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Author Topic: A Tarnished Knight  (Read 15812 times)
TheDutchman
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Force Alignment: 1026
Posts: 3842


Avatar courtesy of For Tyeth


« on: September 27, 2017, 11:12:21 PM »

First off, let me begin by thanking Karm and TR for encouragement.  I would never even considered trying to write, much less posting without them.  This is my own story but I could not have done it without the supplemental material that I've read, seen, and heard about from the SW community.  I hope that all who read will enjoy as much as I have in writing it  Smiley

*****************************************************************************************************************

“Koawan Vih’Torr?  The Council demands your presence.  Be forewarned: the Kage is in attendance.”

The last words from the maenowan’s mouth filled me with dread.  I’d met the Kage during my advancement into knighthood as a koawan but only as a formality.  But given recent events, I had had more than just an expectation that she’d be there.  Silently, I rose from the bed and followed the maenowan from the infirmary.  Even with the bacta treatments, it still hurt.  But it was nothing more than I’d deserved.

Even considering the gravity of the situation, the maenowan was not without compassion; without saying anything, he slowed his gait to match my slower walk.  As we walked the Halls of Balance, my own master, Maenowan D’Aylanna fell in beside me.  She looked up into my eyes, briefly grasping my left hand and giving it a squeeze.  Her presence allowed me to once again find my center, not only with the Force as my ally but that of my master—and wife—as well.

As we entered the large domed forum of the council chambers, my eyes scanned the gathered crowd.  In the front, I saw Jaim as he saw me.  His relief and concern were palatable and a large grin spread across his face.  Thankfully, he looked no worse for wear; certainly he was in better shape than I was.  He looked as if he was about to approach but D’Aylanna gave him a curt shake of her head.  His smile was gone as quickly as that.  Had it been different circumstances, I would have laughed: D’Aylanna’s small stature belied her strength, the serious look on her face transformed the olive complexion to something almost terrible to behold.  “I must learn how to do that” the thought came automatically as, and not for the first time, I looked down at my wife in wonder.  She was Hapan, remarkably beautiful and long-lived.  “And I’ve failed her” I thought to myself.  

With that, my attention focused on the members of the council sitting in a semi-circle in front of me.  Above them, upon a raised dais, the Kage sat, her face impassive and unreadable.  Drawing upon the Force, I calmed my inner conflict, seeking the Balance that had served me well since my days as a padawan.  With a final look of encouragement, D’Aylanna left my side to take her place among the other maenowans and the room became silent.  It was then that one of the masters, the Arbiter, stood and spoke.

“Koawan Zearic Vih’Torr.  The Council of Balance has summoned you.  You stand in judgment before the Will of the Force.  Before the Council commences have you anything to say?”

I was caught off-balance.  The Arbiter had used the ancient ritual forms.  Again, I resigned myself to the inevitable.

“Arbiter.  Council members.  My fellow Gray Jedi.”  As per the ritual, I did not invoke the name of the Kage, nor did I address her directly.  The forms had to be maintained.  “I am come before you to accept judgment.  May the Will and Balance of the Force guide you.  I stand ready.”

The on looking crowd collectively started.  True, I was entitled a defense.  But there was D’Aylanna, Jaim, and G’av to consider.  And like I said: I was responsible.  The Arbiter stood directly in front of me and opened his mouth to commence sentencing.

“Listian, a moment.”  A quiet yet powerful voice echoed the dome.  If I had sidestepped decorum in refusing defense, the Kage speaking the Arbiter’s first-name had broken it entirely.  “Koawan Zearic, I would like to hear from you concerning the events that have brought you here.  Plain words; you need not follow form.”

Thankfully, it took me less than a moment to regroup.  D’Alyanna’s training, coupled with the pain, focused my attention and intent.  Simultaneously, I took a breath and allowed the Force to flow through me.

“Kage, I must begin then in the last month, when during my ritual training….”

                                                ______________________________________________________

My attention was divided; Jaim and G’av separated, attempting to both overwhelm and flank me.  I inwardly smiled; my fellow koawans were skilled tacticians and near-expert duelists but they were often too careful.  In the blink of an eye, I changed forms.  Soresu became Djem So as I feinted towards Jaim only to strike at G’av’s defenses.  I knew that I could overcome with my superior strength.  Sure enough, my saber swept his away and I scored a direct hit upon his torso.  Had the saber been anything but the training blade, I would have bisected him.  Before my blade had finished its cut along G’av’s chest, I was wheeling around to attack Jaim.  Only my connection with the Force checked my momentum, again switching this time from Djem So back to Soresu.  And none too soon: Jaim’s saber locked against mine as I barely foiled his own attack.  And while he was taller than me, I had at least 45 kilos on him.  Smiling again, I started to push back, causing Jaim to switch to the defensive.  I intended to finish him quickly when he quite suddenly stepped back.  All resistance against my blade vanished, threatening to unbalance me.  Admittedly, Jaim’s move caught me off-guard and it was only through the Will of the Force that he did not strike a blow across my neck….Well, that or the fact that I had considered he would do such.  As Jaim’s cut across horizontally, I used my foreword momentum to roll under the blade, stand, and regain my offensive posture.  Soresu once again gave way to Djem So and my blade came in contact with his unprotected arm.  Upon recovery, I stopped just short of my blade upon his neck.

Clapping, G’av came up to me.  “Well brother, I see that D’Aylanna has been giving you private lessons.  She certainly is feeding you more than Jaim or I could ever eat,” he winked.  Turning to Jaim he said, “Well, at least Zearic’s last cut didn’t damage anything important.  You’re not using that head anyway.”

Jaim’s easy smile came.  “Of course you’re right, G’av.  It’s not as if I was the first to be taken out.”

Closing down the practice saber, I handed them to G’av.  “Loser recalibrates the crystal.”  The smaller koawan theatrically sighed at his “punishment,” while still giving Jaim some friendly ribbing.  It was then I felt D’Aylanna’s presence behind me.

“You know, seeing you now, I will bet you could challenge Master Tarash Noko in Djem So…”

I started at my wife’s statement, momentarily oblivious to the fact that I’d interrupted her.  “You really think I could best Master Noko?”

“…IF you would stop being so reliant upon power over speed,” she finished.  

Grinning, I leaned down to kiss her dark cheek.  “A fault I’m sure that my master can help me fix.  If only she weren’t so soft.”  

D’Aylanna’s knowing grin turned sardonic.  “Careful koawan or you might just see why even Sith fear me.”  

In good spirits, I moved beside her and we began to walk together from the Training Quarter.  Even with the impending danger of Order 66 hanging above our heads, the Gray Jedi Temple on Zenoma Sekot was secure from the Empire.  But the Jedi Purge had still thinned the Gray ranks; where the halls should have been filled to bursting with acolytes, knights, and masters of the order, relatively few were in residence.  Still, thank the Maker that the Temple had as many residents as it did.

“I did not just come to see you spar, husband.  I’ve a mystery that needs answering.”  Her light, lilting voice almost hid the worry underlying the calm.  Immediately, my senses focused, the fatigue of the training session forgotten.  “I have lost contact with the outpost on Kewda.”

“The second moon of Ossus?”  That didn’t seem significant; the temple at Ossus had been razed during the Purge but had been reestablished in secret a few years afterwards.  Contact with it, much less Kewda, was sporadic at best.  “Are you certain that their silence isn’t just one of the safety protocols being implemented?”

D’Aylanna stopped, looked up at me in that patient way that all wives adopt with their spouses.  “No husband.  When I said I lost contact, I mean in mid-transmission.”

“Ah.  Allow me to guess: you want for Jaim, G’av, and I to check it out.”

“Precisely.  The Council and I feel that a small team of koawans should suffice.  And I’ve reminded them of your success in securing some of the Clone War dreadnoughts during your last mission.”  Again, her eyes sparkled, characteristic of her amusement, no doubt of the dreadnoughts that we’d “secured.”  But when she spoke again, she was all business: “Zearic—you, Jaim, and G’av have permission to take one of the faster light freighters.  Some of the other maenowans are saying that there is a disturbance in the Force centered around Kewda.  And I…well, I’ve had visions.”

I stopped suddenly.  My wife’s visions were never wrong.  Ever.  “What have you seen?”

Hesitantly, she started slowly, talking faster as she continued; “I have seen beings wielding red-bladed lightsabers, a conspiracy across the stars, and a…sphere of blackness.”

Even after years together, I sometimes had difficultly deciphering D’Aylanna’s Basic.  Hapan speech patterns were sometimes…vague.  She’d taught me to speak the language but I still didn’t have a working comprehension beyond that of a Hapan child.  And her Basic was…idiosyncratic at times.

I nodded.  “All right.  We will be careful.  Love you.”  Leaving my wife to prepare, I thought that three full koawans could handle any threat short of a Sith.

I never knew that I could be so wrong.  Or that it would cost so much.
Logged

Sig courtesy of DarthScrub

Cataphract Triarch of the Vhal'Dan

My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Initiate v5 w/Obsidian, AS; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG; Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO; Dominix v4 stunt, BR; Aeon v3 stunt, SY

Taegin Roan
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Force Alignment: 2043
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Lord of the Force


« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2017, 12:13:23 AM »

"..............."

I have nothing to say. Absolutely nothing. This is amazing, and you said you couldn't write. What a joke. I love how you started it out with a sense of dark and foreboding even though the character does not follow the Dark Side. The idea of a court system for the Jedi (or Gray Jedi in this case) has always interested me. Especially after I watched the Wrong Jedi arc in TCW. Wonderfully done TD. I don't know that much about the Gray Jedi, but between you and Karmack, I feel like I my knowledge of them has grown a lot. Very very good job with this. I can't wait to read more.
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"I am the Outcast's Shadow" - Taegin Roan
"Confronting fear is the Destiny of a Jedi" - Luke Skywalker
"So this is how liberty dies: with thunderous applause." - Padmé Amidala

Lord_S_Gray
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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2017, 04:35:01 AM »

Whoa Zenoma Sekot...now that is interesting!! Anyway great opening, really draws you in what could a Gray Jedi do to upset his order that much, compared to the Jedi i'd imagine they are far more forgiving.  Look forward to hearing more!

Oh and I thought this bit was kind of funny
"His relief and concern were palatable and a large grin spread across his face. " I think you meant palpable, unless Jaim is in danger of being eaten!

I've been reading Karmack and Taegins stories as well, really interesting stuff, and in general great seeing people sharing their own stories.
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Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

TheDutchman
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 1026
Posts: 3842


Avatar courtesy of For Tyeth


« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2017, 07:29:53 AM »

"..............."

I have nothing to say. Absolutely nothing. This is amazing, and you said you couldn't write. What a joke. I love how you started it out with a sense of dark and foreboding even though the character does not follow the Dark Side. The idea of a court system for the Jedi (or Gray Jedi in this case) has always interested me. Especially after I watched the Wrong Jedi arc in TCW. Wonderfully done TD. I don't know that much about the Gray Jedi, but between you and Karmack, I feel like I my knowledge of them has grown a lot. Very very good job with this. I can't wait to read more.
*blush Thanks TR. Truly I am honored by your words my friend  Smiley

Whoa Zenoma Sekot...now that is interesting!! Anyway great opening, really draws you in what could a Gray Jedi do to upset his order that much, compared to the Jedi i'd imagine they are far more forgiving.  Look forward to hearing more!

Oh and I thought this bit was kind of funny
"His relief and concern were palatable and a large grin spread across his face. " I think you meant palpable, unless Jaim is in danger of being eaten!

I've been reading Karmack and Taegins stories as well, really interesting stuff, and in general great seeing people sharing their own stories.
LOL. Good catch LSG  Grin. You are of course correct.  That's what I get for not properly proofreading  Wink. Luckily, I have you guys to keep me in line^^

On a more serious note: I cannot stress enough the importance of our community and the sharing of minds that it enables us.  Reading Karm's and TR's entries are inspiring and exceedingly helpful in the process.  Between them (and my wife whom I used as a sounding board) I can honestly say my excitement in writing again was rekindled.

Let's see if next time I can avoid any vocabulary mistakes  Cheesy
Logged

Sig courtesy of DarthScrub

Cataphract Triarch of the Vhal'Dan

My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Initiate v5 w/Obsidian, AS; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG; Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO; Dominix v4 stunt, BR; Aeon v3 stunt, SY

Taegin Roan
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Force Alignment: 2043
Posts: 6179


Lord of the Force


« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2017, 09:42:28 AM »

Whoa Zenoma Sekot...now that is interesting!! Anyway great opening, really draws you in what could a Gray Jedi do to upset his order that much, compared to the Jedi i'd imagine they are far more forgiving.  Look forward to hearing more!

Oh and I thought this bit was kind of funny
"His relief and concern were palatable and a large grin spread across his face. " I think you meant palpable, unless Jaim is in danger of being eaten!

I've been reading Karmack and Taegins stories as well, really interesting stuff, and in general great seeing people sharing their own stories.

It was late when I read it last night, so I didn't catch the palatable, but that is funny. And thanks for reading my story.

*blush Thanks TR. Truly I am honored by your words my friend  Smiley

Your welcome. You deserve them. I guess since I helped inspire you to write this that I should feel honored as well (and get back to writing my story Roll Eyes), so thank you.
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"I am the Outcast's Shadow" - Taegin Roan
"Confronting fear is the Destiny of a Jedi" - Luke Skywalker
"So this is how liberty dies: with thunderous applause." - Padmé Amidala

Karmack
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Light side points please.


« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2017, 12:48:09 PM »

Dutchman!  Wow!  Awesome beginning!  I love the "flashback" style of the story.  The opening scene really sets the stage and gives what follows that sprinkle of ominousness that makes the narrative pop.  We know SOMETHING bad is going to happen, but we don't yet know what.  Or when.

Or where.

LOL

BOO!

*jumps out of his skin* 
Yup!  Exactly!  :-)

Looking forward to more!
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Master Singer of the Mak'Tor

TheDutchman
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 1026
Posts: 3842


Avatar courtesy of For Tyeth


« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2017, 02:04:56 PM »

Dutchman!  Wow!  Awesome beginning!  I love the "flashback" style of the story.  The opening scene really sets the stage and gives what follows that sprinkle of ominousness that makes the narrative pop.  We know SOMETHING bad is going to happen, but we don't yet know what.  Or when.

Or where.

LOL

BOO!

*jumps out of his skin* 
Yup!  Exactly!  :-)

Looking forward to more!
Thanks Karm  Smiley

Let me see what I can do tonight^^
Logged

Sig courtesy of DarthScrub

Cataphract Triarch of the Vhal'Dan

My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Initiate v5 w/Obsidian, AS; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG; Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO; Dominix v4 stunt, BR; Aeon v3 stunt, SY

TheDutchman
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 1026
Posts: 3842


Avatar courtesy of For Tyeth


« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2017, 12:42:53 PM »


“But we were unable to leave right away; certainly not as swiftly as Maenowan D’Aylanna had preferred,” I told the Kage.  “And even with a freighter that had a Class1 Hyperdrive, Jaim, G’av, and myself did not arrive on Kewda for another 9 standard days.”

“Why, Koawan Zearic?” the Kage’s soft voice held equal measures of steel and inquisitiveness.

I sighed.  “Mostly due to the hyperspace lanes.  One of the protostars in the Cron Drift obtained stellar-mass fusion, which had to be accounted for.  Unfortunately, this required us to take a longer path by almost 3.5 parsecs.  And when we’d finally arrived, we found that Kewda had an Imperial Naval presence.”

I paused to allow that news to sink in.  The Empire should not have been anywhere near Ossus, much less any of the planet’s moons.  That was one of the reasons the temple had been reestablished there.

The Kage’s orange eyes bored into my head.  “Proceed Koawan Zearic”

                        ___________________________________

“Star destroyer!” G’av’s voice, though controlled, nevertheless boomed through the bridge.

“Jaim, have they detected us yet?” my mind raced at how the Empire could have found this place.  And after the setback of our rerouted hyperspace jump, this development seemed like the reed that broke the bantha’s back.

“…No, not yet.  But I’m going to try something.  Hold on.”

G’av and I had hardly secured ourselves when Jaim put the freighter through a series of swift maneuvers that the inertial dampners couldn’t fully mitigate.  Within seconds, we witnessed the terminator of the night side of Kewda as Jaim’s expert piloting eased us into a near-polar orbit.  As seconds stretched into minutes, we all let out a collective breath.

“Jaim, I don’t know how you evaded detection from that star destroyer,” G’av’s tense voice broke the silence.  “Well, maybe they detect brain-waves and since you lost your head back on Sekot…” G’av’s growing grin helped to alleviate the situation.  Somewhat.

My own smile momentarily spread across my face.  “Jaim, great piloting.  G’av, have you been able to detect any radio traffic?”  Myself, I began by opening myself to the Force, searching for any disturbances.  My mistake was doing so completely instead of in degrees.  The darkness was oppressive, hitting me like a physical blow.  Momentarily stunned, G’av was by my side in an instant, his calming and healing touch a cool and comforting effect as he used his gift in the Force to help me.

“Brother are you ok?” G’av asked as he continued his healing.

Nodding, feeling the darkness recede, I breathed out, “Yes, thanks to you G’av.  I just thank the Maker that it wasn’t Jaim who tried to reach out to the moon.”  Jaim’s mental abilities were stronger than mine, bordering on impossible.  He could convince a crowd that a Hutt could win a beauty contest.  “Jaim, can you set us down halfway between the residences and the temple?”

“…Zearic, I don’t think that’s a good idea.  Look.”  Jaim had brought the freighter through the atmosphere and began slowly across the land as the bottom of the hull virtually scraped the forest canopy.  How he could pilot so expertly was almost incongruous with how he looked: at almost two meters tall, he barely fit in the pilot’s seat.  Yet he was the best I’d ever seen.  “Look.”

Jaim’s quiet reminder was all G’av and I needed.  From our vantage, we could see that the temple was in ruins and that the barracks continued to smolder, though no fires were raging.  And, one feature that was new, a large road had been crushed into the ground and through the trees leading to the mountain behind the temple.  There were no people visible.

“By the Maker…” G’av gave a benediction that Jaim and I echoed silently.  The grounds were a disaster, not one building stood standing.  “Could this be an orbital bombardment from the star destroyer?  It couldn’t be AT-ATs; the forest is too dense…”
“…No,” I said, “There would be craters indicative of turbolaser blasts.  This…this looks like a natural disaster, if a natural disaster was weaponized.”  As soon as I said it, a thought came to me.  “Sith.”

“Sith.” Jaim exclaimed, virtually simultaneously.  We all looked at one another.  “Do you think that Vader was here?”

Looking at the scene below, I could only guess.  “I don’t know.  But, he would definitely be powerful enough to do…this.  Question is: how did he find the temple?  The safety protocols should have precluded any such detection from Force-sensitives.”

“But it’s Vader we’re talking about,” G’av quietly reminded.  “Who knows the extent of his abilities?  I heard rumor that even the Emperor considered him to be stronger.”

“G’av, Jaim, wait.  We do not know what has happened.  All of this, right now, is just conjecture.  G’av, are your scanners picking up any life-signs?”  He looked and silently nodded.  “Jaim, you have better mental control, can you sense anything…amiss?  And be careful: there IS a disturbance; almost a….”  I couldn’t finish as I searched for the right description.  G’av put his hand on my shoulder so as to comfort me.

Jaim smiled reassuringly at me.  “Don’t worry Zearic.  I’ll take it slowly.”  He closed his eyes, his face relaxing as his focus flowed outward through the Force.  “Hmm.  Yes, I see now,” Jaim’s slow, calm words broke the silence.  “I can see why you reacted that way brother.  It’s centered on the temple.  Too many voices and one lone voice.  They are both silent and screaming.  Saying nothing and everything.  And above all: Sith.  Inquisitors.”  Jaim opened his eyes and let out a held breath.  “By the Maker….”

I silently absorbed all that Jaim revealed.  Shocked but not surprised.  Until I remembered: “Wait.  How did Vader defeat the protocols?  Even the Kage couldn’t detect Force-sensitives when last she was here.  And how could Inquisitors penetrate this deep into the temple…unless….”  Sitting up straight, my attention focused to G’av.  “G’av can you scan for low-grade thermal inducer material?  Not anything related to detonators, rather, organic compounds?”  Thoughts raced through my head; how could I have not seen it before?  “G’av?”

Slowly, he worked the computer.  After a minute he raised his head, questions in his eyes.  “Yes.  Registers as…joopa?”

I sat back, my mind reeling from the realization.  Both Jaim and G’av looked at me, the looks on their faces as if I had a gundark on my shoulder.  “Joopas, or rather joopa worms were an indigenous species to the planet Seelos where they were often used for hunting for the upper Republic elite.  When the Emperor proclaimed himself, Seelos was forgotten and as the Empire took control, records were expunged.  I’m not surprised that neither of you have heard of them, to be honest.”  I pursed my lips and stroked my goatee.

“…And you know this because…?” G’av’s question interrupted my thoughts.

“Sorry.  D’Aylanna told me about them.  Or rather, her time during a retreat on Seelos, prior to the Clone Wars.”  I turned to Jaim.  “G’av knows but I don’t think that it ever came up with you Jaim; D’Aylanna is Hapan royalty.  Not that she cares and she certainly doesn’t advertise it.”  A slow smile spread as I remembered.  “I don’t think that she would have even told me if I hadn’t tried to impress her by adhering to custom when asking her to marry me.  As it was, she wasn’t exactly thrilled that I’d found out….”  Unconciously, I thumbed the scar on my chin fondly.

The look on Jaim’s face forced me back into the present.  “How.  Do.  I.  Not.  Know.  This?”  His wry grin held amusement.  Then, looking at G’av, his face fell into a frown.  “And how is it that you DO know?!”  G’av winked and opened his mouth.

“This is neither the time nor place,” my voice cut through the mirth, causing both of my friends to recall our present situation.  “We need to find out what happened here.  Jaim, put us down in the clearing two miles east of the mountain.  Vader cut a road for a reason and we need to find out why.”

As Jaim piloted the freighter, he casually asked, “So.  Joopa?”

Shaking my head, I answered, “Right.  Joopas—worms—indigenous to Seelos.  They grow…quite large.  However they have no teeth, so they eat their prey whole.  Well, the joopa’s stomach secretes an enzyme that aids in digestion.  The only problem is, once the enzyme comes into contact with oxygen, it explodes.  Violently.  D’Aylanna once told me that she tried to help the Rebellion, but no one was listening then.  And so: almost no one knew about her detonators.”

“And to think I was going to give you a Sabacc Table Set for your wedding,” G’av’s lightheartedness attempted to lift the mood.  Unfortunately, I was having none of it.

“Unfortunately, this means that Vader somehow found out.  And, unless I’m wrong, he used it against us.”

The bridge fell silent.  The mood infected us all.  All of our friends, colleagues, and the families that were here: gone.  Even G’av’s perpetual good nature was muted.  As the freighter landed, I collected my gear, making sure to take both of my lightsabers.

“Let’s go.”
Logged

Sig courtesy of DarthScrub

Cataphract Triarch of the Vhal'Dan

My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Initiate v5 w/Obsidian, AS; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG; Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO; Dominix v4 stunt, BR; Aeon v3 stunt, SY

Karmack
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Posts: 5594


Light side points please.


« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2017, 01:33:21 PM »

Nice continuation!  The details and bantering between friends bring a nice touch of realism and grounding to the story as well.  :-)

And ... Vader!   *gasp*

But I have to ask, and I may be exposing some of my own ignorance here: Are the Joopas canon or did you make them up?
Either way ... nicely done!  I am excited for the next installment!
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Taegin Roan
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Posts: 6179


Lord of the Force


« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2017, 01:48:37 PM »

Yes, great job. Very well written. I really like how you started out with the trial again, then went back to the story. It is a good way to tell a story, and one that I really enjoy. But I am also curious about the Joopas. My gut tells me they're real, but I don't know for sure.
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"I am the Outcast's Shadow" - Taegin Roan
"Confronting fear is the Destiny of a Jedi" - Luke Skywalker
"So this is how liberty dies: with thunderous applause." - Padmé Amidala

Karmack
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« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2017, 01:54:10 PM »

One other comment: I don't know if you're going for this or not, but the "feel" I'm getting from this is that the format would fit VERY nicely into a graphic novel.  For whatever reason, the flash-backs to the trial/explanation are a great way to ground us into the story.

And I just realized that ... one of these guys isn't at that opening trial.  ;-)  Though that could be a red herring, so I reserve judgement and simply continue to enjoy excellent storytelling!  :-)
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TheDutchman
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« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2017, 08:36:35 PM »

Nice continuation!  The details and bantering between friends bring a nice touch of realism and grounding to the story as well.  :-)

And ... Vader!   *gasp*

But I have to ask, and I may be exposing some of my own ignorance here: Are the Joopas canon or did you make them up?
Either way ... nicely done!  I am excited for the next installment!

Yes, great job. Very well written. I really like how you started out with the trial again, then went back to the story. It is a good way to tell a story, and one that I really enjoy. But I am also curious about the Joopas. My gut tells me they're real, but I don't know for sure.

Heh, to answer both of your question(s): yes, joopas ARE canon
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Joopa
However, I kind of took liberties with the whole "explosive enzyme" bit.  But I figured it would be a natural progression from them eating their food whole  Wink  (So: good gut feeling TR^^).

One other comment: I don't know if you're going for this or not, but the "feel" I'm getting from this is that the format would fit VERY nicely into a graphic novel.  For whatever reason, the flash-backs to the trial/explanation are a great way to ground us into the story.

And I just realized that ... one of these guys isn't at that opening trial.  ;-)  Though that could be a red herring, so I reserve judgement and simply continue to enjoy excellent storytelling!  :-)

*blush Thanks Karm  Smiley  I have to admit that when I'm writing, I can see it as sequential art; SO a graphic novel "feel" is exactly what I'm going for; I'm just honored for you to mention it^^
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My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Initiate v5 w/Obsidian, AS; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG; Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO; Dominix v4 stunt, BR; Aeon v3 stunt, SY

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« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2017, 12:35:36 AM »

Heh, to answer both of your question(s): yes, joopas ARE canon
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Joopa
However, I kind of took liberties with the whole "explosive enzyme" bit.  But I figured it would be a natural progression from them eating their food whole  Wink  (So: good gut feeling TR^^).


I guess I can't blame it on my gut. I just wookieepediad them, and now I know why I thought they were real. They're in SWR. Roll Eyes I guess it was just my subconscious knowledge rather than my gut. Cry Oh well, still cool that you incorporated them.
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"I am the Outcast's Shadow" - Taegin Roan
"Confronting fear is the Destiny of a Jedi" - Luke Skywalker
"So this is how liberty dies: with thunderous applause." - Padmé Amidala

TheDutchman
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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2017, 08:41:29 PM »

“A moment, Koawan Zearic,” the Kage’s calm, soft voice interjected when I went to catch my breath.  “How did you deduce that the enzyme detonators were the culprit?”

Realizing that I’d passed over this information, I took a breath before answering.  “Maenowan D’Aylanna had once told me that the temple storehouse was home to the organic detonators.  Once I checked that the safety protocols were in place, conventional explosives would have proven ineffective.”

Leaning back on her chair, the Kage’s orange eyes shown with understanding.  “And from this, you concluded that these detonators were used to circumvent the Guardian.”

I briefly shook my head.  “Actually, I didn’t think of that until after Jaim had confirmed that the Sith and Inquisitors were involved.  If not for that, I would not have considered that the Guardian would be a strategic target.”  I lowered my head in both thought and self-blame.  “But I should have anticipated that it would have been if not THE primary target then certainly a priority.”

When I raised my head and looked straight at the Kage, I could tell by her flushed cerulean skin that, while she held her emotions in check and was outwardly calm, she was definitely upset.  Whether over the loss of the temple or my neglect in noticing the obvious sooner, I couldn’t say.  

“Pray continue Koawan Zearic.”

            ___________________________________

We emerged from the forest to a scene of absolute destruction.  I would’ve added “carnage” but there were no bodies anywhere.  I was on point and was first to the temple square where, in the center, we found what I had expected.

“…How is that even possible?” G’av’s quiet interrogative came from behind me.  Without turning, I knew that both he and Jaim had a similar (if not exact) look on their faces as I.  Instead, I approached the center of the courtyard only stopping once I stood directly in front of the monument that dominated the square.  Standing since time immemorial, the Guardian of the Temple stood witness to the rise of the original Jedi.  The towering being had been made of the native strata of rock, a wise look upon its face, a strong torso and straight back, and arms welcoming to all.  Even natural erosion hadn’t diminished the grandeur of the Guardian, a shrine that spanned ages across time.  Silent.   Permanent.  Implacable.

Or so I had thought.  Now, of the Guardian, only detritus remained.

“So.  That’s how Vader and his Inquisitors were able to devastate the temple grounds.”  Jaim’s quiet pronouncement echoed through my head.  The Guardian had been much more than a stone memorial; in millennia past it had been constructed as a direct result of the Hundred-Year Darkness.  With the emergence of what would become the Sith, the Jedi of old constructed the Guardian.  It functioned by disrupting Dark Force Energies within a 17 kilometer radius.  A perfect defense for the Jedi Temple of Kewda.  Until now.

Kneeling around what had been the base, I looked for the tell-tale signs of organic thermal detonations.  I quickly found what I was looking for: fine, yellow-red ash originating from the front, outward and upward.  Judging by the amount of disintegration, I mentally calculated that almost all of the detonators must have been used.  The rest of the devastation?  That was entirely done by the Dark Side.

“Zearic look,” G’av beckoned me to turn my gaze towards the new road that the Dark-Siders had made.  It ran directly through the temple ruins towards the mountain, continuing into a large, dark cave of immense proportions.  “According to the scanners, the life-signs originated within the cave.”

“We must continue, brother,” Jaim’s almost silent voice was full of conviction.  “Our people are in there, somewhere.”

Looking from Jaim and G’av, we all nodded agreement and prepared ourselves, lightsabers in hand and ready to ignite.  Opening ourselves to the Force, we entered the cave proper.  The walls held unlit lamps evenly distributed leading as far as our eyes could see.  After only a few meters in, the cave forked in several directions.  Jaim and I looked at G’av, expectation and patience in equal measure as we waited on him.  His eyes half-closed, his Force vision flowed outward from him, seeing what our eyes could not.  Using the hand signals we’d grown up around, G’av quickly motioned to us that the right-most cave held multiple people.  Gripping the hilt of my lightsaber, I took point as we extinguished our electric torches and quietly penetrated further into the caves.

With our eyes adjusted to the darkness, our Force-enhanced senses were more than adequate to navigate the tunnel.  And so it was that we felt before we heard the storm troopers that guarded the large, open cavern beyond our tunnel.  Jaim hung back while G’av and I silently crept forward.  Before we entered the cavern, Jaim closed his eyes to focus on the Imperials.  “Sleep,” his whisper came out so softly that even with my Force-enhanced hearing, I barely heard him.  As one, the storm troopers slumped in their positions, several falling where they’d been patrolling only a second before.

“Excellent Jaim,” I said quietly as I walked into the opening.  Looking around, I saw that the Imperials had excavated a vast volume from the mountain.  The cavern that we had entered had three different tunnels running further into the mountain, one of them that must have extended deep into the mountain strata.  The storm troopers had been using the grotto as a combination bivouac/hoist house.  “G’av, download the computer; see what the Imperials were digging for.”

Nodding, G’av went to the mainframe databank and began working.  Besides being an accomplished knight, G’av was one of the best slicers I’d seen.  He was so good that he could break into the Galactic Bank CPU without leaving an electronic footprint.  “This has Imperial krypto-encryption, Zearic.  It’ll take me some time.”

Nodding, I turned to Jaim.  “Do you sense any other people within the area?”  

“…Zearic, I…can’t be sure.”  This gave me pause.  As I said, Jaim’s mental abilities were among the greatest I’d ever encountered.  With this in mind, I opened myself fully to the Force, anticipating trouble.  And none too soon.

Three seconds later, I felt the tremor in both the Force and the cavern.  “Jaim, G’av, RUN!”  We cleared the center of the room just as the ceiling collapsed, crushing all of the storm troopers.  Before the dust had settled, four red lightsaber blades ignited as the Inquisitors advanced upon us.  Jaim and G’av advanced upon the nearest two, leaving the remaining two to me.  

“I didn’t realize that the Jedi let fa…urrgghkk!”  As the Inquisitor spoke his taunt, I reached out with the Force to crush his larynx.  He was unprepared for such an assault and busy talking (which was why it worked so well).  D’Aylanna had taught me to never telegraph my intent, either in lightsaber combat or with the Force.  Besides: I couldn’t stand the cliché of a monologuing villain.  Simultaneously, I’d ignited my lightsaber, the rich, blue blade angled in a low-guard as I settled into Djem So, taking the attack to the remaining Inquisitor.

“Tenth Brother was a fool; I am not,” the Inquisitor’s almost feral grin was reflected in her eyes, her face contorted in rage.  True to her words, between my saber assault, I tried to attack her telekinetically as well.  She countered every attempt, parried every blade strike.  As she turned her defense into attack, I switched to Soresu to combat her Makashi.  Even focusing on defense, I barely was able to anticipate her attacks.  However, as was the case with most Makashi practitioners, she lacked power behind her precision.  As we locked blades, I subtly shifted back to Djem So and, using my strength, bashed down upon her high-guard.  Her eyes widened in both shock and fear as her own blade was forced inexorably down across her.  Her end was neither swift nor pretty but it was effective.

Looking up, I saw that both of my friends were likewise dealing with their opponents with similar successes.  G’av, the superior swordsman, continued to play with the Inquisitor as Jaim was busy defending, his Soresu impeccable.  I knew that G’av would prolong his dueling in the hope that we could take the Inquisitor prisoner.  Similarly, I knew that Jaim was only waiting for an opening to employ his Force ability.  As if on cue, Jaim evaded the Inquisitor’s cut, who overextended himself.  Swift as thought, Jaim’s fingers touched the Inquisitor’s forehead.  As if struck, the Inquisitor fell unconscious.  Smiling, I turned my attention back to G’av, only to find that he stood over his opponent who lay prostrate before him.  He looked up at me and silently shook his head, regretful.

“G’av, Jaim, are you both ok?” my concern was mitigated only slightly by the fact that I already knew the answer.  Still, I relaxed when they both nodded.  “G’av, were you able to get anything from the databank?”

“I had already written code and implemented the worm before it started raining.  Should be done by now,” G’av said as he approached the consoles.  Reaching down, he retrieved the data node.  “Got it.  Zearic, take a look at this.”

Jaim and I gathered around G’av as he handed us the datapad.  Scrolling down, I perused the information that G’av and sliced from the computer.  “From what I can see, the Imperials were block-caving.  But what were they-“

“Doonium,” Jaim said suddenly, “the Imperials found doonium here.  And a large vein if this data is anything to go by.”

We all looked at one another.  Doonium.  The primary metal for shipbuilding, especially for capital ships.  Most specifically….

“Star destroyers,” we all said in unison.  
« Last Edit: September 30, 2017, 09:41:54 PM by TheDutchman » Logged

Sig courtesy of DarthScrub

Cataphract Triarch of the Vhal'Dan

My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Initiate v5 w/Obsidian, AS; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG; Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO; Dominix v4 stunt, BR; Aeon v3 stunt, SY

Karmack
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Posts: 5594


Light side points please.


« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2017, 07:28:53 AM »

Nice continuation!  I especially liked this tidbit:

"Besides: I couldn’t stand the cliché of a monologuing villain."

:-)

Zearic is interesting in this fight.  Alone of the three he kills his opponents.  The shift is subtle, but considering where we're at and what's going on, I find that development slightly ominous.  But also subtle and well constructed.  Its a nice touch and whether it was intentional or not, well played.  :-)

The action balance is also very good.  You don't get drawn into the trap of trying to describe the battle swing-by-swing, something that it took me a while to learn myself.  :-)  There's more than enough for the imagination to fill in, and the action level is just about right.  :-)  Its a good thing that the rock fall didn't crush the computer, though.  ;-)

Well done!  I am really enjoying this story and even with the format bringing us back to the setting of Zearic's trial before his Order, I'm still in the dark about the particulars of why he's in hot water.  I can make some small guesses but the story crafting is good enough that I really don't want to.  I'm just looking forward to the next installment!
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