Officer of the Republic Or How I learned to live with the Force (without being turned into a neurotic wreck) A/N: I'm going to try and write this as fairly as i can towards the Jedi Order, but from my own impressions I'm not a fan. I always liked the space battles and non force using characters more then I did the Jedi. That said I am going to try not to let that leach into what I write, as such the position thats being taken for this project is that the Jedi order was a force for good in the galaxy but one that was flawed and those in the Order were well aware of those flaws and acting to correct them in their own manner. As such I've tried to give the Jedi a believable set of internal politics as they wrestle with the need to reform without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. So the Order as a whole will have more internal factions and lines of thought then it did in cannon. I'm also writing this while drawing from legends cannon and the old EU. That said I do hope that this is an enjoyable read, and I'm not butchering things excessively. Fifteen years was all I could think looking over the Coruscant sky line from a balcony in the Jedi Temple. Fifteen years of learning how to control my temper, how to keep silent, and how to deal with the daily assaults on my mental facilities that the force launched. I had been a fan of star wars back before I was reborn, or whatever the hell happened to me, the stories grandeur and scale had called out to me. So sue me, I had always been a sucker for epic space opera. Then I had gone to sleep one night, fully expecting to get up the next day and get to work at my boring job, only to wake up in the body of a three year old Twi’lek. It had been a disconcerting experience to say the least. That would have been acceptable from my perspective after a minor mental break down or two except I was force sensitive and already in the Jedi Temple. Now most fans would have been ecstatic to discover they had been displaced into the body of a Jedi, or more accurately a youngling with the potential to be a Jedi, at least once they got over the weirdness of it and the inevitable depression that came with the realization that their old life was over. Not me. For all my love of the setting the character which had always called to me had not been Luke, Obi-Wan, or Yoda but rather Han. I had never been a big fan of the force, Space magic pushing a special destiny always sat poorly with me given my desire for freedom, and I loathed what I read and watch about the Jedi Order. I had hoped that actually living as a member of the Order would convince me I had been incorrect, unfortunately I wasn’t that far wrong. The truth of the Jedi was horrific to my twenty first century sensibilities, Lucas had been far too soft on them in an effort to portray them as the good guys in his films. Let’s be blunt, the Jedi order were a bunch of brain washed slaves shackled by tradition and funding to a dying Republic and had been that way since the Ruusan reformation. My thirty year old mind didn’t like that, after years of being an adult I had enough trouble just accepting people telling me what to do, being a virtual slave on top of that? It was just not on. That said I quickly discovered that while I had some large measure of emotional control in my last life in this one things were just a little bit different. I had thought that I wouldn’t need to relearn mental and emotional control, but within a week of my arrival at the temple I found my emotions going haywire, my anger being the most explosive part of the mixture. Minor irritants, things like the shape of the rooms being subtly wrong in my eyes, provoked massive temper tantrums and vicious attempts to hurt all around me. The emotional control I had learned in my last life had been washed away by the currents of the force. It was not a situation that was conducive to my continued survival or keeping my already fragile sanity intact. So I did what the Jedi wanted me too, mostly I spent a lot of time meditating, learning a degree of emotional control that I would have been amazed to find myself possessing in my last life. I learned how to reign in my temper, to hide my feelings behind a blank mask, how to keep my emotions out of the force, and most importantly the force out of my emotions. All the while I prepared for the day I would be able to free myself from the bondage I found myself born into without shooting myself in the foot. Despite my love of the setting I was well aware that life in the Star Wars galaxy was life in a crap sack world. There was some awesome high tech around, but for about ninety percent of the population, it was way out of reach. There’s a reason why light freighters were so common, and it wasn’t a pretty one. Most worlds didn’t have the income to buy in bulk, about a hundred tons of off world product was about the limit that an average worlds market could bear. The secondary reason for the prevalence of the light freighter was benign, people in my old world mistook space for an ocean, thinking of space ships in terms of the ocean going ships they knew. The truth was that a light freighter had more in common with a tractor trailer then it did with an ocean going cargo ship. I had planned on making use of those two facts for my escape. I might have been cursed, or gifted depending on who you asked, with the Force but I had every intention of being my stories own Han Solo. Unfortunately despite my extensive preparations things went haywire for me before I could put my plan into action. See I had spent most of my time not spent learning the Jedi essentials (Meditation, Meditation, more meditation, and lightsabre combat), learning how to slice, and reading up on history. Slicing was something I fell into while trying to do historical reports for my classes and get a bit of pleasure reading in. The High council was a bit leery of letting the initiates learn about the times before Russan, especially about the New Sith Wars, and in order to find the data I learned how to hack the archives from the inside. Hacking in from outside might have been impossible, but using the force to persuade the non force sensitive network administrator to grant me an administer account and giving myself a higher clearance and more permissions was doable. From that beginning I had gone on to own the Jedi’s administrative computer systems… well not really, but I had been able to find pretty much any information that I wanted given enough time. One of the first things I had done was figure out just how likely I was to survive being a Jedi, and how likely I was to be given to a Knight as a Padawan as opposed to being sent to one of the Jedi Service Corps. What I found wasn’t a pretty picture. Being a Twi’lek I only had a twenty percent chance of being taken as a Padawan, a figure made worse by my insistence that I use a reverse grip when using Shien and Djem So. Deviations were not encouraged and despite my best efforts to appear to be conforming, sometimes I just couldn’t do it. Not comforting when you find out that those who fail to conform have a fifty percent higher casualty rate even if they are lucky enough to be accepted as Padawans. Given my species already high rates of attrition in the Jedi ranks… that was not a comforting thing to learn. So I had planned out my escape. I had hacked the republics central records, an actual legitimate hack this time one that took me three weeks to execute, and prepped to take a light freighter out of impound then disappear into the galaxy. Of course that plan was shot down in flames as soon as the Naboo crisis reared its head. I remembered the movies well enough to know that I was now on a deadline, I had ten years before the Clone Wars began and then three years of war before order sixty six went into effect and the Empire started to hunt down and kill all the force sensitives it could. I had planned on disappearing, but now? I was caught in a trap. I needed training in order to hide myself from the Empire, when it rolled around because there sure as shit wasn’t a damn thing that one initiate from a species better known for criminals and whores then heroes could do to prevent that from happening, but I was likely to die while getting that training. Worse still the order was expanding and I had been tapped as a Padawan for a very green Knight. He had just been knighted a week ago, which did not raise my confidence in his ability to keep me alive. They never mentioned it in the movies but as soon as the Naboo crisis was resolved there were a raft load of promotions in the Order. Along with several other initiatives clearly meant to get the Order as a whole ready for action. It looked to me like the High Council was trying something smart, though I didn’t know if it would work or not, at least in the short term as I was well aware that in the long run it was doomed to failure, and trying to surge the number of Jedi available for missions. Clearing the decks as it were as they discovered that they were wrong about the eradication of the Sith. If you looked at the promotions as they occurred and the missions that the newly promoted got it was clear that the Jedi were clearing for action. The Temple rumour mill was rife with whispers about a real live Sith being found, and the High Council was responding without saying anything officially to the lower ranks. That had of course had the opposite effect then what was intended. Many in the order where whispering about a Sith legion being found, and a new war being just over the horizon. While some did up their training regime and try to get ready for combat most spent their time either dismissing the rumours or panicking in a very restrained way as they realized just how un prepared they were for serious combat. The High Council’s policies about the new promotions weren’t helping that rumour die down in the least. The newly promoted were being assigned to the easier missions, clearing away the rather large backlog that had built up, trying to clear the dockets as well as prepare the next generation for war. While the Republic as a whole undoubtedly enjoyed this sudden surge of law and order, along with a boost to the number of potentially sticky situations being resolved diplomatically before they could erupt into violence, the Jedi were not any more prepared to fight then they had been before Naboo.