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A New Player in the Force (SW/Gamer)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by USSExplorer, Apr 24, 2020.

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  1. Threadmarks: Intro
    USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Right, after FF.net's latest server screw up regarding seeing alerts/reviews etc, I've decided to take some advice and post my story on to this site.
    This story started almost 2 years ago, and honestly, the early chapters aren't that great, but I'm not going to rewrite them in case I alter something that affects future chapters.




    "Huh?" I mumbled as I woke, feeling a cold, what I assumed was a table, against my back. "Where the hell…" I voice trailed off as my eyes took in the room I was in.

    Everything was white; walls, ceiling, floor. Even the clothes I was now wearing were white. The whole place reminded me of a hospital; if everything had been a brilliant, clear white.

    "OK, this makes no sense. The last thing I remember was…" again my voice trailed off as I remembered the attack.

    A group of terrorists had stormed into the market I had been patrolling with my team and started firing indiscriminately into the crowd.

    I remembered leapt for cover and returning fire only to see two of the attackers turn to a school-aged group. Ignoring my own safety, I'd leapt out and dived over, trying desperately to get them to take cover even as I felt three sharp stabs in my side.

    "I, I died? This is Heaven?"

    Incorrect.

    "What the…?" I mumbled as I saw the strange floating text that appeared in front of my eyes; no more than six inches away from me. I absently waved my hand through the text, but nothing happened. "So this is not heaven?"

    Correct.
    I frowned at the new message, the old one shrinking and moving down to the lower right corner of my vision. I turned my head and found that the new text stayed in the centre of my vision while the old one kept to the corner.

    "Weird," I muttered to myself. "So if this isn't heaven, am I dead?"

    Yes.

    "Fuck," I growled and sat up. I noticed that the table I had been lying on was white just like the rest of the room; its edges rounded to avoid cuts. "So where am I? What the hell is this place?"

    Congratulations!
    As a winner in the multiversal afterlife lottery, you have been chosen to live a new life in a universe of your choosing with unique gifts.

    Based on your previous life we have selected the following 10 universes for you to consider for your new life.
    A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE
    DC COMICS
    DRAGON AGE
    ELDER SCROLLS
    HALO
    HARRY POTTER
    MASS EFFECT
    MARVEL EXTENDED UNIVERSE
    STAR TREK
    STAR WARS
    If none appeal you can suggest another and if it exists we will allow you to select it.

    "WHAT!?" I shouted as I fell backwards off the table. "None of those are real!"

    Correction.
    None of them are real to you but all do exist in the multiverse.
    Your reality, like others, has the ability to glance into other realities.
    These glances have allowed writers to create stories that mirror events that happened in those worlds.

    I blinked and stared at the newest text in disbelief. "O-ok. Are those my only options?" I slowly asked. I was still not sure if this was real, but I felt a need to at least play along until I learnt more about what was really happening.

    No.
    As stated, those are just the 10 most likely choices you would make based on your previous life and our own calculations.
    Do you have another you wish to add to the list?

    "Um, no. Not really." I said with a gentle shake of my head. "This is, just nuts. I mean. I get to live again in a game or story world. That's like some kind of bad fanfiction."

    Correct.
    However, for you it is true.
    Are you ready to make a choice?

    "Um, not yet," I replied before shaking my head again. "Jeez! I'm having a conversation with floating text in a quasi-afterlife." I chuckled and shook my head once more. "How long do I have to decide?"

    Time here is inconsequential.
    Where we are, simply is. Time does not pass here.
    Once you have made your choice state 'I Choose …' inserting your decision.

    "Right, thanks," I mumbled and the text all vanished bar the list that moved to the side of my vision. "This is… wrong." I paused and tilted my head with a frown. "Wait, why am I not angry, sad or anything about dying?"

    While here emotion is nullified.
    This is due to your first unique gift; Player's Mind.

    Player's Mind [ON/OFF] MAX
    Allows the Player to calmly and logically think things through.
    Allows a peaceful state of mind.
    Grants immunity to physiological effects.
    Protects against compulsions and external controls.
    Does not prevent the Player from showing emotional responses, only dissipates them instantly afterwards.
    [NOTE: Will automatically turn on when the Player is in battle or HP falls below 25%]
    Costs 1PPP/minute

    "Wha…Wait! You mean I really am in some type of video game?!"

    Incorrect.
    While you were and will be alive – provided you select a new universe to live in – you are not in a game.
    However, the powers we are granting you are easier for a corporeal mind to process if they are treated as powers in what you would call an RPG.
    "Well ok then." I stopped and ran my head through my hair only to gasp. "What? Where's my hair?"
    Your hair is determined by your life.
    As your old one has ended you currently have no bodily hair.
    Once you select a new universe you will be taken to 'character creation'.

    "Well ok… This is nuts." I shook my head and as I examined the list. "Might as well work through the list." I paused and looked upwards. "Um, could I have a notepad and pen?"

    There was a small popping sound and I looked behind myself to see that what I'd asked for had appeared on the table. "Thanks," I said to the empty room as I picked up the pen and opened the notebook. "Right, time to go through the pros and cons of each choice."

    ………

    I wasn't sure of how long I took going through the choices and whittling them down to a final two.
    "Um, I think I'm ready to choose but I was wondering if it was possible to somehow merge abilities and powers from two different universes?"

    It is… conceivable that we could allow it.
    Only 0.001% of winners ask to do so, though most wish to merge powers that do not allow for easy crossover.
    Please state your choice and crossover wishes with reason.

    "Um, well I think I'd like to live in the Star Wars universe, but I also like the idea of begin able to do magic, like in Harry Potter or the Elder Scrolls. I was thinking that while the Force is cool, certain magical powers would be possible with the Force, just that I don't recall ever seeing such things in the movies."

    Postulating





    Analysis of powers in Star Wars and Harry Potter universes complete.
    Both universes have powers that exhibit similarities to each other.
    As such, your request is denied.
    However, the ease with which you could learn Force abilities that mirror magic powers has been lowered.
    It is up to the Player to discover these overlapping powers.
    Also, the Force is capable of many wonders that most would not consider.
    And as such, you may be able to create or rediscover abilities not known to current Force users.
    Is this acceptable?

    "Yeah. I guess." I shrugged. And the room was engulfed in bright light, forcing me to shield my eyes.

    As the light faded, I slowly removed my arm and peeked. "Whoa," I muttered as I fully opened my eyes. The room had changed, and I was now standing in a room bathed in a soft light blue light and that there was now a mirror and display screen on the wall in front of me. My eyes were drawn to the text on the display.

    Welcome to Character Creation. [Star Wars Universe]
    Here you will take the steps to create your new persona.
    Step 1:
    Select your given name.
    Currently, this is "Cameron".
    Do you wish to change?

    "Um, no," I said, figuring there was no reason to do.

    Step 2:
    Select a species then determine hair and eye colour.
    Examine the list of races and make your selection.
    "Holy shit," I mumbled as I scrolled the list, only recognizing a handful of race names. Thankfully, each had a picture or a base male and female form, a short description of the species and their inherent advantages/weaknesses – if any. Almost every advantage or weakness had a number with CCP next to it.

    "What is CCP?" I asked aloud; figuring that who/whatever was in-charge would explain. I was surprised when part of the display shifted to show text.

    Character Creation Points
    During the creation of your new identity, you have the chance to add special perks and abilities that are considered anything from uncommon to rare within your new universe.
    You may also add flaws that grant you extra CCP's, though there is no need to take any if you do not wish.
    As a new identity, you have 10CCP's to start with.
    NOTE
    Certain perks and abilities can be gained later through the spending of perk points (PP)

    "Um, ok," I mumbled as I returned to the choices for hair and eyes. "Think I'll keep my old hair and how about green eyes."

    Hair: Wavy Light Ash Brown
    Eyes: Emerald Green
    Accept?

    "No. How about a brown/green mix?"

    Eyes: Amber Green
    Accept?

    "Yes. I guess... HOLY SHIT!" I shouted as glanced in the mirror and saw my eyes shift colour and hair grow on my head; matching my choices. I ran my hand through my hair and nervously chuckled.

    "Now that's just scary," I muttered as a small picture of me appeared at the top of the display.

    Step 3:
    Determine your initial age.
    To allow for more control a new identity can start at 0, 8, 16 or 20 for a Human [Starting ages vary with species]
    Chosen starting age is 8.
    Accept?

    "Um, yeah. I guess." I answered slowly. "I mean I don't want to be born again and have to experience that but starting as a teen or adult means I miss growing up. And I'm kinda curious about how that goes in Star Wars."

    Step 4:
    Determining base stats, of which there are 6.
    Strength
    Vitality
    Agility
    Intelligence
    Wisdom
    Charisma
    Each new identity stats with 5 stat points (SP) and is granted a further 4+INT/15 SP per level up.
    From level 8 [1 level is earned per year as a child] you start with 37 SP.
    For comparison:
    An average adult Human is level 20-25
    An average Human has stat values of around 18 for STR VIT and AGI.
    NOTE:
    A Human has a maximum value of 55 for STR VIT and AGI.
    [Max Values vary species to species]

    NOTE:
    Each new identity stats with 5 stat points (SP) to apply as you wish and is granted a further 4+INT/15 SP per level up.
    For reaching level 8 [1 level is earned per year as a child] you gain an additional 37 SP.
    Assign initial stats then press confirm.
    WARNING:
    Leftover SP will be lost.

    "Bloody hell," I muttered as I saw the left side of the display shimmer to display the six stats and a box underneath with each with '0' inside; though there was a +10 under Intelligence and +5 under Wisdom and Charisma. Each box had '+' and '-' beside it that I assumed were for adding and subtracting points.

    "Um, can I have an explanation of each stats? I mean, I think I understand but I want to be sure."

    The right side of the display shimmered, and I smiled as I read through the new text.

    Stats and You
    Everyone is determined by their stats but as one of the chosen few, you have the chance to see these values and influence them.
    However, what does each mean and what does it influence?
    STRENGTH
    Strength measures your character's muscle and physical power.
    This ability is especially important for soldiers and those with similar careers because it helps them prevail in physical combat.
    Additionally, each point of Strength grants 2 inventory slots [this will be explained later]
    VITALITY
    Vitality represents your character's health and stamina.
    Vitality adds to a person's hit points, so it's important for everyone but most important for those who are active combat participants.
    AGILITY
    Agility measures hand-eye coordination, agility, reflexes, and balance.
    This ability is the most important ability for Scoundrels and similar characters, but it's also high on the list for characters who want to be good shots with ranged weapons (Such as Blaster Pistols) or who want to handle the controls of a starship or speeder fairly well.
    INTELLIGENCE
    Intelligence determines how well your character learns and reasons,
    Intelligence is important for thinkers and leaders, and any character who wants to have a wide assortment of Skills.
    WISDOM
    Wisdom describes a character's willpower, common sense, perception, and intuition.
    Compared to Intelligence, Wisdom is more related to being in tune with and aware of one's surroundings, while Intelligence represents one's ability to analyse information.
    An "absent-minded professor" has a low Wisdom score and a high Intelligence score.
    A simpleton with low Intelligence might nonetheless have great insight (High Wisdom).
    Wisdom is important for characters wishing to be in-tune with their environment or characters who like to gamble.
    If you want your character to have keen senses, put a high score in Wisdom.
    CHARISMA
    Charisma measures a character's force of personality, persuasiveness, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and physical attractiveness.
    It represents your strength of personality and force of presence, not merely how others perceive you in a social setting.
    Charisma is most important for politicians and Jedi.

    "Damm. There's no real useless stat. Need to think about this carefully." I examined the stats for a while before slowly adding points until there were none left.

    No remaining Stat points.
    Are these your final choices?

    "Yeah," I said slowly, and I watched as the stats appeared beside the picture and the bonuses it mentioned were added on.

    STEP 5:
    Perks
    Each new identity has 10 CCPs to spend on perks.
    An additional perk point [PP] is gained every 4 levels.
    While PPs can be saved, CCPs must be used up when a new identity is created.
    You currently have 10CCPs and 2PPs.
    Since this is a new identity creation, you can spend your PP on Creation-only perks.
    Please browse the list below and make your choices.
    Tap a Perk name to see a description and cost.
    Click the name again to close the information or click the green box to add to your identity.
    I whistled as the left side of the screen filled with over 20 perks, though my eyes were drawn to three that I tapped to open fully
    Force Sensitive
    You are Force-sensitive, allowing you to call on The Force and learn to draw on its powers.
    Grants 100 Force Points (FP) per level.
    [Can only be selected on identity creation]
    CCP 2
    Force Adept
    You are Force-sensitive, allowing you to call on The Force and learn to draw on its powers.
    Grants a greater connection to the force and all but guarantees that you will be selected as a Jedi Youngling; if you so wish.
    Grants 250 Force Points (FP) per level.
    [Can be selected on Identity creation or upgraded to if identity took Force Sensitive on Identity creation.]
    CCP 4 [2PP if upgrading]
    Force Prodigy
    You are Force-sensitive, allowing you to call on The Force and learn to draw on its powers.
    Your connection to the Force is immense and marks you out as potentially one of the most powerful Force users of your time.
    Grants 500 Force Points (FP) per level.
    [Can only be selected on identity creation]
    CCP 7

    "Damm. If I'm understanding this correctly, Yoda, Vader and Luke would be prodigies while most are just Adepts. Hmm, I'm definitely taking one of those two, but I'd better read the rest of the list to see what else could be useful."

    I spent the time going through the list until I settled on four perks.

    "That will do," I murmured to myself as I accepted the fourth perk.

    NOTICE
    You have selected the following Perks:
    Force Prodigy [7CCP]
    Ambidextrous [1CCP]
    Empathy [2CCP]
    Photographic Memory [2PP]
    Are these your final choices?
    "Yes." I felt a burst of energy as the perks were added below the stats in my mini-picture.
    STEP 6:
    SKILLS
    Each identity learns skills as they progress with skills affected by stats.
    Each stat point grants a 5% boost to learning speed of a related skill.
    Every level-up an identity is granted INT*2 skill points to spend how they see fit.
    You are free to transfer any of your old skills over, though they may suffer penalties because of different universe or age.
    Each new identity is granted 100 plus level*INT*2 skill points [SKP] during creation.
    Skill points can be saved for later use.
    Please examine your old skills and possible new ones before deciding on a final list.
    Skills are added to your identity the same way perks were.
    Currently, you have 340 skill points to spend.

    "Whoa…" while the Perk list had 20, the skills list was massive. My old list had about a hundred ranging from school subjects that were at various levels, to artistic one like the guitar and singing that I hadn't used in years, to sex skills. "Not sure how much use those will be to start, but definitely keeping them for later on," I commented with a smirk. Though the smirk fell after adding Kissing when the skill displayed the words 'Locked' over it.

    "Huh, well I guess that makes sense. What eight-year-old knows how to kiss properly?"

    I added all of my old skills that I thought had any cross-over and noticed that a few were lowered due to being younger – or altered in the case of English becoming Basic – before browsing the list.

    There were actually two lists; one for skills that seemed to matter and one for what were called knowledge-based skills. These seemed to just be listings of what I knew about various governments, companies, criminal organizations, topographies of planets and History that didn't seem to affect skill checks; and many were prone to falling as information became outdated.

    I decided to ignore the knowledge-based skills; figuring they could be easily be learnt once I was in-universe and looked through the main list.

    "Hmm, I can't wait to get a lightsaber, but since I'm only eight, there's no point in adding any point to the forms, though a few in the skill to use one makes sense. Having all my knowledge of combat and weapons transfer over was nice, though I imagine I've lost a few levels here and there due to different tech.

    "Maybe add points to repair or crafting so I can look after any pistols or rifles I get a hold of. Concentration grants bonuses to skill XP gain, so if I max it out that's a fifty per cent boost to learn other skills!" I smirked as I added the points then increased Meditation to 50 since it boosted the regeneration rate of a few things; namely Force Points.

    "Right, I think I'll hold on the other skill points and see what need a boost later."


    Do you accept your skills?

    "Yes."

    Skills locked.
    Notice:
    You have 70 SKP left for later use.
    To add, simply call up skills in the user interface and tap the '+' symbol.
    Changes will become permeant once you leave the skills list.
    Notice:
    You have over 3000 skill levels, this grants 2 bonus stat points.
    Do you wish to spend now?

    "Um, no."

    Step 7:
    The Force
    As you are Force-sensitive, you can learn to use the Force.
    Each level you are granted a certain number of Force Points.
    The more FP you have, the more you can use the Force.
    However, the cost of using a power decreases as you become better at using it.
    What powers you will have will be determined by your origin story.
    After completing the prologue, you may have the chance to learn from a Force Master or experiment with your powers yourself.

    "OK. So why bother making that a step?" I asked the display, but it simply ignored me and moved on.

    Step 8:
    Origin
    Where do you come from?
    Where in the timeline do you wish to live?
    These need to be determined before we place you in control of your new identity.
    Current timelines in play are:
    KOTOR Era
    Old Republic Era
    Rise of the Empire Era
    Rebellion Era
    Legacy Era
    If none appeal, then you can select a specific time to enter the universe.

    "Uh, I only know the movies and Knights of the Old Republic games," I muttered as I rubbed the back of my head. "So why not the Rise of the Empire. I know that and the Rebellion era best."

    Rise of the Empire Era selected.

    Step 9:
    Bloodlines/Family
    Certain names and families have relevance throughout the galaxy.
    Will you be a scion of one such dynasty or just a random someone?
    Famous choices for family names are;
    Shan
    Sunrider
    Skywalker
    Keto
    House Ordo
    Organa Family
    Antilles Family
    Qel-Droma
    Please enter your family name below.
    Notice:
    Almost any name may have links to someone in the past, however, in most cases, this will not be critical to your new identity.

    I looked at the list and chuckled. "Well to beat a Darth, you might need a Darth so why not Shan; assuming that Revan and Bastila had children." I typed in my choice.

    Cameron Shan.
    Are you sure?

    "Yup."

    Name set.
    Notice:
    This bloodline has a specific prologue to play.
    You do not have to select that, but it is the suggested option.
    Will you accept prologue: The Lost Scion?

    "Sure, why not," I answered with a shrug. Truthfully, I was getting a little bored with creating my new persona and was hoping that I'd get to leave this place soon.

    Character Creation finished.
    Please examine the final listings to be sure.
    If you accept, press the green box and the bottom of the screen, if not press the red box to restart Character Creation.
    ...

    The display shifted to show the details that had previously been on the left side of the screen. I noted with amusement that besides my current height it listed a range that I took to mean my potential final height. I chuckled at seeing my current, well old, height of 1.84m was in the middle of that range. I laughed some more at seeing the same ranges were available besides my leg length, hand and foot sizes and most amusingly, Or disturbingly depending on how you saw it, penile length and girth.

    I decided to spend one of my bonus stat points to raise Strength to 7, thus bringing it in line with Vitality and Agility, before I pressed the green button.

    The brightness in the room increased rapidly and I had to shield my eyes again.




    Just to be clear, as I wasn't when I started, this story begins in ~3950BBY with Cameron and his 'grandfather' Vaner Shan.
    By the end of the Prologue, he will arrive in the Rise of the Empire Era.
    This is the unique start due to taking Shan as a family name.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
    Naatra, AlexA4x, DQuinnicus and 61 others like this.
  2. Threadmarks: Prologue 1
    USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2019
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    1,700
    Whoops, forgot to say that for anyone interested in the full story before it appears here, my penname and story name are the same on FF.net.



    When I opened my eyes, I found myself lying on a bed in a small room, the sounds of birds coming in through the window even as more of the strange blue text floating in my vision.

    Welcome to your new identity.

    To help you with your new powers, we have prepared a short tutorial.

    Do you wish to complete the tutorial?
    Yes/No
    [You must verbalise or press the Yes option to accept]
    ...

    I grunted as I reached out and touched 'Yes' and the text changed.

    Welcome to the Tutorial.
    Here we will explain the following items that were not covered in identity creation.
    1: Hit Points, Experience, Stamina and Hunger
    2: Stats and their Limits
    3: Inventory usage
    4: The Force and Force Points
    5: Player Powers and Player Points
    6: Interface Controls
    7: Quests
    8: Future Knowledge
    Select the option you wish to view first by saying 'Tutorial' followed by the number'
    ...

    "Let's be logical and start with tutorial one," I said while rolling my eyes.

    1: Hit Points, Experience, Stamina and Hunger
    When you concentrate and say the word 'STATS' a general listing of your identity will appear.
    Beyond the base stats that were explained during identity creation, there are a few others that appear.
    These are;
    Hit Points [HP]:
    This is a base 50 for Humans plus your Vitality*10
    Experience [XP]:
    To advance to the next level, you need a certain amount of XP.
    For levels 1-20, this is 1000XP more than the previous level.
    For levels 21-40 this is 2000XP more.
    For Levels 41-60 this is 3000XP more.
    Stamina [STAM]:
    Every physical action that you take requires stamina.
    Walking takes 1STAM/minute, jogging 3/minute, running 5/minute and sprinting 10/minute
    Other actions take up stamina as well; swimming, jumping, weight lifting and so drain STAM as you go.
    Your Stamina is your current level*[Strength+Agility+Vitality]/2
    There are ways to improve your Stamina regeneration and lower activity drain, but they are for you to discover.
    It regenerates at 1%/minute
    Hunger [HUN]:
    This tracks your need to eat.
    It drains naturally at 5/hr.
    It will, however, drain faster when you are physically exerting yourself.
    There are, however, ways to slow your hunger loss down, but they are for you to discover.
    This is limited to 100.
    NOTE:
    For each point that Hunger drops below 20, you experience a temporary 1% drop in your Stats and all linked values until you restore your Hunger to 20 or above.
    ~~~
    End of Part 1
    Do you wish to proceed to Part 2?
    Yes/No?
    ...

    "Yes."

    2: Stats and their Limits
    Every species has biological hard limits for Strength, Agility and Vitality.
    However, there are ways to overcome such limits.
    Additionally, none of those three stats can be more than 10 over your current level.
    The same methods to pass hard limits also can allow you to pass these soft limits.
    Additionally, for each 1 point in a stat you are over your current level, you gain a 5% boost in skill XP generation for relevant skills, up to 50%.
    The opposite is also true.
    Currently, your penalties/boosts are;
    STR -5%
    AGI -5%
    VIT -5%
    INT +35%
    WIS +15%
    CHA +10%
    ~~~
    End of Part 2
    Do you wish to proceed to Part 3?
    Yes/No?
    ...

    "Fine," I muttered while wondering the quickest way to improve my physical stats. Though when the text didn't change I sighed loudly. "Oh, for the love of… Yes!"

    3: Inventory usage.
    For every point of Strength grants 2 slots in your inventory.
    This is a pocket dimension that only you can use, and in which time does not pass; thus, nothing will degrade while stored there.
    It also allows you to store money without concern for weight or volume of Cred-chits
    Each slot can hold an object of volume no more than 0.125m^3. [50x50x50cm]
    Currently, you have 14 slots.
    ~~~
    End of Part 3
    Do you wish to proceed to Part 4?
    Yes/No?
    ...

    "Yes." I sighed in mild annoyance.

    4: The Force and Force Points
    As you have taken the Force Prodigy Perk during identity creation, you are now one of the few in the galaxy who can not only sense but actively use the Force.
    Each level, you receive 500 Force Points.
    While you can consciously use the Force to improve your actions, many of the more advanced uses and concepts require instruction from a trained Force user.
    All Force powers follow the Novice to Prodigy ranging system and while expensive to first use, the cost of use decreases with training.
    Your Force Points regenerate at 1%/minute.
    NOTE:
    Not all possible Force powers are taught by the Jedi or the Sith; indeed, you may even be able to create your own in time.
    ~~~
    End of Part 4
    Do you wish to proceed to Part 5?
    Yes/No?
    ...

    "Bloody hell! Yes!"

    5: Player Powers and Player Points
    Due to your winning of the Multiversal Afterlife Lottery, you have been given the special title: Chosen.
    This title grants access to special powers that, to the corporeal mind, resemble being in a Game.
    Initial Player Powers provided are:
    Player's Mind MAX
    Allows the Player to calmly and logically think things through.
    Grants a peaceful state of mind.
    Grants immunity to physiological effects.
    Protects against compulsions and external controls.
    Does not prevent the Player from showing emotional responses, only dissipates them almost instantly afterwards.
    [NOTE: Will automatically turn on when the Player is in battle or HP falls below 25%]
    Player's Body MAX
    The body experiences the stresses of the physical world as if it was a video game.
    [This means that you suffer no obvious damage when hit/shot/stabbed etc, but instead lose HP]
    [You can, however, still lose limbs if the attack severs them from your body.]
    Sleeping fully [8 hours under normal circumstance] restores HP and heals all temporary statuses effects.
    NOTE:
    If your HP reaches 0, for whatever reason, YOU WILL DIE.
    Inventory
    See Tutorial Stage 3.
    Player's Points
    Every level, you gain 2 more PP, which are used for Player Powers you have purchased.
    They regenerate at 10%/5minutes.
    You gain 1 Player Perk Point every 5 levels, which can be used to activate special abilities.
    To view the list of Player Powers that you can activate, you say 'Player Power Options'
    ~~~
    End of Part 5
    Do you wish to proceed to Part 6?
    Yes/No?
    ...

    "Yes," I mumbled out in annoyance at having to keep vocalising my commands. I hoped the next section told me how to change that.

    6: Interface Controls
    While having this text appear in the middle of your vision is the default setting, we understand that this could be life-threatening.
    [Something we learnt from the first-ever winner of the Multiversal Afterlife Lottery]
    As such, saying 'Interface Options' will take you to a screen where you can choose from various options.
    From here you can re-order your interface in a way you are more familiar with.
    To access your stats and skills, please examine the Interface Help in the options menu.
    ~~~
    End of Part 6
    Do you wish to proceed to Part 7?
    Yes/No?
    ...

    "Yes." I was really hoping this would be over soon I could check my details. Hopefully, I would be able to do so once the tutorial was finished.

    7: Quests
    Most activities will be given as quests.
    While many will be pre-generated by the interface, if you set your mind to something, it will be turned into a quest.
    Quests have difficulty ratings which affect rewards and penalties.
    The more difficult the quest, the greater the reward and penalties.
    Any combat quest has a possible failure of death if things go totally wrong.
    ~~~
    Quest Alert!
    Prologue
    This is the introduction to get you to your chosen Era
    [Note, currently you aren't there.]
    Rating: B
    Objective: Survive and Escape
    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Rewards:
    3500XP
    Penalties:
    Capture by the Sith
    Possible Death
    Accept?
    Yes
    ...

    "Why the fuck is 'No' missing through?" I grumbled as I finished reading my first quest alert.

    Certain quests cannot be ignored.
    These are plot quests or quests where you have to follow the orders of another.
    ~~~
    End of Part 7
    Do you wish to proceed to Part 8?
    Yes/No?
    ...

    "Yes," I grumbled at realising that if I screwed up the prologue, I could die or be captured by the Sith; and death seemed the more appealing option.

    8: Future Knowledge
    Since you are The Player, you have some knowledge of future events.
    However, you cannot come out and simply say what will happen as your very presence changes things.
    Every time you try to talk about what you know, you will be unable to do so directly.
    However, you may be able to discover a way to hint at what may happen, but that's up to you to discover.
    ~~~
    Well Done!
    You actually read the tutorial!
    Here's 500XP
    Good luck! :D
    ...

    "Mother… Fine." I said with a growl, accepting the quest. "Right, Interface Options."

    Welcome to the Player Interface
    From here you can control where and for how long various notices appear.
    Notice Options are:
    General notices
    Quest Alerts/ Updates/ Completions or Failures
    Basic Stats
    Mini-map
    Combat Alerts
    Interface Help
    Please select when, where and for how long each notice appears.
    ...

    I spent the next while lying on the bed while I fiddled with the various options. Now all quest-related notices would appear in the lower right of my vision; though only alerts and completions/failures would stay there until read. The annoying random notices like skill level-ups would also appear there, but then vanish after ten seconds.

    Basic stats would only show during combat, as would the mini-map, though I found out it only showed areas I had already been to. Combat alerts would appear in my lower left with red and green for me losing/healing HP.

    I had just closed the Options menu and was about to call up my details when a voice called out.

    "Cameron? Are you up yet?" A male voice asked from somewhere out the door to the room.

    "Um, yes," I called back hesitantly, wondering who was in the house/flat with me.

    "Good. Breakfast will be on the table in five. Get down here."

    I stood slowly, taking in the fact my body was now smaller and glanced at the mirror that hung over a table in the room. I saw that I was indeed younger; the wear and tear of 8 years in the military gone – along with the stubble I had been so fond of. My hair was cut short, though not like a crew-cut, and my eyes were the shade of amber-green I'd picked before.

    "Guess this is for real," I muttered to myself as I searched around quickly for some clothes to slip into; going to breakfast in pyjamas was not something I felt comfortable doing anymore. Finding what looked like a chest of drawers beside the table, I pulled on what I thought was the handle, only for the drawer to slide open with a quiet hiss.

    "Right, touch-sensitive drawers. Should've seen that coming," I mumbled as I pulled out clothes and quickly slipped them on before exiting the room. Seeing three more doors and a set of stairs heading down, I shrugged and jogged down the stairs, assuming the kitchen/dining room was on the lower floor.

    A waft of food caught my nose and helped me find the kitchen where an older man, probably in his sixties If I had to guess, was just sitting down at a table that had two plates of food on it.

    "There you are. I swear since you started your school holiday, you've been getting up later and later." He said with a smile that reached his brown eyes.

    "Well isn't that the point of the holidays?" I replied as I slowly sat, examining the food in front of me. "To laze about."

    The man chuckled. "True enough. You've always been perceptive. Now hurry up. I need to make a few calls to some friends and you have homework to finish before we visit Coruscant next week."

    "Yes, Sir," I replied as I cautiously took a bite of what looked like eggs. 'I really wish the movies and cartoons had shown people eating more often.' I mentally commented, though thankfully, the eggs really were eggs.

    "Is everything ok Cameron?" The man asked, and I looked up at him. His face was marred by a frown, but his eyes seemed to be looking for something in mine.

    "Just a little off I guess," I replied slowly, and his frown grew as his mouth twisted.

    "Yeah, I get that way this time of year too." He paused and looked out of a window. "Do, do you still get the dreams about that night?" He asked as he seemed to be thinking about something that happened before.

    I recognized the look; one of sorrow and longing and realised that my new parents were missing. Had they died when I was younger?

    "Um, no recently," I replied honestly, and he turned back to look at me with a weak smile.
    "Good. That's good. Now eat up."


    I put my head down and ate the rest of the food slowly, hoping that whatever the old man was hinting at would hint my unfamiliarity with much of the food in front of me.

    As I finished the meal, which I was happy to find that it was generally quite nice – though eating blue meat might take some getting used to – I started to stand, only to wonder if I had to place the dish and glass in some kind of cleaner.

    "Here, let me…" The man said as he started to stand only for his arm to rub against his glass.

    We both watched as it began to tumble off the table and, working on instinct from my previous life, I reached out for the glass, though I knew it was too far away for me to have any chance to getting it before it broke on the floor.

    "Holy…" my voice trailed off as the glass stopped falling and floated about halfway to the floor, my hand still stretched out towards it.

    "By the Force!" The man exclaimed as he looked from the glass to me with wide eyes. "How? I was told she tested you and you failed!"

    "What?" I asked as I moved my hand upwards and watched in shock as the glass followed my actions. 'Right. Force Prodigy. Forgot about that for a second. This is cool.' I felt a grin form on my face as I placed the glass on the table and saw that there was a new notice box in the lower right of my vision; clearly for whatever Force power I had just used.

    'Wait, he said I'd been tested,' "What test?" I asked, and the man looked up from the glass, his eyes having returned to normal, but his gaze intensified.

    "A Force Test." He replied, and I let my eyes open wider in apparent shock.

    "You mean like to be a Jedi?" I asked. Sure, I already knew I could use the Force, but 'Cameron Shan' didn't.

    The old man sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Yes, like a Jedi." He looked out of the window again before he continued. "Your mother, bless her heart, was a Jedi as were my own parents. But you were tested as a babe, but nothing showed up." He shook his head for a second before focusing on me. "Maybe it was just a fluke."

    I frowned, knowing it wasn't a fluke and extended my hand again, this time lifting his plate. "I don't think so." I countered with a small smirk as his mouth fell open. I lowered the plate slowly and pulled back my hand as the man continued to stare at me.

    Can I do this test again?" I asked, wondering how likely it was that was.

    The man rubbed the bridge of his nose. "I promised your mother to keep you safe, and being a Jedi is not the safest of careers."

    "Isn't it better that I learn to control this," I said, hoping to break through his reluctance.

    A small box appeared in the lower left of my vision and I couldn't help but smirk as I read the small text.

    Skill Usage: Persuasion
    Chance = 30.5%
    ~~~
    Success!
    ...

    I wondered if every skill use would be like that, and if there was to turn off that as it really made this whole thing feel like a game. I blinked at the new text that appeared in the middle of my vision.

    Yes, you can turn those off.
    And again, THIS IS NOT A GAME!
    It's just the only way your feeble mind can handle these powers.

    I grunted at the message from what I assumed was the people – beings? – that gave me this new life and did my best to not be offended at being called feeble-minded.

    Good boy!
    Now go, enjoy your new life.
    And don't die too soon, I've got a millennium as a rabbit bet on your mating with ******

    'Seriously? They're betting on who I sleep with?!' I shook my head as the message from whoever faded away.

    "Cameron, did you hear me?"

    I looked up and saw the man was watching me through narrowed eyes. "Um, sorry. I was just thinking about how cool it would be to be a Jedi."

    Skill Usage: Deception
    Chance = 11%
    ~~~
    Failure!
    ...

    He frowned, clearly having not bought my lie but thankfully he didn't push the matter.
    "Look, just put the dishes in the cleaning unit then go upstairs and start your homework." He said as he stood slowly. "I'll make a few calls and see about getting you retested."


    "Ok," I said, trying and failing to keep a smile from my face as I stood, though it fell a little as I wondered where the cleaning unit was and what it looked like.

    "Over there," the man pointed towards the sink. "Get your head out of the clouds or I won't make that call!"

    I hustled over quickly to where he'd pointed and saw a small, slightly raised rectangle like the one on the drawer, I pressed it and was rewarded with a door opening and what looked almost identical to a dishwasher was found.

    After slipping the dishes and cutlery in, I headed upstairs and fist-pumped once safely in my room with the door closed.

    "Yes!" I said, making sure to not shout as I wanted. "Right, time to look at my standing. Interface Help."

    Welcome to Player Interface Help
    Here you can learn how to use the interface to understand what skills, abilities and tricks you have.
    Select help menu you wish to peruse by saying Help followed by the appropriate number;
    1: Lists
    2: List Explanations
    3: You and Those Around you
    4: Inventory and you
    5: Interface Controls
    ...

    "Um, help one."

    1: Lists
    The various lists you have and how to view them.
    To access any menu, simply say list followed by the appropriate word.
    Current lists available;
    Stats, Skills, Knowledge Skills, Perks, Force Powers, Player Powers, Titles, Quests
    ...

    "Seems easy enough. Help two." I said, figuring it was better to at least skim the manual before taking the new toy for a spin, having mentally taken a read of the lists available for once I was finished with the help menus.

    2: List Explanations
    This explains the basics of each list.
    Stats:
    These are the core values that define you.
    They are split between Strength, Agility and Vitality [Physical stats] and Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma [Mental stats].
    There is a final stat is called Luck.
    This is set to 0 for all Humans, though it can be raised through the spending of stat points or certain perks.
    Also listed with your stats are your Hit Points [HP], Force Points [FP], Player Points [PP], Stat Points [SP], Stamina [STAM], Hunger [HUN], Experience for the current level [XP], Title and Credits.
    Hit Points
    These are an indicator of how much damage you can take.
    When it reaches 0, YOU DIE!
    You get a base 50HP as Human plus a further 10 per level.
    Force Points
    These are the points that allow you to use the Force.
    You gain 500FP per level.
    These regenerate at 1% per minute.
    Player Points
    These are the points that allow you to use your unique abilities.
    You gain 2 PP per level.
    Additionally, you gain 1 Player Perk Point [PPP] every 5 levels.
    These regenerate at 10% every 5 minutes.
    Stat Points
    This is a list of how many spare stat points you have to spend on your stats.
    You gain 4+INT/15 SP per level.
    Stamina
    This is your ability to move, run, jump, swim and do other physical activities.
    Your stamina is defined as level*(STR+VIT+AGI)/2.
    It regenerates at 1% per minute when resting.
    This can be boosted with perks or powers.
    Hunger
    This is a measure of how hungry you are.
    It drains naturally at 5/hr.
    However, doing any physical activity increases the rate of hunger decay.
    For each point that Hunger drops below 20, you experience a 1% drop in your Stats and all linked values.
    If it reaches 0, you will lose consciousness and, if you are not revived within 4 hours, you will die.
    Experience
    This is a key to how close you are to levelling-up.
    Levels 1-20 requires 1000XP more than the previous level.
    Levels 21-40 requires 2000XP more than the previous level.
    Levels 41-60 requires 3000XP more than the previous level.
    All levels over 60 require 5000XP more than the previous level.
    Titles
    This is whatever title(s) you are currently applying.
    You can apply 1 title as a base plus 1 extra for every 10 levels you gain.
    Credits
    This is your money.
    While it is all digital, you can store it in your inventory in a special slot.
    When you wish to withdraw some, you will be given credit chips that are as close in value to what you wish for, without being less.
    ...

    'Well, Damm! That's a lot to take in. Still, get through the help then check it out.' "Help three."

    3: You and Those Around you
    How you behave has relevance to the people, organizations and planets around you.
    Everything you do affects how others see you.
    While in most cases this is on a one-to-one level, some actions have planetary, or even galactic implications.
    Certain titles and perks can also affect how others see you.
    ~~~
    Reputation
    This is your standing with everyone, from those around you, to governments and corporations.
    Most people start at 0, though this not always the case.
    From there, your reputation with someone can go up or down, through the following levels;
    Despised -500 – -1000
    Hated -1 – -500
    Disliked 0 – 500
    Neutral 501 – 2000
    Liked 2001 – 5000
    Trusted 5001 – 10000
    Honoured 10001 – 20000
    Worshipped 20001+
    ~~~
    Friendship
    Once your reputation is at Liked there is the chance that that person can become a friend.
    This will affect not only how they see you, but how their other friends and enemies do as well.
    Once someone is classed as a friend, then any change to Reputation affects your friendship, though by only half the Reputation change.
    Levels of friendship are as follows;
    Acquaintance 0 – 1000
    Friend 1001 – 5000
    Confidant 5000 – 10000
    [Locked until Reputation is Trusted or higher and passing a test of friendship]
    Follower 10000+
    [Locked until Reputation is Confidant or higher and passing 3 tests of friendship]
    ~~~
    [This section is locked due to your age]
    ...

    "Well ok. That's something to worry about later on. Help 4."

    4: Inventory and you
    Your special storage space and other attached facts.
    Your inventory is a special pocket dimension where you can store almost anything safely for an indefinite amount of time [Space permitting]
    This screen also lists vital stats and clothing/armour components.
    Certain clothing can grant damage reduction or outright protection from the various forms of damage you could encounter in this galaxy.
    Your total inventory space is defined as twice your strength.
    ...

    "Huh. I'll check that out later I guess, but this is really feeling like a game, even though they say it isn't."

    We will remind you of this the first time you get shot or stabbed.
    "Har-har," I muttered at the cheek being shown by whoever was watching/helping me. "I could look at the interface controls, but I suspect that's just a full repeat of what was said before, so let's have a look at myself. List Stats."

    Cameron Shan
    Species: Human
    Title: The Player
    Level 8
    HP: 120/120
    FP: 3350/4000
    PP: 16/16
    XP [500/8000]
    STAM [80/80]
    Hunger [100/100]
    STR: 7 +
    VIT: 7 +
    AGI: 7 +
    INT: 15 +
    WIS: 11 +
    CHA: 10 +
    Luck: 0 + [+10]
    SP: 1
    PP: 0
    Credits: 0
    ...

    "Geez, those Force points are high. Though seeing how far it's fallen after using a power twice, I'm guessing that Force powers are hard to use, though I'll find out for sure once I read through them. First, however, List Skills."

    SKILLS
    This is a listing of all skills you have, not all the skills you COULD have.
    Each skill has a corresponding stat that affects how quickly you can improve that skill.
    For future reference, you can call up skills for each stat by saying 'List [STAT] skills'.
    Note:
    Certain skills, such as school and combat skills, have six ranks; Novice, Adept, Professional, Master, Savant, Prodigy.
    Each rank has 100 levels.
    These skills have set EXP levels of 100 for Novice, 200 Adept, 300 for Professional, 500 for Master and 700 for Savant and 1000 for Prodigy.
    These skills will have the name of the current level beside the numerical level value.
    Other skills can go up to 100[though not all] but have increases of 25EXP per level.
    You will Get a bonus general stat point for 1500 levels.
    Each level-up, you gain INT*2 skill points to spend as you see fit.
    Currently, you have 70 SP left to spend.
    ~~~
    Any skill that has a [F] next to it can be boosted by the Force, though only once you have the appropriate training.
    STRENGTH SKILLS
    Lightsaber[1-handed]
    10+ Novice
    Hand to Hand [F]
    25+ Professional
    Melee Weapons [2-handed]
    1+ Adept
    AGILITY SKILLS
    Melee Weapons[1-handed] [F]
    3+ Professional
    Melee Weapons [Thrown]
    15+ Adept
    Marksmanship [F]
    97+ Adept
    Ranged Weapons [1-handed] [F]
    5+ Professional
    Ranged Weapons [2-handed] [F]
    40+ Professional
    Ranged Weapons [Heavy] [F]
    2+ Adept
    Piloting [Atmospheric] [F]
    5+ Novice
    Piloting [Space] [F]
    5+ Novice
    Riding [4-legged] [F]
    73+ Novice
    Stealth [F]
    65+ Adept
    Sleight of Hand [F]
    45+ Novice
    Lockpicking [F]
    15+ Novice
    Cleaning
    20+ Novice
    Cooking
    10+ Novice
    Musical Instrument [Guitar]
    15+ Novice
    VITALITY SKILLS
    Athletics [F]
    10+ Novice
    Swimming [F]
    10+ Novice
    INTELLIGENCE SKILLS
    Astrogation
    10+ Novice
    Computing [Slicing]
    20+ Novice
    Computing [Programming]
    10+ Novice
    Economics
    11+ Adept
    Mechanics [Engines]
    10+ Novice
    Mechanics [Speeders]
    10+ Novice
    Mechanics [Fighters]
    10+ Novice
    Mechanics [Starships]
    10+ Novice
    Medicine [First Aid]
    35+ Adept
    Anatomy [Human]
    15+ Adept
    Forensics
    67+ Novice
    LANGUAGES
    There are an inordinate number of languages you can learn.
    Reading/writing speed is (Adept50-current)/2 slower OR (current level-Professional1)/4 faster
    Language [Basic]
    85+ Adept
    Language [German]
    12+ Adept
    INTELLIGENCE/WISDOM SKILLS
    These rare skills can use both INT or WIS stats at different times.
    For battle-planning INT is used but for adapting on the go, WIS is used.
    Warfare [Ground]
    44+ Professional
    Warfare [Space]
    10+ Novice
    WISDOM SKILLS
    Concentration [F]
    100
    Composure [F]
    34+
    Danger Sense [F]
    21+
    CHARISMA SKILLS
    NOTE: All Charisma skills are boosted by luck, when you have any, both positively and negatively.
    Deception [F]
    15+ Novice
    Lie Detection [F]
    10+ Novice
    Meditation [F]
    50+
    Perception [F]
    50+ Novice
    Survival [F]
    74+ Adept
    Persuasion [F]
    1+ Adept
    Intimidation/Taunting [F]
    10+ Novice
    Singing [F]
    6+ Novice
    Negotiating [F]
    4+ Novice
    ...

    "Bloody hell, that's a long list," I muttered, making a mental note to look at the skills via stats in future. Though I did chuckle at the idea that I could speak a language that no-one here had ever heard before. I figured when I kept my limited German might come in handy for codes, and now just the idea of someone like Yoda or Vader trying to speak it had me laughing.

    "Right, moving on. List Knowledge Skills."

    I whistled at the list that appeared, noting that much of it was based on what I knew from the movies and cartoons even as I noticed that all knowledge skills would suffer degradation as time passed; which while making sense was probably going to be annoying when it came time to re-learn about various military and political leaders and how governments and companies worked.

    "List Perks."

    PERKS
    These are earned by spending perk points [which you earn at a rate of 1PP per 4 levels].
    Perks have requirements in PP, stat and level values that must be met before they become available for selection.
    Currently, you have the following perks:
    Force Prodigy
    You are Force-sensitive, allowing you to call on The Force and learn to draw on its powers.
    Your connection to the Force is immense and marks you out as potentially one of the most powerful Force users of your time.
    Grants 500 Force Points (FP) per level.
    [Can only be selected on identity creation]
    Boosts luck by 10
    Photographic Memory
    Lowers Knowledge skills degradation by 75%
    Grants a 9/10 chance to remember something you read in the last 5 years
    [7/10 in 10yrs, 5/10 in 20yrs]
    Empathy
    You can detect the emotions of people around you who don't manage to shield them.
    Can increase your odds with certain skills.
    Especially useful when combined with the ******* Player Power.
    Ambidextrous
    Can use both hands for tools and weapons.
    Halves accuracy penalties for using your off-hand in combat.
    ...

    "Yup, photographic memory will be useful to counter knowledge loss, though I wish I knew what the hidden player power that synced with Empathy was; or how exactly it helped my odds," I said with a slight frown. "List Force Powers."

    FORCE POWERS
    These are the powers you have learned or discovered that use the Force to work.
    Many of the more advanced powers require training from a master Force user to learn.
    You may discover many on your own by simple trial and error, however, this is frowned upon by of the groups around the galaxy that can use the Force since control is needed to truly use the Force.
    As to what the Force is, well it simply is.
    It's neither good nor evil [which in most cases are open to interpretation] but emotions of all kinds do influence what you can do with the Force.
    Importantly, the better you get a using a power, the easier it is to use.
    Currently, you have the following Force Powers:
    Push/Pull
    1 Novice
    The ability to push, pull and levitate objects or block objects in motion so long as their mass is within your power range.
    At higher levels, this can grant the ability to lift multiple objects at once and even self-levitation.
    Can currently lift 1 object up to 10kg in mass.
    Costs 500FP +5FP/second
    ...

    "Well that's the power I expected but that cost is high. Hmm, didn't it say earlier that it gets easier to use Force Powers with training? Maybe that means the cost decreases as I get better at using it." I thought with a smirk. "Once I finish checking out everything I'll have to keep using it and see. List Player Powers." I was curious as to what exactly I would learn here as this seemed the more reality-breaking part of my new life.

    PLAYER POWERS
    These are powers and skills that are unique to The Player.
    However, some of them are very close to what many consider to be 'Dark-Side Force powers' so be careful when using them around 'Light-side Force users'
    You gain 1 Player Power Point every 5 levels to spend on new powers.
    Currently, you have the following Player Powers:
    Player's Mind [ON/OFF] MAX
    Allows the Player to calmly and logically think things through.
    Allows a peaceful state of mind.
    Grants immunity to physiological effects.
    Protects against compulsions and external controls.
    Does not prevent the Player from showing emotional responses, only dissipates them instantly afterwards.
    [NOTE: Will automatically turn on when the Player is in battle or HP falls below 25%]
    Player's Body MAX
    The body experiences the stresses of the physical world as if it was a video game.
    [This means that you suffer no obvious damage when hit/shot/stabbed etc, but instead lose HPs]
    [You can, however, still lose limbs if the attack severs them from your body.]
    Sleeping fully [8 hours under normal circumstance] restores HP and heals all temporary statuses effects.
    NOTE:
    If your HP reaches 0, for whatever reason, YOU WILL DIE.
    Inventory
    For every point of Strength grants 2 slots in your inventory.
    This is a pocket dimension that only you can use, and in which time does not pass; thus, nothing will degrade while stored there.
    It also allows you to store money without concern for weight or limits of Cred-chits
    Each slot can hold an object of volume no more than 0.125m^3. [50x50x50cm]
    Currently, you have 14 slots.
    NOTE:
    Currently, you have 1 PPP.
    Do you wish to view available Player Powers?
    Yes/No
    ...

    "Yes," I replied excitedly.

    Warning:
    No new Player Powers are available at this time.
    Please check back at a higher level.
    ...

    "Assholes!" I shouted at the text, feeling like I'd just been pranked by whoever was behind giving me these abilities. I was angry as the text disappeared and I pounded the desk.
    I frowned as I looked at my hand and saw no bruising and realised this was Player's Body in action. Clearly, I didn't get hurt or feel pain the same as most people would, though I quickly realised that this meant I would have to be careful about getting wounded in case someone began to realise I was different to everyone else.

    Hey! That's pretty smart!
    For working out a flaw in the system, have +1 WIS.
    Also, look at your notice boxes!
    I glared at the floating text from 'The Powers that Be' that were watching me but did as it suggested.
    Skill Created!
    Damage Resistance [Physical] [F]
    1 Novice
    Each level grants 0.1% reduction in physical damage taken.
    Currently 0.1% reduction.
    ...

    I chuckled at the insanity of the fact I gained a new skill for punching a desk, though I quickly wondered if I could gain damage reduction skills against other forms of damage; like say a blaster or lightsaber.

    I noticed that the combat log showed me taking 8HP of damage from striking the desk but ignored it and moved back to the lists.

    "List Titles."
    Titles
    These are special add-ons to your identity that can help you in certain situations.
    You gain titles as you complete quests, grow up, and generally be a badass.
    [Though if you wanted to live a quiet life and gain no titles, that is your choice]
    Currently, you have the following titles:
    The Player
    Grants access to special powers that, to the corporeal mind, resemble being in a game.
    Leader
    2/10
    Can command up to 4 others in a group.
    Each member gets a 5% bonus to their skills.
    1XP gained for each successful command given to the group.
    2XP for each successful action that obeys an order/ hits a target.
    5XP for each 'kill' by the group/ project completed.
    ...

    I frowned at that. I'd been squad leader with 2-2 for the last three years. I really should have a better level for my only title. The frown broke as I realised that it, and probably many of my skills, had been toned down as I was now eight instead of twenty-eight.

    That made sense as not many people would be willing to obey an eight-year-old in battle, nor would the muscle memory of combat transfer. The knowledge would, but I'd have to work on teaching this new body how to react.

    Hey! You're Getting it!
    You're really starting to figure out this power.
    Have +1 INT
    ~~~
    And this will be the last free stat point you get!

    I glared at the floating text. Sure, the extra point in intelligence was nice, but the cheek I was getting was irritating. I took a few deep breaths and decided there was nothing I could do about it now – or probably ever – so I moved on.

    "List Quests."

    QUESTS
    These are the story chains that will help push and shape your new life.
    Quests come in various forms, from repeatable simple ones to long, multi-part campaigns.
    Most of your activities will be set up as quests, however, you are free to decline most quests.
    You can also create your own quests if you are willing to push yourself beyond what would be considered easy/safe.
    All quests are rated from F to S*** for difficulty, with anything rated B or over generally carrying the risk of bodily harm, if not death.
    Current quests are:
    Prologue
    This is the introduction to get you to your chosen Era
    [Note, currently you aren't there.]
    Rating: B
    Objective: Survive and Escape
    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Rewards:
    3500XP
    Penalties:
    Capture by the Sith
    Possible Death
    ...

    I grunted as I read the quest again, wondering just what kind of prologue quest ran the risk of death.

    Sure, this wasn't a game, but I had to wonder if this was altogether fair.

    Whoever said a corporeal life was fair?
    Grow a spine and get on with things!

    I glared at the latest message from the PtB as I wondered if they had it in for me.

    I continued to glare at the message as it faded away, and with a shake of my head looked around the room.

    "I was told to do my homework, but I'd rather practice using the Force. Hmm, List Force Powers."

    I read through the description again and smirked. "So 500FP to activate then 5FP a second to hold it, and my FP regenerates at 1% a minute which is… 40! Sweet! So I lose 260FP a minute if I keep it on constantly and I currently have… Lists stats." The list changed. FP is currently at 3750, so that's 3250 divided by 260… about 13 minutes. Right then."

    I looked around the room until my eyes landed on the pillow. "That'll do," I muttered and pointed my hand at it, smiling when it floated up into the air. "Yes!"

    While the pillow was floating, I figured I should get going on my 'homework'; silently praying that I didn't have to spend skill points to finish it.

    I scanned the room for books but frowned at not finding anything save what looked like a cross between an iPad and a game console.

    "Right, everything here is computerised," I remarked as I picked it up. "Though I wished I knew how to use this."

    I turned the pad over in my free hand slowly, checking it carefully before looking at the front.

    There was a large button at the base, under the screen and working on a hunch, I pressed that and smiled as the screen came to life.

    Thankfully, the thing was set up very much like an iPad, so it was easy to find the homework assignments and I mentally sighed in relief in seeing that the history and electronic ones were completed; leaving me math and science.

    "Here's hoping I remember this stuff," I muttered as I opened the maths homework with a touch.
    ...
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2020
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  3. Threadmarks: Prologue 2
    USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Know what you're doing yet?

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    I'll be honest and say nothing much happens here, but I wanted to show how Cameron goes about the first few days in his new identity.


    I pulled my head up as I finished the first assignment, surprised that it seemed far harder than I remembered from Primary school in my old life – though that may have been because I was using a new language that, even though my brain seemed to know how to use, I did not – and noticed the pillow was no longer floating around beside me but was resting on the floor.

    "I wonder… List Force Powers. Damm! No change." I'd been hoping that the power had levelled up, but no luck. "Hmm, List Stats." I glanced down the list and saw my FP was back up to 1280, meaning I'd been at the homework for about 45 minutes if my mental math was right.

    "That's about three minutes if I try Push/Pull again. Will that be enough to get me over the XP limit?" I asked the empty room.

    With a shrug, I decided to do so and lifted the pillow with the Force again.

    I began to get bored as I watched the pillow floating there so I sent it flying around the room, try out pushing and pulling it until a notice box appeared in the lower right corner of my vision.

    Dropping the pillow, I pulled up the box.

    Force Power Levelled-up!
    Push/Pull
    Level 2
    ...

    "List Force stats." I smiled as I saw the changed level though I had been hoping for a drop in FP cost. "Still, that's about 15 minutes for a level up, which works out as… 4500 not including the 500 to activate the power! Damm! That's a full load and a bit of FP. That's going to slow down my levelling. Still, while I'm waiting I can do this homework; maybe it'll level up some of my skills and if even if not, it's a way to pass the time."

    .........

    "Cameron are you in there?"

    My head popped up from the pad I was using at the sound of the man's voice outside his door. "Yeah, why?"

    The man opened the door but stayed in just outside. "Are you busy?" He asked slowly, and I got the feeling he was trying to avoid something.

    "Not really. I've finished most of the remaining assignments." I replied, which was true. I'd spent the last four hours in the room working through all but one of the assignments while also burning through another full load of Force Points.

    It hadn't taken me over the limit, but I felt I was close and would only need to try once more for a few minutes to gain another level in Push/Pull.

    "Ah. Good. I need you to come downstairs. There's someone on the Hypercomm." He said and turned slowly.

    I frowned as I stood. 'Who would he… Right the Jedi!' I tried to control my emotions as I walked.

    As I reached the lower landing I remembered about Player's Mind and considered using it but held off given I'd only have 16 minutes of usage.

    I followed the man into what seemed to be something equivalent to a living room which was dominated by a large central table; on which a hologram of an old woman – possibly even older than the man – was watching me from the moment I entered the room.

    I knew that they used holograms to communicate over long distances but seeing it for real was something else. Once I got over the shock at seeing a real hologrammatic image of someone, I frowned a little as there was something about her that was familiar, but I couldn't place it.

    "My how you've grown," she said with a slight smile in a voice I also felt I should know. "I'm not sure if you remember the last time we saw each other, but you were a young child, just learning to talk." She paused and smiled, though her eyes drifted from me to the man.

    "Um, not to sound rude, but who are you?" I asked to break the strange silence that had fallen over the room as the two older people locked eyes and seemed to remember something.

    The woman smiled. "Yes, I imagine you have forgotten me. My name is Bastila Shan, your great-grandmother."

    I felt my jaw drop a little at that revelation. I mean, I know I picked 'Shan' as a family name, but I just assumed I'd be some long lost relative or descendent of hers; not a direct and living one!

    "I see you've heard of me." She said with a slight twitching of her lips and I nodded slowly.

    "Bastila Shan, Jedi Master and wife of Revan; the Prodigal Knight," I replied, stating his nickname from the games.

    Her smile faltered at Revan's name and I remembered that he had disappeared by the time of the second game; though I never bothered to read any comics or try the MMO that followed later. Not a fan of online gaming.

    "Yes, your great-grandfather." I had suspected that at her saying she was my great-gran, but having it confirmed was still a bit of a shock.

    She seemed to pull herself up – though that was hard to be sure of given the hologram was just from her waist upwards. "Now, your grandfather tells me that the Jedi may have made a mistake with your testing."
    I glanced over at the man I now knew was my 'new' grandfather. "Yeah."


    I looked back and saw her brow had raised, as though challenging me. Then it occurred to me. She wanted a demonstration.

    I turned and looked around the room until I saw a lamp. With a twist of my wrist, I lifted it, made it fly around the room a few times before putting it back where it had come from.

    I turned back to Bastila, trying to not smile. "Player's Mind on," I whispered, figuring that using it to numb my emotions would be a good thing for a Jedi to see. I saw a notice box in the lower right corner and assumed it was another level-up for Push/Pull.

    "Hmm. That was certainly a clear connection with the Force, but I distinctly remember your mother telling me that you were not Force Sensitive." She gently rubbed her chin.

    "I will have to contact the Council and see if I can check their records of testing." She paused and glanced at my grandfather. "Vaner, I'll call you either tonight or tomorrow once I have more information."

    She turned back to look at me. "Cameron, I want you to continue practising your telekinesis. Also, I want you to try to meditate in silence in your room. Try to feel the Force around you; feel it flow through you and everything in the room."

    "Yes, ma'am," I replied, wondering what meditating like that would do.

    She smiled and turned back to my grandfather, her son. "Goodbye Vaner. May the Force be with you."

    "And you mother." He replied as the hologram cut off. He had a small smile on his face as he turned to look at me. "Well, you heard her. Go and practice."

    I nodded and turned to leave, only to stop and look back at him. "I'm sorry."

    "For what?"

    "Well if I hadn't caught the plate this morning then I might not have to leave as my mum did," I said slowly, as I had worked out that while my grandfather couldn't use the Force, my mother must've been able to. The way both he and Bastila spoke of her getting me tested hinted that she was, if not a full Jedi, then at least Force-Sensitive.

    The way both he and Bastila spoke of her getting me tested hinted that she was, if not a full Jedi, then at least Force-Sensitive.

    My grandfather smiled, though it didn't reach his eyes. "This is not your fault. Having the ability to access the Force is a gift, but it comes with heavy burdens. If you are accepted, then you will not be allowed to contact me until after you become a Knight; and the only reason that may be possible is because of who my parents were, and the fact I was once Chancellor."

    I was glad that Player's Mind was on at that revelation. That my great-grandparents were Raven and Bastila was a shock, and learning that my grandfather was a former Chancellor of the Republic was definitely another.

    "Ah, well, um," I hemmed, not sure what to say, but he seemed to know as he placed a hand on my shoulder.

    "Whether you become a Jedi or not, I am proud of you and know that you will do great things. It's in your blood." This smile reached his eyes and I could only nod in reply. "Now go. You have your training for the day, and I want all your assignments finished before dinner."

    A gave him a small smile and then left, heading upstairs once more to my room even as I tried to work out how I could be here and now. The games were set thousands of years before the movies, yet I had selected the Rise of the Empire Era to play.

    "Right, the quest." I murmured as I closed the door. It did say I wasn't in the right era, but how am I going to get thousands of years into the future?" I tried to come up with ways it could happen, but none were appealing so I decided to ignore that for now.

    "Hmm, Bastila said to practice on the Push/Pull and to try and centre myself. What does that… List Skills." I ran down the list until I found what I was looking for. "Dammit! Meditation grants a 50% bonus to regeneration, meaning if I meditate a regenerate my FP at 60 per minute. Hmm, is there a Force Power that does the same?"

    I closed the list, sat down on the floor with my legs crossed – not something my new body found comfortable, but it was how I imagined people meditated – and closed my eyes.

    It was weird trying to reach out and feel something else there; something that until I woke up here I thought was just a hand-wavey way to explain away powers in a movie.

    Still, I figured I might as well take a crack at seeing what this whole thing was about as I began to clear my head and slow my breathing.

    .........

    When I opened my eyes later, I glanced around and saw that the light from outside was dimming, and a glance at the datapad showed four hours had passed and I frowned as I wondered why I didn't feel hungry.

    "List… Hold on," I saw a handful of notice boxes.

    Force Power Discovered!
    Trance
    While in this state, your meditation bonuses improve, helping you recover much faster than normal.
    You also stop your need to eat or sleep for days at a time.
    ...
    Force Power Discovered!
    Heal
    The ability to use the Force to heal yourself.
    ...
    Force Power Discovered!
    Breath Control
    The ability to slow your breathing to avoid toxins in the air.
    At higher levels grant the ability to go without breathing for several minutes.
    ...
    Force Power Levelled-Up! X14
    Trance
    Level 15
    ...
    Skill Levelled-Up!
    Meditation
    Level 51
    ...

    "Damm! That's a lot of level-ups! List Force Powers."
    FORCE POWERS
    These are the powers you have learned or discovered that use the Force to work.
    Many of the more advanced powers require training from a master Force user to learn.
    You may discover many on your own by simple trial and error, however, this is frowned upon by the groups around the galaxy that can use the Force since control is needed to truly use the Force.
    As to what the Force is, well it simply is.
    It's neither good nor evil [which in most cases are open to interpretation] but emotions of all kinds do influence what you can do with the Force.
    Importantly, the better you get a using a power, the easier it is to use.
    Currently, you have the following Force Powers:
    Push/Pull
    3 Novice
    The ability to push, pull and levitate objects or block objects in motion so long as their mass is within your power range.
    At higher levels, this can uplock the ability to self-levitate.
    Can currently lift objects up to 30kg in mass.
    Costs 499FP +5FP/second
    Trance
    15 Novice
    While in this state, your meditation bonuses improve, helping you recover much faster than normal.
    You can also stop your need to eat or sleep for days at a time.
    Currently grants an additional 7.5% bonus to meditation and self-healing.
    Costs 98FP
    Heal
    1 Novice
    The ability to use the Force to heal yourself.
    At higher levels, you can heal others.
    Heals at a rate of 1HP/second
    Costs 100FP +15/second
    Breath Control
    1 Novice
    The ability to slow your breathing to avoid toxins in the air.
    At higher levels grant the ability to block all gases from entering or leaving your body through breathing or skin contact.
    Currently, you can hold your breath for 1 min.
    Costs 100FP +15/second
    ...

    "I feel like I'm being insulted by only being able to hold my breath for a minute, but I imagine that will go up over time. Hmm, both Push/Pull and Trance have strange costs and I know that Push/Pull started at 500, so the more levels I get in a power, the easier it is to activate. I will have to see if that holds true for continual costs later.

    Huh, if I use Trance with Meditation, I get 57.5% boost to regen. Nice. Hmm, I wonder if I can get them all up to level 15 before I have to leave?"

    Quest Alert!
    One with the Force [User Defined]
    Improve your powers before the end of the prologue.
    Rating: E
    Objective:
    Get your 4 current Force Powers up to level 15 Novice before the quest 'Prologue' ends.
    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Rewards:
    300XP
    Penalties:
    -100XP
    Accept?
    Yes/No
    ...

    "Yes," I said since that was my plan even before the quest was offered. "So that's how that works, though I assume the low XP is for the low rating. Still, waste not, want not.

    "Trance will be easy as I'll need to regenerate Force Power to use the others. Breath Control will take time but should be doable, same with Push/Pull. Boy, does that need a better name; like Telekinesis…"

    Force Power Renamed!
    Push/Pull - Telekinesis (TK)
    ...

    I stared at the notice for a moment before blowing out a breath. "Arseholes," I muttered in reference to the PtB – the alien whatever's that had granted me this new life – as I shook my head.

    "So, how to use heal. I'm assuming it will only work when I'm injured, which sounds less than fun but for now, it will have to do." I decided and turned to the metal table, giving it a shrug in apology.

    "Cameron! Dinner's ready!"

    "Looks like you survive for now," I said to the table with a chuckle before I left my room.



    You have slept in your bed for over 8 hours.
    HP, FP, PP and STAM 100% restored.
    All negative statuses and ailments have been removed.
    ~~~
    Note:
    You only need to sleep for 8 hours to fully restore HP, FP, PP and Stam.
    While a minimum of 4 hours is required to get any restoration [50%]
    I grunted as I saw the text floating before my eyes as I woke the next morning, blinking as I processed what I saw before it vanished.
    ...

    "8 hours are all I need? Ugg. Wish I knew that before I went to bed and slept for… 10 hours." I mumbled as I pushed back the covers and rolled out of bed. "So that's another few hours that I can add into my training slash grinding," I noted as I stood up and stretched.

    The night before I'd tried levelling up Breath control, but I could only hold it for about 4 and a half minutes due to the high per second cost, though I had levelled up Trance 4 more times and Meditation once.

    Getting Trance and TK up to meet the quest level was going to be easy but Heal and Breath Control were going to be a bitch. Still, I had time before breakfast so did another round of Breath Control, and almost as soon as I activated it I got the first pop up.

    Once my time was up, I pulled up the Force powers list and saw I could only hold my breath for a minute.

    "Well that's just shite," I mumbled as I waved away the list and headed off to have a shower before breakfast.

    …......

    "Morning," I said as I walked into the kitchen to see my granddad putting out the plates.

    "Well you're up early today," he commented with a weak smile. I figured he was still less than thrilled about me possibly becoming a Jedi but was trying to stay strong for my benefit.

    'The fun of being 28 in an 8-year-old's body. I understand when someone is trying to hide things easier.' I mused as I sat at the table. "Yeah. I'll admit I'm excited about using the Force, but I know there's no point getting too worked up until… great-granny calls back." I stumbled a bit at the end due to not knowing what exactly to call Bastila as I'd never had to deal with great-grandparents before.

    Vaner chuckled at my chose of words, probably enjoying the term as well as my uncertainty. "Great-granny? I have to remember that one!" He chuckled. Yup, he enjoyed the term. "But you're right. It could be you simply weren't rated high enough to be taken as a youngling. Still, great-granny did ask you to meditate on the Force, and since you've almost finished your schoolwork for the holidays, I see no problem with you doing so. Though do remember to get out and stretch your legs from time to time."

    I smiled and nodded. "Yes, sir."

    We ate in comfortable silence and I returned to my room, FP fully restored and smiled as I pointed my hand at my pillow.

    …......
    Green in brown
    Clouds of dust
    Looming shadow
    Red clashing with green
    Fire and smoke
    Blue liquid pooling
    Running
    Walls closing in
    Seeing a window
    Can't breathe
    Red cutting metal
    Fade to white
    I jumped out of bed, and stumbled a few steps, feeling sweat dripping down my face.

    "What… what was that?" I asked the empty room, though no obvious answer came as I breathed heavily to calm myself.

    Noticing a few blue boxes, I opened them. There were ones for Trance, which I'd expected as I seemed to get a few every time I restored my Force Points, but the last one is what caught my eye;

    Force Power Discovered!
    Vision
    Grants the ability to glimpse what is going to happen in the future.
    ...

    "Huh, well ok. List Force Powers."

    I ignored the ones I already had and read the full description of Vison.

    Vision
    1 Novice
    Grants the ability to glimpse what is going to happen in the future.
    Normally, these would be glimpses of possible futures, but due to your status as The Player, your visions are the future; unless you change them.
    You have a small chance to experience visions, though the longer you meditate for, the greater the chance becomes.
    No Cost
    ...

    "That was a Force Vision? OK, but I have no idea what it meant." I sat back down on the bed and tried to remember what I'd seen, though after ten minutes I'd still gotten nowhere.

    "Well, I guess I'll figure out what it means lat… Hold on. Force Visions, as in glimpses of the future? Meaning what I know will happen can be passed off as visions if I am vague enough to start with I can hint at what will happen and if what I initially predict comes to pass, the Jedi might be more willing to believe me about Palpatine, Dooku and Anakin." I grinned and chuckled as I realised I might have a way to alter things for the Jedi, though it was all depended on my escaping the prologue.

    My grin fell as I remembered that and I sighed. "Wonder how long I have left?"

    "Cameron! Lunchtime!" Came the voice of my grandfather and, after taking a moment to calm my thoughts regarding surviving whatever was to come, I moved off.

    …......

    "Cameron are you still up?" I broke from my trance meditation at the sound of my grandfather's voice and with a wave of my hand, opened the door.

    "Yes," I replied as he looked into my room. I was simply sitting cross-legged on the bed, having been working on restoring my Force Points.

    "Hmm, well it's time for bed. If your light is not out and you're not under the sheets in 5, I'm banning you from any Force training tomorrow.

    "Yes, sir," I replied, keeping my face as calm as I could until the door closed. "List Force Powers."

    I scowled as I looked at the list. A full day of training up Heal, and I'd only gained 2 levels. The quest was looking virtually impossible to pull off.

    Sure, Trance was now 53 Novice, but at the current rate, it would take me 2 weeks here to get Heal up to 20 Novice; and that was ignoring Breath Control and TK.

    I grumbled as I stood and moved to the bathroom to clean my teeth.

    'There has to be a way that I can get more time. I mean, I lose 8 hours slee…' "List Player Powers."

    I browsed the list. "Gamer's Body; The body experiences the stresses of the physical world as if it was a video game." I tapped my chin as I thought things through. Now, this wasn't a game, the PtB had made that clear enough that I was willing to believe them, but this power treated my body as if it was in a game. And in most RPG's, you only had to sleep to heal, which I could do using Force Heal instead. Sure, my hunger would drop but that happened even if I slept, so it was worth a shot.

    I walked back to my room and settled into the bed, waiting for the hall light to go out even as the idea that I could train during my sleep-filled my thoughts.

    I couldn't train Force Heal, as I need to hurt myself first to use that power and hitting anything would generate noise.

    Breath Control, however, was a skill used by simply doing nothing but slowing down my heartbeat, meaning I could do it while in bed and faking sleep. Sure, I could stop myself breathing for a few minutes instead of simply slowing my heart, but that would mean stopping and starting; which struck me as inefficient.

    "List Stats," I said quietly in the dark and waited quietly until my Force Points were fully restored.

    "Right, time to breathe," I smirked at the bad pun as the hall light went out.


    Again, sorry for the slowness.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2020
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  4. Threadmarks: Prologue 3
    USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Know what you're doing yet?

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    "How much longer is this Prologue going to take?" I asked with a sigh as I walked back into my room on my sixth morning here.

    I knew that this wasn't a game, or at least I was trying to not treat it as one, but I was starting to go bored just sitting in my room day and night grinding. Yes, the whole not needing to sleep thing was starting to get to me. I mean, I get that with my new power I didn't need to, but to hell with grinding, I wanted to sleep and was going to, quest be dammed.

    Sure, I'd gotten Heal and Trance to at least 15 Novice – Trance was at 20 Master which granted 110% bonus to regeneration, on top of meditation's bonus – and Breath Control was almost there as well, but I was getting seriously bored.

    I'd have the same Force Vision 4 more times, which had been enough to level up Vision once. Sadly, the glimpse of the future was no clearer or obvious in meaning, though I had reached the conclusion it had something to do with how the Prologue quest was going to end.

    With a sigh, I figured it was time to start levelling up TK now that Heal was high enough to meet the quest requirements and I began to fly a pillow around the room.

    I'd only been at that for maybe 10 minutes when there was a knock at the door.

    "Cameron, can you come downstairs. There's someone here to meet you."

    I frowned for a moment before I realised who it probably was. While my grandfather hadn't mentioned if Bastila had called him back, I assumed she had and that the newcomer was a Jedi to check my Force connection; hopefully without that silly blood-test thingy from The Phantom Menace.

    I walked out of the room slowly, trying to contain my excitement, though I paused as I reached the bottom of the stairs as I got a new notification box.

    Opening it, I discovered I had a new Force Power; Detection, which detected living beings within a 10meter range.

    I opened the mini-map and saw three blue dots in the living room to my left, one of which had my grandfather's name attached to it in very small text.

    'That might get awkward if I'm at the Jedi Temple or in a major battle. I'll have to look later to see if I can turn off the names from the options.' I considered as I entered the living room and saw my grandfather talking with two brown-robed individuals. The taller of the two was a green-skinned Twi'lek; and knowing that generated another blue box, though I ignored it for now.

    "There you are," Vaner said with a slight smile. "Cameron, this is Jedi Master Tardon Komad, and his padawan, Haqu. They were sent by your Great-Grandmother to see if you are suitable for training with the Jedi."

    "Hello," I said taking in the sight of my first real aliens and trying very hard to not freak out about it. Tardon was as tall as my grandfather and his head-tails – I didn't know what they were called – were wrapped around his neck. The padawan was of the same species as Darth Maul, yet his skin was a light brown. He looked to be about 15-18 in age.

    "Yes, I can see the resemblance to Ressa," Tardon commented as he looked at me. "I was her master when she was a padawan." He stepped forward and knelt in front of me. "Now, let us see."

    He closed his eyes and I felt a brief tingle in my mind and at the end of my fingers.

    "Well, he's definitely strong in the Force, that much is certain. But the records show he wasn't. A conundrum." He said as he stood and rubbed his chin.

    "Why would that be master?" Haqu asked, his eyes glancing to his master as he spoke.

    I had pondered that myself over the last few days and had a suspicion. "Maybe my mother wanted me to grow up away from Coruscant and the Jedi. Given to my family name, I think I'd gather a lot of attention."

    "Yes, that is possible. Ressa was not one who enjoyed the way people looked at her once her family name was revealed." Tardon replied. "Perhaps it also has something to do with your father. Do you know whom that was?"

    Vaner shook his head. "Ressa never told me and Emess never mentioned anything about it to me when she came home with Cameron." He paused and looked over at picture that was of him and a woman when he was younger, one I knew was my grandmother who'd died a few years ago.

    I frowned. More than likely my dad was just someone my mother had gotten close to during a mission and gotten pregnant, but not knowing was a little disconcerting.

    "Still, we need to carry out a few more test to be sure if he is suitable to join the Younglings at one of the training centres," Tardon stated slowly. "With your permission Chancellor, I'd like to try and teach him a few basic Force abilities."

    "Just Vaner is fine Master Jedi," Vaner replied with a small frown that made me wonder if he regretted something about being the Chancellor. "And go ahead. Cameron has done nothing but meditate on Bastila's words these last few days."

    I managed to avoid smirking at my grandfather thinking I'd just been meditating in my room instead of grinding my skills.

    "Indeed. Well, that is a good start." Tardon paused and looked around the room. "Hmm, perhaps we should move outside. Younglings have a tendency to lack control when learning new skills."

    I followed the two Jedi outside, wondering just what they would try to teach me, and how long this would take.

    .........

    "Well done Cameron," Tardon said with a large smile that exposed his sharp, razor teeth. "It is quite astonishing how easily you are able to pick up new skills." He continued, and I couldn't help but smile at the praise.

    In the last several hours, between all the talking about what the Jedi stand for, I had gained seven new Force powers and while some seemed less than useful, I had created another quest while doing so and was halfway to finishing it. I had to gain 10 new Force powers before reaching a Jedi training centre for 300XP while failing would only cost me 100XP.

    The only downside of this learning was that my FP became depleted and that meant another bout of meditation; something I was becoming truly sick of doing.

    "Thank you, sir," I replied, not willing or truthful comfortable with calling someone master. Blame it on the connotations of the word and too much Doctor Who growing up.

    "Master," I turned with Tardon as his padawan approached from where their small ship was parked. "The ship's scanners have detected another ship on an approach vector."

    "Hmm, was your grandfather expecting visitors?"

    "No, that I know of." Though given I'd spent the last few days locked in my room by choice I wouldn't know.

    "Hmm. Perhaps it would be best if we returned to the house and awaited these…"

    I stopped paying attention to the Twi'lek Jedi when a white notice appeared in the centre of my vision.

    MOVE!

    I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand at the simple warning as I realised it was a message from the Force thanks to now learning Precognition.

    "We need to go!" I blurted out, already backing off towards the house even as I glanced up at the sky. There was nothing to see but the message changed.

    MOVE NOW!

    I pulled on Tardon's sleeve. "We need to move!" I said with as much emotion as I could, hoping my very real fear would convince him.

    "I dou…" whatever he was going to say was cut-off by a string of red light beams that struck the Jedi's ship, destroying it and throwing me and Tardon backwards towards the house.

    I grunted as I rolled onto my side and stared at where the ship had been. Now it was nothing but a burning and smocking pile of remains. I shook my head to clear it and saw that the interface had changed; my mini-map and key stats were now on, as was Player's mind. All of that told me I was now in combat and I looked up as a shadow fell over the ship remains to see another ship, one that looked slightly larger than the former Jedi ship, descending rapidly.

    "Get inside," Tardon said, and I turned to look at him. His face was marred by what I assumed was blood, though it was blue in colour. Otherwise, he looked fine and I turned back to the remains of his ship as I realised that Haqu had been between us and the ship when it exploded.

    "Haqu?" I asked slowly as I stood, noting the new ship was going to land behind the remains of the Jedi's one.

    "Dead," Tardon stated softly before he held out a hand and summoned the padawan's lightsaber. "Here, I sense the presence of the dark side on that ship. I hope you will not need it, but it is better to be prepared."

    I took the lightsaber slowly, turning it over in my hands.

    "Move," Tardon ordered.

    Warning!
    Attempted Force Compulsion!
    Overwritten due to Player's Mind.

    I waved away the warning, that while not appearing in the centre of my vision, was still easy to read as it appeared in my combat log and ran back into the house to find my grandfather approaching, two guns in hand.

    "What's happening?"

    "We're under attack," I replied as I slid the lightsaber into my pocket in case he tried to take it from me. I really wished I could drop it in my inventory, but having it disappear in plain-sight would raise a lot of questions I'd rather avoid if possible. "Haqu is dead and their ship is destroyed. Another is landing behind it and Tardon says there are Sith on board."

    Vaner's face went white for a moment before he thrust one of the blasters to me. "Take it." He commanded, and I did so.

    I turned it over in my hands slowly. While the thing was very different from a pistol from my former life, the principles were still the same and I felt more comfortable with a gun than a lightsaber; though if I survived this I hoped to change that.

    Vaner moved me behind the table he had overturned, one I saw was made of metal, and moved to the window to glance outside.

    "Sithspit!" He spat out. "There's two of them and a handful of thugs."

    I closed my eyes and reach out of with Force Detection, but the attackers were not close enough for me to sense yet as all I felt was my grandfather and Tardon.

    "Kriff! The thugs are moving this way." Vaner stated not long after my attempt to detect the Sith and I realised that I'd given away my position by doing so. "Keep your head down." He added as he took aim with his pistol and fired off a few shots.

    The return fire was not as quick in coming as I would've expected if I was in my old life, but what came forced Vaner to duck down low.

    Glasses exploded, pots and pans clanged, and cupboard doors creaked under the fire that was coming in and I knew that we couldn't stay in the kitchen.

    "We need to move," I called out. "If they've got half a brain between them some will keep firing while the others flank us."

    "What?" Vaner shouted back over the incoming shots that I noted where lessening but still sustained. I looked at my grandfather and his shock at my statement was clear to see.

    "I've read a few books on battles. They'll try to pin us down here while circling around to attack from behind." I lied/explained. "If we stay here we'll die."

    Vaner tried to glance out of the window, but the incoming fire stopped him, and he sighed. "Fine, but where should we go?"

    I thought for a moment as I considered the layout of the house. "They'll try to come in through a window if one is open, or the front door if not. Regardless they'd need to pass through the hall to get here so we should move up the stairs. It gives us an advantage and we can slip out of one of the upstairs windows to try and help Tardon."

    Vaner nodded along slowly. "Very well, however, you are not to engage the Sith. You're no match for them."

    I nodded in agreement, remembering that failure here would mean capture by them or death; neither of which was an appealing option.

    Vaner sent a few random shots out of the window, not that I expected him to him anything, to hopefully convince the attackers we were staying still, then we moved quickly but quietly up the stairs, checking the rooms we passed to ensure there was no-one there yet.

    Once we reached the top of the stairs, Vaner ushered me into my room.

    "Stay in here. Don't come out unless I tell you."

    "But…"

    "No buts." His tone was firm. "Stay here." He paused and sighed. "I can't lose you too."

    I opened my mouth to retort, only to stop and nod in acceptance. This man had lost his wife, one of his children had died and the other was somewhere in the galaxy as a Jedi.

    I knew that I would be leaving here soon, but if I could do so without hurting him, I would try. Though I was also already planning how to get out of the window.

    He gave me a small smile and placed his hand on my shoulder. "Whatever happens, I love you."

    He turned to leave, but I stopped him by grabbing his arm. Player's Mind was clearly controlling my emotions, but I still didn't want him to die. "May the Force be with you."

    I felt a shiver go up my spine at finally saying those words and his smile grew as he replied.

    "And with you."

    He turned without a further word and left, closing the room as he did.

    I dropped the lightsaber into my inventory – figuring I was less likely to lose it there than in my pocket – and looked around the room. With a quick wave of my hand, I moved the desk behind the door, then dragged the bed – as its weight was too heavy to fully lift – behind that before I walked over to the window.

    I was relieved that it was big enough for me to leave through and that it faced away from where the ships and the Sith were.

    I opened it slowly, keeping down in case the other attackers could see then risked a glance outside.

    There was no sign of anyone but also, there was no ledge and if I leapt it would be straight drop to the ground.

    Blaster fire from outside the room told Vaner had engaged the attackers and I knew I needed to go.

    Moving slowly, until I was sitting, legs out on the ledge, I turned at the sound of someone banging at the door.

    "Get out here you little brat!" Someone shouted, and I frowned as I realised that Vaner was either dead or dying outside. "Open this door or the old man is dead!"

    "RUN CAM…" Vaner was cut off by the sound of a blaster and I growled. Part of me wanted to stay and kill these bastards, but I knew that it was a risk I should avoid. The further I got from them and the Sith the more likely I was to survive and complete the prologue quest.

    As an idea formed, I looked upwards and smirked at seeing the edge of the roof was close enough that if I stood I should be able to grab it and pull myself up and I managed to reach the roof just as there was an explosion from my room and I shimmed backwards until everything but my head was away from the edge. Carefully I took the blaster and aimed just past the window then waited quietly.

    "Where's the brat gone?"

    "Rand check the cupboard and under the bed. Sansk, the window."

    I smirked at the voices and waited patiently until a green head popped out of the window; its eyes scanning the ground below.

    "Nothi…" was as far as he got as I pressed the trigger and blasted a hole through his head, making his body slump over the ledge before sliding back into the room. Even as the body slumped to the floor, I moved backwards until I was

    "Kriff! Sansk's gone!"

    "I can see that you idiot! Move slowly, either there's someone else out there or the kid's more dangerous than we were told."

    "First Gran, now Sansk. This mission is going to druk."

    "Keep it up and you'll be next."

    I had to shake my head that the back and forth between the two people in my room. Clearly, they were not soldiers and I was learning a few new, what I assumed were, swear words.

    "I've got nothing," Rand said quietly, though given I was so close I heard him clearly.

    "Same here. He must be directly below us or have gone."

    "The Sith'll kill us if we lose him."

    "If we're lucky they'll kill us." The leader, and the one who's name I didn't know said, telling me they worked for the Sith. Probably pirates or thugs hired for this mission as expendable cannon fodder. "I've heard tales about what they do to those that fail them." There was a long pause before he spoke again. "Still, two fewer bodies means more loot for us."

    Rand chuckled. "Guess it does. So what do we do now?"

    "We follow the boy. You jump first, and I'll cover you."

    "Wha… Fine." Rand grumbled and I shimmied back a little bit in case he decided to look up before he jumped.

    While the two had been talking I'd glanced around, hoping that there was a way for me to go, but discovered that the house was isolated in a valley.

    There was another house further away, maybe 5 klicks or so, but the ground between here and there offered no cover and I couldn't see any garage for a speeder.

    There was a grunt from Rand as he struggled to get through the window and I pondered that my only option might be to steal their ship, though given to my lack of understanding in how to pilot a starship, let alone plot a journey to another planet, I was not keen on the idea.

    Sure, I could spend some of my backup skill points in the hope I'd miraculously learn how to fly, but it was not the most comforting Plan A.

    "I'm down. Come on."

    That left Plan B, which was to simply stun or kill every one of the attackers; and while there was a chance I could do that with the remaining thugs, the two Sith would probably take me down with ease.

    The sound of a second thump told me the leader of these two had landed and I crawled forwards slowly. They were now too far from me to make out what they were saying but I saw one of them pull out a small device from his belt and talk into it.

    Working on the assumption that he was calling the ones who were either still attacking the kitchen or now probably trying to help the Sith, I waited until he finished as I slowly aimed by pistol.

    As he slipped the communicator back into his belt a fired; catching him on the top of his head and sending bits of brain flying, including onto the other.

    I quickly shifted my aim and fired at the remaining thug, and though it took three shots to get him – and the rush of heat as he managed to get a snapshot off in my direction – he joined his friends.

    I smiled a little at managing to take down the trio my I was forced from my relief as 2 more thugs came around the corner, firing on my location.

    I moved back quickly, but in my haste, I slipped and began to roll down the roof, bouncing off a lower roof then crashing hard to the ground.

    "Fuck," I groaned as I moved to kneel and saw that I'd lost just over a third of my hit-points.

    Looking around, I saw that I'd landed near the kitchen and spotted three bodies lying on the ground.

    I groaned when I realised one was Tardon and moved over quickly to where he lay hoping that he wasn't dead, though the pool of blueish liquid I saw didn't fill me with confidence.

    As I placed a hand on his body, a new popup appeared.

    ID: Tardon Komad [Jedi]
    Status: Dead
    Do you wish to loot the body?
    Yes/No?
    I stared at the pop-up in shock for a moment before mumbling out a 'yes'.
    Lightsaber Collected!
    A green-bladed lightsaber that formerly belonged to the Jedi Master Tardon Komad.
    Jedi Commlink Collected!
    A commlink used by the Jedi to communicate with others.
    Capable of Hypercomm access but need access to a transceiver to do so.
    Jedi Robes Collected!
    The robes formerly worn by Jedi Master Tardon Komad.
    Provides minimal protection from damage.
    [Currently cannot be equipped due to size difference]
    Jedi Holocron Collected!
    The personal holocron of former Jedi Master Tardon Komad.
    Can only be accessed by a Force-user with the correct passphrase.
    [passphrase: Peace through training]
    246 Credits added!

    I reeled back in shock at finding the Twi'lek Jedi now in nothing but his undergarments – and was instantly glad that the male had worn trousers and a shirt under his robes – even as I processed that I could loot bodies instantly for equipment. It felt wrong to take this stuff, but I figured I could give the lightsaber and holocron to the Jedi later on, though I did plan to keep the credits and commlink.

    Glancing around to make sure that I was still alone, I scurried over to the other two bodies and repeated the process, gaining a Sith lightsaber, a blaster rifle and spare power cell, vibroblade, two stim-packs that would restore health, and a further 823 Credits.

    As I finished looting the Sith's body, I glanced back at the house and saw movement, forcing me to lay down flat against the ground and begin to shimmy slowly backwards, taking me away from the house.

    I'd managed to move a few meters away when the door to the kitchen opened and a Human man walked out slowly, his gun tracking with his head.

    "Bugger," I mumbled at seeing the man was on edge, though given a boy of 8 had killed three of his cohorts, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised.

    I watched as he focused on Tardon and began to walk forward slowly as I cursed myself for looting the body with my powers, and thus, removing the Jedi's robes.

    I glanced behind me and saw I was almost next to the smouldering remains of the Jedi ship, and figured if I could get behind it I had a fair chance to go with Plan A and attempt to steal the attacker's ship and escape.

    He called back into the house as he moved, and I raised my blaster, slowly taking aim in the hopes I could take him out before the other thugs of the remaining Sith appeared, even as I continued to slowly move backwards while staying as low to the ground as I could.

    I felt the air heat up, meaning I was close to the Jedi ship when a second person came out of the house. This one, while a head shorter than the first was walking casually with her lightsaber lit and a cursed silently as the Sith glanced at each of the bodies before looking my direction.

    "Bollocks," I mumbled as I saw his eyes lock on mine and I took a snapshot at the human thug before turning and running for the Sith ship.

    I run up the ramp and look around desperately for the door controls, silently wishing I had applied my spare skill points to Mechanics or Piloting, as I punched at the first thing that looked at controls, only for a cupboard to open exposing a hover-bike.

    I nearly fist-pumped as the third set of dials I pressed began to close the ramp and I moved out of the small entrance area, hitting the controls on the other side of the door to close those before blasting them, hoping it would have the same effect for me as it did for Luke in A New Hope.

    I turned and moved down the corridor until it opened onto a large, central room and I glanced around. I took a moment to try to orientate myself with where I expected the bridge to be and moved in that direction, quickly being rewarded with the sight of three seats, controls and a glass canopy.

    "Great. Now to figure out how to launch the ship." I muttered as I slipped into one of the front two seats and examined the controls, being thankful that some of the controls were labelled.

    After calling up my skills and dumping all my remaining points into a handful of skills that should help me pilot the ship, I pressed what I now knew was the engine start switch. Yes, dumping points into skills somehow instantly gave me knowledge, but I wasn't caring about how such a thing worked as I slowly increased the power to lift the ship off the ground.

    I instinctively ducked as blaster shots began to pepper the canopy, though I quickly noted that none were even scratching the glass – or whatever it was – and ignored the fire as the ship began to lift and turn.

    As the onboard computer began what I noted was an automated take-off sequence, the ship tilted back until all I could see was the sky, I let out a breath of relief at getting away.

    Warning!
    Force Choke detected!

    I found myself ignoring the warning that appeared as my hands went to my throat as it felt like someone was crushing it with a truck.

    "Not bad boy, but you're out of your league." Crackled a voice from behind me as I felt myself being pulled backwards, out of the seat and onto the ground hard. "Now stay down. I have orders to not harm you permanently, but so long as you arrive in one piece, I doubt Lord Frux will complain."

    I looked up while still grabbing at my throat to see a girl of about 16 years of age, standing over me with a malicious smirk on her face as her yellow eyes seemed to sparkle as I struggled.

    "What? Felinx got your tongue?" The girl asked as the smirk turned into a grin.

    A glance at my HP showed it falling slowly as the choke continued and I frantically looked around for some way out of this. I reached for my pistol and got off a snapshot, but she deflected it back past me then casually flicked her lightsaber, slicing the barrel clean off.

    "Uh-uh. No trying to escape." She warned as her eyes narrowed and I felt the pressure on my throat increase. My HP was falling faster now, and I estimated I had no more than a few minutes before I died.

    My eyes frantically searched the room and spotting what looked like a wrench on a table behind her, I reached out for it with the Force even as I opened my mouth. "In. Ven. Tory." A managed to say as the wrench slowly lifted off the surface it was on.

    I reached out towards my inventory even as the girl began to laugh.

    "Inventory? Seriously? That's your distraction?" She chuckled as she spun, dropping the choke on me and sliced the wrench that was now flying towards her in half.

    "Such a pa…" Her words stopped as she turned back to find I had ignited both Jedi lightsabers that I'd grabbed from my inventory while she had turned away; stabbing her through the calf and chest as I managed to kneel.
    I pulled them outwards, slicing her chest open and severing her lightsaber arm at the shoulder while leaving one leg hanging on by a thread.


    I turned off the lightsabers before falling backwards onto my arse. There was no pain in my throat now, but after dropping one of the lightsabers back into the inventory, I took out a stim-pack, and after examining it for a moment, jammed it into my leg.

    I smiled a fraction as I saw my HP climb rapidly; thankful that whatever was in the pack still worked on me with my strange powers.

    A single cough had me snapping the remaining lightsaber on as I turned to face the Sith, though I stayed still, waiting to see if somehow the girl had survived. After nearly a minute of watching her, I realised she wasn't moving and extinguished the lightsaber and stood slowly.

    The room was filling with the smell of cooked meat, and I cringed as I realised that was the after-effect of a lightsaber cutting flesh.

    Activating Breath Control, I slowly dragged the body out of the cockpit and – after taking her lightsaber, a Sith Holocron with the passcode Passion grants Strength and a further 47 Credits – returned to the controls.

    I frowned when I saw that the deflected blaster shot had hit one of the consoles, but nothing seemed wrong as the ship was now leaving orbit and I couldn't help but gasp at seeing the stars from space for the first time.

    Another console beeped, drawing my attention, I frowned as I realised that it was the hyperdrive powering up. I hadn't inputted a target, so I had to assume that it was a pre-programmed setup in case the Sith were killed.

    I tried to gain access to the computer, but it required a password and I worried that if I entered the wrong password the ship might just explode or something, so I was resigned to travelling to wherever the Sith had come from on the hope the computer would unlock once I arrived.

    Another console beeped, and I spotted a blinking orange switch. With my increased skills in computing, I knew this was the ship-to-ship intercom and flicked the switch.

    "I say again. Unknown vessel, you are ordered to heave to and prepared to be boarded. Fail to comply and you will be fired upon."

    "Um, this is Cameron Shan. I escaped an attack by the owners of the ship on my grandfather's home but it's powering up the hyperdrive and I can't stop it. Please advise."

    "Shan? As in… Right. Mister Shan, I'm Captain Hardin of the Talravin Defence Force. I'm going to try and…"

    The Captain's voice was cut off as the ship accelerated to lightspeed.

    "Damm," I muttered as the stars merged into a continuous field of white.

    I glanced down at the hyperdrive computer, hoping it would display where I was now heading, even the destroyed console sparked and buzzed. Clearly, something was wrong, but without knowing what the console was for I just had to hope it was nothing important.

    "Right, since I've no idea how long this is going to take, I'd better do an inventory of what's on board." I said as I stood and walked back to the central area of the ship, and the remains of the female Sith.




    To be clear, this where Cam will begin to travel to the future. The console in the cockpit that was damaged was the part of the hyperdrive that regulates time relative to real-space.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2020
    AlexA4x, DQuinnicus, mwjen and 46 others like this.
  5. Threadmarks: Prologue 4
    USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Know what you're doing yet?

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    I looked up from the datapad where I'd been reading up on how to program a hyperlight jump for the last hour as the ship shuddered and I saw that the constant blue swirling tunnel of hyper-speed was gone.

    Quickly I moved to the pilot's chair and read the scanners and discovered I was entering the orbit of a planet called Dormund Kaas, though I had no idea where that was. I really needed to learn the locations of every planet I could remember from the movies.

    One of the consoles was blinking, and thanks to reading up on starship operations, I knew this was the requesting access to the local Datanet; though no reply seemed to be incoming.

    Looking out the canopy, I spotted a single orbiting station, and though there was no light coming from it, I wasn't willing to risk hailing it since this was where the Sith wanted to take me.

    After discovering that the navigation computer was now unlocked, I waited as calmly as I could without using Player's Mind for the next few minutes, ready to turn the ship around and run if anything approached, but nothing did, and I began to relax; though only a little.

    "Right, now what to do," I said to myself as I continued to check the sensors for any approaching ship or incoming hail. "I've got five more days of rations, though I'd rather not have to keep eating those, so I could investigate the station to learn more about where I am, and why the Sith wanted me to come here. This planet looks abandoned, so maybe it's just a layover location.

    "Or I could head down to the planet and investigate it." A quick check at the scanners showed the remains of a handful of cities, though all had been overrun by jungle and swamp meaning they were abandoned years ago.

    Quest Alert!
    Tremors of the Ancient Sith Empire
    Investigate the former capital of the Sith Empire that Revan tried to end then which later launched an all-out war on the Republic.
    Rating: S***
    Objective:
    Investigate Kaas City
    Investigate Kaas Command Station
    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Rewards:
    8000XP
    5500XP
    Penalties:
    Possible death
    Probable dismemberment
    Accept?
    Yes/No
    ...
    NOTE:
    This quest does not have to be attempted now, but not accepting could strengthen the Rise of the Sith under Darth Sidious.
    This Quest does not have to be attempted alone, though only you will receive the XP for completion.

    "Bloody… That's just…" my voice trailed off as I read through the quest and the note and I shook my head to clam myself. "Player's Mind on," I said, hoping the numbing effect of the power would help me process just what I was being asked to do.

    "S-three? That's four levels higher the Prologue quest and I barely survived that Sith girl. Still, nothing says I have to do this now, just that I need to complete it to weaken the Sidious." I read the quest again before shrugging. "Yes."

    Well someone's feeling brave!
    Honestly, we weren't sure if you'd take that quest.
    Since you have, we will give you some free advice.
    This quest can be done in steps, but we suggest waiting until you are at least Level 20 and at least 3 other Force Users are with you.

    I blinked in surprise as that was the first message I'd gotten from the PtB in a while, and there was no snark in it; just solid advice, which I planned to listen to.

    "Thanks," I said to the message as it disappeared and turned to the navigation computer. "Something about this place tells me I really shouldn't let others know it exists. If Sidious or others like him discover this place it could make things worse for the galaxy. I need to find a way to copy the flight logs of this ship then clear them before I reach Coruscant."

    Damm, now that's smart thinking.
    Also, congratulations!
    ~~~
    Quest Completed!
    Prologue
    Objectives:
    Survive and Escape [Yes]
    ? Discover a holocron [2/1]
    ? Defeat the Dark Jedi x2 [1/2]
    ? Defeat 3 attackers [4/3]
    Rewards:
    3500EXP
    Access to Force skills without needing to be trained by a Force Master [Via a Holocron]
    Sith lightsaber
    500 Credits
    200 EXP
    ~~~
    Quest Completed!
    One with the Force
    Objectives:
    Get the 4 powers to 15 Novice [Yes]
    ? Get 2 powers to 25 Novice [1/2]
    ? Get 1 Power to 1 Adept. [Yes]
    Rewards:
    300XP
    150XP

    I grunted at seeing that I'd managed to complete almost all the bonus objectives from both quests, though the fact the Sith lightsabers were already in my inventory felt a little cheap as a reward.

    Still, realising that I could learn new Force powers from the two holocrons was a nice surprise as until then, I'd thought they were nothing more than personal journals or diaries and that meant I could hopefully complete the Force Power quest before I reached Coruscant.

    I looked back at the navigation computer and, after checking it for a few minutes I discovered that there was a data slot that matched the one on the datapad I had been using to read new skills from.

    I moved to plug the pad into the computer to wipe the worlds when I paused and realised that if I did that then maybe the computer would not be able to fly to Coruscant safely.

    I placed the pad next to the pad down and accessed the nav-computer to program a trip to Coruscant. After a few minutes, the computer stated that such a jump would use most of the fuel onboard and I would need to refuel once I arrived before asking If I accepted the flight plan.

    I went to confirm when a new alert appeared.

    Quest Alert!
    Forge your own Path
    What will you do with your life?
    Unlike most quests, some of the objectives here are mutually exclusive.
    Objectives:
    Attempt to join the Jedi on Coruscant.
    Become the leader of a planet of your choice.
    Travel the galaxy as an explorer.
    Join the Bounty Hunter's guild.
    Attempt to find other Force Users willing to train you
    Join a criminal organization
    Rewards:
    Each objective opens up new quest chains.
    Certain objectives prevent other quest chains from being started/finished until their chain is completed.
    Accept?
    Yes/No

    I looked at the quest and frowned, having honestly not considered anything but joining the Jedi.

    A few of the options were less than appealing and given I was a boy of 8, dangerous to enter for now, but maybe they would be useful to start later.

    "Yes." I accepted the quest then confirmed my destination in the nav-computer, before piloting the ship slowly away from Dormund Kaas. After I was far enough away from the planet, I powered up the hyperdrive and watched the view change to the blue of white.

    "Right, another 2 or so days of this then I can figure out how exactly I'm going to move from this era to just before the prequels," I muttered as I picked up the datapad again and went back to learning more about piloting.




    Just before lunch on the second day of travel from Dormund Kaas I felt another shudder and quickly walked to the cockpit to see the ship had dropped out of hyperspeed.


    "Whoa," I muttered as I took in the sight before me. I knew that Coruscant was a planet-wide city, but seeing it for real, and the sheer number of ships approaching from various directions was awe-inspiring, and not a little intimidating.

    The comms blinked as it did over Talravin, I had discovered that was the name of the world I'd come from by examining the nav-computers logs, and I opened the channel.

    "Hello?"

    "This is Coruscant System Patrol. Please state your identity and reason for arriving in-system on an unused vector." A voice asked. It was hard to tell over the channel, but I thought he sounded bored.

    "Um, my name is Cameron Shan and I'm here to see the Jedi Council."

    There was a laugh from the man.

    "Yeah, you and thousands of others buddy. What makes you think they'll want to meet you?" His tone was dripping with sarcasm I was silently wondering if I could learn Force Choke from the Sith holocron so I could strangle the bastard at range.

    Sure, I'd learnt a bunch of powers for Tardon's holocron, but I'd only scratched the surface of the Sith one as it pushed against my mind, trying to make me angry and while Player's mind would counter it, that special power only lasted for about 20 minutes before it had to recharge Player Points.

    Still, I now had about 20 Force Powers, some more useful than others, and had managed to learn Huttese to Adept levels within a few days, so I couldn't complain too much.

    "Well for one, I have the holocron of a Jedi who died to protect me and for another, I killed a Sith on this ship."

    Silence greeted my reply, which I had expected.

    "What?"

    "I have a Jedi holocron to return and a dead Sith onboard," I reply with a large smirk. "If this isn't sufficient to at least grant me a landing pad near the Jedi Temple I don't know what is." Yes, I was being cheeky, but this guy clearly wasn't interested in doing his job; plus, it was fun. "So can I land?"

    "Um, I need to check with my Captain. Please hold."

    I rolled my eyes at being put on hold – somethings clearly don't change no matter what galaxy you're in – and waited patiently as the time ticked away.

    "Um, Mr Shan. You are ordered to heave too and prepare for an inspection. If we can corroborate your claims, then we will see about contacting the Jedi for you."

    "Very well. I'm cutting engines now." I replied before closing the channel then watching as a ship approached.

    .........

    Nearly two hours – and far too much bullshit from the customs officers – later, I was granted a landing slot in the Temple district where I was told that a member of the Council would meet me.

    Though as I exited the ship – which I still did not actually know the name of – I stumbled at seeing a small green alien, no more than a metre in height waiting with two others.

    "Hmm, surprising to you, my appearance is. Yes?" The green alien asked with a chuckle and unless all of his species had the same voice, then I was looking at Yoda; meaning I had somehow travelled forward in time.

    "Um, no. Well, yes. I mean I didn't know there were aliens like yourself on the Council." I replied slowly, thinking on the fly and silently glad that I had activated Player's Mind before exiting the ship. I noted that the two humans that accompanied Yoda[?] were watching me carefully. "Um, forgive my manners. My name is Cameron Shan and…"

    The far older of the two men waved his hand and seemed to scowl. "Yes, yes. We heard the story you concocted to gain landing permission and drag us out here. Now tell us your real reason for being here child."

    I mentally wanted to slap the old git for a moment before Player's Mind cancelled out the anger and I smirked. "Perhaps some proof would help you?" I say as I pull Tardon's holocron, his lightsaber and one of the Sith weapons from my pocket. "I also have a five-day-old body of a dead Sith girl locked in an air-tight hold that I would happily show to you." Though I hoped that wouldn't be needed as I suspected the room smelled rank by now.

    "Well that is definitely a holocron," The younger man said, lifting the object from my hand along with the lightsabers with the Force. He ignited the two blades, eyes narrowing at the red Sith blade. "And this is certainly a Sith blade."

    "Preposterous!" The older man half-shouted with a wild wave of his arm. "Just because your Sentinels claim to be sensing the dark side rising does not make it, nor this boy's claims, true."

    'Well, you're on my shit list arsehole.' I opened my mouth to comment but Yoda[?] beat me to it.

    "This to the temple, we should take. Brought in for an examination, the body can be." He stepped closer to me, hobbling on his stick as he did. "Incredible, your story is. Help us decide on its validity, your proof will."

    He turned and walked away, followed by the two humans, though not before the older one gave me a narrow stare.

    Two Republic officers moved beside me, while another pair moved past me to enter the ship.

    While the small transport took us towards the Jedi Temple I pondered just how I had ended up here – and when exactly here was – and what affects my arrival would have. Yes, I had been warned that the Prologue quest would transit me from past to present, but I was still at a loss as to how it happened.

    As the transport landed, I was still working through what had happened to allow me to travel almost 4000 years into the future, though I was broken from those thoughts as I took my first few steps up to the Jedi Temple as notice appeared.

    Warning!
    Entering Force Nexus!
    Jedi Temple [Minor corruption]
    This nexus grants a 25% XP boost to all Force Powers
    [1% chance per year to corrupt a Jedi]
    ...
    Quest Alert!
    Cleanse the Temple
    Something is off in the Jedi Temple
    Rating: B
    Objective:
    Find the dark side taint and cleanse it
    Rewards:
    3000XP
    Penalties:
    Possible death
    Accept?
    Yes/No

    "Is everything alright young one?" the younger human Jedi asked as I stumbled.

    "Um, yes. I just was caught off guard at how imposing this place is." I replied, using his question to accept a quest that I hadn't expected.

    '25 per cent boost to most Force Powers is going to be handy, but I never knew the Temple was corrupted. Guess I'll have to find out its history and see if I can work out when and where the corruption is. Though it would be nice is every quest given to me by the PtB didn't carry the chance of death'

    I followed the three Jedi Masters into the temple, my eyes were wide at seeing just how massive this place was as we entered and I couldn't help myself as I looked around, taking in the multi-floor entrance that seemed to stretch on and on.

    "Yes, it is quite an imposing sight." I turned at as the younger Human spoke. "Tell me, what can you feel?"

    I frowned for a moment before closing my eyes and reaching out with Detection, though it was only level 5 Novice and gave 50 metres of sensing it was enough to make me gasp at the energy that seemed to radiate around the place, though it was strongest directly in front of me. The three Jedi also stood out, with Yoda[?] being the brightest and the old man having a hint of grey about him.

    I relayed all that – barring the greyness – to the Jedi and he smiled.

    "What you are sensing is the mountain on which the Temple is built. It is a Force nexus; a place where the Force is unusually strong in power and this helps the Jedi become closer to the Force."

    I nodded at his words but didn't reply as we reached the end of the entrance hall and entered an elevator.

    After a few minutes in that, we walked and again took another elevator until I followed the trio into a round room that I remembered seeing in the prequel movies and the Clone Wars cartoons; the Jedi Council Chamber.

    I stopped near the door and looked at the other Jedi sitting around the room, several of whom I recognized from the movies and cartoon, though I struggled to remember any of their names save Mace Windu and Plo Koon.

    The Jedi all began to talk quietly among themselves, gesturing at various datapads they all held; reminding me of the one in my inventory that held the locations of all the worlds around Dormund Kaas that I'd deleted from the computer before landing. Figuring that the Sith Empire mentioned when I was there would be more than one world, I decided to wipe all reference to worlds within a few hundred light-years around DK on the off chance those worlds were also strong in the Dark Side.

    "Now, a story to tell us, you have. Yes?" Yoda – and after seeing Windu and Plo I was no longer in doubt that I was in the era I had chosen during identity creation two weeks ago.

    .........

    "And then I landed here." I finished, calmly, having just retold everything from when I first displayed Force powers to landing on Coruscant.

    The Council sat silently, seemingly having a conversation without speaking and I began to wonder just what they would decide to do about me.

    "We need to discuss your situation carefully," Windu said slowly, his eyes locking on mine. "For now, we will provide you with guest quarters. A member of our Order will escort you to your room."

    I bowed slightly. "Thank you, sir," I replied, noting the amused look the younger Jedi from earlier gave me before he glanced at Plo Koon.

    I turned on my heel and walked calmly out of the Council Chamber, wondering if being a Jedi was the right path to take.



    Right, at the Temple in the right timeframe now.
    I'll try to post the next arc up early next week

     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2020
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  6. Joseph

    Joseph [Verified Khornate Cultist]

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    This is a fun fic I read it mostly already on FF.
     
  7. ImmortalZailoga

    ImmortalZailoga Getting some practice in, huh?

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    Glad to see this on qq makes for easier discussion. Already finished it on ff so I'll wait until you've updated further to avoid spoilers
     
  8. Grimmouse197

    Grimmouse197 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Hey its also easier to get in contact with your readers
     
  9. USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Know what you're doing yet?

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    The biggest downside with PMs on FF, is that it only lets you see 50 per page.
    I've got 5 over a hundred (including my betas, which stand at ~600) but having to troll back through old pages for something we talked about months ago is tedious.
     
  10. Threadmarks: Initiate Training 1
    USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Know what you're doing yet?

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    "Cameron, may I speak with you."

    I lifted my head from the book on the Trade Federation – I figured the more I knew about them the better I could prepare for the Phantom Menace – and looked up to see Jedi Master Micah Giiett standing over me; a very subtle smirk on his face.

    He had been the younger of the 2 Jedi masters who had met me when I landed 2 months ago, and the member of the Council who had spent the time helping me settle in after they had allowed me to stay and train beside the Initiates around my age; Initiates being the stage before becoming a Padawan, which granted me the Title of Jedi Youngling from my new powers. Though that only let me have the lowest possible level of access to the temple and the archives.

    Those 2 months had been strange. I mean, I'd been allowed to stay in the Temple, training the Force, learning to use a lightsaber and studying with a few clans, but I hadn't been placed into one of those said clans, which I had come to realise was unusual for a Youngling; though all the current clans had been together for years so adding me to one of them might run the risk of upsetting the clan dynamic.

    "Yes, sir," I replied, turning his smirk into a small smile.

    "One day you will have to start calling senior Jedi Master Cameron," he said though unlike a few other Jedi Masters, he seemed unconcerned with my apparent lack of interest in following their traditions. "I just wanted to come down and check on how you are doing."

    "Fine. I mean, I've been here two months now, but I still haven't heard anything from the Council as to if I placed in a clan or not." It was irksome, but I knew that if Qui-Gon hadn't died and Obi-Wan hadn't been made a knight then Anakin wouldn't have been allowed in; though maybe the Council were right in that case given to what happened. "I'd just like to know what is going to happen, so I can start to move on with my life."

    And get back my ship. OK, technically, it wasn't my ship, but given that I killed a few of the former owners, I was claiming it. Though the Jedi were not letting me anywhere near it as they seemed curious to learn if it held secrets about the dark side; or at least that's the line they'd tried to feed me. Not that I was entirely buying it; more I just knew I didn't have any way to really push for access to it.

    "Yes, I imagine being essentially a prisoner would make you angsty," Micah commented as he walked me out of the archives. "Still, no Initiate is allowed to leave the Temple without an escort from a Jedi Master." He added.

    I frowned and looked up at him as we walked down one of the multitude of corridors in the labyrinth that was the Jedi Temple. "And is that where we are going now?" I didn't think it was, but it didn't hurt to ask.

    "No, no." He answered with a chuckle. "Though nice try. No, I needed to talk with you about the upcoming Initiate Trials. While you are still young, and only had a few months of training, the Council wishes for you to enter.
    "There is no shame in failing them, indeed most do not sand out until they are at least 10 cycles, but we are curious about how you will fair."


    "You mean you want to test me without saying so," I countered, having seen through his words easily.

    He chuckled again. "That too. But the primary interest is in judging your level."

    "That's easy. Well behind the others my age." I replied, not upset or annoyed about it. They'd been at this for 5 or 6 years for the other 8-year-olds, so they should be miles ahead of me. "I'm not angry about that. Just stating a fact."

    "Indeed. I must admit I find it strange that you are so calm about everyone else being better than you." He said, and I noted he was watching my expression carefully, probably trying to detect my emotions through the Force. "Most children would be, at the very least, annoyed about that."

    "I'm not most children." I countered with a smirk that made him chuckle. "I mean, I get that they've been at this for years more than me, but that doesn't mean I can't catch and overtake them."

    Micah shook his head. "Be careful with that drive. Seeking power to be better than others can lead to the Dark Side."

    "There is no dark or light, only the Force," I replied, making him stop and look at me strangely. Seeing he was waiting for an explanation, I decided to give him one that I'd come up with a few days before; well, that and my own opinions from watching the movies/cartoons and playing a few computer games. "I know I've only been here a few months but the Force itself is neither good nor bad; it merely is. The user, the person who can access the Force, they decide how it is used.

    "Jedi seem to cut themselves off from their emotions, fearing that things like anger, fear and jealousy will draw them to the dark side. Yet the Sith fear emotions like love, humility and kindness as they draw them to the light; supposedly weakening them. Yet it was love that brought my great-grandmother back from the Dark Side. Her love for Revan. And Loving another and having a child did not drive my great-great-whatever, Satele Shan to the Dark Side, nor turn her against the Jedi Order."

    "I see someone has been reading up on their family history." He said with a small smile before glancing around and leaning in closer. "While I can understand why you see things that way, many other Jedi, including some Council members, would disagree and try to force you from this place for stating an apparent willingness to embrace your emotions."

    "That's not…" He cut me off with a raise of his hand.

    "It might not be what you are saying, but it is how others would interpret it. They would see you as being arrogant, prideful, in your belief that you see yourself as better than others and would seek your expulsion from our Order."

    'Well, I'm not actually a part of the Jedi Order now am I?' "I understand." I said slowly, though I had no intention of not continuing my thinking; I would just be more discreet about it.

    "Good." He placed a hand on my shoulder. "There is nothing wrong with feeling someone for others, but placing your emotions above the Order, the Republic, and even the Force is a slippery slope that has led to the fall of far, far too many Jedi over the millennia." I nodded, and he removed his hand and his smile returned. "Now, about the Trials?"

    Quest Alert!
    Trials of an Initiate
    Take part in the Jedi Initiate Trials and put on a good performance.
    [4 months till Trials]
    Rating: C
    Objectives:
    Advance to the free-for-all lightsaber stage for your age group.
    Win at least 3 of your push-feather duels.
    Complete the obstacle course with a time in the upper half for your age group.
    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Rewards:
    1500XP
    1000XP
    1000XP
    The chance to be taken as a Padawan.
    Penalties:
    Spend another year stuck as an Initiate
    Possible expulsion from the Jedi Order.
    Accept?
    Yes/No

    "Yes. I mean I accept. Though could you tell me about what is involved." I asked, wondering what exactly a push-feather duel was and hoping that his explanation would hint at the five bonuses were. Based on the three completed quests, they would either be secondary goals or more advanced forms of the base objectives.

    "Certainly. The initial Trials are to prove an understanding of the Jedi Code, though you will be partially exempt from that given to your lack of time studying it. Though you will still have to be able to recite it and provide reasons why the code is structured as it is.

    "The next is to show a connection to the Force by meditating in perfect silence and stillness for a minimum of three hours.

    "The third is an event called push-feather. This is a duel style event where you most unbalance an opponent by using the Force to alter the air currents in the duelling ring."

    "So only powers that create air alterations? Could we not alter the air temperature or pressure?"

    Micah rubbed his chin as he pondered that. "Hmm, I am not sure. Since most initiates do not think to use anything but telekinesis, I am not certain if altering air pressure or temperature is permissible. I will check with Grand Master Yoda and get back to you." He narrowed his eyes as he spoke. "Have you managed to do such a thing in your studies?"

    I looked around, then reached out with Detection. Satisfied that we were alone enough for me to reveal what I was going to, I extended my arm and slowly increased the temperature of the air around him for a few seconds until I felt him push the hot air away.

    "Well, well. Most impressive." His eyes seemed to sparkle as he spoke. "I will definitely check about the exact wordings of the rules." He paused and seemed to get his amusement under control as the sparkle disappeared.

    "Now, and this is a big if. If you do well enough at push-feather, you will be permitted to take part in mock lightsaber duels with the other Initiates. Rules of those will be the same as regular sparing duels save for the few final rounds were the top eight complete in a free-for-all to determine the last being standing."

    I listened carefully and frowned as I considered his words. "That sounds like more than just a trial. More like a test."

    "My, you are a clever one." He said with a chuckle. "But yes, the lightsaber duels are designed to showcase your abilities to the Knights and Masters who will be watching to see if any Initiate stands out as a potential Padawan."

    "So only lightsaber strength determines being selected as a Padawan?" I doubted that but had to ask to be sure.

    "Of course not, but by showing you're are at least competent with a lightsaber, you prove you are ready to leave the Temple. Under the supervision of your master of course."

    I grunted a little. "And killing a Sith doesn't count?"

    "Oh, it does. It does. Otherwise, we would not be asking you to compete." He stepped back and clapped his hands together softly. "Now, if you will excuse me, I need to meet Master Plo."

    "Of course. Thank you, sir." I replied and watched him go, only to randomly stumble.

    I looked at where the Jedi Master was and saw his hand was facing me, palm open and realised that he'd just hit me with a blast of TK.

    "Be mindful of your surroundings young one." He called out just before he rounded a corner.

    "Bastard," I muttered as he left, only to let the anger slip as I considered his words and the new quest.

    "Right, time to change my training," I said as I began to walk towards my room.

    For the last two months, I had spent most of my free study time learning various skills about mechanics and such while getting to know a few of the other Initiates while training up my Force Powers in classes or at night in as equal a manner as I could.

    Now, however, I planned to just concentrate on 4 powers; TK, Cryokinesis, Pyrokinesis and Blast; the last being a power I'd gotten from the Sith Holocron but which I'd learnt was not a truly dark power, more a neutral one.

    Though it was not one openly taught by the Jedi here and now, it was something I remembered Tardon mentioning on his Holocron before I'd handed that over to the Jedi Council with his lightsaber. I still, however, had the one from his Padawan, Haqu, just in case I was forced to leave the Temple before being shown how to construct my own.

    I also needed to see about the obstacle course, as currently, I was far behind most of the Initiates, due mainly to my lack of Force Powers to help and fractionally lower physical stats. I wondered how I could raise them, but beyond doing what I felt were appropriate exercises/activities for each, I had no idea as the Help menu was less than forthcoming.

    "Hmm, perhaps there's a power that's not taught much that could give me an advantage." I pondered, changing my destination from my quarters to the Archives.

    ...


    This was the shortest chapter I did (or probably will do) for ANP, mainly as day-to-day life as an Initiate was no fun to write, and the High Council still wasn't sure if they would let him stay, which made most days very repetitive/lonely
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2020
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  11. Threadmarks: Initiate Training 2
    USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Know what you're doing yet?

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    I was lazily floating around one datapad with the Force while I read another on a day-off. A year here was close enough to Earth, though three days longer, but with 7 weeks instead of 5 in a month, different enough that it still felt strange. Additionally, there where three weeks of festivals that were spread out around the calendar, with the Initiate tournament taking place during the Festival of Life.

    Today, however, was one of three special one-day holidays celebrated by the Republic, which meant no training; though I had noticed that the archives were still full of Jedi who decided to spend their time learning on a holiday. Not that I was any different, mind you.

    "Hey, you're Cameron Shan, right?"

    I turned from where I was moving around a spare datapad in the air and saw a girl looking at me. Her blue eyes met mine and I noticed she wore her black hair to her shoulders in two ponytails. I thought she was cute for a moment before banishing the thought as I still felt 28, not 8, at times.

    I knew she was in Dragon Clan, one of the Initiate clans but I hadn't spoken to anyone in that clan in the 3 months I'd been in the Temple. I'd spent most of my time alternating between following the Heliost and Katarn clans around. That had been the idea of Masters Giiett and Yoda who noted my love to try to hide myself in the Force matched the way I spent the first two months buried in datapads learning everything I could to further my skills.

    "Yeah, that's me," I replied, bringing the datapad down to rest next to the datapad I was reading from.

    "Hi. I'm Serra Keto." She said with a small smile.

    "Hi," I replied, raising a single eyebrow at her in curiosity at why she was speaking to me now.

    "So, the scuttlebutt is that you're taking part in the Twelve-and-Under Tournament," Serra stated, the corner of her mouth twisting into a small smirk.

    "Maybe," I replied, easily seeing the girl's plan before it even began. "What's it to you?"

    "Well, I was thinking that I could help you prepare for it." She said, surprising me as I'd expected her to make some kind of challenge or threat about beating me.

    I looked at her face, trying to see if there was something else behind her thinking. "What do you get out of it?" I asked since nothing in her body language indicated anything but a genuine desire to help.

    "Nothing really I mean, I'm well beyond you with a lightsaber – I've started learning Jar'Kai – and I'm sure you're not comfortable with using the Force, and I doubt you know much about the history of our Order…"

    She stopped when I placed a finger to her lips, making her cheeks to redden a fraction. "Again, what do you get out of it?"

    I removed my finger and watched as she gulped a few times and closed her eyes. I mentally smiled at managing to off-balance her so easily. Trying to suppress emotions was a dangerous ploy.

    She opened her mouth to say something, only to close it without making a sound and I watched as her shoulders slumped fractionally.

    "Truthfully, I just want to talk with you." She finally said. "I mean, I'm curious about what you know of your family and how you're dealing with it around here." She paused and looked around as though expecting someone to come out of the woodwork and grab her. "I, I sometimes hear things about what people say about my family."

    I frowned a little. "Forgive me, but your family is who?"

    "Oh, right." Her expression changed, and the small smirk reappeared. "My granddad is the current king of the Empress Teta system."

    "So that makes you a princess?" I asked with a small smirk of my own.

    "No." Her smirk fell, as did her shoulders. "I was given to the Order when I was a babe and was removed from the line of succession." She smiled a little as she rubbed her arm, "I may have, uh, looked up my personal files in the archives."

    "Aren't those restricted?" I asked. Honestly, I didn't know if they were but given to the Jedi's stance on attachments, there was no way they would leave data unencrypted about where a baby had come from for the child to find later on in life.

    "Maybe." The smirk returned. OK, I was starting to like this girl. She was a Jedi, yes, but there were hints of a confidence and drive to learn that I liked. Though, if all the lectures about the perils of the Dark Side were true, that same drive to learn could lead her down a darker road later in life.

    "So all you want is someone to talk to about coming from a famous family?" I asked, keeping my face as calm as possible. "Not scouting out the opposition?"

    "Well, yeah there is that." She replied honestly, the smirk turning into a small smile. "But mainly it's just to talk with you." She stopped and looked around slowly, before leaning closer and whispering. "I've heard a few of the other Initiates making comments about you becoming one of us at such a late stage. About how the Council is showing favouritism based on your name."

    I shrugged. I mean, I heard those comments from time to time in passing but I understood the sentiment and truthfully wasn't all that bothered about it. Doing well in the tournament would silence a lot of that. "They might have, but what else could they do? Throw an 8-year-old out on the streets? How would that look to the public?"

    She frowned, and I suppressed the urge to shake my head. The Jedi were clearly not even bothering to teach their Initiates about the outside world.

    "You think everyone loves the Jedi? That they see you coming and greet you with warm smiles and open arms? I doubt it." I stated, having done a lot of reading on the Order and its interactions with the Republic in the last thousand years. "We should be thankful that most no longer care about the wars with the Sith. To many, I'm sure its just two sides of the same credit arguing over whose interpretation is right."

    "But the Sith are evil. They maimed, tortured and killed for fun as they gave in to their emotions." Serra countered with more passion than I had come to expect from my fellow Initiates. Again, not something the Jedi preached but something I was very happy to see since the members of Heliost and Katarn clans were very solemn; if not a little robotic at times.

    "Maybe, but how many regular people in the galaxy truly understand the difference? One in a million? Less? That means that to most the Jedi and Sith are the same thing. We all use the Force for seemingly magical powers, we use lightsabers and are capable of feats beyond that of normal beings." I countered slowly, finally getting the chance to let the theories I'd had for years come out. Theories that were backed up by being here and reading about how the Jedi were seen by the Republic at large. "We preach about the Force in a way that makes it sound like a religion to many. The Jedi take children from their families to, and this is the opinion of some, indoctrinate them in the Jedi ways. While the Sith pick out those with anger in their hearts and use the lure of the Force to turn them to their ways. Again, indoctrination."

    I stopped there to give her time to think things through. How she saw this was important to me as I did not want to spend my time around those who blindly followed the words of the Jedi Code and the Council without thinking for themselves.

    Yes, I was beginning to regret joining the Jedi and was considering how to get out of this. The long way was to become a Jedi Knight and simply begin to wander the galaxy. That left me stuck here until I was in my twenties and left the chance I missed the events of Episode 1; which hadn't happened as I'd set up a datalink to monitor political events, waiting on Padme becoming queen. And yes, I was curious if she'd look like Natalie Portman who I admit I had a crush on when I was a teen.

    The other option was to find a way to be kicked out of the Jedi, or not taken as a Padawan; but that ran the risk of me being dumped somewhere in the galaxy as a child with nothing to my name, not even a lightsaber; which I still did not have. I was stuck using a training saber and I was getting annoyed – though I tried to hide it – at not being allowed to make my own.

    "But that's…" Serra began before stopping. "Worrying." She finally finished after nearly a minute of silence. Her smile and confidence were gone, and she was now fidgeting a little, her hand rubbing her forearm in a repeating pattern.

    "Yes, it is. But no-one here really seems to care. Even Master Giiett said not to worry about it and trust in the Force." I said slowly, trying to hide my annoyance at this lack of concern about public perception. I was all but certain that the Sith had been altering the news feeds to slowly turn opinion against the Jedi over the centuries; just as many companies and governments had done in my old life.

    "But if people don't trust us how can we protect them?" She asked, and I felt my face twist in a frown.

    "Do they want or need us to protect them?"

    "Yes."

    "From what? The Sith are gone." OK, I knew that wasn't true but no-one else did. "Are you saying that the Jedi are needed because the average person/being is too incompetent to look after themselves?"

    She shook her head." No. But there are times that a Jedi is able to solve a problem that a normal being couldn't. We are here to help the Republic serve the people." Her voice was slowly rising as she spoke as her emotions came through. "We are here to serve the people of the Republic to the best of our abilities and protect them from threats."

    "What threats though? The Sith are gone. The Republic spans over half the galaxy, and no other power could truly challenge them. So are the threats internal and not external? If so, who or what are the threats? The average person? No." I shook my head and looked at her carefully as she listened to me rant/explain. "The greatest threat to democracy is the people and organizations at the top. Those who seek to subvert the will of the people to suit their own selfish whims and desires."

    "So you're saying that the Senate and business leaders are the enemy?" she asked, confusion reigning over her face.

    I shook my head again and sighed. "Not all of them no. But something my grandfather said once was that you should never trust anyone who actively seeks out power."

    "Um, wasn't he a former Chancellor of the Old Republic?"

    I chuckled at the question. "Yes, he was. But I think he regretted a lot about his time in charge." I paused and thought about the few times we'd talked about politics and every time he had gotten this look like he wanted to go back and change something, though I never knew what and the records of what happened before the Ruusan Reformations were sketchy; especially as the Sith had sacked Coruscant twice between when I'd left and now.

    "Honestly, I think most people are good but all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing," I added, using one of my favoured quotes from before. "It is a being's own mind, not those around him, that lures them to the dark side." I liked that quote I'd found in an older text a few weeks ago in the archive.

    Serra, who had sat during the last minute of our talk, rubbed her forearm again as her eyes looked past me, clearly thinking through what I had said.

    "Those that seek power are doomed to be corrupted by it." She said slowly as if remembering something she had heard once but was only just understanding. "I get it now." She smiled, and I again thought she looked cute. "Everyone is a threat if they submit to the call of darkness inside them."

    I smiled back and nodded. "Yes. I once heard an old saying that sums things up nicely. It goes; inside each of us, there are two wolves. One is evil; jealousy, anger, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, ego. The other is good; joy, peace, kindness, truth, love. The wolf that wins is the one that we feed the most."

    "An interesting story, that is. One that holds true just for others not, but as well the Jedi."

    I nearly jumped at the voice that came from behind me and spun to see Yoda floating there in his chair beside a snake-like Jedi Council member and Mace Windu.

    "Master Yoda, you, um, surprised me," I said and noted that all three Jedi Masters smiled at my statement.

    "Yes. Easy to that I did, it is." He said slowly, his eyes shifting to Serra. "To the raised voice of initiate Keto, I found myself drawn. Impressed with how you explained the role of the Jedi to her, am I."

    "Indeed. The fable you told is not one I have heard before, but it is a wonderful lesson on the dangers of how easy any being, Jedi or not, can fall into darkness." The snakelike Jedi stated as I searched my mind for his name, coming up empty as he was never named in the movies or cartoons and most of my dealings with the Council had been through Master Giiett. "And while we do appear to not be concerned about the public perception of our Order, rest assured that we have noticed the gradual change that has happened over the last few centuries."

    "Master Rancisis is correct," Windu added, giving me a name for the snakelike Jedi Master. "However, this is not a matter that should concern Initiates." He stated, and while I nodded, I had no plan to go along with his warning, and I hoped that Serra didn't either.

    "Yes, Master." She said without any hint of which way her emotions were taking her.

    "Good, good. Leave you to your studies, we will. The opinions of others to the council, you should leave." Yoda stated as he and the other two members of the Council floated away.

    "That fable you told, do you believe it?" Serra asked once she was seemingly sure the masters were gone, and we were alone again.

    I turned to see her face was now closer to mine and her eyes were focused on me. "I think so."

    "But one of the things you mentioned for the good wolf was love," She stated quietly as she shifted a fraction closer. "Do you mean to say that emotions are not a bad thing for a Jedi?"

    I smiled. The girl was more curious about things than most and I figured she was going to be a handful for her master later in life. "Well things like anger, jealousy and arrogance are definitely bad, but I fail to see why things like love, hope and compassion are against the code."

    She nodded along and smiled, though for the first time it wasn't a prideful smirk, but one I felt that was genuinely happy with what she was hearing. "I know, like why should we reject connections with people if they make us stronger."

    "Well, I imagine it's something to do with becoming too attached or dependent on someone, that you'd say or do anything to protect them."

    "But isn't that just a sign of love?"

    I chuckled a little at the naivety of the girl. Then again, she was only 8, like I was meant to be. She didn't have a few decades of extra knowledge, understanding and feelings to draw on. "It's possessive. I think any kind of relationship should be equal. One where both people are partners in all things. If one person begins to dominate, or exert a will to break their own rules, while claiming its to protect/help their partner, they are straying from the truth of what they feel into what they want."

    She nodded along, pretending to understand, but I knew she didn't. She was just far too young to have any real clue. Still, if she was willing to listen honestly and openly to my opinion on the Jedi Code, I wasn't going to stop talking.

    "So, um, are you free now?" She asked after a few minutes of comfortable silence as I watched her seemingly contemplate what I had said.

    I nodded, and she gave me a big smile. "Come on then."

    .........

    I blocked Serra's blade with my own, only to have to pivot to avoid her off-hand saber. A quick blast of TK sent me backwards across the duelling ring, giving me some separation from the girl.

    "You're seriously telling me you've only been learning the lightsaber for a few months?" She asked from across the ring and I nodded. "Damm. Even I didn't pick up the basics of Shii-Cho that fast, and I'm brilliant with a lightsaber." She commented with the smirk that I now knew, after three hours of training – just trying to avoid her attacks in truth – that she was very sure of herself. Though given that I'd failed to land a single mark on her, while I'd stopped counting how many times I'd been hit, though the fact I'd gained a new Skill – Damage Reduction: Energy – and it had levelled up three times told me that it was a lot as a training saber, or one set to a low power level, only did about 15HP of damage told me it was a lot.

    "Maybe, but I still haven't managed to hit you yet." I responded, making her smirk grow bigger. "I will one day."

    "Keep telling yourself that." She replied as she powered down her twin blades and walked out of the ring.

    I followed her and caught the canister of water she tossed my way.

    "How are you not sweating?" She asked as I drew closer and I shrugged.

    "Never really have." Well, it was actually Player's Body, but I couldn't exactly say I didn't sweat, cut or mark because I was granted powers by extra-dimensional beings for winning an afterlife lottery. That would get me a one-way ticket to the funny farm, or whatever passed for one here. "Just a fluke of evolution I guess." That was my public excuse and I was sticking to it, even if I suspected that a few of the Masters were getting curious about me; beyond arriving from 4000 years in the past.

    "Force, you're lucky. Needing to shower is the only downside of lightsaber training. I smell awful." She muttered and I leaned over and took a long, deep inhale of her hair. "What?" She blurted out as I pulled back.

    "I think you smell fine," I said, curious if the comment would have any effect on an 8-year-old Jedi girl. It did and I saw her cheeks redden further than just from exhaustion.

    "What?" She repeated, and I chuckled as I took a long mouthful of water. While it granted no HP bonus, water was a great way to restore my STAM; a full canister seemed to restore about half of my current STAM and I was curious if this was a set value or a percentage. Once I levelled up and increased my STAM I would find out.

    Actually, the lack of clarity on how I levelled up my skills, or how fast that happened was annoying. I was fairly certain that I learnt more when being trained than when spending time by myself self-learning, but there were no hints or indicators as to how much a skill improved during supervised or self-training.

    "Serra!" We both turned at the voice and I saw a group of 4 other females approaching. Well, two human girls and two aliens; 1 a Twi'lek and the other an Ithorian. "Where have you been?" The Twi'lek asked as they approached. "We've been looking for you for ages."

    "Sorry, Aayla. I guess I just lost track of time," Serra said as she moved closer to the other girls.

    "Yes, I can see that." The blue-skinned alien commented, her eyes looking me over.

    "Ah right. Cameron this is Aayla, Sia-Lan, Jyl and Vhiblul." I nodded and smiled at the girls.

    "A pleasure," I said with a smile, taking note of the four newcomers.

    "We know who you are," stated one of the human girls with wavy brown hair and blue eyes, a slight sneer on her face as her eyes examined me slowly. "I expected something better."

    'Well screw you.' I thought as Serra's eyes narrowed.

    "Sia! What was that for? You're the one who dared me to talk with him." My brow rose at that little nugget, but ignored it as the girl, Sia-Lan, shrugged.

    "I didn't think you'd do it. He's like a lost Kath hound, wandering around here like he belongs. He doesn't." she stated, and I felt the growing urge to punch her. "See? You can feel him giving in to his baser instincts. Losing control of his emotions."

    "PM," I whispered out and let the neutralising feeling of Player's Mind – which I had shortened to PM – settle over my mind. "Yet I don't," I stated calmly. "Unlike you, I do not judge someone by the cover." I turned and nodded at Serra. "Thanks for the spar but I suddenly feel the urge to stand behind an active hyperdrive engine."

    I walked away, ignoring the faint chuckles of the other girls, and moved to head back to my quarters.

    DUCK AND ROLL!
    I took the warning and ducked and rolled as I felt a blast of air fly past my body and turned to see Sia-Lan had her hand extended in my direction and I responded with over a decade of military training, mixed with a few months of Force experience, and a flung a Blast at her.

    I was surprised when the blast hit her, sending her flying backwards a good 20 metres before she hit the wall.

    "Holy shit," I muttered as I looked at my hand in surprise.

    "What is going on here?!" My head, along with the girls, snapped to see three males approached. I didn't recognize the lead human, nor the Twi'lek, but the second Human, walking purposefully behind the other two sent alarm bells ringing in my head. Count Dooku was heading straight for me!

    I instantly calmed down and was glad I'd already engaged Player's Mind as the three adults approached.

    "This moron just attacked me for no reason!" Sia-Lan blurted out and I glared at her.

    "I did attack you, but only after you tried to hit me in the back with a Force Push." I countered. "Why else would I feel the Force tell me to move."

    "Is this true?" the lead human, who I now recognised as the Temple's Battlemaster – lead combat instructor – Cin Drallig, asked the other girls.

    None of them, not even Serra, said anything, though at least the girl I'd spent the last three hours sparring with had the decency to not even try to meet my gaze. I was angry with her for a moment, until Player's Mind took that away, then realised that she'd grown up with Sia-Lan and the others, and so was unlikely to turn on them. Though the fact none of them were willing to tell the truth was a worrying sign if the Jedi were meant to be protectors of it.

    "I sense the boy is telling the truth," Dooku said slowly, in that calm, controlled voice that still sent a shiver down my spine. "The girl's emotions are clear to sense while his are remarkably calm for someone so young." His gaze met mine and I felt the need to meet it. After a moment his lip twitched, and he turned back to Master Drallig. "Though this is your arena, and you have the final say."

    Master Drallig looked calmly from Sia-Lan to me a few times before he spoke. "Regardless of who started this, both shall be punished." He paused to rub his chin. "I believe Master Tiin has requested help with the maintenance of one of the disused hanger bays." While his face was calm, his tone held a more than a subtle hint of disappointment at both me and Sia-Lan for our actions.

    I felt a momentary annoyance at being punished for the girl's attack, but let it go as it wasn't worth arguing with 3 Jedi Masters over. Not unless I wanted to make my punishment worse.

    "Yes, master," Sia-Lan mumbled out as she stood, though her eyes were anything but humble as she glared at me for a moment before stalking away.

    The others followed though Serra mouthed 'sorry' to me before she did, which brought the faintest of smiles to my lips.

    "This is the child of Shan? The one that you wished for us to meet?" the Twi'lek said and I turned to see that Master Drallig was looking at me with a very slight smile as he nodded at the question.

    "Yes. As I said, he has mastered the basics of Shii-Cho was remarkable speed. If he can keep it up, I suspect he will be ready for the basics of Makashi within another month or two."

    I watched silently as the Twi'lek and Dooku examined me with their eyes, figuring silence was the safest course of action for now.

    "Perhaps this is a sign that lightsaber forms should be restricted to older students," Dooku said slowly.

    "No. I've seen students older than him struggle to get the basics of certain forms down. That is not it." Drallig said as he passed me a training saber. "Are you willing to see how he performs?"

    Dooku shared a look with the Twi'lek before stepping into the duelling circle. "Come boy." He said as he lit his lightsaber.

    As I stepped into the circle, I blinked at an unexpected pop-up.

    NOTICE:
    You are receiving one-on-one training with a true Makashi Master.
    25% increase in Makashi XP gains while training with the master.
    I waved away the notice as I lit my own saber and moved to mirror his stance.

    "No. Your feet should be pointing towards me in a straight line. Raise your blade vertically, making the tip rest just above your forehead." Dooku stated and I moved quickly to comply.

    .........

    Three hours later, split in half between Dooku and the Twi'lek whom I learnt was named Bondara and was a master of Soresu for receiving one-on-one training, I walked back to my quarters with a smile.

    I had levelled both forms twice and now had the basics to practice before the tournament. Though I was unsure if I would spend the time needed to get them up or stay with Shii-Cho.

    Dooku was a stiff teacher. Strict and demanding like any drill sergeant but I had felt more at home with him teaching me than Bondara, who was more nurturing and patient. I guess that was a result of almost a decade of military training.

    As I walked back into my quarters, I pulled out my datapad and noticed that I'd received a message.

    Curious about it, I closed the doors and opened it; making a small hologram of Serra appear from it.

    "Hey. Um, look I just wanted to say sorry for Sia-Lan earlier. She's not happy about the apparent special treatment you're getting from the Council.

    "But she's a good person at heart. She's just wound tight about the tournament as she's competed twice before but never done well."

    The hologram stopped talking and I watched as she rubbed her arm just above the elbow.

    "I, um, I liked duelling with you and was wondering if you'd like to do so again tomorrow if you want to. Or we can just talk about things, like earlier. Anyway, got to go. Bye."

    I smiled a little as the hologram faded. While today had started slowly, I'd seemingly made my first friend, learnt the very basics of the next two lightsaber forms and met Count Dooku, who, while stiff didn't seem a bad guy. Hell, it might even be possible to prevent his fall to the Dark Side, though how I'd do that was up in the air.

    Quest Alert!
    Changing Fate [Dooku]
    Can you change the fate of the Jedi known as Count Dooku?
    Rating: A
    Objective:
    Prevent the fall of Count Dooku and the rise of Darth Tyrannus.
    Bonus: ?
    Rewards:
    5000EXP
    Penalties:
    Dooku falls faster.
    Possible death at the hands of Darth Tyrannus.
    Accept?
    Yes/No

    "Yes." I quickly said, figuring that it was worth the risk. If Dooku never fell, then Palpatine would need a new stooge. The problem was, from what I learnt so far, the resentment felt but the Mid and Outer Rim to the Core Worlds was genuine. Fixing that was probably well beyond me for now, but once I either became a Padawan – or left the Order as I was beginning to chafe a little under their strictness – I would spend some time trying to work out how to fix the Republic; though I was well aware that the odds on ever succeeding there were slim to none. And slim was about to leave the building.

    Still, I liked the character of Dooku – more so than the brat that became Vader – so if I had the chance to save him from himself, I would try.




    At this point, I was thinking about Giiett, Rancisis, Dooku, Bondara and Fae as possible masters for Cameron.
    While you are free to speculate on who he ended up being trained by, the choices have long since been made;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2020
    AlexA4x, DQuinnicus, mwjen and 54 others like this.
  12. Threadmarks: Initiate Training 3
    USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Know what you're doing yet?

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    As the sun shone in through the window of my quarters on the first morning of the Festival of Life holiday week and I looked over my room before my eyes settled on the datapad on my desk and the worrying information I had discovered yesterday.

    Any Initiate that reached their thirteenth birthday and was not taken as a Padawan was assigned to one of four corps that were under the control of the Council of Reassignment. While none of the corps sounded bad in their descriptions on the datapad, something about the fact that anyone dumped there was basically ignored by the rest of the Jedi was worrying. As was that after being raised and indoctrinated – and after six months of lectures on the Jedi and what they stood for, the signs were clear as day that Jedi were indoctrinated once taken from their families – those sent to the corps had to be at least a little resentful towards the Jedi; making them perfect targets for Sidious and his master – if he was alive – to corrupt and use as agents.

    I shook my head to clear the worry and anger that the apparent abandonment of failed Initiates generated and turned my attention to what today was; the start of the Initiate Trials.

    "List Quests."

    QUESTS
    These are the story chains that will help push and shape your new life.
    Quests come in various forms, from repeatable simple ones to long, multi-part campaigns.
    Most of your activities will be set up as quests, however, you are free to decline most quests.
    You can also create your own quests if you are willing to push yourself beyond what would be considered easy/safe.
    All quests are rated from F to S*** for difficulty, with anything rated B or over potentially carrying the risk of bodily harm, if not death.
    Current quests are:
    Tremors of the Ancient Sith Empire
    Forge your own Path
    Cleanse the Temple
    Trials of an Initiate
    Changing Fate [Dooku]

    For more details, on a quest, tap it or say 'List Quest' followed by the quest required.

    I smirked at the changed glad I'd spent some time fiddling with the settings of the Player Powers to limit details on certain pages. It made all the lists much shorter and easier to browse; especially the Skills and Force Powers lists.

    "List Quest, Trials of an Initiate."

    Trials of an Initiate
    Take part in the Jedi Initiate Trials and put on a good performance.
    [Start today]
    Rating: C
    Objectives:
    Advance to the free-for-all lightsaber stage for your age group.
    Win at least 3 of your push-feather duels.
    Complete the obstacle course with a time in the upper half for your age group.
    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Rewards:
    1500XP
    1000XP
    1000XP
    The chance to be taken as a Padawan.
    Penalties:
    Spend another year stuck as an Initiate
    Possible expulsion from the Jedi Order.

    I looked through the 3 main objectives and mentally went over my chances with each.

    The lightsaber part was, from what I had learnt, the final part of the week, but also my weakest.

    Even with the way I seemed to gain skills – I was now Adapt 55 for Shii-Cho and Novice 80 for Makashi, which in 6 months felt an insane improvement – I knew I was miles behind the Initiates. Even after 3 months of on-and-off sparing with Serra – and a few other members of her clan – I'd yet to win a single spar.

    However, the fact I'd spared with them using only Shii-Cho while they'd used their preferred Forms meant I might have a leg up as none of them spent much time on Makashi – which was the Form designed for one-on-one lightsaber duels. I'd also spent time in the archives learning of the flaws of each Form in the hopes to find a weakness there and had watched the clan members for any physical ticks that were potentially exploitable.

    Even with every advantage I had thought of, and the Force Powers I'd trained up that I felt were different from what was commonly expected for Initiates, I didn't hold out much hope of making the free-for-all.

    The push-feather event was one I was looking forward too as Jedi Master Giiett had informed me that while my ability to alter the temperature with Cryo/Pyrokinesis was banned, I had discovered that a Force Blast wasn't; it was simply a more concentrated form of TK to the Jedi, but it was not a trick commonly taught. That some of my other self-usage powers were viable to use – as they only affected me and not my opponent – I felt I had a fair shot at completing that objective.

    The obstacle course objective was the event I most expected to complete, not least as I had learnt two Force Powers that I felt were rather rare to use and should give me a huge advantage with the objective.

    Force Teleport allowed me to make short-range jumps from one place to another, and while the cost was high – currently 1994FP at Novice 2 – and had a range limited to 2*my level, it was a handy skill to have.

    Force Phase, however, was my big hope for the obstacle course. It granted me the ability to alter my physical density, I wasn't sure how and frankly wasn't going to even try to understand how beyond 'The Force', meaning I could walk through solid objects with ease. At current costs, I could hold it for about 5 minutes continuously, or use it 4 times before needing to meditate to restore my FP. Though that now only took about 20 minutes as Trance had evolved into Serenity, which had improved the boost, and maxed out. Combined with Meditation, I had 550% boost to my FP regeneration, which just seemed grossly unfair; for others.

    "List Quest; Cleanse the Temple."

    Cleanse the Temple
    Something is off in the Jedi Temple
    Rating: B
    Objective:
    Find the dark side taint and cleanse it.
    Rewards:
    3000XP
    Penalties:
    Possible death

    I frowned as I re-read the details of that quest. I'd studied the history of the Temple in classes on the history of the Order and browsed the archives for details on the temple and concluded that the taint would be linked to the mountain on which the temple was built.

    But after examining the mountain everywhere I could from levels 1 to 23, I had yet to find any hint of the taint. Levels 24 and above were not for Initiates, or even Padawans, without permission and common sense suggested that the chances of the part of the mountain where the various Councils of the Jedi were located was tainted were small enough to be ignored unless no other option was left but to check them.

    That meant I was going to have to go under the Temple, which meant becoming a Padawan or leaving the Jedi, probably permanently.

    Frankly, I was chafing at being stuck in Temple for the last 6 months and was seriously considering just leaving. The indoctrination was starting to get to me and it was taking a lot of self-control to not point out that cutting one's self off from emotions left you weak when confronted with an emotional situation beyond your grasp; and thus, easy prey for the whispers of the darker side of the Force.

    And I was now certain that there was a darker element to the Force. I had felt the pull to lash out at various times over the last half-year; the faint wish to act on my anger to prove a point, to push back in fear. Yet, I had no problem with resisting the temptations. A decade of serving in the army and SAS before dying had let me see the dark side of Human nature and learn to control my urges.

    It made me feel that fear and anger were not something to be avoided, but controlled, tempered, if not negated if possible. After all, a wise man had once said that fear meant one of two things; Forget Everything and Run, or Face Everything and Rise.

    The Jedi, by closing themselves off to the better emotions – or at least being able to show them – left themselves unable to see that fear/hate/anger were things to overcome. And that could often only be done if you had something good to hold on to.

    Or that was my take on things at any rate.

    The big issue with leaving the Order before being fully trained was Senator Palpatine. Unsurprisingly, I hadn't run into any politicians in my time here so far, but I knew the man was on the planet and a senator having done a brief search of the Holonet for information on him, Dooku and a few others that I remembered from the movies. That meant that there was a good chance Palpatine knew about my arrival here and whom my great-grandparents were.

    And that would put me clearly in the crosshairs of Sidious and his master; if he was still around. I honestly had no idea about that beyond him mentioning a Darth Plagueis to Anakin in RotS, so I was working on the theory that that was the name of his master, though whether he was alive currently or not I did not know; nor if Darth Maul was around as a Sith yet or not.

    And if I left the temple abruptly as a child, I was all but certain that Sidious would have me monitored, if not kidnapped, and that was not something I wanted currently. Which was why becoming a Padawan was the safer – if more stifling – option. And since I wanted out of the Temple a-sap, it meant trying to find a master who wasn't tied at the hip to Coruscant.

    I sighed as I stood and waved away the quest details and began a slow walk from my quarters – which were still in the guest quarters – to the Room of 1000 Fountains; where all Initiates over 8 had to gather for the start of the Trails.
    As I entered the Room of 1000 Fountains and took in the sight of all the massive greenhouse/meditation centre/waterworks – something I didn't think I would ever find anything but breath-taking, calming and inspiring all at the same time – I looked around and saw maybe a hundred or so kids my age and a little older waiting around in one of the larger pavilions and moved over to join them. Most were standing in groups that, based on the faces I recognized, were their clans, with each clan having two adult Jedi standing with them.


    I spotted Serra standing nearby with the other members of Dragons Clan and gave her and the others a wave. While most waved back, Sia-Lan glared at me. The older girl was still less than happy with my admittance into the Temple – even if I wasn't truthfully an Initiate – but she held her tongue when we met. The glares, however, did not stop; nor a few less than quiet comments on my lack of ability and only getting in here based on my family name.

    At the sound of a sharp bang I turned with the Initiates and saw the Jedi High Council take to the stage; Yoda and Yaddle – a female of Yoda's species – floating on their chairs beside the other members. Yaddle hadn't been present when I'd met the Council when I'd first arrived so seeing a female of Yoda's species during one of my morning classes a month ago had surprised me; though I guess they would need to be for them to reproduce. At least, I assumed that most, if not all, life in this galaxy followed the same patterns as Humans for genders and reproduction.

    "To the yearly Initiate Trials, welcome younglings. High hopes that you will all perform well and impress your fellow Jedi, I have." Yoda said calmly as he smiled out at the gathered children. "But remember, competition this is not. Merely a chance for you to show your comfort with the force, it is, and learnt over the years, what you have."

    'Yeah right. This is how you choose the Padawans, so it is a competition. Plus, I've got my quest to complete and if I get all 3 objectives, I'll level up. Kinda curious as to what that will be like.' I thought to myself as Yoda floated back and Windu stepped forward.

    "For those of you taking part in the trials for the first time, understand that your performance has no bearing on your standing in the Order. Just because someone is older and has spent longer at the Temple does not guarantee victory. Younger Initiates have emerged victorious at the various components of the Trials in years past." He paused for a moment and I watched as several of the older Jedi glanced at Dooku, who looked uninterested in the proceedings, and I was actually surprised he was here as what I'd found in the Archives suggested he'd become a bit of a recluse after a failed mission about 4 years ago which resulted in his Padawan being killed.
    'Huh. So Dooku won one of the parts at a younger age? Didn't know that. Maybe if I do the same it will give me an in to get to know him and start the quest to prevent his fall.'


    "This year the schedule for the Trials is as follows: Today will see all Initiates attempting to cross a randomly created obstacle course in the holographic training area. Each clan will be taken there by their lead Jedi trainers in due course. Due to the number of Initiates this year, the top 15 in the obstacle course will receive a pass in the first round of the push-feather tournament.

    "Tomorrow will begin the push-feather tournament. These will be held throughout the day, with the last 32 being held the day after. For the lightsaber spars, Initiates between 8 and 10 cycles will compete on the fourth day of the Festival, including the final free-for-all between the top 8 Initiates. Regardless of the outcome, all 8 will be allowed to compete against the older Initiates on the final day of the Festival."

    Windu stopped and gazed out over the room. I noted that the rest of the Council and the gathered Jedi were doing the same, some seemingly focusing in on a select clan. I spotted a young Human male with a strange yellow mark across face focusing on Dragon Clan and noted that Aayla seemed to sense his stare as she waved to him.

    "Katarn Clan will be first up. Please head to the training area. All other Initiates are free to either watch their fellow Initiates on the screens around the Temple or head off to prepare for when their time comes. Dismissed."
    I turned around and silently wondered just how I was to know when I was to attempt the course.


    "Wondering about your turn?"

    I turned at the familiar sound of Master Giiett's voice and nodded. "The Council has decided that you will attempt the course after Dragon clan given to your budding friendship with a few members of that clan." He smiled in what felt to me like an amused way. "It's good to see you starting to spend time with your fellow Initiates. I was beginning to think you didn't like people."

    I chuckled at his comment. "No, just settling in. And Serra approached me first."

    "Initiate Keto?" He rubbed his chin. "Hmm, now that is interesting. Did she mention anything about her past while you talked?"

    "One doesn't rat out your friends," I replied with a small smirk, one Master Giiett returned.

    "Indeed. Well, so long as neither of you dwells on the past, I see no harm in discussing it. I must leave now. The Council has asked me and my Padawan to investigate a disturbance in the Kessel sector. I hope that when I return, I find you have done adequately in the trials."

    "I hope I do so as well. May the Force be with you, sir."

    He chuckled as he gently shook his head. "One day young one, we will get you to refer to your seniors as Master. But not this day it seems." He turned and walked purposefully across the pavilion to where a young Human female was waiting. If I was on Earth, I'd have called her Asian, but here, I had no idea how to define that ethnic group.

    With a shrug I walked over to one of the quieter fountains and sat patiently waiting for Dragon Clan to be summoned, figuring I could head along behind them instead of wandering aimlessly through the halls of the Temple; well doing so once more. I closed my eyes and ran through my plans for the push-feather events, as I was more than comfortable with my plans for the obstacle course.

    "Master Rancisis says you'll be joining us for the obstacle course." I opened my eyes to see Serra had come over to speak with me again. She was smiling as she spoke, and I saw that two other members of Dragon Clan had come over. Jaeman Charlton and Darihd Bykys.

    Jaeman Charlton was a Human male from Alderaan with sandy brown hair and eyes. He was the same age as Serra and I and generally had no opinion on my being accepted into the Jedi; preferring a wait, learn and see approach.

    Darihd Bykys was a green-skinned Togruta who was friendly towards me when he wasn't stomping a mudhole into my arse during the few spars we'd had. He was proficient at Form 1 to a level I just couldn't cope with and I was praying not to run into him during the lightsaber spars.

    Honestly, I was fearing the lightsaber trials a lot, but I put it out my mind as I spoke.

    "Yeah. Master Giiett told me as much at the end of the Council's little speech." I scoffed quietly. "Not a competition my backside."

    Darihd, who was about half-a-head taller and a good 10 Kg heavier, slapped me on the back. "This is why I like you, Cameron. You speak your mind. Everyone else just says 'yes master' or 'no master' all the time."

    "You mean like you do?" Jaeman queried with a smirk and ducked the lazy backhand that Darihd aimed at him.

    "Well yeah. But I have to at least keep up the pretence of following orders. I'm the minder of the Clan, remember?"

    I chuckled at the interaction. If not for Serra talking to me I would've become a social pariah, which had kind of been my plan. The idea of dealing with a bunch of kids did not appeal but thanks to our first talk and spar, Serra had given me a door into her clan and I was enjoying the interactions; even if it was often juvenile at times.

    "Yes sir, no sir. May I lick your boots, sir." I said, doing a fair impression of Darihd's voice.

    "Careful Cameron. I've got no reason to go easy on you, unlike some." He warned, a finger-wagging in my face as the other two chuckled, though Serra's cheeks reddened a touch.

    "And who's to say I haven't been letting you whoop my arse just to make you overconfident." I countered with a smile as I swatted the finger away.

    Serra shook her head. "Nope. No way you've been holding back. Face it Cam, you've got next to no chance with the lightsaber. Heck, even Jyl can take you and she's nearly two cycles younger than you."

    That wasn't true; she was only a cycle-and-a-half younger than me. But yeah, she had tanned me when we sparred. God, did I suck at sparring. Though these would not be spars, but full combat drills, so I had a few plans.
    "Really? None of you think I stand a chance? How about a friendly bet then?" I asked with a smirk as they all shook their heads at my first question.


    "Jedi don't gamble," Jaeman stated even though he had a small smile on his face.

    "It's not a gamble. It's a bet." I replied.

    "And what's the bet?" Serra asked as I expected. While Darihd did occasionally speak out privately about things in the Temple it was only Serra that had questioned things; and even then, only when we were alone.

    That might have only been an hour or two each week, but it was enough to see she had a rebellious streak in her, and that my words when we'd first met had had an effect. The questions she asked me about my family were a solid attempt – for a child – to examine someone's thinking without exposing themselves; though I had always ended my questions about family and life outside the Order with a question challenging her, and those always got her thinking about her own family and what life outside was really like.

    "Hmm. How about for every spar I win, you each have to clean my quarters once? If I don't win any, I'll clean yours for a week." I figured I had an outside shot at winning one duel, and even if I lost it gave me a greater in with Dragon Clan. Plus, you never know what you can find when searching, I mean cleaning, someone's bunk.

    "Deal," Darihd replied instantly, Jaeman nodding at the same time in acceptance. Serra however, had narrowed her eyes and was looking at my face carefully.

    "You've got something prepared, don't you? Something we've not seen yet."

    I smiled back in what I hope was an enigmatic way. I'd not expected anyone to object to the terms, but I was pleasantly surprised that she'd guessed I had something planned. That rebellious streak I'd been seeing leant itself to non-conformist ways of thinking for a Jedi; something I'd seen in our last spar when she'd intentionally dropped one of her lightsabers – yes, the girl used two – until I was past it, then summoned it back to her hand; taking out my legs as it flew. I'd been pissed about it at the time, but since then I'd come to appreciate the fact she was willing to fight 'dirty'.

    "Maybe." Was all I said in reply.

    "Then, I'm going to wait until after the obstacle course before accepting." She said with a smile.

    I gave her a mock salute as an adult Rodian approached.

    "Come. Dragon Clan's time is approaching." He stated with a lisp when he used an 's', before turning and walking to where I saw the rest of their clan was waiting.

    As we walked, I gently touched Serra on the arm and leaned towards her. "Good girl," I whispered before picking up the pace to meet the group, leaving the girl a few steps behind me.

    The rest of the clan, bar Sia-Lan and another Human girl named Trudie, all gave me small smiles or nods of acknowledgement. Sia-Lan narrowed her eyes but said nothing since the Rodian Jedi was with us and Trudie stood to Sia-Lan's right, but a half-step behind; as always.

    The journey to the training room was quick, thankfully the elevators in the Temple were fast and quiet, and while the Clan began to get excited for the event, I held back, going over my plans for the course once more.
    Sure, there was a chance none of my ideas/power would work, but if that happened, then I'd just fall back on a decade-plus of military assault courses.


    When the first of Dragon Clan, Aayla Secura, was called in, I turned to the monitor and decided to make note of how each worked through the course; thinking there might be things there I could use if I encountered them in later events.

    Aayla was fast and agile; someone I could picture as a dancer in another life as she ducked, dodged and weaved through the course. What had caught me off-guard was that there were active guns firing at her as she went but given to the way no-one else responded to them, I guessed they were only set to sting.

    That theory was proven when the next member of the clan, Trudie Fulton was clipped in the side by a blast. She stumbled, a grimace clear to see on her face, but managed to duck out of the way of any further blasts.

    A Sullustan named Funt cleared his course quickly by jumping over several large walls with help for the Force, while Darihd and Jaeman both set times in the middle of the pack; though with only one clan having gone before Dragon Clan, I wasn't sure how good that really was.

    Sia-Lan surprised me when she blasted away a wall with the Force to clear a path, and I made a mental note to be wary of facing her in the later events if she was that comfortable with Force-assisted TK.
    Serra was the last member of her clan to go, and while she wasn't as graceful as Aayla, nor as blunt as Sia-Lan, she seemed to be a step or two above the others in her clan. Her time placed her at the top so far with a time just under 5 minutes.


    "Cameron Shan." I turned to see the Rodian Jedi who'd escorted us up looking at me. "Come with me."

    I followed him to the main doors of the training area.

    "The rules are simple. Reach the exit door on the far side of the room before time runs out. The blasters will not hurt, but each hit carries a ten-second penalty to your overall time. Destruction of any part of the course carries a five-second penalty for each wall or obstacle destroyed." It was hard to read his face, having not had much time around Rodians so far, but if he was Human, I'd say he was less than impressed with Sia-Lan's blunt-force approach. I, however, so no problems with it, as even with the time penalties, she was still third overall and probably more concerned with the lightsaber duels.

    "Understood," I replied as he waved his hand and the door opened.

    "Your time begins with the chime."

    I nodded again and waited until the starter's bell. When it sounded, I walked forward slowly and looked around the entry area, mindful of any blasters around the door that could get a free shot off at me.

    Seeing none, I glanced at my mini-map and was happy to see that even though the room had a different layout to the last – and only – time I'd visited, the map still showed the location of the other on the far side.

    I started jogging straight for it and phased as I was a step from the first wall. I'd only walked through a table in my room once, so the tingles that erupted through my body caught me off-guard for a moment and I stopped once I was through. Finding myself in another area, I looked around for blasters, but once again, found none.

    Even though the wall had felt strange to pass through, I stayed phased as I started to jog across the room, ignoring the tingles as I passed through more walls, only to come to a stop at a chasm that was probably beyond my ability to Force Jump currently.

    I shivered as a blaster bolt went through me, chilling me to the bone. 'That was unpleasant.' It was quickly followed by more shots, but as they went feebly through me, and did no damage to either my HP or FP, I ignored them as I examined the chasm.

    Even with a run-up, I doubted I could clear the gap with a Force-Jump so that left one option.

    With a smirk, I stepped forward, dropped my Phase and I felt myself pulled both inwards and outwards at the same time, my stomach seemed to dance the Tango and my skin felt like I'd stuck my fingers in a live power socket, but I stepped down on the far side of the chasm.

    "Awesome," I said to the room with a smile as I looked back across the gap as the blasters turned to reacquire me. That was the first time I'd used Teleport outside of my quarters and it worked exactly as the description stated, even if the feeling was still uncomfortable. 'Hopefully, it gets better with time.'

    I activated Force Phase again and jogged the short distance to the exit; not waiting for the door to open and making the waiting Jedi jump in shock. I noted that it was a female Togruta and as she stared at me, her face a few shades of red lighter than her arms, I noted that I recognized her from the movies; though I didn't have a name to go with the face yet.

    "How'd I do?" I asked as I dropped the Phase, a smirk on my face.

    The Togruta's eyes narrowed as she looked past me. "Beyond ageing me a few years, I do believe that is the quickest time I have ever seen. Possibly a new Temple record. Though when, where and how you learnt to use such advanced Force abilities is a question I, and many other Jedi, will no doubt ask you in the days ahead."

    "I saw a Sith Phase when my home was attacked, and the Teleport was just an idea I came up with, ma'am," I replied, instantly using the excuses I had prepared for those questions.

    "Ah, yes. Forgive me for not recognizing you sooner. Child of Revan." She smiled and if my body was a decade older, I'd have found it very enticing. "I am Master Shaak Ti, and I have been assigned to run the obstacle course component of the Initiate Trials."

    "Hello," I replied, then looked around the small room I was in with Master Ti; and yes, I felt weird referring to a female as master, but when in Rome…

    "So, um, what now?" I asked slowly.

    "Ah, yes. You have completed the course, so please feel free to return to whatever you were doing previously. A final timesheet will be posted at 18:00, though I do not expect anyone to beat your time. Today, or within my lifetime." She added with a smile that seemed to be both proud and curious at the same time.

    "Thank you, ma'am." I bowed fractionally, then exited the room into the corridor. "Well, that was easy. Guess I can go and prepare for tomorrow." I muttered to myself as the doors closed behind me.

    "What was that?!" I turned to Serra and the rest of Dragon Clan waiting around. Most were looking at me in surprise or awe; though Sia-Lan's expression was fighting to not show any interest as she scowled deeply. Even her little follower, Trudie, was staring at me with wide eyes.

    "What was what?" I replied, earning myself a slap on the arm and a notice that I'd taken 3HP of damage in my combat log.

    "You walked through walls! That was kriffing brilliant!" Exclaimed Aayla, her eyes wide as she danced from one foot to the other.

    "Where did you learn to do that?"

    "Can you teach us?"

    "What does it feel like?"

    "What was that thing you did to clear the chasm?"

    I raised my hands. "Stop," I said simply, getting the barrage of questions to end before they became a deluge. "As I just told Master Ti, I saw a Sith Phase when they attacked my home and the Teleport was just an idea I had that, thankfully worked."

    "You mean you tried that for the first time in there?" Serra asked as she pointed at the doors I'd just come through. As I nodded, she slapped my arm hard; causing another 5HP of damage. "That was stupid! What would've happened if it hadn't worked and you'd fallen down the chasm?" Her lips pursed together as she finished talking and I reached forward, placing my hands on her arms.

    "Then I'd have Phased through the floor and ended up in someone's quarters," I replied with a smile. I was surprised at how worried she was over me supposedly trying something dangerous for the first time during the obstacle course. I didn't think we were that close. "Though hopefully they would've been dressed. I'd hate to see what the Council look like naked."

    A few of the others groaned. "Oh, gross." Muttered one of the boys, but my attention was on Serra and I was relieved to see her lips twitch at the bad joke.

    "Initiate Shan, the Council of First Knowledge wishes to speak with you." A teenage Twi'lek male – if I was judging the ageing of the race correctly – stated, drawing my attention away from Serra and Dragon Clan.

    I chuckled once. "Yeah, I bet they do," I replied. I knew this was going to happen, but my story was prepared and, if needed I had another card to play to limit any concern/anger they had at me using concepts that I'd learnt from the Sith Holocron were only meant for the most advanced of Jedi. "I'll see you all later," I said to Dragon Clan, though my eyes lingered on Serra until she gave a slight nod, and then I followed the Twi'lek through the corridors.
    He didn't speak once, but I noticed that several Jedi – of various ages – gave me glances as we walked; usually where a display screen was set up to show the obstacle course.


    'Figured this would happen. But I'm surprised so many seem amazed that I did what I did. Shouldn't such a trick be known to Jedi Knights and Masters? Then again, I don't think I ever saw in in the movies, cartoons or games.' I pondered the question as we entered the elevator under the northwest tower; thank you mini-map for that.

    As the elevator slowed and the doors opened, the Twi'lek turned to face me.

    "They await you within." He said formally, then leaned closer. "I'd really like to know how you did that." He whispered, making me smirk.

    "It seems that most of the Temple want to know that. I thought it was a common ability." I knew it wasn't but playing mild-mannered and unknowing helped deflect attention that I was up to something wrong. "PM," I whispered, thinking that staying clam would hide any hint of me lying to this sub-council.

    I entered the room to see six Jedi masters present. I recognized Yoda and two others from my meeting with the High Council when I arrived, and one more who had been on the High Council in the Prequels; a short alien with large, drooping ears and a missing eye. The last two, however, I had never seen before.

    "Initiate Shan, I am Astaal Vilbum, Caretaker of First Knowledge and leader of the Council of First Knowledge." Said a large black-skinned alien that's skin was all wrinkled making it look like he – she? – had spent far too long in the bath. "We have some questions for you regarding the abilities you displayed within the Initiate obstacle course."

    I chuckled softly. "I imagine you do sir." The drooping-eared alien frowned at my apparent lack of respect, but Yoda's lips twitched and another High Council member – a dark-skinned human woman, who had a strange headdress with white… things coming out of it, smiled at my reply.

    Vilbum nodded, or I took the movement of his head for a nod. "There are two initial questions we have, though we may have more depending on your answers."

    "Shoot. Um, I mean, go ahead."

    "Where did you learn to Phase and Teleport using the force and why have you not shown these abilities to any master?"

    I calmed myself internally, boosted by Player's Mind cancelling out emotions quickly, and began. "Truthfully, I think I saw a Sith Phase during the attack on my home on Talravin; though at the time I gave my report to the High Council, I wasn't sure, so I failed to mention it. Up until I managed to succeed in Phasing myself, I wasn't sure I'd actually seen it done." I glanced and Yoda and tilted my head in an apology for not mentioning that before. He replied with a tap of his stick and a very subtle smile.

    "As for Teleporting; well, that was just me thinking that if the Force allowed me to alter my body to be able to pass through solid objected, then maybe it could allow me to move instantly from one place to the other. Though that was the first time I'd actually attempted it." I shrugged when I said that, hoping to seem sheepish about doing so.

    The five seated Jedi turned and looked at each other and I suspected they were talking mentally to each other; though since I hadn't tried that myself I wasn't sure if that was possible with the Force.

    "When did you first phase?" an older human female asked bluntly, catching me off-guard for a split second.

    "About 3 months ago."

    "And you never felt like informing a member of this Council, or any Master for that matter, about learning a power we have classified as dangerous for any being lower than a Jedi Master to learn?" Droopy-ears challenged, his eyes narrowing as he leant forward in his seat. "Why didn't you inform us of this development?"

    "Well, you never asked," I replied, fighting to not smirk at my own reply.

    A few of the Council members seemed to splutter at my answer, though I caught the female with the strange headdress covering her mouth, which I took to mean she also didn't want the Council to see her smile at my answer.
    "Besides, I'm isolated from the other Initiates, never mind actual Jedi, so who would I have told?"


    "Perhaps Master Giiett, hmm?" Yoda suggested, clearly aware that he was the only member of the Council to spend much time with me. Though I suspected that some of that was because the Council wished for me to have an informal minder.

    "Well yes, but the last time I mentioned using the Force in an unexpected way I was told I couldn't use it during these Trials." I shrugged. "Something my grandfather said was that it was sometimes easier to ask for forgiveness than beg for permission."

    The Council seemed to split between annoyance at my lack of apparent respect and amusement at my reasoning, but before anyone could speak I started again.

    "Also, I still haven't been told anything about how I arrived in this time nor have I been allowed access to my ship." I had a suspicion of how I'd arrived, thanks to months of study on hyperspace and computers, but I wanted confirmation instead of the Jedi's apparent unconcern about my arrival.

    "The High Council is still conducting a review of the flight logs of the ship you arrived in. " Remarked a red-skinned humanoid member of this Council. " And I was not aware that you had ownership of it."

    I shrugged again. "OK, technically, I never bought it, but seeing as the former owner wanted to kidnap me and murdered my grandfather – the only living member of my family – and that I killed a Sith on board, I figure I earned it."

    "Jedi do not have possessions," Vilbum stated calmly. "The ship is also a Sith vessel. As such, the Council and Jedi Sentinels are examining it thoroughly for possible links to locations strong in the Force."

    'Meaning you knew the flight data was erased and have been unable to recover any clues to where the ship came from. Good. No point in risking Sidious gaining access to Ziost and the remains of the Sith Empire that attacked the Republic millennia ago.' Yes, I'd done a fair bit of reading about the time I'd come from if only to help me build plausible stories to confirm my background. It left me wishing I'd played SW:TOR, but the idea of on-line gaming never appealed.

    "And once you have finished examining it, what then?"

    "We have arranged for it to be sold to a museum. The ship is millennia out of date and could not be brought up to a standard we would deem safe for Jedi usage."

    'You were planning to just take my ship and not tell me? Bastards!' "Then what if I am not taken as a Padawan, or choose not to stay with the Order?" Now that got a response from a few of the gathered Masters. It seems they were less than keen on me leaving. 'Why… Oh, fuck no! They cannot think I'm the one to bring balance to the Force? Fuck!'

    That was something I had honestly not considered but it looked like others had. I guess my ease with learning the Force – because of my other powers – and my appearance from another time and link to one of the Jedi's most infamous members probably meant others had discussed whether I fit the prophecy.

    "To become a Jedi you expect not, hmm?" Yoda asked with a faint smile.

    I shrugged once more. "Well, there's always a chance I'm not taken, right? So why shouldn't I have plans for that possibility?"

    "If only other Initiate and Padawans were able to see that truth," Vilbum said quietly with a shake of his head. "Very well, in the event that you are not taken as a Padawan by your 13th cycle, we will grant you credits equal to the amount the museum has paid for the freighter. Is that acceptable?"

    I nodded slowly. I'd prefer to take the old ship if only to scrap it to ensure no-one could recover anything from the computers, but I guess I could always find out which museum bought the ship and ensure it suffered an 'accident'. No point leaving a loose end after all. And I'd only need that money if I couldn't find a good match for a Jedi Master, I thought. Though while having it regardless would be useful, I doubted I could change their minds on this.

    "Then I congratulate you on setting a new record for the Initiate obstacle course but ask that any new abilities you discover are reported to a Master immediately and order you not to teach any controlled abilities to your fellow Initiates. You may go." Vilbum said, and I heard the doors opened behind me.

    'Fat chance of that. You'll probably just say I can't use those powers either.' I thought as I turned only to stop and turn back to the Council.

    "You have something to ask?" Vilbum asked as he saw that I had stopped.

    "Yes. I was wondering if you could tell me how exactly I arrived on Coruscant nearly 4000 years after I left Talravin." I said slowly. Mentally I had just put it down to the PtB playing with time, but perhaps there was a technical reason as for why it had happened.

    "Ah, yes. We had forgotten to inform you of that." Vilbum replied before shuffling a little in his seat. "I am unsure of your exact understanding of hyperspace mechanics and the mechanical component of a starship, but in simplest terms, the console in the cockpit that was damaged during your struggle with the Sith was a temporal compensator. Truthfully, the exact technical understanding is beyond me, but our technicians assure us that the damage to that is what caused you to travel thousands of years forward in time inside a few days."

    I bowed a touch, more for show than to give thanks for the answer. "Thank you, Master Vilbum." With that, I turned and left the chamber and quickly crossed the I exited the Council chamber and crossed the small antechamber outside.

    As I entered the elevator, I dropped Player's Mind and growled. The order to not teach others was unexpected, but I could see the reasoning behind it, though I imagined a normal 8-cycle old child would not.

    I'd managed to avoid getting into trouble for using my powers and gotten something sorted out on the chance I didn't become a Padawan – or choose to leave of my own volition.

    Now I just had to let Serra and the others down gently about not being able to teach them until they were Padawans. 'He should've been clearer in his instructions.' I thought as the anger gave way to a small smirk.




    Now before anyone suggests that Cameron got off easy.
    Did he?
    The Council is now going to watch him closer, especially since he has hinted at leaving the Jedi Order and it seems some may think that he's the one to bring balance to the Force.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2020
    AlexA4x, DQuinnicus, mwjen and 42 others like this.
  13. Joseph

    Joseph [Verified Khornate Cultist]

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    I would advise you fix the formatting.
     
  14. USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Know what you're doing yet?

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    Fix it how?

    I admit I'm just coping the story over from FF, so it might not be in the best format for QQ.
     
  15. Threadmarks: Initiate Training 4
    USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Know what you're doing yet?

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    "It's not fair! Why can you learn it but not us?" Jaeman complained for about the 100th time since I'd told Dragon Clan about the orders of the Council of First Knowledge, and it been less than a day.


    "The Council stated it was dangerous," Darihd stated clearly, and loudly enough for others not at their table to hear. "We must respect the Council's decision." He glanced at me and winked since he'd come to see me late last night to check the exact wording of the Council's order. Serra had asked me quietly about it just before breakfast, where we were sitting now; me having joined Dragon Clan unofficially. Even Sia-Lan was being nice, though that may be more because I had not only set the fastest time at the obstacle course yesterday; I'd also set a new Temple record at 1 minute 5 seconds, and I thought about 30 seconds of that was me being cautious at the beginning and taking time to examine the chasm before I teleported.

    "Still, saying we can't even attempt to learn it ourselves until we are a Jedi Knight? That's not fair!" Jaeman countered, referring to the mandate the High Council had established this morning. I'd woken to find a notice on my Jedi datapad stating that self-research into phasing and teleporting using the Force was banned to all under the rank of Jedi Knight as the powers were dangerous if improperly used.

    I guessed that my other powers helped negate the inherent risks, so I understood the Council's mandate; yet the loophole about me teaching it to anyone who was a Padawan or above still existed; which was why Darihd and Serra were not as bothered by the mandate as the others. And maybe why Sia-Lan was being neutral to me.

    "Let it go Jae," the girl in question said quietly but firmly. "Just take pleasure in the fact we destroyed the other Clans."

    "That's only because of Cam," Serra mentioned, giving me a small smile when she spoke my name. "Is that why you like him now?"

    "I don't like him, unlike some!" Sai-Lan sent back, making Serra's head drop back to her bowl, before she turned to look at me. "I just admit that I may have been, overzealous, in my initial opinion of Shan."

    'Someone else figured out that I can teach Padawans and is playing nice to maybe get that chance.' "Well thank you for the apology," I said with a smirk before turning back to Darihd. "What's this about beating the other clans?"
    "You didn't know about that?" I shook my head and the Togruta boy tapped a few buttons on his datapad before sliding it over to me.


    I looked at it and saw the final timing for the obstacle course. My time was at the top, nearly four minutes ahead of someone called Dlurs Virtiell from Katarn Clan, though I couldn't put a face to the name even after months of on-and-off classes with Katarn Clan. Indeed, outside of Dragon Clan, I couldn't place any of the names on the list to the four clans I'd spent time with over the last month.

    What caught my eye, however, was that beside my name, it stated Dragon as my clan.

    I looked down the top 20 and was impressed to see Aayla, Serra, Sia-Lan and Funt were all listed. Further examination showed that the top 20 was composed of only half-dozen clans, all but one of which I had spent time training with at various times over the last half-year. Darihd swiped his finger across a part of the screen and the table was replaced by one that showed the average time for each clan, with Dragon a full 30 seconds clear of anyone else.

    "Why am I placed with Dragon?" I asked as I handed the pad back to Darihd.

    He shrugged, making his head-tails bounce upon his shoulders. "No idea, but I'm not complaining. Last year we were fifth out of ten clans, and the older members were taken as Padawans since then. Honestly, I was expecting us to struggle a bit his year, but Serra and Aayla did great. Your time just pushed us over the top."

    "He shouldn't be allowed to compete. He's not an Initiate." I turned to see a boy, at least a few years older than me, approach with others. His eyes burrowed into mine as he spoke. "He's used his supposed status to worm his way into the Temple."

    "The High Council confirmed his story, Jon. He's one of us." I had to fight off the shock at hearing Sia-Lan defend me, but it seemed she was really trying to play nice now; whether that was because she hoped to learn to phase/teleport once we were Padawans, or she just liked that Dragon was top of the time standings, I couldn't say. Nor was I complaining as she continued. "If you and your clanmates had done a better job of accepting him, maybe he'd be with Katarn instead of Dragon."

    Jon glared at Sia-Lan, though the girl just ignored him as she returned to her meal, then shifted to me. "You will not be so lucky today." He stated slowly. "Katarn has won the push-feather the last three years running, and I do not expect you to be able to stop us."

    "Good for you," I said calmly, turning away slowly. Frankly, the childish drama of competing clans was beneath my care. I simply wanted to do well enough to succeed at the related quest and find a way to get out of the Temple.
    I heard him growl a touch at me ignoring him, but him being angry just meant I'd have more of a chance of beating him if we faced off.


    "Is there a problem?" I looked up and saw an older man standing on the other side of the table from me, looking at where Jon was standing the last time I bothered to look at him.

    "No Master. I was just informing Initiate Shan that things will not be so easy in the following trials." Jon replied with a tone-neutral voice, and I bit my tongue to not retort.

    "Ah, so this is the child of Revan, how interesting." The man's eyes were of a darker shade of green than my own, while his hair was black with large streaks of grey making me think he was at least in his 40s, though I had no idea if the Force slowed ageing, so it was but a guess. His expression was calm, yet I felt as though he was examining me carefully as we held each other's gaze. "I know only one other Jedi with the ability to both phase through objects and teleport, though her teleport has a purple tint, while from what I saw of your obstacle course run, it can be noted that yours has a grey, almost silver tint."

    All of that was news to me. I'd yet to hear of anyone who could Phase or Teleport, and now I discovered there was one woman who could also do both, and that my teleport had a different colour than hers, and I hadn't even known it had a colour to it.

    "If you say so, sir," I replied, which drew a wry smile from the Jedi.

    "Ah, I have forgotten my manners. I am Master Tholme and the young man speaking to your clanmate is my current Padawan, Quinlan Vos." I turned and saw that Aayla was talking animatedly with the same man with the yellow facial marking from yesterday. Clearly the 2 knew each other from somewhere.

    "Cameron Shan sir," I replied, extending my hand and shaking his. The small smile on Tholme's face grew at my reply.

    "I see Master Drallig was being truthful about your addressing of your superiors." He raised his hand as I opened my mouth to explain. "He already told me your logic and I understand, even if others within the Order may not."
    "Master Tholme, how much longer until Quinlan can attempt his Trials?" Aayla blurted out as she stepped closer.


    "I imagine no more than 3 or 4 years Aayla," Tholme said as he turned to her, releasing my hand as he did so, with a small smile on his face. "Do not worry yourself. Once he completes his Knight Trials, he will take you as a Padawan. Everyone in the Order knows this to be true. Even if some are uncomfortable with the bond you 2 already share."

    Aayla nodded, though I noted her smile slipped a fraction at the time needed until Vos' Knight Trials. "Yes, Master."

    "Quinlan Vos," the Padawan in question said as he shook my hand. "I would love to learn how you did what you did yesterday."

    I couldn't help but chuckle at the bluntness of the statement. After dealing with more subtle comments from Padawans, Knights and a few Masters yesterday until I'd retreated to my room to train privately for today, it was nice to get someone being forthright in their reason for saying hello.

    "You and most of the Order." He smirked at that. "Perhaps once the week is over we can talk. Aayla trusts you, and while she's not a friend yet, she's certainly been nicer to me than others, so I'll trust her judgement on you." 'Plus, the only time you appeared in the Clone Wars you were fun.' I explained to him when his brow rose at me saying we could talk. Sia-Lan rolled her eyes at my comment about Aayla being 'nicer to me than others' but said nothing.

    "I would like that. How do you expect to do today?"

    I shrugged. "Survive. I've been at this for 6 months; everyone else for years. Honestly, I only expect to maybe win 1 duel today." OK, I was aiming for at least 3, but no need to seem arrogant or over-confident.

    "Hmm, then may I offer some advice?" Tholme said as he rubbed his chin and I nodded. "While this trial is all about your ability to use the Force to move objects, in this case, your opponent, simply pushing and pulling is not all that you can do with this ability."

    "Thank you, sir." I nodded slowly as I thanked him. I'd already considered that based off the description of the Force Power – each power/ability had a description on what it could do – it was nice to have a subtle confirmation on that fact. While using the Force to choke someone was out, no matter how much fun it might be to do so, there were other body parts I could grip with the Force.

    Once I'd retreated to my room yesterday afternoon, I'd spent close to 12 hours almost non-stop training my TK. That had gotten me a further 3 levels in the power, but I doubted the improvement would matter much. I'd then spent the last few hours this morning before breakfast going over combat scenarios, and what Tholme had just said meant many I had considered iffy to be allowed to do were possible, and his comment gave me an out if I got into trouble for doing something unexpected.

    "I see you already understand my words." He said as our hands parted, a smile dancing on his face. "Just be careful not to go too far. These Trials are nothing but friendly competition."

    I lowered my head, making myself bow a touch even though I was still sitting. "I understand." Indeed, unlike every other Initiate, I had fought and survived real battles – though ones without the Force or energy weapons – and understood that when in battle, the most important rule was survival, while in training it did not matter if you lost, only that you learnt from it.

    "Come Quinlan. We have time before the Push-Feather Tournament begins and I wish to discuss your opinion of the events of our last mission."

    "Yes, Master," Quinlan said, though before he left, he took a final look at Aayla and smiled at her.

    .........

    A couple of hours later I was stepping into the sparring circle for my first match of the push-feather tournament. Like Aayla, Serra, Sia-Lan, Funt and the other top 20 of the obstacle course, I'd received a bye in the first round for this tournament.

    While I was happy about that in some regards, it just made me winning 3 duels that little bit harder to accomplish. Still, I had my ideas and Master Tholme's words had given me a few more to consider.

    "Initiates are you prepared?" Master Bondara from the side of the circle and I brought my focus back to the Rodian across from me. Judging from his height – which may be a mistake, but I had no other guide to work with – he was around my age. Well, my body's age as technically I was nearly 4000 cycles old.

    We both nodded, and I noticed his hand twitch a fraction.

    "Begin when the gong sounds," Bondara stated and I went over the rules quickly in my head.

    You can win one of three ways; taking an opponent off all his feet, knocking them from the circle or rendering them unconscious. The last one I'd only learnt when I'd seen Jon from Katarn Clan smack Jaeman with a blast to the back of the head that knocked out the younger boy before he hit the floor.

    The rest of Dragon clan were furious as Jon hadn't needed to be so aggressive and I'd seen Master Drallig speaking to him after the spar while healers tended to Jaeman.

    My thoughts were brought back to the present as the gong sounded and I flicked three fingers on my left hand, sending three small TK blasts at my opponent's shoulder. While this was three attacks, it was judged as one by my Player Powers/Interface as after I reached Adept 1 I could lift multiple objects or initiate several smaller TK pushes simultaneously; the number of which was determined by my current level.

    My opponent lifted his whole hand quickly and blocked all three attacks, and I noted his antennae twitch as I side-stepped his retaliation attack.

    I sent another set of small pushes at him, this time aimed at his arm and chest while I clenched my right fist; using the Force to grip his shoe.

    He blocked four of my smaller attacks but the fifth clipped his arm, making it fail backwards. He snarled, and I grimaced at the smell I detected coming from him. He threw out his hand at me and I instinctively rolled to the side, keeping my fist clenched.

    As I finished the roll, I saw him prepping for another attack and pulled my fist backwards, taking his foot out from under him. As he hopped in confusion I pushed the fist out and threw a full-strength TK push at him.
    I watched in shock as he was lifted clean off the floor and sent flying backwards; out of the circle. The energy net that surrounded the circle flared to life; catching him easily and preventing the Rodian from smashing into the wall.


    "Winner, Shan," Bondara said as I took a breath and got control of my shock.

    Standing, I walked over to the Rodian and extended my hand. "Sorry, about that. I didn't think the push was that powerful."

    The Rodian's eyes focused on me as his antennae leaned forward. I left my hand out until he sighed and took it; allowing me to help him stand.

    "It is fine." He said slowly as he allowed me to pull him to his feet. "I was unprepared for the push when my leg failed me. I knew you had a hold of it, but I had not expected the yank you gave it as you finished your roll. That was my mistake."

    I smiled even as I wished there was a way to block off the smell coming from him. It wasn't that bad, but it was still off-putting. "If I didn't have that hold you'd have gotten me with your next attack," I replied.

    It was true. Once the match was finished, I noticed that my roll had taken me to the edge of the circle, meaning another roll or a small push would've taken me out of bounds.

    The Rodian gave me a slight nod off acceptance and I left the circle, only to be accosted by my new clanmates.

    "You won!" Serra said with a smile as they gathered around me.

    "Don't sound so surprised." I retorted with a smile of my own.

    "She's not. She's just happy you won as now she doesn't have to clean our dorm for the next few weeks." Sia-Lan grunted out and I chuckled at learning they had taken bets on my match.

    "Isn't gambling for money against the Jedi Code?" I asked, though from what I understood for 6 months of boring-ass lectures on the Code and the role of the Jedi, I knew it wasn't. More a grey area as the Force could really help if used correctly for certain forms of gambling.

    Serra looked down even as Darihd chuckled. "Technically, yes. But we keep our bets to cleaning duties. It's a way to make our spars more interesting. Thanks for the ideas by the way."

    I shrugged. It was no big deal to me about the bets, though I really didn't want to have to clean the boy's dorm.

    "Who's up next?" I asked, changing the subject before anyone asked any specifics about how I'd won. Sure, they could all probably do better than me, but I need 2 more wins to complete this stage of the Trials quest, so I wasn't willing to reveal anything until it was over. 'Huh, have I become that person now? Only interested in finishing a quest?' I wondered as the clan turned to Darihd.

    "Me. I'm against a member of Heliost Clan. He's good, finished second last year, easily beating me in the process and he's pushing the limit for getting selected as a Padawan." His head-tails – I really needed to learn the correct name for them, but I'd been far too busy to research it and I felt asking might come across as ignorant – rippled as he spoke, and I turned to see an older Human boy, just shy of being a teenager at a guess, enter the circle.

    I leaned closer and whispered to him. "Go for his groin. It's dirty but it's not dark and winning equals survival."

    When I leaned back I saw his eyes widen until he smiled, exposing a row of sharp-looking teeth. "Sweet." He muttered as he stepped into the circle and I moved outside the range of the safety nets.
    "What did you say to him?" Sia-Lan asked, and I noticed she was glancing between myself and Darihd.


    "Just gave him a pointer my grandfather told me years ago after I go into a fight at school," I replied as I watched a Jedi Master with dark brown, almost leathery-looking skin stepped to the edge of the circle to begin the spar.
    My mind, however, was already on my next fight.


    .........

    As I stepped into the sparring circle for the third time that day, I found myself facing a boy who had stood behind Jon of Katarn Clan that morning when he'd mouthed off. From what Sia-Lan had told me just before I entered the circle, the boy question was a few years older than me and was regarded as one of the favourites for this event, having lifted one of the Muntuur Stones, which from the way she spoke was impressive. Though I had no idea as to what she was talking about.

    As I looked over at him, he smirked back, and I realised he expected to curb-stomp me.

    'Fine then. Gloves off.' I thought as I readied my attack. Whatever these Stones were, lifting them must be hard, so he could probably bring a lot of force – no pun intended – to bear. Meaning I'd have to fight a little dirty and push the rules if I wanted to win.

    "Initiates are you prepared?" Master Drallig asked, earning nods from myself and my opponent. "Then be ready."

    It was a minor difference from what Master Bondara had said in my previous 2 bouts, but the meaning was the same.

    As the gong sounded, I raised my hand and pushed as hard as I could with TK. The other boy stepped back a fraction, his brow rising in shock at my attack, but I didn't let up. As he continued to block my full-force TK push, my other hand sent a Force Blast – technically not illegal in push-feather, but not something that the various Councils would approve of – at the floor where he was standing.

    To both of our amazement, the floor visibly cracked at the strike, but I hadn't let up my TK push, whereas he slipped for a moment, losing his Focus and allowing me to send him flying from the circle with enough speed that I was seriously concerned I'd killed him as the energy net kicked in a slowed his momentum.

    "Winner, Shan," Drallig said and I instantly rushed over to my opponent.

    "Is he ok?" I asked the Jedi who were tending to him as others approached.

    "He will be fine in time." The female Jedi who was running something over him said calmly. "The net did its job and limited his velocity safely and the Force will accelerate the healing of his bones."

    I gulped at how easy it had been to break someone with a full-powered TK push and said a silent prayer to the inventors of the energy net. Without it I would be up on charges of murder and this whole new life would be over before it had begun.

    "What the frag was that?" I turned to face the voice and saw Jon from that morning approaching, his eyes narrowed dangerously and focused on me even as his hands clenched into fists. "You tried to kill him."

    "I tried to win," I replied quietly, wishing I could put on Player's Mind but knowing that saying that now would be a problem. "I was told he could lift some stones and it sounded impressive so I…"

    "So you tried to kill him!" Jon stepped closer still and cocked his arm backwards.

    "Enough!" The healer ordered, turning her gaze to Jon. "Control your emotions now." The words were said without aggression, but the tone was clear in the threat that if he didn't, Jon would be in just as much trouble as I was.
    Jon said nothing, but he continued to glare at me as more people came over.


    "How is Initiate Kirkhey?" Asked a voice that made me cringe. I turned and saw the same older Jedi master who'd met me with Yoda and Giiett when I'd first arrived on Coruscant and who seemed to despise me being allowed to even stay in the Temple. How he felt about my participation in these Trials I could only guess, but I seriously doubted he approved.

    "He will recover Master Belfarr, however, he will not be taking any further part in the Trials." The healer replied and I was both glad he would live and fearful of the next words from the Council Master's mouth.

    "Then Initiate Shan is also disbarred from further activities this week." Belfarr almost growled out and I didn't look up at him even as I felt my anger growing at his decision.

    "That is not your decision to make Master Belfarr," I heard Master Windu say calmly and turned to see him approaching with High Council members Plo Koon and Yaddle. "The Council of First Knowledge control the training of Initiates and Younglings, not the High Council and thus the final decision to allow the Initiate to continue is theirs to make." He paused and turned his attention to me. "Initiate Shan, for now, you are removed from the push-feather tournament. Your next match, if the Council of First Knowledge grants you permission to continue, will take place after first meal tomorrow."

    "Yes, sir," I reply, not really caring if I am still in the tournament or not. "Is there anything I can do to help?" I asked the healer.

    She gave me a soft smile and placed a hand on my shoulder. "While I thank you for the offer, I believe I, and the other healers, can handle this."

    I nodded in acceptance and stood. Ignoring the sneer Jon was sending my way – and the look of disgust I caught on Belfarr's face – I walked away, heading for my own room.

    "Hey Cameron, wait up!" I slowed at the familiar sound of Darihd's voice, but I didn't stop walking. "Seriously wait. We need to talk."

    He placed a hand on my shoulder and I spun to face him, Jaeman and another boy from the Clan whose name slipped my mind for the moment.

    "Fuck off!" I pushed his hand away. "Don't follow me," I stated as I marched away.

    I need time. Time to think, to clear my head at almost killing a child.

    Yeah, I might be trapped in the boy of one, but my mind was that of a 10-year military veteran who'd seen far too many dead children. Dealing with the idea that I almost killed one myself was too much and after storming through the temple I entered my assign dorm and smashed my hand hard into the wall.

    "Stupid. Stupid. Stupid." I said, marking each word with another punch of the wall, then followed it up with another 3 or 4 punches.
    Suddenly I felt weak and stumbled back to my bed even as my emotions came under control.


    WARNING!
    HP under 25%
    Player's Mind auto-engaged.
    ...

    I frowned at the message. "List stats," I whispered and noted that my HP was now down to 22; which was less than 25% of the 120 total I had. "Seriously? 7 punches do that much damage? Damm." Though I noted that my Physical Damage Resistance had gone up a level. "Wait, you mean that punching a wall can help me level up my PDR? And I can use the Force to heal myself afterwards. That is… exploitable. And I could do that with Energy DR with a lightsaber or blaster at low settings." I shook my head as I realised that I had a way of making myself partly immune to any damage by intentionally hurting myself. While it seemed wrong, I could definitely see myself doing so.
    'Maybe I can get my DRs high enough that I could even hold a lightsaber or take a blaster shot to the face and not die.'

    Quest Alert!
    You Can't Hurt Me. [User Defined]
    Time to be (almost) unhurtable.
    Rating: B
    Objective:
    Raise each of your Damage Resistances to Professional 1 by the time you are 15.
    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Rewards:
    350XP [x6]
    Penalties:
    Your Damage Resistances become frozen for ten years at their end of the quest level if less than 3 meet the objective.
    Accept?:
    Yes/No
    ...
    NOTE:
    The penalty for failure is increased as the timeframe to the quest complete is long.
    Shorter timeframes quest carry lower risks for the same reward.
    ...

    I pondered the quest mentally for about a minute before accepting.

    Raising my Physical and Energy DRs would be easy enough but those were currently the only 2 DR skills I had. I had considered what the others might be and came up with chemical, biological and electrical as possible DRs. It should be easy to test the theories later and discover what the other one was.

    As I used Force Heal to restore my HP, I pondered what else might be exploitable in such a way and my mind turned back to the main Trails quest. I had met 2 of the 3 main objectives, leaving just the lightsaber duels, and there I felt lacking. However, I had almost 2 days to train for them, more if I was out of the push-feather tournament, during which I could focus solely on lightsaber skills.

    Though there were only 2 Forms available to me, I already knew that Form II was the way to go. It was designed to counter a lightsaber-wielding opponent and I knew that Form I relied on speed, something I seemed to be seriously lacking, so perhaps there was a way to get my Form II up quickly as a quest?

    Quest Alert!
    Trainee Duellist [User Defined]
    Time to put your money, or XP, where your mouth is.
    Rating: C
    Objective:
    Get Form II to level Adept 1 by your first lightsaber duel.
    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Reward:
    1000XP
    Penalty:
    -250XP
    Accept?
    Yes/No
    ...

    I smirked as the quest appeared as I realised that I could exploit this massively to climb levels by dedicating myself to a task or 2 at a time, and I accepted the quest.

    I figured that thanks to Serenity and only needing to sleep once or twice a month at most, which I had done the night before the Trials began, I could spend all of tonight and tomorrow night training nothing but Form II. That should hopefully get me through the main objective and to 1 of the bonuses, which I postulated could only be to reach even higher levels in Form II.

    I was considering other quests to create for once the Trials were over when the doorbell chimed.

    "Player Mind off," I whispered before raising my voice. "Enter."

    The door opened to reveal Darihd and Dragon Clan; even the younger members who weren't taking part in the Trials.

    "At least you're being more civil now," Darihd said with a smirk as he led his Clan into my room; making it very crowded.

    "How come he gets his own room?" A girl who I had seen around but never spoken to, her name escaped me for a moment, asked as her grey eyes taking in my room.

    "Because he's not a proper Initiate." Replied Sia-Lan with a sigh. "And an arrogant laserbrain." A few other clan members stared at the girl, but she kept her eyes locked on me. "You think you're the first to seriously injure someone during these Trials? Well, you're not. So get over yourself."

    I chuckled at her bluntness. "Well thank you for that pep-talk Sia, it's already working."

    "Dumb Kriff." She muttered as she turned away.

    "While Sia-Lan lacks subtlety," Darihd began, proving he had already mastered the Jedi ability for understatement, "she does have a point. There are usually 1 or 2 nasty injuries every year the Initiate Trials take place. There's even more in the Padawan tournaments, but those aren't as severe." He shrugged at that comment. "I guess its because they've got more training than we currently do."

    I nodded a touch and stood from my bed. "While I am happy you all came to see me, I'm fine now." I paused and glanced to the small window as I considered how to explain away my calmness after less than 30 minutes. "Honestly, I don't think it was that I hurt him, more that I had flashbacks to killing the Sith apprentice to escape my former home." That should cut off a lot of questions.

    "What was it like? Fighting the Sith I mean?" the young girl – Jyl, that was her name – probed. "Was it scary? How did you defeat him?"

    I chuckled at the girl, even as Sia-Lan and Serra both gave her glares to be quiet. Though the way they, and the rest of the clan, tried to look at me without looking told me they all wanted to know. I had been avoiding that for a while now.

    "Scary. Very, very scary. My grandfather was already dead, as was a Jedi Master and his Padawan. I'd already killed 3 of the people with the Sith, but the apprentice chased me into the ship.

    "I, uh, distracted her while she choked me and got her to turn away long enough for me to pull the Jedi Master's lightsaber from my pocket and stab her with it twice when she turned back to face me." I sighed and looked up at the roof. "I was very, very lucky."

    "Understatement," Sia-Lan muttered.

    "Changing topic," I said, making clear I didn't want to talk further about that. "What are these Stones of Mantar?"

    "Muntuur. Muntuur stones." Serra corrected with a small smirk. "I swear, you did that on purpose."

    I smiled back at her, but neither confirmed nor denied her accusation.

    She shook her head. "Come on. The room is good for meditating and I think you could do with that."

    The other elder members of the Clan agreed and I walked with them to the room in question, whistling at seeing the 7 large stones that said in a semi-circle around the far wall of the room.

    "Most Jedi can only lift 2 or 3 of these things, though they say Master Yoda has managed to get 6 up and moving at once," Jaeman explained. As I looked at each of the stones in turn. At a guess, each was over a ton in weight. "Though it's rumoured that a Jedi Master named Snee once lifted all 7 and went for a walk through the Temple district."

    "Saven, that's the boy you beat earlier, is the only current Initiate to lift even one of these things," Trudie added. "You think you can lift one?"

    Quest Alert!
    Stones of Muntuur
    Be the first Jedi since Ferleen Snee to lift all seven Muntuur Stones
    Rating: S**
    Objective:
    Lift all 7 Muntuur Stones simultaneously before the Start of the Clone Wars.
    Bonus: ?
    Rewards:
    6000XP
    Penalties
    % based on the overall weight lifted at once when the quest ends. [50 tonnes]
    Telekinesis is permanently locked at the quest end level.
    Accept:
    Yes/No
    ...

    I looked at each stone slowly as I pondered the quest. The reward was massive; the 2nd highest I'd gotten, but the idea my TK would be limited so badly if I failed had me pausing for a moment. Still, TK was already at Professional level, and at current lift ability, I could manage about 15% of that total weight with TK maxed out; and that was if the lift weight limit didn't increase as it had done when I'd reached Adept 1 and Professional 1.

    "Yes. Yes, I think I can give it a try." I answered both the quest and Trudie's question and extended my hand, focusing on what looked like the smallest of the Stones.

    I grunted as I felt the weight I was trying to lift and increased the effort, trying to work out the weight of the Stone until, as I was using what my interface said was a TK force of just over a ton, the stone began to rise slowly.
    I ignored the gasps coming from those around me as I lifted the stone to the roof before lowering it down even slower than I'd lifted it.


    "That was awesome!" someone said, and I turned to see a group of younglings had just entered the room with Master Yoda.

    "Impressive, that was. More useful than raw power, however control can be." Yoda said with his ears twitching upwards.

    "Yes sir," I replied with a smirk creeping onto my face as I realised that because I'd shown myself to be that powerful with TK, my next opponent – if I had one – would expect me to attack similarly, thus going small or using blasts might be beneficial.

    I turned to the members of Dragon Clan. "Hey, how about a few quick spars?"

    "Why not," Darihd answered with a shrug. "Save for you, me, Jaeman and Sia-Lan, no-one else is still in the push-feather."

    "Eh, why not. Beating you never gets old." Serra added with a grin that made me promise to one day beat her in a spar.

    Quest Alert!
    Wipe that Grin off Her Face [User Defined]
    One day you have to beat Serra Keto in a lightsaber duel.
    Rating: C
    Objective:
    Defeat Serra in a spar before either of you becomes a Jedi Knight.
    Bonus: ?
    Rewards:
    600XP
    Penalties:
    Lightsaber skills become locked for 5 years at quest end levels.
    Accept?
    Yes/No
    ...

    "Yes, laugh it up but one day I will trounce you," I replied waving my hand madly around my head. "Victory shall be mine!" I added with a mad grin, making the members of Dragon Clan chuckle, and drawing a few giggles from the Younglings as we left the room.

    "You're such a laserbrain," Sia-Lan muttered as she shook her head, though I thought I saw the hint of a smile trying to creep onto her face.

    .........

    About an hour later I stepped out of the sparring circle, a frown marring my face as I looked over at my opponent.

    Once again, I had lost to Trudie, a girl nearly 2 years younger than me and it was starting to get on my nerves.

    How could I be so good at using the Force but suck so much at learning to wield a lightsaber?

    "How did you do that? I mean, there was no way you could've seen the second saber, yet you ducked instinctively and then rolled away from my attack without ever seeing it coming." I asked her as we moved over to where the rest of the Clan was gathered, Sia-Lan and Jaeman stepping into the circle in our place.

    "The Force told me," Trudie replied in a way that must have been totally logical to her but sounded like a pile of horseshit to me.

    "What Trudie means is that we learn to trust the Force when it gives us warnings. It's ones of the first things…" Darihd's voice trailed off for a moment before he slapped his forehead. "Right. You were never a Youngling.
    "Well, one of the first things they teach Younglings to do when given a lightsaber is to allow the Force to help guide you to a target. It feels like you know what is going to happen before it happens."


    I looked at the older boy in a combination of shock and annoyance. The shock that I hadn't realised that there was more to lightsaber combat than just blade skill and made a mental note to review my Force powers and see if one fit the role of pre-cognitive abilities. And annoyance at the fact none of the Masters had seemingly realised that I might have missed some basic Force training by not sitting in on a Youngling class or 2.

    "Yeah, that makes sense," I said slowly, already taking a step away from the group. "Um, I think I need to go and think about this a bit," I said before I jogged, then ran across the Temple and up several flights of stairs – annoying more than a handful of older Jedi – until I reached my room.

    "List Force Powers," I stated as the doors closed and browsed the short list until 2 jumped out at me. I tapped each in turn and read their descriptions.

    Precognition
    Novice 5
    A combat-based power that helps to predict and anticipate attacks.
    [Due to your status as the Player, these are displayed as white notices above your combat log]
    Cost:
    50FP + 5FP/sec
    Auto-engage in Combat: Yes/No
    ...
    Bullet Time
    Novice 16
    Grants the ability to effectively slow down the world around you, allowing you more time to deal with a situation.
    Cost:
    237FP + 15FP/Sec
    Auto-engage in Combat: Yes/No
    ...

    As I read each, I felt a giant urge to scream at the wall at realising that my level in Form I might not be the issue with my losses in the last 6 months of spars as both were set to not auto-engage in combat. They also would've come in handy today during the Push-Feather duels.

    "Player's Mind," I managed to growl out and instantly felt the anger/annoyance/fury die away.

    I checked each of the 26 current powers I had and found that 6 others – TK, Breath Control, Detection, Speed, Sight and Enhance – all had options to auto-engage in combat. I set Precognition and Bullet Time to auto-engage in combat, figuring that just those 2 would give me a major boost; even if their levels were very low.

    "Fine, then I train up at least Bullet Time and Precognition while training Form II until the lightsaber duels. If I get back into the push-feather tourney, I'm fine as I've made the main objective there, so anything else is a bonus."

    A glance at the chronometer told me it was about 30 minutes to dinner time, which meant, if I could get back here and practice without interruptions, I had about 12 hours tonight to train. I'd have the same tomorrow night and at least 6 hours during the day, taking out time for meals and keeping Dragon Clan out of my hair.

    I laughed once as I realised that while I'd almost killed someone today, without doing so I might not have realised how to exploit my powers for quick and easy quests, or why I was possibly struggling so badly at duelling.
    Though even if I improved enough to make the free-for-all, I wouldn't train any further after that. I didn't want to fuel any hype that I was the Chosen One and run the risk that the High Council assigned me a Master who stayed at the Temple all the time.

    ...

     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2020
    AlexA4x, DQuinnicus, mwjen and 45 others like this.
  16. eddyforty

    eddyforty Getting out there.

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    I think you need to go through these newest chapters. Not sure if you uploaded them correctly but you've not spaced everything out.
     
  17. USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Know what you're doing yet?

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    Ah. Yeah, that makes sense.
    That seems like an issue with FF.net, as that's where I'm coping from and whenever you put an empty line between paragraphs, they take it out.
    And after checking a few other stories on QQ, I can see what you're meaning.

    I'll go back and space out things here before adding any other chapters.
    Hopefully, that will help with the wall of text that's appearing. (Which is an issue when most chapters are in the 6-9,000 word range)
     
  18. Threadmarks: Initiate Training 5
    USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Know what you're doing yet?

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    Snapping out of my stance when my morning alarm sounded, I placed Haqu's lightsaber back in my inventory and jumped into a quick sonic shower.

    I'd managed to get 10 hours of near-continuous training in Makashi done during the night, stopping only for a few minutes each hour to speed up my FP regeneration. I'd done it this way as I felt that stopping every 3 or 4 minutes when my FP reached 0 to then meditate was less effective.

    While this limited Precognition and Bullet Time to only a level of increase each, I'd added 12 levels to Makashi, leaving me only a few short of reaching the base objective in the Trainee Duellist quest, and a handful in Lightsaber [1-handed] which increased my critical chance and damage; though what this was never revealed to me as the help menus had said such values were hidden to avoid a number overload, though I would still get notifications when I scored a critical hit.

    Still, I was feeling a lot better this morning compared to yesterday and left my quarters with a small smile on my face, though this quickly fell as I wondered about the boy from yesterday and decided to visit the infirmary before reaching the mess hall.

    "Hello young one, how can I help you?" I turned as I entered the infirmary and found myself face to face – snout? – with a fur-covered alien.

    "Um, yeah. I was wondering about an Initiate brought in here yesterday. His name is…"

    "Saven Kirkhey." The alien finished for me with a smile that exposed some very impressive canines. "I am aware who you are Initiate Shan. You will find Initiate Kirkhey in room Besh-7."

    "I, um, I'm not sure he'd want to see me. I was more just wondering if he was doing ok."

    The Jedi healer tilted his head to the left for a few seconds before answering. "Yes, he is healing well. He spent the night in a Bacta tank, but scans show his bones are knitting together properly. You have nothing to worry about Initiate, he will recover and re-join his Clan by the beginning of next week at the latest."

    "That's good to know." I turned to leave but paused and turned back to the healer. "Um, when he wakes can you tell him I stopped by and that I'm sorry for what happened. I was just told he was really powerful at using the Force telekinetically and figured I'd only win by going all out."

    The healer nodded and gave me another toothy smile. "I will, but the point of the Trials is to prove yourself and, as you said, go all out. That you destroyed the obstacle course and won 3 fights in push-feather so comfortably is a clear indication that you are not holding back." He paused and leaned closer. "Indeed, many in the Temple are wondering if you are special." He leaned back and chuckled, though he sounded more like a wolf than a man. "Though don't get a big head. Any Padawan would easily beat you, never-mind a Knight or Master."

    "Yes sir," I said and stepped out of the Infirmary. 'Great, just fraking great. The better I do in these Trials the more it seems the Jedi are coming to think I'm the Chosen One.' I chuckled for a moment at a stray thought. 'Ha, bet they'll all be confused when Anakin turns up and has a higher midi-chlorian count than even Yoda. Though if they name me the Chosen One, what the hell what they do with Anakin?' I laughed quietly to myself as I walked to the mess hall, wondering all the way if there was a way I could actually use this to lessen the pressure on Anakin – and stop him getting a big head – so that when Palpatine made his move, Anakin stayed with the Jedi. Or at least, stood against the Sith.

    Quest Alert!
    Changing Fate [Anakin]
    Can you prevent the rise of Darth Vader?
    Rating: S***
    Objective:
    Find a way to prevent Anakin Skywalker from falling to the Sith
    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Rewards:
    15000XP
    Penalties:
    Anakin turns to the Dark Side earlier than canon.
    The death of ALL Jedi who do not submit to the Sith and their Empire.
    Accept?
    Yes/No
    ...

    That stopped me dead in my tracks. Stopping Anakin falling would have a massive effect on the fate of the Jedi, and I was obviously going to have to deal with him once he appeared, but getting it in a quest, and one with the highest XP reward yet, was not something I'd expected, in hindsight, I supposed I should have.

    I pondered the bonuses, wondering if they were linked to his mother and Padme, but I had no way to be sure.

    The penalties were just as severe as the reward was tempting. If I understood it correctly, then failing this quest would mean even Yoda and Obi-Wan wouldn't make it out of the Clone Wars – unless they became Sith. So dead.

    "Yes," I whispered, thinking that I if I didn't stop the 'Rise of Vader' I was probably dead in a few decades anyway, so why not get paid – in XP – for doing so.

    "Cameron! Where have you been?" Jaeman asked as I rounded a corner near the mess hall. "We've been looking for you all morning." The other boy looked a little out of breath and his eyes were wider than normal.

    "Um, why?" I asked as I tried to figure if I'd done something else to draw attention to myself.

    "The Council, the one in-charge in the Trials, they've reinstated you into the push-feather," he said rapidly, his brown eyes blinking as he spoke.

    "Ok," I replied slowly, not getting why he seemed so flustered.

    "And your match is in 5 minutes." He added, and my own eyes shot open.

    "Right," I said slowly as I turned and the pair of us ran to the sparring circles where the push-feather dual where being held. 'Bloody assholes. Couldn't they have sent me a message or something?' I wondered as we weaved around small groups of Jedi or Younglings until we reached the hall.

    "You found him!" Serra shouted out as we slid to a stop as we passed through the large doorway.

    "Yeah… Outside… Mess." Jaeman explained between breaths.

    "Here, I grabbed you something to eat," Funt said as he handed me a bottle of water and some fruit.

    "Thanks." I quickly devoured the offered food and drink and turned with Dragon Clan as Masters Drallig and Bondara approached.

    "Initiate Shan, it is good of you to join us," Drallig said with a smirk. "We were wondering if you had slept in when no-one responded to the summons."

    I mentally cursed as I realised they had messaged me, and a tap at my waist told me I'd forgotten – again – to take my comm-device with me.

    "Sorry. I left my comms in my room, again, and went to the Infirmary to check on Saven." I explained, which seemed to please both Jedi Masters.

    "Hmm, very well. We suggest you hurry. Your bout is due to begin any minute and Master Dooku is not one to keep waiting."

    I gulped at realising Dooku was officiating my bout today and nodded. "Yes sir." A quick jog later, and a slightly terrifying glare from the future Sith Lord, I found myself in the duelling circle once more.

    "Prepare yourselves," Dooku said slowly, calmly, yet still sounding utterly imposing.

    At the sound of the gong, my combat log stated Player's Mind, Precognition and Bullet Time had all activated even as I sent four rapid-fire Force blasts at my opponent even as Precognition warned me of a push inbound to my left leg.

    As I stepped over his attack, he ducked the 1st blast, stepped away from the 2nd but the 3rd caught his left shin and the 4th the right shoulder.

    Not giving him time to adjust, I sent 2 more blasts at him, the 1st striking his left arm while the 2nd caught him in the gut and sent him tumbling backwards.

    "Winner Shan," Dooku stated and I noted his brow had risen a touch as he looked at me.

    I stepped across the circle and helped up my fellow Initiate.

    "What the Kriff was that?" he asked once he was upright.

    "Not telling now, but ask me again once the Trials are over," I replied with a smirk. He seemed a little taken back by my initial non-disclosure, but relaxed when I finished speaking. Not that I actually wanted to explain what I did, but it was better to appear friendly after curb-stomping someone; unless I wanted to make an enemy of them.

    "I will do so. Well fought."

    "Indeed," Dooku said from behind me, making me almost jump. "It has been some time since I've seen an Initiate so young understand the basics of a Force Blast. Impressive, but you lack the finesse to guide your blasts and pushes in anything but a straight line."

    I felt my eyes widen at that. "Yes sir. I've only been at this for a few months but give me a few more and I think I'll have gotten the hang of it."

    He rubbed his beard slowly. "Maybe, but be careful of overconfidence young one. Others may believe you fulfil a special role in the Order, but do not let it make you sloppy."

    I thought about his words for a moment before replying. "Yes sir. However, if they place belief in me, that is their flaw, not mine. I can only control my actions, for now."

    Dooku's eyes narrowed and he looked directly into mine. "Wise words, especially for one so young. I will be watching your performances in the rest of these Trials carefully."

    He left no room for a reply as he walked over to where Drallig and Bondara were standing, leaving me to think on his words. Clearly what I had said, and how I had said it, had affected him, now I just had to impress him more so that he wanted to take an interest in my future education, even if I wasn't assigned to him as a Padawan. It would allow me an in to try and prevent his fall to the Dark Side.

    "What was that about?" Funt asked as I left the circle and approached Dragon Clan. "Dooku only ever seems to criticize Initiates, when he doesn't glare you into feeling no bigger than a dung beetle."

    "Yeah, what did you two talk about?" Sia-Lan asked with a slight creasing of her brow.

    "Nothing major, just not to become arrogant because of what others think of me." I paused as I considered asking them about the prophecy. "Actually, Dooku seemed to be hinting at something Master Giiett and a few others have also spoken obtrusively about. Some kind of prophecy or legend I think."

    The way the various members of Dragon Clan looked away from me – save Sia-Lan, who's eyes narrowed as her brow creased more – told me they knew something about it.

    "What?" I said slowly.

    "Well, when we were younglings, Master Yoda taught us a class on the Force and prophecies. In it he only mentions one prophecy and talks about it in a way that makes it seem that every Jedi can and, at the same time, can't be the target of that prophecy." Darihd slowly explained as the rest of the Clan glanced between the two of us.

    "This prophecy talks of a Chosen One. Someone sent by the Force with the potential to be the greatest of all Jedi and bring Balance to the Force by defeating the Sith once-and-for-all and bring peace and prosperity to the galaxy."

    'Well Fuck,' I thought as I considered his words, and how the ending reminded me of Anakin's words when he fought Obi-Wan. "So what does that have to do with me?"

    "Seriously?" Sia-Lan blurted out and she threw her arms up. "You appear here, in a ship not manufactured in over 3000 years, a dead Sith in tow, and claim to be the great-grandchild of a man who was both Jedi and Sith, but neither. How could some of these morons not think that you're the Chosen One?"

    I stared at her for a while, more surprised that she was the one to put into words what I'd already suspected than because of what she'd said, before turning back to Darihd.

    "Is that, is that why you dared Serra to talk to me?"

    "Um, kind of…" Darihd replied, looking away from me. "When you appeared here – with your seemingly impossible story that the High Council said was true – and seemed to pick up Force training so quickly, we were curious, so we dared Serra to talk to you."

    "Not why I accepted though," Serra added with a small smile that I quickly mirrored as I remembered our initial talk about famous families and being cut off from them.

    "I still don't like you." Sia-Lan tacked on with a very slight smirk. "Though I can tolerate you as long as you keep doing well in the Trials."

    At least I now knew why her attitude towards me had lessened so much. "Thanks for the honesty," I replied, mock-saluting her and earning a growl and a roll of her eyes in response.

    "So you're not angry about why we started hanging around you?" Aayla asked, her head-tails rippling and her fingers playing with each other as she spoke.

    "Back then I might have been but now, no, not really," I answered, making the blue-skinned alien girl smile a touch. "But I'd like to see this prophecy for myself," I said to Darihd since he was the Minder of Dragon Clan, and nominally in-charge; even if I had asserted control on more than a few occasions over the last few months.

    "That's going to be difficult. All prophecies are kept in the Archives, but the exact details of them are restricted to Knights or higher." He replied.

    "Ah, never-mind then." Though I figured that if I could get my computing skills to a high enough level could hack my way into restricted files; and probably a lot more as well.

    Quest Alert!
    Just Don't Get Caught [User Defined]
    If you want to read secure files, you'll need to be better with computers.
    Rating: C
    Objectives:
    Get all 3 Computing skills [Slicing/Programming/Electronics] to Master 1 before your 16th cycle.
    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Rewards:
    1000XP
    Penalties:
    Computing Skills are locked for 5 years at their levels at the end of the quest.
    Accept?
    Yes/No
    ...

    "Do want to head to the Archives?" Jaeman asked as I took my mind away from them at the new quest that appeared.

    "Right now, not so much. But after I'm out of the push-feather, yes, I think I'll head down and see what I can find." Accepting the quest as I answered his question. "But for now, I need to think about this; privately."

    "You sure?" Aayla asked, her head-tails seeming to drop a touch.

    "Yeah. Finding out that people here think I'm some kind of saviour is a lot to take in." I replied and stepped away from the group, only to pause as a hand was placed on my arm.

    "We're here if you want to talk," Serra said, earning her a nod of thanks before I left the hall and returned to my quarters. Though I was going to practice Makashi, not dwell on a prophecy that I knew did not apply to me.

    .........

    I groaned as I opened my eyes and looked up at the roof of a room, blinking to clear the spots in my vision.

    "Wha?"

    "Easy there. You took a nasty hit," I heard a female voice say and the next moment there was a face looking down at me, which I recognized as that of the healer who'd treated Saven Kirkley the day before. "Can you tell me the last thing you remember?"

    I frowned and thought back. "I was in a push-feather duel; the semi-final I think, but I was struggling. The girl across from me was good. Like really good. I felt something hit my leg, then lights and then nothing."

    "Well, your memory's fine." She said with a smile as she ran a small cylindrical tube over my forehead. "I'm sorry to say you lost. She took one of your pushes and guided it around behind you; taking your knees out before she hit you with a final push.

    "That's why you're here actually. You hit the ground hard and we had to be sure there was no damage. Thankfully the scans say you are fine bar a light headache. How do you feel? Any blurred vision or inability to focus?" I shook my head and she smiled before slowly helping me sit up. "What about now? Does anything feel wrong?"

    "Nope. I feel fine." I replied, wanting to get some privacy so I could call up my stats and see if it said anything about injuries. I might've said I was fine, but something felt a little off. "Can I return to my friends?"

    Her smile grew a touch at my words. "You could, but like most of the Temple, they are sound asleep." She pointed at the wall to my right and I glance up there to see the clock said it was just past 23:00.

    "How long was I out?" I asked, worried I'd missed the lightsaber duel and failed the 'Trainee Duelist' quest.

    "Only a few hours, but I'd prefer you rest up her tonight."

    "Can't I go back to my room? I promise I won't leave." I slouched down a bit. "I'm just don't like infirmaries," I said quietly, hoping to play on a common fear to get out of here and back to my quarters so I could practice and check my stats.

    "Hmm, I suppose so. But I will have someone escort you to make sure you go straight to bed."

    "Yes ma'am," I replied as I already began to plan how long I'd have to wait for my escort to leave before I could pull out one of the lightsabers in my inventory and practice enough to at least meet the base condition of the relevant quest.

    "Good. Wait here a moment while I find a trainee to escort you."

    "List Stats." Came from my mouth quietly the moment she left the room and the doors closed behind her.

    I frowned when I saw that every numerical value was down a touch and scrolled down until I came to the end of the list.

    Injuries:
    Mild Concussion [16:34:51] HEAL?
    This results in a 10% decrease in all stats and their derived values.
    [Can be healed for 500FP]

    I noted that the number beside the injury was decreasing, meaning that if I just left it, I would be weakened until midday tomorrow. Curious about the way the word Heal was emphasized beside the injury, I pressed at where it was floating and watched as a new pop-up appeared.

    Mild Concussion
    Can be healed with Force Heal.
    Cost: 500FP
    Heal?
    Yes/No

    "Yes," I said instantly and watched as the injury disappeared and my stats and derived values all returned to their proper levels. "Well, that's exploitable. And not just for me." I muttered as I slid off the bed I was on and waved away my stats. 'I imagine that restoring lost limbs is not possible, but pretty much any other injury is curable with enough Force Points. Hmm, does that mean I can save Qui-Gon even after he's stabbed by Maul?'

    Quest Alert!
    Changing Fate [Qui-Gon Jinn]
    Can you delay the death of Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn?
    Rating: B
    Objective:
    Prevent Qui-Gon's death at the hands of Darth Maul
    Bonus: ?
    Rewards:
    2000XP
    Penalties:
    Qui-Gon still dies.
    Massive loss of Reputation with Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi [-500]
    Accept?
    Yes/No

    "Well, that's easy. Yes." I mumbled. Saving Qui-Gon would help with Anakin. Plus, I was a fan of Liam Neeson.

    Though now I found myself wondering why the Temple scanners had only detected a mild headache when I actually had a concussion. Was something about my unique powers interfering with the scanner?

    I didn't have time to ponder that as the doors opened and the healer returned with a green-skinned girl who looked to be in her mid-teens.

    "This is Wisha Dari. She will escort you back to your room and make sure you rest." The Healer was speaking to both of us and I nodded in understanding, even if I planned to get this girl to leave ASAP.

    As we left the Infirmary I looked up at the teen. "Forgive me, but I've never seen you before. What race are you?"

    Wisha looked down at me with her orange eyes. "I am a Mirialan and you would not see many of my kind in the Order. While my race may produce many Force Sensitives, we have an understanding with the High Council that only a Mirialan may train another in the ways of the Jedi. My master is Luminara Unduli; the only Mirialan Jedi Master currently."

    "OK. I'm still getting used to meeting new races." I replied honestly. "Before arriving here, I lived with my grandfather on a farm. All our neighbours were Human." I wasn't sure if that was true, but it was a solid cover story that I'd used a few times already and seemed to have been bought by the Jedi.

    "Mirialans are what is classed as near-Human. We are biologically compatible with our major difference being we have far higher flexibility than your average Human." Wisha explained without me asking or wanting, her to do so.

    "OK." I had no follow-up to that. Well, not any an 8-year-old Jedi Initiate would have.

    We walked in silence from then on until we arrived at my assigned quarters.

    "I will remain here until I am certain you are sleeping," Wisha stated in what I assumed she thought was a commanding voice but failed to have any effect on me.

    "Ok. Night." I slipped into my room, and after washing, slid under the covers.

    Since I couldn't train Makashi until Wisha left, but I had no intention of sleeping, I activated Precognition and waited quietly until it had drained my FP.

    Once that happened, I meditated until my FP was full and then sent a pulse with Force Detection which, while adding lots of Force-user pulses to my mini-map, showed that no-one was directly outside my door.

    As I slid out of bed, I pulled Haqu's lightsaber from my inventory and got to work on training for the last part of the trials.

    .........

    "Cameron! Where were you? We went to the Infirmary this morning, but the healer-on-duty said you weren't there." Jaeman asked as he saw me approach the table where Dragon Clan gathered. The rest of the Clan turned at his shouting out my name.
    "My quarters. The healer last night said I free to go and rest in my room." I replied as I sat down between him and Aayla.


    OK, so I'd not slept and trained Makashi up to Adept 1, meeting the basic objective of Trainee Duellist. The levels in Form 2 and 1-handed Lightsaber had lifted my total skill levels to over 6000, granting me another stat point, and after spending 1 each on STR, AGI and VIT, I had 1 leftover as a spare.

    "Are you sure you're ok?" Aayla asked as she placed her hand on my forearm.

    I turned and smiled at her, though I noted Serra's brow had dropped as she looked at Aayla and I. "Yeah, I'm fine. Though sleeping through today's events might not have been a bad thing." I chuckled at my own bad joke. While I was still not overly hopeful of making the free-for-all, I did hope I'd win at least my first duel. Though my plans involved not actively showing my improvement in Makashi unless I absolutely had to. The rules on the duels stated the ways to win and what was banned, but none of the Force Powers I had learned/developed since arriving in this universe were on that list, meaning I had more than few ideas about winning that weren't lightsaber-focused.

    "Hey, at least it'll be over quick." Suggested Sia-Lan with a smirk.

    "And we finished 3rd as a Clan in push-feather thanks to you and Sia-Lan," Darihd added as his head-tails bounced around. "Getting both of you to the semis was great."

    "Well now it's up to the rest of you," I said as I picked up a pear-looking fruit called Shuura. "I think I've more than earned my keep."

    "Our best bets are the girls and Darihd," Jaeman commented and I had to agree. Darihd was excellent at Form I, and fast too. Sia-Lan, Aayla and Serra were all very comfortable with Ataru, though Serra's training in Jar'Kal was useless in these duels as it was 1 single-bladed lightsaber per duellist.

    Jaeman was competent with Soresu, but he didn't have the stamina or discipline to last for long while Funt was aiming more to be a healer than a swordsman and spent most of his time using Niman; which I'd come to regard as something of a fall-back for those who weren't comfortable with fighting or wished to pursue other avenues of being a Jedi.

    "Hey, everyone's doing fine. From what I can tell, you guys are the youngest Clan to be taking part." I countered, hoping to raise his spirits as Jaeman. Truthfully, he'd been near the bottom of in both the obstacle course and push-feather and I was concerned this would somehow affect his chances of being taken as a Padawan.

    I'd asked them about how Padawans were selected before the Trials had begun and I'd learnt that only about half of the Initiates were taken by a Jedi; the rest were assigned to one of 4 corps.

    Nominally, this was to keep them with the Order but to me, it hinted at both tossing them aside when they were found to be lacking and also keep them under control of the Order. I could be wrong about their motives, but that was how my military mind saw things; and even without knowing war was coming, it seemed stupid for the Jedi to limit their numbers so massively.

    "We are. We had a few older members, but they were all taken as Padawans in the past cycle." Darihd added, slapping Jaeman on the shoulder. "Besides, not all of us are walking, talking, Force-sent gifts." He smirked at me and I had to bite off the need to retort. I really shouldn't haven't have asked about the prophecy.

    "Stop it, Dar," Serra said with a small frown.

    I gave Serra a small smile of thanks, making her cheeks redden, which had Trudie, Jyl and a few of the even younger girls in the Clan giggle.

    "What's the schedule?" I asked, moving the conversation away from Serra's embarrassment, though I'd probably be just as embarrassed as well if I was a normal 8-year-old instead of a near 30-year-old in a child's body. Honestly, it was little things like this that still made me uneasy around my fellow Initiates but I felt that making friends with them now would be useful later if I couldn't slow or prevent the Clone Wars and the rise of the Sith. Though plans to stop Sidious and others were on the back-burner until after the Trials.

    "Oh, right." Darihd pulled out a datapad and slid it down the table to me. "Every duel in the 1st round is set, as are the following rounds. I'm up first in about an hour."

    I looked down the list and saw my match was the 32nd match in the opening round and I was against a boy from Heliost Clan. That meant I had just over 3 hours before my duel; provided the duels all ran on time with 10 minutes assigned to each duel.

    "You actually have a chance against him," Aayla stated as she leaned closer and looked at the pad. "He's only a month above the cut-off and frankly is far too reckless."

    "Says the girl you jumps around like she's on fire," I said back, which was true as Aayla loved using the Force to jump and rush around the duelling ring.

    She bumped against me with a full-face grin, exposing her teeth. "Not my fault you're too slow to keep up."

    I laughed at her confidence, and ignored the new frown on Serra's face, as I dug into breakfast.

    .........

    "Duels are won 1 of 4 ways," Master Drallig explained slowly to my opponent and I as we stepped into the sparing circle.

    "1st, and most common, is scoring 3 marked strikes against your opponent.

    "2nd is driving them from the circle; even a single foot outside of the markers is an automatic loss.

    "3rd is by having your opponent trapped in a what would be regarded as a fatal blow; these are blows to the head or heart.

    "And finally, by rendering your opponent unconscious."

    We moved to our assigned positions at opposite sides of the circle while Drallig stood at the centre of the circle, glancing from one of us to the other.

    "Do you both understand these rules?" He asked sternly, locking eyes on my opponent 1st then me. We nodded, and he walked out of the circle. "Begin on the chime."

    The moment the chime sounded my opponent ignited his saber and moved into a basic fighting stance. Having had my ass handed to me regularly by Aayla, Serra and Sia-Lan, I was easily able to identify it as 1 of the 3 basic starting points of Ataru.

    I merely held my weapon at my side as both Precognition and Bullet Time engaged automatically and I waited for a notice from Precognition about his attack even as my free hand closed slowly.

    Seeing I hadn't even ignited my lightsaber, my opponent smirked and stepped forward, but I stayed still.

    MOVE LEFT!

    I raised an eyebrow at the rather blunt warning even as my opponent leapt across the ring using the Force.

    I stepped to the left, ignited my lightsaber and shifted my body into the most basic starting stance for Makashi even as he began his descent.

    He twisted in mid-air to bring his blade down upon me, and I raised my own to parry the attack away from my body as late as I felt safe doing so.

    My parry worked and as our blades clashed I yanked my clenched fist backwards.

    I couldn't help but smirk at the shock on his face as his feet were pulled out from under his just they struck the ground and he was pulled out of the circle by the Force.

    "Winner, Shan," Drallig stated and I lazily extinguished my lightsaber and walked from the ring, handing the training saber to one of the Padawans who are helping the Jedi Masters with manage this event. Spotting a few familiar faces, I walked over to a corner of the room.

    "You won."

    "Don't sound so surprised," I replied to Aayla's comment as I approached where she was sitting with Serra and Jaeman was gathered. "Just because I've never beaten you doesn't mean I can't be others."

    She smirked a fraction. "That's true. And Drak was reckless, as normal."

    "Why Makashi?" Serra asked as I sat down between the two girls. "We've never seen you use it before. Actually, very few Jedi spend much time training in that Form."

    "Then they're all idiots," I said with a smirked as I accepted a bottle of water from Jaeman. "What is Makashi designed for?"

    "Fighting against other… Oh." Jaeman had begun to answer before realising what I was saying. "Huh, I never thought about doing more training in that Form."

    "None of us did save Cam," Serra added, giving me a gentle shoulder-barge. "Good thinking."

    "Yeah. But why didn't you use it when sparring with us?"

    I turned and smiled at Aayla. "And give away what may be my only hope of even scoring a mark against you, Sia or Serra?" I chuckled and shook my head. "I'm new here, not stupid." All 3 of them chuckled. "So why are you three here?"

    "I'm after the next match. Aayla's right after me and Serra's 2 after that." Jaeman answered. "The others are off practising in the other halls or meditating."

    "Serra here made sure we came early for your match," Aayla added, giving her clanmate a wink – which I could easily see as I was sitting between them. "If I didn't know any better, I'd say she was more excited about your match than her own."

    I chuckled and glanced at the girl in question from the corner of my eye to see her face taking on a now-familiar red tint. "Well, I guess it's only fair I do the same," I said, earning smiles from all 3.

    As we sat in silence, I opened up a small tab that appeared above my combat log.

    Quest Completed!
    Trainee Duellist [User Defined]
    Time to put your money, or XP, where your mouth is.
    Rating: C
    Objective:
    Get Makashi to level Adept 1 by your first lightsaber duel.
    Bonus: Reach Adept 25 [N]
    Bonus: Reach Adept 50 [N]
    Reward:
    1000XP

    'Seriously? Adept 25 and 50? To get those I'd have had to throw the rest of the push-feather duels and spend 2 straight days in my quarters. I wonder if the other new quests have the same kind of "bonuses" to achieve.'

    With a flick of my fingers, I waved away the pop-up info box and sat back, figuring I could relax for the next 30 min or so before getting an early lunch. I doubted I'd have much time to practice my lightsaber skills but could let my FP run out just sitting by having Precog or Bullet Time on.

    Turing Precognition on, I sat back as Jaeman stood and walked towards the ring, the match between his and mine ending almost as quickly as mine.




    Almost done with the Initiate arc.
    Also, for those who wonder why Cameron doesn't keep Player's Mind on all the time, it's not possible as it uses Player Points and the current drain Vs regeneration means there's a time limit.
    ...
    And yes, Cam does take on every quest he gets offered as he's new to the whole Gamer concept.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2020
    AlexA4x, DQuinnicus, mwjen and 45 others like this.
  19. USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Know what you're doing yet?

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    Right, I've added spaces every line and used spoilers for the info overload in the 2nd chapter.

    How is it looking now?
     
  20. eddyforty

    eddyforty Getting out there.

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    That's much better
     
  21. WaNoMatsuri

    WaNoMatsuri Know what you're doing yet?

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    Funt and who?
    Nice, watched.
     
  22. USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Know what you're doing yet?

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    Thanks for spotting that.
    It's just Funt who wants to be a healer.

    As I said, the early chapters weren't that good (and lacked a beta) though things do get better as time passes (mainly because I got a good beta/lore guy) from the next arc.
     
    WaNoMatsuri likes this.
  23. Threadmarks: Initiate Training 6
    USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Know what you're doing yet?

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    "This is going to be easy," Sia-Lan muttered with a large smile as we both stepped into the sparing circle.

    "Do not become overconfident young one, Initiate Shan has gotten to this round the same as you and has shown more variety in his approach than most Initiates do." Master Drallig countered.

    I resisted the urge to smirk at the praise. I'd won my 1st spar thanks to a well-timed TK pull. My 2nd had ended when I'd made my opponent's lightsaber too hot for them to hold, allowing me to tag them the required 3 times before they could pick it up again and my 3rd match had been won when I'd let an attack phase through me; allowing me to place my blade to my opponent's neck as he stumbled forward when his attack met nothing but air. Feeling a lightsaber phase through me was a little nauseating, but it had gotten me to the 4th round.

    Now if I could just pull off a miracle and beat Sia-Lan I'd make the free-for-all and complete the last of the 3 main objectives for the 'Trials of the Initiate' quest.

    "That is true Master, but he has never scored a mark against me in spars," Sia-Lan replied to the Battlemaster. "Or anyone else in our Clan."

    I smirked at her as we moved to our start positions. "Maybe that was on purpose. After all, I'm not really a member of your Clan, so why should I reveal all my secrets to someone I don't trust."

    Sia-Lan's smile faltered a touch at my words even as Master Drallig stepped out of the circle.

    "Prepare yourselves." He stated as he stepped away and there was a faint buzzing as the safety net powered up.

    The gong sounded, I got the notices that Precog, Bullet Time and Player's Mind had all engaged, and we ignited our blades; Sian-Lan adopting a standard starting stance of Ataru while I adopted Makashi.

    'I need to get her off her game.' I thought as we began to walk slowly around the edge of the circle. I kept my eyes locked on her, looking, waiting for a sign of what she had planned.

    Almost before I could blink, she had cleared the distance between us and I shifted my weight to push her attack away. I flicked my blade, hoping to clip her as she landed but she spun gracefully and slid under my blade and out of reach.

    "Not bad," she said with a small smirk. "You have been holding back."

    I smirked back at her, letting her think that was the reason I'd lost so many spars and not me failing to use the Force properly.

    "Let's see how much," she added before coming at me fast.

    If not for Player's Mind I may have freaked at the speed she moved, but thanks to it I didn't, and my blade moved quickly to meet hers, guiding it away from my body with the minimum of effort – as Makashi was designed to do.

    She jumped over my head, swinging as she did, and I spun and ducked simultaneously to try to avoid the attack.

    "Point, Wezz," Drallig called out and I looked at my combat log to see I'd lost about 15HP, meaning I hadn't been fast enough.

    "You're better than I expected," Sia-Lan said as I shuffled back to increase the distance between us. "But still not good enough."

    She leapt, blade held high, towards me and I brought my blade up to block hers. Though this time I lifted one hand from my lightsaber to grab hers, locking our blades in a cross between us.

    "Speed kills," I replied as she tried to pull her hand away even as I used the Force to rapidly cool her hands, my own and her lightsaber; ice forming almost instantly around our hands.

    I ignored the chill and pushed forward, trying to trap her head between the twin blades of energy. After a moment's shock, she did the same and our faces came closer and closer as we both put all our strength into the push.

    A small smirk crept onto her face as the blades moved closer to me. "Not. Good. Enough." She grunted out as I began to feel the heat of the blade against my neck.

    'Shite. She's older and stronger. I need to find a way to level up my stats. But what to d…' I smirked as an insane idea came to mind and I pushed my face forward, planning to give her a headbutt.

    However, she sensed my move and tilted her head, trying to avoid the hit. This, instead of our foreheads colliding, our lips mashed together before being joined by our noses.

    The reaction was instantaneous as Sia-Lan's head snapped back in shock, her grip failed her, and I pushed her backwards, driving her to the ground with both blades against her throat. Without Player's Mind, I doubt I'd have been in any better a state than her, but with it, I used the advantage her shock created.

    "Winner, Shan," Drallig stated and I powered down my lightsaber, ended the cold spell on Sia-Lan's hand and step backwards, mentally sending a prayer of thanks to TPTB for Player's Mind while cursing at having essentially kissed a freaking child! As I caught her eyes, I thought I saw something shimmer in them as she lifted her free hand to her lips.

    "Wh, what. What did you do?" She asked slowly as a finger traced the outline of her lips.

    "I meant to distract you," I replied, extending my hand to her. "I wanted to headbutt you, but you moved, and…" My voice trailed off as even though there was no emotion clouding my thoughts, finding words to apologise for kissing an 8-year-old when you're 28 – on the inside – didn't exist. "Sorry."

    "Um, no. It's ok." She gave me a weak smile and accepted the hand.

    As I lifted her, my other arm went to her waist to support her weight and she inhaled sharply under her breath.

    "Are you ok?" I asked slowly, wondering if the kiss had had more of an effect than I realised.

    She continued to smile at me as our eyes met again and her cheeks reddened a touch. "Y-yeah. That was just unexpected." Her smile grew a little. "And different." The smile shifted into a smirk. "Just be more careful in future."

    "OK. And, again, I'm sorry. Whatever you want me to do make up for this, I'll do." I replied honestly.

    Her cheeks reddened a fraction more at my words. "I'll remember that."

    She stepped past me, letting her hand brush against the back of mine and I stood there for a moment trying to ignore the apparent signs of her flirting with me.

    "Is something the matter Initiate?" I turned at the firm voice to find Master Dooku standing in the circle with 2 other Initiates. His brow was creased as he watched me.

    "No sir. Just thinking I may have used the wrong distraction. If you'll excuse me." I slipped passed him and the 2 Initiates waiting to duel and walked quickly over to where Dragon Clan was gathered.

    I noted Sia-Lan was talking rapidly in whispers with Trudie and Jyl, the younger of the pair giving me a big smile when she caught me looking.

    Having an inkling of what they were discussing, I sat beside Jaeman; as far as I could from the trio without not sitting with the Clan.

    "Well that was different," Darihd stated with a grin from Jaeman's other side, as he kept his eyes on the sparing circle. "I don't think I've ever seen someone kiss an another to win a spar."

    I chuckled a little and rubbed the back of my head. In hindsight, it was feeling like more and more of a bad choice, quest notwithstanding. "Yeah. I just meant to headbutt her, but she moved and… well." I replied nervously.

    "So how do you think Serra's going to do?" Jaeman asked, tilting his head towards the circle and I felt a cold shiver shoot down my spine as I saw that 1 of the Initiates that had stepped into the circle with Dooku was the girl I suspected had a slight crush on me.

    "Fuck," I mumbled out as I realised that I'd said nothing to her as I'd left the circle and she'd just watched me kiss her friend/rival in full view of her. "I'm so dead."

    "Hey, it's not that bad. I'm sure that Serra unders…" Darihd's words were cut off as the gong sounded and Serra leapt at her opponent, slashing rapidly and aggressively in a way I'd never seen before. Her opponent, who looked a little older than her, stumbled backwards under the powerful onslaught.

    "What the fuck?" I muttered as Serra landed 2 quick hits before sweeping her opponent's legs and driving the butt of her saber into the other Initiate's chest.

    "Winner Keto," Dooku called out and I turned to look at Darihd.

    "What was that?"

    He chuckled and rubbed the back of his neck. "At a guess, her channelling her anger into her attacks. I'd say Juyo, Form VII, but that's not taught to anyone below the rank of Knight." He replied adding another nervous chuckle at the end.

    "Huh," was the extent of my verbal response as the girl marched out of the circle and towards us. Internally I was worried I'd hurt her more than I'd expected and that she'd just had her 1st brush with the darker side of emotions and the Force.

    I stood as she came closer. "Serra, listen. I…"

    I was cut off as she walked past me, clipping my shoulder in a way I felt was intentional. I stumbled backwards, landing on the floor on my butt, and watched as she continued to storm out of the hall. The only outward sign of the anger I suspected was flowing through her was the tightly clenched fists she held at her side; unnaturally not swinging with her steps.

    "What was that about?" Jaeman asked as he and Darihd helped me up.

    "No idea," I said but internally I knew that I'd hurt her emotionally with accidentally kissing Sia-Lan. I sighed at having to deal with this childhood bullshit and glanced at the 2 other boys. "I'll see you later." I walked off, hoping to find Serra and talk to her.
    "Don't be too long. The free-for-all's in less than an hour." Darihd called out as I exited the hall.


    I looked in both directions the corridor went but saw no sign of her, or anyone else. I sent out a ping with Force Detection, but it brought up over a hundred people within its radius of 400m. Without knowing which way she had gone, I had no way to lock onto which one was her.

    "Dammit!" I grunted and punched a wall. All I could do now was relax before the free-for-all and hope that Serra calmed down before then.

    'Guess this is what I get for only caring about winning a quest and handing out with kids who've known nothing but the Temple.' I thought as I began to walk to the mess hall. Though I slid to a stop as I reviewed my log and saw a red notice.

    Skill Usage Warning!
    You have attempted to access an age-locked skill.

    [Kissing]
    This skill is linked to your age and as such cannot be seen or increased until you reach the required age.

    'Guess I should've seen that coming.' I remembered all the adult skills it gave me from my past life had been age-locked, so getting the warning made sense.

    With nothing to do until the free-for-all in a few hours, I continued on my way to the mess hall then planned to just relax beforehand. I could've practised Makashi, but I doubted a few extra hours would make a big difference to where I finished in the contest.

    .

    I stood with the other 7 Initiates in the free-for-all for those 10-and-under and took a deep breath as the Battlemaster and the 2 Masters who were assisting him stepped into the hall.

    Once we'd all assembled for the finals, but before we'd entered the sparring hall, I'd talked to Aayla about working together to clear out some of the others until only Serra and we were left. She'd been receptive to the idea, but Serra had simply glared at me when I'd tried to bring up the idea with her.

    I'd explained slowly and calmly what had happened with Sia-Lan, making sure to say I was only looking to win, yet she'd just given me a cold shoulder and irritated me enough that I'd walked off before I lost my temper at her acting like a freaking child.
    Which we both were technically, but we were meant to be Jedi, and be above emotions, or that's how the teachers drilled us in class about the meaning of the Code regarding our emotions.


    I didn't agree with those teachers, but I kept my head down and stayed silent since making waves wasn't going to help me currently.

    Serra's glare had intensified when Sia-Lan had wandered over to wish me luck – placing her hand on my arm as we spoke – and I was silently praying to both the Force and the PtB that I was taken as a Padawan as soon as the Trials were over or I might just quit the Jedi to avoid this juvenile bull-crap.

    "The rules of the free-for-all are slightly different," Battlemaster Drallig stated as he stood in front of us with Masters Bondara and Dooku. "As this event uses the whole of this sparring hall, there is no way to be eliminated by stepping foot outside the hall. However, jumping to the viewing gallery above will result in instant disqualification.

    "You will also be eliminated by taking 3 strikes to non-critical areas, being trapped in a fatal strike manoeuvre or rendered unconscious. We will call out when this occurs. This means that even if you are the sole survivor when the free-for-all ends, this does not guarantee victory. We will examine recordings to ensure that the order of elimination is correct before posting the final standings after dinner."

    He paused and smiled at each of us in turn. "Regardless of how you do in the free-for-all, you should all take pride in the fact that you are the current best in your age group with a lightsaber but take heed to remember that a lightsaber is a mere tool of the Jedi; not the solution."

    He turned and left the hall with Dooku and Bondara and 8 spots on the floor were lit up.

    "Move to a designated start position." A male voice stated from speakers above and around us.

    I walked slowly to one of the light sources, trying to not look upwards at gallery ring that surrounded the hall as I'd learnt that there were some important visitors to the Temple today as they wished to speak with me after the free-for-all.

    I had initially been surprised about anyone outside the temple caring about me being here, but after a while thinking things through and I realised that my arrival would've set off a few notices.

    The Galactic Senate must have received a report about someone arriving claiming to have killed a Sith before being taken in by the Jedi, so the politicians would be curious, especially a certain Senator from Naboo.

    That had me worried that I'd already made it onto the Sith's radar, and possibly become a target to kill or convert to their cause.

    I pushed those thoughts out of my head once more as the light marking the 8 starting points faded and the others all ignited their lightsabers.

    I followed suit, sliding into a Makashi stance and breathing deeply as a klaxon sounded and the room was showered in light. Makashi was not a good choice for this, but since my only other option was Shii-Cho, and that was the most basic of Forms, I would just have to adapt and survive as best as I could.

    DUCK

    I did as the warning advised and felt the heat of a saber as it whizzed through where my head had been.

    'Crap.'

    I turned, blocking a rapid strike from Serra before pushing her back with TK.

    I opened my mouth to try and talk to her.

    ROLL RIGHT

    Again, I followed the advice and did so, but grunted as I felt a sting on my left shin; meaning someone had caught me.

    I looked up to see a green-skinned Twi'lek had engaged Serra, though Serra smashed through her opponent's defences with ease, scoring 2 quick strikes to the Twi'lek's arms.

    Seeing an opportunity, I pushed my lightsaber forward and clipped the Twi'lek on her lower leg.

    I heard Master Drallig's voice call out, but whatever he said was lost as Serra turned towards me and attacked.

    I blocked, weaved and followed Precog's warnings for as long as I could, but Serra was just too fast and aggressive for me at my current level and I was quickly tagged twice more.

    "Initiate Shan has been eliminated," Drallig called out and I stepped back, hoping/figuring that Serra would turn her attention to the others.

    However, she swung at me again, and I was forced to pirouette away from the strike, and on instinct, brought my lightsaber upwards, managing to clip her hand; making her lose her grip on her weapon.

    "Serra, calm down!" I said as I pushed my saber into her hand, not wanting her to be eliminated because of her anger driving her to focus solely on me. "Get your head back in the fight Initiate." I tried to push the Force behind the command and I watched as she blinked a few times.

    "Cam? Wha... Ok." She turned from me and I sighed in relief as she moved to engage someone else. This didn't mean she was no longer angry with me, but hopefully, she wasn't blinded by her anger.

    I picked up the lightsaber Serra had dropped and walked towards the exit, though I noted a flashing notice in my log.

    Force Power Discovered!
    Compulsion

    This is the ability to persuade a target to do something.
    Chance success depends on factors including reputation, emotional state and LUCK.
    Force training, such as that of a Jedi or Sith, also affects the chance of success.

    NOTE:

    Certain Species are immune to mental Force powers.

    'Sweet! Not much use in a building full of Jedi, but I guess even they are susceptible when emotional.' Now I had another power to level up, though how to do so without using it on Jedi was going to be an issue while I was stuck in the Temple. That was also why I hadn't bothered to learn it since arriving and learning about it in the Archives.

    I dropped the lightsaber in a basket as the doors to the hall closed behind me, ignoring the Jedi standing there, and began to walk away.

    "Initiate Shan," I turned at a voice I recognized and found myself looking up at Qui-Gon Jinn. "I have been instructed to escort you to members of the High Council. They wish to speak with you."

    "Yes sir," I replied walking beside him down the corridor. "Did they say why they wished to see me?"

    Qui-Gon smiled. "You are not in trouble, of that I am certain. I believe this has to do with how you arrived here and members of the Senate who are attending today's event."

    'Fuck! I thought when they said after the free-for-all they meant later in the day, not right afterwards. Shite!'

    I did my best to remain calm as I followed Qui-Gon down the corridors. A few glances at him to try and determine his age – and get a hint as to where I was concerning the movie timeline – failed as beyond seeing he was probably in his 40s or 50s, there was nothing to indicate the current time, and Obi-Wan was not present.

    I'd already learnt that the current Chancellor was a Human female named Kalpana and that Palpatine had been a member of the Senate for just over a decade, but that didn't tell me much. I was reasonably sure that Kalpana wasn't the Chancellor during Episode 1, but I wasn't certain exactly who had been, nor how long they had held the post before the Invasion of Naboo. This is what I get for not having seen Episode 1 in nearly a decade and the part played by the former Chancellor being relatively unimportant, save for how he was removed to allow Palpatine to ascend to power.

    I breathed slowly as we entered an elevator and I sought to put my thoughts in order. As the doors opened and Qui-Gon stepped out, I quietly whispered to activate Player's Mind and called up my stats. A quick mental calculation told me I had about 20 minutes before I ran out of Player Points and Player's Mind automatically stopped. Hopefully, this meeting wouldn't go on for too long.

    Eventually, we stopped outside a room in an area of the Temple where I hadn't been to before. We were in the central spire, however from the view, I figured we were a dozen floors below the Council Chambers.

    "Grandmaster Yoda is inside along with other members of the High Council and members of the Senate," Qui-Gon stated with a soft smile. "They merely wish to discuss with you how you arrived here and your plans." He chuckled and looked each way down the corridor before leaning down. "A word of advice when dealing with politicians, keep your answers short, accurate and simple. That way they have no chance to spin things to suit their narratives."

    "Yes sir," I replied, already knowing that advice from my past life when explaining how things went wrong to superiors or hiding facts from those that I didn't want to know what my work entailed.

    "You summoned me, masters," I said as I stepped through the door, figuring playing the loyal Initiate would help make things easier. I noticed Master Windu's brow rise a touch at me addressing them by their titles instead of my usual sir or madam.

    "Ah, Initiate Shan, come, come," Yoda said, waving me over from where he was sitting with Windu, Sifo-Dyas and Belfarr and a half-dozen people who I didn't know. "Chancellor Kalpana, this is. Most interested in speaking with you, she is." Yoda added, indicating an older woman who sat opposite him.

    "Chancellor," I said slowly, bowing a touch to show respect for the office, and take my eyes from a face behind and to her right. Palpatine was here and I was glad I'd engaged Player's Mind beforehand.

    "This is the child of Revan?" Kalpana asked and my eyes came back up to meet hers, allowing me to take in features.

    She was old, at a guess I'd say in her 70's, with her white hair pulled back in a simple ponytail, and sharp blue eyes that seemed friendly, but I imagined would've looked like ice when angered.

    "Great-grandchild according to his story," Master Belfarr stated in a tone that made me want to smack him.

    "A story that our technicians have collaborated by data recovered from the ship he arrived on." Windu countered instantly, given his fellow Jedi a short stare.

    "Indeed. Most interesting." Kalpana said and with a smile, tapped a space beside her. "Please, sit." The man where she had tapped stood, leaving a space for me, and moved to sit beside her, meaning Palpatine would be directly behind me.

    "Thank you, ma'am," I replied as I sat down, turning to face the Chancellor. "Was there something specific you wished to discuss?"

    Kalpana chuckled. "No, no. I like to attend the Initiate and Padawan tournaments when I can and after reading the report that was brought to me by my staff, and watching your remarkable performance in the obstacle course, I found myself most interested in speaking to a child of a Jedi still taught about over 3000 years later."

    "Do not forget that his grandfather was a former Chancellor, nor that another famous member of their family was Grandmaster of the Jedi." I was again thankful for Player's Mind as Palpatine spoke.

    Kalpana laughed softly. "I am aware Sheev. I read your comments about Satele Shan when I went through your very detailed account of the Shan family." She shook her head and looked back at the man who would – if I couldn't find a way to stop him – one day bring about the destruction of the Jedi and the Republic. "I never knew you were so interested in ancient history."

    "My father was something of an enthusiast for military history, his love of it is one of the few things we shared."

    "Forgive me, but who was Satele Shan?" I asked. I knew the name from having played a little of KOTOR, but I hadn't stuck with it as I'd never enjoyed MMO's and if I didn't ask, it may lead to questions as to why I wasn't curious about a possible member of my family.

    "Records are, hazy, regarding your family tree, but Satele Shan rose to become Grandmaster of the Jedi Order during what was known as the Galactic War between the Republic and the Sith Empire. She was known to be a descendant of Revan and came along a few hundred years after you, so she would've been your, great-great-great-grandniece, or something similar. The war was about 3,700 years ago if I remember correctly from Senator Palpatine's report."

    "You do, Madam Chancellor."

    Kalpana gave him a small smile before she turned to stare at me. "I am a little surprised that you haven't researched your family in the Jedi Archives."

    "The Council decided to restrict information about Initiate Shan's family from him, as we do with all Initiates," Windu stated slowly. I met his eyes as he spoke, a little annoyed by them doing that, but remembering that they had done the same to Serra, I quickly lost my annoyance. "Familial attachments are against the code of the Jedi."

    "Hmm, I've never questioned the Jedi way, but would him learning about what is ancient history really be a risk for young Cameron? You don't mind if I use your name, do you?"

    "No ma'am. It's a nice change from being called Initiate Shan all the time."

    She chuckled. "Yes, I imagine it would. So about those records?"

    "We will discuss this with the rest of the High Council, but I do not see a risk in allowing him access to those files," Windu said with a slight bow to the Chancellor.

    "Provided he stays," Belfarr whispered loud enough for everyone to hear and I mentally cursed him for revealing that in-front of Sidious.

    Kalpana turned to me. "You do not wish to be a Jedi?"

    "I am, uncertain, about my path," I answered slowly, trying to frame things to get Palpatine uninterested in me, without making it obvious. "While I am grateful for the Jedi for taking me in, it is difficult to let go of everything I knew and learnt before I arrived here. I find that what I was taught by my grandfather at times runs counter to the Jedi way."

    "Living example of the reason for taking in Younglings so early, Initiate Shan is," Yoda added with a smile. "Though a tendency to use the force in unexpected ways, he does have."

    "Yes, I saw the recording of his obstacle run. I didn't know Jedi could phase through solid matter." Kalpana stated and I knew Palpatine's eyes were on me; wondering how I did such a thing.

    "It is an unusual application of the Force. Only a handful of Jedi even attempt to learn it and only 1 is known to the Council who has mastered the art." Sifo-Dyas explained.

    "Indeed. Well, I can think of a few times when such a trick would be useful." Kalpana said with a chuckle.

    "Maybe, but the usage of the Force in such a way is not commonly taught as it involves manipulating the laws of matter; an approach the Council has long since deemed as dangerous for learning by any below the rank of Knight." Windu countered. "Initiate Shan has been forbidden from teaching it to his peers."

    "Though I know a few Masters who are interested in taking on the Initiate as their Padawan solely because he can do the unexpected, myself included." Sifo-Dyas countered with a small smile. "With the various conflicts occurring in the last few decades, it would do the Jedi good to have such abilities widely known through the Order."

    "It sounds as though they don't want you to go young one," Kalpana stated to me with a smile.

    "Maybe, but I am my own person."

    She laughed softly, as did a few of her entourage. "Yes, you are." She reached behind her, and someone handed her a datapad. "Now, I've read the report that reached my desk, but I would love to hear, in your own words, how you ended up here; displaced by nearly 4000 years."

    I sighed. "Yes ma'am." While I had no interest in going over this story again – especially in front of Palpatine – I couldn't exactly refuse the Chancellor of the Republic.

    .........

    I slumped against the wall of an empty conference room a few doors down from where I had met the Chancellor and sighed deeply.

    What I had hoped would only be a 20-minute meeting – due to the limit on Player's Mind – had turned into a near 2-hour discussion.

    Chancellor Kalpana had listened quietly as I told my story once more, tapping at her pad as she did until I finished; then the questions began.

    She'd asked about little things at first in my story, like where on Talravin we lived and what my daily life was like, before slowly working her way to what was different about technology then and now.

    She had been especially interested in the fact in the time I'd come from, personal force-shields were commonplace and had clearly hoped I knew something about them since no-one today used them; save stationary versions used by rich individuals or expensive droids like the droidekas used by the Trade Federation.

    She'd asked about other pieces of technology, but it was clear that she – or someone in her group who was subtlety manipulating her – was interested in getting their paws on technology that could potentially give them a leg-up in future conflicts.

    I'd played dumb – which wasn't hard as I knew literary nothing – to those questions until I decided to turn the tables and ask about how the Republic worked. I knew that the current Republic was far larger than the one in Revan's time, yet I had asked why the military and security forces seemed so much weaker.

    Of course, I knew that this was probably the work of the Sith over generations, but the Chancellor did not, nor did the Council.

    Palpatine had agreed with me at that point, catching me off-guard until I worked out that he came from an Outer Rim sector; one that would be more at risk to pirates and exploitation than the Core sectors, and as such, should be pushing for more security forces in public.

    Master Sifo-Dyas – whose name kept setting off a warning in my head, but I couldn't quite place where I knew it from – had also chimed in with his opinion that things were slowly deteriorating to a degree that open conflict between the Rim and the Core was a possibility in the next century or so.

    Kalpana had then mentioned how private organizations, such as the Trade Federation, helped to provide security to the Mid and Outer Rim by arming their trade-ships.

    It had been hard for me to not argue too fiercely against letting private companies arm themselves to such a degree, or be gaining seats in a supposedly democratically elected government by all but buying off Senators, without letting on I was far more mature and knowledgeable than my age suggested, but I had held my ground until a member of her staff had informed the Chancellor she had a dinner meeting with the Senators from the Corellia and Alderaan sectors in 30 minutes.

    The moment that it was stated I could leave I had bolted out of the meeting and into this empty room.

    "That was fun," I muttered to myself as I slumped to the floor. "At least I have a timeframe to go on now."

    One little tidbit that I'd gotten was that Kalpana was standing down at the end of the year and her main aide, Senator Valorum was expected to become the next Chancellor. Hearing that name – and having the Photographic Memory Perk – had helped me to link that name to the Chancellor before Palpatine.

    Since I'd already learnt that a Chancellor could only serve for 2, 4-year terms, that meant I had no more than 8 years until the Blockage of Naboo took place.

    Now I just had to come up with plans to slow, if not stop, the Clone Wars and alter things so that the Sith wouldn't win. Though how to do so was not going to be easy, nor did I expect it to be one giant single quest, though I suspected that if I could pull off all 3 'Changing Fate' quests, things would be different and hopefully better.

    'Actually, I'm a little surprised I haven't gotten a quest to stop Sidious or the Clone Wars.'

    Do you really need a quest to do try to stop the Sith?
    If you don't do anything, you will die like the rest of the Jedi.
    Or replace Skywalker as the Emperor's puppet.
    As for stopping the war between the Rim and the Core of this galaxy, nothing can do that.
    All the Sith have done is fanned the flames of discontent that have existed from millennia.
    You even made mention earlier when in the room with a Sith Lord as to why this war is inevitable.
    However, without the control of Sidious, the death toll will be worse.
    Instead of billions dying in the war, trillions will.
    This is a greater number than all those killed in the Clone Wars and by the Empire during its reign.
    This will also leave the galaxy weaker when facing even more dangerous threats than the Banite Sith.
    However, the choice is yours.


    Quest Alert!
    Sever the Head

    Can you remove Darth Sidious from the board before the outbreak of the Clone Wars?
    Rating: S***
    Objective:

    Kill Sheev Palpatine/Darth Sidious before the Clone Wars begins

    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Rewards:
    30000XP

    Death toll in the quintillions over the next 100 years
    Penalties:
    Your death

    Death of everyone you care about
    Death toll in the quadrillions over the next 100 years.
    Accept?
    Yes/No


    "Um no," I muttered as I read through the rewards and penalties.

    It seemed that no matter what I did, the galactic death toll was going to be insane, which had me frowning as it suggested that even if I was able to change things so that Palpatine didn't become Emperor, there were still other threats to worry about. Which the PtB message had stated existed and was somehow worse than a galaxy-spanning evil empire. Also, what was a Banite Sith?

    "Man, I sure picked the wrong bloody universe to be reborn into," I mumbled as I slipped to the floor as the reality of just how hard it was going to be to stop the Sith sank in; and the realisation that not having followed Star Wars, outside of the movies and Clone Wars cartoons, was going to be a major issue for knowing what was really going on in the galaxy.

    "Player's Mind," I said after a while for sitting there and instantly felt the worry, fear, anger and regret drain away. "Man, that is so abusable I can't wait until I get high enough to just leave it on 24/7." Though based on how long it took to regenerate Player Points from 0, I'd have to be about level 25 for that to be the case.

    'Right, I know I can't just go out and hire an assassin to take out Palpatine, but perhaps I can find other ways to hamper his plans.' I stood and moved to the door of the room. I needed to get back to my quarters and start making plans for how to weaken the Sith for when war did finally come.

    "Initiate Shan, is something the matter?" I slid to a halt as I exited the room and turned to see Master Sifo-Dyas talking with the very man I didn't want to talk with.

    "No sir. I just felt a need to meditate after meeting the Chancellor." I paused, keeping my eyes on the Jedi Council member and away from the Senator. "I felt I became too emotional at times."

    "There is nothing wrong with being passionate about what you feel is wrong about the Republic my child," Palpatine said with a kind smile. "In truth, it is heartening to see such desire to change those flaws in one so young."

    I nodded a touch, showing respect for his office even if all I wanted to do was grab a lightsaber from my inventory and gut him with it. 'Thank you, Player's Mind.' "My grandfather was keen on me speaking my mind Senator, however, such emotional outbursts are unbecoming of a Jedi."

    There was the slightest wrinkling of Palpatine's brow as Master Sifo-Dyas smiled at me. "It is good to see you are taking your lessons to heart Initiate, but both the Senator and I share your concerns regarding the dangers the Republic is facing."

    "Yes, however, we differ greatly on how to deal with our concerns," Palpatine added with the smile still on his face. "I know you are young, but what was the status of the Republic's standing military during your Grandfather's time?"

    I shrugged a little. "I can't give you exact figures, but as I mentioned to the Chancellor, the Republic back then had fleets spread across the Rim and Core; the ship that brought me here detected over 30 cruisers in range as I left Talravin, most with Republic colours, I think. If that helps."

    Palpatine nodded and rubbed his chin. "It does, it does." He seemed to be thinking about something. "I am unsure of the current status of Talravin's defence force off-hand, but I do know that the Republic military has only a single sub-fleet covering that entire sector."

    "That's about 50 ships," Sifo-Dyas explained, making me nod even as I wondered just how unsure the Senator really was. He prepared a report for the Chancellor on myself and my family, and I suspected he was one of those who'd pushed her to ask me about what I knew of technology from Revan's time.

    "That does seem low," I shrugged, "but I can't say for certain if the number of ships when I left home was normal or not."

    "True. However, I know for a fact that 95% of the Republic military is patrolling the Core and Colonies." Palpatine added in what sounded like he was just adding to the conversation, but I could see he was fishing for more from me and trying to influence my thinking. "Many Rim-worlds are forced to rely on their own meagre defence forces. Republic law has strict controls on the number of ships non-Core worlds can have in their defence forces."

    I nodded. "I guess I can see the Senate's thinking there but doesn't that limit Rim-worlds from raising forces to counter pirates and criminals?"

    Palpatine smiled warmly and nodded. "That is my opinion too." He paused and looked at Sifo-Dyas. "It is encouraging to see that the Jedi are so keen to promote such outward thinking in their younglings."

    Sifo-Dyas frowned. "Sadly, Initiate Shan is something of a unique case. Most Jedi do not share our concerns about the problems brewing in the Rim, nor the danger it poses to the Republic."

    Palpatine's smile fell. "Hmm, that is most troubling." He turned back to look at me, kneeling a touch so we could see eye-to-eye. "Do know young-one, that your concerns are shared by some by others. Indeed, if you ever wish to know more about what is going on in the Senate or think of any ideas on how to improve things for all the Republic's citizens, please feel free to contact me. I am sure Master Sifo-Dyas will be more than helpful in arranging such a meeting."

    I smiled back at him, though I could see through his plan. "I will Senator, but since I am currently an Initiate, and not allowed to leave the Temple, I do not know how likely it is that we can speak any time soon." 'Hopefully, it would be never again, but totally avoiding you might just make you suspicious.'

    "You are only an Initiate for now young one. I expect the Council of First Knowledge will meet to discuss the next batch in Initiates to be taken as Padawans and I am certain your name will be mentioned." Sifo-Dyas said and I caught the very slight twitch of Palpatine's lips at hearing I that.

    "Truly?" he asked, and Sifo-Dyas nodded. "That is impressive as I was under the impression that most younglings were not taken as Padawans until they passed 10 cycles."

    "It is uncommon, but not unheard of. I do know that Master Koon was taken as a Padawan learner when he was only 9 cycles old."

    "Hmm. Then it is even more impressive given your lack of time with the Jedi." Palpatine said to me as he smiled in a way that reminded me of Vaner Shan, though I doubted it was a pure as my grandfather's had been. "I will be watching your career most intently young one."

    "If that is your desire," I replied, brushing off his interest before turning to Sifo-Dyas. "If I may be excused. I am feeling hungry and I'm worried that my clanmates will be worried about my apparent disappearance."

    Sifo-Dyas smiled and nodded. "Of course. You should eat as you will be competing in the 13-and-under lightsaber duels tomorrow."

    I bowed a touch, before turning and walking towards the elevator as quickly as I could without making it seem that I was running.

    As the doors closed and I began to descent, I gasped as I was finally able to place who Sifo-Dyas was. The Jedi who ordered the Clone army. I'd honestly thought that It had just been a false name used by Dooku or Palpatine to hide their involvement, but if it was a real person, then he would be murdered by one of them – or whomever Palpatine got to replace Dooku if I could prevent his fall to the dark side. Perhaps there was a way to prevent that.

    Quest Alert!
    Changing Fate [Sifo-Dyas]

    Can you prevent or delay the death of Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas?
    Rating: B

    Objective:
    Delay the death of Sifo-Dyas for long enough that other Jedi can learn he placed the order for the clone army.

    Bonus: ?
    Bonus: ?
    Rewards:
    2000XP

    Large reputation gain with Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas
    Failure:
    Place yourself in Darth Sidious' crosshairs.

    Death of someone close to you.
    Accept?
    Yes/No


    I looked at the quest carefully. The quest was more about keeping Sifo-Dyas alive long enough to make sure other Jedi – presumably the High Council – learnt about him placing an order for a clone army for the Republic than preventing his death. Thus, one of the bonuses was probably about keeping him alive until the outbreak of the Clone Wars.

    I was concerned about the fact failure could result in my ending up in Sidious' crosshairs – and I suspected that the fact it used that name there meant I would be a threat instead of currently being a possible asset – and the idea that someone close to me would die. The only people who even spent time with me were… Dragon Clan. Shit! Did that mean one of them might die if I failed this quest?

    Player's Mind had cleared any emotional response to that already, so I could examine the quest logically, and I could only see 1 course of action. While the risk of losing someone that might be a friend was high, the benefits of keeping Sifo-Dyas alive long enough to warn the Jedi were greater. To quote another movie franchise; the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few or the one.

    "Yes."

    The quest disappeared as the doors opened and I walked to the mess hall calmly, even as I played over everything that Palpatine had said in the last few hours in my mind.

    'Damm, he's good.' Nothing he'd said had hinted at a darker motive, and yet he'd phrased things, or added little details, to just shift the conversations towards topics that if thought about longer would raise questions about the Republic and its effectiveness.





    Yes, I am well aware that the 'kiss' between Cam and Sia-Lan would've been more of then banging faces than a kiss.
    But Cam, Sia-Lan and Serra all react like it was, though for different reasons.
     
  24. Miestwin

    Miestwin Monster on the outside, bishoujo on the inside

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    I'm already reading this on FFN, but here's better contact with the writer.
    Gods, I wish the guys at FFN updated their site. It didn't change at all in the past decade or so.
     
  25. steamrick

    steamrick Matter: protons, electrons, neutrons and morons

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    Hmm... battle precognition and sensing working through the interface actually seems like a huge nerf compared to the 'natural' state of the skill.

    In batte, no one's got time to pay attention to text prompts.
     
    Grimrr, Poe Darkly and CelestialJade like this.
  26. USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Know what you're doing yet?

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    I know. I've been on FF since '02 and nothing has changed.
    Heck, I originally used a yahoo email to sign up for the site :p

    Though it has had a few updates, though most make things harder...
    Like about 6 months ago they removed email notices for new PMs. Which means checking the site regularly to keep in contact with my beta, lore and idea guys and responding to anyone who wants to talk/has ideas.
     
  27. USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Know what you're doing yet?

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    True, though at higher levels the precog will evoke to make the responses more intuitive.
    especially after the system updates, although that isn't for a few years in-story.
     
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  28. Threadmarks: Initiate Training 7
    USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Know what you're doing yet?

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    I stepped to the side a touch as my opponent swung his blade and then guided his blade away, making him stumble and allowing me to tap him gently near where his kidney was; or where it would be in a Human since the other Initiate was a Duros.

    "Point, Shan," Bondara called out, and I grinned at my opponent. That tied the score at 2-2 in my 2nd duel in 11-and-older lightsaber duels having won my 1st duel by letting an attack phase through me before pushing that Initiate from the duelling circle.

    The Duros leapt way, re-establishing distance between us as I smirked and taunted him by turning off my lightsaber, his red eyes narrowed at my actions, but he didn't leap into to attack me.

    "What's the matter? Afraid to attack me?" I taunted, hoping to make him commit rashly. I'd come across this approach – known as Dun Möch – in the archives a while back but this match was the first time that I'd applied it in combat.

    It felt like it was nothing more than typical taunting, but the files I'd read suggested that by applying a Force Compulsion to the taunt, it could unsettle an opponent and weaken their connection to the Force. Since Compulsion was at Novice 1, I was adding in a Force Weaken as well; that supposedly lowered a targets connection to the Force by a certain percentage for a while dependent on level.

    The effects might be low, but even the slightest disruption of a target's connection to the Force might be enough to bring any of their fears to the surface.

    The only issue was that using both cost 500FP each time, so I was reaching a point where I couldn't use it again without my FP going so low that Precognition and Bullet-Time would turn off; which would all but certainly cost me the duel.

    "You think to trick me into a rash move?" the Duros asked as we slowly circled each other, his blade aimed at me while mine stayed turned off. "To charge in blindly like a fool?"

    Time to just try good, old-fashioned taunting and see where that got me. I shrugged. "Well, if the shoe fits." He blinked a few times, clearly not getting the metaphor. 'Huh, figured that 1 would still work here.'

    "Why would my footwear matter?" He asked with a blink of confusion.

    I sighed and shook my head. "Never mind, you're too dumb to understand the level my mind works at. Is that normal for your species or are you a special case?" I asked with a smirk, which grew as his red eyes narrowed. "Ah, must just be you then," I added, rubbing in the insult. 'Man, this is too easy' Seriously, did the Jedi not teach the Younglings and Initiates how to handle a few simple insults?

    He growled and stepped forward, his knees bending as if to leap, only to stop and take a deep breath. "No. I will not let you trick me."

    "So no basic maths then?" I asked quickly, starting to enjoy the taunting. It was childish, but hey, we were both kids! "Like 12 plus 14. Or should I make it even easier? What's 2 plus 1?" I chuckled as he didn't respond. "Oh come on. That's easy. Here I'll help you."

    I held up my hand and started to count loudly. "1, 2…"

    With a growl he leapt, using the Force to propel himself higher than normal, his blade held high above his head.

    As he began his downward arc, I closed my fist and yanked his lightsaber towards the floor.

    My smirk turned into a smile as his eyes widened as he realised what I was doing, but he didn't release his grip and face-planted into the floor hard.

    "3," I stated as I placed my still turned-off blade to the back of his neck.

    "Winner Shan," Bondara called out as the light came back on and I rolled the Duros over.

    "No hard feelings?" I asked as I held out my open hand.

    He growled and slapped it away, pulling himself to his feet, before walking from the circle.

    I shrugged at his behaviour, not bothered that he was pissed about losing, or that my taunting had worked, and walked out of the hall. No one from Dragon Clan was currently around as Serra's 2nd match wasn't for about an hour and Aayla's was after that, so I figured I'd head to my room to relax before my next bout.

    "Cameron, wait up!" I turned and smiled at the familiar voice.

    "Serra. You here for your match?" I asked calmly even as I wondered why she'd picked now to talk to me as we hadn't spoken directly since the free-for-all yesterday evening.

    After the meeting with Chancellor Kalpana, then the short talk with Master Sifo-Dyas and Palpatine, I'd found only Darihd and Jaeman in the mess hall, which when I saw it was nearly 9 by the time I got there, wasn't a surprise. We'd sat at the same table this morning for breakfast, but she hadn't even looked in my direction, so I'd avoided talking with her. Instead, I had spent time with boys of Dragon Clan; the younger members asking me for pointers on Makashi while we ate.

    "Kind of," She said, her eyes meeting mine for a moment before they darted away. "I, I was hoping we could talk. Just the 2 of us."

    "Sure, how about my quarters?" I suggested since it was only about a five-minute walk from here; provided the elevators weren't busy.

    "Actually, I was thinking we could talk in the Gardens," Serra said slowly.

    "Sure." I agreed with a shrug and we walked quietly to the nearest elevator, then rode it in silence until we reached the garden.

    She took my hand and lead me down one of the paths, ducking and weaving to avoid the overhanging leaves and branches until we arrived a bench.

    "This, this is where I come to think by myself." She said as we sat.

    "It seems peaceful."

    "Yeah. I, I spent a bit of time here last night thinking." She took a deep breath and then turned to face me, bringing her legs up to sit cross-legged. "I'm sorry for how I acted. I was angry with what happened between you and Sia and I wanted to hurt you when I had no reason to be so angry."

    I smiled and turned to face her. "There's nothing wrong with being angry, we're not machines after all."

    "I know, but we are Jedi, or we will be, and we shouldn't let our emotions control us. There is no emotion, there is peace." She said, stating the first line of the Jedi Code.

    "I prefer emotion, yet peace." She tilted her in a way I knew meant she was either unsure and/or curious about something. "It's an older form of the Code I came across in the archives, from before the time of my great-grandfather. I like it better than the one you quoted."
    "Why?"
    I smiled at her. "I'll leave it up to you to consider what the differences are, and why I'd prefer it. And I accept the apology." She smiled back at me. "Still not sure why you were angry though." OK, I had a good idea why she had been, but I had to act like an 8-year-old, and they wouldn't; at least not most boys. Her cheeks tinted red and I waved my hand aimlessly. "Doesn't matter anyway. You're my friend. My first one here."

    She smiled happily. "Thanks." I turned back to face the path and we sat there in silence for a while, letting me slip into a meditative state to restore my FP.

    "What did it feel like?" She asked, breaking my meditation.

    "What?" I asked, silently hoping she was not asking about what I thought she was asking about.

    "The kiss. What did it feel like?"

    I kept my eyes straight ahead, not wanting to turn and face an 8-year-old girl who I was all but certain had a crush on me. 'This is starting to become an issue. How to stop this without losing a friend and someone I might need later on when it comes time to move against Palpatine?'

    "I, I don't know. I wasn't exactly thinking about kissing her beforehand, nor have I done so afterwards." I said slowly.

    "Hmm, ok." She said quietly and again we slipped into silence.

    I felt her shift around a few times as we sat there, and I was certain she wanted to say more but was probably worried/afraid to do so. And there was no way I was going to say or do anything with her. Not now. Though once we were older, much older, I might be willing to see how far this could go.

    I knew the Jedi were supposed to stay celibate, but my 'family' wasn't exactly known for obeying that rule, or others, and my great-great-whatever niece Satele had had a child of her own and still been Grandmaster of the Jedi.

    Still, I was only 8 now and…

    My thoughts were interrupted by a beeping sound and I opened my eyes to see Serra pulling her commlink.

    "Um, I've got to go. My match is in 10 minutes." She said as she stood from the bench.

    "Want me to come?" I asked, earning a smile from her.

    "Sure."

    .........

    At the end of the day, I stood with all the other Initiates who had taken part in the Trails in the Room of 100 Fountains, patiently waiting for the High Council to speak. OK, I wasn't patiently waiting, I was just acting like I was so that this week could be over, the quest would finish, and I would experience the first level up of my powers.

    "The Initiate Trials are now over, and we are impressed with how all of you have done," Master Windu said from the small stage where he stood with the other members of the Jedi High Council. "This year we've seen impressive displays from Initiates, young and old, and a new record set in the Obstacle Course that may not be challenged for some time."

    I resisted the urge to smirk at the indirect praise, even as Aayla gave me a shoulder bump and others turned to look at me. I just wished I hadn't lost to Jon from Katarn Clan in the 3rd round of the lightsaber duels; though thankfully Serra took him out in the next round. I was impressed that she made it to the older free-for-all and it had me a little worried if I could complete the quest to beat her in a duel before we became Knights. But I had years to deal with that, so I wasn't letting it bother me too much.

    "Tomorrow you are free to spend your time how you wish. That said, as always, no Initiate may leave the Temple without permission from a member of 1 of the Jedi Councils and an escort from a fully established Jedi." He stated, his eyes narrowing as they wandered over the crowd of children. "Additionally, the Council of First Knowledge will be speaking with most of you over the next few days to discuss your performance and future. Be assured that not one of you have failed the Order, nor will be dismissed from the Order for struggling at any event.

    "Regular classes will resume the day after tomorrow. Dismissed."

    I smiled as I saw the notice in my log for completion of a quest and another for a level-up, but I wasn't going to open them until I was alone to avoid comments about me concentrating on nothing.

    "So what do we do with our time off?" Jaeman asked as Dragon Clan gathered around me.

    "What about getting Cam to show us how to Phase?" Serra suggested, making Darihd frown, though it still looked strange to see someone do so when they lacked eyebrows.

    "He is forbidden from teaching us how to Phase or Teleport."

    Serra smirked crookedly. "Yes, but nothing was said about us watching him do it a few times to see if we can see how he does it."

    I chuckled at that, as it was something that I'd thought about with the exact wording of the orders the Council of First Knowledge had given me regarding my powers. I should've expected someone else to spot that flaw as well.

    "She's right. I mean, it's not like he is actively teaching us to do it. More like we're watching him practice." Aayla added with a smile that exposed her sharp teeth as she gave me another friendly bump.

    "Yes, but there is the chance the Council would not look kindly on us trying to circumvent their ruling." Darihd countered, standing his ground.

    "I'm with them," Sia-Lan said with a tilt of her head to the other 2 girls who'd spoken. "The worst they can do is give us extra chores as we'd not be actually breaking any rules."

    'Well, they could kick you out of the Order, but that'd be an overreaction.' I thought to myself as Darihd rubbed his chin as Jaeman and Funt voiced their agreement with the girls.

    "Fine, but we're not bringing the younger ones into this. Only those who were in the Trials." Darihd sighed, relenting under the combined weight of the rest of his Clan. "This is dangerous if it goes wrong and I'm not risking any of them on our decision."

    "Agreed," Sia-Lan said with a smile. "Though once they take part in the Trials, we'll let them watch."

    "Don't I get a say in this?" I asked with a smirk. Truthfully, I was fine with this, since I wasn't breaking the order, and if the Council got stroppy, I could use it as an excuse to leave the Order; or extract something from them to get me to stay.

    "No!" Aayla, Serra and Sia-Lan said at once, which made me chuckle as I raised my hands in mock surrender.

    "Fine. Far be it from me to go against 3 pretty girls." I said, making all of them blush to varying degrees. Aayla's was the cutest as her cheeks turned a soft lilac. I was a little surprised that Sia-Lan blushed, even if it was only a very slight reddening of her cheeks. 'Fuck, did that kiss have more of an effect that I realised?'

    "Initiate Shan," I turned and saw a grey-skinned Sullustan approaching. Based on his height was in his late teens, but since the growth patterns of non-Human species was not something that I was overly familiar with, I was only hazarding a guess.
    "Yes?"

    "I am Padawan Sivv Sebbs. I have been tasked with bringing you to a meeting with the Council of First Knowledge." He stated slowly.

    I sighed and turned back to the others. "Looks like we'll have to hold off on that," I said, being vague in-case this Padawan reported that they wanted me to demonstrate my powers to a Master.

    Darihd smiled and gripped me on my shoulder. "No problem, we'll just deal with it later."

    "Yeah, you shouldn't keep the council waiting," Serra said with a small smile, though it seemed forced and her shoulders were drooping.

    I smiled at them and followed the Padawan through the corridors of the Temple until we stepped off the elevator that took us up the spire that contained the chambers of the Council of First Knowledge.

    "They await you within," Sivv said before bowing and stepping back onto the elevator.

    Once those doors closed, I whispered to activate Player's Mind then stepped into the chamber. "You wished to see me?" I asked as the chamber doors closed behind me.

    "Indeed we do young one," the leader of this council, Master Vilbum, his mouth moving into what I hoped was a friendly smile. "You understand why you have been called?"

    I shrugged. "To talk about my performance, I assume. That is what Master Windu said you would be doing."

    Vilbum chuckled deeply, his wrinkled skin flapping about as he did so, and I was glad Player's Mind was active to avoid me cringing at the action. "Yes, that we do. That and more."

    "To be blunt, you are far too powerful for one with so little training," Master Piell stated, his one eye narrowing at me as he spoke. "I for one feel you should be placed on a shorter leash to avoid you become arrogant about your powers."

    "We have been over this Even," the dark-skinned woman with the strange headdress said with a sigh. "The Initiate exceeded our expectations in the Trials and others have stated their intentions." I frowned at the words of Master Gallia, the name having been supplied by Jaeman after my first visit to this council chamber.

    "Intentions? What intentions?" I asked slowly, my own eyes narrowing as I took in the 5 Jedi Masters in front of me. Yoda was not present like last time, so I assumed he was not a member of this council but had merely been there to see how I reacted to their instructions the first time.

    "There is no threat here Initiate," Master Di stated, his blue eyes catching mine. "Relax."

    "Perhaps you did not understand Master Windu's comments about our meeting with Initiates," Vilbum said slowly. "In addition to overseeing the teaching of Younglings and Initiates, this council debates on the futures of the young ones; whether that means assigning someone to one of the corps or discussing with them a potential master for future training."

    "And which is to be for me?" I asked slowly. I knew the 'Trials of an Initiate' quest stated I had a chance to be taken as a Padawan, but if it was to a Jedi on one of the Councils, or who worked permanently at the Temple, I was going to leave the Order.
    Vilbum chuckled once more. "We are not assigning you to a corps young one. Though there are, issues, we need to discuss with you before we can allow you to continue your studies."

    Piell grumbled even as Gallia spoke. "Normally, an Initiate is selected by a Jedi and if the Initiate agrees to the match, everything is fine. Occasionally a pair of Jedi show interest in an Initiate and this council helps them make an informed choice as to which Jedi is more suitable for their growth and the direction that they wish to take with their studies." She smiled softly at me as I listened carefully.

    "Then where do I fit in?"

    "You are a rare breed," Master Nilas said and as I looked at the old woman, I noticed for the first time that she had a strip of light-blue cloth covering her eyes. "A light within the Force." She smiled. "Not like any Jedi I have seen before. Darkness touches your soul, yet it does not taint your essence. It makes your shine brighter, clearer than any I have seen before." I frowned at her words.

    "Master Nilas is one of a rare type of Jedi called Seers," Vilbum explained, obviously seeing I was confused. "Seers are adjusted to the Force in a way few other Jedi are and are prone to powerful visions of future events." His brow drooped a touch. "Though the visions are far less than they once were."

    "And she had a vision involving me?" I asked slowly, not liking the idea that the Force was trying to control what I would do or manipulate the Jedi into a course of action for me. 'Is the Force actually sentient in a way that allows it to manipulate the Jedi like they claim the Dark Side does to the Sith? And if so, is it trying to stop me from making wave, preventing me from changing what is to come?'

    "She did. As did 3 other Seers." Gallia stated with a small smile. "Such an event has not happened in living memory."

    I was glad, really glad, Player's Mind was running, or I was sure my eyebrows would've merged with my fringe at what I'd just been told.

    "They saw something about me?" I asked slowly, still not liking that the Force was seemingly trying to manipulate my direction while being curious as to what the vision was about. 'Hopefully nothing about the Chosen One crap.'

    "That they did," Vilbum replied, making my brow rise rapidly even with Player's Mind active. "Though strangely none of the 4 visions matched closely with another." He paused and looked at Nilas. "However, that is not something to concern yourself with. The Seer Council, in conjunction with this Council, have discussed these visions and how they will affect your future training as a Jedi.

    "You will be continuing your training with us, should you so choose." Vilbum continued with a smile that just looked wrong to me with the way his face wrinkled as he spoke. "But it is because of these visions that we made you our first summons after the Initiate Trials concluded."

    "OK," I said slowly, not sure where this was going but certain that if I was assigned to a Master who wouldn't let me leave the Temple, I would quit the order. 6 months of this place was really starting to drive me up the wall, and with the Trials of an Initiate quest now finished, I had little to focus on within these walls. Everything else, save for what may be on the Holocrons in the Vault, whether it was quest related or otherwise, I felt was outside the walls of the Temple. 'I really need to come up with plans to hamper Sidious' rise to power and build a power base of my own.' Though how to do that, was something I still had to consider.

    "Masters and Knights have come forward to seek your permission to take you as their Padawan, but it is here that an issue arises." Master Gallia said slowly with a smile, though I saw Master Piell frowning as she spoke. "Many have spoken to us of a desire to train you, though we suspect many are just curious about your unexpected abilities with rare Force powers."

    I nodded at her words even as I considered them. I had expected that some Jedi would be interested in training me because of what I did in the obstacle course, but I hadn't expected many to offer to train me.

    "This Council has considered those requests and lowered it to four, from which you are permitted to make a final choice," Vilbum spoke, casting a glance at Nilas. "Two of these Jedi you have met directly, while another you may have seen around the Temple. The last, however…"

    "Would be me."
    [​IMG]

    I turned at the voice and ended up staring at a damm elf!

    'Thank God for Player's Mind or I'd be gawking at her like a lost puppy, if not drooling.'

    The Jedi in question was tall, lithe and just breath-taking to look at. Her long, silken blond hair cascaded around her angular face while her grey eyes seemed to dance as she smiled down at me.

    "This is Jedi Master Fay," Vilbum spoke with a touch of reverence. "She is something of a legend, or myth, within our Order. Indeed, this is the first time in my life that she has stepped foot within the Temple."

    Fay laughed in an almost musical way and I had to look away to avoid looking too much like a fool. "Master Vilbum is too kind. I simply follow the will of the Force, one that guides me across the galaxy and for once, has guided me back here." While she spoke, her eyes stayed with me, or I assumed they did as when I looked back at her she was still watching me. "The Force spoke to me of a child torn through time and space, one born of warriors and Jedi, and yet not. One with the potential for true balance within the Force. It guided me back here where I found out about the child of Revan."

    "I dislike that label," I said with a small frown. "And being seen in visions and prophecy," I added, making it clear – I hoped – that I knew about the Chosen One prophecy and didn't want any part of it.

    Fay laughed once more. "Yes, most do. Yet you cannot deny that the Force has chosen to bring you to us, here and now. A time and a place far from your own. You cannot deny the actions of the Force."

    "I deny nothing. But I am not a pawn in a game to be played by someone, or something, else." I growled.

    "You believe yourself above the Force? That you are better than it and us?" Master Piell asked, his one eye narrowed heavily as he glared at me. "Then perhaps we should deny you further training."

    "And allow someone so powerful to just freely wander the galaxy? That doesn't sound very wise." I countered, throwing his earlier words about me back in his face.

    "Master Piell meant no disrespect young one. He simply stated, in his own way, that we all are guided by the Force. Jedi or not, it flows through and around us in ways even Grandmaster Yoda does not fully understand." Fay said with a soft smile as she stepped towards me. "I do not know if the Force's guidance has sent me here to become your teacher, or merely if it wishes for me to help you grow, but I accept this calling."

    I bowed a touch. "I would be grateful for either ma'am." I turned back to Vilbum. "You said there were 3 others sir?"

    "Yes. Masters Sifo-Dyas and Dooku have both expressed interest in taking you as their learner, as has Knight Lhan has also expressed interest."

    "Knight Lhan is the Cathar Jedi who has been helping Battlemaster Drallig with Initiate training. He is new to his rank and wishes to take a Padawan before taking up his role as Watchman of the Mandalore sector." Di added. "He is young for a knight but brave and loyal."
    "And these 4 are the ones you feel would be the best choices for me to accept as my teacher?" I asked cautiously, avoiding calling any of them my master. That had always bugged me about the Jedi.

    "Yes. However, we feel that even if you decide now on your Master, you should remain as an Initiate until New Year Week, which is in 4 months." Vilbum replied. "This is not because we feel you are unready, but because all 4 visions shared 1 single, common trait. That if you left the Temple permanently in the next few months you would die."

    "Then might I take these 4 months to get to know each Jedi better before making a final choice in the New Year?" I asked even as I processed that leaving early would result in my death, probably by agents of Sidious. 'Or more likely the bastard would abduct me to raise as a quote/unquote, Proper Sith.'

    Vilbum smiled once more. "That would be a wise decision young one. Very wise. However, I must caution you to not mention our discussions about visions with your clanmates. We do not wish undue worry to affect them and distract them from their studies."

    "Understood."

    I suspected that mentioning visions and prophecy to Initiates was not a normal occurrence, and I could get their reasoning. I just hoped that this didn't cause me problems with the others or risk people starting to really think I was the Chosen One. '4 more months of this place? Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Still, I will have more time with Dooku and Sifo-Dyas so even if I don't pick either of them as my Master, I can get closer to them and hopefully change both their fates.'

    "I look forward to learning about you over the coming months young one," Fay said with a smile that would've made me talk gibberish if I was in my teens and didn't have Player's Mind. "I suspect there is much we may learn from each other."

    "As do I ma'am," I said slowly, keeping my eyes locked on her face.

    "Feel free to ask for a further meeting if you wish to discuss your possible master young one, and if there is nothing you wish to ask, you are free to leave," Vilbum said with another of those wrong-looking smiles.

    "Yes, sir," I said with a small bow.

    Pivoting I walked slowly out of the chamber and into an elevator once one arrived; thankful it was empty, so I could start to examine the choices I had in front of me.

    Dooku and Sifo-Dyas were both covered by quests, though if I failed then there was a chance that I could die with Sifo-Dyas if he was my Master or be killed by Dooku when he turns if I chose him. Though that was conditional on me failing the quests to save each of them. Also, Sifo-Dyas was on the Council and Dooku was working in the Temple as a combat instructor, so there was a high chance I'd be stuck in the Temple for a few more years at least, which I was firmly against.

    Lhan was a virtual unknown as I had seen a Cathar male Jedi helping with lightsaber training, but he'd never trained me or Dragon Clan. Though he was clearly going to head out into the galaxy soon and would be heading to Mandalore, which meant Death Watch and Mandalorians, and created possibilities for building up friendships and weakening Sidious' power base before the Clone Wars.

    Fay, however, beyond being beautiful, was a true unknown. I hadn't met her in the Temple, nor had the name come up in the movies or cartoons. From what little she had said she seemed to glide around, letting the Force guide her where it wanted. That sounded both useful and problematic. Useful as it would let me likely see more than just a sector of planets or Coruscant, it would leave me at the will of the Force; something that irritated me as it seemed to suggest a semi-sentience to the Force. Problematic, however, as it might make it harder for me to work on my current quests or any plans I had to build my own power base and begin to disrupt Palpatine's plans.

    "Is the Force actually sentient?" I asked the empty elevator, hoping that the PtB would give me a response.

    Sadly, they didn't, and I sighed in annoyance. "Was worth a shot."

    The doors opened, and I walked quietly back to my quarters. I needed more time to think through carefully just what the pros and cons of each of my options for a Master were. And the privacy of my room would allow me to go through the quest completion and level-up notices.

    'Is the Force really trying to stop me? Is it working against me because I was sent here by a higher power?' I wondered as I walked.

    Yes, and no.
    Truthfully, we are unsure if we should tell you this, but we felt you needed to understand if only a little.
    The Force is sentient, but not in a way you understand currently.
    It is a force of nature, yet it feels the galaxy, the universe through the creatures within it.
    And Like all forces of nature, it seeks the balance.
    Sadly, simple beings such as yourself struggle for true balance.
    Emotions, which the Force lacks, interfere with balance.
    Yet to surrender to emotions, or cut them off, is not balance.
    It is an extreme.
    The Force accepts we have sent you into its domain yet is still trying to settle you into its need for balance.

    That is all we are prepared to tell you.
    Use it how you wish.
    I stopped walking to read the message from the PtB and tried to process it.

    The Force was living but not and sought balance. Yet both the Jedi and Sith were wrong about what that balance was. 'So, balance involves accepting your emotions, yet not letting them rule you. Like the older code that I had come across; emotion, yet peace. Or at least, that's how I see it. And damm! The Force is the one bringing the Sith to power to achieve balance as the Jedi are an extreme that it cannot accept.'

    I chuckled a little at that even as I tried to get my head around the idea that the reason the Sith kept rising was that the Jedi had, in some way, become too strong for its liking.

    'Looks like I have to find a new path. Well, I've got 4 months or so to survive in this place, so that gives me time to create plans. For now, I should just get back to my room and sort through where I am.'

    The rest of the walk to my quarters passed in silence as the corridors were empty, and I reached my room quickly and quietly.

    Quest Completed!
    Trials of an Initiate
    Objectives:
    Advance to the free-for-all stage for your age group. [Yes]
    Win at least 3 of your push-feather duels [Yes]
    Complete the obstacle course with a time in the upper half for your age group [Yes]
    [?] Place in the top 3 of the lightsaber free-for-all for your age group [No]
    [?] Advance to the quarter-finals of the push-feather duels [Yes]
    [?] Win at least 3 lightsaber duels against Initiates in the older age group [2/3]
    [?] Win the push-feather tournament [No]
    [?] Have an obstacle course time in the upper half of all Initiates [Yes]
    Rewards:
    1500XP
    1000XP
    1000XP
    500XP
    500XP
    ...
    LEVEL UP!
    Level: 8 - 9
    FP: +500
    PP: +2
    STAM: +12
    SP: +5
    SKP: +32

    "Nice. Extra FP means more time using powers between meditation recharges and while not a lot, 2 Player Points means I can have Player's Mind on for a little longer. List Stats."

    Cameron Shan
    Species: Human
    Title: The Player
    Level 9
    HP: 130/130
    FP: 4500/4500
    PP: 18/18
    XP [3530/9000]
    STAM [108/108]
    Hunger [0/100]
    STR: 8 +
    VIT: 8 +
    AGI: 8 +
    INT: 16 +
    WIS: 12 +
    CH: 10 +
    Luck: 0 + [+10]
    SP: 6
    SKP: 32
    PerkP: 0
    PPP: 0
    Credits: 1116
    "Sweet, I'm already a 3rd of the way to the next level." I spent a little bit of time examining my new status, and placed one SP in STR, AGI and VIT, bringing all 3 up to 9, and removing the small penalty that existed for the stats being under my level. "List Quests."

    QUESTS
    These are the story chains that will help push and shape your new life.
    Quests come in various forms, from repeatable simple ones to long, multi-part campaigns.
    Most of your activities will be set up as quests, however, you are free to decline most quests.
    You can also create your own quests if you are willing to push yourself beyond what would be considered easy/safe.
    All quests are rated from F to S*** for difficulty, with anything rated B or greater running the risk of bodily harm, if not death.
    Current quests are:
    Tremors Of The Ancient Sith Empire
    Forge Your Own Path
    Cleanse The Temple
    Changing Fate [Dooku]
    You Can't Hurt Me [User Defined]
    Stones of Muntuur
    Wipe That Grin Off Her Face [User Defined]
    Changing Fate [Anakin]
    Just Don't Get Caught [User Defined]
    Changing Fate [Qui-Gon]
    Changing Fate [Sifo-Dyas]

    For more details, on a quest, tap it or say 'List Quest' followed by the quest required.

    I whistled as I realised just how many quests I had. Yet as I thought through things, almost all of them were long-term, on-going quests. The exception being Cleaning The Temple, but since I had examined everywhere I could inside the Temple, I assumed that required me to go below the Temple and examine the mountain it stood upon. And for that, I needed to be a Padawan to leave… No, I didn't.

    Windu had stated that no Initiate could leave the Temple without permission from one of the Jedi Councils and an escort, so maybe I could persuade the Council of First Knowledge to allow me to explore the depths of the Temple with one or more of my prospective Jedi Masters.

    'I'll have to wait a week or so before seeing if any of the Jedi are willing to escort me outside. Or I could claim to have had a vision about something dark under the Temple. I had one before about the attack on my grandfather's home, so it should be possible to fake something. But, if I do that, there's a chance the Seer Council may try to have me trained in learning to have visions. Which could see me trapped in the Temple long-term. So faking a vision is a backup plan to get to the Temple underground.'

    I shifted my attention to the Stones of Muntuur quest and browsed the details. For that, I had to lift all 7 stones, which the quest was nice enough to inform me was 50 tonnes. With my current level in TK, I could lift just shy of 3 tonnes, but each stratum of the power increased the overall weight limit. Novice had been 2Kg/level, Adept 5Kg and Professional, where I currently was, was 12.5Kg. If that rate of increase continued – and if it didn't it just wasn't possible to lift the stones – then I guessed I'd need to be somewhere in the Prodigy strata to pull it off.

    The bonus was probably time-related – either before the Clone Wars or the blockade of Naboo – so I planned to spend as much free time training that up as I could. Even if I did nothing more than levitating a datapad under a table while reading or meditating I would quickly gain levels in the power.

    The You Can't Hurt Me and Just Don't Get Caught quests were just a case of focusing on a few set skills/abilities when I could, so they moved to the front of my short-term planning for what to focus on over the coming few months.
    Beating Serra was going to take effort and I suspected I'd need to learn more than just Makashi to pull it off, so I pulled Haqu's lightsaber from my inventory – which now had 18 slots – and got into the opening stance for Soresu, only for a notice to appear in my log.

    Skill Usage Warning!
    Level not higher enough for self-learning.
    [Form III: Soresu]
    To self-study, you require Adept 50 in Forms I and II and Novice 10 in Soresu.

    "Heh, didn't see that coming," I muttered as I waved away the notice. "List Skills." I quickly browsed until I reached lightsaber forms and noted I had about 40 levels in Makashi and 7 levels in Soresu to meet the requirements. "I wonder if similar rules exist for the other forms."

    I slipped into the basic starting stance for Ataru and got another warning.

    "Bugger," I muttered as I read and waved away that notice. "Fine, then I need to get some tutoring in Soresu to get to N-10 while working hard on Makashi until it reaches A-50." I moved to adopt a Makashi stance when a thought came to me and stopped.

    1 skill I hadn't seen at the Temple so far, and only hinted at in the few records I had perused on lightsaber combat, was the ability to control an active lightsaber via the Force. I remembered Kreia doing it with 3 blades in KOTOR2.

    "Now this could be fun," I said as a smile threatened to break my face and I placed the lightsaber on the floor.

    With a simple gesture, I lifted the unpowered weapon and floated it to the far side of the room. Then I tried to ignite it.

    I sighed as nothing happened and I a notice appeared in my log. Calling the lightsaber back to my hand, I opened the notice.

    Force Power Warning!
    You attempted to use an advanced Force Power
    [Lightsaber TK]
    This power cannot be learnt until the following requirements are met:
    TK: Master 1
    Lightsaber [style]: Master 1
    Makashi: Master 1
    Soresu: Master 1
    Shien: Master 1
    Djem-So: Master 1

    "Son of a… That's just not fair." I muttered as I waved away the notice. That was one of the coolest powers/abilities/tricks from KOTOR2 and here I was being told I couldn't learn it until I had mastered 4 different lightsaber Forms. Technically it was 3 as Shien and Djem-So were meant to be variants of Form V, but given that the notice listed them separately, I had to assume they were treated as independent skills.

    "Guess that trick is a long way away," I muttered as I frowned though it turned into a small smile as I realised there was another power I hadn't attempted yet, but that I knew I wanted to learn.

    I pointed my hand at my bed and concentrated.

    A thin, weak bolt of lightning shot from my hand and struck my bed, igniting my pillow.

    "Fuck!" I yelled as I raced over and started frantically waving the pillow while using cyrokinesis to cool it until it was no longer burnt.

    I stared at the charred black object and sighed. "Pity there's isn't a Force power that can restore this." I murmured as I threw the pillow back onto the bed. I turned only to stop, and frown. "Maybe there is."

    I walked over and picked up the pillow before concentrating on it and trying to channel the Force into it. My eyes bugged out as the blackened pillow slowly returned its original white. "Well fuck me," I muttered as I dropped the now fresh-looking pillow on the bed and read the new notices.

    Force Power Discovered!
    Lightning
    This is the ability to generate a bolt of energy that behaves like lightning.
    Range and damage are dependent on level.

    Force Power Discovered!
    Restore
    By channelling the Force into an object, you can restore the damage done to it.
    The rate of restoration depends on the current level.

    "Sweet," I said with a huge grin. "Now I can level lightning up without worrying about destroying my room."

    I opened the window to clear the smell from the burnt pillow and exited the room. There were just under 2 hours until dinner, so I lifted the pillow with TK until my FP ran out then adopted the opening stance of Makashi.




    Arc 1 over.

    To be clear, while Cam could throw an active lightsaber, and call it back to his hand, what he was attempting was using a blade with TK to fight. (Think Keria at the end of KOTOR2)
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2020
  29. Index: Stats at end of Initiate Training Arc
    USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2019
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    1,700
    STATS
    Cameron Shan
    Species: Human
    Title: The Player
    Level 9
    HP: 140/140
    FP: 4500/4500
    PP: 18/18
    XP [3530/9000]
    STAM [121/121]
    Hunger [100/100]
    STR: 9 + VIT: 9 + AGI: 9 +
    INT: 16 + WIS: 12 + CH: 10 +
    Luck: 0 + [+10]
    SP: 3
    SKP: 32
    PerkP: 0
    PPP: 1
    Credits: 1116


    SKILLS
    Lightsaber [Standard]
    Professional 13
    Form 1 Shii-Cho
    Adept 58
    Form 2 Makashi
    Adept 12
    Form 3 Soresu
    Novice 3
    Hand to Hand [General]
    Professional 30
    Melee Weapons [2-handed]
    Adept 1
    Melee Weapons [1-handed]
    Professional 3
    Melee Weapons [Thrown]
    Adept 15
    Marksmanship
    Adept 97
    Ranged Weapons [1-handed]
    Professional 5
    Ranged Weapons [2-handed]
    Professional 40
    Ranged Weapons [Heavy]
    Adept 2
    Piloting [Atmospheric]
    Novice 25
    Piloting [Space]
    Novice 25
    Riding [4-legged]
    Novice 34
    Stealth
    Adept 65
    Sleight of Hand
    Novice 45
    Lockpicking
    Novice 15
    Cleaning
    Adept 16
    Cooking
    Novice 67
    Musical Instrument [Guitar]
    Adept 1
    Damage Resistance [Physical]
    Novice 9
    Damage Resistance [Energy]
    Novice 17
    Athletics
    Adept 23
    Swimming
    Adept 50
    Astrogation
    Adept 5
    Computer [Slicing]
    Adept 7
    Computer [Programming]
    Adept 5
    Computer [Electronics]
    Novice 75
    Language [Basic]
    Master 26
    Language [Huttese]
    Adept 77
    Language [Binary]
    Adept 22
    Language [German]
    Adept 12
    Economics
    Adept 11
    Mechanics [Engines]
    Adept 4
    Mechanics [Speeders]
    Novice 75
    Mechanics [Fighters]
    Novice 75
    Mechanics [Starships]
    Adept 64
    Medicine [First Aid]
    Adept 36
    Anatomy [Human]
    Adept 18
    Anatomy [Twi'lek]
    Novice 9
    Anatomy [Zabrak]
    Novice 9
    Anatomy [Duros]
    Novice 9
    Anatomy [Ithorian]
    Novice 9
    Forensics
    Novice 67
    Warfare [Ground]
    Professional 46
    Warfare [Space]
    Novice 55
    Concentration
    100
    Composure
    38/100
    Danger Sense
    21/100
    Meditation
    100/100
    Deception
    Adept 1
    Lie Detection
    Novice 76
    Perception
    Adept 75
    Survival
    Adept 74
    Persuasion
    Adept 6
    Intimidation/Taunting
    Adept 3
    Singing
    Novice 56
    Negotiation
    Novice 45


    FORCE POWERS
    Telekinesis
    Professional 39
    Serenity [Meditation]
    Prodigy 100 [Maxed]
    Heal
    Novice 18
    Restore
    Novice 1
    Breath Control
    Novice 30
    Vision
    Novice 2
    Detection
    Novice 40
    Cloak
    Savant 10
    Comprehend Speech
    Novice 1
    Empathy
    Novice 1
    Sense Force
    Novice 37
    Precognition
    Novice 29
    Sight
    Novice 36
    Suppression
    Novice 12
    Speed
    Novice 16
    Bullet Time [Reflex]
    Novice 44
    Stun
    Novice 1
    Blast
    Adept 43
    Enhance Stats
    Novice 1
    Enhance Skill
    Novice 1
    Jump
    Novice 1
    Cryokinesis
    Novice 62
    Pyrokinesis
    Novice 62
    Force Weaken
    Novice 1
    Phase
    Adept 15
    Teleport
    Novice 2
    Barrier
    Novice 1
    Compulsion
    Novice 1
    Lightning
    Novice 1


    PERKS
    Force Prodigy
    Photographic Memory
    Empathy
    Ambidextrous


    PLAYER POWERS
    Player's Mind
    Player's Body
    Inventory


    TITLES
    The Player
    Leader [2/10]
    Jedi [1/5]
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2020
  30. pandada14

    pandada14 Getting out there.

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2019
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    33
    I really like this story and the way the plot unfolds

    I would also like to make a point about the missions of the system, many authors do mandatory missions to advance the plot, this should not be done unless the life of the MC is in danger since by doing this they imply that the MC is a slave to the system or MC does not make its own decisions. I BELIEVE that the correct way to do this is for the MC to have the will to do something and then the mission appears unless something is happening that threatens the MC's life directly.
    An example would be the MC is surrounded by enemies and suddenly a mission that says Survive and the MC cannot refuse because if he does he will die

    of course this does not apply to ability missions


    pd: All of the above is done with google translator

    a pinche perro hablo español :V
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2020
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