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Osetto
10.17.2012 , 06:37 PM | #11
Chapter Five: Progress (Part One)

Under the soft light of the rising Tython sun, the temple training grounds were warming up as initiates were getting an early start on their training. Jedi instructors tended to small groups of students, instructing them in the basic arts of swordsmanship and Force utilization. Circles of younglings levitated small rocks, their concentration breaking as soon as a Republic shuttle passed close overhead.

Traversing the temple steps, Jedi Knights Dehros and Osetto moved with their Padawans by their sides.

“Ryska. Torzin,” Osetto began as he walked and talked at a casual pace. “The lesson Dehros and I have planned for the day will take you beyond the usual training grounds.”

“And what lesson might that be?” Ryska enthusiastically asked.

“Finding out is part of the lesson,” Osetto teased. “As you may know, Tython is our new home, but it is far from developed, especially when compared to the Coruscant temple. When we arrived, there was little more than dilapidated stonework left behind by the ancient inhabitants. Months were devoted to exploring this world, and months more were spent constructing a permanent settlement. Even today, much of the temple still consists of the ruins that occupied these grounds, and won’t see restoration for another year that the least. But even if we do not have a proper ‘house’, the Jedi have found a ‘home’ here. Even with only rudimentary facilities and supplies, we dedicate ourselves to rebuilding the Order and training the next generation of Jedi.”

Passing by the makeshift arenas and platforms that dotted the temple’s lawn, the four Jedi began venturing down a stone path away from the students’ usual training grounds. Already, more trees and vegetation began to enter their view as the Tython’s impressive flora accentuated the road.

“Dehros and I were amongst some of the first to relocate to Tython,” Osetto continued. “Communing with Force, letting it guide us as we cut through the brush in search of our own history. We were there to assist our fellow Jedi, and it proved as worthwhile an experience as any other in our years of training.”

“Further down this path lies a region colloquially titled ‘The Gnarls’,” Dehros explained in his usual tone. “The majority of it remains covered in a thick undergrowth, but the Order has managed to restore the roads and pathways that run through it. The Council would like to see it eventually become another training grounds for Padawans.”

“So, our task is emulate your actions,” Torzin suggested. “Combat the harsh brush of Tython to aid in the Order’s recovery.”

“An astute observation,” Dehros offered.

“If only a bit mistaken,” Osetto added with a subtle grin. “I mean, you two are a bit underequipped to take on the wilds of Tython. We’re not that cruel.”

“Your task is to emulate results, not actions,” Dehros explained. “A physical trial that brings with it understanding, an expansion upon what you know about yourselves and the world around you.”

“Then what are we doing in the gnarls if not tearing down brush?” asked Ryska.

“Your task isn’t about tearing down, it’s about building up,” Osetto replied. As the young Cathar looked upon her master with a mix of curiosity and confusion, the Miraluka continued to lead them down the stone path in silence.

As the group ventured deeper into the Tythonian wilds, the Padawans caught their first glimpse of what awaited them in the gnarls. Trees sprouted from the earth, casting shadows upon weathered ruins of an age long passed. Little more than the occasional wall managed to survive the erosion of time, the crumbling stone structures laying toppled and consumed by the spreading of vegetation. Amidst the shade and brush, the astute eye could pick out statues and monuments that managed to remain standing off the beaten path.

The masters and their students journeyed further and further from the temple, into the supposed wilds that ought to have abandoned any semblance of civilization. And yet, as they ventured forth, the Padawans began to pick up the subtle sounds of industry. The noises were hard to confirm, however, as they were soon overtaken by the loudening bellow supplied by a nearby waterfall. Seeing the flow of waters amongst the overwhelming vegetation and ruins was a sight to behold, a thing of beauty despite the impediment it ultimately posed.

Crossing over an ancient, yet dependable, stone bridge, the Padawans could finally see the fringes of construction ahead, figures moving amongst architectural framework. Operating near a cliff’s edge, workers and droids were establishing the foundation for a small outpost.

“As you can see, I used the word ‘building’ quite literally,” Osetto spoke up. “Dehros and I cleared it with the foreman. He agreed to let you two work under him on the condition that he wasn’t responsible for your wellbeing.”

“Sooo… what exactly do we have to do?” Ryska asked.

“Whatever is needed of you,” Osetto plainly stated. “Lay down some paneling. Pick up a plasma torch. Operate machinery.”

“And figure out what our lesson is supposed to be,” Torzin added.

“Correct,” said Dehros. “But do not let your desire to appease us distract you from the task at hand.”

The two Padawans shared a brief look before affixing their gaze toward the small construction site that developed before them. A small outpost, only a dozen organic workers populated the area, bolstered by a mediocre allotment of heavy loader droids. The Cathar and Mirialan took a few steps toward the site before pausing to procure a final confirmation from their masters. The two adults offered them a brief nod of their heads and the Padawans continued along the stone path.

“We’ll return for you at the end of the day,” Osetto called out alongside a comforting wave of his hand. Setting their students on their way, the two Masters turned to head back toward the temple grounds.

They continued back along the stone path until they were sure that they were out of earshot.

“I still consider this idea rather unorthodox,” Dehros admitted.

“You didn’t seem to have a problem with it when I suggested it,” Osetto teased.

“I didn’t. I still don’t,” said Dehros. “I simply wonder if there was a better way to bring about the intended effect.”

“There are some things that every Jedi should know. Things that can’t be learned in classrooms and archives,” Osetto explained. “There’s much to do here on Tython, but that does not mean we won’t be needed elsewhere. A Jedi should be able to adapt and operate in any environment.”

“And their lightsabers, you still wish to allow them to begin construction if they succeed today?” Dehros asked.

The Consular nodded. “I think they are ready. Besides, hadn't your student constructed one before?”

“Yes, but only because of the war,” Dehros explained. “The Council now believes that the construction of a lightsaber should come at the end of a Padawan’s training, when they’re ready to become a Knight.”

“The Order changed with the war. It makes sense that it would change with the peace as well,” Osetto admitted.

“And yet, you still think it’s appropriate they receive their lightsabers,” said Dehros.

“The sooner a Padawan receives their lightsaber, the sooner they can be taught how to live without it,” Osetto explained. “Through choice rather than necessity.”

“Ever the model Consular,” Dehros stoically offered..

Osetto let out a soft chuckle as he and Dehros continued their trek back to the temple.

----------

Ryska and Torzin approached the cliff-side construction site with a tempered haste, neither thrilled nor enthused with the task they had been given.

As they approached their target, they could better make out the foundations of the outpost, standardized metals and materials covering the grass and stone that dominated the area. A makeshift barrier on the other end of the site marked the cliff’s edge, serving as a substitute until a proper energy fence could be erected. On the left and right vestiges of the outpost, unfinished generators supplied the site some modicum of power.

Making the transition from natural ground to metal foundation, the two Padawans scanned their surroundings, seeking out the project’s foreman. The search would prove short-lived, as a rugged Human in civilian garb moved toward the two students. The man showed no delight in laying eyes upon the two teenagers.

“Excuse me, sir,” Torzin calmly spoke up. “Are you foreman of this construction site?”

“Yeah, I am,” the foreman replied with a low grumble. “They didn’t tell me they were sending children.”

“Hey, we’re not children!” Ryska quickly retorted.

The other Padawan placed a gentle hand on her shoulder, silently asking her to remain calm. Torzin met the foreman’s eyes with his own, keeping as straight a face as possible. “We are unaware of the circumstances regarding our arrangement, but we pledge ourselves to help you in any way we can.”

“Hrmph,” the foreman briskly offered. “I’d rather the Jedi let us work like we’re supposed to, instead of sending us two kids.”

Torzin tilted his head slightly. “What do you mean?”

“You know how hard it is to work on Tython for us non-Jedi?” the foreman asked, an accusatory tinge to his words. “I’m working with only a quarter of my normal crew. We got only a single shuttle making supply runs. The Jedi are so intent on keeping this place safe that we couldn’t even come here in our own ships. We can’t lay down any infrastructure without one of you people second-guessing our work. We’re one of the few companies willing to work with you and this is how you treat us?”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t realize things were so difficult for those outside the Order here,” Ryska admitted, offering a deep bow of her head. “We’ll try and make up for it.”

“I’m sure you will,” the foreman muttered. “I got nothing for you two until the next supply drop off, so keep yourselves occupied until then.”

The foreman turned and walked away from the students. The Padawans watched in silence as they were stranded, alone amongst the metal framework and construction. Workers scuttled across the site, going about their business, occasionally casting a sideward glance toward the younger helpers. Glances containing little appreciation. The students quickly realized they were intruders.

“They don’t want us here,” Ryska whispered, a quiver in her voice.

“Then we’ll have to change their minds,” Torzin declared. “Our masters must have expected this. Our trial isn’t to work, but to show ourselves capable of work.”

Ryska looked to her fellow Padawan, biting her lip. “You think so?”

“Jedi always believe in Jedi. Perceptions and expectations from those outside the Order, however, are far more diverse,” said Torzin. “They don’t know what Jedi, even those as young as us, are capable of.”

“I don’t know,” Ryska quietly offered. “He seemed to have a bigger problem with the fact that we are Jedi, rather than our ages.”

“All men are not without their prejudices,” Torzin stated. “Our task is to help. So we will help.”

“Still, I don’t think the foreman is alone in his feelings,” Ryska suggested. The subtle glares and sneers directed toward the Padawans by the passing workers seemed to confirm her suspicions.

Minutes passed as the young Jedi surveyed the site in silence, awkwardly standing around, waiting for some opportunity to lend a hand. But none came. They continued to wait. Continued to watch. It was a curious sight for the Padawans watching the unfolding scene. They had witnessed the Order’s reconstruction efforts underway at the temple, but this was something different.

Beings without knowledge of the Force, toiling under Tython’s gentle sky. Figures of varying shapes and sizes, moving and operating with little uniformity in their actions. Some moved and acted with utmost precision whilst other, larger species exhibited brutish power. It was a snapshot of the Republic. Many peoples. Many aspects. Many methods. Working together. And currently, working without Jedi.

There was a heavy rustling amongst the nearby brush as a Republic shuttle approached the construction site, a bundle of materials attached to its belly. The vessel lowered itself amongst the small clearing between the framework and the gnarls, hovering a short distance above the bumpy terrain. A number of workers rushed down the hill to greet the shuttle, carefully maneuvering beneath the floating craft. Seeing the workers flock to its side, the Jedi could get a sense of the delivery’s size. Standing as tall as the men who surrounded it, the bundle rivaled the dimensions of a full-sized landspeeder, holding an assortment of panels and rods intended for the construction site.

Carefully, the vessel lowered itself until its package made contact with the ground below. The foreman sounded the all clear and punched a command into his datapad, signaling for the delivery’s release. With a soft clank, the shuttle detached itself from the shipment before rising and setting out toward the horizon.

“Alright!” the foreman shouted. “Yev. Haruss. Start dividing the materials. Frakes. Get the loader droid down here.”

Rushing down from the site at the top of the hill, the Padawans stood at attention beside the foreman.

“What do you need from us, sir?” Ryska enthusiastically asked.

The foreman cast a sideward glance toward the Jedi. “Seems we’ve got everything under control. We’ll call you if we need you.”

The energy had been immediately sapped from the Padawans as they were once more forced to stand and watch others work while they did nothing. Slowly, they trudged back up the hill, struggling to keep their heads high.

----------

Back amongst the temple grounds, Osetto and Dehros chatted as they overlooked the training areas where young initiates practiced under the watchful eyes of tutors and weaponsmasters.

“How do you think the students are doing with their trial?” Dehros asked of the Miraluka.

“The task we left with them cannot be measured in terms of good or bad,” Osetto reasoned, casting a subtle grin toward his Human friend. “It is merely an experience, one from which they may learn and advance regardless of any specific outcome.”

“I know how little you care for rigidity, but we should make sure we retain control of our Padawans,” Dehros stated. “Sending them out into the unknown this early in their training may yield unpredicted and undesirable results.”

“You must remember, this isn’t early in their training,” said Osetto. “They’ve already learned the basics from other teachers, other masters. It is our duty to expand upon that knowledge base, occasionally reminding them of what is most important.”

“They were trained under the toils of war,” Dehros declared. “As young as they were, it undoubtedly left a lasting impression.”

“I know. Believe me, I know,” Osetto calmly said. “After all, even we have yet not fully adjusted to the peacetime. But just because we aren’t at war, it does not mean we must coddle them. They cannot believe in themselves if we do not believe in them.”

“It is not my intention to coddle,” Dehros emphatically stated. “I know they are capable. I know they are worthy of trust. But the war has changed much. Not just amongst the Order.”

“Which was the point of this exercise,” Osetto explained. “Good or bad, there are certain things they must be aware of in order to continue as Jedi.”

“I will not dispute as much, but uncontrolled knowledge is not without its dangers,” said Dehros.

“I know. Believe me, I know,” Osetto calmly repeated. “But some things they must discover on their own. And then we, as their masters, must guide them after said discovery. That is our duty.”

“It’s hard to guide our Padawans if we keep sending them out by themselves,” Dehros declared.

“Fine, you can decide how we train the day after tomorrow,” Osetto conceded, a peculiar joy in his voice.

“Very well, I will… wait, the day after tomorrow?” Dehros asked, tilting his head.

“Yes, I already have an idea for tomorrow’s training,” Osetto explained.

“And you’ve just decided I’ll go along with what you have planned?”

“Pretty much, yeah.”
-------------------- The Fan Fiction Index --------------------

Osetto's Avatar


Osetto
08.04.2013 , 12:17 AM | #12
Chapter Six: Progress (Part Two)

The day proceeded at the construction site with little fuss. There was no opportunity for it. The Padawans maintained their stations. Sitting on unused crates, heads hung low, they watched the surrounding workers walk about the outpost framework, for that was all they could do. The young Mirialan and Cathar’s offers to help went unneeded and unwanted. They had nothing to do and nowhere to go.

“I hate just sitting around,” Torzin stated, calm but firm. “What are we supposed to say when we return to the masters?”

“Maybe we just tell them what happened?” Ryska suggested. “I mean, it’s not like we didn’t try to help. We did. They just didn’t want it. Intent’s what matters, right?”

“Intent isn’t what get things done. Intent doesn’t change the consequences of our actions. Intent is used by people to justify running away from where you’re needed, and intruding where you don’t belong,” Torzin declared. “It doesn’t change where you are and what you do.”

“But we can’t just ignore it,” Ryska replied, voice softer than her fellow Padawan’s. “Doing nothing out of obligation is different from doing nothing out of laziness or spite. The workers refusing our help provides the same results as us refusing to help, but I’m sure our masters would prefer one over the other.”

“That assumes a single, binary choice,” said Torzin. “We shouldn’t be thinking of different ways to get to the same result. We should be thinking of different results and the best way to get to the best one.”

“I guess that makes sense,” Ryska admitted. “But that assumes we always know the best result or will always choose the best course of action. That’s an assumption we cannot possibly make. As people or Jedi… and especially as Padawans.”

“I am not suggesting that I, that we, that anyone, has all the answers, but we have some,” Torzin replied. “And yet, in this situation, it’s like that foreman isn’t even willing to ask a question. The workers already have all the answers they need, or at least that’s what they’d like to think.”

“And they are not alone in thinking so,” said Ryska. “It’s not easy to see things from another’s view, especially one radically different. It’s scary to think the answers we’ve held so dear might be wrong. You can’t condemn them for that.”

“I can if they’re opposing something that’s for their own good,” Torzin declared. “Besides, it’s not like we’re challenging their worldview or anything. We’re offering to help, which their pride won’t allow them to accept. They don’t want help from us. They don’t want help from Jedi. Do they need it? Maybe not. Would it make things go faster, smoother? Yes. The Republic was built on the ideal of cooperation. Our progress is tied to it. Our survival is dependent upon it. They might think they don’t need our help now, but eventually they will. And when that day comes, their pride is going to get them hurt.”

Ryska raised an eyebrow. “Are we still talking about the construction workers?”

The pair was interrupted by the roar of a passing shuttle overhead, bringing in a new bundle of construction materials. The vessel cast a concise shadow as it approached the drop-off point, the Tythonian sun at its peak. Even at its brightest, harshest setting, the star could not overcome the planet’s natural temperate temperament. Gently lowering itself and the cargo attached to its belly, the shuttle descended toward the bottom of the hill at the foot of the outpost. The Padawans watched, once more, as the workers flocked to the delivery. The teenagers maintained their sedentary position, knowing the eventual dismissal they’d received were they to move.

The foreman sounded the all clear and the shuttle detached the bundle of materials before making its quick ascent. He shouted directions, calling for the workers to divide and sort the package as the loader droid slowly made its way down the hill. The blocky machine hovered a short distance above the ground by way of repulsorlifts in its base, two large prongs extending from its front. A rudimentary droid, it was little more than an automated tool with the basest of artificial intelligences.

Finishing its slow, floating gait down the hill, the machine paused and lowered itself as a pair of workers piled numerous metallic rods and beams onto its prongs. After a full load, the droid ran a charge through the two prongs, securing the materials to itself with a magnetic tug. The machine carefully raised itself from the grassy terrain and began its reverse ascent up the hill under the watchful eye of the site’s technician.

As the droid continued its slow climb toward the construction site, the pair of workers below readied the next batch for when the machine returned. Everyone focused the entirety of their attention on their respective jobs, all but the Padawans, who offered only their bored stares toward the bustling workers. As the young Jedi continued to slouch on a set of nearby crates, a cold chill shot up the Mirialan’s spine.

“Did you feel that?” Torzin whispered to his fellow Padawan.

“Feel what?” Ryska asked, straightening her posture. “The only thing I feel is my butt going numb.”

The Mirialan remained silent, narrowing his gaze toward the construction workers, pondering the strange feeling in his mind.

As the loader droid neared the top of the hill, it came to an abrupt stop a few meters short of its destination. The monitoring technician puzzled for a moment, eye glued to his datapad for a diagnostic. The droid had frozen, still hovering above the ground, but refusing to move.

“Frakes!” the foreman shouted to the panicking technician. “What’s the hold up?”

The technician was a male Human, younger and thinner than his coworkers. The man in charge of the upkeep and maintenance of the crew’s automated members, he was the least hardened of motley group of construction workers. His gaze bouncing between the immobilized droid and his datapad, the technician frantically tapped the electronic tablet, trying to find a solution.

“Frakes!” the foreman repeated.

Just then, the loader’s repulsorlifts blew out. The droid fell to the ground, striking the grassy hill with a soft thud. Before the workers below could respond to the noise, the magnetic grip the loader used to hold its cargo failed, sending the bundle of supplies tumbling down the hill. The heavy beams and rods bounced and rolled back toward the drop point, threatening to crush the construction workers in their path.

Just as the tumbling materials were about to strike the pair of construction workers below, they were knocked out of the way by a rushing Torzin tackling the both of them. The rolling materials struck the remainder of the bundle of supplies, scattering the once organized pile across the bottom of the hill. The Mirialan and the tackled workers skidded across the grassy terrain to relative safety, stopping beyond the radius of the strewn debris.

Torzin quickly picked himself up off the ground, looking over the heavy-built Human and Weequay he had knocked clear as they released their nondescript grumbles and grunts. The Mirialan offered a helping hand, which neither of the workers accepted. Slowly, they moved to their feet of their own accord, brushing off their clothes whilst ignoring young Jedi.

As the trio remained locked in silence, Ryska rushed over, eyes wide with a slew of emotions. “Whoa! That was amazing Torzin! You totally saved those guys!”

“Yeah, and a thank you would have been nice,” Torzin mumbled toward the workers, trying to maintain a calm and stoic tone.

The Jedi watched as the workers made their way over to the scattered pile of materials as if nothing had happened, where the foreman paced around releasing a steady stream of hushed slurs and expletives beneath his breath.

"What do you think they’re going to do now?” Ryska asked.

“They’re finally going to accept our help,” Torzin declared as he made his way toward the group, the Cathar quickly following behind him.

The foreman shot his sharpened gaze toward the technician. “What’s the status of the loader?”

“Not good,” Frakes admitted. “Software and hardware failure. I can do on-site repairs, but it’ll take a while.”

The foreman mumbled another curse. “We have a schedule to keep. First thing’s first, we need to clear the drop-off point.”

“It won’t be quick, but I can the move the pieces up myself one at a time,” said the gruff Weequay.

“Alright,” the foreman stated. “While Frakes fixes the loader, Yev will fill its role for now. Haruss, can you organize this mess?” The heavier Human offered an affirming nod before darting off, picking up the bits and pieces strewn about the base of the hill.

“We want to help too,” Torzin declared, forcing himself into recently created opening in the huddle.

“Sorry kid, got it handled,” the foreman dismissed.

“You can’t think that,” Torzin balked. “There’s no way you’re moving all this stuff by the time your next shipment arrives. And if you bring more workers down here, that’ll just mean more jobs go undone. We can help.”

“You think you can lift this stuff?” the foreman asked.

“I know I can,” Torzin confidently stated.

“Hrm. And the girl?” the foreman added. Numerous sets of eyes fell on the Cathar.

“Well…” Ryska began. “I know a thing or two about droids. I could help repair your loader.”

The foreman released a heavy scoff. “Our technician has it covered.”

“Actually…” the technician hesitantly spoke up. “I could use a few extra hands.”

Another nondescript grumble slipped out of the foreman. “Fine.”

The young Jedi looked to one another, a newfound confidence resting behind their eyes. They were finally given the chance to help. Finally given the chance to prove themselves as more than just a couple of kids in the workers’ minds. A chance they did not intend to squander.

The workers dispersed with little fuss, the various individuals heading toward their respective jobs. Torzin and the Weequay set their sights on the nearby metallic beams that littered the grassy terrain, whilst Ryska and the technician made their way up the hill to the broken loader droid.

The Mirialan watched as the burly Weequay placed his hands around one of the metallic beams that littered the bottom of the hill, his gray, leathery face wincing as he hoisted it over his shoulder. The item was as long as its bearer was tall, composed of a material known for its high strength to weight ratio. It was lighter than a similar object could have been, but still heavy enough to require a great deal of strength and balance to lift, let alone carry up a grassy hill. But Yev was determined to show himself capable, especially as he shot a gruff glare toward the onlooking teenager.

As the Weequay made the first trip up the hill and toward the construction site, the determined Padawan eyed one of the fallen beams for himself. Torzin placed a gentle hand upon the metallic surface, in no rush to lift the hefty object. He close his eyes, concentrated, found his center. Wrapping both hands around the beam, he struggled to lift it from the ground, his stoic countenance threatening to collapse as he slowly raised it into the air. He was young, but not inexperienced. He was smaller, but not weak. He was willing, and thanks to the Force, he was able.

Torzin raised the metallic beam, bearing the hefty burden upon his shoulder. He maintained his stance, drawing calm, collected breaths. Setting his eyes on the site ahead, the Mirialan took his first steps toward the top of the hill. He drew upon his connection to the Force, as much as his status as a Padawan would allow him. His body sculpted by martial training and the threat of war, that connection was just enough to allow him to match the Weequay’s strength.

Whilst the two men hauled materials from the drop-site, they passed the site’s technician intently eyeing the disabled loader droid, the young Cathar standing by his side. A toolbox sat at the Frakes’ heels, holding an assortment of items intended to disassemble and reassemble the mechanical apparatus, but they went untouched for the moment as the technician and his helper conducted a preliminary examination.

“Do we know what’s wrong with it?” Ryska patiently asked.

“Somewhat,” Frakes replied. “It seems the repulsors in its base malfunctioned, then overloaded. After that, it was pretty much a cascading failure of all the other systems.”

Ryska let out a soft hum as she scratched the fur of his chin. “No isolation safeguards in the droid’s programming?”

“There’s supposed to be, but I suppose those malfunctioned as well,” Frakes offered with a sigh. The technician stared at the depowered husk of the stilled machine for a moment before turning toward the teenager. “You seem to have some knowledge of droids.”

“It’s not all swordfights and philosophy at the temple,” Ryska replied alongside a soft chuckle. “When kids are brought into the Order, the Jedi take over the role of providing education. Since not everyone is fit for the path of a Knight, they like to make sure younglings still possess the necessary skills and knowledge to live a good life if they don’t pass their trials. Studies in agriculture, engineering, history, the like. I picked up quite a bit in my autonomous mechanics class.”

“The studious type, eh?” Frakes asked as he removed one of the loader droid’s external panels.

“Not really,” Ryska bashfully admitted. “I actually had the habit of falling asleep during most of my classes. The ones I managed to do pretty good in were ones involving stuff I could get my hands on. If I knew I could go out and do something with what I learned, it managed to hold my attention. At least, well enough for me to pick up a thing or two.”

Frakes momentarily tore his gaze away from the machine’s innards to shoot the teenager a quick glance. “I’ll admit, I didn’t take you for much of a machinist when I first saw you.”

“I suppose most people just think of us as warriors and diplomats,” Ryska admitted. “At least, with the older Jedi. Your coworkers don’t seem to think much of anything about us Padawans. Nothing pleasant at least.”

“They're just a little stressed out,” said Frakes.

Ryska released a warm scoff. “A little?”

“We’re understaffed and overworked,” Frakes explained. “Our droids were limited to class-fives because they were worried anything more sophisticated might compromise the planet’s security. Like we’d trace the astrogation routes on our way here or something. We were ready to work, but they just kept piling restriction after restriction on us.”

“So you wanted to help, but they made it difficult to do so? How about that?” Ryska said with a coy smirk.

The technician chuckled. “The irony’s not lost on me. Yeah, I know we weren't the most accommodating. Just thought you deserved an explanation. Right or wrong, these guys have a reason for acting the way they do.”

The young Cathar fell silent as Frakes tinkered with the innards of the machine, hands deep beneath the droid’s chassis. She watched with bright eyes as he methodically prodded and disconnected various internal mechanisms, eager and ready to offer her abilities.

Torzin and Yev had already made their first trip up the hill and returned to the pile to make their second. The Mirialan and Weequay marched in silence, only diverting their attention from their task to shoot a quick, stern glare toward the other. The next trip proved just as arduous as the first, but neither figure would allow themselves to show any budding signs of weakness. They each hoisted a beam over their shoulder, traversed the hill, and deposited it at the construction site, eager to begin the cycle anew. Eager to prove themselves the more capable individual.

They continued up and down the hill, silently enduring the toll the manual labor was taking on their bodies. One more successfully than the other. Even with his enhanced strength, sweat dominated the Mirialan’s brow as his breaths increased in pace and intensity. As the two men made their way back toward the bottom of the hill, the Weequay finally saw fit to break the silence, if only to taunt the young Padawan.

“Gettin’ tired?” Yev asked in a suitably gruff manner, his voice as rough as his wrinkled, leathery face.

“Not at all,” Torzin replied, trying to invoking his master’s neutral tone. He managed to match the calm, collected candor, but the pace with which his lungs drew breath betrayed his true condition. The Padawan was used to his body being stressed, partaking in and succeeding in all manner of physical trials and lessons imparted upon him by his tutors over the years. But somehow, this task was proving more than a sufficient challenge. Something so simplistic, so menial as carrying cargo up a hill managed to test him more than any practice duel back at the temple.

The Weequay offered only a curt chortle as the pair neared the bundle of construction materials. Haruss had done a good job gathering the scattered pieces, meaning the haulers could make a more accurate assessment of their progress. The pile was noticeably diminished, but not by much. At best, their efforts would simply save the droid a couple trips when it was finally repaired. But the thought would stop neither Torzin nor Yev.

As he readied himself for his next trip, the Padawan found his eyes stung by the invading sweat that dripped from his brow. Wiping his forehead with his sleeve, the young Jedi paused for a moment before reaching for the folds of his robes. Slipping his arms out, the Mirialan removed the outermost layer, tossing the beige coat to the ground. His torso still garbed in the thinner under-layer, his arms were no longer covered, their green skin exposed to the elements. Looking back toward the path up the hill, the Padawan saw the curious sight of Ryska hastily averting her gaze, seemingly burying her face into the droid to offer it her full attention.

The Weequay already had a beam in his arms, and Torzin was not content to fall behind. The young Jedi hoisted the next piece over his shoulder and began marching toward the construction site.

“Thought you’d give up by now,” Yev muttered as the Padawan followed in his steps.

“If you haven’t noticed, I’m rather persistent,” Torzin calmly offered through careful breaths.

“Yeah. Ain’t that like the Jedi. Always persistent,” Yev replied, no sense of warmth in his voice.

“Would you rather us do nothing?” Torzin asked.

The Weequay stacked his beam with the others he had carried up the hill, and began making his way back down without further delay. Torzin could only offer the arch of his brow to the curt construction worker as he did the same, setting his carried goods down and heading back down the hill.

“Don’t ask questions you don’t want real answers to, kid,” Yev offered.
-------------------- The Fan Fiction Index --------------------

Adwynyth's Avatar


Adwynyth
08.04.2013 , 02:36 AM | #13
Delivery for Osetto:

SQUEE
Horrendously bad fan fiction: Sith in a Pretty Dress

Osetto's Avatar


Osetto
08.12.2013 , 10:17 PM | #14
Chapter Seven: Progress (Part Three)

The Weequay worker came to a stop at the foot of the hill, leaning against what remained of the pile to catch his breath. For all his strength he could not continue unabated. Torzin sought to capitalize upon the momentary reprieve. He had questions, and he most definitely wanted answers.

“What’s your problem with the Jedi anyway?” Torzin directly asked, only a small gap separating the Padawan and the worker.

The Weequay offered a gruff scoff. “Y’all are more trouble than you’re worth.”

“How can you say that after all we’ve done to protect the Republic from the Sith?” Torzin replied, a sliver of anger slipping through his voice. “How can you hate a group that’s willing to sacrifice so much to help you?”

“Because you only see fit to help with the problems you had a hand in creating,” Yev replied. “The Sith attacked us, why? Because they wanted revenge against the Jedi. The reason the Sith even exist, is because a group of Jedi got pissed off way back when and decided to make their own Order. But I guess you don’t expect us ‘normals’ to be aware of that fact.”

Torzin lowered his gaze. There was a moment of silence as he avoided eyed contact, but eventually, the teenager found the words. “The Sith exist, because people seek to control things they shouldn’t. Without the Jedi, without the Sith, someone else would just fill their role. Only then, you wouldn’t have people like us to try and stop them.”

“Good, then maybe we could actually deal with them, instead of staying our hands, not going all out because you’re afraid you’ll turn to the 'dark side' or whatever,” Yev chided.

“We’ve gone ‘all out’ before,” Torzin declared, doing all he could to keep from shouting. “It’s the entire reason the Empire hates us. Because we tried to exterminate them more than a thousand years ago. Because we tried to commit genocide. And not just the Jedi. It was the Republic who wanted it done. It was a mistake then, and we’re still dealing with the consequences today. But it’s our duty to do the best with what we’re given, and not make the same mistakes again.”

“Then why’s it seems like that’s all you’re capable of?” Yev asked. “For a bunch of wise and enlightened individuals, you seem determined to screw up in the same ways time and time again. We almost lost Coruscant because you took a warmongering Empire at their word that they wanted peace.”

“Nothing we’ve done has been in spite of the senate’s wishes,” said Torzin. “Our actions are the Republic’s actions.”

“And what about the fact that whenever conflict springs up, it’s always one of you folks on the other side? Hmm?” Yev pressed. “When you have members constantly ‘turning to the dark side’, you ever stop to think maybe the problem rests with you and not them? That maybe you oughtn’t be taking children away from their families, training ‘em to fight, and then wondering why they flip out after tellin’ ‘em to abandon everything that makes them a sentient being?”

“We’re taught the way we are because the Force can be dangerous. Restrictions are needed to keep the peace,” Torzin firmly stated. “We don’t just let anyone and everyone own a blaster, do we?”

“No. But we also don’t have to worry about a blaster going off in our hands ‘cause we make it mad, or because it’s greedy, or because we broke its heart,” Yev dismissed. “You’ve had thousands of years to improve, to adapt. But do yah? Nope. You stick to the same codes. Follow the same guidelines. And when everything’s gone to hell, you expect our gratitude when you offer to help clean up a mess you created.”

“I’ll admit, we’re not perfect,” Torzin offered. “We’ve made mistakes in the past.”

The Weequay released a heavy harrumph. “Good luck getting any of the others to admit that. They’re all the same. Think they’re better than the rest of us because they got some fancy mystical powers. When a soldier commits treason, they’re rightfully punished. When a Jedi does it, so long as they ‘turn back to the light’ all is forgiven. You operate by double standards. You people stand in your temple, deciding what’s best for us, when you can’t even decide what’s best for yourselves. Like we wouldn’t be able to survive without the gracious charity of the Jedi. Despite the fact that you don’t give a damn about things like crime or poverty. Nope, you gotta be in top shape for when the 'forces of darkness' eventually attack. You’re too important, too special to deal with ‘normal’ problems. You got your Force wars to worry about. The fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance every day, doesn’t it? Can’t worry about the insignificant stuff the rest of us do.”

“We’re not like that,” Torzin muttered. “Not all of us.”

“Really? You don’t think you’re better than those with no connection to the Force?” Yev asked.

The Padawan shook his head. “Not better, just different.”

The Weequay scoffed. “You don’t say? Because where I’ve been standing, all I’ve seen is some kid trying to do a man’s share of work. Is it really because you want to help this construction along? Or is it because you want to prove that you’re able to do what we can? That because of the Force, you can match the work of a man who’s been doin’ this his whole life, while you’re still a teenager?”

“I wanted to prove that I was willing to help,” Torzin declared.

“You wanted to prove you were able,” Yev countered. “You proved yourself willing when you marched up to our site. But you couldn’t stand us not accepting the help of the oh so generous Jedi. You wanted to prove us wrong. Wanted to make us regret pushing you away. So you pushed back. Intruded where you weren’t wanted. Just like the Jedi always do.”

The Weequay turned from the Padawan, who was left standing silent and frozen. The construction worker picked up his next beam, leaving the young Mirialan behind as he made his way up the hill. Torzin eyed one of the beams near his feet, but he struggled to make himself retrieve it. He didn’t know if he was unable, or unwilling, but the one thing he did know was that he was unsure.

Back at the loader droid, the technician had been poking and prodding the disabled machine’s innards, Ryska handing him tools as he was arms deep beneath the droid’s chassis. Reaching deeper into the machine, the technician pushed himself as close as he could before relenting, letting out a quick sigh as he withdrew his arm.

“Damn. I can’t reach a component from here,” said Frakes.

“Is there another way to get to it?” Ryska politely asked. “From the other side, or…”

“There’s another panel on the bottom, but… we can’t exactly flip the droid on its side to reach it,” Frakes explained.

“Can I have a look?” Ryska asked.

“Go ahead,” Frakes replied. The technician shifted upon the ground, letting the Padawan get in close to the exposed part of the droid’s chassis. As the young Cathar peered deeper into the machine's inner workings, the Human shined a small light, illuminating the scrambled metals and mechanisms that comprised the droid’s core. “I need to swap out a power cell around that corner, but I’m having a hard time reaching it.”

“Hey, I’ve got small arms,” Ryska warmly offered.

“Unless they’ve got a couple extra joints, they won’t do you any good,” Frakes joked.

“Alright then. What’s the cell look like?” Ryska asked as she scratched her chin. The technician reached down to his toolbox and retrieved a small metallic cylinder, edges tapered as if to fit in some sort of socket.

“It’s the same as one of these,” Frakes explained. “This is the new one that’ll take its place.”

Ryska took the new power cell and held it gently in her hand. Studying the item, the Padawan inserted her other arm into the droid’s open chassis. The technician watched with curious wonder as the young Jedi closed her eyes, drawing careful, concise breaths. Deep within the machine’s core, the Human could hear the subtle sounds of motion, despite the fact that the Cathar could not possibly reach the interior component. But to his surprise, when she withdrew her arm, her hand was grasped around the droid’s spent power cell.

Frakes looked upon the extracted unit with wide eyes. “Whoa, that’s amazing!”

The Cathar offered a soft giggle. “If you can’t reach something, just have it come to you.” As she spoke, the broken power cell hovered slightly above her palm, levitating through the power of the Force. The technician took the component from the teenager as she went to work installing the other by the same means. Reaching as far in as she could before letting the Force do what she physically could not, telekinetically guiding and connecting the new power cell. Pulling her arm out once more, she shot the technician a confident look. “Alright, try it now.”

Frakes offered an appreciative nod before tapping away at his datapad. Hoping the repairs they had made would prove sufficient, the technician remotely fired up the loader droid. The heavy machine offered a mechanical cough as it sputtered to life, but it was functioning as well could be expected of it. As the droid’s repulsors came back online, the machine slowly lifted itself from the grassy hillside.

Raising his her hand high into the air, Ryska shared a celebratory high five with the enthused technician. Frakes guided the loader droid back down the hill, those in its path clearing the way. Torzin picked his previously shed coat up from the grass and slung it over his shoulder.

Looking back up the hill, the Mirialan saw his fellow Padawan silently beckoning him to join her. Panning his gaze amongst the surrounding scene, the workers had already begun their return to the previous norm, not paying the slightest attention to the young Jedi.

The construction was fast getting back on schedule. With the loader droid up and running, the landing site would be clear by the time of the next shipment, and the workers would be free to continue their jobs about the site. The adults went about their business, whilst the teenagers retreated from the eyes and minds of the workers.

The Padawans sat themselves atop a grouping of empty crates near the construction site as they had before, watching the scene unfold around them. The motley group of crewmen went about their assigned tasks as if little had occurred in the time prior. No breakdown of the droid. No avalanche of metallic rods and beams. Nothing worth a second thought. It spoke to the men’s character. Spoke of simplicity, but also of resolve, and a willingness to press forward despite any setbacks. The Cathar found it all oddly endearing. The Mirialan, however, found himself dwelling on his previous exchange with the Weequay.

Torzin attempted to mask his emotions, but as his eyes lowered and his head dipped, his disappointment found its way to the surface.

“What’s the matter, Torzin?” Ryska asked, a tinge of concern in her voice.

The Mirialan slowly rubbed his brow as he gathered his thoughts. He didn’t know how to answer that question. He was bothered, because some part of him told him that he should be bothered. Whether he could explain it, or more importantly, could justify it, was another matter.

“I don’t know,” Torzin eventually muttered. “It’s just… some of the things Yev said.”

“Yev? The big Weequay?” Ryska curiously shot back. “What’d he say?”

“That basically the only reason I wanted to help is because it would make me feel better about myself,” Torzin plainly stated.

“Come on, that’s not true,” Ryska warmly replied. “I mean, it’s not, right?”

“The only reason we were here in the first place was because of our masters. We wanted to be good students, not good people,” Torzin admitted. “I really only wanted to help after they refused it. I wanted to prove them wrong. I wanted to prove I could do something.”

“Hey, I didn’t exactly appreciate being cast aside either,” Ryska replied. “Luckily, the technician didn’t harbor the same ill will as some of the other workers.”

“Except my problem isn’t with the workers. It’s with me,” Torzin stated, almost at a whisper. “I’ve wanted to prove myself ever since my induction into the Order. Prove that I was able to be a Jedi. All the learning, all the training… was it done because I believed in their purpose, or because I simply wanted to succeed? I mean, you said it yourself, intent matters. If I’m only doing good for selfish reasons, am I really doing good?”

“Except you aren’t only doing this for selfish reasons,” Ryska declared. “I mean, is there a part of you that’s a little selfish? Sure. But that’s to be expected. You’re still a Padawan, not a freakin’ Jedi Master. You’ve still got time to figure this stuff out. But for now, you’re doing your best, right?”

“I don’t know,” Torzin muttered.

“Alright, you said you wanted to prove yourself to these guys. Did you only want to prove how capable you were?”

“I guess not. I wanted to show that we could help, even though we were young. I wanted to show that Jedi could help, even though the work might be considered menial for us.”

“See? You were looking out for me and the rest of the Order,” Ryska stated. “Defending our good name.”

“Except I wasn’t,” Torzin replied. “The more I tried to prove him wrong, the more I proved him right. That Jedi feel the need to intrude in other people’s business. That we think we’re better than those who aren’t Jedi.”

“We don’t think that, do we?”

“Don’t we? We’re always telling people what’s best for them. Telling the Republic what and what not to do.”

“Maybe the Council does, but they’re the wisest, most powerful Jedi in the entire galaxy,” Ryska suggested. “The rest of us, we’re just doing everything in our power to help out, maintain the peace, keep people safe.”

Torzin shook his head. “Not everyone sees it that way.”

“No, I wouldn’t expect them to,” Ryska stated. “Everyone’s going to have their own way of looking at things. Some will offer praise. Some criticism. Neither will be inherently right or wrong. But there will always be a reason people believe the things they do. The best thing for us to do is not immediately seek to correct that which we think is wrong, but understand why someone might think that way.”

“Hate is a hard thing to understand,” Torzin muttered.

“Or an incredibly easy one,” Ryska countered. “It’s one of the simplest emotions to trigger, and one of the hardest to be rid of.”

“I just wonder what it takes to make someone hate the Jedi,” Torzin stated.

“Nothing pleasant,” Ryska softly whispered. “But sometimes, after losing so much, all you have left is hate. Frakes said every one of these guys has a reason for acting the way they do. I think we might be better off not knowing the specifics.”

The Mirialan release a low sigh as he push himself off the crate. Removing the coat he had slung over his shoulder, he set it upon where he had previously sat before making his way down the hill.

“Uh, Torzin? Where you going?” Ryska asked.

“I need to settle something,” Torzin calmly stated without turning to face his addresser.

The Cathar’s brow softly furrowed as she remained upon her crate, unable to produce an adequate response as she watched her fellow Padawan marched toward the workers at the base of the hill.
-------------------- The Fan Fiction Index --------------------

Osetto's Avatar


Osetto
12.09.2013 , 12:44 AM | #15
Chapter Eight: Progress (Part Four)

Yev and Haruss were piling the last of the bundled materials onto the loader droid’s prongs. The machine’s magnetic grip secured, they signaled the technician who directed the droid up the hill for its final trip before the next delivery. The two construction workers walked beside it when they spotted the young Jedi making his way toward them.

“What’ya want kid?” Yev asked, momentarily halting his ascent up the hill whilst the other worker continued without him.

“I just wanted to say something,” Torzin stated, plain and direct.

A quick scoff from the Weequay. “Yeah? What?”

“You were wrong. But… you were also right,” Torzin admitted. Yev remained silent, sending a message in the form of his arched brow. “My offers to help weren’t entirely unselfish. I wanted to prove myself. More importantly, I wanted to prove you wrong. I wanted you to be wrong about me. I wanted you to be wrong about the Jedi. And while we do not all act the way you say, I cannot deny that some of us do. And you’re right, we do think we’re better. Or rather, we believe we ought to be. Not that we’re more important, or more valuable, but that we should strive to be better. Because if we are better, then we can fight, we can defend, we can sacrifice, so that others don’t have to. But even in that pursuit, we are not perfect. We make mistakes. We occasionally fail. And you’re right, we are persistent. Because we need to be. Because if we weren’t, things would be much, much worse. We have to push ourselves forward, ignoring setbacks, keeping our eyes on the future. Because like it or not, people depend on us. And we don’t always know who those people are. All we know is, we have to make sure that when the day comes that someone needs us, we are ready, and that person is willing to accept our help. We care. And for every one of us you think doesn’t, countless others do.”

“You done?” Yev finally replied.

“Yeah. I’m done,” Torzin calmly stated. “Thanks for listening.”

The Mirialan offered a respectful bow of his head, and made his way back toward his fellow Padawan up the hill. The Weequay continued to arch his brow as he studied the resolute teenager. Not much could be gleamed from the worker’s rough visage, but he wore neither a glare nor a snarl, which suited the Jedi just fine. As Torzin took a seat next to the young Cathar, Yev returned to his duties, making his way toward the construction site to unload the last of the materials from the droid’s arms.

“Well? Did you settle something?” Ryska jokingly asked as her fellow student returned to the crates.

“I think so,” Torzin hesitantly admitted. "If only for myself."

The Mirialan lifted his coat from his seat and draped it over his shoulder once more. Looking at the other Padawan’s still exposed arms, Cathar placed her hand over her mouth, trying to hide the soft chuckle that passed between her lips.

“You planning on getting properly dressed before the Masters return?” Ryska teased.

“Sorry. Am I making you uncomfortable?” Torzin asked, a touch of red showing through his green, tattooed cheeks. Unslinging the coat from his shoulder, the Padawan slipped his arms back through the sleeves, returning to his typical garb.

“Oh, not at all,” Ryska unthinkingly replied, not catching her own eagerness until a moment too late. “I mean, I don’t care one way or another. I barely even noticed anything different.”

The sun above continued to cast its rays upon the construction site below as it followed its slow path across the sky. The workers had no need to call upon the Padawans’ aid as the day progressed, leaving them to observe the proceedings as they had become accustomed to. But whereas previously they had wanted nothing more than to leave their mark on their surroundings, now they were content to stand aside.

The construction would proceed with or without them. The students had influenced the world around them in manners big and small, direct and indirect. In the grand scheme of things, their additions would prove insignificant, but it was something they could take pride in. In their minds, they had accomplished something, regardless of whether or not it could be measured by others.

----------

Hours passed by with monotony.

As the Tythonian sun drifted nearer and nearer to the horizon, and the soft orange glow of dusk fell upon the construction site, Osetto and Dehros came to retrieve their students. The two pairs of Jedi met at the foot of the hill, Ryska and Torzin greeting their masters with the respectful bow of their heads.

“You both seem no worse for wear,” Osetto warmly stated. “I trust the foreman didn’t work you too hard, did he?”

“That’s something of an understatement,” Ryska admitted. “They barely asked anything of us.”

“Technically, they didn’t ask a single thing of us,” Torzin added. “And they only accepted out help when after things went a bit… awry.”

“But you managed to find a way to help?” Dehros plainly asked, delivered with his usual emotionless candor.

“Yeah! I helped fix a droid!” Ryska declared with a hearty glee.

The Miraluka released a soft chuckle. “I’m pleased to see you so excited. What about you, Torzin?”

“I took over for the droid,” Torzin explained, much less enthused.

The Human scratched the scruff of his chin. “Did you happen to learn anything over the course of the day?”

Torzin and Ryska offered a pair of determine, confident nods.

A smile beamed across the Miraluka’s face. “Great! You can tell us the details on the way back to the temple. Are you sure they don’t need any more help here?”

The two Padawans shared a brief look before answering simultaneously, “We’re sure.”

Together, the two masters and their students walked the stony path back to the temple. Rather than one pair leading the other, they all walked shoulder to shoulder, side by side.

“So, what did you manage to take away from your experience?” Osetto asked of the teenagers.

“For one thing, we realized that not everyone shares the same opinion of Jedi,” Torzin answered, speaking matter-of-factly rather than out of hostility. “I guess we’ve spent so much time amongst our own we sort of forgot about the ordinary citizens. We’re just used to the masters and our fellow students. You wanted to remind us of the people outside our circle.”

“That’s correct, Torzin,” Dehros stated. Though emotionless, the Guardian’s words did manage to instill a touch of warmth in the young Mirialan. “The truth is, many in the Republic blame us for much of the recent troubles that have befallen them. Our ongoing conflict with the Sith has taken its toll on the populace, and our sacrifices have not been ours alone.”

“To be a Jedi, you must be able to walk amongst all sorts, and your prime motivation ought to be understanding,” Osetto added. “We can’t be all lightsabers and the Force all the time. We must understand why people think the way they do, act the way they do. Tell me, were you upset by how the workers treated you?”

The teenagers shared a brief look as they took the next few steps in silence, dwelling on their answer.

“Yes,” Torzin confessed with a gentle dip of his head.

“And why was that?” Osetto asked.

“At first, pride,” Torzin answered. “We were there to help, and they refused us. My first thought was that they thought us incapable. Because we were young. Because we were just Padawans. Eventually, I learned that wasn’t the case at all. They didn’t want us there because we weren’t one of them. Because they felt like we were forced upon them. Because they wanted to prove they didn’t need us.”

“And after learning that, were you still upset?” Osetto continued.

“In a way, yes,” Torzin replied, a softness in his voice. “But it was different that time. It wasn’t an angry upset. More like a sad one, I guess. I didn’t want them to think those things, because I thought if we could learn to cooperate, we could really start to get thing done. It became about more than the construction. I wanted them to not be afraid to ask for help. I wanted them to think of us as allies instead of some outside force trying to impose our will on them. I wanted us all to be people working together. Not Jedi and non-Jedi. Not adults and teenagers. Not insiders and outsiders.”

“How do you think they feel about you now?” Osetto asked.

“I don’t know,” Torzin admitted. “Their feelings ran deep. I tried to convince them otherwise but… now I know why Jedi are taught to ignore their emotions.”

“Not ignore… understand,” Osetto warmly replied. “Like I said, always strive to understand. Understand their source. Understand their purpose. Understand how they affect us and those around us. A Jedi does not eschew their emotions, they simply try to avoid letting them take control.”

The Consular turned his head as he walked, focusing his eyeless gaze upon the Guardian on the opposite side of the group. Dehros continued the trek back toward the temple unfazed, stone-faced as his gaze remained permanently set upon the path ahead.

“We also learned that we cannot view ourselves as different from those we hope to defend,” Ryska jumped in.

“Is that so?” Osetto offered, shooting his Padawan a warm smile.

“We must hold ourselves to different standards as the general populace,” Dehros stoically offered. “To do the things we must do, and not do the things we mustn’t, we cannot act as a normal person might.”

“But we are normal people, right?” Ryska asked, a hint of disappointment in her voice. “I mean, just because we have the gift of the Force, that doesn’t automatically make us better than those who don’t.”

“With the Force comes a great many boons, as well as caveats,” Osetto replied. “We must take special care that we do not abuse or misuse or gift.” The Consular looked to his student, her eyes drifting to her feet as her head dipped. “But you are right. We are not as wholly different as some would believe. By no means are we perfect or infallible, and we have much more in common with those untouched by the Force than we are different.”

The young Cathar’s gaze lifted as a gentle smile graced her lips. “It’s just that… a lot of the problems people have with Jedi come from the fact that they think we’re different. That we think we’re different. They see us as Jedi who happen to be people, instead of people who happen to be Jedi.”

“A very wise observation, Padawan,” Osetto offered. “We hold the fates of countless lives in our hands. A responsibility many would be unwilling to place in the hands of anyone but unwavering paragons of justice and peace. But you’re right. We are people. People with an innate talent, and it’s up to us to see that talent put to use in ways that make the galaxy a better place… but people nonetheless You did well, both of you. The lesson was merely meant to be an inoculation for what you might experience once you leave Tython, but it would seem you walked away with more.”

“My only question is, how exactly did you know how the construction workers would treat us?” Torzin asked. “For your test to work, they pretty much had to treat us poorly.”

“Wait a minute, you didn’t meet them earlier and tell them to mistreat us, did you?” Ryska added, a slight squeal in her voice.

The Miraluka let out a soft chuckle. “No, nothing so sinister. I merely witnessed the foreman’s interactions with the Council in the days prior. He had to finalize the details with Syo Bakarn before the they would let his crew begin construction. The foreman’s words then were… less than pleasant.”

“So, does this mean we’re ready to leave Tython?” Torzin asked.

“With the accompaniment of your master, absolutely,” Dehros answered. “But just because you are ready, doesn’t mean there isn’t more to be done here.”

“Dehros is correct,” Osetto added. “Your training will continue over the coming months, the coming years. The time will come that we begin to carry out missions together throughout the galaxy. But for now, Tython remains the best place to offer lessons and hone your skills. We will utilize the temple grounds for as long as they can be utilized.”

“Alright, so what’s our next test going to be?” Ryska asked.

“I’d prefer to call them lessons,” Osetto offered with a gentle smile. “These are supposed to be learning experiences. Tasks to expand your minds and broaden your horizons. Test puts too much of a stress on passing or failing, preventing you from focusing on what truly matters. Besides, I don’t really think there was a way for you to ‘fail’ your ‘test’ at the outpost.”

“I don’t know, Torzin could have socked one of the workers in the jaw,” Ryska suggested with a slight giggle.

“I could have,” Torzin offered. “But I didn’t.”

“That’s good to hear Padawan,” Dehros plainly stated.

“I mean, I thought about it…” Torzin continued.

“Hostility fostered is hostility festered,” Osetto stoically recanted.

Ryska offered an interested arch of her brow. “What was that?”

“A bit of wisdom from back when I was a student,” Osetto answered alongside a quick chuckle. “One of my teachers had a thing for ‘sayings’. Most of them amounted to nothing and were just excuses to get the initiates thinking about a particular subject.”

“With the galaxy being at war, however, pithy slogans and words of wisdom weren’t as stressed as they might have been otherwise,” Dehros added.

“After spending hours and hours in the practicing circles, we could stand to hear about how ‘even the most stubborn farmer must admire the tenacity of stone’,” Osetto joked. “But don’t worry, we’ll attempt to provide you two a more balanced training experience.”

“Aw, you mean our next lesson isn’t going to be a lecture on Jedi witticisms,” Ryska said with a faux disappointment.

“No. At least, not your next lesson,” Osetto clarified with a smile.

Torzin looked toward the Miraluka with a determination in his eyes. “Then what will we be doing next?”

“You remember how I said we can't be all lightsabers and the Force all the time?” Osetto asked. “Well, the truth is sometimes, we have to be.”

A spark of hope washed over the Mirialan’s visage. “Does this mean we’re getting our lightsabers?”

“I’m afraid not,” Osetto gently revealed.

“Then what? Sparring with training sabers?” Ryska asked.

“Still no, I’m afraid,” Osetto answered, a delighted coyness in his tone.

The four Jedi continued along the path, nearing the boundaries of the temple grounds. Though the day’s light had not yet been lost, the time for training was over, if not for the rest of the Order then for the two teachers and their students. Walking through the grounds, past spars and training circles, the small group was set on retiring for the evening. The two Padawans needed to rest, and their masters needed them rested. Osetto already had the next day’s lesson planned out in his head and wanted the students to be at their best.

The Jedi slept, and as soon as the sun would cast its first rays over the Tython mountaintops, the Consular intended to test their bodies, minds, and spirits.
-------------------- The Fan Fiction Index --------------------

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Osetto
12.11.2013 , 11:22 PM | #16
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12.12.2013 , 09:03 PM | #17
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12.17.2013 , 09:18 AM | #18
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01.26.2014 , 12:16 AM | #19
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LaxKnight
01.28.2014 , 12:29 PM | #20
I just want to say I'm enjoying this. I love your namesake, the wit about him and his cheeriness compared to the stoic (word used a lot!) Dehros. The interaction between them, the chemistry, is awesome. The back and forth quips as Osetto constantly tries to get Dehro to break his stoicism. I love it.
LaxKnight
"I'm not blind, I just see from a different perspective." - Serenity Williams, Miraluka Jedi Apprentice