Saga The Calling (Response to "Inspirations" Fic-Writing Challenge -- COMPLETED)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Ty-gon Jinn, Apr 8, 2003.

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  1. Ty-gon Jinn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 4
    There's a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will."
    --Hamlet, in "The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark," by William Shakespeare

    "It is not for nothing that you are named Ransom," said the Voice.

    And he knew that this was no fancy of his own. He knew it for a very curious reason -- because he had known for many years that his surname was derived not from
    ransom but from Ranolf's son. It would never have occured to him thus to associate the two words. To connect the name Ransom with the act of ransoming would have been a mere pun. But even his voluble self did not now dare to suggest that the Voice was making a play upon words. All in a moment of time, he perceived that what was, to human philologists, a merely accidental resemblance of two sounds, was in truth no accident. The whole distinction between things accidental and things designed, like the distinction between fact and myth, was purely terrestrial. The pattern is so large that within the little frame of earthly experience there appear pieces of it between which we can see no connection, and other pieces between which we can. Hence we rightly, for our use, distinguish the accidental from the essential. But step outside that frame and that distinction drops down into the void, fluttering useless wings. He had been forced out of the frame, caught up into the larger pattern. He knew now why the philosophers had said that there is no such thing as chance or fortune beyond the Moon. Before his Mother had born him, before his ancestors had been called Ransoms, before ransom had been the name for a payment that delivers, before the world was made, all these things had so stood together in eternity that the very significance of the pattern at this point lay in their coming together in just this fashion. And he bowed his head and groaned and repined against his fate ? to be still a man and yet to be forced up into the metaphysical world, to enact what philosophy only thinks.

    ?My name also is Ransom,? said the Voice.


    --from Perelandra, by C.S. Lewis

    "I want to believe that the dead are not lost to us; I want to believe that we can see them again because of a power that's greater than them, greater than us, greater than any alien force. And if we just listen to it, then it can give us the power to save ourselves."
    --Fox Mulder (David Duchovney), from "The Truth," the series finale of "The X-Files."

    "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
    --Jeremiah 29:11, NKJV
    __________

    The children deactivated their lightsabers as the training drones disengaged and began to float back to the giant container Master Yoda had opened. It was the first time most of them had used a lightsaber; the majority of the group was only four or five years old. It hadn?t even been long since they had been in the charge of caretakers, the young Jedi Knights who served as babysitters for the younglings.

    ?Hmm, yes,? Yoda mused, nearly giggling. ?Well done, younglings. Done very well, you have, yes.?

    The children?s crèche master, Ethe Rostov, stood to one side, leaning his diminutive frame against the wall. The Kameer was even shorter than Yoda, but his personality seemed enormous. The children smiled when he clapped for them.

    ?I?m impressed, too. Thank you so much for your visit, Master Yoda.?

    ?Not a trouble is it in the least, Master Rostov. My favorite part of the job this is.? The ends of his ears curled up as he laughed again.

    ?Thank you, Master Yoda,? all the children said at once, echoing Rostov.

    A device similar to a large hoverplate floated into the room; the children recognized it as the seat Master Yoda sometimes used to travel around the Temple when the amount of walking would surely hurt his short, aged legs. However, Yoda didn?t hop onto it, but instead used the Force to lift the box of drones onto it. Grabbing his Gimer Stick, he began to walk across the room. ?Later will I
  2. Ty-gon Jinn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 4
    Four months later?

    The children were assembled for the first time in two weeks. They had had a while to stay with their old caretakers, but they were excited to see Master Yoda and Rostov again.

    The Jedi Temple had been fairly empty over the last two weeks. According to some of the Masters, it was said that several Knights, as well as their padawans, and even a few Council Members had been dispatched on a single mission.

    The children all looked up when they heard Master Yoda entering the room. They smiled, seeing the Jedi Master wobbling in with his characteristic limping step, though it was more pronounced than usual. They kept staring down the hall, though no one followed him.

    ?Younglings, bad news must I give you,? Yoda said, his voice lacking its usual happy charm.

    The children all ran over to him. ?What is it, Master Yoda??

    ?About Master Rostov, it is,? Yoda began. ?Coming back, he will not be.?

    The children all looked at him, a little scared to hear something like that. ?What do you mean, Master Yoda?? one of them asked.

    ?Tsilas? I mean that? to a place called Geonosis did Master Rostov go. A threat to the whole galaxy, there was. To be rescued, some Jedi needed to be.? He took a deep breath. ?An army there was to meet us. Many Jedi did not make it off the planet.?

    Some of the children were beginning to tear up. ?Know, you do, that when Jedi die, become one with the Force, they do.? The younglings nodded. ?Become one with the Force, did Master Rostov.? There was a catch even in Master Yoda?s voice as he looked at the sad younglings. Fought bravely, he did, and loved you, he did even more, but see him again, I?m afraid you will not.?

    Some of the children were wiping tears from their eyes. At least two children, Tsilas Patmose and Adna Scyllua, were crying loudly. Yoda reached out and hugged them, stroking their heads.

    ?Shhh? okay, it will be.?

    He looked at the other children, who all grouped closer to the Master.

    ?A new master will we find for you,? he said. ?For now, work with me, you will.?

    ?Did you bring him back to the Temple?? asked one of the older boys, between sniffles.

    ?No,? Yoda replied. ?Want to know, I know you might, that Master Rostov disappeared.?

    *****

    Years progressed after the death of Master Rostov, and the members of the crèche went on to work with a young caretaker who had been given Rostov?s position as crèche master, one of Rostov?s former charges, a Jo?nar Milone?.

    No one would mention it to the younglings, but something was happening to the Jedi Order. Since the day Rostov hadn?t returned, it was as if morale at the Temple had never gone back to normal.

    The Jedi were historically minded enough to tell the younglings about the Clone Wars. Many of the Jedi were helping the Republic troops, representing the armies as generals and commanders. They younglings knew that efforts like those kept the numbers of the Order at a record low, but it was as if the Masters were keeping something from them, as if they knew something about the origin of the war that they wouldn?t tell the younglings.

    Master Yoda continued to work with them, though he was conspicuously absent more and more all the time.

    Milone?s work with the younglings was well-received and profitable. The younglings especially liked him for their ?field trips.? Jo?nar was notable among crèche masters for taking his younglings outside the Temple more than any other for various learning purposes. Sometimes it was for a firsthand experience of conflict resolution as he would introduce them to friends who were having troubles, sometimes it would be to introduce them to notable figures in the Republic they would be defending, and sometimes it would simply be an outing, sneaking out of the Temple to go out for pallie-flavored ice cream and sneaking back into the Gardens to eat it.

    The younglings loved it, especially when other children their age would run up to them and ask them about their lightsabers, and tell them how much they would love to be like them.

    Even if they h
  3. Ty-gon Jinn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 4
    As the entire procession approached the Temple, there was an odd feel to the place. No one could put his finger on it as Milone? looked around nervously.

    Suddenly, he stopped, turning the younglings around. ?Okay, Gundark Clan, listen up! We?re going to go in through the Gardens.?

    ?Why, Master Milone??? Scyllua asked.

    ?Don?t ask just yet, Adna. Okay, younglings, I want you to take off your robes and give them to me. Then I want you to take your lightsabers off of your belts, and put them into your pockets. I?m going to hide your robes behind the Laikem flowers. I want you to get what you need from our rooms, and I?m going to meet you outside.?

    ?What?s going on?? asked one of the older boys.

    ?I?ll explain as we go,? Milone? said. They reached the Temple Gardens and he collected the last robe. ?Okay, I want you to go in through the balconies. I?ll be right over there.?

    Tsilas ran up to the giant stone staircase leading to the lowest balcony and took off for the doorway into the Temple. The door slid open and he ran down the hall, passing door after door until he finally came to the one he recognized. When that door slid open, he jumped inside and started grabbing his things. He wished he had his Jedi robe; it had such deep pockets! Then he remembered he had a bag in the closet. Pulling it out, he tossed inside the few things he had: the lightsaber from his pocket, his prophecy books, a change of clothes, a few datapads, the credit chit he had left over from the last time they went for ice cream, and a few holocard pictures.

    He tossed the bag behind him and pulled straps over his arms, then ran back out into the hall.

    The Temple was eerily quiet. There was no motion; the halls were empty.

    Tsilas looked back and forth, trying to find someone, anyone who could tell him what was going on.

    A shot. He heard laserfire.

    Tsilas looked the other way and took off in a dead run. He reached the door again, and ran out onto the balcony. Finally, there was the sound of motion again, but there was a cold feeling with it. He kept running, trying to keep away from whatever was in the hall now. He looked behind, seeing something come into the hallway from around the corner.

    Looking over the side of the balcony, he saw a large platform floating about halfway between the floor and the balcony. His breathing was ragged now, his hair was falling in his eyes, and he tried to shake it away while he saw whoever is was walk slowly toward him as it moved through the hall.

    He threw himself forward, flipping over the balcony and free-falling onto the platform, which shook under the impact of his weight. It began descending, and Tsilas ran across it, vaulting off and keeping his speed as he hit the ground.

    Hearing more motion, he shot a look back toward the Temple, and along a dirt path came running Adna Scyllua, making for him as fast as possible.

    Something finally emerged from the upstairs balcony, and another laser shot was fired. As Tsilas threw himself into the Laikem flowers, he looked up and saw Adna fall down on his face, a smoking hole in the back.

    Tsilas turned away, burrowing down into the bush. He pushed away a branch close to his face, and found brown fabric.

    It was his Jedi robe. He pulled at it, but it was weighed down. He crept forward, finding a hand still on top of the robes.

    The hand was attached to Jo?nar Milone?, who was struggling to breathe, a lightsaber wound in his back.

    ?Master Jo?nar?? Tsilas asked, shuddering.

    ?Tsilas! Tsilas, you have to get out of here.? Milone? coughed as he struggled to whisper out the words.

    ?What?s going on??

    But Milone? couldn?t answer. He coughed again as his eyes rolled back in his head.

    Tsilas looked up. Whoever had gunned down Scyllua had gone back into the hallway. He took off toward the exit, but got the same cold feeling he had felt earlier as he approached the door. Looking around wildly, tears welling up in his eyes, he ran back into the Garden, coming to a rest inside a gazebo darkened by the shadows cast by the high walls.
  4. Ty-gon Jinn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 4
    ?Master Rostov?? Tsilas sniffed as he wiped another tear away. ?How can??

    ?Tsilas Rostovwan, you?ve grown! You?re taller than me now.?

    ?What?s going on??

    ?Tsilas, this is going to be difficult to understand. You have to get out of here.?

    ?What??

    The eerie specter shifted in the bench. ?You know that I?m gone, Tsilas. I?m only appearing to you as a messenger from the Force.?

    Tsilas looked up at him.

    ?And you need to know how important it is for you to escape this. You?re a Called One, Tsilas.?

    ?A what??

    ?A Called One. You?re the only one left from our clan.?

    ?So??

    ?So you have a role to play, Tsilas. Did I ever tell you what your name even means??

    Tsilas looked at the materialization before him. ?What do you mean? My name?s an honorific.?

    Rostov smiled. ?Yes, it is, but if you pronounce that last vowel, so it comes out ?Tsilas Patmoza,? then the pronunciation is identical to a Kameer phrase.?

    ?Did you help name me, Master Rostov??

    ?Tsilas, no, I didn?t. It just worked out that way. It?s the Force.?

    ?What phrase??

    Rostov looked around. ?The Prophet Who Survived.?

    ?What??

    ?I can?t tell you what role you?ll play in the future, Tsilas Rostovwan. But I can tell you that there is a role for you, and you have to survive to fill it. I wouldn?t be here to tell you otherwise.?

    ?Who are those people?? Tsilas asked, finally wailing, unable to take cryptic hints any longer. ?What?s going on??

    Rostov sighed, or, at least, he appeared to do so. ?They?re Sith hands. Witches enslaved to a Dark Lord. These have been trained as assassins.?

    ?The Sith! But they?re extinct! And how can they? why are they???

    ?The Dark Side is hard to see. Elusive. Even when you?re one with the Force, you don?t completely understand it. But they mean to wipe out the Jedi, and their time has come. The Master and Apprentice have come to power now. The Master is in control of something. The Age of Darkness has come to its fullness now.?

    ?So what do I do??

    ?You have to run.?

    Tsilas got up, starting to walk around, pacing nervously. ?What do you mean, run? Where am I going to go??

    ?You?ll find out.?

    ?How can I get offworld??

    ?You?ll be told.?

    ?And if they want to wipe out the Jedi, how can I even hope to survive??

    ?You?ll find a way.?

    ?There?ll be a record. They can find me!?

    ?So erase the record, Tsilas Rostovwan.?

    Tsilas stopped. ?The archive!? He looked at where Rostov?s specter had been, seeing only the open gazebo.

    He turned and ran through the Garden, seeing the massive Jedi Library looming beyond the other end.
  5. Ty-gon Jinn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 4
    ?Padawan Patmose, what are you doing?? Madam Jocasta Nu nearly screamed when the boy tore into the archive. ?The Temple is evacuating!?

    Several hours had passed since the attack on the first floors of the Temple and Garden, and the Order was now in a state of panic, ordering full-scale evacuations, a thing unheard of in all Jedi History.

    ?I forgot something here a few days ago,? Tsilas yelled as he ran down one of the corridors.

    ?I don?t care, Padawan Patmose! You need to find your Master right now!? Nu began following the boy, but at her age could not walk fast enough to keep up.

    Tsilas rounded a corner and plugged into one of the computer dataports far from where he had left the saintly Librarian.

    ?There?s got to be a record.?

    ?That?s your glimmer of hope, Tsilas Rostovwan,? said that unmistakable voice again. Tsilas jumped to find Rostov?s specter leaning over his shoulder. ?The Sith can?t track down every presence they feel. They?d be chasing ghosts. They?ll be comparing records until the day they condemn this place.?

    Tsilas searched through the records of Jedi, finally finding himself. ?Here it is.?

    Rostov began feeding him computer instructions. Tsilas found himself anticipating the commands, typing them even as Rostov said them. Suddenly, the screen went blank, and the computer began deleting files from the Archive. First went Tsilas? file, then went the records of Rostov, Milone?, and Gundark Clan. Every file cross-referenced with his name vanished.

    ?You?re going to need an assumed name.?

    ?What?? Tsilas said, adrenaline pumping from the run and the rapid computer work. If nothing else, he had decided that it wasn?t futile. He may have been the only one of his clan left, but surviving was a priority.

    ?Even if your file is gone, traveling with your name is too risky.?

    ?And what name should I choose? I couldn?t come up with one??

    ?Listen, Tsilas, there was only one other boy I ever called Rostovwan, and I was lucky enough to know the name his parents gave him before he joined the Order. It was Tsion.?

    ?Tsion??

    ?It?s a Kameer word, too. I?m sure his parents had no idea, but it?s pronounced exactly as is our word for ?Called.? That should be your name.?

    ?That?s only half a name, Master Rostov!?

    ?Then call yourself Sint-Rostovwan. Those who recognize my name will help you.?

    ?Tsion Sint-Rostovwan?.?

    ??The Called Apprentice of Saint Rostov.? I was made a saint on Kecyrk, you know.?

    ?So I have a name. What then??

    Rostov glanced over his shoulder. ?She?s coming.?

    ?What??

    ?Your help.? He turned and shouted ?Mistress Nu!? and promptly vanished.

    Jocasta Nu turned the corner, finding Tsilas hunched over a computer terminal. He had been crying.

    ?Tsilas, I know this is scary, she said. ?Are you okay??

    Tsilas shook his head. Rostov had been a calming presence, and his abrupt departure was as unnerving as whatever was going on. Tears began to well up again.

    ?Oh, no?? Nu nearly babbled as she recalled something. ?You?re in Master Milone?s clan, aren?t you?? Gundark Clan had been the first of the crèches to fall to the assassins? word had come that no one had survived. ?Oh, Tsilas!? She bent over to take him by the hand. ?I need you to come with me, then. We?re shutting down the archive.?

    Tsilas walked with her, being pulled by the hand. They finally reached the front, where an enormous computer dataport stood. She began touching icons and the entire building began to be disabled. The lights dimmer, dataports flickered off, the shelves were covered, and Tsilas knew he heard computers whirr as files were deleted.

    ?Tell me, Tsilas, who else did I hear earlier??

    Tsilas opened his mouth to tell her.

    And then he heard laserfire.

    He heard a scream, probably a Twi?lek?s, from somewhere outside.

    Jocasta grabbed him by the arm and began marching him to the other side of the Library.

    A door slid open, and several sidewalks stretched out before him. There was an outside extension of the garden, a grassy hill, and beyond that, one of those deep
  6. Ty-gon Jinn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 4
    Tsilas didn?t dare to look back as he heard an explosion, and crumbling walls behind him. He didn?t dare do anything but what Madam Nu had told him. He ran forward, pitching over the grassy knoll, making for the sidewalk beyond. The pack on his back kept sliding around as the sparse objects inside shifted, but he didn?t bother grabbing on tighter, he just hunched over a little bit.

    He was sweating now as he heard shouting behind him. A laser blast came from somewhere, a jet of dirt streaming up where it impacted off to his right.

    His feet made contact with duracrete. He was at the sidewalk. Keeping his head down, he turned to the left and ran headlong into a crowd around a loading platform. The refugee ship was almost loaded, and these people were jockeying for position.

    Another door opened up down the platform, and the crowd broke up as people headed for another.

    Tsilas noticed all the typical types of people from war-torn planets heading for more peaceful places. He saw a few people who had to be Jedi in disguise. He saw Coruscantians, panicked by the activity at the Temple. The platform had to have been the busiest it had been in months. And he saw people who shouldn?t have been there.

    They were dressed in black. Men and women, they all carried weapons. They had to be the assassins.

    He ducked behind a man, trying to avoid being seen.

    There was an opening at the door.

    If he could run to the door, he could make it on to the ship, but he would surely be seen.

    There was a crash. There was a hovercart on the other side of the platform selling odds and ends. It had overturned in the bustle.

    Everyone?s heads turned, the assassins? included.

    A hat slid across the platform from the overturned cart.

    It landed right at Tsilas? feet.

    Throwing the cap on and pulling it down over his eyes, he broke for the door. He heard someone shout. He slid across the ramp and heard the droid give the full passenger count. The door slid shut just as someone arrived at the door, pounding on it.

    The engines were engaging.

    Tsilas walked over to the nearest bench. He slumped down on it, finally able to breathe again, tears welling up in his eyes again.

    What had just happened?

    He leaned back, and looked over to see a Kameer sitting there.

    The Kameer smiled at him. ?Hi there. I?m Hailin Anglotov.? The being spoke with a voice similar to Rostov?s, but more nasal, and lacking an accent, as if he was raised on Coruscant. ?This has been an ekshchiting day, hashn?t it??

    Tsilas knew he shouldn?t laugh at the little guy?s speech impediment, but the childish, un-Jedi-like laugh was the first pleasant thing that he had felt since he had gotten back to the Temple all those -- no, it was only a few short hours ago.

    ?Yeah, I guess so,? Tsilas sighed. ?I?m Tsi- Tsion Sint-Rostovwan.?

    The Kameer squinted at him. ?Schint-Rostovwan? Then you must come with me to Kecyrk.?

    ?You want to help me??

    ?I don?t think it?s coincidencshe that we met. Do you know what your name means in my language??

    Tsilas leaned back, thanking the Force, for Ethe Rostov, for Jocasta Nu, and for Hailin Anglotov. What was it he had thought he heard Rostov say? ?You?ll be told.? ?You?ll find a way.?

    He had found help. He had found his way. He almost began crying again.

    ?No, what does it mean??
    _____

    THE END
  7. dianethx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    This was marvelous, well-written, gripping and heart-wrenching. I especially liked how you hinted at things going on with the Jedi outside the Temple, things a youngling wouldn't understand and yet they must.

    I'm glad you didn't kill off Tsilas but all those others. Breaks my heart to think the younglings won't survive the purge, either.

    Great job!!!
  8. Ty-gon Jinn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 4
    dianethx: This was marvelous, well-written, gripping and heart-wrenching. WOW. Thank you so much!! I'm glad you liked it.

    And, by the way, there's more in store for Tsilas... he really was "The Prophet Who Survived." When I started putting together the quotes I wanted to use, I decided to use it as the backstory for a character in a fic I'm currently writing... Tsilas has a fairly important part in my "The Shadows of Conflict - Part Two: The Past Rediscovered." (Classic Reply-Only Board). And, also, this is sort of the continuation of the story of a character... Ethe Rostov originated on my response to LAST month's challenge, "Hallucinations" (Before The Saga Board). In "The Past Rediscovered," Tsilas even quotes the first one I used, as his favorite line from "The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Dantooine." :)
  9. Ty-gon Jinn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 4
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