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Beyond - Legends [DDC 2016] The Journal of Talon Tantiss: [Part 4] Secrets Revealed (updated 12/31/16)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Jedi_Lover, Jan 1, 2016.

  1. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Chosen One star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    If you have been reading Talon's Journals for the last few years you can skip this first post. It is all review.

    Note: This is a continuation of last year’s Dear Diary Challenge titled: The Journal of Talon Tantiss: Jedi Knight and Reluctant Vornskr Owner. I am going to attempt to write this year’s diary so everybody can understand it, but now that I have written six stories leading up to this diary, I don't think I will succeed.

    If you are interested in reading the previous stories, the first book in this series is called Second to None . That was a L/M love story, but it also explained the origin of Talon’s father Mark Tantiss. After that fanfic I wrote The Journal of Mark Tantiss. This covers the time from Wayland, Byss, and the discovery of the Eye of Palpatine. This was followed by the fanfic Second To None: Sacrifices. This story has Talon as a young man and details Jacen’s brush with the darkside. This is followed by The Journal of Talon Tantiss then The Journal of A Very Married Talon Tantiss and finally The Journal of Talon Tantiss: Jedi Knight and Reluctant Vornskr Owner

    If you haven’t read all the stories leading up to this journal you may be hopelessly lost. I used to give a general synopsis of all the stories in the first entry to the diary, but now it is way too complicated. Instead, to help new readers, I will give a character introduction and synopsis of the last diary.

    You can find the links to these stories in my signature. I have them archived at FFN.

    Dramatis personæ

    Talon Marcus Tantiss: Jedi Knight and the son of retired Jedi Master Mark Tantiss and Kira Starkos Tantiss. He was named after his father’s best friend, Talon Karrde. Coincidently, he is married to Zylie Karrde, the daughter of Talon Karrde and Zara Maru. He works closely with Ben Skywalker, who is married to Zylie’s older sister Valla. The Karrde sisters work in the family trade business and fly a huge Wayfarer-class medium transport cargo ship for their father’s company. Ben and Talon have been acting as a roving Jedi and store their StealthX fighters on the freighter allowing them to spend time with their wives while giving them the freedom to work as Jedi. Talon is a Jedi Guardian and Void Jumper. He also has the unique Jedi ability of post cognition, which allows him to gain insight to the past by touching physical objects.

    Zylie Karrde Tantiss: She has been married to Talon Tantiss for almost a year and dated for four years prior to getting married. She is a skilled slicer, pilot and trader.

    Marcus Indupar: Twelve-year-old king of the Indupar Crown Worlds. He is not the true heir to the throne, but the child born out of a relationship between Talon Tantiss and Ema Aiti, the identical twin sister of Queen Kaie. The King of Indupar died when the queen was a two weeks pregnant. The queen miscarried and, at the same time, Ema realized she was pregnant with Talon’s baby. The sisters conspired to trade places and put Ema’s son on the throne. To pull this off Ema broke up with Talon without telling him she was pregnant. Talon didn’t find out he had a son until years later. Talon must keep Marcus’ parentage a secret. Only his immediate family and Ben and Valla know he is the father. Marcus is Force strong and inherited his father's ability of post cognition. He is also being trained to be a seer by the H'Drachi Seers living within his kingdom.

    Mark Tantiss: He is Talon Tantiss’ father. He is a clone created by the Dark Jedi Joruus C’baoth on the planet Wayland. He is a Luke Skywalker clone genetically altered to be bigger and stronger. It is believed he was intended to become an Imperial Sentinel…a three-meter giant that could be controlled by a darkside adept. If this is true, he didn’t grow to his full-intended size, as his height leveled off at 2.15 meters. He dyed his hair red and irises green and told the galaxy he is the long lost brother of Mara Jade Skywalker. Mark Tantiss is married to Kira Starkos who he rescued during a mission to Byss to kill the Emperor Reborn. They have been married for 36 years. Mark is currently training his grandson, the King of Indupar.

    Kira Starkos Tantiss: Mother of Talon and Jaden Tantiss. She is a chef by profession.

    Jaden Tantiss: Older brother to Talon Tantiss. Jaden is a Jedi healer at the Temple on Coruscant. He is married to Jysella Horn, another Jedi healer, and they have a daughter named Jessa.

    Ben Skywalker: Oldest son of Luke and Mara Skywalker. He has identical twin brothers, Jak and Owen, and a younger sister Hanna. He is married to Valla Karrde and works as a Jedi Sentinel.

    Valla Karrde Skywalker: Trader and second in command of her father’s trade business.

    Mokk Streke: Human male that is currently the Chief-of-State of the Galactic Alliance. The Jedi know he is working for somebody that wants the Jedi off of Coruscant, but they don’t know whom. Streke is an unrepentant Jedi hater. The Jedi believe he is planning to neutralize the Jedi somehow.

    ID10T: Droid pilot of the Vazy Princess- the ship owned by the Karrde sisters and their husbands.

    Princess: Zylie and Valla’s pet vornskr.

    Kriffer: Runt vornskr pup that was rejected from Princess’ litter. He was hand fed by Talon Tantiss.

    Synopsis of last diary:

    Talon and Ben have been working as roving Jedi. They solved the case of a murderous mind witch trolling the streets of Kuat for victims.

    Talon’s son Marcus leads his troops to defend his kingdom from Nagai invaders trying to steal the priceless stygium crystals used in cloaking devices. Marcus shows off his Jedi Skills by defending himself from attack and killing the Nagai commander. Currently he has a group of skilled negotiators on Coruscant trying to arrange to sell the crystals to the Chief-of-State in exchange for the Galactic Alliance’s decommissioned military fleet.

    The Karrde Corporation has been hired by the Indupar government to transport Mark Tantiss to the negotiations on Coruscant and then later to Hapes and Bastion.

    While on Hapes Mark and Talon are shown a undercover video of Void Jumpers wearing Lightsaber proof armor. They were later shocked to learn that men inside the suits are the Yuuzhan Vong Shamed Ones captured at the end of the the Vong War which was cut short by the New Republic use of the Galaxy Gun recovered near Byss. The Jedi now believe the Chief-of-State is creating a Jedi killing army of void jumpers, but they can't prove it.

    Talon is attacked by his wife's pregnant vornskr and then later he is attack by the runt pup he was trying to hand feed.

  2. Falcon

    Falcon Chosen One star 10

    Feb 7, 2002
    update [face_batting]
  3. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Chosen One star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Here you go.

    ENTRY 1

    47.5 ABY

    Ben and I arrived on Coruscant early this morning. We docked our StealthX’s and immediately went to see the Grand Master to give him the datachip containing disturbing images of a possible Jedi hunting army. We radioed ahead and let them know we were coming, but we didn’t dare discuss the issue over the comm.

    We were ushered into their quarters by my former Master, Mara Jade Skywalker. She gave me the once over and smirked. “I’m surprised you managed not to get mauled by an animal or pummeled by an irate son of mine since we last saw each other.”

    I gave her my best insincere smile. “I must be losing my touch, Aunt Mara. I try to maintain a one injury-per-week schedule.”

    “Mom, please don’t bring that up.” I was surprised that Ben tried to curtail the teasing, but I then realized he wasn’t upset about his mother joking about the vornskr attacks but instead how he punched me in the face while under the influence of a mind-witch.

    My Uncle Luke came out of the kitchen area and greeted Ben and me with hugs. He stepped back and smiled at us uneasily. “So what information do you have that couldn’t be discussed over the transceiver?”

    Ben extended his arm and held out the datachip. “The Hapans recovered some interesting information from an unnamed Galactic Alliance source.”

    Luke grabbed the datachip out of Ben’s hand and glanced at it curiously before walking to the living room and putting it into the family holovid projector. Both Jedi Masters sat down on a couch and watched the vid that showed Void Jumpers in training, the appearance of a large masked Void jumper brandishing a lightsaber and the giant’s failed attempt to slice through a trainee’s armor with a lightsaber. When the Void Jumper trainee took off his helmet both Luke and Mara gave a surprised gasp. “What is that?” Uncle Luke asked.

    “My dad says it is the Yuuzhan Vong. Aliens from outside the galaxy that attacked the New Republic when I was a kid.”

    Luke nodded. “So, it wasn’t a complete genocide after all. Your father said they were Force-Voids.”

    I gave a shrug of my shoulder. “I guess so.” I gestured toward Ben. “He was my dad’s apprentice. He knows more than I do.”

    Ben pulled in a breath. “From what Mark told me they don’t create a Force-bubble like a ysalamiri, but you can’t use the Force to shove or do any mind tricks on them.”

    “They would make perfect Jedi fighters and now they have lightsaber resistant armor. This doesn’t bode well for the Jedi.” Luke glanced over to his wife. “Do we have any Knights or Apprentices with an amber colored lightsaber?”

    She shook her head. “None. How many Void Jumper Jedi do we have?”

    Luke chewed on his bottom lip in thought. “Seven…six Jedi and one Apprentice. I suppose it is eight if we count Mark.”

    My aunt pointed to the holoprojector. “How many are as tall as the man in the holovid?”

    Luke shrugged. “All of them. The void jumpers try to maintain a two-meter height requirement.”

    “There are exceptions,” I pointed out. “They will recruit for specialized skills like Explosive Ordnance Disposal or Engineers. They will special order jump suits for men with skills they want.”

    Luke nodded. “None of our Jedi received waivers. They’re all most likely as tall as the trooper with the lightsaber.” He ran a hand through his greying hair before looking back to Ben and me. “Do we know when this vid occurred? If we do we can crosscheck and see where our Jedi Void Jumpers were during this time.”

    Ben shook his head. “No, we don’t have a time or location and we don’t know who was the intended recipient of the information. The Chief-of-State may not be involved in any of this.”

    Luke blew out a breath and contemplated the information for a long pause. He eventually turned to me. “We don’t know if that was a Jedi or not, it doesn’t take much to swing a lightsaber, but he appears to be Void Jumper trained. I want to send somebody out to scout the various Void Jumper units and gather intelligence.” He stood and put a hand on my shoulder. “You are the only Jedi Void jumper that I trust without any reservations. I would like you to be the man to investigate further.”

    I grinned broadly. Usually I am the total kriff-up giving the Grand Master his grey hairs. It is nice to have his confidence. Of course my Master can never let me bask in the moment without giving me a hard time. She put her arm around my shoulder and smirked. “Try not to cause an intergalactic incident or have any additional body parts bitten off by newborn predatory animals.”

    I sighed. “I am never going to hear the end of the vornskr biting incident, am I?”

    Her lips twitched in amusement. “Probably not.”
    Chyntuck and gaarastar58 like this.
  4. Falcon

    Falcon Chosen One star 10

    Feb 7, 2002
    [face_tee_hee] Poor Talon, they're never going to let him live that down

    great start :D
  5. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Loved the detective-style analyzing of who could be involved and Talon is the perfect choice for the one you trust unequivocally to find out who's behind the whole thing. And being a void-jumper, no one would wonder what he was doing with any particular unit. BTW, I do love this journal's title, has all kinds of personal relevant meanings! :oops:
  6. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    love the beginning with all the teasing and analysing going on
  7. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Chosen One star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Thanks. I don't have much time to write since I started back to school. I probably should edit these posts more but if I wait much longer I won't get them in before the end of the month.

    Thanks. I have a feeling this might be my last Talon Journal. I am running out of things to write. :(

    Thanks. Poor Talon is always the butt of everybody's jokes.

    Thanks everybody for reading. I appreciate it.
    Entry 2

    Uncle Luke, under the pretense that I need to maintain my jump readiness, has offered my services to various Void Jumper units…so it looks like I’m going to the field again. The opportunity to get in more combat jumps is exciting, but I know Zylie is not going to be happy about this…not one bit. This was confirmed when I called her on the Skywalker’s Subspace transceiver to let her know the news.

    “Isn’t there any other way to get information?” she asked while looking extremely worried. “Why do you have to go into combat? Can’t you use those Psychometry powers of yours to figure it out? Go touch the Chief-of-State and see if you have any visions.”

    I heard Ben snort. He was sitting on the couch behind me waiting for the chance to talk to Valla.

    I glared at him before returning my attention to Zylie. “I just can’t walk up and shake the man’s hand. He distrusts the Jedi already and he's always heavily guarded. I would have to make an appointment to see him and I don’t have any reason for a visit.” I blew out a frustrated breath. “Zylie, I am much safer in a Void Jumper unit than going into a danger zone as a Jedi with only my lightsaber and cumbersome robes for protection. As a Void Jumper I'm covered with over two hundred kilos of armor. It would take a thermo detonator to get through my protective plating.”

    As soon as I said those words I cringed knowing that is exactly how my father lost his leg. I was hoping she didn’t catch the absurdity of my comment, but Ben had to open his big mouth, “Reassuring people really isn’t your strength, is it Talon?”

    I turned and glowered at my cousin. “You know, Ben, sometimes I am jealous of people who don’t know you.” I turned back to the transceiver. “Zylie I’ll be fine. Void Jumpers are the best trained soldiers in the galaxy.”

    She crossed her arms across her chest not looking convinced, so Ben decided to help me. “Zylie, my mother, Mara Jade Skywalker, trained Talon to be a Jedi. I think that should be sufficient reason not to worry.”

    I could see she was considering his words. “That’s true.” She pointed toward me. “No heroics!”

    I gave her a mock salute. “Be a coward. Got it.”

    She rolled her eyes. “You’re impossible…but I love you.” She moved aside to let her sister talk to Ben.

    I considered sticking around and making smart-mouth comments, but decided taking a nap would be a more productive use of my time.

    Entry 3

    I reported to the 33rd Void Jumper Company based on the planet Felucia...which is the most bizarre planet I have ever seen. It has the strangest vegetation, with giant mushrooms and pitcher plants the size of five-story buildings.It would be an interesting place to live if it wasn’t for the constant and unbearable humidity. I was also told Rancors infest the surrounding jungles. They are similar to Dathomir Rancors, but are reportedly much more bad-tempered and unpredictable (is that possible?).

    Luckily my mission isn’t on Felucia. The 33rd is preparing to deploy to a mining colony on an unnamed world in the outer reaches of the galaxy. I don’t know why mining colonies are always hotbeds of violent power struggles.

    Our deployment mission statement states there are two species of humanoids on the mining planet. One is a tall, blue skinned near-human species with flowing black hair and long bony arms and legs. The other species is shorter, with brown skin, bald head, with long cranial horns. The two races had lived peacefully together for millennia until a vein of Plexite Ore was found on the planet. It is a metal used to make hull plating for starships. It is a valuable commodity—one that the Galactic Alliance would like to secure and acquire.

    The GA sent in negotiators to purchase the ore for our shipping industry, but neither side would agree on anything and eventually the talks devolved into violence with the two warring sides deciding genocide of the other party is the best solution to the problem. So now the Void Jumpers are going in to separate the two warring parties and allow the negotiation team time to solve this conflict peacefully.

    Both groups were warned that the GA would send in Void Jumpers to act as peacekeepers, but they don’t seem to care. I guess I will be going into a war zone soon.

    Entry 4

    It is awesome getting back into armor. It is an exoskeleton made of pure, one-hundred-percent, badass, multilayered, blaster resistant alloy. The protective covering is over a centimeter thick and covers my body from my hermetically sealed battle helmet to my armor clad boots. Hydraulic ‘muscles’ are built into the suit to help the wearer move the massive weight of the armor. On my back is a jet pack used to slow my descent when jumping from the hover ship. Contrary to popular belief I can’t fly around like a mynock in this suit. I can use it to bound forward similar to a person on a low gravity planet, but I can’t fly. It is mainly used for a controlled descent and to prevent us from splatting on the ground.

    Currently we are in orbit above the planet. The negotiators gave the locals an ultimatum; cease hostilities or a company of Void Jumpers would enforce peace. I just love that—be nice to each other or we will kill you!

    Entry 5

    I made a few friends today…I think. Sometimes it is hard to tell with Void Jumpers. They call each other foul names, roughhouse until they bleed, and do pranks on each other that no normal person would think of doing…and that is what they do to their friends.

    A couple guys came up to me while I was lying in my bunk in the ship barracks. “Are you our Jedi asset?” asked a dark haired man in his twenties as he sat down on the bunk across from mine. Before I could answer, another man joined him. He was a little older, with closely cropped blond hair and a nasty scar running down the right side of his face.

    I sat up and nodded. “Yes. My Jedi Master wants me to keep Void Jumper qualified and decided to ship me out on some jump missions.”

    Both of the men chuckled. “Your Master? Does he make you wear a collar and tight shorts?” Both men burst out laughing.

    An unwilling smile tugged on my lips. “No, not for my Master, but my wife may like that.”

    “Oh ho.” The dark haired man grinned. “Do you have any holos of your wife?”

    I shook my head. “Not for you guys to look at. The last time I showed a trooper a holo of my wife he stole my datapad and disappeared into the ‘fresher for ten minutes. I was disinfecting that thing for a week.”

    The two men chuckled. “You are okay for a spook,” the blond said.

    “Usually we don’t like your kind,” the dark haired man commented as he gazed at the combat jump wings on my uniform. “But you’re a Jumper, so we’ll overlook your spookiness.”

    “That is mighty nice of you.”

    He stretched out his arm toward me. “My name is Kaan and this is Olak.”

    I reached out and shook their hands. “Talon Tantiss.” I leaned forward in the bunk and lowered my voice. “I’ve been hearing rumors of a new company of non-human Void jumpers being trained in specialized jump armor, have you heard anything about that?”

    Okay, I probably wouldn’t make a good spy. In fact, if my Aunt Mara heard my clumsy attempt to gain information, she’d probably smack me upside the head. Unfortunately, I didn’t know anyway to inquire about the Vong Void Jumpers without actually coming out and asking.

    Both men shook their heads. “No, what type of aliens are we talking about? Barabels?”

    “Barabels?” I said with a laugh. “Barabels are training to be Void Jumpers?”

    “Our Chief-of State had the higher-ups do a feasibility analysis, but they rejected the idea.”

    “Yeah,” Olak interrupted. “The blast from the jet packs couldn’t work with a giant armored Barabel tail swinging back and forth under the thrusters.”

    "It was a stupid idea." Kaan grinned widely. “With all due respect, the Chief-of-State is an idiot.”

    I always love it when military guys start out a sentence with ‘With all due respect’ because you know the next part of the sentence is going to be anything but respectful. In this case I think the Chief-of-State got off easy.

    At that moment the overhead lights blinked twice signally it was ten minutes to lights out.

    Kaan rose and slapped a hand on my shoulder. “Get some rest. We jump bright and early tomorrow morning.”

    “Hooyah!” Olak yelled while slapping his chest. “Tomorrow those kriffnuts are going to get a big metal boot up their ass! Out-kriffing-standing!”

    I had to chuckle as they walked away. Void Jumpers were never shy about proclaiming their superiority over…well just about everyone. Hopefully this mission will go smoothly.
    Chyntuck and Falcon like this.
  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    #3: I can understand Zylie's concern. @};- #4 & #5: Ah, the spying begins [face_laugh] - guess asking is the only real way to find out. ;) And whew, right into a war zone! [face_worried] With both sides not really caring to implement a temporary cease-fire.
    Jedi_Lover likes this.
  9. Falcon

    Falcon Chosen One star 10

    Feb 7, 2002
    Okay, I probably wouldn’t make a good spy. In fact, if my Aunt Mara heard my clumsy attempt to gain information, she’d probably smack me upside the head. Unfortunately, I didn’t know anyway to inquire about the Vong Void Jumpers without actually coming out and asking.

    Yup she'll smack him upside the head all right [face_mischief]

    With Talon on board, I don't see it going smoothly

    more soon
    Jedi_Lover likes this.
  10. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Love those void jumpers and their witty and pranking manners
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  11. ginchy

    ginchy Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 25, 2005
    hahahahahaa you know I love Talon. I'm glad that you're continuing his adventures, girl!!! [:D]
  12. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Chosen One star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Talon would make a lousy spy. :p When he goes on undercover missions with Ben he is the one always making mistakes.

    Thanks. Nothing goes smoothly with Talon.

    When I was in the Army people would play pranks on everybody...especially on the new guys. I remember one prank that was terrible. The sergeants had a mermite can (metal container that keeps food warm) delivered to our secure area...except there wasn't food in it but green chemlites. They sent a private on the first day on the job to retrieve the container and bring it through the triple fence and into the guardhouse. When the private hands the container to the sergeant the NCO says, "Did you open this private?" The man said no. "This is supposed to be sealed! This is a shipment of nuclear material." (we worked in a special weapons depot, so to the private it might be a plausible story...especially if he never seen a mermite can before). The sergeant tells his buddy to kill the lights and he cracks open the container and it is glowing green. He then screams that we have a radiation breach. The men in the platoon grab the kid and bring him down to the basement where there is a utility room with a hose and other cleaning gear. They stripped him down to his skivvies and hosed him down saying he may have been exposed to radiation. That kid was so pissed when he realized they were messing with him.

    Thanks. I suspect this might be the last year for this type of stories. I may continue as Marcus' story but I am not sure yet.

    Thanks everybody for reading. I wrote the jump sequence to resemble Army airborne operations. It has been decades since I jumped, so I may be way off. My memory isn't what it used to be.

    Entry 6

    I am back from my mission and nothing went smoothly. In fact it was a disaster.

    The two warring parties disappeared into a thick jungle as soon as they realized Void Jumpers were on the way and the two armies set up camp approximately two kilometers from each other. We looked for drop points and found only one clearing nearby. It was devoid of trees, which I found odd, but sensors indicated it was soil and grass.

    We of course thought it was a trap so we used infrared sensors to see if the enemy had set up an ambush, but that didn’t appear to be the case. The plan was to send down a platoon to secure the landing zone and from there the remainder of the company would drop down and split in two, half going toward one enemy camp and the remainder to the other. According to higher ups we are not to hurt the locals unless our lives are in danger. Our job is to disarm the combatants and move the two armies off in different directions.

    I was to accompany the lead platoon. We loaded up into our Jump transports and descended into the planets atmosphere. Once above the landing zone we did another scan for combatants but found none.

    The jumpmaster opened the door and I could feel the humidity through my open facemask. I quickly closed and sealed my helmet, not wanting to deal with removing moisture from the helmet.

    “Void Jumpers, stand up!” The jumpmaster screamed over the sound of rushing air. I stood and queued for the jump. Since I was a Jedi Asset and not given rank I was relegated to the back row with the privates. “Check equipment!”

    I checked the readouts for my suit making sure the thrusters were in the green and my blaster was positioned properly in front of my body. I had my lightsaber in a small side storage compartment, but I doubt I will use it. The armor gives me limited flexibility, which makes it difficult to wield the weapon.

    “Stand in the door!” The jumpmaster commanded and the platoon shuffled closer to the edge of the large exit and stood at the ready. “Go! Go! Go!” the jumpmaster screamed as a long stream of Void Jumpers exited the craft. I finally got to the door and made my jump. I’ve done enough of these drops that I don’t need to check my altimeter. Like most combat vets I eyeball the quickly approaching landing zone and estimated when I should engage thrusters. I could see the lead troopers engaging their packs to slow their velocity. I did the same so not to ram into them. The entire platoon was coming down into a neat formation, everything looked good…until all hell broke loose. The first men to land disappeared into the ground. I could see the remaining troops firing thrusters to full power, it slowed them down to a crawl, but eventually they would have to land. I immediately knew what we were dealing with. It was a wobbly bog—a pond with a mat of vegetation woven over the surface of the water. Over the years dirt and detritus fill in the areas around the floating vegetation and to the naked eyes and, unfortunately, to sensors it looks like solid ground. They are extremely rare, but I have run into one of them years ago.

    “Wobbly bog!” I warned the men.

    Some of the troopers succeeded in adjusting their thrusters and finding a patch of land strong enough to hold their weight. I engaged the side thrusters and used the Force to slow my descent. My father once told me Uncle Luke walked on lava and slew a lava dragon. If the Grand Master could manage that, I should be able to walk on a mat of vegetation. I maneuvered to the tree line, aiming for what looked like solid land. I missed it by ten meters but, utilizing the Force, I succeeded in hopping over the swampy area like a rock skipping over water. It wasn’t until I landed on firm land that I heard the frantic screams of my comrades.

    “Kriff! I’m stuck in the muddy bottom!” I heard one man yell.

    “My thrusters aren’t working! This is more mud than water.”

    “I don’t think I can hold my breath long enough to un-suit and swim!”

    In between these outbursts I heard the platoon sergeant yelling for them to conserve their air. I realize he was one of the lucky ones who managed to make it to shore. I did a quick count and realized at least six of our men were missing while the remainder were either on dry land or buried chest deep in muck. I saw the platoon sergeant and bounded over to him. “How much oxygen do they have?”

    He shook his head. “Only about ten minutes. These suits are not made for high altitude jumps so there is not a lot of need for oxygen. The transport is going back to get a submersible recovery vehicle.” As soon as the sergeant said the words I could see in his face that he knew the men would be dead before help arrived.

    “Maybe I can levitate them out of the water.” I lifted up my arms and closed my eyes and reached out in the Force for the nearest stranded trooper. After a few seconds I sensed the man who I knew as Olak.

    “Olak, this is Talon, I’m going to try to get you out.”

    “Who the hell is Talon?” he screamed.

    “The spook!” I concentrated trying to pinpoint his position. I am great at picking up things, but I usually have to see the object. This was a bit more difficult. I eventually found the man, latched on to him and pulled…and pulled. Eventually the mud on the bottom of the pond released him and I managed to get him to shore. He crawled out of the muck on hands and knees before collapsing on solid ground.

    I reached out for a second and a third man. As I pulled them from the bog other troopers grabbed them and moved them to safety.

    Three men remained underwater. I reached out for the fourth trooper when we came under fire from both sides of the bog. I looked up and could see two species of warriors firing at us. It is nice to know two opposing armies can come together to kill Void Jumpers. My attention was pulled away from the water rescue and I aimed my blaster and started defending my comrades and myself.

    The men stuck in the lake were clamoring for me to get them out. “We are under fire,” I explained. “I can’t use the Force to levitate you out if I’m dead. Stop talking and conserve your oxygen.”

    “The Jedi’s right,” the platoon sergeant emphasized. “The jump ship is returning to provide suppressive fire. ETA one minute.”

    “I don’t think I have a minute of oxygen left,” one man cried out.

    “Not if you keep screaming.” I shot a few more blue skin natives advancing on our position.

    “I need three men to protect the Jedi so he can rescue the rest of the men,” the platoon sergeant yelled out.

    I heard three affirmatives over my helmet comlink and soon three armored men surrounded me. One man lifted his facemask and turned to me. It was Olak. “Time to do your spook magic. Then we can take out these motherkriffers.”

    I gave a curt nod and reached out toward the three remaining men. They had stopped talking, but I could hear their labored breathing. I reached out and grabbed onto all three and pulled them toward me. When they were on shore my protectors took up a position around the prone men, rolling them face up and unsealing their helmets to let oxygen in. By now I could hear the roar of the jump ship rushing down and engaging blaster cannons on the enemy. The firefight was terrible, but eventually both armies retreated. I rushed over to the three men to assess their condition. One of them was Kaan, the man I met earlier. I could tell his eyes couldn’t fully focus but he managed to look to me and smile. “I am never going to say a bad thing about a spook again.”

    I laughed. “Except call me a spook.”

    He grinned. “Of course.”

    I check the other men, thinking I might have to perform a Jedi healing technique. They appeared hypoxic with bluish lips and confusion, but they should be okay once they are evac’d and given oxygen. Which is good because I suck at the healing arts. That is my bother’s forte.

    Entry 7

    The GA negotiation party expressed outrage to the leaders of the two warring parties. They made it quite clear that we were a peacekeeping force to disarm and broker a treaty. The unwarranted attack of the Void Jumpers was an act of war. Wow, that proclamation must have increased the pucker factor for the two warlords. With the threat of aerial bombardment both parties surrendered. As part of the surrender they would give up their claim to the Plexite Ore and the Galactic Alliance would mine the ore and compensate the locals with funds (probably a fraction of what the ore is worth) and we would also established a garrison on planet to ensure peace is maintained.

    Maybe I'm becoming jaded, but I think our presence was specifically meant to draw fire from the locals and therefore justify the occupation of the planet. I am just glad none of the Void Jumpers died that day. We stayed in orbit for a few days before returning to Felucia. We will remain on-call for another week. If it looks like the treaty will hold, we will stand-down and maybe I can return back to Zylie. I miss her.

    Author Note: The wobbly bog is based on an experience I had in Holland. I visited a wetland and walked over what looked like mud and thick ground vegetation, but the ground wobbled like I was on a waterbed. I can't remember what they called it, but the closest I could find on the internet is a wobbly I used that name. Here is what it looked like, but this ground was created by a different method. It isn't a bog but is the result of excessive rain.
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  13. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Exciting entry.
    And did you perhaps visit the green covered ditches in the Zaanse schans? Green growth (called Kroos) is covering water making it look like a piece of well mowed lawn. Tourists wanting to take pictures on that 'green grass' step on it and are standing waist deep in the ditch.
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  14. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Chosen One star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    I just Googled it and that looks like the place. I have a photo of me in front of a windmill and standing in some large yellow wooden shoes. I remember being scared of walking on the ground. I didn't know how deep the water was and I was sure I would drop through and drown. It was weird walking on ground that moved like a waterbed.
  15. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Exciting entry, and Talon certainly is an indispensable member of the team, literally for several members. :) Hmmm. His observations about sending jumpers in just to facilitate the treaty and occupation - wow, that is cynical but not beyond the realm of probable with politicians. :p
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  16. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    I'm still light-years away from reading this diary, as I still need to catch up with everything that comes before it, but I wanted to say that I read entry 78 of the Journal of Mark Tantiss last night and that image of Chin "doing the Tantiss" is something I have trouble deleting from my brain [face_laugh]
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  17. Falcon

    Falcon Chosen One star 10

    Feb 7, 2002
    As soon as you said patch of green grass, my mind switched to thinking, the ground will suck them up

    More soon
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  18. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    I spent the past week and a half binge-reading the entire Tantiss family series and I can't believe I never read your stories before. It was a blast! Your characters have so many hilarious quirks that make them deeply endearing, but you also have amazing plotlines in there and fantastic elements of world-building, especially with the H'Drachi Seers. Another aspect of your series I really enjoyed is how you re-told the same events from the perspective of different characters across the different stories.

    And now, getting to the heart of the matter, I finished reading last year's diary this afternoon and I jumped straight on this one, because I want to know what the hell is going on. I remember how those Shamed Ones vanquished Abeloth at the end of Sacrifices, then there was that very tall man caught on video telling the chancellor to get the Jedi off Coruscant, and now the Shamed Ones turned into apprentice Void Jumpers and the very tall man (assuming it's the same one?) is testing that their armour is lightsaber-proof? And then, well, there's all this military buildup on Indupar, and the Marcus-and-Seer business, and at the end of your 2015 diary there's another very tall man, one we know this time, saying that “Perhaps it is time for the Jedi to get off Coruscant.” Long story short, there's something very fishy going on, and I want to know what happens next, so please update soon :)

    PS: Yes, Talon would make a lousy spy. No wonder Ben's the Sentinel.
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  19. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Chosen One star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Thanks! I'm glad you like it.

    I don't want to get into politics, but I think this happens a lot on our planet. o_O

    That is a marathon read you are doing. I love Mark and Corran's teasing relationship. When you read The Journal of Talon Tantiss you can see why Jaden was a little worried about revealing who he was dating.

    I will always remember walking across the bogs in Holland. It was surreal. It also reminds me of my time in Panama. My squad was on patrol and we were jumping across a creek. One squad member strained her ankle so her friend was carrying her backpack along with his own. We told him to toss the packs across the creek before he jumped, but he was over 6 feet tall and thought his long legs could make it even with all the extra weight he was carrying. He almost made it across, but he didn't. Instead he sunk into mud up to his waist. He was STUCK! We got the two packs off him (one in front and one on his back) and then grabbed his hands. We pulled and pulled and pulled. Finally there was a loud sucking noise and we were able to dislodge him from the muck. It was a good thing it wasn't me. I would have been buried up to my neck. lol!

    Yes there is something going on behind the scenes. I wrote out this long story for NaNo years ago and I am trying to use that as an outline. I just hope I have time to do this story justice. Since my youngest started high school I decided to go back to college (since I have been a stay-at-home mom since my children were born) and get some training so I can get a job in the local area. I have two boys who will be in college soon and college is expensive in the United States. :( Anyway, I have been constantly busy and it is just going to get worse as the year goes on. Hopefully I will find time to write. Maybe. :confused:

    Thanks for reading my stories. I know the search function is disabled on this site, but all of my stories are on FFN and that is linked in my signature. So if you want to read more about L/M there is plenty to read.

    Thanks everybody for reading.


    Entry 8

    I am still on Felucia. I guess things on the mining colony are not going as smoothly as predicted. We remain on alert. There is an upside, though. The men I saved in the platoon constantly want to bring me out on the town and buy me drinks. Olak and Kaan are usually the two main party instigators. I am not much of a drinker, but I enjoy going out and watching them get sloshed. There is nothing more humorous than seeing drunk soldiers getting in trouble. It is also an opportunity for me to ask questions about the Vong Void Jumpers without raising too much suspicion. I suspect that most of the inebriated troopers I talk to rarely remember our conversations the next day.

    Last night I think I stumbled on some good intelligence. I was sitting at the bar in the Non-Commissioned Officer’s club, nursing a drink, and laughing at Olak and Kaan’s drunken attempts to court women when an older man, probably in his late fifties, sat down next to me. He glanced over and grinned happily. “You’re the Jedi, aren’t you?” he slurred slightly as he offered his hand in greeting.

    “That’s right. Talon Tantiss.” I extended my hand, which he grasped in a firm grip and pumped up and down enthusiastically. “I just wanted to shake your hand. My name is Sergeant Major Darotus. You saved my nephew. He is in the 33rd and jumped with you.” He released his grip and then quickly grabbed the edge the bar to keep from slipping off his stool. “I just wanted to thank you. My nephew followed in my footsteps to become a trooper. My sister would never forgive me if her only son died.”

    “No problem. How long have you been a trooper?”

    “Let’s see.” The man’s brow furrowed in thought. “It’s been thirty two years now. I plan on retiring soon.”

    I nodded. “That’s a long time. What are you going to do after you retire?”

    He gave a shrug. “Don’t know. I was offered a job as a consultant, but…” He trailed off, not completing the sentence.

    I could sense the man’s unease through the Force, which was odd because retired soldiers work as military consultants all the time. “Are you going to take the job?”

    I could see the strong line of his jaw tighten as he shook his head. “No, I don’t think so.”

    “Why not?”

    “It doesn’t feel right,” he said as he started to slide off his barstool. “Thanks again for saving my nephew and the other men in the 33rd.”

    I was curious as to why a job offer made this man so uneasy. I had a feeling that this could be important so I put a hand on his shoulder, preventing him from leaving. “Hey, let me buy you a drink.”

    The man smiled broadly and shifted his weight back onto the stool, “Sure.”

    I signaled the bartender and called out. “Two ales.” I then returned my attention back to the soldier. “My father’s a retired Void Jumper. He may be interested in a consultation job. Can you tell me more?”

    The Sergeant Major’s eyes narrowed slightly. “No, not really. I was offered a large amount of credits, but I did some digging and found out the job was on Karazak. I didn’t want to get involved with any organization based on that planet.”

    “Karazak,” I muttered to myself as I tried to remember where I heard of that planet. After a moment I recalled it from my history classes. “You mean the homeworld of the Karazak Slavers Cooperative?”

    He gave me a curt nod. “I don’t know if I was contacted by the KSC or not, but they were looking to hire retiring Void Jumpers.”

    “To be slavers?”

    He shook his head. “The person who contacted me said they were looking for Void Jumpers to train members of a private security consulting firm.”

    The drinks arrived and I took a sip while contemplating the issue. It could be the KSC was considering expanding their operations and intended to bulk up their security. Karazak was in the outer rim of the galaxy on the edge of wild space. They seemed content to stay on the outskirts of civilization, but perhaps that was going to change. The KSC was outlawed in the Galactic Alliance and the Empire…or at least Jagged Fel’s Empire. Palpatine’s Galactic Empire by Imperial degree actually made slavery legal under certain conditions. I believe the condition was if a planetary government didn’t support Emperor Palpatine he allowed slavers to attack their world. As far as I knew, the organization was still active in the outer rim. This may have nothing to do with the Vong Void Jumpers, but it is still a concern. I have to make sure to let the Grand Master know about this information as soon as possible.

    “Do you have contact information?”

    He shook his head. “No, they contacted me and said they would get back to me later. When they did make contact I turned down their offer. I haven’t heard from them since.”

    I was going to ask some more questions but Kaan and Olak showed up at that moment with a couple ladies on their arms. Kaan motioned to the blond human female pressed up against him. “This is Candise.” He motioned to the other woman with an arm around Olak. “And that is Luli. Olak and I are going to check out their apartment. They said they have a friend they could hook you up with, but I told them you are a Jedi and they castrate you guys when knighted.”

    My eyes went wide. “What?”

    Kaan gave me a wink and leaned in to whisper to me. “I didn’t want to get you in trouble with your wife.”

    “You could have told them I was married. Do you know how fast a rumor like that gets around a military base?”

    “Sorry,” he said with a laugh before turning his attention back to the women. “Come on ladies, I know a void that I want to jump into.”

    I rolled my eyes and wondered how such horrible lines could possibly attract a woman. When they walked away I noticed the Sergeant Major was now gone. I looked around but couldn’t find him anywhere. I threw some credits on the bar to pay my tab and left the club.

    I'm a lousy spy.

    Entry 9

    Once I got back to the barracks I retrieved my handheld transceiver. It allows me to send encrypted messages to the Jedi Temple by way of holonet relay satellites. I found a quiet spot on the 33rd’s parade field bleachers and keyed in the code to the Grand Master.

    I waited and waited for a response and was about to disconnect the signal when my call was answered. When Grand Master Skywalker's projected image appeared I grimaced realizing it was the middle of the night on Coruscant. Uncle Luke was wearing a bathrobe and he must have ran to answer my call because his hair was disheveled and his cheeks flushed. To my relief Uncle Luke didn’t seem too perturbed. “Hello Talon,” he said with a slight grin. He turned to somebody out of the projector reception. “You’re right, it’s Talon.”

    I couldn’t see my Aunt Mara, but I could hear the irritation in her voice. “Of course it is my former apprentice. I somehow forgot to train him to not interrupting us while we’re…”

    “Sleeping,” my uncle said quickly, followed by an obvious snicker from my aunt.

    “Yes, we were sleeping,” Aunt Mara said as she came up behind my uncle and in view of the projector. She was also wearing a robe accessorized with a harsh glare of annoyance. “Please tell me you found something that couldn’t wait until morning.”

    I had trouble suppressing a grin. I am sure I interrupted something, but it wasn’t their sleep. “I did. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the Vong, but a senior Void Jumper said some unidentified person attempted to recruit him to train void jumpers on the planet Karazak. He turned them down. Unfortunately, he didn’t know the person’s identity and he doesn't have a way to contact the recruiter.”

    I saw my Aunt give Uncle Luke a concerned sideways glance. “Slavers?”

    He shrugged. “They are still operating in the outer rim. The Jedi Council has been pressuring the Galactic Alliance to do something about it, but they operate outside our jurisdiction and the Senate doesn’t want to stretch themselves thin. They are more concerned with problems within their star systems.”

    I frowned. “It figures the Chief-of-State doesn’t want to get his hands dirty.”

    Luke shook his head. “Surprisingly Mokk Streke is adamantly anti-slavery. He has tried to sway the senate to do something for years. I think he finally gave up. I haven’t heard him talk about the subject in the last year.”

    “Should I go to Karazak and check it out?”

    The Grand Master considered my offer. “No, stay there. If we snatch you out mid-mission you might be deemed undependable. Wait until you're dismissed and we’ll see if you're needed.” He turned to Mara. “Who do we have near the outer rim?”

    My aunt's brow furrowed in thought. “Hanna is on Sullust and Valin Horn is on Kabal. We can pull them from their current low priority missions and send them to investigate.”

    “You are going to send Hanna and Valin?” I asked incredulously. “Don’t you think that’s dangerous?”

    Mara gave me a look that was somewhere between bewilderment and irritation. “I assure you Hanna is a fully trained Jedi Knight. I know Ben is overly protective of his little sister, but I didn’t realize you also see her as the baby of the Skywalker family. Hanna Skywalker is quite capable of protecting herself from slavers.”

    I scoffed. “I wasn’t worried about slavers. I was worried about her spending time alone with Valin. You do know his reputation as a womanizer.”

    My aunt and uncle rolled their eyes. “Valin won’t be a problem.” Uncle Luke glanced over to his wife and smirked. “Hanna is now dating Jedi Rakan…who in in charge of mission assignments. If Valin doesn’t want to end up field testing sleeping bags on Hoth he’ll keep his hands to himself.”

    “Okay,” I chuckled. “I guess I’ll let you get back to…whatever you were doing.”

    My uncle blushed fiercely. “It’s called sleeping, Talon.”

    Before I could say more my former Master gave me a scathing look before reaching over my uncle’s shoulder and disconnecting the signal.

    Opps! I think I may be in trouble again. Ha!
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  20. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Love how Talon gets his intel and fun with interrupting Luke and Mara during what they were doing
    Jedi_Lover likes this.
  21. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Interesting developments about slavers and terrific banter.

    L/M -- they're something all right. [face_love] ;)
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  22. Falcon

    Falcon Chosen One star 10

    Feb 7, 2002
    Sounds like he interrupted more then just sleep and Mara was irritated. [face_mischief]

    Can't wait for more :)
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  23. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    Well, Talon may not be as lousy a spy as he thinks, but he sure has bad timing [face_laugh]

    And the plot thickens! A slavers cooperative expanding into private security with Void Jumpers? And operating outside the Republic's jurisdiction for good measure. I think he found something there. Also, interesting that the Sergeant Major disappeared at just the right (or wrong) moment -- or am I reading too much into this?
  24. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Chosen One star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Thanks. I need to put more Luke and Mara into my DDC. I really miss writing about them.

    I definitely think they were doing more than sleep. lol!

    Thanks. I appreciate you reading!

    Talon is not a good spy. Ben has made that quite clear to him on many occasions. Since I am sorta writing by the seat-of-my-pants I don't know if you are reading anything into the appearance of the Sergeant Major. I honestly only have a general idea as to where I am going with this. Things change day-by-day.

    Thanks everybody for being so patient with me. When my youngest got into high school this year I decided to go back to college to get some training so I can get a job. I have a degree but that was decades ago and it doesn't equate to a job where I live. It is hard to go back to college when you are older. We had finals last week--my college doesn't have regular semesters, but quarters. When the classes are only 10 weeks in duration you are taking a midterm a little after a month and finals when a normal semester course would be doing midterms. I am in a constant state of getting ready for a big test. I start my new classes tomorrow and they will be done by the end of May. This really occupies my time. :(

    This is a short little update.

    Entry 10

    I’m getting bored. We are still on alert, but there have been no updates on the situation in the mining colony. I may ask the company commander to let me go home if there is nothing for me to do.

    Entry 11

    Today was fun. Olak and Kaan asked me if I wanted to go with them to the post obstacle course. They said they like running it for exercise. I had nothing better to do so I went with them.

    It was a standard obstacle course with cargo nets, ropes, horizontal ladders, walls, belly crawls, vaults, high-steps, balance logs, stump hoppers, high-rise and gut-busters. Olak and Kaan must run this course a lot because I had a hard time keeping up with them. After we finished the course they looked disappointed. “You’re not very good for a Jedi,” Kaan remarked.

    “I didn’t use the Force. I thought that would be unfair. I thought you guys wanted to run a fair race.”

    They both looked to each other and laughed. “No, we wanted to see you levitate up those obstacles. We figured if you can pull us out of a bog you must be able to fly.”

    I grinned. “I can levitate a bit, but I am better at lifting things other than myself. I can run it for you as a Jedi if you want.”

    They both grinned. “We would love to see what you can do,” Olak said.

    “We’re sure it will be spook-tacular.”

    I shook my head at that stupid joke. “Alright.” I was about to start when we heard cadence and a platoon of soldiers running double-time in our direction. Olak groaned. “Damn, that’s Senior Sergeant Toppen. He is a drill instructor here.”

    Kaan motioned me to follow. “Let’s get out of here. He likes to hassle Void Jumpers.”

    “He’s a Void Jumper wannabe,” Olak commented. “He applied and washed out and he’s hated jump troopers ever since.”

    We started walking away in the opposite direction from the approaching platoon when a loud bellowing voice rang out. “Hold up there, Troopers.”

    Olak and Kaan stopped and sighed. “Damn, he spotted us.”

    I looked to the two. “He’s not in your unit. You shouldn’t have to take his orders, even if he does outrank you.”

    Olak nodded. “True, but he has the ear of a lot of our superiors. It is just easier to avoid him or go along with his requests.”

    “And what is he going to request?”

    Kaan chuckled. “If he finds us out running or exercising he asks the mighty Void Jumpers to demonstrate to his new recruits what the minimum standard is for a particular skill or event. He then tells his recruits Void Jumpers are only capable of doing the minimum standard because we let the mechanical muscle of our suits do all the work.”

    “He trains Ground-pounders,” Olak added using the slang term for non-mechanized infantry. “He tries to convince them the Infantry is better than Jump Troopers.”

    “Do I see members of the illustrious 33rd Void Jumper Company?” a wiry senior sergeant with graying hair asked as he approached us. He called his platoon to a halt and had them perform a right face so they were standing at attention in front of the obstacle course. He walked over to us smirking. “Would one of you boys like to demonstrate the obstacle course for my new recruits? I’m sure you fine upstanding Void Jumpers wouldn’t mind assisting in the training of these exemplary future infantrymen.”

    Olak smirked. “No problem Senior Sergeant.” He slapped a hand down on my shoulder. “Our friend here will demonstrate.” He turned to me and grinned. “Right? Can’t you show them a spectacular demonstration?”

    I nodded. “Sure.” I didn’t intend on using the Force but the Senior Sergeant’s next comment aggravated me immensely.

    “Excellent.” He turned to the platoon. “Keep your eye on this Jumper, men. He will demonstrate the minimum standard for Infantrymen.” He turned and gave me a look of distain. “After all, Void Jumpers need their armor to make them fighting men.” He turned back to the platoon. “Unlike ground infantry! Who are real men! Made of grit, muscle and mettle. You are the best-of-the-best-of-the-best!”

    The platoon gave out a loud ‘hoorah!’.

    I rolled my eyes. I know the platoon is just a bunch of young motivated men, but this sergeant’s attitude is grating.

    I forced a smile on my face. “Just give me a ‘go’, Sergeant.”

    The drill instructor sneered as he looked at his wrist chrono. “Go!”

    I ran to the first obstacle, which was the rope climb. With the help of the Force, and only utilizing my arms, I bounded up the rope like an Endorian spider monkey. I then ran across a balance beam and jumped down ten meters instead of using the cargo net. I arrived at the gut-buster. It is a series of logs that are arranged in a rising incline. I was suppose to jump up onto the first horizontal log, and then hurdle out and get my midsection on the second higher log and continue doing this until I reach the last log, go over and climb down. Instead I ran up the logs like I was running up stairs. That equated to running up steps that are over a meter apart with a one-and-a-half meter increase per step. I smiled with I heard an audible gasp from some of the platoon. I jumped down, did a quick low crawl under the razor wire, vaulted a series of meter tall horizontal logs and easily climbed over a three-meter wall with rope (I didn’t use the rope). I arrived to the high-rise. I think I was expected to climb the rope next to the obstacle because this is a team event. It consists of six platforms stacked two meters apart like a tower. Squad members would help the first soldier up to the upper floor and then the next and finally the squad hauls up the last man. Instead I reached up and grabbed the platform and easily pulled myself up to the next platform and continued until I reached the top. I climbed down an inclined log ladder, quickly jumped over a series of stumps situated over a meter apart, navigated through some high steps, leaped over a trench, scurried through a large pipe, over a rope bridge and then the final sprint back to the platoon. I am fairly sure I beat any post obstacle course record. When I arrived Olak and Kaan screamed to the new recruits. “Remember, that is the minimum standard!”

    My friends patted me on the back and gave a loud hurrah before addressing Sergeant Toppen. “Void Jumpers! Death from above!”

    The dumbfounded look on the drill instructor’s face was priceless. I nudged Kaan with my elbow. “We should tell him I’m a Jedi.”

    “What? Why?”

    I pointed to the young men in the platoon. “Because one of those men might try to repeat my performance and break his neck.”

    Both of my friends nodded. “Yeah, they would be stupid enough to do that.”

    “Sergeant, tell your men don’t try to copy my buddy’s amazing feat of agility,” Kaan said while throwing an arm around my shoulder. “He’s a spook and therefore has an unfair advantage.”

    The stunned look slipped off the sergeant’s face and was replaced by rage. “I heard the jump units have special quota slots reserved for Jedi!” He pointed a finger at me. “It is spoiled, politically connected slackers like you that take away slots from hard working soldiers. It’s a disgrace.”

    I gave him a sheepish grin. “I actually didn’t grab one of the Jedi slots. I was given a legacy preference since my father is a Jump Trooper combat veteran.”

    That didn’t pacify the drill instructor. He appeared to hate legacy candidates as much as Jedi. My friends and I decided it was time to beat feet out of the area. As we ran toward the barracks we could hear the sergeant adamantly give his opinion of Void Jumpers, Jedi and legacy candidates. I obviously occupy a special place on the drill instructors list of people he doesn’t like. Ha!

    Author's Note: This was loosely based on an experience my husband had while attending military school. He was a freshman and he had a mandatory gymnastics class. He was there with a group of his classmates while the Physical Education instructor was explaining what is expected. The instructor said he will have one of their classmates demonstrate the minimum requirement for the rings. He pulled out one of the students out of the group and told him he will talk him through the routine. He helps the kid up on the rings and has him hang there. He informs the group the following is the minimum standard to pass the course. He starts out slow, having the student do a pull up and then pull his body up until his waist is along side the rings. He has him bring his legs out in front of him. So far it looks doable. He then has the student go into a handstand, flip around, go into an iron cross and then a double summersault dismount. All the students were in shock...except the few cadets that knew he was recruited for gymnastics. That was a dirty trick on the students because if they fail any classes they could lose their scholarship. I cracked up when my husband (then boyfriend) told me about the prank. Military people love pranks.
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  25. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Loved Talon and his spectacular course. The obstacle course looks like the Mudmasters