Jak was straightened, and all though he went about blending into the crowd and congratulating the victoriuos, surviving pilots, he noticed somebody's attention had lighted on him.
"Nice flying," Jak said to one pilot through his monotonus, somewhat cracked voice. The pilot was really a random one, but Jak sensed that the pilot himself felt he did a nice job in the air, or technically the space.
Jak Nox, Padawan however was not really worried about congratulating the pilots, Tranquility and he could do a specactular job up in combat. Jak Nox was paying attention to the one who paid attention to him. It was a slightly strange form of what Jak called "return empathy", feeling of others the same thing they felt of you. For some inexplicable reason, he heard the man's whipser of
"You Jedi... are strong."
Jak's inner dragon coiled warmly around the comment, thinking up a thanks, and attempting to cry through his mute mouth into Jak. The toungeless dragon held no sway, and yet, even though for almost sixteen years that it was all but slain, it persisted.
Jak, however did not take it as a compliment. If he were truly strong, he would have been up in the fight. Jak felt somewhat weak for not being there when the figure he regarded as a father became free-floating atoms. The transition to the Force always came with a sense of wonder when Jak thought of it. Was there pain? Was there peace?
Jak exfiltrated from the mass of happy fighter pilots. He moved towards Geenis, and the man who had commented on strength.
"Hello, Geenis," He said conversationally, cracks in his voice easing themselves away.
"Hello, sir," He spoke to the other, "I don't belive I've seen you, may I ask for your name?"
Geenis taps a wrench against his palm as he grumbles, "Listen 'ere, I don't have no time to be foolin' around. If ya got no business with me, then go away."
Crukai leans toward Jak and whispers, "Is he always like this?" He lets out a sigh before extending his hand to Jak, "My name is Crukai. I'm sort of stranded on this rock, due to your damn Jedi wars."
Geenis growls in a grumpy tone, "Humph! Work ta do, get outta my way." The old man pushes through Crukai and Jak. His walk was gimped, and his breathing was a bit weezy as he wobbles along.
Crukai asks, "What of the tools?"
Geenis grumbles, still walking off, "In the east bay." He stops and pokes at an X-wing that had a large hole through it's nose, "You'll find some tools. There's no chance that you'll repair a damaged ship in the jungles of Yavin."
Crukai brushes the geezer off with a wave of his hand, "Right, you said that already..." He glances at the kid, "So, are you some kind of Jedi too? You're kind of young, kid."
Entering into the Hangar bay from the Defense room comes a very small alien walking on all four of his white, furry little legs. His large black eyes looking out from a white-furred head with long ears and a long bushy tail all connected to a body that rose only to about mid-shin on a human made the alien almost appear rabbit-like. Yet the alien's species, the Kushiban, were known for this appearance. And this particular Kushiban was the Jedi Master Ikrit. Well over 400 years old himself he harkened back to the heyday of the Republic back when Yoda himself was only 500 years old. Ikrit was also known for his stern guidance to his pupils and was well respected throughout the Academy. He looks to Crukai and Jak. "Master Skywalker has called all the Jedi to the mess hall. Repairs can wait until then. Come." Ikrit continued on as several other Jedi filed out of the Defense room and were joined by others who had just landed their fighters.
Moments later inside the mess hall Ikrit takes his seat and nods at the other Jedi taht just arrived. Luke is up front and seems momentarily disturbed by something. After taking a breath he regains his composure and looks at all the Jedi gathered. "I can't begin to say how proud I am of each and every one of you gathered here. You all have shown your valor, and dedication in teh best ways you knew how. Some of you by aiding in the defense, others by helping to coordinate that defense, all by looking inside yourselves and looking for some way to help out. The Force was with us today and as proof of that, the Jedi Academy still stands. There is however a time for mourning of the brothers and sisters we lost today. Thus tonight we will hold a vigil in the courtyard in remembrance of those that went on to rejoin the Force. There is no death, there is only the Force. Remember this throughout the day and try to rest. There will be no formal training sessions on anything today. But those who prefer that form of 'moving meditation' may do so. I would also like to remind everyone that the mission to Rhen Var will still proceed as planned, once I have spoken with the group leader Jedi Master Gavriel Derragon. I will be leaving her shortly to speak with him but those who have questions may ask them now."
As soon as the shuttle was off the Darkness, and the Force returned to Kali, she gave Gavriel a loving look, reached out with a limp and bloody hand to touch his face, then faded back, drawing deep within herself. Her fingers left a damp trail of her own blood along his cheek as they fell away. She dropped into the trance and drew on the Force to keep her heart beating, her blood moving, and her lungs drawing breath, but slowed all the functions considerably. She knew she wouldn't survive the 24-hour long trip back to Yavin IV without doing so, and even then, there was a chance she wouldn't. Just after she slipped back, Gavriel had pulled the knife out of her stomach, then used all his concentration around the wound to staunch the flow of blood and promote her cells to heal. She lay on the pallet, seemingly unconscious even as the shuttle came out of hyperspace and started its fast descent towards the Jedi Academy on Yavin IV.
Gavriel's concern flooded him over as he tended to Kali as best as he could. Part of him still wanted to lash out, to destroy something but Gavriel had already focused his anger to cancel out the drugs in Kali's system. She could be wide awake now, but the one thing he couldn't help was the loss of blood she had suffered. So he kept his focus on her wound, using the Force to help the platelets in her blood come together to begin to close it somewhat. He pulled off another blood-soaked Bacta patch from her stomach and applied a fresh one. "Hang on Kali . . . don't try to talk. Just hang on . . ."
Frowning as Yavin IV's flight control contacted the shuttle, the pilot glanced over her shoulder back at Gavriel. "Sir...they're requesting we give them clearance codes..."
Gavriel glanced over at the pilot in no mood for what he could only consider "playing clerance code games" Trying to keep his temper he let the code come from his memory "Code Alpha-Omega-Epsilon-Omega." In his voice was zero tolerance for further hinderances. That was the emergency landing code which should have alert the Jedi Healers Cilghal and her apprentice Tekli to be waiting on stand by. The pilot transmitted, fearful enough not to play games, and just took the shuttle into the atmosphere as fast as he dared. Kali began to wake from her trance, her breathing becoming more rapid, heartbeat speeding up. After a few moments, she blinked her eyes open.
Gavriel then turned back to Kali, feeling her hearbeat start to speed up Gavriel reached into her mind to encourage her to calm down. A momentary thought told Gav that he should do the same, but he was not up for hearing that. Jedi should not seek revenge but this was too much. Kali could die and he would not have that. Kali closed her eyes and winced at the pain that came rushing back to her. She bit her lip to suppress a wimper. She felt Gav's presence, his emotions, and him urging her to remain calm. She tried as the pilot set the shuttle down gently on the landing pad outside the Jedi temple.
As soon as the langing ramp lowered, the Mon Calamari Jedi Master Cilghal and her Chadra-Fan apprentice Tekli rushed inside. Seeing Gavriel over Kali and having replaced the last bacta patch on her stomach he looked up at them. Cilghal placed a moist hand on Kali's head and looked into her eyes. "She's lost a lot of blood . . . We must move her into the infirmary right away. Tekli, finish prepping the bacta tank." Tekli nodded and rushed back down. Cilghal then glanced at Gavriel, sensing Gavriel's Force-presence had gone considerably darker, she winces. "Try to remain calm for Kali, Gavriel. She will need it." Gavriel's eyes closed and he fought to do as Cilghal said. After a moment he nodded. Two droids came up into the craft carrying a lev-bed for Kali to be placed on. "We'll get to work on her right away...." Gavriel slipped an arm under Kali's knees and under her shoulders then carefully set her on the lev-bed. They then moved quickly to the Temple's medical center.
Awhile later, there was a small splash as Kali was placed into the bacta tank. She had been stripped of her bloody and torn clothes, hooked up to the machine and placed in to heal. A white bikini bottom covered her bottom and a strap of white clothe covered her top. Her hair floated around her like an etheral red cloud. The blood washed away and she instantly felt her body start to heal.
Gavriel was pacing around the medical area, Kali's blood still on his face and hands. His arms were crossed in front of him as he watched her go into the fluid. The bacta would work to heal her instantly, but it would still be a slow process. After a few moments Tekli looked up at Gavriel, she only came up to Gavriel mid-section, her small bat-like face and large black eyes seemed to hold some form of pleading. "Master Gavriel, There is nothing more you can do. Perhaps you should go and meditate on Kali's behalf . . ." Gavriel looked down at Tekli, he could hold no anger hearing her pleading tone and seeing the concern in her eyes. Cilghal and Tekli were the best and Gavriel held full confidence in their abilities. Gavriel closed his eyes and nodded his head. "I won't leave though." Tekli nodded her brown-furred head. "As you wish. We have a seat over there. Cilghal will be in here in a moment to talk about what happened." Gavriel gave the effort he could at a small smile, though it still failed. "Thank you."
Kali's fingertips traced along the glass of the bacta tank. She watched Gav pace, fighting to stay awake. She was weak, and needed to let herself go to sleep. But Gav's anger concerned her. She watched him talk with Tekli her eyelids drooping. Gavriel's eyes went back to Kali before he walked over to the tank. His finger was placed right where hers was, thought still kept apart by the glass. Without a word Gavriel had sent her the message. He was not going anywhere and she should rest.
Her hand flattened against the glass, mirroring his. She wanted him to get some rest as well... She needed him strong for her. Needed him to get his rest. She didn't fight the fatigue anymore though, couldn't. After sending him thoughts of love, she slipped off into blissful unconsciousness, her hand slipping from the glass, her body floating in the bacta, the wound in her stomach still red and ugly. A thought came to Gavriel as he noted Kali's body go limp and finally go unconscious. 'What if she never wakes up?' he thinks. Then in response came the soft voice of reason. "You're focusing on the negative Master Gavriel. She will wake in time." Gavriel turned to see Cilghal was standing next to him looking at Kali also. She then turned to him and held her hand toward two chairs. "Now if you please, I would like to hear what happened...."
Crukai grins sheepishly at the kid when a strange beast like man approaches them.
The white furred critters speaks to them, "Master Skywalker has called all the Jedi to the mess hall. Repairs can wait until then. Come."
Crukai puts his hands to his waist as he snickers, "I'm not a Jedi..." He smirks, "But I'll see what Skywalker has to say." He glances at Jak, "You coming, kid?"
As Crukai enters the audience chambers, he slips into the back and leans against the back wall as all of the Jedi take their seats.
Luke enters the room and immediately takes the full attention of the rooms occupants. Crukai crosses his arms as he listens to the Jedi master speak. He was mostly congratulating them on a job well done, and giving the current situation. It appeared to be a debriefing, until one name was mentions,
"the mission to Rhen Var will still proceed as planned..."
Crukai twitches slightly at the mentioning of that damn place. These Jedi have got to be insane to send someone to that rock. The journey alone would be dangerous.
Luke says, "but those who have questions may ask them now."
A soft and familiar voice catches Crukai's ears.
Aina, with her hand risen in the air, slowly stands up and addresses Luke very formally, "Master Skywalker, since some of the members of the mission team are currently unable to proceed with the mission, might we be able to volunteer now?"
There is an uproar of murmmering among the Jedi in the audience.
Crukai stares at Aina, he was grinding his teeth, unable to keep himself quiet he says, "How many of you have actually been to that part of space?" It grows quiet as people begin to glance toward the back of the room to find Crukai walking forward, "You've got to be insane, without someone who has experience with space exploration, you'd be asking for trouble."
Luke begins to speak, but Aina beats him to it, "This is a Jedi matter, why are you still here? I figured you'd be gone by now."
The audience glances at Aina, then back to Crukai who spouts, "Hey! I would be, but unfortunately, my damn ship is in pieces, thanks to you."
Everyone glances toward Aina who retaliates, "I never told you to do what you did, but I thanked you anyway! Why do you care about our safety anyway!?"
Everyone glances toward Crukai who chokes on his words, "I-It's not like I care..."
Aina murmmers, "I see."
Crukai coughs before saying, "I'm going with you, on that mission."
Luke begins to say something, but again Aina beats him to it. Aina says, "What? Why?"
Crukai explains, "I've never really been to that planet, but I've been in that area enough times to know that you'll need someone who has experience with the far reaches of space. I've been fighting space pirates and exploring uncharted areas for a good deal of my life." He clears his throat as he turns his glance toward Luke, "I don't work for free though, make sure my ship is fixed and fueled up when we return. That's my fee."
Kasan shook her head a little, grunted quietly and slowly opened her eyes. The sight that caught them almost made her leap from her spot on the floor, but she refrained herself and just looked at him, catching his eyes. Slowly, she reached out, with her mind and said,
*Can you hear me?*
Kyle's eyes remained viciously fixed upon Talbot, his glowing orange lightsaber held by both of his hands. He stood there, not making a move as of yet even as the Force had returned to him. Kyle knew better, Talbot had turned off the Force belt and would turn it on as soon as Kyle made any hostile moves. At this particular moment, Kyle could hear Kasan's voice from his mind. He turned his eyes to her, his face suddenly transformed from one of rage to one of loving concern.
*Yes, I can hear you. Are you alright?*
Kyle replied telepathically. Kasan smile held in her eyes, but didn't reach her face. Lifting a brow, she said,
*Don't let on that you can hear me... But, something is very wrong... You shouldn't have come here... Why? Why did you come?*
Kyle didn't even bother to nod and quickly returned his gaze towards Talbot. However, he could still listen and reply to Kasan telepathically. Kyle knew well why he came here.
*I know that son of a bantha wouldn't just invite me here like that unless he has something up his sleeve. But it doesn't matter. As to why I came here, it's very simple. Because I love you, Kasan, and would get you back no matter what. Even if that means I'd have to go through an AT-AT.*
Kasan's expression softened slightly at hearing his words. She squirmed a little and looked at Talbot's head for a moment before she looked back at him,
*If... When we get out of this, there's something you have to know... Something I have to tell you...*
Kyle listened to what Kasan had to say to him telepathically. He wondered just what it was that he needed to know from her, until he sensed it through the Force. What he managed to sense inside Kasan's body was another life force. No. Make that two life forces being felt. Kasan was pregnant, with twins! Kyle rejoiced only in his mind, while keeping a poker face for Talbot as he stared at him.
*Yes, I sensed it, Kasan. Twins.*
Kyle replied, telepathically, of course. She had no idea there'd been two, she only knew about the one. Her eyes widened slightly as she listened to him. Swallowing a little, she thought back,
*Twins?! B-but... Oh, there's no time for that.... He knows I'm pregnant and plans on using that against you... Kyle... We have to get back, I trust you... I love you... Now get us out of here.*
She watched him lower his head in a indiscreet nod towards her, although to Talbot it could be seen as a defensive stance. The two men stared, waiting for each to make the first move.
It was night outside the Jedi Academy. Though an actual period of night is rare for the Academy, it had occured the night of the Memorial Service held for the Jedi who fell defending Yavin IV from the threat of Grand Moff Tarkin and his Imperial Forces. Although two of the three Jedi who landed on Tarkin's ship have come back, Jedi Kyle Landoran and his wife and former Imperial Ace Pilot herself Kasan Moor are still missing. All around the courtyard were set up raised glowlamps and in the center, a large firepit that was set aflame in remembrance of those fallen.
Above them all, in the Yavin night sky hung the huge orange gas giant of the Yavin planet. All the Jedi gathered stood with their robes on and hoods up. A sombre mood seemed to permeate the air around the courtyard. A feeling of gratitude, and solemn remembrance. Luke himself stood in his black robes and head hung low and looking into the fire. Moving his gaze upward to the Yavin planet Luke began to speak. "The New Jedi Order has suffered many losses during it's short time but our mission remains clear: To build up the Jedi Order once more into a symbol of guidance, and hope, and peace for the galaxy. Today, the New Jedi of this Order have paid a price. "Energy becomes matter, matter becomes energy" - this is truth. "There is no death there is only the Force" - We also hold this to be true. Tonight, from the Jedi lost, we release their matter to once again become energy within the Force. This does not mean however, that we do not show sorrow at their passing. They sacrificed their lives today for us, just as we would have sacrificed ours for them. That they have lived within the Force and answered its call, I do not count that as loss, but as their victory."
Standing beside a large portion of stones that once formed a stone altar, built by the Massassi who built the temple, Gavriel Derragon stood with his hood up, though he was at the ceremony, he preferred to show sorrow at the passing of fellow Jedi without being up front about it. Gavriel does this not out of being too proud to show his sorrow, but out of humility to those who passed. Someone openly grieving can be comforted, but one who mourns in secret does so for the unseen Force. It was all Gavriel could do to not go into his TIE Advanced x1 and search the galaxy until he found Tarkin's Star Destroyer and dismantle it himself. Gavriel was thankful however to Grand Admiral Pellaeon for capturing Kali's X-Wing and Gav's TIE when released into space when Tarkin's Destroyer let them go. Gav and Kali's craft, as well as Kyle's X-Wing were just returned to the Academy. Kyle Landoran . . . he was still on the Destroyer, Force only knows where it came out of hyperspace at. Gavriel had to see to Kali's wound to pay any real attention to where they were. Thankfully the pilots of the Lambda-class shuttle knew the coordinates for Yavin and delivered Gav and Kali back.
"Tarkin . . ." Gavriel had to suppress his emotion at his name. It was Tarkin who had plunged his knife into Kali's stomach, now it was all Kali, Cilghal, and Tekli could do to keep her alive. While Gavriel could only think of revenge on Tarkin. Luke would frown and warn Gavriel against revenge, saying it would lead to the Dark Side, but what does Gav care for that belief? Luke's master Yoda once told him the Dark Path will forever dominate someone's destiny. Yet Vader had gone down that path and came to the light, same for Luke, same for Kyp, same for Gavriel himself. Yoda was wrong plain and simple, the Dark Path he warned of wasn't one of the Force, but a path one chooses from within oneself. Unlike Luke and the too many of the Jedi students, they were afraid to face the Dark Side and break through it. To experience the full power of the Force, to do the greatest good, a Jedi should be unified with both sides - Light and Dark. Then and only then can a Jedi have the power to do the greatest good. Luke and his Light Side had done a great amount of good, but what could be accomplished if a Jedi were to use both sides? Gavriel waved these thoughts away and he looked at the pyre set up for the lost Jedi.
Looking around, Gavriel had noticed several Jedi whom he had hoped to bring on this mission to Rhen Var. Which, if any of them were still interested, would no doubt approach him and let themselves be known. Luke had finished up his memorial service to the fallen Jedi and sat down to meditate. Gavriel however kept his eye on the Jedi he had looked at to accompany him on the Rhen Var mission.
Renn glanced at everyone. He was dressed in long black robes. Most of the fallen were from his squadron and they all died after Gav left him in charge. Both hands were clenched and he fought back the tears. Standing on the other side was Face and Wraith Squadron, all were dressed in crisp uniforms. Something told him that this wasn't the last funeral ceremony the Jedi would have.
Once there ceremony was over Face gave him a pat on the shoulder and he had the other Wraiths headed back to the hangar and Renn watched them go. He walked over to each spot and gave his good bye's to each one.
Then he saw Gav and took a deep breath as he walked over to him. He heard about what happened to Kail. Renn thought if he were there things may have gone different but he knew otherwise.
"I'll still go to Rhen Var with you. But how is Kali?" Renn asked. "All I know is that'll she'll pull through. She's a tough one."
He still stood next to Gav, watching everyone else. He wondered if the others were going to come, he wouldn't mind it just being Gav and himself but they might need help.
He turned and glanced around once more. He sent out one last good bye. I'm sorry. But don't worry, I won't fail, not again. I'll see you some day, I promise.
Last edited by Vongwannabe; 04-27-2005 at 05:18 AM.
Among the Jedi who were attending the ceremony was Pip and Tack Squadron, or whatever that was left of it after the battle to defend Yavin IV and the Jedi Academy. Of the losses suffered by the defenders of Yavin IV, Tack Squadron suffered among the most grievously. The fact that only five members of Tack Squadron, including Pip himself, were present here was a testimony to such grievous losses. From a squadron of 20 starfighters and pilots, Tack Squadron was effectively decimated and reduced to an echelon of 5 starfighters and pilots. The survivors of the squadron stood beside Katrina, who was dressed in her black robe like all the Jedi were. They wore the best clothing they had as merc pilots, though a bit rough compared to others, their expression for everyone lost during the battle couldn't be any lesser.
Pip felt particularly sad, since he led the squadron into the battle in which it was decimated. A squadron which Kyle had spend a great deal of time to train and form up was decimated in a single battle against the Imperials. Among the lost pilots of Tack Squadron, some of them were long time veterans who were around when Kyle was still the leader of the squadron, when they fought the Empire's World Devastators and TIE Droids on Mon Calamari. Now, those pilots were gone. Pip, being a non-Jedi, found it hard to believe that there was no death but the Force. He also felt guilt, the feeling of wanting to hit himself hard. Kyle handed Tack Squadron over to Pip when he came here to become a Jedi, and he promised his uncle that he would take care of Tack Squadron. Pip felt bad for failing to keep that promise to Kyle, now that his squadron was decimated.
Katrina could sense the emotion coming from Pip as Fran and herself tried to comfort the young squadron leader. Being his aunt, Katrina was doing her best to comfort Pip. He was made a squadron leader at such an age and even he had demonstrated himself as an excellent squadron leader, his mind couldn't take such a grievous loss suffered by Tack Squadron. She had other things to think about as well, aside from the Jedi who were lost today. Her brother was still aboard that Star Destroyer, and nothing was heard from him yet even as Gavriel and Kali had returned. She had also sensed that Kali was wounded seriously. If that was the case, then what could had happened to Kyle, her only brother left in the galaxy? The Landoran Twins had just recently reunited, after so many years of pain and miseries. Katrina would vomit at the revolting thought that her brother would be killed.
After the ceremony, Katrina decided to accompany Pip back into the hangar along with the remnants of Tack Squadron, where members of Wraith Squadron were also present. She decided that Pip would need all the comfort he could get, who was meanwhile feeling ashamed of himself. Pip felt that he could never face his uncle again, as he kept his head down. Tack Squadron's remaining starfighters had suffered some damage that would take quite a while to repair before they were hyperspace-worthy again, so Pip and the others would be here for a while. However, Katrina suddenly noticed something in the hangar - Kyle's XJ-Class X-Wing, the Starlight Wizard. Stuck inside the cockpit was Kyle's faithful R7 astromech unit, Jake. She thought that Kyle was back, but to her disappointment, her brother was nowhere to be found near the X-Wing. "Pip, look. That's Uncle Kyle's X-Wing, the Starlight Wizard." Katrina spoke, her voice caused Pip to raise his head as she had gotten his attention. "But where is Uncle Kyle? I don't see him. Where is he?" Pip asked, just as the hangar crew helped Jake get down onto the ground. The R7 unit missed Kyle badly, and the two could tell from the way the astromech behaved. "What happened to Kyle anyway?" Fran asked.
Katrina only sighed, now was the best time to tell Pip and the rest what happened to Kyle. "Kyle went inside Tarkin's Eclipse Super Star Destroyer, along with two of his Jedi friends. Two of them returned, but Kyle was still out there." she explained, just as Jake wheeled himself slowly until he stopped besides Katrina. Everyone around her gasped at hearing what she had to say, especially Pip himself. He had been wondering where Kyle had been all this time when they were battling the three Star Destroyers and their contingents of TIEs, and now he finally found out what happened to his uncle. "That's bad. If Kyle was in fact inside there, he would be in great danger. If only Tack Squadron didn't lose so much fighters....." Fran sighed. "There is nothing we can do, guys. The Star Destroyer disappeared into hyperspace to an unknown location. Even if Tack Squadron is back at its full strength, there's no way to take on the Star Destroyer. I'm sorry to say, but there's nothing we can do now. But don't worry, I know Kyle would be fine. He had been through too much to just go out like that." Katrina explained again, and she was right. There was nothing they could do to help Kyle, it was all up to him now. Pip, meanwhile, was still stunned to hear about his uncle's whereabouts.
Soon, the remnants of Tack Squadron sighed and retired to wait on the news as they had came to terms with the harsh fact that only Kyle could save himself. Katrina excused them, and went back to the Academy to meditate. It was the only thing in the galaxy she could do for Kyle....
Then Renn saw Gav and took a deep breath as he walked over to him. He heard about what happened to Kail. He thought if he were there things may have gone different but he knew otherwise. "I'll still go to Rhen Var with you. But how is Kali?" Renn asked. "All I know is that'll she'll pull through. She's a tough one." He still stood next to Gav, watching everyone else. He wondered if the others were going to come, he wouldn't mind it just being Gav and himself but they might need help.
He turned and glanced around once more. He sent out one last good bye. I'm sorry. But don't worry, I won't fail, not again. I'll see you some day, I promise.
Gavriel however didn't blame Renn for the loss of pilots. He had been told about the second attack shortly after Tarkin's destroyer had left and how Pellaeon and his fleet had helped save the Jedi Academy from further losses. Gavriel was pleased with how things had went, though he only wished he could have brought some closure to it all by eliminating Tarkin or Talbot from the picture. Instead, he nearly suffered the loss of Kali. "I'm stronger than this!" Gav chided himself. But none of his inner struggle appearing in his face nor was Gav letting it be evident through the Force. He looks at Renn and nods. "You know it won't be easy. Rhen Var is very cold." Renn shrugged simply. "Well Ganner's here. I don't like him and I don't like the cold. I'd prefer the cold. And if I liked things easy I doubt I'd be here." Gavriel nodded simply and stared into the fire inside the pit that was still blazing. "True, but Jedi Rhysode isn't the problem. You and he may not get along, but you are both one and the same in the Force and as such, there should be a mutual respect at least. My point is, there maybe Jedi on this trip you may not like, but you may have to depend on them, and they on you."
"I'll put up with him if he comes. But if he gets into trouble let him handle it. He tends to think he can't get killed. And if you save him that's how this whole mess came to be." Gavriel eyed the Jedi with a hard stare. "Mind your attitude boy. Perhaps if you get in trouble I won't want to help you out. As it stands, I'm not sure that I can trust you on this trip. Personally Ganner maybe cocky, but I know I could trust him to help even someone he disagrees with. Now if you want on this mission, you will tell me, and mean it, that you will help out anyone and everyone that comes along." The Corellian bit his tongue to stop from cursing Gavriel off. When he was finally calm he thought for a moment. "I'll come. You can trust me, if you didn't would you have put me in charge of the squadron?" Gavriel could feel that there was a bit of friction from what his last said. "Pride like that is what will get you into a whole heap of trouble. I chose you to lead Nova Squadron so you would learn what a leader goes though, how every choice you make has lives hanging at the end of it. You still have a lot to learn, and until you lose this recklessness you don't have to worry about leadership positions again."
Renn ran a hand through his hair. "I want to come. The question is: do you want me to come?" Gavriel looked at him for a moment, measuring Renn's resolve, getting a feel for his dependability. "I want Jedi to come along that I can trust. The real question is if I can trust you. You answer that, and I'll answer your question." "Well I don't know your mind set so that's hard to say." Renn scratched his chin. "At first not a lot of people trusted me. Being the son of a politician who happened to be close friends with Chelch Dravvad made many think I'm some kind of spoiled brat. If you want you can trust me and I'll help. I don't want any more people to die of my mistakes." "If I want to trust you I can? That alone tells me you are not ready. I'm telling you what you need to hear so others won't die of your mistakes yet you don't see it." Gavriel took a breath to calm down. "I'm going to go against my better judgement on this and allow you on this mission. You need to learn a lesson in helping those you don't agree with. If you don't want anyone else to die from your mistakes then you will swallow your pride, do exactly as I say no questions asked and you will address me with the proper respect due to a Jedi Master. Understood?"
"Yes, Master," Renn said, doing his best to swallow his pride. He knew that would get him killed but he still couldn't get rid of it. Gavriel nodded. "Alright, now you'd best go and prepare your things." Gavriel looked over towards the fire and recognized Luke Skywalker coming his way. "Apparently someone else is wanting to talk." Renn nodded his head and spun on his heels in the direction of his chambers to get some warm robes and his lightsabers ready. The still robed figure of Luke came up beside Gavriel and glanced back at Renn. "So Renn will be going with you to Rhen Var?" Gavriel glanced back, a bit of frustration evident. "He was ready to treat other lives so carelessly Luke. Hearing that after coming so close to losing Kali . . ." Luke nodded. "Frustrating I know. It wasn't so long ago that you were that cocky boy yourself. Maybe you see a bit of yourself in him." "Maybe, but at least I held other lives with respect." "Renn will come around Gavriel. You did . . . I did."
Luke smiled as they walked towards the edge of the courtyard. "I've been wanting to talk to you since you got back. I could feel your anger when you arrived back here. Of course seeing Kali hurt like she was didn't help but I could sense something more than the anger. You've grown more powerful." Luke's tone of voice was cautious, testing to see where Gavriel would take this. "I . . . I only did what I had to, to save Kali, to save the Academy." "Be careful with this power Gavriel, if you do not control it, it will control you." Gavriel nodded, fully understanding where Luke was taking this, and for the first time in a long time, Gavriel agreed. "I . . . I know what I'm doing. And I agree with you Luke. There's been times I've felt as if the Force itself has taken on a certain velocity when I used it in anger. Like when it came time to direct it to something like healing, it was ready to be destructive instead and I had to use more willpower to use it for good." Luke nodded and put a hand on Gavriel's shoulder. "That's been my warning all along. I'm sending Gavriel Derragon to Rhen Var, I don't want Darth Vader to come back. Gavriel could tell what Luke meant. Gavriel suddenly felt the need to see Kali again. He nodded to Luke "I will keep that in mind . . . Master. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get myself prepared for this trip." Gavriel took his leave and headed inside.
Once Gavriel was packed away with what he would need for his trip, he saw to it that his droid, Jeeves came along. If messages or anything needed to be translated, Jeeves would be a welcome addition. Gavriel had sent Jeeves to go an prepare the Star's Shadow since that was the transport to be used to go to Rhen Var. Gavriel would see about getting others to go on the mission as well, but first he had to make a very important visit.
The door to the Medical Area opened with a hiss of released pressure. Cilghal was kneeling in front of a small child Jedi Trainee with a burn on her arm. Apparently their training lightsabers, though turned down in power, they could still cause a nasty burn. Cilghal finished up with the Trainee and stood up to see Gavriel behind her. The Healer and the Trainee both regarded Gavriel as he walked past them and gave them both a slight smile before continuing toward the rooms where the Bacta Tanks were held. Entering into the room, He could see Kali was back in the tank for another bacta treatment. Kali floated gently in the fluid, she was asleep; her curls were bound into a braid that floated around her waist. The white cloth was wrapped back around the top of her chest and her bottom, leaving her abdomen bare. The wound had closed, but was not completely healed. Her bruises were almost gone, and there were only mere traces of the rest of her cuts. However, she had lost enough blood that her skin looked almost translucent. Gavriel's heart broke again at the sight of her. He had sworn to protect her, to watch over her . . . yet this had happened still. Gavriel thought back momentarily to Cronus IV, where he lost most of his left arm, he could only recall certain images from that, but her determination to get him out of there was still clear as anything in his mind. "I won't fail you again Kali . . . I promise you." He thought to himself.
As if on cue, or maybe it was his presence, Kali's eyes opened slowly, looking down to Gav. They filled instantly with love, and happiness that he was there. Putting her hands against the glass of the tube, she manuevered herself down carefully to where their eyes were level with each other. Gavriel could only look into her eyes momentarily, he had nearly lost her when he promised to look after her. His eyes looked back up at her with all the control he could muster. Even for the brief moment their eyes connected, his love was still evident for her, love, mixed with remorse. Kali watched....then shook her head slowly, the braid following after. There had never been any pretense between them and just because she was still healing, there wouldn't be any now. Besides, with the Force, it was hard to hide such feelings from each other. Gavriel pressed a hand to the duraglass tube Kali was in, she looked beautiful as ever still, but his eyes held a sadness. He wanted to stay here until the moment she came out of the tank, but the mission to Rhen Var was being prepped, already Jeeves was working to prepare the ship for the passengers and their belongings. A tear formed in Gav's eye, not because of how Kali still looked with the bruises, but because he had to go. His eyes pleaded with her, begging her to forgive him his failure in protecting her, and that he would have to go.
Kali watched Gavriel, felt his sadness, his remorse. She knew he had to leave. She was so proud of him. He had such strength, even if he didn't know it. She did. He rescued her from the very hands of the devil himself... Now it was her turn to look away. Her eyes moved down to his hand on the tube. Hands that had touched hers a million times over, that had comforted her, held her... And she betrayed him. The pain of that thought hit her again and she winced, visably. She didn't feel worthy of his love now. He shouldn't be standing here looking at her like he is... Gavriel could feel something in Kali's thoughts, betrayal? She had not betrayed him . . . or was she thinking about his betrayal? She looked away for that moment and Gavriel was struck at the thought. She couldn't bear to face him . . . Her eyes flew up to his at his last thought. She was always more adept at sensing his true feelings than he was hers. She shook her head adamently. Then winced at the pain of it. Her shoulders slumped. If only she wasn't in this damn tube... If only she hadn't been hurt so bad... If only she hadn't crashed onto that ship... Her hands pressed up against the tube. Gavriel understood she had something more to say, he had read her wrong, she felt she had betrayed him. Gav's eyes again conveyed that she was wrong, she had not betrayed him, he had let her down. And now his duty called him away.
Her look softened... They would talk when he returned. She knew he was leaving for Rhen Var soon. She would be alright. She would survive. He couldn't let his worry for her cloud his judgement on the mission. Her hands slid slowly down the tube to cover where his were. Gavriel raised his eyes to look back into hers, their hands mirroring each other, yet Gavriel could almost swear to feel the warmth through the glass. He sent her thoughts of love, of encouragement, and most of all, his committment to her. He loved Kali more than anything, and that he had to go away from her showed as visibly as the scar he carried over his eye. In the Force he sent her a simple message. "I love you Kali Tal'Set." Like he was wrapping her in a mental hug, Kali closed her eyes, enjoying the moment. After a moment, she gazed at him again. She loved this man more than life itself and was completely willing to give it up for him... She again reminded him that she would be alright. He could do more good on the mission than sitting here, fussing over her. They'd talk fully when he returned. When they were both a little more healed. She returned his thought through the Force. "I love you too, Gavriel. Always."
Vice-Admiral Brevin Talbot enjoyed a good fight. Not with blaster rifles, pistols or even vibro-blades. But with his fists. For him there was nothing more real and more fun than slamming his fist into a man's face and feeling his blood as it dripped down Talbot's fingers. Growing up on Coruscant Talbot had spent most of his youth fighting in the local gangs. It was the only way for him to prevent himself as being picked on by the older kids. During his youth, Talbot was small and sickly. He felt that his father, tall and proud, looked down upon his only son in disgust.
But Talbot would make his father proud. He began to work longer and harder into molding his body into a living weapon. Using his fists and his mind he began to take anyone that made fun of him. Then he caught the eye of a manager from the local boxing league on Coruscant. He was invited to a local gym and giving a chance to see what he really could do. Talbot proved the manager right. Beating almost every opponent he could, Talbot began to move up in the ranks. He started in cruiserweight and moved up to heavyweight in a couple of years. Talbot could see the pride in his dad's eyes as he watched his son, his flesh and blood earn fame and fortune. That's all Talbot wanted. His father's pride and now he had. After fights his dad would brag about Talbot to his fellow Imperial officers.
"That's my son.' He would say to them as he pointed to Talbot and smiled. "Nobody can stop the Bull. Nobody. Next stop, Brevin, is the heavyweight title of the Empire! No one can stop you."
But someone did stop him. Someone put an end to Brevin's title hopes and it was someone that had never heard of him, or even stepped into the ring. A kid from a backwater planet called Tatooine. Two torpedoes did what no man could do, tear Brevin's heart out of his chest. When news of the Death Star's destruction at Yavin IV had been reported across Coruscant, Brevin felt like the world had been taken away from him. His father was dead. His father wouldn't be coming to his matches anymore. His father wouldn't be there to pat him on the back and his father wouldn't be able to brag to his friends about him. That was all gone.
Brevin couldn't box anymore. He fought a couple of matches, but it wasn't the same. He lost his energy, he had lost his will. He lost those matches and any hope of becoming heavyweight champion of the Empire. But that didn't matter to him, nothing matter to him. Then his mother was killed by a rebel terrorists bomb. The feeling of helplessness of seeing his mother dying his arms gave him his purpose. He would make the rebel scum pay for everything that they did. Brevin joined the academy with renewed vigor. He excelled in everything. He moved into the starfighter corps just so he could could kill the rebels. He took his anger, his hatred and molded himself into the perfect weapon for it. He killed for superiors, for revenge and for the Empire. He killed like a machine. Without conscience or fear.
He found himself in that pain, in that anger and he... enjoyed it.
Talbot quickly turned on his force belt and stared daggers into the jedi standing in front, a jedi calling himself Kyle Landoran. Talbot knew the last name well. He had studied the tactics of a General Jake Landoran during his days in the Academy. If they were somehow related, that would make this fight even more fun.
"Welcome onboard the ESD Darkness. I'm sorry for not introducing myself. My name is Vice-Admiral Brevin Tiberius Talbot of the Galactic Empire, and I will be your executioner today." Talbot said with a malicious grin as he mockingly bowed.
Kyle only let out a slight grunt of disgust when Talbot greeted him with mock humor. He too, was staring daggers into Talbot. Kyle would make Talbot pay for what he did to Kasan, with or without the Force. He took a deep breath and let it out shortly after.
"Talbot, stop playing gentleman. Because I know you aren't one." Kyle replied, still holding his lightsaber as his knuckles were whitening.
"My Jedi teachings had taught me that there was no need for this, but what you'd done to Kasan was far too much." He added, slowly approaching Talbot, being careful about his every step.
Talbot continue to stand and stare at Kyle as he began to approach. He could see the hate and malice beginning to boil behind those eyes.
"I haven't begun to have my fun with Kasan, but the Grand Moff says to execute her, so I can't disobey a direct order. But if you kill me, then you kill Kasan." He nodded at Kasan and then held his hand palm up at Kyle.
"I wouldn't come any further if I was you. I left a little suprise for you on her. If kill me... let's just say that you will have to clean your little whore off the walls. And you wouldn't want to do that to her, or your unborn children, now would you?"
Kasan sat up straighter, her eyes moved to Talbot wondering what he was talking about. She braced her palms on the floor and hadn't noticed that he'd placed the belt around her waist.
Half growling out, she said, "What in the hell are you talking about?!"
At that, Kyle immediately stopped himself in his own tracks, keeping himself where he was as he listened to Talbot. So Talbot had boobytrapped Kasan herself with an explosive of some kind, and if Kyle kills Talbot it would blow. It didn't surprise Kyle one bit that Talbot would find out about Kasan's pregnancy, he had expected Talbot to know that by now. But what made Kyle angry was that he was using Kasan as his own deterrent against him. When he saw Kasan sat up straighter and wondering what was going on, Kyle decided to answer her.
"A bomb. Talbot had boobytrapped you with a bomb." he said, sounding a bit urgent as he still held his lightsaber, but in a slightly loosen posture.
At this, she narrowed her eyes. Looking to him, she said, "I always knew you were a coward Brevin. I never once questioned why you were my second, but I always knew you never deserved it. Always hiding behind someone or something to keep yourself safe..."
Talbot chuckled and then began to laugh. "And yet, here you are Kasan! Broken and bleeding all over my nice clean floor. Hiding behind a jedi dog. Who hides behind a power that no one else has. You want to talk about that Kasan? Consider this doing my part to level the playing field. But what would your jedi code say about killing an unarmed man?" Talbot held out both hands showing them to be empty.
"What would the rest of your jedi friends say? Kyle Landoran killed an unarmed man in cold blood. Thats the path to the Dark Side is it not? Then your friends will have to hunt you down like the jedi dog you are."
Kasan turned her head and mummbled under her breath, "I'm sure Luke Skywalker would make an exception..."
Last edited by ImperialBA; 04-28-2005 at 02:00 PM.
Kyle stood there and listened to Talbot a bit more. He begrudgingly agreed that killing an unarmed man was the path to the Dark Side. It reminded Kyle of what happened to Tabris Anobi, and the last thing he wanted was to become like him. But having been around Gavriel, Kyle had learned a bit about his view of the Force, only those who weren't strong enough to turn away from the Dark Side would perish. Kyle had seen that first hand with Tabris Anobi, his reluctant to let go of the Dark Side was his undoing, unlike Kyp Durron who had turned away from it eventually. Kyle nodded to Kasan's comment and showed a slight smile on his face.
"Yes, what I'd learned from Kyp Durron was that sometimes justice must be done even if it meant taking the live of another. If only you didn't have that bomb strapped to Kasan....."
Kyle spoke, turning off his lightsaber and clipped it to his belt. He would prepare himself for a fistfight if neccessary, the last thing he wanted to do was to kill Kasan unintentionally and feel the guilt of it afterwards. That would drive him to the Dark Side much sooner and deeper than anything.
"If only, if only.' Talbot said mockinly. 'Whats the matter, jedi dog? Life isn't fair right now is it? You want to go crying back to mom, then? Your kind makes me sick. Just because you are the jedi the whole entire galaxy is supposed to bow down and give you anything you want."
"But let's see how much of a man you think you are."
Talbot began to take off the top of his uniform to reveal his large chest and arms.
"Let's see how good you are without the Force and that fancy lightsaber. Man to man. You versus me in a winner take all boxing match. You beat me and you get to walk away with Kasan scot free. But if I win, you and her are mine. clean and free."
Kyle stood there and took all that mocking Talbot dished out against him. He only shook his head and sighed, the Jedi wasn't about making others bow down to them. They were just there to spread and protect peace and justice in the galaxy. He just stood there as he listened to Talbot issuing his challenge. Since he couldn't kill Talbot, and Talbot himself was unarmed, Kyle had anticipated it to be a fistfight. Kyle's instinct was correct, as Talbot had challenged him to a boxing match. This was not an even playing field for Kyle, he had the body shape of a starfighter pilot, not a boxer. Talbot would be superior to him in strength, and Kyle knew that for sure. But Kyle also knew that he had no other choice in the matter, to kill him would kill Kasan as well as thrusting Kyle himself into the Dark Side. He wouldn't have that.
"Fine by me, a Jedi always fight fair." Kyle spoke. Begrudgingly, Kyle further assured Talbot that this would be a fair fight by taking his lightsaber's hilt and tossing it to the side. Next, Kyle took off his blue Jedi robe, leaving him with his cream tunic and pants. He was ready.
Talbot smiled as he cracked his knuckles. "You are in for quite a treat. It's not everyday that you get to face a heavyweight champion of the Empire. I'm going to enjoy myself, taking you apart piece by piece."
Talbot smiled as he raised both fists and began to advance on Kyle's position. He began to juggle his fists ever so slightly in front of his face as he began to step around Kyle.
Kyle watched as Talbot began to advance towards him, keeping his two fists in front of him as the standard posture for a general fistfight. He stood there and listened as Talbot was speaking of his confidence. But Kyle had reasons to be intimidated, and begrudgingly agreed with Talbot that it wasn't everyday that he would come face to face with a boxing champion. The only thing that gave Kyle any kind of comfort was that unlike fighting a Jedi in lightsaber sparring, his thoughts of his next moves wouldn't be given away so easily. However, the same could be said about Talbot's thoughts for his next move, and that worried Kyle. Being a starfighter pilot and a Jedi, Kyle decided to put his trust into two things, speed and agility. His body kept up with Talbot, facing him as he circled around the "powerless" Jedi. Kyle too, began to move as he attempted to outmaneuver Talbot, and at the same time anticipating blows from his opponent.
Talbot carefully watched Kyle's moves. He was beginning to draw upon all of years of boxing in the ring. He knew that Kyle that was smaller, and would be quicker. But being smaller also meant a lack of the hard stamina that Talbot had. That meant he had to formulate the right plan. And Talbot knew the right plan. He threw his left fist in a wide hook and cocked back his right fist.
Kyle was approaching Talbot when he saw his left fist swung at him with a wide left hook. He instinctively ducked right under it, using his agility gained from flying his X-Wing and lightsaber sparring. Kyle got back up in time to see Talbot's right fist cocked back and ready to strike, he had a few options. One would be to try to evade that and make a hit on Talbot to stall him a bit, the other was to walk backwards to avoid it if he could. Kyle decided to go with the former and advanced towards Talbot, moving his head to the direction of his left arm. Without the Force, it could only get harder.
Which is what Talbot wanted. Distracted by the right fist, Talbot used that by quickly swinging his left arm back in a backhanded movement. The force of the blow connected with Kyle's face and sent him staggering back. But Talbot didn't respond. His entire focus was on Kyle. His face was an emotionless mask.
"You wouldn't be related to General Landoran, jedi dog?" Talbot asked as he brought up both of his fists again and resume his defensive stance.
Kyle was tricked, just as he thought he was going to evade the right arm, he took the left instead. He was sent staggering back, and was barely able to stop himself from falling down to the floor. His head was feeling slightly disoriented, but nothing compared to the impact of his X-Wing crashing into the ground while he was still inside the cockpit. Kyle managed to regain his composure just as Talbot spoke once more. This time, he asked about his relations with Naboo's forgotten hero, his grandfather General Jake Landoran.
"General Landoran is my grandfather. If he could survive crashing his AT-AT at least twice, then that blow you struck me was nothing."
Kyle spat as he resume his own defensive posture.
"Did I forget to tell you that I was shot down twice during my service with Rogue Squadron? I know how it was like to crash my X-Wing onto the ground. Your blows were nothing compared to that either." he added.
Kyle kept his defensive posture while rapidly approaching Talbot, walking circles around his opponent like an X-Wing would to a Star Destroyer. When the opportunity showed itself, Kyle ducked low and struck Talbot in his left hip, even though it probably wouldn't do too much good, given Talbot's size and strength. It would do about as much as a proton torpedo to the shields of the Darkness.
The blows hit Talbot on the hip, but did little to stop him. Talbot knew exactly what Kyle was up to. But Talbot knew how to play the mind games as well. "Did I ever tell you that I was never shot down once? To be shot down twice must mean that you don't have the stuff to be a pilot. Maybe you take after your grandfather, after all he was a coward too."
Talbot brought both fists in several quick jabs as Kyle's midsection as he drew up close to Kyle's body.
Kyle wouldn't have that. Not at all. Not anyone who dared to make fun of his grandfather. His grandfather would always be a hero to his eyes, and Kyle respected him even as he was no longer among the living. He would make Talbot pay for degrading his grandfather. But before he could do anything of the like, Kyle took hits from the quick jabs from Talbot. Initially, Kyle managed to fluidly block a few of those blows, but the amount of pounding done to his arms were too much to handle. Kyle tried blocking them nonetheless, but it was futile, and he knew that if his arms continued to take such a pounding, they could be rendered useless. This also meant that Kyle would be unable to either defend of take offense. He finally gave way, and took those hits to his midsections. Saliva began to squirt out of his mouth as he opened it to let out a breathless gasp with each hit he took, until Kyle finally fell to the floor. He laid there, trying to recover as he took in deep breaths.
Last edited by ImperialBA; 04-28-2005 at 02:16 PM.
Talbot towered over Kyle and stared him down. "C'mon, get up coward. Don't like you grandfather now. How did he die anyways? I heard that he died a coward's death, all by himself. Cowering in his little room waiting for death like a.... dog."
Talbot backed away and motioned for Kyle to get up with both hands. "C'mon jedi dog. Or maybe I should put you out of your misery, like we did with your grandfather?"
Kyle just laid there as he continued to attempt to recover, gasping for every breath he could take in. If there was a plus side to this, it was that Kyle could finally prove to Kasan just how much he loved her by being willing to go through this, this in turn had also made his mind more clear. He truly loved Kasan, and there could be no more mistake about that now. Kyle's hands were already clutching his fists, as his fingers slowly closed together to form a fists on each hand.
When he heard Talbot taunting him and his grandfather, Kyle had enough. When the fists had finished forming, Kyle slammed the right fist upon the floor and quickly got himself up. He stared down Talbot just before he made any postures. "You will not say anything like that of him...." he spoke, with fire in his eyes and his voice dripped with as much venom as Kasan's did towards Talbot. With that, Kyle once again got into his fighting stance.
Talbot just smiled slightly and raised his fists. That was Kyle's weakpoint. His love for his grandfather. Now it was time to just twist that knife a little harder and deeper and watch the fireworks. "So, you have a thing for traitors, don't you? It all makes sense, your traitor and cowardly grandfather and now the traitor, Kasan. You must like them a lot. But you never answered my question, dog. Scared? Maybe you can't hear as well anymore. I'll ask the question again. How did your grandfather die?"
Kyle just stood there as he stood in his fighting stance, listening to Talbot's continous taunting, his fists held in place and ready even as his arms had taken such pounding from before.
"My grandfather and Kasan had a few things in common. They both are tough, they both are survivors, they both are determined indivituals who wouldn't leave anything unfinished... Just like I am. It was why I respected my grandfather, and it was what I saw in Kasan as well. As for how my grandfather died, I can say this. He died..... A hero."
Kyle spoke, his knuckles whitened at the last two words of his speech. Drawing his right leg backwards, Kyle began to dash towards Talbot, while his knees prepared to duck low.
As Kyle dashed at Talbot, his forward momentum was taking him right the waiting man. Talbot side stepped to the right and stuck Kyle in the back with both fists. The impact sent Kyle sprawling along the floor and into the wall. Talbot cracked both of his knuckles.
"A hero's death?' Talbot laughed out loud. 'That's not what I heard. Corellia wasn't it? Did you know that there are lots of poisons that can cause death that look like a heart attack? Untraceable even to the most skilled medical droid... imagine that. Your grandfather, the hero. Lying in his room gasping for his breath, his hands clawing at his chest. That doesn't sound like a hero's death to me, does it to you?"
This time, Kyle practically screamed as he was struck in his back by the full force of both of Talbot's fists. He slammed first into the floor, then right into the wall. Kyle slowly rolled himself over and sat up with great efforts as he coughed and gasped. He leaned his back against the wall, still recovering from the recent blow.
Kasan flintched when Kyle hit the floor. Her eyes narrowed and she looked up at Talbot. She tried to get his attention off of Kyle, at least for a moment, to allow him to catch his breath. Biting her lip, she said, "What's the point in this Brevin? You know and I know that you'll not let us go, short of your own death. You call us cowards for hiding behind power? I think you're just jealous because you'll never know true power. You'll just wallow in your own self-pity. You think you're the only one who's ever lost family? Think about it jackass... There was a reason I left the Empire! Don't you remember? That little planet called Alderaan!?"
Talbot stared daggers into Kasan and then smirked. She couldn't do anything, and her taunts were useless. Kyle couldn't do much for now as he listened to Talbot kept taunting him. He heard that his grandfather died of a heart attack, and it was official in the New Republic's records. Although Kyle also heard a few rumors that he was actually assassinated by Imperial assassins, Kyle simply discounted them as rumors. Now, for the first time, Kyle had a reason to believe those rumors.
"So the rumors were true after all. My grandfather was assassinated?" Kyle spoke, more to himself than anyone else.
As he tried to recover, Kyle stared Talbot down. This sent a clear message to Talbot that Kyle wouldn't be kept down for long, and this wasn't over until Kyle said so.
"My grandfather lived the life of a hero during the Clone Wars. To die after living a life of a hero was to die a hero in my book. Where were you when he took on General Grievous on Obroa-Skai? Where were you when he killed the son of a Separatist leader on Jabiim? I doubt you were even born then."
Kyle replied with a hiss, and spat out the blood that was collecting just behind his lips.
Talbot swung his right fist against the wall just inches away from the side of Kyle's head. He brought his face so close to Kyle's that their noses touched.
"I heard that he got captured and tortured by General Grievous. I heard that he barely survived. Some hero that was. How many jedi died in that battle? He sent them all to their deaths. Hows do that feel, jedi? Knowing that your grandfather sent them to their deaths in a vain attempt to do what he knew he couldn't- defeat General Grievous?"
Kyle nearly flintched when Talbot landed that fist into the wall right next to his head, but never did even as Talbot brought his face so close to him. He sat there against the wall as Talbot continued to taunt him. What he said was revolting, although some of it Kyle knew already. He already had a vision of his grandfather being tortured by General Grievous when he was but a mere toddler. He knew that it would happen, the Force told him so. Kyle wasn't surprised when the holonet news came up about it. He also heard that Jedi did die in the battle, but he was too little to even began to think about the numbers. But how could that be? How could his grandfather had sent them to their deaths?
"No.... This can't be true."Kyle whispered, he never truly knew what happened.
Granted, Kyle had kept his grandfather's memoirs, but he hardly ever read much of it as he kept himself busy with Jedi training, he never got to read the part about Obroa-Skai. But Kyle was somehow convinced that Talbot was lying, it wasn't that hard to feel that way, especially coming from the mouth of an enemy who wants you dead. Not just dead, but dead after feeling ashamed. Kyle wouldn't take that. His fists clutched once again, in anger and frustration. There was only one thing he could do.
"Liar!" Kyle hissed, and spat right in Talbot's face.
Last edited by ImperialBA; 04-28-2005 at 02:18 PM.
As Crukai leaves the audience chamber, a voice shouts his name from afar, “Crukai, wait one minute!”
The old man turns his head and casts his eyes upon a ravenous woman who storms his way. She was flustered almost red with irritation, which somewhat startled Crukai. He says to her as she approaches, “You’re angry?”
Aina motions for him to keep walking as they talk, “Look, I appreciate what you’ve done for us so far, but your services aren’t needed.”
Crukai says, almost mockingly, “You ARE angry, didn’t think Jedi are supposed to harbor such-“
Aina cuts him off, “Knock it off, listen… I don’t need your help or protection; I’m a Jedi who can take care of herself.”
Crukai nods as he grins with a smug laugh, “And you need a check your engines.”
Aina asks in a questioning tone, “Excuse me?”
Crukai reiterates for her, “That’s a pilot term, when a kid thinks he’s ace hot stuff, we tell them to check their engines to cool off.” He pauses and glances at her, “This isn’t about you, the fact of the matter is; I’m stuck here.”
Aina places her hands to her hips, “There is a starship repair hanger, have you even thought about checking with them?”
Crukai snaps back, “Already have, they expected me to take care of it myself. It seems that saving one Jedi doesn’t equate to a free repair card.” He starts walking, “Sorry missy, but looks like we’re stuck with each other for now.”
Aina follows suit, she says with a tint of sarcasm, “Oh great, just don’t slow us down, Mr. Expert wayfarer.”
Crukai twitches, “Same goes for you, kid…”
Aina locks eyes with Crukai before growling and turning her cheek, “Ugh, fine.” She turns and walks in the other direction.
Crukai shakes his head as he watches her turn the corner and disappear, “Bah…” He mummers, before walking toward the hanger. He had recalled Luke telling those that were going on the voyage to pack and prepare for the venture, but considering that Crukai didn’t own anything in this place, he’d just have to go as is.
The heavy doors to the hanger bay swiftly open with a swishing motion. The usual gust of cool air brushes against Crukai as he exchanges the small hallway for the high ceilings of the hanger bay. The familiar and comforting smell of oils and grease instantly strike Crukai’s nose. It was an almost intoxicating scent to mechanic junkies.
He pulls his hand across the brow of his forehead as he glances about; it wasn’t hard to spot the transport ship that they’d be using. Crukai casually makes his way across the busy hangar bay till he finds himself standing directly in front of the transport ship. It was fairly sleek for a model of it’s class.
The metal tap of a droids gears catches Crukai’s attention and he glances to the side to find a droid inspecting the transport. It was obviously making the necessary pre-flight checks before initiating the green.
Crukai approaches the ship and slides his hand across its surface, a grin came across his face as he imagined how this thing would fair in a fight. Transport class shuttles were easy targets, but this was a Jedi academy… chances are, it had modifications.
Talbot wiped the spit off his face. Grabbing Kyle by the head he threw him hard to ground. "Your grandfather never told you about Order 66 did he? He made the Empire proud that day. Helped to kill all of those jedi traitors. Imagine that, if you were on the battlefield with him, he would've killed you as a traitor to the Empire."
Kyle only let out a grunt of pain when he felt his back impacting against the durasteel floor. He laid there, as he had been doing for most part of the fight, and listened once again to Talbot as he spoke more of his grandfather. Kyle had no way of believing everything he said about his grandfather. Even as a child, Kyle could sense his grandfather's emotions when he was around him through the Force. What he sensed best was the feeling of guilt. Maybe it was because of Order 66? Or was it because he had been a tool for the Empire all along? Kyle thought it was both.
"My grandfather did regret what he did, I sensed that in the Force when I was only a child. He was used, as a tool for the Empire, just as Kasan was. And I'm proud of my grandfather because he had just as much strength as Kasan had to see the real truth and turn away while he still could." Kyle replied.
"He never told you how many jedi he killed, or personally ordered their deaths? Yes, that is strength to be proud of, killing traitors. That means that you must be proud of me as well, cause today I am going to kill two traitors to the Empire. Maybe I'm just following the example set by your grandfather. Maybe I'm the real grandson that he never had. Certainly not a cowardly little worm like you. I'll enjoy killing Kasan first. Her death will be slow and painful, and you'll be able to see exactly what your grandfather did to all of those jedi traitors. And he did it knowing full well exactly what he was doing." Talbot finished his sentance by roughly picking up Kyle by the collar and making him look at Kasan.
"Or maybe I'll torture her right now? You'd like that wouldn't you? You aren't much of a challenge to me. Maybe seeing her bleed and listening to her screams will make you fight like a man."
Talbot threw Kyle against the floor and walked over to Kasan. He threw a right fist into her face and followed up with a left to her face. Blood and spit flew across the room as Kasan's wounds opened up again. Talbot looked back at Kyle and began to laugh harshly. He punched Kasan in the stomach and in the face again.
Kasan tried to back away, but the wall being behind her prevented her from going anywhere. She tried to kick out at him, only being stopped by the sharp pain that laced her stomach. She tried to inhale, but was cut off by the sharp smack to her face. She fell to the side and cried out, as she caught herself with her hands, before her face found the floor. She gasped for breath, sobbing at the imense pain in her stomach.
"Scream, whore! Scream!" Talbot yelled as he continued his assualt.
Kyle was slowly being weakened even as he was trying to recover, his eyes were narrowed as Talbot picked him up and forced him to look at Kasan. The only thing that popped his eyes wide open was Talbot's threat of harm towards Kasan. It didn't take long before Kyle found himself on the floor again. He then watched helplessly as Talbot did what he promised Kyle, for all he could do was to muster his strength again while he watched Talbot physically assaulting Kasan. Her screams and sobs were tormenting him. In his mind, it wasn't just Kasan's sobs and screams that were heard, voices of his parents screaming their horrifying wails as they were vaporized by the Death Star's superlaser along with the rest of Alderaan, the voice of Captain Filb screaming for him as the Avenging Force was vaporized by the Darkness' superlaser, the cry of Tack as his X-Wing exploded, and the voice of his own grandfather crying for him. With those painful screams and sobs for Kasan also carried echoes of Talbot's taunting, and all the insult he had directed towards Kyle himself and his grandfather. In his mind, he could see the image of Alderaan being destroyed by the Death Star, the image of his own twin sister suffering on Kessel, and now Kasan's torment at the hands of Talbot and Torba the Hutt. Kyle's fists became tighter than even the magnetic seal of a hangar bay, his knuckles were so white that you couldn't describe it. His eyes popped open, as he felt a renewed energy flushing through his body, although it wasn't the Force.
Kyle slowly got himself up amidst Talbot's harsh laugh, his fists were around his waist, ready to strike. He took a few deep breaths to pump himself up for his retaliatory move. Kyle had to do something, lest his unborn children be killed which would end the Landoran line for good. Mustering all the strength he could, Kyle put his head up and looked directly towards Talbot.
"Talbot!" Kyle cried out, and dashed towards Talbot, his right arm cocked back for a powershot.
Kyle's dash was quick, like his XJ-Class X-Wing with all its thrusters at full power. He had only one intend, to make Talbot pay for what he did to Kasan. Kyle kept charging until he got close enough. That was when Kyle swung that right fist against Talbot, although a single hit from a fist couldn't hurt Talbot too much, but when combined with velocity it could do some damage. Kyle learned from the previous attempts at hurting Talbot, and realized that one hit wasn't enough. Using his speed, Kyle managed to get two more punches into Talbot.
Talbot was so focused on Kasan that he didn't see Kyle until it was too late. The first punch hit him hard across the face and he staggared back away from Kasan. Kyle's next two punches hit him in the stomach and Talbot bent over in pain. Spitting some blood on the floor, Talbot grabbed his stomach and looked up at Kyle.
"Welcome to the party, coward.' He spit up some more blood and wiped it off his mouth with his arm. 'Give in to your hate, feel the anger." Straightening back up, Talbot threw his left fist at Kyle's midsection.
Kyle took the hit the the midsection from Talbot, he nearly fell, but managed to prevent himself from doing so. He held his stomach, looked at Talbot with flames in his eyes. He hated everything which Talbot stood for, he hated what Talbot did to Kasan, and he hated what Talbot did to Kyle himself. His hate and anger began to rise, as he struck his pose and ready to strike again. He didn't care about the Dark Side anymore, it was of no concern for him any longer. Kyle readied himself, reared his right leg and dashed at Talbot again. This time, Kyle became a bit more creative, instead of running directly towards Talbot, Kyle turn to one side so that he would end up behind Talbot. Even if he managed to turn around in time, Kyle could still land a punch. He timed his run, like he did when doing a proton torpedo strafing run with his X-Wing, and when the opportunity showed itself, Kyle struck again.
Talbot turned but Kyle was too quick and landed several punches into his side. Talbot grunted in pain and swung his right arm in a backhand motion to try to catch Kyle. But Kyle ducked and landed some more punches, pushing Talbot against the wall. Talbot brought up both arms to protet himself as Kyle continued his assault.
Kyle didn't care about anything else, other than protecting Kasan from Talbot. One look in his eyes would reveal the same emotions which General Landoran had when he fought the Separatists. He fought the Clone Wars to safeguard his grandchildren, and right now Kyle was doing the exact same thing for his love and his unborn children. He continued to assault Talbot with full feriocity, capitalizing on the gains he had upon Talbot like his grandfather would had exploited his blows against the Separatist droid armies. Talbot was blocking all the punches Kyle threw at him, but he knew that he had Talbot against the wall. He stopped punching briefly, to give himself a bit of breathing space. That was the essense of his grandfather's deadliest ground warfare tactic, the Landoran Death Trap. Take offence, but not take too much of it so that you exhaust yourself and allow the enemy to make a counteroffense. Kyle aimed for Talbot's midsection and delivered two punches before backing off to give himself some breathing space.
"How does it feel to be punched with your back against the wall, huh?" Kyle taunted.
Talbot responded to Kyle's taunt with a fast fist to his face. He then followed up with another fist to the midsection.
"You tell me, jedi dog." He said spitting some blood and saliva at Kyle. "You think that your little trap will work against me? I studied your grandfathers tactics in the Academy and they were nothing, nothing. General Veers was ten times the tactician and he never lost a battle. Not like you grandfather, who had his head handed to him so many times, I suprised that they didn't renounce his commision. The ony good thing that he did was to kill those jedi. Do you really want to know why we studied his tactics?"
Kyle took the hit to his face and reeled further back in pain, he felt a bit more disoriented. It could had been worse, it it wasn't for his current momentum and his fighting spirit. Kyle then wiped off whatever Talbot had spit at him as he listened to further insults upon his grandfather. While he hadn't read much of his grandfather's memoirs, he knew for sure that he had won a lot more battles than Talbot give credit for. He practically annihilated some of the Separatist droid armies before, and Kyle was proud of those moments. He wouldn't listen to anymore things Talbot had to say, for they were nothing but insults directed towards his grandfather. Shaking off his pain and disorientation, Kyle struck his fighting stance and prepared for another strike. "My grandfather was greater of a man than you think, Talbot." Kyle replied, spitting blood and saliva out from his mouth.
Moving Meditation. Thats what some called training. Jak, however enjoyed it, especially moving unseen and unafraid throughout the Jedi Academy. He trained in the halls for this, tailing Crukai. He spent some time speaking to a Jedi named Aina, and then he slipped into the hanger, he began running his hand across a Jedi trasport's hull. Jak made the move towards Tranquility. His hand slid like a lover's caress over her hull.
"Hey," he whispered to the ship, as he kept one eye on Crukai. The young Padawan climbed into the cockpit and made pre-flight checks. Everything was in working order. He sat back against the oddly comfortable seat, and let his head rest behind him.
Tranquility, resting in her cockpit when she was ready to fly must be the equvilent of falling asleep in his Lover's arms. Not all was good. All was never good, thats why he was a Jedi. The mission to Rhen Var was being discussed between Master Gavriel and Master Luke, Jak couldn't remembr much of what he heard about it at the time, but he did know that mnay of the Jedi that were to be going were now dead.
What to do, what to do.
Jak double-checked his pre-flight stats...
((EDIT: And a rather large one at that. Due to the current storyline, my original view for my character won't work. So, please ignore all posts leading up to this, aside from the info one, I am more or less starting over. Thank you.))
As the funeral service ended, various Jedi and those who had helped in the defense of the Academy began to float away, absorbed in loss or their own conversations. Luke Skywalker and Gavriel Derragon, some of the figureheads of the Jedi Order, were close together, apparently discussing something. Probably Derragon's proposed expedition to the Rhen Var system. The thought of that mission brought another thought to Keyan.
Many of the Jedi signed up are most likely dead. I missed my chance before, and can make it up now. I better talk to Gavriel.
The young Jedi rose from his squatting position and looked around. The verdant world of Yavin IV was always a sight to behold, especially now. With the feeling of loss so fresh on the minds of all around, the cycle of life inherent in Yavin's jungle was a wondrous and visible event. Keyan remained there, half standing, for a long time, simple thinking. The trials and tribulations of everyday life seemed easy compared to trouble on a cosmic scale.
The thought of galaxy-spanning evil dragged Keyan back to reality. The mission to Rhen Var was no doubt leaving soon. Keyan could offer the services and space of Far Runner, as it's lounge was no doubt more comfortable than a starfighter cockpit for long hyperspace jumps. And the added conversation would help too. Adjusting his belt so the lightsabers hung on each hip, the Jedi stood and moved away from the ceremonial site. With one last glance at the jungle, Keyan entered the cooler atmosphere of the Temple, and began his search for Gavriel Derragon.
A few minutes and many hallways later, Keyan stood outside a non-descript door, the same as innumerable others in the Temple. This one served to house a young woman named Kali, who was Padawan to the elusive Gavriel. He had inquired after Gavriel, and the answers had brought him here. Keyan sighed once, and knocked lightly on the door, hoping he wasn't....disturbing anything.
The muscular feline hand knocked at the door of one of Acedemy's bunks, it wasn't meant to be as a polite gesture, Graul just wanted to warn any indecent occupants of his coming entrance which came a minute after his knock. Inside he found Daniel who, upon hearing the mettalic sound of his door openened, looked up from the letter he was writing into the stern eyes of Trogorian Jedi Master.
"Young Hope" Graul's voice was perfectly deep and hoarse, with a hint of frustration in his tone "I expected you to be ready by now, is that what you are to bring with you, the clothes on your back?"
"Well Master" Daniel smiled a curled lips into a gingery smile "You always said that I should pack light and move swiftly"
Graul was not amused
"Sorry" said the Padawan before returning to his letter, his smile melting into a look of embarassment and innocence which disturbingly reminded the Trogorian of a cub in perdition.
"Be sure that you pack everything you need for this trip or I will show you the true meaning of light travel”
“This expedition is very important to me, the Academy and the Jedi as a whole, I expect it to be for you as well, you shall learn much from it”
Graul marched out and away from the room, the sound of the automatic door closing and Daniel’s “Yes Master” following behind him. Hope shook his head, there were days when that Trogorian clawed at his nerves like nails across the chalk board, agitating him to no end, that day it was worse. He let out a sigh and once again put the antique writing device to the paper, reading what he wrote to that point before continuing.
Dearest Mother and Father
For the next few days I won’t be able to respond or receive your letters, I’m taking part on an expedition to a remote planet which many believe will answer a lot of their questions. I hope I will not receive any protests from you, as I and others have already made up my mind. I would also like to apologize for not keeping in touch recently, I don’t know if you’ve heard but the academy was recently attacked by an Imperial starcraft.
The enemy came swiftly and disappeared with the same speed, it’s own casualties were miniscule while the Academy lost a lot of good men and women, leaving us shocked and shivering, staring at the sky as we await the next attack. The Jedi Knights and Masters fought the enemy bravely twixt the burning stars, while we, the young and inexperienced Padawans were forced to ‘hold the fort’ and I can’t help but feel denied, yet again, a chance to prove myself, something which I now look forward at doing on this expedition.
It’s about time that I denied my timid heart the power to control me. I showed a brave face several times when facing danger on my numerous survival expeditions back home, I stared in the eyes of monstrous beast without a drop of sweat or a flinch on my brow and yet I cannot look another man in the eye without a stutter in my voice. That is my prime concern with myself and I hope that this experience will change it.
He folded the paper and placed it in his pocket, to mail it on his way out, and then with a slight, weary grunt he got up and picked up his satchel. Most of what he needed was already packed, contrary to his Master’s assumptions. It was mostly basic survival gear, like a water purifier, a mountaineering set and an extra robe, among other necessities.
Graul was waiting for him in the corridor, with the diligently rigid stance that would bring an Imperial Guard to shame. Upon his students exit, they briefly looked straight into each other’s eyes, Graul noted the resilience in Daniel’s eyes and he in turn noted his teacher’s disapproval and with those thoughts in mind they walked down the corridor to the docking bay.