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(L,F&E 82) WHen an Idjit Starts Investigating

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Community Content > Fan Fiction
(L,F&E 82) WHen an Idjit Starts Investigating

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kalenath
08.13.2012 , 04:47 AM | #1
((This starts two days after the end of A Night at the Holo-Vids))

“Masterblade Idjit.” The young human who came running into the room stopped and bowed as we prescribed, almost perfectly. But Garth was very agitated. Despite his training, first as a Jedi Padawan and now as a Bladeborn initiate, he had a long way to go and right now he was somewhere between anxiety and outright fear. Sensible boy, he waited until the Masterblade acknowledged him.

“What is it, Garth?” Idjit asked quietly as his blade found it’s sheathe. Not that he couldn’t guess. The Force was roiling around the area, scenes from the past and future all jumbled together. Some blasé, some horrific. He hadn't been fighting, but the blade in hand always calmed him.

“We are ordered to assemble, all of us.” Garth’s sense in the Force was worried, very worried.

“Formal assembly?” Idjit asked carefully as he smoothed his robes slightly with the Force. That common action helped calm him down a little, it always had, from the time he had started training with the sword. “Is it just us?”

“I…” Garth stammered a bit, but then calmed slightly. “I don’t know Masterblade Idjit. Mama Lizard just told me to find you and tell you. I am also to find Masterblade Chari…” The boy gulped a little and Idjit smiled sourly. Chari was intimidating at the best of times, which these were not.

“How about this… I will find Chari, you go get everyone else. And hurry… We don’t want to be late for this.” Even without eyes, Idjit could see the boy’s face slacken and then freeze in the Force as the thought better than to ask. “Smart boy.” Idjit complimented him. “Go.” Garth bowed formally and was off like a shot. Idjit sighed and spoke softly. “Ah, kids…”

"Yes." Another voice answered him as a tall Togruta woman came from the shadows nearby. “I remember Garth Holzar… A good kid. You have helped him greatly after his ordeals, given him a place. I wish he might remain a Jedi, but there are worse things than being Bladeborn.”

“It wasn’t altruism, Ashla Ti. We needed all the initiates we could get. He needed stability and healing, much like Sara come to think of it. And we will not hold him if he wishes to return to the Jedi.” Idjit waited while the others in the room moved into the light. “We are agreed then?” Idjit asked quietly.

In turn, he sensed each of the seers who stood around him nod, mostly reluctantly, but all agreeing. Jen Ojul, Diseree Mak, Jainine Korr and Ashla TI had all been members of Bob’s sect of Bladeborn.

“Can you do this, Idjit?” The voice of Jainine Korr had his guts tensing. It wasn’t the woman he had known. But it sounded so much like her. “Your feelings for Istara are strong. If you cannot do this, we will find another way.”

“You of all people know the Empire will not just let us go, Jainine. Someone has to go and explain to the Emperor. And it has to be directly to him. Anyone else would just kill us. He… Well… I don’t really expect to survive it, but it has to be done. You have seen, as I have.” It was not a question, it was a statement. “Can you all aid Istara in the dark times that are coming?” Idjit bowed his head and waited.

“She is…” Diseree broke off and then continued. She was still feeling her way around, being a Kel Dor stuck in a human body had to suck. “She will figure it out, Idjit, you know she will.”

“I know. But this is the only way.” The blind seer agreed and then he froze as Diseree embraced him and the girl was crying. He had helped save her from a horrific fate. “Hey…” Idjit ruffled her short hair. “I am going to do my best not to get killed. But my duty to my kin is clear.” His blind eyes turned to Ashla Ti who nodded soberly.

“I do not agree with a lot of what has happened. I am not Bladeborn, nor is Diseree. But I find I cannot simply stand back and watch while this mess slides further into the horror that is coming.” The Togruta’s voice was sour now. “And I do like Istara. This will hurt her, you know that. Even of you survive.”

“I know.” Idjit said quietly. “Now I need to scoot. And Jen and Jainine need to join the assembly. You and Diseree will stand with Jina and the other Jedi. Ward her mind from Vandar and... Try and keep Jina from walking… please?” Jina Darkstorm simply refused to sit around and be helped. And every time she walked, she hurt herself again. Ona and the other healers were actually talking about amputating her legs to keep her in the wheelchair. He was reasonably sure the Bothan medic was kidding. But with Ona, who knew? And yes, Ona was really starting to lose patience.

“I am a Jedi Master, not a miracle worker.” Ashla Ti said with a sigh. “But I will do what I can. For what it is worth, Masterblade, you have my support.” She bowed formally to him, an equal to an equal.

“Thank you.” Idjit said quietly as he started for the door. “I think… Yeah… We better get there before Istara and Reekia get into an argument.” Then he was out of the room, ignoring the buzz of speculation that followed him through the corridors.

It was downright odd to be aboard this ship, the Stormhawk. This ship had preyed on Sith shipping and the occasional Sith patrol vessel, for ten years after it had mutinied at the Battle of Coruscant. It was well known that everyone aboard the ship hated the Sith Empire and its entire multitude of minions with a passion, but no one had even been rude to him. Which was even odder because the Bladeborn, Trugoy's Bladeborn at least, had been among the most devoted servants of the Empire until their apparent betrayal. Not that they had, and Idjit hoped against hope to convince the Emperor of that before the full might of the Empire landed on the two hundred some odd beings that he now called kin.

They made way for him, the crew of the Stormhawk. Even the Dragons, fervent soldiers of the Republic that they were, knew better than to block his way. He knew there would be problems, and likely soon, but if he wasn’t at the assembly hall soon, bad things…

A loud ‘Boom’ resounded through the ship and Idjit cursed as it shuddered a bit and an alarm started blaring. They had started without him! He ran the last few corridors at Force speed and slammed the door open to a scene he had dreaded. Reekia, Masterblade of the Bladeborn, knelt with her warblade hanging limp as Istara, Grandmaster of the Bladeborn held a bare sword over the Wookiee.

Fight!” Istara snarled as her blade whistled a little. “You arrogant pile of fur! Fight me!” No… This wasn’t Istara… This was…

“Sharlina!” Idjit thundered as he approached the pair, he noted that all of the rest of the Bladeborn were watching. “Stop!” Even the blind seer had to flinch back a step as the woman’s yellow tinged eyes turned to him and the rage that dwelt within burned up and over. “If you do this, strike down an opponent who is not fighting back, you… Have. No. Honor.”

“You know what she did. Why she did it. They did nothing but serve loyally.” But her blade lowered a little. Her crew, her crew of handpicked beings who had served her for years had been slaughtered, burned alive, at the Wookiee’s instigation. Reekia hadn’t known what was actually happening, she had just ordered Sharlina ‘broken’ and that was how the Warden of the prison had tried to do it. He and his guards had paid with their lives when Sharlina had finally gotten free, but…

“I know.” Idjit continued to step forward, his pace relentless. “So does she. Can she change it? Now?” He asked implacably. “What she did was wrong, we told her, we warned her, but she did not hear our warnings, did you, sister?” The Wookiee shook her head slowly.

<My life is forfeit, Grandmaster.> Reekia said in Shirwook, to a dismayed hiss from around the room. Most of the Bladeborn understood Shirwook at the very least and some spoke it. It was hard for non-Wookiees to speak, but the Bladeborn loved a challenge. <For my action and inaction, for my arrogance, for my ignorance. I am… Nothing now…>

The Grandmaster of the Bladeborn seemed to shudder in place for a moment. Then, her eyes suddenly were their normal brown again. Istara spoke softly as her sword vanished back into its sheathe. “What you did was a breach of your duty. But…” The grandmaster sighed and to everyone’s amazement she squatted down in front of the Wookiee. “I disobeyed a direct order. It was the right thing to do. But I disobeyed.” Her face was sad as she turned it to Idjit. “You are right. It is time to let go of the past.” She rose and extended a slow hand to Reekia. <Forgive me, sister.>

Reekia stared at the hand for a long moment before looking Istara in the eyes and then taking the hand. <Only if you forgive me. And demote me. I am not worthy of the rank I bear.>

“And you think I am?” Istara asked tartly as she embraced the Wookiee. For a moment, the Wookiee looked dumbfounded, but then she embraced Istara and all was right in the world.

“Um... Am I interrupting? Is this a bad time?” Idjit turned his blind eyes to see a group enter. Not that he could see them, but through the Force he sort of could. He could even see some colors. Stormhawk Boss, flanked by Will Kalenath and a huge gray furred Wookiee were staring at the odd tableau. Idjit turned his blind eyes from the gray Wookiee to the Masterblade Wookiee and his face lit with a small smile.

“No.” Idjit said quietly as he moved to his appointed place. “You are right on time.”
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
08.13.2012 , 04:54 AM | #2
Idjit had to admit, the assembled Bladeborn made a great showing. Just over two hundred armored forms stood in serried ranks before the Grandmaster of the order. But… There was a subtle divide between the groups. The group of beings who had followed the creature that had called itself ‘Bob’ kept themselves a little bit apart from the rest. That was not surprising, actually. Until very recently, that group and the group that Idjit belonged to had been mortal enemies. Then they had discovered that they possessed a common enemy, one that had been manipulating things behind the scenes for several millennia. Bob had decided, almost on a whim it seemed, to leave his sect in Istara’s care. It didn’t help that a couple of Bob’s people HAD been members of Idjit’s strange family, until taken by the odd creature and mindwiped. It also did not help that the beings who performed those mindwipes were present as well.

Idjit did not turn his head to look at the line of huge insects that stood against one wall. He knew that they had been manipulated, that they had essentially been slaves. But it did not change the fact that Pali and Asaoi did not remember him. That they looked at him as an enemy. He remembered the little human boy and little Mon Calamari female that Trugoy had brought back from somewhere, broken and hurting. And he remembered his pride in them when they had passed their Trials. His facial expression did not change, he had perfected the art of keeping his emotions close, it was a survival trait when one hung around Sith.

Istara’s calm, clear voice rang across the silent assembly hall. “For the disturbance, I apologize, Stormhawk Boss. It is my responsibility to make sure such things do not happen again, and I will do so. This time, it falls on my shoulders. I lost control. It will not happen again.” Idjit felt the disbelief and worry from the woman who wore the armor of Stormhawk Boss, but that was not his secret to tell. Istara continued in that same measured voice. “I asked you all here to witness me fixing a mistake that I have made.” A subtle movement rippled through the ranks of Bladeborn and Istara sighed. “We are used to our masters at least seeming perfect, we are used to our leaders never admitting fault. Sith do not tolerate failure of any kind. But we are not Sith. We are Bladeborn.”

A soft murmur followed her words, many voices speaking the same thing. ‘We are Bladeborn.’

“Hoss. Pali, front and center.” Istara’s calm words had a murmur start in the ranks. Hoss was one of the more hotheaded of the Bladeborn initiates. He tended to act before he thought. Much like another young human male had, Idjit thought with a pang of remembered pain. The two human males stepped forward and stopped at the required distance, then bowed to Istara. Istara paused for a moment, as if thinking hard and then nodded slowly. “You have both been…fervent… in your denunciations of the other. You are both symptoms, not causes. Be at peace, Bladeborn…” Istara added kindly when both boys looked worried. “I am not going to punish you. This is not your fault. It is mine.”

A whisper of disagreement went up around the room, but Istara did not flinch from where she stood. “Pali, come forward.” The boy did, he was nervous but controlled it. Pali Julo was twenty five, with dark blonde hair and bright hazel eyes. “You do not remember me. Bob spoke of what he did to you. I am sorry, Pali. I am sorry I was not there it help you. I am sorry I was not there to assist you, to ward you as I should have warded all of my kin. We cannot change the past. All we can do is handle the present.” She reached up and undid her left forearm armor. She held out her left arm, hand open. “I greet you, Pali, of the Bladeborn. I welcome you into our family. Sister to brother, yours in life and death.”

“I…” Pali’s eyes went wide. “Grandmaster Istara… I… I am unworthy…” He broke off as a loud sound echoed through the room and more than one face lit with small smiles. A lightsaber pommel striking a head made a distinctive sound. Trugoy had been fond of that method of ‘gaining recalcitrant student’s attention’ as he had called it.

“I decide that.” Istara said kindly as one of her lightsabers returned to her belt with no hand on it. “Not you. ” He stared at her and then grabbed her a]rm. The brand in his covered the tattoo on hers and they embraced. "Ah, Pali... This is my responsibility and I have left it far too long." Istara said sadly as she waved him back.

“Yes, you have.” A harsh voice came from the ranks.

“Cina, you twit…” A soft voice came from a cluster of brown robes in the corner. Jian Darkstorm was shaking her head but did not move from her wheelchair. The four Jedi who stood around her all had censorious looks on their faces and she subsided a little.

“Advance and be recognized, Bladeborn.” Istara spoke evenly as she replaced her arm armor.

A slightly younger brown haired woman stepped forward from the ranks. Her face held a harsh scowl and her eyes flashed yellow with Dark Side corruption. She wore robes, not armor, and her head was high as she met the Grandmaster’s eyes defiantly.

“Cina Darkstorm. Well met. I wondered when you would do this.” Istara said quietly. “Do you challenge?”

A stillness swept the room, and Jina’s half strangled cry of protest was easily heard. Any Bladeborn could challenge for the leadership of the clan. Any at all. But… the challenge was to the death. Only once in the entire thousands of years of recorded history of the Bladeborn had a challenge not ended in the death of the challenger, but that had been an odd case. Mama Lizard and Trugoy had gone at it with no holds barred, and Trugoy had eventually capitulated in defiance of tradition. Most relaxed a little as Cina shook her head.

“I am not suited to lead.” Cina said quietly. “But I have heard too much about you to be easy following you. You cannot be as good as rumor makes you out to be. No one can be. Even followers of Ashla on Tython were not as good as your minions make you out to be.” A mutter at the word ‘minions’ was squelched by Istara’s steady eye that swept the ranks.

“True.” Istara agreed quietly. She smiled at Cina’s expression. “Rumor exaggerates. We all know this.” Cina inclined her head slightly to acknowledge the point. “So… A test instead of a challenge?” Cina nodded. “Idjit? Point of law?”

“The point of law is valid.” Idjit‘s voice was steady. “The Grandmaster was called to demonstrated skill on eight hundred and fifteen documented occasions since the founding of our sect nine hundred and six years ago. The fights were with training weapons and to first blood.” A gesture and a young initiate darted from the room to get the weapons in question.

“With training weapons?” Cina asked in a shocked tone. Training weapons were designed not to draw blood.

“Don’t tell me you haven’t drawn blood with training weapons, Cina Darkstorm.” Now Istara was grinning. “Shall we?” Cina nodded slowly and the Grandmaster stepped down to meet her opponent. “Kori won’t be long.”

The two women stood a little apart from one another gauging each other as the initiate in question ran back into the room, training weapons bundled in her arms. She laid the weapons on the ground and stepped back into her place in the ranks, sweating but obviously not winded. Istara gestured to Cina.

“Feel free to check them all. If any are not up to standard, I will have Kori face the Gauntlet for shaming me.” Cina stared at the Grandmaster's words and a loud gulp sounded from the ranks.

Cina picked up two weapons at random, a sword and a staff. She swung them a few times and then nodded to Istara as she held laid the staff down and assumed a ready position with the sword. Istara picked a weapon seemingly at random, a short wide bladed spear. It spun in the air as she also assumed a ready position.

For a long moment, nothing happened. Then Cina seemed to be swelling, growing. Istara, in contrast, was stillness personified. A howl split the air as Cina charged, her blade slicing quickly, but Istara was not where she had been. The Grandmaster moved in an odd scuttling crouch. It maximized her blade’s exposure and at the same time, denied her opponent a decent target. Cina paused for a moment, and then attacked again, her blade seeking an opening in Istara’s guard. But there wasn’t one.

The clack, clack, clack of wood on wood echoed through the room as the two women fought to gain an advantage. Finally, Cina bound Istara’s spear with her sword and with a grunt, drove her elbow into the older woman’s chest. Istara took the blow and returned it with a body check from the haft of her spear, but Cina was not as well balanced and went sprawling. Istara went for a kill shot that would have drawn blood even if pulled and Cina blocked the blow and then was back on her feet. Back and forth the two women fought.

Finally, the haft of Istara’s spear, weakened by the repeated blows, broke and Cina drove for a strike, only to feel the point of Istara’s spear at her throat. Istara held the spear in one hand and the other end of the spear in her other, fending off Cina’s blade. A small red line ran down the woman’s neck as Istara met her eyes and a question rang in her eyes. Cina stared at Istara and then stepped back slowly, her sword point falling.

“You are…” Cina breathed softly. “You are… Bladeborn…I…” She lowered her head.

“Cina.” Istara’s voice was hard now and Cina met her eyes. “Do not ever lower your eyes to an enemy. You know better.” A quick flip and the end of the spear slammed into Cina’s arm. A sick crack echoed through the bay and the wooden sword fell from nerveless fingers. “Will you allow me to call you sister, Cina Darkstorm?”

“Yes. Where you lead… I will follow…” Cina said through gritted teeth. She extended her broken arm and grasped Istara’s left arm, so that her brand covered where the tattoo was under Istara’s armor. “Sister… to sister… Yours in life … and death…” She was shuddering as Istara caught her.

“You stupid girl… You stupid stubborn girl… Well met, sister.” Istara held the girl as medics came up, Ona among them. “She has to stay. We need to get this done.”

“Well, next time, don’t break both arm bones, will you?" Ona snarled at Istara as she felt the broken arm. "You, Cina, have an appointment in Medical as soon as we are done…” The Bothan focused on the arm and then the Force poured out of her in healing wave. Her eyes rolled back, but she recovered instantly and shook off the hands that were holding her up. “I am fine, I can do more than that…”

“No, Ona.” Her mate Jon pulled her away, despite her protests. “We need you as well.” Istara had to smile at Ona’s reply. The Bothan was kind, gentle and compassionate. But get her riled and bad things happened…

“Please, Ona. Return to your place. We need to finish this.” Istara helped Cina to her feet and smiled as Cina bowed formally and too her place again in the ranks. Then the Grandmaster spoke to all the assembly.

“We are all kin now, we have to let the past remain the past. It will not be easy, or quick, but we need to work together to face what is coming. We will overcome. We are Bladeborn.”

Idjit had to smile at the overwhelming support that swept the chamber. “We are Bladeborn.” His voice joined the chorus.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
08.13.2012 , 04:59 AM | #3
Idjit was unsurprised when a small form remained after the assembly had finished and most of the Bladeborn returned to their duties. He shook his head and coughed discretely. Istara looked up from her musing and smiled at the girl. “Yes, Jen?”

“I…” Jen Ojul was scared, there was no question. But she was also well trained, both in nursing and as a Bladeborn initiate. Idjit knew she was terrified, but the girl managed to pass beyond her fear and meet Istara’s gaze steadily. She had managed to get through the ceremony with no problems. “I have a request, grandmaster…”

“Oh Jen… Come here…” Istara rose from her seat and came down to where the girl stood. Jen nearly swarmed into Istara’s arms, and the floodgates opened. Jen’s brave front collapsed and she was crying into Istara’s shoulder as the Grandmaster stroked her hair calmingly. “I wish we could send you home, but it wouldn’t be safe. For you or for them.” After a few moments, she held Jen out at arm’s length and studied the younger woman. Jen flushed as she dried her tears on the shoulder of her initiate robes. “Ravishaw is still out there. He would target you, either to kill or to take again… And we won’t allow that.” Jen was shuddering again and Istara held her tight again. “Easy, easy… It’s okay Jen. We will make it okay.”

“I am sorry… I am sorry…” The nurse stammered as she tried to get her emotions under control.

“You have nothing to be sorry for.” Istara corrected Jen gently. “You are a victim. You did nto choose this path initially, but now you have. You are family now. You have my word I am looking into options, trying to find a path for you, one that takes you home. I will see you back with your family, Jen. Your birth family.”

I…” Jen shook her head. “I don’t want to go back there.”

At her soft words Istara froze in place. “Jen…?” But the dam had broken and Jen was babbling now.

“I… I started medical school to get away. I had to get away… I wanted a real life, not to be…” She broke off suddenly, her face working. Istara held her as she shuddered, but eventually the Grandmaster spoke softly.

“Not to be what, Jen?” Istara looked at Idjit and he nodded. He turned to the guard by the door and spoke softly for that being’s ears alone.

“Get Mama and Ona. Now.” The seer’s quiet but forceful words had the guard bowing and off at a run.

"No..." Jen recoiled a bit from Istara’s gentle grasp. “No… I shouldn’t… I have to get back…to Medical… I need to get to work…” But Istara wouldn’t let her go. “You… Grandmaster I am wasting your time…”

“I decide if you are wasting my time, Jen. And I don’t think you are.” Istara looked to where Will, Stormhawk Boss and the huge gray furred Wookiee stood to the side, next to a line of huge bugs, all of whom radiated sadness through the Force. “What do you mean, you ‘had to get away’? From what, Jen?”

“I…” Jen recoiled strongly now, but Istara’s grasp was too tight. “No! I can’t… Please don’t make me remember!” Her scared voice echoed now but no one moved.

“Remember what, Jen? You need to face this. You may not have started as one of us, but you are. We can help you. Will you let me help you?” Istara seemed to freeze as Jen did. Then the girl collapsed, sobbing into Istara’s arms.

“I was… I was just a daughter… Just another mouth to feed. I wasn’t as useful for labor. I couldn’t do as much. They… I…” Jen was shaking now and Istara sat her down on the deck, kneeling beside her.

“That’s it, girl. Let it out. You can’t hold such things in. Why haven’t you told anyone?” Istara’s gentle voice had the girl stiffening. "I am not angry, Jen. You would know if I was angry. My battle sister is in pain and I want to help."

“I am weak. I am useless. I am… I am pathetic…. I…” Jen’s voice broke off as Istara hugged her tight.

“No, you are not. Believe me, Jen. I understand exactly what you are feeling.” Istara’s words held ancient pain now. “Who told you that?” Idjit nodded as Mama and Ona came into the room and took in the situation at a glance. This was hardly the first time this had happened around the Bladeborn. Ona was carrying a steaming mug and Mama knelt down beside the distraught girl, holding her as Istara transferred the girl into the Barabel’s arms.

“Eassssy Jen… Eazy… It will be okay. We have sssomething for you to drink. A mild zedative. It will calm you down.” Mama’s tone was practiced as she rocked the girl gently, this was what she did. Jen was beyond arguing and sipped slowly as Ona held the cup to her lips. In moments, the mild sedative in the cup did its work and Jen slumped into the Barabel’s arms. “Who told you that you were weak and pathetic?”

“My mom and dad…” Jen slurred the words a bit as the drug took hold, but she remained awake. “Couldn’t… Couldn’t work as much as brothers… couldn’t do as much… useless…”

“How did you get away?”Ona asked gently as she checked the girl’s vitals.

“Didn’t… They sold me...to a brothel…” Jen said simply and everyone in the room stiffened in shock. “Was hard… Managed to buy my freedom… worked… hard…Went to university to get better. Medical school…Then Ravishaw…” Idjit shook his head. She had never told anyone that. Not even Bob had known about that. A quick look at Kicota saw that the huge bug was in shock as well, the human was a good friend.

“Oh Jen…” Kicota’s voice was soft as she stepped forward a pace. It sounded as if the silver skinned queen was nearly in tears. “I am sorry…”

“Kicota... Can you make me forget?” Jen asked through tear streaked eyes. “I want to forget. I am happy here. Don’t want to go home. Don’t want to be another ‘useless’ female.”

“You are not useless, Jen.” Istara said fiercely as she gave the girl’s arm a squeeze. “You are also not alone. We will talk when you have had a chance to calm down. But you have to sleep now, Jen.”

“Work to do…” Jen protested halfheartedly from her comfortable spot in Mama Lizard’s arms. Odd that a Barabel’s scales might be soft, but hey, that was Mama Lizard. Odd.

“Not today, Jen.” Mama said as she rocked the quivering form in her arms. “We will talk, you, me and Iztara, when you wake. But for now… Sssleep…” Whatever magic Mama Lizard did, maybe the Force, or maybe just kindness, had Jen drifting off quickly. The Barabel rose carefully, Jen held in her arms. “We will let her zleep for asss long as she can. We had no idea.” Ona gently brushed the girl’s hair and followed Mama Lizard form the room. Istara waited until after they had left before turning to Idjit.

“That could not have been easy. You knew.” It wasn’t a question.

“From the moment I saw her.” Idjit agreed quietly. “But every possible future I saw where she did not say it herself, if she was forced to speak… she self destructed. We can’t push her.”

“We won’t. Now that we know… well... Who was it that said ‘Knowing is half the battle’?” Istara smiled sadly as she rose.

“Don’t you quote a cartoon at me.” Stormhawk Boss snarled but in obvious humor. “That was… I was not expecting Bladeborn to be kind.”

“We are not.” Istara said quietly as she sat again on the chair. “But we know what it is to be broken, to be despised, to be targets of hate and jealousy. Jen needs to face this and we will help her. It is what we do. But for now… We need to talk…”

“That we do.” The commander of the renegade cruiser Stormhawk said quietly.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
08.13.2012 , 05:05 AM | #4
"We can't stay here." Istara said slowly. "We place you and your ship in grave danger every moment we are here."

"Oh?" Boss asked, his voice somewhat amused. "And anywhere else you would go you wouldn't bring danger?"

"Please do not make light of this." Istara asked slowly. "Boss, we cannot remain here. You and the crew have been incredible in hospitality. But..." She shook her head. "What happened here today is a small sample of our lives. Our way is hard, brutal. We are trained for one thing and one thing only. To fight."

"I know." Stormhawk boss said quietly. "But we owe you. We pay our debts."

"You owe me nothing." Istara said sadly. "My coming here got two of your crew killed."

"Yes." Boss agreed. "But... It also exposed the treachery of a long standing member of the crew. If you had not come when you did, Jaken would have been free to cause more, worse harm. Or turn the Dragons against us and kill us all."

"From one point of view..." Istara said with a frown. "I guess I can see that. But my arrival did cause unrest on your ship."

"Not as much as you think." Boss said with a shrug. "You at least were polite. The Sith we had aboard during the mess with Zelkin was not. She nearly got fried a number of times."

"Istara..." WIll said quietly. "The tension was growing a long time before you got here. It was going to boil over sooner or later. Did Brianna's encounter with you flash it? Yes. Did you cause it? No."

"Will..." Istra's voice was sick now. "We can't stay here. You know this. Add us to the Stormhawk's problems and... Well..." She sighed.

"Istara." Will said reasonably. "Where would you go?" He asked gently. "Any planet you wind up on will be a trap. Eventually someone will find you, unless you keep moving. And moving over two hundred people at once is kind of visible. The homeship is not set up for non-Sitolon access. Raven has told me about how she has had to work to get around aboard." Istara slumped a bit and Will nodded. "I know Dia offered. But.." He shrugged.

"She doesn't have the space." Istara said sadly. "And there are too many memories there for Sara. Here, there are too, but..."

"Not as many. Not as bad." Will agreed softly. "Istara, this is the best choice. Is it perfect? No. Will it be easy? No. But we can make it work."

"Easy is not for Bladeborn." Idjit said in a quiet voice. Istara looked at him and then sighed.

"I know it wasn't really my fault." Istara said sadly. "I know it wasn't even Brianna's fault. But I can't help seeing your kid's faces' Will. When I saw them in the detention bay. They were not children, but they were innocent. We are dangerous to be around. We... We are..." Idjit stepped close to his lover and laid a hand on her shoulder. He didn't do anything, just shared her grief and pain for a moment before stepping back. "Will, Boss... I..." She sighed again and shook herself. "If... If we do this... We will need a chain of command." Boss looked at her and Istara nodded. "My people deal better with a clear line of command. We understand about shipboard life. Cole outranked almost everyone aboard the Bladehome except Mama and Trugoy." Will stared at Istara and she shrugged. "He knew what he was doing." Will stared at her and Istara flushed a little. "Will, we are not techs, not pilots, although we can. We are not navigators or communications people. We are not navy people."

"No." Boss agreed. "You are Bladeborn." He made a 'hmm' noise. "You would take my orders?"

"Well..." Istara made a face. "If you order me or any of my kin to jump out an airlock unsuited without a darn good reason, we will likely balk." Will chortled a bit at that and Boss just stared at her. "Boss, we know we have control issues. If..." She shook her head. "I don't want to do this, but you are both right. I cannot let my pain and grief hurt my kin. And... She nodded and her voice was stronger. "Sara needs stability now. She trusts this ship and it's crew. We will stay. For now." She qualified. "What are your orders, sir?" She asked Boss, who stiffened.

"Whoa..." Boss said, an empty hand coming up in a warding gesture. "Wait a moment... Istara... No. I do not command you."

"There can be only one captain on a ship, Boss." Istara said flatly. "Every attempt I have heard of to have co-captains or anything like that... has ended badly. I was not captain of the Rancor's Bite. I listened to my captain. I was... Maybe an admiral? No... I only had one ship. I don't know how to define it. But it worked."

"You were in charge of your activities, but the captain ran the ship?" Will mused. Istara nodded and WIll did as well after a moment. "Allies. You are allied forces." Istara looked at him and he smiled at her. "Istara, you have your own command structure, your own officers. You are stuck on this ship for the moment, but not enemies. What you need is a Liaison officer, someone who can deal with both sets of personnel. And before anyone says anything.... I can't do it."

"Yeah." Istara said sadly. "You need to find Nia. Will, when you do find Darmuk's base, let me know. You wouldn't mind some backup when facing a Sith Lord would you?"

"No." WIll said with a tight smile. "Contrary to popular belief I am not that... What the-?" He stopped talking as Istara's com chimed.

"Yes?" Istara asked. Her people knew better than to bother her with stupid things.

"Istara! We need you!" Jon's voice came from her com and the healer's voice was one step removed from terror. "As soon as you can! We have a-" The voice cut out and static sounded.

"Aw crap!" Idjit said as he started for the hatch, followed by all the others. "Cina, you are such a twit! Why now?"
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08.13.2012 , 05:08 AM | #5
Lo and behold, it was not Cina Darkstorm who had prompted Jon’s scared call to Istara. Idjit skidded to a halt just inside the main medical ward of the Stormhawk. Well, not JUST her. Part of his awareness saw Ona, Jon and various nurses working to get patients away from the…

“Aw… flarg…” Idjit muttered under his breath as he looked at the woman locked in what looked like a bubble of the Force. The Force was literally boiling around Jina Darkstorm. Her sister, far from the arrogant and obnoxious woman who had tested Istara in front of all the assembled Bladeborn, was…cowering? Her arm was in a cast and her face was ashen. Ona, Jon and the other healers were on the other side of the wall of Force energy., They looked okay. Well, Ona looked scared and angry. “Jina no!” Idjit cried as he tried to pass the wall of energy that seemed to bar half the medical ward. It threw him back and he hissed from the pain.

“What the hell?” Istara asked as she skidded to a stop just behind him. “Cina?” She asked in a worried voice was Jina rotated in midair, buoyed by something that couldn’t be seen… The Jedi’s eyes were closed and she was grimacing as if in pain. “Aw crap!”

“She came in, she seemed… disoriented. She asked me what I thought I was doing.” Cina said as if dazed. Given her appearance, Ona had probably given the younger woman a sedative as well as painkillers. “I said I had to be sure who I followed. She… She just …” Cina waved a slow hand to where Jina was floating. “She erupted in energy…”

“That is not all that happened, was it, Cina? She shouldn’t have reacted like this from some hard words.” Istara did not take her eyes off the floating former Jedi but her tone was harsh.

“I…” Cina seemed to wilt but she wasn’t going to lie to the Grandmaster. “No… She was so calm… So fracking calm… I just… I wanted her to show emotion, some kind of emotion. Some remorse for what she put the family through. Some regret…”

“What did you do, Cina?” Istara asked relentlessly. “Oh no…” Jina’s face had turned so they could see her closed eyes and the red handprint on the Jedi’s cheek. Istara groaned. “You didn’t…” Istara tried to pass the energy wall and hissed as it resisted her as well. “Aw crap…” The grandmaster repeated.

“What… what is happening?” For the first time, Cina sounded unsure. “How is she doing that?” The former Sith sounded lost and alone.

“Cina, you must listen to me.” Idjit’s calm voice cut through the hubbub that was starting behind them. “There is only one person in this room who can get through that barrier. And that is you…” He poked at the middle of her chest with a finger and her robes indented.. “You caused this. You have to fix it.”

Stormhawk Boss’ voice was heard now. “...can we use sleep gas? I know she is a Jedi, but if she does much more structural damage, she could put the entire ship at risk.”

“Structural damage?” Cina turned to stare at the commander of the ship, and then her eyes lit on the fact that the energy field was cutting into the ceiling and floor of the room. Her eyes went wide. “Oh…no…”

“No, gas won’t work.” Will Kalenath said as he appeared nearby. “And shooting her is out.” His cold gaze silenced everything for a moment. “Doubt it would work anyway, that field is strong. But no one is shooting Jina.”

“Cina, put your hand on the barrier.” Idjit’s calm voice held command and Cina did as ordered before anyone could stop her. It went right through. She stared at her hand, and wiggled her fingers inside it, dumbfounded. “You can do this, you are the only one who can.”

“How is she doing this?” Cina Darkstorm stared at Idjit, everyone else in the room ignored.

"Cina..." Idjit shook his head. “We don’t have time, Cina. You know what you need to do. To wake her up.”

"I..." To the amazement of everyone else in the room, Cina stared at the seer and burst into tears. “No! I can’t…”

“Cina…” Idjit’s voice was relentless now. “You must. She has come into her powers too soon. She does not know how to control them yet. You are the only one who can get past the barrier. Cina. Do it. She would not want you to wait, to let her threaten the lives of all she loves. You know she loves you.”

"No..." Cina stared around the room, horror written all over her features. “No… Please… Don’t make me do this…” Idjit shook his head and CIna focused on Istara. “Please, grandmaster, there must be another way…”

"idjit...?" Istara looked at Idjit and her face was forlorn. “You are sure?” He nodded and Istara seemed to wilt a little. She stepped up to where Cina stood and took the woman’s hands in her won. “Cina, listen to me. If I could do it, I would. But I can’t get through the field that Jina has put up. I won’t order you to do this. I will beg you, as she would. Please… Do the right thing.” Istara gave Cina a nod and then stepped back a pace.

"I..." Cina felt so lost and alone in the Force that Idjit’s heart went out to her. He stepped up as well and whispered into her ear. She stared at him and then nodded slowly. “I do hate her. But you are right… part of me still loves her. I…” Suddenly the girl stiffened and Idjit froze in place. Her face lit up. “She is dreaming. I know how to break someone out of a dream…”

“Cina, No!” He shouted and grabbed for her as the woman dove for the barrier. He stopped just at the edge and watched with all the others as Cina stepped towards her sister, a blade in hand. “You can’t kill her! You will doom us all!”

Idjit’s shout reverberated around the room, but it was clear that Cina could not hear him. All he could do was watch as she drew back to swing and cut…at Jina’s bad knee. Even swung one handed, the blade flew true. Idjit saw the blade bite deep as clearly as if he still had eyes, then the Force slammed into him, throwing him across the room.

When Idjit could sense through the Force again, the barrier was gone. The blade that Cina had used was lying on the floor, beside Cina who held Jina in her lap, her hands clamped tightly around the stump of the former Jedi’s leg. Cina was crying.

“I am sorry, Jina…" Cina begged. "I am sorry, sister… Please wake up… Please don’t leave me… again…”

“Oh Cina… Don’t cry…” Jina’s voice was almost inaudible. Her hands moved weakly to touch Cina’s face. “My fault… Not yours…” She looked up and her eyes were serene as she met Idjit’s empty eyesockets from across the room. “I understand now, seer. Tell Ashla Ti that she was right, and wrong. I am one of the Seven.” She was fading, but Ona and Jon were there with medical gear squatting in the pool of blood that had resulted from Cina’s slice.

“Don’t move!” Ona snarled at Jina. “I don’t know what just happened, and I don’t care! Don’t move! She exclaimed as Jina hugged her younger sister tight.

“My… my personal sacrifice…Knew it was coming…Just not when…” Jina’s voice was fading with her consciousness. “But…” Impossibly, she smiled. “I got my sister back… So it’s worth it…” She gasped and then slumped in Cina’s grip.

“Jina…?” Cina asked anxiously. “JINA!” She cried as she pulled her sister close, trying to hold her sister in place through sheer force of will.

“Cina… ease up…” Ona commanded. “She is alive. And she is going to stay that way. Mama?”

Mama Lizard came up and gently, so gently, extricated Cina from her sister. Cina was a mess, covering in blood and gore, her face streaked with tears. She stared at the Barabel and then, buried her face in Mama’s arm scales and cried.
My stories in order:
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kalenath
08.13.2012 , 05:13 AM | #6
“Okay…” The soft, incredulous voice came from a corner where a nine year old girl sat quietly. “I am officially creeped out and lost. Why the heck did Cina cut Jina’s leg off?” The girl called Mira shook her head baffled. “I know she had to wake Jina up, but… Why…?”

“Well…” Idjit shook his head slowly from where he sat near the door. “Jina wasn’t ready to use those powers yet. I bet she found a pocket of nanites and eliminated them before coming to see her sister. That would explain why she was disoriented. It really messes you up for a bit. As for Cina? It was the only way she could get Jina to see her, instead of whatever the frak Jina was actually seeing. The shock of the amputation woke Jina from her trance. Hard on Jina and the rest of us, but it worked.”

“Yeah.” Istara sighed as she sat beside Mira and hugged the girl gently. “Hey, Mira, it’s okay. We are all scared.” Mira’s eyes were disbelieving but she didn’t try and break free. Istara shook her head. “You think I enjoy this feeling that something way more powerful than me is moving me without my control?”

“I…” Mira shook her head slowly. “Are you saying that I am going to be able to do something like that? Like what Jina did?” It was going to take days of work to repair the damage done to the medical bay.

“No.” Idjit said quietly as he sipped a drink that he had been given. “We don’t know what you are going to wind up being…” He broke off as Mira’s eyes went far away. “Mira?” He asked quickly. Mira did not look at him and when she spoke it was in a monotone. "MIra!"

“This unit is detailed as an information storage and retrieval unit. This unit is…” Mira seemed to shudder and then she collapsed into Istara’s arms. Istara shot a worried glance at Idjit, but held her place as Mira shook herself and snarled. “Dang it! So long without an episode and now… Why now…?”

"Ah..." Istara shook her head and gave Mira support as the girl shook herself. “We don’t know, Mira. Ashla forbid you have to go through that kind of thing yourself. You have already sacrificed too much. Thank the stars you don’t have the Force.” Mira leaned into the embrace, grateful for the support. She was free of the lingering doubts as to Istara’s veracity now.

“What did Jina mean, ‘my personal sacrifice’?” This from another corner where Will sat at a terminal, doing data searches. From the looks of it, on Jedi and Jedi powers. A brunette haired woman sat beside him, her hand on his shoulder. All eyes in the room turned to Idjit and he sighed.

“I don’t know for sure.” The seer admitted. “We have all suffered, every one of us. Istara, myself, Will, Michelle, Mira… We all know suffering on a personal level. Jina… well… She does as well…” He pursed his lips as Will nodded.

“So does Nia, and almost certainly she is going through worse while that scum Darmuk has her.” Will shook his head and closed down his terminal. “But this was more… I don’t know…” He was feeling his way through his thoughts. “This was… more immediate, more…”

“More real. More here and now.” Michelle’s voice as always was soft and gentle. It was hard to remember sometimes that the mind inside her body was more than a thousand years old. It was also hard to believe that the kind woman who was hugging Will now had more blood on her hands than everyone else in the room put together. “More… personal. I really hope this is not something that we all will go through.”

“You and me both, Michelle. You and me both.” Istara said, shuddering a bit. “Idjit, can you tell us anything?” Her tone was carefully neutral now. Often being told things by seers was just as bad if not worse than being in the dark. The seer pursed his lips again and thought hard for a moment.

“There is not a lot known about the legend of the Seven. It’s old, we know that, at least fifteen thousand years. But…” He shook his head. “As to seeing what we are to do or how…? No. Every time I try, I get a headache you wouldn’t believe.” He grimaced in remembered pain.

“Probably because you are involved.” Will mused softly. “The Seven are supposed to stop the machines. We know that. How or with what, we don’t know.”

“Depends on which version you read.” Idjit countered quietly. “In one version, the Seven are heroes, saviors of the galaxy. In another, they are harbingers of death and destruction. Agents of horrific power and evil. In yet another, they are agents of subversion and deceit, sowing discord before the arrival of the machines. In another, they are dupes fooled into allowing the machines to destroy everything.” The blind seer shook his head. “I just don’t know.”

“Sheesh…” Mira shook her head and smiled at Istara. “Thank you Grandmaster. I am okay now.” Istara looked at her and Mira shrugged a bit self-consciously. “Well, as okay as I can be… This whole ‘living computer’ thing got old after the first time, you know?”

Istara smiled as she let Mira slide off her lap and stood up. “You are not alone Mira. We are all trying to figure these things out. And no one sane calls you weak.” She tweaked Mira’s nose as she walked towards Idjit, ignoring the girl’s half hearted protest. “I had a thought, actually…”

“Scary that.” Idjit made a comically terrified face and he grinned as Istara hit him lightly on the arm. “Ow… Meanie!” All the others in the room grinned at his comical tone.

“I am serious, laserbrain.” But her mouth was quirking into a smile as she sat down beside her paramour. “Am I still an ambassador to the Empire for the Sitolon?” Idjit stiffened, but only someone who knew him well would be able to see it. Unfortunately, Istara knew him well. “I am, aren’t I?”

“Yes… But Istara, you have been out of circulation for some time. I don’t know how they would react to you showing up. I know it wouldn’t be good.” Idjit was picking his words with care.

“I am not talking about throwing myself at the Emperor’s nonexistent mercy. I am talking about opening a dialogue. You know… this newfangled thing called the Holonet? Com systems? You know?” Her grin was wicked, but seriousness under laid her tone. “We need to do something. Something that does not involve any of us going to Drummond Kaas.” Idjit stiffened and Istara laid a gentle hand on his arm. “You didn’t think I would figure it out, did you?” Now she sounded upset. Idjit wilted a bit under her hurt eyes.

“Istara… It is the only way. Someone has to explain to the Emperor what happened. You can’t go. You are the only thing holding the kin together as it is. If he obliterates you… well…” Idjit did not move as Istara’s hand came up, but instead of a slap, it traced his jaw. “Istara…” He said carefully.

“We will find another way.” There was no give at all in the Grandmaster of the Bladeborn’s voice. “You are not going.”

“Istara…” Idjit shook his head, but he had been given an order by the Grandmaster of his order... He nodded slowly.

“Don’t try to weasel out of this, Idjit.” Istara said quietly. “You are not the only one who ‘sees’ things, you know.” Idjit froze as Istara nodded slowly. “It wouldn’t work. All it would do is get you killed for nothing. And that would make me very cross.” She smiled, but there was a grim undertone to her expression.

“We need to talk to the Sitolon.” Will commented quietly. “All of us. Face to face.”

“How long until Jina is mobile?” Mira asked quietly, only to find Istara, Will and Idjit all smiling grimly at her. “What?” She asked.

“I give it five minutes after she wakes up.” Will said with a grimace. “With or without a prosthetic, she is going to be moving.”

“Oh.” Mira’s voice was small now. “Ona is just going to love that, isn’t she?” Mira asked with a somewhat scared look on her face. She knew the Bothan well.

“Nope.” All the others in the room chorused.
My stories in order:
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kalenath
08.13.2012 , 05:17 AM | #7
As luck would have it, Idjit was sitting with Jina when the former Jedi woke. All of the others had been taking turns staying with her. They knew what was coming. He knew the moment she woke. Her breathing didn’t change but her sense in the Force was suddenly apprehensive.

“Good morning, Jina.” Idjit said softly as he sat forward in his chair. Jina looked at him and Idjit held up a hand when she would have shifted in the bed. “No, don’t move. Ona is… rather annoyed with you.”

“Yeah…” Jina sighed and lay back. Her sense in the Force was scared now. “She took it off, didn’t she?”

“Cina did, yes. And then Ona finished the amputation. It’s clean and healing well, and above the knee.” Idjit shook his head. “Are you thirsty? Ona said you probably would be from the painkillers and quick heal.”

“Dry as a dune on Tattooine.” Jina agreed and took the glass that Idjit extended in careful fingers. Ordinarily, she would have objected when he held it with her, but her fingers were shaking. She sipped through the straw and her sense in the Force was grateful. She finished the glass and let Idjit take it back. Then she slumped in the bed. “I really messed up, didn’t I?”

“I don’t know.” Idjit admitted quietly. “Ashla Ti and the other Jedi are really wierded out. They have never seen anything like it. Neither have I, but I know you were not using the Dark Side. Boss is upset about his medical bay, but happy no one was hurt or killed.” He paused and continued sourly. “Besides you that is.”

“I was angry…” Jina mused, and would have sat up, except Idjit held her shoulder down gently but firmly. “I… I don’t know. It felt…wrong. Something just felt wrong. I saw her hand come up and then… I was floating… Almost as if I were on the plain. Then I was waking up on the floor with my leg gone and Cina crying. She blames herself. I think we are both to blame.”

“On the plain…?” Idjit asked carefully. “Hmmm…” Jina tried to sit up again and this time, Idjit let her. Try that is. She got halfway up and couldn’t move her leg.

“What the…?” Jina asked in a voice of worry as she felt the drag. She stared at the lump under the light blanket. “What the hell?”

“Ona was… unhappy. She didn’t want you jumping up and running off until she was sure you no long term impairment. And she was angry..” Idjit shook his head. Ona had been much less than enthused with Jina. The Bothan healer had attached a prosthetic, but had not activated it. So the former Jedi currently had a large dead weight attached to her right leg above the knee.

“Oh come on!” Jina exclaimed as she explored the leg with careful fingers. It was an expensive prosthetic, one of the good ones that looked just like real flesh. “I know I haven’t been the best of patients. I know I have steamed her, but…“ She deflated and collapsed back onto the bed. “I didn’t mean to be.”

“I know that. All of us know that. You have gone through a horrific ordeal, Jina. Losing a leg is not a minor wound.” Idjit replied as he patted her hand comfortingly. Her sense in the Force as one step removed from tears. “Jina, relax. You are on strong painkillers currently. If you move around too much you could either hurt yourself or get nauseous. Just lie there for once and let us take care of you.”

“You guys are always taking care of me.” Jina sighed and shook her head. “After the mess on Tralus, when I escaped the Jedi. After Vorren hurt me… You all do nothing but care for me…” The Jedi was crying now and Idjit leaned close and took her hands in his.

“Jina… Be at peace.” The dark seer said quietly. “You are a friend. We help our friends.” Idjit wiped away the tears that ran down Jina’s face. “It’s the drugs Jina. We all know how tough you are. There is no shame in crying. Tears are not weakness. They can be a sign of weakness, but not in you. We know better.”

“Oh Idjit… I am a mess, aren’t I?” Jina asked sourly as she brushed the tears away on her patient gown.

“Yes you are. But I need to ask, Jina…” The seer shook his head slightly. “What do you remember from before you came to the medical ward?”

“Before….? Oh.” Jina nodded sheepishly. “I was supposed to report where I found those machines. Oops…” She sighed and spoke in a cool tone. “I was traveling through sector twelve when I sensed them. It took me a few minutes to find where they were, they had been placed inside a crate. I zapped them like I was taught.”

“Sector twelve?” Idjit asked carefully.

“Yeah, just outside Dragon territory.” Jina said with a grimace as she tried to squirm a little. “I dealt with them before Coruscant a couple of times. I know better than to go into their lair uninvited.”

“Might there be more in there?” Idjit asked softly, only to stop short as Jina reached up and took his closest hand in both of hers.

“Idjit. No.” Jina’s voice held worry now. “If there are, let Will handle them. If you or Istara go in there, you are not coming out. I know how powerful you are and it doesn’t matter. They are all like Will, just… not as stable.” If Idjit had possessed eyes, they would have gone very wide at that. “Tell Will…” Jina’s voice trailed off as the door to the room hissed open and a black furred Bothan came in bearing a tray. “Hello Ona…”

“Good afternoon, Jina.” The Bothan said brightly. “I brought you lunch.”

“Ona…” Jina winced at the overly bright response. Ona was still angry. “I am sorry… I know I have been a bad patient. I know I have been a pain in the tail. I am sorry.” The Bothan sighed as she laid the tray down on a table beside the bed.

“You are not the worst patient I have ever had, Jina.” Ona’s voice was as gentle as her fingertip as if traced Jina’s cheek. “Close, but not quite. But as of now, you have to listen to me, don’t you?”

“I always listen to you Ona. I don’t always do what you wish, but I always listen.” Jina said with a grimace.

“Well, now you are going to listen to me and do what I say. If you do what I say, I can have you out of that bed and mobile in a day. If you don’t…” The Bothan’s voice trailed off evilly.

Jina turned pleading eyes towards Idjit but he just held up his hands in a warding gesture. “Oh no… You are not going to get me involved in this. Bye.”

As he left, he heard Jina smother a chuckle. He supposed it was fairly humorous, someone like him running from two small females. Not that size matters in any regard except for reach. But his focus was elsewhere. If what he suspected was true… He keyed his com.

“Will, you busy?” He asked when he got a quiet acknowledgement.

“Am I ever not?” Came the sour reply and Idjit had to smile. Will Kalenath was a lot of things. Politically correct was not one of them.

“Have you had a chance to check the Dragons' quarters for nanites? Jina found some near there.” And indrawn breath was the reply he had been expecting. “How… How do we do this…?” Idjit hated being so timid, but when faced by real life Dragons, anyone would be who wasn’t insane. And Idjit wasn’t really insane, he just played it so well that sometimes he wondered himself if he was.

“Very carefully. Meet me in sector twelve.” With that, the com clicked off and Idjit nodded and started towards the designated sector.
My stories in order:
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kalenath
08.13.2012 , 05:21 AM | #8
One did not lightly traipse into the lair of a flight of Dragons. If one was not invited, well… Idjit had heard something sometime, he couldn’t remember where. ‘Thou shouldn’t meddle in the affairs of dragons for thou art crunchy and go well with ketchup.’ While these were not the mighty predators that called the Dune Sea of Tattooine home, they were highly dangerous and only a fool underestimated them. So it was with a small sigh of relief that he sensed Will approaching.

“I half expected you to go in without me.” The soldier said as he came close.

“Do I look that crazy? Don’t answer that!” Idjit said quickly as he sensed amusement from the soldier. He shook his head, sobering. “I can detect at least three pockets of the nanites inside even though the jamming and stealth. How about you?”

"Hmmm." Will seemed to coalesce in the Force for a moment and then he sighed as well. “I can detect two of them. But I know better than to doubt your senses.” He shook himself audibly and continued. “Look, I know you know when to keep your mouth shut. Seers kind of have to. But you are likely to hear things in there that will test your reserve. They will push you. Do not push back. If you do, you will not leave those rooms alive and I seriously don’t want to explain to Istara why I let you get killed.”

“Wuss.” Idjit snickered at the sense he got from Will. Then he got serious. “Can you do it alone?”

“No.” Will blew out a bubbling breath. “Those machines don’t like me. It’s as if they recognize me and deny my access. Don’t say it!” He cautioned.

“Say what?” Idjit said with as artful a look of innocence as he could muster. “That you are mean to machines and they take it the wrong way?”

“I ought to be used to your sense of humor by now. Crazy seer.” Will sighed as he started for the hatch that marked the edge of Dragon Territory. He hit the chime and spoke in an even tone. “Dragon Four with a guest. We need to do a sweep for the nanites.”

“You brought a black robe, Four?” The voice of Captain Scarran, Dragon Leader, was painfully neutral.

“He is Bladeborn, Dragon Lead. You heard their oath.” Will shook his head at the scoffing sound that came from the com.

“Of all the people in the galaxy, I would have expected you to be the last to trust a black robe, Will.” Captain Scarran’s voice was just a little less neutral now.

“Who said I trust him?” Will countered with just a touch of heat. “I may like him and Istara, but that doesn’t mean I trust them.” Idjit turned his head to Will and the man’s sense in the Force was unapologetic. “It’s the truth. For now, we cut you all slack. When, not if, when, you step out of line, that slack will hang all of you.”

“Istara’s oath was to Boss.” Idjit replied coldly. “Our oaths are to her. If she decides to break her oath, well, then we will follow her. Until and unless she does, you are stuck with us.” A laugh came from the com.

“If I didn’t know better, I would have said that was from one of us. It was just crazy enough to be a fledgling Dragon.” Captain Scarran’s voice was soft now. “We will not trust you, any of you. But like Will says, that doesn’t mean we can’t like you. Crazy man…”

“You haven’t seen anything yet, Captain.” Will said with a sour chuckle. “Permission to enter?”

“Granted. Ten is just inside the hatch. Do not leave her side.” There was no doubting the menace in Captain Scarran’s voice now. “We have marked the two spots we have found that had nanites. Ten can detect them, probably because she was dosed with them.”

“Yuck.” Idjit’s said quietly as he waited at the hatch. It hissed open and Will spoke softly.

“Hiya Ten. How you doing?” The concern in his tone would have been easy to hear, let alone sense. Idjit recalled that Dragon Ten had been the girl who had been programmed, had shot Istara and killed two of Will’s adopted kids on Istara’s previous visit. And then, after her father had died, Will had adopted her. Odd, but totally in character.

"Hi Four." A girl’s tired voice answered Will. “The nightmares are not as bad now. L’trask’s latest concoction seems to be working. When I am out and about, Sharra, Juli and the rest have not left me alone, and the rest of the Dragons insist on me flying with them. Not that I am any good.”

“Look, Ten…” Will’s voice was concerned now. “…It’s not something you are going to pick up instantly. Even Dragons have to learn how to fly, girl. I had to learn how to fly.” A pause where Idjit sensed disbelief from the girl and Will scoffed. “Come on. No human is born with wings. A lot of what I do is instinctive. But I had to hone those skills just like anyone else. Come on, let’s get these nanites taken care of and get out of here.”

“Don’t tell me you are scared of us, Four…” Dragon Ten’s voice was shocked.

“Ten, I spent ten years mourning my friends.” Will’s voice was soft and pained now. “And now, they are back, with a vengeance. But they are not the people I remember. I know my memories are likely faulty, I remembered the best parts and forgot the bad pieces but… It hurts, you know?”

“I am sorry, Four.” Dragon Ten said quietly.

“Not your fault, Ten. If it’s anyone’s it’s mine.” Will laughed sourly. “Story of my life. Come on, let’s get these stupid micro machines taken care of.” Idjit shook his head as he followed the soldier and the Dragon into the Dragon’s lair. Then he stopped short as soon as he passed the threshold and it's sensor baffles.

“Oh boy…” Idjit said quietly as he scanned the area with the Force. He could detect the nanites clearly now. It was easy. There were a lot of sources.

“What?” Will asked from just ahead.

“How many packets of nanites do you detect Will?” Idjit asked quietly, his empty eye sockets moving around as he noted the feelings..

“I…” Will’s sense in the Force became shocked. “Oh dear…”

“Yeah.” Idjit was not familiar with this feeling. Terror was for other people facing him, not for him to be facing. “There are a lot more than two or three packets of them in here.”

“What do you mean?” Dragon Ten asked hurriedly. "There are nanites here?" She asked, her sense one step removed from terror. If what Idjit had heard about her was true, he didn't blame her one bit.

“I count… Twelve… No, fifteen pockets of nanites around the vicinity.” Will’s voice was almost as scared as Idjit felt. "Ten, get Leader!" Dragon Ten scampered off. "Why the hell didn’t we detect them before?"

“Probably because we know what we are doing.” This from a new masculine voice nearby. Idjit scanned with the Force and found a Dug. What the hell was a Dug doing in the Dragon’s den? Wait, his sense in the Force was like Brianna's. He was a Dragon. What the...?

“Kix…” Will began softly. “Do you have any idea what you are playing with?” By the end of his statement, his tone was heated.

“Something that will win the war for the Republic.” The Dug replied with equal heat.

“Kix…” Will was shaking his head and holding onto his temper by his fingernails. “You have no idea. No idea at all. None of you do. Let me show you what those things do.”

“Will…” Idjit warned in a worried voice.

”I know what I am doing.” If anything, Will’s snide comment made Idjit even more worried.

“Will… Sharra will kick my tail if anything happens to you.” This from Dragon Ten. Idjit had never thought to be in agreement with a Republic fighter pilot.

The voice of Dragon lead came from near her. “Dragon Seven… Stand down.” Idjit didn’t need to see to know that the dug had a blaster pointed at Will now as Will reached for the closest pocket of nanites. "Four... No..."

“Will…” Idjit bit out through clenched teeth.

“They want to see what these things will do? I am going to show them.” With that, the world fell away.
My stories in order:
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kalenath
08.13.2012 , 05:25 AM | #9
When Idjit could sense again, he froze in place. “Aw Will… You didn’t…” His voice was sour. He knew where he was. Or did he? Things were different from the last time he had been on the gray featureless plain.

“What the FU-…” Came an exclamation from nearby as a human male with a silver mask. He was shaking his head as he walked towards Idjit. “How the hell… What the hell…?” The voice was familiar. “What did you do, Sith?”

“Captain Scarran, I am as confused as you are. I wasn’t aware Will could do things like this.” Idjit shrugged and then froze. He could see the captain! He put his hands up to his face and shuddered a bit as he felt eyelids over moving fluid for the first time in decades. “I am so going to thrash that man…”

“Where are we?” Captain Scarran asked in a nasty tone, his hand on his blaster. He didn't move.

“Don’t bother captain. The blaster won’t help. We are exactly nowhere. And everywhere.” Idjit shook his head as he looked around. “Stupid, stupid… Will, you nut…”

“Make sense, Sith.” Captain Scarran was joined by two others in Republic uniform; a male human and a female human, and both had weapons out and pointed at Idjit. Both felt upset in the Force, and Idjit couldn't blame them at all.

“I don’t know exactly where we are. Or when.” Idjit shook his head as he looked around. “As far as I know only Will’s daughter can… Aw frak…” Idjit froze. “Freeze and don’t move!” He cried as a huge form appeared in the distance.

“What the hell…” Captain Scarran started, only to have Idjit slam into him, holding a hand close ovcer over his mouth to muffle sound.

“Shhh! Sound doesn’t attract them until they get a lot closer, but if they scent us, no cloak in the universe will hide us. Nobody move. Those things can eat all of us and I don’t want to explain to Istara why I let my soul get eaten today. I know where we are now. We are in deep, deep trouble.” Idjit cast the Force around the trio of soldiers and himself, praying silently that the cloak he knew how to make from the Force would hold. The huge mass in the distance approached slowly, and then resolved into numerous smaller masses, all with tentacles and sharp looking teeth. Captain Scarran stared at the approaching mass of monstrosities and froze in place. A quick hand gesture had his two people freezing in place as well.

Idjit did not release the captain until after the predators had left the area and then he shook his head as he retreated a step. “I apologize for the discourtesy Captain, but I have no wish to be eaten today.”

“What… were…those…things…?” The female Dragon asked in a dazed tone.

“Well?” Captain Scarran asked Idjit as he looked around.

“We are on what I believe is a dreamscape.” Idjit said quietly, scanning the area with the Force, he didn’t trust the eyes that he suddenly had. “It allows for unsecure communication across the galaxy in real time. Unfortunately, like any mind, it has defenses. You just saw some of them.”

“How did we get here?” Captain Scarran was sounding more than a little perturbed now.

“Will brought us here. Your Dug pilot apparently has been hoarding nanites that he has found. Will wanted to…” Idjit froze in place. “Aw nuts… If Will brought us here… I bet he brought your whole group. And if they don’t have someone to ward them…”

“They do.” A disembodied voice came from nowhere and a small green figure stepped out of nothingness to appear in front of Idjit.

Vandar!” Idjit had his hands up and his sword in hand, for all the good it would do him. He knew how powerful Vandar Tokare was, but suddenly, he didn’t care. Here was the being almost fully responsible for much of the pain in his kin’s lives. Vandar did not move, probably wise with three blasters and a sword pointed at him, even virtual ones.

“I am not your enemy today, Idjit of the Bladeborn. I didn’t know what they were doing on the Stormhawk. They don’t tell me everything. This is the only place where I have even the semblance of freedom.” Vandar Tokare’s face was serene. “You need to leave.”

“Where is Will?” Captain Scarran’s voice could have cut steel.

“He is…’educating’ your Dug pilot on what the nanites do.” Vandar replied quietly. Idjit grimaced and Vandar nodded. “You can find him, Idjit of the Bladeborn. All you need to do is ‘look’” there was an odd emphasis on the word ‘look’.

“Yeah.” Idjit scoffed. “All I need to do to be forever damned is to listen to anything you say, short stuff.” The Dragons stared at him, but Vandar actually laughed.

“Do you have any idea how long it has been since anyone insulted me to my face?” Vandar asked, still laughing. “I like you, Idjit of the Bladeborn. Pity we are on opposite sides.”

“After what you did to Morey, I will see you and your whole organization burn.” Idjit’s words now could have chipped stone.

“I tried to let him go.” Vandar said quietly and sadly. “Once I knew what they were doing, I tried to get him clear. I failed. You have no reason to believe me. But you have to get the rest of the Dragons out of here before worse things show up.”

“Like you?” Idjit snarled, his sword still following the small form as Vandar stepped around the small group.

“Worse.” Vandar said quietly. “Go. Now.” Then he was gone.

Idjit looked at Captain Sacrran and the other two Dragons before sighing. “We need to find Will.”

“He said you could find him.” The female Dragon said quietly, trying to look everywhere.

“Yeah, but I don’t believe a word he says.” Idjit snarled as he scanned the area with the Force. "I can't."

“You shouldn’t.” Another voice answered his word sand all four of the beings in the cluster froze as a transparent blue form appeared in front of them. The young female Twi’lek wore Jedi robes and a sour expression. “But just this once, he didn’t lie. Hello Idjit.”

“Who is going to show up next? The Emperor? The Supreme Chancellor?” Idjit shook his head slowly before sighing. “Hello Ulaha.”
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
08.13.2012 , 05:29 AM | #10
Of all the various people that Idjit might have liked to meet in a dreamscape at ANY other time, the formerly living Jedi Padawan Ulaha might have been high on the list. Might. Here and now, not so much. The seer shook his head and sighed again.

“Let me guess. It’s all up to me, right?” Idjit’s sour tone had all three of the Republic soldiers staring at him. “Don’t ask.” He snarled and gestured at the Force ghost. “Well?”

“Bad day?” Ulaha sounded honestly concerned.

“You do remember what happened the last time I had eyes in this place, right?” Considering that he had fought Ravishaw, drained himself dry of the Force, travelled in time, and then been rescued by older versions of Ulaha, Nia, Istara and someone who had seemed very, very familiar and sent back in time again... He wasn’t going to forget that any time soon despite various people trying to make him forget.

“Well…” Ulaha had that same sick grin on her face as when she had found him after all that mess. “You won’t drain yourself so thoroughly and scatter your essence to the four winds this time, will you?” Idjit glared at her and she shrugged. “Had to ask…” Her tone was just the right shade of insouciant. He couldn’t help it, he grinned.

“You… Sheesh… You are bad, Ulaha…” He shook his head chuckling. “But we do have a major problem.”

“Make that eleven of them.” Ulaha corrected with a small grimace.

“Oh joy… He pulled the whole squadron?” Idjit wasn’t sure what part of that he disliked more. The idea of a small horde of non Force using people stuck in this place or the way Will had done it.

“Would someone please explain to me what the flarg is going on here?” Captain Scarran had the tone of someone who was trying very hard to be patient and not entirely succeeding.

“We will try, Captain.” The Force ghost spoke softly to him, she was clearly audible in this odd place. “Idjit was correct. Technically, you are nowhere. Your bodies are where they were, wherever that was. Hopefully none of you were flying. Somehow, Will pulled all of your minds along with his into this place. I knew he could come here, but bringing other people? And non Force users…? That is new.” Idjit nodded when she stopped speaking and took up the explanation.

“We call ‘The Plain’, Captain Scarran. Because that is what it is. It’s the representation of a mind. Whose? We don’t know. We think the being is sleeping. We hope so anyway. As bad as it can get around here, if the mind was conscious…” He nodded as the Force ghosts seemed to shimmer, or shiver, a bit. “It is completely open. Anyone who can get here can hear anything that happens here. So it is completely unsecure as well.”

“What kind of range…?” Captain Scarran asked softly.

“Dunno.” Idjit shrugged. “I’ve talked with kin from the other side of the galaxy with no lag at all. You see how powerful that can be. But like I said, anyone can listen in. So it’s not all that useful most of the time.”

“Okay, I guess I can see that…” The veteran soldier shook his head in disbelief. “So… Where is Will?”

“I am not sure we want to know.” Idjit grimaced but then nodded as Ulaha glared at him. “Fine, fine… I’ll look for him.” He shook himself and focused. As soon as he did he stiffened. “Ulaha!”

“I will stay with them!” The Force spirit said urgently. “Go!”

Idjit needed no urging. He pulled his power into himself and did something that he couldn’t do anywhere else. Since this plain was not, technically, real, he could do things that no one in reality possibly could. Like teleport. One moment, he was standing beside Captain Scarran, Ulaha and two of Captain Scarran’s people. The next, he was standing near…

“Will!” Idjit cried sharply. The soldier sat beside a wide pool that seethed and writhed, tendrils reaching up from it to grasp at the Dug that hung by a rope that ran up to a pulley that hung off of... nothing. The end of the rope the soldier held. It took a moment for Idjit’s stunned eyes to realize that the pool was filled with nanites. “Will… No…”

“Hello, Idjit.” The soldier’s voice could have been discussing the weather. “Fancy meeting you here.” The rope moved a little in his grasp and the Dug screamed as he fell a couple of inches towards the seething pool. “Still think they are cool, Dragon Seven?” Will looked at the rope in his hands and sighed. “Maybe you want to make an even closer acquaintance?”

“Will… Easy…” Idjit had seen a lot of things in his life. Heck, he had done a lot of things in his life. But this… He didn’t move. “You pulled the whole squadron here, Will. Not just him.”

“I did?” Will sounded a tad embarrassed. “Oops.”

“Will, we have to get them out of here.” Idjit persisted, just a little. Will in this mood was probably one of the most dangerous beings Idjit had ever encountered. This from someone who had met the Sith Emperor face to holographic face.

“Then do it. Kix and I have a bit more to discuss, don’t we, Kix?” Will’s voice was savage now.

“Will." Idjit pleaded. "Ten is here. Somewhere. Tell me you won’t leave her to the predators here.” Idjit froze as the man turned to look at him.

“You fight dirty Bladeborn.” Will complained sourly. But he sat up and concentrated. The pool of writhing nanites vanished as did the rope. The Dug disappeared and then reappeared, struggling in Will’s iron grip. “Calm down, Kix. Or I will dunk you in them.”

“How did you do that, Will?” Idjit asked carefully. Nothing ever changed on the plain. Nothing was ever supposed to change on the plain.

“Dunno.” Will said quietly. “Don’t particularly care. Okay, let’s get the Dragons back to their lair and I bet Captain Scarran wants to have a bit of a talk with Kix here.” He shook the Dug and this time, the Dug didn’t move. Idjit shook his head. Every time he thought he had Will figured out, the man did something odd.

“Okay… Come one. Let’s get these soldiers out of here before any of them get chomped on.” Idjit shook his head slowly. He kind of liked being able to see. But he knew it was an illusion. He waited until Will vanished with the Dug in tow before sighing. “Too close. WAY too close…”

“You are telling me.” Came a sour voice from nearby.

“You…” Idjit’s blade was in hand and his mind swept into trained patterns as another black cloaked form appeared nearby. This being was human in form, but wore a long cowl over his head.

“You of all people know that nothing is ever as it seems, Idjit of the Bladeborn.” The male human did not have a weapon in hand.

“Begone.” Idjit growled. “Now.”

“You don’t command me.” The man shook his head. “You never did.”

“When are you going to start laughing, Morey?” Idjit asked sourly, casting out with his senses and he was gratified when the thoughts of the Republic soldiers vanished in ways that meant they had gotten away.

“I don’t know.” The man formerly known to the Bladeborn as Ravishaw dropped his hood and his eyes were alight with intelligence. And his voice was thoughtful. “It’s odd. I don’t feel like laughing right now. I can feel the madness scratching away at my soul… But it doesn’t touch me right now. I am sorry Idjit. I have to say that. I am so, so sorry. Do what you have to.” He sighed. “But then again… You always do. I hope you and Istara find happiness, Idjit. If anyone has earned some, you both have…” A green form appeared beside the black robed one and the man known to Idjit as Morey sighed. “I have to go. You are right, you know. Love is stronger.”

With that, the two forms, the human in black and the small green form, both vanished. Idjit stood for along moment, senses casting out in all directions. When he spoke it was soft, but carried easily.

“Nice try.” Then he was gone.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here