Before The Exile of Bastila Shan

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by SoA, May 16, 2013.

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  1. SoA Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2008
    star 3
    Title: The Exile of Bastila Shan
    Author: SoA
    Timeframe: 3952-3951 BBY (immediately after the Conclave at Katarr)
    Characters: Bastila Shan, Dustil Onasi, and a bunch of Echani OCs
    Genre: Romance
    Summary: The Jedi Order has been all but destroyed by mysterious Force assassins and a disastrous conclave on Katarr, Revan has disappeared into the Unknown Regions, and Bastila Shan and Dustil Onasi barely manage to escape with their lives. Forced into hiding, Bastila and Dustil seek exile on the remote planet of Eshan while they wait for a chance to return to the galaxy and resume their place as Jedi.

    So this story was meant to be short, and then it started to run away with me. Wups. That keeps happening... This is a spin-off story from my main Redemption Quartet, which includes Under the Shadow of the Builders, The Road to Rediscovery, and the upcoming Echoes of War. I will be posting this in parallel with Echoes of War, where events are happening at approximately the same time, so this will probably be in progress for a long time.

    For those of you that have not read The Road to Rediscovery, allow me to summarize the series of events that have led to where we are now in this story. This takes place in a female Revan, female Exile universe, though neither of them have any part in this story besides passing references. Revan, known as Ev Pell, took Dustil Onasi as her padawan shortly after the events of KotOR I, but then left him behind when she left suddenly for the Unknown Regions. She was, however, secretly followed onto her ship by Juhani, so she is not completely alone with the droids. Bastila herself took on a padawan named Senov'wannin, a Twi'lek woman nicknamed Snow. However, Snow was killed on Onderon by Sith assassins when the two of them were investigating the disappearance of another Jedi. It was at about that time that Bastila officially took on Dustil as her own padwan. Not long after, the Jedi decided to hold their Conclave on Katarr to meditate on the threat that was killing off all the Jedi. Fearing that Revan had something to do with it, Bastila and Dustil were asked to stay behind at the Jedi Temple and more or less babysit all of the Jedi younglings and apprentices. However, just as Katarr was being sucked dry of all Force, Sith assassins broke into the Jedi Temple and killed basically everyone there. Bastila and Dustil barely managed to escape alive. They contacted Carth for help, who used his connections to get them enrolled in a dojo on Eshan to train, heal, and wait for the galaxy to be a safer place for Jedi.

    There really isn't a lot out there on Echani and their home world, so I am making most of this up as I go along. I will ask for your forgiveness, dear readers, as I know next to nothing about martial arts, so please do take all of that with a grain of salt.

    So, without further ado: The Exile of Bastila Shan!

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    1



    “Welcome to Eshan,” the pale-skinned, white haired Echani woman dressed from head to toe in a long, silver dress greeted them at the train station. Dustil and Bastila had not been hard to spot, with their pinker skin and darker hair, Bastila was certain. “I understand you two have come to study at the Fenni Dojo, pride of eastern Eshan,” the woman continued, “My name is Lallen. I have been sent to meet you and guide you to the dojo.”

    “Thank you Lallen,” Bastila said, putting her hand over her heart and approximating the bow she had seen other Echani give in greeting on their train journey across the continent from the spaceport. “My name is Shawn Va, and this is my younger brother Dustin.” Dustil performed the same bow, and finally Lallen returned the gesture.

    “Shawn, Dustin,” Lallen said, “I have a speeder waiting at the station's gates, if you will follow me.

    “Of course,” Bastila replied, “Thank you.”


    “This dojo was established by Raskta Fenni's grandmother in the time before the Mandalorian wars, but Raskta quickly surpassed all of her predecessors to become one of the greatest warriors Eshan has ever birthed,” Lallen narrated as she led Dustil and Bastila through the long halls of the dojo. “Since then, our dojo has grown to become one of the largest in all of Eshan. A number of foreigners like yourself have even come to train here in the superior fighting styles of the Echani.”

    The entire dojo was made of soft, organic things, mostly wood and curtains. The flooring creaked gently beneath their feat and white curtains over the windows fluttered in the dry breeze. Many of the walls, in fact, where sturdy canvass curtains, weighed down by a heavy pole at the bottom that could be rolled up or down to join two rooms together, or separate them apart. The whole layout of the dojo was mutable. Courtyards broke up the winding halls with gardens and more practice rings.

    As they walked along their tour, Bastila could hear the rhythmic slapping of feet on the floor and grunting of students at practice.

    “Many of you outsiders mistake the Echani arts of fighting as only a style,” Lallen warned, “I will warn you, if you make that mistake yourselves, you will not last long here. To fight, for the Echani is a way of life, it is a philosophy. One cannot excel at anything in Echani society if she does not first know the dances, the ebbs and flows of battle. We speak through duels. We sing through battle. Our off-world tutors may overlook this for the sake of your Republic military training, but here, if you wish to study our ways, you must study all of them.”

    “We understand,” Bastila promised.

    Lallen paused outside of an open classroom door. The canvass curtain had been drawn aside, allowing them a full view of the lesson. Lallen stepped back so that both Bastila and Dustil could get a better look.

    All along the far wall was a long mirror. All four of the students were off-worlders like themselves: two burly human men, a Twi'lek woman, and a blue-skinned, severe-looking Chiss man. The Chiss and one of the other men were dueling bare-handed in the center of the room, while the other two students looked on. Supervising it all was a lean Echani man with the shockingly pale skin, silver eyes, and fine white hair of his race. His hair was cut long, a bit shaggy around the ears and nape of the neck. While his silver eyes were hard with critical disapproval for his students, there was a thin smile on his lips.

    “This is Under-Master Thaddis Fenni, nephew to the Master Raskta Fenni, head of this dojo,” Lallen explained. “He is the only instructor here that currently takes off-world students into his classes. Few others have the patience required.”

    With a yell, Thaddis charged in between the two students, pushing them apart with one swift movement. Neither of their blows struck him, and the stepped back against the pressure of his hands, looking stunned. Although his words did not reach them, Bastila could see his frustration on his face.

    “Patient is right,” Dustil murmured.

    “Naturally, he will be your teacher,” Lallen continued, “You must understand: foreigners attempting to learn from the Echani as adults are like infants. You know none of the philosophy. You know none of the nuances of battle. You cannot read the movements for their meaning. You lack the discipline every Echani child is raised from the cradle with.”

    “Dustin and I have significant training and discipline already,” Bastila informed her.

    “As do all four of these students here,” Lallen replied dryly, “Be prepared to unlearn and relearn everything from the beginning.”

    Bastila sensed a sarcastic comment coming from Dustil, but whatever it was, he held it back. Good. Until they both knew more of the Echani and their ways, it was best to say as little as possible. It was still difficult to say just how safe they would be here, or how secret their secret could remain. Even with both of them taking daily treatments for bleached, golden hair and wearing green contacts, their profiles could still be recognized, and anyone Force-sensitive would be drawn to their presence. Thankfully, the Echani rarely trained their young as Jedi, with their own martial tradition so strong.

    After finishing his reprimand of the two students, Thaddis had them both back off to the side and ordered the Twi'lek woman and the other man to spar. As they moved in to the center, he looked up and, just for an instant, met eyes with Bastila and then shifted his gaze to Dustil before focusing on the practice duel in front of him. Bastila felt a shiver run down her spine, as if, in that short glance, her future teacher had already assessed her readiness for training.

    “We should not disturb Under-Master Thaddis any longer,” Lallen said, and then started down the wooden corridor again. Bastila and Dustil followed quietly after. “Your living quarters will be in the western residence, at the far end of the grounds,” Lallen explained. “I already had your belongings brought there for you. Now, if you will follow me, I will take you there now. Then you can rest and prepare yourselves for your first meeting with your trainer tomorrow morning.”

    At the end of the corridor, a wooden sliding door gave way to a short set of steps and a set of stepping stones set into the coarse yellow grasses. The brisk wind whipped at Bastila's hair and traveling clothes as soon as she stepped outside. Beside her, Dustil hugged his arms across his chest for extra warmth. Bastila, for her part, resisted that urge.

    They crossed the wide yard without conversation. Lallen occasionally pointed out one building or another, like the archive, the dining hall, the path to the Head Master's private residence, the bath houses, and other points of interest. The whole Fenni Dojo complex was huge and sprawling. At the size of it, Bastila estimated it housed more students than even the old Jedi Enclave on Dantooine had during her youth, at least a couple hundred in total. Beyond that, the entire Fenni family seemed to live here, with all the instructors and their support staff.

    Around the dojo, the elements raged across the bleak surface of Eshan. The dojo was far from any other major cities, as it was the purifying remoteness that many Echani preferred for their times of training. In the eastern region of the main continent, the land was covered with something half way between tundra and scrub grasses, with nothing growing taller in height than Bastila's shoulders. Craggy rock formations, covered with gray lichens and mosses, seemed to jut up out of the ground with random violence amid the rest of the flat scenery. It was a land of barrenness and struggles. Bastila doubted that among all the fauna, there was not a single cute and cuddly species to be found. The Echani learned form their environment, and lived in it with the same cut-throat efficiency and drive as all of the other creatures of their planet.

    Finally, after a few more forks in the cobblestone path, they passed the last of the other buildings and finally arrived at the western residence, their home for the foreseeable future. Lallen led them up a shallow set of stairs and onto the raised platform of the building. All of the dojo buildings were raised about a meter off the ground by a high stone foundation. She took them through another sliding door, up a flight of stairs, and down a long, narrow hallway. Near the end, she stopped and pointed to the two doors immediately to her right. “These will be your rooms,” Lallen said, “We have tried to anticipate the needs of humans such as yourselves, but if we have missed something vital, please do not hesitate to ask. Do not expect luxury, however. This is a Echani dojo.”

    “Thank you again, Lallen,” Bastila said, “We are most grateful for your hospitality.”

    “You will find training clothes in your rooms for you, more suitable to the dojo than anything you have brought, I am sure,” Lallen continued, “Come dressed to your lessons in the morning. We begin sharply at dawn every morning.”

    “Which is what time?” Dustil asked.

    “Currently, twelve minutes to seven, local time,” Lallen replied and Dustil groaned. Bastila shot him a warning look. With one more glance between the pair, Lallen finished, “Have a good evening, both of you. Prepare yourselves for tomorrow.”

    Lallen turned to go. With a glance at Bastila, accompanied with a shrug, Dustil ducked wordlessly into his own room. Bastila swung open the door to her own room and entered. It was somewhat of a relief that at least the bedroom doors were made of solid wood on hinges rather than the sliding paper doors or canvass hangings of the dojo buildings. Inside was a low bed on a simple wood frame with an unadorened wooden trunk of the same unvarnished wood at the food of the bed. Beside the bed stood a small nightstand with a single drawer for storage. The room’s only luxuries were a bed-side lamp and simple chrono on that nightstand. There was no closet, dresser, or desk. There was no carpeting on the wooden floor. The floor space left unoccupied by the sparse furnishings was just big enough for a person to stretch in, but Bastila could see that training Dustil in lightsaber combat in their rooms was out of the question. Meditation would be the best they could manage.

    With a sigh, Bastila unslung her duffel from across her shoulder and deposited it atop the trunk then sank down onto the bed. Although the single window in the room faced eastward, the vast expanse of tundra was hued pink with the setting sun on the other horizon. Long, dark shadows made it difficult for her to discern any features to the land, other than kilometers of nothing. She reached over and drew the white curtains shut.

    Bastila tried to think on the present. After a three-day journey from Coruscant, she was on Eshan, where she would be safe and hidden, and doing something productive—or at least distracting. To think about the past or even the future was too painful. Both held too many unanswered questions and too little hope. That survival was the only thing she and Dustil could strive for was humiliating. They were Jedi, if they could even deserve to be called that any more. Hundreds of younglings had been slaughtered that day, and they had done nothing to stop it. They had run, and they were running still. But, what other choice did they have?

    She wished, desperately even, that Ev would reappear. Ev had a way of turning the most desperate situations into a victory, and with that wry, dark sense of humor of hers, she could somehow lighten even the darkest moods. Bastila sighed again. When compared with Ev, she was nothing. Ev was still out there and still alive, she knew. But, even in this desperate time where they Jedi were all but defeated, Ev did not return. Bastila had to keep telling herself that Ev must have her own weighty reasons for that, but it was hardly a comfort. That there could be something even more desperate keeping her away was a dark thought.

    Bastila did not know what to expect from the Fenni Dojo, but it had been Carth’s suggestion and she had been too weary to think of anything better. She did hope, against all else, she could somehow find serenity and healing again here.

    There was a knock at Bastila's door, startling her out of her thoughts. “Come in,” she called, sensing Dustil outside.

    He quietly opened the old-style hinged door, slipped inside, and closed it again.

    “So what do you think, Dustil?” Bastila asked.

    Dustil settled onto the end of the bed next to her. “I think we're pretty safe here,” he replied neutrally, “And the Echani sure know a lot about fighting, so we will be able to continue our training here without any suspicions.”

    Bastila nodded. “As long as we keep our story consistent,” she added, “Remember, we trained at the Eastern Coruscant Academy of Martial Arts. They have a reputation for styles that mimic those of the Jedi, without the Force. And we cannot use any Force-augmented powers publicly, although as soon as we find a secure way to do it, I will continue to train you in some of those arts.”

    Dustil nodded. “I have this feeling that keeping the Force out of my fighting is going to be harder than it sounds,” he admitted. “That's the only way I ever remember fighting.”

    “Well, we have much to learn here about the Echani, their ways, and their fighting styles,” Bastila replied, “It will keep us busy, and hopefully, hidden.” She paused, then asked, “Have you contacted your father yet? He should know that we arrived safely.”

    “Not yet,” Dustil replied, “I should though. He likes to worry.”

    “That he does,” Bastila replied with a light laugh. She added, “Keep your lightsaber hidden but accessible. We never know when we will need them, the galaxy as it is today.”

    Dustil nodded. He looked as if he was about to say something, but held it back and looked away.

    “What is it, Dustil?” Bastila asked.

    “How long do you think we'll stay here?” he asked slowly.

    “I suppose it depends. If and when the galaxy is safe for Jedi again, we can return to the Order and reveal ourselves,” she hypothesized. “Perhaps we will remain here as long as it takes to achieve mastery in their techniques, if hiding is still necessary, and then move on. If our mysterious attackers make an attempt on us again here, then that would cause us to leave again as well. I can only hope that the rise of the Jedi again will be our cause for departure. And I hope that comes sooner rather than later.”

    “But how much hope of that is there, really?” Dustil asked, “As far as we know, all of the Jedi died either at Katarr or in the Jedi Temple.”

    “There could still be survivors,” Bastila pointed out, “However unlikely, there were some Jedi who were present at neither of those places when we were attacked. They could have been killed already in the field, but they may yet be alive. That is my hope. Until we know otherwise, we must have faith that the Force will not abandon us and the rest of the Jedi Order to complete defeat.”

    “Otherwise, maybe it's our job to rebuild the order,” Dustil suggested.

    “We will have to save that for until you are a full Jedi, which I guess is left to me to decide,” Bastila admitted, “For the moment, we need to lie low. When the galaxy is safe again for us, if we are still alive again, rebuild the Jedi Order we will.”

    “That really is a lot for us to think about,” Dustil said.

    “That's why we should not worry about that for now. The future will take care of itself,” Bastila said firmly, “For now, we need to focus on blending in here and learning the ways of the Echani.”

    “I think I'll go contact Dad now,” Dustil volunteered and stood up from her bed.

    “Remember the code phrases we agreed upon,” Bastila reminded him.

    “Yeah, yeah. I've got it,” Dustil replied dismissively, “See you in the morning, Bastila.”

    As he slipped back out of the room, Bastila replied, “See you in the morning Dustil.”
    Last edited by SoA, May 16, 2013
  2. bellatroll Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Anything with Bastila Shan is a must read for me. Bastila as Dustil's master/teacher is an interesting arrengement

    i'll be interested if you can include Bastila's mother in this some how. Some ... how.
    Last edited by bellatroll, May 16, 2013
  3. LaForzaViva Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2008
    star 1
    Dustil still seems like a little child, hopefully the Echani whip them up.

    Very Japanese inspired dojo...
  4. tjace Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2008
    star 4
    Can't wait to see what you do with the Echani, I've always thought they were underused.
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