main
side
curve

Before the Saga The choices we make - Challenge response - Kithera and T'lor

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Kit', Apr 21, 2020.

  1. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Title: The choices we make
    Characters: Kithera, T'Lor, Del and Zallie
    Challenge: Classical Music Challenge - Frédéric Chopin's Nocture No. 7 in C Sharp Minor Op. 27 No. 1. AND OC Spring Challenge - Changing allegiance
    Time period: 36BBY

    Blurb: We are the choices we make, but what if our choices lead us down the wrong path?


    Thank you to @K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku for the amazingly comprehensive feedback and for letting me borrow T'lor.

    Warning: This is over 5000 words (5059 to be exact) in one post because it couldn't really be broken up into smaller more bite sized chunks. It will take a while to read but I think it’s worth it - promise!

    Favour: Feedback is always very much appreciated. Like really, really appreciated and in return I’ll ply you with virtual lamingtons, Anzac biscuits and pavlova. Edit- seriously autocorrect? Lamingtons to laminations? Really?

    *

    The choices we make

    *

    Pushing open the pub doors, the smell of stale beer filled her nostrils. T’lor frowned. This didn’t seem like the type of establishment that Akari would hang out at. From what she’d heard from the Governors of Eathom, Akari preferred a more elegant lifestyle. But then barely any of the information that T’lor had managed to gather over the last couple of months had made sense. If she listened to the sources on the street then Akari, as they’d come to be known, was an angel of mercy, delivering food and rations, driving off the worst of the scum. To the authorities, they were a thorn in their side, disrupting services, stealing anything they could get their hands on. The thefts weren’t just on this planet though, or even this system. So far, T’lor had tracked them across three systems and a dozen or so planets. On each planet, the behaviour was the same but the descriptions varied so much that it almost made no sense. They were male. They were female. They had black hair. They were blonde. They could fight like no-one else on the planet. They were a typical brawler. They had a scar on their arm. There was no scar. The only thing that they agreed on was that they wore a scarlet cloak. It was a strange detail but one that everyone seemed to mention. In fact, it had led to them being christened Akari, which meant delight on Pondu and blood on, Tilly, the second planet they’d hit. T’lor shook her head, she was perturbed both by the meaning and that whoever it was, seemed to relish the name and the notoriety, as the attention from the authorities had only seem to spur them on to greater and more outlandish deeds. She pushed further into the pub towards the bar, passing groups of drunk labourers and others have dinner in the many booths that ringed the area. One of her sources had said that this was where Akari hung out and so here she was.

    The patrons shuffled out of the way, barely giving her Jedi robes a second glance. Either, T’lor thought, this isn’t the usual bar full of ruffians who would rather run than face up to a Jedi, or they are so rough that nothing scared them any longer. T’lor raised an eyebrow, given the dark wood panelling, the full jugs of ale, hearty stews and bustling, busty waitresses she’d put money on the former rather than the latter. She’d been in many dark haunts in her life and this didn’t seem to be one of them. Still, it wouldn’t pay to hang around for too long just to make sure it wasn’t the second option.

    The reports had been coming in for over six months now, but it had been the one two months ago that had finally spurred the Council into action. Akari had stolen a delivery of medicine from the Eathom government warehouses along with raiding a duchess’ prize jewels and destroying a guard house to the palace food storage which had then been raided by hungry citizens. It had been the fourth such theft in as many months and so she had been dispatched to see what she could find. The answer had been conflicting reports, angry governments and dead end trails. This had been the first break through in a month and The Force was telling her that she was finally on the right track again. T’lor headed towards the bar trying to get a sense of the place, listening to the ebb and flow of The Force. It wasn’t like Akari was just going to call her name and pop out of no-where? It was likely that he’d seen the Jedi robes and taken off. T'lor cursed silently. This part of the mission would be far easier as Laren. While she might stand out, it wouldn't spook her prey. Plus not being there as Laren limited her choices. Laren could and did do things that no Jedi would dream of doing, at least not dressed as a Jedi.

    “T’lor!” A voice called her name across the crowd. She turned to see Kithera Rinani, former Jedi Knight and friend, waving at her across the room. It had been five years since Kit had left The Order under a cloud. From what T’lor had gathered from Obi-wan there had been a fight between Kithera and her then lover Qui-Gon, Obi-wan’s master. That fight had been about the baby that Kithera had been carrying and had ended their relationship. Eventually the pregnancy had landed Kithera once again in front of the Council who had demanded that she either give up the baby or her position as a Jedi. Kithera had, according to Obi-wan, told the Council where to shove it in the most colourful terms she could muster and had left that day. T’lor hadn’t had the chance to say goodbye. No-one had. In Kithera’s traditional way she’d been there one second and gone the next leaving nothing but shockwaves and destruction in her wake. Now she was here, in this pub of all places, smiling and waving at T’lor as if nothing had changed. The tiny blonde woman beckoned T’lor to come and join her in the booth seats that ringed the walls of the drinking hole. She smiled as T’lor approached and patted the seat next to her. T’lor studied her as she approached. Kit’s hair was longer now, well past her shoulders and done up in a plethora of messy plaits and braids. She wore well-worn and comfortable leathers but her face was the same as T’lor remembered, all bright smile and mischief. Beside her at the table sat a small girl, loose mahogany ringlets framing an inquisitive but tired face. She was drawing pictures on a rough sheet of flimsy. She looked to be the right age to be the child the Kithera had been carrying and given her tall, thin frame and the colour of her hair she was definitely her father’s daughter. In all the gin joints, in all the galaxy she had to meet Kithera here. T’lor could have sighed, this was going to throw a spanner in the works.

    “T’lor!” Kithera beamed brightly, “it’s been an age and a half. I’ve missed you!”

    T’lor slid into one of the seats and hugged her friend. Kithera pulled away and regarded her seriously for a moment, “you look the same you know. Like not one day older. How have you been? How is Trevor? Are you still together? How is Jane? Is the Temple still a mad house? How about Rani, Kirsten…”

    “Slow down, Kit.” T’lor laughed at her friend, although it didn't reach her eyes. The Force niggled at her. “You’re going too fast.”

    “Sorry, sorry.” Kit tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear and smiled again. It had been such a long time since she’d seen T’lor, or any Jedi for that matter but the fact that she was here tonight and in her Jedi robes did not bode well for Kit or anyone in her family. She looked at T’lor more critically, there seemed to be something darker about her than Kithera remembered, her Force signature was more guarded, more closed then she’d ever been. She was going to have to be careful but it could also be a lot of fun. How far could she play the game before T’lor broke? Kithera titled her head slightly and narrowed her eyes at her friend.

    How much as the council burnt you, dearest T’lor?

    There was a movement at her side and Kit smiled at her daughter. Beside her the little girl tugged on T’lor’s sleeve. The child looked up at the Jedi and her brow crinkled.

    “Are you a Jedi?”

    “Yes. Do you want to see my lightsaber”

    “No thanks. My mama has her own one of those.”

    The little girl went back to her colouring. T’lor looked up at Kit. Kit felt like sighing, in the true style of all tiny children she’d said exactly what she was thinking and almost given the game away. She couldn’t do anything about it now so she merely smiled, shrugged and motioned at one of the waitresses.

    A second later there was another tug at T’lor’s sleeve.

    “What’s your name?”

    “I’m T’lor.” This time she wasn’t going to let the opportunity go, “what’s your name.”

    “Zallie.”

    “How old are you?”

    “Four.” Four little fingers held up as if to confirm it. Zallie went back to her colouring and T’lor looked at Kit. The blonde-haired woman smiled as she stroked Zallie’s hair.

    “She looks like her father.” T’lor said as a waitress plonked two pints of frothy brown drink in front of them. Kit deliberately fished a small gilt barrette out a pocket and used it to pin one of Zallie’s curls back up.

    First move is mine, my friend.

    T’lor looked at the bejewelled barrette and frowned, it looked too good and far too fancy to be the normal play jewellery of a four-year-old girl.

    “She does.”

    “I do not,” the little voice as indignant. “I don’t look like Da. Da has black hair and my hair is brown.” The end of a plait was thrust at T’lor as if to confirm the truth of her story.

    T’lor looked at Kit who shrugged again and smoothed one of her daughter’s curls.

    “Yep, sweetness, you don’t look like Da at all.”

    There was a very serious nod and then the little girl went back to her drawing. There were a few moments of silence and then Zallie’s head turned towards the door, smiling. The next second it opened and a middle-aged man entered, his wine-red coat drawn tight against the weather and his black hair was lightly salted with flecks of silver. He moved through the pub with graceful ease nodding and smiling at people as he came towards them.

    Akari is a male. He has black hair. He wears a red cloak.

    T’lor frowned at the thought. It wasn’t right. The Force wasn’t screaming a warning, just a swirl of contentment from Kit and bubble of excitement from Zallie. She glanced sideways to see Kit smiling at him. He smiled in return until his eyes slid across and he saw T’lor. His body stiffened. He took several quick strides and then he was at the table. His hand rested comfortably on the butt of his blaster as he glanced down at Kit. He looked vaguely familiar but she couldn’t place where she’d seen him before.

    “Da!” Zallie’s voice cut through the tension. She raised both hands towards him and he swept her up into a hug. She clung to him as she turned to face T’lor, a look of righteous indignation on her face.

    “See. I don’t look like my Da.”

    T’lor nodded calculating the odds of minimising causalities if this all went pear-shaped. She tried to gauge his intentions through The Force but came up with nothing. It was like he wasn’t even there. He had no force signature at all, just a strange not quite blank space. She frowned as she stared at him. Even holding onto Zallie, he had the relaxed stance of someone who had been trained to fight. She studied him as he stood there, not hiding the fact that he was returning the favour. He was powerfully built, his knuckles criss-crossed with the scars of a man who fought with his fists rather than a weapon.

    Akari is a male. He has black hair. He wears a red cloak. He is a brawler.

    “Are we okay here?” He asked Kithera ignoring T’lor. The former Jedi looked up at him.

    “We are fine here my sweet. T’lor is an old friend. We were just catching up.”

    Kit looked at Del trying to reassure him. She knew that he trusted her implicitly but theirs was a strange relationship. Four years of living and working together had made them a family but trying to explain how that relationship had come about would confuse most people. Kit hoped desperately that T’lor didn’t recognise him and start asking too many questions. Her friend had been sent to hunt someone down and the force moved in mysterious ways. How else would you explain three Jedi standing in a room on this night? Particularly when one was lost, one left and one seemed to be hanging on by a thread. Kit smiled at him and reached up to grasp his hand trying to reassure him that she and Zallie were alright.

    He nodded relaxing somewhat. “I’m going to take Zallie back to The Lady. I would suggest that you make your catch up a quick one. We need to get moving and sooner rather than later.”

    Kit nodded at him. The implied message was loud and clear. Keep your wits around you and run.

    “We won’t be long. I’ll see you soon my love.” Kit said as he bent down to kiss her on the top of the head. “Night sweet princess.”

    “Night mama. Night T’lor.”

    “Night Zallie.” T’lor found herself watching the interaction with puzzlement. She still couldn’t place where she’d seen him before. If she had met him then his signature in The Force would be familiar but there was nothing there. She’d only really seen that once before. That day on the airpads when Kit had returned and Master Zahalin had died. She looked up and he was staring down at her as if daring her to say something. He nodded his head at her as if acknowledging the recognition.

    “Don’t forget Zallie’s bag. Wouldn’t want to get caught out.” Kit handed up a tiny backpack covered with fluffy, pink convors. It jingled and clinked as it moved. The man took it carefully and slung it over other shoulder. T’lor narrowed her eyes. Internally Kit chided herself. This wasn’t a time to get cocky. T’lor wasn’t stupid and something, some event had honed to razor sharpness the insight that Kit remembered from their childhood.

    “Rin, don’t be late. It was nice to meet you Jedi.” Without waiting for a reply, he turned hoisting Zallie onto his shoulders and strode back through the pub.

    Kit watched them leave and then turned back to T’lor.

    “How are you and Trevor?”

    “Over. Who was that?”

    “Ugh. That sucks,” Kithera ignored T’lor’s question, “How’s Qui-Gon?” There was something to the last question that T’Lor couldn’t quite name. Regret? Longing?

    “He’s good. He’s content. Does he know about Zallie.”

    “He knows. I send him holos sometimes.”

    “She’s force sensitive you know, she should be at the temple.”

    “I know but I wouldn’t do that to her. To live her whole life under people’s assumptions. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone else.”

    “You need to be careful Kit, there are people who take an overt interest in force sensitives.”

    Kit frowned at her. “Do you think I’d ever forget that? I know from experience that interest T’lor. I will do whatever’s in my power to keep my daughter safe from whatever threatens her, smuggler, trader and Jedi alike.” Kit looked at the shadows in T’lor’s eyes and realised that she’d gone too far. She forced herself to smile to relax and refocus instead of letting her emotions get on top of her like she’d done when she was younger. “but thank you for taking an interest.”

    There was a moment as they stared at each other, trying to work out where the edges of the friendship that they’d shared only a few short years ago still lay. It was T’lor who broke the silence.

    “Who was that guy, I didn’t get his name.”

    “Who? Del? He’s my partner in crime so to speak.” Kit gave a hollow laugh. “He’s good to me and he makes me happy, T’lor and that’s all I can ask for really.”

    Akari is male. Akari is female. Akari has black hair. Akari is blonde.

    Kit reached up and tucked an errant strand of hair behind her ear. Her sleeve slipped back showing a long snaking scar that ran from Kit’s elbow to her wrist.

    Akari is female. Akari is blonde. She has a scar on her arm.

    Kit glanced towards where T’lor was looking. She gave another hollow laugh.

    “Like it?” She asked tugging her sleeve down. “It’s one of the downsides to not have a healers’ ward with bacta on tap.”

    “How did you get it?” T’lor asked motioning towards her arm. Kithera smiled genuinely this time. She rubbed her thumb over the end of the scar.

    “I bit off more than I could chew. Thought I was better than I was because I was a Jedi. That’s not how the real world works though.”

    “I get the feeling there’s a longer story behind that,” T’lor said taking a sip of her drink. It was spicy and warm and took the edge off the growing feeling of tension.

    “There is but it doesn’t bear retelling.” Kit cocked her head to one side and regarded her friend, the bubbly, innocent smile fading. “So, what brings you to this neck of the woods?”

    “I'm taking a break after my last mission,” T’lor lied, instantly on alert. The dynamic had changed all of a sudden. This wasn’t the girl she remembered. There was a harder edge to her now. Kit leaned forward arms on the table.

    “Ooooo! Sounds intriguing! Tell me more.” Kit leant forward on the table. This wasn’t like T’lor. She normally was fast to spill the beans, to share stories and gossip. She’d already sensed that T’lor’s shields were stronger than the last time they’d met but this was something else, some sort of impenetrable wall.

    "Wish I could, but I can't."

    There was a drawn out pause and a waitress took that moment to dump a tray of food on the table. Kit looked up at her and smiled.

    “Thanks Bess, you’re a treasure. How did you know we’d want food?”

    “Well, I heard you saying you were leaving tonight and I know that ship, as lovely as she might be, don’t have a scratch on a kitchen like ours and your friend looks famished, if you don’t mind me saying so, so I figured you’d want this.”

    “How much do I owe you?” Kit asked.

    “Nothing love, it’s on the house. You’ve done so much for us in the last week what with chasing off all those-“

    Kit held her finger to her lips and made a shushing noise flicking her eyes sideways towards where T’lor sat. Bess’ eyes grew wide as she took in the clothes.

    “Beggin’ yer pardon. I think I hear Jor’oune calling me from the kitchen.” She hustled away and T’lor saw her talking to a man behind the counter who stared at her suspiciously. So, Kit had friends here, or at least people who owed her favours. T’lor didn’t like favours. Once people started acquiring favours then the next step would be power. She knew where that led and it wasn’t good.

    “Chasing off the?” T’lor asked eyebrows raised trying to keep the knot that was forming in her gut under control. This wasn’t her friend. Kit was bubbly and excitable and open. This Kithera was far more considered, far more devious and far more reserved. Kit reached forward and delicately picked up one of the fried crispics from the bowl in front of them.

    “Vermin. This place is infested with them. Was infested with them. Del and I eradicated them. They won’t be back for a while.”

    “You didn’t tell me what you are doing here.” T’lor asked. She didn’t like how Kit had so casually used the term eradicated as if it was nothing. She waited a minute until Kit was finished her mouthful. The other woman finished and then took a swig of her drink. She pushed the bowl towards T’lor.

    “You should try these. They are very nice.” Kit looked T'lor over. "You don't want to hunt hungry." She had the satisfaction of watching T'lor's eyes narrow.

    T’lor found herself getting frustrated. She knew what Kit was, or rather who she was. She shook her head at the proffered bowl.

    “You didn’t tell me,” T’lor said softly her hand unconsciously going to where her lightsaber rested. Kit shook her head slightly looking towards where T’lor’s hand had gone. She moved and T’lor saw the familiar flash of a silver cylinder. So, she’d kept the lightsaber or made her own, it figured given her disregard for the rules when they didn’t suit her.

    Akari is female. Akari is blonde. She has a scar on her arm. Akari fights like no-one else.

    “Do you know what they give you when you leave the temple?” Kit asked leaning forward ignoring the question. “They give you nothing. You walk out of there with the clothes you wear and whatever you can fit in a backpack. They leave you with nothing to your name. It’s their last punishment for disobeying them. To make you homeless, weaponless and jobless. So yeah, I kept this. I left before they could demand it back like I know Mace wanted to and I kept it because I earnt it. I gave them twenty-four years of my life and my blood and my sweat and my tears. They didn’t deserve my sabre too.”

    “What about what they gave you?” T’lor felt her face heat up. Was Kithera ignoring all the good things that the Jedi had done for her. Had she really become this bitter and twisted over something that had happened four years ago? It wasn’t, T’lor thought, that she still held as fast to the precepts of the Order as she’d done when they were both teens. That had died off long ago, but surely Kithera wasn’t so burnt and angry that she could discount everything the Order had done for her.

    Kit saw her friend looking at her closed her eyes to push down the pain. She was better at keeping that bottled now then she had been. Del had taught her how to do that in a way the Order had never succeeded. It still hurt though, to lose her friends and family because she’d refused to bow to an archaic rule. When she opened her eyes, she saw her own pain at the loss of a friend mirrored in the look that T’lor was giving her.

    “You are right and I’m sorry. They gave me friends. They gave me very good friends. They trained me and gave me to Master Zahalin and they gave me you and the others and Qui-Gon and then Zallie.” She shrugged slightly and then reached across the table and briefly clasped T’lor’s hand, “and for that I’m very grateful, but it was never enough to stay.”

    “You didn’t say goodbye,” the words were out before T’lor could stop them.

    “I didn’t have a choice. There was never any choice.” Kit sat back in her seat. She looked down at Zallie’s discarded drawing and picked up one of the pencils. So many questions bubbled up in T’lor’s head but she let them go. Now wasn’t the time for more recriminations. Now was the time to decide what she was going to do. As if hearing her thoughts Kit looked up from where she was mindlessly doodling. The look of pain was gone and instead replaced by a wary smile. T’lor had forgotten how Kithera’s quickly changing mood could make her feel so off-balance.

    “You didn’t tell me who it was you were chasing.” She said softly, tiredly. She was back to playing games.

    You sithing well know who it is.

    “Akari,” T’lor answered biting back the thought that echoed through her head, “I heard that he frequented this place.”

    Kit gave a hollow laugh.

    “And what will you do with him if you do, indeed, catch him?” She asked. T’lor felt her frustration rise again. Kit was playing her, speaking in hypotheticals.

    “Make him pay for his crimes. How depends on what I discover after talking to him."

    T'lor's voice took on a steely edge that caught Kit off guard. This was not her friend. This was a Shadow. Kit remembered the hushed whispers of some of the older padawans and knights about how Shadows played loose with the Code and the law while the Council looked the other way. Looks like those rumours had some truth to them. So her initial thoughts had been close to the truth. She needed to be more careful now.

    “And what crimes would those be?”

    “Theft from the Princess Ludwika of Pondu, break and enter at the palace of Eathom, theft from the Art Museum of Uuste, aggravated assault, at least two hovertrain robberies, and a host of other small, petty crimes.” She held up her hand. "Those are the ones I'm aware of. If that's it, then I may or may not turn him over to the authorities. If there is more..." T'lor just shrugged and took a drink.

    Kit leant back in her chair and took another sip of her drink.

    “That’s quite a long list and what do you suppose that Akari does with all of the wealth they acquire?”

    “I don’t know, maybe they hoard it. Maybe they give it to their children as play jewellery. Not sure I care.”

    Kit smiled, the first genuine one that T’lor had seen for a while. So she had noticed the barrette. Good.

    “Maybe they do,” she said picking up another piece of food, “maybe they give it to the poor. Try to make things a bit fairer. How does that fit with the Jedi Council’s rules? I mean, I assume that’s why you’ve been tracking the villain, because the council doesn’t agree with their methods.”

    “It goes against everything that the Jedi stand for. A Jedi should play within the rules.”

    “I was never very good at doing that.”

    “I remember.” There was a pointed silence as T’lor let the barb sink in. “I would be worried that Akari was headed down a dangerous path. That they would get too cocky.”

    “I’m sure they would be smart enough to realise when the heat was rising and lay low for a while. Lucky they aren’t a Jedi so they don’t have anyone to answer to. Not even to you.”

    T’lor clenched her jaw slightly and raised an eyebrow.

    “Don’t toy with me Kit, we’ve been friends for too long.”

    “I’m not toying, surely we are speaking in hypotheticals? What would you do if you discovered that Akari used her funds to ease the lives of others, to make them easier. That she only took things from those that forced their people into oppression, that took more than they needed. Surely stopping that would not fit within the Jedi way.”

    There was another long pause and T’lor finally helped herself to a fried crispic. She noted how Kit had changed the genders; Akari had been he, then they, now she.

    “But Akari is not a Jedi.” T’lor said softly examining the long, roll with its crispy pastry.

    “No, I suppose not. So she’s not bound by the rules of the council. That must be very freeing for her.”

    "If she never had to live under those rules, I can't imagine she'd know the difference."

    "What will you do if she does not want to come quietly?”

    “As I said, depends on what I found out in talking with her. If there is more to it than the redistribution of wealth, I might have to take her by force I suppose.”

    T’lor bit down on the pastry as she regarded her friend across the table. Kit was still idly doodling.

    “I heard she fights like no-one else.”

    “I heard she was a common brawler.”

    Kit laughed and T’lor found herself smiling back. There was a noise in the street outside and T’lor felt a swirl of warning in the force. Kit stood up, picking up her things from the bench beside her. She smiled down at T’lor as she fastened a long, scarlet coloured cape around her neck.

    Akari is female. Akari is blonde. She has a scar on her arm. Akari fights like no-one else. She wears a scarlet cape.

    T’lor stood up and looked her friend in the eye as Kit pulled her hood over her hair.

    “I don’t want to fight you T’lor,” she said softly, “I’ve never wanted to fight with you. We are friends. We will always be friends but now I have to go. Rest assured that if Akari exists then she would never use power to her advantage, only to make the universe a fairer place. Plus power sounds like too much hard work and not enough fun.” She winked and reached into her pocket and drew out a handful of coins. “Bess,” she called out, “the next round of drinks is on me.” There was a clink and patter as coins dropped onto the table, far more than would be needed. There was a ragged cheer from the men around the pub and they surged towards the bar as the door opened and a troop of palace guards stormed in. It was almost perfect timing, the guards got in the way of the inebriated workers, people tripped, tumbled and more than one fight broke out as a guard pushed one drunk into another.

    T’lor looked back towards where Kit had been but her friend was gone. She heard a door slam somewhere in the pub. On instinct, she reached down and picked up the sheet of flimsy that her friend had been drawing on, scrunching it into her hand as the captain of the guard reached her. She noticed with interest the different planets that the coins came from. Planets from across several different systems and many different worlds.

    “They were here! Akari was here. My informants said they were here. Why didn’t you apprehend them?”

    T’lor looked at him and squared her shoulders, “I think your informants were mistaken,” she said looking him in the eye, “I was merely catching up with an old friend.”

    The captain of the guards threw up his hands in frustration and stormed away from her. T’lor smoothed out the flimsy. There, in amongst the childish drawings of ships, lightsabers and animals was the name of a ship, a comms number, and a simple message.

    Goodbye my friend.”
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    A superb portrait of a contrast of a friendship as it was and how that shapes today's choices and reactions on each side. You can really tell how Kit and also T'lor have changed which is understandable as to what they've gone through but it is sad that Kit's memories of the Jedi are more bitter than sweet. [face_thinking] Thank you for showing the complex way that perspective influences what one feels is right and justified. =D=
     
    Kahara and Kit' like this.
  3. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Oh @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha you give the most awesome feedback! Thank you so much. I really enjoyed writing this Kit and she may well come back because it's fun and what could possibly go wrong when you're trying to stay one step ahead of the law. I think Kit's bitterness is because she always wanted to fit in but in desperately trying to fit in she ended up feeling that she stood out more and more. She's definitely a character that I'm trying to bring a bit more nuance to then I did when I first wrote her (granted I was like 16 at the time though and I, for one, didn't have the life or writing experience to really do that either). You're feedback has made my day though so thank you :D

    For you I have these sweet, sweet Anzac biscuits as thanks [​IMG]
     
    Kahara likes this.
  4. K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku

    K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku Jedi Grand Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 18, 2000
    @};-@};-Bravissimo! I love how this came together! Well done! [:D][:D]
    I really like how you've worked T'lor's backstory into this little encounter. T'lor is trying to warn her. I wonder if Kit really understands what T'lor is saying. [face_thinking]

    I like how this time Kit doesn't leave without a trace. I can see T'lor deciding to keep an eye on Kit as Laren. "A friend told me that you could help..." If Rani and T'lor get in trouble, I'm not sure I want to see what Kit and Laren do. [face_whistling]Although I can guarantee T'lor's report before the Council would go something along the lines of reminding each and every one of them that she has blackmail material and isn't afraid to use it, so now what was wrong her with methods again? [face_laugh]

    Great job!@};-@};-
     
  5. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Haha, yeah, blackmail material. Like that one time the girls gave Obi-Wan a makeover?
     
  6. Mechalich

    Mechalich Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Hmm...okay, I'm gonna get this out of the way first: I can take British spellings like labour and colour just fine, but lightsabre is apparently a bridge too far. A personal failing I suppose, but that got me each time.

    Otherwise the portrait of T'lor here is quite superb. Though I have absolutely no previous familiarity with the character it's easy to tell where she is, what her motives are, and the various quandaries that she's struggling with. The decision she makes, by slowing just letting go, is very well realized.

    The only real point of any significance I would raise with this piece is the use of floating point of view. POV periodically shifts over to Kithera, without any real segues, for a paragraph or two at most, at several times. I don't think it's effective. This feels like a story very much about T'lor, about her reactions to a set of revelations about an old friend, and jumping into someone else's head cuts through the tension. My opinion is that if you conveyed what Kithera was thinking as T'lor observed (or felt, these are Jedi, the subtext is text in some sense) it would heighten the impact significantly.
     
    Kit' likes this.
  7. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Thank you. :) It was only because of your expert guidance that I managed to weave it in there at all and because of the great bits you added. As for the trade in force-sensitives, I don't think Kit has any real idea. She would definitely argue that she knows what T'lor is talking about but although she has some experience (which I've started writing about for Master Zahalin's final arc) she really doesn't know what T’lor has seen.

    I would love to see that. @};- That would be amazing as I think Kit would probably really come into her own away from the temple. It'd be interesting to see what kind of shenanigans they would both get into and how much 'work' they would toss the other. Kit doing stuff that needs a team and T'lor getting the Jedi to 'officially' deal with stuff that Kit can't touch because she's not the 'right class' of people (ie. no offical clearance and not a lady.)

    Oh there's lots of blackmail material. I think there are some pictures of naked Jedi master floating around somewhere as well of Obi-Wan in buff too :D[face_tee_hee]

    Yeah, that's me reverting to my spelling of sabre without thinking about context. Your comment did get me thinking though, that a story completely in Australian vernacular would be a site to behold, although impossible to read.

    Thank you :) T'lor is a favourite although she is purely @K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku's creation. She was a nice balance to Kit's impetuousness when she was younger so this was good to look at both characters in a different light.

    Originally it was all from T'lor's perspective and it did work but I like it more with both. I do get your point though, particularly after re-reading it with that in mind and I'm going to go edit it tomorrow night to make the breaks a bit clearer and less bouncy. Hopefully that keeps the tension that you were talking about and makes it easier to follow.

    Thank you for your fantastic feedback. It's certainly given me lots of think about :)@};-


    Because you are all so lovely please share this amazing hazelnut pavlova. Seriously if you've never eaten pavlova it's truly magnificent.

    [​IMG]
     
    Findswoman and Kahara like this.
  8. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Lol, yeah. Threatening to publish the naked pictures would probably be pretty near a Get Out Of Jail Free Card. [face_laugh]
     
    Kahara and Kit' like this.
  9. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Just realised I'd never replied. We definitely need to have a truth or dare session in the current USJS and I'm sure there will be lots and lots and lots of potential blackmail material out of that too :D[face_rofl]
     
    K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku and Kahara like this.
  10. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Great story! That was a hard position for T'lor to be in: having to choose between friendship and her obligations to the Council, especially when the lines of morality regarding Akari's actions and motivations started to get blurred. Their conversation after T'lor began to suspect what was going on was like a sparring duel where each one was testing the waters without opening up any holes in their own defense. Both Kit and T'lor seemed to have had some prior practice in keeping their words guarded, though likely not with each other.

    Despite the tension that grew throughout the story until Kit's escape, the ending was unexpectedly sweet. Looks like the Force had a reason for putting three Jedi in the same bar that night after all. I'm glad Kit was finally able to say goodbye to T'lor and leave the door open for future contact.

    Excellent work!
     
  11. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Does the offer for virtual lamingtons, Anzac biscuits, and pavlova still stand?

    There is a lot going on in this scene: when these two old friends meet again (and while I am not completely certain about Kithera, T'lor did not expect to see her old friend in that pub of all the pubs in the universe) after years apart, and secrets upon secrets, what they don't actually say outloud is almost more important than what they choose to say. It's clear at a certain point that T'lor knows that Kithera, along with her "partner in crime" Del, is the mysterious Akari she is chasing. Kithera is well aware that she knows. But neither is going to make the decisive move--the one that will force one or both of them to act--of actually blatantly saying it.

    It's clear they have both changed considerably since their shared past. Kithera does not remember the Jedi Order fondly, and she is bitter enough that it isn't easy for her to remember those fond memories, of her master, and her friends and their whacky USJS era hijinks (yes, I have lurked), she does have. That's understandable: the council gave her an impossible choice when they asked her to either give up her baby, or the only life she had ever known. I was reminded somewhat--though admittedly the circumstances aren't quite the same--of the many young women in this world who were forced with a similar choice. When she went with the second option, she was thrust out into the universe with almost nothing. It couldn't have been easy for her to find a new life--I don't get the impression that the Jedi way prepares one much for other careers. But she has adapted, she has found a new life, and this is what she has become.

    As for T'lor, she hasn't gone over the edge as Kithera has, but it becomes more and more clear throughout this meeting that she's close to it. She never reveals precisely why, but Kithera can tell she has a darkness, a shadow, to her that she didn't have before--and then there's the reference to her alter ego, Laren, who can act outside the rules that T'lor must follow.

    Then there's Del (and the mention of a larger family). I know that you've gone into his character and background in many other stories, but if I stick only to his portrayal here, he comes across as rather mysterious. He is also one who says more with what he doesn't say. There's his complete absence in the Force that I gather a non Force-sensitive would not have. He is considerably older than Kithera, but they are equals--partners in life as well as crime--and he is a father to her daughter.

    After all that tension, I wasn't certain how this encounter, and the story, were going to end--I wasn't surprised when Kithera made her magical escape through the cover of some rather convenient dramatic drunken antics, but I was surprised that she had left T'lor that message, leaving a door open for their friendship. Despite everything, it's still there in some form.

    Finally, thank you for writing this for my challenge!
     
    Kit' likes this.