK to his feet. Rade then wheeled around to where Canderous was. “Is he...?”

“I don’t know,” Mission said worriedly. “HK shot him and ….”

“He’ll be fine,” Kye said, lifting her hand from Canderous' brow. “His pulse is strong. He’s just unconscious. He’ll come around soon.”

“Are you sure?” Mission asked.

“Oh, she’s sure,” said a cold, icy female voice. It was Ithra. Disturbed from her sleep by all of the racket, she was now standing at the other end of the main hold, glaring menacingly at Kye. “Jantessan Keepers have the ability to heal from within.” Suddenly, her eyes went black. “You traitor!” she suddenly snarled, and with a quick raise of her hand, she uncharacteristically used the Force to hurl Kye across the hold, slamming her hard into the hull wall.

Kye shook her head to clear it, then frowned. “Ow!” she said, rubbing the back of her head. “That hurt!”

Before Rade or anyone else could stop her, Ithra raised her hand again. But this time, it was Ithra who went flying backwards, her attack having been reflected by Kye, without her even raising a finger.

Kye stood up slowly and began to brush off her clothes. “You haven’t learned anything, have you,” she said to Ithra.

“I’ve learned enough to become Prime Keeper!” Ithra shouted from where she lay crumpled on the floor. “And I’ve learned that the only way to keep Jantessa alive is to join the Republic, purge it of traitors like you, and bring back the Gem to its rightful place in the Haven where it can once again be used to bring harmony and balance to our world!”

Kye raised an eyebrow. “You? Prime Keeper?” She shook her head. “There are no more Keepers.”

“That’s because you killed them all!”

“Well, apparently, I missed one,” Kye said, her eyes narrowing. “Prime Keeper, indeed!” she scoffed cynically. “You’re not a Keeper. Not even close.”

“What is going on!” Rade demanded, giving a harsh look at Ithra, then turning on Kye. “Who are you?!”

“She’s a traitor, that’s who she is!” Ithra said, getting up shakily to her feet, her eyes now returning to their normal violet shade.

“Let her speak, Ithra!” Rade ordered. “Now, who are you?”

“That depends,” said Kye.

“Quit with the cryptic questions, and just tell me who you are, and how you know Ithra!”

Kye grinned. “Ithra was once a pupil of mine,” she said matter-of-factly. “Long ago.”

“You betrayed our people and sent hundreds to their deaths!” Ithra cried. “She’s a traitor, and she deserves to die!” She made to lunge at Kye, but Jolee and Bastila grabbed hold of her and held her back.

“No one ‘deserves’ to die,” said Bastila. “No matter what they’ve done.”

“Spoken like a true Jedi,” Kye commented. “And I suppose ‘ol Revan here is proof positive of that philosophy in practice.”

Rade frowned. “I’m not Revan. Not anymore.”

“Oh? Well, if you’re not Revan, then I’m not who I was either,” Kye replied sassily.

“Okay. So who were you?”

“Kiana Do’Shaanan. Former Keeper, former collaborator with the Sith Lord Revan, currently banished traitor, damn good engineer, fairly good cook, half decent waitress, hopeless navigator and….” Kye smiled. “Ithra’s older sister.”


Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)
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Old 05-25-2006, 02:36 AM   #95
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Good Chapter.
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Old 05-25-2006, 06:10 AM   #96
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Holy crap! Holy crap! Holy Crap!! Holy freaking crap!!! It may have been a bit shorter, but dang that was an amazing chapter Jasra. Kye is not who I thought she was at all, in fact you really brought that whole twist out of no where! I am so loving this story more and more with each chapter. And the "I've fallen and I can't get up" Line from HK was priceless. Can't wait to see how this unfolds.


Some other really awesome Fanfics: Hidden shades of grey By JasraLantill, The Adventures of Jolee Bindo By Jae Onasi[/size]
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Old 05-25-2006, 01:43 PM   #97
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excellent twist, Jasra, youre climbing the ranks very quickly. this might just be better than ForceFIght's
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Old 05-25-2006, 06:42 PM   #98
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this might just be better than ForceFIght's
<_<
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Which one? Forcefight started her second fic.

Great job Jazzy Lentil Jasra Lantill, keep it up!


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Old 05-25-2006, 08:56 PM   #99
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.......... excuse me while I peel my jaw off the floor

Before that last chapter, I was convinced I didn't like Kye... guess that's over

Do write more, Jazzy, dear


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Old 05-26-2006, 12:27 AM   #100
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I've really enjoyed these last 2 chapters. Nice twist with Kye. I like how you do Mission's character--sassy, trusting but yet pretty worldly-wise for a teen, and still making the occasional teen mistakes.


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Old 07-26-2006, 05:10 PM   #101
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Good story so far, but when can we expect more?


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Commando soldier: *shrugs* "Recoil."
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Old 08-01-2006, 02:24 AM   #102
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RG, soon! As in probably this week. I'd been neglecting this story for a while (due to a whole string of different factors) but I am working on finishing it up now. I've done another few chapters and will need to proofread them before posting them. Thanks for your support. Glad to know that someone was still interested in my story.


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Old 08-01-2006, 05:09 AM   #103
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we all are, Jasra. now get to work!


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Old 08-01-2006, 08:53 AM   #104
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See, that's the thing - she is at work, most likely. Where else would she be at 3:00 on a Tuesday afternoon?
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Old 08-02-2006, 06:23 AM   #105
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Of course we still care you goof ball! Get us new chapters


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Old 08-04-2006, 03:35 PM   #106
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Cause it is a great fic!
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Old 08-07-2006, 05:17 PM   #107
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Chapter 12 -Part 3

((OOC: Ok, I finally got back on track, and as I'm off work for a few days, hopefully I can get some more written and perhaps even finish off the story. Thanks to everyone for maintaining interest in it. Enjoy!))
~~~~~~

After the initial shock and confusion of the past few minutes, things were finally calm for the moment on the Ebon Hawk. Thanks to Kye’s apparent knack for Force Healing, Canderous had fully recovered from his near fatal blaster accident with HK and now stood in the corridor that was next to the med bay, albeit keeping a closer eye on the droid. Kye herself sat on one side of the main hold, casually reclining back in one of the chairs. Ithra, still seething at her sister’s unexpected appearance, sat on the opposite end of the hold, her arms crossed defiantly over her chest while Bastila and Jolee securely flanked her on either side. And in the middle of the hold stood Carth, HK, and Mission, with Rade pacing back and forth.

“So,” Rade started, stopping to look directly at Kye. “I think you have some explaining to do.”

Kye blinked with astonishment. “Me? I was just hitching a ride! You’re the Sith Lord with your motley crew and crazed assassin droid skulking about Oasis interrogating people while you travel around with a Jantessan who I’m sure is that,” she measured out a small space between her thumb and forefinger, “that close to being a Sith herself! If there’s any explaining to do, it’s you, not me, who needs to do it!”

"I told you, I am not Revan anymore," Rade said firmly.

“And I am not a Sith!” Ithra protested vehemently. “You’re the traitor, not me!”

Kye gave her sister a deadpan look. “Nice to see you, too, Ithra. It’s been a long time.”

“Not long enough for me,” Ithra spat.

Kye sighed and rolled her eyes. “Yeah, well, it is written that ‘You can pick your friends, but your family is inflicted upon you.’”

“Who wrote that?” asked Jolee.

Kye shrugged. “Dunno. Read it on the wall in a public toilet once. True though.” Kye eyed her sister. “You know, despite what you must think of me, Ithra, I am glad to see you.”

“Hmphf! Liar! You wanted me dead, like the rest!”

Kye sighed. “No. I didn’t.” She looked at Rade. “He did though. And if you really are a Keeper, you should seek him and learn the truth.”

Ithra’s jaw set. “He’s not Revan. Not anymore.”

“So everyone keeps saying.” Kye gave Rade a long, hard, critical stare. “Well, he still looks like Revan to me.”

“Only on the outside, not on the inside,” Bastila said defensively. “The Jedi Council healed the Darkness within his mind.”

Kye raised an eyebrow. “Really? But that’s exactly where I was looking. Inside.”

Rade exchanged looks with Bastila, then Ithra, then his eyes set upon Kye. “I didn’t feel you invade my mind.”

“No, you wouldn’t.” She turned to her sister. “I take it then that you give people headaches when you seek?”

Ithra scowled at her.

“Ah. Thought so. Mark of poor training. Who did finish your training, by the way?” Her gaze slowly returned to Rade. “You mentioned the name ‘Berland’ earlier? Please don’t tell me that slimy, double-talking, rankweed sucking Sith that was your valet is still on Jantessa.”

“Clarification: Ambassador Berland’s title when he was serving Revan was ‘Personal Assistant,’” HK corrected her.

“Ambassador? Oh, well then... retraction: that slimy, double-talking, rankweed sucking Sith that was your Personal Assistant,” Kye mimicked HK. “And, as I recall, you served him, too," she said to the droid. "Revan, I mean, not Berland. Although, after your recent ‘display of arms’ in the cargo hold, I’m having serious doubts about that now.”

“HK doesn't serve Berland. He serves me," said Rade. “And yes, Berland is on Jantessa and I suspect he sabotaged HK on our way to Jantessa.”

“So, you let Berland actually travel with you? On board this ship?” She raised a doubtful brow. “And you say you’ve changed?" She snorted. "Yeah. Right.”

“Let’s get to the reason why you’re here,” Carth said to Kye. “You lied to me…us…I mean, Mission and me.”

“No, I didn’t,” Kye said. “I needed a ride to Onderon, and I told you my business there was my own. I told no lies.”

“You said you were looking for work,” said Carth.

“And I will be when I get there. Can’t get accommodation and food without credits, now can I? Besides, as I recall, you were quite happy to let me believe that you and your ‘crew’ here were a team of Republic surveyors for cortosis mines. I'd consider that at the least misleading, if not an outright lie.”

“Well…," Carth hesitated. "You could have invaded our minds at any time to see that wasn’t true. It's not like we could do that."

“I don’t just go about ‘invading’ people’s private thoughts unnecessarily,” said Kye, sounding outright offended. “Aside from the fact that some private thoughts can be, well… disturbing, for lack of a better word, it’s …, to put it simple terms, it’s just plain rude. I may be a traitor among my people, but I still follow standards of conduct.”

“Standards of conduct?” Ithra scoffed. “You certainly didn’t follow them on Jantessa! Admit it, Kiana, the only thing you care about is the Aylah’han Gem. You stole it from the Haven, now tell us where it is so we can return it to its rightful place and undo some of the damage you did!”

“I don’t know where it is. Exactly.”

“But you have an idea about where it’s going to be, don’t you?” asked Rade.

“Well, of course I do. I didn’t choose to go to Onderon by throwing a random dart on a star map.”

Rade looked at her askance.

Kye snorted. “I’m certainly not telling you, Revan!”

“Rade,” Rade corrected.

“Whatever!” Kye retorted. “You’re the one person in the Galaxy whose hands I do not want to see the Gem to fall into. I’d sooner let Co’Vanni keep it.”

“So…you’re not Co’Vanni?” Carth said.

Kye began to smile. “Me?” She chuckled. “No. And if you ever meet Co’Vanni, you’ll understand how amusing that is.”

“With or without your help, Rade is bringing the Gem back to Jantessa, thief,” Ithra hissed at her sister. “So it can once again be tuned by the hands of the Keepers.”

“You must mean the hands of the Sith,” Kye countered, “and they couldn’t tune it if it were a single note whistle. Like I said, there are no more real Keepers.”

“I am a real Keeper!” Ithra said adamantly as she rose from her seat. “I lead the meditations in the Haven. I am the one who selects the novices for initiation. I’m the one who has access to the sacred scrolls of Aylah’han the First, and,” she added vehemently, “I’ve committed nearly all of the passages to memory.”

“Well, good for you,” said Kye. “Did Berland give you a gold star for doing that?”

Ithra started to lunge at her sister, but was held back firmly by Jolee and Bastila.

Kye shook her head at Ithra’s uncontrolled outburst. “Prime Keeper, indeed,” she said scornfully. “There are no Keepers.”

“There’s you,” said Jolee. “You say you’re not a Keeper, but you obviously still have the knowledge and the skills of one. Being able to cloak your Force signature is no easy task. Not even for a Jedi Master.”

“Having skills and knowledge doesn’t make me a Keeper, any more than you teaching Carth to use a lightsaber would make him a Jedi,” said Kye. “I cloak my Force-Sensitivity for simple, selfish self-preservation against Sith spies and recruiters, nothing else. I’ve just done it for so long, that it’s second nature to me.”

“If you claim to not be a Keeper anymore,” asked Bastila, “then why are you interested in the Gem?”

“Who says I’m interested in it? I just don’t want anyone else to use it,” Kye said bluntly. “It’s a dangerous tool of manipulation.”

“It is not!” Ithra interjected. “It brings order and balance to….”

“It’s used to manipulate people’s thoughts so that they will work as a collective,” Kye interrupted. “To strive for a common goal.” Her eyes left Ithra for Rade. “A power that Revan found quite intriguing. And obviously, still does.” She paused. “Look, it doesn’t matter what I know or don’t know. As long as the Gem stays out of the wrong hands, I’m not too bothered by what any so-called Keepers or Sith get up to on Jantessa. It’s not my problem anymore.”

“Yes, it is.” Carth spoke up. “If you’re the only one left who can properly use the Gem, then I’d say it’s your problem. Jantessa aside, imagine the affect it could have on the entire Galaxy if it fell into Sith hands? No wonder Berland wants it so bad.”

“So that’s why they want to join the Republic,” Bastila said softly.

Kye visibly blanched. “What did you say?”

“The Jantessans. They want to join the Republic,” said Bastila. “That’s part of the reason Ithra’s here. She is to be trained by the Jedi in the arts of diplomacy, schooled in the cultures of other worlds, so she can be the Jantessan’s Senator.”

“Kriffin’ Sith’s Blood,” Kye swore. She looked at Ithra. “You? A Senator? You call yourself the Prime Keeper and you didn’t see anything wrong with this plan?”

Ithra hesitated. “It wasn’t my idea,” she stammered. “Prefect Keel was the one who made the motion at the….”

“Keel? Keel!” Kye shouted. “And you call me a traitor? Ha!” She turned back to Bastila. “You give that Gem back to the Jantessans and Ithra and I promise you, your ‘Republic’ is finished. And I mean finished. No battles, no wars, no treaties, just… finished. Done. The Sith will use the Gem to gain total control over every Republic planet without even having to fire a single blaster shot by controlling the will of the Galactic Senators.” She turned back to Ithra and her eyes narrowed menacingly. “Won’t they?

Ithra looked flustered. “It wasn’t my idea,” she said in a tiny voice. “I don’t want to be a Senator. Not really. But they said it would bring peace and order to the Galaxy. And isn’t that what everyone wants?”

“Peace, yes. Order? No.” Kye let out a long sigh. “Although, I can see how you would think that. I thought that once. I was wrong.” Her expression grew dark, then her eyes found Rade’s. “So, very, very wrong.”


Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)
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Old 08-07-2006, 05:47 PM   #108
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Great Chapter. I loved this bit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hidden Shades of Grey
“Who wrote that?” asked Jolee.

Kye shrugged. “Dunno. Read it on the wall in a public toilet once. True though.”
I can't wait to see the end.
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Old 08-08-2006, 01:57 AM   #109
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very nice! good to see you back up, Jasra, excellent job


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Old 08-08-2006, 12:04 PM   #110
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Well, now we finally see the truth come out about the gem, eh? It'll be interesting to see if Rade can really gain Kye's trust. I can't blame Kye for not trusting him, however.
Glad to see you writing again!


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Old 08-11-2006, 03:14 PM   #111
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Chapter 13--Part 1

Ithra let out a doleful sigh, as she remembered the day her sister Kye took the Gem from Jantessa.

In the early morning hours on the fifth day after the arrival of the Jedi Revan, while Ithra and the rest of the Keeper Novices were gathering in the main hall of the Priory to make their usual dawn procession to the Haven, Jantessa’s Prime Keeper Kiana Do’Shaanan made an unusual appearance in the Priory’s main hall. “Only those of you who have passed your third level are to accompany me to the Haven this morning,” she announced to the Novices. "The rest of you are to remain here. No one is to leave until someone comes for you.”

For a Prime Keeper, Kiana Do’Shaanan was young, only twenty-five, but she had been elected to the position because out of all of the Keepers she was the most talented with tuning the Aylah’han Gem, the Jantessan’s most sacred relic, which entailed not only manipulating the Force, but also inspiring the other Keepers to keep in tune with her ministrations. No one ever questioned the Prime Keeper’s knowledge, abilities, or integrity. It just wasn’t the Keeper way. In balance with one another, in harmony with the whole, together as one—that was basis of the Keepers’ philosophy.

Their philosophy stemmed from whom the Keepers called ‘The Old Ones,’ although they only had a single reference to their existence—an ancient stone tomb marked with the name ‘Aylah’han’, and so he was given the honorific ‘The First’. A few, very fragile scrolls and a single, violet crystal had been found inside the tomb. The scrolls detailed instructions for the ‘Keepers’ of the planet, and the special violet crystal found with them was dubbed the ‘Aylah’han Gem.’ Over time, the scrolls and the Gem had become the very basis of the Keepers’ belief system.

No one knew for sure where the Gem had originated, only that it had been brought to Jantessa by the Old Ones. It had a very special link to the Universal Force, and the scrolls spoke of how the Old Ones had used the Gem to terraform the planet from a lifeless, barren world into a rich and fertile one through ‘tuning’ the Gem. The general consensus was that without the Gem the planet would revert back to its barren state, although, as far as Ithra knew, no one had ever been brave enough to test that theory.

But tuning and balancing the Gems’ harmonics was key to maintaining the order of Jantessan society. ‘Collective spiritual maintenance,’ they called it. Its vibrations echoed through the Force, touching every living thing—plants, animals, and people—keeping everything and everyone in balance and harmony with each other. And because it was the most important task that the Keepers performed, the Gem was ritualistically ‘tuned’ every morning.

The novices, Jantessan Force Sensitive younglings in training to become Keepers themselves one day, were always invited to watch the Tuning Ceremony. It was exciting, yet strangely calming at the same time, to feel the Force being gently manipulated by the expert minds of the Keeper Elders. So when Kiana told the Novices that morning that only Third Level Novices and above were to participate in the Tuning that morning, there was an immediate protest from her sister. Ithra was only a Second Level Novice.

“Miss the Tuning? But why?” Ithra had asked, to the shock of the other Novices. It was thought of as highly improper to question the Prime Keeper in such a manner, but as Ithra was her sister, and her prime pupil, she previously had been allowed some leeway in that respect.

But not today. “Because I said so,” came Kiana’s curt reply. “You will stay here and meditate until someone comes to fetch you. Do not ask any more questions. I have no more answers for you.”

With that said, Prime Keeper Kiana abruptly left the Priory with the older Novices, and, to the remainder’s great surprise, she securely locked the Priory’s door behind her. From the outside.

Some moments passed, as the confused Novices eventually ordered themselves and began their meditations. But so sooner than they had settled, they felt a sudden and colossal disruption in the living Force around them. It was as if a bolt of lightning had pierced through their very souls.

What happened next would always be a matter of speculation as none of the Novices could see what was happening inside the Haven just a few hundred metres away. But they could hear and feel the chaos.

Over the din of screams and dying wails punctuated with intermittent blaster fire, some of the Novices began to loudly chant the Keepers’ Mandate, in a vain attempt to drown out the sounds and overwhelming feelings of pain and dread. Some of the older novices, like Ithra, had run to the windows of their rooms, to see if they could see what was going on in the Haven temple across the courtyard. Some of the younger ones could only cry.

Keeping her vigil at the window, Ithra noticed her sister Kiana, the Prime Keeper, calmly walking down the steps of the Haven, still dressed in her ceremonial white robes—robes now stained with dark red blotches and spatters. Holding the Gem in her hands, Kiana had paused for a moment, looked once over her shoulder, then tucked the Gem inside her robes and hurried out of Ithra’s view. Shortly afterwards, all went still and silent, save for the lingering echo of one single final scream of anguish.

Ithra watched in horror as Revan’s Sith soldiers then appeared from within the Haven. They calmly marched down the steps and then headed in the direction of the Presidium, the Jantessans main governmental building, leaving a trail of bloody footsteps behind them.

The Priory had fallen silent. No chants, no prayers, not even the smallet snivel or sob was heard. “We have to do something!” Ithra had finally cried out, just then realising that she was weeping uncontrollably. But her plea for action went unanswered amongst her fellow Novices, for they all felt the terrible void, just as she did. There was nothing left to do. The older Novices and the Keeper Elders were dead.


“Tell me,” Ithra asked her sister softly. “Did you weep that day? The day you stole the Gem from the Haven?”

Roused from her own dark thoughts, Kye slowly raised her eyes and stared at her sister. For a moment, she said nothing, but finally she said, “No.”

Ithra’s mouth slowly dropped with disbelief at the apparent callousness of her sister’s response.

Kye lowered her eyes. “I wept the night before.”


Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)
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Old 08-11-2006, 03:21 PM   #112
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Good Chapter Jasra. Looking foward to Part Two and the rest.
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Old 08-13-2006, 08:38 PM   #113
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Chapter 13 - Part 2

“That day was a dark day, Ithra,” Kye said after a moment, breaking the heavy silence that had suddenly descended on the group. “Many died, and the blame is entirely mine. But it’s in the past. No one can change it.”

“No, but you can help us prevent Berland from allowing Ithra to make a similar mistake,” said Bastila.

“Mistake?" said Kye. "The massacre of the Keepers at the Haven wasn’t a mistake. I set it up on purpose.”

“You what?!” Ithra hissed incredulously.

“Ithra, I didn’t sentence our brethren to death and steal the Gem to help Revan,” said Kye. “I did it to spite him.”

“But why?” Ithra asked.

“Why?” Kye snorted. “So even if Revan did get his hands on the Gem, he wouldn’t be able to use it, that’s why.”

Ithra’s expression suddenly softened in understanding.

“Ah. So you understand now,” Kye said. “Good. Glad to see you still remember ‘some’ of what I taught you.”

“Well, I don’t understand,” said Carth. “Care to explain what you’re talking about to the rest of us?”

“No,” Kye and Ithra said in unison.

“A melody and a harmony,” Rade said absently, suddenly recalling a long forgotten conversation. Kye’s eyes flickered derisively at hearing his words.

“Rade?” Bastila asked with a furrow of concern across her brow.

“I remember…,” he said slowly. “‘You need at least two to make the Gem sing for a world. A melody and a harmony.’ That’s what Kiana said.” His expression grew troubled, and his eyes met Kye’s. “I… tortured you. When I was Revan. Made you tell me about the Gem. Made you believe that having me in charge would be better for your people. Tried to turn you to the Dark Side.” He slowly sunk down into a nearby chair, visibly shaken by the memory. “I’m sorry.”

Kye snorted with disdain. “Well, excuse me if I don’t feel like accepting your apology right now.”

“Rade? Are you alright?” Bastila asked, moving towards him and laying a hand on his shoulder.

Rade nodded, then stared at the floor. “I remember, Bastila. Remember how Kiana told me she would show me how the Gem was used, but instead, she led the Keepers to attack us. It was chaos. Shots. Blood. Screaming. They all fought to the death or were slaughtered out of anger by me and my men. And when it was all over, she and the Gem were gone.” He looked up at Kye. “It wasn’t a massacre that day. It was mass suicide.” He gave her a weak grin. “You tricked me.”

“I did,” said Kye. “But, now, here you are, back again and looking for the Gem.” Her eyes narrowed. “With two ‘Keepers’ in your custody.” She snorted. “And you want me to help you find the Gem? Dream on.”

“You and Ithra are not prisoners here,” said Bastila.

“Yet,” Kye added bitterly.

“Well, one things for sure,” Carth said to everyone. “We can’t just turn the Gem over to the Jantessans. Not now that we know what Berland plans to do with it.”

“But what about Big Z and Juhani?” asked Mission. “We can’t just leave them on Jantessa. We have to get them back!”

“And we will, Mission,” Rade soothed her. “We will. Don’t worry. We’ll think of something.”

“Well, I’m not going to do what Berland says anymore,” Ithra announced. “And without me, his plans are foiled.”

“Don’t bet on it,” Kye said to her sister. “Berland isn’t stupid. Slimy, but not stupid. And neither is Keel. I’ve no doubt that they have some sort of contingency plan in mind if you balk at their requests.”

“Berland’s apprentice,” Bastila said, thinking out loud. “Deren.”

“Deren is Berland’s apprentice?” Kye gave her an incredulous look, then shook her head. “And just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse…”

“Kye, I understand your reluctance to help us,” said Bastila. “But think of what will happen if you don’t? It was Krex who told us that Co’Vanni had the Gem on Degos V. What makes you think that he won’t eventually tell Berland?”

Kye’s mouth dropped. “Krex told you that Co’Vanni had the Gem?” A look of panic flashed in her violet eyes. “Oh, this is bad. Very, very bad.” She looked at Carth. “How long until we get to Onderon?”

“About…five hours.”

“And how long would it take for a ship from Jantessa to get to Onderon?”

“About twelve.”

“Then there might still be time,” said Kye.

“Time? You’re talking as if this is a race,” said Rade.

“It is,” said Kye. “Berland already knows where the Gem is. Or rather, like me, he knows where it will be.”


Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)
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Old 08-13-2006, 08:48 PM   #114
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Chapter 13 - Part 3

“But how?” Bastila asked. “I mean, he might have tracked where we went, but he couldn’t possibly know about the Gem having been moved from Degos V.”

“Oh, he knows.” Kye pulled out a datapad from her inside jacket pocket. “I wasn’t going to share this with you, but…there’s just too much at stake, and too little time.” She talked as she began to hook up the datapad to the main console. “Co’Vanni is, well, was my business partner. We owned the Miscreant Miner together. When I….”

“So you lied to me when you said you never met him,” Rade interrupted.

“No,” Kye said. “As I recall, you asked if I had met him, and I told you that I had eaten at the restaurant, which is true, and that I had met Horace, which is also true. I didn’t lie.”

“You just deliberately withheld information.”

“Lying and withholding are not the same thing.”

“They are in my book.”

Kye stared at him blankly. “Do you want to hear my story or not?”

Rade let out a sigh of resignation and waved his hand for her to continue.

“When I first came to Degos V, the Gem was all that I had. Well, that’s not ‘entirely’ true.” She flashed Rade a quick grin. “I had the clothes I was wearing and half of a burned out ship, and I think a handful of those horrible food capsules, and a datapad, and a comlink, a really tiny, black, or was it blue.…”

Rade rolled his eyes. “Okay, okay! I give! Just tell your story.”

“So, it’s alright with you if I skip the minor details?” Kye asked him.

“Yes!”

Kye grinned victoriously. “So, as I was saying, I didn’t have much, but I needed someplace to stay, food, a job—you know, the usual things you need when you’re stranded on a strange planet. So, naturally, I wandered into one of the cantinas. That’s where I met Co’Vanni. Well, not ‘met’ as in for the very first time. He used to work for my friend, Krex before he….”

“Li-ar,” Ithra sang out.

Kye blinked. “Excuse me?”

“Efram Co’Vanni was the traitorous Prefect who helped you betray our people,” Ithra said. “He went up with you to Revan’s ship when Revan first arrived on Jantessa. Every Jantessan knows that.”

“Actually, Prefect Efram Co’Vanni died on board Revan’s ship,” said Kye. “My Co’Vanni just assumed his…erm… identity.” Ithra raised a dubious eyebrow. “It’s complicated,” Kye said dismissively. “I’ll explain it to you later. So, as I was saying, there was Co’Vanni, playing Pazaak, and losing pretty badly that day I might add, so I sort of... helped him out a bit."

“You used the Force to help him cheat?” said Mission.

“Well… cheat’s a rather harsh word. I just used my powers of persuasion to cast a little doubt in the other players’ minds, or by persuading someone that they saw a different number than what was actually on their card, or….”

Mission crossed her arms over her chest. “You used the Force to help him cheat.”

Kye rolled her eyes. “Alright, fine. If you want to get picky about it, yes. I helped him cheat. But that’s not important. What is important is that Co’Vanni won, and since he won because of me, I persuaded him that it was only fair that he share half his winnings with me. So, I got a credits for a place to stay and to buy some food.”

“Doesn’t ‘cheating’ violate one of those Jantessan laws that your people seem to have such a penchant for?” asked Jolee.

Kye shot him a deadpan look. “I wasn’t on Jantessa at the time, so, technically… no. Besides, figuring out if someone’s cheating is part of the game. That’s why they call it ‘gambling’. Otherwise, they’d just call it ‘playing’. If you can’t afford to lose, and you can’t figure out when you’re being cheated, then, in my opinion, you shouldn’t be gambling in the first place.” She paused then, then gave Carth a strange look. “Where was I?”

“Place to stay, credits for food,” said Carth, grinning slightly.

“Right. Anyway, I didn’t think it was very wise to keep on ‘helping’ him win. So, I suggested to him that he might want to try a different method of earning credits, by investing in a business—the Miscreant Miner.”

“’Suggested?’” said Rade, raising an eyebrow.

Kye raised an eyebrow at him. “Suggested,” she said firmly. “Can I continue, please?” she asked. There was silence. “Thank you,” she said, then continued with her story. “Co’Vanni and I had some credits, but not nearly enough to buy the restaurant. But, I still had the Gem. So, I figured I would use it to secure financing for the business from Hedra the Hutt. And, once that was done I cou…”

“Wait, wait, wait….” This time it was Canderous who interrupted her. “Are you saying that you took your planet’s most sacred relic, this very rare and very powerful Gem that, in the right hands, has the power to dominate people’s thoughts and wills, and you….” He stifled a laugh. “You pawned it to a Hutt for credits to open up a restaurant?”

While Ithra’s mouth dropped in speechless shock, Kye gave Canderous a disparaging scowl. “No,” she said irritably. “I only showed Hedra the Gem as proof of collateral. So, technically, I didn’t pawn it.” She looked around. “Anyone else have any more questions?”

“Please continue, Kye,” said Bastila.

“Anyway…,” Kye dragged out the word emphatically, “after business started to get pretty good, and it didn’t look like anyone was going to come looking for me, I took the Gem and hid it deep in a mine infested with mynocks for safe keeping. Then, over the next year or so, I paid Hedra back the loan.

“But, even though business was good, Co’Vanni still liked to gamble. Fair to say, he’s not bad at it for the most part, but he had a bit of a losing streak. Actually, he had a very long, losing streak,” she revised, “and he ended up borrowing a lot of credits from Hedra, and a few other less than savoury people—much more than he could possibly pay back, even if he sold his share of the business.”

“So Co’Vanni stole the Gem from you to pay back Hedra,” Rade concluded.

“Erm… well… sort of….” Kye hesitated. “He took it, although he probably views it more like ‘borrowing’ rather than ‘stealing.’ But he didn’t take it just to give to Hedra.”

“So Co’Vanni’s a Force user?” Bastila asked.

“Erm…n-o,” Kye said slowly. “He’s a …” She frowned a bit. “Why would you think he was a Force user?”

“Because we found a group of dead Mandalorian mercenaries in your mynock infested mine,” said Bastila. “And the only reason we got out alive was because your sister used her abilities to trick the mynocks into leaving. So if Co’Vanni has the Gem, and he’s not giving it to Hedra for payment of his debts, I’m assuming that he must be a Force user to want to keep it, and to have escaped that mine unscathed.”

“Well, Co’Vanni’s…erm… tricky, sometimes,” said Kye. “If he hired the mercenaries to go in the mine with him, he certainly didn’t have any intention on paying them. Most likely, he just used them to distract the Mynocks so he could escape with the Gem. He’s an opportunist, and he can be very sneaky when he wants to be.”

“Kye, if Co’Vanni left just before Rade got there,” Carth said, “and you were in Oasis with me and Mission, how did you know he had stolen the Gem and was heading to Onderon?”

“Same way we found out,” said Bastila. “Horace. Ithra used her power to seek his mind. I have no doubt that Kye did the same.”

“I did, but I’m sure I did it with more finesse,” Kye said proudly. “At any rate, I still was too late. I had just missed Co’Vanni leaving the port, when I bumped into Carth and Mission.”

“That’s why you were in such a hurry to leave,” said Carth. “You wanted to catch him up.”

Kye nodded. “But seeking Horace wasn’t the only reason I knew Co’Vanni was headed to Onderon.” She looked down at her datapad now connected to the console. “Co’Vanni received this transmission before he disappeared, just before your ship arrived on Degos V.” She pressed a single button on the datapad.


Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)
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Old 08-13-2006, 09:35 PM   #115
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Chapter 13 - Part 4

A large, colourful hologram of exploding fireworks suddenly spurted from the centre console, followed by loud and cheery, but flamboyantly cheesy, music and a computer generated blue-hued Twi’Lek announcer dressed in a sparkly sequin suit who spoke in smooth, sing-song baritone Basic.

“Hurry, hurry, hurry!” the announcer began. “Ti-ime is running Out, for the Greatest Gaming Extravaganza in all the known Galaxy!”

A passage of music played and an imaginary crowd cheered, while pop up banners with large flashing letters spelling out ‘Hurry’s and ‘Gaming Extravaganza’ in exceedingly bright splashes of colour as the scrolled up from behind the announcer.

“Tacky, I know,” Kye commented, catching Bastila’s eyebrows raising. “But it does grab your attention.”

“Indeed,” said Bastila.

“Bako, Lugjack, Tregald, aaa-nd Schickele!” the announcer continued, as a montage of pictures of happy people playing and winning each game appeared around him. “Uvide, Spinner Pits and everyone’s favourite, the Juuuu-bilee Wheels! Swoop Racing, Pit Fighting, and Dueling! And, don’t forget, the Largest Open Invitation Pazaak Tournament This Galaxy Has Ever Seen, with a Top Prize of FIVE MILLION GALACTIC CREDITS!”

“Don’t you just love the way this guy actually makes you hear the capital letters in the sentences?” Kye commented, as she casually leaned back in her chair to watch the advertisement.

“All Proceeds from this event will be donated to the Onderon Restoration Fund to Help Rebuild IZIZ! What better reason is there, I ask you, to Come and PLAY!” More applause. “It’s a Good Cause, Time is Short, Spaces are Limited, and YOU COULD WIN BIG!”

More music and more applause, and then the announcer continued his pitch. “The Planet is Onderon, the City is Iziz, and the Time is Now! Spaces Are Limited, but Registration is FREE! All Forms of Currency, ACCEPTED! No Credits? NO PROBLEM! Just bring along any items of value, and Trade Them In for Credits at the Valuator’s Booth!” A holographic blank form flashed on and off below the announcer, prompting the watcher to input their details and send it to the organizers. “So-ooooo? What are you waiting for?! Send in Your Registration Form TODAY, and YOU COULD BE A WINNER!”

“Then again, you could not be, too,” said Carth, as more music, applause and more pictures of happy, winning people collecting credits flashed everywhere around the virtual registration form.

“Shh! You’ll miss the best part,” said Kye.

In a very rapid tone, and decidedly lower monotone pitch the announcer said all in one breath, “Registration does not include antes, tournament fees, or any mandatory management charges for private games; odds of winning may vary; prizes shown here not typical of average winnings; trade-in valuations based on item’s current market value only; all games played in accordance with gaming code 4118.8.96; all fees final and non-refundable; organisers assume no liability for accidental injuries, dismemberment, or death during play,” as tiny, print scrolled rapidly across the bottom of the display.

“So-o, come to Onderon and Play! YOU COULD BE A WINNER!” The fireworks shot off again, and the announcer grinned broadly, as more banners with ‘Onderon’ and ‘Iziz’ and ‘Winner’ hovered around him. The upbeat music rose to a crescendo as the last fireworks exploded, then the hologram disappeared, leaving only the flashing form on the datapad screen.

“Well,” said Bastila. She cleared her throat. “That was… interesting.”

Kye grinned. “Notice, erm, anything…odd about it though?”

“You mean besides the guy sounding like a swoop race announcer on too much spice?” said Mission. “Sure had lots of disclaimers at the end.”

“Yeah,” agreed Canderous. “And what the heck is Gaming Code 4-1-whatever? I’ve sure never heard of it.”

“Rules, disclaimers, regulations. It sounds very… Jantessan,” said Rade.

Kye grinned. “Very. And that’s how I know Berland knows where to find the Gem. If he knew like you did that Co’Vanni had the Gem on Degos V, it wouldn’t take much effort to send a message ahead of you. And, it would take him even less time to find out that Co’Vanni likes to gamble and that he was in debt.”

“So, you’re going to help us then?” Bastila asked.

“For the moment,” said Kye. “But that doesn’t mean I trust you.”

“Fair enough,” said Rade. “Well, at least we know where to find for Co’Vanni once we get to Onderon.”.

“You mean, ‘look’ for him,” said Kye. “Finding him is going to be a bit more difficult. Even if there really is a gambling tournament going on.”

“But you said Co’Vanni was your business partner?” said Rade. “Surely you wouldn’t have any trouble spotting him.”

Kye was quiet.

“Okay, what are you ‘withholding’ this time?” Rade asked her.

“Well…remember when I said that Co’Vanni was tricky and sneaky?”

“Yes,” said Rade.

“And how I said he assumed the real Co’Vanni’s identity.”

“Ye-es,” Rade said slowly.

“Well, he’s a….” Kye paused. “Well…he sort of has this ability to….” She paused again. “Look, I’m really not sure exactly ‘what’ he is, or where he’s from. I never really asked, to be honest. It always seemed sort of rather…impolite to ask. At any rate, he’s going to be a bit difficult to locate. Especially if he… changes.”

Rade cleared his throat impatiently. “Changes?”

“Yeah, he does that sometimes. He’s a… shape-shifter.”

Rade slowly closed his eyes. “Great.”


Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)
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Old 08-14-2006, 03:24 AM   #116
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Three good Chapters. Great, looking foward to more.
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Old 08-14-2006, 04:00 PM   #117
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Chapter 14 - Part 1

Rade was lying in his bunk in the cargo hold, hands folded behind his head, staring at the ceiling, when the door opened and Bastila came in.

“Carth said we’ll coming out of hyperspace soon,” she said as she approached him. “Should be landing in Iziz within the hour. Did you get any sleep?”

“Yeah, some,” said Rade, although somewhat disingenuously.

She sat down on the edge of his bed. “You’re bothered by recalling your memories of Revan today, aren’t you?” although her question was more of a statement.

Rade let out a tired sigh, then gave Bastila a weak grin. “And you’re bothered that I’m bothered, is that it?”

Her eyes smiled at him.

Rade shook his head as he sat up. “Don’t be.” He took her hand and squeezed it reassuringly. "Revan’s gone. Forever. I promise.”

The corner of her mouth turned up in a soft grin. “But the memories still bother you.”

“They’re just fragments. Bits and pieces,” he said dismissively, but his eyes belied his worry.

“You’re not the same person now, Rade,” Bastila said. “No matter what Kye thinks.”

“I’m not worried by what she thinks about me,” Rade said somewhat defensively.

Bastila raised a brow. “Aren’t you?”

“No. Not at all. Not even a smidge.”

Bastila lowered her head, giving him a disbelieving look.

“Alright,” Rade conceded. “Maybe a smidge.” He sighed. “She really does hate me, you know. I can feel it every time she looks at me.”

“She’ll come around eventually. You’re Rade Chano now. Not Revan. In time, she’ll see the truth.” Bastila smiled at him, and caressed his cheek with her free hand.

Rade smiled back at her. “You have more faith in me than I do myself sometimes.” He kissed her hand, then began to draw her closer towards him. “How much time did you say we had before we landed?”


~~~~~~~~~


Mission and Jolee watched as the glowing yellow crystal on the garage workbench started to gradually change its colour from yellow to a pale green, from pale green to dark green, and then from dark green to light blue.

“Feel the shades, don’t think about them,” Kye said as she walked around Ithra who was sitting on the floor, legs crossed, eyes closed, and humming slightly.

“Let the resonance flow through you, not around you,” Kye instructed.

Ithra’s brow creased as she concentrated.

“Relax. Don’t pull it or push it. Move with it. Ride the ebbs and flows. Find the rhythm.”

The crystal flushed to a deep hue of indigo.

“That’s it,” said Kye. She stood behind Ithra. “Now, pull it. Gently. Softly.”

The crystal started to change again, becoming violet, then a deep, deep red. Ithra’s face began to show signs of strain when it was a deep orange-red, and the crystal began to vibrate, then started to bounce around on the table.

“You’re pulling too hard. Ease off.”

Suddenly the crystal shot off the table. With quick reactions, Mission shot out her hand and caught it. “Ow!” she said, suddenly dropping it to floor. “Hot!”

Kye rolled her eyes skyward, as Ithra opened hers. “What was that?” Kye asked of her sister. “I wouldn’t even pass you as a Third Level Novice with that attempt.”

“We didn’t study harmonics that much,” Ithra said defensively.

“Didn’t study har….?” Kye blinked, dumbfounded. “How can you learn anything without a solid base in harmonics? It’s like, teaching someone how to read without them knowing how to speak the language first.” She looked at Jolee. “Do the Jedi study the harmonics in the Force?”

He raised a wary brow. “Some. But not as in depth as all that.”

“Hmph,” Kye snorted. “Well,” she said to Ithra. “You’ve got a lot to learn.”

“I don’t see the point,” said Ithra. “That isn’t the Gem. It’s just a focusing crystal from Jolee's lightsaber.”

“Just a…?” Kye whispered a curse under her breath. “If you can’t manipulate the Force around a simple lightsaber crystal, how do you expect to do it with the Gem?”

Ithra sighed dejectedly, and looked down at the floor.

“Look, Ithra,” Kye said, kneeling down to eye-level with her sister. “I’m not saying that you’re horrible with harmonics, but you’re certainly not proficient enough to conduct a Tuning. Maybe in a few years, but certainly not yet.” She frowned slightly as she rose. “Which is actually a slightly worrying revelation.”

“How so?” asked Jolee.

“Well, if she’s not proficient enough to do it on her own, and Berland has plans for using the Gem in that manner, then he must have had someone else in mind to lead her.”

“His apprentice?” Mission suggested.

“No.” Kye paced for a moment, thinking. Then suddenly, she stopped dead. “Ithra, who survived?”

Ithra looked confused. “What do you mean?”

Slowly, Kye turned around to face Ithra, and her eyes narrowed. “Besides the Novices, who else survived Revan's massacre at the Haven?”

Ithra shifted uncomfortably.

Kye’s eyes darkened with anger. “You tell me right now, Ithra, or I’ll rip it out of your kriffin’ head!”

The ship jolted slightly. The Ebon Hawk had just come out of hyperspace, but Ithra looked at her sister as if she were responsible for the disturbance.

“Solti Co’Sulrani,” Ithra said quickly. “And Metcrit Do’Onvaleron. And Daenae Do’Vespran, too. But, Kye, they’re not… not the same.”

“Explain,” Kye ordered.

Just then, Carth came into the garage. “We’re on the approach to Onderon. I’ll be taking us off the autopilot in about…..” He paused. “Erm, sorry, did I interrupt something?”

“Yes,” said Kye. “Ithra, I’m waiting. Explain.”

“They’re not Keepers anymore, Kye. Not even… people. Not really.”

“Ex! Plain!” Kye growled, and this time, she outstretched her hand.

Ithra grimaced and her hand flew to her temples. “Stop it!” she said, clutching her head in her hands. “I’m trying to explain! It’s hard!”

“Then get on with it!”

“Hey! Just leave off her, will ‘ya?” Carth said, as he placed himself precariously between them.

Ithra’s pain abruptly ceased, and she glared up at her sister. “You,” she said accusingly, panting to get breath. “You are out of balance!”

“She’s just a kid,” Carth said quietly so only Kye could hear. “And she’s your sister.”

Kye stared at Carth for a moment, then took a deep breath. “Explain,” she said to Ithra. “And I’m not asking you again.”

“What’s going on?” Rade appeared in the doorway, closely followed by Bastila.

“We heard shouting,” said Bastila.

“Ithra said that there were Keepers who survived Revan’s massacre,” Jolee said to them.

Rade’s eyes widened. “Ithra? Is that true?”

“Yes,” said Ithra. “But it’s not what you think. They’re kept in the Foundry. They’re like… well, they’re in these sort of….” She paused. “There are these machines, and… and tubes and… ” She bit her lip, then shook her head. “I don’t want to think about it!” she cried out suddenly, obviously disturbed by the thought. She looked at Kye. “You want to know what happened to them? Then you can bloody well drag it out of my head yourself!”

Without warning and with singular focus in her eyes, Kye pushed past Carth and pressed her hand roughly against Ithra’s forehead. Ithra inhaled with renewed pain and her eyes widened until they were entirely rimmed with white.

“Kye!” Carth protested and lunged after her, but without even looking Kye merely brushed her free hand in his direction and he was frozen in mid-step.

In the next instant, Ithra’s ordeal was over, and she slumped forward on her hands and knees. Without expression, and looking very pale, Kye backed away from her, releasing Carth as she did so.

“Ithra, are you alright?” Mission asked, sidling up next to her and embracing her shoulders.

“Yes,” Ithra said, catching her breath as Mission helped her stand. “Yes, I’m fine. Really.” She managed a weak smile. “Thanks, Mission.”

Kye had now backed a considerable distance away from her sister and the others, but now her legs gave out and she sank to the floor on her knees. Then, she looked up to the ceiling and let out a shriek that bellowed with anguish, anger and grief. Covering her face with her hands, she leaned forward and began to weep.

Carth approached her cautiously. He made it to her without incident, and placed his hand lightly on her shoulder. Even so, she flinched. “It’ll be alright,” he said, trying to soothe her.

She looked up then, and her tearful eyes met Rade’s. But behind the tears, her eyes burned with hatred. With a single move, she pushed Carth aside and drew out the lightsaber that she had in her jacket. “I’ll kill you for what you did to them!” she hissed as she ignited her weapon in a blaze of red. “Do you hear me?! I’ll kill you!”


Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)
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Old 08-14-2006, 04:05 PM   #118
Diego Varen
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Another good Chapter Jasra.
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Old 08-15-2006, 04:32 AM   #119
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Friggin great chapters Jasra. It's been so long. It's so great to get to read more of your story! I can't wait to see how this turns out!


Some other really awesome Fanfics: Hidden shades of grey By JasraLantill, The Adventures of Jolee Bindo By Jae Onasi[/size]
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Old 08-15-2006, 06:37 AM   #120
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Chapter 14 - Part 2

((Glad to hear you're writing again, RP! Next chapter should be up within an hour or so. Just doing some final edits. I'm not very good at writing 'battle/action' scenes, so it's taking a while. Maybe you can give me some pointers?

-------edit--------

Ok, so it took more than an hour. Still... enjoy! ))


~~~~~~~~~~~


“Kye, stop!” Bastila said, but as she sent a Force Wave out to push Kye back, Kye reflected it and Bastila’s wave pushed the entire group back against the walls of the garage.

“You can’t use the Force against her like that,” Ithra said, as she disentangled herself from between Mission and Carth. “Not when she’s expecting it!”

“Now you tell me,” Bastila grumbled as she grappled for her lightsaber and struggled to her feet.

Rade, however, was already on his feet, with his own saber glowing hot with the golden light from the special crystal within. “You want a fight, Kye? You got it!”

While the others were still sorting themselves out, Kye launched herself at Rade and he leaped forward to meet her in the middle of the room with a mighty clash of saber beams.

“Rade, no!” Bastila and Carth both called out, but Rade and Kye were already parrying each other’s blows. Quickly and furiously they battled each other, sending out sparks as their blades smashed and grated together, neither one gaining or losing ground.

“You’re good,” Rade said to her as their blades finally locked for a moment, and they each paused, pressing for advantage. “But you can’t win, Kye.”

“We’ll see,” said Kye. “You taught me all you know, Revan.” She suddenly shoved him hard, then spun backwards, only to come slicing at him in a long sweeping downward arc, singing the fabric of Rade’s shirt as he swerved to avoid it.

By this time Bastila had ignited her own saber and she charged at Kye’s flank. But Kye was quick. She wheeled on Bastila with a skill and pace that sharply reminded Bastila of the day she herself had battled the Dark Lord Revan on board his ship. While still keeping Rade at bay, Kye’s blade crashed with Bastila’s in a succession of quick exchanges, finally managing to knock Bastila’s saber out of her hand and then kick her down to the floor.

Only Rade’s quick reactions stopped Kye’s next strike against Bastila, and their sabers locked over Bastila’s prone body.

“Bastila, move!” Rade said as his blade hovered dangerously over her head, grating against Kye’s. With some effort, Rade managed to land a hard kick to Kye’s hip. Off-balance, Kye tumbled backwards, allowing Bastila time to roll out of harms way.

Kye quickly found her feet just as Rade stepped up his attack. Blow after blocked blow, he pressed her further back to the aft side of the garage, but only for a moment. Their sabers locked again. “I have no quarrel with you, Kye,” Rade said, between clenched teeth as they battled for dominance. “Stop this now and we can talk about it!”

Bastila reached out with the Force, and her saber slid across the floor and into her hands. She was about to re-enter the fray, when Jolee grabbed her arm and held her back. “No, wait,” he said to her. “Just keep them on the far side. Carth and I have an idea.” He and Carth sprinted out the garage and down the corridor.

“The time for talking is over!” Kye snarled, and with a mighty grunt, she pushed forward, giving her the space to kick his knee. Off-balance, Rade stumbled back, and Kye swung. Rade arched backwards, narrowly avoiding her blade slicing him in two. As she followed through with a downward sweeping arc, Rade ducked and rolled, her blade passing just over his head.

“Stop it!” Ithra cried out to the both of them. “Just stop it! Both of you!”

But the battle continued. Soon, Kye’s nose was bleeding from a well-aimed elbow by Rade, but Rade was also bleeding—from a cut on his upper arm that hadn’t been totally cauterised by Kye’s blade.

“Ow!” Feeling a sharp pain in her thigh, Kye glared down at the astromech droid she had just bumped into, then angrily kicked it over and used a burst of the Force to shove it out of her way.

“Clumsy,” Rade said as he blocked her next blow. “Better watch where you’re going.”

His insult made her renew her attack, and Kye pushed forward. But, Rade continued to block, and soon had pushed her back. It was obvious that both were tiring from the duel, but it was also obvious that neither was giving up just yet.

“I don’t have to look to know where you’re going!” Kye spat at him. She made an unexpected twist. “You’re going straight to hell!” she said as her blade swung towards Rade’s neck. But quite suddenly, and for no apparent reason, she lost her balance and her blade totally missed her mark. Her eyes widened with surprise as she staggered unsteadily backwards, but she quickly regained her footing and stood ready to defend herself.

But confused himself by her sudden unsteadiness, Rade had paused. It was then he spotted Jolee and Carth helping to right T3 near the aft corridor. As soon as T3 was standing solidly on the floor, Jolee winked at Revan.

“Put your saber down, Kye,” Rade said. “It’s over.”

“Not while I have blood left in my veins!” Breathing heavily now and increasingly unsteady on her feet, Kye still managed a few more good strikes at him, but she seemed surprised that Rade was not attacking in kind, but merely defending against her blows while continuing to stare over her shoulder. Confused, Kye took the chance to look in the direction of Rade’s gaze. And then she saw it. The droid T3--and the empty syringe it held in one of its utility arms.

“You drugged me?” she said incredulously. She stumbled again, but as Rade moved forward to disarm her, she raised her blade and swung at him wildly, keeping him at bay.

“Is that what you did to them?” she asked, panting for breath while struggling to keep on her feet and focus her eyes. “Drugged them? Instead of denying them death? So you could…. access their minds?” Kye’s knees gave way and she sank to the floor. “You sick bastard.”

Woooo the droid whistled dolefully.

Rade approached her and easily switched off her saber and took it from her limp hand. She was struggling to stay conscious now, the drug injected into her by T3 now starting to take full effect. “You mutilated them,” she said, her voice weak. Preserved them in…kolto…. Only to keep… their… consciousness… alive.” She collapsed flat onto the floor. “You monster…” Her eyes closed.

Rade knelt close to her and was just feeling for her pulse on her neck when Jolee and Carth joined him. “Her breathing’s rapid and heavy, but her pulse is steady and strong,” said Rade.

The old Jedi nodded. “She’ll be fine. What I gave her won’t last long,” he said. “Couple of hours at most. But she’ll be more comfortable in the med bay.”

But as Jolee and Rade started to lift her, Carth said, “No. I’ll take her.” He lifted her gently, and followed Jolee away to the med bay.

“I’m sorry,” said Ithra, head low and looking down at the floor as Rade approached her. “I didn’t mean to upset her like that. But, I just couldn’t tell her.” She grimaced as if the very thought of the artificially kept Keeper ‘survivors’ made her nauseous. “It was too horrible.”

“It’s not your fault, Ithra,” said Mission, patting Ithra’s shoulders.

“Mission’s right,” said Rade. “Your sister’s hatred for me was bound to come out sooner or later.” His expression grew worried. “But I certainly don’t remember doing the things she accused me of.”

“Only Berland has access to that part of the Foundry,” said Ithra. “He restricted it, after I wandered in after him and saw… ‘them.’” She swallowed hard. “It was so ghastly—to see the three of them floating in those tanks, mutilated and….” She let out a shuddering breath, then shivered. “Berland helped me forget about it. But, now, seeing Kye again, I… “ She paused, taking a deep breath, then exhaling slowly. “I don’t know why Berland keeps them, but, now that I think about it, it seems likely that’s how he obtained the knowledge to finish teaching me and the rest of the Novices.”

“That’s why you have gaps,” said Mission.

“Gaps?” Rade asked.

“Kye said that Ithra had gaps in her knowledge base,” said Mission. “Makes sense if Berland was getting his information to teach her by…”

“By non-traditional means,” Bastila finished for her, having noticed Ithra’s increasing discomfort on the subject.

Mission nodded. “Yeah.”

“Well, if Revan left Berland on Jantessa,” said Bastila, “it’s more likely that Berland, not Revan, was responsible for… the suvivors’ continued captivity.”

“Well, Kye was right about one thing,” Rade said. “We don’t have much time. We have to find that Gem before Berland does.”

Carth’s voice came over the intercom. “All right people, we’re landing in Iziz in ten minutes. Should be pretty smooth this time, but all the same, fasten your seat belts.”


Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)
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