Before - Legends The Blue Side of the Force: Book I- Complements (6/14 -An unknown planet and an ACTUAL NEW CHAPTER)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Commander-DWH, Aug 15, 2005.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. SakuraTsukikage Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2005
    star 4
    Wow, this is great! ;) I love Leiraya and her general hippieness, and I especially liked "the Force, now available in amazing Technicolor!" It actually parallels a viewpoint of the Force I was working on for one of my fics that's still in the "idea" stage. And Aiden is hilarious, too--I don't know how you do it, but you made it seem like he really could be . . . a real person, and who he is. I'm impressed.

    And of course I love Carth. But I always love Carth.
  2. amidalachick Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2003
    star 5
    Whenever I'm reading a story and fall behind, I always get caught up on a cliffhanger. OK, maybe that wasn't exactly a cliffhanger, but I still want to know what's next! :p

    Great updates! I [face_love] Aiden. Clumsiness is a very endearing trait. :D

  3. kotorchick Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2005
    star 4
    Ahem, how in the heck did I miss this update????? I have no idea. Anywya, th eplot is ptogressing rather well, and I can't wait to see more of Leiraya. Just out of curiousity, how would you pronounce it?
  4. Commander-DWH Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2003
    star 4
    DarkMan77: Hey! Good to see you around again. :D Glad you're enjoying.

    Sakura: w00! The Force is way cooler in colour. It's good to know that I'm not just some crazy person with an off-the-wall theory. Anyhow, glad you're enjoying, and major happiness for the Carth love.
    amidalachick: Well, hey, you don't even have to wait that long for an update. ;) Happy caught-uppedness and all that jazz.

    kotorchick: You delinquent child! [face_shame_on_you] :p I'll forgive you, this time.

    And it's prounounced "Leh-RAY-ah," or some similar variant, depending on your region, accent, and how fast you choose to say it.

    And now, in honour of the Fluffmeister's birthday, I present you with the next installment!

    Chapter Eleven

    The Guardian hadn’t been kidding, much to the annoyance of Aiden and company.

    The proving grounds were simple, but nasty. One battle ‘droid on each side- one of fire, and one of ice. Each one guarded a computer, and each one took all four of them to defeat. No wonder Nemo didn’t make it out alive. Aiden knew for certain that he could not have defeated the ‘droids alone, nor could anyone else. Bastila was a cunning warrior, but she tended to rely on her skill in battle meditation at times. Unfortunately, battle meditation can have no effect on those without a will, so she had to rely on her swordplay. Leiraya was fast, faster than he would have thought. And graceful, to boot. But she lacked brute force, and one could not simply finesse past one of these ‘droids. Carth was invaluable on ranged weapons, but blasters alone would not be enough. And Aiden himself lacked enough experience to be able to single-handedly take down even one of the ‘droids, let alone two.

    It was definitely a good thing that they’d brought extra people.

    The computers, once they figured out how to communicate with them, asked a relatively simple question before it would let them by. Aiden supposed it was simple because after the hell they put you through with the ‘droid, your brain might not be thinking in a straight line yet. He knew for certain that he was slightly dazed after fighting two of them, even with the help of the others.

    Having finished either side, the four of them stood in front of the remaining door. “So,” Bastila said, still breathing heavily, “this is it?”

    Aiden nodded. “That’s what it looks like.”

    He reached forward, pushing the centre square in. The door lurched open, revealing another large room. A singular object sat in the middle, identical to the one in his vision.

    “What is it?” Leiraya squinted at it curiously.

    “I don’t know,” Aiden replied, pressing the button he had seen Revan press in his vision. He stepped back as three trapezoidal fins opened, allowing a strange projection to float in midair. It was strangely beautiful, a swirl of blue, yellow, and white lights, but he had no idea what it was.

    “These look like hyperspace coordinates,” Bastila observed. “See, here’s Kashyyyk… and Tatooine… Manaan… and Korriban.”

    “Is that all the coordinates?”

    “Well… yes and no.” Bastila looked at it more closely. “Those are all the readable ones. There’s at least one more that’s partially corrupted.”

    “Corrupted?” Aiden looked around the room. “How old do you suppose this place is, anyway?”

    “Older than the Jedi Order. Perhaps older than the Republic.” Bastila shook her head, as though to clear it. “We should leave this place, though. This… thing, this Star Map is an artifact of the Dark Side. It is no wonder that the kath hounds are so aggressive in this area.”

    Aiden was not about to argue the point, he could feel it too. It seeped under his skin like snow blown beneath the layers of a warm jacket.

    “I agree,” Leiraya nodded, looking nervously at the map as though it might suddenly explode. She received a couple of strange looks, as it was likely the first time that she and Bastila had agreed on anything, but it was not the time for idle chat.

    “Let’s go, then.” Aiden turned and strode out of the room, past the Guardian, and out of the ruins.

    The Council needed to know what the place was, and what happened to Nemo after they sent him.


    Carth paced back and forth in the main hold of the Ebon Hawk. “How long are they going to be talking to the Council, anyway?”

    “You’ve got me,” Mission replied, lounging comfortably on one of the seats. “What’re you so worried about?”

    “It’s nothing.” Carth shook his head. “Nothing you need to worry about.”

    Mission narrowed her eyes. “Is this one of those, ‘I’m not going to tell you anything ‘cause you’re too young’ things? Because that’s really annoying. I’m along for this, too, and I’m not a kid.”

    “No, Mission, it’s not that. I know you’re very capable for a 14 year old. It’s just that… I don’t know. A lot of stuff just doesn’t make any sense.” He shook his head. “And I don’t like it when things don’t add up.”

    The young Twi’lek shrugged. “Well, I’m sure we’ll find out when they get back, right?”

    “I sure hope so.” He paced for a while longer until he heard the sound of approaching footsteps. Moments later, Aiden, Bastila, and Leiraya came up the ramp. He immediately asked, “So, what’s going on?”

    “We’re going.” Aiden pointed at the datapad that held what information was not corrupted from the Star Map. “The four planets whose coordinates we found. The Council thinks that this is the map that Revan and Malak used to find whatever this Star Forge thing is, so if we’re going to find it, we’re going to have to trace their footsteps.”

    Trace the footsteps of Revan and Malak? “Have they lost their minds, by any chance?” Carth crossed his arms. “I mean, no offense, but you guys are just padawans. This seems like kind of a big mission, and they’re not sending along anyone else to guide you?”

    “Apparently not. They seem to think that with the help of everyone else on board, we’ll be able to make it just fine.” Aiden shrugged. “There’s a lot of us, and a lot of capability on board.”

    “Still. This doesn’t make any sense. You’ve just completed your training, and this is a huge mission. Force and visions or no, there should be someone else along.” Bastila seemed ready to protest his claims, but he cut her off before she could say anything. “I know you’re capable of a lot, Bastila, but you’re not a Master. You’re not even a Knight. Something doesn’t add up here.”

    Aiden shifted somewhat uncomfortably. He only knew what the Council had told him, and that it was only the bond between him and Bastila that made the mission even possible. Still, Carth had a very, very valid point. However, there was nothing he could offer to placate the soldier, so he could only reply, “I suppose we must trust in the wisdom of the Council.”

    “Now you’re sounding like Bastila.”

    “I resent that, Carth Onasi,” she looked at him with a mildly annoyed expression. “Besides, he’s right. We cannot claim to know their motivations, but they have shown wisdom in the past, so we ought to trust them.”

    “Right.” He still wasn’t happy, but arguing wasn’t going to get anything done. “So, are we leaving, then?”

    “Not quite.” Aiden looked over his shoulder as Juhani ascended the landing ramp.

    The Cathar woman bowed politely to the company and tried to smile. “I will be accompanying you on your journey.”

    “Wait, whoa- who is this?” Carth looked between Aiden and Juhani with a look of confusion on his face.

    “This is Juhani,” Aiden explained. “The Jedi we found in the grove.”

    “You mean the one that attacked you?” Carth’s eyes narrowed suspiciously.

    “I was not myself, then,” Juhani said defensively. “I thought… I thought I had killed my Master, but I had not. She let me strike her down to show me how I let my anger control me. She was right, and I almost killed her.” Her fiery, catlike eyes looked intently at him, showing a deep sense of regret. “I have learned my lesson- and that was my trial. This, then, is my first mission.”

    “So let me get this straight- first they goad you into giving in to the Dark Side, and then they happily welcome you back?” Carth shook his head. “Forgive me if I question their methods.”

    “The methods of the Jedi Council are not your concern,” Bastila interjected frostily. “If they trust Juhani enough to come with us, so should you.”

    Carth and Bastila glared at each other for several moments until he finally sighed in disgust. “Fine. But let’s get going before we have to take any more of the Council’s ‘wisdom’ with us.”

    “Very well, then.” Bastila brushed past him and headed for the cockpit. Aiden was right behind her, and Carth sighed and followed suit.

    Juhani remained standing where she was, looking more than a little lost. Looking up, she saw Leiraya and Mission standing there. “I do not think he likes me,” she stated sourly.

    “Don’t worry about it,” Leiraya came over and brought her further into the ship. “He’s nicer than he lets on sometimes. He’ll either warm up to you, or at least stop bothering you eventually.”

    “What, is he always like this to newcomers?”

    “I sure hope not, but his track record’s not so hot.” Leiraya guided her into the women’s bunks. “You’ll be staying over here with us, so grab an empty bunk.”

    “Thank you,” she smiled. “I think I will take a nap, if that is all right.”

    “No problem,” Leiraya pulled an extra blanket out of the footlocker and handed it to Juhani. “Here, you’ll want this. It gets kinda cold once we leave the atmosphere.”

    “Again, I thank you.”

    “Have a good rest- I’ll talk to you later.” Leiraya grinned easily and left the room.

    Finally alone, Juhani collapsed on her bunk and burst into tears.

    * * *

    “Is there any particular method behind choosing to go to Kashyyyk first?” Leiraya peered curiously at the galaxy map in the cockpit a few hours after entering hyperspace. “I mean, not that I have any problem with it, but if there’s a process, I’d sure like to know.”

    Aiden shrugged. “Well, not especially.”

    “There’s a comforting thought. I don’t suppose you considered where this beast will have to refuel, did you?”

    “We can make it there,” he assured her. “And we can refuel once we land.”

    She sighed patiently and turned to leave the cockpit. “If you insist.”

    “Where are you off to?”

    “To see if there are any extra blankets or anything in the cargo hold. We’ve got just enough to go around at present, and it might be beneficial to have extras.” She shrugged. “Just a thought.”

    Turning back to his console, Aiden assented. “Sounds like a good plan.”

    “So glad you approve.” With that, she trotted down the hall towards the cargo hold.

    Aiden’s mind proceeded to drift towards thought of the mission- he’d never been to Kashyyyk, and he was pretty certain that nobody on the ship, excepting Zaalbar, was familiar with the planet. Carth may have been there at one point, but as he opened his mouth to ask the pilot if he knew anything, he heard a muffled cry coming from the cargo hold.

    Immediately, both Aiden and Carth bolted out of the cockpit to see what was going on. They arrived in the cargo hold, only to find Leiraya on the floor, holding her right knee. A few toppled containers were scattered around her, and she looked like she was holding back tears.

    “What happened?” Carth asked, bending down to take a closer look at the injury.

    “I fell.” She bit her lower lip, then took a deep breath. “Tried standing on the boxes, lost my balance, twisted my knee.” She pointed ruefully at her knee, which was now swelling to near-epic proportions. “You should have seen how bad it was last time I twisted it.”

    “You mean… this has happened before?”

    “Well…” she shifted uncomfortably. “It’s not exactly the most stable joint in the world.”

    Carth looked like he was going to question her further, but Aiden interrupted. “This isn’t the time for an inquisition- let’s get her to a bunk.”

    “Right.” Carth shook his head and moved to help her stand. She got up, balanced on one leg, and held her breath as Carth gently picked her up. It took all her energy to pretend she wasn’t in a ridiculous amount of pain, but she tried to smile anyway.

    Exiting the cargo hold, Mission and Bastila ran up. “What’s going on?” Bastila queried somewhat anxiously.

    “I’ve got a slight knee problem,” Leiraya explained, attempting a light voice and failing miserably.

    Bastila raised an eyebrow. “Do I want to know how not slight it is?”

    Leiraya grimaced. “Probably not.”

    “Right.” Bastila nodded. “Well… do you need anything for it?”

    “Something cold. Preferably something I can wrap around it.”

    “I’ll see what I can do.” She scurried off to see what the ship’s medkits had stocked.

    Carth continued to carry her to her bunk, and set her down on her bed. She immediately put a pillow under her knee and leaned back. “Ugh. I hate it when this happens.” Her tone was sarcastic, but tears were beginning to run from the corners of her eyes. Bastila strode in and handed Leiraya an ice pack, which she accepted and placed gingerly on her knee. “Thank you.”

    “You’re welcome.” Bastila looked around, unsure of what to do. She did not particularly get along with the Corellian woman, but neither was she in the habit of ignoring injured people. “Is there anything I can do?”

    “Not that comes to mind,” Leiraya replied. “But thanks.”

    Bastila nodded. “I’ll be around if you need me.”

    The room was silent for several moments. Juhani was still sleeping in her bunk, and Carth looked sourly at the floor. Leiraya leaned back against the wall, and wiped the tears from her cheeks. “You look like you want to say something.”

    “You look like you’re awfully familiar with this injury.” He looked up, not quite angrily. “Were you planning on telling any of us about it?”

    “I… it’s not usually a problem,” she replied flatly.

    “Well, it’s sure as hell a problem now!”

    Leiraya’s face turned from pain, to shock, to dark annoyance. “Listen, flyboy- if you’re going to be antagonistic about it, I don’t have the energy to deal with you. Either come back in a more reasonable mood, or wait ‘til I don’t feel like my knee’s about to explode.”

    “Maybe I will,” he crossed his arms. “I’ll be in the cockpit.”

    “Yeah, I bet you will.” She closed her eyes and let out a ragged sigh. Carth winced, almost wishing he hadn’t said anything, but there was nothing to be done about it. Without a further word, he walked out and strode directly towards the cockpit.

    Mission tried to stop him as he passed. “Hey, what’s going on?”

    “I wouldn’t know,” he replied testily, and disappeared down the hallway.

    “Sheesh,” Mission raised an eyebrow and shook her head. “Something’s eating him, eh, Big Z?”

    Zaalbar, cleaning his crossbow, could only let out a roar of agreement. “[He is a very contrary sort of human.]”

    Mission nodded. “You got that right.”
    Last edited by Commander-DWH, Jun 13, 2017
  5. RK_Striker_JK_5 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    So, they're tracking Revan and Malak.

    Ouch on the knee! Poor Leiraya. Although it would've been a good idea to tell the others about that beforehand.

    I also question the wisdom of the council. man, between these doofuses and the prequel Jedi, I'm convinced you have to get a lobotomy before being able to join.

    Great post, DWH.
  6. oqidaun Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    You're right the Force does taste better in color!

    Poor Carthy Brown, I think all of his suspicions are in the right place, but no one is listening.
    I don't know what the Council is doing, but I don't think they're using their heads.

    ?Wait, whoa- who is this?? Carth looked between Aiden and Juhani with a look of confusion on his face.
    ?This is Juhani,? Aiden explained. ?The Jedi we found in the grove.?
    ?You mean the one that attacked you?? Carth?s eyes narrowed suspiciously.

    --I personally am not in the habit of taking people on trips who've attempted to kill me at one point. Say what you will about being possessed and all, but I think there should be a grace period--kind of a post possession probationary period.

    I think some day Bastila is going to make a very good Jedi--probably end up on the Council.

    The knee:
    Knees are important. If you have one that occassionally goes out, it is a good idea and probably a bit of valuable info for your crew mates to keep everyone abreast of the situation.

    Poor Carth. He suffers from foot-in-mouth disease.

    =D= Great update!

    Good luck with finals!
  7. sdhfs Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2004
    star 4
  8. JadeSolo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 6
    I share Carth's distrust. I mean, really, wouldn't you? :p The Council goes on and on about the Dark Side, but apparently once you come back, everything's a-okay.

    Or he just has a paranoia problem, but you can't really blame him for that. [:D]

    A trick knee! I foresee many problems arising from this. And maybe it was just me, but I really liked how Carth carried Leiraya to her bunk. Awwww. [face_love]
  9. Darth_Scroobius Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2005
    star 2
    ?There?s a comforting thought. I don?t suppose you considered where this beast will have to refuel, did you??

    LONE STARR What's that?

    BARF I don't know. I don't know. We're losing
    power. Why? 'Cause we're outta gas.

    LONE STARR We must've burned it up in hyperactive.

    BARF I told you we should've put more than five
    bucks worth in.

    I love your lighthearted approach to everything here. You are also managing to stick in game dialog in such a way that no one notices the difference (except for me, but I'm special [Note: not short-bus special]). I sometimes forget how smarmy that dialog can be. Very nice pair of updates.
  10. Lovely-in-Orange Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2005
    star 3
    Oww about the knee! You really bring out that aspect of Carth I like - He really cares but yet ends up saying completely the wrong thing and ticking everyone off. [face_laugh] I liked Mission and Z's exchange afterwords too.
  11. padawanlissa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2005
    star 4
  12. kotorchick Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2005
    star 4
    Again, wonderful. More of my favorite flyboy, apperances. And Leiraya. Just out of curiosity, wasn't there another bit where we saw this happen and she was in the 'fresher? Just thought I remembered that,, or I coulod once again be hallucinating.

    Carth is still my favorite guy. :) I love him.
  13. SakuraTsukikage Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2005
    star 4
    Great post! I mean really great! =D= And good luck on finals. I'm just about to suffer through that, myself.

    My absolute favorite line, though it was a hard choice--Aiden supposed it was simple because after the hell they put you through with the ?droid, your brain might not be thinking in a straight line yet. [face_laugh] [face_laugh] [face_laugh] That made me laugh so hard my roommate looked at me funny. 8-}

    Oqidaun: You're right. He does suffer from foot-in-mouth disease. I've never seen it phrased better.

    JadeSolo: It wasn't only you. [face_love] That was so cute . . . . Awwwwww.

    Lovely-in-Orange: My favorite aspects of Carth as well.

    Carth's my favorite guy, too, and you're writing him so well, Commander. :)
  14. obi_webb Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2005
    star 4
    fantastic job commander!
    as usual, everything was very well done but my favorite part and the reason i love this story so much is shown when juhani was introduced to everyone.. there was your wonderful dialogue, always great to read, and usually kind of playfully lighthearted... but after all that we see that when juhani is by herself she is overcome with emotion and burst into tears..
    that part had lots of impact for me! poor juhani has went through a lot!
    you always can mix the humorous moments with the potent drama that is in this story so, =D=
  15. Commander-DWH Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2003
    star 4
    Holy cow! O:) [face_cow] I'm alive! And here y'all probably thought I forgot you.. ;)

    Striker: Well, mostly just Malak, as Malak betrayed his former Master quite a while ago. It's buried in the narrative somewhere, but Revan's been well-neutralized by this time.
    oqster: Yeah, more people could probably stand to listen to Carth, but I imagine they think he's just too angsty. :p But, he has a good heart.

    sdhfs: Thanks! Good to see a new reader stopping by. :D

    JadeSolo: I mean... yeah, he has a point. Never could be denied, even the first time I played the game. He's sharper than he looks in that orange flight jacket. :D

    Scroobius: Ahh, Spaceballs. Makes me happy, it does. So craptastically 80's.

    Lovely-in-Orange: I aim to capture the essence of Carth in prose. :D

    padawan mine: Thank ye!

    kotorchick: Yeah, I kinda reworked and rearranged that piece, 'cause I ended up liking the dynamic it creates. More on that as Kashyyyk progresses.

    Sakura: Thanks! Glad your enjoying, and hope you got through finals in one piece, too.

    obi_webb: Thank you kindly. *bows* Hope you enjoy the next part as much. :)

    Never fear- I survived the most hectic semester of my entire life, and now I have the next month to get ahead and write my brains out. Hooray for Winter Term- animation + fanfic = recipe for much happy fun. :D

    In any case, I have the next chapter for y'all. Enjoy!

    Chapter Twelve

    A full day went by. Mission managed to find a pair of crutches in the medical bay, and Bastila kept on top of the ice supply. Leiraya tried to remain cheerful for their sake, but she wasn't happy about her knee. It was bad. Worse than it had been in years. Teach me to not stand in precarious positions, she thought self-deprecatingly. Look where it got me this time. She'd been so careful, taught herself how to fight without straining the joint, and now that there was no turning back... she'd blown it. Quite literally.

    Caught up in her own distress, she almost didn't notice Carth enter the room. Straightening, she looked at him dourly. “So, come to yell at me some more?”

    “No, but an explanation would be nice.” He scuffed his boots on the floor and looked straight at her. “I mean, I don't know what they taught you back on Corellia, but that sort of thing is important for your fellow soldiers- mission companions- whatever- to know.”

    Leiraya closed her eyes and leaned back, a bitter smile on her face. “I never meant for it to be a problem.”

    “Well, it is.” He crossed his arms. “So are you going to explain, or am I going to have to sit here until you do?” He plopped down on a bench opposite her bunk. “T3's got the ship, and I'm in no hurry.”

    “You're a veritable ray of happiness today,” she sighed inwardly, then conceded. “Fine. You want a story? I'll give you a story. No drama, though. I can't do much to make the story more exciting.

    “When I was about fifteen standard years old, I was pretty heavily involved in music. Played with a local orchestra, all that stuff. Well, a friend was driving me to a gig the next city over one day, and her speeder was broadsided. Fortunately, neither of us were killed. Unfortunately,” she patted her knee gently, “the knee, she's not so happy anymore.”

    “That bad, just from a speeder accident?”

    The other driver was breaking about ten laws at the time it happened. The joint was completely shattered, and it's a miracle they were able to put it back together at all.” She shook her head. “That's why I prefer a living mount, when I can get one. A live beast at least cares if you run into anything else.”

    “Well,” Carth paused for a moment. “That was... a fairly simple explanation. But it doesn't explain why you didn't tell any of us.”

    She sighed. “It's been good for several months now. I was hoping that perhaps it was completely healed. Besides, have you ever had a permanent injury?”


    “Then you probably wouldn't understand. People... they look at you differently when they think you're less than a whole person, for whatever reason. Maybe you're mentally impaired, maybe you lost an arm. Or maybe, one of your joints just doesn't function properly anymore. It doesn't matter. They see it all the same way. All of a sudden, you're not good enough to do things, your opinion isn't as valid, and you become less than a person.” She looked at him piercingly. “Do you have any idea what that's like? It's not pretty. In fact, I rather despise it.”

    “I...” he fumbled for words. No, he didn't know what it was like. He'd always been in prime physical shape, and were he honest, he'd admit to occasionally mentally writing off people less capable than he.

    “That's what I thought,” she huffed. “Well, maybe I should've said something. And maybe if I had, I'd be stuck back on Dantooine with those charming Masters.” Her eyes and voice softened. “I couldn't bring myself to do it.”

    “Well... now what are we supposed to do about it?”

    “Give me a week,” she stated confidently. “That's all it ought to take, on the generous end. I know how to take care of this, and I know when not to push it.”

    Carth raised a skeptical eyebrow. “Do you really?”

    “Mostly.” She blushed slightly. “Believe me, after this incident, I'll be ten times as careful with it. This isn't something I like to mess with. You'll have to trust me to know what I'm doing here, and that I'll let you guys know when I need help.”

    “That's a tall order, after all that's happened.”

    “Listen,” she said sharply. “I know you don't trust easily, but please try. I made a mistake. I screwed up. I'm sorry.”

    Silence hung between them for several moments. She wondered if he would simply get up and leave, but he looked up and spoke instead. “It isn't easy, is it?”


    “Losing a part of yourself, a component of your functionality... a bit of your life.”

    Leiraya looked at him strangely, wondering exactly what he was getting at. “Beg pardon?”

    “I mean,” he said, sounding as though he were trying to rearrange his thoughts into a coherent order, “that you used to be pretty autonomous, and could run around and do all kinds of crazy things before the accident... but it was taken away from you.”

    “Yes,” she replied slowly, still confused.

    “I...” he trailed off, then shook his head, as though to shake off bad memories. “I could never think less of you for that.”

    With that, he stood, waved a goodbye, and left the room, leaving a very confused Leiraya sitting on her bunk.

    “What I wouldn't give for a one day pass into his head...” she shook her head ruefully.

    * * *

    Aiden was perusing records concerning Kashyyyk on the Ebon Hawk's computer when Leiraya came in, perched on crutches and looking somewhere between sheepish and ashamed.

    “What's up?” He closed his session and turned to face her, leaning back on the console.

    “I... I came to apologize,” she managed. “You're in charge of this mission, and I should've said something about this.” She shook her head. “I knew better, too. All those years as the head of the Corellian Water Safety Patrol...”

    Aiden's eyes lit up. “You're water safety, too? I grew up on Deralia, trained as a Watchman. Didn't stay with the force as long as I'd have liked, though.”

    “A Watchman?” Leiraya was clearly impressed. “I helped train a Deralian intern or two, you guys really know your stuff.”

    He shrugged modestly. “Just a matter of training, and I had some of the best.”

    “Huh. Deralian.” She grinned bemusedly. “Never would've guessed, but I guess it works. Both Jedi and Watchmen are capable, and since you made it as one, I hope you'll do as well in the next.”

    “As do I,” he nodded, somewhat nervously. “I never know what to expect.”“So, what's it like? Training as a Watchman, that is. I always wondered, but the coast of the Gloasil was all I ever trained for.”

    Aiden crossed his arms and grinned, memories clearly flashing through his head. “It's like hell, but well worth it. The worst part was training to deal with the myriad sea creatures that fill Deralia's oceans. You wouldn't believe the kinds of things that float about. Sea dragons, kelp snatchers, fillinews... the list is long, and they all have their subset of hazards. Though,” he paused reflectively, “the domesticated sea dragons were a good ride between islands.”

    “Mmm, we need a few more of those on Corellia, though we don't have much need of island-to-island travel. But I'd much prefer it to the hoverboats.”

    “I imagine you'd love it there,” he grinned, thinking of the spirited woman's love of nature. “We're too backwater to have an abundance of technology.”

    “Sounds like my kind of world.”

    “My first-year training program was on a quite different world,” he continued. “Moderately forested. Indoor water facilities, for the larger part. Not a sea beast in sight, but it did help us get a good command of the basics.”

    “Yes, I remember taking our interns to the indoor pools during the colder months.” She chuckled. “They hardly knew what to do with an enclosed space.”

    “The facility where I did my training was, fortunately, large and less enclosed than most. Huge competitive programs, lots of community participation, and best of all, a retractable transparisteel roof.”

    Leiraya's mouth dropped open. “How'd you score that? I know water safety personnel on Corellia who have been begging for such a roof for years!”

    “It was there when I got there,” he shrugged, a huge grin on his face. “But I'm not complaining.”

    “And well you shouldn't,” she smiled, and opened her mouth to continue, but a proximity alarm sounded in the cockpit.

    “Sounds like we're almost there,” Aiden pushed himself fully up and away from the computer. “I'd best get up to the cockpit.”

    Leiraya slowly shifted out of his way, and watched as he scrambled towards the cockpit. A Watchman, huh? She'd known of his kind almost as long as she'd been working the waterfront. The elite of the elite, so it was said amongst professionals. Always ready to respond in any type of emergency, and second only to the Jedi in their training and discipline.

    Glancing down at her knee, a shadow of doubt crept across her features. Then why on all of Corellia didn't he do anything about this particular injury? She shook her head. In spite of her misgivings, she was probably being unfair. He'd been out of the force for quite some time, and it was possible that first aid wasn't his area of specialization to start with. Knees were obscure, anyway... at least, injuries of this magnitude were.

    Not that she had any further time to contemplate it for the moment. They were landing on Kashyyyk, and she had a sinking feeling that things were going to start getting even more interesting.
    Last edited by Commander-DWH, Jun 13, 2017
  16. padawanlissa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2005
    star 4
    Yay, an update!! That was great=D=
  17. obi_webb Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2005
    star 4
    fantastic update commander!
    i loved leiraya and carth talking at the beginning. i really like the chemistry between those two. and her reasoning for not telling about her injury was nice.
    the way you ended that part..
    ?I...? he trailed off, then shook his head, as though to shake off bad memories. ?I could never think less of you for that.?
    very powerful! especially if you know carth's background and what he was getting at at the end..
    and cool hearing more of aiden's background!
  18. WyoJedi Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2005
    star 4
    **bows deeply**
    Greetings Master.
    Well, I have finally gotten the time to catch up on your story. It is great! I really like the relationship between Aiden and Leiraya. Can't wait to see how their adventures play out.

  19. Lovely-in-Orange Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2005
    star 3
    That's good reasoning for her not telling about her knee injury. She's probably right about it being used as an excuse to leave her behind! People can overestimate how much something like that is a liability when they hear about someone having had an injury. And I liked what Carth told her at the end. He's being obscure and confusing, but that just makes it all the more touching that he sees the similarities to his own past. Interesting background on the Watchmen too.
  20. kotorchick Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2005
    star 4
    Goodness gracious! I'm loving this. Though I have never quite connected the dots when it comes to the Water Saftey stuff and Jedi training... Oh well. Conversation between Carth and Leiraya was awesome, it was perfectly in character for them. I also recognized bits for the piece you wrote for the disiblities challenge, and I always liked that one.
  21. Commander-DWH Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2003
    star 4
    padawanlissa: Glad you enjoyed! :)

    obi_webb: Oh, Aiden's background has so much groundwork, and I feel bad that I've only mentioned it in passing up 'til now. I expect bonding over being the mean safety people to ensue. :p

    Hey, you made it! Glad to have you as a reader, and I'm glad you're enjoying the read. Hang on, it could be a bumpy ride...

    Lovely-in-Orange: It's a sad truth- I've avoided major injuries myself, but I have two or three friends with them, and I can see how frustrated they sometimes get. And it's something people do without thinking, too, so it's good just to get the viewpoint out there (for which I must thank Idrelle, else this particular plot point may never have materialized).

    The water safety/Jedi connection... it's a discipline thing. And training. I've always thought that being a lifeguard would be good practice for a Jedi, since you've got to keep track of large numbers of people, their relationship to each other, and respond to a situation within 10 seconds. This would go doubly for a waterfront situation, where you can't always see what's going on, but a Jedi could sense what was going on beneath the surface. I hate guarding waterfront for that very reason. But yeah, that's the connection. :D

    Hopefully I'll have something more for you in a much shorter timeframe. :p No more three-week hanging periods for a while...
  22. RK_Striker_JK_5 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    I felt so bad for Leiyara when she talked with Carth, there. *Hugs* Stupid driver. *Sends legion of Sith after him*
  23. oqidaun Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    ?What I wouldn't give for a one day pass into his head...? she shook her head ruefully.

    I really liked the exchange between Leiraya and Carth, very well done.

    Your characters are always so compelling. This is such a fun read. Great work!
  24. Commander-DWH Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2003
    star 4
    Striker: Leiraya appreciates the support. :)

    oqidaun: Thanks! It's fun to write, too, so it's good to know I'm not the only one having fun.

    And now, the first Blue Side update of the new year, slipped under the doorway before I go back to school. :D

    Chapter Thirteen

    Zaalbar stood outside the Ebon Hawk looking more unsettled than he had during Aiden's acquaintance with him. The Wookiee scanned the area suspiciously, looking as though he didn't quite know what to make of the place anymore.

    “Something wrong, Zaalbar?”

    The Wookiee roared softly and shook his head. “[It has just been some time since I have been here.]”

    “Well, I'm going to need you, pal. I know my way around here like I know my way around... well... somewhere that I'd get really lost in.” Aiden made a face. “You know what I mean.”

    Zaalbar looked amused, or at least, Aiden thought he looked amused. Before he could ask, however, sounds of bickering came down the loading ramp.

    “You're in no condition to be wandering around Kashyyyk,” Carth's voice came first.

    “I concur,” Bastila's voice joined in. “You should be taking care of your knee, not pushing yourself harder. We can try to find a cane to bring back to you.”

    “I don't need you two babying me.” Leiraya came swinging down the ramp on her crutches. “I'm not staying on that ship forever, and the exercise is good for me.”

    “We're not babying anyone.” Bastila placed her hands on her hips in exasperation. “Aiden, try to make her see reason.”

    “Oh, no you don't.” She adjusted her crutches. “No fair playing the 'she's being unreasonable' card. Next thing you're going to tell me is that I'm overreacting.”

    Carth crossed his arms. “Don't tempt me.”

    “Hey now, let's not get snippy,” Aiden interjected. “What's the problem here?”

    “They,” Leiraya emphatically stated, “are trying to keep me cooped up on that ship whilst they get to wander the famed forests of Kashyyyk. I like trees. I'd like to see these trees and get to know them. I also need a cane, which is a tangential benefit of being able to leave.”

    “However,” Bastila interrupted, “She's not exactly in any sort of condition to go for extended walks.”

    “Do I look like I'm putting much weight on this thing?” Leiraya scowled. “Didn't I tell you guys I know when not to push it?”

    “All right, all right.” Aiden sighed. “Leiraya, you can come along.”

    She grinned. “Excellent, I-”

    “I'm not finished,” Aiden continued. “Carth is coming, too. Someone's got to have your back covered if something nasty happens.”

    She grimaced slightly, but nodded. “All right, I guess that's reasonable.”

    “Bastila, I want you to stay here and make sure nobody harms the ship. Also,” he added, almost as an afterthought, “see if you can keep Canderous out of trouble.”

    Bastila looked somewhat less than happy with his decision, but she nodded in assent. “Easier said than done.”

    “I have complete confidence in you,” Aiden winked at her roguishly.

    Ignoring the wink, she merely raised her eyebrows ever so slightly. “Whatever you say.” With that, she turned and walked back up the ramp, trying not to look like she was disappointed to be left on the ship with nothing to do besides babysit a Mandalorian warrior. Sighing, she rounded the corner and nearly ran into Juhani, who was rushing down the corridor at record speed.

    “Bastila,” she gasped in surprise, then quickly regained her composure. “We are not alone.”

    “I beg your pardon?” She looked skeptically at the Cathar. “Of course we're not, I know there are others around...”

    “No,” Juhani shook her head. “I mean to say, we have a stowaway.”

    * * *

    Meandering down the way, Aiden couldn't help but notice that there were almost as many humans as there were Wookiees on the walkway. This did not fit his profile of the planet. Kashyyyk was almost completely arboreal, and extremely dangerous for humanoids.

    “Does this seem strange to you?” He looked questioningly at Carth.

    “More along the lines of 'disturbing,' I'd say.” He gestured at an oncoming Twi'lek furiously tapping on a datapad. “See that insignia? He's with Czerka Corporation.”

    “Czerka?” The name didn't sound familiar, but he noticed Leiraya making a face. “What?”

    “I recognize that name. They were the ones that conned the Selonians into purchasing starships on a large scale- bad move. They nearly wiped out the Dralls over a misunderstanding.”

    “A misunderstanding?”

    “Is there an echo in here? Yes, a misunderstanding.” She adjusted her crutches and continued. “Data corruption, specifically. I heard the full explanation once, but it had something to do with changing file formats and memory overwriting itself. Most importantly, in this case, the passwords to the entire Selonian computer system. Nobody could access it, and they got angry and thought the Dralls did it on purpose.”

    Aiden shrugged. “Maybe they did.”

    “Have you ever seen a Drall?” He shook his head. “I thought not. They're short little furry things, very dignified and mostly scholarly. There are exceptions, but they're about as far from warlike as they come.”

    “So they were completely ploughed over?”

    “Not quite. The Corellian government caught wind of what was happening and dispatched the Jedi to help settle things down. It cost us-” her voice caught for a moment, but she recovered almost before anyone could notice. “It cost us a lot. Once the Selonians figured out what the problem actually was, they were fairly well ashamed of themselves. Destroyed all the ships and swore they'd never buy any again. It was a major move for them to do so in the first place, and I guess they concluded that the traditional ways were better for them.”

    Aiden paused to absorb this. If this corporation had been so quick to sell warships to the Selonians, he couldn't imagine what they had plans for the Wookiees. He didn't see that many ships around, though, so that couldn't be their only area of trade. “Do you think they'll be a problem here?”

    “Aiden, Czerka is a problem by definition.”

    “That's encouraging.”

    The group continued walking, passing several more Czerka uniforms and very few Wookiees. After several meters, Zaalbar wuffled softly, “[I should not have come back. This all must be my brother's doing.]”

    Aiden stopped. “Your brother?”

    Zaalbar spread his paws. “[He is a bad person, there is nothing else for it. He started talking about bringing these people in... and I attacked him with my bare claws.]”

    “That could be potentially awkward,” Carth agreed.

    “[No, you do not understand.]” He paused to think of a better way to explain it. “[To attack with one's bare claws is the height of dishonour. I was... cast out. I am a madclaw.]”

    Aiden inwardly grimaced. Zaalbar had been their one hope of finding an ancient Star Map on this world, and finding that he was somewhat less than welcome was more than 'potentially awkward,' it could be downright disastrous. However, they didn't have time to worry about it. “We'll find a way, Zaalbar.”

    The Wookiee looked at him dubiously, but followed when Aiden moved on. It was apparently going to be a good idea to gather information before they ventured too much further, so the group found its way to the nearest shop. It was a strange durasteel construction, standing out sorely amongst the trees, and was almost certainly run by Czerka, but hopefully they'd have some answers, and maybe even a cane for Leiraya.

    Aiden walked up to a somewhat slimy-looking sales representative who regarded him with a simpering smile. “How may I help you?”

    “Information would be helpful, for starters.”

    “Well, you've come to the right place. Welcome to the Edean Visitors and Information Centre. I am Nolan Farsik, Czerka representative. What would you like to know about? Local hunting, trading goods, Wookiee dealing...”

    “Pardon me?” Aiden interrupted. “You deal Wookiees?”

    “Yes, and they are excellent workers, which you should already know.” Farsik gave a knowing glance at Zaalbar, who bared his teeth and roared.

    “[Mind your words, outlander.]” His dark brown eyes glistened with rage.

    Farsik, however, merely looked bored. “I'm sorry, I can't understand a word of the local language. Beasts, the lot of them.”

    “I don't think you understand,” Aiden tried to explain. “Zaalbar is not my slave. He owes me a life debt.”

    “Clever,” Farsik winked. “Always better to make them think they owe it to you, eh?”

    Aiden cringed as Zaalbar roared even more loudly. “[Do not dare insult the life debt!]”

    “Please, calm him down,” Farsik looked at Aiden sternly. “He'll disturb my workers.”

    He turned and looked pleadingly at the Wookiee. “Calm down, Z.” He shot a sidelong glance at Farsik. “We can't do anything by yelling at them.”

    Zaalbar quieted down, but his eyes still glared at the Czerka representative. Similarly, Leiraya looked positively livid, and Aiden could tell it was all she could do to keep the insults from flying out and splattering all over the room. Not now, he pleaded silently. We can't make them angry this early in the trip.

    Turning back to Farsik, he calmed himself. “Knowledge of the local geography would be invaluable.”

    “Well, I can give you a complimentary map,” he pulled out a cheap datapad with the Czerka logo emblazoned in tacky colours on the back. “It lists all our locations and prime trapping spots. Also, if you're in need of work, our hiring offices are here,” he pointed at a red blip on the map.

    “Thank you,” Aiden nodded.

    “Now, will there be anything else you need?”

    “Well... we were rather trying to find a place that would sell a cane-”

    “No, we weren't.” Leiraya was still glaring at Farsik. “And even if this gentleman said they carried them, I wouldn't buy it if they paid me.”

    “Leiraya, are you sure this is-”

    “I'm not going to hobble around on a cane that supports slavery!”

    “Slavery?” Farsik snorted. “Inflammatory language. It can hardly be slavery when they're little more than brutes.”

    “Brutes?” She replied incredulously. “Let me tell you, mister-”

    “I think we've taken up enough of your time,” Aiden interjected hastily and grabbed Leiraya's elbow. She glared at him for a few seconds, but turned herself around and swung out. As soon as they were outside, she took one of her crutches and slammed it firmly into Aiden's foot. He cried out, more out of surprise than pain. “What was that for?”

    “That was for keeping me from speaking my piece,” she practically yelled. “Silence is implicit support, and I won't be party to it!”

    “Well, I can't have you yelling at every merchant and representative on Kashyyyk!”

    “Did you hear him? He didn't even call it Kashyyyk. They've claimed the planet as their own, and they've no right.”

    “He-” he broke off. Farsik had called the planet by a different name. “That's not the point.”

    “Can't you see? Czerka is just plain rotten. They enslave species, they only care for profit, and they don't care how many people die in the process. War profiteering was bad enough. Slavery is just another to add to their list of crimes.”

    “Leiraya,” Carth decided to try to reason with her, “How much damage could have been done in that war?”

    Her venomous gaze landed on him. “You of all people should know better than to ask that question.”

    “As I recall, the Mandalorian Wars never made it to Corellia.” He crossed his arms. “How bad could a local skirmish be?”

    “Those were my friends who were sent to fight,” she looked at him, angry tears beginning to form. “We were just old enough to volunteer, and how many decided to play hero? Too many. Too many that never came back. Your war may have been bigger, but it doesn't matter. People still die.

    “Can I interrupt to suggest we don't hold this conversation in the middle of a busy walkway?” Aiden glanced between Carth and Leiraya, the former's eyes seemingly made of stone, the later's eyes burning with anger and loss. Both of them, however, nodded and decided to defer the argument until later. He pushed ahead, trying not to notice the twinge in his foot as he walked. Their best bet would probably be in the Wookiee village, so that was where he intended to go.

    If, he sighed inwardly, my crew can manage to hold together that far.
    Last edited by Commander-DWH, Jun 13, 2017
  25. RK_Striker_JK_5 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    Whoa. That Czerka sounds like a bad group of thugs. Leiyara's right, but so were the others. Tricky business, that.

    The'te off to find the star map, the wonderful star map of Kashyyyk! ;) Great post, DHW. Up!
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