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Guiding Lights


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Osetto
05.22.2012 , 09:40 PM | #1
Guiding Lights
This story can also be read on Fanfiction.net
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Prologue: Endings

Dust. Rubble. Ruins. Little more than the errant wall and pillar remained of the Coruscanti Jedi Temple. Gone was the once-magnificent structure, the once-welcoming home, replaced by the very antithesis of the Order. Disorder. Chaos. Death.

From a distance, numerous robed figures looked onward in silent dismay. Fires raged throughout the district and the atmosphere was thick with smoke and Imperial warships. A red haze permeated the vision of all who dared look upon the wrecked cityscape. It was a scene of destruction, of grief, and ironically… peace.

A group of Jedi watched from a nearby platform, for that was all they could do. A treaty had been signed. The Great War was over. There was peace between the Republic and Empire. Between the Jedi and Sith. Thus, those without a temple, without a home, watched as it burned, standing beneath the shadows of its destructors.

Amongst the onlookers were two men standing side by side, their heads slightly bowed.

Osetto Karrehl. Miraluka. Consular. Much of his unburdened visage was obscured by the brown hood raised over his head, and the simple band of matching cloth concealing his species' vestigial eye sockets.

Dehros Norrida. Human. Guardian. The cloak he wore surrounded a heavy suit of armor typical of someone from the frontlines, and hid a stern face that knew the hardships of battle.

Both were young enough to have been born since the advent of the twenty-eight year war. Expedited to knighthood, because of the war. Master-less, because of the war. Forced to watch their allies die and driven from their home, all because of the war. And now, upon witnessing the true face of peace, none who gazed upon it found solace. For some, emptiness. For others, a despicable fullness that nothing could have prepared them for.

"This…" Dehros muttered. "This isn't peace."

"I understand the pain you're currently feeling," Osetto calmly said, "but there isn't anything we can do."

"There is plenty that we could do, that we could have done,” Dehros replied. “We could've fought. We could've resisted. We could've done everything in our power to prevent our home from falling to Imperial martial law."

Osetto continued to cast his eyeless gaze upon the slowly burning rubble in the distance. "That isn't our home anymore, brother."

Dehros' hands slowly balled into fists. "Until the last speck of stone is removed from that foundation, I will never give up on the temple… never give up on Coruscant!"

"That isn't where we are needed. And quite frankly, I'm not sure that's where we are wanted."

"Not wanted?" Dehros balked. "What if there are Jedi still fighting for their lives, opposing the Empire?"

"Trust me," Osetto began after a pause. "There's no one left."

"And how do you-" Dehros started before being interrupted by the Consular softly laying his hand upon the Guardian's shoulder.

"I’ve no eyes, but I am not blind. I see… so much more… so much less," Osetto said, almost at a whisper. "When I look upon the temple, I am forced to witness an indescribable scene. An emptiness that rends my heart. A chaos that wracks my mind. I want nothing more than it to stop. I want nothing more than to be the one to stop it. But it is folly. Not a single spark of life remains in the temple."

"You can't… you can't be sure. There still might be…" Dehros muttered, the Consular's hand weighing heavy upon his shoulder.

Osetto's head dipped. "I'm sorry. But those Jedi gave their lives so that we could escape. If we stayed, their sacrifice would have been for nothing. We'd be dead, or prisoners in one of the camps…"

"To be executed if we didn't accept their damned treaty," Dehros replied, gritting his teeth. "But we just stood by and watched. Our brothers and sisters had guns to their heads, and we did nothing."

"What could we have done? Only the smallest of groups escaped the eyes of the Imperials, escaped the soldiers, the bombings, the destruction. Would you rather have marched on the encampments, accompanied only by younglings and Padawans?"

"We are Padawans no longer," Dehros declared. "We swore to defend the Republic. The Order."

"Then defend something still capable of being defended," said Osetto, maintaining his calm. "These other Jedi need us. As much as it pains me to say… this is peace. It is our duty to preserve it."

The Human slowly shook his head. "Peace is a lie. Remember that? That’s their code. We're fooling ourselves if we think this is peace. So long as the Sith remain, we will never be safe. I would gladly die opposing them if it meant it would bring peace."

"Bring peace? Or bring yourself peace?" Osetto asked. "Don't think for a moment that I would not sacrifice myself for the good of the Republic, for the galaxy. But right now, all you would be doing is throwing yourself away in the most selfish of ways, not mention endangering the treaty. Don't throw yourself upon a pyre because you cannot handle the world you see before you. If you truly value peace, you'll survive. Persevere. The Order will not rebuild overnight. It needs people who can keep it strong and guide the next generation. Striking out against your foes, blinded by emotion... that is weakness. And you're stronger than that."

Dehros paused, taking a deep breath and gathering himself. "There is no emotion."

"There is peace," Osetto added.

"Ignorance… passion… chaos… death… the Sith certainly succeeded in testing us."

"That they did."

Dehros lifted his gaze, turning to face his friend. "Do you truly think we can rebuild?"

"There are survivors,” said the Miraluka, keeping his eyeless gaze affixed to the horizon. “The Empire will release their prisoners and, luckily, many Masters were off world."

"Perhaps we can restore balance," Dehros admitted, almost a whisper.

Osetto nodded. "Perhaps. Unfortunately, I don't think we'll be returning to the temple here anytime soon."

"Where will we go?"

The Consular dipped his head, gently scratching his chin. "Not sure. The Grand Master is calling for the withdrawal of the Jedi. And not just from Coruscant. The newfound peace with the Empire has stirred something of a conflict between the Order and the Senate. What's left of it."

"So, we just leave," Dehros muttered, a touch of anger returning. "Coruscant is burning… and we just leave."

"I don't want to leave either," Osetto admitted. "But the Order isn't the only thing that needs to be rebuilt. Hardships are likely to plague the planet and its citizens, but if we aren't called upon to render aid, we would be intruding."

"Intruding? We've given our lives to the Republic, at the very least we could lend a hand helping the burdened communities."

"The people are discontent with the Order. We will likely hold much of the blame for the Empire's transgressions."

"Cast out. Not once, but twice," said the Guardian.

"We must preserve the balance," replied the Consular. "Marching right back into war or forcing ourselves upon the Republic hurts all of us."

"I just wish there was more we could do."

"There is. Just not here. Just not right now."

"Then where? When?" Dehros asked.

There was a pause as a heavy silence hung between the pair.

"I do not know," Osetto admitted. "I don't think anyone does."

The Jedi watched as a Republic shuttle descended upon their location, one of the first permitted to pass through the Imperial blockade. The transport touched down in a clearing atop the urban platform, resting on its struts and deploying its entrance ramp. Descending the ramp were a pair of Republic soldiers, armed and armored, tasked with escorting the nearby Jedi off world. Tasked with protection. Tasked with assurance.

In mournful silence, the flock of Force-users boarded the shuttle, unsure of their final destination.
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Osetto
05.23.2012 , 10:32 PM | #2
Chapter One: Beginnings (Part One)

Two years had passed since the Treaty of Coruscant when the Jedi finally resettled on their ancient homeworld of Tython.

When the Jedi first returned, they found a remarkable world overrun by wildlife. In order to adopt a permanent residence, the Jedi had to clear paths through the overgrown vegetation, erect structures whilst under the watchful eyes of the local beasts. The stone buildings and pathways of old needed to be restored.

By the third year since the war's end, the Jedi Order sought to build and rebuild. And they succeeded. Construction on a new temple had begun, despite the attacks by the local natives, the Flesh Raiders. New students were taken on, despite the low population of Masters. The Order persisted, despite the shadows of dissent within its ranks.

It was an era of change. And after countless months of pouring their bodies, minds, and souls into the rebuilding effort, Jedi Knights Osetto Karrehl and Dehros Norrida had been granted the right to take on Padawans of their own. Emerging from the Council chambers, the two Jedi walked through the halls of the bustling, yet incomplete, Jedi Temple.

In the safety of their own home, both the Consular and Guardian wore more-traditional robes, rather than those suited for war. A pale tunic and trousers, beset by an thick, brown outer cloak.

The Miraluka possessed the same strip of cloth matching his robes wrapped around where his eyes would be were it not for his unique biology. The Consular’s brown, shoulder-length hair was neatly restrained behind his head, keeping the soft feature of his face unburdened.

The Human bared no overt scars on his visage, but the young Jedi’s still possessed a roughened countenance. The dark hair atop his head, and the stubble upon his chin was at odds with the Guardian’s rigid and orderly emotional state. There was in inner and outer calm about him, one readily apparent.

"So today is the day," Osetto stated, the Miraluka almost floating with emotional whimsy as he made his way through the unfinished halls. "Finally, we're responsible for more than just clearing brush and stone."

"This is not a decision to be made with haste," Dehros replied, utterly stoic in his delivery. "Is this something we are truly prepared to do?"

Osetto offered a warm nod. "If I didn't think so, I would have never suggested the idea to the Masters. This will be good for us and for the Padawans. Besides, no one is ever really ready to take on a student. Our character is judged by how we react to the unknown, rather than the known."

As the two Jedi emerged from the Temple's interior, they walked upon a scene of unusual splendor. A large banner hoisted above the entrance of the half-finished structure read "Apprenticeship Day" in bold letters. Amongst the training grounds that lay in front of the temple, numerous Jedi, young and old, populated the area. Scores of initiates who had successfully passed previous trials of the Order mingled with the gathering of Jedi Knights and Masters. Standing under the calm rays of the Tython sun, Dehros and Osetto paused at the top of the steps that led to the grounds below.

"I still don't know if this is a good idea," said the Human, still neutral in his tone.

The Miraluka passed his eyeless gaze before the proceedings, seeing the gathering of Jedi young and old through the Force. "The Order has been rebuilt and reestablished, but it is still somewhat disconnected internally. We've mended the cracks of mortar and stone but have yet to renew the relationships of tutor and Padawan for much of the Order. We lost our masters to the war, as did some of these initiates. While ready to move on and continue their training, circumstances have halted their progress, which is definitely not easy on a young mind."

"So, what," Dehros began, scratching the shortest of stubble that grace his chin, "put a bunch of Jedi in the same area and force them to pair up?"

Osetto released a light chuckle. "Lighten up Dehros, this is an event to be celebrated."

"Being overzealous with excitement and splendor is not the way of the Jedi," Dehros reminded.

Another chuckle from the Miraluka. "And to think, when we were Padawans I was the one quoting the Code."

Standing atop the steps leading into the Temple, Dehros received the playful nudging of his friend's elbow into his side. But his stance remained rigid, his eyes unwavering. "We're neither the same people, nor the same Order we were three years ago. Things have changed, Osetto."

"And it's time we change them back. Restore the Order. If we stagnate, then we will wallow in fear and negativity, which is just what the Sith want."

"I wish for the Order to return to its prime as much as you do, but I do not know if this is the way," Dehros admitted

The Miraluka placed s soft hand upon his friend's shoulder. "A few of the Masters were calling for it to be purely a tournament of skill, but I think these children have seen enough pain in recent years. This is a place for prospective tutors to judge these initiates as they were judged. Not just by skill, but knowledge and insight. Saber duels, as well as lectures and philosophy."

Dehros stared at the proceedings below before finally turning to the hand gracing his shoulder. Even if he refused to budge from his stoic countenance, there was a subtle shift in the Human's being. "Well, if you feel your student ever requires additional martial training, I would be willing to lend my hand."

"And if you feel your student ever requires a lesson in breaking the rules, I would gladly lend mine," said Osetto, retrieving his hand after giving his friend's shoulder a quick pat.

"Do try to keep your jesting to a minimum around the impressionable youth."

"Not to mention the curmudgeonly elders."

"Yes, it would have been a shame had the Council banned you from an event of your own devising," Dehros added, his dry, bordering-on-cold tone making it difficult to distinguish between genuine thought and deadpan snark.

"You don't think the meeting went that badly, do you?" Osetto asked. The Guardian’s silent stare was answer enough. "Okay, point taken."

"You said we could rebuild… I suppose I always had a hard time believing you," Dehros admitted. "Technically, I still have a hard time believing it. But I'll not have my doubt cloud my judgment, or get in the way, if we can truly heal the Order with this."

"Trust me, I don't believe we're going to save the Order overnight with a mere gathering of Masters and Padawans. But every little thing helps."

"And I swore to do whatever it takes, no matter how insignificant it might be, if it means finding peace. I only wish this were less awkward. I've been given permission to take on a Padawan, but I don't know the first thing about how to pick one."

"We were raised during the war," said Osetto. "Now that it's over, I'd say a lot of us aren't sure how to move forward. I think it best if we used the wisdom imparted upon us by our elders and hope that we can follow in their footsteps."

"Choose a Padawan as we were chosen?" the Human suggested.

"Perhaps. This is a new age, Dehros. Filled with new peoples and a new home. But we must never forget the past. Our past. The good and the bad."

"Now the learners become the tutors."

"Oh, we're still the learners," Osetto said, reaffirming his smile. "Now we'll just be receiving insight from students of our own, rather than our Masters. This isn't the end of our training, merely a new beginning."

Osetto could see Dehros slowly warming up to the entire prospect. Something almost resembling a smile even graced his face as he looked out amongst the cavalcade of students mingling with prospective Masters. The sight was a pleasant surprise for Osetto, who had steadily watched his friend become more reserved since their departure from Coruscant. The two parted on good terms, walking amongst the larger gathering of Jedi intent on observing the potential students that had gathered, hoping that amongst them was the ideal initiate to take on as a Padawan.

----------

With a relaxed pace, Osetto gently walked across the grounds in front of the temple, 'taking in the sights' as much as his species was able to. In his mind, the scene was aglow with radiant positivity, Jedi of all kinds finding solace in the proceedings. At the foot of the steps, a pair of Jedi Masters were having their own conversation in regard to the event. Numerous layers of loose-fitting robes in earthen-tones covered their figures, completely absent the armored plates and modifications utilized during the war.

"They say the temple's construction won't be completely finished for another couple of years and yet we're expediting the training of our students?" said the Zabrak, a crown of stubby horns sprouting from his unhooded cranium.

"The Order is capable of bearing the burden of such progressions. The sooner we can rebuild and return to the Republic the better," the Human colleague replied.

Osetto politely cleared his throat as he approached the pair. "Ah, Masters Quanera and Cabaril! I hope the day has been kind to you both.”

"Knight Karrehl,” Cabaril offered with a polite nod of his head. The Human met the Consular’s eyeless gaze, before panning his sights about the temple grounds. “It would seem your gathering is off to a good start.”

"I'm pleased to hear it, but please, this is hardly my gathering,” Osetto admitted. “I could not have put it together without the aid of several Masters, including yourself.”

"Your humility is endearing, but you should be proud of your accomplishment,” said Cabaril. “I have a feeling the Order will be stronger as a result of the proceedings today."

"We can only hope," Quanera offered, lacking the other Jedi's enthusiasm. Offering his fellows a quick bow of his head, the Zabrak calmly stepped away.

"Don't worry about him," Cabaril said, almost at a whisper. "There are still those whom were impacted greatly by the war. The hardships have not yet been purged from their hearts, understandably. Many have hardened, refusing to take on students for the time being, until the Order has stabilized."

Osetto smile grew wide. "Here's hoping this puts us on the right track to stability.”

"Agreed."

With mutual bows, the two Jedi parted ways. Taking in the immediate scene that rest before him, Osetto saw that small clusters of students and instructors were starting to form. In one of the squared practice arenas, duels were taking place between some of the older Padawans, displaying their skills with a training saber under the watchful eyes of numerous potential masters. Kneeling upon the grass a short distance away, a gathering of young students listened intently to the scholarly musings of a dictating lecturer, with the exception of one peculiar Padawan.

The boys and girls that sat upon the grass baring wide eyes toward their superior were comprised of a multitude of species, none over the age of six or seven. However, towering over her neighboring peers, a teenage Cathar sat rather lackadaisically, her head slightly nodding off as if struggling to stay awake. The young adult eventually passed into a slumber, leaning against the perturbed child to her right.

"You see, when you take traditional Jedi architecture and combine it with the stylings and characteristics of the Alderaanian noble houses, you can begin to see the marvel of… I'm sorry, is the lecture not to your liking Ryska?" the Human lecturer barked at the snoozing Padawan. Immediately the student snapped to attention.

"What? Oh, no sir, uh, Master Strayen!" Ryska hastily replied. The Cathar possessed a slender frame covered with a pale-brown fur. The hair atop her head was a shade darker, kept short, and atypically unkempt for a student, with a singular Padawan braid hanging to her shoulder behind her right ear. Her face was soft and possessed a certain energy that contradicted her somewhat drowsy countenance.

Strayen gently rubbed his balding scalp accompanied by a polite shaking of his head. Before resuming his speech, Osetto had placed a hand on the aged Master's shoulder and offered a sincere bow of his head.

"Don't worry, I'll take this one off of your hands," the Miraluka whispered.

"As you wish," said Strayen, accompanying his words with the passing wave of his hand.

"Would you care to join me for a walk, Padawan?" Osetto asked of the embarrassed student. Saving herself from further scrutiny from Strayen, she promptly rose from the grass and patted her basic robes down, following the mysterious Jedi who had already begun his walk away from the circle of students. Catching up with him, the Padawan scratched the back of her head, unsure of how to proceed.

"So… uh, sorry about that. Back there. Waking up early doesn't mix well with lessons on architecture, I guess," Ryska admitted. Her words lacked the presentation and forethought expected of the Jedi that usually walked the Temple grounds, but possessed a warm and delightful candor.

The Consular offered a soft chuckle. "You needn't explain yourself. Sometimes, it's a hard choice which Strayen you want to put up with. The one that lectures or the one that locks himself away in his work."

"There's more than one of him?" Ryska asked, eyes wide with trepidation.

"Not physically, no. But we all possess our own allotment of facets and shapes to our personage, do we not?" Osetto offered with an air of whimsy. "I assume there's more to you than the snoozing Padawan I first laid eyes upon."

"Oh… well, yeah! You need something done, I'm the girl for the job! I just happen to excel in the field rather than, you know, behind a desk," said Ryska, her tomboyish tone subtly revealing her true nature.

"Relax. You need not try and sell yourself or build up a case in your favor," Osetto explained.

"Oh, so you're not taking on a student," Ryska muttered, eyes falling to her feet.

Osetto placed a gentle hand upon her shoulder. "Now, I never said that.” The Cathar lifted her gaze, meeting the Miraluka’s eyeless visage. Soon, both possessed smiles upon their lips. “Come, there's much to discuss.”

The Consular had sensed something curious within the student when he sensed her presence. A rather unique aura. An inner nature, radiant in its outward presence. Positive and energetic, yet shifting and unsure. Hidden behind a veil of indiscipline, there lay a certain potential. A potential that could be tended or ignored, each leading its wielder down a different path. One of light. One of darkness. But deep within the Padawan's heart, Osetto sensed a spirit that sought guidance amongst the chaos. He was determined to provide that guidance.

----------

Venturing toward one of the miniature plazas that graced the area in front of the Temple, Dehros looked upon the dueling students with more than a passing interest.

Two students clashed with one another within the dueling plaza, surrounded by kneeling Padawans and standing Masters watching with an invested interest. In their later teens, the duelists had progressed sufficiently in their ability with a training saber, spurred on by the harsh conditioning of the war. As the combatants swung the energized rods of metal, rather than searing beams of plasma, the onlookers were free to gauge their abilities. While far from mastery, the two had sufficiently studied Shii-Cho, the first form of lightsaber combat, and were beginning to show themselves capable of moving on to more advanced combat practices, much to the fascination of the onlookers.

The two combatants varied in many ways, opposing each other in looks, style, form, and presence. The Padawan dominating the fight was a Mirialan, a humanoid baring pale-green skin. Male, athletic build, rigid stance, powerful and effective movements. The other Padawan was a Human doing her best to keep pace. Female, lean, flowing and grandiose movements. Watching the two from the sidelines, Dehros managed to catch the eye of the Jedi Master adjacent to him.

"Knight Norrida,” he spoke up. A Zabrak, different from Quanera. Different set of horns upon his head. Different set of tattoos upon his face. Different demeanor, one of warmth. “I figured you would eventually make your way to these parts.”

"It is good to see you, Master Travin," said Dehros, usual neutral tone. "The duelists appear to have gathered quite the audience."

Travin nodded as he scratched his chin. "Yes, they really are fascinating students. Very progressed for their age. It is a shame they may not find a new Master."

"What do you mean?" Dehros asked.

The Zabrak released a low, regretful sigh. "As far along they are in their training, it could serve to their detriment. Teenagers who have lost their Masters, lived much of their lives under the chaos that is war… they have a way of accumulating baggage. They are prone to attachment. In more ways than one. To people. To the past. To emotions and beliefs. Not many would welcome the challenges of taking them under their wing. It is my job to oversee much of the field training that Padawans undergo, I know for a fact that I could not also teach a student such as these."

Dehros knew the truth in Travin’s words. The older someone was, the less likely it was for them to be inducted into the Order, for fear of their previous life taking precedence over the Jedi teachings. A similar stigma yet remained for the transferring of older students between Masters, had they faced troublesome circumstances. As much interest the gathered Jedi had taken in the Padawans, they all sensed the potential dangers that rested within each one.

The students had been tried and tried again. By the Order, by the war, by the galaxy at large. Discipline could either work in their favor or to their detriment, calming them or pushing them over the edge. Many would favor their transfer into one of the lesser servicing sectors of the Order rather than continue their path to Knighthood.

As Dehros looked onward, rubbing the stubble upon chin, it appeared the bout was coming to a close. In the midst of one of the teenage girl’s wide, rhythmic swings, the Mirialan countered with a brief, calculated parry, pushing past her defenses and sending her to the flat of her back. Directing his training saber down, the Mirialan paused a brief distance away from the felled student, its tip a safe distance from the fallen duelist. With a grin, the defeated Padawan offered a word of congratulation toward the victor. With a bow of his head, the other duelist offered a hand a help the student to her feet.

A curiousness began to rise within Dehros as he watched the Mirialan. A practiced swordsman, utterly focused and efficient in his style and countenance. His face and expression were completely calm and collected, bordering on a cold detachment. A facade attempting to hide the competing forces that battled within his heart and mind. Dehros had expected to sense a chaotic back-and-forth taking place within the student. Instead he felt an internal order, two equal halves settled, on which he stood on the precipitous edge between the two. Light and Dark. A worrisome prospect for a student, but an all too familiar feeling for Dehros. Something he had sensed before… during the war… in himself.

After the two duelists had parted ways with a mutual bow, the Mirialan began to step out into the sidelines when he noticed Dehros approaching him. Passing off his training saber to another initiate, the Padawan turned to greet the Guardian.

"Master Jedi," the Mirialan softly spoke up, rigidly bowing his head.

"I've not yet the privilege of becoming anyone’s master, young one," Dehros admitted. "My name is Dehros Norrida. Might I ask you of yours?"

"I am Torzin Varuuz," the teenager promptly stated, straightening out his bowed posture. Everything about Torzin's outer appearance was meticulous and orderly. The dark hair upon his head was utterly tidy and conservatively short aside from the Padawan braid behind his ear. Upon his serene visage, Torzin possessed a series of cultural tattoos, basic geometrical shapes woven into a simple pattern. Starting on his cheekbones and stretching to his ears were a stripe of interlocking triangles on each side of his face, completely symmetrical.

"Torzin, I must compliment you on your dueling skills. You were very capable with that training saber," Dehros offered, his tone making it seem more an observation rather than a compliment.

The Mirialan nodded his head in respect. "That is very kind of you to say so, sir. If I may speak freely, I would like to state that I had already constructed my personal lightsaber over three years ago. I'm afraid it was lost during the final hours of the war." There was a slight tremor in the Padawan's words as he finished his last sentence. The lightsaber obviously wasn't the only thing lost.

"I take it that means you would want nothing more than to continue your training, so that you may acquire another?"

"It is not the Jedi way to 'want' something in such a way. But I feel my abilities and capabilities would be severely limited without one," Torzin admitted.

"What, to you, is a lightsaber?" asked Dehros.

"A weapon… in the most basic of terms,” answered Torzin. “But I know its value lies in matters beyond that of a simple blade. It is a tool, physically and metaphysically. With it, the ability to bring about change. Bring about balance. With it, the ability to protect the galaxy from the Sith. There may be a way to oppose those who worship the Dark without one, and if someone knows of it I will gladly listen, but until that day I will place my faith in something tried and true."

Dehros was correct in his assumptions. Torzin was more like him that he had originally realized.
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Osetto
05.24.2012 , 12:21 PM | #3
Chapter Two: Beginnings (Part Two)

"I remember my days as a Padawan," Osetto reminisced with the intrigued Cathar, looking outward to the small pond that rest a short distance from the temple. "They were… tumultuous, to say the least. I often wondered what my studies would have been like if we weren't at war. I wanted nothing more than to dive into some of the old archives… read histories, study the plethora of knowledge at my disposal. But with the threat of the Sith looming over our heads, certain teachings understandably took precedence. But even with the Great War, master was accommodating… and he always seemed to possess the uncanny ability to keep a bright outlook. It's funny, even as a student I was the one reminding him of the Code. I was utterly baffled by the way he carried himself back then. All smiles. I think it actually got on the nerves of some of his peers. It's one thing to be calm in a time of war. It's another to be a Jedi cracking jokes. Now I realize that was just his way of operating, fighting through the pain and suffering he was forced to witness occurring around him. To this day, I still believe he died with that wonderful glint of hope in his eye."

"He sounds like a wonderful person," said Ryska, a softness in her voice. "Mind if I ask his name?"

"Varen Odeya. He and a few others gave their lives during the Sacking of Coruscant, so that we could lead a group of younglings and Padawans to safety. He was a good teacher. And a good friend."

Looking over, Osetto saw that Ryska had solemnly lowered her head, on the verge of tears. Forcing a smile, the Consular lowered himself to the ground, where he lay upon the grassy hill on his back. With a subtle wave, he beckoned the Padawan to join him. For a period, the two simply gazed into the calm skies above them, watching the clouds gently pass over the temperate proceedings.

"I know it's not the Jedi way, or in line with the Code… but I admit I miss my old master," Osetto stated, not breaking his skyward gaze. "I know we're supposed to reject attachment and accept that death is a natural part of the Force… but I'd prefer if none of this were necessary. That we didn't need to find Padawans new Masters, that we didn't need to hide away on some ancient planet because our previous home was reduced to ruin, that we… didn't have to constantly throw ourselves against the forces of darkness. I can guess you feel the same way… and that's okay. Don't let anyone tell you that you need to abandon all vestiges of feeling to be a proper Jedi. Being a Jedi is perseverance. Adaptation. Moving forward. Having friends and… holding on to memories, that can drive you toward a better future. So long as you can remember that, it's like our masters never left."

Osetto looked over to see the Padawan dab her eyes with the back of her hand. However, her once solemn look had given way to a smile. The two remained on their backs as they relaxed under the beautiful scene of serenity that lay above them. At least, Osetto assumed it was beautiful. The distant sky didn't provide much through Force sight.

----------

"Would you refuse training from someone who forcefully made you repeat past trials?" Dehros calmly asked the Mirialan student.

"I would never refuse the offer of training from a proper teacher, even if I had to retake tests I have already completed," Torzin admitted, ducking his gaze slightly to the side.

"Then that is the question, isn't it? What to you is a 'proper teacher'?" asked Dehros.

"My apologies, sir. I did not mean to question your abilities… I simply believe there might be others who are more suited to take me as their Padawan," Torzin said, still averting his gaze.

"I merely seek to understand. What might you consider more suitable traits?" No matter what, there were no alterations in the Human’s stoic tone.

"It's just… I've accomplished much despite the hardships of the Great War, and my previous master understood this. He was Mirialan, as I was. These tattoos on my cheeks, they have special meanings. They are a physical record of my deeds and progression. Anyone who understood them could tell you. But, ever since the war ended, it's like everything I've done till now has been… pointless. Forgotten. Rendered inert. What is the point of skill if it cannot be utilized? What is the point of knowledge if no one asks of you? What's the point of looking forward, if it is forever kept out of your reach?"

"Sometimes, it is prudent to take a step backward," Dehros stated. "If we always look forward, we miss the enemy sneaking up behind us. If we always keep our heads held high, we trip over the obstacles that lay at our feet. There is foundation in the past. Knowledge. Stability. Moving forward is easy when you have a lightsaber in your hands. Without one, you're forced to stop and think. Take in your surroundings. Realize the road ahead isn't just full of solutions. I understand your frustrations. We need strength. We need knowledge. We need skill. In order to repair the Order. But we also need patience. Understanding. Peace. You are an accomplished individual. One need not be a Mirialan to see that. My friend of many years is an alien who literally cannot see the world as I do. My master was a Zabrak, her cultural upbringing literally imprinted upon her face. And she taught me that true mastery lay within all avenues. That we must look to the past as much as the future to find inspiration and solace. That is why we have returned here, to our Order's ancient homeworld. To rebuild, we must look upon that which made us who we are today. You could find a master who could tell you block for block what your tattoos mean and let you pick up right where you left off… or you could find a master who still understands you, your past, and your struggles, with the added benefit of granting you the proper training someone like you needs. Deserves."

The two locked eyes for an extended period of silence. Eventually, Torzin closed his eyes and offered a sincere bow of his head to Dehros, his new teacher.

----------

"I understand much of what you might have endured for the past couple of years," Osetto admitted, breaking the peaceful silence. "The relocation and rebuilding effort has been hard on all of us, but it must be especially difficult for a Padawan. It might feel as if you've not yet earned a place amongst the Order. However, as much as it is your place to learn, you've also the ability to stand on your own. I know you desire a master. You know I desire a Padawan. The question I ask of you is… what is it that you actually want?"

Ryska remained silent for the immediate moment, staring upward at the Tython atmosphere. Then, she took a deep breath before a prolonged exhalation as she scratched the back of her head.

"I know… that it is a Jedi's place to defend the Republic and preserve peace throughout the galaxy. I don't know… how we're supposed to do that," Ryska admitted. "I know that we should seek guidance from the Code, but there are so many interpretations. So many doctrines. So many methods. I want to be able to fight the Sith, but I don't want to waste what peace we have preparing for another war. I want to progress my training, but not at the expense of helping out those around me. I know I'm not the best duelist. I know I'm not the most well-read. I know I may not appear the most dedicated, but when I'm presented with something I can believe in, I know I'm capable of committing myself. I want… in simplest terms… to understand. The Jedi. The Force. The Galaxy."

"What you seek… is balance," Osetto said as he raised himself from the ground. "I may not have all the answers, but I can certainly put you on the right track toward realizing that goal. And I would like nothing more than to do so."

The Consular extended a hand downward, offering it to the Padawan. Ryska grasped ahold of it wearing a smile, and lifted herself off the ground. Together, the duo began their journey back towards the temple, as master and student.

----------

"You desire training," Dehros stated. "Martial skill. Mystic knowledge. The question I ask is… what are your intentions? Over the course of your training, you will come into the possession of a unique set of capabilities. What is it exactly, that you plan to do with said capabilities?"

"I thought you disapproved of focusing too much attention on the future?" Torzin hesitantly suggested.

"I disapprove of blinding ourselves by needlessly staring into the 'shining beacon' that we occasionally make the future out to be," Dehros replied. "But ignoring it is just as harmful as ignoring the past. To misunderstand it is to misunderstand our codes, our teachings, our actions. Understanding that… what are your intentions? What is it that you want?"

"I want… to be able to combat the darkness. To preserve the light," Torzin declared. "To fight, but also defend. To promote peace, but also possess the ability to end whatever wars we will inevitably be drawn into. To master the forms of combat. To master the Force."

"What you seek… is balance," Dehros said. "I can provide you the challenges and training that will put you on that path. If you are dedicated, you just might see those desires through to fruition. And I am dedicated to allowing you that chance."

"Thank you, master," Torzin offered as he bowed his head. Dehros provided a reciprocal nod of his own. Beckoning the Padawan to follow, the duo began to walk away from the dueling area.

----------

Walking along the dirt path stretching in front of the Jedi Temple, the two duos of students and teachers met. Osetto and Ryska strode along, sharing a laugh as they discussed the lighter things. Directing his focus forward, the Consular recognized Dehros with a student of his own, and offered an enthusiastic wave to catch his attention. The Guardian acknowledged his friend's call with a quick nod and approached the enthusiastic couple with his Torzin at his side.

"Good day, Osetto," Dehros began, his pleasantries ever marked by his stoicism. "I see you've found yourself a Padawan."

The Miraluka smiled, turning from friend to the girl by his side. "Yes. Dehros, allow me to introduce you to Ryska, my new student."

The Cathar offered a soft wave of her hand, mirroring her master's warmth. "If you're wondering if there's more, there isn't. It's just Ryska."

"And this must be your new Padawan," Osetto said, turning toward the boy to Dehros' flank. "Let's see… young male Mirialan duelist. If I'm remembering the student files correctly, I do believe you are Torzin… Varuuz?"

"That is correct, master Jedi," Torzin offered with a respectful dip of his head.

Ryska's eyes and smile grew wider. "Wow, do you know every student here?"

"I was involved in organizing Apprenticeship Day," said Osetto. "I looked over the records of all the students that would be present."

"So… you knew about me before we actually spoke?" Ryska asked, a slight drop in her voice.

The Miraluka maintained his smile, placing a gentle hand on the girl's shoulder. "Only what any administrator could know. Only after spending time with you could I hope to come to an understanding of what kind of person you truly might be."

"But.. if you saw my file… does that mean you know…" Ryska slowly began to ask.

"Yes… I know about the 'holocron incident'," Osetto whispered, maintaining his pleasant tone.

Ryska stared into her master's eyeless visage. "And you still wanted to take me on as a student?"

"Of course," said Osetto, giving the Cathar's shoulder a friendly shake. "In reality, I actually had a laugh when I read about it."

"To be fair, it is not large feat to drive him to laughter," Dehros added.

"Oh, be quiet you old curmudgeon," Osetto teased.

The Human raised an eyebrow. "I'm only a year older than you."

"Hah! This, my Padawan, will most likely be your assistant master," Osetto explained. "When we were students like yourselves, our masters were the best of friends, leading us to spend most of our years training together. Because there are lessons I am ill-equipped to teach, I will count on my friend Dehros here to lend a hand on occasion."

The young Mirialan looked to the stone-faced Human. "Am I to receive additional training from your friend, master?"

"He is a bit unorthodox," Dehros began, "but Master Karrehl has a greater grasp and understanding of some of the more intricate facets of the Force than I do. He is a capable teacher and can help you get the most out of your training."

"We'll likely confer on our teachings, monitor each other's progress, things like that," Osetto added. "As a Padawan, it is good to learn from a number of sources. You'll have the benefit of drawing from the pooled knowledge of two Jedi Knights, and more than likely, your fellow student."

Dehros offered a quick nod. "It is good for you to possess a point of comparison. Training alongside Osetto's Padawan will allow us to test you in ways beyond the capabilities of a single student. That is how we were trained, and I believe it will provide satisfactory results."

"Glad to see we agree," Osetto said with a renewed smile, rescinding the hand from his student's shoulder.

Stepping forward, Ryska offered a grin alongside her extended hand. "Pleased to make your acquaintance, Torzin."

Looking down toward the hand, the Mirialan paused for a moment before taking hold. "As am I."
-------------------- The Fan Fiction Index --------------------

Osetto's Avatar


Osetto
05.26.2012 , 02:27 PM | #4
Chapter Three: Lessons (Part One)

A week had passed since the pairs of masters and students had been formed, formalized, and unceremoniously confirmed by the Jedi Council. Osetto and Dehros were eager to teach. Ryska and Torzin were eager to learn. But none the less, training was slow to start. The Padawans moved out of the shared dormitories populated by initiates and their previous fellows, into more private accommodations. Cramped and tucked away in a residence hall encroached upon by the surrounding wilds a short distance from the temple, it was still a sign of their ascendance. Inhabiting neighboring quarters, the teenagers now lived in the same vicinity as their masters, symbolizing the new connections being formed. With little material possessions, the moving process was no large feat, but assimilating into their new place took time.

After the commotions had finally settled, the four Jedi found themselves amongst the temple ground, standing in one of the dueling squares. Apprenticeship Day long since passed, the surrounding scenery returned to its typical snapshot of serenity amongst the Tython landscape.

Stepping toward the center of the miniature arena, the two new masters were ready to begin their first prepared lesson. The Human and Miraluka were garbed in matching robes, numerous layers of dull browns absent the armored reinforcements called upon during wartime, though still fitted for martial movements. The two Padawans sat patiently at the outer threshold of the dueling square in similar attire, though lacking the thicker, outer layers.

"Students,” Osetto began, “Dehros and I have decided that due to your progressed natures, we would begin training with more of a demonstration than a typical lesson.”

"Correct," Dehros added. "Matters of skill, spirit, and further trials will be conducted in time. For today, a piece of knowledge that all Jedi should learn."

"And that all Jedi should teach," Osetto continued. "The medium for which we will part with this knowledge shall be a duel. Between Dehros and I."

"An atypical duel," said Dehros. "One in which victory is not earned by merely defeating one's opponent nor driving them toward yielding."

"Instead, we've given you, our respective students, a list of five conditions,” Osetto explained. “Five things, that if fulfilled by the opposing duelist, earns the scripter victory."

"In other words… Ryska, your list details things Osetto thinks I will do. Torzin, yours details thing I think Osetto will do. First to fulfill all the conditions loses."

"So it's a lesson against predictability," Ryska suggested.

Dehros nodded. "In a way.”

"A Sith desires control. What is it that a Jedi should desire?" Osetto asked.

Torzin opened his mouth, but no words came out. Only after a few moments of hesitation did he manage to speak. "Freedom?"

"Control." Osetto replied. "Just as Jedi and Sith utilize opposing sides of the Force, we also follow opposing manifestations of control. For them, domination. For us, discipline. They sow chaos, and then intend to manipulate it to their benefit. We seek balance, preserving peace throughout the galaxy by first preserving the peace within our own bodies, minds, and spirits."

"Therefore, our first demonstration will hopefully shed light on the intricacies of control," said Dehros. "It is not enough to simply fight an opponent. Striking without purpose is not the way of the Jedi. Instead, even in conflict, we are forever guiding the forces that surround us toward a sufficient goal. All the while preventing ourselves from falling victim to the manipulations of our foes."

"When in combat, control yourself, control the battlefield,” Torzin began, “but be wary of opposing forces intending to do the same.”

Dehros offered his student a quick nod. "Correct.”

"Yes, but this is a lesson that supersedes a Jedi's ability to combat the forces of darkness,” Osetto added. “It rests at the most basic tenets of our Order.”

"Since it's so basic, shouldn’t it be part of what we learned back when we were just initiates?" Ryska asked. "I mean, the importance of discipline was drilled into us pretty early."

"Yes, as it was with us," Osetto said with a chuckle. "But it is important to remember that most things fade with time. Our intent is to show you both how things can develop when two Jedi of relatively equal standing oppose one another."

"Perhaps it would better if we simply proceeded with the demonstration," Dehros suggested.

"Quite," Osetto stated, pulling the lightsaber from his belt. His opponent did the same. A moment later, the green and blue beams of ignited plasma presented themselves from the Consular and Guardian respectively.

"Whoa, I know you’re trying to tout your 'control' skills… but wouldn't you rather use a training saber?" Ryska asked, genuine worry in her voice.

"We didn't bring any," Osetto jokingly offered.

Torzin raised an eyebrow as he looked toward the plethora of equipment sitting just beyond the threshold of the arena. "There's an entire rack of them over there."

"He is being facetious," Dehros calmly stated. "It is okay, though. We've modified our sabers' containment fields to prevent it from fully passing through material. They're incapable of much more than producing light burns."

"And I've a background in Force healing, so I can remedy any errant strikes to my or Dehros' body," Osetto added. "So… shall we begin?" Dehros offered only a brief nod as he raised his saber, gripping the weapon firmly with his two hands, his eyes dedicatedly locked with the Consular's eyeless visage. Much more aloof, Osetto kept a wide stance, holding his saber single-handedly, away from his body. "Students, be sure to yell out when you see your master's opponent perform one of the listed feats."

The two students broke their dedicated gaze toward their teachers to study the small sheets of flimsiplast they currently held within their hands. Each student intently eyed the parchment, memorizing their respective lists of five actions so that they could properly focus on the ensuing duel. Reading over her series of expected happenings, Ryska let out a slight giggle at her master's expectations. Leaning over, Torzin tried to sneak a quick peek at the Cathar's list before she teasingly clutched it to her chest. With a raised brow, the Mirialan resigned himself back to his own master's musings. Committing the list to memory, the male student turned his full attention to the duel about to begin.

"Ready?" Osetto warmly asked.

"Ready," Dehros calmly stated.

The two duelists slowly circled one another, taking measured steps as they focused their attention on one another. As the seconds passed, the duelists had maneuvered themselves to opposing sides of the small dueling square. Then, motionlessness. Finally, silence.

"The duel begins… now!" the Miraluka called out.

Their lightsabers in hand, Osetto and Dehros descended upon one another. The distance between the two shrunk until they finally clashed in the center of the dueling arena. The Guardian, the more physically powerful, was able to come out of the contest pushing forward, causing the Consular to take a quick leap back. Pressing his assault, Dehros eliminated the distance between the two and sought to initiate another clash. Rather than directly block the Guardian's assault, Osetto parried the blow and allowed the charging duelist to continue past him.

"One must always remember that there is no singular type of opponent that one might face in the field," Osetto commented, still focusing his attention on his opponent. "You mustn't expect every opponent to give into haste." Dehros remained silent as his eyes narrowed, affixed to the Miraluka. "You've been trained to fight Sith. What you've learned during your previous teachings will likely need to be revised."

"Untrue," Dehros spoke up. "We needn't divert our focus from combating the clear and present threat of the darkness. Your training will be expanded upon, but not needlessly revised."

"Oh!" Ryska shouted from the sidelines in a shimmering delight. "Number one: Correct Master Karrehl."

The Miraluka offered a quick nod of approval to his giddy Padawan.

"Osetto, I thought we agreed that our lists would concern matters of combat," Dehros said to his still-smiling opponent.

"Number two: Cite rules violation. Does that fulfill that one?" Ryska warmly asked.

"I'd say it does," Osetto offered, matching his student’s warmth. He could sense Dehros' cold stare beating down upon him. "What? The purpose of this exercise was to illuminate certain aspects of-"

Before he could finish his sentence, Dehros had begun another charge toward the Consular. Brashly reacting, Osetto thrust forward his open palm, sending out a telekinetic shockwave that impacted its full force against the Guardian. Steeling his stance, the shockwave managed to push Dehros back several meters, though the duelist never managed to lose his footing.

"Torzin?" Dehros spoke up.

"Number two: Force push," Torzin dedicatedly read off.

"Hah! Well, someone wasn't being very creative," Osetto teased.

"Number one: Master Karrehl laughs," Torzin stated, carrying over his steady tone from before.

"What was that about these pertaining to combat?" Osetto continued his verbal prodding toward his fellow Jedi.

"To be fair, you do laugh during combat," Dehros plainly stated.

The Consular’s smile remained. "I try to restrain myself to chuckles, maybe the errant chortle. Alright, so it's two to two. Shall we continue?"

With a nod, Dehros raised his lightsaber, Osetto quickly doing the same. The two masters entered combat once again, clashing blade against blade. The two students watched with interest from the sidelines, eager to see how the duel would develop. Dehros appeared to be physically dominating the fight, but Osetto seemed more than capable of defending himself against the Guardian's advances. When the two were about to connect once more, Dehros permitted a purposeful fault in his strike, sending a blow well past his opponent. Capitalizing on the misstep, Osetto took hold of the Guardian's wrist and with a twist, forced the duelist to drop his lightsaber. Before the metal cylinder had even touched the ground, Dehros had used his free hand to deliver a precision strike with his fist to the Miraluka's chest.

"Number Four: Disarming technique," Torzin read off.

"Number Three: Unarmed strike," Ryska read, almost speaking over her associate.

As Osetto stumbled back, Dehros retrieved his weapon with the aid of the Force. With some distance between the two, the Guardian held the weapon tightly within his hands. Just as the Consular was beginning to recover, Dehros leapt into the air with a Force-assisted leap. Suddenly springing to attention, Osetto flung his lightsaber with a flick of the wrist, sending the still-ignited weapon spiraling toward his opponent with a graceful arc. As Dehros began his cascade, he was forced to bat away the approaching lightsaber, destabilizing his arching descent.

"Number Four: Leap more than two meters into the air," Ryska hastily spoke.

"Number Five: Lets go of lightsaber of own volition," Torzin promptly listed.

Osetto surged forward and out of his opponent's impact zone with an impressive burst of speed, reaching out and retrieving the deflected saber. The two duelists stopped, back to back, before calmly turning to face one another. They each only possessed one strike left. The two proceeded with caution, but not overly cautious lest they be expected to halt their advance. The two continued their combat in the most rudimentary of fashions. No outrageous maneuvers. No uncalculated tactics. Pure martial skill put to the test against one another's. Strike after strike, blow after blow, parry after parry. The two darted around the confined arena, refusing to vacate the premises. As Osetto found himself being drawn toward a corner, he couldn't hope to deflect the Guardian's final advance. With a twist of the blade, Dehros drove the saber from Osetto's hands. Defenseless, the Miraluka found the Guardian's boot sent into his gut, sending him tumbling to the ground. Bringing his saber down upon his fallen opponent, Osetto reached out with open palms. One of the training dummies that lined the arena's exterior entered the fray to block the strike, the Consular telekinetically placing it between himself and his opponent.

"Number three: Manipulate environment," Torzin read the final condition off of his list.

Shoving the training dummy aside, Osetto look up to see Dehros extending a helping hand. Grasping ahold of it, the Consular raised himself from the ground with a trademark smile. Dusting himself off, the Miraluka retrieved his lightsaber before approaching the center of the dueling square alongside his Human companion. As the two Jedi steadied themselves, they showed little signs of visual fatigue or exhaustion. Looking to their masters, the Padawans wore a renewed interest upon their faces.

"All too often, we think of the universe in the simplest terms of action and reaction," Osetto started.

"As is customary," Dehros continued. "For understanding the consequences of actions, and what events shall follow, lies at the foundation of preserving balance."

"But it is not enough to think of things within the simplicity of a singular sequence," Osetto added. "One must be ready for any number of outcomes, and be able to adapt to the multitude of facets presented."

"Combat is not merely a straightforward continuance of action, reaction, action," Dehros explained. "One must account for what could possibly occur across multiple variables. Reactions to reactions. Altering perceptions and driving motivations."

"Adaptation,” said Osetto. “We must control the change within ourselves, because otherwise others will do it for us. What occurred in that duel was not just a test of physical prowess, but one's ability to think more than two steps ahead."

"Not only being aware of one's own actions and carefully gauging one's reactions, but guiding one's opponent toward something," Dehros continued. "A proper duelists knows the difference between capitalizing on a perceived fault, and being driven toward a trap."

"Out of the nearly infinite variables presented to us, we were able to drive one another toward fulfilling a mere five conditions," Osetto offered before a brief pause. "Well… only four in my favor. So that is your lesson for today. One: The nature of control, whether it be of ourselves or toward a foe, is ultimately highly varied and complicated. Two: Things that are ultimately highly varied and complicated can be rendered quite simple, if not predictable, with proper control."

"I still don't see how you were expecting Master Norrida to fulfill the fifth condition," Ryska said from the sidelines, restraining her giggling.

"Why? What was it?" Dehros asked, ever stoic.

"Number five: Dehros smiles," Ryska plainly stated. Dehros offered a raise of his brow as he peered toward the smirking Consular, who offered a slight shrugging of his shoulders.

"Three: Rarely, is 'winning' required to prove one's point," Osetto added.
-------------------- The Fan Fiction Index --------------------

Osetto's Avatar


Osetto
05.28.2012 , 09:49 PM | #5
Chapter Four: Lessons (Part Two)

Silence. Calm. Reflection. Those were the intended effects of meditation, though intention could be a trouble area for some Padawans.

Within Osetto's private residence composed of quaint designs and simple features, he and his student sat upon a simple decorative rug, facing each other a short distance apart. The Consular was the model of repose, knees bent, hands together, serene demeanor. The same could not be said of the Padawan. Ryska sat across from her master, eyes closed, knees bent, hands together, but the rest of her seemed quite adverse to conforming to the peaceful stance. She swayed from side to side, sneaking a quick peak at her master every now and again.

"It's been a while since I was a student," Osetto warmly spoke up, "but I'm rather sure they teach proper meditation technique as an initiate."

"I'm sorry, master," Ryska offered, sufficiently embarrassed. "I've never been too good at, you know, sitting still… completely silent… for extended periods of time…"

"You needn't worry yourself too much, Padawan. Inner peace is an importance aspect of being a proper Jedi. This is, of course, achieved through proper meditation."

"Which I seem to have trouble with…"

"It would appear that way," said Osetto, completely deadpan. Ryska physically and emotionally drooped, prompting a light chuckle from the Consular. "But as we know… appearances can be deceiving. I like to believe meditation to be a state of mind rather than a defined action."

"But I thought achieving a certain state of mind was the end result of meditation…" Ryska mused. The Miralukan offered an eyeless stare from behind his simple face-wrapping. "I'm sorry… 'honor thy Master'."

The Consular offered another chuckle. "You'll do me plenty of honor if you'll assume I'm not one of those Masters who can't stand to be corrected." The Miraluka's warmth put her mind at ease, allowing her to take a deep breath and set herself into the proper meditative stance.

For the moment at least. A few second later, the Cathar released a low sigh as she shook her head. “Sorry, I should really be better at this by now.”

“Would you rather do something else?” asked Osetto. “We don’t have to meditate. We could simply talk.”

Another sigh from the student, this time one of relief. “That would be great.”

“Very well,” Osetto offered with a smile. “What would you care to talk about?”

Ryska dipped her head. “I’m… not sure.”

“Would you like to talk about why you have trouble meditation?” Osetto asked.

The teenager offered a reluctant chuckle. “I’m probably just too energetic. In my blood, you know?”

“Energy can move and change,” Osetto offered. “If you’ve an abundance of it, it’s simply a matter of finding a way to utilize it. Meditation ought not be hindered by energy. If anything, meditation ought to be how you come to understand it. A Jedi is many parts. No single one should preclude another.”

“I know, I just can’t help it sometimes,” Ryska admitted.

“Understandable,” said Osetto. “But what you think of as a burden, should be considered a resource. You’ve the power to guide that energy inside you. Put it to use. It can bolster your resolve. Your perceptions. Your intuition. You simply have to seek to understand it. Don’t control it, but instead guide it. If you do, it will help you, not hinder you.”

“We’re… not just talking about hyperactivity anymore, are we?” Ryska asked.

Osetto’s smile widened. “Very astute.”

----------

Within Dehros' private residence, he and his student sat upon a simple decorative rug facing each other a short distance apart. The Guardian and his Padawan both sat utterly still, utterly focused, absorbed within their own contemplative minds. That serenity took a quick pause as Dehros opened his eyes.

"I think the other two may have some misconceptions about the nature of meditation," Dehros stoically commented. “Conversation is not typically a proper means.”

Torzin broke his trance. "Master?"

"I'm sorry, Padawan. A meditative state brings with it heightened senses, and it can be hard to tune out Osetto's banter at times. The walls aren’t very thick to begin with."

Torzin’s eyes widened. "You can hear them talking?"

"Yes. Quite well, in fact. They preside in the room neighboring this one," Dehros explained, jutting a thumb over his shoulder, pointing to the wall behind him. "If you focus, you might be able to hear them."

"I will try, master," said Torzin. The Mirialan shut his eyes, his brow furrowing as he focused his attention beyond himself. He took a deep breath, holding it in before its exasperated release. “I’m sorry, master. I’m afraid I can’t.”

“You can, it’s merely a matter of practice,” Dehros offered. “The potential rests within you, just as it does every Jedi. The ability to hone your senses, to bolster them with the Force. It is your ally. Your greatest resource. And so long as you do not attempt to overpower it, it will grant you its bounty. That is why we have the Code. It not only guides our actions, but cements our connection to the Force. Through peace, knowledge, serenity, and harmony… the light may shine. You cannot control the Force, but with its help you can control every fiber of your being. Which is good. It’d be rather unpleasant if you could not shut off your enhanced senses. Especially when one such as Osetto is within one’s own earshot.”

----------

"I think our friends are talking about us," Osetto said with a chuckle. “Well, me at least.”

"Really? Master Norrida and Torzin?" Ryska asked, eyes growing as wide as her smile.

"Yes, they're on the other side of this wall,” Osetto revealed alongside a quick gesture.

The Cathar tilted her head. "You can hear them?"

"Not as well as I can see them," Osetto explained. Ryska remained silent, offering only the disbelieving arch of an eyebrow toward her blindfolded, eyeless master. "The same way I can see you making funny faces." Ryska immediately straightened her posture and wiped the smile from her face, prompting the Consular to adopt one of his own. "I have no eyes, that doesn't mean I cannot see. In fact, I'd say my vision is quite clear. Your eyes provide you a valuable range of information, but they are limited in scope. Your vision is conical. Mine… spherical. It matters not whether you are in front of me or behind me. In light or in darkness. In the open or behind a barrier. I can see you. And I can certainly see their lips moving."

----------

"I afraid I still don't hear anything," Torzin admitted. "What are they talking about?"

"Osetto is describing his Force vision," Dehros explained. "It really is a remarkable trait, but any Jedi can achieve a similar effect with proper training. Miraluka simply lack the handicap of relying on their eyes for years before being told to ignore them.”

"Do you possess this skill?" Torzin asked.

"It requires focus, but yes,” said Dehros. “It doesn't come as naturally to me as it does Osetto, however. He has superior vision, but I have a firmer grasp on other senses."

----------

Osetto bobbed his head as his lips curled into a grin. "Now he's attempting to downplay my abilities. I think he's trying to impress his Padawan."

Ryska let out a restrained giggle.

----------

"That's not true Osetto," Dehros calmly stated, not breaking his meditative stance. Torzin slightly arched his brow, but focused on maintaining his poise. "I simply believe it important to inform my Padawan that one should not rely on a single sense for information."

----------

"It's okay to boast every once in a while, Dehros. Or are you just embarrassed that you can only beat me in tests of hearing, smelling, and tasting?"

----------

"Those can be just as important as sight and touch. But if you want boasting, fine. I beat you three to two when it comes to senses."

----------

"You're forgetting the sixth sense, which I have a firmer grasp of. So, we're even."

----------

"If you can't even define something you can't claim victory in it."

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"Of course I can. And I'd take limited precognition over the ability to properly identify what I'm putting in my mouth," Osetto joked.

----------

"And sometimes I regret my ability to properly identify what comes out of your mouth," Dehros replied. Whether the Guardian was playing along with his friend or not was masked by his continued stoicism.

----------

Osetto and his student shared a soft round of laughter. "I think managed to pick up that last line," Ryska admitted.

"Very good, Padawan," Osetto praised. "Remember, your mental state is vulnerable to outside stimuli. Maintaining calm whilst also participating in conversation with either friend or foe can be daunting. One mustn't lose one's focus, temper, or bearings. It's easy to be at peace when you're alone with your thoughts… not so much when burdened with unwanted company."

"Yeah, but I still have trouble with the basics," Ryska regretfully admitted. “I still have a long way to go before I can even meditate properly.

"Don't worry. All things in time,” said Osetto. “Dehros wasn't much for meditation in our earlier days."

Ryska’s jaw dropped. "Really? Him?"

"He wasn't always the man sworn to stoicism,” Osetto explained. “Used to be quite the passionate fellow. I was the one constantly chastising him about following the Code when his master wasn't doing so. But, as you know… war has a way of changing things. For better or worse.”

----------

"Master?" Torzin hesitantly spoke up. The guardian seemed entrenched in his meditations. Eyes open, but frozen in place, staring into the distance. "I still can’t hear what they’re saying. Master?"

Dehros lifted his head, directing his gaze to his Padawan. Only after a series of blinks did the Jedi speak. "Let us continue our meditations. In silence, if you would.”

The Mirialan offered a dutiful nod. "Yes, master."
-------------------- The Fan Fiction Index --------------------

MilaniGrey's Avatar


MilaniGrey
05.30.2012 , 08:47 PM | #6
I like it!
The Islingr Legacy
Ebon Hawk Server
"How dreadfully spooky." -- Vesaniae's Darth Nox

Osetto's Avatar


Osetto
06.08.2012 , 02:52 PM | #7
[Post deleted following story reformatting]

commanderdarman's Avatar


commanderdarman
06.09.2012 , 03:24 AM | #8
sweeeeet

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Osetto
06.29.2012 , 10:16 PM | #9
[Post deleted following story reformatting]

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Osetto
07.02.2012 , 09:45 PM | #10
[Post deleted following story reformatting]