Before - Legends Learning to Fly - OCs - Mystery - Drama - Multi-chapter

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Vek Talis, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2018
    Title: Learning to Fly
    Author: Vek Talis
    Length: Multi Chapter
    Timeframe: 197 years before KotOR 4153 BBY approx.
    Genre: Drama/Mystery
    Characters: OC & Master Vandar from KotOR
    Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars and never will.
    Summary: Vek Talis goes on his first mission after appearing in the GFFA.
    Notes: Thanks to my Master, @Findswoman as always for her help. This will be updated approximately once every week or 10 days and be about 10-12 chapters. This is a continuation of the idea behind Beginnings, to be found here:


    "Yes," Vizif said happily. "You're doing it; keep it up."

    "That's what I'm trying to do," Vek said, losing his concentration as his master urged him on. It was tiring to move an object – any object – with your mind. At least, until you were used to doing it.

    The free weight dropped to the practice mat with a thud. Vek blinked; he hadn't realized he'd brought it so close.

    "That was better, Vek." His master wore a lopsided grin. "Really, I don't know why Master Craroc was so insistent you not get training. It seems to me as though you've made tremendous progress."

    It had been three months since Vek came to Dantooine. Three months since he'd discovered the Force was real. In that time, he and Vizif had become close. Not in a romantic way, but she was an amazingly gifted person, not only for being a Jedi.

    "Thanks," he said, mind weary enough that he couldn't think of a witty, yet cynical comeback.

    "Come on; you've got to keep up your strength." Vizif bounded to her feet as she always did.

    Vek, on the other hand, wasn't so quick. He was faster than he was before he came here, of course. He'd regressed about forty years since then. At least he didn't creak like an aged wooden chair when he got up off the floor.

    The Force, he learned from Master Craroc, sometimes needed a specific being for certain tasks. If that being wasn't in this galaxy, the Force had a way of finding a suitable sentient.

    Frags, that is, people From Another Galaxy, weren't common. In fact, they were quite rare. The trauma caused by dragging someone from one dimension to another was so great, that many Frags lost their minds, either immediately, or over time.

    That was what the Jedi said, anyway. They also said the Force sometimes needed a being to fulfill a certain role. To Vek, that meant the Force sometimes needed villains. Creating one, through dragging someone here, seemed like a planned thing, a process, rather than randomness.

    The few Frags who hadn't blown a gasket were relegated to the Jedi Archives on Coruscant. There, they lived their extra long lives in quiet meditation and contemplation, rarely setting foot outside. Fear often made otherwise reasonable beings do strange things.

    "Why are you picking at your food?" Vizif asked, as they sat in the underground refectory of the Jedi enclave.

    "Sorry," Vek said absently. "Was thinking about... stuff."

    She reached across the table, touching his hand. "You won't get stuck in the Archives. We've been over this, remember? Master Vandar believes in you. I believe in you."

    "Thanks, Master." That title never got old. He was in the GFFA, apprenticed to a Jedi Knight.

    The food, on the other hand, seemed older than Vandar. The Jedi didn't believe in eating the flesh of animals. That didn't stop him from craving a juicy, extra-rare cheeseburger.

    "Finish up," Vizif said. She stood from the table and put her plate in the recycler. As a Miraluka, she was blind, but could see, even mundane objects, through the Force. She had no trouble navigating the refectory.

    "It's time for blade training," she said, the corners of her mouth edging upwards into a smile.

    "I haven't even built my first lightsaber, Master," Vek said. He was looking forward to that.

    "And you won't today, either, Padawan," Vizif said. "That doesn't mean we can't prepare you for the day."

    Beneath the enclave, beneath the underground portion, lay a specially designed training room. Droids floated, rolled and walked around it, always ready to perform.

    "Here. A training blade," Vizif said, handing a small hilt to him. "Remember your protective gear."

    In a full body suit, he felt awkward, like he was walking in Zero-G, except that he was weighted down by the cumbersome outfit. Frankenstein's Monster popped into his head, but he shook that away. The suit was to protect him from the saber. Wielding light had its dangers: it was weightless, so except for the hilt, it literally felt like nothing, and it could cut off limbs with little to no psi. A simple flick of the wrist could be deadly.

    "I feel a lot less safe in this cocoon, Master," he said flatly. "Couldn't I run the gauntlet with a thousand spinning sabers coming at me at once, instead? Seems like it would cause less harm that way."

    "Oh, shush," she said and let out a giggle. "Really, Vek, you don't look overly ridiculous."

    "Stellar," he said, right before his tongue clacked against the roof of his mouth. The sound echoed in the over-sized helmet he wore.

    There was a first time for everything. He walked out into the center of the room. All the droids sensed this. With a remote, Vizif activated one. It hovered toward him.

    "Ready?" she asked.

    "As I'll ever be," he said and activated the blade. It hummed and vibrated ever so slightly in his hand. He placed his left hand over his right, as she'd showed him.

    Immediately, the droid whirred and slid quickly through the air. It shot a practice bolt at him; enough to shock, and nothing more.

    "Ah," he said. His blade had moved too far, too fast.

    "Concentrate," Vizif said. "Look beyond the droid. Let the Force take control."

    Sighing softly, he ignited the blade again. The droid swooshed through the air. It darted here, then there, at last unleashing another bolt. This time, it flew harmlessly away.

    "Good," Vizif said. "You're quick; it took me a long time to learn to defend against droids."

    Again, the droid whizzed here, then there. It unleashed several bolts in quick succession. Though he couldn't feel the droid, he picked up on its movements and blocked each blast in turn.

    "Amazing," Vizif said.

    "Not really," Vek said as he switched off the blade, took off the giant helmet. "It's geometry and algebra. Maybe a little calculus thrown in." He leaned in close to whisper, "But I wasn't so good with calculus, so let's just call it geometry and algebra."

    She giggled, but then turned serious. "I've set the droid to random, though."

    "Yes, Master, but what protocols do droids have to create a random pattern? We go back to geometry, the layout of the room they have to work with, and algebra. Simple math."

    From the table which stood against the far wall, Vizif picked up a practice blaster. "I disagree," she said and fired the weapon.

    "Ow," Vek yelped and drew back. "You shot me, Master."

    Already, she'd rushed to his side. "I'm sorry; I thought you were going to block it." The blaster she'd used held practice bolts, but a high level, reserved for padawans much farther along in their training. "I'm so sorry," she said, helping him off with the suit.

    "It's all right," he said, trying to soothe her. The red mark on his shoulder stung. Carefully, he touched it with his right hand. It was very tender.

    "Let's get you to the healer," Vizif said, but he only heard her voice as if muted, for something was happening to him.

    Particles of light danced from his fingertips. Soon, the shoulder wound glowed slightly. Pain ebbed and the red, raw spot began to heal.

    "Oh, my," Vizif said as she watched. "You are a natural healer, Vek."

    "So it would seem," he said. When the pain was gone, he removed his hand. There was no sign of the wound.

    "Wonderful," she said and her face lit up. Her features turned sly as she added, "That means I can wound you till my heart's content and Master Craroc will never know."

    "You know, Master? I think I'll pass on that."

    She snorted laughter. "Sounds good."

    When they went back outside, a civilian speeder sat by the entrance walkway. "I wonder who's here?" Vizif asked, then pulled her padawan by the arm. "Let's find out."

    They caught up with the woman who was trying to gain access to the enclave. "I need to get in there, you clattering tin can."

    "I'm sorry, Misstress Galorn, Master Craroc has specifically instructed this unit not to allow visitors this day," ID-88 said. The lanky, medium sized protocol droid seemed flustered. So did Misstress Galorn.

    When ID-88 saw Vizif, it raised a silvery arm. "Over here, please, Knight Krat, please."

    "Who are you?" Misstress Galorn demanded. "I want answers and I want help this instant. Are you a Jedi?"

    "Please, there's no need for hostilities," Vizif said. "I'm Jedi Knight Krat and this is my padawan, Vek. How may I help you?"

    "Well, it's about time." Misstress Galorn set her left hand on her hip and wagged her right forefinger in Vizif's face. "Those kath hounds are invading my farm again. I demand assistance. You Jedi can't hide in that enclave and pretend nothing needs done out here. I should say, you would run out of food quickly if it weren't for we farmers."

    "Peace, Misstress Galorn," Vizif said, and for a wonder, the irate woman did ease back a bit. "My padawan and I will go to your farm and see what we can do." She waved her hand, subtly, down at waist height.

    "I-" Galorn seemed taken aback. "Well, thank you," she said slowly. Suddenly, she was moving slower, almost like someone had drugged her. "I'll wait here for good news." She wandered toward a bench and sat down.

    "You enjoyed that, Master," Vek said as they walked toward the speeders the enclave used.

    "I did not," Vizif said.

    "What exactly did you do?" He'd felt her use the Force, but he was at a loss as to how.

    "A simple trick. No algebra required." Vizif winked.

    "You have a way with people, Master," Vek said. "Even before you used the Force, she was responding better to you than I thought she might." His own people skills had always been lacking. And that would do until a bigger understatement came along.

    "Thank you," she said. She plopped down into a speeder. When he was in, too, she jammed the accelerator. They took off southeast.

    "Misstress Galorn isn't really a farmer," Vizif said as they sped along grassy plains. "She owns several and runs them with an iron fist. The only good thing I can say about her is that she treats her workers better than most. If there's trouble at a farm, she'll help them get things straightened out."

    "I'm surprised you didn't get more upset back there," Vek said. He often fed off the emotions of others.

    "There is no passion, there is serenity." The way Vizif quoted that part of the Jedi code always sounded sad to Vek. She claimed it was her favorite line, yet a wave of loss and melancholy always passed through her when she said it aloud.

    At the nearest Galorn farm, there was indeed trouble with kath hounds. The large canines circled the farmhouse, broken droids crushed under heavy paws.

    "Help us, Masters Jedi." A man stood on the roof of the structure. "Them kath hounds is gone kill us, if they can."

    Now that they saw a better target, the hounds grouped together in a pack. Vizif ignited her lightsaber.

    "Stay behind me, Vek," she commanded.

    The Force tugged at Vek's collar. Swirls of light seemed to come from an entrance to the cellar of the farmhouse. They drew Vek toward it, even as Vizif pushed forward to meet the threat.

    "Where are you going?" His master got between Vek and the hounds.

    "Come here, you big baby," Vek called to the mother hound. It broke off from the pack, while the others kept Vizif at bay.

    "Vek, what are you doing?" Vizif tried to use the Force to run to his side, but one of the hounds grabbed the edge of her robes in his jaws.

    "Peace, Master," Vek said, kneeling to the kath hound. "I know what I'm doing." When the hound growled in his face, slavering like she was ready to bite it off, he glanced toward the cellar entrance. "There, yes?" he said quietly.

    Instantly, the hound turned toward the cellar, whimpered. Then, up at the man on the roof, she snarled as though mad.

    "I think I see the trouble, Master," Vek said. "This man has captured the mother's young."

    "They was in my fields, eating my squash," the man said defensively. "I- I didn't kill them."

    "No, and that is what is going to save you," Vek said. "I'm going to release the young and they are all going to leave together." He returned his attention to the mother hound. "Isn't that right?" He gathered the Force around him, as best he could, keeping his eyes glued to the mother hound. ==See, I'm helping; I'm no threat and you're no threat to me==

    She growled, but then her head dipped and she whimpered, averting her eyes from Vek.

    "I'll take that as a tacit agreement," he said and opened the cellar door, turning his back on the kath hound. Quickly, padding feet bounded up the steps. Three, no, four young hounds poured from the cellar, leaped on their mother. She rubbed noses with them each in turn.

    "They gone eat my squash again," the man on the roof complained.

    "Kath hounds don't eat vegetables," Vek said. "They are carnivorous." When it was clear he didn't understand, Vek raised an eyebrow and sighed. "They eat meat. They were probably digging after some burrowing rodent that had been eating your squash; rodents will eat just about anything. They were, in fact, helping you."

    "Oh." The man relaxed a bit.

    "Um, a little help over here, Padawan," Vizif said. One of the male hounds still had her by the robe.

    Vek glared at him and he whimpered as he let go. "Now, all of you, back where you belong. This man won't harm you again. Or else he'll answer to me."

    The farmer harrumphed, but the kath hounds slowly wandered away.

    "How did you learn to do that?" Vizif asked as they sped back toward the enclave. "I've seen Jedi Masters tame beasts with the Force, but you're no master."

    "Thanks for reminding me; I'd forgotten," he joked and she laughed. Then he shrugged his shoulders. "I've always been good with animals. People... not so much. You, my Master, are far better with people."

    "Well, it seems we compliment each other, at least." Vizif smiled, then chuckled. "Good work, Vek; I'll make sure to tell Master Craroc that you helped."

    "Master Craroc. Stellar." Vek wasn't happy with that taciturn fellow. Craroc wanted to boot Vek from Dantooine the moment he laid eyes on the Frag. Even with Master Vandar's blessing. Vek didn't know what the human had against him, but he figured he'd learn sooner or later.
    DLR001, Chyntuck , Master_Lok and 3 others like this.
  2. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    Great padawan training! And animals.

    Summa summarum: a great fic from Dantooine! :D
  3. Findswoman

    Findswoman Ammonia-Breathing Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    I thought I had written a review of this, but it looks like I didn’t yet—my bad! Great to see a new story with these characters, and I’m intrigued by “drama/mystery” as the genre. So much fun snark and repartee between these two—I see that is going to be a thing for them, and especially for Vek. :D

    We learn a lot about his abilities and talents here, and I wonder if those things are specifically connected to his status as a Frag, or if they’re in some way related to his previous life in our galaxy. For one thing, he’s got a talent for Force healing—and the combination of healing plus snark/cynicism, as I mentioned in the beta, gives me kind of a Dr. House vibe. He’s got a flair for math, too, it seems—particulate geometry and algebra. And then he seems to have a beastwarden talent à la Ezra Bridger—he’s able to immediately find out what those Kath hounds were up to from them themselves. (And that Mistress Galorn seems like a real piece of work! :eek: I wonder if she’ll reappear...) All told, it’s an intriguing combination of skills, and I’ll be curious to see where he (and you) take them as the story goes forward.

    And now it looks like that cantankerous old Craroc is about to come back into the picture. I do hope that you now he’ll have at least some appreciation for the progress Vek has made, though one can never be sure with him!

    Off to a fine start—looking forward to more! :)
    Master_Lok and Vek Talis like this.
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Clash of Titans Winner star 8 VIP - Game Winner

    Aug 31, 2004
    AW! I like this! As I should've figured, given the author whose reviews are FUN! =D= The camaraderie and respect between Vek and Vizif is wonderful and his talents, especially as a beastwarden and natural healer will stand him in good stead; no, he won't get stuck in the "back office". :p =D=
  5. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2018
    Thank you. :) The animals and training will continue soon, though it starts to get real for the pair pretty quickly.

    Vek is nothing if not cynical and sarcastic.

    Thanks, though of course, Vek has his faults, that his wonderful Master will try to help him with. She needs to look after her sarcasmo of a padawan, after all. :D

    Unfortunately for Vek, at any rate. :p

    You never know. If Masters like Craroc have their way. :D Although, by the end of this story, you should have a better notion of what's in store for these characters. Or else I've done a pretty poor job of writing. :p

    Happy Thanksgiving to anyone and everyone who celebrates! Thanks to everyone who has read and enjoyed this story thus far. Chapter 2 is coming in a few days.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
  6. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    I am very busy getting healthy again & returning to work tomorrow. Plus seeing my sauna ladies tonight. Perhaps dragging my poor husband along, because some men will be also present. Partners who were equally dragged along by their wives.

    So I can be patiently wait for updates. O:)
  7. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2018
    @AzureAngel2 I hope you've gone back to work with no snags. :) And poor @DarthUncle for getting dragged along with the other husbands. :p

    Here's the update you've been waiting for:

    Learning to Fly

    Chapter 2

    "Focus," Vizif said calmly. "Clear your mind of all concern."

    "Easy for you to say, Master," Vek said sarcastically. "You weren't the one tossed into another dimension and then brow beaten by a Jedi Master for it."

    "Hush," Vizif said sternly. "Master Craroc can't interfere in your training. Be mindful, but also let go of your mind. Allow it to be caught in the currents of the Living Force."

    He imagined a flowing creek, then replaced the water with ripples of Force. One by one, he dropped his concerns into it, watched them get farther and farther away. His breathing came easier and he felt lighter.

    "Good," his master said. She sat beside him, not only in the real world, in the Jedi enclave on Dantooine, but in his imaginings. "Allow the Force to guide you, and you will be one with it."

    He tried. Though he'd symbolically dropped his cares into the meandering currents, it was a different matter to drown himself in it. His thoughts continued to plague him and he became agitated.

    "It's all right," Vizif said. "You've done well, Padawan," she added when he opened his eyes. "Tell me what you saw."

    As he opened his mouth, he caught a glimpse of something. Square, like a box, it was surrounded in darkness. He saw a logo, too, but it was only the glimmer of a reflection that was gone too fast.

    "Whoa," Vizif said and rocked back on her heels. "What happened?"

    "I don't know, Master," Vek said. When she seemed like she might faint, he grabbed her arm to help steady her, led her to the bench nearby. The sun shone down warmly, but he could feel goosebumps on her arm.

    After taking a few deep breaths, Vizif stopped looking so pale. "Thank you, Vek," she said. And then, "What do you think that was?"

    "I'm surprised it hit you as well, Master," Vek said. "I think it was a vision, but I'm not sure of what. All I recall is a black box."

    "Black box?" Vizif echoed his words, then shook her head. "No, I think you need to examine your thoughts again."

    When he did, he clacked his tongue against the roof of his mouth. "The box itself was ordinary," he concluded. "Whatever was inside was... dark. Foreboding."

    "I wonder what it means," Vizif said, perhaps to herself.

    As they sat beneath the warm sunshine, a ship took off from the spaceport. Vek looked up, noticing a strange symbol on the ship's hull. "Look, Master; it kind of looks like a 'C' in a swirl."

    Vizif's laughter was merry, not cruel. "Silly Padawan," she said. "It's just a courier ship. Czerka Corp uses them to drop off supplies."

    "Ah," he said, feeling a little foolish.

    When they went back inside for midday meal, Master Craroc sat in the underground refectory. "If it isn't Padawan Talis," he said sarcastically. "Sorry we don't have any other padawans around for you to play with."

    "Stellar," Vek muttered to himself. To the master, he said, "I'll make do, Master Craroc." It was tough being an old padawan.

    When he sat down to eat, Craroc came over to sit beside him. Vizif soon joined them, after she loaded her tray with food.

    "So tell me, how go the young one's studies?" Craroc asked Vizif. "Does he get angry? Nonplussed? Violent? Do you find any signs of mental instability?"

    Casually, Vizif turned her head to stare at Craroc. Gently, she said, "Not from him, no."

    Vek snorted, choked on his water and tried not to laugh.

    Craroc scowled, glaring at both of them in turn. "You would do well to remember your place, Knight Krat. I am the Grand Master of this enclave, and I brook no disrespect."

    "Of course, Master Craroc," Vizif said, inclining her head to him.

    "Master Craroc." ID-88 jostled up. "Oh, Master, how glad I am to see you."

    "What is it now?" Craroc's head fell to his hands.

    "Some distinguished visitors are here to request help from the Jedi," the droid said. "It seems there is the matter of mercenaries on Dantooine."

    "Mercenaries?" Vek perked up at that. "Have they harmed anyone?"

    "No, Padawan Talis, not to my knowledge." ID-88 was programmed to regard all Jedi with respect, even padawans.

    "Fine, I'll go talk to them," Craroc said and stood.

    "Go enjoy being the top kath hound," Vizif said quietly as he walked away. When Craroc shot back a heated glare, she and Vek leaned toward one another, pretended they were whispering among themselves.

    "Maybe we should go train somewhere else. Like Coruscant," Vek said when Craroc was gone.

    "No," Vizif said. "This place is far more peaceful. Besides, Master Vandar told me to keep you here for a while. I think he smells something brewing through the Force, though I'm at a loss as to what it could be."

    "Have you noticed there are fewer and fewer Jedi here lately?" Vek asked. Craroc was right: there were no other padawans on Dantooine at the moment. And no other masters, either, other than Craroc. Vandar had been called away, but was due to return soon.

    "Yes, I wonder if they're on missions, or scared away by Darrdan," Vizif said.

    ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

    Days passed. Master Craroc left the enclave several times, returning after hours. He seemed preoccupied.

    Vandar returned and the two men were heard arguing late one night.

    One afternoon, while walking together, Vek watched as a Czerka Corp ship blasted off from the spaceport. The logo on its hull twisted its way into his memories.

    "Let's investigate these ruins," Vizif said, pointing to several obelisks. They projected up from the soft ground, aligned in a way that they created a path to a structure covered in sod. "I've been here for over a year and have never had the chance."

    "All right, Master." Vek hesitated. Hopefully, we won't be able to open it, he thought as he walked closer to an ancient Rakatan temple. His master wouldn't know who he was talking about, so he kept his mouth shut.

    Before they reached the stone door, her comm buzzed. Vek sighed out mounting apprehension, then wondered why he bothered. It's just going to be something equally as troubling, he thought. He was always such an optimist.

    "Vizif," his master said, then listened. "On our way, Master Vandar." She clicked off the comm, gazing longingly at the ruin before turning away. "Master Vandar wants us back at the enclave."

    "Joy of joys," Vek said.

    "Don't be so sarcastic," Vizif admonished.

    "Master, the day I'm no longer sarcastic, or cynical, it's time to start digging a hole in the ground," he said.

    "A hole?" she queried.

    "Because I'll be dead," he said flatly and she snorted laughter.

    At the entrance to the enclave, ID-88 clambered toward them. "Oh, Knight Krat, Padawan Talis, Master Vandar requires your presence immediately."

    "Where?" Vizif asked.

    "In Master Craroc's quarters," the droid said.

    Vandar was there, in the underground quarters, but he was alone. "Close that door," Vandar said and Vek did.

    As he touched the panel, a flash of memory. He sucked in a shallow breath, turned to face Vandar.

    "What is it?" the diminutive master asked. "You have a look about you."

    "That vision," Vek said.

    "Do you remember something from it?" Vizif asked.

    "After the box, yes," Vek said. "What I saw flash through my mind. I think it was the Czerka logo on that ship."

    Quickly, Vandar punched a button on the nearby console. "ID-88, come here now." When the droid announced it was on its way, the green fellow hopped up on the desk and looked at Vek. "What about this box?"

    "At first I thought it was black," Vek said, glancing toward his master. "But then, we realized what was in it was dark. Maybe of the Dark Side."

    "Mmmm." Vandar thought for a few moments. "Did you see this vision, too, Vizif?"

    "No, Master, but I shared my padawan's experience with it," Vizif said. "I felt something dark when it happened. A wave seemed to overtake me."

    "Mmmm." Vandar's tone was deeper than the first time. He remained silent until the droid entered, his oval eyes fixing on it. "What did the Czerka ship deliver yesterday?"

    ID-88 made noises, like it was accessing data. "Confirmed," it said. "On the requested day, the Czerka representative identified as," here its voice changed to something feminine, presumably to the voice of the courier, "Olavia Zantar," then it resumed its normal voice, "brought one item for Master Darrdan Craroc. It was a small box, contents, unknown."

    "You can go," Vandar told the droid. When it was gone, Vandar turned to Vek. "Sense anything in this room?"

    Vek closed his eyes. "There's definitely something here," he said. "But I'm having trouble."

    He felt Vizif slip her hand into his; she gave it a squeeze. "Relax, Vek. No one's here now, just you and me. Reach out with your feelings."

    When his guard went down fully, for only a split second, he felt it. Absently, he raised his right hand, Vizif's own was still clasping his left. An index finger shot forward. When he opened his eyes, Vandar was eyeing a box which sat on an end table.

    "This box?" Vandar asked. He touched it, then pulled his three fingered claw hand away. Gingerly, he reached out for it again. This time, he grasped it. "Yes," he said, his bulbous eyes closed. "The Dark Side."

    His eyes opened, focused on Vek. "Whatever was in here, was in your vision."

    "I don't understand, Master," Vizif said. "Where is Master Craroc; why are we in his private chambers?"

    "Master Craroc has disappeared," Vandar said.

    Vek raised an eyebrow. "Am I supposed to get all choked up?"

    Vandar chuckled softly, but Vizif wasn't amused. "He may be, well, he is a jerk, Vek, but this is serious."

    "Sorry," Vek said. "How did you know he was missing, Master Vandar?"

    "He left this morning for Damerel," Vandar said. "No one knows what business he had there. He was supposed to have returned by now. I came here to speak with him and sensed something was wrong."

    "Why would he go to Damerel?" Vizif asked.

    "Someone want to clue the new guy in?" Vek asked. "Where's Damerel?"

    "It's the largest settlement on Litooine, Dantooine's smaller moon," Vizif said.

    "And where you must go," Vandar said.

    "What?" Vek took a step back. "You're sending us after an escaped Master? What if he's just, you know, having a little rendezvous with someone."

    Vizif wagged her finger at him. "Jedi Masters don't have rendezvous."

    "You might be surprised," Vandar said, then shook himself. "What I mean is, I must remain here and communicate with the Council on Coruscant. They will want to know the situation. I have no other team to send."

    "Such an overwhelming vote of confidence," Vek said, raising an eyebrow.

    "Hush, Vek," Vizif said. To Vandar, she said, "We'll leave right away."

    "Stellar," Vek said.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Clash of Titans Winner star 8 VIP - Game Winner

    Aug 31, 2004
    Loving the intertwining of the intensifying air of mystery, tied to the transports [face_thinking] and Vek's snarky commentary! [face_dancing]
  9. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 21, 2016
    Hmm.... Curiouser and curiouser.....
  10. Master_Lok

    Master_Lok Force Ghost star 6

    Dec 18, 2012

    I love where this is going and how strong the relationships are. Plus, sarcasm. [face_dancing] I get such a vivid sense of being in the room with your characters. And I thoroughly enjoy your namesake, Vek.

    No rendezvous for you...(if you’re a Jedi Master anyway.):p

    Please keep this going. It’s so good.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
  11. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    You are the king of sarcasm & creator of a lot of MYSTERY. Well met!

    But I am about to get travelsick on a train ride. For the first time ever. Is this Ice ridding 240 km/h? Wow!
    Vek Talis likes this.
  12. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2018
    Snark, snark. It sounds kind of like nerf. Like I'm a scruffy looking Snark herder. :D The mystery will deepen with the next update. o_O

    *tries to think of Mad Hatter joke* *fails* :oops:

    Sarcasm is a staple of life itself. ;)

    You're no fun anymore. :(

    [face_blush] Thank you. I will.

    King Vek of Sarcasm. A delightful title, don't you think? [face_batting]

    [face_nail_biting] I hope you didn't get too sick? Hopefully all is well with you guys.

    New update coming in a few days... Will the brand new padawan survive his first mission? Or will his new master turn her blaster on him again, just to get him to stifle the sarcasm? Just where did Master Craroc go? And why shouldn't a Jedi Master get to go have a 'rendezvous' every so often? [face_batting] It might take the asceticism from the Jedi way of life. [face_tee_hee] Answers to some of these questions - maybe - next time.
    Master_Lok likes this.
  13. Master_Lok

    Master_Lok Force Ghost star 6

    Dec 18, 2012
    Such a tease. And sarcasm is one of the many gifts you offer.

    I am not fun? :(:cool:I guess I better get to publishing something with my ornery excommunicated Jedi then. :p

    The only rendezvous that comes to mind is a historic one: mountain men and/or fur trappers would gather at one of these and party, trade and do other exciting things (proving that the early 1800s aren’t much different from us). Methinks, Craroc’s rendezvous is not to go partying.

    Looking forward to your wit and Vek’s next fine mess.[face_dancing]
  14. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2018
    Yes, you should. :)

    More... now!

    Learning to Fly

    Chapter 3

    "Have I mentioned how much I enjoy receiving a mission?" Vek asked. A blaster bolt, then another, slammed into the durasteel wall.

    "You always take me to the nicest places," he added. For a moment, he glanced around the cover that sheltered him. More blaster bolts scorched the air on their way toward him. Before the bolts struck home, he flung himself back behind cover. They rammed themselves in the wall, tolling like bells against the durasteel.

    "Hush," Vizif said. Blue blade humming, she deflected incoming blaster bolts.

    Two squads of Sith soldiers had lain in wait at the spaceport on Litooine. Civilians, caught in the middle had either run or been knocked down by the vile soldiers.

    "And weaponless," Vek said, on a roll. "So sporting of us to go in handicapped against a determined foe: one Jedi and an unarmed padawan."

    "Vek." Vizif saved that tone for special occasions. It meant enough was enough.

    "Stellar," Vek said. Then, he heard a deep guttural sound to his left. His tongue clacked against the roof of his mouth when he saw a badly injured woman, pinned down behind a registration desk.

    With his master busy, he knew what he had to do. Quickly, he positioned himself near the edge of his own cover, then deftly rolled, tucking his head before sprinting toward the desk.

    A blaster bolt whizzed by, so close he felt errant static tug at the fringe of his robe. Before he knew it, he was crouching beside the quietly moaning human.

    "I'm sorry," he said, unbuttoning her suit jacket. He slipped his hand inside, doing the same for two buttons of her blouse. "I have to," he added as he felt for the wound in her upper abdomen.

    The singeing of the bolt had partially cauterized the wound. That was the good. Through the Force, he could feel veins hemorrhaging blood. Her ribs had been penetrated, along with her right lung. When his fingertips found the hole, he closed his eyes.

    ==Slow your breathing.== He sent her the message, not as words, per se, but translated them into a feeling. Nearly unconscious, he sensed her trying to obey.

    ==Good.== In his mind's eye, he guided blood cells toward shredded veins, eased them together to form clots. One by one, he sealed the troubled spots, rerouting red and white cells.

    The hole in her lungs was a different matter. Once the blood went where he wanted it, he focused on the bits of good tissue, helping them replicate and spread across the void toward the other side.

    When his fingers briefly slipped to her right breast, he sheepishly drew away slightly. "Sorry," he mumbled.

    By now, the victim was more coherent. Her breathing had gotten stronger and steadier and she regarded him with a weak smile. "Normally, I don't let strange men touch me, you understand." It took all her strength to lift her head slightly from the floor, but she got closer to his ear to whisper, "But in your case, I'm glad to make an exception." Then, she fell unconscious. It was better that way, for Vek had no witty comeback.

    ==You didn't get out much, er, where you came from, I mean,== Vizif's voice in his head sounded amused. ==I'm almost finished with these soldiers. It should be safe to-==

    Vek perked his head up. His master's connection with him had rapidly dimmed to almost nothing. Then, he saw why. One of the Sith, an experienced noncom by his look, had managed to catch her in a crossfire.

    The woman he tended was resting comfortably. The same wouldn't be so for Vizif if he didn't act quickly. Most of the Sith were down, but the tricky noncom had two others to rely on. Vek had only himself.

    He slipped off his boots and took off like a shot. In the past, he would sneak up on coworkers without meaning to; he was simply that quiet. Without footwear, he closed the distance between himself and the noncom in a few strides.

    When the Sith turned, Vek was right on top of him. Rather than try fancy combat skills he didn't possess, Vek simply remembered his old sports days and collided with the noncom at full speed. Both men went flying, the Sith losing his blaster rifle. As he fell, Vek wrapped his arms around his foe, falling down atop him.

    Vek rammed his helmeted head into the ground. The Sith elbowed him in the ribs and tried to reverse the hold, but Vek kept up his assault until the Sith's helmet popped off. Then, Vek slammed the knuckle of his middle finger into the soldier's temple. The Sith lost consciousness.

    About to get a look at his surroundings, a blaster bolt flew over his head. Instead, he slid across the floor to the noncom's rifle. He reached out to Vizif through his bond. Though he'd been getting better at healing people, he still had to be in direct contact with them.

    Now, he concentrated as hard as he could on his master. If he could, he would heal her from a distance. The blaster rifle went to his shoulder and he squeezed off a round at one of the two remaining soldiers.

    Suddenly, he felt his master's presence again. ==Thought you'd lost me, eh?== Vizif's blade hummed. She used the Force to run to the soldiers. The first, she sliced his rifle in half, then threw him against the wall with a Force shove. The second, squeezed off a shot which grazed her shoulder. She dodged another bolt and sunk her blade into his chest.

    "Shock me with a stun stick, why don't you," Vek said as he popped up, rifle at the ready. "You could have given me some warning, Master. I was already thinking about becoming Vandar's Padawan after your untimely death."

    In response, she gave a one finger salute.

    Still, he hurried forward to take a look at her. The noncom had blasted her in the back, but the bolts had missed major arteries and organs by only the slightest of margins. However, the damage had already been healed.

    "Kolto," Vizif said with a smirk. "I'm not much of a healer. Not like you." She nodded her head toward the injured woman. "I take it you made a new friend?"

    "Casual acquaintance," he said. "Back home, we would have called it 'friends with benefits'."

    She snorted laughter. Jedi weren't what he'd been expecting. He'd heard they were less... stuck up than Jedi during Anakin Skywalker's time, but he and his master occasionally shared racier jokes than he'd thought possible.

    "Will she..." Vizif didn't finish the sentence, knowing he would understand.

    "She'll recover fully," he said. Before they continued on their mission, they helped everyone who'd been wounded. His first patient had been by far the worst. As healers took her out on a stretcher, she grasped Vek's hand.

    "Be well," he said and let her go. She was attractive.

    "Is that..." Vizif grabbed his hand and regarded her padawan suspiciously. "Is that her comm signature?"

    She'd written it quickly on a piece of flimsy, stuck it in his hand. "I wasn't going to comm her," he said defensively. "Besides, I wouldn't be able to find a way to meet her."

    "Padawan," she said and he regarded her. "Shush," she said and he grinned.

    Quickly, she changed tack. "We have to find out where Master Craroc went from here. I'm really worried about him now that we've been attacked. What if the Sith got him?"

    "You mean he wasn't one already?" Vek asked, half jokingly. Craroc was a taciturn fellow.

    Once the authorities arrived and dealt with the situation, the two Jedi started asking around about Craroc. None of the workers seemed to remember a Jedi arriving at the port.

    "What about this droid, Master?" Vek asked. It was a protocol droid and seemed lost. "Do you work here?" he asked it.

    "This unit-" The droid took a few moments to analyze data. "This unit is currently unaware of its proper function."

    "That's strange," Vizif said. She took a closer look at the droid. "It looks like it's been tampered with." Datapad in hand, she got to work trying to fix it, Vek helping as best he could.

    "Oh, thank you, Master Jedi," the droid said after they'd bypassed its secondary memory core, which seemed to have been set to primary function.

    "I am VE-3, but most call me, 'Vinny'," the droid said. "How may I assist you?"

    "What is your function?" Vizif asked.

    "I am currently tasked with transfer requests and transport away from the spaceport for arriving passengers," Vinny said.

    "Have you seen Master Darrdan Craroc?" Vizif asked.

    "Accessing," Vinny said, then made whirring sounds. "I am sorry, that name does not compute."

    "What about any name similar," Vek asked.

    "Accessing," Vinny said. "There was a D. Craroc earlier this morning. No mention of being a Jedi and he wore civilian clothing."

    "Where did he go?" Vizif asked.

    "To the smaller island south of here," Vinny said. "He arranged transport to the northwestern most valley in the shadow of Mount Ferno, a dormant volcano."

    "Did he reprogram you?" Vek asked.

    "Accessing." Vinny bleeped, whirred and made several noises that sounded like rejected data. "I am sorry, I have no information on that."

    "Stellar," Vek said, turning to Vizif. "Let's get some help on this, Master."

    "Agreed," she said and grabbed her commlink. "Master Vandar," she said and received static. "Enclave, this is Knight Vizif, do you copy?" More static.

    Vek punched a few buttons on his datapad. When he found what he was looking for, he showed it to her. "Our frequencies are being actively blocked. Only enclave frequencies."

    "Is there anything else you require, Masters Jedi?" Vinny asked.

    Vizif looked first at Vinny, then at Vek.

    "Oh, crap on a stick, Master," Vek said, his eyes threatening to roll up into his head. Then, he clutched at the blaster rifle he still held. "At least I'll be armed this time." He knew where they were going next.
  15. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Clash of Titans Winner star 8 VIP - Game Winner

    Aug 31, 2004
    Super action and Vek is really a great healer. The attack and the actively jammed frequencies -- [face_worried]=D=
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
    AzureAngel2, Master_Lok and Vek Talis like this.
  16. Master_Lok

    Master_Lok Force Ghost star 6

    Dec 18, 2012
    The action is particularly good, not surprised to see that Vek and Vizif deploy the middle finger in a variety of ways. :p

    The healing was superbly written too, felt like I was there watching it happen.

    And Vinny [face_laugh]

    I like the Earth stuff you sneak in here. It gives just enough otherworldliness to Vek, but makes him even more relatable.

    I know you like your meat rare, but =D= well done.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
  17. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 21, 2016
    Cool. And I guess Vek must be reasonably good looking, if the pretty woman he saved gave him her number. :D
  18. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2018
    So long as it's grape jam... Mmm, grape... =P~ What was I saying?

    It's a staple of life. Good for multi-tasking. :p

    Thanks. I like to relate to some characters in a story, so I'm glad that helps. :)

    Well, he did just save her life... and feel her up in the same move. :p

    More coming soon. Will Vek have another snarky remark in store for his master? Will the mystery deepen, or will the Jedi finally get a clue? Stay tuned for the next excitable episode (oh, wait, that's me :rolleyes:) the next exciting chapter of Learning to Fly.
  19. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2018
    Chapter 4 Learning to Fly

    "Well, I expected to see something grand," Vek said. To the southeast, jutting from the igneous rock surrounding it, a great cavernous fissure opened. More than two centuries had passed since the last eruption of Mount Ferno, making it the most recent volcano on Litooine.

    The transport dropped them off within half a kilometer of some ancient ruins. Dense foliage hindered a closer landing. Lightsaber in hand, Vizif cut her way through the jungle, Vek following closely behind.

    Off to their right, something growled. "Here, kitty, kitty," Vek said, reaching into the pouch that swung on his hip.

    "Don't encourage it, whatever it is," Vizif warned. "I don't want to kill it."

    "Then don't," Vek said placidly. From the tangle of vines stepped a wildcat. Smaller than a mountain lion, larger than a lynx – to Vek's understanding – the saber-toothed cat hissed, pawing at the ground with large pads.

    "A rynx," Vizif said, turning her blade toward the cat.

    ==We've already encroached on its territory, Master,== Vek said calmly through their bond. ==Now, we must pay the price.== The rynx growled, then shot forward quickly.

    Vek dropped the piece of meat he'd taken from his pouch. Rather than attack him, the hungry cat pounced on it. It's razor sharp teeth quickly devoured the pungent meat.

    ==Obey, and no one needs to get hurt.== Vek sent a clear, strong message to the cat through the Force. Where he'd come from, he'd had an especial affinity for charming felines. Now that the Force was becoming his ally, he found it even easier.

    Before his master could even object, he scratched the purring animal behind the ear. "Good kitty," he said.

    Now, he regarded Vizif, staring his way, her left arm angled so her fist could rest on her hip. "Don't tame it," she said sternly. "Jedi aren't allowed to keep pets."

    Vek glanced down at the rynx, then back at his master. "You know how to suck the life out of any party, don't you, Master?" he asked, his tongue in his cheek. "Off you go," he told the rynx. "Yes, you're a pretty kitty, but I don't have any more meat for you." It had cost him the small stipend the enclave granted for expenses to get that one piece. The Force had tugged at him in the spaceport in Damerel that he might need it.

    The rynx gave a half roar, half meow, then trotted away.

    Shaking her head, Vizif returned to cutting her way through the jungle. ==I wish you'd teach me that.==

    ==You either got it or you don't, Master.==

    Before long, they stood before a large stone door. "Let's see if we can find another entrance," Vizif said. A structure, buried beneath impenetrable jungle spread out before them. Their search was short, as all paths led to vines and brush so thick it would have taken a small army of lightsabers to cut their way through.

    "If we believe Craroc was here, by himself, or at least, with a very small party," Vek said, "then he had to enter through this door."

    "Agreed," Vizif said. Hands outstretched, Vek could feel the Force gather around her. She directed it to the stone slab and it trembled slightly. "Help me, Padawan," she said quietly, reaching out for his hand.

    Hers felt hot to the touch. When he closed his eyes and reached out for the slab, his hand warmed to meet the temperature of hers. The skin of her hand was soft, yet calloused. Fingers looped around his palm.

    When he opened his eyes, the slab of rock glowed. Carefully, they eased it from its place. The mental strain made him close his eyes again and try to pass the burden on to the Force.

    ==You're improving marvelously,== she said through their bond. ==I can feel the struggle easing within you.==

    "Thanks, Master," he said with words; the task he worked on didn't permit him the extra energy to reply through their bond.

    "There," Vizif said. The stone slab rested against the side of the immense temple. A faint glow from inside beckoned them.

    Familiar design spoke to Vek as they headed down the central walkway. This is a Rakatan Temple. He made sure to keep this thought separate from his master. It's too similar to the one on Dantooine to be a coincidence. I wonder if there's a Star Map here, too.

    He wasn't sure if it would be good or bad, to have Vizif stumble upon it. Maybe Revan, in a couple of centuries, wouldn't discover the Star Forge, because Vizif might have already found and destroyed it. Of course, the Dark Side in that place might infect his master the way it did Revan and Malak.

    "Do you know which way we're going?" Vizif's voice drew him from his thoughts.

    "Master?" he asked and came to a stop. When he looked around him, he discovered they'd come to a room where several paths branched. He'd been walking toward one of the branches, lost in his thoughts.

    "I- I suppose I do, Master," he said. Clearing his thoughts, he felt a presence in the direction he'd been walking.

    "Beware, Padawan," Vizif warned as she caught up to him. "The Dark Side is strong here."

    "Yes, Master." That was the legacy of the Rakatans.

    They passed writings on the walls neither of them could decipher. Vek had been learning how to write Basic at the enclave, along with other, less dominant languages. This was very different, very alien.

    When they had descended several dozen meters down a long, winding pathway, the jungle began to encroach on the temple. Over many millennia, stone walls had eroded from the advancing flora of Litooine, until roots and vines cracked through, bleeding into the remains of the temple.

    "I smell smoke," Vizif said. She pointed ahead. "That glow, if I'm not mistaken, comes from the embers of a campfire."

    Through inky blackness, Vek noticed subtle reds and oranges. The fire had gone out, yes, but she was right: the embers remained. Vek lit several glow sticks, tossed them about on the stone floor.

    "A pack," Vizif said, taking it in her hands. "One that doesn't belong to the Jedi enclave." From it, she pulled a spare robe. "Master Craroc's size and style," she said.

    "So he was here," Vek said as he stooped to examine footprints in the thick dust. "Look here, Master, a larger and smaller set of boot prints. Someone was waiting for Craroc, or arrived sometime after he did." Then, he pointed to a nearly hidden passageway. "Their tracks lead off this way."

    "Lead on, Padawan," Vizif said.

    Now, Vek felt a warning pulsing through the Force. The blaster rifle he carried on his back was soon in his hands. "This addition seems more recent," he said, examining the walls. "It isn't as elaborately cut from the rock as before."

    "You're right," Vizif said behind him. This corridor was only big enough to support one bipedal creature at a time.

    There was another faint, crimson glow before them. It curled Vek's toes. A creeping chill slid up his spine as they got closer.

    ==I feel it, too,== Vizif spoke through their bond. ==Sinister, waiting.==

    When the corridor opened up again, they came to a stop, side by side. Shelves, carved into the rock held triangular metallic objects that glowed scarlet.

    "Holocrons," Vizif said quietly.

    One of them began to speak. In low, guttural utterances, it drew Vizif closer. Vek didn't understand a word of it, but his master seemed to. Maybe it was speaking a language he hadn't been taught, or maybe it was purposely clouding his mind, refusing to be understood by more than one being at a time.

    "Be careful, Master," Vek said as he watched her walk closer to the holocron. "Don't listen to it."

    "Shush, Padawan," she said, her voice distant and hollow. She reached for the holocron and it floated to her hand.

    "I get the sudden feeling I'm alone," Vek said. For a moment, he spotted a glimmer, off to his left. "Or maybe the party's just getting started." A shimmer of light caught his attention, though he couldn't see what was causing it.

    The Force tugged at the collar of his robe. Listening, he ducked behind cover, aimed his rifle at the flickers of light. When he squeezed off a round, the bolt flashed through the air, striking something that roared.

    "Oh, Sith hells," he said. A Hssiss monster appeared. Reptilian in nature, it reminded him of a prehistoric crocodile that stood almost two meters high and nearly ten meters long.

    Not waiting for an introduction to the beast's jaws, he squeezed off a few more rounds. Blaster bolts seemed to do little damage to the Hssiss, though he supposed enough of them would kill it.

    "Master, time to go," he said. "Nasty, spiky, sharp teeth." Vizif seemed entranced by the holocron as it croaked at her. "Stellar," Vek said and fired more bolts at the Hssiss.

    The monster glowed for a moment, shoved Vek backwards with a blast from the Force. It only controlled the Force in a raw, instinctual way, but that was enough. It was also resistant to the padawan's attempts to push back on it with the Force.

    "Master!" he shouted. He leaped up onto the boulder he'd used for cover as the Hssiss drew near. Vizif didn't stir.

    Finally, the Hssiss snapping at him, he concentrated on the holocron. Its cold, shiny surface gave off such blinding heat it almost seared his thoughts. Still, he clutched at it through the Force, dragged it across the empty space to his hand. Before it could talk to him, he stuffed it into his pouch.

    ==Master, come back to me,== he called through their bond.

    He recognized the moment the trance left her. That was when the Hssiss monster noticed her. Blue blade shimmering in the fetid air, she leaped toward it. Now, Vek delighted in blasting the Hssiss as his master carved away at it. Taken from both sides, the creature lashed out through the Force in dying agony, but both master and padawan were able to block its feeble attempts.

    Dead, it slumped to the dirty ground. Vek hopped down from the boulder, clasped Vizif on the shoulder. "Are you all right, Master?"

    She grasped him at the elbow. "Thank you, Padawan," she said. "There I go, telling you to be careful, then I get sucked into the clutches of that... that thing."

    Other holocrons on the shelves remained silent. That was good. There were too many of them; it was likely that, if they all spoke, neither of them would be able to resist.

    "What should we do with it?" Vek asked, motioning toward his pouch.

    "Well, it's pretty clear that Master Craroc was here," Vizif said. "But he's not anymore. He met someone, and they ventured down this way. I think, it's time to return to Dantooine and speak with Master Vandar."

    "Thank the Force," Vek said. Fortunately, the holocron didn't try to speak with him the whole walk back to the waiting transport.
  20. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Clash of Titans Winner star 8 VIP - Game Winner

    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb details on the various encounters. =D= Great that Vek knew how to neutralize the feline threat ;) and wow! Vizif certainly got sucked in there for a moment [face_worried] Glad he was able to break her loose and yes, returning to Dantooine sounds a great plan. [face_relieved]
    AzureAngel2, Master_Lok and Vek Talis like this.
  21. Master_Lok

    Master_Lok Force Ghost star 6

    Dec 18, 2012
    Rynx encounter was great. And I also liked seeing Vek save his Master.

    Never did like those Rakatas.

    Excellent chapter, Vek. =D=
  22. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    Not only are you good with action sequences and humour. You also write Force healer scenes very vividly.

    Sorry for being an irregular follower these days, you know why. But I enjoy myself when being immersed in your fics!
  23. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2018
    It's vacation time on beautiful Dantooine. Maybe take a few days in the spa, get a massage and a round of golf in. :D

    I'd love to have a rynx. They're so cute and cuddly. [face_love] Rakatas are good for building large space stations that are permanently set to 'evil', but they have a great dental plan, so six of one, half a dozen of the other, really. [face_dunno]

    [face_blush] Thank you for the kind words.

    No worries. [:D] We all need each other in this world. Too bad too many people spoil it for the rest of us.

    More coming. Saturday is probably going to become the regular update day for this story. Back to Dantooine. More master/padawan fun, and the Jedi might finally get off the crapper and start DOING something. Yay. Maybe they'll at last admit that there's a problem? But I wouldn't bet on it. [face_mischief] Stay tuned for Saturday, dear readers.
  24. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2018
    More now!


    "Interesting," Vandar said when Vizif handed him the Sith holocron. "And you are certain Master Craroc visited this place?"

    "As certain as may be, Master Vandar," Vizif said.

    "This is troubling news," Vandar replied. "I must inform the Jedi Council; please, return to your teachings and I will speak with you again shortly."

    "Well, Padawan," Vizif said as they left Vandar's company, "maybe we can take some time to relax?"

    "What? No tortures, no running into danger, playing the big heroes?" Vek asked. "No games of shoot the padawan? No evil Sith guys in pyramids to hypnotize you while I get eaten by a giant crocodile?" He tilted his head to stare at her crookedly. "I can handle that."

    "Just for that, Padawan, you can come with me," Vizif said. "You can learn how I relax."

    "Something tells me I'm going to regret this," Vek said.

    They returned to the lowest level of the enclave. The droids were receiving maintenance, which pleased Vek greatly. "Aw, what a shame, Master," he said. "No target practice. Unless you want to grab a blaster and shoot me again. You know, for old time's sake."

    The technician who worked on the droids glanced their way for a moment, then returned to his work.

    "Don't tempt me," Vizif returned. To the technician, she asked, "May I borrow a couple of those, please?"

    "I've finished with these two, Knight Krat," the tech said. One bipedal and another on wheels came over to stand before Vizif and Vek.

    "Have a seat, Padawan," Vizif said. "This is how I relax."

    When Vek was on the other side of the room, he watched his master spar against the droids. They had blasters integrated into their frames. The bipedal droid leveled its arms in her direction and spewed forth several bolts in quick succession. At the same time, the wheeled droid tried to get around her side.

    Vek watched his master carefully, feeling the Force surround her. The energy field gave her fleeting glimpses of where each blaster bolt would strike her, giving her the ability to dodge or block with enough time. However, the Force looked cloudy in her mind. Her mechanical assailants didn't have the thought processes of organics and tricked her several times, despite her best efforts.

    "Rats," she said as a practice bolt got through her defenses. Then, the wheeled droid managed to get her in a crossfire. Both droids deactivated when a practice bolt struck her hand, knocking her blade to the floor.

    "Let me see that, Master," Vek said, hurrying to her side as she clutched at her hand. "A little singed," he said and closed his eyes. He covered her hand with his, digging down to the cellular level, stimulating the cells to replicate.

    When he removed his hand, hers was good as new. "Thank you, Vek," Vizif said. "I'm not nearly so good against droids as I wish I was."

    "And you find getting shot relaxing?" Vek asked. "No wonder you enjoy blasting your own padawan."

    "I'll enjoy it more, the more you keep running your mouth," Vizif said.

    "Wait," Vek said, a memory floating to the surface. "I have something for you, Master. In our quarters."

    Rather than take the lift, the pair walked up the flight of stairs to the living quarters. Vek palmed open the door and promptly tripped over a robe that had been forgotten on the floor.

    "Sorry, Padawan," Vizif said and grabbed it. She was blushing a little. "I set a bad example, I suppose."

    "That's all right, Master," Vek said. "I wasn't all that neat when I was your age, either."

    "And you've improved since then?" his master asked around a grin. "I've seen your room, you know."

    "All right, all right; you want your present or not?" Vek asked. Instead of wait for an answer, he hurried through the cramped common area into his tiny room. Hidden away in the clothes he arrived in, he palmed the shiny object he'd discovered, alone in the Kinrath cave.

    When he came out of his room, Vizif was tidying up a little, removing sweat stained undergarments from the couch.

    "And you wonder why I never sit on that thing, Master," Vek said and watched his master blush again. "You're so cute when you do that," he added, smirking like a maniac.

    "Time for your blaster shot of the day," Vizif said angrily.

    "Peace, Master," Vek said and took her hand. Into her palm, he placed the object. "The Force keeps reminding me to give this to you."

    "A lightsaber crystal," Vizif said, turning it over in her hand. "Jenraux, if I'm not mistaken. They have a unique vibration in the Force."

    "Jenraux is good for blaster bolt deflection," Vek said.

    Vizif's bright smile lit up the room. "Thank you, Vek," she said, her voice like a pleasant melody. But then, she slumped onto the couch, her smile quickly turning upside down.

    "What is it?" Vek studied her closely. Her outward appearance hadn't fully masked her sadness of late and now it seemed to pour from her.

    "I feel I've failed you, Padawan," she said, her voice now a dirge.

    "What?" Vek sat beside her, putting his arm around her shoulders. "What are you talking about?"

    "I wasn't prepared to be a master," she said, staring down toward her knees. "You haven't learned that much from me."

    "Master, I've learned plenty from you," Vek said. "If not for you, I wouldn't know how to heal. The Force was just something I'd heard about. You, Master, helped me to feel it. Are you disappointed that I'm not a kid, Master? Is that what you would have preferred?"

    "No," she said, sounding a bit cheerier. "Kids wake you up in the middle of night. They want a drink of water before bed and have to be shown how to do pretty much everything. I was glad to have found a padawan who didn't need so much... breaking in."

    "Breaking in?" Vek asked around a chuckle, only to hear her giggle a bit. "You've done a great job with me. I'd be totally lost here without you."

    "You really mean that, don't you?" Vizif asked.

    "Of course," he said. "Come on, let's go take a walk on the plains and smell some fresh air. Frankly, the smell from your used socks is starting to make me nauseous."

    Playfully, she punched him in the arm. He rubbed the sore spot, getting off the couch as quickly as possible. Vizif giggled again and bounded to her feet.

    As they walked through the front door, he turned and asked, "Can I have a drink of water before I go to bed, Master?"

    She shoved him forward for his trouble.

    ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

    Several days passed with no word from Vandar. He was the only master on Dantooine, but the enclave had droids and an administrator to oversee the daily work assignments. A few Knights were there to handle the occasional raider attack on the settlements. In the Outer Rim, even a sanctuary planet like Dantooine had its fair share of problems.

    Vek and Vizif meditated together in the small library in the lower level of the enclave. It was more peaceful there than anywhere else.

    The Living Force was what she taught him. However, from books and holocrons in the library, Vek was learning about the Unifying Force as well. It said that there was more to the universe than black and white, light and dark, and that fitting perfectly into one or the other wasn't always necessary.

    The Force poked him as the diminutive master entered the library. "Master Vandar," Vek said, opening his eyes.

    As usual, Vizif was on her feet faster. She bowed to Vandar before Vek was even upright. "To what do we owe the pleasure, Master Vandar?" she asked.

    The librarian hushed them from behind his counter. He was such a stick in the mud.

    "Please, this way," Vandar whispered. He led them to the refectory, waited for them to be seated.

    "Whatever it is, I didn't do it," Vek said.

    Vandar wasn't in the mood. "Authorities in Damerel have finally uncovered Master Craroc's tracks," he said. "He, and an as yet unidentified woman, took transport to Padomere, one of the moons of Dathomir."

    "Shavit," Vizif said, her hand quickly rising to cover her mouth. "My apologies, Master Vandar. Isn't Dathomir strong in the Dark Side?"

    "A world of seers," Vandar said. "Not unlike the Miraluka," he observed, gazing into Vizif's veil. "But, yes, this does not bode well for Master Craroc."

    "I'm more interested in this unidentified woman," Vek said.

    "You would be," his master replied with a smirk.

    "Funny," Vek said. "Funny like a crutch."

    Vizif turned her attention to Vandar. "I suspect this woman was who Craroc met in that underground temple."

    "Oh?" Vandar asked.

    "The other set of bootprints was smaller, narrower," she said. "That doesn't prove they belonged to a female, but why else would he leave with her?"

    "My master is right, Master Vandar," Vek said. "I think she – whoever she is – enticed Craroc with something, maybe one of those holocrons."

    "Something. Right." Vizif grinned wickedly. "Someday, Padawan, I need to teach you of the facts of life."

    "Interesting theory, you two have," Vandar said. "I want both of you on this mission."

    "Really, Master Vandar?" Vizif sounded eager.

    "I've already made the arrangements," Vandar said. "You leave tomorrow."

    As they made their way back to their quarters to pack, Vek felt the Force tug him toward the upper level. "Master," he said and she stopped, regarded him. "I think it's time you helped me be less defenseless than I was before."

    Vizif took in a deep breath, held it. He could sense her feeling around the fringes of their bond. Tentatively, she penetrated to his inner thoughts. Rather than shy away, he opened up to her, though he hid the knowledge from her he had as a Frag.

    At last, she nodded her head. "It's time you built your first lightsaber, Padawan. Normally, that's the way for an Initiate to rise to the rank of Padawan, but you've been a special case from the beginning."

    "I'm special, all right." Vek winked at her and she laughed.

    "Very well, Padawan: based on what I've seen of you, I believe you would do best as a Jedi Sentinel. What do you think?"

    "Don't I get a quiz like other initiates?" Vek asked.

    "That's for when the Master doesn't know you so well," Vizif answered. "As I've said, you're different. You like to think things out before you act. You are a good healer and I suspect you'd be more at home ferreting out deceit than negotiating treaties."

    "I could be a Guardian," Vek said and flexed a muscle. To which Vizif laughed. "Thanks."

    "I'm not laughing at you, silly," Vizif said. "You're very humorous. But no, Guardians become masters of the blade and tend to not be as... bright as other Jedi. Meaning no disrespect; after all, I'm a Guardian myself." Her blue lightsaber proved that much.

    "You're the exception to that rule, Master," Vek said.

    "Your pause before saying that won't go unnoticed, Padawan." Vizif's grin was amused. "No, I think a Sentinel is what you were meant to be, Vek."

    They reached a workbench in the upper level of the enclave. From a drawer beneath, she drew a yellow crystal and several parts. She stood behind him, grasping his hands in hers. "Now, this is how it's done."

    Pleased, he felt his hands warm in hers. She was the perfect master for him; she knew him well. Why had she doubted herself, if only briefly? She knew he learned best by practice and she guided his hands this way and that.

    Before long, he ignited his first lightsaber. "It's... yellow, Master," he said, a bit underwhelmed by one of his least favorite colors.

    "You can always change it," Vizif said. "Later, though, as we have another mission."

    The blade hummed as he swung it carefully before extinguishing it. "And now, at least, I won't be completely helpless."

    "Padawan, I've seen you with the practice blades," Vizif said, shaking her head slowly. "You are helpless."

    Vek's tongue found a pocket of air at the roof of his mouth. He clacked his tongue at his master. "Stellar," he said.
  25. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Clash of Titans Winner star 8 VIP - Game Winner

    Aug 31, 2004
    Delightful and more clues. Love the interaction between Vizif and Vek, part snark and part warm assurances. They do make a great team. :) :D