Author Notes: Hey guys! It's windu4 here and I'm starting another AU. One of my biggest complaints about post-NJO era is the fact that there is no happy ending nor do the Jedi ever truly become an Order any different from the times before the Empire. As a result I've decided to write my own ambitious story regarding what I would want post-NJO to be like. Except Anakin Solo is actually alive and the ages have been shifted about just a little bit. I've also added OCs simply because Ben needs friends and peers to compete with. Hopefully my adjustment of Ben's character and the campiness of this story will be alright with you! I posted another fic under my ghost account "ofikenobi" and I'm sad to say that I'm discontinuing it in exchange for this one. I'm sorry about that but this subject has captured my interest more and I vow to finish it! Along with my other AU Forever Wars. That being said I will definitely be influenced by some of the adventures in Star Wars and this series might grow dark in the future. That being said I hope you all stick around adn enjoy . Prologue One would think that the morning of a graduation ceremony at the Jedi Academy would mean that its participants would be busy getting dressed in fancy robes and practicing marching down the aisle in perfect cadence. Yet for Ben Skywalker and Zane Solusar that wasn’t the case. The two were currently locked in a desperate lightsaber duel that one would think could possibly dictate the fate of the galaxy. Yet this tension and anxiety only existed in the two rival’s minds. One blue lightsaber clashed against a purple one. Ben was the one who was jumping around like a spastic space monkey. He slashed and stabbed and twirled in an attempt to find a weak point in Zane’s defense. Yet Zane was steady. He had the steely nerves of his father and the grace of his mother. He wasn’t easily shaken. Ben Skywalker too had inherited the best qualities of his parents. The Grandmaster of the Jedi Order was no slouch went it came to lightsaber duels. His mother had spent her whole life learning how to use a variety of weapons to end her opponents. Many of them had been melee weapons. Yet Ben’s determination and unpredictable nature was easily tempered by Zane’s patience and willingness to adapt. The thirteen year old Jedi Trainee spun on his heel and slashed at Zane’s head. His silver haired opponent ducked and instead of attempting to block Ben’s next blow instead slashed at his kidney. Ben barely managed to block the blow before Zane struck him in the chest and sent him sprawling. Zane deactivated his training lightsaber and hooked it to his belt and walked over to Ben before offering his hand. “Soresu.” He stated. “The act of defense is your best offense. It’s a simple strategy that could outclass the most elaborate fighting style.” Ben glared up at his friend before hesitantly accepting his hand and pulling himself to his feet. “Your mom spends all her time looking up information about this type of stuff.” Zane shrugged. “Your father is Grandmaster of the Jedi Order.” “Remember the old days, Jace?” “Yeah. Philosophy. Psychobabble. All that good stuff.” “What do you think is going to unite them? We had creatures that couldn’t be touched by The Force.” “I don’t know. Maybe snakes the size of a StealthX.” “Or bugs. Massive bugs that trick you into joining some type of weird hive mind.” Ben turned over his shoulder and found himself staring at his cousins. Anakin and Jacen Solo both leaned against the doorway. He noted that they were both prepared for the ceremony even if they weren’t graduating. Anakin stood just a few centimeters shorter than Jacen and wore his Jedi Robes. His blond hair was as messy as ever but had the strange symmetry to it that made it so attractive. His lightsaber was proudly displayed on his belt and his very presence screamed Jedi. Jacen was dressed different. Even though he was in his mid-twenties he sported a neat beard and long hair that threatened to droop to his shoulders. His dark robes were somewhat more ominous and his lightsaber was nowhere to be seen. If Ben had to choose the one who was more intimidating it’d definitely be Jacen. “I see you two are preparing for the ceremonies.” Jacen said as he crossed the training room. As he did Anakin raised his hand and gestured almost casually. The lightsabers on Ben and Zane’s belts were tugged across the room and fell into Anakin’s hands. Jacen spared Anakin the slightest glance and Ben couldn’t help but be amused with the slight sense of reproach his older cousin had. Jacen had never been one to approve of overt use of The Force and tended to see it as some from of arrogance or bragging. It was an age old argument Ben had observed since he was a child. “We felt that it’d be necessary to brush up on our skills, Master.” Zane inclined his head and Ben snorted; loudly. “It looks like you two were squeezing in a final competition before you began your official apprenticeship off planet. “ Anakin reproached calmly as he stood in front of the two young trainees. “There’s no place for that. Not now. The other members of your class are already prepared and sitting in the main chambers. Or did you lose track of time?” Ben and Zane again exchanged glances and Jacen laughed. “I’d get dressed if I were you. Master Katarn doesn’t really appreciate it when people miss his lectures. I’m certain that both of you are aware of what happens when you miss them. I’d try and get changed if I were you. After today you’ll grow so tired of waving a lightsaber around that you’ll wish you didn’t spend your time prancing around.” “Oh yeah, why?” Ben questioned as he stared right up at Jacen. Anakin grinned though even as he did his tone was somber. “Because we’re your future Masters and we know a thing or two about staring out at the galaxy and wanting to do nothing more than carve our names into galactic fame with our civilized weapons. Trust me; it’s not as fun as it seems.” ---- The ceremony had been sentimental, somber and cautiously optimistic. Kyle Katarn had been able to weave a speech together about the purpose of the Jedi Order and the future of the galaxy. It hadn’t exactly brought Ben Skywalker to tears but it had reminded him of the massive legacy that rested on his shoulders. It was a legacy that he couldn’t allow to trickle past his fingers. He wasn’t arrogant enough to believe that he would lead the Jedi Order. There was no Jedi Dynasty. However he did know that he had to give the Order his all and apparently dressing up in heavy robes and listening to speeches was just as important as crossing lightsaber blades. Luckily Ben’s graduation gift had involved him avoiding punishment. Hopefully it wasn’t the only one. The dinner that followed the graduation was tight knit and involved the members of Ben’s graduation. He was close friends with many of them. As Ben crossed the courtyard to his table he noticed many of them. Deric Rostu stood near the edge of the courtyard staring up at the rain. He was a dark-skinned teen around his age. He was the son of a legendary Koruun general and a Kiffar Force-Sensitive. His head was literally always in the clouds. He was always focusing on the future, consequences and patterns. He was deeply political and intuitive. Ben often found himself jealous of Deric because he was the one that could systematically deconstruct his plans without much effort. Then there was Ryanne Kovani. Her hair was midnight black and her eyes were an astonishingly bright blue. Ben didn’t exactly say this to her face but she was the most materialistic person he knew. She was also gorgeous, spirited and her mind was always in the moment. If there was someone who could rival his snark and ability to come up with plans she was it. Her best friend was Seha Dorvald; someone Jacen had picked up from the bowels of Coruscant. Unlike Ryanne she was quiet and reserved and seemingly lacked confidence in herself. Yet she was the one that Ben Skywalker could depend on the most. He didn’t just say that because they shared red hair. She was someone who gave everything her all and still didn’t think it was good enough. Eventually Seha would overcome this and when she did Ben believed she would surpass them all. Finally there was Zane. Zane and Ben both shared the burden of being the sons of powerful Jedi Masters and as a result were always caught in a deadly competition with each other but they were still friends. Ben sat down next to Zane and noticed that Seha and his other friends had decided to sit at another table. Ben idly reflected on the fact that he and Zane were sitting with their family. He knew the segregation wasn’t intentional but he regretted it. Luckily his friends were sitting with their own future Masters which made him feel a little better about the situation. Jysella Horn had opted to train Ryanne Kovani. They were both Corellians and while Jysella didn’t share Ryanne’s piloting skills she also knew how to balance her strong Corellian heritage with humility. Something Ryanne needed to learn. Jaina Solo had opted to train Seha because her twin brother Jacen had discovered her and because she possessed the charisma and leadership skills necessary to nurture Seha into trusting herself and her own abilities. Zekk understood what it was like to live on a planet that was constantly on the brink of destruction and war which was why he had chosen Deric as his own apprentice. Predictably Zane and Ben had been apprenticed to Anakin and Jacen respectively. While Ben loved Jacen like a brother he again felt as if it was special treatment. Jacen was a Jedi Master who was largely believed to have won the war. He was a philosopher who had spent years traveling the galaxy learning esoteric talents that soSo me believed even Luke Skywalker didn’t know. Anakin Solo was considered to be the next leader of the Jedi Order and had been a beacon for the Jedi during the war. It wasn’t long before Ben and Zane began talking on their own about future missions when Jacen Solo stood and somehow managed to capture the attention of the dozen odd Jedi in the courtroom. “Many of you have proven that you are ready to take your next step in training to become Jedi Knights. I wholeheartedly agree and while your need for adventure and excitement overwhelms the true meaning of becoming Jedi I think that your first mission as a group will put you on the beginning of the next correct path. Which is why we are going to Illum. Hopefully none of you will have to draw your lightsaber for combat for many years….but it is always important to be prepared. So everyone be sure to be ready to leave at 0800 tomorrow. Get some rest and may the force be with you.” With that Jacen turned and strode from the courtyard. A/N: So this is how it begins! I know: tons of exposition but hopefully that will change. For anyone whose wondering Ben's parents aren't actually there and we might see why in the future. Unfortunately you can only squeeze so much teenage angst into a chapter so I wasn't exactly able to get around to that. >_> My next chapter will be up soon!