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Old 03-23-2006, 02:02 AM   #41
Jae Onasi
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Chapter 6: Mik'oth

For your reading and dining pleasure, may I present to you Chapter 6. I really need to actually go get some sleep now.


Chapter 6: Mik’oth


“Your wounds have healed fully, but you must not overexert yourself for several more days, Padawan Onasi,” the 3MD droid stated, as I finished dressing--finally--in my own clothes to leave the medical facility.

“I’ll follow your orders, 3MD,” I replied.

“I’ll make sure she follows those orders, too, 3MD,” Jolee said, striding into my room.

The 3MD droid turned to face us both, and said, “I’m relieved to hear that, Master Bindo. Jedi, and Padawans in particular, have a tendency to disregard the advice of medical droids.”

Smiling, I answered, “I promise to behave. I don’t believe I want to see the inside of a kolto tank ever again.”

If a droid could grin, I believe 3MD would have had one on his face right then. Jolee and I left the facility and got into his speeder.

“A little bright for a Jedi, isn’t it?” I ribbed Jolee about the shiny red speeder.

“Since when have I ever been that average Jedi?” grinned Jolee, putting on some sunglasses and starting the speeder.

“Where are we off to today?” I asked.

“We have to be at the Jedi temple in 3 hours to meet with the Council—they have a mission for us. So, I thought we’d go check out the Eloni cantina and see if they finally got a new Bith accordion player,” Jolee smiled widely. He drove through parts of Coruscant that I’d never seen before. Coming from a much less urbanized world myself, the wide varieties of architecture and non-stop activities of vehicles and sentients still fascinated me, even after spending a couple years here as an apprentice.
We arrived shortly at the Eloni cantina.

Jolee smiled, “Just a little warning. Mik’oth is the owner. He’s a Twi’lek, and hopefully he’s here. He is very well connected in certain circles that we might consider rather shady, and his help on certain issues can be invaluable. However, he is a bit, shall we say, on the smarmy side.”

He opened the door and motioned for me to go through. I cocked an eyebrow in question about Mik’oth, but said nothing. The inside of the cantina was a well-lit, colorful place, obviously designed for amusement, and I thought, likely some wild times. The Bith band was already playing some upbeat music suitable for the lunchtime crowd that was beginning to gather. I had the distinct feeling that some of the oddly placed artwork was there on the walls to cover some gouges from blaster bolts. There was even a small slice in one of the pillars, as if a lightsaber had hit it.

“It’s the Lekku-less Wonder!” someone exclaimed loudly towards us.

We both turned towards the sound, Jolee grinning broadly, “why, I thought I recognized the voice of the Tail-headed Tornado! About time you got a new Bith accordion player,” Jolee and the Twi’lek owner of the cantina embraced warmly, smacking each other on the back several times.
“Where are my manners?” Jolee said, “Let me introduce you two. Mik’oth, this is Jae Onasi. Jae, this is my good friend Mik’oth. I’ve pulled Mik’oth’s lekku out of more scrapes than he cares to admit.”

Mik’oth was a bright blue Twi’lek with two long lekku projecting out from his head, wrapping around his neck, and then extending down his back. They moved adroitly in concert with his speech. He dressed in a very expensive dark navy suit and tailored white shirt with a vest dotted in a large number of round, multi-faceted, brightly colored gemstones that glittered with every move he made. Several large-stoned rings adorned his fingers. For all his obvious wealth, however, I sensed a cheerful, if worldly, Twi’lek.

He took my offered hand, shook it warmly and then held onto it gently, looking me up and down, admiringly, “What a lovely creature you’ve brought to me, Jolee. Such gorgeous long auburn hair and striking blue eyes. Her skin is perhaps lighter than some of my patrons’ tastes, but my, such a lithe yet deliciously feminine body! You are a dancer, aren’t you, dear?” Mik’oth beamed at me.

I was not sure whether to blush furiously at his rather frank appraisal or laugh at his over-the-top question. Minding my feelings, I managed to keep the blush to a slight pink on my cheeks while chuckling a bit.

“Oh, stop, now, you old Twi’lek. You’re embarrassing Jae. Go twine your lekku around some other poor girl, she’s my Padawan,” Jolee waved a hand at him in mock offense. Looking over at me, he pronounced, “Now you know why I call him a Tornado. His mouth goes so fast it’s like a whirlwind swirling around you.”

"I'm pleased to meet you," I said with a smile.

“I’m honored to have such a lovely Jedi grace my humble cantina. Occasionally, we let this old coot in, too. Come in, come in, sit down,” Mik’oth motioned to a table with a nice view of the cantina floor and waved for one of the buxom servers. Her clothing, what there was of it, did not leave much to the imagination. “Bring 3 of those new Ryloth beers that we just got in yesterday, my dear,” he said to her. She smiled at us all and immediately left for the drinks.

“I bet you’ve had those in your basement for 10 years and are just trying to pawn them off on us,” Jolee quipped.

“Nothing but the worst for you, my old friend,” Mik’oth retorted happily. “So what brings you to my lowly establishment?”

“I want to find out about the Exchange boss on Telos, Naren Norelden, whose mercs almost took out my Padawan, here. They got through all security with blasters entirely unchallenged to try to assassinate a family that was going to testify against this boss. I’m sure the Republic will take care of him after they get out of their interminable conferences, but I’m concerned he’s going to become more dangerous. We need to get him to justice before he tries to kill more little girls and their families,” and Jolee briefly recounted the events on the ship as the server brought the beers for us to savor.

Mik’oth’s eyes widened as he looked over at me. “Beautiful and courageous, eh? The Jedi really messed up when they stuck you with this bald old fox,” he smirked. Then he appeared to reconsider, “Or, maybe not. You’d be too much of a distraction for a man young enough to care.”

Jolee rolled his eyes and then winked. “I may be old, but I’m not dead, Mik’oth. What are your thoughts on this Naren?”

Still peering at me with obvious pleasure in his eyes, Mik’oth answered seriously, “The Telos boss is bad, but he’s not the worst of the pack. He thinks he’s top kath hound, but he is an upstart looking to expand territory. He is making some of the other bosses very distressed by trying to unite some of the younger hothead bosses against some of the more established but less violent ones. He is extraordinarily charismatic, though, and has attracted an unusual number of followers. This one has done some nasty things to more than just one family or child,” Mik’oth looked at Jolee and leaned towards him to speak more quietly, “his predations are not limited to humans, either. One of my cousins was a victim of his. I won’t be sorry, Jolee, if you were to exact a bit of ‘Jedi Justice,’ as it were,” and he left the implication heavy in the air between us all.

“It would be more appropriate for us to try to rehabilitate him,” I stated seriously.

Mik’oth threw back his head and laughed, “Rehabilitate! Oh, you are witty, too!”

Jolee commented, “Mik’oth, you know we have to try to work these things out, so Jae’s right. We’re not trying to make more work for ourselves, you know.”

“Ah, well, I suppose you’re right,” Mik’oth replied, sighing. “I’ll see what I can dig up from my sources and get back to you. In the meantime, it is my duty to make sure you are properly fed after the slop they gave you in the medical facility. I am bringing some prime Rylothian beef and the best steamed Mon Calamari root vegetables. Jae, you’ll have to ask him about our little escapades in the Ukatis system, where we liberated funds from the rich to give to the poor. What a time we had together. Of course, now I’m a much more respectable man than that.”

Jolee just chortled at that. Mik’oth threw us a backwards glance and grin as he went to tell a server to bring us the meal.

We indulged in this fine treat while Mik’oth floated from table to table, garrulously greeting guests as if they were long lost friends, even if they had been in for breakfast that same day. In the middle of raising another bite to my mouth, I suddenly stopped, fork poised in mid-air. My senses tingled with the danger suddenly entering the cantina.

“I noticed it too,” Jolee murmured, looking around with one hand near his lightsaber.

Apparently, Mik’oth had a preternatural sense for danger as well—he was already behind the bar looking for something, likely a blaster.

“There,” I discreetly pointed out the small group of mercenaries to Jolee.

“Blast it, I was just starting to enjoy my steak!” Jolee groused while pulling his lightsaber off his belt.

At just that moment, one of them threw a grenade, and pure sound energy radiated out from it, nearly deafening me before I could use the Force to shield the sound and blunt the volume. We got up to meet them in battle. The mercs noticed our purposeful movements in the middle of the screams and wild activity of attempted escapes and targeted us. Their look of recognition and subsequent sneers told us that we were the prey.

“Look sharp, Jae. If he’s got one grenade, he likely has more,” Jolee cautioned, “Be ready to do the breath control techniques in case he throws a poison grenade at us so that you don’t breathe anything in.” We had been practicing breath control for a few weeks now, and I was able to let the air in my lungs sustain me for about an hour before I had to start breathing once more.

One of them opened fire with a heavy blaster, and Jolee closed on him, neatly deflecting the blaster bolts aimed at him harmlessly into the ground. I concentrated on one of the other brutes, who was reaching back to throw something, and I realized it was another grenade. I had to cross the ground quickly, and jumped in the air to close the distance rapidly. He tossed the grenade just then. Seeing it in mid-air, I ignited my lightsaber, and brought the aqua blade down to cleave the device in two before it hit the ground. Two pieces of grenade fell quickly and harmlessly to the floor and scattered under some tables.

The jump brought me within striking distance of the would-be grenadier. He pulled out his blaster, and got into a good stance to fire upon me, just as another mercenary turned to train his sights on me also. I swung my blade back up, then out a bit, and whipped it around to cut off the barrel of the blaster just in time before he fired.

Jolee made short work of his opponent, and ran over to assist me. He engaged the closer of the two men, who pulled out a vibroblade and made a well-controlled attack at Jolee. Jolee parried the man’s attack, sparks flashing off the surface of the two blades. He stepped slightly out to the side to take advantage of the opening and attacked, slicing across the mercenary’s middle. His opponent, unable to deflect the blow in time, immediately fell to the ground.

My opponent dropped his useless gun and whipped out a long dagger. It was obvious he was no stranger to knife fighting, and he made several quick slashing motions towards me, trying to find an opening in my defense. I dodged one attack and blocked another, but when he came rushing with the third attack, I sidestepped him and brought the lightsaber blade down on the arm holding the knife. His arm fell to the ground and the knife skittered across the floor. The thug looked at the stump of his arm and collapsed to the floor in obvious agony, and the battle was over.

Mik’oth came over to the one still living, his face purpling with rage, grabbed him up by his shirt, and said, “Why are you doing this? Talk!”

The man sighed, still in considerable pain, but stayed silent.

Jolee stared at his eyes, and gave a subtle wave of his hand, “You feel safe from the Exchange here. You want to talk to us.”

The thug’s eyes glazed over, and he parroted, “I feel safe from the Exchange here. I want to talk to you.”

Jolee said, pleasantly, “I thought you’d feel that way, lad. Now tell us who you are working for.”

The injured man replied, “Naren Norelden.”

Jolee went on, “What does Naren want with us?”

“Revenge for killing one of his top men and saving the family.”

“Why is Naren trying to grab Exchange territory?” Jolee asked.

“He’s trying to build a separate branch of the Exchange for himself, so he can be the top kath hound, but he’s too stupid to see he’s being used.” the man answered.

That made Jolee stop and think a moment, and then he continued, “Who is using him?”

“He’s, ah,” he answered, and then he suddenly collapsed in death throes, and a faint green tint suffused his skin.

“Jae?” Jolee looked at me with a questioning glance to see if there was anything I could do with my healing.

I touched his forehead and stretched out in the Force. He was gone. “I think it was a poison that took him. His injuries didn’t cause his death.”

Mik’oth chimed in, “It’s crystalline anithe. It will activate under certain radio frequencies and cause a rapid death just like this. It’s the green skin tint that gives it away.”

Jolee jogged to the door to see if anyone else was out there. I stretched out to feel the Force at the same time. Neither of us saw or felt anything.

“There may be no one nearby. If they implanted the transmitter along with the poison, they may have activated it remotely,” continued Mik’oth, explaining the rest of the mechanism of the man’s death. I gently closed his blank eyes.

Jolee returned to us, speaking to someone on his comlink, “Yes, we’ll make sure to have the authorities send the bodies to the temple.” He closed up the comlink, and said, “there’s something dark behind all this, and hopefully the autopsies will give us some information and insight.”

The authorities arrived very quickly, and after Jolee gave them some instructions, they shuttled the bodies over to the Jedi temple for further examination.

Mik’oth circulated among the patrons who were not able to leave when the shooting began, making sure everyone was all right.

“We’re supposed to stay for some questions,” Jolee informed me.

“Come with me,” Mik’oth beckoned to us, having finished checking on his patrons. “We’ll sit over in my office.”

He looked at me with a pleasantly critical eye. “I daresay, my dear, that you indeed are still recovering—you’re shaking like a leaf. You may not feel much like eating right now, but I think you do need a little something. I’ll go get a few things and tell the authorities we’re here.”

He made me sit down at a small table in his office overlooking the cantina, and then he disappeared. My stomach roiled a bit from both the attack and my sudden extreme fatigue. We saw him speak briefly with one of the police, and then shortly after that he returned with some steaming dishes.

“Eat, Jae. Start with the soup—it’ll soothe your stomach a bit,” Jolee commanded, ladling some soup into a bowl for me. “I know you don’t feel like eating much right now, but you’re looking a bit pale, and you’ll need the energy, especially since you are still recovering. Our meeting with the Council will be coming up after we leave here, and it’s not going to be brief.”

I lifted a spoonful of soup for a taste. It was savory, with just a hint of warmth from the spices. After several sips of soup, I had recovered sufficiently to enjoy the rest of the meal.

“Since you didn’t get to finish the steaks for which my little cantina is famous, I brought you another,” Mik’oth said, handing me a fresh plate of food. “Jolee, should I regale this charming young Jedi with a tale of our exploits, or should you?”

“Are you kidding? I already missed out on the first steak, I’m taking advantage of the second. You talk, I’ll eat. I’m going to correct your numerous mistaken interpretations, however.” Jolee picked up another bite of steak.

Mik’oth settled down comfortably in the leather chair that he pulled out from behind his desk. “Let’s see, how we got involved in the Ukatis system might make a good yarn.”

“Don’t forget to tell her how we met,” Jolee piped up.

“Hush, eat your food. You show disrespect for my steak by not enjoying it. I’ll get to that part,” Mik’oth retorted. “Now where was I. Oh, yes. I had some close family in the Ukatis system, and when I heard about the interdiction of the system, I knew I needed to act.”

Jolee snorted, “You call a fifth cousin twice removed close family? Come on, you saw a business opportunity.”

Mik’oth sniffed dramatically, “Twi’leks consider all family to be close. I won’t deny that the possibility of a new business outlet was rather attractive. But we digress. The King of the Ukatis system blocked all trade in order to keep an iron control over the population. If the people were starving, they were going to be preoccupied with finding food instead of creating uprisings. My cousin was one of the starving, and I had to help him. We devised a plan to, ah, redistribute the wealth so people wouldn’t die from a lack of food and medical supplies.”

“You robbed from the rich to give to the poor, eh?” I noted, grinning.

Jolee jumped in, “well, if they’d actually been caring people instead of spoiled, selfish aristocrats, they would have gladly given up some of that wealth to help the little babies and children.”

“Yes, they would have. Now let me continue,” Mik’oth wagged a finger at Jolee. “I had accomplished several ‘liberation runs’ when I got detained on the planet by an enforcer.”

“And Mik’oth didn’t know I had arrived discreetly on the planet to reconnoiter the situation for the Jedi,” Jolee interrupted.

Mik’oth ignored the interruption with a smile and went on, “The enforcers are not known for their gentle natures. Their physical ‘ministrations’ could be rather intense. Mine was a typical brute, but showed a little more humor than the average enforcer. He decided to have a little fun at my expense, and he paraded me through the streets before tying me by my lekku to a tree to swing in the breeze. After awhile, I guess my incoherent utterances must have bored him, or he decided he had another victim to beat, and so there I was, left tied to the tree for everyone to view. Of course, no one dared untie me, for fear of angering the enforcers.”

“Except me, because I was too young and brash to concern myself with such consequences,” Jolee added, “I waited til dark, and then climbed up the tree to release him.”

“Do you know what he said to me, after I’d been up there the better part of the day? He said, “Hi, I’m Jolee Bindo. Do you need help or do you just like hanging out?” Mik’oth stated dramatically, rolling his eyes.

“Jolee, you didn’t!” I exclaimed, smiling at how very outrageous his question had been.

“I did. I think he would have clobbered me for that if he’d been able,” Jolee commented, grinning.

“Jolee rescued me, and when he found out what I was doing, he smuggled me aboard his ship and dodged 3 enforcer ships to get me out of the system. He brought me here to Coruscant to speak before the Jedi Council about the situation. Of course, I perhaps neglected to state that we had freed some aristocrats of their excess wealth and brought in some badly needed food to the impoverished lower classes while we were there. It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship—Jolee with his expert piloting skills, me with my inside contacts, it was nearly unbeatable,” Mik’oth finished with a slightly nostalgic sigh.

“Looks like the police are ready for us, Jolee,” I observed.

We informed them of what happened with the mercenaries and gleaned information from the forensic investigators. Mik’oth joined us as we prepared to leave the cantina and return to the Jedi temple. He had a small package for me.

“Onderonian willek juice cheesecake. I thought you might want a little taste of home,” he said, and then in an exaggerated whisper, added, “I’ll warn you, though, the chef does not go light on the sauce. One bite might be enough to affect the faculties, you know.”

Jolee shook his head, grinning, “You old schmooze. You’re just trying to get in Jae’s good graces.”

Mik’oth beamed in my direction, “Of course I am. It never hurts to be in the good graces of a Jedi as lovely as your delightful Padawan. Jae, if you ever decide to dump this old man and the Order, you will come and be a dancer here, won’t you, my dear?” He looked at me with such artfully innocent eyes that I could not help but laugh.

“If I ever decide to be a dancer, Mik’oth, you’ll be the first one I contact,” I replied, with a teasing wink.

Jolee could only shake his head in amusement. “Come on, Jae, I need to get you out of here before he piles it on any higher.”

Mik’oth sighed, “Yes, and I do have to get back to the clean-up. Now that the authorities have completed their investigation, I need to make preparations for the evening crowd so that today’s income isn’t a complete disaster. I’ll let you know if I hear anything else going on in the Exchange. And Jae, do please come back and grace my cantina with your charming presence, preferably often. You can come with or without the Lekku-less Wonder, here.” He waved us out.

We got into the speeder, and Jolee eased it into traffic. I commented, “Mik’oth is quite a unique character.”

Jolee would have doubled over laughing at the understatement had he not been driving, “That he is, Jae, that he is.”

“We’re going to have some very interesting information for the Council. I just hope they don’t lecture me about the excess action so soon after my release from the medical facility,” I noted.

“Don’t worry,” Jolee said, putting the sunglasses on once more, “that’s what a master is there for—to keep Padawans out of trouble with the Council.” We drove off towards the Jedi temple for our meeting.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

Read The Adventures of Jolee Bindo and see the amazing Peep Surgery
Story WIP: The Dragonfighters
My blog: Confessions of a Geeky Mom--Latest post: Security Alerts!
Love Star Trek AND gaming? Check out Lotus Fleet.


Last edited by Jae Onasi; 03-23-2006 at 09:53 PM. Reason: Changed spelling before Hallucination could notice ;)
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Old 03-23-2006, 02:12 AM   #42
Diego Varen
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Is that your longest Chapter ever? Anyway another great Chapter and again I could imagine Jolee's voice in my head. Well done.
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Old 03-23-2006, 03:23 AM   #43
JediMaster12
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Wow. That's the longest yet. Still follows the standards of Jolee Bindo. Keep it up Jae.

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Old 03-23-2006, 03:53 AM   #44
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Dang that was long. I kept reading, and scrolling down, and reading, and scrolling down, thinking, "is this ever going to end?" None the less, a great job once again Jae. You're really churning out the chapters eh? I really wanted to slap the Twilek dude for his obvious over the top flirting. Well, keep up the great work! Can't wait for the next chapter!


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 03-23-2006, 01:10 PM   #45
Jae Onasi
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Well, the Muse wouldn't let me go this time, I guess, and so out it all came. It's not the longest thing I've ever written by far (that was a 28 page seminar paper for a history class). I think most of my chapters have been about 4 pages in Word, and this particular one was about 5 1/2 (so about 40% longer), and I still didn't feel like I gave the Jolee story the attention it really deserved.

RenegadeBore, if you felt like slapping him, then I managed to appropriately put in words the smarmy image I had in my head of him. I wanted a way to describe the Padawan Jae character's features without using the 'character looks in a mirror and describes himself' method, so I decided to try something different.

I do appreciate you all taking the time to read it and write your opinions.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

Read The Adventures of Jolee Bindo and see the amazing Peep Surgery
Story WIP: The Dragonfighters
My blog: Confessions of a Geeky Mom--Latest post: Security Alerts!
Love Star Trek AND gaming? Check out Lotus Fleet.

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Old 03-23-2006, 08:06 PM   #46
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Another excellent chapter, Jae, and only 5 days after the last chapter. I thought we would have to wait until the end of the month at least. But hey, I'm in no way complaining here. I'm sure there are a lot of other fan fic writers around here that would like to get the services of your muse though, heh-heh-heh.


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Old 03-23-2006, 09:26 PM   #47
Jae Onasi
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Originally Posted by Hai Wan
Another excellent chapter, Jae, and only 5 days after the last chapter. I thought we would have to wait until the end of the month at least. But hey, I'm in no way complaining here. I'm sure there are a lot of other fan fic writers around here that would like to get the services of your muse though, heh-heh-heh.

Actually, the Muse got me because the flu got me, and I couldn't do much else but stay in bed for a couple days. Laptops are so convenient. I was waiting for the rest of my volunteers to report in so I can do my report, which is due in a few days, and we're not quite done with taxes yet (but do get a refund, yay!), so the Muse is on hold for about a week or til we get done with those 2 tasks, (hopefully sooner rather than later.).
Thanks!


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

Read The Adventures of Jolee Bindo and see the amazing Peep Surgery
Story WIP: The Dragonfighters
My blog: Confessions of a Geeky Mom--Latest post: Security Alerts!
Love Star Trek AND gaming? Check out Lotus Fleet.

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Old 03-24-2006, 12:41 AM   #48
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Actually a witch cursed me, WRITER'S BLOCK!

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Old 03-24-2006, 09:42 AM   #49
Jae Onasi
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Actually a witch cursed me, WRITER'S BLOCK!
You can borrow my Muse for the time being. I just need her back when I start writing again.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

Read The Adventures of Jolee Bindo and see the amazing Peep Surgery
Story WIP: The Dragonfighters
My blog: Confessions of a Geeky Mom--Latest post: Security Alerts!
Love Star Trek AND gaming? Check out Lotus Fleet.

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Old 03-25-2006, 01:53 AM   #50
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Actually my familiar found mine, the queen, the goddess, my inspiration

I look forward to the next chapter Jae.

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Old 03-28-2006, 11:35 PM   #51
Jae Onasi
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Chapter 7

Well, after writing about 10 pages of prose in a report, waiting on some data from one more person to complete that report, and working on some other information to continue doing taxes, I just had to take a little break and think about something entirely different. So, here's Ch. 7. If I weren't so tired from staying up way too late writing it , I'd polish it a bit more, but I'll post it for now until I can get a little more creative.


Chapter 7: A Mission

We stood waiting outside the Council chambers for our meeting. Stepping over to peer out the window at the famed Thousand Fountains in the courtyard below, I took a deep breath and straightened the collar on my robe once more.

“That’s about the 20th time you’ve adjusted that robe,” Jolee observed, “you’re not nervous about talking to these masters, are you? You’ve been here before.”

“Yes, actually I am,” I admitted. It was pointless to be dishonest with a Jedi, particularly a Jedi with whom one had a Master-Padawan bond. Such Force bonds allowed those connected to sense each other’s feelings and sometimes even thoughts. Picking at my robe, however, made my apprehension quite obvious to anyone.
Continuing, I said, “These Jedi are the premier of our Order, and I don’t want to make a bad impression. I’m concerned about what they’re going to say about the transport incident, and I admit I’m a little excited to finally be going on a mission.”

“Jae, I have great faith that you will do well, and I’ll handle the transport issue if it comes up, don’t you worry. Remember, every single Master in that room was a Padawan at one time. It’s not like we become Jedi Gods when we reach Master rank, you know. We all put on our robes the same way. It just means we Masters have been in so long we don’t know what else to do but be good Jedi.” He stole a wicked grinning glance my way, “At least you have the option of cantina dancing."

Exasperated, I tossed my datapad playfully across the antechamber towards his head. The datapad stopped in mid-air as Jolee easily levitated it. Suddenly, he pushed it back hard at me, and I was expected to catch it in mid-air. Just as I was about to draw it into my hand, however, it froze, suspended above the ground, and then flew away. Talin Kayl caught it. He walked towards me to return it and stood close enough that with his height I had to look up at his face.

He held it out for me to take, saying with a slight upturn to his lips, “A rather plebian use of your skills, don’t you think?”

Silently, I took back the datapad from his hand. Being chided was not something I was expecting.

Jolee walked over towards us to greet him. “Jedi Talin. How are you? I assume you’re going to the same meeting we are?”

“Master Jolee,” Talin smiled thinly at him and then turned his gaze back to me. “I was just returning your Padawan’s datapad to her and reminding her that our power is a gift to be utilized appropriately.”

“So sure are you that we were engaging in rather useless levitation when in fact we were practicing levity?” Jolee responded coolly with one eyebrow lifted in question. “A good diplomat knows some things are not always as they appear.”

Rebuked, Talin nodded to Jolee. “You are right, Master Jolee. I momentarily forgot this most basic lesson in diplomacy. Please forgive me, Padawan Jae.”

“No offense taken,” I replied.

Talin went on, “I have been called before the Council for this meeting, as you both have.”

The two large ornately carved wooden doors of the Council chambers swung open. I took a deep breath and composed myself.

Winking, Jolee whispered to me, “Jae, don’t forget to play it up for Vrook,”

Arranging the most innocent doe-eyed look on my face that I could muster, I said, “How would it be if I prostrated myself at your feet?”

Jolee just shook his head, “No reverence for elders. What is the galaxy coming to? Come on, let’s go see what task they have for us today.”

The three of us entered, though I followed slightly behind out of respect for Jolee’s rank of Master. Talin followed slightly behind him as well, I noticed. He may have been rather self-righteous, but at least he showed respect for Jolee’s long experience as a Jedi. As we silently approached the small circle of Masters, Talin and I bowed our heads slightly to them. Apparently, some of the Masters were occupied with other assignments, for there were only four in the room today—Masters Vandar, Vrook, Kavar, and Vash.

Master Kavar had a look of pleased relief, and noted, “Jae, I’m very happy that you look so well healed after the transport incident. Your injuries caused great concern.”

“Thank you, Master Kavar. I am feeling much better. I have to give credit to Masters Jolee and Vandar and Jedi Talin for their healing assistance. I don’t believe I’d be standing here without them.”

Talin nodded slightly towards me, acknowledging the thanks.

Master Vrook then added with a slight frown, “Still, it is important for you to take extra care. We do not like to lose any of our Order, and we do not have so many Jedi that we can risk ourselves needlessly.”

Jolee came to my defense. “Vrook! We already talked about this a several days ago. We would have done the same exact thing in that situation. None of us could allow another person to die if we could help it. I find no fault in her actions,” he argued.

Master Vandar held up a hand, staying any further discussion on the matter. “Already have we agreed that correct were Padawan Jae’s actions. No further is there discussion.”

“I would respectfully disagree with the Council that the matter should be closed,” Talin spoke up.

“Oh, know you the Council’s mind so well you can question their decision?” Vandar asked, challenging Talin’s audacity in questioning the Council.

Talin stopped a moment to collect his thoughts in order to express himself appropriately, “I mean no disrespect to the Council and I accept the judgment of this body in matters regarding members of our Order. However, I think Master Vrook brings up an important point. I agree completely with the Council that her decision was entirely appropriate. The execution of that decision is what caused this unfortunate incident.”

Jolee interjected, “My Padawan is my responsibility, Jedi Talin. Any fault in her training is mine.”

Talin answered, “I do not mean to impugn your efforts, Master Jolee. Her skill in healing and her other Force powers have increased exponentially while under your tutelage.”

Much as I disliked being the object of such discussion, I had to admit to myself that Talin did have a gift for diplomacy. He mixed careful language with a considered attempt to forge a path that would connect both Vrook’s and Jolee’s opinions, combined with the certain brashness in just knowing that his path was the correct route through the challenge.

Talin continued, “But while her skills are indeed improving greatly, I believe there needs to be more balance in the development of her Force powers and her fighting skills in order to minimize the risk of future incidents such as this. Training with someone who is a lightsaber specialist could be very beneficial in rounding out her education as a Padawan.”

Master Vandar asked Jolee, “Your thoughts we would seek on this matter.”

Jolee and I both knew Talin was right on that matter. While Jolee fought well with a lightsaber, it was not his area of expertise, and my lightsaber skills were, well, at a Padawan level.

Jolee considered his response, and said with a bit of a smile, “Jedi Talin speaks with a wisdom greater than his years, which is quite refreshing to see in someone that young. However, we would have to be assigned here to Coruscant to get the extra training.”

Master Kavar added, “What are your thoughts, Jae?”

“I have no desire to fault Master Jolee’s training. I have learned a great deal in a very short time. However, after catching the blaster bolt with my thigh instead of my lightsaber, it is obvious that I could use further instruction in lightsaber use. I have absolutely no desire to have such a personal experience with the kolto tank ever again,” I commented. Knowing chuckles could be heard among the Masters. Apparently, they had also had a similar experience with kolto.

Master Vash added, “We appreciate your candid thoughts in this matter, and we had come to a similar conclusion.”

Master Vandar went on, “For this reason are you three here before us. Have need of all your skills we do.”

My heart sped a little in anticipation of my first real mission, though I tried to concentrate on maintaining my calm.

Master Kavar delineated the mission for the three of us in the manner of someone very experienced in doing military briefings. “You must find out what is happening with the Exchange on Telos. We sense there is something greater and darker behind Norelden’s maneuverings, and we need to find that underlying force. We also received a request for a meeting with one of the leaders of the planet Li’adin, which is past Telos in the Outer Rim. Their culture is quite reclusive, and so their request is rather unusual. They have mentioned concerns about time vortices forming near their system and have asked for assistance in determining the source. We need to learn the nature of these phenomena and why they are occurring. We have prepared a detailed report for you and have downloaded it to your datapads.”

In his typical gruff voice, Master Vrook added, “We have sensed a connection in the Force between the formation of these vortices and Norelden’s increased activity. You must find out what is happening and put a stop to his illegal activities before they destabilize Telos and the rest of the sector. We will provide you with a small ship so you may travel discreetly. And we do expect you to take care,” he finished, looking pointedly my way.

“We have decided to assign Talin to you for the duration of the mission, Jolee,” said Master Kavar. “His diplomacy skills can be very helpful with the people of Li’adin, and with his considerable skill with a lightsaber, he will be able to provide some advanced instruction for Jae.”

“And benefit Talin will from the Force skills of Jae and the wisdom of Jolee,” added Master Vandar.

I glanced at Talin. From the touch of surprise in his blue eyes, I could tell that he had not anticipated being included in the mission, but when he glanced my way, he gave a little smile. Apparently, he thought this was a good thing. I just hoped he wouldn’t become an insufferable instructor.

“There’s never such a thing as too much help. I think I can teach this lad a few tricks,” Jolee grinned.

“I am honored at the confidence you place in my skills,” Talin said to the Masters, bowing his head slightly once more. “I will take care to provide an appropriate education and in turn learn what I can.”

“Very well, your transport is ready as soon as you are,” Master Kavar said.

“I’m not leaving until the food stores are full and the food replicator is cleaned out. I can’t stand that simulated stuff.” Jolee said.

“We are aware of your culinary penchant, though why we accommodate it I do not know. Nevertheless, we arranged for the appropriate supplies,” Vrook commented.

“Good. Then we can leave as soon as we gather our personal effects,” Jolee answered.

“May the Force be with you,” Master Vandar intoned.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

Read The Adventures of Jolee Bindo and see the amazing Peep Surgery
Story WIP: The Dragonfighters
My blog: Confessions of a Geeky Mom--Latest post: Security Alerts!
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Old 03-29-2006, 12:27 AM   #52
Diego Varen
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Great Chapter. I don't think it needs polishing.
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Old 03-29-2006, 11:28 AM   #53
JediMaster12
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I could hear Vrook as he was speaking. You have a gift with already established characters in making them as we would be inclined to remember them Jae.
I sense a possible romance coming between Jae and Talin. You can berate me if I'm way off target but something in the dialogue and narration tells me so.
Great chapter Jae. As always, a pleasure to read your work.

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Old 03-29-2006, 11:32 AM   #54
Jae Onasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JediMaster12
I sense a possible romance coming between Jae and Talin. You can berate me if I'm way off target but something in the dialogue and narration tells me so.
The Force moves in mysterious ways.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

Read The Adventures of Jolee Bindo and see the amazing Peep Surgery
Story WIP: The Dragonfighters
My blog: Confessions of a Geeky Mom--Latest post: Security Alerts!
Love Star Trek AND gaming? Check out Lotus Fleet.

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Old 03-31-2006, 08:55 AM   #55
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Great job Jae. Once again your superb writing skills shine through in a new chapter. I still think that Talin is evil. Can't wait to find out if I am right or not. We await your next chapter.


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 04-01-2006, 12:00 AM   #56
Jae Onasi
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Chapter 8

Well, got my report done and sent out (Jae does a happy dance ), and taxes are in the works, so I cheerfully sat down and wrote a little, or a lot, depending on your point of view. So, here's chapter 8 (eight! this is turning out to be a lot longer than I ever anticipated).
So, Renegade Puma, you didn't have too long to wait!



Chapter 8: Jolee Becomes an Apprentice

The Accipiter was a fast, sleek ship, and while she was not as big as a freighter, she nonetheless had more than enough room for 3 people and the requisite astromech droid. She was meant to be used more for diplomatic missions, but she had enough armaments that she could defend herself well in a fight. While the accommodations were not extravagant, they still had an understated elegance. The bow of the ship had the cockpit, of course, and a spacious common room for meetings. In the common room, pale aquamarine tinted the interior walls, and the comfortable light tan and ivory furnishings invited long sittings. The galley that sat just off the common room was large enough to seat four comfortably or six if they got cozy. The pantry was nearly filled to overflowing with Jolee’s food stores, though I had no qualms about using the replicator.
Farther back, the two modest crew quarters on one side of the ship were separated by a small refresher. Jolee and Talin decided to share the larger of the two quarters, and I placed my effects in the other room. The other side of the ship boasted a large multipurpose room that could be sectioned off as needed. The hyperdrive compartment and droid docking station filled the stern. R4-T3, our astromech droid, was recharging. The hold underneath the main deck carried the extra supplies, and the retractable gun turrets were located in the lower portion of the wings.

“The Jedi have learned to travel in style,” Jolee commented, looking over the ship after taking her into hyperspace. “This is a lot better than that bucket of bolts they gave me about 30 years back.”

“I suppose they have to have transports that work well for diplomatic missions as well as the less savory escapades,” I replied, following him through the various rooms, “and I can’t blame them for not giving you a shiny new ship if they knew you were hanging out with someone like Mik’oth.”

Talin joined us and informed us, “Comfort can be paramount in diplomacy. Some of the negotiations can take hours, and one could be sitting in the same spot for the entire time. The more comfortable people are, the less likely they are to be overly aggressive, too.”

“Oh, this will do nicely for lightsaber practice,” noted Jolee, looking over the multipurpose room with approval. “You can’t have too much space. Let’s get some shielding up. I’m not too interested in sucking space from a breached hull if one of the lightsabers goes flying.”

We quickly adapted the multipurpose room for practicing lightsaber combat and dressed in clothing appropriate for a long workout—sleeveless shirts, but all of us were wearing shorts instead of the usual pants which Talin claimed didn’t allow proper analysis of stances and foot position.

Jolee sat off in the corner, stating, “I’ll just sit here and referee this time.” He watched with great attention.

“Let’s see what you’ve learned so far,” Talin said, igniting his green lightsaber and holding it tip-down in a casual position.

I got into my ready stance and ignited my saber, the turquoise blade glowing.

“Stay just like that and don’t move,” Talin directed.

He walked over to where I was frozen in place, and gently pushed back one of my shoulders, forcing me off balance. I stepped back to catch myself.

“If your stance was strong, that wouldn’t have happened—you would have maintained your balance. Set your feet wider—shoulder width side-to-side and front-to-back.” His blue eyes caught and held mine, “If your stance is weak in a fight, you’re dead. Simple as that.”

I fixed my stance immediately while he took a few steps back and set himself solidly.

“Ready?” he asked.

Nodding slowly, I raised my shield and brought up my lightsaber.

He lowered his saber from the ready position, looked at me, and lectured, slightly vexed, “You’re unsure and you’re hesitant. This is a powerful weapon and you have to have 100% commitment when using it. Anything less than that and you may as well put that lightsaber away and never use it again, because there’s no such thing as partial commitment to it.”

I leveled my gaze at him, and said coolly and quite resolutely, “I’m very ready,”

Suddenly, the attack was on, far faster than anything Jolee had done. I barely caught the first blow in time and could only instinctively fight off the rest of the raining blows. Talin pressed the battle relentlessly with attack after attack while I fought in a completely defensive mode—I couldn’t find an opening to attack because of his speed. He whirled his blade around towards me while I tried to circle out of the way. He anticipated that move and cut me off, extending the blade out to stop my movement, and then in a flash whipped his blade around to within inches of my face. I deflected that blow just in time, and slid my blade down the length of his, finally seeing what I thought was an opening in his defense. He stepped sideways to dodge the blow and then slid his blade back down mine, right into the center of my chest. I deactivated my shield and saber and bent over to catch my breath, wiping the sweat of my face. While it seemed like a long match, it had only taken a few minutes.

Talin, who hardly appeared to have been working, shut down his lightsaber, and mentioned with a look of disappointment, “We have a very long way to go to make your skills passable. I think we need to start with your forms instead.”

After completing my first form, he began his critique, “You should have stepped out farther here, and blocked lower in move 12. On move 20, your lightsaber should be angled more, yours is not angled enough. Let’s do this one together.”

We practiced that form for the next 45 minutes, until he was satisfied that I had performed all the movements in order, in the correct stance, and with sufficient power to attack or block blows. “Your form should improve with continued practice,” he finally declared. It was the most positive thing he had said the entire practice.

Jolee got up from his spot in the corner. “It looks like this has been a solid practice session. Now, I think it’s time I went and made some dinner. Both of you need to clean up before joining me so I don’t have to smell Geonosian stinkbug scent over the fragrance of my fine sauce. Jae, you can come help me when you’re finished. Talin, just a reminder, Twi’lek moths are more attracted to honey than they are to Devaronian poison.” He went off to prepare the meal.

After silently gathering my things, I headed towards the refresher across the way.

Talin called out, “Jae, hold up a minute.”

I stopped and then turned to face him with a guarded look. “The practice was very thorough, Talin.”

He sighed, “Jolee was right.”

Drily, I commented, “He does have that maddening quality about him, yes,”

Talin chuckled, and then more seriously said, “I fear I was a bit harsh in my criticism,”

There were numerous responses I could have said to that, but then I chose the frank answer, “It was rough.”

“Several of my friends have been seriously injured or killed because they did not give adequate attention to their lightsaber skills. I don’t want any of my students going through similar experiences, and you’ve already had one brush with death,” he commented, “but I’ll try to include some honey, as Jolee puts it, in my instruction.”

“I’d appreciate that,” I said with a small smile, and we both went our separate ways to freshen up for dinner.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

The spicy fragrance wafting from the galley encouraged me to rush to dry my hair and dress, and I joined Jolee quickly to help with dinner. He prepared a simple meal but added some exotic touches. Talin followed shortly thereafter and we all sat down for the meal.

“Blue milk?” Talin asked Jolee, arching his eyebrows in question.

“It’s from Tatooine,” Jolee answered. “Makes you grow tall and strong. Well, maybe you shouldn’t have too much. You grow any taller and you’ll be eye-to-eye with Wookiees.”

Talin smiled broadly and began eating. There was some silence as we enjoyed the meal, and after sating our appetites a bit, Talin dabbed at his mouth with his napkin and suggested, “Since we’re going to be traveling together for awhile, I would like to suggest that we get to know each other better.”

“Fine idea, lad,” Jolee agreed. “Let’s start with something easy, like how we all came to the Order. I do like a good story. Talin, since you’re the first to put down the fork, you get to talk first.”

“I’m afraid my story is not terribly interesting,” he replied. “I was born on Alderaan in the House of Kayl. Many in my family are groomed to be ambassadors. We seem to have an uncanny knack for adapting to different cultures and negotiating through difficult situations, probably because many of my family are low-level Force adepts. However, the Jedi found I had an unusually high affinity for the Force, and my family considered it a great honor to send me to become an apprentice in the Order instead of following in my family’s footsteps.”

“Who took you as a Padawan?” I asked.

“Vrook did at first, which is where I learned all my lightsaber skills. He was an unbelievably difficult taskmaster, but I finally mastered his teachings. Once the Council learned I had a talent for and an interest in diplomacy, I was tranferred to Vandar for training in the art of using words instead of a lightsaber, though I still practiced with Vrook a great deal,” Talin answered. “When words fail, a lightsaber is an excellent backup tool. How about you both?”

Jolee, chewing, motioned for me to go next. I took a deep breath as the memories came flooding back and began my tale, “I was living on Onderon and serving in the Queen’s household—never as one of the high level servants, but I enjoyed the work just the same. I developed a talent for healing at an early age, but I never realized that it was the Force at work. All I knew was that when someone was sick or hurting, I had the ability to take away some of the pain and make them feel a little better. Master Kavar discovered that ability.”

Talin, discerning there was more, commented, “There must have been something more that made Master Kavar take notice of your Force skill, and then be so absolutely convinced of it that he was willing to prevail upon the rest of the Council to take in a 22-year-old apprentice.”

A lump rose up in my throat and I swallowed hard against it. I thought that time would erase some of the old wounds, but several images would be with me always. Talin and Jolee both waited patiently as I collected myself.

I found the words, finally. “There was one very bad day. It started out with the Queen walking through Iziz to the Parliament so she could give an address there. I was assigned lady-in-waiting duty, so I was in the entourage. She was talking to Master Kavar, who had arrived from Coruscant for her address. The Queen is a well-loved figure, and not surprisingly, there were crowds along the route. So, we didn’t see the small guerilla group that infiltrated the crowd. We knew about some growing unrest among the Separatists, but never expected such a bold attack in broad daylight with thousands of loyal subjects watching.
"We rounded a corner, and I saw them nearly the same time the Queen’s protection team did.” I stopped and closed my eyes, remembering the overwhelming chaos of sounds of screams and soldiers shouting instructions, the smell of smoke and burning flesh, the sight of blood everywhere, holding Roben’s singed head, one eye swollen shut, in my lap as he struggled to breathe….

When I could continue, I was relieved that at least my voice held steady, even if my hands were not, “I don’t know if it was grenades or something else, but there were 3 or 4 explosions right in front of us. Several more went off down the road. The protection squad literally jumped on the Queen to protect her while the rest of the guards and the police in the crowd took off to capture the attackers. Master Kavar stopped briefly to make sure the Queen was OK and then ran after the attackers with his lightsaber blazing. They captured some but not all of the bombers.
"I saw several of the soldiers lying on the ground, and I ran over to see if there was anything I could do. One was already gone, another was hurt but not badly, and I was able to heal him easily. The last one barely lived. I turned him a little to help his breathing. It was Roben, and he was hurt so bad. I held his head in my lap while trying to concentrate on easing his pain and saving him.
"All I remember next was Kavar kneeling next to me and placing a hand on Roben. He looked at me and said something about needing to leave, it was too dangerous to stay out in the open. I told him Roben would die if I left, and he needed my help. ‘You’ve taken away his pain and done more for him than anyone else could, but his wounds are too severe for him to survive,’ Kavar said. I had to save him; I couldn’t leave him. Kavar picked me up, threw me over his shoulder and ran off to get us away from the blaster fire. I looked back at Roben, and I could see his spirit leave. Maybe I imagined it, but he waved at me and smiled.”

I got up suddenly to take my plate over to the cleaner so they wouldn’t see the tears that threatened to spill out. I thought briefly about how ridiculous it was to try to hide such a thing from two other Jedi. The emotional wave passed, and I turned around to lean against the counter. “Kavar came to me shortly after that, and told me I was strong in the Force, that I needed to train as a Jedi. The Queen encouraged me to go, and since I no longer had anything to keep me there, I decided that the training would do me well, and I had something to contribute to the Jedi. So, here I am.”

“Who was Roben?” Talin asked quietly.

“My fiance,” I replied.

“I’m sorry,” he said, and while I expected a diplomat to immediately say the correct thing in such situations, I sensed it was genuine and not just for show.

“Jolee,” I said after a bit of an awkward pause, “perhaps you should tell Talin how you came to the Jedi. I need a good story right now.” I looked at Talin with a bit of a smile, “If I didn’t know Jolee, I’d never believe it.”

Jolee cleared his throat and sat back comfortably into his ‘story-telling’ mode. “I grew up on Coruscant, and while I wasn’t a bad kid, I did have a knack for finding trouble. I about drove my mother crazy. I loved speeder racing and hated school. Can’t tell you how many times I outran the truency patrol. Of course, a little skill in Force misdirection didn’t hurt in making them miss seeing me. I didn’t know just what that ability was at the time. I just thought I was extraordinarily lucky.”

“There’s no such thing as luck in the Force,” Talin noted with a slightly superior tone.

“Well, I know that now,” Jolee retorted. “Jedi here, remember? Some time when I was around 9 or 10, I noticed a Jedi that would walk the same route to and from the Jedi temple from time to time. He always seemed distracted, so my friends and I decided on a dare to see if we could get that Jedi’s lightsaber.

“It wasn’t one of their brightest plans,” I stated to Talin.

“Shush, you. Whose story is it, anyway? I’ll have you know that some of those friends actually turned into contributing members in society,” Jolee answered back.

“And how many of them spent time in Juvenile Rehab for, um, inappropriate acquisition of items?” I asked innocently.

“Let’s see—Jaren, Isith, Padrin, Alina, yep, that pretty much covers it,” he said, ticking off the names on his fingers. “That’s not the good part, though. We watched that Jedi, figured out his schedule, and made our plans. The five of us pretended to be playing ball and not noticing where we were going, just your typical kids. We ran right into him, bowled him over, I grabbed his lightsaber, and then we ran like the wind. It didn’t take him long to figure out his lightsaber was gone. I kept running, and just when I thought I’d escaped him, I skipped past an alley, and suddenly there he was, right in front of me. I swear he rose up out of the ground or something. He dragged me into the Jedi temple by the scruff of my neck. I would say he was just a tad indignant.”

Talin looked at me and commented, “You’re right. I don’t believe this.”

“But wait. There’s more.” I assured him.

Jolee shook his head and sighed, “No respect for elders, always interrupting them….Where was I again? Oh, yes, dragged into the temple, and before the High Council, no less, for discipline. His eyes just about popped out of his head when Vandar announced that I was strong in the Force and needed to be taken in as an apprentice.”

Talin looked at Jolee with more than a little suspicion, “Wait a minute. Just who was this Jedi?”

“Vrook, of course. I remind him about it every time I feel his pride needs a little pricking,” Jolee applied.

Talin gave Jolee an incredulous look before putting his head in his hands. I thought he was quite upset until I saw his shoulders shaking in mirth. When he could control himself again, he said, “You do realize that I will never be able to view my old master in quite the same way ever again, don't you?”

Jolee could only flash him a wicked smile.

Suddenly, the ship shuddered and an alarm rang through the rooms. Jolee got up calmly, and sighed, “Something’s just knocked us out of hyperspace. So much for my hopes of a good night’s rest. Let’s get to the cockpit and see what little adventure awaits us.”


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

Read The Adventures of Jolee Bindo and see the amazing Peep Surgery
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Old 04-01-2006, 12:58 AM   #57
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Such enjoyable reading! You have a wonderful ability to mix the serious with the humorous, Jae Onasi. Your story really has come to life for me and after reading your story thus far I'm not sure I'll be able to look at Jolee the same as I did whenever I play KotOR.


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Old 04-01-2006, 03:28 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutmeister
Such enjoyable reading! You have a wonderful ability to mix the serious with the humorous, Jae Onasi. Your story really has come to life for me and after reading your story thus far I'm not sure I'll be able to look at Jolee the same as I did whenever I play KotOR.
I agree, although do they have school in Star Wars. I mean, you don't see Mission going to school do you? Anyway a good Chapter as always, Renegade Puma will like this when he reads it.
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Old 04-01-2006, 07:03 AM   #59
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Well written I decided to wait and see how things progressed before replying
I get the feeling that jolee is hiding something as well but I'm not sure what
anyay keep up the great work I keep expecting jolee to make some of his quips from
KotOR but as its still a work in progress we will see what happens
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Old 04-01-2006, 10:46 AM   #60
Jae Onasi
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I agree, although do they have school in Star Wars. I mean, you don't see Mission going to school do you? Anyway a good Chapter as always, Renegade Puma will like this when he reads it.
Mission doesn't attend school because she's a street urchin, at least in my little Kotor world view. I'm betting she'd skip school too, if she was actually made to go. Not that I recommend that to anyone here of course.

@cutmeister--I've viewed him as wise and irreverent all at the same time, letting people learn from experience (unless they choose to ask him for his opinion), all with pithy comments to keep me on my toes.
I'll never be able to view Vrook the same way ever again, either.

Thanks folks!


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Old 04-01-2006, 12:52 PM   #61
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This is so great. I think you've completely captured Jolee. Wonderful work.

Just a question, where does this take place in relation to KOTOR? Is Jae who I think she is, and if she is, what was she doing as an attendant in the Queen of Onderon's court?


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Old 04-01-2006, 01:29 PM   #62
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If you read near the beginning of this Thread, this is set shortly after KOTOR.
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Old 04-01-2006, 01:55 PM   #63
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This is so great. I think you've completely captured Jolee. Wonderful work.

Just a question, where does this take place in relation to KOTOR? Is Jae who I think she is, and if she is, what was she doing as an attendant in the Queen of Onderon's court?
Thanks!

As Pottsie nicely pointed out, it's set shortly after Kotor.

Jae is just Jae. Jolee does his best talking in Kotor when he's shepherding along young Jedi and has something to teach, so I thought I'd continue along that line.


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Old 04-01-2006, 03:30 PM   #64
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Hey Jae, you should include Jolee telling Jae about his trial after the War with Exar Kun. Just an idea.
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Old 04-01-2006, 04:12 PM   #65
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Hey Jae, you should include Jolee telling Jae about his trial after the War with Exar Kun. Just an idea.
Yep, Nayama was a big part of Jolee's life and the trial was a pivotal point in Jolee's Jedi career, so those will be included.


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Old 04-03-2006, 12:10 AM   #66
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Great chapter as usual Jae. As always I can hear Jolee when he tells his tales or just gets into his own crotchety self. Methinks something is blooming with Talin and Jae but I sense the Force works as it wills.

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Old 04-04-2006, 08:05 AM   #67
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Pottsie said that I would like this when I read it.. well I don't!

I love it!

Seriously Jae. I think I would give up writing my own fic if it meant that I could just read a never ending story written by you. The way you intertwine action, emotion, humor, descriptions, everything! It's just amazing. While I can see that Talin and um.. "you" might have something going, I still hold to the fact that he is evil. I think somewhere in this story he is going to turn to the DS because of his overconfidence in his own skills. Can't wait for the next chap!


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 04-04-2006, 11:42 AM   #68
Jae Onasi
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Pottsie said that I would like this when I read it.. well I don't!

I love it!


Quote:
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Seriously Jae. I think I would give up writing my own fic if it meant that I could just read a never ending story written by you.
Noooooo! Don't stop writing! I've got more chapters for the story but you just have to keep going with yours!

Quote:
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I still hold to the fact that he is evil. I think somewhere in this story he is going to turn to the DS because of his overconfidence in his own skills. Can't wait for the next chap!
Redemption is a recurring theme in the SW universe.
I'm working on the next ch. and hope to have it up in a day or two more. It has some more action for us adrenaline junkies.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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Old 04-05-2006, 06:07 PM   #69
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Chapter 9

Chapter 9: A New Threat

The swirling tube of light that was the visual manifestation of hyperspace had resolved back into individual stars by the time we arrived at the cockpit. R4 was already linked to the navicomputer to triangulate our location. We didn’t need to see the translation to know we were in the middle of nowhere, but R4 finally determined we’d come out of hyperspace several sectors shy of Li’adin. Far below us off the starboard bow was a freighter, being harried by about 8 small fighters that had scattered themselves all around the ship, shooting at her.

“Sith fighters, and they don’t see us yet. I’m going to position us between the sun and those fighters and dive in fast, but that’s the only time they won’t see us,” Jolee pointed out, “you two get to the gun stations and strap in. This is going to get bumpy fast.” He patted the control console, “Ok, baby, let’s see what you’ve got.”

The Accipiter turned smoothly and accelerated quickly under Jolee’s skillful hands.

“All right boys and girls, here we go,” he called out with excitement in his voice. He seemed almost to be enjoying this.

I was pressed back in my seat as our speed abruptly increased again, and I watched the monitor carefully so I could shoot as soon as I acquired a target. The Accipiter spun down towards the targets, and suddenly Talin and I both had acquired our targets and were busy shooting at them. Talin got the first one, I hit the next two. He fired again, and a fourth fighter exploded in a ball of fire. Two fighters of the remaining group disengaged from the freighter to take us on as the greater threat. They started shooting, and our ship rocked a couple times with the concussions.

“Talin, make sure those shields stay up or this is going to be a really short fight,” Jolee called out. He flew tightly under the freighter and brought us up on the other side, turning over.

I fired and missed my third, but Talin caught him just before he could fire on us again. We flew right through his still-glowing dust. The rest of the fighters turned to meet us in battle, and suddenly we had a fighter coming in from above and below us, with the last one firing on our stern. The ship vibrated as another bolt hit us, and a warning signal beeped loudly. Talin’s hands flew over the controls for the shields.

“R4, check that shield generator in the stern, I think we’ve got a loose connector,” Talin ordered.

R4 quickly rolled aft to find and fix the problem.

“Let’s hope that’s the only problem we’ve got. Hold on!” Jolee yelled out.

I lurched forward hard in my seat as he hit full reverse and the Accipiter immediately decelerated. Now I was very grateful for the restrictive straps, but discarded that thought quickly to concentrate on the small ships we were battling. The fighter that was behind us suddenly zoomed past us, and I tracked him all the way. As soon as he was in my crosshairs, I fired, and that fighter was suddenly nothing more than an orange fireball.

“Nice shot, Jae. Let’s get the rest of these fighters quickly,” Jolee said with excitement.

The two remaining fighters nearly collided with each other and peeled away at the last moment, but both flew into Talin’s sights, and with a couple more shots, the fighters were gone in glowing balls of fire.

I let out a yelp of triumph; Talin smiled. Jolee grinned back at us, eyes bright with the success. Then he turned back to contact the ailing freighter.

“Accipiter hailing freighter 2278, come in freighter,” Jolee transmitted. There was only silence from the heavily damaged ship. There were a couple holes near the cargo section and several electrical lines sparked wildly in various spots around the ship.

Jolee called again unsuccessfully. “We’re going to have to board the freighter to see if anyone needs help,” he decided. “Those Sith fighters are like Dagoban mudsuckers. One all by itself isn’t going to do much damage, but you get a bunch of them and they can just suck the life right out of you. Jae, go to the emergency hatch and prepare to link it with their hatch. Let’s just pray it’s not damaged. Talin, come be an extra pair of eyes for me here. I don’t relish the idea of bouncing our wing off of their ship if something suddenly gives way.”

Not that Jolee needed the help—he finessed the Accipiter against the freighter, and after several more minutes, I was able to dock our ship to theirs with the emergency connector. The indicator signaled that the other side of their hatch was pressurized, and so I prepared to open both.

“Stop!” Talin called out. “What are you doing?”

Holding my hand above the control, I said, “I was about to open the hatch.”

“You’re assuming there’s nothing dangerous on the other side. Are you prepared if we’re not welcome? If you’re not, that would be a fundamental error,” he stated, rather severely, holding up his lightsaber.

Silently, I pulled my lightsaber from my belt, feeling both foolish and rebuked at the same time over such a simple mistake.

Jolee came back to the hatch area, but out of direct line of sight of the hatchdoors and pulled out his lightsaber as well. He didn’t miss the stern look that Talin gave me, but ignored it to deal with the more pressing issue of preparing for whatever was on the other ship.

He gave an order to R4-T3, “Guard the hatchway while we’re gone. Don’t fire on anyone unless they fire on us, we give the signal, or they try to board our ship.” R4 beeped his understanding and waited for us to go through.

He motioned for me to open the emergency hatch, and there was a hiss as the pressure between the two ships equalized. We could hear warning sirens as their door swung open. There was an acrid smell of burned plastic and smoldering wire insulation permeating the ship. I stepped through the link onto the other ship and moved to the side to make room for the other two, lightsaber raised but not ignited. The ship was lit only with the emergency lights, so it was dim on the vessel. Only a sparking wire here and there added some flickering light and the irregular buzz of shorting electricity. Other than the emergency signal, there was no sound of life anywhere on the ship. I stretched out with the Force for any lifesigns and found only one faint one near the cockpit of the ship.

Talin followed onto the ship behind me, and said in low tones, “Watch yourself, there’s death on the ship,” and he scanned the area carefully, alert for anything unusual, and then stepped in front of me to take point and move cautiously towards the stern.

Jolee brought up the rear and looked over the ship, “Hmm, bad karma on this ship. Feels strange, too. Reminds me of some of the sensations I got about 50 years back during the Exar Kun war, but I can’t place it. Let’s find that one person and see what the problem is.”

We moved forward, carefully watching for any signs of danger, and other than a broken wire whipping around wildly, we encountered nothing unusual.

When we got to the cockpit, both Talin and I stopped short in horror. Talin, being a diplomat and therefore not experienced in medical issues, could be expected to have that kind of reaction. Being a healer, though, I thought I had become immune to most of the kinds of pain and suffering that a being could experience, but I had never seen anything like this before.

Two people lay on the ground, twisted strangely in what must have been an agonizing death, and one more still lived, barely, leaning back in the pilot’s chair. All three were completely covered in blisters, the skin bleeding in the numerous places where it was raw. I went over to the pilot, whose breathing was frothy and labored. His lungs were badly damaged by whatever this terrible affliction was. I tried to touch him gently, but even a feather touch must have been painful, because he moaned aloud. I entered the healing trance but knew there was not much time left. Still, if we could get even a few moments to talk to him….

He woke up finally, and I concentrated on mitigating his pain as much as possible.

He looked at me and gave a slight smile, cracking the skin by his lips, “Thank you,” he said in a barely audible voice.

I smiled kindly at him.

He turned his eyes, nearly swollen shut, towards his comrades. “Friends?” he questioned through the harsh breathing, wanting to find out how they were.

“They’re in no pain now,” I murmured sympathetically.

He sighed his relief.

Jolee, recognizing the man’s impending death, went directly to the point. “Who was chasing you? Who did this to you? What happened?”

The pilot turned his head shakily towards Jolee. “We escaped…a Sith,” and he paused frequently for rasping breaths, “He…wants to change…time. Wants help…from Kun….We found…this,” and he weakly held out what appeared to be an old holocron.

I took it from him to examine later.

The man continued haltingly, “Sith…did this” and he waved feebly towards his face, indicating the affliction, “but…he couldn’t…stop us. We jumped…hyperspace. And now…we’re…finally free.” He shut his eyes, and I felt his spirit leave to join the Force.

Closing my eyes, I used the Force to investigate this terrible disease. It was not caused by any chemical, pathogen, or natural phenomenon. They had been affected through the Force by something horrendous.

“Jolee, I think this is a Force attack, not an actual disease. I’ve never seen anything this awful” I commented, disquieted.

Jolee nodded agreement, “I think it’s a very unusual Force power, too, but I’d like to have a master healer confirm it to make sure we aren’t contaminated with something ourselves. I wouldn’t relish bringing something like this anywhere else. You two check out the ship, and I’ll go back to ours—I don’t want something funny happening while all three of us are on a derelict ship.”

Talin and I searched the parts of the ship that were still pressurized and thus accessible while Jolee went back to the Accipiter to ensure security there and to contact the Jedi temple. We found nothing more of importance, but we downloaded the flight and navicomputer data for R4 to evaluate.

“That’s it,” I said, as the datapad beeped that the download was completed.

“Let’s get back to our ship. I find this place most disconcerting,” Talin commented, scanning the freighter for anything else unusual.

When we returned to Jolee, we found him speaking with the holo of one of the healing Masters. Master Vandar stood next to him.

“Here’s Jae, Master Supat. She should be able to give you more details,” Jolee stated.

Stepping into the range of the holo link, I bowed slightly to the masters.

“Please describe the condition for me,” Master Supat asked in a slow and deep voice typical of most Ithorians.

“It looked almost like a skin blistering agent that completely covered him, but it affected his lungs as well—they were filled with fluid. His skin was cracked oddly in between blisters. The slightest touch created tremendous pain, and I found it very difficult to turn off his pain centers for some reason,” I reported. Those images would be burned into my memory forever.

Master Supat steepled his fingers and tapped them gently against his lips in thought. “There were three of them? All in relatively similar condition?”

“Yes, two were laying on the ground, and the third man was in the pilot’s seat.”

“Describe the body positions,” he told me, his brown eyes intent with thought.

“The two on the ground were lying in awkward twisted positions. The pilot’s positioning was upright—he was trying hard to breathe, but he still was bent over to the side a little.”

“I will know for sure when the freighter is towed back to a secure place and I can do a thorough investigation personally, but it appears this is indeed a rare Force technique, Force Scourge. I have not seen this technique used in a long time. It is extremely difficult to defend oneself against this technique, but it can be done. I will research the appropriate meditation and defense techniques and transmit them to you, since I believe you may have need of such information in connection with your current mission,” Master Supat opined, gravely.

Master Vandar added, shaking his head back and forth, clearly not happy with this turn of events, “Mmm, not good is this news. Powerful technique is this Scourge, and few are there strong enough to use it. Employ it only a Sith Lord can.”

Master Supat instructed, “you must stay where you are in quarantine until we can confirm that this is not a communicable disease. I wish to be 100% sure that it is a Force attack and not something else. It should only take a few days.”

“More information do we have about the merceneries,” added Vandar. “Confirm did we that from Telos Exchange they came, and die from crystalline anithe one mercenery did. Connected to Norelden are they, but work directly for Antin Thorn they did.”

“Mik’oth may have more information on Thorn. I can contact him if you wish,” Jolee suggested.

“Yes, information he may have for us,” Vandar agreed. “Contact you we will as soon as we know more on this new attack.”

“We’ll investigate the area without breaking quarantine to see if we can find out anything about the freighter and why it was here. We’ll await your instructions,” and then Jolee signed off from the transmission.

R4-T3 rolled by on the way to do some maintenance tasks.

“R4, come here, please. I have some data for you to analyze,” I stated. He rolled over to me, and I placed the datacard into the appropriate slot. He issued a series of beeps in response, letting me know it would take time to do the analysis.

“I understand. There’s no rush. We’re staying put in this area for a couple days,” I replied.

Sitting down on a couch, I turned over the holocron in my hand, inspecting all its sides, noting all the unusual markings. It glowed and was faintly warm. “What do you make of this?” I inquired, handing the holocron to Jolee, who had joined me in the common area to relax after all the stress of the latest events.

Talin sat down in one of the chairs opposite my seat.

Jolee looked at the holocron with a critical eye, turning around. Suddenly, he looked up at both Talin and me with great surprise.

“What is it?” I asked him.

“Well, the obvious answer is a Jedi holocron, but you’re smart enough to figure that one out already. The question you’re really asking is ‘why does Jolee look like he just got stunned by an electric eel.’ I’m surprised because I realized I recognized this holocron. The only problem is this holocron was supposedly lost when Ossus was destroyed,” Jolee concluded. "It's not even supposed to exist anymore."


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

Read The Adventures of Jolee Bindo and see the amazing Peep Surgery
Story WIP: The Dragonfighters
My blog: Confessions of a Geeky Mom--Latest post: Security Alerts!
Love Star Trek AND gaming? Check out Lotus Fleet.


Last edited by Jae Onasi; 04-06-2006 at 08:54 PM. Reason: Suddenly discovered I wrote 'suddenly' too often. :) Added some revisions.
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Old 04-05-2006, 09:11 PM   #70
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Ah! The intrigue builds!

Don't these guys ever watch the movies? When boarding another space ship the boarder should never leave the way back to their ship unguarded. Oh well, it doesn't appear that anybody besides the three crew members were aboard so they're probably OK. Or maybe not...


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Old 04-05-2006, 09:49 PM   #71
Jae Onasi
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Uh, it was a _small_ freighter and they could see everything, yeah, yeah, or maybe R4 stayed by the door, that's it, but I'm just sure it's not the fact that the author is really clueless on safety techniques when boarding a potentially hostile ship and so didn't write in the proper naval procedures....
Thanks for pointing it out in such a creative way. My hubby's Army, not Navy, and so I'm more familiar with ground fighting than air/sea, and if I don't know I can always ask him.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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Old 04-06-2006, 12:34 AM   #72
Char Ell
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I'm just paranoid like that.

I liked how you had Talin and Jae at the ready in front but held Jolee back out of the line of any potential blaster fire or explosion. After Jolee felt a "disturbance" of some sort, dropping the dreaded name of Exar Kun no less, I couldn't help but notice that nobody hung back to guard the entrance to their ship. I'm thinking, "What if this powerful Sith Lord is cloaked and then sneaks aboard their ship while they're poking around the derelict freighter? Not good!" Only you know where the story is truly going here but I can't help it if my brain is working overtime considering all the possibilities...


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Old 04-06-2006, 01:08 AM   #73
JediMaster12
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The intrigue, the suspense, the drama!
That was a brillant plot twist with the holocron. I didn't think that Jolee got surprised. I know he was flabbergasted when the Star Map computer said match found. Still nice flow. In my opinion, I would have written more eeire descriptions of the ship and its condition. Even hints as to the flickering of lights would add to the adrenaline rush. That's just me. Still, a good chapter to a great story

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Old 04-06-2006, 01:23 AM   #74
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A new Sith Lord is rising? I can't wait to find out who. If any. A good Chapter as always.
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Old 04-06-2006, 05:32 AM   #75
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Wow Jae! Just wow! I think you have moved in to a three way tie for the best writer here on LF. At least in my mind It would be you, Forcefight and JasraLantill all tied for the top spot. Seriously, this chapter just blew me away. I can't wait for your next update!

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If you kill Jolee in this story I will hate you forever.


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 04-06-2006, 12:34 PM   #76
Jae Onasi
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Thanks, folks. I'm going to alter the chapter a bit to incorporate the suggestions, because they're good.

EDIT: Added a few lines for 'color'.

@cutmeister--you would not believe how challenging it is to find anything detailed on ship-boarding techniques online. SEALS, pirates, Coast Guard, Marines, all use the techniques but apparently don't wish to reveal their secrets and specific procedures on the internet. Can't imagine why.
@JM--you're right, the description was a bit lacking and could use fleshing out. I got sidetracked with the plot stuff.
@Pottsie--gotta have a good Sith Lord to go do battle with.
@RP--I'm just happy you all are having as much fun reading as I am writing. And don't worry--I'd hate _me_ forever if Jolee got killed.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

Read The Adventures of Jolee Bindo and see the amazing Peep Surgery
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Last edited by Jae Onasi; 04-06-2006 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 04-07-2006, 07:45 PM   #77
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Chapter 10

Chapter 10: The Vision

The mist swirled around and then suddenly cleared as the tall Sith Lord strided into view, red lightsaber flaring in the dark and casting an angry glow on his sneering face. His black cape billowed and disappeared into the darkness surrounding him. My lightsaber seemed to ignite of its own accord.

Jolee and Talin stepped out of the gloom to join me. We attacked him, but it was like the slow speed when one is underwater. The Sith Lord struck down Jolee as if he was nothing more than a gnat to swat, and then attacked Talin through the Force. Talin writhed in the agony, falling over and twisting on the ground, horrible blisters breaking out all over his skin, howling in pain. The Sith Lord threw back his head, laughing at our pitiful attempts at attacking him. He stared at me with glowing amber eyes, wolf eyes, predator eyes.

“Join me,” he demanded.

My heart pounded in fear, but I remembered the Jedi code, calming my emotions. I managed to gather my courage, and say to him simply, “No.”

“Then you will all die!” He started cackling once more, and struck all of us with his Force Scourge power. Suddenly there was unendurable pain tearing through our bodies, and we screamed out our agony.


A different noise broke through the relentless waves of anquish.

“Jae, wake up!”

That made no sense, and the Sith Lord was still there, jeering our feeble attempts to escape his awful hatred.

“Come on, Jae, it’s just a dream!”

But it wasn’t a dream. I could see the Sith Lord striking viciously back and forth at Talin and Jolee with his blood-red saber. I tried to block his blows with my lightsaber.

“Good heavens, she’s strong. Talin, hold her arm down so she doesn’t keep whacking me in the head!”

“Believe me, I’m trying!”

I had to fight, to save my friends.

“Blast it, you slip her a strength stim in her drink? I think I’m going to have to break out a medpak and give her something to stop this—ow! When did you start teaching her unarmed combat? That was one nasty kick!”

“Let me try something else…JAE, WAKE UP!” Talin yelled loudly inside my mind.

I sat up in bed abruptly with a gasp, suddenly wide-awake with my heart pounding and sweat drenching my nightclothes. I wiped at my eyes with a trembling hand. As the fog of the nightmare faded, it slowly dawned on me that Talin was tightly clasping my other arm while Jolee had a lock on my ankles, restraining my legs.

“Glad you’re back here with us on the ship,” Jolee commented with a bit of a smile, sitting up and releasing my legs. The concern in his eyes slowly faded in relief. “I was beginning to worry that something more than a nightmare was going on.”

Talin eased his grip on my arm and asked, “Are you all right now?”

Slowly, I nodded my head, “I’ll be fine as soon as I wake up all the way and get those horrible images out of my head.” I gave one last shudder over the nightmarish pictures that still flooded my mind.

Jolee looked over at the chronometer on the wall. “I’m going to go make some coffee. It’s early yet, but I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep after that. You have a mean kick, Jae.” He pointed to his upper arm, which had an ugly bruise purpling up.

“Oh, I am so sorry, Jolee. I didn’t mean…” I started to say in dismay.

Jolee cut me off with a wave of the hand. “Of course you didn’t mean it. Wildly thrashing about in a nightmare is not something most of us volunteer for, you know. Is it something you can talk about? You'll probably feel better if you get it out of your system,” he said.

“I need to wake up more, first, and get my addled brain back together. I’ll join you after I get cleaned up,” I replied. My soaked nightclothes were starting to feel clammy, and I found the the scent of fear permeating the room rather unpleasant.

He left the room to go make the coffee.

“I didn’t hit you, too, did I?” I asked Talin.

“You started to, but I caught your arm before you could land a serious blow,” Talin replied with a small smile, standing up, “We’ll have to work on proper punching techniques in one of our sparring sessions. Now I will leave you to change. I imagine you will find yourself much more comfortable once you have on dry clothes.”

Some time in the refresher and a dry robe did much to improve my mood, though the disturbing images still played at the edge of consciousness. The smell of coffee drifted to my room, and I decided some caffeine would be most welcome. In the galley, I poured myself a cup.

“Refill?” I asked Jolee and Talin, holding up the pot. Jolee held up his mug for more; Talin declined, still having a relatively full cup. Then I joined them at the table.

They both looked at me expectantly.

Taking a calming breath, I described the dream, leaving out the more graphic details. “A Sith Lord attacked us all. He was tall and dark-haired but I couldn’t see the color well, and he had these garish yellow eyes. It was dark and hazy so I wasn’t able to see much of his other facial features. He struck you down, Jolee, and used Force Scourge on Talin. It was not pleasant.” I stopped briefly at the disturbing images, but gathered my thoughts quickly to go on. “He wanted me to join him, and when I told him no, he attacked all of us through the Force. Somehow, I managed to strike back. He was winning the battle, I’m afraid,”

“Well, if your response was any indication, you were giving him one hell of a fight,” Jolee commented, wryly. “Still, I think this is something we need to meditate on once we finish the morning sparring session. It could be a vision of the future. Of course, it could just as easily be nothing more than a bad dream. Indigestion can do that sometimes, you know.”

A chime in the common room indicated an incoming call. Jolee got up from the table. “I put in a call to Mik’oth to check on Antin Thorn. I bet that’s him now.”

I grabbed my cup of coffee and followed Jolee. Talin joined us in the common room to hear the call. I was about to warn Talin about Mik’oth, but then decided with a smile to myself that he should have an unadulterated experience with this unique Twi’lek.

“Ah, you Lekku-less Wonder! How are you today, my good friend?” Mik’oth exclaimed joyfully. His garb today was no less colorful than the other day when we met him, and today it featured a bright red and yellow vertically-striped vest, a heavy necklace, and large rings with stones that matched the vest.

“Same as always, Tail-Headed Tornado!”

“Ah, that means you’re in trouble yet again,” Mik’oth quipped.

Talin was able to control his emotions enough that his face held a bland appearance, but I could see in his eyes the incredulous look mixed with humor.

Jolee chuckled. “Mik’oth, let me introduce Talin Kayl. He’s joined my little party.”

Talin gave a small formal bow. “It is a pleasure to meet you,” he stated.

“Good! Someone with proper decorum. Maybe your manners will rub off on the Wonder here. I’m Mik’oth, proprietor of the Eloni Cantina. Jolee and I go back quite a ways, except Jolee goes back farther.”

Talin couldn’t help but smile this time.

“Ah, and my favorite lovely Padawan! Come closer so I can admire your beauty more, my dear!”

Grinning and blushing all at the same time, I stepped a little closer. “Flattery will go a long way, Mik’oth, but Jolee’s convinced me to remain a Jedi.”

He shook a finger at me, and replied, “I still hold out hope that you will come and dance. I have the perfect costume in mind for you,”

“I have no doubt I would be stunned at the amount of exposure I would receive,” I noted, dryly.

Talin stifled his laughter enough that it came out as a cough. Jolee merely grinned.

Mik’oth feigned a hurt look, “Oh, my dear, I would never do anything more than provide certain, ah, enhancements so that one can fully appreciate your charms. Some things are best left to the imagination, you know.”

Jolee finally interrupted, to my relief. “All right, before we’ve completely descended to sewer level, how about giving us some news on Antin Thorn?”

Mik’oth sighed dramatically, “I suppose we do have to come back to business. Thorn’s been in the Exchange for about ten or fifteen years, and has worked his way up the ranks quickly to become one of Norelden’s top lieutenants—some say the brains behind Naren’s movements. Thorn fought in the Mandalorian wars, and there’s rumors he was involved somehow with Malak’s army, but no one knows for sure yet. He definitely has a lot of experience with the seedier side of things. He’s quiet and very effective at what he does, according to my sources. Someone to watch out for.

“Oh, by the way, Norelden’s taken over another sector of the Exchange. That puts him at a little over a third of the Exchange controlled by him now. It’s making some of the bosses very nervous—the balance of power has definitely shifted in Norelden’s favor. There’s some rumors of shortages of weapons, too. The prices have skyrocketed on the black market.”

“Anything else we need to watch out for?” Jolee asked.

“Just your backs. Something very strange is going on out Telos way. Now I have to get back to my more legitimate activities, so I’ll let you go and contact you again if I hear anything else.”

“Thanks, old friend. We’re heading out to Telos as soon as we finish our business on Li’adin,” Jolee replied.

“Hopefully, I’ll have something more for you soon. I do so enjoy chatting with your lovely Padawan,” he waved good-bye, mainly at me.

Jolee shook his head and said pointedly but in a friendly tone, “Bye, Mik’oth,” and broke the holo-link.

"Mik'oth is quite an experience, Jolee" Talin commented in supreme understatement.

“I think I’ll go get suited up for sparring,” I said. Maybe that would give me enough time for my cheeks to stop burning.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Parry left, push blade down/side, swing blade cross center, return, I thought rapidly to myself, gritting my teeth against the oncoming flurry of blows from Talin.

He stopped briefly. “No, no, that’s not quite right. Try it again.”

I got back in position, and repeated the sequence a second time.

“No, still not right. Do it again.”

A third and fourth time went about as well as the first two. Talin frowned in thought, cocking his head a little, evaluating the sequence in his mind.

“Jolee, please come here and stand in for me. There’s just something not quite right but I need to see it from a different vantage point.” Talin requested.

Jolee got up into the ready position and ignited his lightsaber.

“Go slow the first time,” Talin instructed. Jolee attacked, I ran through the form sequence one more time, hoping to do it perfectly this time.

“That seems to be fine. Now go full speed, Jolee,” Talin said, and he watched every move intently.

Jolee came at me full throttle, and I could tell something was off that time.

“Ah, now I see it. When you push down, your blade tip is dropping," he mimed with his hands. "Try again.”

We ran the sequence again, but I made the same mistake once more. Talin frowned and just motioned for us to start again. I knew that run felt wrong, too, but couldn’t quite figure out when I was dropping my blade.

“Stop,” Talin finally said, with a look of frustration slipping across his face before he caught himself. "Let me show you."

He walked over behind me, and to my surprise wrapped his arms around mine and took hold of my hands. He moved arms, hands, and lightsaber with me, saying “Like this—parry, then this—hold the blade up here, don’t let your hands rotate,” and he tilted my hands so my wrists bent in the proper form, “and finally slice across center, then return.” He released my hands. “Now try it just like that.”

There was a sudden rush of feeling that I had not experienced since being held by Roben, whose arms had been equally strong and well muscled. I was quite unsure how an innocent touch by this man, whose irritating self-sufficient attitude bordered on pride, could elicit such a response. I stepped out of the ring briefly, walked in a tight circle to catch my breath and recite the Jedi code to myself to calm the adrenaline wave. When I returned to the ready position, I noticed Jolee’s sharp eyes were following me, but he kept a neutral face.

He raised his eyebrows and asked “Ready?”

“Let’s go,” Talin instructed, waiting. I was relieved that he apparently hadn’t noticed the emotional burst.

Jolee attacked once more, and this time I finally got the sequence correct. I raised my hands in triumph, smiling.

“Better,” Talin commented. “All right, let’s see what you can do now at full speed,” and he stepped in and took over Jolee’s place.

He came at me fast, and I barely kept up but still managed to do the proper form. After repeating it perfectly a number of times, Talin finally appeared to be satisfied, and I sat down on the bench next to Jolee and leaned back, briefly closing my eyes against the fatigue, breathing hard.

“Good practice. You always work hard. Reminds me of my wife. She worked hard like that, too, when she was learning lightsaber techniques,” Jolee commented casually.

“You were married?” I opened my eyes and sat up, looking at him in surprise.

Jolee grinned. “You know any other way of getting a wife?”


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

Read The Adventures of Jolee Bindo and see the amazing Peep Surgery
Story WIP: The Dragonfighters
My blog: Confessions of a Geeky Mom--Latest post: Security Alerts!
Love Star Trek AND gaming? Check out Lotus Fleet.

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Old 04-08-2006, 04:17 AM   #78
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I suppose the next Chapter, Jolee tells Jae about his Wife. Good Chapter as always. The dream was dark and mysterious.
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Old 04-08-2006, 10:28 AM   #79
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This is one of the things I'll think of when I see Jolee during my next KotOR play thru.
Quote:
“Ah, you Lekku-less Wonder!"


Another great chapter, Jae Onasi. I enjoy how you take lines and other info from the game and incorporate them in your story. I think someone else mentioned that before but can't I say I like it too? I think it's an effective way to tie your story with the game. Looking forward to learning more about this Sith Lord and how Jae will handle the temptations of the dark side.


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Old 04-09-2006, 11:47 PM   #80
Jae Onasi
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I don't mind if it's said more than once. There's quite a bit there to work with (Ukatis system, Andor, Nayama, etc.), which makes it a lot easier to write.
Some of his lines are just too funny not to include, though I hate using a lot of the lines verbatim. Plagiarism drives me batty, though I included the caveat at the beginning that it was adapted from Kotor so I probably should just relax.
Chapter 11 is well on its way and I hope to have it up soon.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

Read The Adventures of Jolee Bindo and see the amazing Peep Surgery
Story WIP: The Dragonfighters
My blog: Confessions of a Geeky Mom--Latest post: Security Alerts!
Love Star Trek AND gaming? Check out Lotus Fleet.

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