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Complete Detachment (Star Wars Prequel SI)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by 9adam4, Feb 1, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: Ch. 35 - Trust in the Face of Danger
    9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    "Thank you," I addressed the droid that brought my requested beverage in a glass tumbler. It was an unassuming humanoid unit of a design I didn't immediately recognize, but from its build and appearance I assumed it was a protocol model priced at a large amount.

    The four of us were seated in an observation room with a panoramic view of the uneven residential structures in this residential area of Coruscant. The comfortable wingback chairs were arranged in an arc to allow us to see each other as well as the scene that formed the focal point of the room. There were a few moments of silence as each of us sipped our own beverage, pointedly not looking back into the parlor where the holocron again sat, reverted to its closed shape.

    "I will, of course," the Senator finally spoke, "have the artifact destroyed immediately. Unless you would prefer that we allow the Jedi Council do so."

    My eyes narrowed in surprise despite the rising alarm I had felt in Palpatine since the gatekeeper had spoken to Olanna. Before I could respond, though, Dooku spoke. "Why, Sheev? All that happened today was that we confirmed what we already knew: this is a living chronicle of the knowledge and secrets of a Sith Lord."

    The senator shook his head. "Ancient secrets from millennia-dead tyrants are one matter. The device of a living Sith Lord is quite another. And this… ‘Darth Sidious’ was very clear that he would only instruct young Chion, here. The risk is unreasonable.”

    I asked, “You would allow us to turn the holocron over to the Jedi Council, over your earlier objections that they will investigate how you acquired it?”

    Palpatine shook his head. “If you insist that the Council see and destroy it, then I would ask you to omit mention of me in your account of how you received the chronicle. I can even arrange to have it placed somewhere for you to discover it, if this would help assuage your conscience.” He looked at Dooku. “I would rather attempt to destroy it myself, using methods that I have found in other writings. But in deference to your aid in these matters and our continued working relationship -”

    “Did he tell the truth?” Olanna’s her eyes were firmly locked on mine. “Are the plans of the Sith mastermind behind recent events, really what you need to prevent the rise of the Empire?”

    I shook my head. “There’s no way to know that. Quite frankly, I can’t remember what it is that I can’t remember. And if this Darth Sidious really is behind it all, as he claims, then I strongly doubt his offer seriously represents something he believes would hurt him.” I thought through the possibilities. “Either he’s lying about the holocron including his plans, or he doesn’t believe that you will unlock the holocron to gain access to those plans, or he thinks that he can deal with us even if we learn them.”

    Dooku asked, “Were your visions stripped of every mention of this figure? Of the Galactic Emperor?”

    “Not exactly. The Emperor features prominently,” I explained, “but his identity and origin are both blocked out. I have memories of Vader speaking with him, and I can even see him die at Vader’s hand, decades from now. But when I try to focus on his face or name, or retrace how he rose to power, I get nothing.” When Sidious had introduced himself, I hoped that I might have a return of some portion of my memories, like I did with Darth Maul. So far, no such breakthrough.

    “I can do this,” Olanna said quietly, and I realized her eyes had never left mine. “I can learn from this… monster, pass his tests, without breaking faith with the Order. I know I can.”

    This prompted another moment of silence, as the two older men pretended they weren’t intruding in a moment between me and my student while I considered Olanna’s plea. Because that’s what her statement was. She was pleading with me to demonstrate my trust in her by allowing her to take on this danger, to face this risk and prove herself pure of intention and strong of will.

    The truth was, when I separated myself from my visceral fear of losing her, I actually did believe she could weather this. Since I rescued her, Olanna had always focused on doing the most good, on helping others and benefitting the Galaxy as the true purpose of the Jedi Order. Whatever desire the artificial Sidious had seen in her that made her a candidate for his lessons (and I had my suspicions as to what it might be), I was certain that it reflected those same beliefs.

    “She can,” I finally said, breaking from her gaze, turning to Master Dooku and his immediate reaction of skepticism. “Olanna is capable of this. I think we should let her try.”

    But Palpatine interjected again, indignant. “She is a child,” he hissed. “How can you allow this?”

    Dooku answered the Senator. “In the eyes of the Jedi, she ceases to be a child when she passes her Initiate Trials. A Padawan, while still under the watchful eyes of her Master, is nonetheless an adult, and expected to make adult decisions. And,” he looked appraisingly between me and her, “this is the sort of decision that we expect a Padawan and her Master to make together. So, if Olanna and Obi-wan believe that she should attempt this… I will not stand in their way.”

    Sheev Palpatine’s alarm had not decreased significantly, but I felt his resolve crumbling under the visible agreement of the other three in the room. “All right. I… will freely admit to being very excited by what information will be produced. So, despite my misgivings, I will allow this. Ah, Miss Chion, do I have your word that you will safeguard my property, and return periodically to describe what you have learned from it?”

    After an approving glance from me, Olanna nodded.

    “Then,” he sighed, “I suppose we should return to the other room, and see what more the hologram has to say.”
     
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  2. Vergil1989 Crossover King

    Vergil1989 Crossover King Experienced.

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    To quote every hero ever, I have a really bad feeling about this.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
  3. MrHam31

    MrHam31 Getting sticky.

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    Phew, good thing he's genre-savvy or this really could have gone-
    What.
     
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  4. Threadmarks: Ch. 36 - Perspective Curvature
    9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    I studied the Jedi Master in front of me, his pale curved saber held in a classic forward fencing stance. Dooku was a skilled Form II fighter, believed by some to be a perfect practitioner of one of the most ancient styles. With my own developing mastery of Form III, I could likely hold him off for some time, but unless I could goad him into an over-extension, in time he would certainly -

    “You’re overthinking it!” Dooku bellowed, coming at me with a rapid series of center and lower cuts. “Stop analyzing how to fight, and fight!”

    I reflexively moved into a Soresu guard, minimizing my footwork and deflecting his cuts sloppily. This venue was very different than our last session in the Temple training grounds. An open courtyard was an extravagant luxury on Coruscant, but Palpatine had secured for himself one open enough to allow us room to duel. Out of the way in one corner, the Senator quietly chatted with Olanna, who listened intently even while her attention flickered to the holocron she now held like a talisman. She -

    I deflected the thrust enough to take only a glancing blow to one shoulder, which still managed to sting horribly. “Focus! On! Me!” The words from the Master were unexpectedly Force-filled, a Push reflected in his unceasingly aggressive attacks. “You will never be the swordsman that you must be unless you learn to put yourself in the moment! Enough of this!

    Dooku thumbed the contact of his specially-build practice blade and tossed it aside, drawing his real dueling weapon in one smooth motion.

    My eyes widened in surprise. “Master Dooku, are you -”

    “I have never liked training with those things. They destroy the immediacy of the duel. And that’s exactly what you need a lesson in.” He nodded to my own lightsaber; I quickly opened the hilt and reset the focusing crystals to their normal settings.

    As my own blade’s blue mirrored his own, he took his stance. “Defend yourself,” he said simply, and then began.

    I had trained with fully-powered blades before, and I knew the unspoken rules. Focus on disarming or tripping up your opponent; telegraph body strikes so they can be fully deflected. The Jedi Master in front of me did none of this. He extended quickly into face and body blows, both side-strikes and thrusts, that could easily be fatal if not properly countered. And as soon as he saw I was adequately deflecting these, he varied his footing, syncopating with fragmentary beats that kept me off-balance and unable to predict his rhythms. Three quick jabs could be followed by a full thrust, with only my own attunement to the Force affording me the split second to avoid a skewer.

    He circled me, probing for weak points, striking without pattern. Again, and again, and again, I deflected, managing an occasional weak riposte that was batted aside with ease. I met his blade with my own over and over, the two flashing in an angry hiss as I turned and angled, guarded and swung, maneuvered and pivoted.

    It wasn’t until he stepped back, nodding to me in respect and lowering his own blade, that I realized we’d drawn the full attention of my student and our host. Olanna’s concern was etched clearly on her face, her grip on the holocron turning her knuckles white. Palpatine just looked mildly worried.

    “Much better,” Dooku acknowledged, bending to retrieve his discarded practice blade. “That finally merited your full focus.”

    I frowned as I realized he was right. I wasn’t thinking about something else, or even trying to analyze the pattern of Dooku’s style. “I had no choice,” came my reply, “you might have killed me.”

    “As would be true in any real confrontation,” the Master pointed out. “If a lethal battle is the only one that you can lend your full attention to, Obi-wan, then that is what our sessions must be.”

    With a sigh, I nodded. “Hopefully, in time, I can put myself in that same state of mind even for practice,” I offered as the two spectators approached us.

    “A spectacular display,” Palpatine began. “I had forgotten how exhilarating it is to watch two masters of the ancient art. The dance of your blades is like poetry.”

    “A master and a trainee,” I corrected him quickly. “But thank you, Senator.”

    Dooku shook his head. “He is correct, Obi-wan. I did not hold back, just now. Your counterplay was masterful.”

    “Everyone knows you’re good,” Olanna agreed. “But your moves were faster than I’ve seen before. Smoother.”

    “It didn’t feel that way to me,” I pointed out. It hadn’t felt like anything; I hadn’t the mental room to consider it.

    “A pity, if it’s only possible when your life is on the line,” added the Senator, just as a droid servant approached him with a data pad. “Duty calls, I’m afraid. Please excuse me?”

    “That’s our cue to depart, as well,” Dooku explained.

    As Palpatine left the courtyard, I turned to my would-be apprentice. “Olanna, could you hail a flyer and hold it for us, please? I want to speak to the Master alone for a minute.” She left with an obedient nod, and I turned my attention to the older Jedi. “Are you really comfortable with this? Olanna learning from a creation made by our ultimate adversary?”

    “Or someone claiming to be he,” the Jedi added with a nod. “Something like this would have happened eventually, if not quite this soon. In fact, had today’s meeting gone more to my original expectations, Qui-Gon or I would have discussed this with you anyway.”

    “Holocrons?” I expressed genuine confusion.

    “Tests of will,” Dooku clarified. “It’s officially frowned-upon by the Council, but most Jedi who take an active interest in training Padawans quietly agree. Encountering the Dark Side, whether in the form of abandoned Sith temples or corrupted Force-users, is part of what crafts a Jedi into a Knight.”

    “So my own encounters under Qui-Gon were not accidental,” I mused.

    “Nor were they unique. We seek out these opportunities for our pupils, for them to face these parts of themselves and resist corruption.” He projected a feeling of admiration, remembering something that gave him pride in a past student.

    “And what of those who are corrupted? Whose resistance of the Dark Side isn’t strong enough?” I thought of Olanna confronting a Sith and shuddered.

    “They are not intended to confront it alone,” Dooku replied, gently. “As the Apprentice learns, the Master guides and protects. In fact, it is my belief - and some, but not all, share it - that the Padawan should continue until they break, pushed past whatever limits they can, and then brought back.”

    “Can they always be brought back?” I asked simply, and his silence in response was answer enough. “I’ll admit that this talk has made me more worried about Olanna rather than less.

    “Good.” Dooku smiled. “You often have too little regard for your own situation, the consequences of your actions. Perhaps your duty to young Chion will motivate you to take greater care.”

    Dooku and I set a time to practice tomorrow and separated. As I climbed into the flyer, Olanna sat with the holocron open on her palm, reading through scrolling text at impressive speed.

    From my current sword-teacher’s perspective, it wasn’t so much a matter of if the holocron would get to her, as when. And yet it was hard to doubt her when she looked up from her reading and I met the steely resolve with which she increasingly approached the goals set for her.

    As we made our way back to the Temple, I mentally rearranged my planned activities for what remained of the day. The Council might be kept in the dark about all this, but I needed to hear from Qui-Gon.
     
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  5. archangis

    archangis Not too sore, are you?

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    I love your palpatine. The level of sithness he is on is simply unparalled.

    Tbh, I am halgway toward cheering for him, because really, he deserves those wins.
     
  6. Threadmarks: Ch. 37 - Uncommon Wisdom
    9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    It was hard to avoid feeling at least a trace of amusement whenever I saw the surprise on Qui-Gon's face at my latest antics. And although this was more Olana's doing than mine, the perverse satisfaction was still there. Perhaps it was a vestige of the adolescence I had arrived too late to remember.

    Olana held the pyramid on her outstretched palm, its crimson glow menacing my former Master as he frowned at it. "If you intend to keep this from the Council," he asked, "why did you bring it with you back here? The Jedi Temple is the last place you could hide such a thing."

    "He says," Olana began, "that the holocron won't be noticed by someone unless I want them to see it. And the location of the Temple actually makes this easier, for a reason he says I will learn later."

    "Probably the ancient site that the Temple is built over," I pointed out.

    She nodded. "That was my guess, too."

    "A powerful mind-clouding Sith artifact in the hands of a Jedi initiate. That's not better," Qui-Gon stated with an even tone betraying only a note of exasperation.

    "So you think we should tell the Council?" I asked.

    "I think you should pull out your blaster and vaporize the bloody thing," he explained. "I don't want the Council to deal with it either. It's poison in the hands of any Jedi."

    Olana retracted her arm, clutching the holocron tightly. "You believe that a holocron can corrupt an unwary mind?" she asked.

    The Master looked her in the eye. "Wary or unwary, the Dark Side is always there, eager to become central in our lives. All it takes is the decision to accept it, to let it in."

    Olana stared back. "I would never do that."

    "You already have. Listen." He overrode as she tried to protest. "My fear is not of some sort of telepathic influence. It's that, in choosing to heed the Sith at all, in opening yourself to their teachings and methods, you have provided a door for the Dark Side to enter your mind where once there was none. Lock the door, bar it as strongly as you will… the door is still there."

    I shook my head. "The door was always there. Just being open to rational discourse - the willingness to accept your ideas may be wrong - already provides a door for any influence. It's a question of your filters."

    Qui-Gon raised a hand in acquiescence. "Don't confuse an analogy with objective truth, Obi-wan. We all see the world in certain ways, and this is a shift that harbinges the Dark Side. If this Darth Sidious thought it was a good idea to provide this holocron, then almost certainly it is a bad idea for us to accept it."

    "That's the sort of absolute thinking that I thought you'd repudiated," I rejoined. "Only the Sith are supposed to see things as a stark opposition."

    "This is a Sith holocron," he pointed to it. "It is they who make this a matter of direct opposition and place us on opposite sides of a Galactic battle."

    "He says the opposite," Olana pointed out, "that it's the Jedi who have insisted on the conflict with the Dark Side, while the Sith have tried to reconcile." She looked to us, her teachers, for a reaction to this claim.

    Qui-Gon scowled, but nodded. "That matches what we know, from a certain point of view. But reconciliation for them requires that we abandon the core teachings of the Order."

    "And that's why you won't even talk to them about it? Why even the mentioning the teachings of the Sith are forbidden?" Olana looked at the holocron again. "He said that the Jedi are the reason the Sith hide themselves. Why they lie. Because when they told the truth they weren't believed, and when they tried to live openly they were hunted down. Is that true?"

    Qui-Gon stood silent, and so I answered her. "That is my understanding, yes."

    Olana raised her gaze to mine. "He said it would be this way, Obi. That he was tailoring his message, his accounts, to fit your unique knowledge and the way you view the Sith. To gain both of our trust."

    "He told you that?" It was surprisingly forthright. Usually when you spun your message in a certain direction, you didn't admit that's what you were doing.

    "So Obi-wan may be his actual target," Qui-Gon mused, as much to himself as to us.

    "Then why grant me access?" Olana asked. "If it hadn't opened to me, Obi-wan would have tried to open it eventually."

    "It's an odd choice," I agreed. "I am certainly more worried now, with you at risk, than if I had taken this on myself."

    Olana's expression showed she was pleased at this - which seemed incongruous with her earlier indignity when I expressed a similar concern. "He must think that we will learn or experience something differently with me studying it. Or maybe he just thinks I'll be easier to influence."

    "Few Masters," Qui-Gon pointed out, "follow their Apprentices in falling to the Dark Side. The conflict there tends to cause the Master to retreat into orthodoxy, to take fewer risks. It can be painful to watch."

    With a thoughtful look at Olana, I asked Qui-Gon, "Do you at least understand our decision to try this, even if you don't agree?"

    Hesitantly, my former Master bowed his head. "Yes. And know that I am here to aid you in any way I can. But I do make two requests." At my nod, he continued. "First, on matters of history and the actions of the Order, do not act on Sidious's claims before speaking with me. I may have insight that contradicts his twisted views. Second," he sighed, glancing toward the door, "don't involve Anakin. He doesn't need to know about this, and he certainly doesn't need the influence of a Sith in his life right now."

    "Thank you," I said sincerely. "One other matter."

    "Still no." The bandaged Master made to rise, pulling himself up on his staff even as his missing leg almost overbalanced him. "The healers haven't given up, and neither have I. My arm is already responding and they say say there is no reason I can't eventually regain sight in my eye. Your offer is generous, but prosthetics wouldn't ever truly be a part of me."

    "Your leg isn't growing back," I pointed out. "Over time, with the incorporation of kyber crystals as a novel power source, you could attune -"

    "No," he said again. "Anakin is fitting me with a conventional cybernetic replacement. The Force will do the rest."

    "If you change your mind…"

    "I won't," he forced a smile, placing his damaged hand, trembling, on my shoulder as he tried to stand tall. "You're a good friend, Obi-wan." And to Olana, "Keep an eye on him while Anakin and I are away."
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
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  7. R.A.G.

    R.A.G. Experienced.

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    Ye really should get the Force Attuned leg. Use it to bycycle kick Sith in half.
     
  8. Threadmarks: Ch. 38 - Initiates
    9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    “Two to go,” the cheery, gurgling voice said as the Mon Calamari took a place standing next to me. I recognized her as Vifwherl, an experienced Knight. “This one, and then the weapons test next week. They’ve come a long way, eh?”

    “They have,” I agreed. “Which one is yours?”

    “Junyo Song, a human male,” she beamed with pride. “Best duelist in this year, if not quite the equal of that Zoltran girl. Ah… not to denigrate the other students. You have Chion, after all.” She turned her left eye to focus on me without bothering to shift her head.

    I nodded. “Olana’s quite remarkable. I was surprised no one else had offered to train her.”

    Vifwherl chortled openly, a surprisingly melodious sound from her water-logged larynx. “Very good, Obi-wan. No use playing dumb about it, though. I’m sure she’s figured it out.”

    I creased my brow, making sure to broadcast my confusion. “No humor intended, Vifwherl. I was genuinely under the impression that she couldn’t find a sponsor.”

    This provoked rapid eye and mouth movements indicative of distressed surprise. “At the initiate contests, two years ago, the word went out not to approach Olanna. That you’d have your braid off by the time she was ready and were planning to train her.” She rolled her right eye around to match her left. “You weren’t aware of this?”

    I allowed no further outer emotions to broadcast as I considered this new information, but I quickly replied, “Not only did I not lay claim to her two years ago, until recently I didn’t think I’d be training her at all. That would have scuttled her chances at being a Jedi.”

    Vifwherl nodded. “Almost certainly. An unfortunate misunderstanding, indeed.”

    Further discussion was precluded as most of the lights were extinguished, leaving the dim flickering of a handful of orbs on posts around the room. We dozen onlookers raised the hoods on our cloaks and folded our arms, taking on the pretense of anonymity this trial required.

    From the south end of the room, two Padawans led in the four initiates, who were guided to sit near the wall, facing the semi-circle of seven men and women. None of the adults’ heads were covered; only two of the seven wore Jedi robes while the others wore the practical garb of the Corps. These seven adults were teachers at the Academy, and they were now tasked with challenging the initiates as to their suitability to train to become Jedi Knights.

    “Junyo Song, approach us,” the elderly woman in the middle began. A boy, unremarkable in size or mannerism, stood and warily walked to the central point, equidistant from the adults. I could feel his agitation and nerves as he sat. Each of the initiates had just finished an eighteen-hour meditation session without food or sleep, and the effects were visible.

    "Explain the first truth of the Jedi Code," another of the teachers said.

    "There is no emotion, only peace," the response was immediate.

    "You were not asked for a recitation, initiate. Explain it."

    Junyo blanched, just slightly, and took a calming breath. "My clearest, purest connection to the Force comes when I am unburdened. When my mind is clear, unclouded by the weight of feelings or unneeded thoughts, I can act as a channel for the Force."

    I nodded approvingly. The boy gave a good answer.

    There was no visible reaction from the teachers before a different one of them asked another question. "How will Junyo Song, Jedi, benefit the Order?"

    "I am unwaveringly loyal," he began, "and strong in the Force. I will be a Guardian, and fight for the continuation of the Order and the good of the Republic."

    "To whom," yet a different teacher asked, "are you 'unwaveringly loyal'?"

    Junyo's brows wrinkled, he radiated confusion. I could sense that he thought the question was redundant.

    I lost focus on the boy at this point, however, because I suddenly felt the questing touch of another mind. It was orderly and deliberate, spreading out like molasses. And, as it reached me, I recognized the familiar feel of her. Olana broke her solemn expression long enough to glance in my direction with a delighted smile. I could feel the cold lump of fear that she was successfully isolating from her consciousness; it had been a while since I could feel anything this strong from her. The fear lessoned a bit as her recognition of me in among the hooded onlookers gave her a surge of confidence.

    "Olana Chion, approach us," were the next words that I actually heard. The shutters came down on her mind, and it felt like being cast from sun into deep shade. She took her place without visible expression.

    "Why do the Jedi study the lightsaber?"

    I saw a momentary hardening of Olana's gaze when she decided to lie. "It allows her to act with precision, defending herself and disabling threats with calculated minimal force."

    "You don't believe that," the female Jedi said. "Give us your real answer. And do not censor yourself again, Initiate, or you will fail this Trial."

    Almost a full minute passed in silence, and although I could not sense it, I knew Olana was forming her next words with great care. "That was the reason we are taught. You are correct; I do not believe it. In fact, the lightsaber is clearly used because it is the most emotionally satisfying weapon to wield."

    This produced ripples of uncertainty and disapproval in the room; even I was uncertain where she was going with this. "Elaborate," the teacher simply said.

    “In combat, Jedi rely on confidence in their abilities in order to stay fully connected to the Force,” she explained. “So, in addition to needing a weapon that can be manipulated with both speed and precision, they need one that they can feel a physical connection to. Even if you powered, say, a blaster with an attuned kyber crystal, it wouldn’t have the same level of tactile feedback as a saber. It wouldn’t give the same rush when you fight with it.”

    “Has your emotional connection to your weapon aided you in wielding it?” a different teacher asked.

    Olana shook her head. “Not really. I’ve only recently mastered my fear of the lightsaber, and have not yet become emotionally invested in it.”

    I saw the teachers exchanging glances between themselves, and it led to another awkward silence in the dim room. Finally, yet another teacher spoke. “How will Olana Chion, Jedi, benefit the Order?”

    By her quick and confident answer, it was clear she had prepared for this question. “I have an agile mind. I learn new skills and languages quickly; I find it easy to understand the concerns of different species. Olana Chion, Jedi Consular, will be of incalculable value to the Order.”

    “And if you are not placed as a diplomat?”

    “Then I will do what is needed. A Jedi is always alert for ways to serve.” This answer, at least, received widespread approval from the minds around me.

    “Obi-wan Kenobi is to be your Master,” the other Jedi teacher, a younger male, spoke. “You will surely grow under his training. Tell us of a weakness of his, and how you can help him grow as he trains you.”

    Olana swallowed, and glanced in my direction. “The witnesses are anonymous,” the younger Jedi assured her, “and none will repeat what they hear today. Speak the truth.”

    “He is arrogant,” she said, and blushed. “His loyalty isn’t to the Order, but to his own understanding of the Force and Galactic politics. He tries to do everything himself, and places his own judgment above anyone else’s.”

    The older Jedi frowned. “Why would you consent to be trained by him, then?”

    The initiate shifted subtly in her seated position, and took multiple deep breaths. The silence stretched. “Because he’s not wrong,” she finally admitted. “His mistrust is appropriate, considering how corrupt and incompetent our institutions have become in dealing with our problems. His arrogance fits, because he has a knowledge of the future that dwarfs any other Seer I’ve read about, Jedi or Sith.” She swallowed again. “He’ll teach me how to move and act with conviction. I’ll teach him how to rely on others and temper rash actions with sober judgment.”

    “How can an arrogant Knight learn from his own Padawan? That requires humility,” the older Jedi pressed.

    Olana nodded. “That is a difficult question. But I have years to find an answer.”

    *****

    R2-D2 was notably absent when I returned to my quarters, and I had a note on my desk comm to call Padme Amidala. She wanted a live call, so I made my way up to the tower’s communications room where they kept the two-way holographic equipment.

    The translucent image showed the queen in her elaborate makeup, and I felt immediate warmth from her as she saw me. “Obi-wan, thank you for calling. How is Qui-Gon holding up?”

    “He’s getting better,” I greeted her with a smile. “The clean-up is proceeding adequately?”

    “Faster than expected, once those auxiliary control units arrived. All of the deactivated battle droids getting back up was certainly a frightening moment, but once they showed they’d follow our orders to assist in repairing and rebuilding, people recognized the benefits.”

    “Good. You won’t be seeing invoices for those units, by the way. Sheev made sure the invoice went directly to the Trade Federation.”

    “He told me,” she nodded. “That’s good news; the recovery will be expensive enough as is. But that’s not why I called.” Her mind was tinged in curiosity and confusion, so I nodded, inviting her to continue. “What is it that you’re hoping to find in that private political correspondence?”

    I shook my head. “I’m afraid I’m not familiar with this. What correspondence?”

    “The records that I gave Artoo,” she clarified. “The private letters and missives between Nabooan queens, chancellors, and senators going back twenty years. Much of those were still locked in the archives here; it took royal prerogative to access them.”

    I let my perplexity show on my face. “Those requests didn’t come from me. It’s Artoo’s own project.”

    She blinked. “Really? What is he intending to do?”

    “He won’t tell me,” I shrugged.

    Your droid won’t tell you what it is he’s doing in your name?” her curiosity took on a very slight note of worry, but a much stronger flavor of amusement. “Which of you is the master, again?”

    “I find myself asking that question a lot, lately,” I admitted. “I may legally own Artoo… and thanks for giving over title when he left your ship, by the way… but you know I don’t really see our relationship that way. He’s his own person. And I trust him. Don’t you?”

    The queen hesitated, and I could tell that she found it to be an interesting question. “I… do,” she nodded, surprising herself. “All right, I should prepare for my next meeting here. If Artoo decides to fill you in on what he’s doing, please let me know. And give my love to Annie and Shmi when you see them.”
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
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  9. Demetric

    Demetric Getting sticky.

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    I’m enjoying this story a great deal. I think the MC is going to need a serious set back to work on the issues Olanna mentioned. Something caused by his own issues.
     
  10. Vergil1989 Crossover King

    Vergil1989 Crossover King Experienced.

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    What are you planning R2? That said, it's foolish not to trust that exceedingly clever droid, but I'm impressed about using droids to help out the people of Naboo. That's one thing I never would've considered in my own story. Still, I very much want to see more of this. :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
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  11. R.A.G.

    R.A.G. Experienced.

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    Looks like Detective Artoo is on the case, collating information, and following leads until he finds the secret of Spicy Sheev.
     
  12. Threadmarks: Ch. 39 - Research and History
    9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    I made sure to make my pride and approval easy to read as I traced the circuits in the open lightsaber hilt. Olana had followed a simple design schematic for a straightforward and somewhat tenuous connection, and I suppressed my impulse to offer half a dozen suggestions for improvement, and just confirmed that it would run without shorting out.

    "Annie helped with this?" I asked.

    "Not this one," she flushed with pride. "We worked together on two others, but I assembled this one entirely on my own."

    "Well done," I offered simply, handing it back to her and gesturing for her to activate it.

    The blade was a vibrant light green, a Consular color to be sure. Not a hint of dark energy to my senses; the humming plasma felt every bit a part of my student. She had fully re-attuned the crystal that had once belonged to Darth Maul, and that was surely something to be proud of.

    "Are you ready for your test?" I asked, and in response, Olana nodded for me to draw my own blade.

    I took two steps back in the small practice area; I sensed no one else nearby and we should have plenty of room. Upon thumbing my hilt contact, my deep blue blade contrasted with her much paler green. I took an open guard position and waited as the girl in front of me carefully entered a basic Form I stance. She steeled herself, then stepped forward with a cut attack.

    I stood my ground, deflecting her blade and waiting for her to attack again. "Your form is solid, but there's no power behind it," I offered. She cut again, harder this time, but she never fully extended her offense. I encouraged a few more repetitions before calling a halt; none of her strikes even required me to move.

    "You're very tentative," I took a seat in the training area and borrowed her hilt again, opening it up to check its integrity. Nothing had knocked loose or out of alignment. "Even defense requires commitment to your moves. Who have you been working with?"

    "Just the regular group training," Olana blushed. "Yokarrin says I'm getting better."

    I studied her downturned expression. "You don't agree, though."

    She sighed. "I… don't mean to doubt my teacher. But…"

    "You lack confidence," I offered, "because you compare unfavorably to other students."

    "There are plenty of Jedi who can swing a sword. My interests and talents lie elsewhere."

    "That's fair." I handed the hilt back to her, and she hung it carefully at her side. We left the training area, walking leisurely side-by-side as I led her deeper into the Temple. After confirming that no one was in earshot, I asked, "Anything interesting from your… other teacher?'

    "Oh, lots. I guess holocrons are just the tip of the wedge; there are whole planets' worth of lost technology out there connected to the Force. It's incredible that we've lost so much of it."

    I shrugged. "Technology grows in far more directions than even a Galaxy's worth of sentients can actively pursue. Jedi are pretty disconnected from modernity, preferring whatever traditional devices they pass on as part of the Order's traditions."

    "You don't agree with that." It wasn't a question.

    I held a hand out to her in concession. "I still see an awful lot of recurring problems with researchable solutions. If there were enough interest among the Jedi, I'd happily invest my time and resources in advancing lightsaber tech, or control systems capable of harnessing our extraordinary senses and reflexes." I could see Olana imagining the possibilities as I continued, "But there's a deepset suspicion of such things, likely originating from stories of the Sith. It's much easier to work with BlasTech, BCA, and the like."

    "Which raises the same suspicions in the Order," Olana pointed out.

    "Indeed, but it also produces benefits."

    "Political contacts, access to powerful weapons," she supplied.

    I nodded. "And money. Which isn't everything, but can get you surprisingly far in an economy as vast as the Republic."

    "I wasn't aware you were that wealthy."

    I shrugged. "It's a matter of scale. I don't have the wealth to fund a warfleet or influence Senate elections, so my resources are irrelevant on the Galactic stage unless I leverage them in unconventional ways."

    "Like assassination," she supplied softly.

    "Right, or personal persuasion." If she was looking for me to bristle her example, she was firing at the wrong target. "Here we are."

    "The Archives?" She reflexively presented her handprint for scan as we entered the main entrance.

    "Your other teacher has been telling stories, right? Things that fit into Galactic history?" I nodded to a librarian as we passed into the main stacks and down a winding set of stairs.

    "Oh, yes. But nothing recent… things about the early Jedi, the wars that defined the Republic." She stopped talking as we descended a second level, and then two more. We stepped out into an area walled with shelves, as were all of the Archives, but with progressively more irregular data tapes and manuscripts. We passed down a half dozen rows before reaching another door, this one small and unassuming.

    "Check the lock," I nodded to the palm reader beside the door. Olana tenuously pressed her hand to it, and poorly concealed her surprise when it opened.

    "These are restricted," Olana said as she followed me through. "You got us cleared to be back here?"

    I nodded. "My Visions merit access to some of the prophetic texts. I'll get to see more if I complete training with the Seers."

    "And me?" She paused apprehensively in a narrow corridor. The area was almost exclusively physical manuscripts - crumbling and faded materials from many eras and worlds.

    I moved us towards a small reading room. "Artoo and I made some adjustments to the Archives' security systems..."

    "Obi-wan." Her tone was exasperated, resigned.

    I ignored her admonition and continued. "You should be able to read anything stored here, without triggering automated alerts. Obviously figure it out yourself; don't ask the librarians for help."

    The room door used a physical lock rather than an electronic one, and I concentrated for a second getting it open. Inside, Olana looked at the desk comm and the physical manuscripts littering the table. "And when someone checks this room, and sees these… is this a Sith journal?"

    I pulled out a small device, a thin metal cylinder the length of my hand. "The transponder rewrites each document tag to match an unrestricted manuscript kept in this section just due to age. And, yes, that journal is the main thing I wanted to show you. It was written by Larad Noon, the Dark Jedi who discovered cortosis armor."

    She carefully turned the pages, noting that I had inserted printed flimsies in several places. "You've been studying this?"

    "Started to, yes. But I realize you were much better suited to complete my task here."

    "Which is?" She met my gaze, and I could see the resolve war with her latent criticism of my methods.

    "The same thing I want you to do with the stories that Sidious tells you: clarify the truth."

    Olana shook her head. "These accounts are thousands of years old. How am I supposed to verify anything?"

    I spread my arms. "The Archives are almost as old, and some of the records in here are older. Not to mention histories written mere centuries later, before these subjects became taboo."

    Olana nodded, looking at my written notes. "A thorough effort could easily take years," she offered.

    "Then we'll take years. There needs to be a report, kept alongside this journal, that details where it accurately depicts the Old Sith Wars and where it deviates from fact. A balanced, perspective, not the skewed Sith view but not a sanitized Order polemic either."

    Olanna frowned. "Why this particular document?"

    "Because in the years to come, a Jedi Knight will read it, believing it to be the full-throated truth rather than a distortion."

    My student thought for a minute. "Nikkos Tyris? The Jensaarai?"

    "You've been reading the timeline," I agreed.

    "In detail. If you had a map of the future - or at least a possible future you wished to avoid - wouldn't you study it thoroughly?" When I nodded, she added, "I'll admit, this plan is a lot less…" she swallowed.

    "Direct? Thorough?" I offered.

    "... bloodthirsty. Less bloodthirsty than I was expecting."

    I glared at my now grinning apprentice. "Violence isn't always the answer, Olana."

    "Oh, I know, Obi-wan. And I'm thrilled that you do, too." She ignored my glare as she picked up a pencil and started her own notes, but I could feel the hidden smugness underneath.
     
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  13. Vergil1989 Crossover King

    Vergil1989 Crossover King Experienced.

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    Yay! More Olanna and Obi-wan fun and smugness on both ends. :p Also I'm kinda disappointed this doesn't have a much larger audience personally, this is a fairly good story my friend.
     
  14. 9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    I'm gratified that you think so.

    I totally respect, though, that it's not everyone's cup of tea. A lot of the time, I'm talking about "grown-up stuff": history, politics, business, law. It's not the exciting battles and daring escapes that most people associate with Star Wars.

    I try to throw those in, too, but it's the deep world-building and character development that interest me.
     
  15. Simon Buchan

    Simon Buchan Making the rounds.

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    Hmm, are we already past Plagueis / Hego Damask? I'm not too knowledgeable about that part of canon, but he seems like he would be into this idea.
     
  16. Vergil1989 Crossover King

    Vergil1989 Crossover King Experienced.

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    Hego should be dead by now since Palpatine would never tolerate his former master whispering over his shoulder. He's too selfish with power and control to ever allow another to have a hand in HIS empire.
     
  17. 9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    In canon, Palpatine kills Damask when he is elected Supreme Chancellor. Here, that hasn't happened yet, so it's ambiguous whether the death of Plagueis has yet occured.

    Vergil's reasoning makes sense, but consider that Sidious had the patience to work under Plagueis for decades. He'd strike when the timing is perfect.
     
  18. R.A.G.

    R.A.G. Experienced.

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    Man, it's gonna suck if/when he gets struck with Damask who isn't even on his timeline and/or accounted for on it.

    Though it would be hilarious to have Palpatine die as apparently a hero.
     
  19. Pef

    Pef I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Does this R2D2 been modified to have hands yet? Or given a vocabulator and ability to speak?
    Sure, you can claim someone is his own person, but keep them suborned by lack of hands or voice. R2 can't even turn a knob, by himself.

    Sith lightsaber crystals can be re-tuned, but that blade will always be white, after purifying the red blood in the synthetic crystal core.
    Maul's crystal though? Isn't that in a secure vault of the Jedi now? Or used as a teaching tool for Padawans, to spot a Sith in a crowd?


    Poor skill with a lightsaber is okay, if compensated by a different weapon or ability. Forcefields, cloaking, energy absorption, energy barriers, shieldbelts, blasters, grenades, disrupters...there are thousands of options.
    Being not prepared for the dangers of the Corsca galaxy is a good way to die.
     
  20. Threadmarks: Ch. 40 - Another Tool
    9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    I don't consider myself a speciesist by any means, but it was hard not to acknowledge the awkwardness sometimes inherent in interactions with non-humans, particularly non-mammals. With other Jedi, you at least have those norms and presumed values to fall back on. Not so today.

    Neither my sight nor my senses detected any strong emotion from the two engineers as they watched me parry the training drones. I was up to eight (five when blindfolded), and had taken to keeping my saber fully powered up while drilling Soresu. I replaced a drone a week on average.

    Ssotissin called a halt after about ten minutes, beckoning me to view her portable work station. She was a Sluissi, and I noticed she instinctually adjusted her posture on her thick, snake-like lower body as I stepped next to her. Noe Tah, Ssotissin's Duros assistant, input data on her own pad, not even sparing the two of us a glance with her glassy red eyes.

    "You can see here where the patterns manifest," Ssotissin showed me on her panel. "The algorithms self-corrected, and were past eighty percent accuracy in the first ninety seconds."

    "What's the usual plateau?" I asked.

    "Nine-nine point four, but that's with multiple data sources and offline processing. Real-time, you can expect to hit ninety-five percent."

    "We won't have the probing functions," Noe Tah reminded her.

    "True." The research chief let out a frustrated exhalation. "As part of the standard combat program, the droid can be directed to make certain moves to see how the target responds. We can't do that here, so there may be part of the combat space that is left unexplored."

    "But it will remember particular combatants, correct?" I asked.

    "Yes. And it will categorize similar subjects for extrapolation. What you call 'forms.' We gave it the basic Jedi tutorials to start from as test data." The Sluissi brought up a display that showed me in my closed guard, the words 'Kenobi' and 'Form III' both visible.

    I hummed my approval. "And the form factor?"

    Noe Tah gestured to the long metal bracer on her desk. "This 'cortosis' metal of yours is hard to work with. I can recommend several titanium alloys with better properties-"

    Wordlessly, I drew my lightsaber and plunged it into the wrist plating. Both engineers flinched back as the plasma cascaded against the surface, shorting out the blade. The Duros touched her long fingers to the burn mark on the surface, jerking again at the heat. "Yes, okay. My suggested alloys lack that property."

    Ssotissin asked, "Where can we find more of that?" Her engineer's mind was working through the implications.

    I shrugged. "Research Five has a small supply. It's difficult to refine; not many commercial applications at the price point. Too niche."

    Noe Tah nodded, monitoring the upload. "I can see that. Electrified extensions is a cheaper counter for droids. But to answer your question, the form factor is fine. Plenty of room for the processors, even with your prohibition on wireless internals."

    "Here's the kludge, though." Ssotissin removed a disk-shaped component from her console, clipping it into a thick plaited chain before handing it to me.

    "A necklace?" I carefully fit it around my neck. It was surprisingly heavy - much denser than the bracer, certainly.

    "The system can't predict what it can't see. The sensory amulet has built-in vision and recognition, but no predictive algorithm. In case the sensor bands on the bracelet are obscured or just too low-res, this will supplement. Flex-fiber optical connection; nothing wireless."

    Noe Tah unplugged the bracer from her console and presented it to me almost reverently. I adjusted the straps as I put it on my left arm, feeling the haptic feedback when it slid into place.

    "How often do you need the data?" I backed up and activated my lightsaber, alternating between left and right hands to feel the difference in weight. This was very different than a full cortosis shield, which occupied the entire hand. The intent here was specifically not to occupy the left arm, allowing the usual range of lightsaber moves.

    "Weekly. If you're off-planet for more than a month, we can make arrangements for remote archival. But it's not recommended." Ssotissin gestured to Noe Tah, and the two of them closed down their work stations.

    I was about to reactivate my drones, when I noticed them standing there, looking at me with what I thought might be curiosity. I sensed a question from them. "Was there anything else?"

    Fear spiked as the senior engineer spoke. "Rumors say the Dark Jedi have returned. Is it true?"

    I allowed my mind to expand, touching each of theirs still lightly but more fully than before. Noe Tah was mostly curious, but in Ssotissin was a genuine fear. "The Sith, yes. They have made their presence known to the Jedi Order again."

    "And…" she weaved back and forth on her core, nervously, "that's what all this is for? Why you're working with BCA, sponsoring these projects?"

    To be honest, I was taken back by the questions. Baktoid paid well for researchers that were not only brilliant, but discreet. I'd had queries from senior executives before, in the boardroom or in private, but never from a senior tech.

    Still, I saw no reason not to give an honest answer. "That's the main reason, yes. Not every project I'm involved with deals directly with that - some of them will just make BCA a lot of money, and some I have a more… personal interest in." Just fighting the routine disposal of so-called 'defective' units was a seriously uphill climb.

    The Sluissi crossed her arms in front of herself, a gesture of respect. "I… We…" she tilted her head at her subordinate, who nodded, "We are honored to support this effort. Many worlds have histories, many more legends, of the cruelties of these tyrants, the 'Sith.' Their swift defeat could prevent untold suffering." I felt an echo when she said that, wailing, a memory of pain.

    I nodded. "Thank you. I will do everything I can. I'm grateful that others feel the same."

    The awkwardness quickly stretched out again as neither of us had anything more to say. Finally they turned and left, and I went back to another round of exercises.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
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  21. R.A.G.

    R.A.G. Experienced.

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    He is aware that the droids he's having designed are 3000% going to be co-opted by any Sith against the Jedi right?
     
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  22. 9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    Well, there goes the plot twist. ;)
     
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  23. R.A.G.

    R.A.G. Experienced.

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    Presumably once it happens (and it's dead) he's going to be teased mercilessly about it :V
     
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  24. Threadmarks: Ch. 41 - Weapon Trial
    9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    R2-D2 and I took places near the front of the spectator area of the arena. "A lot of observers for this," I said, taking particular note of a cluster of younger initiates milling on the opposite end from us, including Partha.

    **Disagreement. There are seventy-nine onlookers, counting this unit,** the droid responded. **Capacity estimated at four hundred thirty. Crowd density is low.**

    "Well, yes," I conceded the point, "but I don't remember anywhere near this many people for my initiate trials."

    **Biochemical storage is not reliable for quantified data,** he insisted. **0B1 recollection of time-distant event is questionable. Do not draw conclusions from your comparison.**

    "All right," I agreed, changing the subject. "What made you decide to join us for this event?"

    R2-D2 didn't respond, however, before another voice answered. "Maybe he just wanted to cheer me on," Olana spoke from just behind me.

    I forced myself to reign in my surprise, because once again I had no indication of her mind or presence before she spoke. I turned to face her; she was apprehensive, fidgeting, turning her saber hilt over and over in her hands.

    **Calibrating audio output to transmit vocal encouragement. (Query) Preference for content of message?** Apparently R2 was happy with the idea of cheering.

    Giggling, Olana gave the droid her best smile. "You're the best, Artoo. But I'll need to concentrate, so no sounds required, thank you." Her smile dropped as she turned to me. "And no mental connection, either, please. Not even a casual link; I don't want anything distracting me."

    I suppressed my reflex to glance at Partha, and merely nodded. A surreptitious barrier for her empathic negging of my student was all I had planned, but I'd stay out of it. It would be a setback if Olana hadn't managed to deal with the Zeltron girl and failed the Trial because of it, but we'd endure.

    Two more familiar minds entered my senses, and I looked up in time to catch the enthusiastic nine-year-old leaping into my arms. "You made it," I shot Qui-Gon a glance as he limped to us. "When did you get back?"

    "We came straight here from the docking bay," Anakin boasted. "And we're here in time! Did you finish it, Lana? Is it ready?" He made to grab at her hilt, but she stepped back out of his reach.

    "It's ready. Not sure I am," she murmured. "How was Jedha?'

    "Cold," the boy answered.

    "Crowded," Qui-Gon added. "More pilgrims than usual this time of year. I still think it was a useful learning experience for Anakin."

    The boy nodded solemnly. "The Jedi have been around thousands of years. There's lots to learn."

    Olana gave Anakin a quick hug before leaving the bleachers to join the other initiates. I took another quick glance over at Partha and her cohort, who certainly seemed keen to see the outcome of today’s trials. Annie climbed up on my lap as Qui-gon carefully eased into the seat next to me.

    “When are we going to start taking missions together? The four of us? And Artoo,” The boy asked, clinging to me while angling himself to see into the arena.

    “Soon,” I said, including Qui-Gon in my reply. “Provided we’re all up to it, I’d like to start tackling the Kathol Rift.”

    Qui-Gon frowned. “The outback? Still mostly populated by species that haven’t joined the Republic, correct?”

    R2-D2 chimed in. **Agreement. In Sector Kathol, nine planets are claimed by Republic colonists. Gandle Ott duration six hundred twenty-two years.**

    “There’s a colony there about six centuries old, he says,” I repeated. “None in the Rift, though, right?”

    R2-D2 chirped, **Affirmative. Volatile nebular fragments permeate the Rift. Ship navigation is unreliable; collision with nebular accretions destroys vessels.**

    “I can pilot us through,” Anakin boasted.

    I nodded again. “The rift is dangerous, but I have some ideas on how to deal with that.”

    “After you get back from Ilum,” Qui-Gon reminded me.

    We turned our attention to the arena as Battlemaster Cin Drallig entered, followed by the four initiates. Cin took personal responsibility for the combat training of younglings, and had for years. The mood among the spectators was tense and electric, but I carefully packed away and shielded my mind to avoid any accidental contact with Olana. It was odd, hearing and seeing so many spectators but blocking out their thoughts.

    The floor of the arena had markings for dueling circles, including one right in the middle, and it was here that Drallig stood while the students hung back, outside its boundary. “Junyo, come here,” the Master said, simply. His voice carried to us quite well.

    “Show me your weapon,” Drallig ordered to the initiate who now stood with him in the circle. The boy handed over his hilt, and the much larger man activated the blade. The green plasma hummed thickly as he waved it. “You built this?” he thumbed the blade off, handing the hilt back.

    “I made it, yes.”

    “From what crystal?”

    “My mother’s,” Junyo met the Jedi’s eyes with a defiant pride.

    Cin simply nodded, drawing his own green blade. “Show me what you have learned.”

    There was no hesitation in Junyo as he leapt toward the Battlemaster, spinning in the rapid cadence of Form IV. Weapons hissed as Cin deflected and redirected the attacks, striking back on occasion, but mostly just assessing the young initiate’s footwork. Junyo flipped over the older man twice, but at no point was there a genuine risk of scoring a hit.

    “Good. You pass.” Noise erupted around me in response to this simple declaration, but only for a moment before the Battlemaster jerked his head to glare at the audience. The return to low murmurs was swift. “Olana, you’re next.”

    I steadfastly kept my mind focused inwards as I watched her replace Junyo inside the circle. She spared two glances, I saw - one to me, and one to the other side where Partha was sitting. I nodded in what I hoped was a supportive manner.

    Olana’s jaw seemed to flex, as though she were gritting her teeth inside her closed mouth. She was tense in a way I had never seen her. Had she forgotten her relaxation exercises; her control? It was too late now.

    “Show me your weapon,” the Battlemaster extended his hand easily. Closing it around her smaller hilt - not just smaller than an adults, but significantly smaller than Junyo’s, even - he thumbed it and inspected the pale blue blade.

    “You built this yourself? No help?” He asked, his glare suddenly consuming the student in front of him.

    “Yes, Master,” Olana said, her teeth finally prying themselves apart. I watched her mentally uncoil as she continued. “From Darth Maul’s crystal. Given to me by my Master, Obi-wan.” She didn’t spare me a look this time.

    “He’s not your Master yet,” Cin reminded her. He handed back her hilt with the blade still activated, and I was struck by how different their interaction seemed to be from what he’d done with Junyo just moments earlier. But at least his next words, as he backed off to draw his own blade, were the same: “Show me what you have learned.”

    The exclamations from the other side of the arena distracted me only briefly. Several of the children had stood to cluster around… yes, Partha, it looked like. I could see the flash of her uniquely-colored skin from where she now lay prone on the bench.

    When I turned back to the arena it was clear that neither of the combatants there had spared even a moment’s glance at this uproar. Olana held a Form I fencing stance, striking out with simple swings and thrusts in what even to my eye were rather predictable patterns. Nonetheless, I was proud to see that she correctly and smoothly parried the Battlemaster’s probing counter-thrusts. After three of these, Cin Drallig nodded and called a halt.

    “Excellent,” he smiled… yes, actually smiled. “You’ve improved a great deal in a short time, Olana. I wouldn’t bet on you in a tournament, but you won’t cut your own arms off out there, either. You pass.”

    Olana returned to outside the circle as I allowed myself a sigh of relief. She finally turned to me, although I noticed she wasn’t really smiling so much as grimacing. I reached out to share my pride and satisfaction in her… and felt her mind flinch away. A second attempt came only upon hastily constructed mental barriers, which confused me.

    … until I looked over at Partha again. Two Jedi in attendance had replaced her friends, and she slowly and precariously stood up under their support. I focused on my mental senses, and opened to Partha’s mind. Her emotions were frayed and fragmentary, and her consciousness roiled in a tattered mass. She felt, for all the world, like she’d engaged in a serious psychic battle, and lost.

    When I turned my attention to Olana again, she was looking at Partha. My student only now had a satisfied smile on her face. A rather cruel one.
     
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  25. thetruth

    thetruth Making the rounds.

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    "Give into your feelings and strike her down!" - said no disembodied voice in a Holocron, I'm sure.
     
  26. Vergil1989 Crossover King

    Vergil1989 Crossover King Experienced.

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    Remember that bad feeling I mentioned previously?
     
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  27. thetruth

    thetruth Making the rounds.

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    The good news is, is if Olana falls and SI brings her back, she will be far more balanced and powerful than otherwise. Wiser too, just make she she doesn't slaughter innocents (tuskan raiders don't count) or get herself killed.

    Just unlikely given what falling entails.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
  28. Pef

    Pef I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Still training child soldiers, eh?
    Doing it poorly too, not even pig or bantha butchering to desensitize them from blood and pain.
     
  29. 9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    That's left to the 1-on-1 Padawan stuff.
     
  30. R.A.G.

    R.A.G. Experienced.

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    Clearly in this timeline Olana becomes Darth Vader- No wait... Darth Mater?

    That reminds me, wonder if this OB1 might try to flip Ventriss? Assuming she's even picked up here, would be interesting to see if nothign else, and she might help plug holes in his timeline (while he plugs her holes :V).
     
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