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~The Crimson Path of Destiny~ Updated 1/28

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction Stories--Classic JC Board (Reply-Only)' started by Connemara, Nov 22, 2002.

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  1. Connemara

    Connemara Jedi Knight star 6

    Nov 18, 2000
    Disclaimer- Well, of course many of the characters I used belong to Lucas or the authors of the EU, though most are actually my own creations. This is my brainchild, I've dreamt of writing it (as well as attempted it many times) for years, so here goes. Any constructive criticism or thoughts are much appreciated. Thank you.



    She stood over the quivering mass that had once held it?s head up with the haughtiness of a Sith, and considered.

    And so this is really what it?s all about, She thought, and closed her eyes. She knew the name of the person laying before her. It was Iionya, a name that?s very utterance filled her with hatred. A Jedi does not know hatred, but now this Jedi knew it was the galaxy?s only hope. There was only one way to end this, and here was the doorway to it.

    She heard Kyp Durron calling her name, and it sounded like his voice came from a great distance, but she knew he was only on the other side of the room. She could not- would not, answer him. There was nothing for her to say to him anymore.

    Iionya still possessed the power of speech, though her strength was rapidly fading thanks a gash to her stomach inflicted by the Jedi?s lightsaber. If she was not given medical attention soon, she would die.

    ?Please?please spare me?I?m?sorry?? She said. It was a trick, of course Iionya wasn?t sorry. She?d stepped into the realm where sorry didn?t exist. Forgiveness didn?t exist, either, and this was why the Jedi had to do what she was about to.

    There will be no victory celebration for me this time, the Jedi thought, a bitter laugh echoing through her mind. Even if I succeed I will still lose everything. Maybe this is truly what it means to be completely selfless. There?s irony in that, isn?t there?

    Her thoughts had ceased to be coherent. She?d given up trying to understand the things that entered her head. Analyzing things, separating her ideas into good and bad, right and wrong, Dark and Light wasn?t something she had time for anymore. It didn?t matter anyway, because none of her analyzing, self-discipline, or contemplation had made any difference. It all came down to this anyway. No time for doubts or second thoughts now. No time to question motives, or ask herself whether she really was a Jedi, or a Sith.

    They?ll all hate me. After this, history will mark me as an enemy. I?m the next generation?s Darth Vader. And those that I love?after this I must never love again.
    But she knew that it was too late now, that she could not stop the destiny she had set into motion. She opened her eyes and unleashed all the fury and black hatred of the Dark Side on Iionya.

    Everything began two years earlier?


  2. Connemara

    Connemara Jedi Knight star 6

    Nov 18, 2000
  3. Connemara

    Connemara Jedi Knight star 6

    Nov 18, 2000 would be appreciated...

    PART I-

    Chapter 1-
    Kyle Katarn squirmed uncomfortably in the seat of the public transport he was taking. He wasn?t at all fond of traveling this way, and was going to have a word with Luke about it when he finally found the guy.

    Kyle had come to Coruscant in search of Luke Skywalker, because he had something very important to tell him. Upon his arrival, he was told Luke wasn?t there, and it took a lot of work to get anyone to tell him where the Jedi Master was.

    Luke was on a small planet in the Coruscant system known as Pelaris. It was a vacation spot for the exhausted senators and military personnel that had to deal with the smog and congestion of Coruscant so often they sometimes went a little loopy. Pelaris was a pretty planet, but close enough to Coruscant people could travel there in a hurry if that was necessary. It was a perfect retreat.

    But Luke wasn?t the type to sneak off on a retreat, and when Kyle was told that he couldn?t simply fly his ship in and find Luke, like any self-respecting person should be able to, he knew there was something else afoot here.

    He had been instructed that if he wished to see the Jedi Master, he would have to take public transportation to the planet, then go and meet with a certain person who would be identified through a sequence of actions and code maneuvers. That person would take him to where Kyle wanted to go.

    Kyle didn?t particularly like this, and was offended, as well. He was one of the New Republic?s top agents, and he felt like he was being shuffled around like a child. Sometimes he couldn?t help but miss his old mercenary days. Back then he could have given the petty beaurocrats and self-important intelligence officers a thing to remember him by for this treatment.

    But in the long run, sulking about this was pointless. The point was Kyle had to see Luke, and soon. He had found something interesting, very interesting, on the Outer Rim, and he had a very bad feeling about it.

  4. Saint_of_Killers

    Saint_of_Killers Jedi Youngling star 5

    Feb 18, 2001
    Lightsaber wounds don't bleed. The heat of the blade cauterises the wounds.

    Edit: Wheeee infinate edit time!
  5. Connemara

    Connemara Jedi Knight star 6

    Nov 18, 2000
    Hehe, thank you Saint, for that astute observation. I changed it, because you're right. Hadn't thought of that.


    Katara Dodonna frowned in concentration, and steeled her body against the onslaught of lightsaber attacks she sensed her opponent was about to hurl at her. Part of her knew that he was a far superior swordsman than she, but this didn?t penetrate. She knew that if she could only get into the zone, find her spot in the universe, and find the universe?s spot in her, she could beat Kyp Durron and anyone else who ever challenged her with a lightsaber.

    This wasn?t merely overconfidence, she knew it for a fact.

    But it didn?t change the fact that today Kyp would have skewered her had he been an enemy as opposed to her friend.

    ?I?ve still got it,? Kyp said, and winked, as he closed down the blade that had been pointed directly at her heart.

    ?Good match,? Katara said, her features flushed from exertion and pleasure. There was almost nothing more thrilling than a challenging saber match.

    ?But one of these days I?ll surprise you, and then our positions will be reversed, Kyp!? Katara said, confidently. She knew that day would come, too. Kyp was powerful, but she was more so, and she knew it.

    Katara was an attractive young girl, fourteen standard years old, with intense and playful brown eyes, light brown hair that wasn?t very long, but still seemed to be always getting in Katara?s way, and a figure that was adolescent in it?s form, and powerful in it?s build. She possessed natural self-assurance and almost regal confidence, that made almost anyone think twice about crossing her.
    Katara was the youngest of all the Jedi. She had just recently graduated to level of Jedi Knight, after two years of training. She?d never gone to the Jedi Academy, but instead had been trained in secret on Pelaris, by Tionne and a few others. This was partly because of her father, Jan Dodonna, who was extremely protective of his daughters, having had them so late in life, and during such a dangerous time. But it was also a good measure, many thought, to have a few surprises waiting for anyone who attempted to defy the New Republic.

    Katara lived with her father, elder sister Serena, who was also a Jedi, and younger adopted sister, Clar on Pelaris, in a small and secret community designed to be a place of refuge for officials of the New Republic, or defectors and informants from the Empire, whose lives were in danger. This was also a stop for a few Jedi now and then, as well as the Dodonnas.

    The Pelaris Community was essentially one of the thousands of little secret areas all over the galaxy that the New Republic conducted business that was required to be kept secret. It was also one of the most scenic, a fact Katara appreciated greatly, and was thankful for almost every day.
    And this day was no exception. It was the middle of Pelaris? summer, but it had been a cool and pleasant summer, and the weather was fine on this day.

    Katara disengaged her blade, and grinned mischievously.

    ?You know I let you win.? She said, giggling.

    ?Good thing you?re better at saber fighting than saving face, or you?d be too easy for me to beat.? Kyp retorted teasingingly.


    Sowwy, no cliff hanger this time, but things will get more itneresting next post.
  6. RidingMyCarousel

    RidingMyCarousel Jedi Master star 6

    Feb 20, 2002
    Nice work there. :)
    I already showed you the spelling errors I saw, so no need to say them again. ;)

    Great work.
    Now, get to work on more! ;)
  7. Connemara

    Connemara Jedi Knight star 6

    Nov 18, 2000
    Thank RMCOY, errors taken care of ;)

    Here's another bit-


    They hadn?t been friends long, as Kyp had only arrived on Pelaris to stay a few weeks ago. Before then he?d come around a few times, but had always been wrapped up in the personal hell that still sometimes threatened to consume him. He hadn?t wanted anything to do with the girl who he had always viewed as a child. But recently Luke had sent him to Pelaris to sort of be the Jedi Academy?s connection with Coruscant. Since news traveled so slowly to Yavin 4, Luke felt it best they have someone near Coruscant in case anything that required the Jedi came up. Kyp had been an obvious choice, since he really didn?t have anywhere else to go, and had made it clear he didn?t want to stay on Yavin 4. Too many bad memories, and Luke could certainly understand that.

    Since getting to know Katara, Kyp had gone from thinking she was a child beneath his notice, to considering her his best friend. Her cheerful, teasing and naturally friendly nature had been a balm for him. When he was around her he no longer felt misery and darkness closing in on him. And Katara had always wanted to be Kyp?s friend. She had pitied him for what he went through, never once blaming him, despite what her father and others said, for his mistakes. She was the only person Kyp trusted was a real friend.

    Their camaraderie and constantly lighthearted banter with each other was becoming famous around the neighborhood. Many people were convinced it would soon develop into a little more than friendship, but to this Katara laughed and said she couldn?t imagine ever thinking of Kyp in that way. Kyp laughed as well, but he had to admit to himself that now and again the thought did cross his mind.

    Katara shut her eyes for a moment, sucking in the essence of the beauty that surrounded her. ?What a beautiful day, Kyp!? She said jubilantly.

    ?If you say so,? Kyp replied. He?d never been the nature buff Katara was.

    ?Hey, that sounds like a transport coming in,? Katara said, listening to the distant hum of a ship that was rapidly getting closer. ?Who?s coming today??

    Kyp shook his head. ?I don?t know. No one that I know of. Can?t imagine who it could be.?

    Katara smiled roguishly . She loved excitement. ?Let?s go see who it is, then.?

    Katara started to walk swiftly back towards the little community in which she lived. There were several houses in it, and a landing ramp in the middle. No one was allowed on the landing field except for someone who arrives on it, and a few guards as an escort. But this didn?t stop Katara from checking things out.

    She shimmied up her favorite tree behind the houses, and climbed until she was above the roof of one of them, peering down at the landing field. Her eyes widened when she saw who it was that had arrived.

    ?Kyp! Kyp! Kyp!? She shouted repeatedly and excitedly as she climbed back down the tree.

    ?What? Who is it?? Kyp asked, grinning at Katara?s enthusiasm. This display of excitement was nothing unusual for her, almost anything could set her off into excited exclamations. It was just the way she was.

    Katara jumped the last several feet to the ground, and smiled triumphantly at Kyp. ?It?s Kyle Katarn, ? she said.

    ?Wow?really?? Kyp said. He didn?t share her enthusiasm, though of all the people who could have visited, Katarn was certainly one of the less dull.

    ?I can?t believe he?s really here! This is incredible! No! It?s beyond incredible! This is the coolest thing that ever happened to me!? Katara said. ?I have to meet him!?

    Kyp could have protested. He could have pointed out that Katara wasn?t supposed to intrude on the business that went on here. He could have said that people didn?t come to Pelaris to be mobbed by fans, they could just as easily get that on Coruscant. But he didn?t say any of these things because he knew by now that it wouldn?t make any difference if he did. Katara wasn?t known for li
  8. Connemara

    Connemara Jedi Knight star 6

    Nov 18, 2000
    Up! More readers would definately be appreciated!
  9. Pooja

    Pooja Jedi Knight star 6

    May 25, 2002
    Well I'm in awe.
  10. Connemara

    Connemara Jedi Knight star 6

    Nov 18, 2000

    As soon as Kyle arrived at this super-secret Pelaris community, he was whisked away into a conference room with Luke and a few other trusted Jedi. Apparently word of the urgency of Katarn?s errand had preceded him here.

    Luke motioned for him to sit down at the table, which Katarn did, stiffly.

    ?Kyle, it is good to see you again.? Luke said, his eyes revealing hidden meanings to those words. Kyle knew what Luke was hoping for. He was hoping Kyle had returned to ask for his Jedi heritage back. No such luck.

    ?The feeling is mutual, Master Skywalker. But I fear I do not come bearing good news at all.?

    Luke?s expression betrayed the fact this didn?t surprise him. ?One is rarely in as much of a hurry to deliver good, or inconsequential news.?

    ?True?I hope too much time hasn?t been lost already. What in blazes are you doing in this backwoods hideout anyway, Skywalker? It took me two days to get anyone to tell me where you?d gone.?

    ?Ah, well, I can I see you feel I was shirking my duty by coming here. Indeed I wasn?t. I am here for a routine meeting with some New Republic officials to hold a secret meeting about the current status, and future of the Jedi Knights. I?m sorry it took you so long to find me, but we don?t want just anyone knowing what I?m up to all the time.?

    There was no hint of humor or sarcasm in Luke?s voice. He was still and always would be the serious, but quaintly naïve farmboy.

    ?All right. Well anyway, I was out on the Outer Rim, checking out some leads into the possibility of Imperials being behind the raid on Amarachi 7- did you hear about that??

    Luke shook his head, and Kyle continued.

    ?I was on Argontine, and met the strangest fellow you could ever imagine. He was in a half stupor, and I know it was manipulation of his mind by the Force that caused his condition.?

    Luke sat up straighter, looking suddenly very serious. ?You?re sure it was done by someone who used the Force?? Luke asked.

    ?Positive. So, I found out where the guy came from, and it was a small, primitive planet called Ortooine in the same system. I?d never heard of it, and it turns out I hadn?t because it really kept to itself. Few people ever came from there, or went there, and while it was aligned with the Empire during the war, it never really did the Imps much good, nor did it provide any assistance to any warlord after the Emperor?s death.

    I didn?t check into it any further, feeling I had all the info I needed to pass this into your hands, as it seems a matter the Jedi should be working on, not me.?

    The expression on Luke?s face betrayed the fact he was disappointed in Kyle?s continuing denial of the Force. But then, Luke was like that. Always had to have everyone doing what he felt was right, and it didn?t matter what the person said or felt, Luke always thought he knew best. The definition of a self-righteous know-it-all if Kyle ever saw one. But Luke was the head of the new Jedi Order, and because of this, this was his area of expertise.

    However, Luke?s disapproving look didn?t last long, as he began mulling over what Kyle had said. This was very disturbing news indeed. The thought that there could be some Dark Jedi out there, hiding away and amassing forces of darkness to unleash at his whim?it wasn?t a pleasant thought at all.

    There was silence for a moment, as it sank in to everyone in the room what this could imply.


    More soon, lemme know what you think! :)
  11. jediknight88

    jediknight88 Jedi Master star 6

    May 19, 2002
    I think that is great! keep up the good work. this is awsome!
  12. Pooja

    Pooja Jedi Knight star 6

    May 25, 2002
    One of the greatest strengths is your ability to portray emotions. I could see the characters while reading. It's a great gift.
  13. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
    I'm here. This is looking really good so far. :)
  14. Connemara

    Connemara Jedi Knight star 6

    Nov 18, 2000
    Thanks guys, for the support! Here's another bit-


    The silence was broken by a young girl?s voice.

    ?Well, someone has to go check the planet out!? the girl said.

    Everyone jumped, startled. Kyle saw the girl now, peering around the edge of the door, which she had somehow silently cracked open.

    ?Katara!? Luke said. ?You know better than to sneak about like a spy, listening in where you?re not welcome.? Luke was absolutely exasperated by the girl. She seemed a hopeless case.

    ?I?m sorry, Master,? Kyle noted how the respect intoned in the word was more than a little strained, ?but I could not help but be intrigued by a visit from the imitable Kyle Katarn, and I sensed much was troubling you all. This is indeed a grave situation, and the only thing that cane be done is send a small force out to investigate, and fast.?

    ?Katara! It isn?t your place to make suggestions to a council of your elders. And Kyp?I know you?re there, too, and you should have known better than to let this intrusion happen.?

    Katara frowned angrily. ?I don?t mean to disrespect anyone, but I feel you should consider what I say. It is the only option.? She turned to Kyle. ?It is truly an honor to meet you, Mr. Katarn. Is there any other title you would prefer to Mr.? I hope we?ll see more of you here. You?re always welcome.?

    ?Katara?? Luke said again, warning oozing out of his voice.

    But Katara was already turning to leave. She flashed a triumphant and somewhat haughty smile at everyone in the room, then departed.

    Luke and Kyle looked at each other in silence a moment after she left. Kyle had picked up on a very important detail of this whole exchange, that was possibly the chief reason for Luke?s discomfort and frustration with Katara- Luke hadn?t been able to sense her when she stood at the door, listening. Any Jedi could easily hide his presence from a non-Jedi, but it should not be possible for a young, brash Knight to fool a Jedi Master that way.

    Who is she? Katarn thought, but decided that was the least of their troubles today.

    ?So?what do you plan to do?? Kyle asked, the moment of uncomfortable silence having passed.

    ?I will return to Yavin 4, and discuss this with all the Jedi. Tionne,? he said, looking at the slim, attractive Jedi to his right, ?You and Klivera should return with me, and relate your feelings on this matter, as well. Thank you very much for bringing this information to us, Kyle.? Luke smiled, an open, genuine smile.

    Not something one sees too much these days- a genuine smile, Kyle thought, considering this fact reflectively.

  15. jediknight88

    jediknight88 Jedi Master star 6

    May 19, 2002
    AWSOME! you are doing a geat job! cant wait for more
  16. Connemara

    Connemara Jedi Knight star 6

    Nov 18, 2000
    Thanks :)

    Here's more:


    ?Katara, what you did was rude and disrespectful.? Kyp said, feeling that it was his place, as Master Skywalker had said, to try and keep Katara within some realm of sanity.

    ?So? I didn?t disrespect Master Skywalker-?

    ?Just by being there you did.? Kyp said.

    ?Look, it?s his problem that he doesn?t believe I ever have a valid opinion. I will have my opinion heard, especially when it?s right. You agree with me, don?t you? We need to send someone to investigate that planet, and we need to do it now.?

    Kyp had to agree. Much of the time he was in agreement with Katara about Skywalker?s modus operendi?he didn?t like it. Master Skywalker was afraid of himself, of the consequences of his own actions. So he held himself back all the time, and as an extension of that, all the Jedi under his tutelage. Now was a time for action, not for debate, which was how Skywalker had left it.

    ?You do agree with me, I can see it. Maybe I?m a little forward sometimes in how I present things, but it doesn?t change the fact that I?m right.? The way Katara said this indicated she meant that in a general sense, which didn?t surprise Kyp, considering Katara did tend to believe she was always right. The spooky thing was, a lot of the time that was true.

    ?Master Skywalker is never going to consider you an equal. And he?s not going to listen to you, either, as long as you keep making scenes like today. That?s not behavior for a Jedi.? Kyp said.

    Katara rolled her eyes. ?Well, it?s the way I am. I?m just different from the Jedi.?

    Kyp shook his head. Katara had mentioned this new concept she?d come up with about her not being cut from the same cloth as the rest of the Jedi several times. More arrogance, Kyp figured. But there was more to it than that?she was different, though possibly not in the ways she seemed to think.

    ?Whatever. You ought to apologize to Master Skywalker, though. You embarrassed him, you know.? Kyp said.

    Katara frowned, as this thought sunk in. ?You think so??

    ?Yes. He?s human too, you know. And you treated him like he was as insignificant as gutter trash. That was just plain rude and unnecessary.?

    ?You?re right, Kyp. Sometimes I guess I get carried away with my little crusade. I?ll apologize. But it?s going to have to be by holo-message.?

    Kyp looked startled. He didn?t like the sound of this. ?Why?? He asked cautiously.

    Katara grinned her infamous roguish smile. ?Because?we?re going to go check out Ortooine.?

    Kyp had to smile himself. He couldn?t let himself get too into his role as Katara?s elder, and forget that most of the time she was the only person he knew that voiced thoughts that he shared. And while a part of him insisted Katara?s venture was yet another study in immaturity and arrogance, Kyp knew he would come along, because it was exactly what he wanted to do, too.

    Maybe that says something about my own maturity and arrogance, Kyp thought, sobered for a moment. But it didn?t stop him from grinning, and saying, ?I?m in.?

  17. jediknight88

    jediknight88 Jedi Master star 6

    May 19, 2002
    Looking Good Conn, keep it up. cant wait to read more!
  18. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
  19. Connemara

    Connemara Jedi Knight star 6

    Nov 18, 2000
    Yay :)

    Um, I'm just curious...who's your Belle Dame Merci?

    Anyway, next installment:


    It was a simple ordeal for two Jedi to steal a ship off Pelaris. They had to go at night, because Master Skywalker would sense the departure immediately if he were awake.

    As it was, they knew he would know they were missing within a few hours, and they knew they?d be in for it when they got back.
    Unless of course, as Katara had reasonably pointed out, they returned with information so critical to the New Republic that had they not gone, the fledgling government would have been at great risk. And though she didn?t let on to Kyp, she had a very bad feeling that would be the case. Externally, Katara would strike one as far too flighty and immature to have little of use going on behind those cheerful brown eyes of hers.

    But the truth was Katara had a strong connection with the Force. And with that came a natural sense of when things were starting to go wrong. A sort of semi-precognition. Before Kyp had even returned with Dorsk 81 warning Luke that Admiral Daala was still alive, Katara had been edgy and stressed out, knowing something was very wrong, but not being able to put her finger on what.

    And now she felt at least as bad as she had then.

    By 0600 the next morning, they were already well on their way out of the system. It would be five days yet before they arrived at Ortooine. Katara smiled a bit ruefully at the thought of what her father would say at the thought of her spending five days alone on a ship with a teenage boy.

    Her father had nothing to worry about, however. She and Kyp were very close friends, and Katara didn?t feel the least bit uncomfortable around him, nor physically attracted to him. She still found the whole concept of physical intimacy a bit above her head. She?d never had a boyfriend, or even dated anyone. She had been in love once?but that was long ago, and silly.

    ?Katara?what galaxy are you in?? Kyp asked, studying his friend?s distant stare. No one really knew what Katara thought about, but she spent a good deal of time thinking- when she wasn?t bouncing back and forth like a pulsar beam, finding more ways to get into trouble. There was a deeper level of Katara, however, a part that was a mystery to Kyp and to anyone else besides, perhaps, Katara?s immediate family.

    Katara stirred abruptly from her thoughts. ?Just reminiscing?in case you haven?t noticed, I do that a lot.? Katara said, cocking her head slightly, the way she did when she spoke teasingly.

    Kyp envied Katara that she had memories she wanted to remember. But he could never bring himself to say as much- even that was more than he could stand. He ran from his past always. That was the way it had been, and the way it would always be.

    An alarm sounded from the cockpit. The ship they had ?borrowed? from the docking bay was a small freighter. It had been in dry dock for some time, and likely to stay there. Kyp had eased his conscience about stealing the ship when he discovered it wouldn?t be needed by anyone while they were gone. It wasn?t very big, but had plenty of space for both of them. They had been sitting in the central area- the living room, if you will- of the ship. When the alarm beeped, they both jumped.

    ?Looks like we made it.? Kyp said, and hurried to the cockpit, to get his first glimpse of the mysterious Ortooine.

    Katara sat a moment longer, filled with both excitement and trepidation. Kyp had been on countless missions, but this would be her first real adventure as a Jedi Knight. This concept filled her with so much excitement she couldn?t contain herself, but also with some anxiety. She had found that anxiety was always the first reaction of the mind to new situations. She never let it bother her anymore. She jumped up and raced to the cockpit after Kyp.

    As soon as she arrived she sensed it.
    ?There?s something very wrong down there.? She said.

    Kyp lo
  20. jediknight88

    jediknight88 Jedi Master star 6

    May 19, 2002
    I still like it! and more happens next time! cant wait!
  21. Connemara

    Connemara Jedi Knight star 6

    Nov 18, 2000

    They set down a couple miles from one of the towns, hoping no one was aware of their approach, but too cautious to assume as much. They walked the rest of the way into town.

    They?d chosen to set down near one of the medium-sized towns. They reasoned that this way the place probably wouldn?t be so secluded as to afford them no help, but it wouldn?t be guarded as well as the biggest cities to be found. There was really only one large city, the rest of the populace lived in towns like the one Katara and Kyp were heading towards, or out in the middle of nowhere, seemingly alone.

    This is quaint, Katara thought, when they arrived at the outskirts of the civilization. There were a few people out walking the streets, and even fewer riding in motorized vehicles that seemed, despite the technology used for them, to hearken back to an older age?as did the whole town. The buildings were elegant and antique in style, and the streets were not paved with durasteel, but cobbled. The people were dressed in clothes not that different from what a lot of people still wore, but it was different in some ways?again, the difference seemed to scream out that these people, this town, maybe even this whole planet were not a part of the galaxy, but a part of something?older.

    ?Nice place,? Katara said out loud.
    ?I dunno about that?? Kyp replied. He wasn?t overly impressed.

    The antique décor and the elegance of the whole scene appealed to Katara, who had been raised in the hub of the galaxy, and had always loved the high life, as well as anything novel.

    But there was something wrong.

    This realization hit Katara after a moment. Everything seemed normal enough, but it wasn?t right. She shut her eyes and let the Force flow through her, telling her what it wished her to know. It seemed as if the people she saw here were here on one level, and yet not here on a deeper one. She said nothing of this to Kyp yet, but it puzzled her.

    Kyp began striding quickly towards one of the people in the street. Katara opened her mouth to protest, as they had no plan that she was aware, but instead watched curiously to see what Kyp had in mind.

    ?Excuse me, sir,? Kyp said. The guy seemed to take no notice.

    Kyp tried again. ?Excuse me sir. Our ship crash landed a ways away from here?could you tell us where we are??

    Smart, Katara thought. But he should have at least discussed his plan first!

    Still, the guy took no notice. Now it was getting eerie, as there was no doubt the man had heard Kyp. Katara then realized what else was wrong with this picture- no one had taken the slightest notice of them. They?d been standing on the edge of the woods that surrounded the town for about five minutes, and not even one head had turned in their direction. It was like everyone in town was blind.

    Kyp was shocked that the guy hadn?t responded, and he grabbed him by the shoulder. ?Hey, buddy, what?s-?

    As he spun the guy around to face him, he recoiled in shock. The man?s eyes seemed empty. Normally, a human (or probably any other creature in the galaxy, though it was difficult for humans to read non-humans) has extremely expressive eyes. If one is concentrating, they can read whatever the person is feeling by looking him in the eye- joy, sorrow, pain, anger, even lethargy was readable. This man was unreadable. His eyes were blank, and that seemed to reflect the condition of his mind. Even after Kyp grabbed him, he still seemed unaware of what was going on around him.

    ?Kyp,? Katara said, running up to him. She too had seen the blankness in the man?s eyes. ?It?s what Kyle said?the Force brainwashing or whatever. That?s what?s wrong with him. That must be what?s wrong with all of them!? For it was clear every man, woman and child on the street shared this one?s blank expression.

    Kyp let go of the man, and stared at the people, perplexed. ?I?ve got a very bad feeling about this.?

  22. Connemara

    Connemara Jedi Knight star 6

    Nov 18, 2000

    They discussed their options for a few minutes, as the seemingly serene people passed them by obliviously. Kyp was beginning to lean towards the option kidly called the better part of valor.

    ?No! We?re not leaving. Right now we don?t know any more than Kyle did?he said this was a job for the Jedi. And he?s right. We?re Jedi, and it?s our job.? Katara was frustrated. She was scared, sure, but there was no way she was going to leave the planet, at least not without a violent and theatrical fight. She folded her arms across her chest to punctuate that fact for Kyp.

    ?Katara, we?re not even operating with Master Skywalker?s permission. This isn?t an official Jedi mission??

    ?Who cares? Force, Kyp, don?t you start with all that ?Master Skywalker? says so, so it must be true? garbage. I?m not saying we try to take on the whole planet or anything. Just find out who exactly is doing this, and how many, and maybe even why, then leave.?

    Kyp was afraid that when Katara was in this mood, she very much did intend to take on the whole planet, but he didn?t say as much. He had a feeling if he left he?d be leaving alone, and that was even worse than staying and going foolishly to his death at the side of his friend.

    ?How do we do this, Katara?? He said, in a last effort to knock some sense into her.

    ?We start by snapping one of these people out of their stupor, and seeing what they have to say. Maybe they?ll have all the answers we need, anyhow, then we can leave in peace. I think I can do it.? Katara began marching towards a middle aged man who was heading to what Kyp guessed was a general store.

    ?Katara, wait- if you use the Force, don?t you think whoever it is that did this will know??

    Katara shrugged. ?I?m careful. Don?t worry. And besides, nothing can be done about it; we won?t learn anything unless someone tells us. These people give me the creeps, too. I?d kill to be able to actually be noticed by one of them. I?m beginning to feel like I don?t exist!?

    Kyp didn?t like it one bit, but it was possible Katara was right. At any rate, he was going to find out, because Katara was already running to catch up to the man. She did, after a moment, and grabbed him by the shoulder.

    Kyp hurried over beside her.

    ?This is the work of a Jedi?or?? Katara said, uneasy suddenly. Kyp understood why. There was a blanket of Force covering this man?s mind, preventing him from having any thoughts beyond the most basic animal ones. These people, it?s seemed, were left only enough freedom to care for themselves, and not enough to think- or speak.

    Katara probed the man?s mind gently. She wasn?t very practiced at things like this, and she hoped she wouldn?t mess up. She gave the ?blanket? a mental push, to try and rid the man of it. It wasn?t very hard. The man?s controller had to control an entire planet of people, and the control was not very fine-tuned for any one person.

    It was like the man was waking from a perplexing dream. He started, looked around, his Force sense oozing confusion.

    ?It?s all right,? Katara said. ?I woke you from your?trance.?

    The man looked at her, startled. ?Who are you?? he asked. ?I?ve not seen you before.

    ?Katara Dodonna. And this is Kyp Durron. We?re Jedi Knights, and we?ve come to find out what?s going on here.? Katara replied, smiling a little.

    So much for the cautious approach, Kyp thought. He hoped the guy didn?t have any sort of allegiance towards whoever had done this to him.

    The man continued to gaze at her, uncomprehending. Now that the Force blanket had been lifted from him, he looked even older. Suddenly all the cares of the world were filtering back to him again, and Kyp couldn?t stop himself from wondering idly for a second whether the man was better off now or before.

    ?Can you tell us what?s going on here?? Katara persisted.

  23. Connemara

    Connemara Jedi Knight star 6

    Nov 18, 2000

    The man was right, they had no trouble stealing a speeder, and they sped towards Trilono as fast as they could.

    ?Why are we doing this, Katara?? Kyp asked, shouting over the hum of the speeder.
    ?Because we have to!? Katara replied defiantly.

    Kyp knew they were probably walking right into a trap, but there was something in what she said that he knew was right. If he had even as much sense as his friend Han Solo, he would be far away from Ortooine by now. He didn?t have that sense, but he did have the Force, and he felt sure there was something they were traveling into the mouth of this mysterious Jedi?s fortress for.

    As they approached Trilono?s capital city, Katara gasped. As quaint as the small town they had left was, this was that much more spectacular. The city was built with the same design as the town, but there were massive towers, elegant bridges and enormous buildings. This did indeed look like the royal city of some magnificent king.
    He might be magnificent, but I doubt he?ll be happy to see us, Katara said. She looked at Kyp, and he nodded, picking up on her thoughts.

    He continued speeding towards the city. ?At this point, if he was going to sense out approach, he would have,? Kyp shouted.

    ?Where are you going?? Katara replied.
    Kyp stared at the city for a moment. Then he saw what he was looking for.

    ?There!? He said, pointing to the most massive structure in sight. It looked like a castle, looming beautiful but ominous in the distance.

    Katara nodded grimly. She knew that was where they had to go.

    Kyp parked the bike in a side alley approximately a Coruscant block away, and they headed for the building on foot, trying to blend in with the brainwashed people that walked on all sides of them. This city was far busier and more populated then the town, and people crowded the streets, but not a one of them still retained the use of his own mind.

    The castle was far larger than they?d thought. It did not quite rival Imperial Palace in size, but in architectural mastery, it far exceeded the cold, imposing but barren palace of Coruscant. There was a fountain out front, which contradicted the imposing nature of the rest of their surroundings.

    Katara did not tell Kyp what she felt about this place, because she knew if she did, he would force them to turn around. But she had to see if she was right first. If she was?

    ?So?do we try the frontal approach or what?? Kyp said. They hadn?t even discussed what they were going to do on their arrival yet.

  24. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
    I'm still reading. :)
  25. obi-wannabe1

    obi-wannabe1 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 11, 2001
    can't wait for more! :D
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