Stranger in a Strange Land - Part 7 - Our Time Has Come - UPDATE 5/2 - Chapter 16

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction Stories--Classic JC Board (Reply-Only)' started by Whiskey in the Jar-Jar, Dec 14, 2002.

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  1. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
    Here I am! The man with power problems! :p

    Poor Whisper: the universe is falling apart all around her on a lot of fronts and, for now, has no way to stop it. Ironically, with the interesting mode of transportation you described in the post, she can only go along for the ride.

    Now is not the time for personal angst, though, and she knows it. Can she overcome it? We'll see soon I bet. Good post!
  2. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
    Gee, and I thought rolling blackouts only happened in California. Just more of that Canadian naivete coming out, I guess :p

    There's actually a guy on an acreage on the north end of Calgary who invested in one of those giant windmills like you see in California ads. He paid about $20,000 for it and is able to run his home on it exclusively...Too bad we all don't live in places like that.

    As for the speeder, it's actually 'real' in the sense I found it in the Robotech: Invid Invasion RPG sourcebook, once again taking some artistic license to it so she could ride it.

    Her angst over screwing things up with Dalan is definitely foremost in her mind, and her resolve to make up for it is even more stringent. It might play a part in things...or not ;)

    Anywho, let's see how the other half's doing...


    Betrayed?that was how he felt, and he carried that feeling with him for the past two long, arduous days.

    Dalan?s anger had been maintained at a slow boil all this time, and the excess need to lash out at something had been bled away in the numerous repairs he?d made to the Tiger?s Paw. The repulsorlift array had been pretty much rebuilt and fabricated from parts of the dorsal and ventral cannons. The hull plating had been welded and patched in enough places to make the ship spaceworthy, albeit the ship?s current condition made the Millennium Falcon look like a Nubian Royal Cruiser on its worst day. Even Han Solo would call this ship a piece of junk.

    Still, if it got him off this rock and away from this den of betrayal, then it would have served its purpose.

    Triel?s revelation to him about her parents still being alive had struck the tiger so deeply and had wounded him so severely, he suddenly felt as though his entire life in this galaxy had been for nothing. His mind distorted images of his life on Naboo, and now in every memory he could see a hidden smirk, or people laughing at him behind his back, as if everyone else knew of Triel?s parents except for him. Fate, it seemed, had played yet another cruel joke on its favourite living piñata?Dalan Kalamar.

    Dalan was by no means a stranger to betrayal. His life included a history of it since his near-death at the hands of the Rondoki Clan at the tender age of 12. More often than not, those who betrayed him learned the price for such folly quickly and painfully at Ravage?s hands. To date, only two of those who?d betrayed him still lived and breathed. One was his father, and the other was the one currently residing at the Invid Hilton.

    The repercussions of this revelation were far more reaching than just to he and Tamus. All of Naboo could suffer a devastating blow from this. It would only take one media leak of this to drag Dalan, Tamus, and even Chiran Arkovin through the mud as kidnappers and even paedophiles if they were desperate enough for ratings. Borsk Fey?lya would jump on this opportunity like a kitten after a ball of yarn. No doubt the skies over Naboo would be filled with the Republic navy, and a smaller fleet of RNN ships to capture every angle and report the story in their ?fair and balanced? way. In fact, about the only way this whole perceived mess could be avoided would be for Triel to never appear once more in Republic space. She would have to live out her days on a world where the tentacles of scandal and corruption couldn?t touch her?a place like?like?

    Here?

    Dalan stopped what he was doing and pondered that last thought. Logic screamed that the only way for Naboo to avoid a scandal would be if Triel?s lie was never exposed, and if done so without her confirmation, it could be deemed as a political ploy on Fey?lya?s part to further discredit Dalan and his friends. Did Triel know this? Was her severing of ties between them her way of protecting the planet she?d called home for so long? Did she choose to remain here in an effort to keep Fey?lya from using her mistake as a weapon against her home?

    Possibly, but he?d feel better about this line of thinking if he could hear it from her in person/>
  3. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
    HEY, LECAVALIER AND THE REST OF THE TAMPA BAY WHINERS...

    WATCH YOUR BACKS YOU <Insert feline derogatory remark here>

    [face_devil]
  4. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
    A shameless plug? You just. o_O :rolleyes:

    Yup, they gave us new icons. They move and there are more of them, but NO BIG BEER MUG! [face_frustrated]

    And they wonder why there isn't many readers anymore Board wide. Sheeesh! [face_laugh]

    Dalan, the stripped pinata(?), may have an idea about Triel but it isn't a good one. Hopefully he has more problems with his ship until he changes his mind.

    Wait.....is the ship not being fixed quickly a bad thing? ;)

    AND to add a cherry on top of a ugly game they gave Ville Nieminen a suspension. I disagree with the suspension; it was by and far not even remotely close to what Dale Hunter or Claude Lemieux had done in the playoffs to warrant suspensions during the playoffs. But both teams better tighten up fundamentally: the last time I saw that much gold medal diving was during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Calgary cannot get into that kind of a game mentallity.
  5. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
  6. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
    Well, back after nearly a month of hell for the Drunken Gungan. It seems that for this month, if it wasn't one thing it was another.

    Like you mentioned about my IM name, Casper, I was growing evermore frustrated with my job and was nearing the breaking point and was about to resign. However, with the IT market so flooded up here right now, that would have been a pretty dumb move I think.

    Things're calming down a bit now, though. My biggest beef was the sense that I was being spread a bit too thinly in terms of responsibilities. On top of my normal duties, I'm now covering for two people who just quit recently and it makes for some frustrating days.

    I'm hoping that in the next few weeks I'll be at more peace with things, but it's getting better now.

    So, to move this thing along...


    Triel could see it long before her scanners could pick it up, and what she saw made her feel very uneasy. Beneath the speeder, the land was beginning to change. What was once a lush, green place dotted with several patches of pink from the Flower of Life, the land was beginning to take on a look like an overnight frost had moved in and was slowly killing the grass.

    A little further along and the brown was becoming more prominent than the green. After a few more kilometres, only dried topsoil could be seen. This too eventually washed away into something for which none of the seven riders were prepared for:

    A desert.

    ?Stop here,? said Triel, slowing down her speeder. Azar and the others did the same and eventually they all touched down. Triel dismounted the speeder and examined the ground carefully. ?Something is draining the life from the planet,? she said, touching the sand with her left hand. ?It?s as if its very life energy was being absorbed by something.?

    Azar disengaged his armour from the speeder and walked over to Triel. ?The essence of the Holy Flower is gone from this place,? he said. ?I feel?not complete?that we are now not on the fertile land.?

    ?I?ve a feeling it?s gonna get a lot worse the farther we go,? said the young Jedi. ?At least this explains why the Queen?s blind here.?

    ?No,? said the Enforcer. ?In time before existence, the Queen could see all the world and directed us to make the land worthy of the Holy Flower. She believes her?blindness?is the work of the Hated Ones.?

    ?But how could?oh, smeck.? Triel placed both hands on the sand and closed her eyes. He opened her mind to the Living Force and soon found herself seeing the world through her mind?s eye. Around her, she could see the glowing web that was the Force, blanketing everything around her in a ghostly aura. Even the Enforcers seemed susceptible to the whims of the Force, for they too glowed brightly as entities in its ether.

    Adjusting to her surroundings fully, Triel looked down and tried to see past the sand beneath her feet. It seemed rather simple; all that had been alive had been drained from it, making it as transparent in the Force as glass. She began peering down into it, feeling herself dive into the ground and tunnel like some kind of desert sandworm?down?down?down?

    The icy sensation of some unseen presence suddenly brought Triel to a halt. There was something beneath her that was causing the life drain from the soil. She focused her thoughts more and could make out some kind of chasm below her, where the faint remaining wisps of life force were being sucked down into darkness. What made this scene even more bizarre was the emanation of some other kind of energy?a dark, twisted one that was radiating back up through the soil. Curious, she stretched her mind further towards the phenomenon?further?further?until?

    JEEEEEEEEEEEEE-DAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEE!

    Triel screamed as her eyes flew open and she found herself back in the conscious world. She landed on her back, breathing heavily and unable to stop her body from shaking. In spite of the midday sun, she felt as though she?d just come back from Hoth.

    ?Guardian, are you injured?? asked Azar, moving to help he/>
  7. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
  8. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
    Yeah, I had one of those months too, Whiskey: and almost the same situation, just different circumstances. Right now it isn't the right idea to just up and go.

    Hopefuly it all smoothes out. If not: that's why they make beer. ;)

    Neato post!

    Triel's picked up her adopted father's ability, and nothing brings a family back together than a shared experience. Although its just a speeder, there's got to be something else Whisper can get her hands, or herself, into. [face_devil]

    FORWARD! Loyal Lurkers report in! :p
  9. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
    Well, my month just got a whooooooooooooole lot better. I'll explain in time, but sufficed to say things are looking really damned good from where I'm standing ;)

    As for Triel, her experience with the effects of the Flower will definitely come in handy at a later time. Could there be a Valkyrie in her future? Mmmmmmaybe ;)

    Anywho, let's see what the ol' kitty's up to, shall we?

    Long post, and a bit iffy I think. Y'all tell me.


    The water was refreshing enough, but he could sure go for a bottle of Corellian whiskey right now.

    Dalan sat atop the Tiger?s Paw, his fur streaked with yet more grease and dirt from working deep inside the ship?s systems in an effort to repair the damage he?d done to it earlier. He?d gotten it done for the most part, with the exception of replacing those relay panels in the cockpit. Then again, he had no way of doing so; as a result he merely capped off the wiring to prevent a short circuit. It probably wasn?t the safest way to repair the damage, but he was low on options.

    The testing had gone much better as he was able to raise the ship high enough to engage the ion drive and easily make it into space when he was ready. All that remained was to refuel the hyperdrive and hope it held together long enough to get him home.

    His nose could detect the odour of the curing fuel mixture being created on the ground below. It would take several more hours for this latest batch to be ready for use, so there was little Dalan could do except gaze up at the dimming sky and think.

    He wondered briefly how he would explain Triel?s absence upon his return to Naboo. He knew the Jedi would understand; to them, sacrifice was almost a way of life. Tamus would no doubt take a few swings at him for leaving her here, be it her choice or not. The rest of Naboo would all probably have mixed feelings over it as well. Some would reach out in sympathy, others in anger over this. Triel was as much a public figure on Naboo as Dalan and Tamus were, considering few were the times that they were apart. No doubt there would be some people who would see Dalan?s actions as those of a coward and would let that view be known as loudly as possible.

    The photoelectric sensors on the outside of the ship suddenly activated the floodlights mounted on the hull. The ground below was illuminated as bright as day, save for the long shadows cast by any object within the light. The tiger yawned and stretched before rising and heading for the top hatch. He needed to sleep if he was going to be in any shape to fly this junk heap tomorrow.

    Suddenly, the tiger heard a rustling of some kind in the dark. His ears perked up and his whiskers stretched forward, tasting the electricity in the air and trying to discern this intruder?s identity. He found his Steyr AUG rifle and quietly moved as close to the sound as the ship would allow. He sunk into a prone firing position and flipped the safety off. His feline eyesight cut the night like a knife and he could see a figure moving in the darkness towards the light?towards his ship?

    Towards its doom.

    The moment the figure was in range, Dalan squeezed the trigger and cracked off one shot, which buried itself in the ground just a metre or two in front of the intruder. Expectedly, the figure recoiled and looked directly at him, though the tiger doubted he could be seen for the floodlights.

    ?Hands on your head!? ordered the tiger using his Warning of the Voice. ?Walk towards the light slowly. Any fast moves and I?ll kill you where you stand.?

    The figure obeyed and slowly started walking towards the light. Dalan kept his rifle trained on this intruder, ready to send whomever it was to the next life one perforation at a time if necessary. However, once the figure was fully illuminated, Dalan couldn?t help but relax his posture and move his finger away from the trigger. The figure was feminine, and garbed in what looked like a flight suit of some sort. He could detect no weapons on her person, but that didn?t mean none existed.

    ?/>
  10. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
  11. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
    ROADRUNNER!!!!!!!!!! :p

    That wasn't iffy at all. It was about time Dalen had to confront the construct and in turn confront his past, his life, and what she represents to him now. Having issues with Whisper obviously created the necessary level of pre-existing tension and upped it a notch.

    Not iffy at all. Especially if in the long run they'll eventually have to work together.

    Good long post!
  12. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
    Thanks Casper. It's always comforting to know that someone out there doesn't think a post is iffy, even when the author does. :D

    Here's a nice, long one that'll cap my presence on the boards for a couple of weeks, as I'm heading out of town for summer vacation. I'll be back in August hopefully with a notebook full of ideas I can translate into more story.


    Triel could sense the uneasiness of the rest of the Enforcers as they pushed on further south. It had been hours since they?d seen any real fertile land, and she figured the Queen?s blindness to this region meant their link with her had also been severed by now. She felt thankful that Azar seemed to still have his wits about him. Perhaps, she thought, he was further evolved than the others, which had cast him in a leadership role. Maybe when this was all over, the Queen would allow him to take a more humanoid form like Shaylear had?

    Maybe he could take the form of her father?her real father.

    The mind of a three year-old works in mysterious ways. Memories are fragmented to the point that mere shards of time are ever retained as the mind ages. For some, their earliest memory was of a certain toy, or a face lost on the winds of time. For others, it could be a place, a room or a colour, whose very shade can evoke a memory decades old.

    For Triel, her memories were of a screaming mother, and a drunk, desperate man who had run out of options save one: Her.

    She remembered her father coming home one rainy night and immediately breaking into a shouting match with her mother. Their vocal tones disturbed her and she began to cry from her playpen, hoping that by doing so the shouting would stop and things would be quiet again. It was to no avail, though?the shouting continued and the screaming followed right up until the door opened?

    And in walked the source of Triel?s nightmares to this day.

    Lazarus Davenport was a well-known figure in tavern and casino alike. Once a well-to-do worker for a freight hauling company, Lazarus worked hard and played harder, nearly drinking and gambling himself to ruin mere hours after being paid for two weeks of work. Even after he met and married a tabletop dancer from a local cantina, his pace never slowed. When Triel had been born, if anything the pace of his life increased.

    Alas, with his increased want to escape his responsibilities, also came an increasing losing streak, which was putting him in the bad books of some very powerful and dangerous people. On the night of this storm, he had gambled big and lost big. Fifty thousand credits were now owed to the sabaac dealers at the Golden Dagger casino?a front company for Botullu the Hutt. Lazarus knew better than to cross the Hutts when it came to financial matters, as even a credit taken in error could earn one a visit from Botullu?s gang. Desperate for his life, Lazarus struck a deal with the only other person who would hep him out of this mess for no other reason than to spite the Hutts?

    Niles Gresham?

    The deal was simple: Niles would cancel the marker on Lazarus? head in cash, in exchange for something that would appreciate in value over time, and eventually reap Gresham ten times what he?d originally paid?

    Triel.

    Amongst the screams of protest from her mother, Triel felt two strong, furry hands lift her out of her playpen and take her, kicking and screaming, out of the house and into a waiting speeder. She remembered screaming and screaming until she felt a pressure at her neck, which made her grow numb and eventually fall asleep. The last thing she remembered was looking into the eyes of the black, furry creature that held her and heard her soothing words:

    ?Fear not, cub?your journey to a better life has begun.?

    Her sudden spike of anger caused her speeder to jump slightly, which forced the young Jedi?s attentions back to the present. Triel reminded herself to keep her thoughts on the here and now, and not on the past or enshrouded future. Still, she had so many questions about her life before being a slave to Gresham th/>
  13. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
  14. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
    See, see Triel: something good did come from your relationship with Dalen! Get your head out of your butt, go back to him, and round up the troops! If one of yous can take six, than six of you can take thirty-six. [face_devil]

    Of course fiction is not that simple. If so, this would be short story. ;)

    Great action sequence with conflict before and after it: talk about conflict around conflict, eh?

    A few weeks off? No problemo! Will hold the fort and the French Canadians at bay.

    FORWARD!
  15. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
    Thanks :D

    Yeah, Triel's eating a fair bit of crow now, realizing all she's learned from someone she just figuratively kicked in the cajones. Still, will she admit her mistake, or will her pride make her even more arrogant towards him? Time will tell...

    Well, I'm back from holidays, which capped off the worst 6 weeks of my life. It started joyful enough near the beginning of July, with the news that I was going to be a dad :D :D :D . After years of trying and a few trips to the doc, I was finally gonna have a family.

    That came crashing down 2 weeks later when my wife miscarried. We found out during an ultrasound that there had been no growth, and the next day she started to hemmorage <sp> so it was a day at the hospital.

    Since then it's been a lot of healing and coping with what happened. Then, while I was home for vacation, my father got stung by a wasp. No big deal, except we found out right then that he's allergic. So, my brother and I hauled him into a van and rendezvoused with the ambulance, and off he went to the hospital for a night of observation and treatment.

    Still, it was a good two weeks away from the big city. Now, it's back to the grind and the everlasting struggle to have money at the end of the month instead of month at the end of the money. :p

    More stuff coming soon if not sooner ;)

    SPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!
  16. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
    :(

    Ah man, sucks does not even begin to describe what's going on there, Whiskey. (Swears a bit), sorry to hear about you and your wife's loss. My hope is that the both of you will fully overcome this and you will achieve what you both desire.

    Take as much time as you want, man; no one can complain.
  17. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
  18. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
    Well, things are finally settling down a bit in my life. My wife is doing fine and we're back on track for planning a family.

    As for my dad, he had a close call shortly after his little run-in with that wasp. He was getting a checkup done when they noticed he had an irregular heartbeat. One week and a couple of volts to the heart later he made a full recovery. I tell ya, how I stayed sober last month will remain a mystery until my dying day.

    I've actually been putting together a post which should be up by tomorrow if all goes well. Thanks for giving me the time to get over this, and hopefully my mind'll be cleared up enough to deliver something legible and enjoyable in a literary sense.
  19. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
    Ok, so it's a couple of days late (that's what the long weekend'll do to ya).

    Hopefully it's not a total snore.


    Chapter 14
    Planet RW-6241387 ? Previously uncharted


    Sunset blazed like fire across the evening sky, painting it with wild hues of red, orange, and yellow. Some distant fire or volcanic activity had cast enough smoke into the atmosphere to make the setting sun appear blood red as it sunk slowly beneath the horizon. To those watching it, the spectacle filled them with feelings of awe, intimidation, and some apprehension. Normally, a red sky at night was a sign of a good day to come, but to see the sun such a deep bloody shade left an unnerving sense that this brief time of rest and healing would be followed by an even greater tribulation.

    Not normally superstitious, even the Jedi were uneasy about this sunset and what it seemed to foretell. Tahiri was probably the most moved by it given her upbringing with the Tatooine Sandpeople. She snaked her arm around Anakin, who groaned slightly from the shift in position. His head was crowned with several devices that produced small micro-gravity fields around his cranium and left side of his face. Their primary purpose was to keep his shattered bones in their relative positions while the bone-knitter solution with which he?d been injected worked to regenerate all that had been damaged in that head-on collision with the Dark Trooper?s buckler.

    Anakin was unable to speak while the combination of the medication and technology worked its restructuring miracle?he was even unable to crack the well-known Solo lopsided grin, which his father had made so infamous in his travels. His only communication to his wife was through the Force, and even then he had said very little since the battle. It didn?t take a Sage to understand his concern, for Tahiri?s thoughts were also elsewhere. Namely, they were both thinking of their Padawans who it seemed had taken the worst of all the beatings dished out by that metallic monster.

    The reason they were outside watching this bizarre sunset and not watching over their charges was simple: They?d been forcibly removed from the Wild Karrde?s sick bay by Karrde himself. The constant pacing on Tahiri?s part, mixed with her guilt over letting Feslira go alone into that station had been causing what Karrde referred to as ?a less than positive source of ambient energy? in the medical facility, and insisted she and Anakin take some time and collect themselves. At first Tahiri protested, but she also knew working herself up into a lather would do nothing for Feslira, Borjin, Jacen, or Ryn. Reluctantly, she had departed.

    Physically, Feslira seemed in perfect health in comparison to the others who?d been dragged in quickly by the others once the Shamed One had projected for help. Ryn was treated much the same as Anakin was, with gravitic stabilizers and bone-knitters, while Shada was treated for several broken ribs and numerous internal injuries thanks to the rather savage kick she?d received from the Dark Trooper. Karrde?s agitation over this only confirmed what had been mere rumour and scuttlebutt in Karrde?s organization, but no one breathed a word of it.

    Of all the victims, though, Borjin and Jacen were the two that were the most critical. Jacen?s arm had required hours of surgery and several bacta treatments to even begin healing. At one point, the suggestion was offered that the irradiated limb be severed at the elbow and a new prosthetic be attached. Jaina had declined the offer in her brother?s stead, deciding such a choice was not hers to make. As a result, Jacen?s arm was now bound in a bacta-filled canister while the miraculous liquid slowly made repairs to his flesh and bone.

    Borjin, however, was a far more serious case. The slash on his back had been deep and thanks to the contamination of the Dark Trooper?s blade, the cells all along the wound were mutating and growing into what could become ravenous tumours, slowly killing the Chiss from the inside. Severa/>
  20. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
  21. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
    Yet, each time it had happened it was always met with the same fiery temper that used to make the smuggler?s face a welcome target for any number of fists on the part of some cantina creep.

    Hehehehe.....don't ya hate being popular? ;)

    It's definately a time to call in some back up; problem is there is none. So it's time for the group to Cowboy Up! If what lies ahead is just as bad as they faced before they won't get far unless they get the Nubian ducks in a row, plan better, and go head on.

    Good post. And damn it, hopefully everything else that can go wrong has passed, Whiskey, I really do. I think you have had enough crap plopped on you for the year. Positively speaking, the rest of the year must go right for you.

    Think positively! Live positively! :)
  22. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
    Well, things are settling down here finally. I will say though that 2004 will be one year I'm hoping to forget. Sure, some good things happened, but most of it was trumped by crap.

    I've actually been writing like a madman for the past couple of weeks, but I'm pursuing some other, more 'furry' projects as well as maintaining this one, hence my lack of posting this month. Inspiration is nothing if not chaotic.

    Anywho, here's a little one for y'all, with more to come perhaps tomorrow or later today; we'll see.


    The sound of heavy breathing, the hiss of moving seekers, and the odd crash filled Jaina?s ears as she walked by one of the recreation areas aboard the Wild Karrde. Curious as to the origins of these sounds, she entered the area and her eyes grew wide at what she saw before her.

    It was a spectacle unlike anything she?d ever seen in her years as a Jedi. In the centre of the room, garbed in a black jumper with plated gauntlets, shin pads, boots, and gloves, was her Padawan, Shon. Hovering around him were no less than a dozen seekers, all of them flying in their typical burst/pause pattern, completely randomized by their rudimentary AI programs. Every now and again, one of the seekers would fire off a shot, only to have it deflected or evaded by the rogue talent.

    Scattered on the floor, Jaina noticed the debris of several seekers and she couldn?t hide her smirk. She?d seen this practice many times before in The Shroud back at the Academy?a little game of evasion and combat strategy put together by Dalan and Master Skywalker. The rules were simple: Take down as many seekers as you can. However, this exercise forbade the use of any weapons save your hands, feet, and head (not literally, of course?no headgear). If the seekers managed to score more than 10 hits, the exercise is considered over and one?s score is based on the number of destroyed seekers. So far, Jaina could see Shon was up over 15 wrecked drones, and was only sporting 4 wounds on his body. Despite this rather impressive score, Jaina could also sense Shon?s mood as near the boiling point and decided to stick around and watch how this brutal training exercise played out.

    <musical cue: 'Absurd' By Fluke>

    If Shon detected the entrance of his Master, he made no acknowledgement of it. He had very little time to waver his focus away from the remaining dozen seekers that were circling him. He could feel every drop of sweat as it oozed out of his pores and his breath was coming in long, laboured gasps as a result of his exertion thus far. Karrde had been right about these seekers being somewhat more aggressive than those used at the Jedi Academy. Normally, the rogue talent was well up over a score of 20 without breaking a sweat. Now with 15 down, 12 to go, and an overwhelming desire for something to drink, Shon was fast realizing that Academy training was no comparison for real experience.

    This point was made apparent yet again as a pair of seekers moved in fast, spitting out lines of yellow laser light directly at the rogue talent. Shon leapt up and spun away from the oncoming fire, landing only for a heartbeat before launching himself at the offending opponents. His forearms connected solidly with both drones, sending them screaming into the wall and destroying them.

    Another one managed to drop in behind him. Shon sensed its presence just as its laser was powering up to fire and managed to jump clear. He angled himself into a back flip, catching the would-be pain in the butt with his left foot and sending it to the scrap heap. As he landed, he cart wheeled to the left to avoid another salvo of blasts from a quartet of seekers. Once righted he leapt at the nearest wall, using it to springboard himself back at the quartet and knock out 2 of them before gravity pulled him back down to the arena floor.

    Two small volcanoes of pain erupted on Shon?s chest and he cursed slightly as he recoiled from the blast. Two seekers had been waiting for him to land on the ground before firing, no/>
  23. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
    Or perhaps Shon has relatives that are out there, plotting, and wanting him involved some how.... [face_devil]

    It's just too tough sometimes to be a Jedi. Not when temptation always beckons, especially after a personal loss that Shon experienced: the lost of his friend.

    Jaina better get in there deep and do some damage control. It's bad enough that Feslira is having dark problems; don't need two of them.

    Good stuff, man!

    FURRY!
  24. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
    Hee hee hee [face_devil]

    Oh, believe me, it's gonna get better, trust me ;)


    Shon arrived at his and Jaina?s assigned quarters about an hour later. Darkness had fallen on the planet by this time and the only light in the room came from light tubes on a dim setting. The room was bathed in a peaceful, golden glow, which made Shon relax a little. He?d been dreading this since his earlier conversation with his master, and had put it off as much as possible. However, prolonging the inevitable was no way for anyone to live, so he screwed up his courage and decided to meet his fate willingly.

    Jaina offered very little reaction to Shon?s entry and silently bid him to sit before her. She was sitting cross-legged on the floor, her eyes closed and her breathing normal. Until Shon?s arrival she had been meditating, trying both to calm her anxieties over her brothers and their Padawans, and to find the patience needed to help Shon through these troubled times.

    Once she knew Shon was seated across from her, she opened her eyes and regarded him impassively. ?Why have you not told me about the darkness within you growing stronger, Shon?? she asked.

    ?It?didn?t seem that important compared to what we?re facing,? replied the rogue talent. ?I figured my problems weren?t as much a priority as finding this ship.?

    ?Even one soul lost to evil is of greater import than any ship, no matter the consequences,? said Jaina. ?Now tell me?why is it getting stronger??

    Shon sat and thought about it for a few moments before answering. ?You mentioned my?insecurities and you were right. There?s a lot of stuff in my life I still need to resolve. Foremost, I guess, is my relationship with my father and brother.?

    ?Explain.?

    ?Ever since we started this mission I?ve been keeping my eyes open,? he said. ?Looking for some evidence that this isn?t some wild nerf chase and that we?re actually trying to stop someone from releasing this ship on the galaxy. Up until Nyphidonia, I was convinced we were dealing with the Emperor?s mad legacy, and that we were chasing after some artefact from his rule.?

    ?What happened at Nyphidonia??

    ?Ryn pointed out that the redoubt?s computer systems had recently been updated.? Shon slumped. ?The place was using the same operating system as that on the Roundhammer. Hell, I entered my old room code to get into the redoubt in the first place.? He fell silent again. ?It means that someone connected to my father is out here too, searching for that ship. Or, they?ve already found it and have been working on it all this time.?

    ?So, this presence is drilling that nerve, is it?? Shon nodded. ?Do you blame yourself for any of this, Shon? Be honest.?

    ?The sins of the father live on in his sons,? he said. ?By blood, I?m tied to everything that?s happened here.?

    ?You shouldn?t think that way, Shon,? said Jaina. ?Just because you share someone?s genetic code doesn?t mean you?re responsible for your family?s actions.?

    ?How many times have you been accosted by someone your father crossed?? countered Shon. ?It?s the same mentality. I?m related to Terin Corvain, and I?ll be held responsible by anyone who?s lost something or someone to him.?

    ?And you would accept this blame,? concluded Jaina, to which Shon nodded. ?Shon, I know how you feel?I really do. But to shoulder the blame for something your father or brother did isn?t going to help things. The Dark Side preys on this kind of feeling. Inadequacy breeds resentment, which can lead to a need to over-prove oneself?and that?s where the Dark Side strikes. It?ll give you the ability to feel superior to anyone around you, but at a price.?

    Shon thought about it. He knew Jaina was right, and that his thoughts over his mother and her disappearance had led to his feelings of inadequacy. Granted, all the other rogue talents had been forced to abandon their families in some form, but at least they?d known their families. In their pasts, there had been at least a glimmer of love coming from someone in their lives. Hell, />
  25. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
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