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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. USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Getting sticky.

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    Well someone was listening in, but it wasn't a droid
     
    Grimrr and Grimmouse197 like this.
  2. SageHiddenDragon

    SageHiddenDragon Getting out there.

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    I personally think it is Revan or another Force Ghost.
     
  3. Threadmarks: Once and Future Queen
    USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Getting sticky.

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    As the ship descended to the landing pad in front of me, I couldn't help but smirk at how I had ended up standing here on a pad waiting for the arrival of Padmé and her father.

    "Calm yourself, Padawan," Fay said from my left, having either seen my smirk or sensed my feelings about meeting such a pivotal figure from the prequel movies. That she would grow into a woman I found attractive had nothing to do with the butterflies I felt. "We were fortunate that the girl's father worked for the Refugee Relief Movement. However, while the Force has acted in granting us this meeting, our priority is to help the RRM in locating a planet for the Shadda-Bi-Borans before their sun goes supernova."

    "Yes, Master," I replied. Since the meeting a few weeks ago I had taken to referring to both Fay and Dooku by their titles constantly. They had both earned my trust for talking with me – along with Master Sifo-Dyas – about what the Force was telling them about me. I suspected that most Jedi did not do so with their Padawans; but then again, I wasn't your typical Padawan.

    The intervening weeks had been spent on Coruscant, mainly in the Jedi Temple itself.

    I had finished my assignment/punishment of teaching the Initiates and had spent that time training with Master Dooku and others to prove my competence with Shii-Cho and Soresu – with simple quests similar to my duel with Dooku that proved that I was competent with Makashi – and continued to teach the duelling form to those around my age who wished to learn the basics of the form.

    Once I proved my ability with both forms, I was able to convince Dooku to teach me the very basics of Shien, Djem-So and Niman. Though I had only gotten Ataru past Novice 10, which seemed to be the point from where I was able to learn a lightsaber form – or combat style – by myself.

    A few Padawans had also joined the classes, including Obi-Wan Kenobi and Bultar Swan. The former had been sent by Qui-Gon to prove a point; while Ataru was useful in many situations, it had several weaknesses that could be exploited by a skilled duellist. Though I only learned that after I defeated Obi-Wan in a training duel – thus completing a quest similar to Serra's in doing so – and realised that I should create duelling quests for as many Jedi as possible, resulting in the new quest, Training Superiority.

    That quest granted me 250/750/1500 XP for defeating Padawans, Knights and Masters in practice/training duels. While that didn't seem like much, the description made it clear that it was only for training duels and that offensive Force powers were not to be used. The sheer number of Jedi I could challenge was numbered in the thousands, though I had limited myself to a handful of Padawans only so far; mainly the ex-members of Dragon Clan plus a few more.

    I had considered generating a quest for duels allowing Force powers, but a quick discussion with Dooku resulted in me discovering that I was not allowed to engage in such duels until I turned fourteen. Officially it was to avoid a young Padawan hurting a fellow Jedi unintentionally, but Dooku seemed to hint it had more to do with the established hierarchy of the temple than health concerns. Privately, I had a feeling that this could be roughly translated to "The Council doesn't want initiates with stronger Force connections to stand out too much until it can be explained away by the teachings of their master, which would allow the Council and the Order at large to take at least some of the credit for their skill."

    Bultar came to the classes, and after getting her to stop saying thank you, had quickly adapted the basics of the form into her own seemingly unique style of using martial arts and I had gained a new skill; Martial Art: Teräs Käsi. It had been strange at first that I could learn a hand-to-hand skill when I already had a skill covering that, but reading the description for Teräs Käsi informed me that as my general hand-to-hand skill was of a high enough level, I could learn sub-skills of special unarmed combat styles.

    Since Teräs Käsi was designed originally to counter Force users, I felt that it was something that would come in handy in the future and made me curious about what other specific combat styles I could learn that wouldn't just be wrapped up in the general skill for hand-to-hand like the unarmed combat form taught by the Jedi.

    Both Competent Tongue quests had been completed, though without any bonuses as I had decided to save up my Skill Points for quests that I was in danger of failing instead of going for the bonuses.

    Currently, I felt that applied to You Can't Hurt Me as I only knew four of the six damage resistances, having discovered the ones for thermal and sonic based damage by sticking my hand in a fire and having a datapad alarm go off as loud as possible while next to my ear. That, along with Just Don't Get Caught were quests that I regretted taking. The penalties for failure far outstripped the rewards, and I saw that I hadn't thought considered the penalties sufficiently before taking those quests; nor had I explored the interface properly for training quests like Generational Swordsman.

    I was about a dozen levels from completing that quest and I only had about a month to go so it should be reachable without spending any Skill Points, provided I committed most nights to train that Form.

    Things like discovering damage resistances by intentionally hurting myself – and training Force Lightning on myself both using Force Heal – had me seriously questioning if I was developing sadomasochistic tendencies. I wasn't getting anything sexually out of it, thank the Force I hadn't hit puberty, but I was gaining something from hurting myself, even if it was only because of my unique powers.

    As the whine of the engines became louder, I pulled myself out of my thoughts and back to the present to watch as the ship came closer and manoeuvred to touch down on the landing pad. I could see the same flowing style that the Naboo ships had displayed in the prequel movies, though it was a model I did not recognize nor was it the distinctive chrome colour that Padmé would use later on as Queen and Senator.

    I watched as the ramp came down and a small group came out. Using Observe, I was able to determine which was Padmé's father – spotting a seven-year-old girl in the group was easy – and that all the group were keen to meet the Jedi.

    "Master Fay, it is a pleasure to finally meet you in person," said Padmé's father, Ruwee Naberrie, with a small bow. The bow was matched by the three other adults with him, though Padmé didn't; her eyes widening as she spotted Fay.

    "Likewise, Ruwee. May I introduce my Padawan, Cameron Shan." Fay replied, indicating me with an open palm. "It was him you have to thank for bringing the crisis with the Shadda-Bi-Borans to my attention."

    "Then you have my thanks young one. Help from the Jedi will increase our chances of locating a suitable planet to evacuate the Shadda-Bi-Borans to."

    I smiled and gave him a nod, though mentally I wondered why Fay had said that. She was the one who had discovered that Ruwee worked from the RRM, and then when he had been assigned to coordinate the resettlement of the Shadda-Bi-Borans. Giving me the credit for something that I hadn't actually done was strange unless she meant me mentioning Padmé's name to her, Dooku, and Sifo-Dyas as what brought the RRM to her attention.

    Alternatively, she could be saying that to improve my standing with Padmé and her father. Wondering, I cast Observe on the girl.
    Padmé Naberrie
    Race: Human
    Level: 9
    Health: 100%
    Age: 7
    Force Potential: Low
    Threat Potential: Very Low
    Emotional State: Excited/Overwhelmed
    Padmé is excited to be on Coruscant and maybe have the chance to see the Jedi Temple, however, she misses the natural beauty of Naboo.
    Her opinion of you has improved after Master Fay's words, though she is curious as to why you were interested in the RRM.
    She is fascinated by Master Fay.

    I felt my brow crease at seeing her information. Padmé was the first child that I had met who was more than a level above their age. A few Padawans, like Serra and Bultar, were a level above their age, but most were the same level as their age.

    Observe had helped me determine that Padawans seemed to be between levels 11 to 22 and Knights from levels 20 up to 30. I had only used the power on a few Jedi Masters, as they seemed able to detect the scan; perhaps that was due to my Force Empathy only being in the Professional range currently, though that was just a working theory. Those few Jedi Masters that I had risked using Observe on while being able to hide in some way, had all been above level 28.

    "Are you an angel?" I heard Padmé ask Fay, explaining the last line of the description Observe had given on her.

    I buried the laugh I felt coming with a sneeze, drawing the attention of everyone. "Sorry."

    "To answer your question, young one; no, I am not an angel. My mother was a Sephi. Therefore, I have more pointed ears than most and appear younger than expected for a Jedi Master."

    "Still, you are beautiful enough to be angelic Master," I tack on with what I hope is an innocent smile.

    "Ignore my Padawan. He sometimes acts far more mature than one would expect from a child," I can't resist the prompt and stick out my tongue, making Padmé giggle and Fay sigh in an overly-dramatic way. "Only to other times enjoy his youth."

    "I am sorry about Padmé, Master Fay," Ruwee is quick to say as I see that the two other men with him are staring at Fay; one almost leering at her. "She is naturally curious about everything and likes to ask questions."

    "There is nothing to forgive. Cameron is much the same."

    I gave Padmé a smile when she turned to me, though she said nothing.

    "I have arranged accommodation near the Temple for you, your daughter, and staff," Fay continued as she turned and began to walk away from the starship to a pair of nearby ComfortRide Passenger airspeeders – thank you Eidetic Memory – that had carried us to the landing pad from the Temple. "I have also used the data you sent to scour the Jedi and Senate archives for planets that are potential locations to relocate the Shadda-Bi-Borans to as well as added details of a few planets I have visited that are not listed in either archive."

    I couldn't see Ruwee's face as he turned, but the hopefulness in his voice was clear to hear. "That is wonderful to hear. I confess that the list we had was not the most encouraging. How soon can we examine the list?"

    I ignored the conversation between the two and turned to Padmé. "Shall we?" I asked while extending my arm for her.

    Her cheeks reddened a touched before she nodded and placed her hand on my forearm.

    We walked quietly behind the adults and sat down in at the rear of the taxi.

    "What do you think of Coruscant?" I asked to make conversation as we began to move.

    "It's beautiful! I never thought I'd get a chance to see the capital world or the Senate Building!" The voice was higher pitched than I remembered, and there was a roundness to the jawline, but it was still a younger version of Padmé from the movies. I briefly wondered exactly how TPTB had found me a universe where everyone truly did look like the actors who had portrayed them back home, or whether they had created the universe from my mind and memories. I stopped that avenue of thought quickly as the resultant quantum theory possibilities started to give me a headache.

    "It is beautiful on the surface but when you look inside and underneath, the cracks will appear," I countered. "I was just as amazed when I arrived here, but a few trips to the lower levels dispelled that amazement. There, people live in squalor and poverty and crime is rampant."

    Those trips had happened over the last few weeks with Dooku. He was keen for me to see the fact that so much suffering and chaos occurred on a world that was viewed as a beacon of hope to many. That the Senate – and by extension, the Jedi – did nothing to try to fix the problems so long as they were swept under the rug.

    I had asked if the trips had anything to do with tracking leads related to my mission, but he informed me that they didn't. It seemed several members of the High Council were actively against me participating in the follow-up investigations and raids after my heavy-handed approach to dealing with kidnappers and rapists.

    "But don't the Senate and Jedi do something to stop that?"

    I shook my head. "No. According to my Jedi Master, the Senate is filled with enough self-interested people that nothing gets done and the Jedi are tied to the Senate."

    "Cameron," Fay began, her tone firmer than usual to make clear that I should listen to what she said very carefully, "I think talk of the likely failings of the Senate should not be discussed by children. Perhaps Miss Naberrie would like to hear the story of how you came to be a Jedi; one who is both ten and over three-thousand cycles old."

    "Really? Wow! How is that possible?" Padmé blurted out excitedly, her earlier sadness about the apparent failings of Coruscant lost.

    I glared at Fay, though it had no effect as she gave me one of those 'I know best' smiles and then sighed.

    "Well, if you must know I was born on Talravin approximately three thousand, nine hundred years ago," I began, figuring telling this story would be a good way to kill the time until we reached the hotel where the Naberrie's would be staying.

    After all, how long could it take to determine what planet would be the best for the Shadda-Bi-Borans to be evacuated to?"

    ...


    ...

    As I stood on the crest of a small hill, enjoying the break in the almost daily rain showers of the planet, I considered the last three months.

    It turned out that finding a suitable planet – or range of planets – didn't take that long, only a week or so of assessing the archives used by both the Jedi and the Senate.

    What did, however, was arranging the ships, talking with the planetary leaders, arranging collection locations and times and dealing with a population of just over two billion.

    Thankfully, the story of what was happening had reached the media, and after two weeks of nightly programs on the Shadda-Bi-Borans, several million credits had been donated to the Refugee Relief Fund to help with the renting of ships and purchasing of supplies to help them settle.

    I had also suggested the construction of radiation emitters to help them if the stars were unable to produce all the necessary radiation. This improved the odds on more of the Shadda-Bi-Borans surviving; which increased the chances of the species persisting and increased the potential rewards for the new quest Hope of the Borans.

    For that quest, I would gain 1XP for every 50,000 Shadda-Bi-Borans that survived for at least five years on their new home as well as a very small reputation boost with the RRM and anyone attached to the relocation effort as well. While that was a low amount of XP, the interface explained that even if I was an important cog, I was but one cog in the machine that would potentially help save the species. The end result was quite simple: the more that survived, the more XP I got.

    Which, admittedly, was a sad way to look at the possible extinction of a species, but it was how the interface interpreted things.

    And, I realised that helping to save a species was a great reputation boost, with both the species themselves and the larger galaxy. Or so I hoped. I guess I would see in five years from when we finished the relocation. So far, around sixty per cent of the population had been moved in three months; over 1.2 Billion beings relocated was a truly impressive display of what happened when enough people in the Republic put effort into the same thing.

    I had also been learning the local language, Shaddaboranese. I'd completed one quest to get the language to Adept 1, and now had a follow-on to get the language to Professional 1 before the end of the resettlement.

    Thanks to my undercover mission – and how close to a disaster it had been for Bultar and the others – I had been able to convince Dooku that learning non-lightsaber combat skills were useful, so while on-planet, I had an hour to train those skills without much, if any supervision. While I suspected Dooku thought that meant I would just concentrate on learning to use things like vibroblades, I had been using the hour for a different purpose.

    I now had quests to Melee Weapons [Thrown], Ranged Weapons [1-handed], Range Weapons [2-handed] and Marksmanship to the next tier by the end of the evacuation. Since every shot/throw seemed to earn me some XP – provided I hit the target – they were remarkably easy quests to complete. However, to gain any XP in Marksmanship, I had to make sure to throw at/shoot a target at a greater distance than I'd have found on a standard throwing/shooting range in my old life.

    "Cameron!" I turned at the excited shout and saw Padmé running towards me; a datapad waving around in her hand. "Cameron!"

    "What's up?" I asked as the young girl skidded to a halt, splashing the bottom of my robes with mud. I hid my annoyance at getting them dirty – again – on this planet that reminded me of Britain with the almost daily rain, as she poked the datapad rapidly.

    She was why I was on this planet, though having a quest linked to getting her to like me, or better, was a nice gift from the interface/TPTB. I was planning to do that anyway, but whatever generated quests without my thinking had created The Once and Future Queen to cover my time here with Padmé.

    "This! This is brilliant! You really wrote it?" She asked as she thrust the pad into my chest.

    I calmly took it and saw that she had been reading 'The Fellowship of the Ring', which I had given to her and others to read.

    "Yes. Why?" I replied. Ok, technically I had just stolen it, but how was anyone in this universe ever going to prove that?

    "It's brilliant!" She replied, repeating herself. "You should publish it."

    I couldn't help but smile at seeing her dance from foot to foot in excitement. "How? And what would I do with the money from selling it?" I asked, playing on my status as a Jedi. Honestly, I could publish it, but I doubted the money earned from that would amount to much. Plus, it was far easier to acquire funds from other sources; like the slavers who had tried to kidnap a group of locals a few weeks earlier.

    They had ended up dead or imprisoned and I was a few thousand credits better off, as well as earning some XP and now having a few grenades stored in my inventory along with restraining cuffs and a good many spare power packs for blasters.

    "But people need to read this!" Padmé protested and I rubbed my chin as I considered an idea.

    "Perhaps I could talk to my masters and have the proceeds donated to the Shadda-Bi-Borans?" I suggested. That way I could test the waters for how well such stories could do, generate a market for the two sequels and generate more goodwill – read reputation – with Padmé and others.

    "Really?" Before I knew it Padmé had leapt and wrapped herself around me in a tight hug.

    I chuckled at her antics even as I struggled to shrug. "Why not? I have little need for the credits," not entirely true, "and it would be for a good cause." Two actually, but she didn't need to know that.

    She jumped backwards. "I'll go and talk with my father now! He's with Master Dooku in the command centre."

    She took off at a sprint and I couldn't help but chuckle at seeing how excited she was about this.

    "Be careful around that one, or Serra might get angry."

    "Darihd! When did you get here?" I asked as I turned to the voice as he approached, a smirk resting comfortably on his face.

    "This morning. My master wanted to speak with Master Dooku about something, though I am unsure about what exactly." His smile slipped and he shook his head. "Something has changed since you left Cam. Master Sifo-Dyas seems… withdrawn. I know I've only been his Padawan for a year, but I can see enough that I know something has changed."

    "Perhaps he is growing bored with being stuck in the Temple?" I suggested. I knew why Sifo-Dyas was behaving differently, but if he wasn't ready to tell his Padawan, I wasn't going to. Even if I wanted to. Darihd was dependable and, I felt, trustworthy.

    Hopefully, Sifo-Dyas would decide to bring Darihd in on our plans or ask me to do so, before they left the planet. Having someone my own, physical, age involved would be a boon.

    "Perhaps." He shook his head and glanced down the path Padmé had gone. "What was all that about?"

    "Nothing important. Just a story I wrote while on a mission," I replied honestly. "Padmé liked it and wants me to publish it, so I suggested talking to her father about arranging for that to happen and for the proceeds to be donated to the resettlement effort."

    "Ah." was his only reply, but the twitch of his lip let me know he had other thoughts on what had just happened.

    "Since you're here, how about a friendly spar?" I asked, which made him groan.

    "Come on! I only just got away from Serra and Aayla in coming here and now you want to duel as well!" He threw up his hands in annoyance.

    "They're still that bad?" I inquired with a grin.

    "Worse. Ever since you defeated Serra, she's been pushing herself every day to get better. The teasing from Sia-Wan and the others isn't helping. Neither was you beating Kenobi or the other Padawans." He paused and looked out over the rain-soaked countryside. "How did you get so good?"

    "Master Dooku is a… demanding, instructor," I replied honestly while ignoring that my skill growth was far above normal due to my special gifts and that I could practice throughout the night if I was alone.

    He snorted. "That's being nice. Truthfully, since he left, the training sessions have been less painful for the rest of us."

    "You're welcome."

    My commlink beeped and I pulled it from my belt.

    "Yes?"

    "Cameron, young Padme has been informing me and her father, rather excitedly I might add, about a novel you have written and your plans surrounding it," Dooku stated, a chuckle coming from the background as he mentioned Padmé's excitement. "Perhaps you could come here to discuss these plans?"

    "Yes Master, I will be there shortly." Dooku closed the link without any form of goodbye – as I expected – and I turned back to Darihd. "Looks like you're safe from a beating for now."

    He chuckled and fell into step beside me. "Come on. I'm curious to see how the girl explains what happened before I arrived."

    We walked down the path to the command centre, even as it began to rain once more.

    ...


    ...

    "Anyway, I'm really enjoying the training, even if it's hard," Padmé said via the hologram on the table in front of me. "And the others are jealous that I know the writer of The Fellowship of the Ring." She added with a smirk, holding up a paper copy of the novel.

    The cover had pictures of most of the Fellowship, though my eyes were drawn to two in particular. Gandalf and Aragorn. Gandalf, in a lovely twist, looked like Dooku while Aragorn had green eyes like mine. Somehow, I suspected this was Padmé's work as she had been more involved in getting the book published than I was.

    "I still can't believe it was so successful," I muttered ruefully. Seriously, who would have suspected that, even with it being pushed as a way for anyone to support the Shadda-Bi-Borans, it would be downloaded over fifteen million times across the Core Worlds in a few months, or that a further half-a-million hard copies were sold.

    I didn't know the exact figures, but it had generated a couple of million credits at least for the resettlement effort. Being a writer paid extremely well when the potential readership numbered in the hundreds of trillions, provided your story was good or was pushed by the right people.

    I was a little concerned that the Nazgul could be a source of inspiration for the Sith, but Fay and Dooku had reassured me that such sorcery had been lost to the millennia if had had ever been truly possible to begin with. Still, I had asked them to ask someone in the Temple achieves to send us – read me – anything they had on similar Sith practices just in case. Several of their abilities bore striking similarities to what I'd read or remembered about the secret techniques involving Sith Alchemy, which was a disturbing, yet intriguing correlation.

    "It's brilliant and it's for a good cause," Padmé grinned. "When will you write the next part?"

    I shrugged even as I smiled at her. "I don't know, but I'll make sure you get the first copy when I do." Even if it only sold half as well, that would be a million or so credits for me; no way was letting the whole trilogy go for free, nor the prequel. Eidetic Memory for the win.

    Her smile was threatening to split her face in half. "Wow! Thanks!"

    "No problem. Now, I think you should get going. You've got new friends to meet." I said, trying to bring an end to the communication as I spotted Dooku walk into the room. A month ago, she had left to begin training with the Legislative Youth Program on Naboo, though she had called me twice since she had left to catch up. I had no idea if this was because she was excited about the book, or because she just wanted to spend time with me. I suspected it was both.

    "Right. Bye and thanks again." She said before the hologram blinked off.

    "I see young Miss Naberrie is still enamoured with you," he commented as reached me.

    "The Force guided me to her, so why shouldn't I try to make her like me?" I replied. Quest or not, though it was a nice bonus as I was certain I had completed The Once and Future Queen, having a way in when canon started was useful.

    "True, however, be mindful of how her feelings about you change as you both age," he countered before glancing behind me. "Hmm, ten mistakes. Acceptable for today."

    I turned and sighed at the apparatus behind me. It was almost identical to those puzzles in museums where you had to guide a ring along a metal path without touching the path itself.

    Dooku, upon learning I had lifted the Stones of Muntuur from Fay, who had been told by Yaddle just before we left the Temple for Shadda-Bi-Boran, had begun to design training exercises – read tests – to improve my fine control of Telekinesis. This one involved me moving the ring along the course and back again, without looking, for two hours nonstop. That time was well within my limits, but it was boring, and when Padmé had called, I'd happily answered; though that was where eight of my ten mistakes had come from.

    While the tasks were boring, I couldn't deny their effectiveness as I could now use TK to dis- and reassemble speeder engines without having to touch any part of the engine. I could see some real usages for having that kind of control; whether it be in combat, when using subterfuge or in other situations.

    "Come, the last few transports are arriving, and this building is due to be deconstructed later today by the workers. Master Sifo-Dyas wishes to speak with you before we leave."

    "Yes, Master."

    We walked out of the room, and the building, to find Fay standing with Sifo-Dyas and Darihd as two large transport ships touched down a few hundred meters away.

    The calendar had just turned, and it was a few weeks before my birthday, but finally, the resettlement of the locals was almost complete.

    "Ah, Cameron good," Sifo-Dyas began as we approached. "I was just talking with Mater Fay about your plans. Darihd and I will be escorting the last group of locals to their new home in the Moddell Sector before returning to the Temple. I understand you will continue to travel with Master Fay for the time being?"

    "Yes, Master. Though I am unsure if Master Dooku will be joining us." I replied, glancing up at the Makashi master.

    "Time away from the Temple, and other components on Coruscant, has been an unexpected relief. I will continue to travel with you and Master Fay, Padawan." I smiled at him. "Though that means your training load will increase." And my smile fell into a good-natured grimace, though I wasn't all that put out by it in truth.

    "Yes, Master."

    "I wish for Cameron to visit an old friend of mine in the Kiffu Sector," Fay explained to Dooku. "She is someone I believe would be receptive to what we have discussed."

    One of Dooku's eyebrows rose. "Hmm, if you are speaking of whom I suspect, she would be a powerful ally to have."

    "I will search the Temple for others once I return," Sifo-Dyas added, earning a nod from Dooku and a smile from Fay.

    "Perhaps Masters Yaddle and Giiett would be a good place to start," I offered as I noted the confused expression that was growing on Darihd's face. "And maybe the members of Dragon Clan, current and former."

    "Yes," Sifo-Dyas stated as he looked at his Padawan. "Darihd would be a good place to start with the younger generations, but I leave that to you. May we speak in private?" He asked Dooku and Fay.

    The three Jedi Masters drifted away as Darihd watched them with a frown.

    "What the kriff was that about?" he asked once the adults were out of earshot. "And why did you suggest two members of the High Council? Does this have to do with my Master being different this last year?"

    I sighed. It had been three months since he and Sifo-Dyas had arrived on-planet, and I had avoided discussing directly anything about what the future held. I had inquired about his plans, and what he'd do if tensions in the Outer Rim continued to boil over, and even suggested how I saw things going. But, under orders from Dooku and Fay, I hadn't brought him in on things. Now that Sifo-Dyas had decided to trust him, I would.

    "It's about the future. Not just ours, but the Order's, the Republic's and the galaxy's," I began slowly. "I… I can see glimpses of what might be, and I shared some of this with our Masters. They agree with me and want to try to… limit the damage that these glimpses show. I... I don't think anyone can stop what is coming, but we need to find ways to mitigate things."

    I stopped there, giving him time to process.

    "This has to do with what you said about the Order, the Code when you first arrived, doesn't it?"

    I nodded. "Yes, though much of that was personally based on what my grandfather told me of the Jedi in my time. The glimpses, they started just before the trials, but I only told Master Fay once we were away from the Temple and I felt I could trust her enough to hint at what I saw."

    "You don't trust me?"

    "I do," I replied quickly before sighing once again. "It's just, we were Initiates. We had no power in the Order, no respect from the Council or experience with how to handle such things. But your Master is willing to trust you with this, otherwise he wouldn't have discussed it in front of you just now. And I do trust you as well."

    "And what do these glimpses show?"

    "War. Horrific, galaxy-wide, war on a scale never before seen in history. And the resultant destruction of the Jedi and the Republic." I answered honestly, making him gasp and take a step back. "Sadly, there are people higher the Order who will not listen to the words of a child, so we are having to work in secret, for now. To prepare."

    Darihd nodded slowly. "That explains a great many things. About Master Sifo-Dyas and you," He paused and glanced over at the three Jedi Masters. "This… it's a lot to take in."

    "I know. But I want you with me. With us," I added as I placed a hand on his shoulder. "You and the others in Dragon Clan made me welcome in the Temple, at a time when I'd lost everyone and thing that mattered to me. For that, I will always do what I can to help and protect all of you." While I hoped they would form the basis of my group, I was being truthful. Dragon Clan contained my only real friends my own - physical - age, until Padmé, and I wanted them to have the best chance to survive the war, and the rise of the Empire if I failed to help stop Palpatine.

    He placed his hand on my shoulder, linking us. "As I would you." He smiled and gave me a nod. "OK, I'm in, but I reserve the right to question you about these glimpses at a later time."

    I laughed once. "Alright." As we lowered our arms, I felt happy that I'd gained my first… follower? helper? among the younger Jedi.

    "And I want to be there when you tell the others," he commented.

    My smile fell and I rubbed the back of my neck. "Ah, right. That is going to be so much fun," I drawled, making him laugh as the three Jedi Masters came back.

    "Is everything well?" Sifo-Dyas asked his Padawan.

    "Yes, Master. And I understand, I think, why you have seemed different this last year. And I want to help."

    "I understand Master."

    Sifo-Dyas smiled at his Padawan before turning to the rest of us. "When will you make contact?"

    "Perhaps a month or two from now," Dooku answered as Fay nodded in agreement. "It will depend on what the Force wishes us to see."

    "Yes, yes," He glanced at me and smiled. "Remember to mention anything your visions show to your masters, Cameron. And may the Force be with you."

    "And you as well, Master," I replied with a smile. Now we were five.

    "Come Cameron. I have arranged transport to take us to Eriadu. From there, we should be easy to arrange passage to our destination."

    I smiled at Darihd, and he nodded back, before walking away with the two masters.

    The mission to Shadda-Bi-Boran was over.

    ...


    ...

    I waved away the standard message about getting a full night's sleep and tapped my new notices.

    Quest Completed
    Legendary Duellist [User Defined]
    Objectives:
    Get Makashi to Prodigy 1 by your 11th birthday [Yes]
    ? Get it to Prodigy 25 [Yes]
    ? Get it to Prodigy 50 [Yes]
    ? Get it to Prodigy 75 [Yes]
    ? Maxed out the skill [No]
    Rewards:
    3000XP (+300XP)
    1400XP (+140XP)
    2000XP (+200XP)
    2500XP (+250XP)

    It's Your Birthday!
    To help with your growth, each birthday you gain 1/3 of your current level's needed XP.
    (+10% of 1/3 due to Boosted Growth)
    This will last until you reach 11 cycles, and the system will upgrade.
    Knowledge Skills suffer 10*strata levels of degradation.
    NOTE:
    Degradation removed due to Perk: Eidetic Memory

    Level up!
    17 - 18
    FP: +500
    PP: +2
    STAM: +25
    SP: +5
    SKP: +32

    That was quickly waved away the information as my eyes focused on a flashing purple box in the notification log and I tapped it.

    Interface Update Ready!
    Do you wish to proceed with the update?
    Yes/No

    WARNING!
    The update will take 24 hours to apply.
    During this time, you will be unable to access your stats, skill/perk/power screens and lists, the general interface or anything in your inventory.
    Nor will you be able to increase the level or strata of any skill or power.
    You will still be able to use all your skills, powers and perk, however.

    I frowned at the fact I'd be basically cut off from the interface for a day, as I'd grown used to having it available, but I felt I had no choice but to accept.

    However, before I did that, I raised all my stats except Luck – which was at 0 [+10] – to 19; or at least I tried to.

    When I tried to add a point to Agility to raise it, I received a notice warning that I had reached the physical stat limit of 55.

    I growled at that information but calmed when I realised there was nothing that I could do about it. Hopefully, the update or future perks would allow me to raise it beyond that limit. Otherwise, I would have to devote almost all my training to raising Enhance Stat to the point I could run it without it stopping my base FP regeneration, which now stood at 90 per minute.

    After pushing the stats that I could up to 19, I closed my status window, reopened the update notice and clicked 'Yes'.

    A deep buzzing sound echoed around my head as I grabbed it and scrunched my eyes closed tightly, though the sound lasted for only a few seconds before ending.

    As I opened my eyes, I blinked and stared around the room a few times. Not having a mini-map or notification log was both strange, having gotten used to it over the last few years, and familiar given that it wasn't normal to have these powers of mine.

    I closed my eyes, reached out and felt the Force around me centred on three beings; Fay, Dooku and Tr'a Saa. It was comforting to sense them, even if I didn't have the interface active.

    Saa was the friend that Fay had mentioned on Shadd-Bi-Boran, though I had discovered later that she was also Fay's last Padawan before me; which had been around three hundred years ago!

    Saa was a Neti; essentially a living plant, yet for some reason, still had breasts. Whether that was due to a choice on her part or biological, I didn't know, nor was I complaining.

    She was… interesting. As skilled as Dooku with the blade – not a surprise with three centuries to train – and as comfortable as Fay at using Force-based attacks in combat.

    We had sparred every day since I had arrived on Kiffu with Fay and Dooku last week, and while I had been easily trounced by her, seeing how she blended Force attacks into her combat style gave me some ideas about how to do the same. And had me mentally thanking Dooku for the TK fine control training.

    I left my room and walked to the central commune area of the small building the locals had provided to Saa while she served as the Jedi Watchman of their sector. While the idea was sound, I wondered how much good a single Jedi could do in an area covering anything from a hundred to a few thousand inhabited planets; especially when some of those worlds had populations in the millions or billions.

    Fay had spent hours each day talking with Saa privately about the future and had informed Dooku and me, that while she did agree that things were becoming darker in the galaxy, she was not prepared to abandon her post to join us.

    Fay and Dooku accepted this, indeed Fay explained that she had not expected her former Padawan to join us, more than she simply wished to gauge her opinions to see where she would stand when the war finally came.

    I guess living for centuries gave you more patience than most beings, though since I knew I had about a decade and a half to prepare, I wasn't looking to hurry things along too much.

    "Cameron, is something the matter?" Fay asked as she looked up from the table where she was sharing with Saa.

    "No, Master. I was just thinking about a dream."
    Saa shared a smile with Fay before she commented. "If the meaning was important, it will come to you. Now come, join us."


    I nodded and sat with them as Dooku entered.

    While I might not gain any experience today, I wasn't planning on slacking off. It wasn't who I was and if I did relax too much, I would have to deflect extra questions from the three Jedi Masters.

    ...


    ...

    Update Complete!
    Do you wish to view update information?
    Yes/No

    I rolled my eyes at the blinking notice that greeted my sight when I awoke the next day.

    Welcome to Player Interface 2.0
    Well done on reaching your 11th birthday and applying the Interface update.
    While most of the general functions of the Interface remain the same
    Several have changed
    Please select an area to discover what changes have taken place
    1: Stats: Primary and Derived
    2: Levelling Up
    3: Skills
    4: Force Powers
    5: Perks and Player Powers
    6: Interface Controls
    7: Future Knowledge
    8: Reputation
    9: Force Bonds
    10: Help Menu

    I was glad that the interface had seemingly not changed massively and clicked through each area in turn.

    • Welcome to Player Interface 2.0

      Well done on reaching your 11th birthday and applying the Interface update.
      While most of the general functions of the Interface remain the same
      Several have changed
      Please select an area to discover what changes have taken place
      1: Stats: Primary and Derived

      2: Levelling Up
      3: Skills
      4: Force Powers
      5: Perks and Player Powers
      6: Interface Controls
      7: Future Knowledge
      8: Reputation
      9: Force Bonds
      10: Help Menu


    • None of your primary stats have changed, however, how they increase has.
      Previously, when you levelled up you gained 4+INT/15 Stat Points to spend how you wished, now, that is lowered to 2+INT/20.
      However, you can level up stats via training.
      Most activities that you do, such as reading a book or running, will grant a certain number of minutes to stat counters,
      these counters, once full, will increase that stat by 1.
      Most activates grant minutes to multiple stat counters.
      In addition, your physical stat limit has been raised to 65.

      Only Stamina of your derived stats has changed.
      The new calculation is;

      Current Level*(Strength+Vitality+Agility)/1.5

    • Your rewards for levelling up have changed.
      Previously, with each new level you gained;
      4+INT/15 Stat Points [SP]
      INT*2 Skill Points [SKP]
      1 Perk Point [PP] every 4 levels
      1 Player Power Point [PPP] every 5 levels
      1/3 of current level XP
      Now you gain;
      2+INT/20 SP
      INT*1 SKP
      1 PP every 4 levels.
      1 PPP every 5 levels.

      1/6 of current level XP

    • The way you improve skills has not changed
      Nor has the bonus of 1 SP for every 2000 total skill levels.
      However, skills are now grouped in categories.
      Such as;
      Lightsaber Forms
      Weapon Skills
      Languages
      Technical Skills
      Biological Skills
      These categories will tell you the total number of skills within their lists, the average level of those skills, and the highest individual skill in their list.
      This is designed to make searching through your skills easier to manage.
      Additionally, the following skills have been unlocked;
      Kissing Adept 12
      Massage Novice 45
      Seduction/Flirting Novice 75

      Additionally, the skill bonuses related to stats have changed.
      Before, you received a 5% bonus to a skill XP for each point of the main stat that governed it.
      That has now changed to 5% per point over your age.

      To help with this, your age will now be displayed on your stat page.

    • Much like Skills, the way you improve Force Powers have not changed.
      However, few Powers are now more intuitive, such as Precognition and Comprehend Langauge.
      These powers, while still displaying information in the interface, if you so desire, can also be set to relay the information directly to your mind.
      Be assured though, that such access will not be used to alter your makeup.
      Force Powers have been sorted into categories
      TThese are the three standard groupings used and accepted by most all Force-wielding communities;
      Control
      Sense
      Alter
      Additionally, there is an option to have them also listed as to whether the power is seen as 'Light' or 'Dark' by the current Jedi High Council and Sith Lords.

      Currently, this option is turned off.

    • There is no change to how often you gain PP or PPP
      However, with Interface 2.0, new Perks and Player Powers are available

      Provided your level and stats are sufficient, you may view these new choices when you next gain a PP or PPP.

    • New options of what and how to receive notices have been added to the options menu.

    • You may now reveal detailed knowledge of the future to those around you under certain specific conditions.
      What those conditions are, will be revealed once you meet them.
      Currently, you meet the conditions to reveal your knowledge to 0 people.

      If you have not already discovered, you can hint at what is to come by pretending to have visions sent to you by the Force.

    • With Interface 2.0, Reputation menus have been unlocked.
      For ease of use, reputations are initially listed in various categories, such as;
      Members of the Jedi Order
      Politicians
      Business individuals
      Civilians

      Reputation lists can also be sorted by the planet or sector where someone was last seen or your standing with them.

    • Having upgraded to Interface 2.0, you now can access your Force Bonds.
      These are the bonds that form between sentients with sensitivity to the Force.
      Possible bonds are;
      Weak
      Low
      Solid
      High
      Strong
      Extreme
      Total

      Please examine the interface section on Force Bonds for information.

    • All changes to the Interface have resulted in a corresponding change to the help menu.

      If you are curious about these changes, or the upgrade in general, examine the Help Menu.

    That was… a lot to take in.

    I got fewer stat points and skill points each level-up, along with a smaller boost XP boost, but I could level up the stats via training. I'd have to see how that worked by reading the help menu later to see how exactly that worked, but being able to control how I developed based on what I learned felt more organic than just adding points to stats with each level-up. The increase in Stamina was nice, though not a huge thing as Restore Stamina could restore almost half my total in a single go, and that would increase as the power grew stronger.

    Having my skills sorted would definitely shorten the list and make things easier to track. And I knew that I was getting Kissing unlocked when I turned eleven – why it had to be locked in the first place was down to the interface – but discovering that Flirting and Massage were also skills that now unlocked was unexpected, and a little strange as what kind of eleven-year-old actively flirt… Ah, right. I did, and regularly with Fay and a few others. Right.

    Having Force Powers sorted into the three categories that the Jedi referred to them in would be useful, as would having a way to note which ones were 'dark-side' in nature.

    New Perks/Player Powers would be interesting, but I'd have to wait until I was level 20 for both to see the changes, and a quick peruse of the interface options had me almost jumping for joy at being able to remove the 'You Have Slept for … Hours' notice that always appeared in the middle of my field of vision. That alone made not having access to the interface for a day worthwhile.

    I assumed that being able to directly explain what I knew of the future was linked to either Reputations or Force Bonds; or possibly both.

    As I opened my Reputation page, I noted the lists available, before opening the Jedi one.

    I wasn't surprised to find that Fay and Dooku were in the Trusted range, though seeing Serra above them – and additionally listed as a Friend – was intriguing. The Miralukan Seer Nilas was also listed as Trusted, which was confusing. I'd had no interactions outside of meeting the Council of First Knowledge. However, she seemed able to see visions of my future, much like Sifo-Dyas, so perhaps those were what made her willing to trust me.

    Darihd and Sifo-Dyas were the next highest, though only in the Liked range. Giiett, Yaddle and most of Dragon Clan were also high on that list and I suspected that the higher a name was on the list, the closer it was to increasing to the next reputation level.

    Finding that I was disliked by three members of the High Council – Windu, Piell and Tiin – explained a few things, and seeing that Belfarr actively hated me wasn't a huge surprise.

    Serra and Darihd were the only two Jedi that were listed as Friends, which made sense since the former was the one that I had spent the most time within the Temple while the latter was now a part of my group. (Cabal? I really need to think of a name for our little gang.)

    The Politicians list held far fewer names but seeing that Palpatine liked me was both worrying and expected.

    Finding that Padmé was already listed as a friend was also expected, as I'd earned that bonus on her linked quest; The Once and Future Queen.

    Force Bonds were… strange, scary and intriguing all at the same time.

    Force Bonds
    Force bonds can exist between any two sentients so long as at least one of them has at least average Force potential.
    However, only those with Force training can actively sense and use these bonds beyond the lowest level.
    NOTE:
    All people with a greater than Weak Force Bond with the Player only cost 1/2 a slot/place for group/area effect Force powers.
    NOTE:
    Bonds can degrade over time. This happens where the sentients in the bond do not interact with each other for a significant amount of time.
    This degradation will happen much faster where one sentient in the bond has a Force Sensitivity lower than Intermediate.
    Levels of Force Bonds
    Weak
    Low
    Solid
    High
    Strong
    Extreme
    Total

    For information on a Force Bond level, select the relevant level.

    I currently held Force Bonds with quite a few people, with almost all being inside the Jedi Order. The strongest bonds were to Fay, Dooku and Serra, with all being Low. That meant I could detect where they were on a continental scale and it explained why there were now two pulsing dots on my mini-map. It also gave me a hint of how they were felling, though this was blocked able if they were trained in controlling their emotions, or their Empathic Shield power was greater than my Empathy power.

    This was the first time the interface had hinted that other people's abilities and powers were listed in the same way as mine, but it did make sense. How else was the interface going to handle the fact everyone around me could learn the same skills and powers as I had. Though it had me wondering if there was a way for me to see their skill/power levels.

    I also, rather unexpectedly, had a weak Force Bond with Padmé, meaning I'd had a greater effect on her that I'd realised, but that would probably degrade as I wasn't likely to be in contact with her regularly.

    The higher-level Force Bonds fitted with what I knew/remembered about Master/Padawan bonds from my past life and lessons in the Temple, though none of that knowledge hinted at anything beyond a strong bond.

    Extreme and Total bonds were permanent links between two minds in which both users would have to learn to shield their thoughts or risk neural feedback and allowed telepathic communication across whole sectors if both sentients had either natural telepathic abilities or a high enough training in the Force Power, Telepathy.

    The only example I could think of that might fit either was the bond that formed between Bastila and Revan, but since that was never expanded on in the game, I couldn't be sure if it was such a bond.

    Thankfully, I didn't have to worry about that for now, and possibly ever, and I with a thought, I dismissed the floating text and stood to begin my day. Before that, however, I increased Vitality and Agility to 19, so that all stats were 19 and now granted a fourty per cent boost to skill growth. I was so going to exploit that.

    As I moved to wash, I considered what next to do with my plans.

    According to Fay, we would be remaining with Tr'a Saa for at least the rest of the month before journeying away to wherever the Force wished us to go.

    I wanted to publish the Two Towers soon as The Fellowship of the Ring was still fresh in most people's minds – I hoped – and that gave me a greater potential market, read profit, for the story. I was also considering publishing a few songs and seeing if they could be sold and what potential they had for profit.

    A big issue with that was having to either ignore or change any song that referred to entirely Earth-centric themes or words. Also, I had to explain to Fay and Dooku why I wasn't donating the money from those books and songs to charities like the Shadda-Bi-Borans, though that should be possible since I knew both trusted me.

    Perhaps we could purchase a ship to allow us freer movement around the galaxy?



    THanks to Cadmus von Eizenbern for showing me how to set up the table-style view for the update, which I will try to use from now on.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2020
  4. prussian-granadier

    prussian-granadier Not too sore, are you?

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2018
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    1,318
    try music without lyrics, almost all classical music would be a novel, and I expect that you could translate things rather easily

    superman for instance, grew up in a farm planet and then moved to coruscant
     
  5. Cadmus von Eizenbern

    Cadmus von Eizenbern Insert Pun Here

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2018
    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    3,936
    Interesting! I'm enjoying this and I really like your update speed - though please pace yourself. Don't want you burning out, you hear!?


    • Welcome to Player Interface 2.0

      Well done on reaching your 11th birthday and applying the Interface update.
      While most of the general functions of the Interface remain the same
      Several have changed
      Please select an area to discover what changes have taken place
      1: Stats: Primary and Derived

      2: Levelling Up
      3: Skills
      4: Force Powers
      5: Perks and Player Powers
      6: Interface Controls
      7: Future Knowledge
      8: Reputation
      9: Force Bonds
      10: Help Menu


    • None of your primary stats have changed, however, how they increase has.
      Previously, when you levelled up you gained 4+INT/15 Stat Points to spend how you wished, now, that is lowered to 2+INT/20.
      However, you can level up stats via training.
      Most activities that you do, such as reading a book or running, will grant a certain number of minutes to stat counters,
      these counters, once full, will increase that stat by 1.
      Most activates grant minutes to multiple stat counters.
      In addition, your physical stat limit has been raised to 65.

      Only Stamina of your derived stats has changed.
      The new calculation is;

      Current Level*(Strength+Vitality+Agility)/1.5

    • Your rewards for levelling up have changed.
      Previously, with each new level you gained;
      4+INT/15 Stat Points [SP]
      INT*2 Skill Points [SKP]
      1 Perk Point [PP] every 4 levels
      1 Player Power Point [PPP] every 5 levels
      1/3 of current level XP
      Now you gain;
      2+INT/20 SP
      INT*1 SKP
      1 PP every 4 levels.
      1 PPP every 5 levels.

      1/6 of current level XP

    • The way you improve skills has not changed
      Nor has the bonus of 1 SP for every 2000 total skill levels.
      However, skills are now grouped in categories.
      Such as;
      Lightsaber Forms
      Weapon Skills
      Languages
      Technical Skills
      Biological Skills
      These categories will tell you the total number of skills within their lists, the average level of those skills, and the highest individual skill in their list.
      This is designed to make searching through your skills easier to manage.
      Additionally, the following skills have been unlocked;
      Kissing Adept 12
      Massage Novice 45
      Seduction/Flirting Novice 75

      Additionally, the skill bonuses related to stats have changed.
      Before, you received a 5% bonus to a skill XP for each point of the main stat that governed it.
      That has now changed to 5% per point over your age.

      To help with this, your age will now be displayed on your stat page.

    • Much like Skills, the way you improve Force Powers have not changed.
      However, few Powers are now more intuitive, such as Precognition and Comprehend Langauge.
      These powers, while still displaying information in the interface, if you so desire, can also be set to relay the information directly to your mind.
      Be assured though, that such access will not be used to alter your makeup.
      Force Powers have been sorted into categories
      TThese are the three standard groupings used and accepted by most all Force-wielding communities;
      Control
      Sense
      Alter
      Additionally, there is an option to have them also listed as to whether the power is seen as 'Light' or 'Dark' by the current Jedi High Council and Sith Lords.

      Currently, this option is turned off.

    • There is no change to how often you gain PP or PPP
      However, with Interface 2.0, new Perks and Player Powers are available

      Provided your level and stats are sufficient, you may view these new choices when you next gain a PP or PPP.

    • New options of what and how to receive notices have been added to the options menu.

    • You may now reveal detailed knowledge of the future to those around you under certain specific conditions.
      What those conditions are, will be revealed once you meet them.
      Currently, you meet the conditions to reveal your knowledge to 0 people.

      If you have not already discovered, you can hint at what is to come by pretending to have visions sent to you by the Force.

    • With Interface 2.0, Reputation menus have been unlocked.
      For ease of use, reputations are initially listed in various categories, such as;
      Members of the Jedi Order
      Politicians
      Business individuals
      Civilians

      Reputation lists can also be sorted by the planet or sector where someone was last seen or your standing with them.

    • Having upgraded to Interface 2.0, you now can access your Force Bonds.
      These are the bonds that form between sentients with sensitivity to the Force.
      Possible bonds are;
      Weak
      Low
      Solid
      High
      Strong
      Extreme
      Total

      Please examine the interface section on Force Bonds for information.

    • All changes to the Interface have resulted in a corresponding change to the help menu.

      If you are curious about these changes, or the upgrade in general, examine the Help Menu.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
  6. USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Getting sticky.

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    1,049
    I'm currently just coping this over from FFN.

    Over the last two years, I've tried to keep to a once-a-month schedule, so there shouldn't be a risk of burnout.
    (and I spend a lot of time talking with lore guys/beta about what to do just over the time up to Episode 1, and beyond)
    There are two more chapters to go until the story has caught up with the full story.
     
  7. USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Getting sticky.

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2019
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    1,049
    Thanks for that.
    Honestly, I didn't know how to do that, so was just using spoilers to handle data dumps ;)
    I've altered the last chapter to use it and given credit to you at the end of the chapter.
     
  8. Threadmarks: Scouting Enemies, Gaining Allies
    USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Getting sticky.

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2019
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    1,049
    It was a few hours since the interface had updated, and I was currently sparring with Tr'a Saa. Saa was a master of both styles of Form V, and she'd been teaching the basics while we had been staying with her.

    I had generated quests to raise both Shien and Djem So to Adept 1 within two months, which, if the fact I'd gained nearly twenty levels combined in a week of training so far, should be more than doable. Though I'd have to commit as many nights alone as possible to train the two variants.

    I'd also decided to focus on improving my ability to speak Ryl to Adept 1, with a linked quest.

    "That's good Padawan, keep your blade high," Saa stated as we faced off, "use that position to counter my attack."

    She moved quickly, though not so fast that I couldn't adapt, and I brought my blade down to stop her advance, then push the blade towards her, forcing her to take a step back.

    *PRIDE* *CONTENTMENT*

    I stumbled at the strange emotions I sensed, which gave Saa an easy attack to end this round.

    *DISAPPOINTMENT*

    "That was a careless mistake Padawan," Saa stated as I rubbed my arm where her blade had connected and glad that there were settings on the blades to lower the power output. Otherwise, training would be… difficult.

    "Sorry, I was… distracted," I began powering down my lightsaber and clipping it back onto my belt, "I sensed emotions that weren't my own."

    "What did you sense?" Fay asked as she stepped towards Saa and me from where she's been watching our spar.

    "Pride and contentment, then disappointment when I made my mistake."

    Fay smiled and looked over at Dooku, seemingly reading a datapad, yet who gave her the slightest of nods, "Hmm, it seems your senses have expanded enough to detect our emotions." She stated turned back to me and motioned for us to sit on a nearby bench.

    "How much do you know about Force Bonds?" She asked as we sat.

    "The stronger the bond, the easier it is to sense where another is, their emotional state and even telepathic communication if the bond is strong enough, or one of the bonded is telepathic in nature," I replied, simplifying what the interface had told me.

    "That is… a very precise explanation, but like everything where the Force is concerned, concise understanding and defining is not entirely accurate." I frowned, which made her smile.

    "A bond allows one to sense much about those they are close to, and while the High Council would prefer that such bonds only existed between Master and Padawan, the bond can from with anyone if enough time is spent in their present," she paused and smiled in the way a grandparent might when talking to a young child, "indeed, I suspect you have formed a bond with Miss Naberrie. Though that should fade in time."

    I felt the heat rising in my cheeks, which made her smile grow and a light, airy chuckle escaped her lips.

    "Or perhaps not. Still, a Force Bond allows the sensing of emotions, as you said, it has the potential for more as well. The stronger a bond is between two sentients, the greater the potential to both help and hinder those it connects.

    "Strong bonds can result in one being overwhelmed by the emotions of another, which can distract you at a critical moment, yet that same increase in emotions can give someone the drive to achieve something incredible."

    "So what I sensed was your feelings, and Master Dooku's?"

    She nodded, "Yes, I believe it was. While that is not unexpected, it does suggest you need to be more careful about controlling your emotions. If you have them under control when you delve into the Force, you should be able to avoid having the feelings and thoughts of others affect you." She explained and I nodded as I considered what she'd said.

    While that did sound a little wishy-washy, with the interface I could easily quantify it down into two facts. First, that I needed to have Empathic Shield engaged while fighting – not an issue, but it did drain just over half my FP regen currently to do so. And secondly, that I needed to level up the same Force Power to avoid this becoming an issue as my bonds with Fay, Dooku and others became stronger.

    "I understand, I think," I replied slowly, "and I why any bond I might have with Padmé might fade with time. She does not have a strong connection to the Force."

    Fay smiled and nodded. "Yes. While the bond could be strengthened if you spent more time around her," Dooku seemed to mutter something, but I couldn't make it out, "that is unlikely to happen, and so the bond will weaken and eventually fade."

    "However, what my former master is failing to mention, is that bonds formed with other strong in the Force do not fade easily," Saa added as she stood nearby, a cup in her hand, "and in moments of high emotions, you may sense them, even when the distance between you is great."

    The two venerable Jedi Masters shared a look before Fay sighed and glanced out of a window while absently running a finger across her cheek tattoo.

    "Now come, and this time, do not let the emotions of others distract you," Saa stated as he placed down her cup and stepped back towards the middle of the room, igniting her lightsaber as she did.

    "Yes, ma'am," I replied as I joined and raised my blade into Djem So's opening stance while activating Empathic Shield and having no plans to turn it off while around Fay or Dooku.

    ...

    Later that day, I was with Fay for our afternoon meditation session – which I generally used to train Battle Meditation instead of meditating, unless I need to restore my FP – when Fay stopped herself from starting her meditation and looked at me.

    "Since you are now able to sense emotions from myself and Master Dooku, I think it is time to alter your meditation."

    I tilted my head in confusion, which made her smile.

    "You have done nothing wrong; I just feel that you can move to a more advanced meditation," She looked around the room and finding an empty corner table, lifted it between us with the Force.

    "What I wish for you to do is meditate as normal while holding up the table."

    I looked from her to the table and back and felt my eyes open as a realisation hit me. I'd only ever been using Meditation and Serenity when my FP was near or reached 0. If I could still use certain Force Powers while using those, it would a serious flaw in the interface. I wanted to facepalm at missing out on that, but I'd never even considered it.

    "Do not worry, while the exercise may seem difficult at first, it is quite easy once you achieve it," Fay said, clearly taking the shock in my expression for worry about completing the task.

    "Yes, Master."

    I lifted the table with TK and then closed my eyes. TK combined with Empathic Shield was greater than my natural regeneration of FP, so if this didn't work, then when I ended the meditation I'd know. If it did… well, I was more than happy to use the exploit; once I got over the need to punch myself for not thinking about it before.

    I continued to concentrate on the table even as I activated Serenity, allowed my mind to settle.

    It took me longer than normal to reach a calm state, and something felt different, but I was soon able to feel the Force as it passed through and around me.

    ...

    "Cameron, Cameron," I opened my eyes to find Fay gently shaking my shoulder.

    "Ah, wha…" I blinked a few times and shook my head.

    "It seems you lost track of time while meditating," Fay said with a soft smile as she stood back, "not uncommon for when a learner first attempts this type of mediation. How do you feel?"

    I mentally called up my status and smiled as I saw. FP was still full, meaning that I could use Serenity while using other powers. I still felt stupid for missing that exploit, but at least now I had an easier way to improve powers that could be used constantly, like TK. It wouldn't help for powers like Blast as that was a straight cost per each use, but it was going to be so helpful for night sessions where I was sharing sleeping quarters. There was, however, a small notification.

    Warning!
    Skill Meditation cannot be activated when any Force Power bar Serenity is active.

    That wasn't a major loss as Meditation only gave a one-hundred per cent boost to regenerations whereas Serenity gave a four-hundred-and-fifty per cent boost to FP regen.

    "I'm ok," I replied to Fay's question, using the time where I went over the notice and examining my status to appear to think. "Keeping the table aloft seemed easy enough."

    Fay chuckled gently. "Keeping one object afloat and stationary is simple yes, however doing so for multiple moving objects is a trick that many Jedi Masters struggle with. Especially if said objects are heavier than a small table."

    "Yeah, that does sound difficult," I agreed with a nod, though it would depend on the overall weight of the objects as the cost of TK increased with the mass of an object and the strength of gravity acting upon it.

    "Still, you have managed the first attempt with grace. Not something many Padawans can say," she turned and moved for the door. "Now come along. Master Saa has arranged for us to sample the local cuisine, and I for one do not want to miss out."

    "Yes, Master."

    I stood and followed the graceful Jedi from the room, even as I considered just which Force Powers I could improve rapidly with this new training approach.

    ...


    ...

    It turned out that being able to use other Force Powers while meditating with Serenity was not as big a boost as I'd hoped. In the almost two months since the update, I'd seen an increase in the growth speed of the Force Powers I'd used while meditating, but by my rough calculations, it was only about a fifteen per cent increase. Nothing to sneeze at, but not the massive exploit I had hoped for.

    Still, it had been enough to help boost Precognition into Prodigy range, joining Empathic Shield while TK was almost maxed out.

    All three trainee quests – for Shien, Djem So and Language: Ryl – had been reached, with the two lightsaber Forms both reaching Adept 50 and Ryl Adept 25, with a little spending of SKP. That netted me enough XP to take me more than fifty per cent of the way to levelling up.

    After leaving Tr'a Saa, we travelled around the Kiffu sector for a month as Fay was looking for another old Jedi Master she felt might be receptive to our plans.

    While we had been travelling, I hadn't generated any new quests, as I had no idea where we would be one week to the next. Though I had used the time to improve my Astrogation skill. Being able to plot hyperspace jumps quickly, without the use of a droid, seemed like a useful skill to improve.

    I'd also maxed out Empathic Shield during that time, which lowered its overall cost to just 10FP per minute; or a ninth of my current FP regeneration. Telepathic Shield was up to Professional 34, which meant it still cost more than my regeneration to run. TK and Lightsaber: Makashi were both less than ten levels from maxing out, while Precognition was at Prodigy 17. The trick of meditating and running other Force Powers with Serenity was showing its usefulness, even if it that wasn't as useful as I'd originally hoped for.

    I'd also taken some time to think about my publishing plans.

    I had decided to delay publishing the Two Towers for another year or so. That would allow the first book to continue to grow in popularity and increase potential sales for The Two Towers.

    The Fellowship of the Ring had been downloaded nearly sixty million times – and bought as an actual book just over a million times – so far, generating over eight million credits in the process. And it was still selling well. The continued funds to help the Shadda-Bi-Borans adapt to their new worlds would help generate more goodwill for Cameron Williamson – my pen-name, which had been my name in my former life – and interest in the next story, though I'd be keeping that money for myself. That the funds would also increase the number of Shadda-Bi-Borans that would still be alive in five years when the linked quest would complete was a bonus, one I was trying to not concentrate on.

    "Ah, Master Jedi, welcome," said a brown-skinned Devaronian as the doors to the meeting room we had been told to wait in opened and he stepped in, "I am honoured that you have visited us here."

    "The honour is ours Administrator Tert," Fay replied as we all stood even. "We understand how busy you are and thank you for taking the time out to see us."

    "Not at all Master Jedi," Tert stated as she sat and indicated for us to do the same. "When I heard that a member of your Order wished to study for a few months at one of our training centres, I must admit my delight was mixed with curiosity. Few, if any, Jedi have shown an interest in starship or fighter design."

    "Yes, I can imagine. But young Cameron here is not like most Jedi," Fay responded calmly though I sensed her and Dooku's pride over my bonds with them. "Even while training to be a Jedi he has shown an aptitude for machines that few Jedi possess. As we were passing near to this system, he asked if it would be possible to attend one of your training centres for a while to further that interest."

    While that was the story was a valid one for us being here, it wasn't the full truth. I had discovered that Fondor was close to the Kiffu sector, but more importantly, it was a major starship manufacturer for the Techno Union; one of the main factions in the CIS.

    Or at least as far as the movies went. I had realised that much of the war wasn't covered in the movies or cartoon, which made sense for a supposedly galaxy-spanning war, but meant that there were going to be events and people that I knew nothing about that helped shape the Clone Wars and the future Empire. Which would make it difficult for me to affect those moments.

    Still, Fondor was a Techno Union stronghold. And while they hadn't joined forces with the Sith yet, at least as far as I knew, an examination of their practices and disagreements with the Republic Senate made it clear that they were chafing under the restrictions placed on them. Or at least some parts of the Union were. The Corellian Engineering Corporation, for example, were the makers of the Consular-Class cruiser, the very epitome of the will of the Senate, likely due to them being a vital member of the Core Worlds.

    After discovering all of this, I had spoken to Fay and Dooku and mentioned seeing Techno Union transports, Trade Federation battle droids and Droidekas attacking living beings in white armour in my visions. I'd presented them with images of the various ships I knew that were part of the CIS and active today, like the Lucrehulk-class cargo ship, as well as images of B1 droids and explained that I felt that we needed to investigate the companies behind them.

    While Fay had been uncertain about doing so, Dooku had agreed with my planning and mentioned that Fondor had an Academy for aspiring engineers and designers, and while I would be too young to attend there, most corporations had filter schools at lower levels to train up the future generations.

    He believed I could be inserted for a few months at one such location where I could gauge the underlying sentiment of the educators and students. While it was unlikely that I could access the main computer networks of the shipyard or the Techno Union to discover if they were actively plotting against the Republic, there was a small chance I could gain access to the ship designs and potentially discover exploitable weaknesses.

    Tert turned her attention to me, "I see no problem with that. However, I will need to speak with the educational Overseers to determine which centre would be best. If all goes well, we should be able to enrol him within a week, two at most."

    "That is more than acceptable, however, I need to be clear that he would only be able to attend classes in the morning. While I am willing to indulge his curiosity, his training to be a Jedi must take priority."

    Tert nodded rapidly. "Yes, yes. We can never have too many Jedi." She turned back to me. "May I ask young Jedi, what is your exact area of interest?"

    I shrugged. "Ships in general, I guess. I mean, I know a decent amount about how to repair and maintain starships and my way around computers. But if I had to choose, I'd say I was most interested in how starships are designed. Fitting all the various components together, managing the power flows and so on and housing it all together in a frame is intriguing."

    "Yes, there is a lot of work that goes into ship design," Tert agreed as she tapped her chin with a finger, "while I don't believe that any of our centres for your age group handle ship design, there may be one or two that cover courses on droid and fighter creation. Would that be of interest?"

    I nodded. "They would yes. Could I be placed there?" I asked while activating Force Persuasion. Using the more common Force Compulsion would probably alert security, which I was fairly certain were monitoring this meeting.

    Tert smiled and tapped away at her console. "It shouldn't be a problem. I'll just add the recommendation to your file and send it along to the Overseers. Is there anything else?"

    Fay smiled and stood, "No, thank you for your time."

    The pair shook hands and Tert left. We followed just after and as we walked back to the quarters assigned to us by station management, I felt a now-familiar presence brush against my mind and activated Telepathy which had altered slightly with the addition of Force bonds, as they lowered the cost of the power by eighty per cent, making it possible for me to use the power with Fay and Dooku easily.

    [Yes, Master?] I asked mentally as Fay used our Force Bond to establish a telepathic comm link.

    When she had first tried this, Player's Mind had auto engaged, and her head had snapped back as though physically slapped. I'd managed to explain away my mental defence as something I didn't know about and then, after perusing the help menus, altered a list of who could establish telepathic links with me to include two people. Fay and Dooku.

    Knowing that PM would auto engage to defend my mind was a great help, even if I avoided using the power due to it cutting off my emotions completely.

    [There is nothing the matter Padawan. I merely wish to communicate with you without being overheard by any eavesdroppers. Unless they want to cause problems, they will allow you to attend a training centre. However, I imagine that they'll monitor everything you do. Are you sure you still wish to continue with this?]

    [Yes, Master. Even if I am unable to find anything of use, it is still a good learning experience.] I replied as we entered an elevator. [Especially since neither you nor Master Dooku have much interest in maintaining a ship.]

    Fay shook her head. [That may be true, but we are still not purchasing a vessel. The Order does not allow personal possessions.] She looked down at me and smiled. [Though perhaps, in the future, we could hire a ship without a crew.]

    [I, uh, hadn't thought of that.] I managed to not make a face at the suggestion. [What of Master Dooku?]

    Dooku was to arrive tomorrow but not reveal himself as a Jedi. Instead, he was going to play on his family name and try to arrange meetings with various officials from companies linked to the Techno Union. He would pretend to be looking to acquire a small force of ships to defend the Serenno System and surrounding areas from pirates. While it was unlikely that the officials would reveal information about their ships in pursuit of a contract, Dooku was certain he could get them to reveal more than they should, and given he had managed to bring together the CIS, I wasn't going to argue against his persuasive abilities.

    [His last transmission, relayed through Master Sifo-Dyas, suggested he already had meetings with representatives of several of the companies in the Union. But do not get your hopes up. While we believe your visions about what is to come, the chances of us discovering anything that would hint at a move to secede from the Republic are remote, at best.]

    [Yes, Master.]

    "Come along Padawan. We must meditate on the day's events," she spoke, breaking the mental link as we stepped out of the elevator and moved towards our assigned quarters.

    "Yes, Master," I replied as I fell into step at her side.

    ...



    ...

    "Were you able to discover anything while on assignment?" Dooku asked as I walked with Fay down the ramp from the transport that had brought us to the Corellian System.

    "Nothing of great significance, though Young Cameron here did make a few friends and impressed the educators," Fay replied while indicating me with a hand, "How did you fare?"

    Dooku pulled a datapad from his robes. "While I was unable to discover anything on Fondor, I did manage to discover that there are tensions within the Union. Both Kuat Drive Yards and the Corellian Engineering Corporation are distancing themselves from the other major members of the Union due to differences of opinion regarding Republic policy."

    "Not surprising really. Both Kuat and Corellia are Core worlds and while most of the other members of the Union are headquartered further out." I said, earning a proud nod from Dooku.

    "Indeed. From what I was able to gather, and linking it to your visions, I speculate that those two companies would remain loyal to the Republic even if the Union decides to secede." He continued as he handed the pad to Fay. "There are a few companies in the Union that have not chosen a side, or at least have not ventured into the ongoing debate."

    Fay examined the pad. "I am unfamiliar with any of these companies."

    "They are all smaller members of the Union based mainly in the Inner to Mid-Rim that handle the construction of smaller, but more robust, ships and droids than the larger corporations. Or that was the impression I was given during their presentations."

    That caught my attention as one of my ideas was to take over a mega-crop, though I had generally considered it fantasy. However, a smaller company may be easier to gain control of. Though such plans were years off and would only be possible once I was either a Knight – and free to travel as I wished – or had left the Order, which I was not planning to do until at least after the invasion of Naboo.

    Fay turned and handed me the pad. "Cameron, do you know of any of these companies?"

    I took the pad and scanned the list. While most of the dozen or so companies were unknown, two jumped out at me. Incom and Subpro.

    When I'd made my initial list for how to combat Sidious, I'd considered accelerating or rediscovering certain technologies like X-Wings and personal shielding that didn't kill the user.

    While I'd had no luck with the shielding, I'd found what I believed was a precursor to the X-Wing – The Z-95 Headhunter – was jointly made by Incom and Subpro corporations. Learning that Incom was one of the smaller, undecided members of the Techno Union was unexpected, and almost made up for the four and a half months I'd spent learning at the training centre on Fondor.

    Oh sure, the classes had helped improve my technical skills – and a few quests linked to those skills – and generated a new one – Mechanics [Droids] – but beyond that, making a few friends with future engineers and designers it had been months that felt wasted.

    OK, not wasted as I had maxed out and maxing out Lightsaber: Makashi and TK and abused my time away from Fay to train up Compulsion and Persuasion on my fellow students. I had also increased Intelligence and Wisdom by one and completed quests linked to four of my now five mechanics skills and one linked to Form IV, Ataru. All of that – once Boosted Growth was applied – had resulted in me having just enough XP to reach level 19. That had brought the usual bonus points for stats and skills while increasing my FP by another 500.

    "These two," I replied highlighting the two companies, which opened a file on details about the company. "I studied one of their previous models during my classes on Fondor."

    "Hmm, Incom. And Subpro. Yes, I am aware of their popular joint-model, the Z-95. It is a reliable and capable fighter, though it does lack many features of more modern craft. What did you learn in your classes?"

    "Mainly about how modular and adaptable it was. I suggested a few ways to change the airframe, but I doubt they'd work." Mainly, that was because I'd used jet fighter designs from the Earth in the nineteen-seventies, though I'd only been able to do map out that idea once the relevant skill, Mechanics [Fighters] had reached Professional 1. While I doubted my ideas would take hold, the larger wing surface from my design was commented on by the instructor as a possible way to help with heat dispersion.

    Still, the time at the academy had me considering one day designing a fighter that merged this universe's technology with an Earth-based airframe. Though I doubted I'd ever have the time or resources to commit to such an idea.

    "Hmm," a single eyebrow rose, "while that is impressive, it has little bearing on our original plan for allowing you to study there for almost half a year."

    "That is true, though now if we do need a private craft for our travels, Cameron should be able to handle the maintenance of the vessel," Fay said seemingly trying to find some good form the time.

    "Indeed. I spoke with Sifo-Dyas yesterday, and while we were careful about what we discussed, I believe he has discovered a handful of Jedi in the Temple that may be agreeable to our concerns."

    "That is good news, though I have a few other members of our Order who I wish to meet and discover their feelings and intentions," Fay countered as we began to walk through the corridors of the spaceport station high above Corellia, "I also wished for Cameron to meet with the local Jedi. I believe they would be more receptive to him than most due to his bloodline."

    Dooku rubbed his beard before he spoke. "Yes, I had not considered that. Though we would have to be cautious about what we reveal to them as I am aware that one of their members is a close friend of Master Windu."

    "Do you know which member it is?"

    "Sadly no," he replied to her question as I stayed silent, "though it likely is a senior Master as they serve as the only link between the High Council and Corellia that I am aware of."

    I glanced to the side and stumbled and lost my balance.

    "Cameron?" Fay asked though my attention was on one of the transports that were moving around the dock. For some strange reason, the ship was encased in a gentle golden glow.

    "I'm fine. I just got lost in my thoughts for a moment," I replied as she helped me stand.

    "Perhaps we need to work on your awareness Padawan," Dooku suggested and I felt a shiver shoot up my spine, "though I cannot tell if you are being honest or not. Impressive mental barriers to have developed in half a year."

    I gave him a nod in acknowledgement, glad that running Telepathic Shield almost non-stop for the time on Fondor had been worth it. The power was comfortably in the Prodigy range.

    Curious about what was causing the golden halo around the transport, I examined the list of destinations for the transport. Most of the stops meant nothing to me, however, the end destination did trigger a memory. Eriadu. That was the planet where the Tarkin family came from, specifically Wilhuff Tarkin, a name on my list of people to watch in the years leading up to the outbreak of war.

    Currently, Tarkin was serving in a regional defence force, though the last news article mentioning him involved him at a party hosted by one of the heads of Santhe/Sienar Technologies, one of the few major starship construction conglomerates that was not a part of the Techno Union. Though at least one subsidiary was, which did make some sense as it gave SST a voice at the table without committing fully to the Union.

    Perhaps the gold light was a hint to head to Eriadu to deal with Tarkin?

    I shook off the thought as we began to walk again.

    "Which should we then Cameron?" Asked once we had walked for about a minute.

    "I think I'd like to visit the Jedi on Corellia then head back to the temple, but only for a short while," I replied after considering the choices. I knew nothing about another set of Jedi on Corellia. Heck, I didn't even realise there were enclaves away from Coruscant. Perhaps the ones here, in other places if they existed, would be more open to what we were building.

    And while I was curious about the Jedi Fay wished to meet, I felt that checking in with Darihd and maybe seeing where I stood with the other Padawans at the Temple would be a more useful way to spend a few months.

    ...



    ...

    "Those… argh!" I growled out as we arrived back at our rented apartment in Coronet City after meeting with the Green Jedi Council and I punched the air.

    "It was to be expected Cameron, though we are also upset with their lack of interest," Fay said before sighing loudly as she sat on the couch in the main room. "They have always been more concerned with Corellia and its system than the greater galaxy."

    "A trait shared by many of the people," Dooku added his temper back under control. "They believe themselves better than others, a trait made even worse with their Jedi."

    To say Dooku did not agree with the apparent isolationist and self-centred policies of the Green Jedi would be an understatement. He had more than once during our meeting with their High Council had to stop in mid-sentence lest he ended up shouting at them and if not for Fay's natural calming touch, I suspect we would have been escorted from the planet by CorSec. Then again, I had been forced to engage Player's Mind to keep my own emotions under control.

    "Still, you think they would be worried about the failings of the Republic, if for no reason than the effect it would have on them," I said as calmly as I could as I sat in an empty chair and pulled a datapad from my pocket.

    "They did admit to sharing our concerns about the Republic at least," Fay countered, acting once more as the calm, older mind. "Though I suspect that they, and the Corellian Senate, have plans to exploit the fall of the Republic. They have tried to secede from the Republic several times, the last being within my lifetime, and they are reluctant members of the Republic."

    "That is the polite way to describe the situation," Dooku added, though made no move to comment further, instead pouring himself a glass of juice.

    "When will you and Cameron leave?" Fay asked, moving the conversation on from the less than successful meeting with the Green Jedi.

    "Tomorrow I believe. There are daily flights to Coruscant from the main spaceport," Dooku replied after sipping his glass. "How long will it take for you to locate and speak with your friends?"

    Fay shrugged even as she shifted a pillow on the couch. "I can't say. Zao is very much a wanderer, often finding himself in the strangest of places. Rangir is a recluse who was last seen near Hutt space while An'ya has been in self-imposed exile after losing her last Padawan."

    "And you believe they would be open to what we are doing?"

    Fay sighed as she sunk further into the couch. "Possibly. Zao, like myself, prefers to let the Force guide his journey. I believe he is the most likely to see the benefits to what we are creating. Rangir is… troubled, or at least that was the case the last time we spoke a decade ago. Perhaps she would be willing to help us, but it is just as likely that she chooses to stay uninvolved. And An'ya… well, I am sure you know her story better than I." She finished with a smile that seemed more sad than happy.

    Dooku grunted as he put down the now empty glass. "Yes, I do." He seemed unwilling to talk further about her as he stood and moved towards his sleeping quarters.

    "Cameron?" I looked up from my pad to see Fay was now looking at me. "I would ask how much of that you heard, but I already know the answer." We both smiled at the small joke as she was well aware that I had a knack for remembering minute details with ease, though she did not know it was due to the perk Eidetic Memory.

    "What are you working on?"

    I floated the pad over to her as I answered. "More songs," as she collected the object. I had just added 'Everybody Hurts' and 'Something's Happening Here' to my account.

    While no-one had messaged me to use the lyrics in a song, and I hadn't earned anything as they were too short to be paid for, the two dozen already on the site had been viewed – in total – more often than 'Fellowship' had been downloaded.

    Fay smiled as she read the two new songs before looking at me. "Cameron, if I did not know you had moved on from your pain, I would be worried. Since I do, all I will ask is that once we find a synthtar that you play these for me."

    "I'll add them to the list," I replied with a smile of my own.

    Just before reaching Fondor, she had discovered me writing songs on a datapad. After reading some, she became worried that I was missing my grandfather and my old life, but I'd managed to convince her that wasn't the case.

    Since then, she had read through the list of songs, now numbering over thirty, that were on the pad and kept insisting I should sing them.

    I had held off on publishing them though as the site where I'd published The Fellowship of the Ring only allowed works greater than ten thousand words and since an average song had around two hundred words, there wasn't much point.

    I had, however, spent some time on Fondor searching for a site that allowed the publication of lyrics for songs, and found a linked site for budding musicians and lyrists. When we returned to Coruscant, I planned to open an account with them, and because it was linked to the publishing site, I didn't need to create a new account – and thus ask for permission – though I would need to ensure any sales were not routed the relief effort.

    "Perhaps you can find one at the temple and ask one of your friends to record your performance?" Fay suggested as she leaned forward, placed the pad on the table and grinned. "I imagine Padawan Keto would enjoy hearing you sing."

    "Master," I groaned out, which made her laugh.

    "Then what about Miss Naberrie? I'm certain she'd enjoy listening to you sing."

    My head fell into my hands as she laughed. Not long after leaving Shadda-Bi-Boran, Fay had discovered that Serra had been asking Darihd about me and, adding that to my semi-regular communication with Padmé, had taken to teasing me about how close I was to the two girls.

    While I wasn't particularly embarrassed by Fay's comments about them liking me, it was awkward to think about them like that as both were pre-teens. Yes, I also was physically pre-pubescent, but mentally I wasn't. It was an issue I knew was only going to get worse as I hit puberty and had to deal with them and had to regularly share a room with someone as beautiful as Fay.

    "I don't have to take this," I muttered as I stood, scooped up my pad, and moved to my quarters. "And I need to prepare for tomorrow. I suspect Master Dooku will have us leave at dawn for the spaceport."

    ...



    ...

    "So you are telling me that you and a senior Jedi Master are experiencing visions of the fall of the Republic, and the destruction of the Jedi, and are actively working with Darihd and others to ensure that the Order has some way to survive?" Serra asked after I finished explaining about what I was up to with Darihd and our Jedi Masters in the restaurant a few blocks from the Temple.

    "Essentially, yes," I replied. Honestly, I didn't want the Jedi Order, as it currently stood to survive, but telling her - or Darhid - that now, would lead to problems I wasn't ready to face.

    She looked from Darihd to me and back, then started laughing.

    "Force! That's a good one!" she managed to get out.

    Darihd glanced at me, but my attention was focused on Serra. I kept my face neutral but inside I was annoyed she thought I was playing a prank. Sure, it did sound a little preposterous to consider, but I knew what was coming so I knew it was not a joke and Darihd believed both myself and Sifo-Dyas.

    Slowly Serra's laughter began to slow as she saw I wasn't smiling, then stopped altogether as she spotted neither was Darihd.

    "Wait, you mean to tell me… But, how, why…" she slumped back into her part of the couch that bent around our circular table. "Sithspit."

    "Yeah, I was surprised when he told me about his visions last year," Darihd said, trying to help her accept what I'd told her. "Though I had my Master to help me accept it as he's working with Masters Dooku and Fay."

    "But if… Master Sifo-Dyas is the other with these visions?" Serra asked slowly, still seemingly unbalanced by what she was realising.

    "Yeah. Knew you'd get that," I replied, giving her a smile that brought a touch of pink to her cheeks.

    "But why not take this to the High Council? Surely they'd be willing to help?"

    Darihd shook his head. "They won't Serra. They're too close to the Senate, too willing to ignore the corruption and degradation that's infested the very core of the Republic." He paused and sighed. "I can't go into why, but my Master is vehemently against letting the Council at large know about what we are doing."

    I nodded at that. Dooku had explained what the Jedi did to those with over-powering visions like Sifo-Dyas had suffered when he and Dooku had been Padawans and Knights and extracted a promise from me to not reveal my visions to anyone without clearing it with either him or Fay first. Which I had done as we had arrived in orbit above the Republic capital when explaining that I planned to bring Serra into the circle while talking with Darihd about the rest of Dragon Clan.

    Dooku had agreed, though warned me to be careful about how many Padawans I brought in, and how quickly, as they were more likely to mistakenly reveal something which would place our plans in jeopardy.

    I'd asked Dooku who he would be speaking with, and while he was reluctant to reveal everything to me – mainly in case I let things slip to Darihd and Serra – he did mention he hoped to talk with two of his former Padawans, Qui-Gon and Keelyvine Reus, though he was uncertain if Keelyvine would be open-minded enough to bring into the group.

    "So why tell me?" she slowly asked, her eyes locked onto mine.

    "Beyond the fact we both trust you?" I asked back with a smirk.

    She chuckled. "Yeah, beyond that."

    "No reason." We all laughed for a moment before I continued. "Truthfully, I felt Darihd needed help watching the other Padawans and the Younglings. While I don't doubt that he can handle it, having only one opinion on who we can and can't bring into this is risky."

    Serra gave me a wide smile. "Fine, then I'm in. And I think Aayla and Sia-Lan would be good options."

    Darihd nodded in agreement. "Yeah, but they're both on assignment."

    "As much as I think they can keep things quiet, for now, I don't want others brought in," I said softly, "and it's not because I don't trust them. More that I know nothing about their masters."

    "And you do about Master Drallig?"

    "No, but Master Dooku does, and while he doesn't feel your master would agree with our planning, he also doesn't feel Master Drallig is a blind follower of the Council and Senate, just a strong believer in the Jedi way," I explained. "There was also something about him having a maverick approach to situations."

    Serra snorted. "Don't I know it. He keeps having me run combat drills where nothing makes sense even after they finish."

    "Sounds like the real world," I muttered as my mind wandered back to the last time that I was on Coruscant. "How are Bultar and Jon?"

    The two shared a look before Darihd spoke.

    "Bultar seems fine. It's hard to really tell as we don't know much about her, though the High Council arranging outside help for her has helped, I think." He answered.

    "That was Masters Fay and Yaddle, not the Council," I blurted out, making both of them stare at me. "The majority felt that the whole thing was a learning experience from the Force," I said trying my best to not sneer at the complete lack of concern they'd displayed that day, though I did air-quote 'learning experience.

    "What? But they announced the treatments to the Temple at large as a decision they had reached after meditating," Serra said, and I gripped the edge of the couch to reign in my temper.

    "That… that sounds like both an attempt at PR and a way to put Bultar and Jon down," I said with a stiff jaw. "Getting them help is fine but announcing it to everyone would just make many think they are weak and unworthy of being Jedi."

    "My Master was, less polite about it privately," Darihd said as he shook his head and sighed. "He considered stepping down from the Council early in protest at their handling of things."

    "What?! But why?" Serra blurted out, her shock at hearing all this matching my own, though she was less able to hide her surprise and shock.

    "Because the council was playing politics with the lives of the Padawans," I explained as I gritted my teeth and shook my head in disgust. "By saying it was their decision, it makes them look compassionate towards the pair, even if they weren't initially. Like I said, good PR."

    "PR?"

    "Public relations," I gave her a weak smile. "Something I learnt from Senator Palpatine." Though what I'd learnt from the Sith Lord was how to subtly shift a conversation to suit my own narrative.

    What I was saying by revealing the council's reasons – or what I felt they were – cast them in a worse light with my fellow Padawans. And would make it hard for the council to deny without revealing that it was Fay who had pushed for Bultar and Jon to get help, not them.

    If I was going to play this game, I might as well learn from the best.

    "Anyway, you said Bultar was doing well. What about Jon?"

    Again, the two shared a look before Darihd spoke, though this time he was much more cautious about his words.

    "Jon… didn't take the reveal about the outside help well. He… well, he rejected the offer, and lashed out a few times at others."

    "I caught him trying to spar with the younger members of our Clan," Serra added while looking away from me. "I think he was taking out his anger on them because you weren't there."
    "Ah." Was my succinct reply.


    I had hoped that Jon getting help would have cured him of his dislike of me, however, it seemed the opposite had happened.

    That could be a problem.

    The room fell into an awkward silence.

    "Serra, what was that story you keep reading?" Darihd suddenly asked, breaking the silence. Though why he was grinning at me as he asked was strange.

    "Huh, oh, right. Well, I came across this story just over a year ago," she reached into her pocket and pulled out a pad. "Have you read it?"

    After a few taps at the screen and she handed to me and I chuckled then looked at Darihd, who was grinning widely, exposing his teeth.

    "You might say that," I replied as I handed the pad back to her, "I wrote it."

    "You wro… What? When? HOW?" It was hard to not laugh at her growing shock and increased volume. And Darihd failed as he placed a hand over his mouth. "You knew?" she asked as she smacked his arm.

    "Why wouldn't he? I mean, the proceeds go to helping the Shadda-Bi-Borans, and I was involved in the evacuation efforts when he arrived with Master Sifo-Dyas," I answered for him as he struggled to contain his amusement.

    "I, I just thought you might know who wrote it because it was linked to that. I never… when did you do that?" she asked with her eyes wide as she focused on me.

    "I started it while staying with Senator Palpatine and finished it during my free time. Padmé suggested publishing it."

    "Padmé?" Her eyes narrowed.

    "The daughter of the head of the relocation program. I gave her a copy when she was bored and she, well, she felt much like you do about it. It was her idea to publish it, though I suggested having the funds routed to help with what we were doing."

    "Does she still contact you?" Darihd asked with a grin, and I had a sudden urge to throw him out of the room. Preferably through the wall.

    "Every few months," I answered calmly. "So how does it feel to know a famous writer?" I asked Serra, turning the conversation away from Padmé, and hopefully calming her reaction to Padmé.

    "It's, strange. I mean I never thought you'd be an author," she said, making her eyes enlarge rapidly, "I mean, I know you're not stupid, it just you, writing… um."

    I chuckled at her tripping over her backtracking. "No-one would. Which is why I did it." Or why I allowed Padmé to convince me anyway, though I held that comment back to avoid getting a reaction from Serra.

    "That reminds me, she called the Temple looking for you again," Darihd said with his smirk seemingly surgically attached to his face. "She's arriving on Coruscant next month as part of the Apprentice Legislature and was hoping to meet up."

    "That's… nice." I replied slowly, aware of the way Serra's had again narrowed. "But I think I'll be off the planet by then. Master Dooku is just checking in with a few friends before we head off again."

    "We could meet her," Serra suggested making my head snap around to her. "I mean, I have to thank her for getting you to write Fellowship, and she already knows Darihd. Any friend of you two is a friend of mine, right?"

    "Right." I drawled out, my mind already conjuring images of that potential disaster. Getting Padmé to know more Jedi had the potential to be useful when Naboo was invaded. But the idea of putting Padmé and Serra in a room sent a shiver down my spine.

    While Serra was more mature for her age than most – something that could be said about other Jedi younglings and Padawans – she was still growing and learning how to deal with emotions. A trial made even harder by the Jedi dogma of 'letting go' of those emotions.

    Perhaps once we were all a bit older, and Serra was more comfortable with herself, or me being friends with a girl outside the Order, I could introduce them to each other. But at this point, it had a bit too much risk factor for my comfort...both for Serra's healthy emotional growth, and my own masculine protection.

    "What have you been up to?" I asked the pair, moving the conversation way from Padmé even as I considered how I was going to approach the invasion.

    As I was leaning towards removing Anakin from Tatooine before then, I needed to come up with plans for how to take out a Lucrehulk-class vessel. Having more Jedi there than just Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan would help with that.

    Then there was the chance that my being here had changed the timeline enough that those two weren't assigned to the mission. In that event, I'd have to have another plan ready to activate.

    Honestly, I was curious if I could handle the command ship myself, but that was probably pride and/or arrogance speaking.

    Regardless of what plan I used, I would keep trying to acquire a schematic of the Lucrehulk, and other CIS and Republic vessels.
     
  9. Threadmarks: Cathedral of the Past
    USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Getting sticky.

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    I stepped backwards and guided the attack from my opponent to the side even as my free hand lashed out and caught him flush in the ribs.

    He grunted and used the Force to leap away from me.

    "Not bad kid," he muttered as he moved into an Ataru stance while I stayed with Soresu. While I'd normally use Makashi, this was my first full-on spar with a full Jedi Knight. Because of this, I was relying more on the defensive form to try and outlast my opponent.

    And it was working.

    I led the spar two-zero, meaning another clean hit would give me the match, and my first win against a Knight.

    In the few weeks that I'd been back at the Temple, I'd sparred with and beaten a further five Padawans, gaining about 2000XP from Training Superiority while also raising my Intelligence and Wisdom up to 19. I'd also spent time training those who wanted pointers on Makashi while sparring daily with Serra, Darihd and Sia-Lan, who'd arrived back from an assignment a few days ago.

    The knight moved to attack, his blade sweeping upwards as he moved in far more rapidly than a normal sentient could.

    Though to me, it seemed slow, letting me know that Bullet Time was at a high enough level to counter his skill at accelerating his actions.

    I easily avoided the attack, sliding forwards so that his blade sailed through where I'd been standing, then brought my blade around to block his next attack.

    He pivoted, slashing as he did, forcing me to step backwards.

    He brought his blade upwards, surging forward, and I was forced to step backwards, gliding to the side of his attack.

    The pattern continued for a dozen more attacks until one attack where he overextended.

    I shifted from Soresu to Makashi, guided his blade to my left, stepped inside his range and brought my blade down across his chest.

    "Match Shan," Master Drallig called out to a few cheers.

    "Damm kid. You're good," the knight stated as we powered down our lightsabers.

    "Purely thanks to Master Dooku, Knight Pana," I replied.

    Dooku heard my comment and shook his head once. "While I have been teaching you Padawan, your ease with the blade is all your own. Few Jedi, even Masters such as I, are so comfortable shifting between Forms in combat." Even without the Force Bond we shared, I could tell he was proud of my ability with a blade.

    "Your master speaks truly, Padawan," Drallig said as he stepped closer. "In time I see you being able to challenge, and possibly best, even Grandmaster Yoda. Though only with continual training and patience."

    "You need not worry about arrogance Cin, Cameron is well aware of his limitations," Dooku stated with the barest hint of a smile touching his lips. Most would not see it, but after a few years around him, I could detect the subtle hints that indicated his true feelings. Or at least, most of the time.

    "Nodro, while you are more than capable with your blade, perhaps a few more lessons on facing opponents with experience defending would not go amiss," Drallig suggested to Pana who took the comment without and any hint of disappointment.

    "Yes Master, though I'd prefer to focus on my other studies," he turned to me, "I am training to be a historian for the Order. Perhaps we might speak later about the Order, or at least what you knew of it, from your original time."

    "If I have the time," I replied with a smile and a bow to him.

    "Master Dooku," I turned with him to see a blue-skinned Duros approach. Based on his height, he was young, thus probably a Padawan. "Master Nilas asked me to inform you she was free to speak with you and is currently in a meditation chamber in the northwest tower."

    "Thank you," Dooku replied dismissing the Padawan by turning from them to me. "Come Cameron. I suspect that Master Nilas will also wish to speak with you."

    I didn't verbally respond, instead falling into step beside him s we began to walk.

    Though I stopped as Danger Sense pinged, and I turned to see Jon Savos enter the hall alone. His eyes narrowed as he saw me and began to storm towards my location, only stopping when called by the other Padawans. Before I turned and caught up with Dooku, I used Observe.

    Jon Savos
    Race: Human
    Level: 16
    Health: 100%
    Age: 14
    Force Potential: High
    Threat Potential: Medium
    Emotional State: Infuriated, Unstable, Confused
    Jon hasn't truly recovered from what happened to him two years ago.
    He blames everything that has gone wrong in his life on you.
    He feels that you have no place with the Jedi, as you serve only yourself
    Yeah, that was a problem.

    The fact he'd gone up three levels in two years, was impressive, especially given to what had happened. However, the fact he was furious, and that he blamed me for what had happened to him and wanted me gone was not good.

    I'd have to be very careful about how I handled him while we were here.

    I suspected he'd try to spar with me, but everything in me told me that wouldn't do any good. If I let him win, even if I was subtle about it, would feed his belief I shouldn't be here, but beating him would only increase the anger and instability.

    "Do not worry yourself about him, Padawan," Dooku said as we exited the hall, "he has to accept that what happened was beyond both his and your control. If he cannot, he will be dismissed from the Order."

    "Then what would happen to him?" I asked as Dooku's words didn't leave me with much hope Jon would get the help he needed.

    "After that, he will be placed in monitored care. While the Order has many faults, we do not abandon those in need of help. Even those unable to recognize that they need it." There was a hint of disapproval in his tone, but whether that was aimed at the Order, Jon, or both, I couldn't tell.

    The rest of our walk to the elevator was made in silence as I contemplated Dooku's words. The way Dooku told me to ignore Jon was in keeping with his character and was an option to take, though I was certain it was not the one Fay would suggest.

    Learning that even if he was dismissed from the Order, he would not be left to his own devices was nice to hear, as I feared that no matter what I did Jon would be forced from the Order. Though if/when that happened, I knew his belief that it was my fault would be permanent in his psyche, which could be a problem if Sidious discovered him, learned I was a threat to him or both.

    The easiest solution if Jon was forced from the Order would be removing Jon from the board, but it wasn't something I was willing to do. I felt a little sick that I could even consider it, but I knew that if I didn't, I risked him becoming a problem down the road.

    That morbid train of thought stayed with me until we entered a meditation chamber to find Nilas with one other: Qui-Gon Jinn.

    "I did not expect you to be here Qui-Gon, yet it is not surprising that you are," Dooku stated passively, which made the other man smile.

    "I'm always glad to confound you, Master," he replied and there was a very subtle twitch to Dooku's lips, "And Padawan Shan, a pleasure to see you again."

    "And you Master Jinn," I said back, remembering he was the one to escort me to meet former Chancellor Kalpana. "I hope your Padawan is not still angry about our spar?"

    Qui-Gon chuckled loudly, and I noted that Nilas smiled as well. "No, no. Obi-Wan has taken the defeat well. He has started to learn Soresu to help counter the lack of defence in Ataru. Though I believe he wishes a rematch." Though if the way Master Dooku looks when you duel, I fear my Padawan will suffer defeat again."

    "Cameron is… extremely gifted with a lightsaber. I imagine he will be able to best any in the Order within a decade," Dooku stated proudly; though only those who knew him well would be able to detect the pride in his tone.
    Qui-Gon chuckled and looked at me. "That is high praise indeed, but do not let it go to your head young one."


    "I suspect if it did, Master Dooku would take pleasure in knocking it back out," I replied, making Qui-Gon laugh even louder.

    "Yes, I imagine he would."

    The doors to the room opened, and I turned to see Darihd walk in with Sifo-Dyas.

    "Good, everyone is here, please be seated," Nilas said as she took one of the comfy seats that reminded me of beanbags, though with a more defined shape.

    Once we were, she turned to me and smiled. "Hello again, child of time." Then she 'looked' at each person in the room in turn.

    "Master Jinn, I am glad to see you have decided to join us. I was concerned that the perceived distance between you and your former master would lead to you not joining us."

    Qui-Gon bowed his head before he spoke. "I am grateful for your concern, Master Nilas. Thankfully Master Dooku is now, apparently, more… open, regarding certain prophecies and events."
    Dooku grunted quietly but didn't deny the comment.


    "That is probably due to Cameron," Sifo-Dyas explained with a small smile. "Having to teach a Padawan that many believe is the Chosen One would force any Jedi to reassess their opinions."

    "I hate being called that," I muttered loud enough that everyone could hear. Qui-Gon, Sifo-Dyas and Darihd all chucked to various degrees as Nilas turned her head to me.

    "You may hate the label, but you are the Chosen One. Yet, you are also not." I frowned, which made her laugh even if she couldn't see my face. Likely because of how her race used the Force to see.

    "For some time now, we Seers, and others with the gift, have sensed a coming darkness within the Republic. That veil of darkness became to most Jedi four years ago. And yet, with the darkness came a new light. One that didn't shrink or cower from the darkness, instead it grew brighter as it touched the darkness."

    "That sounds familiar," I mumbled as I glanced at Sifo-Dyas, which made both him and Nilas smile.

    "Yes, I understand Master Sifo-Dyas said something similar to you a few years ago," Nilas continued. "He was not wrong. Nor was I about the darkness within you making your shine brighter.

    "Yet, you were not the only light that I have witnessed in this darkness," she paused and again looked at everyone in the room. "What I say now is something I have never revealed to any."

    "Before Cameron's arrival, within the darkness, I have long seen another. While this source of light is potentially greater than Cameron, in almost all my visions from before, that light faded for a time before exploding, consuming the darkness and itself. What comes after that, I do not know, and now will never know, as those visions have been replaced with others."

    She paused to take a mouthful of water, though no-one spoke. Instead, we all waited for her to continue.

    "This new light, one I know within my very bones is young Cameron, has altered that future. The darkness will still grow, though how much in covers all is far less clear than before. It could cover every source of light within the galaxy, yet I feel it is far more likely that it will not be as large or long-lasting as it could have been.

    "However, the one constant I can see in all these new glimpses it the way the twin Chosen are linked."

    "I have seen something similar, though the linked fates of Cameron and the Chosen One is beyond my ability," Sifo-Dyas added, as I felt everyone's gaze upon me. "Though the fact there are two who could fulfil the prophecy and bring about the end of the Sith is encouraging."

    "Sadly, the prophecy does not actively state an end to the Sith," Qui-Gon offered with a smile, "though I believe you have already realised this, Padawan."

    "I do, Master Jinn."

    He raised his hand to cut me off. "Please, since we are alone and a part of this little coalition, call me Qui-Gon."

    I smiled and nodded. "Yes, sir." He chuckled and turned to Dooku.

    "He seems far more respectful than I remember being."

    Dooku laughed once with a close mouth. "He is, and yet isn't. It is most perplexing and stimulating."

    "If I may answer the question?" I asked, proving Dooku's point, which made Qui-Gon chuckle once more as he waved his hand, indicating for me to continue. "My opinion on what balance means, which is already known to Masters Dooku and Sifo-Dyas, does not mean the destruction of the Sith. Not unless the Jedi also fall."

    "What? Why would you want that?" Darihd blurted out, only to seem to sink into himself as the four masters turned their attention to him. "Um, I mean, wouldn't that mean our deaths as well?"

    "Why would it?" I asked back. "The coming darkness is being brought on by the corruption and decadence in the Republic, centring on the Senate; a body that the High Council has fused the Jedi too.

    "If, when, one falls, so will the other. That is unavoidable. Yet, how can someone preach about balance when they deny part of themselves? How can we fight against the darkness, within ourselves and the galaxy at large, when we fail to acknowledge the same darkness that exists within all living creatures? Jedi included."

    "A bold proclamation young one," Nilas said with a smile and a shake of her head. "Yet also one showing wisdom far beyond your tender years."

    She paused and sighed. "However, we are not here to debate a topic that has been raging for longer than even I have been within these walls. Instead, we are to discuss what can be done to drive back the oncoming storm, how we can prepare for the rot to bring down the Republic and the Order, the link that exists between you and the other Chosen One and how to approach it."

    "I'd assume just becoming closely acquainted with this other person would be the easiest approach," I suggested.

    "I believe we have spoken at length on the dangers of assumptions," Dooku stated firmly. "Though in this case, that does appear to be the most logical approach."

    "Logical yes, but without knowing more about this other, we can do nothing but speculate," Nilas added before coughing once more. "The path you must walk young Padawan is shrouded in mystery.

    "When I attempt to meditate on the matter, the Force swirls around the pair of you, blinding like the light from two stars. It makes any details, even the most remote, impossible to see."

    "Then this other could be anything from Cam's best friend to his greatest rival?" Darihd asked, seemingly having grown more comfortable speaking up as this time when everyone turned his way, he held his ground.

    "Yes." Nilas sighed and suddenly looked far frailer than her age would suggest. "Sadly, the Force does not grant one perfect sight of what is to come: only hints of possibilities. How we interpret those glimpses is up to mere mortals, and none of us are infallible."

    I frowned and looked from her to Sifo-Dyas, remembering the story he and Dooku had told about seeing a planet burn. "Are all visions so vague?"

    Nilas smiled at me before looking at Sifo-Dyas. "No. Not all. Just as the closer you are to a fire, the easier individual flames are to see, so to do visions tend to become clearer the closer you approach the event they cover. That does not, however, mean we can know exactly what will happen."

    "Like, if someone had a vision of their loved one dying, and did all they could to stop it only for they themselves to be the cause of that death?" I suggested, using Anakin's visions in Episode 3.

    "That is a strangely specific example to use, but the premise is true," Sifo-Dyas answered as his brow creased. "And an example of why relationships for a Jedi are forbidden."

    "And an example of one of the few things the Jedi and Sith agree upon, though for entirely different reasons," Nilas added, making everyone turn to her. "Do you understand why Padawans?"

    Darihd shook his head but I smirked.

    "Because everyone can be a monster or an angel in the name of love." Nilas smiled warmly and nodded even as I continued. "However, that would be true for those who are not Force-sensitive as well. For both Jedi and Sith to deny that their emotions, good and bad, influence their decisions and actions is to cut off a part of themselves, thus denying them balance."

    "I see Master Fay has been explaining her views to you," Nilas said with an amused shake of her head.

    "Those opinions are my own," I replied quickly, wanting to save Fay from getting into trouble. "I had them even before I began learning from Master Fay, or Master Dooku."

    "Cameron is correct. He does hold opinions that many would consider heretical, and while I do not fully agree with many of them, he does speak with wisdom far beyond his age." Dooku added in support.

    "Perhaps we might discuss that topic another day," Sifo-Dyas offered as he glanced at his commlink. "The longer we are all in here, the more chance we have to arouse suspicion."

    "Yes, yes. I know that meeting here was not your preferred option, but you are aware of why I cannot simply walk out of the Temple and hold this meeting in a quiet little corner of Coruscant." Nilas countered, to which Sifo-Dyas nodded in acquiescence.

    I could only assume that due to her status as a member of the Council of First Knowledge, a Seer, or just her advanced age, she did not leave the Temple often; if at all. Which would explain why we were meeting here instead of outside the Temple, where there would hopefully be less chance of another Jedi of interrupting us.

    "Perhaps we might consider how to move forward with any plans?" Qui-Gon offered calmly, his eyes staying with me instead of the byplay between his fellow Jedi Masters. "Padawan, might I infer that the reason you published and then diverted the proceeds from your story was the start of such a plan?"

    I looked over at Dooku, who gave a fractional nod for me to answer. "It was, and wasn't, sir. The objective there was the girl, Padmé Naberrie. A, for lack of a better term, voice in the Force called her name to me, which was why we became involved in the relocation efforts. It was her desire for me to publish my creation, I merely suggested diverting the earning to help."

    "And in doing so, earned the friendship of the girl, helped increase the chances that an entire race would survive, discovered a revenue source outside the control of the Jedi or Senate and, provided you one day reveal yourself as the author, a large amount of goodwill with the denizens of the galaxy," Qui-Gon added with a wide smile.

    "Honestly, I didn't plan for it to be so successful," I replied with a shrug. "I only did it to help."

    Darihd coughed into his hand, though it sounded more like laughter.

    "Perhaps, but by trusting your instincts, you were in a position to make a difference and help those around you."

    "While I concede that Cameron's actions have potential future benefits for what we are doing, we are not here to argue the merits of aspects of the Force, Qui-Gon," Dooku said firmly to his former Padawan.
    Qui-Gon lowered his head as Nilas spoke once more.


    "Sifo-Dyas and I have considered possible paths we should travel, but without further details about the Chosen One, we cannot decide on which to take."

    "What about a safe harbour?" Darihd offered hopefully. "I mean, if the Republic is to fall, and the Order with it, then we cannot stay in the Temple, right?"

    "No, we cannot. However, while the idea of a refuge for the Jedi and our knowledge is desired, any moves we make to develop a location somewhere else in the Republic will draw the attention of someone, and word will leak back to the Senate, The High Council, or both." Sifo-Dyas explained slowly.

    "Then perhaps somewhere outside the Republic," I suggested. "I'm sure there are systems that have been lost to time, while others may simply not have been catalogued, or not even discovered yet."

    "Again, wise beyond your years," Nilas said with another smile. "There are indeed worlds whose hyperspace coordinates have been lost or forgotten and many more that are nothing more than a name in the central records of the Republic. However, discovering such a world that would be suitable as a refuge is a long a difficult undertaking. One we sadly lack the numbers in our group to truly commit to."

    "Why not ask the Exploration Corps, Master? Couldn't you ask them to search for worlds that the Jedi could use as training centres?" Darihd suggested to Sifo-Dyas, who shook his head in reply.

    "While asking the corps is sensible, the risk that they'd reveal their findings to another member of the High Council is too great to use unless…" his voice trailed off as he tapped his chin. "Perhaps there is a way, though I'll have to research it first."

    "We can also be on the lookout for mentions of hidden or lost systems in our travels," Qui-Gon added. "I believe I heard mention of a world near Hutt Space that was used by mercenaries but wasn't in any hyperspace tracking listings."

    "I believe we must end here," Dooku suggested as he glanced at the chrono-display on his commlink. "Cameron and I have classes to teach and being late would raise questions I would prefer to avoid."

    "Yes," Nilas agreed with a tired sigh. "I also have somewhere to be."

    "If anyone has any ideas, please inform either Master Nilas or me," Sifo-Dyas stated as everyone stood.

    "Of course," Dooku replied as I exited with him and we walked in silence to the elevator. However, as we entered, Qui-Gon caught up with us.

    "Perhaps we might spar once more, Master," he suggested with a smile, that Dooku returned, though it was not as large.

    "Certainly Qui-Gon. But I remind you there is no need to refer to me as Master. We are equals now."

    Qui-Gon chuckled. "Perhaps, but I admit that I still find calling you by your name strange." He glanced at me. "Have you even revealed it to your latest Padawan?"

    "I have not. And until he becomes a Knight, I do not feel the need to inform him of it." Dooku replied as I frowned.

    What Dooku's given name was had been a running question in my head. I'd searched the archives, but they did not list it, suggesting he had gone into the system and removed it. There was the chance that his given name actually was Dooku, but I highly doubted that was the case.

    "Then far be it from me to do otherwise, Master Dooku," Qui-Gon agreed as he chuckled at my frown.

    It might be a minor detail, but when it was something that I knew nothing about, it was annoying to not know. And a little refreshing as it was nice to not know things that others did.






    About a week after meeting with Nilas and the others, Dooku and I were heading to the spaceport nearest the Jedi Temple.

    In that week, I'd spent most of my free time meditating in solitude. Thankfully, no-one questioned my desire to meditate, since it was allowed, and while I'd used the time to train up certain Force Powers, most of the time I was simply taken up by me thinking about what had been discussed in the meeting, or how to handle the situation with Jon.

    Regarding Jon, I hadn't come up with any other real options beyond allowing him to spar with me and see where things went. I wouldn't hold back, but I also wouldn't go all out. Hopefully, the middle road would have a better effect on him than passivity or aggression.

    While I hoped that sparring would help him and that I could get through to him, I had serious doubts I could. If it didn't, I was going to have to either just let him go, and risk him becoming a threat and possible agent of the Sith, or take him out.

    As for the meeting, having a support group that now extended beyond Dooku and Fay was a relief. Yet, it also increased the chance that the High Council or Palpatine would learn what we were up to.

    Learning that Nilas's Force Visions dealt with me and Anakin, while unexpected, made sense once I thought about it. TPTB had told me a few times that the Force was trying to work out how I fit into things, and it now linking my fate to Anakin's, which, once I got past the bout of pride that generated, made sense.

    I'd talked with Dooku and discovered that my midi-chlorian count was in the same region as Yoda's. While this was extremely high, it was not at the same level as Anakin's.

    However, one thing I was certain of was that I learnt powers and skills at a rate far beyond most, if not all, sentients. That meant that while he potentially had larger natural reserves of the Force to call on, I'd have greater control/ability with those powers.

    If we ended up as rivals, then that would make things interesting. However, I was leaning heavily on the idea that I could replace Obi-Wan in the big brother role for the boy, if not outright replace him as Anakin's Master.

    That train of thought had resulted in a quest being generated. It involved me becoming a Jedi Knight before Padmé became queen of Naboo. Since the quest was C-rated, the interface/TPTB felt me getting knighted while I was still a teenager was likely. The major downside had been that if I failed, Anakin would be locked into becoming Qui-Gon or Obi-Wan's Padawan.

    Since having Anakin become Obi-Wan's Padawan had resulted in the rise of Darth Vader, that was the worst possible outcome, thus I'd rejected the quest.

    While I was confident that, provided my increase in levels continued at the current rate, I would be knighted before Padmé became queen, the risk of not stopping Anakin going down his canon path was not worth 1000XP. After rejecting that quest, I silently wished that I'd be wise enough to see those type of issues when I'd taken some of my earlier quests.

    The further discussions about locating or re-discovering a refuge for survivors of the Jedi Purge – if that came to pass – had also played around in my head. I'd spent a few hours each day with Dooku reading up on worlds with connections to the Force to which their hyperspace coordinates were not listed. Especially those linked to Revan or Satele Shan as I had spoken to Revan and Satele's holocron seemed to be holding back information from me, even now that I was a Padawan.

    For Revan, three came up, Lehon, more commonly known as Rakatan homeworld of Rakata, Malachor V, and Dromund Kaas. Since both Rakata and Dromund Kaas were still essentially dark side nexus planets, I had to assume that the hyperspace coordinates were simply restricted, though if the Jedi didn't know how exactly to get to Dromund Kaas, it was going to make the datapad in my Inventory with those coordinates – and the ones to other Sith Space worlds like Ziost – very useful.

    Meanwhile, while Malachor V was listed in connection to Revan, my eidetic memory had informed me that, as of KOTOR2, Malachor was a shattered husk of a planet. It was neither light nor dark, but dead. A void in The Force. Not the best place for a refuge of Jedi.

    For that matter, setting up a Jedi refuge in Sith Space was probably not a good idea either. Any group based there would be easy for the High Council to label as Sith if they were discovered before the outbreak of the Clone Wars. To say nothing about how Palpatine would react to me learning that I'd based a Jedi group on Sith worlds.

    The search linked to Satele had been more useful. It had listed worlds that caught my attention.

    Tython was the supposed first world where the ancient Je'daii Order – the forerunner to the Jedi – had been formed and was in the Deep Core; a place known to be extremely difficult to traverse. Which probably explained why its exact location had been lost to the ravages of time.

    Satele had apparently rediscovered the world during a decades-long peace with a Sith Empire that had forced the Jedi to fleeCoruscant for a while during her lifetime. The hyperspace coordinates to Tython had again seemingly been lost as I doubted that if the Jedi still had them, they wouldn't be hidden from someone of Dooku's standing.

    There were also brief mentions of other worlds that had been used by the Jedi throughout the ages, even some that were apparently the staging grounds for a resistance against some ominous threat that appeared out of the Unknown Regions. But they were almost never mentioned, except in dark rumours and digitally redacted recordings. I had little hope of finding them when someone had so obviously tried to erase their existence from recorded history.

    There were also more than a thousand worlds that were mentioned in older documents that had no listed hyperspace coordinates. These, while lacking links to the Force and my family line, could still be useful places, if rediscovered, for staging posts or refuges.

    The only issue with such worlds was, obviously, that they were lost. That meant finding them would require time, effort, and possibly a little luck. And probably a little help from the Force.

    As we stepped out of the transport shuttle, I glanced around and saw that another vessel had a golden glow. Where it was going I didn't know, as we were outside the spaceport so I couldn't see the display boards, but unless Dooku had plans for where we were to go – and I didn't think he did as we weren't meant to meet up with Fay until after the new year; which was still three months away – I saw no reason for us not to take that vessel.






    Seven days later, I found myself on another transport, this one bound for Nar Shaddaa. We had transferred twice from other vessels, and I was beginning to doubt that this golden halo had anything to do with the Force or TPTB.

    "I do hope that Hutt Space is not our final destination," Dooku stated from his seat in the small cabin we had on the vessel as I felt the now-familiar lurch as we accelerated into hyperspace.

    "As do I, Master. Though if we are there to end the Hutts, I would not be against it." I replied with a smirk even as I considered the chaos that I could cause on Hutt Space. Thanks to maxing out Telepathic Shield, I had no risk of him – or anyone else – sensing my thoughts while it was active, which it was whenever I was in the company of others.

    The fact that the Republic banned slavery but allowed Hutt Space to exist – and blatantly turn a blind eye – was another example of the Senate being motivated by the greed of the few, not the desires of the many.

    "While I share your sentiment, doing anything to anger the Hutt families would only lead to, restrictions, being placed upon us by the High Council." Dooku's tone was clear in its disgust, but I couldn't tell whether that was due to the Hutts, the failings of the Senate/High Council, or a bit of both. "Now come, I believe we can use this vessel for a more advanced form of sparring."

    I followed him out into the corridor, then through the ship and then down to the lower passenger levels. While the quarters we had were cramped, we at least had room to move around in the room. That was probably due to Dooku being against being jammed in like sardines as the passengers in these levels were.

    There were eight to a room not much bigger than our quarters, with a single fresher unit between them.

    The people down here were poor, desperate and often fed up with the corruption of the Senate and the Republic. I'd even seen more than few of them glare at us on both this ship and the last as we passed, indicating that the reputation of the Jedi was just as sullied as that of the Republic; if not worse as we were meant to be peacekeepers and protectors of the innocent and downtrodden.

    Eventually, we arrived at a deck that appeared to be deserted, and we stopped.

    "While you are comfortable fighting within a sparring ring or a similar open space, often that is not the case," Dooku stated as he turned to me and unclipped his lightsaber. "Often, you will face opponents in enclosed or cramp areas like this corridor."

    "Which would rule out most movements of Ataru," I interrupted as I unclipped my lightsaber. "It would also limit the effectiveness of Shii-Cho as without the room to move quickly, the attacks of the form are lacking."

    "Indeed. I am relieved to see you understand the issue. What then would you consider a good form for combat in this location?" He asked as our lightsabers hissed to life.

    "Makashi has some use, as its natural weakness against blasters is countered from the need to only defend a very narrow area. Soresu, while the natural defensive form, would be less useful than normal as it lacks the ability to force any attackers back, and if they use blasters, the chances of them running out of shots before a Jedi tires is, unlikely.

    "Shien is the most obvious choice, especially against blasters, but it lacks much in the way of offensive capabilities. Or at least, from the velocities I had studied so far, while Djem So is only useful once close enough to use a lightsaber offensively." While I had answered, Dooku had moved a few metres further down the corridor.

    A single nod as I finished speaking, indicated that he was happy with my answer. "Excellent deductions. Shien would be the choice of many Jedi, though others might say Niman. That form is preferred by many Jedi now, but unless studied to a highly advanced degree, the form is lacking in all areas of combat. Thus the best option is often to use the Force to alter the battle to your advantage."

    He paused as he turned and raised his blade. "Let us see how well you can adapt."

    I readied myself, with Bullet Time and Precog activating automatically, as he moved forward, and leaned back at a warning from Precog, then felt a blast of Force energy career past me.

    I barely had time to process that this spar would involve using the Force before Dooku was upon me.

    Bullet time and Precog were both at a high enough level that I could keep up with his rapid stabs, prods and slashes, though it was tough going as he was a far superior duellist in this location and it was taking all of my concentration to avoid the continual succession of attacks he was launching. I managed to avoid another two offensive uses of the Force before something came from behind and took out my feet.

    As I fell backwards, I thrust out a hand to Push off the floor, only to smash myself into Dooku's lightsaber.

    "Arg," I grunted out. Since the blades were in a low-power setting, the contact wasn't lethal, and with Damage Resistance: Energy being in the Master range, a good chunk of the damage done was negated.

    However, it still annoyed me to be hit, and I took a small touch more damage as I fell backwards, and this time didn't arrest my fall.

    "You must be aware of all of your surroundings when in combat, especially when engaged in tight quarters. The slightest mistake or misstep will mean serious harm, if not death."

    "Yes, Master," I grumbled as I looked and saw that it had been a toolbox that had taken out my feet. My mood worsened when I saw that the interface had warned of the danger, but I'd been too busy reacting to Dooku's attacks to realise that there was a new danger from another direction.

    As I began to stand, he turned and walked away. "Again." He called out once we were more than three meters apart.

    I lifted my right leg, avoiding a blast from him, and stepped forward.

    He prodded three times in quick succession. I blocked the first two, but as the third approached, I Phased and stepped forward.

    His blade trailed harmlessly though me and then his brow just enough to tell me he was surprised as I stepped through him.


    As always, passing through a blade or person felt tingly, but thanks to a few years practising with Fay I was used to the sensation.

    As I stepped past him, I ended Phase, which resulted in my blade resting against the inside of his thigh.

    "Most impressive." He stated and I deactivated my lightsaber, allowing him to turn to face me. "I see your lessons with Master Fay have been worthwhile."

    I gave a nod as a smile broke out on my face. "Yes, Master. While the feeling of passing through something living, or a lightsaber, is strange, I have grown used to it."

    Dooku's lip curled. "That is one way to describe the feeling. I would advise you to not reveal that during spars with other Jedi, or in combat unless you are being overwhelmed. It is a powerful tactic to have, but overuse only allows your enemies to adapt."

    "That was the first time I've used it in a spar since becoming your Padawan," I stated, making a smile twitch into, then out of, existence.

    "We shall go again, however this time, I want you to stick to more the more common applications of Force, in particular, telekinesis, blast and barrier." He said before turning and walking three metres away from me.
    I raised and activated my lightsaber, tensing in preparation only for Precog to warn me to brace.


    I grabbed the nearest handhold and noted Dooku doing the same, as the ship violently shook.

    "We have exited hyperspace prematurely," he explained as the shaking stopped mere moments after it had begun, clipping his lightsaber back into his belt and pulling out his commlink a second before it beeped. "Yes?"

    "Master Jedi, we have a situation. How soon can you reach the bridge or engineering?" the transport's captain – a man by the name of Thrall – asked through the link.

    I mentally pulled up the map of the ship, something I did as a precaution on every vessel since my kidnapping. "We're closest to engineering. About three minutes, depending on traffic." I stated and Dooku relayed that to Thrall.

    Thrall sighed loud enough that it carried over the audio-only comm-line. "Then I must ask you to head there."

    "What exactly has happened captain?" Dooku asked as he waved at me to take the lead.

    A glance at my interface showed I had about sixty per cent of my FP. I then cast Detection, fully reached out with the power, and frowned. Since the ship was only about eight-hundred metres long, the three groups that were about fifty kilometres away, and closing, had to be inbound vessels.

    Sadly, when using Detection fully, it showed up the problems with it as it was only when a target was within one kilometre - the range of my minimap - that I got an accurate location. Anything beyond that was just a rough estimate of the range.

    "Our hyperdrive engine disengaged abruptly, dropping us out in an uninhabited system. And three ships are approaching fast that are ignoring hails." Thrall explained, confirming what Detection had told me.
    "Pirates?"


    "Either that or slavers. They are a constant threat as we approach Hutt Space if you don't pay the appropriate fees." My frown deepened at the transports had to pay protection money to avoid being attacked by raiders. We were still inside Republic space, yet the Thrall's tone made it clear this was something everyone running transports to Nar Shaddaa had to deal with.

    "What defences do you have?"

    I dodged around a pair of Duros that were ambling around in the corridor, clearly wondering what had happened.

    "The ship has a pair of laser cannons, but they won't do much against three ships."

    "And onboard?" Dooku continued with the questions, trying to get as much information as possible.

    There was a pause before Thrall answered. "We've been told to heave to and prepare to be boarded. If we don't comply, they're threatening to kill members of the crew and passengers."

    I didn't need to see his face to know Dooku was frowning as he replied. "Then I suggest you do as ordered. I assume they are jamming hyperspace communication?"

    "Yes, Master Jedi." Thrall sighed loudly just as we ducked into an elevator. "I don't know what to do."

    "Order the passengers to their cabins, arm the crew and secure the bridge. We will see how we can help once we reach engineering."

    "Thank you, Master Jedi. May the Force be with you." The commlink closed and Dooku turned to me.

    "How many are there?" he asked. Something that both he and Fay had noted was that ability to sense others at distance was beyond that of most Jedi, themselves included.

    "Around eighty. The two closest groups each have about thirty while the last group is moving slower and holding back." I replied after casting Detection again. "Based on their speeds and distances, the lead two ships should be docking in about six minutes. Each will dock amidships, though on opposite sides." I reported.

    Dooku nodded as he processed what I'd told him. "While I believe we could handle one group quickly, the duel-landing poses an issue." He stated slowly as the elevator slowed and the doors opened, revealing five crew members rushing around rapidly. "Our first goal is to see if the hyperdrive can be repaired in time, though I suspect foul play means that is unlikely."

    I looked at each crewmember, casting Observe as they caught sight of us. Thanks to that power, it was easy to discover that one of them was responsible for the hyperdrive failing.

    "The Sullustan," I whispered to Dooku as we stood by the door.

    "He is anxious, but that is true of all of them," Dooku replied only for his eyes to narrow as he focused on the Sullustan. "Hmm, I do sense that there is more to his worry than just the pirates."

    "I think he is concerned that we are here," I suggested, using what Observe stated about him, though with a touch more vagueness. "Perhaps that is because he is responsible for the engines failing."

    "Yes, that would make sense. However, we do not have much time to confirm it."

    He strode forward confidently, stopping only once he was standing behind the Sullustan.

    "Why has the hyperdrive failed?" he asked bluntly, and I sensed the application of the Force behind the question.

    "I, uh, it,"

    "You will tell me," Dooku stated, interrupting the stammering Sullustan. This time the usage of the Force was stronger.

    "I will tell you." The Sullustan paused. "I altered our hyperspace coordinates to this system, then disabled the hyperdrive with a security datacard." The other four engineers looked at their co-worker with first, then shock and anger at what they heard.

    "You will give me the datacard."

    The Sullustan reached into his pocket and pulled out a small object that reminded me of a credit card from Earth before he handed it to Dooku.

    Dooku tossed the drive to another engineer as he waved his hand at the Sullustan, who fell like a puppet that had had its strings cut.

    "Get the engines back online and secure him for questioning." He ordered as he turned to me.

    Whatever he wanted to say was cut off as his commlink beeped.

    "Master Jedi, the pirates are demanding that we open the airlocks," Captain Thrall almost shouted. The panic in his voice evident, but he was still in control. "They've threatened to fire on the bridge and engines if we do anything to resist."

    "We have discovered the source of your engine problems," Dooku replied, giving the man some comfort. "Can you direct the pirate vessels to the same docking area?"

    "No. The two smaller ships have moved to either side of us while the freighter is staying to the rear and above us."

    I used Detection again and confirmed the report with a nod.

    "Very well. Have the crew move the passengers away from the main docking port on each side of the vessel. We will handle them."

    "And the freighter?"

    "That as well." Dooku closed the link and turned to me. "Could you disable the freighter as you did when kidnapped?"

    I shrugged. "Yeah, but without any idea of where they are in those ships, and rough deck plans, I can't be sure that I'd be able to take them all out without either killing them. And if any are of a species with thicker skin or bones, say Gamorrean, then I might not even stun them."

    Dooku stroked his beard. "Do so. I wish to take a few alive for interrogation, so we will have to ensure survivors from the boarding parties and hope that the operational commander is on in one of those groups." He moved to the elevator and stepped in, with me right behind him.

    "You will handle the starboard docking port," he stated as the elevator rose. "The moment you hear the docking hatch begin to open, disable everyone on the freighter. How you deal with those who board this vessel is up to you, however, remember that I desire captives, so prisoners are preferable to bodies."

    "Yes Master."

    A part of me was worried that Dooku's apparent disinterest in taking everyone prisoner was a concern, but the more rational part of me agreed with him. Having fought in battles in my past life, I understood that our primary concern was protecting the civilians on this transport, and the use of lethal force was acceptable.

    I did though wonder how most Jedi would approach the situation. Probably attempt to convince the pirates to leave with an errant wave of their lightsaber?

    "Keep your commlink open so we can coordinate our counter-assaults." Without waiting for me to reply, he took off at a jog towards the port-side docking area.

    I wasn't surprised by the lack of concern at him sending me off into combat without any words of encouragement as I followed his actions towards my destination. The calm, stoic approach he used fit with what I'd expected from him based on his scenes in the movies and cartoons, though he thankfully didn't have a sociopathic approach to other beings that seemed to have been hinted at. Or at least, if he did, he kept it under wraps.

    As I neared my destination, I noted that my FP was now around sixty-five per cent and activated Detection and left in on.

    My primary target group was just on the far side of the hull, probably in the process of docking, while Dooku's group was about a minute behind, though I noted Dooku was now waiting for them.

    The pirate freighter was still about three kilometres above and behind our transport and as I heard the familiar hissing of an airlock sealing into place I reach out with the Force and, using TK, took hold of the twenty sentients on the freighter.

    "They are docking. Take out the freighter." Dooku stated quietly through the commlink, which I had turned down the volume on to not give myself away. I also made a mental note to get an earpiece for it for future combat situations.

    As I launched the freighter crew upwards with TK, and then slammed them violently onto the decks, I heard the voices coming from the docking area.

    The whole attack had taken only seconds, but the fact seventeen contacts blinked out told me it had been successful. Now I just had to hope the High Council didn't give me another bollocking for being too aggressive in dealing with pirates. At least I could say I was following orders this time.

    "Heh, no-one's here," a heavily accented voice said from the docking area.

    "I hope they've got some yummies on board," another said with a chuckle, making me growl. Honestly, I wasn't sure in what way he was saying that would be worse.

    I stepped around the corner and saw that about a third of the pirates had exited the docking hatch.

    "Looks boys, they sent a kid for us," a large man stated, earning a chuckle for the others.

    "No," a Trandoshan hissed as his tongue flicked out, tasting the air. "A Jedi. The Scorekeeper will be pleased."

    He stepped forward, a large vibroblade in hand and I noted the others, who were still boarding, seemed content to let him deal with me.

    That was fine as the large reptilian was slowly moving into position to block me from sight from the others.

    I stood calmly, my hands at my side, making no move for my lightsaber even as the Trandoshan came closer, his teeth showing as he smiled down at me.

    "Prepare to die by my blade," he stated, which drew a chuckle from his friends, only for the sword in his hand to suddenly move, slicing his leg to the bone.

    "Argh!" He grunted out as he stumbled even as the blade was ripped from his grip, spun around and then slammed into his open mouth.
    I heard the grumbling of the other pirates as he fell to the ground dead.


    "Anyone else?" I asked as I took hold of every weapon with TK and yanked them forward.

    Most lost their blaster or blade, though a few managed to keep the grip. That resulted in those few being pulled forward and falling face-first into the deck.

    "Get him!" a human shouted as he pulled a pistol from a holster I hadn't seen as I saw others following his lead.

    Using Barrier, I generated a protective bubble of the Force around myself as a few pirates opened fire. The barrier held easily – the power was in Savant range and could, in theory, survive a blast from a fighter, though I wasn't willing to test that just yet – as I grabbed the man who'd given the order and pulled him forward, slamming him into the wall to my right, though not with enough force to kill him.

    As he slumped to the ground groaning, I sent the weapons flying back to their owners. Though those who'd managed to keep hold of their weapons in my initial attack, now found themselves landing on their backs.

    The loose weapons slammed into their owners. Most of the blasters broke in half as they made their target stumble or fall over, while the blades all lodged themselves in the arms or legs of their owners.

    The rate of fire against my barrier fell to almost nothing as I lifted ten of them and slammed them into the wall, making the group fall on the human who had spoken before.

    In quick succession, I repeated the process with two more groups of ten until all thirty pirates were lying in a heap against the wall.

    Ignoring the groans from the group, I pulled the closest one that was still moving, a grey-skinned Duros, towards me.

    "Two questions. Who is in charge, and do you have any restraints?" The only issue with disabling most of them was that I now had no way to restrain them all.

    As the Duros groaned instead of replying I sighed.

    "Note to self, keep more cuffs in my inventory," I muttered as I kicked the Duros in the head, rendering him unconscious and pulled the half-dozen restraining cuffs from the Inventory.

    That would leave two dozen that needed to be secured, but I was reasonably sure I could find something that would do the job.





    To be clear, Cam has only played KOTOR 1/2, not SWTOR, so he doesn't know about anything covered in that game which is why the information on what happened during Satele's life is so vague.
    While the Jedi will have records about events back then, many would have been lost/forgotten as time passed.


    Also, this has now caught up to the story on FFN.
     
  10. USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Getting sticky.

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    Up to date now, so there's no risk of spoiling it for any new readers ;)
     
  11. USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Getting sticky.

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    With most stories/music, the issue would be changing lyrics/context to be less Earth-specific.
    Classical music is an interesting idea. Though I'm not sure how easily Cam could write whole orchestra ensembles.

    FYI
    Current stories/movies to maybe introduce are;
    Alien/Predator Starcraft Warcraft Fallout Stargate(?) Starship Troopers

    Music on the list so far (there should be at least 30, but I haven't decided on a full listing)
    ‘Everybody Hurts’ ‘Something’s Happening Here’ 'Blaze of Glory' 'Freebird' 'Wanted Dead or Alive' 'Welcome to the Jungle' 'Knocking on Heaven's Door'
    'Always look on the Bright Side of Life' 'Stand by Me' 'Friends will be Friends' 'With a Little Help From my Friends'

    Feel free to offer others to add, though do note that introducing them would only be a background thing going forward. (Unless Cam gets asked to do a book-sighing tour :D)
     
    Danu and icreddragon like this.
  12. ImmortalZailoga

    ImmortalZailoga Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

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    I'm curious, is he going to try to leave the order before the clone wars kick off, because the jedi end up as generals so he might be able to get captain Rex or commander cody and their squads if he stays. If he can manage to remove the chips that force them into order 66 they would be great backup for if he leaves the jedi. Tbh Rex and ashoka are some of my favourite characters from the clone was so looking foward to what you end up doing with them.
     
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  13. USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Getting sticky.

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    He's highly likely to leave the Order before the clone wars (or whatever they are called here) break out.
    If there are still clones, he can investigate to determine if they're still chipped, though how exactly that will happen is uncertain. Not least as if Sifo-Dyas pulls away from the Jedi enough, he won't place that order.

    Ashoka will still appear at a later date, though how and when I'm still working on.
     
  14. CloudSkyke

    CloudSkyke Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

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    I noticed that this was the first time that the MC addressed someone as 'master' Is this intentional or perhaps a typo?
    I can see how it may be significant but I don't understand how the situation has enough weight to cause the MC to acknowledge Master Vilbum as a 'Master'.

    This is as far as I have read so the situation might clear itself up.
     
  15. xX---+---Xx

    xX---+---Xx Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

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    Is there an update schedule for this story? If so, what is it and if not, can you give a rough idea on how frequent the updates will be?
     
  16. CloudSkyke

    CloudSkyke Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

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    An awesome and interesting to read.

    Errors that I noted in passing;

    Thank you for the entertainment and I hope to see more soon.
     
  17. USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Getting sticky.

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    Updates are generally once a month.
    There should be a new chapter before then end of the month. The chapter is with my betas/lore guys for examination.
     
    aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh likes this.
  18. USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Getting sticky.

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    It was mainly Cam being respectful as the Council of First Knowledge decides an Initiate's path, not the High Council.

    I'll go back and see those errors. 1 or 2 do creep through with large chapters,
    Glad you're enjoying the story.
     
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  19. PixelatedPork

    PixelatedPork Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

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    Hey just wanted to say that I love this story and hope you keep it up man! Hope you're staying safe in these trying times.
    PixelatedPork rolled 3 die of 6 faces, total: 13
    Rolled on: May-15-2020, 12:31am
    4
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  20. USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Getting sticky.

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    Glad you're liking the story.

    Where I am in China is safe. [Shandong province]
    While schools are still closed - and thus I'm doing classes online via my home computer - everything is generally back to normal. Sure, cinemas and alike are still closed but given I rarely go there, it's not a big issue.
    Though working from a personal computer does make relaxing by writing/gaming harder as I don't want to sit at the damm thing come the evening:mad:

    Hope everyone else around the world is doing well as places reopen while cases are still being reported.
     
  21. Threadmarks: Cathedral of the Past 2
    USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Getting sticky.

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    The only issue with injuring several dozen pirates on a small passenger transport was the lack of effective medical care available.

    Sure, the ship had a medic, but their supplies were limited. And while I would have liked to have used Heal to help them, the power was only Adept 9 and, according to the interface, I needed it to be at least Professional 1 to heal others.

    That meant I had to help the medic with the injured instead of watching Dooku interrogate the leaders.

    It took a full day to handle all the injures – which granted me a few levels in Medicine [First Aid] – and then a further day to examine the computers of the three pirate ships. Though for the freighter, I’d first had to jettison the bodies of the dead crew before I could do that.

    While my Computing [Slicing] and [Electronics] were at Professional 50 and Adept 94 respectfully, liberal usages of Enhance Skill – which was in the high Savant range – and shoddy data protection meant I was able to not only find records of previous attacks for cargo and slaves, but also the location of their base.

    The records would help to ensure the surviving pirates would face prosecution. However, Dooku did not feel that would stop the attacks and I had agreed.

    The pirate base was in a system that was nothing more than a number in the transport’s navigation computer and the name of it meant nothing to Thrall or Dooku.

    Because of that, and remembering perfectly the meeting on Coruscant and the fact the golden halo/light on the transports had led me here, I’d suggested privately to Dooku that perhaps the system could be used by the group we were building as an initial staging post in this area of the galaxy.

    He had agreed, expressing that it could also potentially be used for operations into Hutt Space that we wished to keep hidden from the High Council, explaining that the Hutts were the major source of many of the more illegal ills of the galaxy.

    This much I had already surmised from the few memories I had of actually watching the Hutts in the movies and the show, but I was unaware of exactly how vast their network was. Dooku told me that each Hutt was essentially a criminal kingpin over their own small slice of the Outer Rim and that despite frequently feuding with one another, they were all connected in a vast criminal network such that, if we made any move against them, we’d need a hidden base to work from. It brought to mind images of the stereotypical Mafia families back on Earth.

    That was why, four days after the attempted boarding by the pirates, Dooku and I dropped out of hyperspace on the very edge of the system, which was named by a random string of text and numbers (R11-0407), in a repurposed pirate raider.

    The other raider and the freighter had been handed over to Thrall and his crew to be used as they wished, though not before I had wiped their computer systems for all record of where this system was; though only after backing up said data to a datapad now stored in my Inventory.

    The two days of travel were needed as the planet was well outside any known hyperlanes and we needed to stop at a few other systems to plot the next jump in the sequence.

    “I really wish this thing had some decent long-range scanners,” I moaned from my seat at the helm as I examined the lack of useful information from said scanners. “As expected, we’ve got seven major bodies. Four gaseous and three that are small enough to be solid, though only one is in the habitable zone; and even then, it is at the far edge of the zone.”

    “That should be were the prisoners indicated their base and station were,” Dooku commented from the command chair behind me. “Are there any indications of the other ships or the station from this distance?”

    “Nope. As I said, this piece of junk is lacking decent long-range scanners.” I replied with annoyance at the raider.

    The ship could carry up to fifty people – if they packed in and shared bunks – and work with a minimum crew of five. Since it was only Dooku and me currently on board, that had meant we’d had to split up the work normally meant for those five. And since Dooku was uninterested in mechanics, engineering or other technical subjects, that resulted in me having to serve as pilot, engineer and navigator while also ensuring the two laser cannons and one ion cannon were operational in the event we ended up in a fight.

    Dooku’s interrogations, and my examination of the ships logs, had informed us that around three hundred pirates were working from this system. That was a very large number for such an operation, which meant, according to Dooku, that it had been active for quite a while and probably had backing from someone with more money and connections that your average pirate or slaver.

    They operated in four groups. Two capture teams, one of which we’d taken out, one selling team that travelled into Hutt Space to sell the ore that the slaves mined from the planet as well as any slave that was proving particularly unruly, and a command group that managed the remaining slaves on the station and planet.

    The reason that they didn’t sell all the slaves was twofold. Firstly, to allow the pirates some level of comfort while on the station and secondly, that the planet below the station was rich in several valuable ore and minerals. Those slaves not kept as ‘staff’ or sold on the slave markets in Hutt Space were sent to work in mines. And from everything we’d discovered, most did not live very long.

    We were hoping that the two other teams were out of the system, as dealing with the rest of the pirate fleet would be extremely difficult. Our only real hope in that situation was that we would be able to approach close enough that I could use TK to take out entire ship crews. However, the issue there was the other freighter they were operating using carried a high number of sentients as that would indicate slaves onboard.

    “Hmm. Very well. Set a course for the habitable planet. However, take it slow and alter the course randomly once we are closer. If we do run into other vessels, we can claim we are all that survived the boarding.”

    “Perhaps we could also vent the atmosphere from a few empty sections of the ship?” I suggested.

    “Yes, that would help to sell our story, but hold off on doing so until we are closer. I do not wish to risk what little integrity this vessel has on an illusion we may not need.”

    “Yes, Master,” I replied as we began to move deeper into the system. At current speeds, it would take us almost a day to reach the station, but that was fine as it gave me more time to search the ship for hidden stashes.

    We had gutted all three ships of their stores, discovering about ten thousand credits – that Dooku gave to Captain Thrall and his crew – and a good amount of illegal substances – which we had jettisoned into space – medical, food stores and restraining equipment.

    That meant I now had a dozen restraining cuffs stored away for a rainy day along with the further two dozen we had on board for securing any slavers that were smart enough to surrender.

    All but a week’s worth of food had been transferred to Captain Thrall’s transport, though I had discovered a few hundred more credits in hidden stashes along with a few other odds and ends. And I was hoping to be able to loot the vessels and station here once we took care of the pirates.






    Early the following morning, I was woken by Dooku summoning me to the bridge before the start of my shift.

    “It appears we are in luck,” he stated as I entered the small, cramped bridge. “Neither the transport for selling or the other capture team is in-system.”

    I moved to the helm station and pulled up the scanners.

    What Dooku had stated was correct, a small raider about the same size as our vessel was currently travelling between the planet and the station.

    I also noted that we while we were approaching the planet slowly, the ship was carrying out a series of seemingly random movements along the y-axis hopefully suggesting that our vessel was damaged.

    “They’re trying to hail us,” I said as the commlink began to blink.

    “Ignore it for now. When we are closer, we will reply. I have the names of a few of the lower members of the crew you can use if asked.”

    I turned and looked back at him.

    “While I could carry out the conversation, my tone and style are far too refined to allow me to play the role convincingly,” He explained, answering the question I had conveyed with a look. “While you are far younger than any member of their crew, a simple dropping of your tone, along with applying some basic contractions should be sufficient to fool whomever you speak to. At least until we can land on the station.”

    “Yes, Master,” I replied as I turned back to my station and looked over the scanner data.

    I frowned as I read the details about the station. Mainly because, while it was large enough to be a station, it clearly was not.

    The vessel was massive, having dimensions of three by two by five kilometres, and their engines dominated the back of the ship – which was the direction we were approaching from – with the largest engines being easily wide enough for our raider to fly into.

    What confused me about it, however, was the fact that while the engines and the area around that looked like a starship, the upper reaches of the vessel ended in towers and spires that reminded me of churches and temples from Earth.

    “What is that?” I asked out loud as I pulled up a holographic image of the temple-ship.

    “I am unfamiliar with the design, though judging from the multitude of damage suffered by the hull, I would surmise it was old and adrift when these slavers discovered it.”

    “Why does it look like a temple, though? I don’t recall ever seeing any starships with that profile in any history files.”

    “Hmm. I feel as though I have heard of such ships, but in history books that predate even your birth,” Dooku said slowly as the image rotated as the temple-ship turned in real-time. “However, that is a mystery we can discover once we have secured the vessel.”

    As a warning blinked on my console, I changed the holographic display to show the small vessel that had been travelling to the station had altered course. “We’ve got an escort inbound.”

    “Very well. Use the name Haram if asked for one and begin the random venting program you devised.”

    A few seconds later the program I had created began to slowly vent atmosphere from various points along the hull in a seemingly random pattern. It had taken me a few hours to design a simple randomizer function and insert it into the program for venting. Hopefully, it would help sell our ‘damage’.

    Even as we began to vent, I manually made sure to keep the approaching raider under the aim of one of our ships’ weapons. I did this by moving all three in jerking motions. Again, I could only hope the approaching ship bought the charade and didn’t spot that I always had a weapon trained on them.

    Again, the commlink blinked, and after a comment from Dooku, I opened the link while activating Enhance Skill for Deception.

    “Crassk, what are you doing?” A voice hissed over the comms. “And why can’t we see you.”

    “Crassk is dead,” I replied, doing my best to make my voice seem deeper and rougher. “The fracking ship was carrying Jedi!”

    “Kirff! What about the other ships?” the voice demanded.

    “Lost. The Jedi waited until we docked the transport before attacking.” I paused for effect. “It was a massacre.”

    “Double kriff! Darvok is going to be furious.” The voice went silent for a moment before continuing. “How many of you escaped?”

    “About a dozen of us, but the ship’s starting to fall apart. The Jedi tried to rip the damn engines from us as we fled.”

    “That’s… right, right. We can see hull breeches from here. Follow us into the hanger. Darvok is going to want a report.”

    The link closed before I could reply, and the approaching raider banked towards the temple-ship as I moved to follow.

    “Nicely done, Cameron. I would say there is now a fair chance that this Darvok will be waiting for us on their command ship along with members of his crew.”

    “Meaning we can take out their leadership before they realise what is going on,” I replied even as I waved away a notice saying I’d gained another level in Deception as I stopped using Enhance Skill.

    Dooku nodded. “Indeed. Ideally, the other raider will and nearby so we can take out its crew before they can react.”

    We spent the time as we moved towards the temple-ship developing simple plans for taking out any welcoming party and gaining control of the station/temple-ship.

    The simple truth was that, bar me using TK to take out our escort ship, and the welcoming party before they could call for help, the plan was basically to identify the slavers then disable said slavers. Though I suspected that Dooku’s meaning of disable involved more extreme methods than most Jedi would prefer to use. Or at least I hoped it did as I felt that slavers deserved no mercy.

    It was about twenty minutes later when our raider was guided into a large bay on the far side of the temple-ship.

    While I thought I saw other such bays dotted around the massive vessel, this was the only one that was open. Perhaps that was by choice, but more likely it was due to it being the only one that was open when the slavers discovered the vessel.

    “Our escort is hanging back,” I stated as we passed through the forcefield that held the atmosphere I the bay. “They’re beginning to turn.”

    “What about their weapons?” Dooku inquired as I guided our vessel towards where a group of about ten sentients were gathered. We were still too far away to see what they were up to, but if they weren’t thinking about targeting us, I’d buy a holiday villa on Hoth.

    “Still no lock. I think…” I paused as I saw something on the scanners. “They’ve moved behind us. It doesn’t seem like they’ve locked on, but we’re in their sights.” I felt… something as though a feeling was trying to warn me about something even as Danger Sense flared.

    “Hmm. I believe they have not entirely bought your deception,” Dooku muttered, confirming the feeling I’d just had was a warning from the Force, and I reached out with Detection.

    “You might be right, Master. I think I can sense another thirty or so beings behind the doors to either side of our landing area,” I said, trying to still sound vague to not make it seems as though I could sense every sentient being and droid within a hundred kilometres.

    “There is no need to understate your ability, Padawan. Neither Master Fay nor I have your sensitivity with senses others through the Force.” Dooku said firmly and even without turning, I knew he was scowling at my attempt to undersell my ability.

    “There’s sixteen to the left, eighteen to the right along with a few droids,” I said, not bothering with an apology as Dooku was not one to accept them, preferring instead that I simply learnt the lesson and moved on. “There’s also seventeen on the raider on our tail and, given to the group of fifteen I can sense, another vessel is approaching from the planet from behind the temple-ship, which is probably why the scanners on this bucket can’t detect it.”

    “How far away is this second vessel?”

    “Seventy kilometres, I think.” I wasn’t being vague on purpose here as the distance they were at was beyond my minimap, so I was only given a rough estimate of the range to the targets; in this case between fifty and one hundred klicks.

    Once again, the usefulness of Detection over distance was limited due to my minimap. Hopefully, a new Perk or Player Power would allow for upgrading the minimap.

    I quickly rotated the minimap with a thought, to see where the group was relative to my current plane. “They’re approaching from below and on our right,” I added, taking advantage of a new feature of the minimap to allow me to rotate it to show the z-axis. That feature had been added during the update, but I’d only discovered it while we were travelling to this system as there had been no mention of the interface changing in that way with the update.

    “Most impressive. And highly advantageous in situations such as these.” He paused for a moment as I brought the vessel to a stop as we touched the deck. “We need to disable both those vessels quickly before we lower the ramp, but if we move too early, we risk alerting those aboard this station to our intentions, and increase the chances they can warn their cohorts on other vessels or the planet below.”

    “I can sense about another hundred beings and ten droids aboard the station, Master. I cannot tell which are slavers or slaves however, though I’d suspect that the two groups that are crowded together are prisoners.”

    “Hmm, then after we secure our landing area, we will have to take the station the normal way.” Dooku with a subtle uptick of his lips as he stood. “Come. We have to pay our respects to our hosts.”

    I managed to avoid chuckling at Dooku’s humour as I followed him off the bridge.

    As we reached the landing ramp, he moved to the controls but paused as before lowering the ramp.

    “Can you still sense the crew of the two other vessels?” I nodded, as I’d kept Detection on the Force gave me a warning. “Good, then on my mark take them out…… Mark.”

    As the pressure seal hissed as it released, I reached out with TK and violently slammed every sentient on the two raiders upwards, and then down then repeated the process on the three droids, though I slammed them up and down a second time to be sure. The whole process took only a few seconds, but most of the marks shown by Detection faded away.

    Even as my XP leapt upwards, confirming the majority of those ship’s crews were dead, I silently prayed that there were no slaves upon the vessels. As for the slavers… they had it coming.

    “Jedi!” someone roared from outside the ship, drawing me back from my thoughts, as a handful of blaster bolts came our way.

    I simply leaned to one side to avoid the few that passed near me while Dooku effortlessly deflected them back, killing the two who had shot at him.

    Before the ramp was even fully descended, I had used Barrier to block all incoming fire a few metres in front of us.

    “Impressive,” Dooku stated as we walked down the ramp, the blaster fire bouncing harmlessly off my Barrier. “How long could you maintain this barrier?”

    I glanced at my FP bar, noted the number it was displaying, then the various powers I had active – Detection, Barrier, Precog and Bullet-Time – and did a few quick mental calculations.

    “About three minutes, though I could extend it to maybe ten if I concentrate on nothing else.” Meaning disabling all other active Force Powers, which I was not keen to do in a combat situation after my kidnapping just over two years ago.

    Dooku gave a single, brief nod, but anything he might have said was cut off as the doors to port and starboard opened, allowing the reinforcements I had detected to enter the bay.

    “While impressive, I believe it would be more beneficial if we took the offensive.” His voice never once rose in concern at the fact we were now outnumbered over twenty to one and I found myself adopting a similar sense of calm.

    “Yes, Master.” I reached out with TK, but instead of throwing everyone upwards, I instead focused on every blaster in the room and yanked them towards me.

    “What the?” “Huh?” “Kriff!”

    Several voices called out as I yanked over two dozen blasters towards us, then turned them around in mid-air and aimed at their former owners.

    “Surrender. This is your only chance.” Dooku called out as I dropped Barrier to concentrate on the blasters, trying not to think about how cool it must look for me to be holding nearly four dozen blasters in the air and aiming them, and silently wondering why Jedi didn’t do this more often.

    “Why? We’re not in Republic Space, Jedi. You have no authority here.” A voice called out as a Bothan stood, flanked by two Trandoshans. “We are operating with the permission of the Hutts.”

    “That may be, but you are targeting Republic transports, and are engaged in slavery. We will not tolerate this.” Dooku countered as I noted the two exceptionally large Trandoshans had pulled vibroblades from their belts; and gripped them tightly with two hands.

    I had to assume the other pirates were also reaching for spare weapons, and it was only a subtle gesture from Dooku that prevented me from firing off every blaster I held with TK. Though given to the way my FP was rapidly dropping from me holding all these blasters aloft, I suspected I could only keep this up for another minute or so. Which told me why Jedi generally didn’t do this often. No matter how cool it looked, it was a very taxing use of the Force.

    The Bothan chuckled at Dooku’s statement, as did a few others.

    “Really? The lapdogs of the Senate, who care nothing for the Rim, won’t allow slavery? What if I told you that some of our biggest clients were on Core worlds such as Coruscant?”

    “I would not be surprised. I take it you will not surrender?” [Be ready, Padawan.] Dooku added mentally.

    “No. Eve…”

    “Very well.” Dooku cut-off the leader and raised his lightsaber for combat. [Fire.]

    I did as he instructed, and the floating collection of blasters opened fire on the three groups of slavers.

    They only fired for a few seconds before Precog warned me of an attack, and I dropped the blasters, spun and unclipped and ignited my lightsaber, allowing me to easily deflecting the blast that was aimed for my head back the way it came. Using Precog with Bullet-time was incredibly overpowered when dealing with a small number of enemies, which explained why well-trained Jedi were so feared as opponents.

    I stepped towards where that blast had come from, deflecting or avoiding a few more blasts as I noted that there were less than a dozen slavers left alive in the landing area with us.

    As I deflected another blast, a blade came flying towards me from behind a stack of crates, and I ducked while moving my blade upwards. The offending arm fell helplessly to the floor even as its owner screamed in pain.

    His screams died as I slashed him from waist to neck even as I pulled another pirate towards me, slamming them into the crates.

    “I give up!” shouted the only slaver left in the small group I’d approached as he dropped his blaster pistol.

    I hit him with a Stun and turned back to the crates where the first slaver of this little group was slowly standing.

    Before he could orientate himself, I drove my saber through his chest.

    Another glance at my minimap told me the landing bay was now secure. Including the one I’d stunned, there were only three others alive in the bay.

    I walked back over to our ship and noted that Dooku was glowering down at the now one-armed Bothan. Both Trandoshans lay dead on the floor with various limbs lying around their bodies.

    Part of me was a disturbed by how calmly Dooku was about dismembering and killing, but the larger part knew from my previous life that in combat the most important thing – beyond making sure you survived – was taking out your enemy.

    “The bay is secure Master,” I stated as I pulled the stunned slaver to the ship. “This one chose to surrender.”

    “A far wiser choice than the one taken by his leader,” Dooku replied, turning back to the kneeling Bothan. “Now, you will tell me how many others there are on the station.” Dooku almost growled out as he waved his hand across Bothan’s face.

    “Ha!” The Bothan spat at Dooku’s feet. “You think I’m some weak-willed fool who’d let you manipulate me?”

    “You will tell me.” Now Dooku did growl and I noted the Bothan’s eyes rolled back in his eyes for a moment as the Force washed over the area.

    “I will tell you. There are another thirteen of my men on the station.” All the confidence was gone from the Bothan’s voice, as was any hint of emotion as he answered robotically.

    “And on the planet below?”

    “Another twenty-three.” The Bothan drooled as he spoke and I was certain that Dooku had pushed harder than most Jedi would approve of, but I had no sympathy for the slaver.

    Dooku turned to me. “Secure these two and that one in the ship. I will see about securing this bay fully and locating a terminal.”

    I nodded and lifted the leader, the one who had surrendered to me and another slaver that was slummed over near Dooku into the ship.

    While I had levelled up thanks to the combat, I ignored the notice as the business of securing the temple-ship took precedence. Though the fact my FP had reset with the level-up was another exploitable quirk of my power that I wasn’t going to complain about.

    Once that was done, and we were heading to the ground, I’d pull up the notice and examine what new Perks and Player Powers were available to me.

    As I returned to the landing bay, I found Dooku examining a computer console.

    “Cameron, please examine this.” He stated without turning.

    As I approached, I noted the console was massively different from anything I’d seen so far in this galaxy.

    Most computer systems, even those designed on opposite sides of the galaxy, used similar basic styles and layouts for their displays and consoles.

    This one, however, along with looking as though someone had stripped away most of the outer casing, did not conform to that style.

    The characters, while still Basic, were in a font I could not recall ever seeing before.

    “Thoughts?” Dooku asked as he stepped back to allow me to use the console, which I began to do after activating Enhance Skill for Computing [Electronics].

    After tapping away at the controls and examining what I could of the programming language from this point, I turned to look at him.

    “This ship is old. Very old judging by the what I can follow of the underlying code. It’s still on Basic, which does suggest Republic, or at least Human, origin. Beyond that, there’ not much I can say beyond speculation.”

    “It does not match anything from your original time?” Clearly, he agreed with me about its age and was looking for a guide as to when the ship had been launched.

    I shook my head. “No. While millennia have passed, the underlying styles have not altered as much as one would expect. This, however… I have never seen anything like it before.”

    Dooku leaned back and stroked his beard. “I believe I may have, but until we learn more about this station, I am reluctant to state my suspicions.”

    I gave a single nod in reply. Dooku, as I had learnt from my time with him, was very much a person who preferred facts and details over hunches and speculation, which was why I had held off on revealing my thoughts about the ship’s age.

    “While it is old, Master, I have been able to locate the main bridge. The slavers have jury-rigged a workaround that has given them basic control of this place along with a map.

    “Using this, and the Force, I’ve picked out nine of the remaining thirteen slavers onboard. Six are in or around the command centre with the other three near the engine room.” I explained, pointing to those two locations on the map that was now displayed on the console.

    “And the last four?”

    “Given that the slaves appear to be in two main areas, I’d wager that there’s a pair at each location acting as jailers.”

    “Yes, that would be the most logical approach. However, until we secure the slaves, we cannot be sure about that.

    “Also, in their position, I would have a secondary method for dealing with us. Probably explosives at or near the slaves.” He paused and leaned closer to examine the map. “These two locations appear to be bays similar to this one. That would make eliminating those slaves a simple task that would not threaten the integrity of this place.”

    “The controls for this docking bay are not linked to the bridge, which would suggest the others are not either,” I explained slowly as I manipulated the map. “Though they could easily have rigged explosives to those bay doors with a remote trigger being held by the new commander of the operation.”

    “Indeed. Then our primary objective now is to secure the slaves in landing bays, preferably without alerting those in engineering or command.”

    “Master, perhaps there is a way to secure them and take out the bridge at the same time.”

    “Proceed.”

    I pulled the map of this place back until it showed all five possible targets. “While you head to the bridge, and confront the slavers there, I can scout the two bays and locate the explosives, if there are indeed any. Once I’ve done so, you can face those on the bridge while I take out those holding the slaves.”

    “While I have been impressed by your performance so far, I do not believe you can be in two places at once.”

    I smirked. “Technically no, however thanks to training with Master Fay, I can have improved the distance I can teleport, and with the map of the ship, and being able to sense where everyone is, I’m confident that I can move from one to the other without being seen.”

    “Hmm.” Dooku once more stroked his beard. “There is merit to your proposal and while I am reluctant to support it, I feel it does grant us the greatest chance of taking out the slavers and securing the slaves without their lives being threatened.”

    He stepped back from the console and turned to face me directly. “Very well. We will approach this your way. However, if at any moment I feel you are overexerting yourself, I will inform you to cease using the Force to teleport and instead handle each group to the best of your ability.”

    “Yes, Master,” I replied.

    “Good. Contact me once you have reached the first location.” With that, he turned and walked towards the central doorway, the only one that had been open when we had landed and where the initial group of slavers had been gathered.

    I took off at a jog towards the nearest bay holding the slaves.

    While making my way there, I wondered just when the slavers had gathered their captives into the two locations. I had to assume that they allowed them some right to roam freely while they ‘worked’ or assigned them to different areas of the station.

    Given that they were ready before we even landed, it suggested that Crassk – the name they’d used when the first raider had hailed us – had actually been a coded phrase. That was more than I’d expected from a group of slavers, but given to the size of this operation, it did make sense that the beings in charge had been expected to be rumbled at some point.

    I had to hope that the missing group – the one responsible for selling those slaves deemed of high value – hadn’t been alerted to our attack. If they had, they would either go to ground or try to hire mercenaries and muscle from whoever was backing this operation. And given that the Bothan leader had hinted that they had connections on Coruscant and other Core worlds, that reprisal could be large and brutal.

    Soon enough I was close to the closest of the other landing bays and I slowed.

    Now that I was closer, and could focus on the information Detection was providing to me via the minimap, I was able to note that almost everyone in the bay was huddled together in small groups, save for two who seemed to be walking around, though one was always close to the main door to the bay.

    It was logical to assume that those two were the ones in charge.

    After a moment examining what Detection and the minimap were telling me, I Phased through a wall near the entrance and glanced around.

    The area I’d appeared in was in a corner, partially shielded from sight by the two now-confirmed slavers.

    I pulled my head back and turned, running as quickly as I dared through the corridors of the massive ancient ship until I reached the second slave-filled bay.

    Again, I used the combo of Detection and the minimap to locate a quiet corner in the bay and Phased inside to make sure it was clear.

    I tapped open my commlink, slid a small comm-receiver into my ear to prevent it broadcasting Dooku’s expected reply, and whispered.

    “Master, I have identified the guards in the two bays.”

    “Excellent. I will leave my link open. The moment you hear a voice other than my own take them down and evacuate the slaves from the bays.”

    I didn’t reply, instead simply waited as the sounds of a door hissing open could be heard.

    “That’s far enough Jedi!” someone hissed, though whatever he added I did not instantly hear as I threw a pair of Stun blasts at the two guards in this bay. I would, however, be able to review what was said thanks to Eidetic Memory at a later point in time.

    “Quickly! We need to get out of here!” I shouted as the two Weequay collapsed in heaps.

    “Who?” “What?”

    Several voices commented on the two guards falling like puppets that had their strings cut. Then slowly, very slowly, the gathered slaves – mainly females – turned towards me.

    “Look, I don’t have time for this,” I called out as I ignited my lightsaber. “You need to get out of this bay. NOW!”

    “But the masters…” One female, a yellow-skinned Twi’lek began as I noted that she, like the others, were all wearing a metallic collar that I had to assume was used to control them. And was probably rigged with explosives if they tried to revolt.

    “…are dead.” I finished, before shrugging. “Well most of them. My Master is handling the last few, but we need you out of here before they realise what I’m doing.”

    Slowly, but getting quicker, the sixty or so people in the room began to move.

    “Good, that’s it,” I said as the first few exited the bay into the corridor. “Keep moving. We need to get out of this bay quickly.”

    “What about the children?” The yellow-skinned Twi’lek asked. “They keep them separate as a way to control us.”

    “I’ll free them, just get everyone out of here and seal the door behind you,” I replied before Teleporting to the other bay.

    “What the kriff was that?” one of the guards in this bay asked, though his partner wasn’t able to reply as I struck them with a Force Blast, sending them crashing, fatally if the sound of bones crunching was any indication, into the far wall.

    Perhaps I could have stunned them like the other two, but learning they were keeping children as prisoners took my mind back to my mission two years ago, and the state I’d found Bultar and Jon in.
    Thus, those two slavers had just paid the price for my thoughts and residual anger.


    “Who are you?” a Human male who was maybe a year or two older than me asked as I noted that he was one of the few children to have a collar like the adults. Probably as most were far too young – and thus too small – to need or fit a control collar.

    I tweaked my wrist, indicating the still lit lightsaber. “Cameron. I’m here to rescue you. I’ve already freed the other bay with the adults. We need to get out of this bay, NOW!” I used Force Compulsion to make my point.

    “We need to get out of this bay, now.” The boy repeated before he turned to the others. “The Jedi are here!” he called out as the children, some looking no older than five, moved closer.

    The way they looked up at me, hope mixed with disbelief on faces that had seen far too much of the darkness of the universe at far too young an age was something I would never, ever forget. Eidetic Memory or no. And, I suspected, would influence how I went about my plans for the future.

    “Come on. We need to move.” I stated as calmly as I could as I opened the main door. And came face to plate with a droid.

    “You…” Was as far as the droid got before I hit it was Ionize.

    That was still a low-level power and would only disable the droid for a minute or so, but it was enough time for me ascertain that it was nothing more than a service droid. Hopefully, the other droids onboard were like this one and not designed for combat.

    The group of around twenty children, ranging in age from maybe thirteen down to five quickly exited the room and I sealed the doors.

    “Prisoners secure,” I stated through my commlink.

    “These negotiations are finished.” I heard Dooku state followed by the unmistakable sound of a lightsaber swishing.

    Blaster fire and a few screams followed, but after a minute the link fell silent.

    “I have secured the command centre,” Dooku stated. “Gather everyone in the hanger where we arrived.”

    He closed the commlink without waiting for a reply and I turned to the boy who’d spoken up when I’d first entered the bay and used Observe.

    “Reithe, I need you to get to make sure the others follow me. We’re going to another hanger where we’ll meet the adults.”

    “How…” Reithe stopped his question – probably about how I learnt his name – and nodded. “Right. Everyone, we need to follow the Jedi. He’ll keep us safe.”

    As I turned to walk down the corridor, I felt a tug at my robes. Turning back, I found a young tan brown-skinned Zabrak girl standing there. She looked to be around seven or eight, but it was hard to be certain and I didn’t bother using Observe on her.

    “Are you really a Jedi?” she asked as she pointed at my lightsaber, which I had powered down just before opening the door out of their landing bay.

    “Yes. I’m Cameron. What’s your name?”

    “Tedra. Are you taking me to my mummy?” She asked and I nodded. “Okay.” Her hand slipped into my free one and I felt… something as we touched.

    Curious what it was, I cast Observe on her, and I was glad I was already turning back as I read the information.
    Tedra Zill
    Race: Zabrak
    Level: 5
    Health: 80% [Malnorished]
    Age: 6
    Force Potential: High
    Threat Potential: Negligible
    Emotional State: Hopeful, Curious, Amazed
    Tedra has been held on this ship for months and is hopeful you can free her and her mother.
    She has always wanted to meet a Jedi and has many questions for you.
    And she wonders if you know something about the strange things that happen around her.
    Yeah, most of that was expected, but the high Force Potential was what had caught me out.

    She was the first person I had discovered with such potential who was not a member of the Jedi Order. Oh, I’d come across a few with intermediate Force Potential outside the Order, but those had all been people older than me, not a someone younger. And certainly not with that a high Force Potential.

    Perhaps I could get her placed in the temple once this was all over, however, I was concerned they would reject her based on her age and what she had experienced her. And I would also have to speak with her mother if she was still here.

    As I shifted back to the here and now, I remembered about the three slavers in engineering, and after checking the Detection-boosted minimap, I noted that there were only two people now there, and one was Dooku. His signature was pulsing to indicate a Force Bond.

    “I have secured the engine room,” came his voice over the commlink as if he knew I was just realising where he was. Which he probably did due to the Force. “I will return to our landing bay shorty so we can speak to the freed slaves and consider our next move.”

    “Yes, Master,” I replied, before glancing at Tedra. “I think I’ve found something, someone, of interest.”

    “Indeed,” I could sense his curiosity through the Force Bond we shared. “I look forward to seeing what or who this is once I arrive.”

    He closed the link, and a few minutes later I arrived with the children in tow at the landing bay to find the freed adults mulling around outside.

    “Resa!” one of the adults called out and a green-skinned Twi’lek female broke from the adult group.

    A child from my group ran to her and quickly the corridor was full of lots of reunions.

    “Is your mother here?” I asked Tedra, who had still to let go of my hand as my eyes scanned for any adult Zabraks.

    Tedra shook her head before it fell. “I, I don’t see mummy.”

    “Hey, it’s ok. We’ll keep looking” I replied with a smile. “There are still people on the planet below. She’s probably down there.” I could only hope that was the case as if not, then her mother had probably been sold into slavery in Hutt Space which would make finding her almost impossible.

    “Yeah.” Tedra smiled back, but it was not a strong smile.

    “Tedra, I need to go and clear out this room. There’s… some bad things in there that I need to clean up before you and the others can go in.” I explained slowly before spotting Reithe who also had not found a parent or relative. “Can you wait with Reithe until I get back.”

    “Okay,” She whispered, and I quickly led her to the older boy and explained vaguely why I had to go in alone.

    Thankfully, he understood what I meant by bad things, and he led her to a group of children that had not found their loved ones and where the adults without children were also congregating.

    It took me about ten minutes to move all the bodies to an airlock, loot them for valuables – netting me a few thousand credits – and stockpiling all the weapons before I was willing to let the freed slaves in.

    Though as I re-emerged into the corridor, I found Dooku in a heated conversation with some of the former slaves.

    “While I certainly understand your desires, allowing them to face mob justice would only lower yourselves to their level,” Dooku said calmly as he stood between a group of about ten freed slaves and four slavers. Three of the slavers were missing limbs, while the fourth was staring down at the ground.

    “We don’t care! They deserve to die!” shouted back a Togruta female who drew my eyes due to her unusual purple skin. “They killed my brother!”

    “And my mate!” “Where’s Kisa?” “We want justice!”

    The shouts from the group were loud and I glanced at the children who hadn’t found a relative, and possibly never would.

    “They will face the full extent of Republic justice; I assure you of this,” Dooku stated with an air of certainty. “However, what you seek is not justice, but revenge. Instead of taking stock of your situation, learning how to remove those ghastly collars, or organizing for when the last group of slavers returns, possibly with heavily armoured reinforcements, you instead wish to carry out mob vengeance.” He paused and glared into the eyes of each of the group who were facing him. “Have you devolved that much?” He asked though I was certain he would say more if not for the fact he was a Jedi Master, and thus had to maintain an air of serenity.

    I watched as he continued to glare at the group, impressed with how well he was handling them as I had felt that Fay was the better at deescalating a situation. And while Dooku’s words and posture were working – only a few continued to meet his eyes – I was sure Fay would be less… forceful in her words, gestures, and posture than Dooku was being.

    “Should I secure the prisoners, Master?” I asked, drawing everyone’s attention to me in a way that should hopefully distract them enough for their anger to subside where they weren’t trying to threaten a Jedi Master.

    “Yes, Cameron.”

    “You trust a child to guard those monsters?” the purple-skinned Togruta asked with a snarl that exposed her teeth.

    I bristled at the putdown and waved my hand, lifting the four slavers behind Dooku into the air then dragged them towards the bay doors.

    “While still young, I would wager that Cameron here has seen more combat than any other than I. And it is he, not I, who took out the crews of two vessels from distance and most of the crew of this station,” Dooku explained as I sensed his pride through our Force Bond.

    I didn’t catch the rest of the conversation as the doors to the bay closed, but I couldn’t deny that I walked taller as I crossed the bay to our re-purposed raider; the four slavers making sounds as I lazily rotated them around in the air as they floated along behind me.

    ...

    A few hours later, we were on the way to the surface of the planet that the temple-ship orbited.

    While both Dooku and I would have liked to head to the planet immediately and take care of the pirates there, a few issues had to be dealt with before we could go.

    The first, and one that took the longest, was getting the slaves to agree to stay on the temple-ship and wait for us to return with from the planet instead of flying down there themselves.

    Dooku had managed to convince them of the inherent dangers in them doing so, not least that few of them were in any condition to fight.

    I’d also pointed out that the adults were still wearing control collars that could kill them if someone sent the right signal to them.

    This was overcome by Dooku persuading, ok more like subtly threatening, them to give over the codes and me confirming those codes with the rather primitive computer system the slavers had rigged up on the temple-ship.

    Before said collars were jettisoned into space – they contained a minute explosive charge – I had added a few to my Inventory. While I doubted that I’d ever need such a device, it was better to be prepared.

    I had also added a few extra blaster pistols and rifles and vibroknives to the Inventory as well before we allowed the slaves to arm themselves. Strangely, the Inventory allowed me to stack the weapons even when they were not the same make and model, just that they were the same style. The only downside of this was that I just wouldn’t be able to select which weapon I got from the stack if I pulled one out.

    We had then to locate and distribute supplies to keep the now uncollared slaves fed, though that had been more about working with the six or so – including the purple-skinned Togruta named Baalta – to organize the freed slaves.

    While Dooku had dealt with that, I had pulled the two now derelict raiders into the bay – amazing those in the bay – before cleaning them out. Sadly, I hadn’t had time to search the ships for hidden caches before we had left for the planet.

    The plan if the slavers didn’t surrender was simple. Take out any air defences, land and secure the base. If the defences were too great for us to take head-on, or the slavers had done the same as those on the temple-ship, I was to use my more, as Dooku put it, exotic abilities to disable any advantage the slavers appeared to have.

    “We’re coming up on the camp now,” I said from the helm while Dooku had again taken the captain’s chair.

    “Have they spotted us?” he asked just before a few stray bolts of blaster fire struck the raider’s shields.

    “I’d say so, but from these readings, they don’t have any anti-air defences. Hmm, scanners are only showing less than a dozen beings in or around the camp.” I replied, ignoring the blasts that were coming from pistols and rifles as they lacked the power to do any real damage to the raider’s shields.

    “Program the ship to bring us down in the clearing at the west of the camp. Once that is done, reach out and see when you can sense.”

    I did as he instructed and tilted my head at what I sensed.

    “I’ve got a further six beings in the trees to the south while the rest are either in the three groups totalling a few hundred that are no more than a kilometre below the surface or are outside the range of what I can sense,” I said, explaining what I picked up from Detection.

    I was still surprised that more Jedi didn’t spend time training that power as even outside of tense situations like combat, the advantages it gave you were immense.

    “Hmm. It appears we will have to convince them to surrender,” Dooku began and I just knew he was stroking his beard as most Jedi did. Which was a big reason why I didn’t plan on growing one. “Once we have landed, perhaps you might go and greet those to the south while I speak with the welcoming party.”

    “Yes, master.”

    The blaster fire from the ground had stopped as they realised it was ineffective, and after the ship began its automated landing program, I decided to open up my list of Perks since level 20 had granted me one Perk Point and one Player Power Point and I hadn’t yet examined my options.
    PERKS
    These are earned by spending perk points [which you earn at a rate of 1PP per 4 levels].
    Currently, you have 1 PerkP.
    Most perks have multiple levels, allowing the Player to take improved versions of a per if they so wish.
    Currently, you have the following perks:
    Ambidextrous
    Eidetic Memory
    Empathy
    Force Prodigy

    Available Perks:
    Bookworm
    Boosted Growth Mark 2
    Brainiac Mark1
    Cat's Grace Mark1
    Cult of Personality Mark1
    Dominant Mark1
    Enhanced Regeneration Mark1
    Heart of the Force [1/2]
    Giant's Strength Mark1
    Iron Skin Mark1
    Luck of the Force Mark1
    Medic Mark1
    One with Beasts
    One with Nature
    Physical Regeneration Mark1
    Stat Limit Boost Mark1
    Style Mark1
    Wisdom of the Ancients Mark1
    That was… a much longer list that before.

    Bookworm, Dominant, Enhanced Regeneration, Luck of the Force, One with Beasts/Nature, Physical Regeneration and Style were all the same as before, while Boosted Growth Mark 2 increased my XP gains for all things by another ten per cent.

    Of the new perks, Brainiac, Cat’s Grace, Cult of Personality, Giant’s Strength, Iron Skin and Wisdom of the Ancients lowered the time required to upgrade a stat – INT, AGI, CHA, STR, VIT and WIs respectfully – by ten per cent. While that was nice, it wasn’t a big deal currently as I’d already increased Intelligence and Wisdom in just over half a year. In the future, however, those perks could be extremely useful though as the help menu stated that it became harder and harder to increase a stat.

    Medic increased the HP boost from any applied medicine – whether that was from a bacta patch or an injection – that was used by me by fifty per cent. That seemed to suggest it would also apply if I used a bacta patch on someone else. However, with Force Heal, a boost to HP restorations from medicine was a low priority.

    Stat Limit Boost was exactly what it said. An increase in physical stat limit of 10. That would mean, provided those stats stayed balanced, each could reach about 25 before hitting the limit. It was something to consider for the future.

    However, what truly had my interest, and provided the Player Power list didn’t contain something extreme I would take, was Heart of the Force [1/2].

    That perk – which the interface said was available due to the Force itself finding a place for me in its seeking of balance – would lift my FP per level to 650, double my FP regeneration and increase my midi-chlorian count – which according to Dooku was in high eighteen thousand, and on par with Yoda’s – to over twenty thousand. That was Anakin/Vergence in the Force range.

    The only major downside, and this was because the interface said it was manipulating midi-chlorians and thus risked aggravating the Force, was that it required one PP and one PPP.

    The boost in FP and regen was certainly worth it, but if I took Heart of the Force, I’d solidify a lot of the talk about me being The Chosen One. Sure, Nilas had said my fate was linked to Anakin’s, but I hadn’t given it much thought beyond me being his brother if he followed the path I was on, or rival if he didn’t.

    Yet, the more I realised that that kind of Force Power was nothing to sneeze at and I remembered that it was Sidious who was the real threat, not Anakin, the more I was inclined to take the Perk.

    Add in in that TPTB had hinted at things worse that Sidious and his order of Sith and having more power to counter those threats made Heart of the Force the obvious choice.

    Just to be sure, however, I examined the list for Player Powers.
    PLAYER POWERS
    These are powers and skills that are unique to The Player and earned by spending Player Power Points [PPP].
    Currently, you have 1 PPP.
    Many Player Powers have requirements that depend on the Player’s level, or stat values and will remain hidden until their requirements are met.
    Some Player Powers grant abilities that mirror, or even surpass, what many consider to be ‘Dark-Side Force powers’ so be careful when using them around ‘Light-side Force users’.
    Currently, you have the following Player Powers:
    Inventory
    Player’s Mind
    Player’s Body
    Observe
    Silent Interface

    Available Powers
    Colour Shift
    Enlarge/Shrink
    Heart of the Force [2/2]
    Glamours
    Greater Minimap Mark 1
    Enhanced Inventory
    Superior Inventory
    Upgraded Minimap Mark 1
    Again, there were some Player Powers that were listed before. Those being Colour Shift, Enhanced Inventory, Enlarge/Shrink and Glamours.

    Of the new options, Greater Minimap would increase the range of the minimap to 5km. That was something I’d been hoping for, though with Heart of the Force [2/2] being there, it wasn’t a “must-have now” choice.

    The same could be said of Upgraded Minimap, which allowed me to see hidden locations, be they passages, rooms or alcoves, within range.

    Superior Inventory doubled the number of slots available to me. Not really that useful, as I could work around the slot limit by using bags and would prefer Enhanced Inventory over this power.

    Honestly, I had hoped for a greater choice, but since I was focused on Heart of the Force, it wasn’t a major problem that the list of Player Powers was lacking.

    Quickly, I took spent the Perk Point and Player Power Point to gain Heart of the Force as a perk and grinned as it took effect.

    I now had 13,000FP – up from 10,000 a moment ago – and a regen rate of 260FP/minute, though that fell to 240FP/minute while Telepathic Shield (T-S) was active. Which was whenever I was around other people on the off chance that I accidentally ran into someone with the ability to read minds.

    “I understand that you wish to free these people, Padawan However, showing enjoyment in the coming battle is not a trait worthy of a Jedi,” Dooku stated firmly, having picked up on my happiness at the upgrade in my Force Power via our bond.

    Even with T-S maxed, both he and Fay could sense my feelings, and communicate telepathically with me, because of our shared bond when close enough. Which made Force Bonds both a blessing and a curse as the more people I bonded with, the more could still sense my moods even with T-S active.

    “Yes, Master,” I replied, bringing my thoughts back to the upcoming engagement.

    Though I did wonder how the improvements in my power levels would affect my actions in the coming minutes.

    Only time would tell.


     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
  22. Caerwen

    Caerwen Getting sticky.

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    Most jedi have a pet bread/bun. ;)
     
  23. WaNoMatsuri

    WaNoMatsuri Know what you're doing yet?

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    It's a weird galaxy considering salves are armed here
     
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  24. USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Getting sticky.

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    Thanks for spotting them.

    Those sort of things seems to happen far too regularly, even with a beta reader and a grammar checker.

    Though now I have this image of Jedi fighting each other with loaves of bread instead of lightsabers :D
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
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  25. Miestwin

    Miestwin Monster on the outside, bishoujo on the inside

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    I'm not too familiar with the Old Republic era or even earlier, so all I can think of about the "Temple Ship" is that somehow a few Imperials found their way into the SW verse.
     
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  26. USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Getting sticky.

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    There was a period in galactic history hen ships that could be called temple-ships existed.
    The exact name and era will come up in the next chapter, though these ships were used in anti-human crusades against the outer rim (probably as a shout-out to 40K)
     
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  27. xX---+---Xx

    xX---+---Xx Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

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    Was that during the Pius Dea crusades? Or was it earlier?
     
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  28. USSExplorer

    USSExplorer Getting sticky.

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    Yeah, that's the timeframe I'm talking about.
     
  29. shakeval

    shakeval Not too sore, are you?

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    And the cheddar knights bravely venture forth, one to seek council with men about women and cups, the other to vigorously disagree with rough men about trees and shrubbery
     
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  30. Oathsblood

    Oathsblood Getting out there.

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    May the Yeast be with you!


    Sooo many puns can be made with a Bread Force.....

    I may need to come up with something terrible and buny.
     
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